2022 Senior Photo

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Juliana Alkhal

Hometown and State: Clackamas, OR
College or University Name: George Fox University
Major: Civil Engineering
Minor: Mathematics
Class standing: Sophomore
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This scholarship is so incredibly meaningful to me. It's helping me get an education while being one step closer to becoming debt free. I am truly honored to be receiving this scholarship and I cannot thank you all enough for all of your support. I am the first in my family to go to college and this scholarship will allow me to work less and focus more on my studies. Thank you!

After graduation, I plan to…

After graduation I plan to get my master’s degree at Oregon State University to further my education in civil engineering. After my master’s, I plan to work for the city designing and planning new roads and bridges to improve our communities.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose to go to George Fox University to study civil engineering for several reasons. I took a class in high school where I had to design a mini sustainable house, and I felt like I found my true calling. Being able to design something while having to think about all the other outside consequences really challenged me and I loved it. It was always a dream of mine to become an engineer, but I never knew which branch I wanted to pursue. I heard that George Fox had an amazing engineering program, and it helped that it was also a Christian school. After attending my first year at GFU, I realized that it was civil that I wanted continue in. It's safe to say that I made the right choice.

Aiyana Brown

Hometown and State: Winston, OR
College or University Name: Willamette University
Major: Economics and Data Science
Minor: Spanish
Class standing: Junior
Pronouns: she/her

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This MDU Resources Foundation/Knife River Corporation Scholarship gives me the opportunity to pursue further education and a career of my choosing. I have loved my time at Willamette so far, and I wouldn't be here without the help of generous donors like you. Thank you so much!

After graduation, I plan to…

I plan to begin my career and pursue graduate education further down the line. My dream job would be something like what I described earlier – something that allows me to use my economics/data analysis skills to protect the environment.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Willamette University because it just felt right. The small class sizes are ideal for in-depth learning, and the campus is so beautiful! Being surrounded by nature (trees, animals, and the mill stream) is very motivating. I chose to major in economics and data science because I find both subjects super interesting. I don't mind spending hours on assignments because I enjoy learning about them. Also, I would love to use my knowledge of economic policy and data analysis to create or advise fiscal/monetary policy proposals that incentivize corporations to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental well-being.

Me (left) and another member of Alpha Chi Omega at our Bid Day event!

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This photo was taken right before embarking on a trip with some of my closest friends. I am in the black shirt in the middle of the back row.

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Lionel Dailey Lucero

Hometown and State: Portland, OR
College or University Name: University of Portland
Major: Finance
Minor: Economics
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: he/him

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

Thank you for this scholarship. This scholarship is meaningful to me because it greatly reduces the financial burden placed on me and my family in my ongoing process of pursuing higher education.

After graduation, I plan to…

Begin looking for work in the financial planning/advising sector, as well as possibly pursue obtaining my CFP or CFA license.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose to attend the University of Portland because of their strong academic emphasis and because I am a Portland native and have loved living here my entire life. I decided to pursue a major in finance because it is a major that will provide me with a broad set of career opportunities, many of which would allow me to help improve other people's financial situations. This would bring me satisfaction and make it feel like I was truly contributing to the world in a positive way.

Samuel Hess

Hometown and State: Portland, OR
College or University Name: Multnomah University
Major: Biology
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: he/him

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

First off, I want to thank those in charge of the MDU Resources Foundation/Knife River Corporation scholarship for giving me not only this scholarship but this opportunity. This scholarship is greatly appreciated as it helps me to continue my studies without having to worry about how I will pay for school. This scholarship will help me to focus on school and increase my resources.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose my major in biology at Multnomah University as part of a pre-chiropractic program; however, I am no longer a part of that program, but I am still working on that major. Nevertheless, Multnomah was the perfect university for me to attend as it was not far from home, it was Christian, and it was beautiful. I always tell people I came for biology, but I stayed because of the beauty of campus and the people and friendships that I have formed here.

After graduation, I plan to…

God-willing, I will want to stay here in Portland and either find work with my biology degree or go straight into higher education and pursue a master's degree. I'm waiting on the Lord right now, and seeing what opportunities arise.

I’m on the right side of the groom.

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I am in the middle with my wife and her family. We were celebrating our first Onam (Harvest Festival for the state of Kerala, India).

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Shijo John

Hometown and State: Eugene, OR
College or University Name: Bushnell University
Major: Software Engineering
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: he/him

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

This scholarship holds profound meaning for me because it has enabled me to bring my seven-year bachelor’s degree journey to a successful conclusion. Balancing full-time work and studies over the past two years was undeniably challenging, but the support extended through this scholarship reassures me that my efforts have not gone unnoticed. It shows that my commitment to education is valued by others. I am deeply thankful to God for the presence of generous individuals and organizations like yours, who willingly invest in the dreams and aspirations of students like me. Your generosity has made a lasting impact on my educational pursuits, and I am truly grateful.

Why did you choose your college and major?

My time at Bushnell University began as a System Technician in their IT department. After a year in that role, I was made aware of the tuition benefits that were available to staff/faculty members. This discovery ignited my passion for returning to school and continuing my bachelor’s degree journey, enabling me to fulfill my dream of becoming the first-generation college student in my family. My colleagues were incredibly supportive and understood the balance required to manage work and education simultaneously. The university's commitment to its staff and the timely introduction of the software engineering program provided me with career advancement opportunities within Bushnell, allowing me to grow in my current role as the HelpDesk Supervisor and give back to the community that played a pivotal role in supporting me throughout my academic journey.

After graduation, I plan to…

After graduation, I plan to enroll in Bushnell's Accelerated MBA program. I believe that an MBA degree can equip me with the leadership, management, and networking skills necessary to gain insights into global business practices and opportunities. Thereby enabling me to grow into a role that requires a global perspective. This will also benefit my wife and me, as we plan to travel and partner with organizations overseas.

K’Den McMullin

Hometown and State: Canby, OR
College or University Name: Pacific University
Major: Business Administration
Minor: Finance and Marketing
Class standing: Senior
Pronouns: he/him

Why was this scholarship meaningful to you?

Your support has made a significant impact on my educational journey, and I am extremely honored and thankful to be chosen as a recipient. Receiving this scholarship eases the financial burden of tuition and textbooks, but also serves as a tremendous source of motivation. Your belief in my potential encourages me to continue striving for excellence. Your kindness and generosity make me want to give back in the future. I hope to one day be able to make an impact on individual lives as you have mine. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. Your investment in my education will have a lasting impact on my future, and I am committed to making the most of this opportunity.

Why did you choose your college and major?

I chose Pacific University because it felt like home. The small campus makes it easy to establish connections with students and professors, and I never feel lonely. The Forest Grove campus is also close to my hometown, allowing me to head home on the weekends and spend quality time with loved ones.

After graduation, I plan to…

Enter the field of medical device sales. I began my journey at Pacific on a pre-physician assistant track before switching to business. I look forward to improving the health of others and making positive impacts on people’s lives through business.

Exploring Joshua Tree National Park with my niece while on vacation in Palm Springs, California.

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