Announcing the 2020-2021 Physics and Engineering Program Scholars

Four students were selected from 52 applicants to receive full tuition or $10,000 scholarships, renewable up to four years.

By Monique Kleinhuizen '08, GS'16, new media strategist

April 06, 2020 | 8 a.m.

Four students who've been selected as Physics and Engineering Program Scholars at Bethel University

2020-2021 Physics & Engineering Scholars (left to right): Makayla Schmidt, Trey Adelsman, Megan Johnson, Sam Carlson

Bethel’s physics and engineering programs have had an incredible few years. With four new engineering programs and a major expansion and renovation of its spaces—more than doubling the square footage of its labs—more students than ever are pursuing majors in the award-winning department. 

Now in its third year, the Physics and Engineering Program Scholarship helps attract top-quality high school students who are beginning Bethel physics or engineering programs. Four students were selected from 52 high-achieving prospective students who applied for this year’s scholarships.

“This scholarship has been an extremely important method of letting high-caliber high school seniors know about our program. The application process requires students to visit Bethel, meet individually with professors in the department, have an hour-long tour of the physics and engineering labs, meet current students, and hear from alumni. All told, the entire visit is about three hours. The quality of these students is extremely high, and about two-thirds of all applicants end up coming to Bethel.”

— Professor of Physics Brian Beecken

The program awards two full-tuition and two $10,000 scholarships, renewable annually for up to four years, for students beginning at Bethel in fall 2020. The department is pleased to announce this year’s scholarship recipients:

Samuel Carlson - Moorhead, MN
Major: Physics
Award: Full Tuition

“I look forward to joining the Bethel community because of the quality of the physics department and the care its faculty invests in students,” Carlson wrote in his application essay. “I am particularly excited about Bethel’s world-class research opportunities like at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, the trips to the University of Chicago, and the impressive collection of optics tables. Bethel’s excellence extends beyond the classroom as well. During my first impromptu visit to the engineering labs, we were personally greeted by Department Chair Dr. Beecken. Instead of shooing us away, he spent twenty minutes asking questions, offering advice on collegiate science programs, and allowing us a private tour…As someone who deeply values relationships and Christian fellowship, this community is incredibly attractive to me. I know that here, faith will be integrated into everything we learn, discover, and do.”

Makayla Schmidt - Ham Lake, MN
Major: Mechanical Engineering and Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Award: Full Tuition

“Through campus visits, nights at Vespers, and current students, I have seen that Bethel is a perfect home that unites academic pursuit with a heart for God’s children. Once a Royal, always a Royal. I will be proud to carry this title into my future engineering path as I lead teams in groundbreaking research and product development,” Schmidt writes. “I believe that a generation of God-fearing leaders in engineering has the capacity to replace suffering with innovative solutions, and I am thrilled to be a part of this work…My passion and determination will thrive in the face of challenge through being part of a collegiate engineering team. I am driven by my faith and love to change lives for the better through the hands-on dynamic of engineering.”

Megan Johnson - White Bear Lake, MN
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Award: $10,000 Scholarship

“I enjoy the creative part of design in engineering, and I want to combine my creativity with my rational thinking to pursue a career in engineering. I want to study at Bethel specifically because I love the Christ-centered community and high levels of support that I can count on to help me learn and thrive,” Johnson says. “As a female thinking about this traditionally male career path, [my visit] was very encouraging because I felt that I would be supported as a student and a person at Bethel. I also got to see many complex and incredible projects that students were working on, and it was both a little scary and inspiring that I could be doing that in the near future.”

Trey Adelsman - St. Paul, MN
Major: Physics
Award: $10,000

“I have always been fascinated with figuring out how everything works, what makes it tick, and what the exceptions are. I was then told that there was an entire science which is pretty much the most fundamental version of ‘how does this work?’" Adelsman says. “Since then I have watched countless YouTube videos and read numerous articles on everything from astrophysics to quantum mechanics, anything that can teach me a little more about what makes the universe tick and there is so much more to it that we have yet to discover…I’m excited to be studying at Bethel, where there is not only a renowned physics and engineering program, but professors who help their students to appreciate the design of the universe while giving credit to the architect Himself.”

Physics and Engineering at Bethel

There has never been a better time to begin studying physics or engineering at Bethel. The department—which ranks in the top 15 of undergraduate departments by size nationally—has doubled the square footage of its labs and research spaces in the last two years. New majors include Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Software Engineering; and significant funding from the National Science Foundation supports student-faculty research and international partnerships. 

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