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K-State Today

June 23, 2017

Manhattan student awarded prestigious Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholarship

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The Rotary Foundation recently awarded a Global Grant Scholarship to Caitlyn Richelle Webb, a 2013 graduate of Manhattan High School and 2017 graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in economics and accounting, and a minor in Spanish.

Webb graduated with honors in May and will use the scholarship to pursue a master's degree in local economic development at the London School of Economics and Political Science in September.

The Global Grant Scholarship is a prestigious, competitive award, and Webb's application had to be approved by the Manhattan Rotary Club, Rotary District 5710 and the Rotary Foundation. The Rotary City and Shoreditch Club in London will host Webb for her year of study.

Webb has a background in working with underdeveloped communities in Asia and Africa. In the summer of her freshman year at K-State, she engaged in an international business internship in Salamanca, Spain. The summer after her sophomore year, she created an internship with the international not-for-profit, the Global Enterprise Network, which afforded her the opportunity to apply her undergraduate majors in accounting and economics to build sustainable financial systems for international entrepreneurs in Japan and Slovakia. The capstone of her internship was a 10-day trip to a successful business startup in Indonesia. There she concluded that long-term economic development is only successful when people groups benefiting from the aid are directly involved in the problem-solving process.

She spent the summer after her junior year in Boston, Massachusetts, with the public accounting firm, Ernst & Young. As an intern in the assurance practice, she worked with startups and biotechnology firms to validate financial statements and assure appropriate compliance. This experience improved her understanding of how to start and sustain entrepreneurial business models.

While a student at K-State, Webb played a leadership role in several campus organizations and activities. These included serving as a member on the K-State Student Alumni Board, cabinet member in the Student Governing Association Presidential Cabinet, and an engaged campus and community member in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the Blue Key Senior Honorary. In her Rotary application, she said that these activities enhanced her soft skills and heightened her personal and professional interactions with individuals in the realm of community and economic development. She also became a volunteer with the Schools of Hope and Reading is Fundamental program where she empowered elementary students to gain confidence through literacy. She wrote that these professional and volunteer relationships furthered her conviction that community development is achieved when individuals become personally invested in development initiatives.

She is the daughter of Susan Bailey Webb of Colorado Springs, Colorado. She is engaged to Colin Thomas and will be married in October 2018.