Prosise receives ETHS scholarship

Abigail Prosise, Farragut High School Class of 2016 graduate, has received a $2,000 East Tennessee History Day Business and Technology Scholarship for her project, “From Atoms to Armstrong.”

“I felt like my hard work had paid off,” Prosise, daughter of Jeff and Lori Prosise of Farragut, said. “I began working on my project in August [2015] as a member of the Humanities Aca-demy at Farragut High School. Advancing in the competition is an honor.”

Prosise plans to use the scholarship for tuition and fees at The University of Tennessee, where she is majoring in computer science in the College of Engin-eering.

Prosise’s project won first place in the East Tennessee History Day Senior Division Website Category. She advanced to the Tennessee History Day competition, where she won second place.

Prosise said winning the scholarship was different, as it would benefit her long after the competition. After she won the district competition, she said she applied for the Jenny and Randy Boyd East Tennessee Business and Technology Scholarship, to which any East Tennessee History Day participant may apply.

“When I found out I won the scholarship, my first reaction was hugging my parents,” she said. “They always supported and en-couraged me to pursue difficult tasks.

“It is a blessing to win the competition and the scholarship be-cause it brings honor to my wonderful teacher, Angela Breeding, school, county and publicity to the NHD program at my school.

“I know my passion for history will make me a better person because learning about the past helps all of us make better decisions about the future,” she said.

Prosise’s senior individual website examined connections, collaborations and resulting technological achievements of two opposing groups, Jewish physicists and Nazi rocketeers, who were brought to America for scientific research after World War II.

“I knew from the outset I wanted to research a topic based in World War II,” Prosise said.

“When I learned about Opera-tion Paperclip, the top-secret government program that smuggled Nazi rocketeers into the United States, I was fascinated.

“I dug deeper into the impact those Nazis had in America and realized that they not only were the foundation for NASA but at one point, [they] collaborated with the Jewish physicists who escaped from Nazi Europe and later constructed the atomic bomb,” she said.

“I had discovered some things about the history of technology in America that few historians knew about — and I could not wait to share it.”

Prosise chose the website as her medium because her topic pulled together a myriad of complicated stories.

“With a website, I could have an unlimited number of pages to clearly organize my information,” she said.

East Tennessee Historical Society awarded three scholarships to students who participated in the East Tennessee History Day competition, a division of National History Day presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society.

The other two scholarships went to Noah Dunlap of L & N STEM Academy in Knoxville and Kendall Williamson of Cosby High School.

Dunlap won first place for a group exhibit, “The 1982 World’s Fair: Knoxville’s Rise to Prom-inence” while Williamson won second place for a senior individual documentary, “A Pioneer in the Sky: Kiffin Rockwell.”

The scholarships were made possible annually through donations of Randy and Jenny Boyd. Randy is a former ETHS board member, and Jenny serves on ETHS board of directors.

The scholarships include two East Tennessee History Day Scholarships for outstanding primary source research on East Tennessee topics and the East Tennessee History Day Business and Technology Scholarship for outstanding primary source research on a business and/or technology topic.