Tiffany Dinh and Michael Sorrell

(L-R) Tiffany Dinh and Michael Sorrell are the first two Prevost Scholars

Courtesy Tiffany Dinh and Michael Sorrell

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, announced the selection of the first two Prevost Scholars through the UAH Honors College: Tiffany Dinh, who is majoring in computer engineering, and Michael Sorrell, a mechanical engineering major.

Prevost Scholars are funded through a gift by Stanley E. Prevost. The Stanley E. Prevost Honors Scholarship is designed to function as an "Honors within Honors program" to attract the top STEM students to the College by providing an exceptionally rigorous educational experience. The program is intended to target top STEM students within the Honors College, following the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) definition of STEM fields.

"It is very rewarding, for myself and Mr. Prevost. We've been working together on this program for a long time, and to see actual scholars in place feels great," says Dr. William Wilkerson, Dean of the UAH Honors College. "But, more importantly, it's what this says for the future: there will eventually be a small community of Prevost Scholars."

Dinh was also chosen the Dr. Jeanne Fisher Most Outstanding Student Leader, an award named in honor of Stanley Prevost’s former wife, who passed away in 2015. Dinh serves as the SGA Outstanding Cabinet Member as well and was selected for a Department of Defense (DoD) Internship as Cyber Force Incubator Project Manager for the Center for Cybersecurity Research and Education.

"Being chosen for the Stanley E. Prevost Scholarship is a great honor for me," she says. "Receiving the scholarship is not just about receiving money and helping propel me in my academic career; it tells me that I am seen as having the potential to impact the future of our society. I have a responsibility to not only do my best, but also to give back to this community. I greatly appreciate the generosity of Stanley E. Prevost and am excited for the challenging road that lies ahead."

Asked about her future plans, Dinh already has several important goals in mind.

"My parents tell me stories about taking refuge from the unrelenting violence and imprisonment in the war-torn country of Vietnam," Dinh explains. "Knowing what war is from my parents’ memories, nearly as true as my own, is the catalyst of my aspirations in the government sector. Computers have grown in their magnitude for destruction and need for defense, and it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I can help defend this country from the terrorism fought in the cyber realm and give back to America what she’s given to me and my family. I want to be a trailblazer in computing. After graduation, I have promised to be a public servant, and I want to reach my full potential, whether that be fellowships, graduate schools or internships, to do just that."

Sorrell is equally grateful for the opportunities that lie before him through the support a Prevost Scholarship provides.

"I am inspired by Mr. Prevost's generosity, and hope that I can give back to future students after I finish college," the student says. "I am excited about the many opportunities this scholarship provides for in-depth research and education. I am majoring in mechanical engineering, and I am an Intern at Northrop Grumman. This year I worked in the defense systems sector, and I will move to the space systems sector in June to gain additional experience. I plan to pursue a master's degree in aerospace systems engineering at UAH."

"We anticipate selecting new scholars each year," Dr. Wilkerson adds. "Mr. Prevost has indicated that he hopes to give further gifts to continue enlarging the program. It's open only to Honors Students, and only to Honors Students with very high GPAs and who take more than the average number of Honors Courses."

Dr. Wilkerson foresees the program continuing to expand and reap future benefits, not only for the scholars selected, but the University as well.

"In coming years, this scholarship will allow us to recruit top students, and to send better graduates on to graduate school and into the workforce," he notes. "‘Prevost Scholar’ will come to be synonymous with ‘The Best.’ In this way, we can use it to enhance the prestige of the UAH Honors College. This is a very unique program: an enhanced Honors Program curriculum connected to both a scholarship that even covers some graduate study."