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Source: Jim Hohenbary, 785-532-6904, jimlth@k-state.edu
Photos available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Kristin Hodges, 785-532-6415, khodges2@k-state.edu

Thursday, July 2, 2009

K-STATE HAS THREE 2009 FULBRIGHT U.S. STUDENT SCHOLARS

MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University students have won 2009 Fulbright U.S. Student scholarships for travels abroad. The students are among more than 1,500 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2009-2010 academic year through the Fulbright program.

Receiving one-year fellowships from the Fulbright U.S. Student program are K-State's Mike Reppert, Manhattan, who will go to Poland; Jacque LaRue, Moran, who is going to South Korea; and Nora Johnson, Dell Rapids, S.D., who is going to Germany.

K-State now has had 50 Fulbright student scholars since 1975.

"I admire all three of these students for choosing to step outside their comfort zone in order to learn and live in an international setting next year," said Jim Hohenbary, K-State assistant dean for nationally competitive scholarships. "I know they will do a great job in making connections and building goodwill between their host countries and the United States, and it is exciting to think that K-State is going to be represented in Germany, Poland and South Korea though the Fulbright program this coming fall."

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for study abroad, research abroad or English teaching assistantships. The program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement as well as leadership potential. The Fulbright program was established under legislation introduced by late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and is administered by the Institute of International Education.

Reppert, a May 2009 K-State bachelor's graduate in biochemistry, chemistry and mathematics, received a Fulbright Scholarship to study single-molecule spectroscopy at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. Reppert has been involved in research projects with Ryszard Jankowiak, a K-State professor of chemistry who is Polish. Reppert said he has enjoyed learning the country's language, culture and history. He has previously spent a month in Poland and wanted to return to study, visit friends and practice speaking Polish. After completing his Fulbright, Reppert plans to pursue a doctorate in physical chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His career goal is to work at a university where he would conduct research on fundamental physical and chemical principles as they apply to biological systems.

At K-State, Reppert also has been involved in research projects with Virginia Naibo, assistant professor of mathematics. He is a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship for graduate studies in physical chemistry. He also has been a Goldwater Scholar and a National Merit Scholar. He has received the Presidential Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Student in Research and the Phi Lambda Upsilon award for academic performance as a sophomore. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Eta Sigma and Golden Key honor societies. Reppert is the son of Jay and Sue Reppert, Manhattan.

LaRue is a May 2009 bachelor's graduate in agricultural education with a minor in animal sciences and industry. She received a scholarship to South Korea for teaching English as a foreign language and will teach at a South Korean high school. She said she wanted to teach in South Korea because of the country's high literacy rate and to learn about a different educational system.

LaRue's career plans are to return to Kansas to teach high school agriculture. She also would like to pursue graduate studies in curriculum and instruction. At K-State, she has been involved in the Agricultural Education Club and Block and Bridle. She also was a 2007 member of the Meats Judging Team where she earned first place in beef judging at the American Royal Contest in Emporia; first place in reasons at the Eastern Judging Contest in Wyalusing, Pa.; and first alternate in the International Judging Contest in Dakota City, Neb. A 2004 graduate of Marmaton Valley High School, LaRue is the daughter of Dale and Joan LaRue, Moran.

Johnson is a graduate student in atomic, molecular and optical physics. She will use the Fulbright Scholarship to study laser-molecule interaction in Germany. Johnson works with Itzik Ben-Ithzak, K-State professor of physics, in a research group studying molecular physics. She has co-authored numerous publications that have appeared in journals such as Physics Review A and the Review of Scientific Instruments.

Johnson would like a career in an academic setting with an even workload of research and teaching duties. She graduated from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., with a bachelor's in chemistry and mathematics in 2005. At K-State, she has received the Timothy R. Donoghue scholarship. Johnson is a member of the Manhattan Ultimate Summer League, the Graduate Physics Student Association and the American Physics Society. A 2001 graduate of Flandreau Public High School, Flandreau, S.D., she is the daughter of Lawrence and Diane Johnson, Dell Rapids, S.D.