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CSU-Pueblo Announces 2016 Class of Kane Scholars

Release Date: April 14, 2016

Cora Zaletel

Executive Director, External Affairs

Colorado State University-Pueblo


Press Release

PUEBLO - Eight high-achieving students from Pueblo County high schools have been selected to receive the prominent Kane Family Foundation Scholarship at Colorado State University-Pueblo. The CSU-Pueblo Foundation announced today the names of the eight students who comprise the 2016 Kane Family Foundation scholars. The graduating 2012 Kane class and the incoming 2016 Kane students will be honored at a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 in the Occhiato University Center Hearthwell Lounge.

Students were selected based on their high school academic record, written essays, and a competitive two-tier interview process. The Kane Scholarship covers the recipients' tuition, book expenses, and mandatory fees in pursuit of a four-year bachelor's degree.

The 2016 CSU-Pueblo Kane Scholars are: Justin Bayer (East), Lea Cassidy (Pueblo West), Cameron Collins (Centennial), Kaitlin Diodosio (SEBS), Kobe Eames (Centennial), Wesley Hermes (Pueblo West), Sophia Montoya (South), and Christopher Toomey (South).

Justin Bayer
Bayer will graduate from East High School second in his class with an impressive 5.0 grade point average. Bayer will study civil engineering technology at CSU-Pueblo and plans to eventually earn a master's degree. He is an active member of National Honor Society, FBLA, MEChA, FRESH Club, DECA and coordinated a "no texting and driving" campaign. Committed to the community, Bayer continues to volunteer at the Sangre de Cristo Hospice Center, where he helps council grief-stricken children deal with the loss of a family member.

Lea Cassidy
Cassidy will pursue a degree in biomedical sciences at CSU-Pueblo this fall, and upon graduation, attend medical school. She will graduate from Pueblo West High School with a 4.32 grade point average. Throughout high school, she has enrolled in advanced placement courses, and been an active member of the Pueblo West High School Speech and Debate Team and National Honor Society. Additionally, Cassidy earned state qualifications for DECA and History Day. Passionate about helping others, Cassidy volunteers as a lector with her church and traveled on a medical mission trip to Gonaives, Haiti.

Cameron Collins
Collins will graduate from Centennial High School and then study English and/or biology with a pre-medical emphasis at CSU-Pueblo. Committed to helping others, Collins aspires to become a doctor. He is a high-achieving individual both in and out of the classroom. Collins will graduate with a 4.3 grade point average. A DECA regional champion, he is actively involved in National Honor Society, and Boys State. Passionate about sports and community service, Collins participates in track, cross country, wrestling and volunteers at Somerlid Elementary/Heroes Academy and the Colorado State Fair.

Kaitlin Diodosio
Diodosio will pursue a chemistry degree with a pre-medical emphasis at CSU-Pueblo this fall in preparation for a career in medical neurology. Diodosio will graduate as salutatorian from the School of Engineering and Biomedical Sciences with a 4.33 grade point average. Her academic honors include Honor Roll, National Honor Society of High School Scholars, and the UCCS Chancellor's Award. Active in extracurricular activities, Diodosio participates in 4-H Club, rodeo/equestrian events, and is a Southern Colorado Horseshow Grand Champion.

Kobe Eames
Eames will enter CSU-Pueblo as a double-major in chemistry and biology with a pre-medical emphasis. Eames is a four-year academic letter recipient and will graduate with a 4.3 grade point average from Centennial High School. He is active in Student Government, National Honor Society, and Spanish National Honor Society. Involved with school clubs and sports, Eames participates in DECA, FRESH Club, Annual Staff, and is the cheerleading captain for the varsity cheerleading team.

Wesley Hermes
Following his passion for technology, sound, and the physics behind how sound travels, Hermes plans to attend CSU-Pueblo as an engineering major with an emphasis in mechatronics. He will graduate from Pueblo West High School but is dually enrolled at Pueblo Community College, where he has received President's and Dean's List recognition. He is active in DECA, National Honor Society, and National History Day. At National History Day, he received first place recognition at regionals. Dedicated to helping the Pueblo community, he volunteers as an I.T. specialist at his local church and commits many hours at the P.A.W.S animal shelter.

Sophia Montoya
Montoya dreams of becoming an environmental conservationist and will study biology at CSU-Pueblo upon graduation from South High School. She is a member of Link Crew, French Club, Newman Club, and is treasurer of National Honor Society as well as Lieutenant Governor for Southern Colorado Region 12 Key Club. Montoya received the Superintendent's Writing Award, Junior Achievement Award, and participated in Girl's State and the Congress of Future Medical Leaders. A dedicated athlete, Montoya is the team captain for both the South High School varsity swimming and golf teams.

Christopher Toomey
Despite dealing with medical challenges, Toomey has embraced his education to graduate within the top 10 percent of his class from South High School. Toomey is passionate about architecture and said, "After taking a drafting CAD class, I've begun to look at architecture in an entirely different light, and understanding all the work behind the design. I genuinely enjoy knowing what goes into the world around me." This passion will lead Toomey to pursue an engineering degree at CSU-Pueblo in the fall and ultimately pursue a career in renewable energy technology. In high school, Toomey has participated in LEGOS, German Club, National Honor Society, DECA, and FBLA.

The Kane scholarship program is made possible by the Kane Family Foundation, a charitable institute of the late Alexander "Andy" and Wanden Mathews Kane. Andy Kane, a Fountain native and business-tycoon, and his wife Wanden, a two-time mayor of Fountain, operated the Kane ranch near Williams Creek. During their lifetimes, the Kanes assisted many young people with the financing of their education and also donated to the further exploration of drug and alcohol addiction research. Before his death, Kane established the Kane Family Foundation and directed the Foundation to provide funds for tuition and books for eligible students.

For more information, please contact Sammi Mutz, CSU-Pueblo Foundation Marketing and Stewardship Specialist, at 719.549.2469 or

The CSU-Pueblo Foundation was created in 1954 to solicit, receive, invest, and disburse private gifts for Colorado State University-Pueblo and exists solely for the benefit of Colorado State University-Pueblo and its students.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.

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