MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University has awarded Murray High School senior Amanda Peiffer with the prestigious Presidential Fellowship scholarship, which includes full tuition, housing and meals for up to four years at the University.
Peiffer will attend MSU and major in Biochemistry coupled with a Spanish minor, to pursue a career as a medical laboratory scientist and study breast cancer.
Receiving the news Peiffer was a recipient was a momentous occasion. "I was so overcome with emotion I had tears in my eyes. I never imagined I would be able to be a normal kid in college, because of my family's financial situation. I've had to give up many experiences other kids get to enjoy. Because of this scholarship, I will have stability, a luxury I'm not often granted. Ever since I can remember one of my biggest life goals has been graduating college debt-free, and that's now a reality."
Peiffer is a 2021 Governor Scholar recipient who attended the five-week program last summer at Morehead State last summer. Currently she is enrolled in seven college level classes, and throughout high school she has taken thirteen AP Classes, and is a National AP scholar with distinction, the highest AP award by the College Board. An ACT 30+ student, a member of Leadership Tomorrow, Student Council vice president, and Spanish Club president, Peiffer was most recently named the national winner of the DAR Good Citizen Essay winner. Peiffer is the Kentucky district, state, and Eastern Division winner for the DAR Good Citizen Essay winner, and will travel to D.C. this summer, where she will be recognized as the female national winner and receive a $5,000 scholarship.
As the MHS Speech Team secretary and State Humorous Interpretation honoree, Peiffer has a list of national and state awards and honors, and most recently qualified for national competitions with the National Speech and Debate Association and the National Catholic Forensic League, both held this summer.
A Tertulias member who practices speaking English with Ecuador students, Peiffer is the first Kentucky student awarded a scholarship to attend a two-week long research program this summer in Alaska, as part of Inspiring Girls Expeditions. The scholarship was established for women pursuing STEM who have an affinity for both art and research and provide experience prior to entering college.
"I have been a student at Murray since kindergarten, and I am so appreciative of the opportunities this school has given me. I would not be where I am today without the immense support I've received along the way, especially from my teachers. Growing up in the Murray school district has been such a blessing. I've received a phenomenal education from teachers whom I consider not just my mentors and role models, but also my friends. My love for science, writing, language, and art is thanks to the thoughtful and engaging teachers who cultivated my love for learning and pushed me to be my best. Before I believed in myself, my teachers knew I could do more than I ever dreamed possible, and getting to live out those dreams is so rewarding for both me and them. "
Students selected for the Presidential Fellowship scholarship complete a rigorous multi-step application process that includes multiple in-person interviews. During their time at Murray State, recipients of the scholarship are responsible for conducting extensive research projects and serving as leaders in the campus community.
“Our presidential fellows are all outstanding academic achievers, but they are also selected based on their demonstrated leadership potential and involvement in their communities,” said Dr. Warren Edminster, executive director of the Honors College.
“Presidential fellows engage in undergraduate research under the guidance of a faculty mentor and frequently publish their work before leaving Murray State,” Edminster added. “Besides excelling in research, presidential fellows invariably take leadership roles in student groups, ranging from the Student Government Association to Greek organizations.” Incoming first-year students who have a 28 ACT composite score minimum (or 1250 SAT verbal and math combined score minimum), along with a 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale, are eligible to apply for the Presidential Fellowship scholarship. For more information on the University’s Honors College, please visit murraystate.edu/honors.
Peiffer is the daughter of Teresa Peiffer, Murray.