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Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

Erin Caswell, director of student insurance for LewerMark, recently visited Northwest to present a first-place award in the company’s scholarship competition to graduate student Mahesh Bashyal. Pictured left to right are Ashley Henggeler, Northwest international affairs coordinator; Caswell; Bashyal; and Dr. Nigel Hoilett, assistant professor of agricultural sciences.

Erin Caswell, director of student insurance for LewerMark, recently visited Northwest to present a first-place award in the company’s scholarship competition to graduate student Mahesh Bashyal. Pictured left to right are Ashley Henggeler, Northwest international affairs coordinator; Caswell; Bashyal; and Dr. Nigel Hoilett, assistant professor of agricultural sciences.

Oct. 11, 2017

Northwest graduate student wins LewerMark Scholarship contest

The Lewer Agency of Kansas City, Missouri, awarded scholarships this fall to deserving international students who have dreams of “making the world a better place” with help from its LewerMark “Make Your Mark” scholarship program, and a Northwest Missouri State University student received the top prize.

Mahesh Bashyal, who is working on his master’s degree in agricultural science at Northwest, took first place in the LewerMark scholarship competition, an award valued at $1,250. Erin Caswell, director of student insurance for LewerMark, visited Northwest to present the scholarship to Bashyal.

Bashyal explained in his winning essay how international education has changed his world in just two trimesters at Northwest.

“I have experienced a vast difference in the learning process in a developed country like U.S. and my home country, Nepal,” he wrote. “The study in U.S. is more practical oriented, and the professors encourage us to build a solid understanding of concepts and to apply them rather than working on memorizing concepts just like in my country.”

Bashyal’s graduate work includes the study of effects of cover crops in yield, pest suppression, soil health and economic analysis in corn-corn rotation in northwest Missouri.

“I have had the opportunity of using high-end equipment in my project, which would have been a far cry if I had opted to study my master’s in Nepal,” he wrote. “My university has excellent lab facilities for working on weed and soil research. … I feel really fortunate to have gotten this opportunity for my higher studies which would not have been possible without international education.”

After completing his master’s degree, Bashyal hopes to pursue a doctorate degree and become a research scientist in Nepal.

“I would give the practical agriculture knowledge and my transferable skills to my students so that they can make change in the lives of not only themselves but also in a way that they can make an impact on society and the nation as a whole through agriculture development,” he wrote.

In a letter of recommendation for the scholarship competition, Dr. Nigel Hoilett, assistant professor of agricultural sciences at Northwest, said Bashyal has proven to be “a hard-working, dedicated student with a desire to do well.” He added, “I find Mahesh to be a real pleasant individual. It has been a pleasure for me to interact and communicate with him on a daily basis. I am confident that with his drive, commitment, and great attitude a scholarship of this nature will be highly beneficial in Mahesh achieving the academic goals he has set for himself.”

The Lewer Agency, a privately held provider of insurance and employee benefit plans, awarded a total of $3,000 in scholarships this year. The LewerMark scholarship contest, now in its 12th year, attracts entries from international students throughout the United States.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468