It appears Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser has enrolled as a graduate student at Mississippi State University.
A web page recently popped up on ResearchGate offering some insight into what he’s studying at the school in Starkville, a Mississippi city 720 miles away from Algonquin Township offices.
“Andrew Gasser currently studies at the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University,” the ResearchGate profile reads. “Andrew does research in Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Plant Science and Aquaculture. Andrew’s current area of study is Plant Growth Promoting Microorganisms (PGPMs) in the rhizosphere in an aquaponics environment.”
Mississippi State officials declined to provide information about Gasser’s enrollment without the highway commissioner’s written consent.
“Unless the public official in question is somehow using public funds to pay tuition, his or her enrollment here is not information to which the public is in any way entitled unless the student waives his or her privacy rights,” wrote Mississippi State spokesman Sidney Salter in an email.
The Northwest Herald could not reach Gasser but emailed him a list of questions about when he enrolled, why he enrolled and whether he planned to move to Mississippi. He did not reply.
On his personal Facebook page, there’s a photo of him wearing a Mississippi State hat and a tag: #HAILSTATE.
Gasser’s personal calender listed time off the road commissioner job spent in Mississippi.
In conversation with Algonquin Township officials, Gasser has talked about his interest in science.
“He talked about farming and doing sustainable farming when he got out of here,” Trustee Dave Chapman said.
Gasser’s online research profile offered insight about his studies as an “undeclared graduate student” at Mississippi State: “Interested in greenhouse Aquaponics farming of vegetables and raising fish in an environmentally friendly way. Looking to build on this knowledge to further advance urban farming and helping to eliminate food desserts (sic).”