Al Golden



More than $155,000 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 2023 Al Golden Scholars

Lila Farden

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.

Jadyn Guidinger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.


A dedicated and driven individual, Rim is an engineering major with an insatiable curiosity for machine design and exploring innovative solutions in intricate mechanical systems. Rim is also committed to fostering sustainable practices and looks forward to internship experience that intertwines the creation of technologies with the efficiency of machinery and problem-solving. Rim is a mechanical engineering major with a minor in computer science at the University of North Dakota.

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.

Supporting Partners

The North Dakota Petroleum Foundation's programs and initiatives are made possible by annual support and donations from sponsors and partners.

Oil and Gas Research Program
Hess Corporation
Aux Sable






$10,000 - $14,999


$10,000 - $14,999


$10,000 - $14,999


$10,000 - $14,999
TC Energy
Baranko Bros


$10,000 - $14,999


$10,000 - $14,999


$5,000 - $9,999


Up to $5,000


Up to $5,000


Up to $5,000
The Harms Group
MAP Mechanical
Panther Pressure Testers


Up to $5,000


Up to $5,000


Up to $5,000


Up to $5,000


Up to $5,000


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