Meet the CETA Scholarship Winners of 2017–2018

Meet the CETA Scholarship Winners of 2017-2018

By Diane M. Calabrese / Published August 2017


The CETA Education Foundation recently announced the six recipients of scholarships for the 2017–2018 academic year. The Foundation, which raises money through many different activities, such as a charity auction, golf tournament, and tax-deductible individual contributions, is a separately incorporated charitable organization. For two decades, the CETA Education Foundation has been awarding scholarships to college students, with 126 awards made—a number that includes those for the upcoming year.

Scholarships support the professional development of individuals who will make contributions to their communities in every conceivable way. Some scholars will join our industry, as several former recipients have done.

The six awardees introduced here represent varied and significant pursuits. There are a musician, a missionary, and a miracle-helper. Yet none of the recipients can be defined by a single endeavor. Each awardee reflects a constellation of talent and nascent expertise. All of the awardees, though, do share one trait. That is a commitment to do their best to become an integral part of their community.

Each scholar applicant is sponsored by a CETA member. Two scholarships are awarded in each of the CETA member categories (distributor,
manufacturer, and supplier). Applicants are ranked by an independent, university-based reviewer. The two highest ranking individuals in each category of member sponsor are awarded scholarships. (Absent two awardees per category, the highest-ranking applicant at large is awarded a scholarship.)

Learn more about the CETA scholarship application and selection process by visiting the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association website (www.ceta.org) and opening the tab to information about the CETA Education Foundation.

Meet here—in alphabetical order—the six recipients of awards for 2017–2018 (with the company that conferred their eligibility after their name).


Elizabeth Adkins

CTS Cleaning Systems Inc.

A journalism and political science major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Elizabeth Adkins has already become engaged in the electoral process. “This past semester was one of the most exhilarating ones of my college career,” she says. “I decided to run for student body president of my university.”

Following an intense campaign and election process, Adkins was elected. She has been serving as the student body president of UNC Chapel Hill since her inauguration at the beginning of April.

Adkins is enthusiastic about the leadership role she has been chosen to fill. “It was by far the hardest experience I’ve ever gone through, but I am excited for the year ahead, and I look forward to serving my university in this capacity,” she says.

The experience Adkins brings to her current leadership role is broad and deep. Her passion for good government has seen her taking an active role in student government throughout her years at UNC.

Rebecca Holman

Kärcher North America

Majoring in human development at Brigham Young University, Rebecca Holman is following a course of study that will enable her to make the most of her affection for people. As a professional in human development, she will be better able to reach out to those who need assistance.

“I chose to study human development because I love people,” says Holman. “I have always been an extrovert, and I enjoy studying relationships and how people interact and grow.”

Holman is considering two interesting professional paths following her degree. “I plan on going on to become a marriage and family therapist,” she says. “Or, I may start a nonprofit organization to help those immigrating to the United States through the immigration process.”

Realizing how much she—and all of us who are fortunate—have been helped and supported by others, Holman explains that she knows how significant it is for everyone to have a similar context. Whichever professional direction she takes, she wants to ensure others have the same experience she has had, regardless of how difficult their circumstances.

“I want to help people be successful, just like I have been helped and supported,” says Holman. “Part of that support includes this scholarship, and I am grateful for it.”

Madelynn Huff

Chappell Supply and Equipment

Studying at the University of Oklahoma, Madelynn Huff is majoring in music performance. In doing so, she builds on experience both as a member of an orchestra and as a soloist.

“My studies with my high school violin teacher, Karén Khanagov, as well as my experiences in youth orchestra and solo performance, inspired me to choose this course of study,” says Huff.

Auditions are required for both graduate and undergraduate studies in the string program at the University of Oklahoma. Many readers probably have heard the Holmberg Quartet, the University of Oklahoma faculty string quartet which was established in 1983. It has made television films for PBS, and it often gives premieres of compositions by American composers.

The excellence of the program and ready geographic access made selecting the University of Oklahoma relatively easy. “I chose to study at OU partly because of the convenient location and partly because I know that my studies there will help me prepare for a career as a musician,” says Huff.

Kate Jaros

Lease Consultants Corporation

Biological systems engineering is the major of Kate Jaros, a student at Iowa State University. For Jaros, the decision to immerse herself in the sciences came after she took an advanced placement course in environmental science in high school.

“I found a new passion in studying the environment,” says Jaros, adding that the combination of an “awesome” instructor and a challenging class were great motivators. “I loved the knowledge I gained about the miniscule details of natural cycles, but I also enjoyed discussing the large-scale consequences of human actions.”

Jaros has a strong commitment to her course of study. “I am passionate about becoming an engineer because it allows me to take my scientific knowledge and use it to solve real world problems,” she says, adding she believes that improving social welfare and environmental health go hand in hand.

As a foremost goal, Jaros wants to make a difference—both in engineering and in society as a whole. Biological systems engineers have a role to play in providing food and water security to developing nations, she says. “I hope to establish effective food production systems or create water management systems to guarantee clean water.”

Molly Lembezeder

MI-T-M Corporation

Pursuing a degree in elementary education at the University of Northern Iowa, Molly Lembezeder aims to become a teacher who ensures that each student has an enriching experience. She believes a classroom should be filled with life.

Lembezeder is coupling her major with minors in literacy and coaching. Spring semester 2017 gave her the opportunity to put some of what she has learned to work with her first grade ‘reading buddy.’ Her buddy, who made great progress, had a “complicated” home life that added to challenges, but the buddy, who asked for new books and lessons, made solid gains. “Watching my buddy’s progress and excitement reminded me exactly why I chose the teaching profession in the first place.”

In addition to studies, Lembezeder served as director of community relations for the UNI Dance Marathon last year. “It was the most impactful commitment of my college career thus far,” she says.

“The UNI group works with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise money for children battling life threatening illnesses,” explains Lembezeder. “My responsibilities included organizing events for and communicating with five groups on and around campus—faculty, alumni, community members, athletes, and Greek life members. I dedicated 8–12 hours per week to the work I was doing, and in the end, we raised $453,278.06. While the money was exciting, the most rewarding part of my job is the bonds I made with the kids we fight for, and the peers I fight with. It is humbling to see more than 1,000 college students come together for a cause beyond each of us…”

Erin Peterson

American Pressure Inc.

The University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, is the institution where Erin Peterson chose to study business administration. Peterson has immersed herself in a community in order to help in a firsthand, person-to-person way.

Landscaping for a therapeutic horse riding facility

“During the last nine months, I was a missionary for NET (National Evangelization Teams) ministries,” says Peterson. “I was assigned to minister to St. Anastasia’s Catholic Church and San Juan Diego Hispanic Mission in Fort Pierce, Florida.”

Leading a women’s youth group activity

At her location in the Sunshine State, Peterson and her fellow team members focused on reforming the youth ministry program through discipleship and relational ministry. “We did this by reaching out to the youth and inviting them out to events we created in hopes to re-engage them with their church,” she explains.

Peterson values the time spent in missionary work. “This experience allowed an abundance of personal growth as I was exposed to new cultures, ideas, and people, as well as strengthened my leadership and organizational skills,” she says. “I am looking forward to applying all that I learned this year to my education and my future career in the business field.”

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