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Apple co-founder, spouse award scholarships during KU visit

Friday, November 20, 2015

LAWRENCE — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and his wife, Janet, awarded four scholarships today during their 2 p.m. presentation at the Lied Center.

The $5,000 scholarships were given to six students from the schools of Business, Engineering and Education.

The Entrepreneurship Award was given to senior marketing student Payden Miller, of Frontenac; the Information Systems scholarship was awarded to Lindsey Poulter, of Lenexa; recipients of the UKanTeach for School of Engineering Award are Brandon Huddleston, of Harper, and Christopher Birzer, of Leawood; recipients of the Education Ed-Tech scholarship in honor of Dr. Ron Aust are Vanessa Schott, of Shawnee, and Alison Crane, of Overland Park, Kan.

Biographical information on each recipient follows.

Payden Miller is receiving the Entrepreneurship Award. Along with his wife, Jamee, he founded Hidden Abilities, a startup that is developing a text-to-speech reading pen called the “Read ‘n Style” to assist and empower those with reading disabilities, such as dyslexia. Hidden Abilities was a finalist in KU’s Morris New Venture competition, and the team is now a member of The Catalyst, KU’s student business accelerator.

Lindsey Poulter is receiving the Information Systems Scholarship. Lindsey currently works at InTouch Solutions as an analytics developer and is a teaching assistant for Accounting 311 and Information Systems 310 in the School of Business. She has been involved with student group Information Systems Association at KU, including a position as treasurer, and has served as a project lead for student-run digital agency Coral.

The recipients of the UKanTeach for School of Engineering Award are Brandon Huddleston and Christopher Birzer.

Brandon Huddleston is a senior engineering physics student and is earning a high school physics teaching licensure through KU’s UKanTeach program. He is an alumnus of the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Program. Currently, he is a software engineer intern at Relm Wireless Corporation, a physics and mathematics tutor, and co-founder of media company Sink or Swim Productions.

Christopher Birzer is a junior chemical engineering student and is earning his secondary mathematics and chemistry teaching licensure through the UKanTeach program. He participated in an undergraduate research program with the Michigan State University chemistry department, which culminated in a presentation on novel cathode materials for use in batteries. He is a member of the KU debate team, and he and his debate partner have been designated as a top-16 team in the nation. Birzer was named a 2015 University Scholar, an award given to only 20 sophomores at KU each year.

The recipients of the Education Ed-Tech Scholarship in honor of Dr. Ron Aust are Vanessa Schott and Alison Crane.

Vanessa Schott earned her master’s in nursing administration from the University of Nebraska. She has taught nursing at the University of Nebraska and currently teaches nursing at KU Medical Center. She also teaches human anatomy at KU’s Lawrence campus. Vanessa aspires to a leadership role in integrating learning technologies in nursing education.

Alison Crane currently teaches at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park. She advocates for design thinking throughout K-12 curricula and is applying her skills in learning technology and social media to develop an international network of educators dedicated to promoting design thinking in schools. She aspires to a position in higher education where she can advance the integration of learning technologies to support design thinking.

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