West Point Cadets Named Knight-Hennessy Scholars

By West Point Public Affairs

Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2023 Time: 22:09 EST RELEASE NO: 12-23
Cadets Christopher Sowinski, Alma Cooper, and Pierce Garver, Class of 2023, are the latest members of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars, which includes 85 new scholars in its sixth cohort, representing 29 countries and 38 graduate degree programs.

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Stanford University recently announced that Class of 2023 Cadets, Alma Cooper, Pierce Garver, and Christopher Sowinski have been selected as  Knight-Hennessy Scholars, allowing for continued graduate study at Stanford University following graduation and commissioning on May 27. 

About the Scholars 

Alma Cooper is a mathematical science major from Mason, Mich. She focused her research on the Army’s recruiting crisis and the cost-benefit analysis of raising the allowed body mass index standards. Cooper has interned with the Center for Army Analysis and is committed to elevating the voices of underrepresented minorities through diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. She has traveled across the country with West Point’s Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity in STEM program, where she has led middle and high school students through ethical leadership discussions and taught STEM modules. Cooper serves as the President of Elevation, a club whose mission is to empower high-performing minority students as they pursue academic enrichment opportunities and key summer leadership and is the recipient of the 2023 Mathematical Association of America-Metro N.Y. Janet Liou-Mark Award. As a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, Cooper will earn a Master of Science in statistics-data science. 

“I am incredibly humbled to receive the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship. I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am to pursue an advanced degree while learning from inspiring leaders within the Knight-Hennessy community. Through this opportunity, I hope to positively impact the lives of underrepresented minorities through statistics and data science.” 

Pierce Garver is a space science major from Gilbert, Ariz. He is focused on understanding the universe in which we live through physics and improving the lives of others through space exploration. Garver interned with Lockheed Martin, assisting in developing Light Detection and Ranging imaging with digital holography. He is currently leading a research group studying the use of lasers in the space environment and will report his findings to senior Space and Missile Defense Command leadership. Garver is an All American on the West Point Pistol team and recipient of the West Point Physics and Nuclear Engineering department’s Johnson Analytics Award for excellence in astronautics. He will continue pursuing his passion for space exploration by studying aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University.  

“I will have the opportunity to share ideas and learn with amazing people from across the world. The Knight-Hennessy cohort is the perfect next step in my leader development experience. I cannot wait to continue my academic and character development in support of our nation and the international community.” 

Christopher Sowinski is a mechanical engineering major and aeronautical engineering minor from Allen, Texas. Sowinski interned with the experimental test pilots of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala. He focused his research efforts on structural health monitoring via sensor implementation and modeling within aeronautical engineering. Sowinski participated in the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition and was the Regimental Sandhurst Sergeant Major. As a Knight-Hennessy scholar, he will pursue a Master of Science in aeronautics and astronautics. He will continue researching safety monitoring technology in high-speed aircraft and other dynamic systems. 

“It is an honor and a privilege to even be among the Knight-Hennessy cohort. The intelligence, character, and determination I have seen within this group has gone above what I thought to be possible. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity and resources Knight-Hennessy provides me with to spread my ideas throughout different fields of study and the world. I hope, through this opportunity, I can improve the safety and speed of aeronautical travel, as well as other fields, through sensor implementation.”  

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, the largest fully endowed scholarship program in the world, is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. The program annually identifies a group of up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment to receive full funding to pursue a wide-ranging graduate education at Stanford, with the goal of developing a new generation of global leaders.   

About West Point  

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant—to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U. S. Army. For more information, go to www.westpoint.edu.