Congratulations to the student award winners for this year! Awards will be presented at the 94th Michigan Turfgrass Conference being held January 9-11 2023 at the Soaring Eagle Casino, Mt. Pleasant in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Award winners will be notified of exact date of presentation.
Sports and Commercial Turf Award - Tristin Ziola, Elsie, MI
In 1987, MSU and the MTF recognized the importance of the lawn care industry in Michigan and the benefits of increasing its number of well-educated turf managers. To this end, Mr. Walter Wilkie, owner of the Toro Distributor in Pontiac and the Bare Foot Lawn franchises in Michigan, funded the startup of the Lawn Care Management Program in MSU's Institute of Agricultural Technology. A similar need by the sports turf industry was recognized in 1992 when its name was changed to the Lawn Care/Athletic Turf Program and then again in 1997 when it became the Sports and Commercial Turf Management Program. Recognized nationally as the only one of its kind, the program continues to graduate outstanding students, many of whom have gone on to become well known and successful leaders in their respective industries.
The Norman W. Kramer Scholar Award - Zac Kelly, Holt, MI
Norman Kramer was the Golf Course Superintendent of Point O' Woods Country Club in Benton Harbor , Michigan from 1959 to 1971. Prior to this he was Vice President of the Midwest Association of Golf Course Superintendents. In Michigan he served as Director, Vice President and President of the Western Michigan GCSA and Michigan GCSA. He was also a Past President of the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation at Purdue University . At the time of his death, he was serving as a Director of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation. Mr. Kramer was active in promoting the scholarship programs at Michigan State University and believed strongly in the youth of America . This award is dedicated to the memory of Norm Kramer.
Superintendent As Executives (SAE) Scholarship Award - Alan Clark, Grand Ledge, MI
Shanty Creek Resort is a four seasons resort in Bellaire Michigan. SCR recognizes the variety of skills that turf management graduates possess- agronomy, human resources, equipment operation and maintenance, financial analysis and budgeting, irrigation, construction, etc. We are looking to the future of not only the resort industry but more specific the development in the education of young turf management students. We believe that the skill set that most turf graduates possess lend to a greater potential in the abilities to adapt, problem solve and persevere in an array of situations.
The Superintendents As Executives (SAE) scholarship will be awarded to a student that not only excels in the turf management program but also show an interest in a secondary concentration in business or a related field. The goal of this scholarship is to reward-students who show the aptitude and ambition to grow in our industry in leadership positions beyond turf management. SCR wants to inspire future turf graduates to progress into positions as Directors of Agronomy, General Managers and Executives.
Robert Hancock Award - Anthony Williams, Holt, MI
Robert Hancock, from Jackson , Michigan , was owner and President of Hancock Industries. He was an avid golfer and served on the Greens Committee at Jackson Country Club. In the late 60's, he became involved in golf turf programs and realized the need for research money in this field. At his death in the late 70's, a portion of his estate was reserved for the financing of the proposed turfgrass Research Center at MSU. In 1979 the construction began and in 1981 the Robert Hancock Turfgrass Research Center was opened. The HTRC is a first class research and education facility used not only by students and faculty but by the industry as well.
Kenyon T. Payne Outstanding Student Award - Zachary Olowniuk, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Kenyon T. Payne was Chairperson of the Department of Crop Science until 1969 when he took over the Two Year Ag. Tech Program for Golf Turfgrass Management. While there he worked with Professor Beard to get the program on solid ground. Approximately 800 students have graduated under Dr. Payne's leadership. He was an avid supporter of excellent golf turf and did work on breeding Red Fescue resistance to Leaf Spot disease. Dr. Payne also served as treasurer of the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation for a number of years and was very well known in the University and in the industry nationwide. In his honor, what was the Outstanding Student Award, was renamed the Kenyon T. Payne Outstanding Student Award.
Merit Scholarship - Michael Doyle, Birmingham, MI
The MTF has long supported the scholarship programs that are a part of its commitment to the MSU Turf Program. Not every student who interviews will be awarded a scholarship, however, many times candidates fulfill the requirements and prove exceptional in the interview process. For those candidates the MTF provides for Merit Scholarships.