The Suffolk Foundation announced that Kristina Lynelle Super is the winner of the 2015 Howard D. Mast Memorial Scholarship. Ms. Super, a Nansemond River High School senior, resides in the City of Suffolk with her parents Jeffrey and Alison Super. Ms. Michelle Waller presented the $5,000 Mast Memorial Scholarship on behalf of the Suffolk Foundation to Ms. Super Wednesday night May 20th at the School’s Awards Assembly held in the School’s auditorium.
The Mast Scholarship honors the incomparable Howard D. Mast, who served the City of Suffolk as its Parks and Recreation Director from 1949 until 1966. He was known throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region as “Mr. Tennis” and was elected to the Mid-Atlantic Tennis Foundation Hall of Fame in 1995. Mr. Mast was a mentor, teacher, coach and friend to thousands of citizens in the City of Suffolk and throughout the Commonwealth, especially to the youth of Suffolk and the Commonwealth. In accordance with the Scholarship’s criteria for making the selection, the Howard D. Mast Memorial Scholarship Award Committee reviewed the applicant’s financial need, academic performance, extracurricular activities, character and recommendations. The Committee was especially impressed with Kristina’s pursuits in the Project Lead the Way Engineering Program at NRHS. She took courses such as Introduction to Engineering Design, Engineering Design Development, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Honors Chemistry, Honors Algebra II-Trigonometry, AP Calculus and AP Physics, among other courses. Her and her team’s work on their reverse engineering project tested their and her mettle. The Committee also took notice of her decision to seek a degree in Environmental Science from the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Too few young women seek degrees in the STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Howard Mast himself earned an engineering degree from Virginia Tech.
Ms. Super also participated in many school activities. She was elected by her peers President of the NRHS Chapter of the National Honor Society, was an active member in the Beta Club, a member of the Student Council, selected as the Female Ambassador of NRHS, was NHRS Varsity Cheer Captain, and while doing all that and more was able to attain great academic success. Her community service has been extensive as well.
She is also a soprano singer in the Suffolk Presbyterian Choir and a participant in its Young Life Organization. In one of Ms. Super’s reference letter, the author, who has known Ms. Super for years and is himself the recipient of a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, stated that, “Without question, Kristina has the intellect, strength of character, leadership potential and ‘spark’ to thrive in any demanding college curriculum, and I should add, into postgraduate studies as well.” The Committee could not disagree with that assessment.
Ms. Super’s essay on Mr. Howard Mast was quite noteworthy. The Committee felt that she really understood what that giant of a man was all about. The Committee also believed that Mr. Mast would be proud indeed that Ms. Super was awarded the Scholarship bearing his name. Kristina will be an Honor Graduate and has been accepted and plans to attend Virginia Tech in the Fall. The $5,000 Scholarship award will be sent directly to Virginia Tech.
The Howard D. Mast Memorial Scholarship Award Committee said it was again able to double the normal $2,500 award to $5,000 in 2015 through the generous gift of Tom Bell of Atlanta who grew up in Suffolk and was one of the thousand or more young beneficiaries of Mr. Mast’s tennis and other programs, as were all members of the Award Committee. An anonymous donor has contributed $10,000 to double the normal $2,500 award to $5,000 for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Mast Scholarship awards.
(Pictured From left to right: James Blair of Suffolk, a stalwart supporter of the Mast Scholarship; Award Committee member Michelle Waller of Suffolk; Awardee Kristina Super and Robert Blair of Washington, DC, Chair of the Award and Fundraising Committees.)