This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Northwest Missouri State University

Student Spotlight

Feb. 23, 2017

Two Missouri Academy students named National Merit finalists

Gordon Fang

Gordon Fang

Randall Zane Porter

Randall Zane Porter

Two students attending Northwest Missouri State University’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing are among the finalists in the 62nd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  

Gordon Fang of Blue Springs, Missouri, and Randall Zane Porter of Bowling Green, Missouri, made the list of 15,000 academically talented high school seniors.

National Merit finalists were selected from an initial 1.6 million students who took the qualifying test, known as the PSAT, last year. Some 7,500 students will be selected as National Merit Scholarship winners and receive a total of about $33 million in assistance. National Merit is expected to begin mailing scholarship offers to winners next month.

“We congratulate Gordon and Zane for reaching these heights and being recognized this way,” Missouri Academy Dean Dr. Cleo Samudzi said. “This will likely mean additional scholarship money as they move on to complete their baccalaureate degree programs at their chosen colleges and universities.”

Dr. Michael Steiner, associate provost of undergraduate studies and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, commended Missouri Academy staff for their work to support student success.

“The National Merit Scholars process is a rigorous system to identify students who have achieved extraordinary success,” Steiner said. “It takes academic, social and logistical support by many people to nurture this kind of achievement.”


About the National Merit Scholarship program

The non-profit National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) was established in 1955 to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by about 420 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Students in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which serves as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, included the highest scoring entrants in each state.

To become a finalist, qualifying students and their high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the student’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. Students must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

National Merit scholars are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference. For more information about the competition, visit


About the Missouri Academy

Founded at Northwest in 2000, the Missouri Academy replaces the junior and senior years of high school for its students. Missouri Academy students enroll in the same classes as Northwest’s traditional students and are held to the same academic expectations while living, socializing and studying in a learning community of peers. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates earn a high school diploma and associate of science degree. For more information about the Missouri Academy, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468