Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship

Luther College announces Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship Winners

DECORAH, Iowa—Five Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship for the 2017-18 academic year.

Recipients of the scholarship, announced during the Luther College TRIO Celebration Banquet on April 19, are Janet Irankunda, Lauren Knuckey, Hannah O’Polka, Nicole Stier and Ashley Veeser.

The Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship benefits Luther College students involved in the TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides “holistic, individualized support and comprehensive programming that promotes students’ academic success, personal development and sense of community.” The federally funded program has been sponsored by Luther since 1973 and serves over 165 students annually.

The Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship was established in 2001 by Lloyd and Kathy Anderson of Ames, Iowa, in memory of their son, pastor Steven Mark Anderson, who graduated from Luther in 1985.

Janet Irankunda, a sophomore from Coon Rapids, Minn., is majoring in music education with plans to teach choir. One of three student representatives on the college’s Strategic Planning Committee, she is also the sophomore class representative and Campus Betterment Committee chairperson for the Luther College Student Senate. Her additional roles include Cathedral Choir vice president, PALS member, Diversity Center peer mentor and Admissions special events ambassador.

Lauren Knuckey of Galena, Ill., is a research assistant in the Luther College psychology department, a lab assistant for the biology department and a former biology tutor. In addition to playing the piccolo in the Luther College Symphony Orchestra, she is on the PALS executive board, a GrandPALS companion for two nursing home residents, a member of APO and is a Luther Imagine Scholar. A sophomore with a double major in neuroscience and Spanish, Knuckey plans to pursue graduate study in neuroscience in medical and educational research.

Hannah O’Polka from Grinnell, Iowa, is a junior majoring in social work. She is a resident assistant in Olson Hall, morale captain for Dance Marathon, a member of the Freya Ultimate Frisbee team and a peer mentor. O'Polka plans to continue on to graduate school and eventually pursue a career in counseling, specializing in child and family development.

Nicole Stier is a sophomore from Hastings, Minn., in Luther's Nursing Program. She coordinates ongoing service projects as president of the Mu Theta chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO) national service fraternity. She is also a member of the Luther Student Nursing Association and Cantorei Choir, as well as a Goodhue County Humane Society volunteer.

Ashley Veeser is a junior from Appleton, Wis., majoring in social work. She holds multiple leadership roles on the Luther College campus, including resident assistant in Ylvisaker Hall, co-president of the Social Work Association, vice president of the TRIO Student Leadership Council, and president of Active Minds. She is also a member of the Freya Ultimate Frisbee team and was a member of Believing and Achieving. She plans to serve in the Peace Corp before entering graduate school where she will pursue a degree in children's mental health.