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Ghana Grad Student Receives WSU “Pay-it Forward Scholarship”

Posted by struscott | April 14, 2009

A graduate student in economics from Ghana was awarded the second annual $1,000 Dr. Jeff Krautkraemer “Pay it Forward” Scholarship in the WSU School of Economic Sciences on April 10.

Fafanyo Asiseh, recipient of the second Dr. Jeff Krautkraemer Pay it Forward Scholarship, and Ron Mittelhammer, Regents Professor and director of the School of Economic SciencesFafanyo Asiseh, recipient of the second Dr. Jeff Krautkraemer Pay it Forward Scholarship, and Ron Mittelhammer, Regents Professor and director of the School of Economic Sciences

Fafanyo Asiseh, a first-year doctoral candidate, intends to use her education to help solve global environmental challenges. She plans to conduct research on the relationship between economic growth and natural resources decline. In addition, she would like to contribute to policy formulation in African regions that would help protect the environment while seeking economic growth.

She told the audience at a departmental reception that her interest in balancing the environment and economic development stems from her background in growing up in a developing country.

“It has always been a conflict between people trying to manage the resources and manage poverty,” Asiseh said. “Do we go hungry and leave the trees or do we cut down the trees and survive? It’s not just in Ghana, but in a lot of developing countries.”

In thanking the department and the Krautkramer family, Asiseh said, “I want to assure you that the seed that is being sown today is going to become an oak tree. I promise with my education and with my service, wherever I find myself, I’m going to help others and let them know that we are all here to help each other and to make this world a better place.”


Rain forest in Ghana

In 2004, Asiseh earned a bachelor’s of science degree with honors in agricultural economics at the University of Ghana, and a master’s of science in applied economics in the University of Idaho in 2008.

The scholarship is named for Jeff Krautkraemer, a professor in the School of Economic Sciences, who died suddenly in 2004. Starting in 1981, he spent his entire career at WSU. He was known for his scholarly achievements in the field of natural resource economics, for his generous and kind spirit, as well as for his ability to inspire and challenge students to do their best in caring for the planet.

The scholarship fund was created by Krautkraemer’s family, friends and students. Asiseh received a scholarship award of $1,000 for the 2009-20010 academic year. Recipients are selected on the basis of their potential to carry out Krautkreamer’s vision of volunteerism and invovlement.