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UK commission selects Kansas State University senior for 2020 Marshall Scholarship

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019


MANHATTAN — Kansas State University senior in agricultural economics Clara Wicoff, Iola, will receive a 2020 Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the United Kingdom. 

For 2020, Marshall Scholarships have been awarded to 46 American students by the British government as a means of continually strengthening ties between the U.K. and U.S. Wicoff is the 15th K-State student to receive the scholarship, which provides full funding for one or two years of graduate study in the U.K.

"Clara Wicoff is an exceptional choice for this prestigious scholarship," said President Richard Myers. "Clara's history of leadership and public service certainly fits the Marshall Scholarship objective to serve as an ambassador between the two countries, and her dedication to global food security represents K-State's land-grant mission well."

Wicoff will use the scholarship to work toward a master's degree in either economics or food security and development to promote global food security. According to Wicoff, food insecurity is a global and complex problem. She said the U.K. alone has 1.2 million people who are severely food insecure, which could be made worse post-Brexit since half of the U.K.'s food products are imported.

"During my first semester at Kansas State University, I was introduced to the concept of 'wicked problems,' which are complex and must be addressed in a multidisciplinary manner," said Wicoff. "The valuable experiences I have had as a K-State student have helped prepare me for a career addressing the wicked problem of food insecurity. I am eager to build upon these experiences by continuing my studies at a university in the U.K."

Throughout Wicoff's education, she has worked toward her career goal of understanding and addressing global food insecurity. As part of the university's entomology department undergraduate research experience program, Wicoff explored postharvest loss as one important contributor to food insecurity. In particular, she researched the influence of a specific insecticide-treated storage material on insect pests at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Grain and Animal Health Research in Manhattan.

In June and July, Wicoff worked as a Cargill business management intern and from January to April, she was a Kansas Grain and Feed Association legislative fellow. In 2018, Wicoff served as a committee intern for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She also served as state vice president for the Kansas FFA Association from 2016-2017, the events coordinator for the College of Agriculture Ambassadors from 2018-2019 and as the alumnae relations director for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, in 2018.

Wicoff is a member of the Blue Key Honor Society, where she serves as the co-director of the Catalyst self-development program for freshman and sophomore students at K-State. She also is a Center for Risk Management Education and Research student fellow, a student worker for the Kansas Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Lodging Program, and a member of the university's Honor and Integrity Council. She previously served on the Riley County and city of Manhattan Food and Farm Council.

In addition to the Marshall scholarship, Wicoff has received a national Truman Scholarship, a K-State Presidential Scholarship and a K-State Kassebaum Scholarship and is a National Merit scholar. She is a 2016 graduate of Iola High School and the daughter of Joel and Lisa Wicoff, Iola.



Jim Hohenbary

News tip



Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships


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Clara Wicoff

Clara Wicoff, senior in agricultural economics, has received a 2020 Marshall Scholarship, making her Kansas State University's 15th Marshall scholar.

Written by

Stephanie Jacques