BBI announces Kathy Bryan Memorial Scholarship recipients

By Ann Bailey | June 21, 2016

BBI International has awarded the 2016 Kathy Bryan Memorial Scholarship to Donald Jackson and Patrick Thimes.

The two $2,000 memorial scholarships are awarded annually to students pursuing degrees that may lead to a career in the ethanol industry and who are working to build a sustainable future that reduces carbon emissions. Bryan, co-founder of the Fuel Ethanol Workshop and former BBI International president, was a long-time champion of the ethanol industry. The scholarships are available to employees of U.S. or Canadian ethanol plants or to members of the employees’ immediate families.

Jackson works for Cardinal Ethanol near Union City, Indiana, and is enrolled at Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg. Employed as a board operator at Cardinal Ethanol since 2008, Jackson is furthering his education because he believes it will improve his chances to move up in the company, he said.

“It’s a great company,” Jackson said. He also enjoys the challenge of going to college after graduating from high school 20 years ago. Jackson takes classes online while working full-time at Cardinal Ethanol. Except for a two-week break in October, he has completed two assignments every week since April 2015, Jackson said.

Jackson is impressed by the cohesiveness of the ethanol industry, he said. He enjoys working in the industry and is a strong supporter of the biofuel.

“I am a firm believer that every gallon of eethanol you can get in a barrel of oil, that’s less oil you have to buy from the foreign countries for oil.”

Though, individual companies are competitors, they work together to support ethanol, Jackson noted.

Scholarship winner Patrick Thimes is interested in scientific research and will use the scholarship money to help pay for his education at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Thimes is earning biology and chemistry degrees from the college and plans to graduate in May 2018.  Thimes’ father Chris Thimes is a safety manager at Mid-America Agri-Products in Madrid, Nebraska.

Thimes enjoys science because it gives him an opportunity to explore the unknown and discover something new, he said. He credits his seventh-grade science teacher with sparking his interest in science and especially is interested in the river marine aspect of biofuels, he said.