by Evelyne Houdek
The American Scandinavian Foundation of Santa Barbara presented Heidi Poley with the Marie A. Jendresen Founder’s award at the group’s Annual meeting, held on Saturday, January 22 at the Elverhøj Museum in Solvang. The coveted medallion is given in recognition of loyalty, dedication, and contribution of time and energy to the organization, and is named after the first recipient. Mrs. Jendresen was honored in 1987, and there have been now 18 awarded since its inception. The American Scandinavian foundation was organized in Santa Barbara in 1947.
Heidi Poley has served ASF in many capacities including Program Chair and Treasurer, her present positions. Her love of her Swedish heritage stems from participation in cultural activities of Scandinavia since she was a young girl with her mother, also an ASF member.
See pictures from the annual meeting here.
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Einar Hovind, 2003 , Brooke Van Der Kar,2005, Heidi Poley, 2011, and Evelyne Houdek, 2004
Five months ago, I was sitting at home thinking about the upcoming stage of my life with apprehension and uncertainty. I took my step of independence and it turned out to be both frightening and fulfilling; which is not uncommon for a lot of obstacles that cause people to grow. I grew in leaps and bounds – intellectually, spiritually, and in my character. While driving back to college after my long Christmas break, I did not dread the end of my break, rather I was excited to get to go back to people that I love and to an environment that continually shapes me into someone better.
This year has been, as I expected, more academically grueling than my high school years. In my first quarter at college, I took four courses which totaled to thirteen units. I took an Introduction to Civil Engineering course, an English course, a Physics course, and a Calculus course. This calculus course was a special one though because it is an Honors Calculus course. No student could apply for the course, but rather had to be asked to join based off of academic achievements shown in high school. Since it is an honors course, it proved to be more challenging than the math courses that my fellow classmates were taking, but it also taught me at a deeper level which I enjoyed. I worked hard and came out of my first quarter with all A’s and B’s – making a grade point average of 3.23. As a result of these academic achievements, I have become a member of the Cal Poly Connections Honors Society.
I am very proud of this and hope to keep the same trend going with my second quarter. In my second quarter (the one that I am currently in,) I am taking four courses that add up to fourteen units. All of these courses are courses toward my civil engineering major; I am taking a Chemistry course, the second Introduction to Civil Engineering course, another Physics course, and another Honors Calculus course. Due to the fact that they are all major-courses, this quarter has been more difficult than the last. I have been talking to my counselors about the courses that I should be taking and following a four-year flow chart for my classes so that I know that I am staying on track. I am confident that, if I put in the hard work, this quarter and the future quarters to come will prove to be just as successful as the first one.
Along with academics, I have been getting involved in activities and clubs that Cal Poly has to offer. Last quarter I started playing Intermural Soccer with the Society of Civil Engineers. Every Thursday night we would play a game and work our way up the bracket. We played every Thursday up until the end of the quarter and ended up proving to be good enough to play in the championship match at the end of the quarter! We got prepared for the final game of the quarter and got scored on in the first minutes of the game. Towards the end of the first half we returned the favor, making the game tied going into the second half. Both teams would not give an inch until the closing moments of the second half when the Society of Civil Engineers connected a shot into the lower right-side of the net to win the Intermural Soccer Championship! Our team all got our picture taken and championship shirts to wear.
Along with that, I have started to attend meetings of the Engineers Without Borders club this quarter. This club has projects that help the Cal Poly campus, the San Luis Obispo community, and three third-world countries. Meetings are one to two times per week where we discuss different projects that are underway. Since this is the type of work that interests me for my career, I am very glad to have a jumpstart into this area. I am also attending the SLO Crusades. It is a Christian group for college students which meets weekly. Around one thousand students go every week to socialize, worship, and hear about God. It has been a fantastic way to meet people and to grow in my relationship with the Lord. They also have separate events that one can get involved in such as small dinners, pick-up football games, guest speakers, seasonal retreats, and outreach trips to different countries. All of these activities are making my college experience that much better.
My talents and interests have stayed constant. I still love music, I still love sports, I still love God, and I still love the direction in which my education is going. My music playing has flourished due to the abundance of pianos here at Cal Poly. There is a piano in the main lounge, many pianos in the music department, and even some pianos in coffee shops downtown. I take advantage of all of these venues and love playing when I have the chance. I would love to pursue it more and would have liked to minor in music, but I have been told that it would be far too hard with a civil engineering major. For sports, I mentioned my involvement in intermural teams and pick-up football games. My friends and I also love to go play soccer, ultimate Frisbee, beach volleyball, go to the gym, and other things of this nature in order to stay active. My relationship with God has flourished largely because of the friends that I have made here and because of SLO Crusades. I am excited to grow more in Him and become a better man through that. Lastly, I am excited for the direction that I want to go with my education. As of now, I still feel compelled and would love to do civil engineering work in third world countries. I am nervous about this though because I do not necessarily know how easy this will be on my life or the hardships that might ensue from choosing this path, but I feel like it is the right thing to do and that God is calling me down that path. Hence, I still have my eyes set on that goal. All these interests are able to flourish here at Cal Poly.
These first two quarters of college have been exhilarating and I can see the growth that I have gone through. This summer I hope to have an internship with a Geotechnical Civil Engineering Firm or a Water Resource Engineering firm – both of which I have already looked into. I look forward to taking more frightening and fulfilling steps in my future so that I can keep growing into the best man that I can be. If I do this, I know that I can look back on my years at college and be confident that I took from it everything that I could.
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