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Fort Hays State Honor Society Fall Semester 2011

Volume 1, Issue 1

A Brief History by Linnea Gustafsson

Special Interest Articles: • A few words from the advisor, Matthew Means. • Interview with the CEO of the Foundation, Tim Chapman. • Insight from our treasurer, Steven Cornwell.

Individual Highlights: Fall Retreat


Local Talent








Fort Hays State University has made three attempts to create an honors college on campus. These attempts led to the development of one of FHSU’s most prestigious organizations, the Fort Hays State Honor Society. That fall Mr. Matthew Means sent out a letter to all students with a GPA of 3.8 or higher, inviting them to a meeting where they would discuss what these high achieving students were missing on campus. Soon, one thing became clear; there was no place where accomplished students from all majors could come together and

be proud of their success. At the second meeting, these students began laying the foundation for what would become the most selective organization on campus. During the first year, the small group of students wrote a constitution and began the process of becoming a recognized organization on campus. After accomplishing that, the Office of the Provost helped jumpstart the organization in the fall of 2008 with a generous donation. At this point, the main goal of FHHS was to create a

presence on campus and create activities that would promote the same success among other students. In the end, FHHS has established a presence on the FHSU campus. The organization is constantly growing and more students are aware of its existence. It is gaining ground in the community, increasing the amount of community service projects each year and hopes to keep growing over the next decades, constantly inspiring students to achieve higher success.

Activities and Events Overview From our first year only one program remains. This project is still one of FHHS’s most successful and popular programs, and is called the Honoring Our Professors Dinner. At this event, members get a chance to recognize professors they feel have made a difference in their academic career. With increased membership, FHHS has also had the opportunity to expand the number of

projects each semester. These new events include: GRE seminars, started in the spring of 2010, held each fall and open to all of campus; a Battle of the Bands, first held in the fall of 2011; and a tutoring program with TMP-Marian High, one of the local high schools. These events are some of FHHS’s core projects, and our hope is to expand the tutoring program to incorporate Hays High School.

In the fall of 2011, thanks to a generous donation from the Office of the Provost, members attended the National Center for Student Leadership’s annual leadership conference. These students are now Certified Student Leaders. One new planned event for the spring is a series of sessions that will help students write résumés as well as prepare for life after college.

Fort Hays State Honor Society

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Word from the Advisor by Matthew Means

“Active in both the campus and larger community, the group’s list of year-to-date activities is impressive by any standard,” Matthew Means FHHS Advisor

It brings me great pleasure to speak on behalf of the Fort Hays State Honor Society! I have been the society’s advisor from its inception and have been thrilled with its metamorphosis into a significant force for high-achieving students affiliated with the university. The FHHS is a unique think tank and center for activism that brings together gifted high school students from the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science, undergraduate students, graduate students, and virtual college students. Though our membership is made up of all majors and ages, it shares in common the fact that all individuals maintain a 3.8 cumulative GPA and fulltime enrollment status.

Members make up, statistically, the top 2% of the FHSU student body, academically. Seeing these students in action is a true inspiration. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that students such as these are recognized and supported. Please take a few moments to review the website and learn more about FHSU’s flagship student honor organization. We need your financial assistance! Underwriting the costs associated with our programming and initiatives represents a real investment in proven success and enormous future potential. You can give knowing that your tax-deductible donation will be used wisely by students who will become leaders in their future communities. These

students will inspire countless others in their lives…and won’t forget your interest in their efforts. We invite you attend a FHHS event or meeting if you are interested. We would also love to have some FHHS members meet you in person to discuss the group, its activities, and its members, should you so desire. They are outstanding ambassadors for the program and I know you will be impressed with them, as I am every single day. Thank you for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate immensely your curiosity and attention. Sincerely, Matt Means FHHS Advisor

Start off with a Bang by Valerie Ramage On August 27, 2011, the Fort Hays State Honor Society got together and held their first meeting of the new school year. This meeting is known as the Fall Retreat. The Fall Retreat is held every year to get the group motivated for the school year and to get the members active in the club. The head members of FHHS were introduced to the students, and then everyone

participated in teambuilding activities led by Edie McCracken, assistant director of the Memorial Union. The members played a game that helped them start to learn everyone’s names, and then the members had to work together to keep an inflated ball afloat. After the intense activities, everyone bonded over a delicious lunch catered by

Chartwells. Afterward, Casey Rohleder, University Marketing Specialist, handed out several fliers to improve the club’s ability to plan and to do it frugally, and Leslie Page spoke about the URE. Finally, the meeting was wrapped up with a lovely speech from the president, Linnea Gustafsson.

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Fort Hays State Honor Society

Thoughts from Tim Chapman by Kevin Williams Organizations constantly need to be evaluated to see if they are on the right track. Since the Fort Hays Honor Society is relatively new, we asked Tim Chapman- a prominent alumni, president and CEO of the Foundation, and donor to Fort Hayswhat he thought of FHHS. “The Honor Society at FHSU is an organization of high level. These students reflect a generation of future leaders that will impact their fields of study in many ways. Their leadership will help others achieve future success by providing guidance and leadership.” We also asked Mr.

Chapman what kind of donor he thought would be attracted to the Honor Society. He said that businesses and corporations should be especially interested in the Honor Society because of their need to find competent, hard-working employees. Mr. Chapman added FHHS will benefit the community but that means the club needs to be visible, active, and have clear goals and objectives in mind. I think the members of the Fort Hays Honor Society are more than capable of accomplishing these tasks. When asked how his own college experiences

helped shape his current career and life, Mr. Chapman responded, “My personal experience came early in my educational journey. Unlike those in the FHHS I was not a student who took advantage of my learning options as well as I could have. To compensate I realized my communication skills would need to be sharp. I would define communication as: verbal, writing, personal interaction, social graces, etc. If you can communicate at all levels with an energy and drive you will move to the front of the line in all fields of study.”

Showcasing Local Talent by Anne Drees Our first ever Battle of the Bands fundraiser was held this year. On September 23, the previous home of The Fashion Bug at The Mall was transformed from an old abandoned shop into a venue for food, music, and social fun. This event was sponsored by Wal-Mart, White Chocolate, and Tom’s Music. We provided popcorn, as well as bottled water and soda, for entertainers and guests. The main attraction, of course, was the music. Four different groups were able to

perform and contribute their unique talents to provide a variety of music. Tyler Clark used his phenomenal vocal skills to sing renditions of old country favorites and patriotic numbers. A member of FHHS, Steven Cornwell, supplied his own band using different musical instruments, including but not limited to the recorder. Brown Bag Special added their own flavor, coming in second with their revisions of popular songs and some original pieces. The winners of the competition were Men, The Macabre

and Masks. This group performed songs they had written themselves and stole the show with their sound. The Honor Society members provided the party by dancing the night away. The fun and entertainment we generated within the community made the event a stunning success for our group. It was a great learning experience for the entire group and we can’t wait to improve on it for next year.

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Fort Hays State Honor Society “This event is one of the few that has continued since the original formation of the Honor Society, and we greatly value this opportunity to give back to our professors. We realize that without the tremendous support from these professors we would not be the high achieving students that we are today, so we feel that it is essential to recognize their efforts.” Ruth Ebersole FHHS Sectetary

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Let’s Honor Our Professors by Ruth Ebersole On November 30, 2011, thirteen Honor Society members and their professors, as well as members of the Provost’s Council, joined for our Honoring Our Professors Dinner in the Black & Gold Room in the Union. Each student chose a professor with whom they have a valued relationship. Our academic chair, Manvitha Marni, opened the evening by welcoming

everyone, and then Linnea Gustafsson gave a brief history of the Honor Society. The Fort Hays Singers performed a few of their numbers from their Cathedral Concert; it was an impressive performance! Dinner was then served by Chartwells. Following the delicious meal, each student presented their professor with a certificate that had a few words from the student explaining why

they chose to honor that specific professor. Certificates were also presented to Provost Larry Gould and Casey Rohleder as a special thanks for their support of the organization. Finally, Lisa Debes, FHHS’s vice president, thanked everyone for coming and wrapped up the evening.

Off to Miami by Kevin Williams This fall, the Fort Hays Honor Society sent three of its students to the fall 2011 NCSL Leadership Conference in Miami, Florida. Some sessions at the conference included: Improving Leadership by Understanding Personality Type; Increasing Your Influence and Power on Campus; and a series of workshops put on by the Certified Student Leadership Program. The students heard from speakers such as Alexis Jones, Jonathan Sprinkles, and Tom Krieglstein. When the students returned from Miami, we caught up with them to see what they thought of the conference. Johnny Hill, a freshman at

Fort Hays, said, “I thought the conference was an amazing opportunity. Not only did we learn a lot that will help our organization and ourselves, we had so much fun while we were there. We got to meet kids from across the country, and the conference was extremely organized and worthwhile.” Mr. Hill also said that he would not only recommend the conference to future student leaders, he would urge them to attend. When asked specifically what they learned, Mr. Hill responded, “One of the biggest things I learned at the conference is how to better manage a group's members to reach our goals. If a majority of an

organization is not actively participating in its events and meetings and such, it really brings down the group. But when everyone gets involved and contributes in some way, even the smallest organization can pull off the biggest successes. I think that is something we can definitely bring to FHHS, and I'm excited to see our organization do even bigger and better things in the future.” It is clear to me after this interview that this conference was beneficial to the students who went and hopefully we can apply what they learned to the Fort Hays Honor Society.

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Fort Hays State Honor Society

Talk with the Treasurer by Danielle Garcia I was lucky enough to have Steven Cornwell, treasurer of FHHS, give a few minutes of his time and give us an inside look at what he does for the group and what he has gained from this position. When asked why he came to Fort Hays, he stated, “Before coming to school, I had narrowed my choices to K-state or Fort Hays. The scholarships they were offering meant that the cost would probably have been comparable between the two, so it mainly came down to which school I thought would provide the best education. At K-state, they constantly boasted about the amount of major scholarship (Truman, Rhodes,etc.) recipients they had attracted. While at Fort Hays, every professor I spoke to on the campus tour asked some variation of, "What would you want to do with this degree when you leave school?" I realized that these people had

their priorities straight, and chose Fort Hays.” Over the past year, I have learned that the treasurer has a lot of responsibilities and was curious how he managed to get this position and how he handled it. “I had become friends with Troy Morash, the previous treasurer, so he decided to nominate me. I thought that FHHS was a pretty cool group, and that I should participate in some oncampus activities outside the music department, so I accepted.” I asked him what hurtles he had to overcome? "Mostly it was learning all of those protocols. It took at least the first year before I understood how to properly fill out a deposit sheet or create a purchase request. I'm constantly learning more about how to do the job, but it's getting easier with experience.” When you give your time and dedication to a group

like this, you can’t help but become attached and it’s like raising a child- you wish to see it improvement and growth. When asked what direction he wished to see the group grow in, Steven remarked, “I feel like we're gradually discovering what works for us and what doesn't. A number of major projects have failed to accomplish what we'd hoped, but others have been quite successful. It's of course those successful ones that we'll be keeping and adding to. By keeping those projects that have worked and by continuing to make connections both on and off the campus community, I think FHHS will continue to grow and become a more and more effective organization. Projects such as our assistance in the tutoring program at TMP show that we're getting out in the community and getting stuff done.”

That Time of Year by Danielle Garcia When the weather drops, snow covers the ground, and Starbucks brings out the peppermint mocha latte, we know Christmas is right around the corner. This year, FHHS took part in giving donations for Operation Christmas Child. Cody Norton took

charge and had posters put around campus, inviting students to make donations. These were used to pay for the shipping of wrapped shoeboxes filled with goodies and school supplies to be sent to children in need.

After one of our bi-weekly meetings, members stayed and enjoyed getting tangled up in tape and buried in wrapping paper as we wrapped up boxes. There are drop off boxes located throughout Hays if you are interested in taking part next year.

“Quite frankly, the main benefit has been training in how to deal with complicated protocols and lots of bureaucracy. I enjoy knowing that the skills I'm acquiring now will help prepare me for any job later in life.” Steven Cornwell FHHS Treasurer

Fort Hays State Honor Society President Linnea Gustafsson Vice President Lisa Debes Secretary Ruth Ebersole Treasurer Steven Cornwell

We’re on the Web!

Reaching Out by Anne Drees This semester FHHS started a tutoring program at Thomas More PrepMarian High School here in Hays. TMP had already started having study sessions on Monday and Wednesday after school for 45 minutes. It takes place in the CFR (Library) and snacks are provided, which include hot chocolate and drinks from a new espresso machine. The goal of the program is for students to come and get their homework done in a quiet and studentfriendly atmosphere. Students who play sports after school already have an incentive to do well and get their homework done. This program helps to grab students who fall

outside the sport world and give them an incentive. At TMP, there is a policy set in place for not having to take finals at the end of the year. To be exempt from the final, students with an A average in the class can miss 3 days of school for non-school related activities. For those with a B average, 2 days can be missed. For C average, the student is only allowed to miss one day. If a student misses more days than is allowed, these after school study sessions count towards make up hours. Attending 7 sessions counts as one day of school time. What FHHS students were invited to do was come

See us at:

FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY 600 Park St Hays, KS 67601 City, ST 78269


and offer tutoring or help to any students who need it. Both the Honor students and high school students have been benefiting from this partnership. For the Honor students, we get the chance to get involved by using our knowledge to benefit other students. The high school students; in turn, are able to gain more knowledge to help them complete their homework for the evening. This is one of the most rewarding programs that FHHS does, as the rewards are instantly reaped for tutors. It is also great to help potential Fort Hays students.

FHHS Fall 2011 Newsletter  
FHHS Fall 2011 Newsletter  

Fort Hays State Honor Society's newsletter for the Fall 2011 semester!