Six Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship for the 2020–21 academic year. Recipients include Isabel de la Cruz Hexom, Trina Elsinger, Samantha Feucht-Vandemore, Abigail Miller, Ochain Okey and Thuan Tran.
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.
The scholarship benefits Luther College students involved in the TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides customized support and comprehensive programming that promotes student academic success, personal development and sense of community. The federally funded program has been sponsored by Luther for nearly 50 years and serves approximately 180 students annually.
Isabel de la Cruz Hexom is a sophomore majoring in social work with a minor in music. She attended high school in Decorah and previously attended a private Catholic school in Spain. She plays in the Luther College Concert Band and Pep Band, and she serves as a tutor in Luther's Language Learning Center and as an outreach assistant for Counseling Service. Through Tau Delta Gamma sorority, she has volunteered for a local nursing home and the Humane Society and has assisted with highway cleanup. In January, she completed an internship with Helping Services for Youth and Families. She will graduate from Luther in 2022.
Trina Elsinger is a sophomore from Dubuque, Iowa. She is studying anthropology and classical studies at Luther. She is a member of the cheer team for football and basketball, and she was recently selected as cheer captain. Elsinger has served as a counselor at Camp EWALU in Strawberry Point, Iowa, and currently works as a student manager for the Luther catering team. She will graduate in 2022 from Luther.
Samantha Feucht-Vandemore is a sophomore from Canton, South Dakota. She is majoring in social work with a leadership studies minor. She loves animals and volunteering at Thunder Road Therapeutic Riding of Decorah, where she interacts with a variety of people, including youth and veterans. Feucht-Vandemore also enjoys playing handbells, including during the Christmas at Luther program. She has served as a camp counselor the past two summers and is employed as a student manager at Marty's Cyber Café. She plans to enlist with the U.S. Army Reserves in addition to pursuing her master of social work (MSW) degree. She will graduate from Luther College with the class of 2022.
Abigail Miller is a sophomore from St. Charles, Minnesota. A biology major with a minor in environmental studies, she spent the 2019–20 academic year working for the Luther College Biology Department, most recently contributing to the Luther research insect collection and caring for the live insects and marine tank as the entomology lab assistant. She has volunteered at Whitewater State Park helping care for turtles and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service banding Canadian geese and surveying prairie bumble bees. As a member of Luther College Habitat for Humanity, she participated in a build last year in Sante Fe, New Mexico. She plans to attend graduate school after completing her Luther studies in 2022.
Ochain Okey is a sophomore from Austin, Minnesota. He is majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. His campus memberships include Habitat for Humanity, Black Student Union (BSU), Norse Against Sexual Assault (NASA), Chemistry Club and Health Science Club. In addition, he is active musically, having played his bassoon in Wind and Percussion Ensemble, Philharmonia, and Concert Band. He received the Outstanding First Year Student Award in 2019 from the TRIO program. Following his 2022 Luther College graduation, Okey plans to earn doctor of pharmacy and master of public health degrees. In preparation, he completed the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at the University of Iowa and has been accepted to the Life Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the University of Minnesota.
Thuan Tran is a junior psychology major and biology minor. She was born in Vietnam, grew up in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and participated in the 2019–20 Luther-sponsored study abroad program in Nottingham, England. An advocate for children with autism, she makes an impact as a mentor through the Luther PALS program and as a nanny for local families. In addition, she has served as a positive ambassador for the college in her roles with the Welcome Desk and Mail Center. She received the Communication Award from the TRIO program and was selected to the American Rivers Conference All-Academic Team as a member of Luther College Women's Tennis. After graduating from Luther in 2021, she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in autism.
Luther College is home to more than 1,900 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.