Warm-hearted whiz kid

Name: Johanna Smith

Major: Engineering

Hometown: Somerset, Wis.

Interesting factoid: Has been a Girl Scout for 13 years

Food she can’t do without: Peanut butter. She eats one peanut butter sandwich almost every day.

Scholarship awarded: Steven C. Beering Scholarship

Why Purdue? Choosing Purdue was a no-brainer. "Purdue is such a friendly place. When I came to visit, every time I held a map on campus, someone asked if I needed to go someplace. People are so friendly and helpful, it really felt like home."

Hope for the future: "I definitely want to do my master’s in chemical engineering and then work in research and development to make new products."

Straight A’s all the way: Johanna’s 4.147 GPA in high school was the highest possible, and it put her at the top of her graduating class. Being exceptional appears to be in her genes. "My brother, who is six years older than I am, always brought home A’s. My sister is also exceptionally gifted creatively. They tried their best, and looking at them, so did I."

A proud math whiz: "I entered the state mathlete contest. I was the only girl in my team and there were over 180 people competing. I took third place in all of Wisconsin!"

Raised to care: Johanna’s grandmother took her to Chile when she was in eighth grade. While visiting an orphanage there, her heart went out to children in need of bedding, so she decided to help. "I started this program called Warm Hearts, Warm Toes. We send handmade quilts to the girls’ orphanage in Chile. I got 42 quilts sent already!"

By Kinnari Sejpal