Alma College seniors Cheyenne Kalfsbeek of Walkerville, Sophia Richter of West Kingston, R.I., and Holly Zuiderveen of Falmouth are the 2019 nominees for the Barlow Trophy, Alma’s most prestigious award for a graduating senior.
Established in 1949 by Dr. Joel Barlow, 1929 honors graduate of Alma College, the award recognizes academic achievement for students in the top 10 percent of their class as well as contributions to campus and community.
The Barlow winner, determined by a vote of Alma’s Student Congress and faculty, will be announced at the Honors Day closing reception on Thursday, April 4.
Cheyenne Kalfsbeek has combined strong academic performance with involvement in multiple extracurricular activities in the sciences, music and athletics. A double major in mathematics and neuroscience, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in statistics. She is a member of the Alma College Presidential Honors Program and the Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honorary.
Her academic experiences have included an epidemiology internship with Henry Ford Health System, biomedical research as an Amgen Scholar with the National Institutes of Health, and psychology research on nicotine addiction and caffeine. She has promoted the sciences as a leader in both the math and chemistry clubs and participated in the annual Pi Day and Science Blowout activities.
Kalfsbeek also has performed with the Kiltie Marching Band and Kiltie Wind Ensemble; competed on the track and field team; tutored college and high school students in mathematics, biology and chemistry; served as a student writer with the Communication and Marketing Office; and was an officer with Alma College Rotaract.
Sophia Richter has devoted much of her Alma experience to promoting intercultural awareness and responsible leadership through academic, artistic and extracurricular opportunities. A double major in economics and French, she also performs with the Alma College Pipe Band, serves as a French teaching assistant and was co-founder and vice president of the Economics Club.
Her off-campus study and volunteer experiences included a year in Paris, where she studied at local universities and participated in two internships. On-campus, she has actively encouraged students to engage with the world as a study-abroad advocate at admissions events, Center for Student Opportunity symposiums and academic panel presentations.
Richter also has encouraged students to learn about and engage with communities that face critical socioeconomic, environment and cultural challenges. She raised funds for the Dakota Access Pipeline protest movement, volunteered at Standing Rock Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and participated in numerous Alternative Break trips addressing immigration and refugee services, environmental conservation and urban farming.
Holly Zuiderveen has participated in numerous activities that demonstrate a commitment to academic achievement, service and the value of uniting individuals to create better communities. A biology major with a minor in chemistry, she also sings with the Alma College Choir, delivers meals for the Food Recovery Network and participates in Alternative Breaks and local community volunteer efforts.
As a pre-veterinary student at Alma, she helped establish the Pre-Vet Club, a new group on campus dedicated to providing students with better opportunities to further their professional knowledge and improve their chances of acceptance in competitive veterinary programs. She also tutors for Spanish and upper-level genetics and microbiology classes and has served as vice president of the Biology Club.
Zuiderveen also has been active in spiritual life programs and nurturing the spiritual and mental health of others. She has served as a student ministry coordinator, specializing in developing chapel worship opportunities and leading music volunteers during services. She also has led small-group Bible studies and a faith-based women’s group.