WMIA Educational Foundation Awards Nearly $40,000 in Scholarships

For a number of years, the Woodworking Machinery Industry Association’s (WMIA) Educational Foundation has awarded scholarships to those who want to study, and eventually pursue a career in, wood technology, machinery, and related fields. To date, the Foundation has provided nearly $350,000 to assist talented students with furthering their educational and career goals.

During this year’s Woodworking Industry Conference, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees selected 12 college students to receive a total of $18,500 in scholarships. This was a difficult decision, as a record number of scholarship applications were received, and a record number of female students, 14, applied for scholarships this year, with 9 receiving awards.

2016 also marked the first year of a scholarship “pilot program,” in which WMIA provided a fixed amount of scholarship funds to several schools, and they were able to determine how many scholarships to award, and in what amounts. Three schools—Pittsburg State University, Hennepin Technical College, and the New England School of Architectural Woodworking—participated in the pilot program, awarding a total of $18,000 in scholarships.

The Foundation’s total award in 2016 was $36,500.

The 2016 scholarship recipients are:

  • Anthony Ataee, Seattle, WA – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;
  • Curt Barnett, Manchester, CT – New England School of Architectural Woodworking;
  • Amanda Bjornstrom, Seattle, WA – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;
  • Estee Clifford, Seattle, WA – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;
  • Emily Culver, Danville, PA – Cranbrook Academy of Art;
  • Lacy Draper, Seattle, WA – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;
  • Chase Eller, Carrollton, TX – Pittsburg State University;
  • Sam Galliart, Hutchinson, KS – Pittsburg State University;
  • Jonathan Hamilton, Carrollton, TX – Pittsburg State University;
  • Brianna Kimek, Iselin, NJ – North Carolina State University;
  • Kathleen Montgomery, Kanata, ON, Canada – Conestoga College;
  • Madeline Newton, Garner, NC – North Carolina State University;
  • Daniel Norton, Ramsey, MN – Hennepin Technical College;
  • Emmanuel Onen, Kent, WA – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;
  • Jeffrey Ragle, Belchertown, MA – New England School of Architectural Woodworking;
  • Eli Rosenblum-Stephens, Brooklyn, NY – Burlington College;
  • Moriah Ross, Meade, KS – Pittsburg State University;
  • Yarrow Rotskoff, Seattle, WA – Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center;
  • Daniel St. John, Amherst, MA – Burlington College; and
  • Mark Welle, Milford, IA – Pittsburg State University

“In assessing the Scholarship Award applicants, WMIA’s Education Committee uses a blend of criteria to search for the winners.  Ranging from a student’s own expression of their passion to have a career in the wood industry, to their professor’s and employer’s references and opinions of the same, to their academic success, the evaluation is thorough and oriented to benefit the student winners and our industry alike,” remarked WMIA Education Committee Chairman Jason Howell, president of Weinig/HOLZ-HER. “This year’s scholarship applicant evaluations yielded awards totaling $36,500 to be dispersed to 20 high quality candidates. WMIA is very proud of this annual deliverable to our industry and with this year’s award it brings our Scholarship Foundation total to nearly $350,000!”

The WMIA Educational Foundation is supported by contributions from business groups and individuals in the woodworking industry, and the International Woodworking Fair (IWF). Contributions can be accepted at any time and in any amount, and are tax deductible. WMIA recognizes major contributors to the educational foundation with a special engraved plaque at the annual Woodworking Industry Conference. Major contributors are those persons, companies, or organizations contributing a one-time or total donation of $1,500 or more. For information on contributing to the WMIA Educational Foundation, contact Larry Hoffer atlhoffer@wmia.org.