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Attracting the Best and the Brightest


Senior Adam Riesselman credits scholarships for allowing him to excel at his studies.

Growing up on a small farm near Manila, Iowa, Adam Riesselman, a senior, has had a lifelong interest in plant biology. Since coming to Drake, this pursuit has evolved into a passion for bioinformatics. 

The interdisciplinary field will use his biochemistry, cell, and molecular biology major, as well as computer science minor, to develop and advance software and procedures to sequence and annotate plant genome data. 

The choice to study an agricultural-based field at Drake rather than at an agricultural-focused research college may not be an obvious one. However, Riesselman believes he has benefited from the flexibility of customized interdisciplinary concentrations, as well as the University's proximity to businesses and organizations that promote food science and food insecurity issues, such as DuPont Pioneer and the World Food Prize. 

Receiving the Carpenter Scholarship also had a major impact on his decision to attend Drake. 

"My Carpenter Scholarship was the deciding factor in attending Drake University and the catalyst to obtaining an exceptional education without the worry of taking out thousands in loans. It freed me up to excel at my studies," Riesselman says.

In addition to being awarded Drake's preeminent Carpenter Scholarship, he was one of two Drake students—and one of only 300 students nationwide—to be awarded the highly competitive and prestigious 2013 Goldwater Foundation Scholarship, which was established by the U.S. Congress to prepare qualified scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.

Riesselman's achievements extend beyond his scholarships. He served as the World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan intern at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in El Batán, Mexico, in 2010 and has also worked at the USDA as a Wallace-Carver Intern. In addition, he was awarded the John Chrystal Award, acknowledging his commitment to conducting research of environmental factors concerning sustainable agricultural efficiency in high stress environments.

You Can Change a Life
Contact John Amato at 515-271-2849 or to learn how you can make a difference in the life of a Drake student.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Drake University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

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tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

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the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

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You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Drake as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Drake as a lump sum.

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