UNK assistant biology professor Joe Dolence was named the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association (SMSA) Distinguished Scholar for 2020.
Each year, the SMSA board of directors selects one former scholarship recipient for this honor. Dolence, who received the Seabee Memorial Scholarship as an undergraduate student, is the 24th winner of the Distinguished Scholar award.
He was recognized during a virtual awards ceremony in October.
“It is humbling to think of myself as a distinguished scholar for anything, but for this group of people, it means something more because of what you guys have done in service for this country,” Dolence said during the event. “I want to thank my dad, Joseph Paul Dolence, who served in the Seabees for many years – 20 years in total.
“His daily example of sacrifice and hard work and showing that Seabee can-do attitude was fundamental as I established my career and continue to drive me day in and day out here at UNK. I know he is extremely proud that his service helped me achieve my dreams.”
The SMSA is the nation’s only provider of need-based scholarships exclusively to the children and grandchildren of U.S. Navy Seabees and Civil Engineer Corps officers. The association has awarded scholarships to more than 1,000 students since 1972.