(St. Paul, Minn) -- The Association of Women Contractors (AWC) announced today the organization will award $10,000 for Educational Scholarships to ten female students pursuing careers in the construction industry. AWC is committed to strengthening the community by providing substantial scholarship money to women in higher education or apprenticeships who are seeking construction industry-related degrees and experience. The Scholarships will be presented at the Annual Scholarship and Awards Celebration on Thursday, May 21 at International Market Square.

“It’s a pleasure to be able to award our largest amount of scholarships to date,” said Barb Christensen, Executive Director of AWC. “Given the tough economic times, I really want to salute our membership for their commitment to helping the next generation of women leaders in the construction industry.”

Each young lady will receive a $1000 scholarship to help defray the cost of college or trade school. Qualifications for the scholarship include Minnesota resident or attending a program in Minnesota; GED or high school graduate on or by July 2009, construction industry major including, but not limited to: architecture, construction management, engineering, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical.

Here is the list of this year’s recipients:
  • Christine Adamietz, Russell, Minnesota. Christine will study wind energy technology at Minnesota West Community and Technical College. She is the first woman enrolled in this program.
  • Sydney Autry, Mantorville, Minnesota. Sydney will major in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas. Sydney’s focus will be to locating oil and natural gas sources and designing methods for extraction.
  • Kelsey Bruning, Plymouth, Minnesota. Kelsey has always been interested in design and construction and will study construction engineering at Iowa State University. Her goal is to become a project manager executing large scale projects.
  • Tansey Cregan, Hanover, Minnesota. Tansey will study construction management at North Hennepin Community College. For the past three years she has worked with JE Dunn as a project coordinator.
  • Shirley Hu, Dundas, Minnesota. Shirley is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Construction Management at Mankato State University. She currently is the treasurer for the Society of Women Engineers.
  • Brenna Luck, Ramsey, Minnesota. Brenna is studying to be a Construction Electrician at Anoka Technical College. Her goal is to become a Master Electrician.
  • Samantha Randby, Gilbert, Minnesota. Samantha is enrolled in the Power Line Program at Minnesota West Community and Technical. She plans to continue her education by majoring in Wind Energy Technology after completing her current program.
  • Crystal Rinkenberger, Clearwater, Minnesota. Crystal currently has a 4.0 GPA in her major of Architectural Construction Technology at St. Cloud Technical College.
  • Maria Ustaralkova, Winona, Minnesota. Maria wants to design Green buildings. She is studying Green Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology.
  • Natasha Bergeson, Plaza, North Dakota. Natasha is a student in the Carpentry Program at Alexandria Technical College. She wants to open a custom furniture and refinishing business.
Since 2001, AWC has awarded scholarships to young women attending college, technical or trade school in construction-related fields, such as skilled trades, engineering, architecture and construction management. Including this year’s scholarships, The AWC has granted $49,000 to young women pursuing careers in the construction field.

The Association of Women Contractors is committed to giving women-owned construction companies an active voice in the Minnesota business community. The statewide organization promotes contract opportunities, monitors legislative issues impacting the industry, and provides networking opportunities for women contractors. For more information, call Barb Christensen, AWC’s Executive Director at (651) 489-2221 or go to the website at www.awcmn.org.