by Diane M. Calabrese / Published September 2023
Future engineers, physicians, and theologians are among the nine CETA Scholars in 2023-2024. In addition to their formal academic work, these scholars study clarinet, perform dance, and coach lacrosse; and they engage with their communities and the world.
Service and mission trips, immersion doing, and learning are practically routine for the nine scholarship recipients. Meet them here (in alphabetical order).
[The sponsoring company listed beneath the name of each CETA Scholar is the CETA-member company that contributed to the scholarship. The member company cited is the manufacturer, distributor, or supplier affiliation that made the scholar an eligible applicant. The paragraphs below summarize the mechanics of the CETA Scholarship application and selection process.]
The CETA Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to nine qualifying applicants (students of CETA members or their employees) annually on a competitive basis. An applicant must be a full-time student for the academic year beginning with the fall semester at a college, community college, technical college, university, or graduate school. Three scholarships are awarded in each of the three eligible membership classes: manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors. A ranking of applicants by an independent evaluator at an accredited university determines scholarship recipients. If a qualified applicant cannot be identified in one or more of the membership classes, one (or more) at-large scholarship(s) is awarded to the remaining applicant(s) with the highest ranking(s) regardless of his or her membership class.
CETA member companies that sponsor scholarships gain recognition. Any member company may pledge any amount for scholarships. The company is then added as a sponsor on the scholarship and recognized at all CETA meetings. Funds donated beyond those required to support nine annual scholarships are added to an endowment (aimed at creating a self-funding scholarship program).
See www.ceta.org to read more about the CETA Scholarship Foundation.
As a freshman at Southern Utah University, Lauren Dixon studies kinesiology and physical therapy. She looks forward to a career in sports medicine.
“It’s always been my dream to be a team doctor and help athletes on their road to recovery—[and to help them] stay healthy,” says Dixon. Reaching out and working with people is something she takes into many dimensions of her life.
Dixon explains a recent proselytizing church mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Mexico gave her new perspective. “It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much. I was grateful to experience a new way of life and learn more about how hard work and determination can really make dreams come true.”
(Member company—Royce Industries L.C.)
A freshman at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Alicya LaBelle studies environmental science. Vacation travel to Alaska reinforced her decision to commit to her declared major.
“As you can imagine, the landscape was absolutely stunning,” explains LaBelle as she recalls the “majestic mountains” and untrammeled regions. She now looks forward to perhaps a summer internship—in Alaska or another part of the world—to benefit from immersion learning.
LaBelle says she knows the learning—in formal and informal settings—will provide the knowledge she needs to “make a difference in the world.”
(Member company—Cat Pumps Corp.)
A junior at Texas A&M University, Hope Nelms looks forward to a December 2024 graduation. She studies marketing on the healthcare track.
Thanks to a sophomore year filled with rich learning experiences, Nelms says she understands that some ventures (and courses) take extra effort, but efforts result in positive outcomes worth celebrating.
Not only did Nelms’ attachment to the many facets of marketing grow deeper last year, but she also gained experience outside the classroom. She was part of Impact, a non-profit organization. “Through this ministry, I have seen what it looks like to lead others with humility, how to care for the people around you, and the importance of faith in college.”
(Member company—Action Cleaning Systems)
Samuel Notch, a freshman at Cornell University, plans to pursue a career in the medical field. His major is human biology, health, and society.
“I am also planning on having a concentration in business and economics so I can better understand the financial decisions and operations behind our healthcare,” says Notch. Volunteering has already provided him with insight into the hospital protocols and communication with patients.
Notch began volunteering at a local hospital when pandemic precautions were in place. “Seeing these changes strengthened my desire for a career in medicine because although communicating with patients was difficult with masks and social distancing, it made me realize how significant of a role healthcare plays in Americans’ lives…” He plans to continue volunteering while at college in Ithaca, NY.
(Member company—A.R. North America Inc.)
A junior at the University of South Dakota, Bayleigh Peterson studies kinesiology and exercise for occupational therapy and is pursuing minors in sport medicine and psychology.
Peterson explains she had an experience during the last aca demic year that has fortified her in her studies and life. She filled a hole in her heart.
“Since I have known Jesus, He has continually blessed me with freedom and a peace…,” says Peterson. “I believe everyone has a Jesus-sized hole in their heart, and if you’re not putting your hope in Jesus, then what are you putting your hope into? …Since the veil was torn from my eyes, I see everything in a different, more enthusiastic light.”
Peterson wants to be able to help improve the health of everyone in the population.
(Member company—Alkota Cleaning Systems)
A freshman at California Baptist University, Kaiden Ricketts studies criminal justice and theology. His decision to pursue the subjects was informed by two mission trips to South America that he made with his church in the last two years.
“These mission trips have been eye-opening experiences where I have seen other cultures and how they live, as well as how privileged we are in our country,” says Ricketts. “These travels have ignited a passion for helping others…”
Ricketts says he wants to dedicate his career to serving others as well as helping his community become a better place for all to live. “My faith and family have given me the strength to make a difference in the world.”
(Member company—Hotsy of Southern California)
With a major in microbiology and a minor in chemistry, Isabelle Sharp studies at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She is in her second year of college.
Sharp explains she has known since high school that she wanted to study microbiology. Having realized her affinity for chemistry, she found it was a natural fit with her major.
“For this academic year I am excited to be member of the Screaming Eagles marching band as a Poms team member,” says Sharp. Poms combines cheerleading and dance. “Outside of the Poms team, I am excited to get back into playing my clarinet and continuing my dance career with a campus dance organization, Kinesis.”
(Member company—Northen Tool + Equipment]
Engineering is the major Anna Van Otterloo has chosen. She is a freshman at Iowa State University.
Van Otterloo explains that she gained perspective on life and bolstered her positive outlook through a service trip earlier this year. It made her realize “that despite the suffering in the world, there is still so much good.”
The connection Van Otterloo made with people bringing kindness into their community motivated her to follow their example. “Their actions encouraged me to be a positive force in my own community.” She wants to use her career in engineering to make a difference.
“There’s so much good in life that can be overlooked because of day-to-day struggles,” says Van Otterloo. “Service opportunities are a reminder that life is much bigger than assignments or deadlines. It’s about connecting with others and sharing with those in need. It’s about bringing love and hope to all, to become a kinder world.”
(Member company—Mi-T-M Corp.)
A second-year student at Winona State University, Allison Witt studies criminal justice. The leadership role germane to a career in criminal justice will benefit from her formal studies and her out-of-classroom experience.
Witt recently became the co-president—a nominated position—of the Winona Girls Lacrosse Club. “I am very excited to lead a new group of girls who enjoy playing lacrosse,” she says.
“I’ve never been in a leadership position before, but I know that I won’t be alone in making decisions that affect the team,” says Witt. With three years of experience as a lacrosse player and experience helping coach youth lacrosse and high school lacrosse (as an assistant coach), she is enthusiastic about the opportunity to demonstrate and hone her leadership skills.
(Member company—Cat Pumps Corp.)