Concordia Graduates Receive Torrison Scholarships for Medical School

Sam Engrav, Yanick Tade, and Glenn Seela

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) announced that five students from across the country were awarded a scholarship for medical school – three of them were recent Concordia College graduates.

2021 graduates Sam Engrav, Yanick Tade, and Glenn Seela received the Torrison Medical Scholarship funded by the Dr. George and Emma J. Torrison Scholarship Program. The scholarship fund, with additional support from the Frederick W. Williams Scholarship Endowment, provides them each with $5,000.

“It’s exciting,” Tade said. “I feel honored to have received it. It’s a substantial amount of financial support, and it also shows that the administrators and those who give out the awards see potential in me.”

To receive the scholarship, students must first be nominated by their school to apply. They then write an essay about how they may work to address currently incurable diseases. Concordia has had the most Torrison Scholarship recipients over the past decade.

“It’s really humbling just to be nominated out of so many people who are incredibly qualified. I can’t thank them enough,” Engrav said.

“I think that our students are exposed to new ways of thinking and considering ‘impossible’ situations over the course of their Concordia education,” said Dr. Julie Rutherford, associate professor of biology and director of pre-health professions. “This helps them to consider ways that they can make a real and significant impact on the field of medicine, even when no obvious solutions currently exist.”

As Tade, Seela, and Engrav start their medical school training, they say the rigorous education and personal support they received at Concordia prepared them well.

“It’s been a pretty smooth transition,” Tade said. “Concordia provided me with strong study habits. I also learned how to think critically and how to interpret scientific data.”

Seela appreciated both the scholarship and the one-on-one attention at Concordia in addition to the experience of working with donor cadavers in the anatomy program.

“Getting to work with donor cadavers was an incredible experience and really helpful for me to have done that. Very few people in my medical school class had that opportunity,” Seela said.

“Concordia was really great for me,” Engrav said. “I really enjoyed that it allowed me to pursue what I wanted to pursue. It’s a small school, but it has a lot of opportunities and a lot of really neat ways that you can explore your interests. I could be a scientist, but I could also be a musician and be in the community ... I could cultivate and grow.”