On April 20th, the first Brent McGinn and Laurie Axelsen Scholarship was presented to Joseph Magers for being the “Best in Class” at the Northern Arizona University Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program.
Assistant Chief Ranger Lindy Mihata and Chief of Operations Lance Mattson presented Magers with a $1000 check and commemorative plaque on behalf of the families and friends of McGinn and Axelsen, who died in an off-duty aircraft accident in October of 2010.
The McGinn and Axelsen Scholarship was created to honor them and to financially assist future rangers who graduate from seasonal law enforcement training programs with all-around top honors. Magers embodied the characteristics of excellence, integrity, hard work, and pride in performance as exemplified by McGinn and Axelsen.
Brent McGinn began his National Park Service ranger career at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore after graduating from college. While at the park, he was asked to take a newspaper reporter on a tour. While showing off the park, McGinn exclaimed “…and they pay me to do this!” The reporter closed the article with this statement: “If all park rangers are as enthusiastic as Brent, the National Park Service is in good hands.” McGinn went on to share his enthusiasm for his love of the ranger profession and the NPS with many parks and was the chief ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Laurie Axelsen began her National Park Service career at Mount Rainier National Park while attending college. Axelsen loved all aspects of being a ranger. She excelled in wearing the numerous hats law enforcement rangers wear, such as administering advanced medical support and fighting structural fires. Axelsen gained valuable experience from working at a wide variety of parks throughout her career and was the Dangling Rope District Ranger at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
McGinn and Axelsen were proud to wear the green and gray uniform of the National Park Service. The uniform represents what both McGinn and Axelsen stood for – excellence in all disciplines.