North Dakota Petroleum Foundation Announces 2023 Scholarship Recipients
Bismarck, N.D. – The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation (NDPF) today announced its 2023 Al Golden Scholars. 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 2023-2024 school year.
“North Dakota’s oil and natural resources are world-class and we know the world needs energy. The future of our industry is bright,” states Ron Ness, CEO of the North Dakota Petroleum Foundation and President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. “Students pursuing two-year or four-year degrees, or any type of advanced training, will have incredible job opportunities in North Dakota for decades into the future. We are proud to support scholarships for 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:
Lila Farden, University of Mary – Lila Farden is a junior from Maxbass, North Dakota, and is attending the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary pursuing a degree in business administration. She has worked in the oilfield and civil construction industries with her family’s third-generation business throughout high school and college. Throughout those years, she has gained valuable experience and built a network of connections all the way from the southern oilfields of Texas to the bitter cold fields of Alberta. After graduation, she plans on continuing her work in providing a sustainable future for generations to come with resources from her home state.
Jayden Guidinger, University of North Dakota – Jadyn Guidinger is a Junior at the University of North Dakota studying Chemical Engineering. She has internship experience as a Process Engineering Intern at Pfizer and as an Environmental Engineering Intern at the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality. On campus, Jadyn is the President of Engineers Without Borders and an active member of the Society of Women Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She also is part of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program at UND and an undergraduate peer mentor.
Rachael Josephs, University of North Dakota – Rachael Josephs is a doctoral student at the University of North Dakota studying for a Ph.D. in Energy Engineering. In addition, she works as a Graduate Research Assistant working on hydrogen production and storage research at the Institute of Energy Studies. Her Ph.D. research is focused on subsurface hydrogen storage in the Opeche salt formation in the North Dakota Williston Basin. Rachael has also authored and co-authored 5 Scopus index journals and conference papers on energy-related topics.
Kate Kesler, University of North Dakota – Kate Kessler 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. Kate currently participates in the UND Tennis Club, Undergraduate Medical Association, MedLife, and Women in Science at UND. She recently completed an internship with NASA’s Earth Science Division this summer and will continue to work with NASA in the Fall. She is looking forward to continuing her path toward a STEM career
Tomiwa Oguntade, University of North Dakota – Tomiwa Oguntade is a Ph.D. 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 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.
Molly Rayhorn, University of North Dakota – Molly Rayhorn is originally from New England, ND, and is an electrical engineering student at the University of North Dakota. She is active in several groups including Engineers Without Borders and the Society of Women Engineers. She also enjoys volunteering at various events in the community. Molly recently completed a summer internship at MBN Engineering where she gained experience in lighting and electrical design.
Michael Salwei, North Dakota State University– Michael Salwei is a senior at North Dakota State University studying Civil Engineering. While studying, he also gained experience at Ulteig Engineers and Bartlett & West Engineering. After graduating in May 2024, Michael plans to use his education, expertise, and skills in a consulting firm in North Dakota.
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 the wild lease roads of the Bakken for another four. When the plummeting price of oil forced him out of his job, he returned to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering. After graduation, he hopes to return to the oil fields to continue the fight to make the nation energy independent.
Grace Taiwo, University of North Dakota – Grace Taiwo is currently a PhD student at the University of North Dakota and her research is focused on the middle Bakken member of the Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin. Her career began in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria where she worked as a geoscientist in the Niger Delta Basin for over a decade. Prior to continuing her program at UND, she has taken some courses at Colorado State University. The combination of her practical experience in the industry and academic knowledge allowed her to approach geological challenges with a well-rounded perspective. Her current work explores the sedimentology and depositional model for the mixed carbonate-siliciclastic middle Bakken member of an intracratonic basin.
The Al Golden Memorial Scholarship Fund is named after 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 a post-secondary education in energy-related fields.
“Students pursuing two-year or four-year degrees, or any type of advanced training, will have incredible job opportunities in North Dakota for decades into the future. We are proud to support scholarships for these talented students and future leaders of our industry.”
The Al Golden Memorial Scholarship Fund is named after North Dakota oil pioneer and the first member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council’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 nearly $108,000 to students pursuing a post-secondary education in energy-related fields.
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