Graduate students receive JCERT scholarships for their degree programs

Friday, Aug. 21, 2020

OLATHE — Six graduate students studying at Kansas State University's Olathe campus are being awarded scholarships for the fall 2020 academic semester.

The scholarships are made possible by the Johnson County Education Research Triangle, or JCERT.

Scholarship recipients in master's degree programs are Astrid Carcamo and Karen Meinholdt in veterinary biomedical science; Rebecca Merkley in the horticulture with an emphasis in urban food systems master's degree program; Jenny Masculine in the master of public health program; and Michaela Willmore in the professional science master's program. Tricia Jenkins in the horticulture with an emphasis in urban food systems doctoral program also received a scholarship to continue her studies and research.

Each $2,000-$4,000 scholarship is awarded once to a qualifying student and is designed to last the entirety of their degree program.

The JCERT scholarships are funded through the commitment of Johnson County residents, who approved part of a one-eighth sales tax in 2008. The funding supports part of the campus' operations and provides scholarships for graduate students at the Olathe campus.

The scholarships make a significant difference, say past recipients.

"Having the opportunity to pursue a master's degree is fulfilling a lifelong dream for me," said Kristin Taylor, one of the fall 2019 recipients of the JCERT scholarship. "As a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener, I have always wanted to further my education in horticulture."

With the support of a JCERT scholarship, she is one step closer to achieving that goal every semester, according to Taylor.

"Knowing that the scholarship is there, for the length of my coursework, helps relieve financial stress and allows me to take more classes," she continued. "My degree in horticulture with an emphasis in urban food systems gives me the tools to make a difference in sustainable urban food production. I am grateful to be able to connect people, gardens and local food to make a meaningful impact."

The next round of scholarships will be for the spring 2021 academic semester. Students in JCERT mission-related programs who live in Johnson County can apply for these scholarships any time before Dec. 1.

More information about the JCERT scholarships, including an application form, can be found at