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K-State Today

November 12, 2021

American ethnic studies department awards Rohrer Scholarship to Richie Garrett

Submitted by Alisa Wolfe

Richard Garrett

Richie Garrett, senior in American ethnic studies, is the recipient of the 2021 Rohrer Scholarship.

The Rohrer Scholarship is awarded yearly by the American ethnic studies department to a student whose academic and career goals emphasize improving the understanding of racial and ethnic relations in the United States of America. Garrett will graduate in December,with a degree in American ethnic studies.

Garrett said that receiving a degree at a university like Kansas State is a very difficult task because of the very low percentage of African Americans who attend K-State.

His decision to major in American ethnic studies was tied to his sense of reclaiming his own African American heritage and history, which is generally not taught at educational institutions.

"I personally wanted to study American ethnic studies because there is so much of my history and my culture being hidden," he said. 

Garrett was born and raised in north St. Louis County, Missouri. He grew up in a predominantly Black neighborhood and attended predominantly Black schools. He is a first-generation college student.

"I want to make sure to set positive examples all the time and possibly become an icon for others," Garrett said. 

At K-State, Garrett is a member of the Kappa Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He serves as historian for his chapter, maintaining the fraternity's social media sites.

"Alpha Phi Alpha motivated me to improve on my academics and leadership skills and got me involved on campus and in the community," Garrett said. 

Garrett's passion for uncovering Black history and heritage motivates both his dedication to the American ethnic studies major and his dedication to photojournalism. His education at K-State has prepared him to tell what he calls "true stories" and "real news."

"I want to become a photojournalist so I can help document daily life news ... I want to be the voice and use my platform for others who are afraid to stand up for equal rights," Garrett said.