The Mechanical Contractors Association of Eastern Missouri awarded $36,000 in scholarships as part of the annual scholars’ program. Four outstanding high school students received $8,000—
$2,000 each per academic year—to begin their college experience this fall. Two scholars from the University of Missouri-Columbia MCAA Student Chapter each received one-time awards of $2,000.
Landon Vuagniaux from Edwardsville, IL (62025) is the son of Tara and Brett Vuagniaux. Brett Vuagniaux is employed with Mechanical Solutions, Inc.
Landon is passionate about environmental issues and will pursue a degree in environmental engineering at Purdue University this fall, with an aim to work in renewable energy.
He is active in a variety of academic and sports clubs and has volunteered as a Spanish language tutor. Throughout his time at Edwardsville High School, Landon maintained a cumulative GPA of over 4.0 while taking honors courses across science, math, language, and history. In addition to school activities, Landon is self-employed, running a landscaping business.
Natalie Busch from Columbia, IL (62236) is the daughter of James and Susanna Busch. James Busch is employed by Integrated Facility Services (IFS). Natalie will pursue a degree in communication disorders at Murray State University with a plan to become a speech-language pathologist and a basketball coach. Natalie is passionate about helping others overcome communication barriers and helping young girls build confidence to pursue their passions.
Natalie ranks #1 in her class at Columbia High School. She is President of their National Honor Society chapter, the Class President, and also serves as Vice President of Student Council. She is captain of the varsity basketball team, plays volleyball, and has other leadership roles for arts-related clubs and activities. Outside of the classroom, Natalie has completed over 100 hours of community service over the past four years.
John (Jack) Meert, Jr. from Ballwin, MO (63011) is the son of John and Deborah Meert. John Meert is employed by C&R Mechanical. Jack is pursuing the dual degree program in applied mathematics and engineering offered through Fontbonne and Washington University. A scholar athlete and soccer MVP at Parkway West High School, Jack exceled in several AP/Honors courses, including Honors Introduction to Engineering and Honors Principles of Engineering. He leads by example, volunteering at his church, the STL Food Pantry, the Ronald McDonald House, and by helping on his family’s tree farm. Jack also founded a small business in 2016, Meert Brothers Lawn Care.
Taylor Klipfel from Cape Girardeau, MO (63701) is the daughter of Travis Klipfel, who is employed by GWS Contractors, Inc.
Though currently undecided on her college of choice and major, Taylor is passionate about game design, graphic design, and interactive digital media, and is seeking ways to plans to pursue her interests in the fall.
At Notre Dame Regional High School, Taylor’s academic drive is demonstrated by her success in the most challenging courses offered, including Calculus and Advanced Chemistry. She is in the National Honors Society, National Arts Honor Society, and acts as Treasurer of her National French Honor Society. She participated in the Girls Cross Country Team, All School Band and Pep Band, to name only few. Outside of school, Taylor has been a dedicated Girl Scout, receiving numerous awards, including the Girl Scouts of Missouri Gold Award in 2019 – the highest offered by the organization. She trains in aerial arts training and is an understudy for the Southeast Missouri State University Spring into Dance Program. Still Taylor finds time to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Special Olympics, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Evan Taylor (65201) is currently the President of the MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri – Columbia.
Evan is graduating this spring with a degree in mechanical engineering and excited to begin his career in the industry. At Mizzou, he is a recipient of the Excellence Award and has made the Dean’s list every semester. He participated in the in two Student Chapter Competitions during his tenure and continues to support the chapter by working diligently to recruit new members. Evan continues to stay involved in events and seminars at the College of Engineering and volunteers with a community-based organization in Columbia and with a campus ministry group.
Elizabeth Henshaw (65201) is the current Treasurer of the MCAA Student Chapter at University of Missouri – Columbia.
Ellie will graduate this May with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Aerospace Engineering. Her goal is to begin a career in technical sales, dealing specifically with fluid systems. An active member of the student chapter for the past two years, Ellie helped write many key aspects of the competition projects in 2020 and 2021. She is involved in several organizations within the College of Engineering and serves as President of the Society of Women Engineers, the King/Queen Chair of Engineers Week (E-Week), and Engineers Without Borders. In her free time, she plays recreational soccer and is a mentor to at-risk children in her hometown.