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2023-2024 Clark Society Bios

More than 20 years ago, the idea for a Clark Society scholarship grew out of a Clark Society Board meeting as a way to both directly impact students and promote awareness of the society. Now, 111 scholars later, the Clark Society Endowed Scholarship is one of the premier scholarships that support TCU seniors.

We are pleased to introduce the Clark Society Scholars for the 2023-2024 academic year. These scholars have been nominated by faculty and staff, and they represent TCU with the highest degree of character, leadership and sense of service. Please click below for more information about each of the 2023-2024 Clark Society Scholars.  

TCU Clark Society Scholar, Payton Cranford

Payton Cranford

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Major: Marketing
Payton’s service at TCU includes working as the social media manager and graphic designer for the TCU Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, representing TCU at the 2022 Values and Ventures® Competition as well as serving as the president of the TCU Entrepreneurship Club.

Payton’s interest in entrepreneurship and in issues of diversity, equity and inclusion led her to start her own company, called March, a toiletry line for hotels and resorts that is designed to suit all hair textures. This includes Black hair, which can be damaged by the complimentary products offered by most hotels. Now officially incorporated, March is in conversation with hotels across the United States.

Considering her future plans and how TCU has prepared her for the world, Payton says, “The education and opportunities that I have gained from TCU have allowed me to become a well-rounded leader of society. Not only have I become a better collaborator, ideator and communicator, but I have learned the importance of being well-versed outside of my major. Post-graduation, I plan on holding a position in brand marketing and using my passion for diversity, psychology and philosophy to further advance my career. Furthermore, I hope to still be working on my company, which will hopefully become a full-time commitment.”
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Autumn Rae Henry

Autumn Rae Henry

Hometown: Haltom City, Texas
Major: Social Work | John V. Roach Honors College
Autumn Rae is a TCU Honors Scholar and a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. As a student board member for TCU Day of Service, she played an essential role in planning and organizing over 1,000 volunteer opportunities.

Her nominator, Dr. LaTrina Parker Hall, said of Autumn Rae, “Servant leadership precisely describes Autumn Rae’s approach to life. Throughout her academic career, she has advanced in leadership in many student organizations while developing and demonstrating critical skills that positively and effectively set her apart from her peers.”

Autumn Rae plans to pursue her master’s degree and Ph.D. after graduation and credits her experience at TCU with helping her to discover her full potential. “During grad school, I will volunteer with a nonprofit to continue to sharpen my skills as a social worker while studying and working in my field placement,” she said. “After grad school, I hope to return to TCU as a professor in the social work department while opening my own practice offering pro bono services to under-resourced but resilient neighborhoods. I am called to create generational change, and TCU has allowed me to accept my calling and develop confidence.”
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Grace High

Grace High

Hometown: Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Major: Marketing | John V. Roach Honors College
Grace is a TCU Ambassador, a Neeley Fellow and a TCU student-athlete as a member of the cross country and track and field teams. She has completed three internships with industry-leading companies in her time at TCU, most recently serving as a summer intern at Nike’s world headquarters.

Her nominator, Dr. Homer Erekson, said of her, “Grace is [in] the top 5% of students I have had in over 40 years in higher education. She has strong analytical and communication skills. She builds upon these base skills with a high degree of motivation to excel at any activity, a sense of keen curiosity and high competency in leadership.”

Grace’s goal after graduation is to secure a full-time job in New York City working in the marketing or sales department of a company. “I believe my experience at TCU will lead me to achieve this goal by pushing me outside of my comfort zone to look into these positions, as well as giving me the resources like alumni to build connections within the city,” she said.
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Olivia Keller

Olivia Keller

Hometown: Katy, Texas
Majors: Marketing | John V. Roach Honors College
Olivia is the president of the BNSF Neeley Leadership Program, captain of the TCU Elite Dance Team and a member of Chi Omega’s Executive Board. She is also a recipient of the Neeley Excellence in Leadership Award and a TCU Scholar.

Her nominator, Dr. Lance Bettencourt, shared that Olivia was the first student he has nominated for the Clark Scholarship and added, “That alone says something about Olivia. While I have had many exceptional students during my time at TCU, Olivia is perhaps the very best of the best academically, interpersonally and in terms of leadership.”

When reflecting on what she has gained in her time at TCU, Olivia said, “TCU has taught me to analyze every situation, interaction and organization to leave it better than I found it and not to be afraid to question the status quo. I aim to be intentional about how I respond to opportunities and am actively seeking positive change in every organization I am a part of. These lessons will be carried with me into every aspect of my life and have stirred a desire in me to assist organizations and businesses in reaching their full potential. Therefore, after graduation, I am pursuing a career in strategic management consulting in Houston, Texas.”
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Marina Magnant

Marina Magnant

Hometown: Porto, Portugal
Major: Marketing; Supply Chain Management | John V. Roach Honors College
Marina is the president of the John V. Roach Honors College Cabinet, project lead in the Fort Worth Global Affairs Office and vice president of professional development for the BNSF Neeley Leadership Program. She has been named a TCU Emerging Leader, was 1 of 4 students to ring the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange for TCU’s 150th Celebration and received the Class of 2024 Pillar of University Leadership Award.

Marina’s first nominator, Dr. Garry Bruton, shared he “could not imagine a student who has demonstrated greater involvement and leadership at the university … She truly is one of the best students in all dimensions I have known in over 25 years as a professor.”

While her short-term career goals involve working in sports marketing or the supply chain field, Marina hopes to continue her education and someday make a difference in both the local and global communities. “After graduating, I wish to pursue a master’s degree in international relations or diplomacy. While a business degree will allow me to have a better understanding of organizations and how they operate in society, international relations is important to successfully aid in balancing inequalities between countries and organizations,” she said. “Equipped with this knowledge, long-term, I would like to work in international organizations and spearhead an educational foundation that supports children’s education worldwide. Working with the Fort Worth Global Affairs Office has given me firsthand experience in creating an impact locally and globally, turning an abstract idea into a tangible result and truly giving back to a community that has given me so much.”
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Thien Ly Nguyen

Thien Ly Nguyen

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Major: Biology | John V. Roach Honors College
Some of Thien Ly’s many leadership roles on campus and in the community include serving as teacher’s assistant in Peer2Peer Tutoring, a Chancellor’s Host, Biology Lab TA, Pre-Health Peer Mentor, founder of the Epic Grant Community Project working with area high school students, and Neurobiology of Aging Research Assistant. Some of the awards Thien has received include the Class of 2024 Pillar of University Leadership Award, CSE Exemplary Student Award and the Dr. Robert Nielson Award for Outstanding Achievement in General Chemistry.

Thien Ly received three nominations for the Clark Society Endowed Scholarship: Dr. Ellen Broom, who has known her for many years, described her nominee this way: “As my student, Thien Ly was actively engaged in class and a resource for struggling students. Personally, Thien Ly is a kind, warm soul. She consistently displays outstanding character and is invested in helping others.”

Thien Ly’s future goals include continuing to make a difference in the TCU community. “After graduation, I hope to attend medical school to pursue a career as a physician. My dream would be to go on medical missionary trips after and then get involved in TCU’s medical school in any way that I can. I feel like TCU has equipped me with the tools to succeed wherever I go in life,” she said. “TCU’s pre-health department has been extremely supportive and informative throughout my college journey with advising sessions, drop-in meetings and mentoring through organizations. I am grateful for the support and encouragement that TCU has given me, truly making me feel at home here.”

Many students who, though not eligible for additional scholarship support, exhibit the qualities of leadership, scholastic achievement, character and service that all our Clark Scholars embody. This year, three such talented and exceptional students have been awarded the distinction of Clark Society Scholar.

TCU Clark Society Scholar, Maithili Bhate

Maithili Bhate

Hometown: Maharashtra, India
Major: Mathematics
Maithili is a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon, a prestigious national honorary society that promotes and recognizes scholarly activity in the mathematical sciences. She contributes to the TCU community by holding numerous leadership and mentoring positions on campus.

Maithili’s nominator, Dr. Emily Herzig, wrote, “From her two years serving as an officer for the Math Club, Maithili has demonstrated her ability to generate relevant and engaging programming for her fellow students. Through the specific projects that she's promoted, she has shown herself to be reliable and eager to take on responsibility. As a student, she is capable and engaged.”

Maithili’s future goals include finding employment that will allow her to share the skills and knowledge she has gained at TCU, continuing her education and serving others in meaningful ways. “There are three tenets of the TCU mission statement: ethical leadership, responsible citizenship and membership in the global community. My journey at TCU has been a wonderful learning experience, and I have grown as a person in all three areas. In order to embrace all three, it takes a great deal of patience and perseverance. I believe that my experience at TCU has equipped me not just for my new goal, but for a future of helping myself and others, since for me success is measured by the value you add to other people’s lives and also by how you value yourself,” she said.
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Hayden Nguyen

Hayden Nguyen

Hometown: Houston, Texas
Major: Youth Advocacy | John V. Roach Honors College
Among his many leadership roles, Hayden is a TRiO Student Support Services Ambassador, 2023 co-chair and 2022 Frog First Leader, a 2022 Orientation Leader, a member of the College of Education Dean’s Advisory Cabinet and student assistant in the Chancellor’s Office. He is also a Chancellor’s Scholar, McNair Scholar, Leadership Scholar, Global Scholar and TCU Scholar.

Hayden received two nominations for the Clark Scholarship: Dr. LaTrina Parker Hall said of him, “Hayden possesses not only determination and a strong work ethic, but integrity and compassion for others as well.” His second nominator, Dr. Steve Przymus shared “Hayden’s very best attributes are what we need at TCU, in Fort Worth and in our country for positive and thoughtful leadership and education.”

Hayden’s future plans are geared toward continued service to students and the higher education community. “After graduation, I will continue my educational journey by applying to grad school in higher education in leadership and administration. My goal is to become a future college administrator. It would allow me to foster positive effects in the community and encourage and motivate other students who are facing similar challenges as I have. I want to be a valuable resource for first-gen college students and a mentor for their educational journeys. I believe lifelong learning and service are the keys to helping students have the same opportunities I was provided,” he said.
TCU Clark Society Scholar, Kate Morman-Wolfe

Kate Morman-Wolfe

Hometown: Fort Worth, Texas
Major: Combined Science | John V. Roach Honors College
Kate’s leadership roles include her service as a Resident Assistant in Colby Hall, a Pre-Health Institute Ambassador, a member of the Pre-Health Institute Leadership Council, a mentor with the John V. Roach Honors College Peer Mentorship Program, as well as a Neuroscience Research Assistant in the TCU Psychology Department. She is a Faculty Scholar and Global Scholar and is on the Dean’s Honor Roll. Kate has received the Outstanding Performance in General Chemistry Lab Award and the David D. Kutinskas Individual Peer Leader Award from TCU Housing and Residence Life.

In her nomination of Kate, Dr. Kathy Cavins-Tull shared that “Kate is one of the best examples of our university’s mission and values and is a perfect representation of the Clark Society leader.”

Kate plans to pursue a career in medicine following graduation, a path she believes TCU has prepared her to follow. “After graduation, I plan to attend medical school and pursue becoming a physician. Specialties that pique my interest are pediatrics, OBGYN and family medicine. I am confident TCU has prepared me to attain my future endeavors through rigorous coursework, a collaborative environment and providing opportunities that foster my passion for service and empathy toward others in order to make a positive impact within my community,” she said.