Truckload Carriers Association Awards Scholarships


Alexandria, Virginia:

The Truckload Carriers Association Scholarship Fund continued its long tradition of providing financial aid to truck drivers, their spouses, children or grandchildren by awarding eighteen college scholarships for the 2004-2005 academic year. The scholarships were awarded on the basis of need, academic excellence, major field of study and quality of an assigned essay. Special consideration is given to those students studying in the field of transportation.

“The Scholarship Trustees are proud to have once again been able to award scholarships to so many deserving students,” stated Don Orr, Chairman of the Scholarship Fund. “This year we were able to raise the number of scholarship distributed from fifteen to eighteen and we hope to continue increasing our help to deserving students in the industry as we grow the fund.”

Recipients Receiving Memorial Scholarships in honor of Thomas Welby and Kai Norris in the amount of $3,000 are:

  • Susana Lucar-Cuculiza, a former employee of UPS and Choice Cargo, and a TCA scholarship recipient last year recently transferred to Grand Valley State University where she plans to major in International Business Administration. Upon graduation she hopes to work for a trucking or logistics company. When informed of her scholarship, Lucar-Cuculiza said that it will make her year “perfect.”
  • Joleen Kotnik, works in the Human Resources department of Anderson Trucking Services and is majoring in Business at St. Cloud State University. She hopes to continue working for Anderson after graduation as a fleet manager and takes pride in being a role model for her daughter. Kotnik was brought to tears upon hearing that she won a scholarship and explained that no one could know how much it meant to her.

Recipient of our Truck Writers of North America Scholarship of $2,500 is:

  • Susanne Hansen, a student at the University of Kansas, wrote that although trucking is often seen in a negative light, she has seen the opposite through the windshield of her father’s truck. She stressed her respect for the hard work and hours that truck drivers sacrifice, which she learned first hand through her father’s career as a driver for Interstate Distributor, Inc.

Recipients Receiving $2,000 Scholarships are:

  • Johanna Anderson thanks her husband’s job as a FedEx driver for enabling her to stay home and raise her children. Now that her children are grown she is fulfilling her goal of going back to school and she hopes that one day she can enable her husband to “trade in his big rig for his fishing pole.” Anderson said that her scholarship means a lot to her because she recently realized that without TCA’s scholarship help she was not going to be able to pay for school and books.
  • Craig Bannon worked for UPS for 4 years where he gained first hand experience in the transportation industry and developed an interest in logistics. This employment experience combined with Craig’s interest in law fueled his aspirations to work for the Department of Transportation where he could play a role in the transportation issues affecting the economy.
  • Matthew Brand, a TCA scholarship recipient last year, is entering his senior year at the University of South Dakota and explained that he learned many skills through his work at Midwest Coast Transport that he couldn’t have learned in the classroom. He will be earning a degree in business management this year.
  • Keith Fanelli, a student at Pennsylvania State University, credits trucking for his interest in business and entrepreneurship. His grandfather started Fanelli Brothers Trucking in 1958 and it continues to be a strong company today. Keith was recently accepted to the Smeal College of Business Administration at Penn State. Fanelli couldn’t believe his luck in being chosen as a scholarship recipient and exclaimed “are you serious?”
  • Mindy Headrick, has seen the trucking industry impact both her mother and father in very different ways. He mother is a claims adjuster for National Carriers and this extra source of income has made it easier for Mindy to attend Friends University. Her father is a farmer and the use of trucks to haul his grain has helped him to be able to profit from farming.
  • Michelle Lambert, a Driver Recruiting Agent for Schneider National, is majoring in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Working for a trucking company has shown her the importance of teamwork, and that although people work individually, each person has an important role to perform.
  • Kristi Leal, an employee of Contract Freighters, Inc. since 1999, is working toward a career as a Family and Consumer Science teacher and believes that her work experience in the trucking industry will prove invaluable. Once in the classroom she hopes to promote trucking as a career choice to her students.
  • Steven Limbaugh, a safety advisor at Dart Transit Company has been in the industry for over 20 years and can’t fathom leaving it. He is working toward a business administration degree at the University of Phoenix and hopes to continue working in commercial vehicle safety.
  • Jessica Meek, who received a scholarship last year, said the trucking industry has affected both her life and academic career. Jessica’s mother works for G&P Trucking and Jessica also worked there and credits the job with teaching her responsibility, commitment, and integrity. More than anything else upon the death of her grandfather Jessica learned that G&P and the entire trucking industry is a family.
  • Janice Mitchell is a former truck driver, her husband Mike currently drives for Shaffer Trucking. Janice has always wanted to be a professional nurse and is fulfilling her dream at Tennessee Technical College. She credits her husband’s driving career with making it possible for her to go to school. Mitchell shared with TCA staff that she had been praying to receive a scholarship since she sent in the application and that she believed it to be a blessing.
  • Wojciech Napierala, a former driver, now works as a national salesman for Auscor Transportation as well as at the front desk of a hotel. Napierala finds that his experience as a driver helps him with both of his current jobs, at the hotel he is known for giving the best directions and as a salesman for the trucking company he can accurately estimate the time it will take to deliver a load. Napierala, a native of Poland, is working towards his degree at the University of Central Oklahoma.
  • Ashley Southern, a student at Pittsburgh State University, explained how the trucking industry dramatically affected her life when her hometown was struck by a tornado. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army trucks quickly arrived to tend to the residents while other larger trucks hauled away debris. Ashley is working towards a nursing degree and hopes to one day help others the way trucking helped her. She said that getting the scholarship news made her day.
  • Ruthie Umthun, a student at Northwestern College, comes from a long line of truckers, her grandfather is the retired president of Umthun Trucking Company and her father works in sales for Smithway Motor Express. Umthun remembers a time when she was ashamed of her ties to the trucking industry before she realized how vital it is to the economy. She has grown to be grateful for the influence the industry has had on her.
  • Brett Vaughn, who received a scholarship last year, is a mechanic at Sitton Motor Lines, has had an opportunity many other people haven’t; he has worked with his father since the age of 17. Vaughn wouldn’t trade the experience for the world and hopes to continue working for Sitton Motor Lines after he receives his degree in business administration.
  • Natasha Vaughn has seen the trucking industry positively impact many of her family members. Her uncle, step father, two aunts, husband and father-in-law all work in trucking. Vaughn wrote, “The trucking industry impacts everyone in some way. Maybe it is just by bringing the products that stock our shelves, but for me it has been so much more.”