During the 77th Annual PCCA Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March, the PCCA Education & Research Foundation announced the recipients of its 2022-2023 scholarships: Eli Herkenrath, Silver Lake, Kans.; Brady Harmand, Marland, Okla.; Benjamin Tholen, Bristol, Ill.; Richard Sapp, Coleman, Mich.; and Bret Jennings, Linn, Mo.
Eli Herkenrath, Silver Lake, Kans. PCCA affiliation: Michels Corporation
Eli earned a 4.0 GPA at Silver Lake Jr.-Sr. High School, while lettering in football, wrestling, and golf. He graduates this year and plans to study Mechanical Engineering at Kansas State University.
“From a young age until now I have enjoyed building things, whether it was making things with toys as a child or constructing woodworking projects today. This, along with my family’s legacy in the construction field, urges me to pursue a similar career. I believe that I can help the construction industry by contributing to improvements in efficiency throughout the construction sector.”
Brady Harmand, Marland, Okla. PCCA affiliation: Ditch Witch
A 2022 graduate from Frontier High School, Brady earned a 4.0 GPA, while serving as Future Farmers of America president, belonging to the Oklahoma and National Honor Societies, and playing baseball.
He plans to attend Northern Oklahoma College and study Mechanical Engineering.
Brady intends to work at the Phillips 66 refinery in Ponca City, Okla., as a mechanical engineer and looks forward to living out in the country near Marland, starting a family, and owning his own land: “Hopefully including a couple of hundred acres, with a nice-sized farmhouse, barn, and continuing my cattle herd I have in my life now.”
Benjamin Tholen, Bristol, Ill. PCCA affiliation: TT Technologies
Benjamin graduated from Yorkville High School in 2019 with a 4.8 GPA and now attends the University of Kentucky, where he majors in Chemical Engineering.
Benjamin recently received a LEAN systems certification, which he said, “has taught me how to effectively use problem-solving techniques in a manufacturing setting to increase efficiency.”
“It was not until I enrolled in AP Chemistry that I discovered my true obsession. Chemistry opened my eyes to the applications of mathematics and the fascinating concepts within our universe. This newfound interest has propelled me into the direction of majoring in chemical engineering with obtaining an environmental engineering certificate and a power and energy certificate.”
Richard Sapp, Coleman, Mich. PCCA affiliation: Mears Group
Richard is a 2022 graduate of Coleman Jr./Sr. High School, with a 3.4 GPA. He plans to attend Michigan Technological University and major in Engineering and Industrial Management.
Richard was a three-year captain of the track and power lifting teams and a Squadron Commander and eventually Platoon Commander at the Clare Youth Police Academy. He credits his success “to the relationships I have formed and will continue to form with my peers.
I view myself as their equal and nothing more, and I am willing to make compromises that are beneficial both parties.”
Bret Jennings, Linn, Mo.“Who Will Do the Work?” Scholarship Recipient
Brett is in the Utility Systems Technician program at the State Technical College of Missouri. He graduated from LaPlata R-II with a 3.12 GPA.
“Jobs that consist of an outdoor environment as well as constructing and advancing infrastructure have always been an interest of mine that I have wanted to pursue. After I earn my associates degree, my goal is to find a job in the fiber optic communications field. I value working hard and getting things done the correct way.”