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MISSION-DRIVEN FHSU is on a mission to create global citizen leaders and positively impact our local and international communities.

INSIDE Vol. 1 Issue 2. Summer 2017 A Legacy of Teaching p.18

The Chase p.20 I Am a Tiger p.36 Helping People Live Better p.38

We know you appreciate your degree and how it changed your life. Now it’s your turn to change the lives of others. Spread the word – talk to a friend, a coworker, or family member about how an FHSU education can transform lives.





Interim President Dr. Andy Tompkins Director: University Relations and Marketing Lisa Karlin



Executive Editor/Creative Director Lyndsey Dugan Managing Editor/Feature Writer Diane Gasper-O’Brien Deputy Editor Dan Shea




Feature Writer Randy Gonzales Contributing Writer/News Kurt Beyers Designers Lyndsey Dugan Meghan Oliver






From the President


Campus News


Alumni Engagement

Dr. Grady Dixon’s climatology research produces data that helps protect communities and gives FHSU students unmatched hands-on learning experiences.


Alumni Profiles

Photo by: Dr. Josh Durkee, Associate Professor Department of Geography and Geology Western Kentucky University


Athletics News



Feature Stories


Tiger Notes

f Fort Hays State University l @forthaysstate

Photographers Kelsey Stremel Jared Tadlock Contributing Writers/Alumni Karl Pratt Charlene Nichols Advertising Mary Ridgway

ROAR Magazine is published twice a year (winter and summer) by Fort Hays State University’s Office of University Relations and Marketing. Subscriptions are by paid membership in the Alumni Association. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the FHSU Alumni Association, One Tiger Place, Hays, KS 67601-3767

@forthaysstate forthaysstate FHSU.EDU/roar


FROM THE President

Mission-Driven Action Impacting Our Communities


s I write this, area farmers are moving cattle to pasture and preparing fields for summer planting as vibrant green winter wheat waves steadfast in the western Kansas wind. Evidence of the changing season also abounds on the Fort Hays State University campus. The creek that flows near campus is abundant with new life – frogs, budding cottonwoods, herons – and when I walk across the quad, I’m overwhelmed by the scent of the fragrant flowers that spring to life all around us.

You’ll read about FHSU students like Lester Peak, Army reservist and volunteer firefighter, who helped his community acquire a water truck through his online Leadership Studies class. And FHSU faculty/mentor Dr. Grady Dixon, who conducts tornado climatology research side by side with students, which not only produces storm data that will help protect communities, but which also gives our students invaluable experiential learning opportunities. You can also read about the Neuromuscular Wellness Center, which works with people with significant neurological disorders, such as stroke survivors, those suffering paralysis, muscle spasticity, multiple sclerosis or those at risk for falls.

The university community, too, is experiencing seasonal change. By the time you read this, we will have graduated another stellar crop of Tigers into the world and we’ll be busy guiding the next generation of “seedling” FHSU students through summer orientation programs (as well as nearing completion on new buildings in which these new students will live and learn). We’ll welcome new faculty and staff to our community, and we’ll be in the midst of the exciting process of searching for the next president of Fort Hays State University.

These are just a few of the stories about mission-driven, community impact that are profiled in this issue of ROAR, and this issue’s examples are just a small sample of the countless ways Fort Hays State University affects its local and global communities. I hope you enjoy this issue of ROAR and the rest of your summer. Meanwhile, the Fort Hays State University community will prepare for yet another autumn season and the excitement and opportunity it brings.

At FHSU, we welcome change because we know it always brings with it opportunity – an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to our mission, one aspect of which is to create global citizen leaders and positively impact our local and global communities. The pages of this issue of ROAR are filled with examples of our mission-driven actions.

Dr. Andy Tompkins Interim President Fort Hays State University




Seasons may change, but our mission never wavers.

CAMPUS News Journey Campaign at FHSU passes halfway mark, hitting $52 million

At a news conference in March, the Fort Hays State University Foundation announced announced that the $100 million Journey Campaign – the largest in the university’s history – had officially passed the halfway mark, having reached $52 million at that point. Steve Shields, campaign co-chair, made the announcement. A theme for the news conference of “every gift matters” – community and giving, and the importance of small gifts as well as large — was introduced by a 90-second video and by Jason Williby, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation. Fort Hays State, said Shields, has a rich history of “not only educating but forming character and instilling in people a sense of purpose.” “Campaigns like this are what we are made of,” he said. “They are what separate us, they are what lift us up to continue making a deeper, richer world.” Williby emphasized two numbers: the 17,000 donors and 50,000 individual gifts that made up the total.. Only a few of those are the million-dollar gifts that gain the most attention, he said. Shields made the point that “you don’t have to have a lot of money to be able to help build,” and that much of the total so far comes from $100 gifts. The small gifts are also important, he said, in teaching people to give, both as students and as young people just starting out in their careers. “So together,” he concluded, “we are all one body of philanthropy, and I am so excited and pleased and proud to announce that we have now officially passed the halfway mark, and in this $100 million campaign, as of this morning we are at $52 million.” Melanie Arellano-Luna, a Kansas City junior majoring in social work, gave her thanks for the support she has received in her three years at Fort Hays State. Coming to live in Hays, four hours away from home, was difficult, she said, but “Fort Hays State made sure to welcome me with open arms.” Scholarships allow her to concentrate on her education and on the professional and service activities that are preparing her for her career. “With the scholarship support

I have received from Fort Hays State University, I don’t have to worry about working more and more hours every week.” Dr. Andy Tompkins, interim president at FHSU, reiterated the morning’s theme. “Obviously the message today is, ‘Every gift matters,’ and you’ve heard that several times,” he said, “and I think that’s a wonderful message when you’re in a campaign like this.” In the time he has been at FHSU, said President Tompkins, he has learned that this university “is a special place.” “It’s one that values students and their success. It’s one where the skill and expertise of the faculty and staff is greatly admired and lifted up. It’s a place that feels a special bond with its community and region, and it’s a place where great alumni and friends want to see their university thrive.”

Kelloggs’ gift leaves lasting legacy in 3 Fort Hays State departments A Hays couple in February gave $1

million for student scholarships at Fort Hays State University, divided among three areas – education, business and athletics. Wilmer and Lorena Kellogg are longtime financial supporters of Fort Hays State, from where Lorena graduated. “Hays without FHSU, did you ever think about this?” the Kelloggs asked in a prepared statement read at a news conference announcing the gift. “Without Fort Hays State,” said the Kelloggs, “the city would be a very small town. Without it, I doubt that we would

have a regional hospital. Without it, we would not have a regional airport. Without it, we would not have the variety of restaurants that we have. The list goes on and on. We don’t know about everyone, but our lives revolve around the activities related to Fort Hays State.” FHSU’s current Journey Campaign encourages donors to give to the area of Fort Hays State that means the most to them. For the Kelloggs, the opportunity to provide scholarships for students in the areas of education, business and athletics was a perfect fit for their interests. Part of their gift will support education, representing Lorena’s 32 years of teaching in elementary schools in Plainville, Palco, Salina and Hays, where she taught at Jefferson Elementary School for 28 years. Wilmer, a Hays businessman, chose business for another portion of their gift. The Kelloggs are still busy with their rental business in Hays. The remaining portion of their gift will go toward athletics. The Kelloggs have supported FHSU’s athletics for many years, and they can be seen at Tiger athletic events year-round and have witnessed both the Tiger men’s and women’s basketball teams take national titles over the years. FHSU.EDU/news



FHSU graduates more than 4,000 for first time ever

A total of 4,075 students from summer and fall 2016 and spring 2017 – an increase of 7.41 percent from last year’s total of 3,794 – were eligible for graduation ceremonies this spring at Fort Hays State University. It was the first time Fort Hays State has graduated more than 4,000 students in a year. “The culmination of all our efforts as educators is to prepare them for the next stage of their careers,” said Registrar Craig Karlin. “The continual increase in the number of graduates tracking the continual increases in enrollment is another sign of our success as an institution.” The continuation of increased numbers meant that a tradition of two commencement ceremonies continued. “We want to honor our graduates and give their families a special occasion to honor their students’ achievements, but we also want to enable them to get to their personal and family celebrations in a timely fashion,” said Karlin. Ceremonies for graduate and undergraduate degree recipients from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and the Peter Werth College of Science, Technology and Mathematics were Friday evening, May 12. A separate ceremony for graduate and undergraduate degree recipients from the W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, the College of Education and the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences was Saturday morning, May 13. The numbers broke down this way: 472 from the summer 2016 term; 777 from the fall 2016 semester; and 2,826 from the spring 2017 semester. The overall numbers will change slightly when the degree-verification process concludes, but the total number of degrees was 87 associate degrees; 3,182 bachelor’s degrees and 806 graduate degrees (master’s and education specialist graduates). Commencement videos are available through links on the Commencement page at

Richard, Dolores Fischli give $5 million toward Center for Student Success at Fort Hays State

Richard and Dolores Fischli early in May officially committed $5 million toward the Fischli-Wills Center for Student Success at 06

Fort Hays State University. Both earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fort Hays State in the 1950s, then moved to southern California. Upon retiring from their careers in education with the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Fischlis moved back home to Logan. With an estimated completion date of December 2020, the Fischli-Wills Center will be a convenient one-stop-shop for students to access academic, medical and mental health support. The center’s primary goal is to help students be successful, complete their degree programs on time and avoid falling through any cracks. “As lifelong K-12 educators, Richard and Dolores have been difference-makers to literally hundreds of students over the years utilizing their FHSU degrees to their fullest potential,” said Dr. Joey Linn, vice president for student affairs, at a news conference announcing the gift. “With the addition of this building to our beautiful campus, the Fischli-Wills Center for Student Success will forever touch the lives of thousands of students with their quest to walk across the stage as FHSU



graduates,” he said. The center will house key services in a three-story building conveniently attached to the Memorial Union to provide day and evening access to academic advising, career exploration, free tutoring, the Kelly Center, student health and more. The offices of the Student Government Association, the Center for Student Involvement and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion will also relocate to the Fischli-Wills Center. “These students are our family,” Dolores Fischli said after the news conference. “We always knew that our estate would go to Fort Hays State University, but I often wondered what they were going to do with it,” she said. “It’s nice to know how they’re going to utilize the money and to see it all come to fruition. We’re just so thankful for the opportunity.”

Board of Regents announce search committee for new FHSU president

The Kansas Board of Regents announced on April 19 that a committee had been created to begin the search for a new president for Fort Hays State University. Regents appointed 20 individuals to assist and advise the Board in the selection of the next president of Fort Hays State University. The search committee includes representation from university students, faculty, staff, alumni and the wider Hays community. The board named Jeffrey D. Peier, Wichita, who currently serves as

CAMPUS News chair of the Fort Hays State University Foundation Board of Trustees and managing member of the law firm Klenda Austerman LLC, to chair the committee. “The Board of Regents has assembled an incredibly talented search committee representing Fort Hays State University’s administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners,” said Peier. “I am extremely confident that this diverse search committee will be successful in presenting the Board of Regents with a slate of highly qualified candidates from which the board will select the next leader of Fort Hays State University.” The board also approved hiring the search firm Wheless Partners to assist with identifying and recruiting potential candidates. In addition to approving the committee’s membership, the Board also approved a formal charge which instructs the search committee to identify “three to five candidates who are the most qualified for Board selection as president of Fort Hays State University.” Search committee members representing the campus include: Dr. Paul Adams, dean of the College of Education; Melanie Arellano-Luna, a student studying social work; Dr. Jill Arensdorf, chair of the Department of Leadership Studies; Emily Brandt, Student Government Association president and a political science major; Dr. Greg Farley, dean of the Peter Werth College of Science, Technology and Mathematics; Shannon Lindsey, director of human resources; Denise Orth, incoming Faculty Senate president and an associate professor of allied health; Feysel Rahmeto, a student studying business education; Dr. Craig Smith, associate professor of agriculture, and Dr. Dosse Toulaboe, chair of the Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting.

Torch, Pilot and Navigator Award Winners

Giles Fox, Ashland, was named the recipient of the Torch Award as the outstanding graduating senior from the class of 2017 at Fort Hays State University. He received Bachelor of Science degrees in physics and mathematics at Commencement. The announcement of the Torch Award came at the annual Graduate and Faculty Luncheon, sponsored by the FHSU Alumni Association. The Pilot Award

for outstanding faculty member and the Navigator Award for outstanding faculty advisor were also announced. Dr. Stacey Smith, associate professor and chair of the Department of Applied Business Studies, was the Pilot Award recipient, and Dr. Cheryl Duffy, professor of English, was named the recipient of the Navigator Award. “Giles Fox is a natural leader,” said the nomination form for Fox. It continued, “His presence in our Physics Department sets a fine example for our younger and older generations of students. He is well respected and sought for help in studying and problem solving sessions.” Fox is a former pitcher and captain of the FHSU baseball team. He has tutored in both math and physics and is a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies. He is also a member of the American Institute of Physics, the Society of Physics Students and the Physics and Engineering Club. An FHSU NASA Scholar, he has completed research on Doppler-free laser spectroscopy of rubidium atoms. One of the students who nominated Smith said, “One of the main reasons I chose to attend FHSU and work towards earning my B.S. in tourism and hospitality management is because of Dr. Smith and her impressive efforts to help her students grow.” In 2015, she was named Citizen of the Year by the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce and was a recipient of the FHSU Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Award in 2010. Duffy, recognized for her outstanding performance as an academic advisor, was cited for “providing words of love and

Pg 5, Bottom: Interirm President Dr. Tompkins, Wilmer and Lorena Kellogg, FHSU Foundation CEO Jason Williby Left Top: 2017 Commencement Left Bottom: Richard and Dolores Fischli Right Top: Dr. Cheryl (Hofstetter) Duffy ’84 (left), professor of English, Giles Fox (center), Dr. Stacey (Gould) Smith ’00, ’00 (right), associate professor and chair of the Department of Applied Business Studies

encouragement to struggling students and for making herself available not only to her assigned advisees, but other students who seek her counsel as well.” The Navigator Award was created in 1998 to recognize an outstanding academic advisor based on how closely he or she adheres to the university goals for academic advising. Candidates are nominated, interviewed and selected by graduating seniors. The Alumni Association instituted the Torch and Pilot awards in 1974 to emphasize the importance of excellence in teaching and learning. They are presented every year at the Graduate and Faculty Luncheon in advance of Commencement. The Torch Award candidates are nominated by members of the faculty on the basis of classroom excellence, participation in professional organizations and involvement in student or civic activities. The Pilot Award is given on the basis of classroom excellence, ongoing research and service activities. Candidates are nominated by graduating seniors. Nominations for the Navigator Award are also made by graduating seniors in a process conducted by the Student Government Association. FHSU.EDU/news




Thank you for your support of the FHSU Alumni Association through paid membership. Help us promote membership to fellow Tigers by sharing your thoughts with us! We want to know what being an alumni member means to you. Send your testimonial and a photo of yourself to

“I am very proud of the degrees I received at Fort Hays, but more importantly, I value the friends and memories I made while I was a student. Fort Hays allowed me the opportunity to become who I am today, and my alumni membership is one way that I can stay connected to my alma mater.”

– Melissa (Graham) ’98, ’98 & Trent Pinero, Panama City Beach, Fla. (Platinum Life members)

“Alumni membership is my way of staying connected to FHSU, and that is very important to me. I love the personal touches offered through membership and wouldn’t expect anything less from an institution that influenced my life in many ways. Thank you!”


TOP 10 9 8 7

– Benjamin Johnson ’01, Seattle, Wash. (Silver Annual member)


All current FHSU graduates, numbering more than 63,000, are granted complimentary Bronze-level membership in the Alumni Association with a limited number of benefits. Paid alumni members (Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum), however, are afforded many more benefits, incentives and gifts, depending on their level, including worldwide travel programs, discounts on lodging and transportation, merchandise, tickets, admission to events, and more. Life members also receive exclusive Tiger memorabilia in recognition of their support. Consider joining or upgrading to a higher level of membership today to take advantage of the many programs and services available through paid membership. Visit for more information today.

6 SUMMER 2017






5 4


3 2 a Tiger ALWAYS a Tiger! 1 Once






Tiger Golf Tournament Tiger Bonfire & Pep Rally








Football Game Tiger Village (Greek Chapter House) Ribbon Cutting

Half Century Club Luncheon & Induction Alumni & Friends Awards & Recognition Reception/Banquet

Plus...don’t miss reunion activites for these groups: Class of 1957 Class of 1967

Delta Zeta Sigma Sigma Sigma Department of Health & Human Performance

Tiger 5K Run/Walk Homecoming Parade

Sigma Phi Epsilon Tiger Volleyball

To learn more, visit, call the Alumni Office at 888-351-3591, or email Discounted pricing available for paid alumni members. Registration deadline: Thursday, Sept. 28

ALUMNI Profiles Mike and Ione Slattery

For Dr. Mike and Ione Slattery, making close connections with others, personally and professionally, is a key component to the success and experiences they have enjoyed throughout their educational careers and their lives. Mike, originally from Wright, holds three degrees from Fort Hays State University: a 1973 BA in physical education and social science; a 1977 MS in secondary school administration and health, physical education and recreation; and a 1989 Education Specialist degree in educational administration: superintendent. His early career took him to teaching, coaching and principal posts in St. Francis and Valley Falls and all the way to England on a Fulbright Teacher Exchange. Back in the United States, a graduate teaching assistant position in the FHSU Department of Administration and Counseling opened the door to a 22-year career in higher education. He credits his experience working with Dr. Ed Stehno, retired FHSU professor of education, on the preparation of a teacher evaluation seminar for opening the door to FHSU. “The most important thing I learned at FHSU was the value in establishing relationships and making connections not only with faculty but also with other students who were my colleagues as we learned together. Those relationships with other students became an important part of my networking during my professional career.” A true lifelong learner, Slattery said, “I would never have guessed upon completion of my undergraduate degree in 1973 that I would complete three more degrees, culminating with a doctorate degree in education. But lifelong learning does not necessarily mean completion of degrees or certificates. For the majority of people it simply means continuing to stay abreast of what is happening in your chosen field of work on a day-to-day basis.” His wife, Ione, completed a master’s degree in music at Fort Hays State in 1984. Her undergraduate degree was in ballet at Indiana University, Bloomington. “Keeping the hunger to learn will keep one young at heart,” she said. “Music has always been a central part of my life. I’ve always loved music in various forms, vocal, instrumental, dance, and I wanted a career in something I loved doing.” Her wish came true in a career of more than 30 years as a vocal and band teacher in Kansas and at the Walderslade Secondary Boys School in Kent, England. She retired in 2011 after spending the last 18 years of her teaching career in Hays USD 489. Unlike her bachelor’s experience, where she “felt like a little fish in a big pond,” the smaller class size and personal attention afforded to her as a music student at Fort Hays State provided endless opportunities to perform and participate in a multitude of ensembles and disciplines. “One of the best features about attending FHSU was the easy 10


access to making friends and forming relationships with others in my field of study, music, at FHSU,” she said. “Teachers encouraged students to join and participate in various state and national organizations, which helped me stay in the educational loop and make new connections. I felt like I had a quality education at FHSU, which prepared me for the future, and the teachers cared about their students.” As local residents, the Slatterys express their gratitude to the university for the many programs and events – cultural, educational and athletic – available to all members of the Tiger family. “Having an active (Platinum) membership in the Alumni Association feels like having an enlarged family wherever we go. There is a closeness that connects us with people who have similar interests and attend exciting events.”

Kate Gaudry

A “college” student at age 11 with a bachelor’s in hand by 17, a doctorate at 21 and a Harvard graduate by 27, Kate (Denning) Gaudry was not your typical student. Gaudry began taking college classes at 11 while completing her regular schoolwork. “FHSU was very supportive of this arrangement and worked with me (and my parents) to ensure that this was made feasible,” she said. “I loved the energy of the Physics Department. Dr. Gavin Buffington was my advisor, and he was routinely creating unique projects and academic opportunities for other students and me.” A prestigious internship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where in the 1940s the atomic bomb was developed, introduced Gaudry, age 16 at this point, to the world of neuroscience. Between her junior and senior years, she worked on models for mechanisms of HIV infection and was introduced to a computational neurobiologist. She worked with the neurobiologist remotely during her senior year at FHSU and during two additional summer internships, focusing on models of the retina. She continued her studies at the University of California San Diego, receiving a Ph.D. in computation neurobiology in 2006. She was one of only six students to earn that degree that year and was a member of the third class in the university’s history to receive it. She enjoyed studying neuroscience and considered continuing along the academic track toward a professorship position (often accompanied by independent research emphases). However, her interest in patent law triumphed, as she enjoyed learning about many new discoveries in a variety of fields. After working as a patent agent for two years to confirm the career interest, she went to Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., where she received her Juris Doctorate in 2011. Today, Gaudry lives and works in Bethesda, Md., as a senior associate patent attorney with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Focused on patent prosecution, her work includes drafting patent applications during the examination stage to help her clients patent their innovations. Her work requires her to “frequently collect and analyze big data


ALUMNI to identify efficacy of using various prosecution strategies and/or patent-office programs.” “Not many people in my profession conduct this type of analysis, so it is a nice way to stand apart,” she said. She credits the unique projects and, in particular, her work with Buffington, a professor and chair of the Department of Physics at FHSU, for helping her develop the strong mathematical and computational skills that help her excel in her profession today. “I received a very good education at FHSU that allowed me fit in seamlessly with students from top schools from around the country, both during my Ph.D. program and at law school,” she said. Gaudry is grateful for the university’s willingness to support new approaches: Taking her on as a student at a young age, creating specific research projects and developing independent-study courses, for example. “It seems as though the school continues to be at the forefront of embracing new programs,” she said, referencing the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science, the university’s international partnerships and the Virtual College. Forward thinking. World ready., one might say.

Brandon Penny

“Ultimately, what I love about my time at Fort Hays State is after graduation, I walked away with more than just my name written on parchment as a degree,” said Brandon Penny ’13, who earned a BFA in graphic design from FHSU. “I walked away with an amazing portfolio of creative work and the skills to create a bright future.” Confident, clever and creative are just a few ways to describe Penny, originally from Burlington, Colo. He is a fulltime graphic designer living in the Big Apple, a.k.a. New York City. Penny says he was originally attracted to FHSU because of its size. The personal attention that many FHSU students enjoy ensured that Penny “wasn’t just a number; I was a student that mattered with a name and a story. I was pushed out of my comfort zone in many ways and am so thankful because I feel I truly owned my education.” As a student, Penny strove to be involved and engaged in his education and extra-curricular activities. His creative side extended to the performing arts. He was a member of the Fringe Theatre group, performing in plays and musicals in addition to designing the show posters and programs. Being a member of the local American Institute of Graphic Arts chapter offered him the opportunity for multiple portfolio reviews and workshops, providing him with “invaluable knowledge upon entering the workforce.” Following graduation, Penny moved to Brooklyn, landing his first creative internship with OpenSky. A retail job at The Container Store helped pay the bills and eventually paved the way to a freelance design gig with The Society of Publication Designers after a chance meeting with the organization’s executive director, who happened to go through Penny’s checkout line. Additional freelance work writing articles and photographing products for the Photojojo/Parabo Press blogs and social media

channels in San Francisco added to his portfolio before joining Billboard magazine as the first-ever part-time design intern. While at Billboard, Penny acquired a new design internship with Decker Design, later leaving both when the creative director of People magazine reached out to him personally and brought him on as a full-time design intern, soon adding photo internship to his title. Today, Penny is a full-time graphic designer with Curioos, an online, curated marketplace to purchase unique, high quality wall art, apparel, home décor and fashion accessories created by thousands of emerging artists from all over the world. He continues to freelance on the side. This past year, Penny’s image was used on an FHSU billboard along I-70 outside of Manhattan. He traveled six hours from his hometown to see it. “As I stood looking in awe as cars flew by,” he said, “I couldn’t help but recognize that it wasn’t just me up there; it was my professors, mentors, friends, family and others who helped get me where I am now. I am forever grateful and humbled.”


Calling all Tigers – does your family bleed Fort Hays State University black and gold? Then the Tiger Alumni Honorary Family of the Year Award is for you! The FHSU Alumni Association is pleased to announce the newly established award recognizing a multi-generational family based on dedication, loyalty and support of Fort Hays State University. All Tigers are eligible for consideration of the recognition which will be awarded annually during the Homecoming weekend. The nomination deadline is August 1, 2017. Learn more and find nomination materials at Printed nominations should be submitted to the FHSU Alumni Office, Robbins Center-One Tiger Place, Hays, KS 67610-3767 or via email at Questions, contact the FHSU Alumni Office at 1-888-351-3591.


The Tiger Generational Scholarship, funded by the FHSU

Alumni Association through the sales of the official state of Kansas Tiger Tag program and the Tiger Generational T-Shirt Project, supports eligible students with one or more generations of Tigers in their family who hold paid membership. Visit to learn more about this scholarship, eligibility and how to submit an application.




The FHSU Alumni Association is traveling to a site near you! FHSU alumni and friends have several events to choose from in the coming year in Salina, Topeka, Great Bend, Kansas City, Wichita, Garden City, Hays, Scott City, Liberal, Dallas, Houston, Tulsa, and Denver among other locations. You won’t want to miss any of these opportunities to reconnect with Tigers. Join in on the Tiger fun, visit


Join Tigers across the globe Saturday, Oct. 28 for “Make a Difference Day, FHSU Tiger Style!” The Alumni Association wants YOU to put on your Black and Gold and make a difference in your community. Service is a true hallmark of the Tiger spirit instilled in many students during their time on campus. That spirit carries through a graduate’s life, ultimately helping make the world a better place. The Alumni Association is looking for alumni and friends from near and far to share in the spirit of service in local communities. Those interested in organizing a volunteer event in their communities are requested to sign up at Whether it be raking yards, picking up trash, building a home, collecting toys for children, ringing bells (like the Kansas City Area Chapter) – the possibilities are endless – we hope you will be able to give some of your time to your community and for the world. Stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved.



The Alumni Association is committed to offering the highest level of programs and services to members of the Tiger community. Whether it is alumni chapters, recognition of successful Tigers, the Kansas FHSU Tiger tag program, raising funds for the Tiger Generational Scholarship or events scheduled worldwide – the Association is here for you. Call toll-free 888-351-3591 for assistance, stop by the Robbins Center or visit to participate in the many programs and services available.


2018 is sure to be a banner year for travel as six feature tours have been added to our 2017-18 Traveling Tigers Program. All tours offer a high level of personal service, combined with a number of exclusive benefits not regularly found elsewhere. Enjoy “all inclusive pricing” with no need to incur additional expenses for optional sightseeing; travel protection insurance; and an exclusive 100% reservation deposit refund guarantee. Plus, every member of your travel party qualifies for special Fort Hays State University savings! Mackinac Island & Much More - May 9-16, 2018 Scandinavian Sojourn - June 3-17, 2018 Alaska “Three experiences in one!” - July 23-Aug. 4, 2018 New England/Canada Cruise + Tastes of NYC - Sept. 21-29, 2018 Cuba (land & sea) Adventure - Details & Dates coming soon! All-Inclusive Cancun Getaway - Details & Dates coming soon! For more information visit

Dust off the clubs and get ready to head to the links to enjoy a day of golf while raising Tiger scholarship funds for Fort Hays State University students. Save the following dates and plan to join us for the fun!


July 21 – Garden City July 29 – Liberal Aug. 11 – Scott City Oct. 5 – Hays (Homecoming Weekend)


DON’T TOSS IT. CHECK OUT THE VALUE! Like many of us, you’re probably bombarded with window envelopes, some of which contain affinity card offers. As an alumnus or friend of FHSU, from time to time you might receive an offer for the Tiger Visa card. With free rewards, low APR and excellent customer service, you’ll want to join your fellow alumni and friends who show their Tiger pride worldwide. Call the Alumni Office at 888-351-3591 for more information.


TIGER Athletics

Eight Tigers Earn All-America Honors Through Fall and Winter Seasons

Fort Hays State enjoyed great success with several of its fall and winter sports for the 2016-17 season. Eight Tigers have received AllAmerica honors for the year entering the spring season. The student-athletes include Sie Doe, Jr. (football), Crystal Whitten (volleyball), Luis Torres (men’s soccer), Rob Davis (men’s basketball), Jon Inman (wrestling), Brandon Ball (wrestling), Dillando Allotey (men’s track and field) and Brett Meyer (men’s track and field). FHSU has several outdoor track and field athletes ranked in the top 15 of their respective events, so more All-America honors could be on the way.

FHSU Enjoys Success Across All Sports for Fall and Winter Seasons

Fort Hays State enjoyed its most successful all-around fall sports season as an NCAA institution in 2016. FHSU ranked seventh nationally in the Learfield Directors’ Cup once fall sports nationwide were complete and still ranked inside the Top 20 by the end of the winter season. Below is a summary of the fall and winter sports accomplishments for the 2016-17 year. Football tied the school record for wins and reached a bowl game for the second straight year going 8-4 overall, winning its first-ever postseason game with a 45-12 decision over Eastern New Mexico in the Heart of Texas Bowl. Volleyball tied its second-most wins in a season during its NCAA history, going 25-9 overall. The team’s fourth-place finish in the MIAA was its highest since joining the conference in 2006. Men’s Soccer won the Central Regional of the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the national quarterfinals for the third consecutive year. FHSU served as host of the NCAA Super Regional as the No. 1 seed in the Central Region. Women’s Soccer made its deepest run in the NCAA Tournament in program history, advancing to the Central Regional Championship against Central Missouri. FHSU shared the MIAA regular season title with Central Missouri, the program’s first MIAA regular season title and second MIAA title overall.

Women’s Cross Country qualified for the NCAA



Championships for the first time in 20 years and placed 18th nationally. Women’s Basketball posted its sixth consecutive 20-win season in 2016-17, going 22-8 overall. The Tigers enjoyed time in the national rankings for the fifth consecutive season. Men’s Basketball had another successful season, going 18-11 overall. The Tigers had one of the top scorers in the nation in Rob Davis, who earned All-America honors averaging 21.4 points per game. Wrestling had four national qualifiers and two All-Americans. Jon Inman was the national runner-up at 197 pounds, and Brandon Ball placed sixth nationally at 141 pounds and earned MIAA Freshman of the Year. Chas Thompson earned MIAA Coach of the Year. Men’s Track and Field spent time in the national rankings for the indoor season, and Dillando Allotey and Brett Meyer earned AllAmerica honors in the 200 meters, and 800 meters respectively.

2017 Home Football Schedule Sept. 7 Sept. 23 Oct. 7 Oct. 14 Oct. 28 Nov. 11

Central Missouri Northeastern State Pittsburg State (Homecoming) Washburn Emporia State Nebraska-Kearney

7 pm 2 pm 7 pm 2 pm 2 pm 2 pm

For season tickets, call (785) 628-4050 or visit the Tickets link on


Track & Field Dedication Ceremony Set for August 26

Fort Hays State will have a dedication for its new track and field facility on Saturday, August 26 at 2 pm. The facility already hosted a few meets (college and high school) in the spring of 2017, but with full completion of the facility occurring in the summer of 2017, the dedication ceremony has been set for the beginning of the fall season. The dedication will occur on the same day as the Tiger Auction and Dinner, which takes place in the evening.

TIGER Athletics

Current and Potential Facility Projects at FHSU New Track and Field Facility

FHSU funded the initial $3 million needed to construct the facility. Fundraising is still in motion to add lights, permanent scoreboard and plaza area highlighting the history of Tiger Track and Field. Remaining costs from private sources: Approximately $200,000. (Naming rights are still available throughout the facility).

Gross Memorial Coliseum

New Scoreboard/Videoboard - Replacement of existing scoreboard. Cost: approximately $450,000 (This project is currently pending structural engineer analysis of weight-bearing capacity of coliseum ceiling.) Also being renovated in Gross Coliseum will be the north end restrooms and the Lower 3 Concessions. Upstairs restrooms and concession areas, along with the athletic training room, will be updated in 2018.

Wrestling Locker Room Renovation

This project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017. Will include wooden lockers for athletes. Remaining costs from private sources: $20,000.

Softball Locker Room Renovation

This project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017. Will include wooden lockers for athletes. Remaining costs from private sources: $10,000.

Volleyball Locker Room Renovation - Completed Lewis Field Stadium

New Scoreboard/Videoboard – Replacement of existing scoreboard. Remaining costs from private sources: approximately $800,000. No longer able to replace parts for existing scoreboard. Above cost reflects an upgrade to a scoreboard with a videoboard built in.

Press Box Expansion to Include Private Suites

Extend both sides of existing pressbox. Expected to include 12-18 private suites. Remaining costs from private sources: approximately $2.5 million. Private suites expected to sell for approximately $250,000 for 10 years.

Join Us for the 8th Annual Tiger Auction and Dinner

The eighth annual Tiger Auction and Dinner will be held on the evening of Saturday, August 26. The event will be held at a new venue this year, the Schmidt-Bickle Indoor Training Facility, after being held at the Memorial Union the past seven years. This provides a bigger seating capacity for an event that sold out in advance the last five years. This additional space allows us to expand invitations to the event beyond our local community to include alumni, as well as parents and grandparents of student-athletes, and others. Tickets to the event are $75 per person, which includes dinner and beverages throughout the evening. The auction consists of approximately 100 live items and over 200 silent items each year, and we are always interested in finding new and unique items. If you have access to an item, or simply have a great idea, we’d love to hear from you. You can go to and click on 2016 items to get an idea on what type of items were available last year. If you have any questions pertaining to the auction, please contact the athletic office at (785) 628-4050, or send an e-mail to Summer Harris at

Chairback Reserved Seating in West Stadium

This project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2017. Will include 2,000 new chairback seats which will flip up and down to make better clearance for fans. Stairwells will be widened to allow for handrails. Entire decking will be sealed to protect undercarriage. Remaining costs associated with project: $150,000.

Renovation of West Side Concourse

This renovation include restrooms, concession stands and entryway. Costs associated are pending, as is the timeline for completion.

Other Projects in Discussion Stages

- Upgrade to practice gyms for basketball and volleyball - Football complex to include new locker room, coaches offices, etc. - Artificial turf for softball infield - Replace exterior fencing at baseball field - Increased space for student-athlete study table - Relocate press box and sound system at soccer field from east side to west side - Plan for surface area inside Lewis Field for vacated track facility

Contact the FHSU Athletic Department at (785) 628-4050 if you have interest in making a donation to a proposed project. FHSU.EDU/artandesign

15 21

At Fort Hays State, we are on a journey to help students’ dreams come true. We are now the third largest university in Kansas – living in unprecedented times, with unfortunate cuts to state funding. We need to secure the future of our great university, as well as our students who show tremendous potential. Your support of our Journey campaign means an education, a strong university, a bright future, lives changed and dreams made true for all students at Fort Hays State.

To those who have contributed to the Journey campaign, please know that your generosity is making a significant impact. The loyalty and dedication of you, our alumni and friends, does not go unnoticed. On behalf of Fort Hays State University and your FHSU Foundation, thank you!

If you have not yet made a gift in support of Fort Hays State University’s Journey campaign, we invite you to do so by visiting Just as others helped make your journey possible at Fort Hays State, now is your chance to return the favor for a new generation of Tigers.

E V E R Y G I F T M AT T E R S 785.628.5620





By Diane Gasper-O’Brien Photography by Kelsey Stremel


r. Beth Walizer had a warm feeling rush over her while grading one of her student’s blogs one day during the fall 2016 semester. Walizer, professor of Teacher Education at Fort Hays State University, had asked her online students to tell how they chose teaching as their profession. Taunya Schlessiger, working on an elementary education degree from her home in Ellinwood, had written that she was inspired by her first-grade teacher who took an interest in her even though she struggled in reading. Schlessiger had just moved to Russell from Colorado back in 1981. Following a discouraging experience when she began first grade in Colorado, Schlessiger talked about how the teacher in her new school changed her dislike of reading with lots of encouragement. “When I read that, I remember thinking, ‘Thank goodness that teacher stepped in and helped her become a reader,’ ” Walizer said as she read the blog. Imagine how Walizer felt when she learned minutes later that she was that first-grade teacher to which Schlessiger had been referring. “Just as I was reading her blog, I got an email marked ‘personal,’ ” Walizer said. “I opened it, and Taunya asked if I by chance was a teacher in Russell in 1981. Then it all came back to me. This was Taunya Pooley — her name back then — and I just burst into tears.” Walizer is in her 14th year at Fort Hays State after teaching at the elementary school level for 24 years in Russell. She got her start at FHSU as an adjunct teacher for two years while teaching at Bickerdyke Elementary and working on her doctorate at Kansas State University. It’s not uncommon for Walizer to receive positive responses from FHSU students. But this one was special. “Taunya came into my first-grade classroom about the first part of October that year,” Walizer said. “I knew she was struggling with reading, so I encouraged her. You want to make students feel good and encourage them and build on that.” Coincidentally, in her first-grade classroom, Walizer used methods with which she had trained herself to read as a child. Walizer explained some of the strategies she came up with to help with comprehending what she was reading: using a finger to hold her place on the page, reading something out loud, highlighting words and phrases, writing in the column of a book and earmarking pages. While all those could be helpful hints for anyone, they were vital to Walizer’s success.

“I remember struggling reading as a child, and not comprehending what I read,” Walizer said. “I am nearsighted and saw double, and I struggled my whole life.” When she became a teacher, Walizer was on a mission to help youngsters learn to read at an early age. “I want to help as many children as I can to have a better reading experience than I had ­­— and to become lifelong readers,” Walizer said. “I loved teaching in the classroom, but when I took this job, I realized that if I can touch teaching candidates, just imagine all the little lives I’m touching.” Now, that student who she helped more than 35 years ago wants to do the same thing. Schlessiger said she has always been interested in English and literacy and became hooked while administering GED courses in Great Bend. “I saw many adults still struggling with literacy, saw such a need for helping older people to learn to read,” she said. “It made me want to progress into teaching.” Schlessiger said she has become even more focused on that goal since getting reconnected with that special first-grade teacher. “To know her as a little girl and to be able to know her now, it brings me to tears,” Schlessiger said. “I still have so much to learn,” she continued. “It’s just like you’ve always known it, but you don’t know how you know it. (Walizer) is teaching us how we know it and how to teach others to apply it.” Respect for Walizer spans beyond her students. Dr. Chris Jochum, chair and associate professor of Teacher Education, said Walizer is “a great educator, a true mentor.” “She really has her hands on a lot of what we do,” he said. “She’s as big of a Tiger supporter as anyone, just a great advocate — for our program and for the university.” Walizer continues to live her dream of touching young people’s lives. In addition to teaching for nearly 40 years, she is instrumental in coordinating the Young Readers Conference, a biennial event that gives elementary school children in the region the chance to interact with nationally known authors and/or illustrators. Her research interest and grant work revolves around improving reading instruction and increasing student learning in technology-embedded classrooms. “With her teaching methods and applying it to teaching, it’s definitely touching a lot of lives,” Schlessiger said. “I know she really impacted my life. I hope I can be a teacher like that.” FHSU.EDU/coe




Conducting Research That Protects Communities




By Randy Gonzales Photography by Dr. Josh Durkee and Jared Tadlock


he state of Kansas averages about 100 tornadoes per year, second only to Texas in the United States. So, a storm chasing class at Fort Hays State University would seem like the perfect course to offer — especially when there is an experienced storm chaser on the faculty. Dr. Grady Dixon moved to Hays three years ago, and he offered his first storm chasing class at FHSU in 2015. Students receive credit for the class, which takes place in early June each year and is another example of providing hands-on learning at Fort Hays State.

Dixon, chair of the Department of Geosciences, has been chasing severe weather since he was a sophomore at Mississippi State University in 1998. Born and raised in the South, Dixon is no stranger to tornadoes. His research in tornado climatology, which started about six years ago, was born out of tornado beliefs of his fellow Southerners. “It became a communication problem, trying to explain to the general public when they were at risk,” Dixon said. “It seemed that people in the Southeast thought that their tornado season was the same as the FHSU.EDU/geo 21

Great Plains. They thought it was April, May, June. “They were always surprised - even though it happened almost every year - they seemed to be surprised that the storms always happened in the winter, that they happened at night, that they moved so fast.” Dixon realized more study needed to be done on the climatology of tornadoes that formed outside of the middle portion of the country known as Tornado Alley. In the Southeast, there might not be as many tornadoes in a season, but they tend to be long-lived. They also are more likely to affect population areas than in the wideopen spaces of the Great Plains. “The real answer, and this is what my research is showing, is that we have more tornadoes covering more ground and impacting more people over Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama,” Dixon said. “That’s why more people are dying there. You have a lot of tornadoes in



western Kansas, and they do cover a good bit of ground, but (the population is less dense).” Dixon believes Tornado Alley is a misnomer. His goal is to change the name. “I’m suggesting that we do away with the idea of Tornado Alley,” Dixon said. “But people like that. It’s misleading because it suggests that it’s this long, narrow thing — which it’s not. “I’m trying to encourage people to use the term Tornado Valley. Instead of being this narrow swath from Dallas to Omaha, it’s basically the Mississippi River Valley, stretching from the Rockies to the Appalachians. It’s more accurately describing where the tornado risk actually is.” Dixon has presented his tornado research at conferences, including a geography conference last spring in San Francisco. Dixon also had undergraduate students


“There’s so much more to weather than just tornadoes; all severe weather has its own interesting aspect to it.” Kara Sill, FHSU student present their research. Scout Wiebe, Lawrence junior, assisted in that research and made the trip to California. “Being involved with the undergraduate research, we were able to go and meet with graduate students,” Wiebe said. “There weren’t very many undergraduate students’ research (presented). It was really cool seeing the potential what my major could do after graduation.” For Dixon, late spring and summer means severe weather — and getting outside the classroom. And the chase is on. “Every year I would go out on storm chase trips for two weeks with colleagues,” he said. Now, Dixon still chases on his own but also has the storm chase class. Kara Sill, Medicine Lodge junior, was on last year’s storm chase trip. “I’ve always been interested in storm chasing,” Sill said. “When I found out Fort Hays State had a class that did that, I thought it was pretty interesting. “It was a blast. You can’t predict the weather, so you’re not guaranteed to see something every day. Grady did really well watching the outlook.” Dixon has his storm chase class see more than just severe weather; the students see the sights, too. Last year’s class traveled to as far as South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. Students visited Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Sill, who has seen one tornado in her life and several that almost formed, enjoyed the 10-day trip even though they missed out on a twister. “We didn’t get to see a tornado,” she said. “Probably the best storm we chased was in Montana. It started as a shelf cloud rolling in. As it got closer we just stayed ahead of it. We got some really cool photographs; it was a f lying saucer-looking type of storm. That was probably the coolest chase we were on. We stayed on that thing for two hours.” “The class is a field experience,” Dixon said. “We take students and put them in front of severe thunderstorms. Ideally, they get to see a tornado. It’s supposed to tie everything together they have learned in class.” FHSU.EDU/geo






CAMPAIGN GOAL To raise $100 million in support of FHSU


4 1. Scholarships: $45,000,000 2. Programs of Distinction: $39,000,000


3. Athletics: $8,000,000


4. Student Life: $8,000,000

Study Abroad Student Organizations Fischli - Wills Center for Student Success

Academic Colleges Sternberg Museum Alumni Association Forsyth Library

Fort Hays State University is in the midst of the largest, most ambitious, fundraising campaign in school history – the Journey campaign. Each and every gift increases our capacity to grow and thrive. With that said, we are grateful and humbled to have already raised more than $52 million toward this effort.

By Diane Gasper-O’Brien


h, what a difference a year can make. Desmond Wiggan was working as a key account manager for Pepsi/Walmart in Charlotte, N.C., last summer, searching for an affordable master’s program in business administration, when a friend told him about Fort Hays State University’s MBA program. Now, Wiggan has finished his first year of his MBA program with a concentration in International Business — tuition-free — and is set to open a frozen yogurt business in Hays this summer. Wiggan was one of 10 FHSU students in China this past year, working as graduate teaching assistants while doubling as MBA candidates at FHSU’s partner institutions. In exchange for teaching nine hours of business classes to students at Sias International University and Shenyang Normal University, the GTAs receive nine hours of paid tuition for their master’s program as well as room and board and a $10,000 yearly stipend. They also receive airfare to and from China. Wiggan, who grew up in North Carolina, earned a bachelor’s in business management in 2012 from Winston-Salem State University, a public research university and a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina. He began checking out master’s programs at UNC, as well as North Carolina State — the state’s two largest public institutions — but thought their tuition was quite steep. “I would have had to pay roughly $50,000 for my master’s while working at the same time,” Wiggan said of the two large state institutions near his home. Fort Hays State’s MBA program celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, and has featured the Fort Hays State program as one of the 10 best for studying abroad in China. Among the other nine are prominent business schools such as Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business, University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Wiggan, for one, rates FHSU’s program number one –- hands down. “There is no opportunity I have found that even halfway relates to Fort Hays State,” he said. “I tell people about this, and it blows their minds.” The program has grown from a handful of students the first year in 2009 to nearly 20 for next year. 26


The traditional model for the China MBA program features students working with faculty on the FHSU campus for the first year, learning about classroom management, assessments, grading and research. They then travel to China for the second year of the program. However, FHSU was awarded extra positions in China to strengthen the program, including an alternate position. Wiggan was living in the newly completed Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall at FHSU during the fall 2016 semester when he learned there was a last-minute opening in the program. So instead of finishing out his first year in Kansas, Wiggan began packing his bags for China — and Sias University — and that was fine with him. “This is an awesome opportunity,” Wiggan said. “I’ve always had a drive for entrepreneurship, and this has helped me develop some skills and develop some key contacts.” Wiggan said there is so much more to learn than from just being

“There is no opportunity I have found that even halfway relates to Fort Hays State. I tell people about my experience and it blows their minds.” Desmond Wiggan, MBA candidate and graduate teaching assistant at Sias University, China in the classroom, both for his students and himself. “I am learning how dynamic and influential international trade really is,” he said. “I understand international business on a larger scale now.” Rachel Dolechek, MBA graduate coordinator for the W.R. Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship, agreed that FHSU’s China GTA program is valuable for everyone involved, including those working toward their bachelor of business administration.


“… not only for our MBA students who are working as GTAs in China, but also for our faculty and BBA students in China,” Dolechek said. “Our MBA students in this program value the experience of working and living in a culture different from their own. Our FHSU faculty in China value the assistance of GTAs with recitation sections for the BBA students.” Recitation sections are small groups of students broken out from the large classes of 100-plus. In those sections, the GTAs repeat material that was covered in class. “Going over the material a second time has proven very helpful for the (Chinese) students,” Dolechek said. Wiggan also thinks he has something to offer fellow students in leadership classes he is enrolled in. “It’s great for me because when I worked at Pepsi in North Carolina, I was in management,” he said. “I have real-world experiences that I can share. Management is all about leading people and handling stress and knowing how to properly and effectively handle situations. I think the students here in China appreciate that I can offer a lot of real-world examples.” Wiggan also has delved wholeheartedly into the Chinese culture, trying to soak up all the knowledge he can. “The food, the people, everything is different,” he said. “People stare at you, but you have to have an open mind. But it works well to talk about stereotypes in class. Their stereotypes are what their grandparents or the media have told them.” Wiggan has aspirations of being a consultant for American startup companies coming to China. Eventually, he would like to return to Jamaica — his parents are natives of the country — and help with economic development there. But for now, he is soaking up the culture in China and preparing for his wedding next summer after he graduates. “I wasn’t expecting this opportunity to be this great; it’s still kind of surreal,” Wiggan said. “I’m in a very fortunate situation, and I thank Fort Hays State for providing such a wonderful life-changing experience.”




By Randy Gonzales Photography by Jared Tadlock

24 28


FALL 2016 SUMMER 2017


ort Hays State University piqued Lester Peak’s interest in helping his community. As part of a community project in his Leadership 310 class at FHSU, Peak procured a 3,000-gallon water truck for the volunteer fire department in the small town of Kirwin, located in Phillips County. Peak and members of the Kirwin community and fire department worked with the Northwest Kansas Planning and Development office out of Hill City to put together a grant application. Kirwin not only received a $170,000 community development block grant for the truck but an additional grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation in Logan. What Peak learned in his online leadership studies class helped him during the process of obtaining the water truck. Peak did not work with other students in the class on the project. Instead, he relied on the assistance of members of the Kirwin community. He took the Leadership 310 class in spring 2015, but the grant was not approved until after the class, in October 2015.

“When I was looking into it, the Fort Hays State Virtual College was one of the most recommended in the country.” Lester Peak, FHSU Student

“It helps you create your goal, structure, find a way to get to that goal,” Peak said of his Leadership 310 class. “This isn’t something you could do by yourself. It was beneficial not only to me but actually the community. It helps us with fire protection.” The water truck was put to good use this spring when it was called on to help put out a large grass fire near Stockton. FHSU helped Peak help his community and surrounding communities, too. Peak received his Associate of General Studies degree with a concentration in

Leadership Studies from Fort Hays State in 2015. A Warrant Officer in the Army Reserve, Peak was recently promoted from Sergeant First Class. He is with the 451st Expeditionary Sustainment Company and trains out of Wichita. Previously, Peak trained with the 391st Medical Logistics Company, based out of Hays. “It enhanced my military career,” Peak said of his FHSU experience. “For promotion, they take your civilian education, your military education, they look at it as a whole to promote you.” Peak is 15 credit hours away from earning a bachelor’s degree in General Studies with a concentration in Health and Human Performance. Peak hopes Military Occupational Specialty courses he has been taking will put him on track to become a quartermaster. “Through (FHSU) classes I learned how to write, how to structure,” Peak said. Peak joined the Army Reserve when he was 38. Now 49, the Oklahoma native lives in Kirwin works at an ethanol plant in nearby Phillipsburg. He is a volunteer member of the Kirwin Fire Department. When Peak was looking for an institution to continue his education online,

he found FHSU to be a perfect fit. “It’s not only the convenience; they provide support for you,” Peak said. “You can get a hold of the instructors, you have that one-on-one. I highly recommend it.” Peak noticed FHSU came highly recommended, too. FHSU’s Virtual College has recently been ranked nationally by six online ranking websites. “When I was looking into it, the Fort Hays State Virtual College was one of the most recommended in the country,” Peak said. “They’ve always had somebody to help with tuition assistance and answer any questions I had — just provide support. They’re going to steer you on a path to make sure you are successful.” Peak admitted he was somewhat leery of online education at first. “I was a little nervous because it had been several years since I had taken classes,” Peak said. “I think the students that take virtual classes are the ones that really want to learn and get that degree. “It’s been a great experience,” he added. “The instructors have been fantastic. When I’ve had to interact with students on projects, they have been very supportive. I would recommend (FHSU online learning) to anybody.” FHSU.EDU/virtualcollege


by randy gonzales photography by kelsey stremel


hat one-on-one contact between student and instructor, that camaraderie among students, are what make the difference. And Fort Hays State University has done that, both online and on campus. FHSU’s Master of Arts in English summer program has been going strong since 1975. Each summer, teachers come together on campus for summer sessions to further their careers. “This is a program designed for teachers to get their master’s while keeping their full-time teaching position,” said Dr. Eric Leuschner, chair of the English Department. Denton Tulloch graduated from the summer MA program over the course of three years. Tulloch, an English teacher at Miami Dade College in Miami, Fla., learned in August 2013 he needed to recertify to teach English classes. He looked for an institution to get his master’s degree and chose Fort Hays State, first arriving in Hays in June 2014. He completed his degree in the summer of 2016. “The quality of the institution, the people that I met, how helpful they were,” were what stood out about FHSU, Tulloch said. “How could you not want to take classes with them? “The people in the program were helpful in so many ways,” he added. “I was away from home; I didn’t have a car. At the time I got there, you couldn’t call a cab.” Tulloch’s roommate would take him on errands or make a run to Walmart. Students have the option of living off campus or in residence halls. Stadium Place, the residence hall he stayed in, surprised Tulloch. “It didn’t look like a dorm,” he said. “It looked like your own home.” Tulloch, who lives in Winston, Fla., near Lakeland, said he 30



didn’t have much time to see the sights or taste the local cuisine connections with other teachers,” Scott said. while in Hays; he was too busy studying. Undergraduates can take the courses, too, which can be “The workload was heavy, very demanding,” he said. “But you beneficial for them, Leuschner said. walked away learning. We went in-depth, the things that we were “Here you are in a class with teachers in the field,” he said. studying. I found that gratifying. I think if you are taking courses at “They’re talking about their experiences.” the master’s level, you shouldn’t be just touching the surface. Summer sessions are divided into two blocks of four weeks each, “I think the education I got is comparable to education I would one in June and one in July. That model allows a student to finish in have gotten at any other institution of quality. I am certainly very a minimum of two years when taking 15 hours a summer. appreciative of that.” According to the Tulloch believes living on campus English Department’s proved invaluable. website, the summer MA “It’s a very bonding experience,” program is designed for Leuschner said. teachers but is open to Tulloch knew what he was looking all students. Students for, and he found it. get the reading lists in “The truth is, I was not looking February, take classes over for an online program,” Tulloch said. the summer and complete “I wanted to sit in the classroom. Not papers and projects by the that there’s anything wrong with an end of the year. online program, but for me that’s what Dr. Eric Leuschner, Chair, FHSU Department of English “If somebody is I wanted. That’s why Fort Hays State looking for an opportunity was good for me.” to study English at this Tulloch’s tale is similar to the level, you feedback Leuschner receives over and over. should not “One thing you hear from our students is they want the secondface-to-face experience,” he said. “It’s worth the time and guess the money to come here for four weeks or eight weeks.” quality That’s why FHSU keeps doing what it does best, teaching of that English in the summer while providing both innovative and program,” traditional teaching methods. It works. said Tulloch, “I think there is still a market for it,” said Dr. Pauline who grew up Scott, who advises the department’s graduate students, and in Jamaica who expects about 20 students in the Summer MA program and also was this year. “There are very few programs like part of the ours in the country, where you can be a teacher FHSU English year-round and go in the summer, do all your Department’s classwork, be face-to-face with your teachers — summer which they really like.” exchange Scott said those students with a degree in program in English have options. Germany. “I’ve been to quite “We do have a lot of students who end up in a number of institutions — different places,” she said. “They don’t end up all not just in this country, but teaching English. They end up working in public other countries — and Fort relations; they end up working in human resources. Hays State is top quality. I Some go to law school. It gives you a skill that’s would highly recommend it.” marketable.” By choosing a residency model, students are able to leverage networking opportunities and create relationships that last long after the program is over. “It’s great for teachers (taking the classes) because they make

“This is a program designed for teachers to get their master’s while keeping their full-time teaching position,”



3,800 Acres of

By Diane Gasper-O’Brien Photography by Kelsey Stremel





rom growing up on his family farm near Collyer to working on two different degrees at Fort Hays State University, Ethan Ziegler has come full circle. Ziegler received a bachelor’s degree in medical diagnostic imaging from FHSU in 2011 and worked for three years at Hays Medical Center. When he heard about a job opening in precision agriculture at Carrico Implement in Hays, he successfully sought that position. “I guess you can’t take the farm out of the farm kid,” he said. Early on in his career at Carrico, Ziegler realized he wanted to continue to learn more about the advancement of today’s agriculture, and he didn’t have to look further than his alma mater. So he enrolled at FHSU again and graduated in May with a second degree — in agronomy. “Probably one of my best decisions is going back to school after being out in the industry,” Ziegler said. “I can take what they teach me in class and go apply it to work right afterward.” That career route is not uncommon, said Don Benjamin, interim chair of the Agriculture Department, especially considering that agriculture is a major force in driving the Kansas economy. “We’re seeing an increase in non-traditional students who have been in the workforce and have college hours, coming back to get their degrees in ag,” Benjamin said. “If you look at the Kansas economy and analyze each particular job, 50 percent of the economy is dependent on agriculture, from transportation to processing to retail sales. Almost 2 percent of the Kansas population is actively engaged in farming; everything they produce stimulates the rest of the economy.”



Fort Hays State is instrumental in stimulating that growth with a complete education in agriculture — both in the classroom and out, as in hands-on opportunities on the university farm. About 30 students work on the 3,825-acre university farm either part time throughout the school year or full time in the summer. They gain extensive experience with livestock and crop production. While agriculture continues to advance and adapt new technology to meet the needs of an increasingly global economy, FHSU is making giant strides in keeping up with the times. That is reflected in enrollment growth, from 275 agriculture majors three years ago to more than 300 today. This past year and a half alone, students have been able to participate in three major projects involving the agriculture department and/or the university farm. In February 2016, FHSU was awarded a grant of more than $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for developing curriculum focused on the use of drones in precision agriculture. It was one of the larger federal grants ever received by Fort Hays State. ‘“The Precision Agriculture grant has allowed our students to




“You can teach students the theory in the classroom, but you can’t teach them experience. Here at Fort Hays State, they get both.” Don Benjamin, Interim Chair, Agriculture Department become knowledgeable and gain experience with data collection and interpretation to enhance agricultural production systems,” Benjamin said. “This grant has aided in the students’ education preparation to meet employers’ job requirements.”     This past January, six FHSU students prepared more than 20 head of Hereford and Red Angus cattle for the annual National Western Stock Show in Denver. Just two months later, a bull sale at the university farm provided both funds for the department and invaluable experience for the students. For several months, students fed and cared for the bulls, most of which were Red Angus and SimAngus from the Mann Ranch in the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas. “This was a tremendous opportunity to work with a successful ranch that provided hands-on educational experience for students and provided a positive economic impact for our beef division and agriculture department,” Benjamin said. FHSU also is registered with the Mustang Federal Trainer Incentive Program. In that program, the university acquires yearling mustangs from the Bureau of Land Management to use in Dr. Robert Keener’s horse production class. The mustangs are wild and have never been handled before coming to FHSU. In Dr. Keener’s class, the mustangs are gentled and taught basic training methods, including halter breaking,

leading, picking up their feet, grooming and trailer loading; then they can be adopted to their forever homes through the Bureau of Land Management. “Working closely with them builds trust and animal handling skills,” said Keener, assistant professor of agriculture. “They provide hands-on classroom experiences, not just with handling the horses, but also with anatomy, structure, soundness and animal health.” Over the course of a semester, students learn and change just like the horses. “I have seen students who are quiet and shy in the classroom make a connection working with the Mustangs. They open up and begin to apply soft skills they have learned in the classroom and round pen to life. Students grow and develop a

confidence that only comes with hands-on experience.” Another opportunity for students was revived this past year when the livestock judging team was restarted, under the direction of Kevin Huser. The livestock judging team attended six contests in 2016-17 and finished the year with a bang. It won the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest in Manhattan in April. FHSU swept the top three individual places in the process, led by individual champ Michael Dix, a junior from Stockton. Earlier this semester, the judging team hosted the Northwest Kansas 4-H/FFA livestock judging contest that featured 160 contestants. “We are only able to facilitate these contests because we now have an active livestock judging team,” Huser said. “Therefore, we have the experienced students to appropriately handle the contests.” Also claiming first place at NACTA was the computer applications team, led by Ziegler, who finished as the individual runner-up.

The fact that FHSU students fare well in competitions that involve schools with much larger enrollments can be attributed in part to the broad range of experience on campus — and beyond. Benjamin said he thinks Fort Hays State gives students an advantage with the exposure to the university farm, offering them a complete well-rounded education. “I think for this size of institution, the size of the college farm is one of the largest for a non-land grant university,” he said. “Most have some hands-on application, but not this big. I’ve always said that you can teach students the theory in the classroom, but you can’t teach them experience. Here at Fort Hays State, they get both.” FHSU.EDU/agriculture



Tygrysem (I am a Tiger)

By Diane Gasper-O’Brien Photography by Emma Henry


er dream was to play basketball in the United States. But when Nikola Kacperska headed back to her native Poland in May, she took with her a duffle bag full of fond memories, enough to last a lifetime. Kacperska also had a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University in hand. Now, she can proudly tell the people back home, “Jestem Tygrysem.” (I am a Tiger.) The 5-foot, 4-inch dynamo who most fans knew as the fiery guard wearing the No. 4 black and gold Tiger jersey, found the hospitality at FHSU and the Hays community much to her liking soon after her arrival on campus four years ago. “If I would have been in a bigger city, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today,” she said. “When I got here, I knew this is the place I should be. The way people treat others, here was the perfect place for me.” FHSU also gave her the opportunity to find herself, she said. “I think I grew up here, a little bit at least,” Kacperska said. “The experience here at Fort Hays State taught me so much. People I met here, they created the feeling of home. Leaving here will be very sad for me. They are part of me.” Kacperska had hopes of playing basketball for a larger school in America, but she had difficulty passing the English test. When she did master the test late in the summer of 2014, Fort Hays State was one school still interested in adopting a foreign athlete for four years. “We watched her on film, and we could see that she handled the ball well,” said Talia Kahrs, assistant coach for the Tiger women’s basketball team. “Then when she got here, she was a lot more athletic than what we could tell on film. It was a nice surprise.” The Tigers also were pleased with Kacperska’s work ethic. “As a rule, when we get an international player, they have very 36



defined goals,” FHSU head coach Tony Hobson said. “They are very serious students. They’ve got a lot at stake.” “It was a big adjustment from playing overseas to here,” Kahrs said. “So her attitude of wanting to get better was impressive. She really embraced the team mentality and became a real selfless person.” Kacperska was pleasantly surprised how basketball is played in America. “(Coaches) are more open for point guards to shoot here,” she said. “In Poland, I was just a passer. Here, Coach gave me more space and told me to shoot.” So shoot she did. Kacperska finished her career with 898 points, including 140 3-pointers — sixth on the top 10 career list for FHSU women’s basketball. She increased her scoring average every year, but it didn’t come without a lot of work. Kacperska spent hours in the gym, whether with teammates or shooting by herself. When she wasn’t working out, Kacperska said she also enjoyed spending time with other students. Another freshman new to campus in 2013 who befriended Kacperska immediately was Jill Faxon from Beatrice, Neb. While the language barrier caused a bit of a challenge in communicating, the two newcomers to the team soon found a

“I think I grew up here, a little bit at least. The experience here at Fort Hays State taught me so much.” Nikola Kacperska, FHSU student from Poland

common bond — in a language they could both speak fluently. “Once she got on the ball court, you could tell she knew the game of basketball,” Faxon said. “She can see the court; she could see things on the court I couldn’t see.” The two became friends off the court as well and enjoyed learning the differences in each other’s culture. “It was interesting to hear about her life in Poland,” Faxon said. “When I was growing up, all my summers were nonstop at playing in some sport. But she worked a lot more and helped out her family. I know her mom has a business back home, and she helped out with that.” “People are not as crazy about sports in Poland as they are here,” Kacperska said. “Here, people love sports. In my country it’s not a big deal.” Kacperska learned just how big a deal women’s college basketball is at Fort Hays State — and in the state of Kansas. During her sophomore year, the Tigers put together one of their best seasons since joining the NCAA, advancing all the way to the Central Region championship game. The Tigers’ 30-4 overall record is one of only two 30-win seasons in FHSU women’s basketball history. Enthusiasm in women’s basketball continued into the next year, when the Tigers won 16 of their first 17 games, including the first 10 of the season.

Kacperska was part of this year’s record-setting senior class that posted an overall record of 96-26, the best consecutive four-year record ever for the Tiger women’s program. Kacperska traveled home to Poland each summer during her college career, but she was eager to return to Kansas every fall. She had found a home away from home that suited her just fine. Besides getting the opportunity play basketball, Kacperska had found that she enjoyed American college life in general. College life in Poland is very exhausting,” she said. “School is from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here, teachers are more open, and the schedule is so different.” Kacperska was impressed with the opportunity to choose her own classes at Fort Hays State. “In Poland, you can pick your major, but (the college) then assigns you what courses to take,” she said. Content with her course selection, Kacperska settled into life on an American campus with two goals in mind: improve her basketball skills and graduate with a bachelor’s degree. “She struggled at first with English, but she speaks four languages,” Hobson said. “How many of our students speak four languages? She had a 3.4 GPA. To see her go through basketball and keep that kind of GPA, it’s really impressive.” Kacperska was seldom bored. In addition to working toward a bachelor’s degree in political science, she had lots of work to do on the basketball court. That kind of work ethic was an inspiration to Faxon — and others as well. “If you want to get to where you want to be, you have got to put in the time and work,” Faxon said. “It showed the freshmen and the new players what you have to do to be successful.” Shala Mills, chair and professor of political science, said that while Kacperska surely will take home a suitcase full of life lessons, the professor learned something from the student as well. “I really enjoyed having her in my Global Challenges class,” Mills said. “It’s really fun when you have students in the class from other countries, learning about their way of life. It’s always great when your subject matter is international in nature, and those students can speak from a first-person perspective.” On the court, Kacperska saved her best for last. During Senior Night — the last regular-season game in Gross Memorial Coliseum this year— Kacperska was joined at midcourt by her mother, who made the trip from Poland for two special occasions. After Kacperska’s FHSU basketball accomplishments were announced, her fiancé, Daniel Stah, who also traveled from Poland for the big night, emerged from the crowd with a bouquet of flowers. He handed Kacperska the flowers, dropped to one knee and popped the big question. Kacperska said “Yes,” and then five nights later, she gave FHSU faithful another night to remember. In the senior’s final contest on the GMC floor, Kacperska hit 6-of-8 from long range in the first half in leading the Tigers to an 83-46 victory. Now, she hopes to take the lessons learned at Fort Hays State back to her native country and transfer them to the basketball courts of Poland. “I’m more mature than when I first came here,” she said. “Now, I made my dream come true to play basketball in America and I want to go home and try to make a national team.” FHSU.EDU/international


HELPING PEOPLE LIVE BETTER by diane gasper-o’brien photography by jared tadlock





program that began at Fort Hays State University at the turn of the century is still helping people turn their lives around. Clients with a variety of neurological disorders exercise at the Neuromuscular Wellness Center in Albertson Hall — which features a recumbent cross trainer called the NuStep — up to five days a week to improve their health. Caregivers also have been known to spend their clients’ entire hour time slot at the center, which is open several hours during the weekdays. For a small monthly fee, more than 25 clients are currently participating in the program, which always welcomes newcomers. Dr. Charmane Kandt, coordinator of the center, said the primary focus of the program is wellness and walking and she is excited about the arrival of new equipment by the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. The Stroke Recovery and Wellness Center was begun during the 1999-2000 school year as part of a new physical therapy program at Fort Hays State. Sandy Billinger, then an FHSU undergrad student, worked closely with the program as part of her research on the positive

effects of exercise for stroke patients. Dr. Charmane Kandt took over as coordinator of the center in 2001, and its name changed to fit its mission. Under Kandt’s direction, the center has developed into a program that benefits clients with disorders that range from paralysis to multiple sclerosis, from ataxia and epilepsy to cerebral palsy. And, of course, there are still stroke survivors who visit the center regularly. “People would call me who hadn’t had a stroke and ask, ‘Can you help me?’ ” Kandt said. “From the beginning, there were a few people there who hadn’t had strokes, and I thought let’s help anyone we think we can help.”

The program also is a boon for FHSU students, who work in the center as part of a class requirement. Coincidentally, one of those students is Michael Thomas, Billinger’s son who graduated in May with a degree in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in exercise science. Thomas was in elementary school when his mom moved from Hays to eastern Kansas. But he decided to follow in her footsteps and continue his education at FHSU after graduating from GardnerEdgerton High School in 2011. “Working in the lab helps you determine if that’s what you want to do,” said Thomas, who is pursuing programs for physical therapy assistants. “It’s so helpful getting that hands-on experience,” he continued, “and it made me see that this is the right choice for me.” Shawn Herrman, a junior from Hays, agreed. “This has been a really good experience, getting to work with a lot of different people,” said Herrman, who is majoring in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in sport and exercise science. The center, Kandt stressed, features something different than a rehabilitation program such as in a hospital setting. “It’s a fitness program,” she said, describing the cardiovascular, mobility and functional exercises tailored specifically to each individual client. “We ask them what they want to achieve and help formulate workouts based on that,” she said. The NuStep was one of the first machines brought to the stroke clinic. The design of the machine allows clients to participate in a low-impact exercise program with its smooth stepping motion and

comfortable seat. “We developed several exercises that can be used on the NuStep,” Billinger said, “and it just took off.” Still today, clients are using NuSteps for their regular exercise routine. One of those is Louise McCord from Hays, who first came to the center to gain strength in her legs before a knee replacement. While there, Kandt was doing a routine check on McCord’s blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation and detected a heart problem. McCord promptly had it checked out, and she said she wouldn’t dream of skipping her exercise routine at the center. FHSU.EDU/hhp/nwc


“Exercising gives me strength and confidence. It definitely has improved my quality of life.” Greg Thyfault, Neuromuscular Wellness Center client

“I feel like it’s helped my overall health,” McCord said. “It gives me a purpose, and it makes me be self-disciplined. I can’t say enough about what exercise does for me.” The center is located just down the hall from the Herndon Speech-Language -Hearing Clinic, giving clients the opportunity to participate in both programs the same day. That has proven invaluable to Jacob Houghton, a 23-year-old cerebral palsy client from Hays. “Jacob had transitioned to the Herndon Clinic for speech and physical therapy and occupational therapy after he was finished at Hays High School,” said Jacob’s mother, Tonia Houghton. “Then we started going to the wellness center, too. It has been so great for Jacob, because he interacts with the (FHSU) students and considers them his peers,” rather than medical staff. Greg Thyfault from Hays said the center 40


helped “give him his life back.” Thyfault said he battled depression when he was left a paraplegic after shattering his T-3 vertebrae in a 2009 car racing accident. “When the reality set in of what I could not do, I didn’t think I could get any better,” said Thyfault, who is paralyzed from the waist down. “I thought that was just the way my life was going to be.” He heard about the Neuromuscular Wellness Center later that year and started frequenting Albertson Hall. “And I’ve been going there ever since,” Thyfault said. “The college students are so good to work with. They showed me the exercise programs, and then there was the social part of it, too.” Now, Thyfault helps others as a program services director for LINK -- Living Independently in Northwest Kansas -- an independent living services program based out of Hays. “Exercising gives me strength and confidence,” he said. “It definitely has improved my quality of life.” Convincing clients of that is not always an easy task, Kandt said, but she welcomes the challenge. “The hard part is to get people to do things they couldn’t do before,” Kandt said. “I tell them, ‘Let’s find a way.’ ” That never-give-up attitude undoubtedly helped Neal Flesher from Hays, who suffered a heart attack in 2007 and had a stroke in 2008. “They help you figure out what your exercise needs to be,” said Flesher, who turned 84 in May. “If you’re doing it wrong, Charmane helps you get it right. I’ve seen a lot of improvement since I’ve been going there. It’s such a great program, and I highly recommend it.” Billinger has been able to watch the progress of the program she was a part of more than 15 years ago through her son’s involvement as an FHSU student. “I am so proud and just amazed,” Billinger said. “I think it’s fabulous the center has evolved into what it is today.” Participation in the program is a win-win situation for all involved, Kandt said. “The clients teach us about their experience,” she said, “and we all learn.”


May 27 to Sept. 4, 2017

Spend a day with life on a supercontinent Sternberg Museum of Natural History 300 Sternberg Drive Hays, KS 67601 TM

Web: Phone: 785-628-4286 E-mail:

TIGER Notes SHARE YOUR NEWS We want to hear from you, whether it’s new employment, honors, appointments or births. Visit alumupdate or send your news to FHSU Alumni Association, One Tiger Place, Hays, KS 67601 or email


Tad Felts ’55, Phillipsburg, was named a Covenant Builders Hometown Hero by FHSU Athletics Association. Loren Schmidtberger ’51, Pompton Plains, N.J., authored his memoir, The Beginner’s Cow: Memories of a Volga German from Kansas, published by Truman State University Press.


Bud Estes ’68, Dodge City, was appointed to serve on the Select Committee on Education Finance in the Kansas Senate. Wilmer and Lorena (Mendenhall) Kellogg ’64, Hays, donated $1 million for FHSU student scholarships in education, business, and athletics. Virginia Lorbeer ’63, Aurora, Colo., received the Leadership Award from Sportswomen of Colorado. Larry Noffsinger ’67, Highlands Ranch, Colo., was inducted into the Tiger Sports Hall of Fame by the FHSU Athletic Association.


Lea Ann (Scott) Curtis ’76, ’82, Topeka, retired as the director of the Advantage Center at the Washburn Institute of Technology. Michael Ediger ’78, ’81, Lawrence, was recognized by Kansas International Educators as the organization’s chair for the past two years. He was simultaneously serving a concurrent appointment as the State Representative for Kansas on the NAFSA: Association of the International Educators Region II Team. He will continue in an advisory capacity as past-chair for KIE in the coming year. Darryl Gleason ’70, Wichita, retired from his position as the director of social services at Good Samaritan Society completing 45 years of social work service. Glen Grunwald ’71, ’77, Hutchinson, was selected as the Kansas Association of Broadcasters’ 2017 recipient of the Hod Humiston Award for Sports Broadcasting.


Dianna (Stephen) Hart ’74,’80, Bogue, retired as a business/computer teacher at Hill City High School. Melinda McAfee ’72, Stillwater, Okla., is a part-time development writer at the OSU Foundation after retiring from her position as the senior director of gift planning.

engagement and grant development at Seward County Community College, Liberal. LeRoy Likes ’93, Haysville, was awarded the Texas Regional Music Award for Out of Region Personality of the Year as well as the Out of Market Station of the Year award for the third year in a row.


Bryan Maring ’92, ’94, Eudora, is an area sales manager with Exact Sciences.

Jim Denning ’80, Overland Park, was appointed to serve as chair of the Select Committee on Education Finance in the Kansas Senate.

Dustin Schlaefli ’96, ’97, Hays, presented “The Revenue Replacement Strategies: Monetizing Wi-Fi Management in Homes and Businesses” at the Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and Expo.

Kimberly Carlson ’81, Bella Vista, Ark., was hired as the director of marketing and communication for the Bella Vista Property Owners Association.

Keith Dreiling ’83, ’90, Hays, presented “Addressing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder with Universal Design for Learning Initiatives” and “Getting Close, Letting Go: Service-Learning for Preservice Teachers at a Homeless Shelter” at the Hawaii International Conference on Education in Honolulu. Kevin Faulkner ’83, ’83, Saratoga, Calif., donated a $100,000 cash gift to the entrepreneurship program at FHSU as well as a $100,000 deferred gift in his estate. Linda (Bunker) Ganstrom ’80, ’86, ’90, Hays, was named a fellow by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts at the organization’s national conference in Portland, Ore. Curtis Hammeke ’85, ’93, Hays, was inducted into the Barton Community College Sports Hall of Fame, Great Bend. Katrina Hess ’89, Hays, was named the 2017 Business Woman of the Year by the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. Leslie (Zeldin) Paige ’81, ’87, Bison, received the 2017 National Association of School Psychologists Presidential Award at the annual NASP convention Sandy (Constable) Rempel ’84, Hutchinson, was named 2018 Elementary Teacher of the Year of USD 313. Kristi (Keyse) Schmitt ’83, Scott City, was selected as the officer in charge of Task Force Broncbuster at the Garden City Armory. Beverly (Price) Temaat ’82, ’95, Spearville, was hired as the vice president of student affairs and risk management at Dodge City Community College. Rick Warnken ’85, Great Bend, is a staff accountant at Spectrum CPA Partners, LLC.


Charity (Whitney) Horinek ’91, ’15, Sublette, is the executive director of alumni



Eber Phelps ’96, Hays, was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, serving the 111th District.

Troy Slater ’92, Richmond, Miss., is the minister at Faith Lutheran Church. Gerard Wellbrock ’90, Hays, was named 2016 National Sports Media Association Sportscaster of the Year for the state of Kansas. Tamara “Tammy” (Brooks) Wellbrock ’94, ’02, Hays, is a member of the class of 2017 Leadership Kansas. Michael Berges ’04, Hays, of Ameriprise Financial was awarded a professional degree in the field of long-term care, Certified in LongTerm Care (CLTC). Anthony “Tony” Kemper ’01, ’03, ’08, Huntington, W. Va., was named head coach of the Marshall University women’s basketball team. Meagan (Schmidtberger) Wellbrock ’07, Victoria, was promoted to principal at Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball.


Morgan Hammel ’15, Clay Center, is a loan processor at Union State Bank. Michaela Kuhn ’16, Hays, is a teller with the Golden Belt Bank. Courtney Nemecheck ’15, Hays, is the team lead of course materials at the FHSU Bookstore. Regan (Ochs) Reif ’13, Great Bend, was promoted to chief operations officer at Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chartered, and was recognized as the 2016 NextGen Leader of the Year during the 95th Annual Meeting & Banquet for the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development. Marcia Tacha ’11, ’14, Hays, was hired as a senior administrative assistant of FHSU Intramural & Recreational Sports. Paul Whalen ’11, Fort Thomas, Ky., a contracts attorney for the U.S. Department of Energy, was named secretary of the Gateway Community College Board of Directors.

TIGER Notes James Whitehead ’16, Bennett, Colo. is a quality control specialist at Hess Services Inc.

Donald W. Smitherman ’38, Denver, Aug. 24, 2016.

Richard Williams ’10, Crofton, Md., retired from the United States Coast Guard.


BIRTHS 1990s

Howard “Andy” ’96, ’07 and Janett ’00 (Naylor) Tincknell Hays, a girl, Violet Grace, Sept. 7, 2016.


Justin “JJ” ’00 and Susan ’06, ’06 (Oborny) Deges, Bogue, a boy, Matthew Leonard, Aug. 31, 2016. Stephen and Amanda ’00, ’02 (Westphal) Embree, Overland Park, a girl, Ava Renee, June 6, 2016. Dan and Brenda ’04, ’04 (Hoffman) Gaston, Leawood, a girl, Adelyn Marie, July 28, 2016. Bryan and Cassandra ’06 (McDonald) Wilson, Abilene, a boy, Bolton Lee, March 22, 2016.


John ’10 and Sara ’10 (Allen) Walraven, Nixa, Mo., a boy, John Everett, Jan. 6, 2017.


Troy Essex and Chandra Daffer ’98, Oct. 17, 2015.


Charles Loader and Kelsey Krier ’03, April 29, 2017. Dustin Pestinger ’08 and Kylie Krahl ’12, ’12, April 22, 2017.


Jake Durham and Danielle Dougherty ’14, ’16, June 18, 2016. Brian Riedel and Tori Clark ’16, Sept. 24, 2016.


Lenore (Burris) Peterson ’39, Beloit, Jan. 18, 2016.

Dorothy E. (Reinhardt) Biggs ’46, Great Bend, Nov. 13, 2016. Benjamin D. “Ben” Mosier ’46, ’47, Hoxie, Jan. 17, 2017. Beverly S. (Strain) Olomon ’45, Garden City, Aug. 26, 2016. James C. Reed ’47, Wayland, Mass., Sept. 25, 2016. John R. Sites ’41, Fort Collins, Colo., Oct. 5, 2016. Vernon E. Walker ’49, Bella Vista, Ark., Nov. 19, 2014. Richard C. Welty ’47, Overland Park, Nov. 25, 2015. Willard F. “Doc” Werner ’49, Atwood, June 10, 2016. Rachel L. (Luder) Wurm ’42, Oberlin, March 29, 2017.


Warren E. “Whitey” Alpers ’57, ’63, Hutchinson, Jan. 7, 2017. Robert G. “Bob” Crotts ’59, Cimarron, Oct. 26, 2016. James R. “Jim” Feaster ’53, Syracuse, Aug. 17, 2016. Emma K. Kolb ’54, ’58, Hays, Nov. 20, 2016. Delbert E. Leiker ’51, ’72, Hays, Jan. 22, 2017. Donald L. Mai ’59, ’69, Oro Valley, Ariz., Jan. 18, 2017. Joseph H. “Joe” Mills ’59, Manhattan, July 13, 2016. Anna L. (Bishop) Milner ’57, Norton, Jan. 15, 2017. Charles L. Mueldener ’58, Arvada, Colo., Dec. 12, 2016. Darel D. Olliff ’59, Phillipsburg, Feb. 22, 2017. Max L. Rumpel ’57, Hays, Jan. 5, 2017. James R. Seachord ’52, Aurora, Neb., Aug. 27, 2016. Richard D. Simpson ’57, Laramie, Wyo., March 6, 2017. Gilbert C. Stadelman ’55, ’57, Wilson, Jan. 9, 2017. Roger H. Russell ’58, Saint John, Oct. 30, 2016. Glenn M. Thomas ’57, Lakewood, Colo., March 5, 2016. Wendell W. Wyatt ’56, Topeka, Jan. 16, 2017.


Gailen K. Bartel ’66, Harbor City, Calif., April 25, 2015. Frank B. Evans ’63, Hutchinson, Aug. 17, 2016. Eldon H. Fleury ’64, Seneca, Dec. 9, 2016.

Wilma R. (Fell) Fraser ’61, ’71, Redmond, Ore., Nov. 28, 2016. Dudley J. Fryman ’68, ’76, Garden City, Feb. 7, 2017. Janice K. (Jones) Gleason ’64, Larned, March 10, 2017. Cletis G. (Gilbert) Hammerschmidt ’67, Hays, Oct. 10, 2016. Harold B. “Bill” Helwig ’60, ’61, Crestview Hills, Ky., July 12, 2012. Lois J. (Kaspar) Hepner ’62, Prescott, Ariz., March 14, 2017. Jerry J. McCollough ’61, Kearney, Neb., Sept. 9, 2016. Neil W. McNerney ’62, ’88, Goodland, April 13, 2016. Patricia L. Whisler ’69, Russell, Nov. 21, 2016. Darrell W. Rogg ’66, Salina, Oct. 22, 2015. Norman R. Schippers ’65, ’69, The Woodlands, Texas, March 26, 2017. Jay G. Sekavec ’63, Monument, Colo., Feb. 4, 2017. Barbara L. (Patterson) Sherard ’63, ’68, Springfield, Mo., Oct. 17, 2016. Wilma K. Washaliski ’60, McCracken, Feb. 14, 2017.


Esther S. (Garon) Halling ’72, Colorado Springs, Colo., Oct. 19, 2016. Vada E. (Dinkins) Hertlein ’72, ’76, Augusta, Sept. 9, 2016. Theda H. (Howell) Rose ’70, ’71, Pratt, Nov. 5, 2016. Barbara I. (Bolt) Stull ’70, Osawatomie, Dec. 15, 2016.


Michael J. Ahrens ’81, ’85, Bend Ore., March 30, 2016. Terri S. (Ashida) Fields ’85, ’87, Winfield, Jan. 25, 2017. Amy M. (Rodriguez) Hale ’88, Hutchinson, Jan. 4, 2017. Jerry K. VanAllen ’89, ’90, Topeka, Jan. 8, 2017. Lorraine J. (Mather) Volker ’87, Lawrence, Sept. 26, 2016.


Jacquelyn L. “Jackie” Hand ’91, Palm Harbor, Fla., Sept. 9, 2016.

Paid Members, Non Alums

James L. “Jim” Peteete, Hays, Nov. 28, 2016. Lois M. E. Wheeler, WaKeeney, Jan. 20, 2017. Helen L. (Alford) Hayse, Mullinville, Jan. 29, 2017. Louise (Stilwell) Chittenden, Pampa, Texas, Nov. 15, 2014. Ida J. (Watkins) Faurot, Sublette, May 23, 2016.



GRADUATE SCHOOL GRADUATE PROGRAMS Master of Fine Arts Master of Arts in English Master of Arts in History Master of Business Administration Master of Liberal Studies - 19 concentrations available

Master of Professional Studies - 14 concentrations available

600 Park Street Picken Hall, Rm. 306 785-628-4236

Master of Science in Biology Master of Science in Communication Master of Science in Counseling Master of Science in Education Master of Science in Education Administration Master of Science in Geosciences Master of Science in Health and Human Performance Master of Science in Instructional Technology Master of Science in Nursing Master of Science in Psychology Master of Science in Special Education Master of Science in Speech-language Pathology Education Specialist in Advanced Professional Studies Education Specialist in School Psychology Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Shop the latest in Tiger apparel and gifts at the Fort Hays State University Bookstore

FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY BOOKSTORE 600 Park Street | 785.628.4417 |


APPLY TODAY! PURSUE A DEGREE IN TECHNOLOGY STUDIES Communication/Drafting/Design Construction Technology Construction Management Manufacturing Technology Industrial Technology Technology Education Teacher Technology Leadership

PURSUE A DEGREE IN SCULPTURE The Studio Art degree program at Fort Hays State University is well suited for students who are mainly interested in pursuing a career in visual arts. Students will develop their creative skills and produce work that demonstrates critical and creative thinking. Students will receive a well-rounded art education through studying painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, photography, graphic design, and interior design.


FHSU.EDU/appliedtechnology (785)628-4211 FHSU.EDU/artanddesign (785)628-4247 FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY Department of Applied Technology Department of Art and Design

Art and Design students are part of a vibrant community of student and faculty artists who enjoy producing their own artwork and collaborating on group projects.

BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS CONCENTRATIONS BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS – GRAPHIC DESIGN Students will learn the process of visual communication, and problem solving through the interaction of conceptual thinking, typography, images, space, and color in order to convey information to an audience. BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS – INTERIOR DESIGN This degree will teach students how to work with clients and other design professionals to develop design solutions that are safe, functional, attractive, and meet the needs of the people using the space. BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS – STUDIO ART Students will receive a well-rounded fine art education through studying painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, photography, graphic design, interior design, and Art History.

BACHELOR OF ARTS CONCENTRATIONS 600 Park Street Rarick Hall, 102 785-628-4247

Bachelor Of Arts – Studio Art Bachelor Of Arts – Art History Bachelor Of Arts – Art Education

DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC AND THEATRE MUSIC AND THEATRE MAJORS, MINORS AND GRADUATE STUDY UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS Bachelor of Music in Music Education Bachelor of Music in Performance Bachelor of Music in Composition Bachelor of Arts in Music Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts (coming soon)

Bachelor of General Studies, Theatre Studies Minor in Music Minor in New Media Studies (coming soon)

GRADUATE PROGRAM Master of Liberal Studies, Concentration in Music Master of Profession Studies,


FHSU Music and Theatre

Concentration in Composition

Master of Profession Studies, Concentration in Performance

STUDYING MASSAGE THERAPY CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF THOSE YOU TOUCH. The massage therapy program at Fort Hays State University offers numerous opportunities for students, whether they’re just starting school or coming back to continue their education. The certificate program is flexible—it’s offered in a hybrid, online/on-campus format and can be completed in just two semesters.





FUN. Want a unique nature experience? Then, visit the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. KWEC overlooks Cheyenne Bottoms; the largest inland marsh in the United States. Walk through state-of-the-art exhibits that tell the story of Cheyenne Bottoms. Discover the magnificence of these wetlands and the animals and plants living there.



1-877-243-9268 •

KANSAS ACADEMY OF MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE AT FORT HAYS STATE UNIVERSITY Kansas’ premier residential early-entry-to-college program for high school juniors and seniors. Students selected to the academy earn a minimum of 68 hours of college credit in addition to graduating from high school. The premier deadline to apply is December 15. Students may apply after this deadline, though acceptance is contingent upon unfilled spots in the program. For more information on the academy or to schedule a visit, please contact us at: 600 Park Street 785-628-4690 Phone Hays, KS 67601 785-628-4077 Fax

Earn Your Master’s in

ENGLISH Summers-Only MA Program

Or Year-Round Option with Assistantships Available • Only two summers residency required • Scholarships available (both summer and year-round) • Among the lowest out-of-state tuition rates in the country • Reduced tuition for residents in Colorado, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Nebraska • NCA and NCATE accredited • Established, quality master’s program Getting started:

It’s easy to get started with our streamlined application. Visit FHSU.EDU/english/MA-Programs or call 785-628-4285.


Forward thinking. World ready.

Fort Hays State University Department of English 600 Park Street Hays, KS 67601-4099





Invoke Thought


Through the presentation of varied forms of performing arts, the Special Events Committee strives to educate, inspire, invoke thought and entertain. The goal is to promote artistic expression, cultural understanding, and social awareness at Fort Hays State University and in Western Kansas through the presentation of diverse, high-caliber performing arts programs.




















Schedule subject to change.

















For current information, visit us at:

We’re a company in love with technology. WE’VE IMPLEMENTED BUSINESS I.T. SOLUTIONS ALL OVER KANSAS.









2418 Vine • 625.7070 •



Chartwells at FHSU can create a customized menu for all of your catering needs. From box lunches to Presidential Galas, we have you covered. Book now and receive a 10% discount! *

(785) 628-5396 *If booked and executed in the months of November/December 2016, January 2017.

Non-profit Organization US POSTAGE PAID FULTON, MO PERMIT 38


INTERESTED IN GRADUATE SCHOOL? Consider the Master of Business Administration program at FHSU! The FHSU MBA program allows you to attend classes when it’s convenient for you - on campus or online!

Choose from 13 career-enhancing concentrations in: - Accounting available only on campus


Digital Marketing Finance General MBA Studies Health Care Management Human Resource Management


Information Assurance International Business Leadership Studies Management Information Systems Marketing Sports Management Tourism and Hospitality Management

NO UNDERGRAD BUSINESS DEGREE? NO PROBLEM. Taking four foundation courses will get you up to speed, and you can start MBA coursework at the same time.

Master of Business Administration

To learn more, contact MBA coordinator Rachel Dolechek at 785-628-5696 or Complete details are available at

FHSU ROAR Magazine | Summer 2017  
FHSU ROAR Magazine | Summer 2017