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Source: Jamie Smidt, jsmidt@gmail.com
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415, bbohn@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

ROTARY AMBASSADORIAL SCHOLARSHIP TO HELP K-STATE GRAD JAMIE SMIDT BEGIN GRADUATE STUDIES IN CHILE

MANHATTAN -- A Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship will help a Kansas State University graduate study in Chile.

Jamie Smidt, who earned a bachelor's in agricultural communications and journalism from K-State in May 2008, was one of two recipients of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships awarded by the Northeast Kansas Rotary District No. 5710. Smidt was sponsored by the Manhattan Noon and Konza Rotary clubs.

The scholarship, worth up to $25,000, funds one academic year of graduate studies abroad.

"I am very thankful for this opportunity. I studied abroad in both Spain and Mexico during my undergraduate education and know firsthand the value of international experiences. I look forward to supplementing my graduate degree with classes from South America," Smidt said.

Smidt will study at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chilein Santiago, Chile, where she plans to begin a master's degree in agricultural economics.

"My year of study will be March-December 2011. Because of the difference in seasons in the southern hemisphere, the university academic year begins in March, which is autumn. After that year I'll transfer to an American university to finish my degree. I then would like to work internationally in agricultural and economic development."

Since graduating from K-State, Smidt has been working as a seagoing communications specialist for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, an international earth science research program that is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and is housed at Texas A&M University.

"I sail on our research vessel to provide publications support to scientists, collect and format data and assist in shipboard laboratories," Smidt said. "I spent summer 2009 in the Bering Sea and will set sail for the Southern Ocean in January 2010."

Smidt is the daughter of Robert and Jennifer Smidt, rural Abilene, and a 2004 graduate of Chapman High School.

The Ambassadorial Scholarship is the Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program. Since its founding in 1947 nearly 38,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. It is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program today. Its purpose is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Once home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.