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Meet the Foundation Scholarship Winner

The winner of the 2003 Foundation
of the Wall and Ceiling Industry’s
$10,000 scholarship is Ivan Wilson,
son of Leon Wilson of Wilson Construction
Systems, Inc. in Hewitt,
Texas. He is working toward a master’s
degree in architecture at Texas
Tech University and he expects to
graduate in May 2005.

The Foundation provides $10,000 to
an applicant who is furthering his or
her education in the fields of construction or
architecture. It is available for qualifying AWCI member company
employees and their direct dependents.
The first portion of the scholarship
will be given to Wilson in time
for the fall 2003 semester.

Meet Ivan

From 1994 through this year, Wilson,
a native of Waco, Texas, has been
working for his father’s construction
company for 40 hours a week when
school is not in session. He works as
a laborer doing such jobs as framing
rooms and hanging wallboard. He
accomplished this work while maintaining
his current 3.27 grade point
average and being placed on the
Dean’s List for Academic Excellence
at Texas Tech.

Prior to college, Wilson participated
in many of his high school’s extracurricular
activities. He played both football
and baseball, and was selected as
Most Valuable Defensive Lineman by
his teammates. After high school,
Wilson volunteered for Habitat for
Humanity, where he helped paint
houses for the elderly.

In his spare time, Wilson says he does
“pretty much anything that involves
the outdoors.” His first love is snow
skiing, which he tries to do at least
once a year. In the summer, he enjoys
hiking, camping, fishing and hunting.

He’s a Winner

As part of the application process,
applicants must provide information
such as proof of employment,
employment history, school transcripts
and references. In addition,
applicants have to answer the following
essay question: “You have an
unlimited budget to build or renovate, design or engineer any building
new or existing anywhere in
the world. What would you build?
Where do you build it? What material
do you use to build it? How is the
building to be used? Why are you
building or renovating it?” (You can
see his winning essay in the sidebar.)

Jane Northern is the director of membership
marketing and programs for
the Association of the Wall and Ceiling
Industries—International and
also the staff liaison for the Foundation’s
executive committee, which is
the committee that selects the scholarship
winner. Northern said, “We
received applications from some
excellent candidates, and I was holding
my breath when it got down to
the top three, because I thought it was
really going to be hard to choose. But
Ivan’s essay won over the members of
the committee. He has a bright future
ahead of him.”

How can your student get $10,000?
If you or any of your full-time dependents
meet the following requirements,
and you work for an AWCI-member
company, you are eligible to
apply for the scholarship program:

  • The applicant must be pursing a
    post-high school education in the
    field of construction management,
    engineering or architecture. Graduate
    school, technical school and associate
    degree program students, as well as
    students of traditional four year colleges
    are all eligible to apply.

  • The applicant must have achieved
    a cumulative 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) academic
    average for the last two full-time
    semesters of study.

  • The applicant must be a full time
    student or must be intending to become
    a full-time student.

Ivan’s Winning Essay

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine
patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands
now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman —Thomas Paine

An insecure and uncomfortable feeling is weighing heavy on the shoulders of
Americans today. The cowardly terrorist attacks on America not only pierced the
hearts and souls of us, but it also slapped us back down to reality stating that we
are not invincible but in actuality are very much vulnerable. Americans are finally
realizing that there is a bigger world and it does not revolve around the USA.
This world is full of evil and evildoers waiting for an opportunity to inflict pain
and sorrow on us. The 9/11 attacks on America opened the eyes of many blinded
Americans, and it scares them.

This is why I believe the time is ideal for a museum to be built and dedicated to
American history. For location I would choose New York, to be more specific, on
the edge of New York City. I chose this location due to the fact that industry and
invention was the mold that formed America. New York has always been the mecca
of industry and technology ever since this country was established. I don’t believe
placing the museum in the middle of the city would allow people to appreciate the
simpler and basic roots of our ancestry. I believe the rush and chaos of the city
would just be too much confusion and frustration for the visitors. I would face the
exits toward the city off in the distance to reveal to them how far America has
evolved from the primitive pictures and machines they were just exposed to in
the museum. America is considered all throughout the world as being the big melting
pot, and New York is the essence of this belief.

Materials chosen would be nothing but the best. The exterior stairs and courtyard
made of Texas Pink Granite, the outer walls of the museum constructed of
Pennsylvania limestone. The interior floors and walls would be a nice polished
California marble with Oregon Oak trim. On the exterior, domestic trees, shrubs
and flowers would be placed to emphasize the enormous 10-foot tall solid oak
doors. As you enter the colossal entrance you are exposed to a high ceiling that
gradually fades into a dome that allows natural light to enter through the top. After
you enter, there is a series of rooms to the left and right, each leading into the other.
Each room would be dedicated to a specific state and its contributions to America.
The space in the middle of the building under the dome would be dedicated to
America and its contributions to the world.

The nation and its citizens are divided over the issue of war. I believe building a
new American history museum would be a great step toward the repairing of our
spirits and confidence. Americans and the world need to see that we will not only
survive this, but will thrive. If we had a place to go and see all of the obstacles that
Americans have overcome in the past, I believe it would give people a boost of confidence
in America and its citizens.


Foundation Scholarship Winner & Future Architect

February 14, 2003

Deadline Is Next Month

Unlike past years, when the deadline was
early in the year, the deadline for the 2004
scholarship is now Aug. 1, 2003, so that
the winner can be selected during the
Foundation’s meeting in September, during
AWCI’s Industry Executives’ Conference
& Committee Week. This will allow
the winner to have advance notice and be
able to attend AWCI’s Annual Convention & Trade Show, which is where the
winner’s name will be formally
announced. The convention will be in
Las Vegas, Nev., April 12-17.

Other procedural changes for 2004
include a telephone interview of the candidates
with members of the selection

Call Northern at (703) 538-1615 to
have an application mailed to you or if
you have any questions.

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