Engineering extension grant from U.S. State Department bringing foreign visitors to Kansas
June 20, 2013
MANHATTAN -- A grant from the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs will bring 20 students from 13 foreign countries to Kansas State University this summer to study environmental stewardship.
The institute will begin July 1 in Manhattan and conclude with a trip to Washington, D.C., in early August. The students -- from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom -- were required to undergo a rigorous selection process, initiated by an application to the Fulbright Commission for their particular country.
"We are delighted by this award," said Bruce Snead, department head of engineering extension. "This is a significant amount of funding for our program and is the first time the Department of State has been a funding source for us. The grant fits well with the environmental outreach mission of engineering extension and dovetails perfectly with our Pollution Prevention Institute summer student intern program we have been coordinating since 2006."
Curriculum for the summer institute, developed by Jean Underwood and David Carter, pollution prevention specialists in engineering extension, will include field trips to unique Kansas organizations.
"We wanted to showcase the great variety of environmental stewardship the state of Kansas has to offer," Carter said. "We have field trips scheduled from Greensburg to Kansas City, with stops in Lawrence, Topeka and Burlington, to name just a few places."
Within Manhattan itself, students will tour Sunset Zoo, Flint Hills Discovery Center, the Kansas State University nuclear reactor and the Konza Prairie Biological Station. Other trips include the University of Kansas field station, the city of Greensburg, Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant, Westar's Jeffrey Energy Center and the Bowersock hydroelectric dam in Lawrence.
A part of the requirements of the grant is to expose the international students, none of whom have ever traveled to the U.S., to American culture. Participants will be treated to recreational Kansas experiences including Manhattan's Arts in the Park, the Little Apple Jazz Festival, a Kansas City Royals baseball game, fireworks on the 4th of July and a canoe trip down the Kansas River.
"One of the most satisfying parts of this program is the building of partnerships with other local organizations," said Kristina Snyder, engineering extension's summer institute coordinator. "The Manhattan Konza Rotary Club, for example, has not only agreed to sponsor the closing reception for the summer institute students, but many of its members are also inviting the students to their homes for dinner on evenings when no formal events are scheduled."
Other partner groups include Westar Energy, Philips Lighting, Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
"Being able to submit more than 20 letters of commitment with the grant application, many of whom identified matching funds to use for the program," Carter said, "was certainly a major factor in receiving this award. We are extremely grateful for the relationship we have with all of our partners."