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  • North Dakota Petroleum Council Recognizes 2017-2018 Al Golden Scholarship RecipientsOctober 10, 2017

    BISMARCK, ND – The North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) awarded a total of $18,000 from the Al Golden Scholarship Fund to nine students pursuing a post-secondary education in geology, engineering, processing plant technology, science, technology or other careers related to the oil and gas industry. The nine recipients, who were recognized during the NDPC’s Annual Meeting held in Grand Forks in September, will each receive a $2,000 scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year.

    The North Dakota Petroleum Council founded the Al Golden Scholarship Fund in 2008. The fund, which is named after North Dakota oil pioneer and the first member of the NDPC’s Hall of Fame, Al Golden, was established to encourage and support students interested in careers related to North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.

    “Our state and country have become energy leaders of the world and to continue that progress, we must have a skilled, educated and knowledgeable workforce,” said Ron Ness, president of the NDPC. “North Dakota is fortunate to have so many tremendous schools dedicated to energy education, we look forward to seeing these students complete their educations and go on to do great things within the industry.”

    The 2017-2018 Al Golden Scholarship recipients are:


     Alme, Kayleigh Kayleigh Alme is a senior at NDSU studying geology. She is a president of the Geology Club and participates in numerous outreach activities in the Fargo-Moorhead community. She also works as a teaching assistant for the introductory geology labs. Last summer, Kayleigh had a co-op at the Falkirk Mine, helping her gain experience in the energy industry of North Dakota. In the future, she hopes to attend graduate school and further study petrology, geologic hazards, or economic geology.
    Battah, Morrad Morrad Battah is a Junior in petroleum engineering at the University of North Dakota and is involved in Student Advisory board, Peer Mentor, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and Student Ambassador. Morrad’s career goal is to become an offshore drilling engineer and one day build his own oil and gas business, while also giving back to the community. He was born in Irbid, Jordan and moved to Hudson, WI in 2001.
    DeVault, Grace Grace DeVault is a junior geology major at the University of North Dakota. Grace is originally from North Branch, Minnesota, where she graduated as valedictorian in the spring of 2015. She was named to the UND President’s Honor Roll for three consecutive semesters and is interested in pursuing a career in the oil industry after graduation.
    Hopfauf, Tanner Tanner Hopfauf is a senior attending the University of North Dakota. He is majoring in Petroleum Engineering with a minor in mathematics. Tanner is an active member of the UND Society of Petroleum Engineers, previously holding the position of treasurer and currently serving as the Vice President. Tanner grew up in Dickinson, ND surrounded by the booming oil and gas industry. He has interned the past two summers with Continental Resources, in North Dakota and in Oklahoma, and will return to North Dakota as a drilling engineering intern for his third summer. In the future Tanner would like to work in North Dakota and remain involved in the growing industry.
    Larson, Kolton Kolton Larson is currently a junior at North Dakota State University studying Industrial Engineering & Management. He was born and raised in Minot, ND where he graduated from Minot High School in 2014 with Highest Honors. At NDSU, he is involved in NDSU Engineering Ambassadors, Institute of Systems & Industrial Engineers, Blue Key National Honor Society, and St. Paul’s Newman Center. Upon graduation from NDSU, Kolton hopes to pursue a job in the oil and gas industry in his home of Western North Dakota.
    Schmidt, Eric Eric Schmidt is a senior obtaining a degree in Petroleum Engineering at the University of North Dakota. He grew up in Bismarck and graduated from Century High School in 2014. Eric is an active member of the UND Society of Petroleum Engineers and has participated in conferences in North Dakota and across the country. Upon graduation in May of 2018 he plans on joining the growing North Dakota oil industry and set up his roots in the western portion of the state.
    Solem, Cole Cole Solem is a student at Bismarck State College pursuing degrees in Petroleum Engineering Technology and Instrumentation & Control. Cole grew up in Beulah, ND and graduated from Beulah High School in 2014 with Presidential Honors. He interned with ONEOK in Williston, ND over the summer and plans to graduate in 2018 with two Associate degrees, as well as a certificate in Geographical Information Systems. After graduation, Cole plans to pursue a job in the oil and gas industry in North Dakota.
    Tesfu, Merry Merry Tesfu is a junior at the University of North Dakota (UND), pursuing Bachelor of Science degrees in Petroleum Engineering and Geological Engineering. Merry was born and spent most of her life in Ethiopia, before she got the opportunity to come to the US as a permanent resident in 2012. She attended Wilbur Wright College in Chicago to study engineering before a friend told her about UND. Merry learned about Petroleum Engineering program, applied and was accepted, and she moved to Grand Forks, ND in August 2014. In addition to her studies, she also works as a student assistant in UND’s Institute for Energy Studies, (IES).
    Torola, Carl Carl Torola is a junior in Petroleum Engineering at the University of North Dakota. Prior to enrolling at UND, he was employed by first WellPro Inc., in Dickinson, ND, and then Helmerich and Payne drilling where he worked his way up to derrickhand. These valuable experiences were how he discovered his passion for the industry and led him to pursue engineering. Last summer, he worked as a production engineering intern with Whiting Petroleum in Dickinson. After graduation, Carl hopes to stay in the Bakken and apply the lessons learned in the field of engineering.


    The NDPC has awarded more than $88,000 in scholarships since the program was started in 2008. For information on the North Dakota Petroleum Council Scholarship Fund, visit the Petroleum Council website at www.ndoil.org.


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