K-State Olathe's scholarship program redesigned to be more beneficial to students
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
OLATHE — Kansas State University Olathe is making it easier for students to receive financial support while they earn their master's degree or doctorate.
K-State Olathe recently introduced a revamped scholarship program. Under the redesigned program, students no longer have to reapply for a scholarship every academic year. Instead, they now apply for a scholarship at either the start of their first semester or up to three months prior to the start of their degree program at K-State Olathe. If a scholarship is awarded, the funds are automatically renewed each semester throughout the entirety of the student's degree track, provided they maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or above.
Additionally, students are notified within 30 days as to whether they will be awarded a scholarship.
"The redesigned program is meant to be more beneficial to students," said Kimberly Ramacciotti, director of student services and scholarship committee chair. "Now, students can apply once and be informed of their award amount for the entirety of their program. It will help alleviate some of the pressure that comes with managing their financial resources so they can focus on academics and research."
The Johnson County Research Triangle, or JCERT, is the major sponsor of K-State Olathe's scholarship program. The organization provides $50,000 in scholarships to K-State Olathe students as part of a one-eighth cent sales tax that taxpayers approved in 2008. The JCERT scholarships as well as additional scholarships offered by K-State Olathe support students' enrollment in master's and doctoral degree programs at the campus — and in many instances, much more.
Kostas Batziakas, a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in horticulture with an emphasis in postharvest physiology from Greece, is one of the students to receive a scholarship. His Graduate Research Assistantship award supports both his tuition and cost of living — two aspects that would be financially difficult as an international student without a scholarship, he said.
The funds make it possible for Batziakas to study abroad in the U.S., earn a doctorate and work alongside experts in postharvest loss in the Urban Food Production and Post-harvest Handling Lab at K-State Olathe and at the K-State Research and Extension Center-Olathe.
Batziakas is helping develop new types of packaging for produce. The packaging is designed to prolong shelf-life and maintain the nutritional quality of the producer over time. His research also is looking at improving how sweet potato slips — shoots that are grown from a mature sweet potato to start new sweet potato plants — can be packaged and shipped.
"Thanks to the financial support, I am actually able to be a part of this top-notch research team at K-State Olathe," Batziakas said. "Receiving it has relieved me from the anxiety of finding extra funding and helped me focus on my studies and research. My goal is to show my gratitude to the Johnson County community by serving them through my research and extension work that focuses on improving the urban food system of the area."
For more information about K-State Olathe's scholarships, visit olathe.k-state.edu/scholarships.