Four students in the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts have been awarded scholarships from the Valerie Canady Charitable Trust Foundation.
The 2009 Canady Scholars are Irene Andhika of Stafford, Va.; Tomislav Dimov of Allison Park, Pa.; Ju Young Lee of Germantown, Md.; and Xiaoli Guan of Xinjiang, China.
The scholarships are named for Valerie Canady, a Morgantown native and WVU graduate who was among 270 people who died Dec. 21, 1988, in the crash of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Loulie and William Canady, Valeries parents, present the awards annually. Loulie Canady is a longtime supporter of the WVU Division of Music . William Canady is professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry in the WVU School of Medicine.
Valerie Canady graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from WVU with bachelors degrees in business and economics (accounting) and Spanish. She also held a masters degree in business administration from WVU and a masters degree in Spanish from the University of Madrid, having earned both degrees simultaneously and again graduating summa cum laude.
At the time of the crash, she was working in the London office of the Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. and was on her way home for the Christmas holiday. She was named outstanding WVU teaching assistant in business and economics and languages three times.
In addition to a high GPA and faculty references, the scholarship requires that recipients be fluent in two languages. Mrs. Canady said Valerie was a great believer in everyone speaking more than one language. She was studying French and Italian during the last few months of her life.
Meet the 2009 Canady Scholars:
Irene Andhika of Stafford, Va., is a sophomore in music performance (trombone).
She is an excellent musician who received many awards in high school and has already won positions in both the WVU Symphony Orchestra and the WVU Wind Symphony.
According to Keith Jackson , chair of the Division of Music, Andhikas family moved to northern Virginia from Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2001.
As a young teenager, she was less than thrilled with this move by her family and was hesitant to learn English,Jackson said.In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, she realized that to understand what was transpiring in the world, she needed to master a new language. Her current level of fluency is so great that when I met her and her mother in the spring of 2006, I was unaware that English was not her first language.
Another important quality of Irenes is her balance,he added.For a young woman, she has already achieved a great balance of humility and confidence. This is one of the reasons she is both respected and loved by her peers in the trombone studio and the Division of Music. She is comfortable with students from any background and is an excellent ambassador for WVU .
Tomislav Dimov of Allison Park, Pa., is a doctoral student in violin performance.
He is a native of Macedonia and previously studied in Macedonia and Moscow before immigrating to the United States. Fluent in 10 languages, he has often been employed as a translator in the interests of intercultural understanding. He is also well established in the Pittsburgh area as a concertmaster of orchestras.
Dimov is a violinist of the highest caliber, said Mikylah McTeer , his violin teacher at WVU .
He has excelled in a number of international competitions, including first prizes in the national violin competitions in Macedonia, second prize in the National Violin Competition in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and second prize in the National Violin Competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia,she said.
He received a diploma with Gold Medal Honors from the Russian Academy of Music and is an inspiration to the undergraduate violinists at WVU ,McTeer added.
Ju Young Lee of Germantown, Md., is a sophomore studying piano performance with James Miltenberger and is an extremely talented undergraduate.
She is originally from Korea, but her family moved to the Washington, D.C., area when she was in high school. She speaks English and Korean fluently and hopes to continue her studies in the United States and become a citizen of this country.
Last year, Lee played harpsichord in the WVU Symphony Orchestra. She excels in her chamber music skills and began organ lessons a year ago with proficient progress.
She is now working on the �€~Dorian Toccataof J.S. Bach, a work I would have saved for advanced players,organ professor William Haller said.She has made progress in hymn playing and will soon be able to serve a church as an organist.
Last spring, she tackled the responsibility of playing the continuo part in the Vivaldi �€~Bassoon Concertofor the WVU Young Artists Concert, and this fall, she played the organ as part of the WVU Choral Concerts performance of Handels �€~Messiah,Haller added.
Xiaoli Guan , a native of Xinjiang, China, is a senior in the graphic design program in the Division of Art and Design .
According to graphic design professor Eve Faulkes , Guans journey into art has been difficult and only possible because of her deep passion, talent and tenacity.
Many international students make it this far because of financial backing from home, but this was not the case for Xiaoli,Faulkes said.She came to WVU with her husband. They barely made it on his stipend, and there was not a lot left for her tuition. When she finally entered as a freshman after several semesters of asking to just sit in and watch some classes, her teachers could not help but notice her talent.
Her freshman work impressed the faculty, and she was given a scholarship for performance,she added.During the fall semester, we were working in complex animation software, which had many of the seniors pulling their hair out. Even though Xiaoli was learning it in a second language, she was helping other students and doing fine work.
Prior to coming to the United States, Xiaoli attended Xinhua Computer School in Nanjing, China, and Beijing University, where she received a bachelors degree in pharmacy in 2001.