2023 Scholarship Recipients

Nicholas Dzandzara
Turfgrass Science, Penn State University World Campus

Within the last year, I have been able to study and take classes in management, natural sciences, and human resources while working full time as an Assistant Superintendent at Santa Ana Country Club. It can be difficult at times to juggle schoolwork and work responsibilities, but recently I have grown more comfortable in my ability to handle both and succeed in them simultaneously. The support of the GCSASC not only helps me out financially, but there is a sense of confidence and drive that I feel knowing there are people and organizations pushing for me to succeed. Thank you for your time and assistance to myself and others.

Michael Kloster
Montana State University

What do you consider the most important person or event of the last five years?

In my personal opinion, the most important event in the last five years is the first-ever time that nuclear fusion produced a net energy gain needed to start the reaction.

Nuclear fusion is the process of hydrogen atoms smashing into helium atoms and generating mass amounts of heat as electrons are ripped away from the two atoms. This is the same process done inside stars. The reason why this breakthrough comes in two forms. The first of which is that the whole process needed to create energy from nuclear fusion releases zero greenhouse gasses, which is already better than power plants that run on coal.

The second of which is that no hazardous nuclear waste can be generated from the process like in a nuclear power plant. With the two major negative effects eliminated when generating energy all that leaves is how much energy can it generate and why is it taking so long for it to become widespread.

Nuclear fusion can generate a seemingly unlimited amount of energy as long as hydrogen and helium are moving fast enough to collide with each other to rip apart electrons. The current problem is the laser used in the experiment can not fire long enough to keep the atoms hot. The reason why nuclear fusion is not widespread is that only last year did the initial energy needed to start the reaction less than the energy created but the overall energy used to power up the lasers has yet to succeed.

Also, the laser needs to be able to fire rapidly to keep the atoms hot which leads to the need for more effective lasers. With the idea that in a few decades, a new green energy supply could be available to prevent the continual rise of the earth’s temperature seems more possible than ever.