Luther College announces Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship winners

April 27, 2021

Six Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Steven Mark Anderson Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year. Recipients include Ethan Bellendier, Shelby Cassidy, Ana Garcia de Leon, Iris Ohlrogge, Gabriella Vargas and Waleed Yual.

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 first-generation and income-eligible Luther College students involved in the TRIO Achievement Program. TRIO provides customized support and comprehensive programming that fosters students' academic success, personal development and community engagement. The federally-funded program has been sponsored by Luther for nearly 50 years and serves approximately 180 students annually.

Ethan Bellendier "˜23 is a sophomore from Independence, Iowa, majoring in neuroscience. Bellendier serves on the Luther College Honor Council, is a member of the Health Sciences Club, volunteers as community engagement coordinator for Habitat for Humanity and is president of Luther College Democrats. He is also one of three peer leaders in the TRIO Achievement Program. In this role, he mentors first-year students and assists with the Foundations for Learning and Development course available to incoming TRIO participants. Bellendier aspires to be a physician and complete medical school after graduating from Luther.

Shelby Cassidy "˜22 from Aurora, Illinois, is completing her junior year of the Luther College nursing program in partnership with Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In addition to being a Certified Nursing Aide, she is CPR certified and has completed bystander and mandatory reporter training for adolescents and adults. Cassidy's campus involvements include cheerleading and Wind and Percussion Ensemble. After graduating from Luther, she plans to become a pediatric nurse and eventually an acute care nurse practitioner.

Ana Garcia de Leon "˜23 is a sophomore from Santa Maria, California, majoring in psychology with minors in management and music. A French horn player, Garcia de Leon has participated in Horn Ensemble, Wind and Percussion Ensemble and Varsity Band at Luther. Her campus involvements have also included the Future Music Educators Association and Latines Unides. Garcia plans to pursue an advanced degree in psychology upon graduation from Luther.

Iris Ohlrogge "˜22 is a junior from Middleton, Wisconsin, majoring in international studies, Spanish, and global health. Ohlrogge is a student athlete and has competed as a member of the cross country and track & field teams since arriving at Luther. She is also a member of Latines Unides, the International Students and Allies Association, and works with Campus Ministries on programming such as the student-led worship service, FOCUS. In 2020, Ohlrogge participated in a global learning experience in her birth country of Guatemala. After graduation from Luther, she will pursue a master's degree in public health with the goals of starting a non-profit organization and working in health-related services in undeveloped countries.

Gabriella Vargas "˜23 is a sophomore from Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in social work. At Luther she serves as vice president of the Social Work Association, is a member of Latines Unides and is a tireless advocate for black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) students. Additional contributions to the Luther community include competing on the rugby team and serving as student assistant manager of composting and recycling on campus. After graduating from Luther, she will pursue her master's in social work degree.

Waleed Yual "˜22 is a junior majoring in chemistry with a minor in computer science. He was born in Sudan and has called Des Moines, Iowa, home since the age of five. Yual has been very involved in the Luther community as an athlete on the cross country and track & field teams. He is also a science laboratory assistant, a Dance Marathon participant and a member of the Black Student Union. In 2019, he was selected to attend the Men of Excellence regional conference through the TRIO Achievement Program and to serve as a Luther admissions ambassador.

            For questions about the TRIO Achievement Program or to learn more visit or contact Tammy Hove, director, at

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