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Posted for Thursday, February 11, 2016
Five Southwest Minnesota State University students were awarded LeAnn C. Tolk Scholarships at the recent Foundation Scholarship Recognition Luncheon.
LeAnn C. Tolk Scholarships of $5,000 each were awarded to one current freshman, two sophomore and two juniors. The scholarships recognize outstanding students who combine academic achievement, participation in campus and community activities and a strong work ethic. Additional consideration was also given to those who are first generation college students and/or have overcome extraordinary personal, financial or academic challenges. Over 30 students were nominated by SMSU faculty and staff.
The scholarships are made possible by the late, LeAnn C. Tolk of Lake City, Minn. She was born in Hendricks, Minn., and raised in Elkton, S.D. She worked at 3M following high school, until her retirement at age 61. She wanted to support students from rural communities and give them the opportunity to receive a college education.
This year’s recipients include:
• Haiat Nur, freshman, Marshall, Minn.
• Steven Yang, sophomore, Walnut Grove, Minn.
• Samantha Pardy, sophomore, Madison, S.D.
• Taylor Schreier, junior, Currie, Minn.
• Amy Thomas, junior, Ghent, Minn.
Five Southwest Minnesota State University students spoke during the luncheon about how important scholarships have been during their academic careers. Their remarks were deeply personal and were appreciated by the 250 individuals who were in attendance at the luncheon.
Student speakers included Samantha Pardy, sophomore, Madison, S.D.; Davontay Stevens, senior, Jacksonville, Fla.; Paige Yi, junior, Algona, Iowa; Zach Specht, senior, Marcus, Iowa; and Mu Mu Aye, sophomore, Marshall, Minn.
SMSU President Dr. Connie J. Gores wrapped up the program by pointing out how important scholarships are to the success of SMSU students and thanked donors for contributing to the Foundation, which raised over $3 million last year in support of scholarships and program support.
Dr. Jeff Kolnick helped found the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute, and will be honored later this year in celebration of its 20th anniversary
The SMSU Culinology team earned a silver medal at the Research Chefs Association Student Culinology Competition in Puerto Rico.
Kristen Barnhardt, sophomore Disability Advocacy in New Media major, is this year’s winner in SMSU’s “Telling Women’s Stories” creative writing contest.
The Fine Arts Celebration at SMSU showcases the many talents of students, faculty and staff.