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K-State Today

March 3, 2017



Prins-McBride travel award to honor retiring university distinguished professor

By Michael Wesch

Prins and McBride

An award to support students as they explore the world has been established in honor of Harald Prins and Bunny McBride. At least one student will be awarded up to $5,000 this summer to travel anywhere in the world. Over the coming years, the founders of the program, Michael Wesch and Ryan Klataske, hope to expand the program to support as many as 10 students who want to travel abroad.

Wesch and Klataske were both originally inspired by Prins and McBride to leave the comforts of home and travel the world, and both were profoundly changed by these experiences. Wesch remembers being inspired by Prins and McBride to travel to the most remote regions of Bolivia when he was a student 20 years ago. When he arrived in the capital city of La Paz he sent a quick email to Prins to announce his arrival. Prins wrote back a terse reply, "Don't email me. You are not really there if you remain tethered to your digital connections. Untether yourself." The next day Wesch went off the beaten track into remote regions where there was no internet access and discovered his passion for people and stories in forgotten places.

Such inspired adventures are common among the students of Prins and McBride. Hence, Wesch and Klataske said the award was named "for those who inspire striking out on one's one, being a maverick and a nonconformist, finding the light and life of places forgotten," and, in reference to McBride’s recent book "By the Light of the Moon," sharing the moon with new-found friends.

Award-winning students will travel for at least eight weeks, from late June to mid-August, during which time they will do a series of 10 anthropological challenges designed to immerse themselves in local life. They will share the results of these 10 challenges with K-State anthropology students on Wesch and Klataske's online learning portal, ANTH101.com, while also running online discussions and providing feedback to students doing their own challenge submissions. Awards will be provided by funds generated through the Global Campus offering of the summer course.

Anyone may apply, but preference will be given to students who have demonstrated teaching effectiveness as a teaching assistant for ANTH 200 or ANTH 204 in the past, and/or those who can demonstrate that they are likely to be outstanding mentors and inspiring guides for students of ANTH 200 online.

For details on how to apply for the award, students should visit anth101.com/scholarships. Applications are due April 1.