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Hear from Past Winners

Past scholarship recipients have amazing stories of how receiving the scholarship influenced their decision to attend the University of Minnesota, their experience living in the house and the life long impact of the award.  

Here are some of their stories.

Amy Richard

When I was trying to decide where I would spend the next four years of my life, I was torn between two different schools. I had already received scholarships from both schools before I went in for my interview for a potential Alpha Kappa Psi scholarship. I was nervous throughout my interview but was approached by the current president of the chapter afterwards. He encouraged me to go check out the Alpha Kappa Psi house and meet some of the current members. I was somewhat skeptical, but my mom made me go anyways. When I arrived at the house, I was greeted by a lively bunch of close friends. I toured the house and spoke with some of the members. When my mom and I were on the way back home, she told me that she could just tell that this was the place for me based off of the interactions I had with people. I thought she was crazy and that there was no way that she could have known that. Little did I know, she was right.

As part of the scholarship I was offered, I was able to move into the Alpha Kappa Psi chapter house as a freshman. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t make any friends because I would be a freshman in a house of upperclassman that should be in the dorms, but I was wrong. I immediately made friends that I still talk to every single day. I’m so grateful that I did make these relationships as a freshman because it allowed to get advice when needed whether it was about a class, an internship, or anything in my life.

I fell in love with the culture and decided to pledge Alpha Kappa Psi my freshman fall. I gained a strong network, professional development, and lifelong friends. Being a part of this organization has created a wonderful college experience that I wouldn’t have had at a different college.

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Sara Straskowski

Receiving the AKPsi scholarship greatly influenced my decision to attend the U of MN, my college experience, and ultimately my entire life. When it was time for me to select a school, I was on the fence between a few major universities in the Midwest. I selected the University of Minnesota based on its excellent business program, the great value of attending the school, and, most importantly, the scholarship I had received from Alpha Kappa Psi.

As part of receiving the scholarship, I moved into the house as a freshman, and I became best friends with the members of AKPsi immediately. I loved the culture of AKPsi so much that I pledged the fraternity during my first semester, and continued to live at the house for three years. AKPsi provided me with networking opportunities and contacts that I would never have made otherwise. As a freshman, it is extremely helpful to learn and take advice from upperclassmen who have already been through the college experience. At AKPsi, these upperclassmen lived just steps away from me, and they were happily willing to answer my questions. Additionally, living at the house was fun! There is always something happening in the common areas of the house, and there is no shortage of people with whom you can hang out, study, or explore Minneapolis! My years living at AKPsi were definitely some of the best in my life.

Sara graduated in 2014 and is currently living in Chicago and working as a Senior Consultant with IBM. 

Dustin Gillard

When I was notified that I would be receiving the AKPsi scholarship, I knew the University of Minnesota was where I would spend my next four years. It was a chance not only to receive a world-class education, but also surround myself with some of the institution's most passionate and driven students. Add to that consideration the great value of in-state tuition plus Carlson's connections to the Minneapolis business community and my college choice was obvious.


I now consider the opportunity to live in the AKPsi house my freshman year as the greatest benefit of the scholarship. Upperclassmen with experiences and advice were a door knock away, which was something that just didn't exist in the dorms. I remember watching news coverage of the 2008 global financial crisis the fall of my freshman year and not knowing what Bear Stearns was, never mind grasping at the implications of its collapse. Sitting next to me were students with internships and job offers at major banks who could quickly catch me up to speed. This type of exposure was unusual and enriching.


I still feel the impact of the scholarship and my time at AKPsi several years after graduation. I have made lifelong friends, been introduced to career opportunities, and received an education that I use every day. And for that, I will be forever grateful to Alpha Kappa Psi.

Dustin graduated in 2012 and currently lives in CA. 

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