OC Honors Students Selected by Prestigious Programs

Two OC honors students were accepted into prestigious programs recently. Riley Hansen, from St. David, Ariz., will study in the highly selective Scholars’ Semester at England’s Oxford University in the spring.

Debra Diepenbrock will participate in a prominent summer academy in computer science and engineering at the University of Washington. The academy is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle and Google, among other donors. Diepenbrock, from Moundridge, Ks., is hearing impaired and majoring in mechanical engineering.

Hansen, a second-year student majoring in international business, is fluent in Thai language and culture and excels in the university fellows program as an honors student.

"Riley has added so much to our programs, classes and our campus," said honors director Scott LaMascus. "The greatest joy of his selection to study at Oxford is that Riley has such an open, global perspective as a Christian who will, I know, make an increasingly large impact everywhere he goes. He's just a great young man."

The Scholars Semester in Oxford is offered by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. The competitive program is for Christian students who seek to read, learn and live in the "City of Dreaming Spires." The Scholars' Semester allows students to live in Wycliffe Hall as a visiting student of Oxford University. Students engage in intensive scholarship with the Oxford tutorial system.

The UW Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf & Hard of Hearing in Computing selects the best candidates from universities across the nation to come together with faculty for credit-bearing courses with guest speakers and field trips to Microsoft, Cray, Adobe and IBM corporate centers. Students and faculty also meet with deaf or hard-of-hearing employees in computer science and engineering.

"The Honors program is so proud to have Diepenbrock in our living/learning community, where she is making a real impact on the Honors Class of 2015," said LaMascus. "She is a student who has shown the capacity to excel, and whose aspirations to serve others encompasses her dreams of making an impact in pediatric oncology or biomedical engineering. This ethic of service grows from her deep faith in Christ."

Diepenbrock’s mother, Julie Sheerer Diepenbrock, is a 1986 OC graduate.