Six National Merit Finalist among Tech’s fall freshmen

National Merit Finalist in the fall 2021 freshman class at Tennessee Tech are Will Joyner, Abby Fox, Charlie Hasting, Mandy Bacon, Mathias Hagewood and Anna Buchanan.

COOKEVILLE – The Fall 2021 freshman class at Tennessee Tech contains some of the top students in the nation, including six National Merit Finalists. All six freshmen are engineering majors and from within the state of Tennessee. 

The six students recently had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the university’s Board of Trustees. 

Will Joyner, a mechanical engineering major from Kingsport, wanted to be close to home and felt the engineering program at Tech was a major factor in coming here.

“The engineering program really stood out and also the scholarship opportunities,” Joyner said.

Abby Fox, a civil engineering major from Cookeville, was familiar with Tech, but a visit to the engineering department enlightened her to new possibilities and opportunities available. 

“I’ve been really impressed with all the new things. I always wanted to stay close but seeing all the new things – I loved it,” Fox said. 

Charlie Hasting, a chemical engineering major from Maryville, was impressed on a campus visit to Tech.

“I really liked the atmosphere here, it reminds me of home,” Hasting said.

Mathias Hagewood, an electrical engineering major from Millersville, said he chose Tech because it was close to home, affordable and the reputation of the engineering department.

“It had the best cost to benefit ratio also, and they focused on the students,” Hagewood said. 

Mandy Bacon, a basic engineering major from Chattanooga, was impressed with the size and the atmosphere when she toured Tech’s campus. 

“I like the size and the distance from home. This was a place I could see myself being for the next four years,” Bacon said. 

Anna Buchanan, a chemical engineering major from White House, visited Tech twice, was able to speak with members of the chemical engineering department and said she learned a lot in those visits. 

“Tech has a really good engineering program and that was really cool for me,” Buchanan said. 

Students who are National Merit Finalists are highly recruited by colleges and universities across the nation. Students qualify for the National Merit program by achieving a high score on the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Of the 1.5 million students who took the PSAT in the fall of 2019, 16,000 were chosen as 2021 National Merit Finalists. 

“The National Merit Finalist is one of the highest academic honors a high school senior can receive,” Trudy Harper, chair of the Tech Board of Trustees, said, congratulating the group. 

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