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Iowa Lakes grad fights hunger

By Staff | May 12, 2017

Nick Grandstaff is a math lover who went into Economics because he wants to use numbers to solve world problems. After one year at Iowa Lakes Community College, he is transferring to the Tippi School of Business at University of Iowa. With 20 credit hours first semester and 21 in the second, Grandstaff will walk tomorrow with an associate degree, one year after graduating from Emmetsburg High School.

“It helps when your mother is a registrar,” Grandstaff said. Grandstaff’s mother, Barb Grandstaff, guided Nick into an optimal collection of dual-credit courses in high school, which resulted in Nick’s beginning college as a sophomore.

Grandstaff was a participant in the Borlaug-Ruan Internship connected to the World Food Prize. M.S. Grandstaff traveled to the Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India, concentrating on sustainable agriculture and rural development.

“Studying macro economics at Iowa Lakes was absolutely a major factor in the project, “Grandstaff said.

Grandstaff spent 15 days doing field research on resource economics and livelihood capital for food and cash crops with rural small farmers in India.

Grandstaff has picked up a multitude of honors throughout the year: he’s a Silver Scholar from the Coca-Cola Scholars program. Grandstaff said at the time, “”The Silver Scholars Award will no doubt open doors for me as well as provide financial assistance with tuition costs in the future.”

Grandstaff was one of four Iowa Lakes students to earn All Iowa Academic status for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for academic achievement.

“Iowa Lakes is a great value. I looked at it from an economic perspective,” Grandstaff said.

“At a big university, you have less in common with the other students when you’re taking core courses outside your major. You have less in common with the instructors. At Iowa Lakes, you have many majors together attacking discussions from different perspectives,” Grandstaff said.

“It’s much easier for everyone to weigh in than it would be in a larger environment. I learned that there’s no wrong way to look at a lot of issues, and that changed my perspective on education,” Grandstaff said.

Grandstaff said he had friends who came to Iowa Lakes for summer or winter break to squeeze in a class they couldn’t get into at their university, and some who took Iowa Lakes courses online to meet core requirements at university.

“It is a great alternative to adding a semester to a college bill,” Grandstaff said.