2020 EEF Scholarships
The Environmental Education Foundation is proud to present its 2020 scholars to the membership of the Geneva Lake Association. “Our goal is to support area students who want to protect the environment through their scholastic studies and future vocations,” said EEF President Carl Rathmann.
Thomas E. Reynolds Endowment Scholarships
Among the scholarships awarded, the Thomas E. Reynolds (TER) scholars are eligible to receive $3,000 per year for four years if they maintain their environmentally-focused pursuits. TER scholarships were received by the following students:
Makalyn Peterson, a senior at UW-Platteville, who attended Big Foot HS; Danielle Marez Wrzesinski, a junior at Iowa State University, who attended Big Foot HS; Emily Sheen, a sophomore at UW-Platteville, who attended Badger High School; and Melissa Konkel, a 2020 graduate of Big Foot High School who will be attending UW-Madison. TER scholars are eligible to receive $3,000 per year for four years if they satisfactorily maintain their environmentally-focused pursuits.
Hello! My name is Makalyn Peterson.
I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville, graduating in December! I will graduate with an Agricultural Education Degree and a double emphasis in Animal Science and Agribusiness. The end goal is to be a high school agriculture teacher. The time has finally come, and I feel that through my studies at UW – Platteville and Extended Learning, I will be able to teach students about ways to reduce the carbon footprint and improve the environment. For my continued commitment to the preservation and conservation of natural resources and the environment both academically and through extracurricular activities, I am prepared to educate others and review the changes occurring in agriculture and willing to continue to learn as I go. I feel that I have listening ears to help those who have ideas on lowering the carbon footprint and I am very open to learning from others.
Thank you so much for awarding me the Thomas E. Reynolds Scholarship. It has greatly assisted me in my schooling at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and I look forward to passing along my environmental knowledge and the ways it can be applied in agriculture, in the classroom and in everyday life!
Hi, I am Danielle Wrzesinski.
This coming year I am going to be a Junior at Iowa State University. I am majoring in Biological Systems Engineering, on the bio-renewable pathway. My passion for environmental issues stems from ethanol. I want to produce ethanol that when burned is cleaner and more efficient.
Hello everyone! My name is Emily Sheen.
I am a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin Platteville. I am officially majoring in Environmental Engineering and minoring in Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems. Due to my passion for the environment, I joined the Environmental Reclamation Club on campus. In this club, we help restore and manage local oak savannas by removing invasive species such as honeysuckle, setting controlled burns, collecting native seeds, making seed balls, and spreading native seeds throughout the sites. I have also joined the Outdoor Adventure Club in which we visit many state parks in order to learn the importance of protecting the environment and ways to limit human effects (you can't enjoy the environment if you don't help protect it). I will be a continuing member of these clubs in the future. I hope to one day use my knowledge and experience to develop systems that will help manage runoff and water pollution as well as to enhance and promote the use of renewable energy systems. Lastly, I would like to thank you for supporting my educational career, and I am extremely grateful for everything the Geneva Lake Association does to help preserve the environment. "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead
Hi, I am Melissa Konkel.
This Fall, I will be attending the University of Wisconsin - Madison through the College of Agriculture and Life Science as a Dairy Science and Microbiology major. Simultaneously, I will also be serving as the Wisconsin Section 10 State FFA Officer, serving the FFA chapters of Southeastern Wisconsin in promoting leadership and advocating for agriculture. I hope that through my collegiate education I can use the knowledge gained about the physiology of dairy cattle and how microbes can be used to institute positive change, as well as the experiences through my state FFA officer position of communicating with industry leaders in Wisconsin and learning about how the agriculture industries work, all in the hopes of creating new technologies to help the agriculture industry work better both itself and the environment. By combining and working with both sides, progress for both can be made, and by using new technologies or microbes in tandem with current methods, a better environment can be achieved while still fulfilling the demand the ag industry has to meet.
EEF High School Graduate Scholarships
EEF awarded $3,000 scholarships to these students graduating from high school: Camryn Johnston of Badger HS, attending Midwestern State University; and Sydney Bender of Big Foot HS, attending UW Platteville.
Hello! My name is Camryn Johnston.
I will be attending Midwestern State University in Wichita, Falls, Texas this fall as a freshman. I will be pursuing a degree in Agriculture Business. Agriculture innovation is essential to protect our environment. My goal is to learn and develop integrated crop, livestock, and forestry systems. Future Farmers must work hand in hand with environmentalists, and engineers to preserve our environment.
Hi! I’m Sydney Bender, a 2020 graduate from Big Foot High School.
My interest in the environment flourished during my senior year after taking an AP environmental class. It opened my eyes to more aspects of the environment expanding further on pollution, agricultural impacts and much more. I actually invested in more reusable water bottles over the course of the year. Though I will not be majoring in a direct environmental area I want to continue to educate others and help grow a brighter future for the next generations. This is why in the fall I will be attending the University of Wisconsin - Platteville to major in agricultural education. Thank you for helping in furthering my education and building a better community for students like myself.
EEF Undergraduate Scholarships
Undergrad EEF scholarships totaling $8,500 were awarded to: Christian Johnston, Badger (2019), attending Northwestern University); Douglas Reuss, Badger (2017), attending UW-Madison; Natasha Trush, Williams Bay (2018), attending UW-Stevens Point; and Brooke Bowser, Barneveld (2017), attending UW-Madison.
Hi! My name is Christian Johnston
I am a rising sophomore at Northwestern University studying environmental engineering. My first year was great and I am excited to dive deeper into my studies this next year. I haven’t narrowed down to a certain area of environmental work yet, but I am very interested in both sustainable urban design and environmental remediation. In the future I hope to contribute to not only making our cities more eco-friendly but protecting the natural environment that we still have as well.
Howdy, my name is Douglas Reuss.
Since graduating from Badger High School in 2017, I can proudly say that I currently attend the University of Wisconsin Madison. With six great semesters under my belt I will be entering my final two in the fall. I will graduate in the spring with a double major in economics and environmental studies, with the intention of attending law school. At Madison I have had the pleasure of being a part of the student governing body, Associated Students of Madison for three years and as vice chair for the past two. Here, along with my fellow sustainability committee members, I have had the ability to plan and execute campaigns tailored around sustainability on campus. I enjoy seeing environmental conservation, preservation, and sustainability enacted on a political and legal level. I think that our current and future climate only bodes well for environmental issues, as these debates can only grow stronger in time. I hope to be at the forefront of this new paradigm, and I want to thank the Environmental Education Foundation for giving me the financial opportunity to pursue my goals.
Hello, my name is Natasha Trush.
Thank you EEF for another gracious scholarship that aids me in my education and passion. I am a junior going to UW-Stevens Point with the intended major of Soils and Waste Management and Water Resources. I work at the lab on campus, Water Environmental Analysts Lab testing the quality of well water in Wisconsin. I also work with a group called Golden Sand RC&D. With them I snorkel and scuba in local lakes pulling invasive. Opportunities like this are possible with this scholarship. Thank you.
My name is Brooke Bowser.
I will be a senior this fall at UW-Madison. I am earning degrees in Environmental Sciences and Life Sciences Communication with certificates in Sustainability and Education. Over the past few years, I have had extraordinary experiences both inside and outside of the classroom as I conducted ecological research, covered the youth climate movement as a journalist, and led student organizations to make a difference on campus. After I graduate, I plan to continue my efforts in environmental communication to motivate others to join the movement and to amplify the voices of those who are most impacted by environmental injustice.
The EEF also awarded Outdoor Education Grants in the amount of $860 each to these area schools fostering environmental awareness: Fontana, Brookwood, LG Middle, Reek, Sharon, St. Francis, Traver, Walworth, Williams Bay, and Mt. Zion.
Founded 40 years ago by Thomas E. Reynolds, a Geneva Lake Association (GLA) president, the EEF has awarded nearly $600,000 in scholarship awards and school grants to benefit local students, with the support of donations from generous local people and community organizations, including the GLA.
Some of the careers EEF scholars are preparing for include physical geology, forest and land management, environmental science, hazardous waste management, natural resources and conservation, environmental law and policy, and fish and wildlife management. Over 500 local youth have received EEF scholarships to date.
The EEF is also providing a $5,000 grant to the students of GLAS (Geneva Lake Astrophysics and STEAM) in support of the second phase of their study of light pollution in the Geneva Lake area, a second grant made in support of their LENSS (Lakeshore Environment and Night Sky Sensor) project.
The EEF is affiliated with the GLA as an independent 501.c.3 not-for-profit foundation. You can learn more about the EEF, its mission, and directors at its website: http://www.eefscholars.org/.