Whiteley receives outdoor communicators’ scholarship

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Brad Wiegmann
Kyle Stewart, Missouri Outdoor Communicators executive director (left), presents Kansas State University fishing team member Hunter Whiteley with the 2017 Buck Rogers Memorial Scholarship at the annual MOC conference in St. Joseph, Mo.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Kansas State University fishing team member Hunter Whiteley received a scholarship intended to help him achieve a career in the outdoors field.

The chemical engineer major from Springfield, Mo., was awarded the 2017 Buck Rogers Memorial Scholarship during the Missouri Outdoor Communicators (MOC) annual conference in September. The $2,000 scholarship honors the memory of E.L. "Buck" Rogers, who was a founding member of MOC, and is awarded to a college student interested in a career in outdoor communications.

“This scholarship is special because it's one of very few scholarships for people looking to work in the outdoor industry,” Whiteley said. “My career goals are to work for a fishing lure company making new plastic lures. I want to make plastics that are more durable but at the same time are soft. With my degree I will be able to tweak the chemical background of the plastics to do so and more efficiently manufacture the soft plastics. With that working knowledge, I intend to continue to review various lures and baits for publication and to write about my experiences as a competitive angler."

Whiteley contributes stories and gear reviews for multiple publications including www.ShareTheOutdoors.com and Outdoor Guide Magazine. He has also helped his grandfather, longtime Bass Pro Shops Corporate Communications Manager Larry Whiteley, write the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Tips that are distributed to newspapers and magazines.

The college sophomore believes fishing in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series is preparing him for his career. “It teaches you how to deal with adversity,” he said. “You also learn how to excel under high pressure situations. College fishing is also helping me build connections in the fishing industry.”

Whiteley plans on continuing to fish tournaments on the weekends after graduating from college. When he becomes financially stable, Whiteley also wants to attempt to qualify for the Bassmaster Elite Series.