Lindy Callahan Scholarship Essay

The Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has announced this year’s incoming scholars. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Fourteen standout incoming freshmen accepted into the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi have been awarded four of the university’s most prestigious scholarships.

Of the 14, four were awarded the McDonnell-Barksdale Scholarship, six were awarded the Doris Raymond Scholarship, two were awarded the Harold Parker Memorial Scholarship and two were awarded Annexstad Family Foundation Leaders for Tomorrow Scholarships.

Barksdale Scholarship recipients are Dylan Devenny of Pass Christian, John Ross Graham of Hernando, Galina Ostrovsky of Madison and Jessica Tran of Hattiesburg.

Raymond Scholarship recipients are Anna Beavers of Gainsville, Florida, Taylor Bentley of Amarillo, Texas, Kaci Crawford of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Raven Francomano of Bay, Arkansas, Thomas McFann of Arlington, Tennessee and Mikaela Sarkar of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Parker Scholarship recipients are Devna Bose of Philadelphia, Mississippi, and James Long of Olive Branch.

Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship recipients are Tan Le of Gulfport and Francisco Santos of Southaven.

“We are proud of our Honors scholarship winners! They will teach us by their example of what it means to be both citizen and scholar in today’s challenging world,” said Douglass Sullivan-Gonzalez, Honors College dean. “I look forward to four great years with each of them.”

Devenny graduated from St. Stanislaus College Preparatory School, where he received the Star Student award and the Character Cup. A member of the band, he received the John Philip Sousa Award, the Patrick S. Gilmore Band Award and the Excellence in Music Award. An Eagle Scout, he has worked on numerous service activities through his Boy Scout troop. He is majoring in computer science.

Graham is a graduate of Hernando High School. The valedictorian of his class, he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” and inducted into the Hernando High School Hall of Fame. He received the Commercial Appeal Academic All Star in English Award and the Mississippi Economic Council Star Student Award, and served as a National Society of High School Scholars Ambassador. A member of the tennis team, he won the 2013 men’s singles district championship and received the Lindy Callahan Scholar Athlete Award. He co-chaired the program Backpack Angels, providing food relief local elementary schools. He plans to major in English.

Ostrovsky is a graduate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. The winner of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Class Award, she is the co-founder and president of the National Spanish Honor Society and served as the president of the Spanish Club. Her service activities include working as a tutor in various programs and working with adults with disabilities at both the Mustard Seed and St. Catherine’s Nursing home. She is a Guillot Global Studies fellow and received a grant to participate in an exchange program to Hyderabad, India. She plans to major in chemical engineering with a minor in Spanish and pre-med.

Tran, a graduate of Oak Grove High School, was the salutatorian of her class. Voted “Most Intellectual”, she is the Pride of Oak Grove recipient and in the Oak Grove Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was named the 6A state champion in archery. Her service activities include volunteering at the Hub City Animal Shelter and All Animal Clinic, serving as a tutor and working with nursing homes and Operation Christmas Child. She is majoring in chemistry.

Beavers graduated from Lakeview Academy, where she served as senior class president. A recipient of the University of Georgia Certificate of Merit, she also received the Piedmont College Junior Fellows Award, Wesleyan College Award and the Golden Lion Award. She is a member of Key Club and also volunteers with the Helping Hands Foreign Missions Uganda. She plans to major in criminal justice.

Bentley is a graduate of Amarillo High School, where she was the 2015 salutatorian. A National Merit Commended Scholar, she received the calculus departmental award and the hospitality and tourism departmental award. As a member of the varsity track and field team, she was a regional qualifier in 100-meter hurdles and the pole vault. She served as Wesley Community Center and VA Hospital volunteer. Bentley plans to major in mechanical engineering.

Crawford graduated from Hillcrest High School. Recognized as HHS Top Senior and Academic All-Star, she received the Tuscaloosa County Star Senior and Champion of Character Awards. She served as the National Honor Society president, student government vice president and student government historian. Having worked as at Center Ridge Outpost as an autism camp counselor, she organized an autism awareness week wristband fundraiser, raising $1,200. She plans to major in chemical engineering.

Francomano graduated from Bay High School. An Arkansas Scholar, she received the highest academic honors, graduating as Class of 2015 Valedictorian. A member of student council, she also served as a member of student government, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Her community service includes Bay After School Program tutor, Bay United Methodist Community Outreach Committee and March of Dimes Prom Fashion Show model. She is majoring in public policy leadership.

McFann is a graduate from Arlington High School. The valedictorian of his class, he was named Science Olympiad Winner and the AP Scholar with Distinction and received Performing Arts Excellence awards in piano and drums. He served as a student ambassador, class leader and mentor for Bellevue Middle School Youth. The president of National Honors Society, he was a member of Mu Alpha Theta, Key Club and the Science Olympiad Team. He is majoring in computer science.

Sarkar, a homeschooled student, has lived in seven states and two foreign countries. For the past decade, she received her education travelling across the country and abroad with her mother and sister “globeschooling.” She is a National Merit Scholar and the Tennessee 4-H Essay Contest Winner on county, regional and state levels. Founder of the environmental blog, she has volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County and Millar Park Afterschool Program. Sarkar is majoring in public policy leadership.

Bose is a graduate of Philadelphia High School. The valedictorian of her class, she received numerous awards in math, Spanish and world history and was named the 2015 STAR student of Philadelphia High School. A member of the PHS band, she received the Band Leadership award. She served as vice president of Leadership Neshoba and Crown Club and was a member of the National Spanish Honor Society and Beta Club. A co-founder of Students Against Destructive Decisions, she also founded the annual PHS Book Drive. Bose is majoring in journalism.

Long, a graduate of Olive Branch High School, received awards in math, debate, chess and computer programming competitions. He served as vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and lettered in soccer and tennis. He is majoring in mathematics and plans to attend medical school to become a surgeon.

Le is a graduate of Harrison Central High School. He led the HCHS marching band as head drum major. Le is a first-generation Asian-American and is the son of Ba Le and Duyen Ngo. He has an older sister who also attends Ole Miss.

Santos graduated from Southaven High School, where he participated in band and drama. He is majoring in computer science and has an interest in studying music. He is the son of military veterans Francisco and Paula Santos.

For more information about the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, visit

A Mississippi School of the Arts vocal music senior was recently selected to receive the Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete Award, a top award presented by the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Each year, MHSAA selects one male and one female from each athletic district. There are eight districts in Mississippi.  Joey Madison Davis (Class of 2016) was the female recipient for district seven and one of only sixteen awards given throughout the state. The award is based on outstanding academic honors, ACT, and participation in MHSAA sanctioned sports. The selection staff, outside of MHSAA, chose among nearly 300 nominations this year.

According to the MHSAA web site, the scholar-athlete program was initiated in 1996 by then-MHSAA executive director Ennis Proctor in honor of Lindy Callahan and his wife, Ann. Mr. Callahan served as an athletic director and coach at Gulfport High School from 1953 until his retirement in 1992. Mr. Callahan, a football and baseball standout for Meridian High School and the University of Mississippi, has long been admired for his leadership and dedication to the schools and students of his home state.

A former president of the MHSAA, Mr. Callahan was inducted into the Mississippi Association of Coaches Hall of Fame in 1977, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Hall of Fame in 1995, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame in 2010.

Joey earned four letters in soccer while competing for Brookhaven High School; Helped the Lady Panthers to Region Championship and the Class 5A playoffs for the 2015-2016 season; Participated in the 5A soccer playoffs for the 2014-2015 season; Also lettered in tennis.

Her accomplishments/accolades include highest average in Algebra I, Geometry, Chemistry and Spanish I; Beta Club; Student Government Association; National Society of High School Scholars; Band, Most Improved; Choir; Arts Ambassadors; First Priority; Cheer/Dance; Color Guard; University of Mississippi APEX Leadership Conference; Mississippi Scholars Representative; Vacation Bible School volunteer; Children’s Church volunteer; Brookhaven Friendship Baptist Church youth group; Mission Trips to Texas and Bolivia. Plans to study Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Mississippi and graduate school at the University of Southern California.

Joey’s GPA is 4.006 and ranks first in her class of 65. Her ACT score is 31.

Pictured (L to R): Mississippi House Representative Vince Mangold, Joey Davis, Debra Price (Principal), and Mississippi House Representative Becky Currie.

“Joey is a very accomplished student despite personal adversity she has faced in her life. She has demonstrated great courage, hard work, and honesty. She managed not only to deal with her personal struggles, but kept her grades high and exceed expectations of her by Mississippi School of the Arts” — Suzanne Hirsch, Executive Director, MSA.

“I am so thankful to have been able to be a member of so many groups and teams. Even though it got overwhelming at times, I do not regret participating in anything because I am the diverse, responsible and outgoing person that I am today due to it.” — Joey Madison Davis.

Full list of 2016 recipients statewide: District 1 (Boy) — John Connor McRae, Tishomingo County; District 1 (Girl) — Katie Davis, New Albany; District 2 (Boy) — A.J. Forrest, Grenada; District 2 (Girl) — Allyson Avant, Water Valley; District 3 (Boy) — Kamron Daniels, Greenwood; District 3 (Girl) — Hart Rogers, Cleveland; District 4 (Boy) — Sage Graham, Ethel; District 4 (Girl) — Kenley McMullan, Nanih Waiya; District 5 (Boy) — Micah Heathcock, Northeast Jones; District 5 (Girl) — Kailey Ready, Stringer; District 6 (Boy) — Tyler Irwin, Clinton; District 6 (Girl) — Isabelle Moseley, St. Andrew’s; District 7 (Boy) — Daniel Clark, Brookhaven; District 7 (Girl) — Joey Davis, Mississippi School of the Arts; District 8 (Boy) — Samuel Hopper, Petal; District 8 (Girl) — Maya McInnis, Gautier

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