Medwin Scholarships Awarded to Four WPI Undergraduates

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass.- Medwin Chamber Music Scholarships were recently awarded to WPI students Tara Devarakonda of Holliston, Mass., a violinist; Erin Hokanson of Long Valley, N.J., who plays the viola; and Lynn Hull of Greenbelt, Md., and Katherine Carter (Katie) Wheeler of Fair Haven, N.J., who play the cello.

Herman Medwin, CEO of Ocean Acoustics Associates of Pebble Beach, Calif., graduated from WPI in 1941 with a bachelor's degree in physics. During his college years he enjoyed being part of a string ensemble his fellow students organized for their extracurricular enjoyment. In 1987 he created an endowment to support the Medwin String Ensemble; two years later he established the Medwin Chamber Music Scholarships.

Each of the scholarship recipients is a member of the Medwin String Ensemble, directed by Douglas Weeks, administrator of applied music. "As director of this ensemble I have been especially pleased to observe its growth in both quantity and quality since its inception," says Weeks. "It has become an integral part of the WPI music program, providing many students with the opportunity to study and perform some of the great pieces of music written for strings. Generous donations from Hank Medwin have made this possible. We are deeply indebted to Hank for his support of the string program at WPI."

Devarakonda, a senior majoring in biotechnology, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vasant Devarakonda of Holliston, Mass. A graduate of Holliston High School, she has played the violin for 10 years and has participated in orchestras at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her sister, Sheela, is a WPI junior.

Hokanson, daughter of Gerry and Jackie Hokanson of Long Valley, N.J., graduated from West Morris Central High School. A sophomore majoring in biology, she is a member of WPI's Pre-Health Society. She has played the viola for about four years.

Hull and Wheeler are freshmen. Hull is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Goodsell Hull of Greenbelt, Md. She graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School, where she won the Orchestra Hall of Fame Award. She is majoring in chemistry at WPI.

Wheeler, daughter of Linda Wheeler of Fair Haven, N.J., and Terrence Wheeler of Tinton Falls, N.J., graduated from Rumson-Fairhaven High School. She is a biotechnology major.

An independent technological university founded in 1865, WPI is renowned for its project-based educational program. WPI was ranked among the top national universities in the 1999 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges Guide and was ranked 18th among the top national institutions in the magazine's Best College Values report.