Luther College students awarded Karen Julesberg Scholarship

May 4, 2021

Four Luther College students have each received a $1,000 Karen Julesberg Scholarship for the 2021-22 academic year. The recipients are Sandy Antunez-Blas, Jadyn Gasper, Jill Richards and Mara Wood.

The Karen Julesberg Scholarship benefits 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.

Karen Julesberg '60 of Madison, Wisconsin, has sponsored the scholarship since 2012. 

"When I was considering the many worthwhile opportunities that support Luther students and programs, it took me some time to select one that not only fit my interests but also touched my heart," said Julesberg. "Once I learned about TRIO with its variety of activities designed to support income-eligible and first-generation students, my choice was easy."

Sandy Antunez-Blas '23 of Chicago, Illinois, is majoring in economics with a minor in management. Along with being a full-time student and TRIO participant, Antunez-Blas serves as treasurer of the Luther College Habitat for Humanity executive board. She also received the Student Engagement Award from TRIO in 2020. After graduating from Luther, she will launch her career in international business.

Jadyn Gasper '23 of Appleton, Wisconsin, is a pre-med student double majoring in psychology and neuroscience. She serves as a financial wellness ambassador for the TRIO program and as a student assistant for the psychology department. Gasper is also a member of the Neuroscience Club, Health Sciences Club, Council for Exceptional Children and as co-chair of the Luther Disability Alliance, she is an advocate for campus inclusivity and accessibility. After graduating from Luther, she plans to continue her education to become a psychiatrist.

Jill Richards '22 of Solon, Iowa, is majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies. She has volunteered with Luther College Habitat for Humanity for four years, serving on the executive board first as communications coordinator and now as president. Richards is also a youth mentor through the Luther College PALS Program, a Spanish tutor and the Luther College Herbarium laboratory assistant. After graduating, she intends to enter the field of agroecology working for The Global Crop Diversity Trust or a similar organization that focuses on global food security.

Mara Wood '22 of Aurora, Colorado, is majoring in global health with a minor in psychology. Wood applies her passion for health and well-being by serving as the student wellness ambassador on the Luther College campus. Wood is also involved with Luther College Habitat for Humanity and the Luther College Student Activities Council (SAC) Service Committee. She is a certified college peer educator and received the Outstanding Communication Award in 2020 from the TRIO program. Following her graduation, she plans to attend a school of Chinese Medicine to become an acupuncturist specializing in Chinese herbal medicine. 

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

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