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K-State Today

May 14, 2013



Bright future: Senior from Pratt earns national scholarship for lighting design

By Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University's Bronson Blasi, a senior in architectural engineering, Pratt, is one of just five national recipients of a scholarship from the Besal Scholarship Fund for the 2013-2014 school year. Blasi is receiving a $3,000 scholarship.

The merit-based scholarship is awarded through the Robert J. Besal Memorial Education Fund, which was established to improve education in illuminating engineering and to recognize top lighting students and encourage their pursuit of lighting industry careers.

Kansas State University is one of just six qualified universities in the nation that can nominate students to receive the scholarship. To qualify as a Besal campus, a university must offer extensive course work related to lighting and lighting systems design. Each institution also must have an appointed faculty representative to serve as its campus liaison between the institution and the fund's liaison. Fred Hasler, associate professor in architectural engineering and construction science, serves as the university's campus liaison. Hasler is a professional engineer and accredited professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. He coordinates lighting systems courses in the department.

"Kansas State University and the department of architectural engineering and construction science are very proud to be recognized in this group of universities that show a focus on lighting design in their curriculum and have a high level of faculty expertise," Hasler said.

Students nominated for the scholarship must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Each candidate must demonstrate outstanding academic performance and strong potential for careers in lighting. The fund's board or appointed board committee reviews all applications and selects scholarship recipients.

As part of the scholarship process, Blasi had to prepare a detailed essay about the redesign of a company office space and warehouse.

"It involved completing a conceptual design for the lighting systems, as well as a written narrative discussing the spaces and stating how your design best fit the owners needs," he said.

Blasi said he applied for the scholarship not only for financial support, but to show that the university's architectural engineering program can compete with any other program in the nation when it comes to applying curriculum that students have been taught. It was a way for him to compete against some of the nation's top programs in a lighting design competition and illustrate his passion for lighting design.

Blasi is the son of Bob and Susie Blasi and a 2008 graduate of Pratt High School.

"I have known and worked with Bronson for several years. I'm so proud of his accomplishments and for being acknowledged by the Besal Fund for his outstanding academic success related to the lighting industry," Hasler said. "This award not only shows the talent Bronson possesses, but it also continues to showcase our department as having one of the top lighting design curriculum in the nation."