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Academic Achievement Committee Announces 2021 Honors & Awards Recipients

May 10, 2021

Hilary Virtanen

In a normal year, Finlandia’s Academic Achievement Committee hosts the Honors & Awards Banquet for students who have been selected to receive endowed scholarships and honors. This year, the committee opted to honor these students during Finlandia’s hybrid commencement ceremony held on Thursday, April 29. Announcing the honor recipients was Dr. Hilary Virtanen, Assistant Professor of Finnish and Nordic Studies. It was an incredibly special day for those in attendance or watching on Livestream. Finlandia congratulates the following Honors & Awards recipients!

Stephanie Ollila received the Virginia Fund Scholarship that is awarded in memory of Mrs. Richard R. Smith to a freshman woman who plans to continue as a student at Finlandia for the 2020-21 academic year. The Virginia Fund Scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic achievement and overall contribution to campus life.

Kylee Hopp and Liam Mckeage were awarded the Philip and Loret Ruppe Community Service Scholarship which comes as a result of a gift from the Ruppe family to commemorate the service of former Congressman Phil Ruppe, a Houghton native, and his late wife, Loret Ruppe, who served as head of the Peace Corps and as Ambassador to Norway. The scholarship is awarded to two students for their outstanding volunteer efforts and service to the college campus and the local community.

The Kenneth & Lois Seaton Scholarship is awarded to a student who is a continuing junior or senior in a Bachelor’s Degree program and is a Copper Country resident. The student receiving this award demonstrates high personal and scholastic standards. This year, Annie Miller and Mary Mills each received the scholarship. 

Mialy Brooks, Kyle Forsman, Jillian Foster and Jari Juntti were the recipients of the David Lauren Jokela Endowed Memorial Scholarship that is awarded to a student of Finnish background from the Copper Country. The recipients of this scholarship will be returning for the fall 2021 semester with a minimum of sophomore standing and must show leadership, service to others, a caring attitude, and sisu.

This year’s recipients of the Samuel Westerman Scholarship for Nursing are Taylor Saari and Erika Tollefson. The scholarship is awarded to upper-level nursing students from the Upper Peninsula who will be returning full-time to Finlandia in the fall of 2021. The recipients must demonstrate financial need, be active in volunteer service to the university or community and be in good academic standing. 

The Sisu Award is given to graduating students who have shown courage, fortitude and perseverance in overcoming hardship to achieve academic and personal success. The four recipients of this year’s Sisu award were Daniella Gonzalez, Blue Kenwood, Taylor Paul and Dylan Underwood. 

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