For the third straight year, the BSU Foundation invited merit and need-based scholarship recipients, their families and scholarship donors to a Scholarship Appreciation Breakfast. The gathering, held this year on Sept. 19 in the BSU Gymnasium, has quickly become a major event on the fall calendar.
President Hanson and Dr. Martin Tadlock each spoke and shook the hands of every student. Two scholarship recipients talked about their own academic journeys, and after the program, many students were able to personally thank the donors who funded their scholarships.
A junior from Nevis, Samantha Wormley is majoring in business administration with an emphasis in management and entrepreneurship and a minor in computer information systems.
She arrived at BSU with an associate degree she earned online from Alexandria Technical and Community College. She is a member of the BSU Business Club and serves as networking officer for the Human Resource Management Club. Working at her parents’ fishing resort during the summer taught her the importance of listening to customers and understanding their needs.
In case there was any doubt about Wormley’s focus, she states it clearly: “Essentially, my ultimate goal would be to run a company,” she said. “I know that’s out there, but I like to dream big.”
Her gratitude for the scholarships she’s received is equally clear.
“Thank you for investing in my future,” Wormley wrote in a letter to Wayne and Beverly Thorson after receiving their business scholarship. “I will do my best to make the most of your generous investment.”
A sophomore from Fosston, Dusty Juve is majoring in engineering technology with an emphasis in manufacturing management and a minor in project management.
He is eager to diversify the experience he’s gained working for a construction company in Fosston and is seeking an internship in line with his goal of becoming a certified manufacturing engineer.
“I’ve been applying like crazy so I can finally get my foot in the door and start something in my field,” Juve said.
With encouragement from the Department of Technology, Art & Design, he applied for and received not only a John H. Warford Memorial Scholarship but also a Marvin Window & Doors Scholarship. Both were awarded through the BSU Foundation.
“People are willing to help pay for your way through college, all because they think you’re worth their time and money,” Juve said, “and that makes me want to work all that much harder.”
A senior from Bemidji, Jineane Williams is majoring in nursing with a dual minor in psychology and indigenous studies.
She is a Navajo Indian and would like to begin her career with the Indian Health Service, possibly in Cass Lake or Red Lake. If she stayed for at least two years, she would benefit from a loan repayment program.
Williams is already gaining experience by working as a certified personal care attendant for several youth clients in the Bemidji area, and she was preparing to job shadow with IHS nurses in Red Lake over winter break. This summer, she will join other BSU student nurses on a 20-day trip to South Africa.
Receiving a Joe & Jan Lueken American Indian Scholarship has reinforced her commitment.
“It really encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing and gave me motivation to work hard for what I want,” Williams said.
A senior from Brooklyn Park, Erik Nims is majoring in art & design with an emphasis on graphic design.
He is a first-generation college student who has been earning money and developing his design talents as a student worker in the BSU Office of Communications and Marketing since the spring 2015 semester. His work has included designed posters, brochures and advertising for clients ranging from Beaver Athletics to BSU Admissions.
Nims is a member of the Environmental Design Guild and in early December joined the student group on a trip to Chicago, where they visited exhibit and print design firms.
Receiving a Big Oaks Foundation Scholarship “just makes it a lot easier to pay the bills,” he said. “It’s given me the opportunity to stay in school.”
A senior from Cloquet, Jessie Battistini is majoring in social studies education with a minor in history. In May, she will become the first in her family to complete a four-year degree.
Battistini tried out majors in business and mass communication before she began pursuing her longtime dream of teaching. Working as a residence hall assistant gave her new confidence, she said.
“I always wanted to be a teacher,” Battistini said, “but I never thought I could. Then I decided, ‘I’m going to give it a try.’ And here I am.”
In addition to being a student worker for two academic departments, she writes for the Northern Student magazine, tutors other students and works off campus as a waitress. Last summer, she was a tutor for at-risk students in the Upward Bound program.
The Willie Stittsworth Scholarship she received makes her “so thankful,” Battistini said, because it meant not having to take out additional student loans this year.
“I’m paying for my schooling all by myself, and it gets spendy,” she said.
A freshman from Park Rapids, Bruce Wilmot is majoring in computer science.
He has gone from being home-schooled since kindergarten to living in a BSU residence hall and is enjoying having a roommate and gaining greater independence.
Although Wilmot said he hasn’t yet narrowed his career plans within his chosen field, he knows he’s always enjoyed and been fascinated by computers.
In addition to providing important financial help, he said receiving a George & Sandy Thelen Leadership Scholarship has made him be tougher on himself.
“Scholarships require you to maintain a certain level as a student,” he said, “and that’s a good incentive.”