BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation announced its 2022 Al Golden Scholars, Wednesday.
The NDPF awarded scholarships to 10 outstanding students who are pursuing post-secondary education in geology, engineering, processing plant technology, science, technical skills, or other careers related to the oil and gas industry.
Each student will receive up to $2,000 for tuition in the 2022-2023 school year.
“Attracting a qualified and skilled workforce has been a top priority over the past two decades, and now more than ever, there are tremendous career opportunities for our young people in the state,” said Ron Ness, CEO of the North Dakota Petroleum Foundation and president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “We are proud to support these talented students and future leaders of our industry.”
Al Golden Scholars are selected based on academic achievement, work or internship experience in the oil and natural gas industry, or a demonstrated commitment to a qualified area of study.
The outstanding awardees are:
Brian Bloms, North Dakota State University – Brian Bloms is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree at the North Dakota State University. Bloms spent more than six years working in the oil and gas industry as a lease operator where he tended to 75 wells. He intends to use his engineering degree to build on his previous experiences and become a production or reliability engineer in North Dakota. In his time away from school, Bloms enjoys farming with his dad, hunting pheasants and deer with his brother and friends, and spending time with his girlfriend and her two-year-old son.
Lila Farden, University of Mary – Lila Farden is a sophomore from Maxbass, North Dakota, and is attending the Hamm School of Engineering for construction management at the University of Mary. She has worked in the oilfield industry with her family’s third-generation business throughout her high school and college years. From an early age, she knew she wanted to work in the oil industry and provide a sustainable future for generations to come with resources from her home state. After graduation, she plans to continue collaborating with her father to take the business into the fourth generation to see western North Dakota blossom like it did when she was too young to be a part of it yet.
Jayden Guidinger, University of North Dakota – Jadyn Guidinger is a sophomore at the University of North Dakota pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. She is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota, and a 2021 graduate of Legacy High School. Jadyn interned this summer at the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality. On campus, she is the Vice President of Engineers Without Borders and an active member of the Society of Women Engineers; she also is part of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program at UND.
Luke Kenner, North Dakota State University – Luke Kenner grew up on a hay and cattle farm in Northern Minnesota. After high school, he attended trade school for mechanics, worked a few years in the trades, and caught a break landing a job in the oil and gas industry. After working in the industry, he decided to pursue his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at NDSU. Luke is currently a senior and is planning to graduate in May of 2023.
Kate Kesler, University of North Dakota – Kate Kesler is an honors student majoring in chemistry at the University of North Dakota. She graduated from Mandan High School in 2021 and found her passion for chemistry during her junior year of high school. She currently participates in the UND Tennis Club, Undergraduate Medical Association, MedLife, Math Club, and Women in Science at UND. Kesler recently completed an internship with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality Chemistry Division this summer and is looking forward to continuing her path toward a STEM career.
Paige Lang, University of Mary – Paige Lang is from Bismarck, ND, and is a senior civil engineering major at the University of Mary. For the past two summers, she has been working at Apex Engineering as a water intern. This internship made her more aware of the water issues of civil engineering, and it also allowed her to work with some amazing engineers. She is excited to wrap up her studies at the University of Mary and enter into an engineering career.
Peyton Mertz, Bismarck State College – Peyton Mertz is pursuing a bachelor’s in energy management from Bismarck State College. After graduating from BSC in 2014 with an AAS in Petroleum Production, he began working in the energy industry in natural gas and natural gas liquids processing. He decided to continue his education at BSC in the hopes of inspiring and helping shift workers in the industry. Mertz is a native of North Dakota and currently resides in Jamestown, ND.
Tomiwa Oguntade, University of North Dakota – Tomiwa Oguntade is a doctoral candidate and a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of North Dakota (UND). His research is dedicated to improving oil recovery in unconventional reservoirs using chemical-enhanced oil recovery methods. His study will improve upon the existing knowledge on the application of surfactant and foam in enhanced oil recovery of the Bakken formation. This work will develop a predictive model for surfactant and foam adsorption, which is essential for computational modeling. He has conducted several types of research on enhanced oil recovery and the application of machine learning in the prediction of drilling fluid properties. In addition, with his passion for adding value to the body of academics, he has authored and co-authored nine Scopus index journals and eight conference papers presented at Society of Petroleum Engineers conferences.
John Sturm, University of North Dakota – John Sturm is a mechanical engineering student at the University of North Dakota. From St. Paul, MN, he took on a truck driving career that took him over the country’s highways for three years and into wild lease roads of the Bakken for another four. When the price of oil fell so low that it forced him out of his job, he decided to return to school to study engineering and hopes to return to the oil fields after graduation to join in the fight to make the nation energy-independent.
Maya Wald, University of Mary – Maya Wald is a native of Minot, ND, and graduated high school in 2020 from Bishop Ryan Catholic School. She is currently attending the University of Mary and entering her third year studying computer science. After graduating, Wald plans to pursue a career in software development or a related field in North Dakota.
The Al Golden Memorial Scholarship Fund is named after a North Dakota oil pioneer and the first member of the NDPC’s Hall of Fame, Al Golden.
The scholarship is funded by individual and company contributions, as well as proceeds from the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.
Since 2008, the program has awarded more than $118,000 to students pursuing post-secondary education in energy-related fields.