James Kruse Is Alma's 15th Fulbright Scholar Since 2003
Alma College senior James Kruse of Midland has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to research environmental policymaking in Canada.
Kruse becomes Alma’s 15th Fulbright Scholar since 2003 and the second from the 2009 graduating class. A graduate of Midland-Bullock Creek High School, he is the son of Brian and Susan Kruse.
“It was overwhelming to hear this kind of exciting news in the midst of finishing up my final exams at Alma,” said Kruse, who was notified about the scholarship one day before participating in commencement on April 18. “I was thrilled that the many hours of preparation paid off in the end.”
Kruse will study the development of the “Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations” that were added to the Canada Shipping Act on June 8, 2006. The regulations were developed to prevent the introduction of invasive species into the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System.
Past water management practices have had a devastating impact on freshwater ecosystems, with more than half of the non-indigenous species introduced since 1959 coming through ballast water in ships. Invasive species like the zebra mussel disrupt the food chain, threaten biodiversity and alter the freshwater ecosystem.
“I want to observe how the policy-making process in Canada managed the competing interests of various political and scientific stakeholders while also producing a set of regulations that protects the environment,” says Kruse. “I hope to form a policymaking model that can guide other nations struggling with similar environmental issues.”
He plans to conduct his research while studying at McGill University in Montreal.
Kruse majored in mathematics at Alma, with dual minors in environmental studies and music. Following his Fulbright study, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in energy systems engineering at the University of Michigan.
Recommendations from the National Screening Committee of the Institute of International Education, the coordinating body for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, are made on the strength of applicants' self-designed programs to be conducted in specific countries. The applications are forwarded to the Fulbright commissions in the projects' countries, which select recipients from all candidates applying in those countries. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board makes the final selections.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Student Program is designed to give recent baccalaureate graduates, master's degree and doctoral candidates, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience. A scholar receives expenses for one year of study.
Alma's Nationally Competitive Scholarship Committee helps finalists search for appropriate postgraduate scholarships and review the proposals and applications. Alma's committee identifies and nurtures exceptional candidates for nationally competitive scholarships, grants and awards.
Kruse is the third Alma College student to receive a national scholarship this spring. Reed City senior Aaron Pooley received a Fulbright to teach English and conduct research in South Korea. Idaho Falls junior David Bechtold was one of 60 national winners of the Truman Scholarship, which is awarded to students committed to pursuing careers in government or public service.
Posted: Fri, April 24th, 2009 at 9:12AM