Al Golden



More than $135,000 awarded since 2008

Al Golden Scholarship supports North Dakota’s future energy leaders.

The Al Golden Memorial Scholarship Fund, named after North Dakota oil pioneer and the first member of the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Hall of Fame Al Golden, was established in 2008 to support students who are pursuing post-secondary education at a North Dakota college or university in geology, engineering, processing plant technology, science, technical skills or other careers related to the oil and gas industry. The scholarships are part of the oil and gas industry’s efforts to help solve growing workforce demands in North Dakota. The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation awards 10 scholarships of up to $2,000 each school year.  

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Who can apply 

The Al Golden Scholarship is open to full-time students who have a 3.0 GPA or higher and are pursuing a post-secondary education at a North Dakota college or university in geology, engineering, science, processing plant technology, and other technical skills or trades related to energy development or processing.

Applicants must also have completed ONE of the following:

  • At least six months of work and/or internship experience in the oil and gas industry.
  • Completed at least 12 hours in geology, earth science, geological/petroleum engineering, chemistry, math, or safety.

How to apply

To apply for the Al Golden Scholarship, please complete and submit the following:

    • A completed application (download using the button to the left);
    • College transcripts;
    • A letter of reference reflecting on your general character, work ethic, etc. from a college professor OR past employer from the energy industry;
    • A one-page essay that addresses the following:
          • Brief biography about yourself and why you deserve this scholarship;
          • Career plans for your chosen major and where you see yourself in five years.



Our 2022 Al Golden Scholars

Brian Bloms

Brian Bloms is pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree at the North Dakota State University. Bloms spent more than six years working in the oil and gas industry as a lease operator where he tended to 75 wells. He intends to use his engineering degree to build on his previous experiences and become a production or reliability engineer in North Dakota. In his time away from school, Bloms enjoys farming with his dad, hunting pheasants and deer with his brother and friends, and spending time with his girlfriend and her two-year old son.

Lila Farden

Lila Farden is a sophomore from Maxbass, North Dakota, and is attending the Hamm School of Engineering for construction management at the University of Mary. She has worked in the oilfield industry with her family’s third-generation business throughout her high school and college years. From an early age, she knew she wanted to work in the oil industry and provide a sustainable future for generations to come with resources from her home state. After graduation, she plans to continue collaborating with her father to take the business into the fourth generation to see western North Dakota blossom like it did when she was too young to be a part of it yet.

Jadyn Guidinger

Jadyn Guidinger is a sophomore at the University of North Dakota pursuing a degree in chemical engineering. She is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota, and a 2021 graduate of Legacy High School. Jadyn interned this summer at the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality. On campus, she is the Vice President of Engineers Without Borders and an active member of the Society of Women Engineers; she also is part of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program at UND.

Luke Kenner

Luke Kenner grew up on a hay and cattle farm in Northern Minnesota. After high school, he attended trade school for mechanics, worked a few years in the trades, and caught a break landing a job in the oil and gas industry. After working in the industry, he decided to pursue his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering at NDSU. Luke is currently a senior and is planning to graduate in May of 2023.

Kate Kesler

Kate Kesler 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. She currently participates in the UND Tennis Club, Undergraduate Medical Association, MedLife, Math Club, and Women in Science at UND. Kesler recently completed an internship with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality Chemistry Division this summer and is looking forward to continuing her path toward a STEM career.

Paige Lang

Paige Lang is from Bismarck, ND, and is a senior civil engineering major at the University of Mary. For the past two summers, she has been working at Apex Engineering as a water intern. This internship made her more aware of the water issues of civil engineering, and it also allowed her to work with some amazing engineers. She is excited to wrap up her studies at the University of Mary and enter into an engineering career.

Tomiwa Oguntade

Tomiwa Oguntade is a doctoral 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 the 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. In addition, with his passion for adding value to the body of academics, he has authored and co-authored nine Scopus index journals and eight conference papers presented at Society of Petroleum Engineers conferences.

John Sturm

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 wild lease roads of the Bakken for another four. When the price of oil fell so low that it forced him out of his job, he decided to return to school to study engineering, and hopes to return to the oil fields after graduation to join in the fight to make the nation energy-independent.

Maya Wald

Maya Wald is a native of Minot, ND, and graduated high school in 2020 from Bishop Ryan Catholic School. She is currently attending the University of Mary and entering her third year studying computer science. After graduating, Wald plans to pursue a career in software development or a related field in North Dakota.

Peyton Mertz

Help Support North Dakota’s Future Energy Leaders

Your contribution will help students pursuing an education and career in energy







Our Programs and Initiatives

The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation operates several programs, events and initiatives aimed at providing and supporting education and outreach opportunities related to the oil and gas industry; developing and advancing quality of life initiatives; and, promoting and enhancing the conservation heritage of North Dakota.


Held in two communities each summer, this free festival offers food, music, games and activities for kids, and the opportunity to meet and learn from oil and gas companies and their employees operating in our state.


Planting for the Future is a habitat and conservation program that provides trees and shrubs for large-scale planting projects to private landowners, city and county parks, and others interested in building habitat for the future.


This seminar offers educators the opportunity to earn continuing education credits while learning about the oil industry, touring a rig and other oilfield facilities, ideas to take back to the classroom.


The ND Energy Education program offers free educational tools, resources and seminars to both students and teachers to help them learn more about North Dakota's oil and natural gas industry and explore energy in STEM.


Named after North Dakota oil pioneer, the Al Golden Scholarship awards a $2,000 scholarship each year to up to nine students pursuing post-secondary education or training in an energy-related field.


This award-winning program brings oil and natural gas companies and their employees together with members of the community to keep our communities and roadways clean with huge community-wide events and Adopt-a-Highway programs.


The Bakken Classic Club is dedicated to enhancing habitat and access to the outdoors throughout North Dakota. Members participate in the annual Bakken Classic Fishing Derby to raise money for conservation projects and partner organizations.


The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation continues to support and partner with charitable and civic organizations through sponsorship, in-kind assistance and contributions, volunteerism, and resource drives, and more.

Our Sponsors and Supporters







Our events and efforts aren’t possible without the support of our members. Thanks to all our Premier Partners for their sponsorship! Learn more about becoming a Premier Partner here