Two $5,000 Bakken U scholarship awards were announced today by the North Dakota University System and the NDUS Foundation. The scholarships were given through donations from the North Dakota Petroleum Council and the Hess Corporation.
The scholarships have been awarded to Chad Schoch, of New England, and Briley Crissler, of Belcourt. Schoch is a Process Plant Technology student at Bismarck State College. Crissler is a Business Management student at Minot State University.
Schoch has been in the oil industry since 2010. The scholarship is helping him pay for two degrees from Bismarck State College - one in Petroleum Production Technology and another in Process Plant Technology. And he's contemplating more education to ensure he has options moving forward.
"I wanted to expand my knowledge and experience so if push comes to shove, and I find myself looking for new job, I won't be a one trick pony. These degrees help with that, and the scholarship really alleviates the financial burden," he said. Schoch is employed full time with Whiting, and says working for good companies have helped him avoid the layoffs others have experienced, and allowed him to stay in the state he loves.
Crissler thanked the North Dakota Petroleum Council, North Dakota University System Foundation and Hess Corporation for supporting a generous scholarship. "North Dakota is at the forefront of America's energy revolution, and it is very encouraging to see the university system taking steps to provide programs and resources that promote students in the energy industry. The Bakken U scholarship will substantially reduce the cost of my education and provide motivation as I work towards earning my degree."
Dr. Kevin Melicher, a member of both the State Board of Higher Education and the NDUS Foundation, said the students each exemplified the type of candidate the Bakken U initiative aimed to support.
"Both Mr. Schoch and Mr. Crissler showed talent and ambition by enrolling in our campuses to add to their skillsets and education," Melicher said. "We're happy to award these scholarships to them through the NDUS Foundation, and to call them students in our system."
The announcements were made Tuesday, Aug. 30 at BSC and MiSU.
Ron Ness, of the Petroleum Council, said, "We are glad to be part of this scholarship program, it's a great way to encourage our workforce to continue advancing their skillset."