Minnesota Lad, Chad Blank Takes Top Award in GCSAA Scholarship Competition

10 Sep 2019 3:35 PM | John MacKenzie

The North Dakota State University student is among 19 selected to receive scholarships as they pursue degrees in turf management and related fields.
September 9, 2019 

GCM staff

Chad Blank, a student at North Dakota State University, is the winner of the Mendenhall Award — a $6,000 scholarship — the top honor in GCSAA’s 2019 Scholars Competition, which recognizes outstanding college students planning careers in golf course management.

Originally from Miltona, Minn., Blank grew up surrounded by the golf industry. He learned about overseeing a golf course by assisting his parents, Thomas and Patrice Blank, who own and operate Lake Miltona Golf Club in Alexandria, Minn. The experience sparked Blank’s interest, and he decided to follow a similar career path.

Blank graduated from Alexandria Area High School in 2016 and attended business school at the University of Minnesota. When he realized his passion for turfgrass management and a desire for a more specific degree, he transferred to North Dakota State University, where he is majoring in horticulture with an emphasis in sports and urban turfgrass management. He is minoring in economics.

Blank has interned for Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., and The Maidstone Club in East Hampton, N.Y. He conducted routine daily maintenance and improvement projects, taught seasonal workers, and gained hands-on experience with championship conditioning. In July 2019, Blank interned with the USGA in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Winning the Mendenhall Award means everything to me,” Blank says. “It is humbling to know this benefits the next generation of golf course managers and that there is a focus on assisting students. This will inspire me to become a more active member.”

The GCSAA Scholars Competition is primarily funded by the Robert Trent Jones Endowment and is administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf, GCSAA’s philanthropic organization.

Scholars Competition scholarships range from $500 to $6,000. Applicants must be enrolled in a recognized undergraduate program in a major field related to turf management, have completed at least 24 credit hours or the equivalent of one year of full-time study in the appropriate major, and be a member of GCSAA. Selection criteria for the program include academic excellence, work experience, extracurricular activities and potential to become a leading professional in the golf course management industry.

The top award in the Scholars Competition is named for the late Chet Mendenhall, who was a charter member of GCSAA, a past president (1948) and a recipient of the association’s Distinguished Service Award (1986).

Daniel Allison of Greenville, Pa., who attends Penn State University, received the second-place award of $3,000, known as the MacCurrach Award. It is named in honor of the late Allan MacCurrach, who became the PGA Tour’s first staff agronomist in 1974 and was the winner of GCSAA’s Distinguished Service Award in 1997. The PGA Tour funds the MacCurrach Award.

Along with their scholarships, Blank and Allison will each receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2020 Golf Industry Show, Jan. 25-30 in Orlando.

“GCSAA is committed to supporting our student members’ ventures in golf course management,” says Rhett Evans, GCSAA CEO. “We wish each student much success in the pursuit of their education and future careers.”

GCSAA 2019 Scholars Competition scholarship winners

Mendenhall Award winner, $6,000
Chad T. Blank
Miltona, Minn.
North Dakota State University

MacCurrach Award winner, $3,000
Daniel R. Allison
Greenville, Pa.
Penn State University

Ambassador Award winner, $2,000
Ismael R. Herruzo Delgado
Michigan State University

Scholars Award winner, $2,500
Jason L. Dutton
Manhattan, Kan.
Kansas State University

Scholars Award winner, $2,000
Cody Sanders
Gaithersburg, Md.
Penn State University

Scholars Award winners, $1,500
Paul J. Baich
Hamburg, N.Y.
Penn State University

Matthew A. Becker
Savage, Minn.
North Dakota State University

Ethan D. Brackey
Lexington, Minn.
Rutgers University

Scholars Award winners, $1,000
Alexander C. Scott
Richland, Mich.
Rutgers University

Spencer H. Hoffman
Coloma, Mich.
Penn State University

Timothy P. Missimer
Dayton, Ohio
Clark State Community College (Springfield, Ohio)

Merit Award winners, $750
Ryan Caughey
Marshfield, Mass.
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Kevan McDonald
Dunkirk, N.Y.
Penn State University

Hattie E. Spies
Muscatine, Iowa
Iowa State University

Nicholas K. Worley
Birch Run, Mich.
Michigan State University

Merit Award winners, $500
Ernesto Alvarez-Guzman
College of the Desert (Palm Desert, Calif.)

Austin W. Northern
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Colorado State University

Vikas K. Pandey
Penn State University

Cameron K. Wyatt
Michigan State University

Read more: https://www.gcmonline.com/course/environment/news/gcsaa-scholars-competition-2019#ixzz5z9lDV9YO

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