Rhylie Anderson, Lilly Haack named semifinalists for Jack Kent Cooke scholarship

Anderson and Haack

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently named two students at Northeast Texas Community College as semi-finalists for their highly competitive and elite Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Rhylie Anderson of Winnsboro and Lilly Haack of Wenona, Illinois both made the shortlist for the scholarship. 

Their applications were among nearly 3,000 submitted by students across the nation. Only 20 percent of applicants made it to semifinalist status. Jack Kent Cooke winners, who receive scholarships of $40,000 per year for up to three years, will be announced in April. 

Anderson, a psychology and music major, is pursuing a career in music production. A Presidential Honors Scholar, Rhylie serves as the President of the Alpha Mu Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, president of the Honors Council, founder/president of Northeast Texas Community College’s Gay-Straight Alliance, and a member of Psi Beta Psychology Honor Society. 

She is a 2018 Leader of Promise, Texas STAR Scholar, and recipient of the Dr. Charles B. Florio award for leadership.

Her paper entitled “The Politics of Futility” won a Caldwell Award from the Texas State Historical Association and has been accepted to be published in Touchstonejournal. Anderson has presented her work at the Great Plains Honors Council, Western Historical Association, and the National Collegiate Honors Council. She will be presenting her recent work on “Queer Identity in Music” at the upcoming World History Association.

 "Seeing the email saying that I was a semi-finalist gave me the optimism that I can accomplish big things and keep going to make my ideals a reality,” Anderson said when describing her reaction to the news.

Haack is pursuing a degree in biology. Her future career plans involve working with animals and the environment. She serves as Vice-President of Communication for the Alpha Mu Chi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, is the found founder/president of Northeast Texas Community College’s Environmental Club, a member of the Bio-Chem Club, and a biology lab assistant and tutor. Haack has volunteered at local animal rescues such as Cason Animal Rescue as well as the nationally recognized Wildlife Rescue Center just outside of St. Louis, Missouri, where she had an 8-week summer internship.

She was recently chosen to serve as an Ambassador in the Texas State Parks Program. Haack is also one of only ten students nationwide chosen to be a 2018 Pearson Scholar. Her paper entitled “Saving the Spirit of the West” has been accepted for presentation at the upcoming World History Association.

"My heart was beating so hard,” Haack said when describing her reaction to the news. “I was so happy to have been named a semi-finalist!" 

NTCC has had nine Jack Kent Cooke Scholars since 2010. Named in reverse chronological order, they are: Alicia Cantrell (2018), Brenda Godoy (2018), Angelica Fuentes (2016), Jessica Velazquez (2016), Kayleah Cumpian (2015), Stephen Milburn (2014), Matthew Jordan (2014), Stephanie Calderon (2013) and Clara Ramirez (2010).