2022 Scholarship Winners

Earlier this year, WMIA’s Educational Foundation awarded a total of $24,400 in scholarships to help 23 college students continue their education in the woodworking industry.

Meet this year’s recipients:

 

 

Alyssa Buelow, Madison, WI
Madison Area Technical College

Alyssa took many engineering-based classes at Arrowhead High School and went on to Madison Area Technical College where she received her diploma in Cabinetmaking and Millwork.  Alyssa is now working at Prestwick Golf Group working her way up to a lead position. Alyssa also has a small business making custom cabinets and furniture.

 

Brandon Leary, Fairfax, VT
Vermont Woodworking School

Brandon is currently a second-year student at the Vermont Woodworking School. He changed careers after working in the fitness industry for 10 years. Starting with outdoor furniture and local woodworking classes, he could not resist the call to design and build with his own hands. He is working for both the school and a small custom fine furniture company local to Vermont as he attends classes. After graduation, Brandon seeks to start his business in a collective workspace provided by the school. 


  

Calla Bilhorn, Fairfax, VT
Vermont Woodworking School

Calla is entering her second year at the Vermont Woodworking School, where she is studying fine woodworking and furniture design. She comes from an artistic background, possessing a B.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Wisconsin - Parkside and over 7 years of experience working as a graphic designer, photographer, and illustrator. Craving a new challenge and a more hands-on art form, she decided to pursue a new career in woodworking in 2021, leaving her home state of Wisconsin to study in Vermont. This summer, she is excited to be working as a Workshop Assistant at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine. Calla hopes to eventually start her own shop designing and building custom furniture, as well as pursue her interest in fine woodcarving and marquetry.

Charline Rigault
École Nationale du Meuble et de L’Ébénisterie (ENME)

Born in France, Charline moved to Canada in 2016 after getting a Master's Degree in Sociology. At the beginning of her journey in America, she was not planning to get into the skilled trade of woodworking. But she listened to her heart and found her groove in 2019 when she registered for the work/study alternating program at ENME Montreal Campus. She has already worked for a few months in a wooden furniture company and her goal is to work in Architectural Millwork. Charline likes to be involved from the design aspect, process through the factory, and the onsite installation. She will be graduating in Spring 2023. Charline has a lot of dreams and ambitions, and one of them is maybe to start her own business eventually. 

 

Claire Koettker, Overland Park, KS
Pittsburg State University

Claire is originally from Overland Park, KS. Claire will be a junior at Pittsburg State University in August of 2022 and she is majoring in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology. Outside of class, Claire was nominated by her peers to be the president of the Society of Architectural Woodworkers at PSU and is also the treasurer, as well as a player, on the women’s rugby club at Pittsburg State. This summer Claire is working for 1220 Exhibits based out of Nashville, Tennessee. Claire is very excited about her future at PSU and looks forward to her career in this industry.

 

Connor Jennings, Pittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University

Connor was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Connor moved to Pittsburg Kansas to study Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology and has also completed a minor in business administration. After his senior year, he plans to stay and get his master's degree in business administration. Connor is currently working at a high-end residential millwork company called Watson Mills and Design in Colorado. Connor hopes to one day open his own millwork company!

 

Daniel Wilmus, Brooklyn Park, MN
Hennepin Technical College

Daniel has been interested in woodworking since he was young and took a variety of wood classes in high school. Daniel has a small woodshop at home where he designs and builds his own furniture and cabinets. Some of the wood he uses is from a huge walnut tree that he milled up himself. The tree was his grandfather’s, who wanted Daniel to be able to use the wood to create his art. Recently, he also built a tiny house to practice a variety of trade skills. Daniel started my higher education at a State University in Real Estate Development, however, online college due to the pandemic turned out not to be a good fit for him. His high school shop teacher encouraged Daniel to use his skills and sense of design to explore a tech program. This turned out to be a great decision for him as he loves the hands-on training and learns something new every day from his instructors. He will complete his degree in Cabinet Making & Wood Product Design from Hennepin Technical College in May 2023. He is currently working at a high-end design cabinet shop learning all the details of a small business.  

 

Dawson Essary, Topeka, KS
Pittsburg State University

Dawson is from Topeka, KS where he became interested in woodworking from his high school shop class. Dawson is heading into his senior year at Pittsburg State University in the fall. He is majoring in Architectural Manufacturing, Management, and Technology (AMMT) while minoring in Spanish. In the next school year, Dawson will serve as the Vice President of our student organization S.A.W. Club. Dawson has completed two summer internships in previous years and will spend this summer in Nashville, TN as an intern for 1220 Exhibits learning about a niche of the industry that he has not yet seen. 

 

Emma Reamer, Boone, NC
Appalachian State University  

Emma Reamer is an upcoming Senior at Appalachian State University’s Furniture Design program. Emma did not have much experience with woodworking prior to being in the program but is now passionate about it. After working in her program’s woodshop she has gained valuable skills and an appreciation for the skill it takes to produce high-quality pieces. After graduating she wants to enter the furniture industry and continue her passion for furniture. She wants to help develop beautiful and sustainable furniture pieces that emphasize the use of local wood. She would love to have her own woodshop on the side though to continue learning woodworking skills. 

 

Jacob Graff, Corpus Christi, TX
Pittsburg State University

Jacob is going into his sophomore year of college and pursuing a degree in Wood Product Manufacturing through PSU's Architectural Manufacturing Management Technology program. He has a skill and passion for woodworking, manufacturing, and architectural drafting and will be continuing his education in more and more advanced courses in the coming years. Jacob is also very involved in the student-led organization, "Society of Architectural Woodworkers", or "SAW Club". He has been recognized as a distinguished member every semester and has recently been elected as an officer for the coming school year. Jacob will spend his summer at an internship in Oklahoma City for some real-world and hands-on experience in the architectural manufacturing industry.

 

Joseph Ritenour, Adrian, MI
Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute

Joe has always enjoyed working with his hands and creating something from an idea.  After going to historical sites like Monticello and Mount Vernon with his family, he was inspired by the design and craftsmanship of the furniture and wished to recreate it.  He has just graduated high school and throughout the school year worked on numerous projects such as chairs and tables. Joe is currently employed at Bohl Crane in Toledo, Ohio, and hopes to start his own furniture company specializing in classic designs and styles along with custom work.  He has been accepted into the Furniture Making and Wood Design program at Sam Beauford Woodworking Institute and will start in the fall.   

 

Kobee Hackman, Las Vegas, NV

Utah Valley University

Kobee Hackman is a Sophomore at Utah Valley University where he is studying Cabinetry and Architectural Woodworking. Kobee grew up in Las Vegas with his three brothers and always had a passion for building and creating. While in high school he was introduced to woodworking by his older brother. He went on to take 4 years of high school woodshop and earned his CTE certificate in woodworking. He plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in tech Management after finishing his associate's in Cabinetry. He is currently interning at JLR Contractors over the summer.

Krystabella Gangnon
École Nationale du Meuble et de L’Ébénisterie (ENME)

Krystabella started her career in biomedical sales before learning about woodworking and registering for the ENME program in 2021. She currently works part-time at a wood casket company where she is a part of the ripping and cutting team. This position teaches her about grading lumber and how to operate top-class production equipment. In April 2022, she was the only first-year student to participate in the ENME annual student showing. Her ambition is always driving her to take her skills to the next level!

Marcus Lukanen, Brooklyn Park, MN
Hennepin Technical College

Marcus Lukanen recently completed his first year in the cabinetry program at Hennepin Techincal College. Marcus completed many projects throughout high school, which sparked his interest in the woodworking industry. Marcus enjoys woodworking because it is hands-on. 


 

Mason Hagge, Kansas City, KS
Pittsburg State University

Mason Hagge was born and raised in Kansas City, KS. Mason grew up enjoying working with his hands and has always enjoyed crafts. When Mason was in high school he realized how much he liked helping others learn, and decided to teach. Because of his love of building, he decided that the best decision for himself was to teach woodshop. He has since gone to Pitt State to pursue that career. Mason is a senior in the Technology and Engineering Education major and will graduate in December from which he will pursue a master's in CTE. 

Mason Strader, Holton, KS
Pittsburg State University

Originally from Holton Kansas, Mason started working in a local cabinet shop where he found his passion for woodworking. Mason eventually made his way to Pittsburg State University where he competed for the Gorillas in Cross Country and Track and Field while perusing a degree in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology. Mason has intentions of starting up a millwork business of his own in the near future. 

Michael Stang, Brooklyn Park, MN
Hennepin Technical College

Michael Stang is entering his second year at Hennepin Technical College in Cabinetry Program. Michael has always loved working with wood in one way or another. In high school, he was exposed to basic shop skills. Once out of high school, he always had a passion but was unsure of what to do with it. After working in his garage he decided to go back to school to learn and hone his craft. Michael has had an opportunity to work with a few seasoned Cabinet makers and is excited to see where he will end up, as well as how this program will allow him to grow in the woodworking community in MN. 

  

Nathan Minuth, Pittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University

Nathan is going to be a senior at Pittsburg state university, where he is majoring in Architectural manufacturing management and technology. Nathan discovered woodworking as a kid by helping his dad who was a cabinet maker. As he went through school, Nathan found a path for himself to learn more and make a career out of his passion. Nathan currently plans to graduate with his bachelor's degree and start a master's degree program in technology allowing him to hopefully hone my skills and knowledge.

 

Sang Cung, Pittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University

Sang is a senior in high school that intends to major in Architectural Manufacturing Management & Technology and minor in business at Pittsburg State University. He has taken woodworking since his freshman year and is currently finishing up his 5th course, taking it for both semesters as a senior. Sang has always enjoyed planning, designing, and building things ever since he was able to get his hands on a pencil and paper. Sang enjoys working his way through the problems like the functionalities of a project, or the way the project designs would be built. He sees projects as a way to express himself and as a giant puzzle that he has to piece together, making up the pieces as he goes on. Although he enjoys the physical and hands-on part of woodworking, Sang much more preferred to be designing on AutoCAD, EnRoute, and SketchUp. The possibilities for projects seem endless, and with the education that Sang is pursuing at Pitt, the possibilities will only be restricted by what the mind can come up with.

Sea Hintz, Brooklyn Park, MN
Hennepin Technical College

Sea is in their second year of the Cabinetmaking program at Hennepin Technical College. They are interested in furniture design and historical restoration of houses and furniture. They are currently working at a local Minneapolis company doing painting, carpentry, and woodwork restoration. 

Tayler George, Pleasanton, KS
Pittsburg State University 

Tayler George is from Pleasanton, Kansas. Tayler's first exposure to woodworking was with his father on their farm for various projects. Taylor did not have a wood shop teacher, but after touring Pitt State's facility in high school, he realized the opportunities it gave him to create anything he put his mind to. For Taylor, woodworking feels like a true creative outlet, and he is assured that I have found my passion. He is currently an AMMT major with a minor in Communications. This summer he will be interning at Custom Wood Products in St. Mary's, Kansas.  

Tyler Wayland, Bristow, OK
Pittsburg State University

Tyler Wayland is from Bristow, Oklahoma. Tyler got into woodworking in high school and competed nationally through SkillsUSA where he placed 3rd. He is going into his senior year at Pittsburg State University. Outside of school, he plays football for the Gorillas! Tyler is working for Sullivan Custom Cabinetry in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer and helps coach kids on the side.  Once Tyler graduates, he plans on being the owner of his own cabinet shop and coaching sports at a local high school.