Morgan Mahanke
The Joseph F. and Martha P. Nelson Scholarship at Black Hills State University has been awarded to Morgan Mahanke, a Brookings High School senior who will graduate this May and attend BHSU in the fall. She plans to major in chemistry with a goal of working in forensics.

The $40,000 Nelson Scholarship provides the student $10,000 a year for four years.

Mahanke said she was shocked after receiving the news that she had been awarded the scholarship. “It’s an honor to receive such a generous scholarship,” she said. “I am extremely excited to attend Black Hills State University this fall. I can’t wait to meet new people and experience the start of something new.”

Throughout her four years in high school, Mahanke has received the Scholastic-Athlete Award and been on the honor roll. This year, Mahanke was recognized as Student of the Month by the Optimus Club and Student of the Week by the Kiwanis Club. While maintaining her academic excellence, Mahanke also received several awards for her athletic abilities including a varsity letter in softball during her freshman, sophomore and junior years and a varsity letter in basketball as a junior. During the same year, she was honored with the All-State Softball Award.

Mahanke has been active in several organizations and activities throughout her four years at Brookings high school including softball, basketball, track, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, German Club and Student Council.

In addition to her busy academic and athletic schedule, Mahanke has been extremely active in the community volunteering for her church, Special Olympics, Sewing Scarves for Project Joy, and youth basketball camps.

She will spend her summer playing softball and working before heading west in the fall.

The full-ride Nelson scholarship is awarded yearly at BHSU to a high school graduate who is beginning their university education. To be eligible, the student must be majoring in biology, chemistry, physical science, environmental physical science or mathematics; be in the upper 10 percent of his/her class; earn a minimum ACT composite score of 28 or SAT of 1,260; and have completed at least three years of both mathematics and laboratory science, with a fourth year in one area, earning grades of a B or higher in each.

Current BHSU students who have also received the Nelson Scholarship include Matthew Wilen, biology major from Sturgis, and Cassidy Kotelman, biology major from Brookings.

For more information on the Nelson Scholarship or establishing a scholarship endowment at BHSU, contact Steve Meeker, vice president of University Advancement at BHSU, at 642.6385 or email Steve.Meeker@BHSU.edu.