Meet the 2015 CETA Scholarship Winners

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Meet the 2015 CETA Scholarship Winners

By Diane M. Calabrese / Published October 2015



For two decades, the Education Foundation of the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA) has been awarding scholarships to college students. The CETA Education Foundation raises money through many different activities, such as a charity auction and golf tournament, and from tax-deductible individual contributions.

Including the seven recipients of scholarships for the 2015–2016 academic year, the CETA Education Foundation has awarded 104 scholarships over its 20 years. Here we introduce (in alphabetical order) the five young women and two young men who won scholarships this year.



Elizabeth Adkins

Cleaner Times Scholarship

A broadcast journalism and political science double major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Elizabeth Adkins knew early on that she had an affinity for public speaking. “I have always loved public speaking,” she says. Adkins recalls delivering a civic oration speech in grade five. “Ever since then, I knew I would enjoy a career [involving public speaking],” she says.

“As I grew older, I developed a love for our government and how it is run,” says Adkins. With her double major in hand, she will be able to unite her two passions. “I would love to be a White House correspondent or an anchor for a large news network.”

In fact, Adkins is considering adding another area to her studies. “I may pursue a degree in media law,” she says. 

Pre-admission to the journalism school at her institution at the beginning of her freshman year helped Adkins get into special classes she needed. (The general procedure is to apply to the journalism school after completing a certain amount of coursework at the university.)

Deeply involved in her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, Adkins also serves as chair of the first year focus council for the executive branch of student government at UNC. She explains that she chose UNC because it is large and offers so much.

“UNC has many different types of students and professors, and you can learn just as much from the different types of students and professors as you can from the challenging courses,” says Adkins. She notes that her father is “a long-time UNC fan” and many others have influenced her decision to attend the university.

Now in her second year at UNC, Adkins relishes her studies—and her setting. “I love my university, and it has really become my second home in just one short year,” she says.


Abigail Dameron

Chappell Supply Scholarship

With a major in family and consumer sciences—and a minor in business, Abigail Dameron looks toward a career as a wedding planner and Christian marriage counselor. Dameron is a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

“Liberty University is a high-quality school,” says Dameron, citing a top reason for choosing the institution. “Not only does the university have outstanding academic programs and is ranked nationally, but it is an incredibly moral institution.”

Dameron cites the close ties within the Liberty University community. The interaction among students and professors is able to “foster both academic and spiritual growth,” she explains. “It is hard for every student to leave home, family, and friends, but at Liberty I know I still have people that care about me in every respect.”

‘Training Champions for Christ’ is the motto of Liberty University. “[Staff] and students alike not only want to help me succeed in my career, but in my spiritual walk with God,” says Dameron. “They know my true purpose for life is much greater than simply an education or another degree—and that is a fact many never understand.”

When she enters her profession as a counselor, Dameron has a very specific goal. “I am pursing this line of work because I feel led to help decrease the soaring American divorce rate,” she explains.

Dameron drew on experience when formulating her study and professional goals. “Throughout my childhood, I witnessed many friends’ lives destroyed by the rippling effects of divorce,” she says. “I know how crucial it is to have strong Christian couples raising families in society. Therefore, I want to teach people about the importance of the lifelong commitments they are making.”

Timothy Kyle Hardaway

Lease Consultants Scholarship

There’s something wonderful about being able to experience college life at more than one institution. And Timothy Kyle Hardaway who recently transferred to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville will do just that.

“I began my collegiate career at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, but I recently transferred to the University of Arkansas to be closer to my family,” explains Hardaway. “In addition to its close proximity to home, I like the small-town feel of Fayette-ville, the beautiful campus, and the quality of the labs in the biology and chemistry departments.”

Hardaway is studying sociology with a pre-med emphasis. “I would like to become a cardiac [surgeon] or a neurosurgeon,” he says. “I would love to be able to spend the rest of my life helping people and improving lives.”

Hardaway’s decision to use his college years to prepare for studying medicine came after he had to say goodbye to his father. “After the passing of my father from a sudden heart attack this summer, I have decided to switch my emphasis from law to medicine—with the hope I could prevent some others from facing similar trauma,” he explains.

The commitment that Hardaway has made to medicine has already begun. He is working this fall on becoming certified as a first responder.

Erica Hess

AR North America Scholarship

Salus University in Elkins Park, PA (near Philadel-phia) was established in 1919 as the Pennsylvania State University School of Optometry. Today, Salus University offers 14 different post-graduate programs. Erica Hess is studying at Salus.

“I am currently in optometry school,” says Hess. “I chose this career path because I always wanted a career where I could help people. And I believe that providing eye care is a great way to help others.”

Hess has an important reminder for all of us. “Our eyes are so important and an exam goes way beyond making sure someone can see well with glasses,” she explains. “Eye exams also allow me to help kids who are struggling in school due to eye-related problems and to diagnose other health-related problems.”

Family members figured prominently in influencing Hess’ decision to study optometry. “Two of my brothers and two of my sisters-in-law are optometrists and they encouraged me to pursue optometry,” she says.

The opportunity to observe the difference her family members have made in the lives of others caused Hess to realize she wanted to follow the path they had. “I have always looked up to their hard work and dedication,” she says.

“My older brother and sister-in-law are also very successful in their careers and are two of the biggest influences in my life,” says Hess. “Their work ethic is something that I strive to match.”

Hess credits “the utmost love and support” that she has received from her parents, as well as from her siblings and their spouses, as giving her the resolve to pursue her goals. “Their constant encouragement has shown me that with hard work and dedication, I can achieve anything.”

Molly Lembezeder

Alkota Cleaning Scholarship

A visit to the University of Northern Iowa captivated Molly Lembezeder. The university in Cedar Falls, IA won her over immediately.

“I fell in love with UNI on my first visit there, immediately after meeting a group of current students,” says Lembezeder. “I knew at once that I would fit right in and feel at home. The people made my decision obvious.”

Lembezeder is studying elementary education. “Our country needs teachers who will inspire students to pursue education with a passion and drive—and a desire to learn,” she says.

“A visible impact” is what Lembezeder wants to make on the lives of young people. She believes children must be instilled with a thirst for knowledge, which they will quench by learning.

It was actually a rather negative experience that motivated Lembezeder to become an educator. “I had a teacher in elementary school who—unknowingly—limited my learning, did not challenge my young mind, and took the fun out of school,” she says. As she looked back on that year, she determined she would become a teacher in order to do just the opposite—and to encourage young students every step of the way.

“In our global market economy today, it is crucial that our country begins to recreate our own manufacturing jobs,” says Lembezeder. “That process needs to begin with encouraging our children to explore a variety of subjects and areas in the hopes they will continue further into the industrial sector—and who better to encourage that exploration than their very own teachers? Everything about future productivity can be traced back to elementary school.”

Lembezeder says that she is very inspired by the receipt of the CETA scholarship. And she looks forward to “limitless” possibilities in learning—perhaps studying for a masters or a PhD.

Megan Purswell

Highest GPA Winner (John Purswell Jr. Award)

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) in Belton, TX was officially recognized as an institution of higher learning in the same year (1845) that Texas became the 28th state. But the school can trace its oldest roots to 1839. Megan Purswell is pursuing an advanced degree at UMHB.

“I have a bachelor’s degree in pre physical therapy in exercise science,” says Purswell. “I am continuing my education in UMHB’s doctor of physical therapy program. My goal is to become a licensed doctor of physical therapy so I can help others overcome their physical hardships.”

It was firsthand experience with physical therapy that motivated Purswell to pursue her course of study. “I’ve suffered many sports injuries throughout my 17-year soccer career,” she explains. “Three of these injuries required me to attend physical therapy for several months, and it was during that time I decided I wanted to be a physical therapist.”

UMHB is committed to Christian higher education. And with 3,500 students it is a relatively small institution.

“I always knew that I wanted to attend a smaller university,” says Purswell. “When the soccer coach recruited me, and I saw that UMHB had a pre physical therapy program to help prepare me for graduate school, I knew this was the university for me.”

Belton is located 60 miles north of Austin, TX. It offers doctorates in physical therapy, nursing practice, and education. With a setting defined by woodlands, the UMHB campus is a lovely place to reside and learn.

Tyler Rossmann

Farley’s, Inc. Scholarship

The green hues, hundreds of lakes, and hills of Vermont are not easily matched. Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, VT, where Tyler Ross-mann is studying, puts one in the midst of all the natural wonders of the state.

“Upon arriving in Burlington, VT the first time, I was immediately struck with the beauty of the Green Mountains and the magnificent Lake Champlain,” says Rossmann. “I love staying active and being outdoors, so it started out right away as a ‘perfect fit’ for my adventurous side.”

A good beginning led to more good things. “[What] continues to amaze me is how friendly, caring, and compassionate the students, faculty, and staff members are at Saint Mike’s,” says Rossmann. “I have made incredible, deep and personal relationships with a great number of people and because of this, I feel as though my college has grown into a second ‘home’ for me.”

A member of numerous student clubs and engaged in many activities, Rossmann appreciates deeply the ability he has to share thoughts and ideas whether in class discussions and assignments or in extracurricular settings. He is majoring in economics with a minor in gender studies. He chose economics because of its relevance to today’s world.

“Economic issues are an inherent part of each of our lives and include a wide spectrum of topics, such as globalization, climate change, unemployment, trade, inflation, and so on,” says Rossmann. He adds that he especially appreciates how the economic issues are linked to social, political, psychological, and environmental concerns. “[Because] topics in economics can encompass underlying gender disparities…” gender studies seemed a good fit for a minor, says Rossmann.

The skills he is learning, says Rossmann, will not only prepare him for a career, but they will also be of use in his day-to-day life. Among the basics he cites that will inform activities of everyday life and endeavors in the professional sphere are interest rates, equity markets, and mortgages.