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K-State Today

December 17, 2012

Stepping outside the borders: Student receives scholarship to study abroad

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Andrew Strasburg, Kansas State University senior in agribusiness, Elk City, will use a $4,000 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study economics at VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands, for the spring 2013 semester.

Established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, the Gilman scholarship program offers awards to study abroad for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding. With a focus on international agribusiness, Strasburg chose the Netherlands to study abroad because of its influence on global agriculture.

"As part of the European Union, the Netherlands has a heavily subsidized ag industry," Strasburg said. "Because of its size, it should be a net food importer but since it has so much support for agriculture, the nation is a net food exporter -- the second largest agriculture exporting country in the world only behind the United States."

While the U.S. has a strong agricultural system, many other people around the world do not have a consistently safe and secure food supply -- an issue Strasburg would like learn more about while in the Netherlands so he can work to reduce the barriers as part of his career.

"I have always been passionate about agriculture and the pursuit of feeding the world," Strasburg said. "I want to work in a career where I can eliminate some physical and economic barriers that people have to food."

Currently no formal exchange agreement between Kansas State University and VU University Amsterdam exists, so -- as part of the Gilman program -- Strasburg will promote study abroad exchanges between the schools.

"Andrew has been a very active leader and community participant at Kansas State," said Jim Hohenbary, the university's assistant dean for nationally competitive scholarships. "I know he will be a great representative abroad, both for the university and for the state of Kansas. I also hope his success will encourage more of our students to seek international experience and to apply for the Gilman Scholarship."

Strasburg also has received a Goss Discovery Scholarship, Vernon Larson Study Abroad Scholarship, State of Kansas Scholarship, Alpha Gamma Rho Rising Star Award, Leadership and Civic Leadership Scholarship, Alpha Gamma Rho 4.0 Semester Scholarship, Alpha Gamma Rho Dale Rodman Scholarship and CHS University Scholarship.

Strasburg is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, Student Alumni Board, Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, Alpha Zeta honorary and Order of Omega, the Greek honorary. He has served the College of Agriculture Student Council as president during the 2011-2012 academic year, was a College of Agriculture ambassador from 2010 to 2012, and a College of Agriculture training program coordinator from 2010-2011.

Strasburg was the president of Kansas FFA Association from 2010-2011, and is actively involved in many university and community organizations. He volunteers with the SWIPE Out Hunger Committee, Cats for Cans, highway cleanup, Operation Christmas Child, K-State Proud Campaign, Dinner at the Towers service project and the Flint Hills Breadbasket adopt-a-family program.

A graduate of Fredonia High School, Strasburg is the son of Curtis and Allisan Strasburg, Elk City.

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