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TCA Awards 19 College Scholarships
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) is proud to announce that it will provide college scholarships to 19 deserving students for the 2010-11 school year.
“It is wonderful to be a part of this great program that the TCA maintains for its members,” said Tom McLeod, chairman of TCA’s Scholarship Fund and president of McLeod Software Corporation of Birmingham, Alabama. “TCA’s scholarships will go a long way toward helping some of trucking’s next generation achieve their dreams. By helping individuals and families who have dedicated their careers to the trucking industry, we know that many will be able to make an even stronger contribution in return."
As per TCA’s requirements, each scholarship recipient will be a college student attending an accredited four-year college or university, and is either the child, grandchild, or spouse of an employee, or an employee of a TCA member company, or the child, grandchild, or spouse of an independent contractor or an independent contractor affiliated with a TCA member. In addition, each scholarship recipient has shown financial need, maintained full-time student status, and has demonstrated that he or she is an individual of high character and integrity.
The following students will receive TCA scholarships:
Katie Watson, West Lafayette, Indiana
Watson, a returning scholarship winner, will graduate in December 2011 with a degree in elementary education from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Since her birth, she has been exposed to the trucking industry through her father’s employment at Wabash Valley Transportation, where he is general manager. She credits his job and the industry for teaching her the values of communication, leadership, hard work, and never giving up until you have done your best.
Amy Colm, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania
Colm, a returning scholarship winner, began working for Jagtrux in 2007 as a data entry clerk and was later promoted to her current position of office administrator. She handles accounts payable, payroll, and human resources, including benefits, for this family-owned carrier. She has found more fulfillment and happiness working for the trucking industry than in any other job she has held in the past. As a rising senior at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, she is a business management major with an emphasis on accounting and plans to add a history minor as well as a second major in anthropology. After graduation, she would love to continue working in the trucking industry.
Christopher Nye, Superior, Wisconsin
Nye, a returning scholarship winner, began his trucking career as a child by accompanying his father on annual coast-to-coast truck trips. Since 1999, he has driven summers for A-1 Movers, Inc., Atlas Van Lines, increasing his status to full-time in 2007. A transportation and logistics management major, as well as the current vice president of the Transportation and Logistics Club at the University of Wisconsin in Superior, Wisconsin, Nye will be a senior in the fall.
David Thompson, Horn Lake, Michigan
Thompson is a rising senior at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee, where he has been on the dean’s list every semester. He is majoring in business administration with a concentration in management. After graduation, he plans to earn his MBA and become Six Sigma certified so he can become a quality engineer. Thompson is currently interning at the Memphis Distribution Center of Cummins, Inc., where he works in the quality department.
Megan Knight, Bondurant, Iowa
Knight, a rising sophomore at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, is majoring in biology with a pre-medical concentration. Eventually, she hopes to attend medical school for general medicine or to become a physician’s assistant. She is particularly interested in heart surgery. She would like to practice in Iowa to help reduce the current doctor shortage that exists in the state, mainly in rural areas. Her connection to the trucking industry stems from her father, who has worked as a professional truck driver for many years.
Anna Kreis, Morengo, Iowa
Kreis attends Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska, where she will be a senior this fall. She is studying middle level education (grades 4-9) and will receive a Lutheran Teaching Degree (LTD) with endorsements in language arts and social sciences. She also has a K-12 endorsement in English Language Learners (ELL). While her mother has been employed by Don Hummer Trucking for nearly a decade, Kreis just finished her own summer employment with the company, which included answering phone calls and running errands in the mechanics shop.
Kaitlyn Killian, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Killian, a rising sophomore, is studying communications and media studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. She would like to continue her studies in graduate school after receiving her undergraduate degree. Throughout her entire life, Killian has watched as her father has worked in various capacities in the trucking industry, including professional driver, customer service, operations and sales. “As a student,” she says, “I have modeled myself after my dad’s hard work and dedication. … He [has shown me] how to live life with respect and hard work, the same qualities he learned from working in the trucking business for so long.”
Laura Konkol, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
This fall, Konkol will be a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. She is majoring in sociology with a certificate in criminal justice, but is also exploring her options for a possible double major. She hopes to create a career for herself in the court system, where she plans to help the underprivileged. Konkol credits the trucking industry for giving her father the financial means to support his three children and send them all to college. She also feels that her father’s trucking community has taught her about compassion and altruism, as she has “seen firsthand how selfless one has to be to be on the road all the time.”
Mary Kooiker, Wayland, Michigan
As a child, Kooiker resented all the time her father spent away from his family driving trucks. However, with her brother also in the business, as well as her husband, she has come to respect and love the industry. She now views trucking as a lifestyle she is proud to be part of. In the fall, she will be starting as a freshman at Liberty University’s Online Academy, studying psychology. She hopes to eventually open a non-profit home for children and teens who are refugees or have been trafficked and need to be rehabilitated in order to live a wholesome, successful life.
Carl Lawhon, Kansas City, Missouri
Lawhon has exhibited a keen interest in all things motorized since his earliest childhood days, when he would use his free time in kindergarten to build things out of Legos. By high school, he was designing electric vehicles and robots, and winning or placing in many engineering competitions, including being named one of 300 national semi-finalists in the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search. So it’s fitting that this fall he will begin studying mechanical engineering as a freshman at Stanford University in Stanford, California. After graduation, he hopes to work in automotive technology.
Kathryn Mitchell, Yorkville, Illinois
This fall, Mitchell will be entering West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, as a freshman, studying forensic and investigative science. She dreams of working for the FBI as an agent or investigator because the FBI’s core values of compassion, fairness and personal integrity are values that she strives to achieve every day. Mitchell’s connection to the trucking industry comes from her father, who, at age 51, began a new career as a truck driver this year. He decided on truck driving school after more than two years of unemployment. “When things looked bad, this new career made things look better,” says Mitchell. “It gave [my family] hope for the future.”
Matthew Reed, Wadsworth, Ohio
This fall, Reed will be a freshman studying accounting and/or media communications at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pennsylvania. His father has been working in the trucking industry/truck stops ever since his first college internship 29 years ago. “I was influenced by [my father’s] career and have an appreciation for the people who support the truckers through the products and services so vital to helping the truckers on their journeys,” says Reed. “Through my father's career, [I’ve come to] greatly appreciate the vital role [trucking] has in our economy.” Making a pun on where his father works, he continues: “This is my view from where the truck stops.”
Rachel Sand, Farmington, Minnesota
In the fall, Sand will begin studying physical therapy as a freshman at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her goal is to eventually complete the physical therapy doctorate program and find a job as a physical therapist in the Midwest. Through her truck driving father, Sand has learned that people who work in transportation tend to be dedicated, hard-working individuals. “As a physical therapist, I want to help rehabilitate those people that work hard, like truck drivers,” she says. “The wear and tear that comes along with delivering goods to others, sitting in one position for a long period of time, and lifting heavy loads is the price they pay for doing a very important job. The people of the transportation industry put a great amount of effort and time in delivering goods that we take for granted.”
Emily Sigwarth, Holy Cross, Iowa
Sigwarth is a rising junior at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is majoring in marketing and is also working on a certification in international business communications. She hopes to eventually join a corporation in a sales or management position. Her father has worked at Cottingham and Butler, an insurance services firm that specializes in managing the risks of truckload carriers, for the past 19 years.
Abigail Smith, North English, Iowa
A student at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Smith will be a senior this fall. She is studying elementary education. After graduation, she hopes to find a position teaching second or third grade at a smaller school in the Logan, Utah area. Smith’s mother is the accounting manager at Don Hummer Trucking.
Joanna Stawarz, Mt. Prospect, Illinois
Stawarz is a rising sophomore at Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. She is majoring in nursing and hopes to work at a hospital after graduation. A member of the Student Nurses Association (NSA), she volunteers two hours a week at Instituto del Progreso Latino, helping Spanish-speaking adults with English and aiding them in preparation for the United States citizenship test. Her father has been a truck driver since she was a young girl.
Brandon Toyebo, Springfield, Missouri
Toyebo, a rising junior, studies dental hygiene at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He has made the dean’s list every semester and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. After graduation, he hopes to work in public health, servicing the underprivileged and less fortunate populations of our society. His mother has worked at Prime, Inc., for more than 20 years, and he credits the industry as a major source for his family’s financial stability and prosperity.
Michael Whipkey, Hope, Arkansas
In the fall, Whipkey will begin his freshman year at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He is the first person in his family to attend college and will be studying biology. He hopes to become a pharmacist someday. His mother – a single parent – has been working at Fikes Truck Line since 2001. “The people in [my mom’s] line of work have become our ‘extended family’,” he says. “If someone is struggling, you can bet a truck driver or an employee from Fikes will lend a hand. To me, that is amazing to see, and my mom is fortunate to be among these people every day.”
Austin Wilt, Liberty, Missouri
Wilt is going to be a freshman at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, this fall. He is studying youth ministry and hopes to someday get a job as a youth pastor at a church. Because of his father’s employment with American Central Transport – he manages the human resources, driver recruiting and safety departments – Wilt has grown from a small boy who just thought toy trucks were cool to an adult who recognizes the human side of the business. He’s seen his father counsel drivers and office support staff who are dealing with marital, health, financial and other stressful situations and has come to appreciate what these individuals give up in order to keep America’s freight moving.
Click here to meet the students.