S&T’s Renaissance Student Award goes to Reece Watson

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On May 9, 2024

Reece Watson, center, earned the 2024 Renaissance Student Award at Missouri S&T. Photo by Andrew Layton, Missouri S&T.

Reece Watson, a senior in computer science and computer engineering from Edwardsville, Illinois, has been named Missouri S&T’s Renaissance Student for 2024. Watson received the award, which included a $1,000 prize, on Thursday, May 2, at a ceremony hosted by the arts, languages, and philosophy department.

This award is presented each year to a senior student who exhibits the qualities of a “Renaissance” person — someone who excels in multiple intellectual or artistic disciplines. The most famous example is Leonardo Da Vinci, who was a painter, sculptor, musician, mathematician, inventor and writer.

“Throughout his years at the university, Reece has proven to be a very bright and talented musician as well as an indispensable member of the band program,” says nominator Dr. David Samson, assistant professor of music at Missouri S&T. “Reece has participated in just about every instrumental ensemble that we offer and has even directed several student ensembles.”

Watson is a past president of Tau Beta Sigma – the National Honorary Band Sorority, Theta Xi Fraternity, and the S&T Fencing Team. He was awarded S&T’s Music Program Student of the Year award in 2023 and, in that same year, earned the Tau Beta Sigma Midwest District American Beauty Red Rose Award. Watson is on the S&T Dean’s List, is an Eagle Scout and is minoring in music at S&T.

“As long as I have known him, Reece Watson has been dedicated to a number of noble endeavors, including the S&T Band program, academic success, and a desire to help others around him,” says nominator Lukas Tosello, a 2023 mechanical engineering alumnus of Missouri S&T. “Reece is always there to offer advice, as well as keep younger band members advised on correct decisions.”

The runner-up Renaissance Student is Megan Baris, a senior in civil engineering from Chesterfield, Missouri. Baris is minoring in theater and engineering management, served as secretary for the S&T Astronomical Research Society, is an active member of Miner Theatre Guild and the Perfect 10 Improv group at S&T, and was a member of Student Council and the Performing Arts Council. She is also a member of Kappa Delta.

“Megan represents the ideal undergraduate student at this school, achieving success in her STEM classes while making time to delve into the performing arts,” says Taylor Gruenloh, assistant teaching professor of theater at Missouri S&T. “Megan will leave a lasting impression here in the performing arts section of the arts, languages, and philosophy department.”

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu

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