Women In HVACR 2019 Scholarship Winners

2019 WHVACR Scholarship Recipients

Women in HVACR (WHVACR) has announced the winners of its 2019 Scholarships. We want to thank all of the women who sent their applications and congratulate the seven chosen winners.

WHVACR was established in 2002 for educational purposes to further the growth of women in all areas of the HVACR industry. As part of that, the organization awards scholarships to female students who are currently or planning to attend a technical college or trade school, pursuing a career in the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration industry.

“We are extremely proud to announce our 2019 scholarship recipients,” WHVACR President Danielle Putnam said. “We received a record number of applicants this year indicating that more and more women are interested in entering the HVACR industry and that is really exciting. The winners were chosen as the best and highest achieving applicants and we are confident that they will greatly succeed in their work in HVACR.”

“We are very thankful to also offer three additional scholarships from industry organizations who see our mission as one of great importance in the industry. We thank NATE, Pointmen and Service Titan for their scholarship sponsorship,” Putnam added.

And, now for the winners (listed alphabetically):

Amanda Crafts, Hennepin College, Eagan, MN

Amanda Crafts aspires not to be an HVAC Technician or Contractor Owner, she wants to be an HVAC Instructor. And, holding a 4.0 GPA, we’re sure she will make a great one!

Says Amanda, “when I think of long-term goals, I think of three predominant goals that will be constant throughout my entire career: experience, relationships, and growth. These are the foundation of what I’m ultimately working toward to successfully achieve my professional goal as an HVACR instructor.”

Amanda’s other interests include hockey and volunteering at the Aliveness Project, a group positively impacting people living with HIV in Minnesota, and Simpson Housing Services, a nonprofit dedicated to housing, supporting and advocating for people experiencing homelessness.

Emily Gavrilenko, California Polytechnic University, Antioch, CA

Emily Gavrilenko is pursuing the very challenging study of Mechanical Engineering at “Cal Poly.” Of her chosen study, Emily says, “I am interested in the design process of HVAC&R and seeing my ideas come to life in the real world. Many mechanical engineers work on really specific part design, and I believe the HVACR field offers a unique opportunity to be involved in the design of an entire mechanical system.”

Getting an early start, Emily is interning with Therma, a mechanical contractor, and will be involved with both the design and build aspects of the construction industry. Emily says she really enjoys CAD modeling and is currently taking a SolidWorks course at Cal Poly to further her knowledge of part and system design.

Emily is very aware and conscientious of the effects HVACR has on climate change and the environment. Especially in California, they have many regulations and projected dates of major code changes that she is learning to help preserve our precious earth and resources. Emily says, “With global temperatures on the rise and carbon emissions causing worldwide climate change, it’s important that the switch to clean and renewable energy continues to grow. California currently has passed several laws mandating the switch to 50% of renewable energy by 2025, and 100% zero-carbon electricity by 2045. Heating and cooling account to almost 50% of all household energy consumption, so new designs and innovations in the HVAC field have a huge potential for positive impact around the world.”

We are glad Emily will be on the force that leads us in the right direction for preservation and conservation!

Janet Gibbons, Conrad Weiser High School, Scranton, PA
NATE Scholarship Winner

Janet Gibbons was like many young students who graduate from high school and are really unsure what they want to do. It wasn’t that she didn’t have ideas—astronaut, scientist, doctor, veterinarian--she just couldn’t narrow those ideas down to one occupation. She thought mostly about being a Veterinarian and even volunteered at the local animal hospital. The high cost of college and a heart that told her Veterinary Science was not what she really wanted to do led her to community college. 

After much consideration of what her community college offers, Janet decided upon HVAC. “It is perfect for me,” she says. “I love to work with my hands and I love to fix things,” Janet mused.

Janet is excited to get started and graduate with a degree in HVAC. She hopes the positive example will inspire her sons. We are sure it will inspire them and many others, too, Janet!

Rebecca Gregg, Erie Institute of Technology, Erie, PA   

As a 44 year old single mother of four, Rebecca Gregg told us of her exciting “roller coaster ride to HVACR” in an essay that inspired us all!

After being terminated from her job in her children’s school system and a pending divorce, Rebecca needed to make some changes to better her life for herself and her kids.

She found herself at the local community college and immediately signing up for the HVACR curriculum. She says now with a 4.0 GPA, she finds herself both loving the study and also asking “what have I just done?” with her decision to enter HVAC. We all can relate, Rebecca <lol>.

Rebecca says, “HVACR has provided me with confidence that I am good at something! I hope to inspire others with my career choice…single mothers and elderly ladies who I will be fixing their furnaces for…when I begin working in HVACR as a technician.”

You have inspired us, Rebecca, and we hope this scholarship will help you further your career with education and training to make you one of the best!

Kailey Hardy, ACE Institute, Gadsden, AL
Service Titan Scholarship Winner

A Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society member, Kailey Hardy, is dual enrolled in high school studies and HVACR. After Kailey completes HVACR training next year, she says her goal is to re-enroll into Gadsden State University and get additional degrees in electricity and industrial automation. She says, “after working with the electrical of heating and air conditioning I have fallen in love with how electricity works, and I want to learn more about it.”

Kailey is not 100% certain what role she wants to work in this industry but she has natural leadership abilities. She says, “I want to further my education by teaching others about new or advanced equipment for their company to become more efficient. I want to help contractors and technicians so they can improve customer comfort and advance the efficiency of the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and refrigeration industry.”

Additional achievements for Kailey include placing fourth place out of 11 competitors with the highest troubleshooting scores in the 2019 HVACR Alabama State Skills Competition and becoming a youth leader at The Church of The Highlands.

Morgan Lee, South River High School, Edgewater, MD
Pointmen Scholarship Winner

As a young, aspiring engineer, Morgan Lee is the recipient of many awards and much recognition including AP Scholar, PLTW Student of the Month, NFHCA High School National Academic Squad, AP + PLTW Student Recognition, Summa Cum Laude, President's Award for Educational Excellence, and Certificate of Merit.  Morgan’s dad is her greatest inspiration and has influence her to consider engineering as it relates to HVACR. He is a commercial HVAC engineer and ASHRAE member. Morgan’s primary interest is hydronics and airside systems. She says, “I want to be a mechanical engineer because it enables people to manage tasks with ease.” This simple explanation is why the field needs intelligent minds like Morgan’s!

Another desire of Morgan’s is to inspire other young women to pursue a STEM career. “I believe a major problem plaguing the HVACR industry is the stereotype that women cannot succeed as engineers. By pursuing a career in HVACR (as a mechanical engineer), I will serve as a role model to end this stereotype.”  We believe you will, Morgan!

BriAnna Prouse, Taylor's Crossing Public Charter School, Idaho Falls, ID

BriAnna Prouse calls herself a typical “Idahoan girl” but her path into HVACR is nothing but typical. She says, “if my father was turning a wrench, I was turning a wrench. I changed my own oil and rotated my own tires.” Raised on a farm, BriAnna learned many skills that makes her unlike most urban girls and certainly helps her now in her chosen field of HVACR.

BriAnna studied hard in school and landed a part-time job at a local plumbing and hardware store, giving her exposure to many local business owners (her influencers) in the trades. After conversations with one HVAC contractor, BriAnna told him that “working in this box is killing me. I need a better job.” Within a few weeks, BriAnna was working for him at Home Heating and Air Conditioning as a service technician.

BriAnna’s long term goals include becoming one of the youngest females to earn a journeyman’s license. She recognizes the important need for more tradesmen and WOMEN in this country and she is thrilled to be joining them as she progresses in this field of HVACR. BriAnna concludes, “We are in a world that is changing. I want to be in that world!”

We know you’ll be positively contributing to that change, BriAnna!