Lyon junior receives Steve Wilson Memorial Scholarship

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Lyon College junior Sarah Kemp has received the Steve Wilson Memorial Scholarship, awarded by the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers, Inc.

The Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers Scholarship benefits a full-time student pursuing a major or minor in biology, with preference given to students whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) is 3.0 or higher and who participate in the Arkansas Game and Fish Stream Team.

Steve Wilson was a native of Batesville, served 22 years as the Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and had served on the Board of Directors of Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers.

Kemp, of Conway, is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. She has participated in river cleanups with the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) and the ExStream Team at Lyon College. After graduation, Kemp plans to attend graduate school to study marine biology. She would like to be either a coral reef ecologist or a deep-sea ecologist.

“I have always loved the ocean, even from a young age,” Kemp said, “and pursuing my dream of marine biology would be a blessing.”

She continued, “I love all animals, but the weirder ones hold a special place in my heart.”

Kemp is an Honors Fellow at Lyon, a member of ZBT and the president of Spectra Alliance. She is thankful that the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers are supporting her education.

“Being awarded generous scholarships has allowed me to graduate debt-free,” she said. “This has given me the freedom to pursue graduate school without fear of building up more debt.”

Kemp said scholarships have also enabled her to pursue more academic interests and hobbies, such as her internship at Dauphin Island last summer and model rocketry.

Dr. Sam Cooke, representative of the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers, Inc., said the annual scholarship reflects the organization’s mission to educate people about the biology and life cycles that exist within water systems. The organization also advocates for water quality through stream bank restoration, stream teams and the monitoring of regulatory efforts by state and federal agencies.

“We’re glad to have a small part in Sarah’s education,” Cooke said. “She’s the perfect student for us to support because she wants to further her environmental studies in graduate school.”