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Posted: Friday Jan 27, 2012

January 27, 2012

Natalie Nakles, a senior at Greater Latrobe High School, has been awarded a full tuition scholarship valued at $120,000 in Saint Vincent College’s annual Wimmer Scholarship Competition, it was announced by Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president. Ms. Nakles will begin studies in bioinformatics at Saint Vincent in the fall.

“I think it is awesome news, I was dancing around, I was so happy,” Ms. Nakles related after being informed of the award last week. “Saint Vincent has been my first choice for many reasons – its new science center, its program in bioinformatics, its location and its ideal size. I am very grateful for the scholarship.”

Ms. Nakles plans to pursue both a Ph.D. and an M.D. after she completes her undergraduate education. “I am really interested in neurology and want to go to medical school,” she added.

At Greater Latrobe, she has been active in the marching band, jazz band, piano accompanist and as a member of the Key Club. A participant in Seton Hill University’s Community Music Program for ten years, she has won various awards in competitions including the Merrill Lynch Young Artists Award, NCTM Composition Competition Award sponsored by Warner Brothers (first place in state, first place in eastern region and third place national), PMTA Sonatina Competition (first place winner five times), and Dorothy Sutton Performance Festival participant.

A volunteer with the Latrobe Art Center’s summer art program, she will exhibit her drawings and paintings at the Keynote Café in Jeannette in February. She appeared in a television program, MTV’s Made, about her dreams, hopes, and accomplishments.

She completed Advanced Placement courses in Calculus, German, Chemistry, and Biology. She has been honored with membership in the National Honor Society, German Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society.

The Wimmer Scholarship Program is named in honor of Archabbot Boniface Wimmer who founded Saint Vincent College in 1846 as the first Benedictine college in the United States. The program is designed to recognize high school students with outstanding academic abilities and to encourage them to pursue a quality undergraduate education at Saint Vincent. The scholarship winner is based on their performance on a written examination which was given at the College in November. Students who participated in this year’s examination were nominated by their high school principals because they were college-bound and met academic qualifications. This is the 30th year for the scholarship competition. More than two hundred high school students participated in the competition this year.

She is the daughter of Jo Ellen Harr of Unity Township and Chris Nakles of Latrobe.


Photo: Natalie A. Nakles, right, a senior at Greater Latrobe High School, accepts $120,000 Wimmer Scholarship from Br. Norman W. Hipps, O.S.B., president of Saint Vincent College. She plans to major in bioinformatics at Saint Vincent in the fall.