Advancing the industry through technology, equipment, and education

2019 Scholarship Winners

Earlier this year, WMIA’s Educational Foundation awarded a total of $30,000 in scholarships to help 19 college students continue their education in the woodworking industry.

Meet this year’s recipients:

Justin Angel, Mount Airy, NC
Appalachian State University
Justin Angel is a senior at Appalachian State University working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design with a concentration in Furniture Design and a minor in Marketing. Through his studio classes, he has worked on lighting design, case goods, and seating design (where his concept was selected for production through a High Point furniture market company). After graduation, Justin plans to pursue a career as a designer within the residential furniture market.

Erica Cartwright, Seattle, WA
Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center
Erica Cartwright is a third quarter student in the Cabinetry and Architectural Woodworking program at Seattle Central’s Wood Technology Center (WTC). She currently works in CNC fabrication and as a teaching assistant for the WTC Women in Woodworking course. Prior to her enrollment at the WTC, she worked as an Architectural Lighting Designer. In 2017, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in Architecture with a concentration in Materials and Making. This concentration exposed her to the many CAD, BIM and fabrication programs and processes relevant in contemporary production practices. In the future, Erica plans to enroll at the California Institute of Earthen Architecture to learn about the sustainable construction processes of rammed earth and super adobe. Erica’s time at Seattle Central in conjunction with her past education, work experience, and future aspirations, will help her achieve her goals of motivating a more economically accessible and sustainable building future.

Kelson Claassen, Hesston, KS
Pittsburg State University
Kelson Claassen is going into his senior year at Pittsburg State University. He is majoring in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology and minoring in Business Administration. Outside of class, he’s very active in the program. He is a laboratory assistant for the instructors in AMMT, as well as being involved in the student ran organization, SAW Club. He has been a distinguished member every year and has been elected to officer positions as treasurer and vice president. He will be president of the club for the upcoming year. This summer he will be interning with Eastern Millwork, working in their estimating department.


Gage Davis, Dorchester, TX
Pittsburg State University
Gage is currently a Sophomore at Pittsburg State University majoring in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology. He’s grown up around woodworking all his life but never had the opportunity to take a shop class. Gage found other ways to get involved in woodworking and found his passion for the industry starting to grow. He decided to go to college to pursue this passion and has not looked back. He has loved every moment and is learning more information than he thought was available.  He’s become involved in different organizations such as the SAW club (a student led organization). He also has been fortunate enough to secure a internship for the summer which he hopes will further his skills and learning.

Kyle Gorham, Baldwinsville, NY
SUNY Morrisville
Kyle Gorham has been attending Baker High School in Baldwinsville, NY, for the past four years. He decided on SUNY Morrisville because it is the only school that offered what he was looking for and he really likes the atmosphere there. Kyle choose to go into the wood technologies program and then continue into the entrepreneurship program offered. He believes these programs align nicely with the small woodworking business he started. Kyle is hopeful the knowledge he gains from the programs will allow him to expand his business. Currently the items he produces are primarily home accents that he brings to local craft shows to sell, as well as on Etsy. He enjoys the fact that no two pieces of wood are exactly the same and the satisfaction of seeing the finished product he has created. To view some of Kyle’s woodworking, visit his Instagram.

Marie-Elisabeth Guerin, Victoriaville, QC, Canada
École Nationale du Meuble et de L’Ébénisterie 
Following high school, Marie-Elisabeth believed art was the career path for her, but she found quickly that her sense for analysis and problem solving was not a part in this field of study. Then she remembered doing woodworking with her father at a young age and how she enjoyed working with lumber. She changed her mind and registered at ENME where after the first year she was named student of the year. She expects to graduate in 2020 in Architectural Woodworking. Last summer, she worked at Beaubois for 12 weeks as a CAD designer and confirmed her career path into woodworking. Eventually, she expects to become project manager for companies doing Architectural Woodworks.

Harrison Houser, Clinton, WA
Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center
Harrison T. Houser is a student at The Wood Technology Center in Seattle and is currently pursuing a career in carpentry. A very important part of his life has been being involved within the community, volunteering and being involved in the environmental world. After graduating, Harrison’s objective is to combine his goal of becoming a master craftsman with the sustainable building practices and growing technology. He looks forward to being a part of the future of building and technological innovations that will improve the many ways in which we impact our world.

Larry Johnston, Boston, MA
New England School of Architectural Woodworking
Larry’s passion for woodworking and creating in general was established early on but never fully realized as life got in the way. After working for nine years as an engineer and project manager and never feeling truly satisfying or fulfilled, he decided to make a change in his professional life. He took a leap and enrolled in the New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW) excited to have a chance to truly learn the craft. Training for the eventual goal of working in the architectural woodworking industry initially felt like a major departure from what he went to college for and the industry that he had worked in, however, it has allowed him to utilize his engineering skills in a whole new light. This process of learning new skills and applying and building upon existing skills has allowed Larry to grow as a person, while motivating and exciting him for the future. He looks forward to working in a cabinet shop in the Boston, MA area that caters to high end residential customers so he can be involved in all aspects of interesting projects of the highest quality.

Jes Jordan, Seattle, WA
Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center
Jes was born and raised in Arizona. She moved to the Pacific Northwest to escape the sun with a background in small business management and fine art. She is now focusing on a new career path in the woodworking industry and couldn’t be happier. Jes has a strong love of detail and design, problem-solving, and the process behind the build. High levels of craftsmanship, uniqueness, and quality of materials used in historical housing and fine furniture have always been very appealing. She is enrolled in Cabinetry and Architectural Woodworking at Seattle Central’s Wood Technology Center with plans to continue on into their Carpentry program.

Nathalie Locas, Montreal, QC, Canada
École Nationale du Meuble et de l’Ébénisterie
Nathalie is a single parent to two girls, aged 11 and 13 years old. She recently left her job to return to school full-time in pursuit of a new career. Living on her own for many years, the upkeep and renovation of her home has become her hobby. Drawing-up plans and executing them has become a passion for Nathalie.  She is pursuing a degree with a specialization in architectural carpentry over the course of three years (2017-2020). She loves undertaking new projects and has been involved in local schools, as well as community activities. What makes her most proud is to be a role model for her daughters.

Elizabeth Moreno, Tacoma, WA
Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center
Elizabeth Moreno is a student at Seattle Central’s Wood Technology Center, studying residential carpentry. She is currently in her third quarter of the program. So far she has had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with tool operation, framing, roofing, and stair systems, and exterior finishes. As a part of her program she has also worked on the construction of a Zero-Energy Passive House. Elizabeth has a background in nonprofit management and international development and hopes to one day combine her experience in the nonprofit sector with her building skills.

Pablo Partida, Seattle, WA
Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center
Pablo was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and moved to Seattle about 3 years ago. He is currently studying architectural woodworking at the Wood Technology Center in Seattle, Washington. He has a background in graphic design and architecture and has spent several years working as an urban developer. Skating is also serious hobby for Pablo and is a big part of his life. He has always loved to build things and his goal is to have his own furniture studio.

Sarah Provard, West Jordan, UT
Pittsburg State University
Sarah is a well-driven woman who will do anything to make her dreams come true. She has gone to great lengths to further her knowledge in the woodworking industry. She is originally from West Jordan, Utah and loves her home, but now she is lives in Kansas to attend Pittsburg State University. Sarah is in the process of getting a bachelor’s in Wood Technology.

Katie Roux, Seattle, WA
Seattle Central College Wood Technology Center
Katie is enrolled at the Wood Technology Center in Seattle, WA studying cabinetry and carpentry. She is excited to bring her background in art, design, and business management to the woodworking industry. She is a member of the student council, and vice president of the Woodworkers Advocating for Gender Equity (W.A.G.E.) club, whose mission is to provide community, support, and networking opportunities for underrepresented genders in the woodworking trades.

Katherine Stuglik, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Conestoga College
Katherine is a Woodworking Technician student at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. She began her pursuit of a woodworking education after developing a passion for quality craftsmanship while practicing furniture restoration. While furniture design still plays a large role in driving her desire to pursue woodwork, Katherine’s career goals shifted to wood products design and development via drafting and engineering. In addition to these aspirations, she has been inspired by the faculty at Conestoga College and hopes to pass on woodworking knowledge through teaching in the future.

Kristen Van Hoosen, Omaha, NE
Pittsburg State University
Kristen will be entering her senior year at Pittsburg State University as a Construction Management major with a residential emphasis, and an Architectural Manufacturing Management & Technology (AMMT) minor. The past few years she has developed a strong interest in woodworking, and enjoys spending extra time in the shop to create a skillset that pushes her to be knowledgeable and successful for her future career. She owes a majority of her confidence and determination to the AMMT program and her teachers who go above and beyond to help her succeed in her studies. Enrolling in this minor sets Kristen apart from other construction students as it gives her hands-on experience and additional knowledge in residential millwork, casework, cabinetry, and more. This summer she will be interning with Summit Homes in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Kendra Van Polen, McBain, MI
Pittsburg State University
Kendra is from McBain, Michigan and is a junior at Pittsburg State University. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology with a major in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology and a minor in Business Administration. Kendra’s goal is to return to her father’s custom cabinet business and assist in its growth. It is exciting to explore all the facets of the wood working industry and to build relationships with others who have the same passion. She looks forward to seeing where God will lead her in the future.

Caleb Wuthnow, Pittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University
Caleb Wuthnow is heading into his senior year at Pittsburg State University. He is double majoring in Architectural Manufacturing Management and Technology, and Communications. Outside of classroom education, he has completed two internships in the industry: one in St. Mary’s Kansas at a residential Cabinet shop called Custom Wood Products, and another in St, James Missouri at Cohen Architectural Woodworking. Caleb looks forward to his senior year of my Architectural Manufacturing degree as he will begin planning his senior design project. For this project, he hopes to find a way to combine his two majors and make a news anchor desk for the Pittsburg State student broadcasters to use.

Liz Xu, Montreal, QC, Canada
Rosemount Technology Centre
Liz was born in Windsor, Ontario and moved to Montreal to pursue a BFA in Printmaking. After completing her degree and working in the arts, she decided to pursue Cabinetmaking at Rosemount Technology Centre. Liz has always loved making things, but the prospects of employment within the fine art world were discouraging. Cabinetmaking was a way where she could pursue hands-on creative work with practical applications. At first, this change was a solution, but over the last year of her education it has grown from a simple solution to a true passion. The skills she is learning, the things she is building, and the friends she is making have become absolutely invaluable, and she couldn’t be happier for changing her course into woodworking.