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Koch Fertilizer Scholarship recipients honored during luncheon

  • Koch Fertilizer Scholarship Group
    From left: Lane Dunbar, Electrical & Electromechanical Technology student; Matthew Meyer, Energy Generation Operations student; Lucas Satorie, Electrical & Electromechanical Technology student; Jordan Selko, Energy Generation Operations student; Sheila Williams, recruiting leader, Koch Fertilizer; Peter Ralston, Energy Generation Operations student; Carrie Swarz, recruiter, human resources, Koch Fertilizer; Teigan Case, Electrical & Electromechanical Technology student; Phil Joyner, Koch Nitrogen plant manager, Beatrice; Michael Bishop, Energy Generation Operations student; and Andy Parker, talent acquisition leader and development director, Koch Fertilizer.

Seven Southeast Community College students were honored Wednesday as the first recipients of the Koch Fertilizer Scholarship.

Koch Fertilizer LLC established a scholarship fund earlier this year to benefit students in Electrical & Electromechanical Technology, Electronic Systems Technology and Energy Generation Operations programs at SCC.

The students, along with their guests, Koch Fertilizer and Koch Industries personnel, and SCC faculty and staff attended the luncheon, held in Dunlap C on SCC’s Milford Campus.

Scholarship recipients are Michael Bishop of Hayes Center (Electrical & Electromechanical), Teigan Case of Oakland (Electrical & Electromechanical), Lane Dunbar of Taylor (Electrical & Electromechanical), Matthew Meyer of Lincoln (Energy Generation Operations), Peter Ralston of Lincoln (Energy Generation Operations), Lucas Satorie of Lincoln (Electrical & Electromechanical), and Jordan Selko of Lincoln (Energy Generation Operations).

Andy Parker, talent acquisition leader and development director; Carrie Swartz, recruiter, human resources; Sheila Williams, recruiting leader; and Phil Joyner, Koch Nitrogen plant manager in Beatrice, represented Koch Fertilizer at the luncheon. SCC program chairs Ken Reinsch (Electrical & Electromechanical Technology), Mike Aalberg (Electronic Systems Technology) and John Pierce (Energy Generation Operations) also were in attendance, as was Richard Becker, executive director of the SCC Educational Foundation, and Lyle Neal, vice president for technology/Milford Campus director.

Koch is investing $40,000 for scholarships over a two-year period.

“Part of our long-term strategy as a company is to be tapped in and engaged with Southeast Community College,” Parker said. “Our success going forward depends on it.”

Parker showed a video during the luncheon that highlighted how Casey Green, shift supervisor for Koch Fertilizer’s Enid, Okla., plant, rose to that position in just five years.

“It’s very difficult to get in on the ground floor without training,” Parker said.

Parker discussed Koch’s guiding principles, including humility.

“None of us know all of the answers,” Parker said. “We need to be willing to listen to others and seek out help. We see that as a strength.”

Joyner said he experiences a deeper connection to the world beyond managing a fertilizer plant.

“When I drive by a cornfield, I feel like I’m part of something bigger than just working for a (fertilizer) company,” Joyner said.

Referring to his membership on SCC advisory committees, Joyner said, “You are in a great program and are learning the things you need to learn to plug directly in when you enter the workforce. It is to our advantage to help support the next generation that will run our plants.”

Each student received a backpack and a packet of information from the company.

Four $2,500 scholarships were awarded to students entering the programs, and three $2,500 scholarships were awarded to students entering the second year of their program.

In year two, 2014-2015, up to four $2,500 scholarships will be awarded incoming students, up to three $2,500 scholarships will be awarded second-year students, and up to one $5,000 scholarship will be awarded a second-year student.

To be eligible, students entering the programs must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher in high school, have applied for an SCC scholarship, write an essay of no more than 500 words, and have a desire to relocate after graduation. The scholarship application period for high school students is between Dec. 1 and Feb. 22.

To be eligible for a second-year scholarship, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher through the first half of their program, have applied for an SCC scholarship, write an essay of no more than 500 words, and have a desire to relocate after graduation. Current SCC students must apply for scholarships from May 1-22 for the Summer Quarter, Aug. 1-22 for Fall Quarter, Nov. 1-22 for the Winter Quarter, and from Dec. 1 through Feb. 22 for the Spring Quarter.

The scholarship application is online at

Dependents or children of an employee of Koch Fertilizer, LLC or any of its subsidiaries are not eligible for participation. Koch Fertilizer, LLC is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, Inc., based in Wichita, Kan., one of the largest privately held companies in America.


For more information contact:
Stu Osterthun
Administrative Director of Public Information and Marketing