Meet the 2022 Stamps Scholars

 The University of Missouri is a proud partner in the Stamps Scholars Program. The MU Honors College joined the Stamps Scholars Program in 2016, and the ongoing relationship has had a lasting and positive impact on our campus and honors communities. Stamps Scholars have unique opportunities, including a dedicated mentor, contact with campus leadership, alumni networking, funding for study abroad, and a connection to other Stamps Scholars programs.

Jasper Holland is a computer science major hailing from Columbia, Missouri.

Tech runs in his family – his father was a web developer when he was younger, and Holland credits his father with igniting his passion for programming.

“When I was really little, like kindergarten age, I got interested in how websites worked. [My dad] sat me down and showed me how it worked,” Holland says.

Holland began exploring the world of computer science before he got to Mizzou.

“I had an internship with a company called Storysoft, where I did a lot of web design on the front end and the back end,” Holland says. “I also made a Discord bot for fun.”

“Just watching a movie I love, I go ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ It inspires me to write my own story,” Holland says. “Even if I see something I don’t like, I think about how I can make it better.”

Holland is unsure about what he wants to pursue post-graduation but appreciates that the Honors College and Stamps Scholars program give him additional opportunities to explore.

“I really like the community. I see a lot of people from the Honors College around in my daily life,” Holland says. “Just having some of that extra support.”

Holland has taken advantage of the programming and events the Honors College offers, including special class offerings.

“I’ve been to some of the [Honors College] events…. programming for Geek Week has been interesting,” Holland says. “I’m really excited to see what tutorials open up – and they don’t have to be computer science related.”

Though Holland likes computer science, he also considers himself to be a creative person.

“A lot of people think of computer science and think I’m very analytical,” Holland says. “I doodle a lot. What I like about computer science is that it balances a lot of that analytical thought process with creativity.”

Outside of school, he works with the Mizzou E-Sports club and does projects like video editing for their media team.

His Stamps research mentor, Professor Jeff Uhlmann,   is working to restart the College of Engineering magazine The Shamrock. He and his mentor are looking to publish the magazine online.

“The Stamps scholarship has helped a lot and will continue to help in the future.”

Michelle Woolridge is a biology and Spanish double major from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Woolridge attended a Spanish immersion elementary school.

“I thought I should keep doing it,” Woolridge says. “A lot of people speak Spanish as a primary language. I might as well be able to talk to them too.”

Woolridge comes from a scientific family. Part of her interest in biology comes from her mother, who worked in environmental science.

“I just kind of like seeing how everything works, how cells work and lead to everything that’s living. It’s just so fun to me,” Woolridge says. “There’s always something to learn, to research and find out about. Science is ever-changing. It’s always keeping you on your toes.”

Woolridge is no stranger to being adaptable.

“Applying to Stamps Scholars was kind of last-minute for me,” Woolridge says. “I went to an IB school, so I was writing my extended essay and get my grades together while applying for college.”

Outside of coursework, Woolridge builds on her scientific pursuits.

“I recently joined the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, which maximizes research opportunities for minorities,” Woolridge says. “I was just accepted into the Legion of Black Collegiates, so I’m really excited for that.”

“I want to pursue research. I’m already involved in a lab,” Woolridge says. “I’m particularly interested in autoimmune disorders. We don’t know how the mutation happens – I want to get to the bottom of it!”

“I want to take full advantage of my college experience,” Woolridge says.

While at college, her family serves as her main support system.

“It’s hard to move to a different place. They’re always texting me in the middle of the day, checking up on me, making sure I’m not overwhelmed. I do appreciate that, knowing that someone’s always looking out for me,” Woolridge says. “My sister always sends me cat pictures because she knows it will make my day.”

Woolridge also has a community at the Honors College, especially with the other Stamps Scholars.

“I’m roommates with another Stamps Scholar, Genny. Lilley, another Stamps Scholar, is in the same hallway,” Woolridge says. “It’s been great to get to know them as people, not just as competition for a scholarship.”

Genny Harline is a civil engineering major from Columbia. She is pursuing environmental engineering and a certificate in sustainability.

One of Harline’s biggest passions is affordable housing. Her mother used to be the staff liaison for the Commission on Human Rights and took her to meetings a lot as a child.

“Once [the commission] brought in a speaker that did a lot of research on affordable housing,” Harline says. “I was in eighth grade and just realized that housing is the root and solution of so many issues. Your house determines your education, your job opportunities, your resources. I just hadn’t even thought about it. It ignited a passion.”

One day, Harline hopes to apply her passion for affordable housing to her studies within the Honors College.

“I really want to take a tutorial,” Harline says. “I don’t know what about, but I’m very interested in learning about one very niche topic with four or five other people. I’d love to take one on affordable housing, if it exists.”

Outside of her scientific studies, Harline has played the cello since middle school. She also does arts and crafts in her spare time.

“Anything in a Michael’s, I’m into,” Harline says.

Harline also finds the fun in engineering through extracurriculars on campus.

“I’m trying to get on the Steel Bridge team,” Harline says. “You spend most of the year building a bridge. Whoever builds the bridge the best and fastest wins. It’s a team-building exercise. It’s a very fun way to apply civil engineering concepts.”

As a Stamps Scholar, Harline also takes a special class for scholarship students within the Honors College.

“I’ve been really liking [the Honors College,]” Harline says. “My Honors seminar for the scholarship is my only small class and my only discussion-based class, and it’s really nice to be with a group of people discussing Mill Town, [the 2022 Honors One Read book] together, because everything else in engineering is very much lecture, math, lecture.”

“[The class is] great to feel connected.”

Harline wants to make a difference, starting from the ground up.

Lilley Halloran is a journalism and a constitutional democracy double major from St. Louis.

Even as a child, Halloran was interested in journalism.

“When I was eight, I moved to a new neighborhood with my dad. I started a newspaper where I would interview local businesses and put jokes and things like that. I had it running for five years, and I built up a team of middle schoolers.” Halloran says. “That was my introduction to journalism, and I loved it, and it was so fun. So, I’d kind of always known I wanted to be a journalist.”

Constitutional democracy is a newer interest of Halloran’s.

“In middle school and high school, I got interested in politics and policy,” Halloran says. “When I was interviewing for Stamps, I was introduced to the constitutional democracy program, which was described to me as a political science program with less science and more of a history focus. I love history, so I thought it was a good idea to double major.”

On campus, Halloran has taken her political interest to her extracurriculars. She was accepted onto the First Year Council, a student government organization for freshman students to advocate for other freshmen. She is also involved in the KCOU radio and music teams.

“A surprising thing about me is that I play guitar. It doesn’t really align with my career interests, but I play guitar all the time and I think some people are surprised because I’m not majoring in music,” Halloran says. “I’m going to be a DJ at KCOU because I like music. I’m not sure if I want to share my musical talents with the world yet.”

Her transition to college brought new opportunities, but also big changes.

“One of the challenges about being here is that I’m two hours from my family, so I haven’t seen them since coming here and I miss them a lot,” Halloran says. “It’s been an interesting transition.”

Despite these challenges, Halloran has found a community in the Honors College.

“I was nervous about going to Mizzou because I wasn’t sure it was going to be a good community for me,” Halloran says. “But I started meeting people from the Honors College and realized a lot of them were very nerdy like me and dedicated to their academic interests. I really feel like I found my people here.”

“I feel very welcomed.”

One day, Halloran wants to take her political and journalistic interests internationally and see the world.

Ariel Yarmus is an animal science major from Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, a small town north of Manhattan.

Yarmus’ reason for being so far from home? Her love of animal science, veterinary medicine, and her love of dairy cows. She plans on becoming a large-animal veterinarian with a focus on cattle and is involved in the Mizzou Dairy Club.

“[Animal science] is something I’ve become really passionate about through my work on local educational farms back home,” Yarmus says. “I’m really fascinated by [cows.]”

Yarmus doesn’t own cattle, but she likes to consider every cow she cares for as her own. She has always loved animals. Through working on farms, she became invested in animals that will eventually be used for their byproduct.

“Because they’re working animals, they deserve a better life while they’re here, and the most humane approach is applying veterinary care,” Yarmus says. “If I can give these animals the best lives possible while also promoting ethical, sustainable agriculture, then that’s what I want to do.”

Yarmus also loves learning about and from other people.

“I genuinely want to know about what other people are interested in, so I can learn about that. I also love learning about other perspectives and opinions,” Yarmus says. “I love to learn as I proceed about life.”

This passion for learning extends into her Honors College career.

“I would love the opportunity to take another tutorial class again,” Yarmus says.

She is currently taking three honors classes: the Honors Humanities Sequence, the Stamps One Read seminar, and her tutorial class on dairy cattle and ruminants (the taxonomic family that includes cows). “I’m able to hear different perspectives on the industry, learn more about their anatomy and physiology, and really dive into the topics I’m most interested in,” Yarmus says.

Yarmus is far away from home, but finds comfort in her family, her religion and culture, and the campus organizations she is a part of, including Little Sisters of the Golden Rose, a non-Greek service sorority, and Campus Hillel, the Jewish student organization.

She wants to make a difference in both animal and human lives through veterinary studies and community service.

“That pretty much sums me up: cows, science, people person.”