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Indiana Academy grad Andrew Becker is named the 2011 Herbert Presidential Scholar for IU Northwest

Studying at Northwest campus has become a Becker family tradition

IU Northwest freshman computer science major Andrew Becker accepts a Dell laptop from Chancellor William J. Lowe during an Aug. 26 luncheon. Andrew was named the 2011 Herbert Presidential Scholar.

File Photo
IU Northwest freshman computer science major Andrew Becker accepts a Dell laptop from Chancellor William J. Lowe during an Aug. 26 luncheon. Andrew was named the 2011 Herbert Presidential Scholar.

Andrew Becker, this year’s Herbert Presidential Scholar for Indiana University Northwest, knew something about the campus before he decided to accept his full-ride scholarship to study computer science and performing arts. That’s because Becker, 18, of DeMotte, is the son of Senior Math Lecturer and IU Northwest alumnus Jon Becker, and the brother of fellow student Kelly Becker.

For the Becker household, IU Northwest is definitely all about family. But Andrew’s choice to attend his father’s alma mater was not a foregone conclusion. Initially, the 2011 graduate of the Muncie-based Indiana Academy of Science, Mathematics and Humanities considered studying engineering and was looking at Purdue.

But Andrew decided that computer science held more appeal for him, and his knowledge of and connection to IU helped to make the Northwest campus the right college choice for him. The Herbert Presidential Scholarship, which was awarded based on Andrew’s outstanding record of academic achievement and other merits, merely confirmed his wisdom of choice.

“I’d known all along that the IU system as a whole is a good school,” Andrew said during a recent Herbert Presidential Scholar luncheon, which is held each year for the scholarship recipient and his or her parents. “My older sister went to IU Northwest, and my dad attended here and works here. And they have a good program for what I want to major in.”

Andrew is a well-rounded and well-traveled addition to the IU Northwest campus. He plays guitar, has traveled extensively overseas, enjoys puzzles, likes to read and write, and makes time to volunteer. He also has a performance background in theater and plans to minor in performing arts at IU Northwest.

“I used to play soccer,” Andrew added. “I wasn’t very good at it, but it was fun. My teammates didn’t mind that I wasn’t very good.”

Andrew said that his career aspirations remain uncertain for now, and he didn’t rule out the possibility of adjusting his major if he discovers another discipline that suits him. Andrew noted that the sky is not necessarily the limit for his future.

“I’ve always wanted to work for NASA. It’s always been a dream of mine,” he said.

For now, Andrew Becker will focus on enjoying the college experience, making new friends, and living up to the academic reputation that earned him the Herbert Presidential Scholarship.

Andrew’s parents, Jon and Kate Becker, expressed enthusiasm for their son’s decision to join his sister, Kelly, a communication major, at IU Northwest.

“I am just happy that my kids are ready to go to college at this age,” said Jon, who admitted to having an “uninspired” start to his own college career at IU Northwest. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1988 and a master’s degree in 1996. He has taught full time at IU Northwest since ’96.

“I am thankful that (my kids) are enjoying school and being successful. A huge amount of the credit for that goes to my wife,” Jon said.

Kate and Jon have home-schooled all of their eight children, although Andrew eventually enrolled in the Indiana Academy. While Jon is teaching classes at IU Northwest, Kate is teaching their remaining five children at home. (While Andrew and Kelly are at IU Northwest, their eldest sibling, Jack, is attending college in Minnesota.)

“It’s just something we’ve always done,” Kate said. “It works for us.”

Kate said she is excited to know that her years of teaching have helped to prepare Andrew and her other children for successful academic careers.

“I am happy that Andrew is able to go to a good school and still be close to home,” she said


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Charles Sheid
Office of Marketing and Communications

Additional Article Photos

File Photo
Becker at high school graduation.