20 Students Earn 2016 Karen K. Duncan Scholarship

LINCOLN, NEB. —  Supporting local communities is one of Duncan Aviation’s core values. One way the company invests in its communities is through the children of its team members. Each year, Duncan Aviation advances the futures of 20 students through the Karen K. Duncan Scholarship program.

Each scholarship winner will receive up to $4,000 for his or her college education—$1,000 a semester for up to two years.  

An independent committee reviewed applicants’ essays and assigned point values to them. Students also earned points for academic achievement, leadership, citizenship, career goals and extracurricular activities.

The following students from local communities will receive scholarships that together could total up to $80,000:

Battle Creek, Mich.

Dayna Allen, daughter of Jill and Donald Allen

Dayna has set very specific goals for her future, planning to study exercise science/medicine and eventually earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy. At Pennfield High School, she has been involved in student government, tennis, art club, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and many school committees. She has also volunteered with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Vacation Bible School and Impact Kalamazoo. In addition, she spent three years with the Michigan Student Leadership Institute. 

Climax, Mich.

Lydia Swager, daughter of Amy and Luke Swager

The world of social work is beckoning Lydia and she plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and attend graduate school in the field of philosophy. In high school, she played softball for four years and volleyball for two. She has also been active with her church, the youth group and the Catholic Heart Work Camp.   

Portage, Mich.

Mykenzie Kemp, daughter of Dawn and Robert Kemp

Mykenzie plans to become a pediatric physician’s assistant, striving to make the world a better place for those who come into her care. In addition to playing varsity soccer for four years, she completed an internship in a hospital NICU, earned a phlebotomy certificate and placed seventh in a health skills competition.  

Vicksburg, Mich.

Jacob Dilly, son of John and Kim Dilly

Jacob plans to earn a degree in physics while playing football for Albion College for three years. He will then go to the University of Michigan and earn a mechanical engineering degree. At Vicksburg High School, Jacob played football and baseball for four years, basketball for one and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Dorchester, Neb.

Jordan Keller, daughter of Penny Nichols Keller and Kirk Keller

Jordan plans to attend Southeast Community College this fall, studying business administration. At Dorchester Public High School, she has been involved in track, the Future Business Leaders of America, drama club and the National Honor Society. She has also volunteered with the March of Dimes, the Backpack Program and several other community service organizations.

Eagle, Neb.

Alexis Gress, daughter of Tammy and John Gress

Alexis is looking forward to attending Nebraska Wesleyan University, where she will major in exercise science and minor in business. After she earns her bachelor’s degree, she will look at studying physical therapy at a medical university. While attending Waverly High School, she played softball for four years, soccer for two, earned a silver medal at state competition for FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), was involved in student council and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Tyler Hestermann, son of Stephanie and Richard Hestermann

The world of business is where Tyler’s interests lie and he will earn a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska Lincoln after spending two years in Southeast Community College’s academic transfer program. At Waverly High School, Tyler played football and was active in track, clubs for history, science and art, Skills USA and the National Honor Society.

Greenwood, Neb.

Kenneth Thomason, son of Kimberly and Raymond Thomason

Kenneth will begin working on an engineering major at the University of Nebraska Lincoln next fall and hopes one day to work with rockets and spacecraft. As a student at Ashland Greenwood High School, Kenneth has been active in band, jazz band, One Act, wrestling, spring plays and student council. His community activities have included Boy Scouts and volunteering at the Greenwood Historical Society, Vacation Bible School and cleaning up after the Pilger tornado. 

Gresham, Neb.

Mikayla Weigle, daughter of Elizabeth Schlamann and Alan Weigle

Mikayla plans to purse a graphic design degree at Southeast Community College after she graduates from Centennial Public School. During her high school years, she has been active in the yearbook, art club, Quiz Bowl and speech. She has served the community through volunteer work with her church’s Vacation Bible School and Food Net. 

Lincoln, Neb.

Rhianna Becker, daughter of Mary and Gregory Becker

Rhianna willl use her analytical and problem-solving skills as she studies pre-medicine this fall at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She plans to one day become a doctor. During her years at East High School, she was active in band, orchestra and the National Honor Society. She earned the bronze and silver awards in Girl Scouts, helped tutor other students and volunteered at the food bank.

Jacob Kitchen, son of Dottie and Jim Kitchen

Jacob plans to study biology and business at the University of Nebraska Lincoln after he graduates this spring from Lincoln Southwest High School. Jacob was a drum major for two years with the Lincoln Southwest Marching Band and participated in show band, jazz band and concert band. He was also active in Boy Scouts of America, Students Together Against Cancer and Service Learning Club.

April Marie Kruse, daughter of Michelle and Dennis Kruse

April plans to major in psychology at the Virginia Military Institute and then commission as an officer in surface warfare or infantry. She is even interested, if possible, in becoming a Navy Seal candidate. While attending Pius X High School, April has been active in band, cross country and track and field. She has also served four years as a teacher assistant at North American Martyrs.

Liam Kruse, son of Michelle and Dennis Kruse

Liam sees a rapidly evolving future in the aerospace field and would like to be part of it as an aerospace engineer. He plans to major in aerospace and aeronautical engineering next fall at the University of Notre Dame. During his career at Pius X High School, Liam played football, ran track and field and belonged to the chess club and the National Honor Society. His service in the community has included volunteering for Bright Lights, Habitat for Humanity and Care Corps.

Andy Miesbach, son of Mary and Kevin Miesbach

Andy plans to study mechanical engineering next year and attend Iowa Western Community College. He played football, basketball and ran track during his four years at Waverly High School. He also participated in concert and marching bands, history club, science club and the National Honor Society while volunteering at his church and with the Campus Life youth group.

Brock Williams, son of Amanda and Louis Williams

Brock enjoys working with computers and plans to major in computer science and have a career as a developer of apps and software. While attending Lincoln Southwest High School, Brock was involved in the orchestra, the fiddle band, the fencing club and the National Honor Society. He served the community in various ways including sorting clothes at the Barnabas Center, spreading mulch at the Sunken Gardens and running games at Fun Nights for West Lincoln School, Adams Elementary and Cavett Elementary.

Raymond, Neb.

Sydney Brown, daughter of Tonya and Jeff Brown

Sydney is looking forward to studying cellular and molecular biology next fall at Concordia University in Seward. She played softball and basketball all four years at Raymond Central High School and ran track and field for three years. Sydney was also a member of the student council, the National Honor Society, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Spanish Club.

Seward, Neb.

Madison Hurd, daughter of Catrece and Ken Hurd

Madison plans to enroll in pre-medicine at the University of Nebraska-Omaha next fall. She is interested in working in the field of pediatrics and hopes to make a difference in lives of sick children.  While attending Milford High School, Madison has been involved with student council as senior class president, One Act, the dance team and the musical. She has also worked on the yearbook staff and served as the yearbook editor. 

Wahoo, Neb.

Taylor Homes, daughter of Kim and Brian Homes

Taylor plans to study communications and sciences disorders with minors in nutrition and coaching. Her goal is to help change the lives of children with deficiencies by serving as a speech pathologist. While attending Wahoo Public High School, Taylor played volleyball and was active in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and volunteered with the Red Cross.

Wilber, Neb.

Evan Packer, son of Tammy and Robert Packer

Evan would like to become a fish habitat manager or a game warden. To reach this goal, he plans to enroll in Southeast Community College next fall in a two-year academic transfer program and then attend the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Evan participated in band, jazz band, the Future Farmers of America and played football during his fours years at Wilber-Clatonia High School. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and 4-H.

About Duncan Aviation

Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services, and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 at +1 402.475.4125 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah. We also have dozens of other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with regional support and the quickest response possible to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.

For more information about any of Duncan Aviation’s services, call +1 402.475.2611 or visit