The Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone (SAFE) was created to provide research, educational programs, and scholarships geared to sports field specific endeavors. It is the dream-child of the nation’s only association for the sports turf industry – the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA). The level of scholarship funding has steadily increased since the scholarship programs inception in 1999 and in 2010 we awarded $12,500 to nine recipients in two-year, four-year, and graduate level categories. Since the scholarship program’s beginning, SAFE has awarded more than $175,000 in scholarship and travel to the STMA Conference and Exhibition.
Dr. James Watson Graduate Scholarship – $2,500 Tom Serensits, Penn State
SAFE Graduate Scholarship – $1,500 Matthew Williams, Ohio State
Four Year Scholarships
Dr. James Watson Undergraduate Scholarship – $2,250 Chase Straw, Kentucky
SAFE Undergraduate Scholarship – $1,250 George Peters, Penn State
SAFE Undergraduate Scholarship – $1,000 Julie Adamski, Penn State
Jolynda Rolli, Penn State
Alexander Steinman, Penn State
Two Year Scholarships
Dr. Fred Grau Memorial Scholarship – $1,000 Tyler Carter, Michigan State
SAFE Two Year Scholarship – $1,000 Shaun Eberhart, Kirkwood Community College
A panel of seven judges independently scored each entry based on each student’s 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.
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.
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. 14, 2011 at the 22nd Annual STMA Conference and Exhibition held in Austin, Texas, Jan. 11-15, 2011.