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UT Welcomes New Class of Academy for Global Scholars

The Academy for Global Scholars (AGS), a program for first-year students that provides them with a unique opportunity for global engagement and individual growth, welcomed its second class of 17 scholars.

Participants join AGS by invitation and engage as a cohort in a summer workshop, service activities, general education courses, and a study abroad experience. Last year’s cohort successfully completed a service-learning trip to Costa Rica in May 2021.

Meet this year’s scholars.

Harrison Barnes, a freshman at the University of Tennessee, majors in Pre-Law. He is in the Pride of the Southland Marching band and Drum Corps International. He is a member of the Freshman Leadership Council in the Student Government Association this year.


Jaona Brewster, a freshman from Chattanooga, Tennessee, majors in Graphic Design and is interested in the game design minor.
In high school, she was involved in several academic honor societies, such as the National Honor Society and Beta Club. She also was a member of the band for almost seven years.
She is interested in game design and inspired by games like “Earthbound.” She would like to make her own video game one day. She enjoys animated shows and movies like those by Studio Ghibli. She also really likes sharks, so she wants to get a scuba diving certification.

Kaylah Doss II, a freshman from Memphis, majors in Physics and plans to add a minor in Sustainability. After college, she hopes to commission into the Space Force and become a Space Operations Officer.

She was an avid member of Student Government, National Honor Society, and Links of Love in high school. She was also senior class president and one of her high school executive boards for two years.

She enjoys film, sewing/painting, and being with her family. She aspires to be a part of the mission to protect and advance space exploration. She plans to use her education and leadership roles to raise awareness about climate change and advocate for sustainability.

Amber Early, a freshman at the University of Tennessee, majors in Political Science with a minor in Hispanic Studies.

She has a key driver to focus on national and international politics, language learning, and progressive activism. Early also likes cats, nature walks, playing and listening to music, and studying history, geography, and international cultures.

Muskaan Hameed, of Memphis, Tennessee, majors in Marketing. She loves to dance. She is looking forward to the AGS program and getting to know everyone.



Paige Lupu, of Johnson City, Tennessee, majors in biology. She enjoys cooking and baking in her free time, as well as listening to music. She was co-captain of the color guard in high school and was very active in many clubs, such as the international club and HOSA. She joined AGS for the cultural experiences she will gain.


Haley Mcnutt, a freshman from Knoxville, majors in Marketing.

She is also currently in the Pride of the Southland Band. She loves music, art, and all things fun. UT has been her dream school, and now she is attending UT as a first-generation college student. Go VOLS!


San Mirza, of Nashville, Tennessee, majors in Biological Sciences. He graduated from East Nashville Magnet High School, where he was the valedictorian.



Tucker Mountain, of Livingston, Tennessee, majors in Political Science with a concentration in International Affairs on a Pre-Law track. He aspires to be a lawyer that works on Human Rights policy on a global level. After learning the ropes as a lawyer, he would like to run for public office to work on public policy as a politician.

Tucker was a member of countless clubs at Livingston Academy, including Leadership Overton Youth Academy and 4-H, and even pioneered the startup of a Gay-Straight Alliance in his high school titled SAFE (Students Advocating for Equity). Tucker was also a member of his school’s National Honor Society, BETA Club, and Tennessee 4-H State Council as Representative at Large, a position that serves to be a voice for minority groups in the organization statewide.

Overall, Tucker is eagerly excited to learn more about civic engagement on a global level. With saying this, he couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity than to join the 2021 cohort of the Academy for Global Scholars!

Emily Nguyen, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, majors in Chemistry with a pre-medicine focus in hopes to become a pediatrician.

During her time in high school, she was the president of HOSA and Key Club, captain of the girl’s tennis team, and drumline captain for the marching band. She currently has her CNA license and CCMA certification.

In her free time, she likes to go out with her friends or have a night in and watch movies or TV shows.

Holly Nguyen is on the Exploratory Pre-professional track but plans to become a physician assistant. She enjoys shopping, hanging out with friends, and working out in her free time.

In high school, she was very involved and was a part of many organizations such as the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, the Interact Club, the lacrosse team, and the bowling team. She even actively volunteered at her local animal shelter, Young Williams, and is also a leader within her Vietnamese Youth Group in helping to educate young children about Vietnamese culture. She hopes to be able to make new connections and travel the world in the future.

Hoa Nguyen is a first-generation Asian-American. Upon turning 4, she left her hometown, Saigon, Vietnam, to live in Knoxville, Tennessee where, 14 years later, she would be an undergraduate at the University of Tennessee.

In high school, she was the captain of her lacrosse and bowling teams., In lacrosse, for four consecutive years, she received awards for sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and leadership.

She was also an avid member of Letters of Hope, an organization spreading positivity through letters during the Covid-19 outbreak. Furthermore, she was a dedicated advisor of her high school’s newest organization, the Mental Health Awareness Club. This association was created in order to recognize the importance of an individual’s emotional and psychological well-being despite age, race, or gender.

Devanny Perez is a first-generation college student from Memphis, Tennessee. She invests her time in learning and working to become the best version of herself. She enrolled in the Academy of Global Scholars to explore new opportunities to engage in the world around her.


Lyndsey Summers, of McKenzie, Tennessee, plans to major in Journalism and Electronic Media and is considering a minor in Advertising.

After high school graduation, Lyndsey worked as an intern with her town’s local newspaper company. She hopes to pursue a career in investigative, digital, or entertainment journalism. In high school, Lyndsey was an officer of several clubs including the student council, Future Teachers of America, DECA, Beta, and Library Club. She was also a member of the yearbook staff for four years i and loves photography. A lover of books, movies, and most music, Lyndsey is a self-proclaimed pop-culture enthusiast.

Shaiyaz Virani, of Memphis, Tennessee, majors in Finance. He likes playing sports and learning about and trading stocks. He also has an interest in real estate. He is looking forward to being in the AGS program and hopes to learn a lot from this program and the valuable learning experiences that will be provided.


Jada Walker, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, majors in Psychology with a minor in Spanish. She loves ice cream, sunsets/sunrises, and music. To be specific, her favorite artist is Frank Ocean. Although she’s never played, she is a huge basketball fan and watches both college basketball and the NBA.


Hayley Waters, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, majors in Biology on a pre-medicine track. She loves animals, music, and theatre. She is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She also enjoys giving back to her community, logged over 100 hours in service last year, and hopes to continue to do so.