The Deseret News/KSL 2015 Sterling Scholar award winners for the Wasatch Front region were named Tuesday evening in the culmination of the scholarly competition.

Here's a look at the winners of the 14 categories: Business & Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family & Consumer Science, Instrumental Music, Mathematics, Science, Skilled & Technical Sciences, Social Science, Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics, Visual Arts, Vocal Performance and World Languages.

The winners of the Douglas F. Bates Community Service Award and the Philo T. Farnsworth Governor's Award are also listed.

Related: Deseret News 2015 Sterling Scholar award runners-up

Related: Sterling Scholar winner's knack for languages opens friendships, cultures

General Sterling Scholar

Samuel I. Adams

Category: World Languages

School: Skyline High School

Parents: Alison J. Adams and Ian M. Adams

Hometown: Salt Lake City

"I have discovered that each new language I learn opens a door to new relationships, perspectives, cultures, values and history. To me, language is not simply a set of sounds and patterns used to communicate rudimentary thoughts and facts, but a complex cultural system, formed from generations of ideas, history and human experience. Encoded in a language are its culture’s values and stories. Through the study of world languages I am able to understand the human experience with a broader perspective, and I believe it has made me more understanding and compassionate."

SCHOLARSHIP: Cumulative GPA is 3.9895; 35 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Co-captain of Skyline’s FIRST robotics team; HEFY Humanitarian Service Leadership Award; independently learned American Sign Language.

Business & Marketing

Max Adams

School: Murray High School

Parents: Alice and Brad Adams

Hometown: Murray

"I don’t just expect my participation in business to enrich my life; to an extent I expect it to be my life. I am planning on getting an MBA and a DBA and then using those degrees in management positions in the realm of financial law. Business to me, however, is more than just a career. It is a lifestyle that will allow me to spot needs in the world and collaborate with my peers to fulfill those needs."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 467; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 36 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: National Honors Society vice president; Metro Region FBLA Champion Business and Procedures, Insurance and Risk Management; a runner-up in Business Communication.

Computer Technology

William Guss

School: West High School

Parents: Jim and Cheryl Guss

Hometown: Salt Lake City

"Computer science has enriched my life beyond measure by giving me the means to a real focus, a branch of intellectual inquiry that inspires me every day: my study of machine learning and artificial intelligence leads me to a very fundamental question: not why do we exist, but why do we ask? I am interested in the field for its strong roots in mathematical analysis, statistics, and calculus. … Creating intelligence to understand intelligence is a paradox that excites me. For all that and so much more, my commitment to computer science has enriched my life thoroughly."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 116 of 470; cumulative GPA is 3.625; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: President of the West High School computer science club; taught AP class for three years; won state science fair in CS category for breast cancer diagnostics using machine learning; held highest leadership position in BBYO.


Justine Rupprecht

School: Herriman High School

Parents: James and Michelle Rupprecht

Hometown: South Jordan

"I have always thought of dancing as the universal language understood by all people from all types of circumstances. It is a medium of expression that communicates directly with the soul and brings forth inspiration and knowledge. Dancing has shaped who I am today. My entire work ethic and my endurance come from dance. I receive no greater sense of happiness than when I am dancing, and it will never cease to move me every time I take a class or perform. It is my goal to change the image of dancers from constantly competing with each other, to using our love of dance to come together and make the world a better place."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 643; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 30 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: FCCLA service president; honor roll every quarter since seventh grade; student of the month: critical thinking; Herriman dance company; humanitarian trip to Haiti.


Emma Tueller-Stone

School: Timpview High School

Parents: Anna Tueller Stone and Bernell Stone

Hometown: Provo

"I have asked to be or not and answered, I am, I am, I am, History and poetry, because I’m not the first. I’ve traveled down rivers with Huck but, knowing that I’ve never needed much prompting for adventure, I’m more inclined to say my soul has grown deep like the rivers. However, through the current, what I’ve learned, is that I am still shallow, A Hollow Man, my depths waiting to expound, in pages left unturned. And I am a thesis, still waiting to be found."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 17 of 427; cumulative GPA is 3.989; 35 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: National Merit semifinalist: Scored in top 1% of students taking the PSAT; AP scholar with distinction; student government art representative; model U.N. club president.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Aspen Clark

School: Herriman High School

Parents: Kyle and Stacey Clark

Hometown: Herriman

"My involvement with Family and Consumer Science studies will not only enrich my life, but the lives of my future children, as I will take the knowledge I have gained in these courses, and apply them to my parenting practices. I have learned about different parenting techniques, and plan on being an authoritative mother, meaning that I will see my children as equals and find a win-win solution to conflicts. I believe in helping children understand their own importance and developing responsibility. Whether they are my own children, or students I will teach in my future career, I look forward to making a difference."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 51 of 643; cumulative GPA is 3.965; 24 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: President of the Herriman FCCLA chapter; won first place in state in Star Events (FCCLA competition); won silver medal at National competitions for same project.

Instrumental Music

Hayden Hubbard

School: Logan High School

Parents: Kelly and Nina Hubbard

Hometown: Logan

"Music is psychological and spiritual, affecting the deepest parts of you. From encouraging analytical thinking to priming emotional responsiveness, it has allowed me to find deeper meaning in the busyness of everyday life. Music is my vital asset, providing the internal stability of a sound mind and the collective security of strong acquaintances. Not only does it direct and guide my life, but it adds color and intensity to my experiences and possessions. Finally, the ultimate blessing of music is simple joy. I am indescribably happy as I meet new people, understand new things and create new experiences through music."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 419; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: $1,000 grand prize at live performance Dahle Piano competition; winner 2010 Utah Symphony Youth Guild piano competition; Logan High School senior class officer.


Bovey Rao

School: Hillcrest High School

Parents: Nongxin Rao and Qiuping Yang

Hometown: Draper

"In college, I plan on pursuing a biology degree modified with applied mathematics to demonstrate the applications of mathematics in a practical science. Through the multidisciplinary fields of bioinformatics and computational biology, I want to apply mathematics to improve our understanding of diseases and aid the medical community. The prevalence of mathematics in every field opens doors that would be unavailable with other subjects. Mathematics has significantly changed my perception of the academic world and has introduced me to a multidimensional reality."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 483; cumulative GPA is 4.0; SAT composite score is 2350.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Cottonwood Heights math club president; Utah-Idaho district Key Club treasurer; Hillcrest High School math club vice president; Coca-Cola Scholars regional finalist.


Brandon Cui

School: Hillcrest High School

Parents: Muyi Cui and Liyuan Wang

Hometown: Sandy

"From the beginning to the end, and even in the middle, I’ve realized that my “live-life-to-its-fullest” attitude has been one of my greatest assets. Sure, that voice in the back of my mind makes me pause for a moment, but by living life without regrets I’ve gained numerous interests, made a multitude of friends and had the most incredible experiences. It is because of this attribute that whenever someone asks me, 'Do you have any regrets?' I reply, 'No I did it all. I swear. I lived.' Ten years from now, I envision myself starting as an assistant professor founding a cross-divisional research group of refraction (NIR)."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 483; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 34 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Semifinalist, 2014 Siemens Competition (math, science and technology); winner, 2014 First Step to the Noble prize in Physics International Competition.

Skilled & Technical Sciences

Kaitlin Hallam

School: Spanish Fork High School

Parents: J. Merrill and Pamela Hallam

Hometown: Spanish Fork

"My involvement in the Skilled & Technical Sciences categories already has and continues to enrich my life by helping me develop lasting values like hard work, dedication and responsibility. Welding has given me an opportunity to train my hands to be steady, my eyes to be sharp, my mind to concentrate and my imagination to go wild. Furniture construction has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me gain knowledge in a subject I knew absolutely nothing about. Auto body has shown me that even if something is old and broken down it can still be rebuilt and have lasting value."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 398; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 21 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: FFA public relations chairman, reporter and historian; President City Slickers 4-H Club; Kiwanis Hope of America Leadership Award; student council member.

Social Science

Sarah Farnsworth

School: Alta High School

Parents: Wayne and Kristen Farnsworth

Hometown: Draper

"My study of human geography, European history, art history, and government in school has made me more aware of and interested in the people around me locally and globally. My AP Human Geography and Art History courses specifically have inspired me to explore the world, rather than just study my textbooks’ explanation of it. My travels for service and on scholarship have certainly influenced the course of my life: seeing women trapped by illiteracy, and therefore poverty, in Fiji has caused me to become heavily involved in my Women in Action club at Alta, and has created a spokeswoman for women’s rights out of me for life."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 402; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 36 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Alta volleyball team; Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship winner; National Honor Society academic representative; Alta seminary council.

Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics

Samantha Bemis

School: Hillcrest High School

Parents: David Bemis and Cyndi Bemis

Hometown: Sandy

"I like to say that debate has taught me as much as or even more than I’ve learned in school, making it the most comprehensive and applicable extracurricular available to students. …The world continues to open up to me, and I know that no one should be defined by society’s standards, and that I can define myself. Debate has brought and will bring me not only tangible gains like knowledge, perspective, research skills, philosophical understanding, efficient organizational technique and professional public speaking abilities, but more personal benefits like friendship, appreciation, and most importantly, a passion."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 15 of 483; cumulative GPA is 3.997; 33 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: National qualifier for the National Speech and Debate Association and National Debate Coaches Association.

Visual Arts

Doyoun Park

School: Brighton High School

Parent: Kyoungmi Jo

Hometown: Sandy

"Art is not just a hobby or an activity in my life anymore; it is what defines me as an individual and becoming a Visual Arts Sterling Scholar will be a paramount accomplishment that I will cherish in my academic career. But chief among the things I have gained by incorporating art into my life is the sense of personal identity that I was in search of. From early childhood, I had admired anyone who was passionate about whatever they did. … From earliest memory, art was the one thing that had set me apart, that I had loved without reservation, and I knew with absolute certainty that I always would."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 94 of 564; cumulative GPA is 3.912; 27 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Best in show, Annual Art Stock; student’s choice, school art show; visual arts winner in Runes; artwork displayed in Michael Berry Gallery.

Vocal Performance

M. McKay Kelly

School: Mountain View High School

Parents: Michael and Lisa Kelly

Hometown: Orem

"Much of what I love about music is the effect that I can have on somebody and the fulfillment that it brings me. Music is everywhere, and the amazing thing is that it never gets boring. There are so many songs, genres and styles that music is limitless and endless. Every song seems to bring something new and keeps music exciting. I never get tired of listening to music, and especially of singing myself. … I hope to continue to learn about music and singing for a long time. Not only will it bring great fulfillment, but it will help me grow as a musician and a person, and it will truly enrich my life."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 44 of 389; cumulative GPA is 3.954; 30 composite ACT.

AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Performed role of Joseph in school’s musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”; a capella choir; sang solos at Temple Square.

Douglas F. Bates Community Service Award

Stephanie Jencks

School: Bingham High School

Parents: Paul and Lori Jencks

Hometown: South Jordan

"My Jordan School District (JSD) inherited Bingham Cemetery in 1971 mandated by state law when mining operations expanded and shut down Bingham City. They have done their best with this “Grave inheritance” but their primary focus is education, not maintenance of a cemetery. For over a decade I’ve given time, talent and service to this cemetery, … I recently presented JSD a check for more than $20,000 from this gift of love. I’ve raised nearly $30,000 for the Memorial. … It will include a new map with the GPS readings obtained plus a history, diversity, military, police officer section, grounds security and more."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 38 of 693; cumulative GPA is 3.997; 29 composite ACT.

AWARD: This award is named for the late Douglas F. Bates, Utah State Office of Education legal counsel and former associate superintendent, who exemplified outstanding community service.

Philo T. Farnsworth Governor's Award

Robert Nay

Maple Mountain High School

Parents: Don Nay and Kari Nay

Hometown: Spanish Fork

"Part of what makes computer technology so exciting for me is the speed at which it evolves: In the four short years since I created my first iPhone app, flash storage has become much cheaper, processing capabilities of mobile devices have dramatically increased and Internet-connected devices have become much more prevalent. It’s difficult to predict what technology we’ll be using in the future, but I look forward to being a part of its creation. My involvement in computer technology will allow me to have a meaningful career, and I will be able to use computers and programming to create solutions that will enrich my life and have a positive influence on the world."

SCHOLARSHIP: Ranks 1 of 417; cumulative GPA is 4.0; 35 composite ACT.

AWARD: Named after the father of television, Philo T. Farnsworth, this award is given jointly by the governor’s office and Deseret News/KSL to an outstanding Sterling Scholar in science.