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Kansas State University student receives Gilman International Scholarship to study horticulture in Prague

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014



MANHATTAN — A Kansas State University student has received a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study horticultural sciences in the Czech Republic for the spring 2015 semester.

Nathan Nordstedt, junior in horticultural sciences, Halstead, will take classes at Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, in plant genetics and landscape architecture to learn about breeding edible ornamentals for sustainable landscapes.

Nordstedt is one of 800 students selected to study abroad in the spring 2015 semester through the Gilman Scholarship Program, which awards each student up to $5,000. Congressionally funded and established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, the scholarship helps U.S. undergraduate students at two-year or four-year colleges or universities participate in study abroad programs worldwide. The scholarship will help pay for Nordstedt's tuition and living expenses while he is abroad.

"I am always up for adventure, and this semester abroad is going to give me six months of it," Nordstedt said. "I love experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and becoming a more educated individual." 

Starting new adventures is not a new concept to Nordstedt. His interest in ornamental plants started when he was 12 years old, and by the time he was in high school he owned and operated a greenhouse and nursery business.

"I knew by the time I graduated high school that plant sciences would be the direction I would take in college," Nordstedt said. "I chose horticultural sciences because of my interest in using genetics to create innovations within the field of horticulture."

Nordstedt works as an undergraduate researcher at the Kansas State University Wheat Genetics and Genomics Resource Center. Although the work he does at the center is much different from his major, it has helped him understand the concepts of plant breeding and contributed to his interest in using landscapes as part of agriculture.

"Due to growing urban sprawl and reduced areas for edible plants, we can utilize our landscape areas to reduce the footprint of gray areas in food production," Nordstedt said.

Nordstedt is a member of the university's Horticulture Club. His scholarships and awards include the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association Scholarship, Spring Meadows Scholarship in Horticulture, Kansas Associated Garden Clubs Scholarship and the Global Education Initiative Scholarship. 

The son of Barry and Stefanie Nordstedt, Halstead, the home-schooled student credits his success to his mother's influence.

"My mother has been by my side through every adventure and experience that I have wanted to pursue, Nordstedt said. "Through owning my greenhouse business to going off to college, she has by far been the most supportive and influential person to my academic career. I owe every bit of success to her."

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State sponsors the Gilman Scholarship Program. Since 2001, the scholarship program has been offering grants to U.S. citizens to help them pursue undergraduate studies abroad in hopes of preparing students to assume significant roles in a global economy. Award recipients are chosen through a competitive selection process.

To learn more about competing for future Gilman Scholarships or other scholarships while a student at Kansas State University, contact Jim Hohenbary in the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships at jimlth@k-state.edu or on Twitter @KStateScholars.


Jim Hohenbary


Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships

News tip


Written by

Stephanie Jacques

At a glance

Nathan Nordstedt, junior in horticultural sciences at Kansas State University, Halstead, has received a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study horticultural sciences in Prague for the spring 2015 semester.