For Melissa “Missy” Dahl, winning a national Club Foundation scholarship isn’t just about the money to help pay for tuition and other expenses involved in going to college.
“The prestige of winning a national scholarship gave me a feeling of pride and accomplishment in what I have done, as well as a desire to continue to push forward toward my goals,” she said.
Dahl is one of three University of Wisconsin-Stout School students from the School of Hospitality Leadership who recently received the Joe Perdue Scholarship, named in honor of a leading national hospitality educator.
Dahl, Emma Leverich and Nicole TenHaken from UW-Stout each received $2,500. All three are majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management.
The Club Foundation, part of the Club Managers Association of America, recognized nine students nationally at an event recently in Chicago. The other winners are from Massachusetts-Amherst, Farleigh Dickinson, Florida State and Niagara University.
The award, which involved a lengthy application process, is for students who have expressed an interest in a career in club management.
Dahl, of Drummond, will graduate in December 2019. She is president of the UW-Stout student chapter of CMAA. The chapter is one of 49 in the U.S. and was the first one in 1975.
The award and other scholarships Dahl has received while at UW-Stout have “allowed me to put all my focus on keeping my grades up and excelling in my role as president of CMAA,” she said, thanking those who have made the awards possible.
Dahl has appreciated the opportunity through UW-Stout’s Cooperative Education program to have on-the-job experiences, such as one at Paradise Valley Country Club in Arizona. “The managers at PVCC took the time and effort to work with me in many facets of the club and provide me with the background necessary to become an excellent manager.
“The fact that Stout emphasizes work experience through co-ops and internships is probably the most impressive part of the hospitality program,” Dahl said.
Leverich, of Lester Prairie, Minn., will graduate in December, having finished her degree in 3½ years. She previously served as secretary of the CMAA chapter.
“CMAA and the Club Foundation have been a positive influence in my professional life, providing endless resources and education. I was incredibly honored to be awarded the scholarship. It was a prefect ending to my collegiate career,” she said, adding that the scholarship covered most of her final semester tuition.
Leverich recently finished an internship as dining room manager of the White Bear Yacht Club in Dellwood, Minn. She trained and managed more than 20 young staff members.
“This provided an abundance of learning opportunities. The position has given me even more of a passion for the club management industry,” she said.
TenHaken, of Watertown, will graduate in May 2019. She is vice president of the CMAA chapter.
“I am beyond thankful to all the donors for making this scholarship possible. I am extremely honored to be chosen and for the opportunities that this award will provide me,” said TenHaken, who also won the Joe Perdue Scholarship in 2017.
She has interned at three country clubs while at UW-Stout, including in 2016 at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minn., that coincided with the club hosting the international Ryder Cup matches.
“Every internship I’ve done has opened my eyes to so many new and exciting things, taught me many different skills that I will use as a manager and helped me find who I want to be in my career,” TenHaken said, adding that she is passionate about club management and plans to join CMAA as a professional.
Top: Melissa Dahl
MIddle: Emma Leverich
Bottom: Nicole TenHaken