Seven Southeast Community College
students were honored Wednesday as the first recipients of the Koch Fertilizer
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 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
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
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
The scholarship application is online at www.southeast.edu/Scholarships.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.