Senior Anna Koestner Awarded Prestigious Founders Memorial Scholarship

Anna Koestner, ’22 ΚΑΘ, of Russellville, MO, is one of only four women nationally to receive a prestigious Founders Memorial Scholarship from the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation.

Koestner’s long list of achievements at Westminster College stood out among the nearly 1,000 total applicants, resulting in a $12,000 Bettie Tipton Lindsey Founders Memorial Scholarship awarded to her on Aug. 30.

Between her many activities and classes, Westminster Monthly caught up with the Mathematical Sciences and Business Administration double major to see just how she does it all. Read below to learn how Westminster helped form Koestner into the serious student and strong leader she is today.

What activities and organizations are you involved in at Westminster?

I’m in the Honors Program and the Skulls of Seven. Also, I am the president of Kappa Alpha Theta, the chief administrative officer of the Blue Blazers Investment Committee, vice president of Alpha Chi, and vice president of Pi Mu Epsilon. I am also a member of Delta Mu Delta, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Student Foundation, and I’m a Student Ambassador.

What was your reaction when you learned you were selected for the Bettie Tiptop Lindsey Founders Memorial Scholarship?

I was so shocked, yet so honored! It took me a few moments to process because I just couldn’t believe it, so I had to keep rereading the email until I realized it was true. It was so rewarding to see all of my hard work in Theta and on campus pay off. Being one of only four Thetas from across the country chosen to receive a Founders Memorial Scholarship is a feeling I will never forget. Of course, I also want to recognize the gratitude I have for Dr. Heidi LaVine and Madison Shaw, ’17 ΚΑΘ, who each wrote recommendation letters for me as part of my application for the scholarship. This scholarship is something that I could not have received without the support of those two, and the inspiration from other members of Kappa Alpha Theta, especially Sarah Ayers, ’21 ΚΑΘ, who pushed and guided me to apply.

Who is your favorite faculty/staff member, and why?

My favorite faculty/staff member would have to be the one-and-only Heidi LaVine. Being a member of the Honors Program at Westminster has been a privilege on its own, but being able to spend quality time with Heidi LaVine is what I’ve treasured the most. Heidi’s confidence and faith in her students shines through in everything she does, and it’s always apparent that she truly wishes the best for each and every one of us. She puts endless amounts of effort into her job, and she is always thrilled to do so. Her passion for her job makes her one of the best professors I’ve had and one of the best people I’ve met. Not to mention her baking skills are pretty impressive, too.

What do you like most about Westminster College?

My favorite part about Westminster College is the small-town hospitality that I get to encounter across campus and within every person I meet here. Coming from a small town, I appreciate the ability to recognize most names and faces that I see, and I love receiving that recognition in return. I have the opportunity to make meaningful connections with my professors because our smaller class sizes allow me to be an individual and not just a number. Being involved in several campus organizations keeps me from being identified with only one group on campus and instead allows me to have close relationships with many different groups. I wouldn’t trade the small-town atmosphere on our campus for anything, especially considering that we still have all the opportunities of a large campus.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus would have to be the Kappa Alpha Theta lounge. I’ve made so many great memories there, and it’s where I’ve watched myself grow from the shy freshman I once was to the ambitious senior I am now. It’s where I’ve made the most meaningful connections that I have at Westminster.

What do you do in your free time?

The majority of my free time involves spending time with my family and friends, as cliché as that may sound. My family has always been extremely important to me, so the quality time I spend with them when I get the chance means a lot to me. I also love spending time outdoors, whether on campus or at my family farm, and I love staying active. For the most part, anytime that I get to spend with the people closest to me is what I treasure the most.

What are your future plans?

I plan on applying to graduate programs in Business Analytics throughout the fall. After graduation, I will either begin graduate school or enter the workforce in a career that will hopefully allow me to use both my Business and Mathematics degrees.

 

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is a Media and Content Strategist at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. A 1992 graduate of the College, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communication in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.