Former LaGrange student selected for Maryville College’s scholars program

Published 8:52 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

Colby Burke, formerly of LaGrange, Georgia, has been selected for participation in Maryville College’s new Scots Science Scholars (S3) program and plans to enroll at the private liberal arts college this fall as a member of the Class of 2021.

Burke, the son of Wes and Katie Burke of Port Saint Joe, Florida, graduated with honors from Port Saint Joe High School in May 2017, but was a student at Rosemont Elementary, Long Cane Middle School, and Troup High School until his family moved in August 2015. While in high school, Colby participated in varsity baseball, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Key Club, Junior Executive Board, Project Graduation fundraising, Anchor Student Ministries, and he was a member of the United Methodist Youth Fellowship at First United Methodist Church of Port Saint Joe.

The goal of the S3 program is to increase the number of students who graduate from Maryville College with a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) major.  Funded with a grant of nearly $400,000 from the National Science Foundation, the four-year program includes several components, including a three-week, all-expense-paid summer bridge program, which will provide extra preparation for first-year courses, especially in math.  This program begins Aug. 3.

“We are very excited about the team of students and the program that we have put together for our fourth cohort. This year, we are graduating our first cohort, so there will be Scots Science Scholars in all classes from freshman to senior year,” said Dr. Maria Siopsis, associate professor of mathematics and co-director of the S3 program.  “Each year we build on the strengths of the program, such as team building, field trips and opportunities for research and travel, and we look forward to adding some new experiences.”

“We have also lined up several speakers, including entrepreneurs who have used their STEM skills to build their businesses,” she added.

Throughout the four-year program, Scots Science Scholars benefit from a curriculum designed to build community and provide academic support, including a specialized first-year sequence tailored to appeal to their interests and needs and a STEM Success Center where students gather to work and study together under the guidance of experienced STEM majors.

They will have the opportunity to conduct exciting STEM research with MC faculty and have opportunities to collaborate with other professionals in the field.

Scholars each receive at least a $21,000 per year scholarship to Maryville College.

Burke, who plans to major in Pre-Med/Biochemistry, became acquainted with Maryville College through his great-aunt and great-uncle, MaryAnne and Ken Hanna of Gainesville, Georgia, who are Maryville College alumni.  He says that he is excited to join the S3 program because, “It is an honor to be selected for this 4-year program.  The built in academic support system is definitely reason to be excited, as are the research and leadership opportunities. With a career goal of becoming a cardiac transplant surgeon, this STEM program will touch on all of the vital areas of science, technology, engineering, and math needed to provide a strong foundation for my future success.”

For more information on the program or to be considered for next yearís S3 class, visit