I love college newspapers. I love colleges. Lets be honest, some of the greatest activists, Representatives, and volunteers come out of the college community. College is a time when people learn more about articulating their own ideas and understanding issues more to uncover their opinions and get started on how they can impact the world through their chosen field.
The Kansas 2nd District has more Colleges, Universities, Community Colleges, training academies, and tech schools in it than most districts do. And it creates a vibrant environment to engage our leaders at a more thoughtful level.
This week's Pittsburg State Collegio published a piece about Congresswoman Nancy Boyda's recent tour of the Kansas Technology Center and the Kansas Polymer Research Center. Both groups are on the front lines of building the next generation of Kansas workers who are staying here at home in the 2nd District to develop their communities.
"She's really engaged with the students - asking them where they're from," said Steve Scott, vice president for academic affairs.What better way to help students learn more and gain more experience than investing in our systems of education.
PSU administrators say they have been working toward getting money for the technology programs for two years. Recently Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Boyda teamed together for the final passing of the bill in Washington.
"Representative Boyda has been a good advocate," said Scott. "She sees this as an investment."
The Omnibus bill will give the second district of Kansas $387 million.
Pittsburg's funds will begin to arrive in March through the Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service.
More than $1.1 million of the grant will go to the KPRC and $263,310 will go to the technology center.
Most of the money will be used for updating materials and research projects.
"We have to submit a program to the USDA that hopefully they will approve," said Sara Riddle, director of administration for the KPRC.
The grants could be renewed annually because the funding is not an earmark but a line item on the bill.
"We are extremely pleased to be receiving these funds," said Steve Robb, director of the KPRC and the PSU Business and Technology Institute, in a press release issued in January. "It's not every day something like this happens. Our challenge is to leverage the federal money into some special projects that can benefit the state of Kansas and the country as a whole."
This is not the first time Rep. Boyda has been to Pittsburg State University (as the article attests). Nor will it be the last.
In fact, Rep. Boyda has gone above and beyond when it comes to connecting with folks in the 2nd District. Her own House website features a map that shows exactly what I'm talking about.
You can even go further to explore what activity or event took place in the area. Even zoom in to see what building it was in or where it was more specifically.
You can't very well represent the people if you don't know where they stand and what they are facing. This is a perfect visual representation that Rep. Boyda isn't another politician that is out of touch with reality. She's one of us.