SAFE Continues Recognition of Excellence in Sports Turf Management Education

The SAFE Foundation has been funding scholarships since its inception in 2000. In 2009, it added its first Educational Grant and a second educational grant was added in 2011.

The Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant honors Gary Vanden Berg, CSFM, for his contributions to the industry in promoting internships. Gary was the Director of Grounds for the Milwaukee Brewers until his death on October 10th, 2011 and his commitment to creating enriching learning experiences for interns was legendary throughout the MLB and the sports turf industry at large.

This grant is awarded in late fall for an internship completed during the spring or summer of that same year. STMA student members in good standing who are currently enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours – or were enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours in the semester just prior to the internship –are eligible to submit for the $1,000 grant. The grant is intended to offset the costs a student may have incurred while interning. In addition to receiving the $1,000 grant, the winner also receives a full conference registration and three nights’s lodging at the next STMA National Conference and Exhibition, where he/she will be introduced during the Awards Program.

The 2011 Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant winner was Aaron Bryant, from the University of Tennessee.  Aaron previously interned with the NY Mets and is currently working with the San Diego Padres for a second consecutive season as a seasonal assistant. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2011.

“The Gary Vanden Berg Grant helped me tremendously in offsetting costs associated with expenses accrued over the course of my internship in New York City,” Aaron said.  “It was a privilege to be honored for an award named after one of the leading professionals in our industry. I hope to one day be an instrumental part of giving back to an association that has done so much for me. Namely, I want to incorporate interns into my management strategy as I look for ways to help future generations of Sports Turf Managers.  The networking, internship/job, and learning opportunities are incomparable and pivotal as part of being a member of the Sports Turf Managers Association.”

The 2012 Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant winner was Nik Wooldridge, from Colorado State University. Nik interned at Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox and was also the recipient of the Dr. James Watson Undergraduate Scholarship for 2012.

The STMA Scholarship Committee selects the Terry Mellor and Gary Vanden Berg grant winners.

SAFE is currently seeking long-term funding for the Gary Vanden Berg Internship Grant. To donate please send payments to:

The SAFE Foundation
PO Box 411172
Kansas City, MO 64141-1172

The SAFE Foundation Federal Tax ID# 47-0839745
SAFE is a Charitable 501(c)(3) Corporation. Donations are tax deductible as allowable by law.