Skip to content. Skip to main navigation.

UT Arlington announces inaugural class of Terry Foundation Scholars

Thursday, August 27, 2015 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

The University of Texas at Arlington welcomes 20 student leaders who have demonstrated strong academic ability into its charter class of Terry Foundation Scholars for the 2015-16 academic year.

Inaugural class of Terry Foundation Scholars.

The Terry Foundation was established by Houston philanthropists Howard and Nancy Terry and is the largest private source of scholarships in Texas. The scholarships benefit outstanding Texas high school graduates and transfer students who attend public colleges and universities within the state.

The program covers up to the cost of attendance after external scholarship awards, grants and family contributions have been considered and the student’s unmet financial need has been determined.

“With the generous funding from the Terry Foundation we are able to attract and support more of the best and brightest students from across Texas,” UTA President Vistasp M. Karbhari said. “These students will be the next generation of leaders, innovators, educators, artists, scientists and much more. UTA is enriched by the addition of our charter Terry Scholars, and they will help chart the path forward for our model 21st century urban research university. We are profoundly grateful to Howard and Nancy Terry for their generosity and vision in enabling these scholarships to exceptional students.  The impact of this program is profound and noteworthy.”

Yvonne Moody, executive director for the Terry Foundation, said: “These 20 outstanding students are recipients of full, four-year scholarships. We welcome these scholars to the Terry Program and we’re pleased to partner with an institution so widely respected for excellence and student success.”

Sixteen of the 2015 UTA Terry Scholars are traditional freshmen, while four are students transferring from a community college or another university.  

The inaugural scholarship recipients, their hometowns and their intended majors, include:

  • Salma Badeh, Arlington, Business
  • Benjamin Barnett, Burleson, Mechanical Engineering
  • Brandon Berens, Arlington, Music
  • Taylor Brooks, Cedar Hill, Nursing
  • Taylor Brown, Rhome, Mechanical Engineering
  • Angelica Creevey, Haslet, Nursing
  • Nhung Dinh, Arlington, Biology
  • Lydia Fragano, Fort Worth, Biomedical Engineering
  • Alexis Garcia Mejia, San Antonio, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Robert Gomez, Brownsville, University College
  • Courtney Jaekel, League City, Industrial Engineering
  • Traevis Joshlin, Arlington, Aerospace Engineering
  • Martin Lopez, Eagle Pass, Philosophy
  • Olivia Morris, Garland, Nursing
  • Dagoberto Pozos, Forest Hill, Kinesiology
  • Patrick Rafferty, Glenn Heights, Nursing
  • Johanna Ramsey, Winnsboro, Music
  • Veronica Sandoval Valdez, Fort Worth, Education
  • Jacob Tilley, Fort Worth, Mechanical Engineering
  • John West, Arlington, Mechanical Engineering

The Terry Scholars – or “Terrys” as they call themselves – form a student organization on campus and participate in special programming that includes academic, cultural, service and social enrichments. The Terrys live together on campus and are supported by a Peer Academic Leader in residence. They benefit from continuous support from the Foundation and its extensive alumni network.

For information about how to apply for the Terry Foundation Scholar Program at UT Arlington, visit or email Dr. Kimberly van Noort at

About the Terry Foundation 

The Terry Foundation is a Houston-based scholarship program founded to provide scholarships to outstanding Texas high school graduates and transfer scholars for attendance at public colleges and universities within the state. Established in 1986 by Houston philanthropists Howard and Nancy Terry, the Foundation has assisted thousands of Terry Scholars in meeting the Founders’ goal of helping Texas college students to help themselves.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as one of the 20 fastest-growing public research universities in the nation in 2014. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as a “Best for Vets” college by Military Times magazine. Visit to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at