2015 Scholarship Recipients

In the spring of 2015, the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation awarded a record 93 scholarships to 73 students.  Of those, 58 scholarships went to 47 high school seniors; 31 scholarships went to 22 undergraduate or graduate students; and 4 tech scholarships went to older tech students.  The total amount awarded was a record $272,600. 

Students earning financial support from the foundation range from outstanding high school seniors to dedicated graduate students to determined older adults going back to school to learn new skills and improve their credentials.

The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors would like to express their enormous gratitude to all the thoughtful and generous people who have created, or donated to, our scholarship funds. These investments in our citizens, made one person at a time, open up wonderful educational opportunities for our residents and lift our entire community. We love where we live.

Below are just some of the 2015 recipients.  For a complete list, click here. 

Shalane Hundt
$5,000 Buell Graduate
$4,400 Juanita Schreiner Memorial 
$2,000 Medical Careers

Shalane Hundt, a 2011 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, graduated this past May from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she earned a bachelor of science degree in biology.  This fall she will begin dental school at Marquette University’s School of Dentistry.  Hundt decided on a career in dentistry after job shadowing stints at dental clinics allowed her to see the impact a caring dentist had on patients, both physically and psychologically.   Her goal is to eventually work as a licensed general dentist, certified to practice in the state of Wisconsin.

Lyndsay Gavin
$5,000 Rutledge Memorial
$1,500 AAUW Jane Knox Graduate

A 2008 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Gavin went on to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where in 2012 she earned a bachelor of science degree in biological systems engineering. For the past two years, she has been employed as an environmental, health and safety engineer with Hunt Oil Company in Dallas Texas. It was as an EHS engineer at Hunt Oil that Gavin developed her interest in pursuing a career in public health. Exposed to contradictory reports written by experts who disagreed over whether industrial byproducts had negative effects on human health, she has decided to research the issue herself, hoping to bridge the gap between biological earth sciences and health sciences.  This fall, she will enroll at Yale University to work on a master’s degree in public health with a focus on epidemiology.

Jessy Poole
$5,000 Buell Graduate 
$ 400 Gene Halker Memorial

A 1998 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Poole graduated with a degree in English from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2003. After earning a master’s of fine arts degree in fiction writing at the University of Utah in 2008, Poole was admitted to the doctoral program at the State University of New York-Albany where he has since been studying and teaching English.  Poole’s dissertation, titled The Otter’s Passing, is a collection of short stories exploring life in rural Wisconsin.  One of his references wrote of him, “To put it most simply, Poole is a multi-talented, accomplished, nuanced, engaging scholar, fiction writer, and teacher. . . And I have not yet mentioned he also happens to be a charming, kind man.”

Hannah Schultz
$2,000 Medical Careers
$1,800 Juanita Schreiner Memorial
$1,500 AAUW Jane Knox Graduate

A 2010 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Schultz attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology, with a pre-med emphasis, in 2014. This fall, she will enroll at Concordia University to begin pursuing a doctoral degree in pharmacy.  Schultz has s strong pharmacy background having worked for years as a pharmacy technician at Tuttle’s Pharmacy in Fort Atkinson, interned with the pharmacy department at Fort Healthcare, and since 2014 been working at UW Health, first as a pharmacy assistant and more recently elevated to medication access specialist.

Kellie (Holler) Soendergaard
$5,000 Buell Graduate

A 2003 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Soendergaard graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Germanic studies. Her interest in linguistics led her onto an international path, studying and working in both the Netherlands and Thailand where she realized that her work with student advising and counseling was where she found her greatest reward.  She has now relocated back to the United States and is beginning a master’s degree program in school counseling at Northeastern Illinois University.

Margaret Nehmer
$2,200 AAUW Adopt-a-Student
$2,000 Eileen Harrison Education

In 2015, Nehmer, a 2012 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, will head into her senior year at Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind., where she is working on a degree in elementary education with licensure in special education, reading, and early childhood education.  Having volunteered for many years as an aide at Parent’s Cooperative Preschool in Fort Atkinson, in the summer of 2014 she was employed there as the two-year-old summer school teacher. Nehmer hopes to have the chance to come back to this area to continue her teaching career after her 2016 graduation.

Pictured above are the 2015 recipients of the Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation Scholarship, each in the amount of $3,000 and renewable for the next three years for a total of $12,000.  They are, from left to right: Front Row - Vail Streiter, Kylie Frohmader, presenter and former Batterman recipient Anna Bradshaw Courtier, and Capri Gehred-O'Connell.  Back Row - Ben Stockton and Luke Burlingame. 

 

The first ever Lloyd Hake Memorial Voc Tech Scholarships were awarded this May to five graduating seniors from Fort Atkinson High School and one 2014 graduate.  Pictured above, the 2015 recipients are, left to right: Billy Agnew ($1,000), Alec Brown ($1,000), Billy Streich ($2,000), presenter and Lloyd Hake's great niece Rochelle Mitchell, Kyle Jaeckel ($1,000), and Joel Ulrich ($600).   Not pictured is 2014 FAHS graduate Destiny Kraus ($1,000).

 

Sara Rothberger
$3,000 Buell Graduate
$1,500 AAUW Knox Graduate

Rothberger, a 2008 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School graduate, graduated from Edgewood College in Madison in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.  She went on to Georgia Southern University to earn a master’s degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis in sport and exercise psychology, in 2014. She is now enrolled in the doctoral program at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, studying kinesiology with an emphasis in sport and exercise psychology.  At both Georgia Southern and now at UNC-Greensboro, Rothberger has had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant, confirming her career goal of teaching at a university.

Nathan Kempema
$2,500 Knapp
$1,000 Buell Graduate

Kempema, a 2007 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering.  He then was accepted into the mechanical engineering doctoral program at Yale University where he has worked closely with Professor Marshall Long, a leader in combustion physics.   He is on track to earn his Ph.D. in 2016 and hopes to join an industrial research and design team where he can put his education to use in developing the next generation of power-producing combustion devices.

Tyler Gorman
$1,000 Buell Graduate

Gorman, a 2006 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, is currently enrolled at Yale University where he is pursuing a Masters of Medical Science (Physician Assistant) degree. He earned a bachelor of science degree in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. Gorman’s interest in working as a physician’s assistant stems from their role in the healthcare team as autonomous healthcare practitioners who still have the ability to consult a supervising physician.  Upon graduating in December 2015, Gorman looks forward to joining his passion for science with his commitment to compassionate patient care.

Makenzie Foerster
$2,500 Rutledge Memorial

Foerster, a 2010 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2015. A longtime lifeguard and swim instructor at the Fort Atkinson Aquatic Center, Foerster has a passion for working with children, especially those with autism. At the Aquatic Center, she created an autism-centered swim class that has become more successful with each passing year.  Foerster intends to enroll in a master’s program in adaptive physical education so she can help students with developmental challenges find the tools and confidence they need to be able to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Margaret Kates
$4,400 Juanita Schreiner Memorial

Kates, a 2014 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, is attending Marquette University where she is enrolled in the honors program and working toward her bachelor's degree in nursing.   After graduating in 2018, she hopes to go on to graduate school to fulfill her career goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.  While in college, Kates has continued to work at Alden Estates in Jefferson as a certified nursing assistant and at the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson as a library page.

Alex Harker
$1,500 Medical Careers

This fall Harker, a 2013 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, will be a junior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he is majoring in clinical laboratory science. He cited the great variety in laboratory work as well as the positive impact the work could have in helping others as the primary reasons for pursuing an education in this field.  Harker expects to receive his degree from UW-La Crosse in 2017 and hopes to find a position working in a lab, hospital or even exploring a career as a forensic scientist.

Katie Kozulla
$2,000 Buell Graduate
$2,000 Medical Careers

A 2010 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Kozulla graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders. This fall she will be entering the second year of a two-year master’s program in speech-language pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  After receiving her degree next year, Kozulla hopes to eventually work in a rehabilitation hospital or clinic to help children and adults who have lost the ability to communicate effectively regain their speech and language abilities.

John Kleinschmidt
$1,000 Buell Graduate

A 2004 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, Kleinschmidt was inspired to pursue a career in architecture in part by discussions in Rick Looze’s human geography class about why people live where they live and in what type of dwellings. Fascinated with this idea, Kleinschmidt went on to graduate summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis with a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies.  After a five-year stint working as a project designer with Waggonner & Ball Architects in New Orleans, Kleinschmidt is now finishing up his master's degree in architecture at Yale University.

Elizabeth Hart
$1,200 Pay It Forward

Hart, a 2013 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, will be starting her junior year this fall at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. where she is an undergraduate majoring in elementary education.  Hart first found her passion working with children in Fort Atkinson, both as a volunteer helping teachers in the summer school program and acting as a teen instructor for the popular Safety City course from 2006 to 2011. An English professor at Bradley wrote of Hart, “Her analytical ability, clean prose style, engaging personality, and strong sense of responsibility make her just the sort of teacher one hopes to find in the best classrooms.”  After graduating from Bradley in 2017, Hart hopes to find a teaching position in a school district where she can make a real difference.

Courtney Nikolay
$1,000 Buell Graduate

Nikolay, a 2003 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2008 and then went on to study, work and volunteer all over the world. After receiving a master’s degree in education from Oregon State University in 2012, she took a position at Marquette University as the assistant director in their service learning program. Now she plans to pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit and leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

At the May 2015 awards ceremony, Fort Atkinson High School graduating seniors Samantha Schwartz (left) and Caleb Basu (right) were presented with $23,000 Walter and Louise Buell Merit Scholarships by Fort Atkinson Community Foundation chairman W. Phil Niemeyer.