November 15-16, 2022


The Embassy Suites The Woodlands/Hughes Landing
Houston, Texas


November 15-16, 2022


The Embassy Suites The Woodlands/Hughes Landing
Houston, Texas

Memorial Scholarship

Bob Westphal Memorial Scholarship

The Bob Westphal Memorial Scholarship, presented in partnership with North American Oil & Gas Pipelines (published by Benjamin Media Inc.), Continuum Capital, and SkillsUSA, will offer merit-based scholarships to high school or college/postsecondary students continuing their education to pursue a career in energy construction (oil and gas pipelines, gas distribution, solar, and wind). Scholarships will be awarded annually over five years to provide tuition support.

The 2021-2022 Scholarship Awardees are:

Gillian Dahn | Austin, Texas

Gillian DahnDahn is double majoring in Business Management and Construction Engineering at Louisiana Tech, in Ruston, Louisiana. She said she is drawn to energy construction as a means to preserve U.S. energy independence.

“The U.S. economy’s strength is tightly linked to the construction industry, specifically energy construction,” Dahn said. “I want to not only be a part of that but a driving force in building the critical infrastructure that keeps America the land of the free.”

Dahn said she is “very honored” to have been selected for the Bob Westphal Memorial Scholarship.

“I also hope that this brings more recognition to this scholarship and awareness to the energy industry,” she added.

She is looking forward to the upcoming school year.

“I am really excited because all of my classes this coming year are very hands on and will provide learning opportunities outside of the classroom,” Dahn said. “I have discovered in the construction field that it is important to cover all aspects of the field and my classes this coming year will help provide that.”

John Kraft | Ponchatoula, Louisiana

John KraftKraft is also studying at Louisiana Tech and is pursuing an advanced degree in Engineering Materials with a concentration in Infrastructure Systems. He wants to follow in his family’s footsteps in the energy industry, as his great-great grandfather worked in pipeline construction after returning from serving in World War I. Two of Kraft’s great grandfathers also worked in oil and gas, one with Trunkline Gas Co. and the other for Gulf Interstate Gas Co. Both of his grandfathers continued this tradition in south Louisiana by working in Shell and Exxon mobile refineries. Kraft’s father and two uncles have also made careers in south Louisiana refineries.

Kraft said he is “excited and honored” to receive this scholarship, and added, “I also feel responsible since this scholarship was set up in memory of a man that made a great impact on the industry that I should also try my best to do the same.”

He looks forward to getting back to his studies.

“This year I am looking forward to returning fully to my research after all of the delays from the past year,” he said. “With more things returning to normal I can hopefully finish my Doctorate in this academic year and get to work.”

Timothy Sparks | Buckeye, West Virginia

Timothy SparksSparks is pursuing an Associate’s Degree as an Electrical Utility Technician Line Worker at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont, West Virginia. He said he is excited to learn about the
“possibilities of where energy will go in the future,” adding that he’s interested in clean energy solutions and the creation of jobs.

“I want to pursue a career in the energy industry because I have always been interested in the field of electricity,” he said. “Power has always been something I want to do for a living and continue to learn more about.”

Sparks said he feels “honored about being awarded” the Bob Westphal Memorial Scholarship.

“In the energy industry I hope to have an impact by being known as a reliable worker,” he said. “I hope to have people know I’m always there to help.”

Nick Swank | Medina, Ohio

Nick SwankSwank is pursuing a Construction Management degree at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. He said he has always had a strong interest in heavy equipment and its growing technology. He sees “enormous opportunities” in the oil and gas industry, sees trenchless technology as a eco-friendly means expanding infrastructure and energy independence.

“I cannot express my gratitude enough for giving myself and three other students this award,” Swank said. “I am looking forward to being back on campus this fall to truly enjoy in-person learning and receive the best education experience I can.”

Thank you to our generous contributors:

All Tools
benjamin media
Century Products
CRC Evans
Continuum Capital
Grady Bell
J.D. Hair & Associates
Prime Horizontal Group
Smith Bits
TT Technologies
Vermeer Wisconsin
Yak Access

The Bob Westphal Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by:

benjamin media
Continuum Capital

 In Cooperation With:

skills usa