Five Students Sign as Presidential Scholars at Briar Cliff University

May 2, 2024

(Sioux City, Iowa – May 1, 2024) Briar Cliff University recognized five incoming freshmen who have been awarded the Presidential Scholarship award. The Presidential Scholarship is the highest honor and largest scholarship available at Briar Cliff. It is awarded to incoming undergraduate students who exemplify academic excellence, outstanding contributions in their community, and extraordinary leadership in their education careers. The incoming recipients are Ubah Ali, April Benson, Preslee Hansen, Audrey Hoeft, and Nadia Ibrahim.  


Ubah Ali, from South Sioux City, Nebraska, attended South Sioux City High School with a focus on both Education and Nursing for her college plans. Throughout high school, Ali was involved in various activities, including Educator Rising, Student Council, National Honor Society, Tennis, Multicultural initiatives, and participation in research teams at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), particularly in East African research. Her dedication and contributions have been recognized through several notable awards and honors, such as being a winner in multiple categories at the Educator Rising State and National Conferences and receiving the Commissioner's Recognition Lincoln Capital award in both 2022 and 2023.  


April Benson, from Papillion, Nebraska, attended Papillion La-Vista South High School and is planning to major in Exercise Science/Pre-PT. Throughout high school, Benson was involved in various school and community activities, showing her commitment to academic excellence and community service. Her involvements spanned Academic Decathlon, Key Club, National Honor Society, Athletic Training Academy, Leadership Academy, Academic Tutoring, Cross Country, and Track, among others. Additionally, she actively participated in church and community endeavors such as Trinity Students Youth Group, Trinity Hospitality, Vacation Bible School, Blood Drives, and Trinity Cafe volunteering. Her dedication and contributions have been recognized through several awards, including Honor Roll recognition, AP Scholar With Honors distinction, and athletic achievements such as the Road Warrior Award in Cross Country. 


Preslee Hansen, from Tekamah, Nebraska, is a dedicated student with a 4.0 GPA. Throughout her years at Tekamah-Herman High School, she actively participated in various extracurricular activities, including volleyball, basketball, track and field, FBLA, FFA, NHS, i-Help, FCCLA, THS Student Leadership, and her Presbyterian Church Youth Group. Her commitment to academics and sports has been recognized through numerous honors and awards, including being on the Distinguished Honor Roll consistently from 2020 to 2024, achieving Three-Sport Academic All-State from 2020 to 2023, receiving the EHC Volleyball Honorable Mention in 2022-2023, and earning accolades in basketball. With a passion for biology, Preslee intends to pursue a major in the field as she moves forward with her academic journey. 


Aubrey Hoeft, from Plymouth, Iowa, attended Central Springs High School and will pursue Pre-Physical Therapy at Briar Cliff. Throughout high school, Aubrey was in a diverse range of activities, including volleyball, basketball, track, softball, National Honor Society, Student Council, FFA, the Big Brother/Sister program, yearbook, class office, participation in church youth group activities, and involvement in club sports teams. Her dedication to academics and extracurriculars is evident through her accomplishments, including ranking first in her class, consistent A-Honor Roll recognition, receipt of multiple Academic Letters, and earning the Top of Iowa Conference Academic Excellence Award for her exceptional ACT score.  


Nadia Ibrahim, a Sioux City native who attended North High School, is set to pursue a career in nursing with a 4.0 GPA during her high school years. She actively participated in various school activities, including the National Honor Society, HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), and a nursing internship at Mercy Hospital, reflecting her passion for healthcare and service. Outside of school, Nadia dedicated herself to volunteerism, contributing her time and effort to organizations such as her school's food pantry, the Food Bank of Siouxland, Kulmis Daycare, Lamb Theater, Siouxland Humane Society, and Siouxland Soup Kitchen. Her commitment and achievements have not gone unnoticed, as she was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Western Iowa Tech Community College for excelling in a biomedical science test as a HOSA member. Additionally, her outstanding performance in her English class earned her the title of Student of the Month for February, along with a certificate recognizing her excellence.  



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