GAWDA’s 2021 Scholarship Winners

Since 2013, GAWDA has awarded $226,000 in scholarships

HOLLYWOOD, Florida ‒ The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) has once again awarded $30,000 in college scholarships to 15 students from across the U.S. who are planning to study programs applicable to careers in the industry. The award presentations were made at the Association’s in-person Spring Management Conference (SMC), held May 24-26, 2021 in Nashville, TN.

“GAWDA annually awards scholarships to help educate, attract, and keep quality individuals in the welding and gases distribution industry,” said John Ospina, GAWDA Executive Director. “We have awarded 113 scholarships, representing $226,000 in educational assistance funds to our members,  since the program’s inception in 2013.”

The recipients names, photos, and schools were shared on screen to the 700+ conference attendees during the presentation. The video can be viewed on the GAWDA website at

The 2021 scholarship recipients, and the schools at which they will be using their scholarships, are:

  • Nate Ackerman, University of Akron
  • Noah Arndt, University of Pittsburgh
  • Elijah Fowler, Walters State Community College
  • Samuel Gage, University of Mississippi
  • Brennan Johnson, Montana State University
  • Clayton Mong, Ohio State University
  • Grant Douglas Morton, University of Akron
  • Gregory Phillips, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • David Rimes, Life University
  • Alayna Scheall, College of Saint Scholastica
  • Thomas Schadek, Miami University
  • Justin Schroeder, South Dakota School of Mines & Tech
  • Geoffrey Sonenson, Kansas State University
  • Thatcher Unfried, University of  Maine
  • Alton West, Elizabethtown College

The GAWDA members who contributed to this year’s scholarship fund are: ARC3 Gases, AWISCO, Four Corners Welding & Gas Supply, General Air Service and Supply Company, Holston Gases, Keen Compressed Gas, nexAir, and Red Ball Oxygen Company.

Applicants for the scholarship program must be an employee of a GAWDA member organization or the child of an employee of an active GAWDA member company and meet other eligibility requirements.

For more information about how to contribute to the scholarship fund, or for details about program eligibility, visit



Celebrating our 75th year, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is dedicated to promoting the safe operation and economic vitality of distributors of industrial gases and related welding equipment supplies. Through its GAWDA Gives Back campaign, association members have donated almost $2 million over the last 16 years to 22 different charitable organizations in 13 communities across the U.S. Since 2013, GAWDA and its members also have provided scholarships totaling $226,000 to 113 young people interested in studies leading to careers in the industry. For more information, visit the association’s website at