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National spotlight shines on SDSU's power, energy scholars – Brookings Register

Wednesday, December 15, 2021
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By: SDSU Marketing & Communications – Updated: 4 days ago
Posted Dec 10, 2021
BROOKINGS – Power and energy systems students in the electrical engineering program at South Dakota State University continue to shine bright on the national level.
Five students were selected for major scholarships from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional organization, and one of them was named the region’s top student.
In addition, Roberto Penaloza Valencia, a senior from Elkton, received the $2,500 Power and Energy Systems Future Power Innovator Scholarship – only one per year in the nation is awarded. The 2020 recipient was Matt Stoel of SDSU.
Kade Griesse, a junior from Rock Rapids, Iowa, received the Power and Energy Systems Estey Outstanding Scholar Award. The IEEE only awards one of those scholarships in each of six regions in the United States and Canada. Griesse, the 10-state Midwest region recipient, is the third SDSU student selected in four years.
Griesse also was one of four SDSU students to be named a PES Scholar in the Midwest region. That carries with it a $2,000 scholarship.
The others are Tyler Fogelson, a junior from Fairmont, Minnesota; Sarah Aman, a sophomore from Aberdeen; and Jocelyn Tillman, a sophomore from Jackson, Minnesota. Griesse and Fogelson also received the award in 2020-21.

SDSU continues dominance in power field
Eighteen students were chosen from the Midwest Region. No other school had more than three (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Notre Dame, Iowa State and Illinois Institute of Technology each had two.
Nationwide, 72 scholarships were awarded out of 140 applications. Selection is based on GPA, extracurricular involvement and a commitment to exploring the power and energy field.
Professor Steve Hietpas, who directs SDSU’s Center for Power Systems Studies, said the SDSU scholarship selections reflect “the high caliber of students attending SDSU and the strength of the power and energy faculty, resources and curriculum within the electrical engineering and computer science department as well as the strong connection between the 27 industry members of the Center for Power Systems Studies in our students.”
Griesse’s honor as top regional student left associate professor Tim Hansen “extremely pleased.”
He noted, “The award was based on the impact he made in his first two years at SDSU, which was also recognized by his peers through the Bradley D. Schultz Sophomore of the Year Award, which is handed out locally to the student that most represents the ideals of IEEE, Eta Kappa Nu, HKN, the national electrical and computer engineering honor society, and the department.”

Why does SDSU excel?
The award provides a $5,000 scholarship, a $1,000 travel allowance to the IEEE Power and Energy Systems general meeting and 12 months membership in IEEE.
Other SDSU students to be named Power and Energy Systems regional student of the year are Matt Stoel, Sioux Falls, 2019-20; and Grant Metzger, Rock Rapids, Iowa, 2018-19.
Hansen said SDSU’s dominance in this area “is a unique trifecta of relatively small class sizes compared to other regional state schools, faculty truly caring and engaging with the students, and a strong and historical connection with the local and regional power industry. This allows us to take inherently strong, competitive students and showcase their skills at the national level.”

A profile of the SDSU scholarship recipients:
• Griesse is the son of Dave and Amie Griesse and a 2019 graduate of Central Lyon High School. At SDSU, he holds a 4.0 GPA, is president of Tau Beta Pi honor society, vice president of the Joint Engineering Council and a member of Eta Kappa Nu honor society. Last year he was the robotics facility manager and vice president of marketing for the Joint Engineering Council.
He has been a summer intern with DGR Engineering in Rock Rapids the last two years and plans to return in 2022. Upon graduation, he hopes to become a substation design engineer at DGR.
• Fogelson is the son of Michael and Jennifer Fogelson and a 2019 graduate of Fairmont High School. At SDSU, he holds a 4.0 GPA and has been the electrical team lead for the “lunabotics” competition in addition to being chair of IEEE and treasurer of the Joint Engineering Council. He also is involved in Tau Beta Pi and HKN peer mentoring.
In addition, Fogelson has worked at Missouri River Energy Services since May and participates in a mentorship program through IEEE Power and Energy Systems.
Upon graduation, he hopes to work in the power field in the Midwest.
• Aman is the daughter of Pat and Lynn Aman and 2020 graduate of Warner High School. At SDSU, she carries a 3.4 GPA and is vice president of communications for the Robotics Club and marketing and media coordinator for the IEEE chapter. Aman also plays in The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band. This summer, she was an intern in the system operations department of Otter Tail Power Co.
Her career plans are undecided.
  Tillman is the daughter of Fred and Elizabeth Tillman and a 2020 graduate of Jackson County Central High School. At SDSU, she carries a 3.94 GPA, is secretary of IEEE, plays in The Pride of the Dakotas Marching Band and is involved in robotics club and the Society of Women Engineers.
Her career plans are undecided.
• Valencia is the son of Marcela Valencia and Gabriel Mejia and a 2018 graduate of Elkton High School. At SDSU, he carries a 4.0 GPA and is involved in Sustainability Club (president 2019-21), Jacks Jiu-Jitsu, IEEE, Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi Honor Society (treasurer 2020-21) and Pius XII Newman Center.
He also is a residence hall community assistant (2020-22) and recipient of the Center for Power Systems Studies and Tau Beta Pi scholarships this year.
Valencia also works remotely as a substation design intern for Ulteig Engineering Inc. (May 2021-May 2022), and his senior design project is the theoretical electrical design of a battery energy storage system for Brookings.
That work is sponsored by Burns & McDonnell, where he will begin work this summer in its energy global practice division from the firm’s world headquarters in Kansas City. He will work in either energy generation or energy storage.
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