Kansas State University student from Overland Park a 2017 Cargill Global Scholar
Friday, May 12, 2017
MANHATTAN — Cargill Inc. has recognized a Kansas State University student for his potential as a leader and researcher in the spheres of food, farming and financial risk management.
Nathan McClain, sophomore in computer science and physics, Overland Park, is one of 10 U.S. students selected as a 2017 Cargill Global Scholar. The scholar program also includes more than 60 scholars from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Russia.
Administered by the Institute of International Education, the program provides top students with scholarship support and development opportunities, including a one-on-one mentoring program, case study presentations and seminars.
"It's important to note that students must apply in their first or second year, which gives them a chance to engage with the program through much of their undergraduate career," said Jim Hohenbary, Kansas State University's director of nationally competitive scholarships. "I look forward to seeing how Nathan will benefit from and use this opportunity over the next several years."
As part of the program, McClain will go to the U.S. In-Country Leadership Seminar in Minnesota in June, and he will travel to one of Cargill's global campuses in summer 2018.
"I anticipate getting acquainted with leaders from other cultures, which will help me become a more well-rounded leader," McClain said. "Additionally, I hope to improve my interpersonal skills by building relationships with my Cargill mentor and the other Cargill Global Scholars."
Cargill scholars demonstrate excellent academic achievement, leadership potential, and research interests in science, technology, engineering, math, agriculture, international relations or business. McClain is an undergraduate researcher working on writing code for robotic vehicles with Pavithra Prabhakar, associate professor of computer science at Kansas State University.
"I enjoy tinkering with machinery — in this case, robots — and figuring out how and why things work," McClain said. "The frustrating process of being stuck is worth every second when you get to see the robot move or accomplish a specific task."
McClain is an ambassador for the College of Engineering and an event coordinator for the university's Game Development Club. He has received the Putnam Scholarship, the Wabash CannonBall Scholarship and the A.B. Cardwell Fund Scholarship.
He volunteers at SOAR Special Needs Day Camp through Grace Church in Overland Park, and he will run his second marathon in July to support Braden's Hope for Childhood Cancer.
He is a graduate of Blue Valley High School and the son of Gary and Diana McClain.