FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Four University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) students began spring classes this week with their semester financially covered thanks in part to $10,000 in Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarship grants. UAF students Rodney Hobby, Lucas Stumpf, Maggie Ann Beans and Amber Jones, who were chosen for having outstanding academic records and meeting other scholarship criteria, each received $2,500 toward their tuition.
Hobby is working toward a major in biology at UAF’s School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. He recently worked as a seasonal technician on a migration project for the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association (CIAA) collecting data for future forecasts of salmon migrating to the area. Hobby plans to learn more about the effects climate change has on fish populations and find work in the fisheries management field once he graduates. He’s also a devoted father of four, and hopes to continue helping preserve the land and resources of the place he and his children call home through his career.
“I have deep roots in Alaska and it pleases me to study fisheries so I can continue to live and thrive here, and give back to my community,” said Hobby in a letter to Crowley. “Thank you, Crowley Maritime for the scholarship you awarded me so I can continue my education.”
Stumpf is also a student in the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and is studying for a bachelor’s degree in fisheries with a minor in marine sciences. His love of the subject began as a child after participating in salmon and fishing trips throughout Alaska with his parents and three siblings. He currently works for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, and plans to continue working in the field once he graduates to ensure the health of the ecosystems and fisheries in Alaska.
“Being able to provide for our family’s salmon harvest needs has given me a great appreciation for the abundant wild resources,” said Stumpf in his application. “My belief in a sustainable co-existence with fishermen and fisheries has led me to devote my time and effort into this worthy professional field.”
Beans is a freshman at UAF who is working toward a degree in electrical engineering. Her aspirations of becoming an engineer started when she joined her high school’s Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP), but it was her hometown of St. Mary’s, Alaska, that inspired her to become an electrical engineer. Beans has seen how the rising costs of electricity has affected the community, and plans to find work in her field locally to assist in solving this issue once she graduates.
“Making a living is very difficult due to the price of everything gradually rising each year,” said Beans in her application. “In rural Alaska it gets expensive and my plan is to help reduce the price of electricity.”
Jones is a freshman in UAF’s nursing program, but her hard work in high school earned her sophomore credits. She is currently applying for internships at local hospitals and study abroad nursing programs, where she hopes pursue a career doing what she loves most: helping others. Jones’ ultimate dream upon graduation is to travel the world providing medical health to those less fortunate, and who may not otherwise be able to afford care - a goal she believes she is closer to attaining with the help of Crowley’s scholarship.
“I would like to thank Crowley for helping me pay for school and continue to pursue my dreams,” said Jones.
Crowley created this scholarship program to help young people primarily, but not exclusively, from rural Alaska communities to achieve their dreams. Preference is given to students native to Alaska, from Anchorage, Kenai, Palmer, Wasilla, Nenana, Fairbanks, Delta Junction, Glennallen, Valdez, Fort Yukon, Galena, St. Mary's, Iliamna, Bethel, Aniak, McGrath, Hooper Bay, St. Michael, Nome, Kotzebue and Prudhoe Bay. Crowley serves as the main petroleum distribution and sales company in these communities.
Since 1984, Crowley has provided more than half-a-million dollars in scholarship funding for more than 275 students studying at maritime academies and other select institutions in the U.S., Alaska, Puerto Rico and Central America. In 1994, Crowley Chairman, President and CEO, Tom Crowley Jr., established the Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarship Program, in honor of his father, and has also donated more than $2 million over the years to support other educational programs.