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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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2015 Scholarship Awards Banquet

Scholarship recipients and donors recognized at the 2015-2016 Scholarship Awards Banquet


Last Thursday, we here at the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology gathered to honor our donors and 2015 scholarship recipients. All of our scholarships, except for the MAX Scholarship Program, are privately funded, and it is important to thank our donors for their valued contributions.

The event began with Amber Cederholm, Automotive Engineering and Technology student and AMET representative to the CSET Student Advisory Board, presenting the Excellence Award Winners: Dr. Kuldeep Agarwal, winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award, and Dr. David Sharlin, winner of the Excellence in Advising Award. Cederholm described these faculty members during her speech. “This faculty member [Sharlin] shows serious enthusiasm for the success of their students. [Making sure] students get all of the opportunities that they deserve, real world experience…finding a job.” Dr. Sharlin clearly has a passion for advising his students. Dr. Agarwal “inspires fascination in the field of additive manufacturing. [Agarwal] instills enlightenment and excitement.”

Dr. Sharlin accepting the Excellence in Advising Award.

Dr. Agarwal accepting the Excellence in Teaching Award.

This year’s keynote speaker was introduced by Bruce Meredith, one of the five Meredith children. Dr. Donald and Mrs. Marjorie Meredith came to Mankato in 1959 to open an orthopedic medical practice. During their estate planning, the Merediths supported Valley City State, the University of North Dakota, and Minnesota State University, Mankato. The Merediths felt it was important to give back to the community in which they raised their family, so they funded the Meredith Scholarship. The Meredith Scholarship covers tuition and room and board for students in science and mathematics so that recipients can focus exclusively on their studies.

Laura Fitzsimmons, a 2008 Meredith Scholar, is now enrolled in a Physician’s Assistant program at Augsburg College. In her time at Minnesota State Mankato, she majored in biomedical science. “I realize how very fortunate I am…This is the greatest blessing of my life. The people I have met and the experiences that I have had have been so fortunate to have. They are the true benefit. You aren’t promised success, but the promise of possibility. Soon, we will have the opportunity to give just as we were given.” From pizza parties and political discussion to academic rigor and surprise major changes, Fitzsimmons shared fond memories of her time here at Minnesota State Mankato and as a Meredith Scholar. It is clear to see how much these scholarships benefit our students.

Having our students and our donors meet in person is invaluable. Making that connection provides a tangible result for our donors and a mentoring experience for our students.

“Donors appreciate the recognition. We are proud sponsors of MSU, and many of our staff have come through this program. We can give back to the community,” said Kent Ross, representing Kato Engineering, of the Kato Engineering Scholarship.

To Brian Carlson, of Federated Insurance, “This is an opportunity to give back, and an opportunity to get to know the students we support and provide guidance. This helped me as a student.”

Bob Qualset, donor of the Qualset Physics Scholarship, the Qualset Mechanical Engineering Scholarship, and the Qualset Electrical Engineering Scholarship, believes that all of this is “just neat.” “I do this because of these neat kids! I get emails from graduates…it’s neat to see, and I probably get more out of tutoring them. Best job I’ve ever had.”

“Congratulations, and a sincere thank you to our donors. Your belief in our students and our outstanding faculty humbles us, and we want you to know of our gratitude. Your gifts are a long-term investment in each student here tonight; what an impact your generosity has now and into the future.” – Dean Martensen


For MSU events: individuals with a disability, who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, are asked to contact the Office of Accessibility Resources at 507-389-2825 (V/TTD), 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTD) at least five days prior to the event.

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