Change Maker scholarship application extended to March 1

Syracuse Journal-Democrat

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has extended the application deadline for its second annual Change Maker scholarship competition to March 1. 

The CASNR Change Maker Quick Pitch Competition  (https://casnr.unl.edu/casnr-change-maker-competition) asks current and prospective CASNR students to submit a two-minute video explaining an original, innovative way to address global issues such as food security, sustainability and water use. Two current CASNR students and eight incoming freshman and transfer students will be awarded full-tuition scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year based on their submitted videos. Winning students will be matched with a mentor to make their big idea a reality. 

Additionally, eight $1,000 CASNR scholarships will be awarded to youth in the sixth through 11th grades. 

“We want innovators, change-makers and future leaders to get their start right here in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,” said CASNR Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss. “This competition will reward our current students who strive to tackle these big issues. At the same time, we hope to attract new students who are in search of a college experience in which they will be encouraged and expected to challenge themselves and change the world in the process.” 

In Nebraska, one in four jobs is tied to agriculture and natural resources. Within CASNR, students, faculty and staff are already engaged in important work to provide food, fuel, feed and fiber to a rapidly growing world, while conserving agricultural landscapes and natural resources and maintaining quality of life for farmers and ranchers, said Mike Boehm, vice chancellor and vice president of the university’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

“Our state’s deep roots in agriculture, coupled with Nebraska’s abundant natural resources and our ingenuity and grit, make CASNR the ideal and natural epicenter for nurturing the world’s next generation of change-makers,” Boehm said. “We want to do everything we can to build on CASNR’s culture that allows students to think critically, dream big and accomplish extraordinary things.” 

Students who participated in the 2020-21 scholarship competition said it was an opportunity to make an impact on the world, discover and be active in their passions and show others that the possibilities are endless. 

Alex Lautenschlager, a freshman fisheries and wildlife major and a recipient of a 2020-21 Change Maker scholarship, focused his project on improving accessibility at public parks. 

“The Change Maker Scholarship and the CASNR community has helped me discover my passion by reinforcing what I believe in and helping me find ways to be active in my passions,” he said. 

The 2020-21 Change Maker recipients addressed a variety of other topics. Lydia Storm, a freshman from Lawrence, Kansas, focused her project on encouraging girls and young women to get involved in STEM programs. Cole Simmons, a freshman from Kansas City, Missouri, hopes to create an enzyme that cost-efficiently dissolves plastics to reduce landfills. A host of other innovative students have developed ideas that will make change. 

Videos should be no more than two minutes long and must focus on one or more of the following issues: feeding the world; water for the future; new energy; climate and the future; biodiversity, sustainability, and the environment; health; engaging diverse communities; and developing tomorrow’s leaders. 

The application period opened Jan. 18 and will close at noon Feb. 19. Winners will be announced in April, and winning videos will be shared on social media. The winner whose video receives the most likes will also receive a textbook scholarship. 

Complete application guidelines and more information can be found online at the webpage above.