U of A Honors College Announces 2022 Bodenhamer Scholars

Photo by Peter Aaron

Gearhart Hall – home of the U of A Honors College

The U of A Honors College has selected six new freshmen as recipients of this year’s Bodenhamer Scholarships, all of whom range in interest and skill set.

The Bodenhamer Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships the university offers to undergraduate students, awarding each student $80,000 over the four years of their studies.

The 2022 Bodenhamer Scholars are:

  • Haarika Ayyadevara of Little Rock
  • Lincoln Bartelt of Shawnee, Kansas
  • Gweneth Keith-Powell of North Little Rock
  • Ian Popp of Fayetteville
  • Leen Samman of Fort Smith
  • Zoe Zeman from El Paso

The scholarship, now in its 24th year, cultivates a strong sense of community among current and former recipients as they pursue an impressive range of careers and academic and professional degrees.

“I am delighted to welcome the Bodenhamer class of 2026 to Honors College,” said Lynda Coon, Dean of Honors College. “These exceptional students exhibit a wide variety of academic and research interests and an insatiable thirst for community involvement. We look forward to welcoming this new group of Bodenhamer Scholars to the University of Arkansas.

The Bodenhamer Foundation, established by Lee Bodenhamer (BSBA’57, MBA’61, both at the U of A and DBA’68, Harvard), established the Bodenhamer Fellowships in 1998. Students must earn at least a 32 on the ACT and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or higher to be eligible for the award. Community service, extracurricular activities, and evidence of intellectual curiosity, leadership, and creativity are also considered in the selection process.

In addition to covering normal university attendance fees, the scholarship can be used for study abroad, attendance at professional and educational conferences, research, and any special equipment the scholarship recipients may require.

Additionally, the Honors College will host a Community Building Weekend for Bodenhamer Scholars at a lodge on the King River in August. Incoming freshmen as well as sophomore, junior, and senior Bodenhamer Scholars who missed the traditional summer trip due to COVID will be invited. Students will have the opportunity to hike, raft the King River and explore historic Eureka Springs.

The new Bodenhamer Scholars will join a group of 156 current and former Scholars who have benefited from the generous support of the Bodenhamer family. Alumni excel in a wide range of career paths, from working on the front lines of COVID, to building and growing startups, and making breakthroughs in the lab to figuring out how to build and power our communities of more sustainable way. Many pursue higher education at universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Vanderbilt.


Haarika Ayyadevara graduated from Little Rock Central High School, where she served as co-captain for Science Olympiad. She was selected to attend the UAMS Neuro Camp, where she performed sheep brain dissection and suturing, as well as physical and neurological examinations.

Ayyadevara is a National Merit finalist. She won first place at the regional and state Science Olympiad tournaments and second place at the Central Arkansas Regional Science Fair. She presented her research on Alzheimer’s disease at the 23rd International Conference on C. elegans and was nominated to present at the International Science and Engineering Fair.

Ayyadevara has volunteered for Learning Ally, a non-profit organization that develops audio books for struggling learners, and is a student and performer of Carnatic music, a form of Indian classical music. She plans to major in biology and is the daughter of Rajani and Srinivas Ayyadevara.

lincoln bartel graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Shawnee, Kansas, where he served as statewide president of the Business Professionals of America, vice president of the Math National Honor Society, and member of the executive council of Debate and Forensics club.

Bartelt is a National Merit finalist and IB Diploma candidate. He received second and third place in the Business Professionals of America state competition and top honors in the WordWright Challenge, a national school competition.

Bartelt participates in Earth First, an environmental club, and is a member of the varsity cross country and track and field team. He plans to major in economics. He is the son of Nancy and Todd Bartelt.

Gweneth Keith Powell graduated from the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs, where she was treasurer of the Botany and Zoology Club; member of the Geology, Environmental Sciences and Oceanography Club; and completed research on invasive plant management in conjunction with Hot Springs National Park.

Keith-Powell is a National Merit finalist. She won second place at the Arkansas State Science and Engineering Fair and first place at the West Central Regional Science Fair. She received an “Outstanding Project” from the Society for In Vitro Biology and was honored as the top physics student at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts.

Keith-Powell is concertmaster in his school orchestra and a member of the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra. She regularly volunteers for Hot Springs National Park, is a peer mentor, and helps build and maintain a native pollinator garden at her school. She plans to major in biochemistry and is the daughter of Paula Keith and David Powell.

Ian Pop graduated from Haas Hall Academy in Fayetteville, where he was valedictorian. He served as the main representative of the Beta Club, an honor and service organization; lead delegate and delegate speaker from Arkansas Model UN; co-captain of the quiz bowl team; and captain of the cross country and track and field teams. He was also a member of Mu Alpha Theta, the mathematics honor society.

Popp is a National Merit finalist. He received an Honorable Delegate Award at Model UN, and he helped his school teams win second-place awards at the Arkansas Economics Contest, State Jr. Quiz Bowl, and State Quiz Bowl.

Popp was elected to two leadership positions at Boys State. He has volunteered as a tutor for the Haas Hall Academic Achievement Initiative program and for the M&N Augustine Foundation. He plans to major in chemical engineering and is the son of Jennie and Michael Popp.

Leen Samman is a graduate of Southside High School in Fort Smith, where she served as president of the National Honor Society and served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

Samman is a National Merit Finalist, AP Fellow with Distinction, and AP Capstone Degree recipient. She also received the Arkansas Seal of Biliteracy, which certifies her proficiency in the Arabic language.

Samman is a second-degree black belt in Korean martial arts, teaches martial arts classes to children and adults, founded an Arabic book club in his community, and worked on news segments and features for Mav Media from Southside High School. She plans to study pre-med and is the daughter of Kefah Daas and Zaki Samman.

Zoe Zeman graduated from Rose Bud High School at Rose Bud, where she served as class president, president of Future Farmers of America, president of Beta Club, and president of Future Business Leaders of America.

Zeman is a National Merit Student and has received the AP Scholar Award, as well as the AP Chemistry and AP English Literature and Composition awards. She also won the FFA Chapter Star Greenhand Award and the Chapter Leadership Award.

Zeman is a member of the FFA Horse Evaluation Team and has had several individual top 10 finishes at competitions. Additionally, she is a member of the Central Arkansas Horse Show Association and has qualified to compete in the Arkansas Horse Show and Show of Champions State Championship. She plans to major in animal science and is the daughter of Gina Osier and Neal Zeman.

About the Specialized College: The University of Arkansas Honors College was established in 2002 and brings together high-achieving undergraduates and the university’s top faculty to share transformative learning experiences. Each year, the Honors College awards up to 90 freshman scholarships that provide $80,000 over four years and more than $1 million in undergraduate research and study abroad scholarships. The Honors College is nationally recognized for the high caliber of students it admits and graduates. Honors students benefit from small, in-depth courses and programs are offered in all disciplines, tailored to students’ academic interests, with cross-disciplinary collaborations encouraged. All honors graduates have participated in supervised research.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion for Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the few American colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News and World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.

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