Dana Khabbaz | Photo courtesy of Indiana University
Updated: September 27, 2013 6:09AM
Two Northwest Indiana residents are among 20 new Wells Scholars at Indiana University.
The scholarship, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, provides incoming freshmen recipients full tuition and course-related fees, as well as a living stipend, for four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus. Scholars may choose to spend up to one of those years studying abroad.
Freshman Wells Scholars are nominated by their high schools or the IU Office of Admissions and selected for having demonstrated exceptional qualities of character, leadership and distinction both inside and outside the classroom. Internal Wells Scholars are nominated by IU Bloomington faculty and selected for similar qualities.
Dana Khabbaz, of Valparaiso: An AP Scholar, Khabbaz graduated from Valparaiso High School, where she was salutatorian of her class. A four-year competitor on the school speech and debate team, she served as vice president her senior year, captained the Congressional Debate team three years and was a state finalist all four years.
She qualified for the national tournament in Congressional Debate as a sophomore and in Public Forum her senior year. Valparaiso High School named her the Outstanding Varsity Congress Speaker, and she received the National Forensic League Degree of Premier Distinction. Her Mock Trial team qualified for state her freshman year, and her Model United Nations team was named the best delegation at an international conference her senior year.
A member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish and Latin clubs, she earned a Silver and two Bronze medals on the National Spanish Exam and a Gold on the National Latin Exam. She mentored middle school children through Team LEAD (Leadership, Empathy, Accountability, Discussion) and was a member of the Alliance of Students Against Poverty. As a member of the Muslim Student Association and president her senior year, she organized interfaith discussions and other events, such as the Fast-a-Thon and a fundraiser for international humanitarian aid.
Khabbaz plans to major in political science and international studies. She will hold the Robert A. Lucas Scholarship within the Wells Scholars Program.
Lucas Tang, of Portage: The first Wells Scholar from La Lumiere School in LaPorte, Tang graduated summa cum laude and received the Exemplary Academic Effort in the Senior Year award for having the highest grade-point average. He competed on the school’s Science Olympiad team all four years, was senior co-captain and won numerous awards at state in forensics, astronomy and helicopters.
In regional competitions he won firsts in forensics, astronomy, helicopter and microbe mission. A member of the Prefect Council Academic and Sacristan boards, he was elected to the National Honor, Spanish National Honor and Blue Key societies and was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award.
He participated as a Lilly Scholar in IU’s Jim Holland Summer Biology Research Program for two years and interned at the University of Notre Dame QuarkNet summer program. A four-year member of the varsity tennis and baseball teams, Tang co-captained both teams his senior year. He volunteered for four years with the Porter Challenger baseball league for children with disabilities. He also volunteered at a local hospital and a nursing home and has been active in his church as an altar server and youth group leader.
Tang plans to major in biology and to participate in the Integrated Freshman Learning Experience and the Science, Technology and Research Scholars mentored-research programs. He will hold the Krannert Charitable Trust Scholarship within the Wells Scholars Program.