The Foundation for Safer Athletic Field Environments (SAFE) was created to provide research, educational programs, and scholarships geared to sports field specific endeavors. The level of scholarship funding has steadily increased since the scholarship programs inception in 1999 and in 2009 STMA awarded $12,500 to eight recipients in 2-year, 4-year, and graduate level categories. Since the scholarship program’s beginning, SAFE has awarded more than $150,000 in scholarship and travel to the STMA Conference and Exhibition.

Graduate Scholarships

Dr. James Watson Graduate Scholarship – $2,500               Andrew Hoiberg, Iowa State  Four Year Scholarships

Dr. James Watson Undergraduate Scholarship – $2,500      Brian McDougal, Michigan State

SAFE Undergraduate Scholarship – $2,000                          Kyley Dickson, Tennessee

SAFE Undergraduate Scholarship – $1,000                          Kent Dickerson, Georgia, Eric Haub, Purdue, & Zack Severns, Washington State

Two Year Scholarships

Dr. Fred Grau Memorial Scholarship – $1,500                       Ryan McGillivray, Massachusetts

SAFE Two Year Scholarship – $1,000           Patrick Escalera, Mt. San Antonio College   


Judging criteria: A panel of eight judges independently scored each entry based on each students academic preparation, experience in the sports turf management industry, professional goals, extracurricular activities, and input from academic advisors and employers.  Each student also wrote an essay describing his or her background and career aspirations.   

Scholarship Program Supporters: The TORO Foundation provides generous support for the Dr. James Watson Scholarship winners.  Jacobsen supports the SAFE Scholarship Program through the SAFE/Jacobsen Golf Tournament held at the STMA Conference each year.  The program is also supported through individual and corporate donations made throughout the year and proceeds from the Live and Silent Auctions and raffle held each year on the STMA Trade Show Floor.  These sponsors fund a stipend for each recipient to attend the STMA annual conference (including lodging) and a scholarship ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. 

Recognition: Scholarship recipients had their financial aid mailed directly to their university, with a check made out jointly to them and their schools financial aid office.  The students will be recognized during the Annual STMA Awards Banquet on Fri., Jan. 15, 2010 at the 21st Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition held at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.


SportsField Management