Kansas State University


Graduate School

Creating the next generation of scientists

When starting graduate school at Kansas State University in 1967, John Berschied did not realize the lasting impact his chemistry professors would have on his life. As a result of their endless support and guidance, Berschied went on to earn a Ph.D. from the university.

“During my time at K-State I matured as a scientist and as a person in large part due to the outstanding faculty at the university,” Berschied said. “I believe a significant part of my success is due to what I learned, not only in science but also in the importance of developing relationships and teamwork.”

In return for his outstanding education, Berschied decided to give back to the university. By creating a fellowship, future graduate students in the department of chemistry can earn a graduate education without incurring enormous debt.

It is his hope that the Dr. John R. Berschied, Jr. and Donna Derstadt Graduate Fellowship will give students the opportunity to interact with faculty and mature as scientists in the same way he was able to.

“In my view, we need to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to achieve success and contribute to the betterment of society as we have been granted,” Berschied said. “One of the best ways to ensure the future is through philanthropy.”

The Graduate School needs support from graduate alumni for the following areas:

Tuition support

In a time when almost 70 percent of K-State students are eligible for financial aid, the Graduate School values the opportunity to offer competitive tuition support packages to deserving students. When state resources are not available to provide adequate funding to the best graduate students, private gifts make competitive tuition compensation possible. By establishing a scholarship or stipend award with the Graduate School, you will invest in the education and research of current and future graduate students at K-State.

Endowed fellowships

Fellowship funding awarded through the Graduate School directly benefits all departments and colleges at K-State. By endowing a fellowship, like Dr. John R. Berschied, K-State will increase its ability to be on the leading edge of graduate research and education both in discipline specific programs and in our interdisciplinary programs: food science, genetics, biochemistry, public health and security studies. Fellowships also help the university recruit and retain minorities, enhancing the diversity of our campus. Fellowships for graduate students include Alvin and RosaLee Sarachek Predoctoral Honors Fellowship and Travel Awards in Molecular Biology, and Marie R. Bonebrake Graduate Award. Your support will ensure the Graduate School can provide support for K-State’s top candidates during their first year of graduate studies.

Professional Development

Professional development for K-State graduate students spans a broad range of possibilities. Attendance at workshops and seminars offers invaluable learning and networking opportunities for graduate students. From science communication initiatives to leadership development programs, providing professional development workshops to all graduate students enables students to remain at the forefront of research and education and be competitive when they start to pursue their career. The most pressing need is the ability to travel and attend national and international meetings to present research findings and other scholarly outcomes. Funding for travel and related expenses is also needed for students to collect data at other institutions or laboratories. Your support will make a difference in the Graduate School’s ability to offer professional development opportunities to students as they strive to continually acquire and disseminate knowledge in their field of study.

Read more about how your gift can support graduate students, the Graduate School and advance the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign.

Questions about supporting the Graduate School can be directed to Dr. Carol Shanklin, Dean of the Graduate School.