GAWDA awards $26,000 in 2019 Scholarships

Since 2013, GAWDA has awarded $166,000 in scholarships

HOLLYWOOD, Florida ‒ The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) awarded $26,000 in college scholarships to 13 students from across the U.S. who are planning to study programs applicable to careers in the industry.

GAWDA annually awards the scholarships as a way to help educate, attract, and keep quality individuals in the welding and gases distribution industry, said John Ospina, GAWDA executive director. Since the program’s inception in 2013, a total of 83 scholarships have been presented, representing $166,000 in educational assistance funds.  The announcement of the awards was made at the Association’s annual Spring Management Conference, held May 4-6 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Named as 2019 scholarship recipients, and the schools at which they will be using their scholarships, are:

  • Nate Ackerman, University of Akron
  • John Austin Brewer, Mississippi State University
  • Kaitlyn Bruner, Washington State University
  • Christian Cummings, Coffeyville Community College
  • Andres Marquez, Northeastern University
  • Justin McGee, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Eoin O’Malley, University of Tennessee
  • Erica Pokorney, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Katie Rimes, Indiana River State College
  • Fariha Khalid Sheikh, Rowan College
  • Geoffrey Sonenson, Fort Hays State University
  • Madeline Stenzel, University of Minnesota-Rochester
  • Joshua Wilfong, Penn State Behrend

The GAWDA members who contributed to this year’s scholarship fund are: Airweld, Arc3 Gases, ATLAS Welding Supply, Carbide Industries, Central McGowan Inc., Chesterfield Special Cylinders, Cramer Decker Industries, CryoVation &, Dale Oxygen, Inc., Delille Oxygen Co., Exocor Filler Metals, Four Corners Welding & Gas Supply, Holston Gases, Inweld Corporation, Keen Compressed Gas, Minneapolis Oxygen Company, Mississippi Welders Supply, Norco, O.E. Meyer Company, Otto Arc Systems, Red Ball Oxygen, The Horton Group, TOMCO2 Systems, T.W. Smith Corp, and Volunteer Welding Supply.

Applicants 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:



Founded in 1945, 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 $166,000 to 83 young people interested in studies leading to careers in the industry. For more information, visit the association’s website at