FARMINGTON HILLS – Noah Zaatar of Farmington Hills and Knollwood Country Club, and Garrett Sarvello of Clawson and Birmingham Country Club, have been selected as the 2021 winners of the James D. Standish Jr. Award by the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM).
Zaatar is the winner from the Evans Scholar chapter at the University of Michigan, and Sarvello is the winner from Michigan State University. The award, established by the GAM’s Executive Committee in 1968, each year honors the outstanding Evans Scholar upperclassman at Michigan and Michigan State based on scholarship and leadership in chapter affairs. They will have their names inscribed on the permanent plaques in the chapter houses and receive replica plaques.
Zaatar, who grew up about one mile from Knollwood CC and is a graduate of North Farmington High School, has majored in mechanical engineering at Michigan. He was elected as administrative vice-president in 2019 and as chapter president in 2020. He has also been selected to serve as the graduate resident advisor at the Michigan Evans Scholar House next year. He will graduate in May and begin his Master’s degree studies in industrial and operations engineering in the fall.
“At 18 years old, it was hard to feel anything but grateful for receiving the Evans Scholarship,” he said. “I knew that my hard work warranted the award, but it still seemed surreal to me. After nearly four years in the scholarship house, I am proud to be recognized amongst my peers as a leader, and I cannot think of a better ending to my time in the house. I am so proud and thankful.”
Sarvello, a graduate of Clawson High School, is a hospitality business major at Michigan State. He was elected president of the MSU Evans Scholar Chapter in consecutive years (2019, 2020). He has been selected to serve as the resident advisor at the MSU house next year. He will graduate in December and plans to purse a career in the hospitality field.
“Looking back at the past winners from our house, they have always been good leaders and people I respected,” he said. “To get the award after them means a lot. Being an Evans Scholar gave me the ability to go to school without worrying about the extreme costs. I have also made some of the best friends in my life.”
Zaatar, the son of Habib and Carrie Zaatar, is one of three children in his family. He said his mother attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and lived next door to the Evans Scholar house on that campus. That led to him pursuing the path through being a caddie, and he said the scholarship experience has given him the perspective of a leader.
“People come from all walks of life to live in this house, and it takes patience and integrity to succeed in this house, and I have developed these two qualities in this house,” he said. “I will be pursuing a Master's degree in industrial engineering and target the consulting industry. Consulting is all about problem solving and communicating, and I grew up loving to do both of these things.”
Sarvello, the son of Scott and Lisa Sarvello, has an older brother Cody, who was also an Evans Scholar, and two younger sisters. He said being in the MSU house made the college experience easier.
“We have such a strong alumni base and I have met so many people that I know the scholarship will continue to impact me positively going forward,” he said.
Through MSU he has started on his career path and he said being an Evans Scholar has helped prepare him for the road ahead.
“I’ve worked in resorts and have an internship coming up at Penn National Gaming at their Hollywood Casino location in West Virginia,” he said. “I want to go into casino/resort management. I’ve have enjoyed my work experience and have always been a people person, so a career dealing with people all day is a good fit for me.”
-Greg Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org