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CONTACT Fall 2018

Christian McQueen ’18 hugs last year’s Commencement Speaker Nicholas Petron, Jr. ’68 as he received his diploma. Christian majored in Business Communications, and currently lives in New York City, where he auditions almost every day for roles in Broadway musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, as well as modeling video shoots. Petron is the professor and chair of the Department of Theater at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.




2 Homecoming & Family Weekend Highlights

5 KWU takes second place in global space challenge 6 Our Strategic Plan

Kansas Wesleyan University Fall 2018

KWU President & CEO: Matt Thompson, Ph.D.

Contact is the official alumni magazine of Kansas Wesleyan University and is published by the office of Marketing and Communications.

Vice President of Admissions & Advancement: Melanie Overton, Ed.D.

Managing Editor: M. Olaf Frandsen Senior Director of Marketing and Communications Marketing and Communications Coordinator: Logan JP Schrag

Office Manager: Linda Baumberger Development Officer: Jennifer Rein G’10 Alumni Engagement Officer: Kendall Carter ’17



7 What does it take to Thrive at KWU? 8 Pioneer Society Recognition 10 Students gain research experience off campus

Board of Trustees Executive Committee: Emily-May Richards, Chair Charlie Grimwood, Ph.D., Immediate Past Chair Jeff Bieber ’71, Vice-Chair Jon Starks, Treasurer Jane Philbrick ’80, Secretary KWU Foundation: Ken Ebert, Chair Dennis Berndt ’92 Joyce E. Gorton ’67 Theresa L. Kepple ’86 Robert L. Meyer ’73 Frank C. Norton ’54 Steve Scofield ’65

9 12 13 14 16

11 Students and Alumni find success in Washington, D.C. 12 Faculty Spotlight

16 Updates on your favorite Coyote sports teams

13 Faculty, Staff and Board updates

17 Welcoming our newest coaches

Kansas Wesleyan Alumni Council: David Branda ’76, President Randy Lamer ’06, Vice President Rick Dahl ’99, Treasurer Lori Trow ’82, Secretary Writing Assistance: Melissa Harstine David Toelle ’08 Paula Hermann Photo Credits: Tanner Colvin ’11 Amanda Colgrove ’15

Graphic Designer and Magazine Layout: Amanda Colgrove ’15

Follow us!

@goKWU or @KWUCoyotes

14 Class Notes

Kansas Wesleyan University

To change your contact information or to share news, click the MYKWU portal on the top banner of our website: www.kwu.edu. Send address changes to: Advancement Office 100 E. Claflin Ave. Salina, KS 67401 Contact Information: Website: www.kwu.edu Alumni email: alumni@kwu.edu Advancement and MARCOM: (785) 833-4341 Read Contact Magazine Online: Website: www.kwu.edu/news

Kansas Wesleyan University

Dr. Thompson recognized Juan Maldonado ’17 as a Teacher of Promise at the Graduation Celebration Dinner in May.

A message from

President Matt Thompson Since its earliest days, Kansas Wesleyan has valued the importance of integrating its formal curriculum with extracurricular and co-curricular offerings. We were among the first in the nation to embrace intercollegiate athletics and, by the late 1800s, debate, music and theatre had all become integral to the KWU experience. In our new strategic plan, we are profoundly committed to leveraging the power of what Kansas Wesleyan has always been and to actualize it more fully in a world that requires vision and creativity. The strategic plan for 2018-2021 is focused on a singular theme that underlies our mission and emboldens us to be the institution to which we have been called: The Power of And. The Power of AND We know that the integration of studies and activity participation produces exceptional graduates. Our liberal arts core enhances student success. This is affirmed by national surveys; employers want to hire former student leaders because of their ability to work collaboratively, balance multiple priorities, communicate effectively and exhibit goal orientation. Our own six-month-graduation surveys indicate that our newest alumni are becoming employed or entering graduate school at higher-than-national levels.

While The Power of AND has been at the heart of our students’ experience, we must help them more clearly understand the lessons they are learning and how to translate those experiences into post-collegiate-life terms and applications, both personally and professionally. There are few fields in which our alumni have not played pivotal roles in establishing and broadening the boundaries of thought, such as aeronautics, agriculture, business, education, law, medicine, religion, science and technology. This is true, not only because we encourage the development of creative thinking and acumen, but because of the learned traits of resilience, determination, grit, and vision, which are a result of The Power of AND. This strategic focus is supported by the tenets of our campus community and undergirded by our United Methodist roots. Many years ago, Kansas Wesleyan students selected the versatile and adaptable coyote as the school’s mascot. While Coyotes are strong individually, they thrive in packs, using the group for both support and encouragement. The deep care evidenced among our faculty, staff, and students unites our pack. It is the strength, safety and communal bond of the pack that will support and enhance The Power of AND.

Moving Toward 2021 We have successfully used the last few years to deepen our understanding of who we are, whom we serve and how we create productive graduates. This strategic plan is focused on amplifying these attributes to make sure they are experienced by every student in meaningful ways. The responsibility to shape the lives of our students is a serious one. Our students, their families and, in some cases, their employers are investing significantly in Kansas Wesleyan. They deserve a phenomenal experience that leads them to the outcomes they desire and the ones that we all need. I look forward to seeing you back with the pack for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2018 in October. Sincerely,

Matthew R. Thompson, Ph.D.


Reminisce with former classmates while exploring campus, dining with friends and enjoying fun, family-friendly activities. Find out what’s new and different about students and academic life today. Catch up with friends and meet new ones! Make plans now to return to campus this fall.

Weekend Highlights FRIDAY, OCT. 5

8:30–10 a.m.

12–4 p.m.


8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Noon–1:30 p.m. 1:30–4 p.m. 4–5 p.m. 4–7 p.m. 6–8 p.m. 7 p.m.

7:30 p.m.

Campus Tours Coyote Golf Outing Golden W Social/Luncheon Welcome Lounge Breakthrough Reception Larry Thomas Art Exhibit Alumni Awards Dinner Women’s Soccer vs. York Alumni Theatre Production

SATURDAY, OCT. 6 8–10 a.m.

W Club Breakfast and Athletic Hall of Fame Inductions

11 a.m.

Noon–1 p.m. Noon

1 p.m. 2 p.m.

3:30–5 p.m. 5 p.m. 8 p.m. 8 p.m.

Alumni Flag Football JV Volleyball vs. McPherson Men’s Soccer vs. York Family Picnic Alumni Baseball Game Volleyball vs. McPherson Choir and Orchestra Concert Tailgating and Kids Zone Football vs. Saint Mary Alumni Theatre Production Yotes on the Patio


10:30–11:30 a.m. Worship Service

2018 Alumni Award Winners


The following have been selected to receive awards during the Alumni Awards Dinner and Campus Update on Friday, Oct. 5, at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Salina:

Dr. Charlie and Pat Grimwood

Ralita (Estwick) Cheeks ’07

Charlie and Patricia Grimwood began their careers at Marymount College where Pat became Director of Counseling and Dean of Students and Charlie became an Associate Professor of Biology and Assistant Academic Dean. In those roles they first became acquainted with Kansas Wesleyan University as they worked with KWU counterparts and taught KWU students. Pat and Charlie met as Kansas State University students, from which Pat holds a B.S. in Education and M.S. in Counseling and Charlie holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biology. He has a M.S. in Administration (health services specialty) from Central Michigan University and B.S. from Colorado State University. Pat works part-time as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) for Veridian Behavioral Health of Salina Regional Health Center (SRHC). She served in numerous professional organizations, including as president of the Kansas Mental Health Counselors Association, the Kansas Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors, and the Kansas Counseling Association. She served over eight years on the USD 305 Board of Education, including two terms as its chair. Charlie is in his ninth year on the Board of Trustees and is immediate past chair. He is committed to improving the health and sustainability of rural communities. He retired in 2015 as Vice President – Regional Development at SRHC where he was responsible for clinical programs, led strategic planning, and was SRHC’s representative to multiple rural hospitals. He has been an adjunct faculty member at George Washington University and served on the national Board of Examiners of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. Through Grimwood Strategies LLC, he continues to provide strategy and performance consulting to rural health care providers from Vermont to Kansas to Idaho. He was board and campaign chair for Salina Area United Way and a 28-year member of the Salina-Saline County Board of Health, serving multiple terms as its chair. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, was a 7-year seasonal ranger at Mount Rainier National Park and is an Eagle Scout.

Ralita was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX. She began attending Kansas Wesleyan in 2003 where she became freshman attendant and participated in basketball, track and cheer. She graduated from Kansas Wesleyan University in 2007 with a bachelors in criminal justice and a bachelors in religion. Ralita went on to graduate from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS, with a masters in school education with an emphasis in school counseling. Thirteen years ago, Ralita married fellow alumnus Pastor Brandon Cheeks ’05 and started her family. Ralita Cheeks is now the proud mother of six children ranging from ages 1 to 11 years old. Ralita has spent a number of years working with youth at the mental health center in Salina, KS, where she received an award for her outstanding service. While working at the Mental Health Center Ralita pursued her masters and upon completion she began working in the USD 305 school district as a school counselor. During her years as a USD 305 counselor Ralita received the Bank VI Hero Award. She is currently the counselor of Chisholm middle school in Newton Kansas.



Robert “Bob” Murray ’71 ALUMNI SERVICE AWARD

Bob Murray came to Kansas Wesleyan University in the fall of 1967 to play basketball for Coach Ken Cochran. He graduated in 1971 and taught social sciences at Bennington High School, in Kansas, for 40 years. During that time, he coached almost every sport. Bob coached women’s basketball at KWU in the 1990s, and served on the Hall of Fame Selection and Night with the Yotes committees. He attends many games and activities on campus and enjoys the camaraderie. He is a current local volunteer with the Salina Initiative for Restorative Justice and Circles of the Heartland. Bob’s wife is Pat (Pilger) Murray ’69 and they have 2 children.

Dr. Climetine (Harris) Clayburn ’71 ALUMNI ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan University as a member of the class of 1971, Dr. Climetine Clayburn furthered her education with two masters degrees from Kansas State University. Her first masters was obtained in 1979, in the field of Curriculum and Instruction; and her second in Educational Administration in 1983. She went on to earn a doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Kansas in 1992. During her 40 plus years in her chosen career she served as a teacher, Title I Director, principal, District Equity Coordinator, District Parent Coordinator, as well as a District Supervisor for foreign language and social studies (K-12). She retired in December 2012 from Emporia State University, Teachers College as an associate professor. She has served on multiple committees for the state of Kansas, is a published author, and has the distinction of attending and presenting at the Oxford Round Table, July 2011, which was held at the Harris Manchester College, UK. Even in retirement she continues to give back to her community in many ways that affect the youth such as tutoring, picking students up after school, and giving them access to her home as a safe place to play.

Visit www.kwu.edu/homecoming2018 for a complete schedule of events.


2018 Hall of Fame Inductees Kansas Wesleyan will induct four individuals and one team into the Kansas Wesleyan Coyote Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 6, 2018, as part of Homecoming and Family Weekend activities. Inductees will be formally inducted at the Hall of Fame Breakfast on Saturday at 8 a.m. in Muir Gymnasium. Inductees will also be recognized Saturday evening during halftime of the football game.

Mark Brown ’76

Men’s Basketball Mark Brown transferred to Kansas Wesleyan, and in two years established a reputation as one of the best shooters in school history. He led the KCAC in free throw percentage in 1976 with a mark of .914, and he shot just as well as a junior at .913. Mark had field goal percentages of .596 and .558, mostly from long range. Brown was twice honorable mention All-KCAC as four starters during his playing days. He earned honorable mention All KCAC recognition in 1975 and 1976. At his graduation, Mark ranked #2 in both season field goal percentage and career field goal percentage.

Deena Baker ’97

Softball Deena Baker was an outstanding softball player for the Coyotes from 1991 until 1993. In her career, she tallied 166 hits which included 24 doubles, 12 triples and four homeruns and drove in 112. She was a career .427 hitter for the Coyotes, which helped earn her three First Team All-KCAC

honors and two NAIA District 10 selections. After graduation, Baker pursued mission work with the Salvation Army. She also served in the United States Army, earning an Army Achievement Medal and Army Commendation Medal for her work while on tour in Iraq.

Jim Ranieri ’98

Football and Soccer Jim Ranieri played football for four years for the Coyotes, placekicker for two years and handling punting and placekicking duties for two years. Ranieri was a very accurate placekicker and had a breakout season in 1994 punting, leading the KCAC and the NAIA in punting with a 46.2 yard-per-punt average. He was Honorable Mention All-KCAC in 1993 and was a First Team All-KCAC selection in 1994. Ranieri was a First Team Division II NAIA All-American. In 1994, in all levels of football, he only trailed Todd Sauerbrun, who was a second-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 1995, in punting average. Ranieri then continued his athletic career at KWU playing soccer two seasons, helping the 1996 inaugural season team to the KCAC Championship. He was an Honorable Mention AllKCAC selection in 1996 and was a team captain that season as well.

2007 Volleyball Team The 2007 Volleyball team had a historic run with a 17-1 record and winning the KCAC Championship for the first time since 1998. The team also won the KCAC tournament and advanced to the NAIA Region IV Tournament,

marking the first time in school history the team won both the KCAC regular season and tournament titles in the same year. That season the Coyotes became the first-ever KCAC team in the regional play era (1992-2007) to win a match at the regional tournament. The team’s 27 wins (27-8) were the most wins for the program since a school-record 34 in 1987. Sarah Claborn was the KCAC Player of the Year and continued on to earn All-Region IV and Honorable Mention All-America honors. Claborn, Kolby Rhoades and Kelli Berg were First Team All-KCAC; Whitney DuBois and Karissa Kent were Second Team selections. Rhoades and Berg were also named AllRegion IV. Head Coach Shawn Taylor was selected as the KCAC Coach of the Year.

Sarah Claborn ’11

Volleyball Sarah Claborn was a force for the Coyotes in 2007 and 2008 on the volleyball court. She is the all-time KWU leader for kills with 1153, kills per set 4.76, and is ranked number four all-time in attack percentage. She was a two-time First Team All-KCAC honoree, 2007 All-NAIA Region IV selection and a 2007 NAIA Volleyball Honorable Mention All-American. A member of the 2007 KWU Hall of Fame volleyball team, Claborn still holds the top two all-time season kill marks (589 and 564), the top two single season kill per set marks (5.03 and 4.51), the single season aces record (83–2008), and seven of the top single match kill performances in school history, including the top five marks led by a record 42 in 2007 against Peru State.

Scholarship in honor of Wes Jackson ’58 grows An appreciative group of Kansas Wesleyan University alumni have established an endowed scholarship in honor of pioneering conservation researcher Wes Jackson, Ph.D. The scholarship recipients will gain valuable insight into the research programs of The Land Institute (co-founded by Dr. Jackson in 1976) while assisting in the fields, seed processing facilities and laboratories. The annual scholarship will support a KWU biology student in good academic standing, with financial need, and an interest in ecospheric studies and the educational, research and outreach activities at The Land Institute. In

addition to hands-on work with the research programs, students will enjoy seminars with staff and visiting scientists. Dr. Jackson graduated from KWU in 1958 and returned to his alma mater, serving as a biology professor for several years. His professional career includes scientific publications and books establishing his leadership in the field of sustainable agriculture, now recognized as Natural Systems Agriculture. Key aspects of this field include preventing soil erosion, limiting greenhouse gases and decreasing dependency on toxic chemicals in agriculture. The Conservation Endowed Scholarship to honor Dr. Jackson

was initiated by his longtime friend Dr. Harold W. Keller ’60. The two scientists met while undergrads at Kansas Wesleyan. Their passion for botany grew through shared experiences on campus and summer work experiences with the U.S. Forest Service. Both men later attended the University of Kansas and completed graduate studies in the Department of Botany. Dr. Keller says now, after six decades of friendship and professional collaboration, he believes “it is time to pay it forward to the next generation.” Dr. Steven Blair ’62, Jeff Bieber ’71, Marla Beikman ’64 and Martha Rhea have spearheaded this philanthropic

effort alongside Dr. Keller. Total funds raised to date are $28,450 with the goal of reaching $50,000 in matching funds in a year’s time. The ultimate goal is to raise $100,000 from Dr. Wes Jackson’s friends, former students and others who support the vision and philosophy of The Land Institute. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please contact Jennifer Rein, KWU Development Officer, at (785) 833-4338 to make a gift or pledge by phone; or mail a check to Kansas Wesleyan University, c/o Jennifer Rein, 100 E. Claflin Ave., Salina, KS 67401. █

Soaring Students earn second place in global space balloon challenge At Kansas Wesleyan, Physics students learn about theory in textbooks, but a recent hands-on experiment took the students’ scientific knowledge to astronomical heights, earning them international recognition. KWU students placed second in the international Global Scientific Balloon Challenge (GSBC) among 554 teams from 68 countries. High altitude ballooning is catching the attention of people all over the world, thanks in part to the increasing popularity of the international GSBC, which encourages teams of all ages to combine science and technology to create and fly a high-altitude balloon to space and back. KWU Physics students took second place in the educational division of this year’s competition, behind a first-place team from Malaysia. The annual event attracts teams from around the globe. The launch from campus took place on April 22. The balloon was equipped with a GoPro camera, a GPS, and other ancillary equipment; it reached an altitude of 99,331 feet in two and a half hours before landing in Moundridge, KS. The team was comprised of KWU students, faculty and community members affiliated with Sky Science Over Kansas (SSOK). When Pete Sias, founder of SSOK, learned about the competition, he contacted Dr. David Kraemer, professor of Mathematics and Computer Studies to see if his students wanted to form a team with

LEFT: Taylor Todd ’18 works on equipment for the high altitude balloon. RIGHT: The high-altitude balloon looks over Kansas from 99,331 feet.

members of his organization. Physics professors Dr. Kristin Kraemer and Dr. Michael Bell, were excited about the unique out-of-laboratory experience, and their science and math students saw it as a way to apply their knowledge to a real-world project while gaining practical experience. The project included building a balloon that would carry an electronic sensor and ancillary equipment to the edge of space, ensuring it would work, returning it and retrieving data collected during the flight. In addition to building the balloon, the team wanted to measure atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The project allowed the students to focus experimental design, engineering, flight dynamics, thermodynamics, calculations, hypothesis testing and computer programming while they enhanced teamwork and problem-solving skills at

the bi-weekly work sessions throughout the spring semester. “The entire project was exhilarating,” said Samantha Chesser, a junior from Wichita, who is majoring in physics and mathematics. “I learned so much from all of the people involved, from industry engineers and photographers to math and physics students and professors. This project made me feel alive because I was physically doing something with all of the knowledge I’ve been learning in my classes.” Sias, a local engineer with a long history of educational outreach, recently spoke about the project at the Great Plains Super Launch symposium in Boise, ID, where the consensus was that this was the first amateur group to collect CO2 in a vertical profile. The data will continue to be analyzed by students during the upcoming academic year. It


Students included: Calvin Ainsworth, Samantha Chesser, Jacob Griese, Tanner Klingensmith, Christian Kornelis, Sergio Lopez, Taylor McClain and Taylor Todd. Team members included: KWU professors Dr. David Kraemer, Dr. Kristin Kraemer, Dr. Michael Bell and Dr. Ruth Moritz, as well as, Peter Sias, Tanner Colvin ’11, Asher Swank and Greg Holeman. will help the students and the community understand CO2 levels in Kansas, provide local credence and bridge the gap between both ends of the climate change discussion. The Physics Department will continue working with Sias and SSOK during the upcoming academic year.




Kansas Wesleyan University rolls out new strategic plan to meet student, community needs By M. Olaf Frandsen Every aspect of college life adds to the overall education of a university’s students. Dr. Matt Thompson, president at Kansas Wesleyan University, has committed to writing that belief in the form of a 3-year strategic plan that was unveiled in its final form earlier this year. Titled “The Power of Kansas Wesleyan,” an adjunct to the oft-heard campus mantra of “The Power of And,” the plan was developed over the course of about two years, Thompson said recently. The plan is a natural follow-up to a 5-year strategic plan that had come to a close by January 2018. There are some notable differences in the two plans as KWU strategizes for its long-term future with short-term goals. First, it’s a 3-year strategic plan rather than the typical five years. “Everything is moving too quickly in higher education these days,” Dr. Thompson said, mostly in terms of technological advances, but certainly in terms of student needs. In addition, “The Power of Kansas Wesleyan” focuses not just on the classroom, but rather embraces the concept of a holistic experience. The stated goal: “To deliver a holistic program of integrated learning experiences (academics, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities) tailored to the needs of our students and region.” Holistic education, Dr. Thompson noted, means involving “every aspect of the student experience into their education,



To deliver a holistic program of integrated learning experiences (academics, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities) tailored to the needs of our students and our region. so that students are developed fully. All those experiences need to be in alignment.” That is why, he said, it took two years to formulate the specifics of the plan, with the final 12 months encompassing what he termed “the heavy lifting” of committing the goals and objectives to writing, and achieving the approval and adoption of the document by the KWU Board of Trustees. The final plan is the outgrowth of hours of discussion, idea-setting, debate, planning and a deepdive into what makes the KWU experience distinctive The plan also utilized national student data as well as data derived from KWU’s own research, to better define the make-up of current students and the factors

that lead to their success. At the end of the three-year plan, Dr. Thompson noted, “We should have a much better understanding of who our students are. And they should have all the educational undergirdings they need to be successful in their future lives.” The proof is in the pudding: Last month, KWU was named by online media site Thrilllist as the best school in Kansas to attend if you wanted to find a job upon graduation.The rankings were based on data collection by Zippia, a career expert company, using the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System. The focus of the strategic plan takes a step beyond life on campus, though.

As Dr. Thompson noted, it also is about KWU’s relationship with its neighbors – the Salina and Central Kansas community at large. That led framers of the strategy to a two-pronged approach. “How do we better serve students,” Dr. Thompson said, “and how do we better serve the community? We believe the community is a significant part of the educational experience.” The plan is not without its message to the vast array of KWU alumni – a network of graduates who remain a significant part of the Coyote family. “You should be very proud of your Alma Mater,” Dr. Thompson said to alumni. “And you can continue to play an important role for us. Our students need more role models.”


LEFT: Rafael Mendez ’06, Tramaine Twitty ’16, G’17, Ernest Lazo ’04, Evan Anderson and Sam Buton show their Coyote pride.

Gift of time and talent Group uses analytics to help more students thrive at Kansas Wesleyan From the Houston Astros to online retailers, organizations across the country are using data analytics to make smarter decisions. Now, a group of young alumni are partnering with Kansas Wesleyan’s administration to apply those same techniques to help more students thrive at their alma mater. “It’s the same principles we use every single day in the business world – so how do we utilize it with a little different lens, and use it for the institution we love, in a way that allows us to move forward and enhance our strategic planning?" said Rafael Mendez ’06, a university trustee who is spearheading the Thrive Project along with Dr. Melanie Overton, Vice President of Admissions and Advancement. Mendez works at Acosta Sales and Marketing in Bentonville, Ark., along with Ernest Lazo ’04 and Salina natives Sam Bruton and Evan Anderson (son of former KWU art professor Brad Anderson and former director of alumni relations Jane Anderson). Together, they help small companies win big contracts with Walmart through fact-based sales and data analysis. This tight-knit group of friends is donating their time and talent to the

“I owe Wesleyan for more than my education. I owe Wesleyan because of the relationships that I gained from my time there.” – Ernest Lazo ’04

Thrive Project and leaving a legacy at Kansas Wesleyan. "My goal was always to give back to K-Dub,” said Mendez. "Making the decision to come here, meeting the people I met – it really saved my life and put me on a trajectory that I don't think otherwise I could have experienced." Predictive analytics is a complex field, so Mendez broke it down into three categories: What data is available? So, what does it mean? Now, what do we do with it?


The first step was to decide which variables to test. Success can be hard to quantify, so they worked with Dr. Overton to build a wellrounded student profile: GPA, home state, student loans, athletics, extracurricular activities and first generation vs. legacy students, among other attributes. Next, the team wrote a complex

formula to identify patterns. They were very strict about confidentiality and kept all data anonymous.

So what?

But data alone doesn’t tell a story. The team took a closer look to try to interpret those patterns and discern who truly thrived academically, socially and spiritually at Kansas Wesleyan during the past 20 years. Which factors are most likely to contribute to student success? From what regions should the university recruit? To test their hypotheses, KWU staff and students are conducting focus groups and telephone interviews.

Now what?

“This project is a tangible representation of how much KWU cares about student success,” said Dr. Overton. The insights gained from this work will shape recruiting and

help KWU refine its programs to maximize student success. Analysis will be ongoing, so representatives from KWU’s faculty, staff and student body are helping to carry the project forward. “When you can save time and effort and get better results, that's how you stay competitive,” said Anderson, who wrote the complex algorithm.

Giving back

“We were kind of rebels on campus . . . we were probably not the ones that people expected to be contributing in this capacity,” said Lazo. "But I owe Wesleyan for more than my education. I owe Wesleyan because of the relationships that I gained from my time there."


PIONEER PARTNERS ($25,000+) Advancing the Vision/Sacred Heart Jr/Sr High School Roy and Donice Applequist Blue Beacon International Bruce Culley William H. Graves Family Foundation Great Plains Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church John and Mary H. Hart Foundation Dr. Steven and Anne Hoekstra Estate of Harry and Sara Huber Robert Loyd ’68 James ’77 and Charlotte Nelson Dale C. Olson ’46 James and Emily-May Richards St. Francis Community Services Salina Regional Health Foundation Darwin L. & Delma M. Sampson Fund C & R Schauf Foundation Jack and Donna Vanier

LOCKWOOD CIRCLE ($10,000–$24,999) Barbara Arensman-Snyder ’53 Lee ’65 and Marla ’64 Beikman Jeffrey Bieber ’71 Estate of Joyce M. Bray Richard and Joyce Brown Dr. Kent ’65 and Adrienne Cox

Brad and Sandy Delker Edward Doherty ’47 Dr. David ’64 and Patricia Fancher The Hon. William P. ’76 and Linda Graves Dr. Gary Harbin/Orthopaedic Clinic of Salina Barbara A. Hauptli ’54 Kent ’72 and Pat Lambert Elden V. Miller Family Charitable Trust Jerry ’59 and Margaret ’61 Norton Joy ’58 and Leo Schell Steve ’65 and Jewelda Scofield Randy ’66 and Mary Ann St. Clair Sunflower Bank Verla Nesbitt Joscelyn Foundation

T. W. ROACH CIRCLE ($5,000–$9,999) Gustaf ’14 and Hannah ’16 Applequist Dr. Steven ’62 and Jane Blair Senators Robert and Elizabeth Dole Tom and Lou Ann Dunn *The Rev. Robert E. “Bob” ’51 and Delores Eades Pauline Eaton ’49 Dr. Frederic ’62 and Carolyn Gilhousen Gordon ’67 and Joyce ’67 Gorton Nadim ’65 and Sally Haddad Dr. Harold ’60 and Brenda Keller Marlene Lee ’61 Marshall Family Foundation/ Larry and Barbara Marshall

Martha Rhea Salina Arts & Humanities Commission Dr. Roy and Grace Smith Dr. Carolyn Hofer-Zimmerman and Mark Zimmerman

SCHUYLER CIRCLE ($2,500–$4,999) Ellene ’66 and Richard Austin Martin ’66 and Wanda Brotherton Dr. Robert ’66 and Patricia Bruchman Clark, Mize & Linville, Chartered Phil Coleman ’68 Eagle Technologies, Inc. Ken and Karen Ebert Dr. Dean Ellison ’80 and Mary Ann McElligot Dianne Fahring ’74 First Bank Kansas Focus on the Future Foundation IBM Corporation Matching Grants Kansas Independent College Foundation Merck Partnership for Giving Robert ’71 and Patricia ’69 Murray Jane ’80 and Brady Philbrick Ritter Tile Shop/Charlie ’60 and Mike Ritter S & B Motels/Stanley and Ursula Weilert Richard ’69 and Sarah ’70 Short The Rev. Dr. Marshall and Janice Stanton Dr. Matthew and Jennifer Thompson UMB Bank J. W. Welch ’72

STANTON CIRCLE ($1,886–$2,499)

Pioneer Society members gathered at the Kansas Beach House on June 15 for the annual spring social. Pictured left to right: Joy and Larry Smith ’78

Dale ’59 and Suzanne ’62 Bradley Andrew ’64 and Linda Deckert Steve and Pat Freemyer Larry ’64 and Janis ’65 Frutiger The Rev. Duane Harms Katie Hoffner and *Tim Foist Brian ’63 and Pat Hogan Marilyn ’68 and James Kirk Jack and Donna Lennon The Rev. Loren ’56 and Donna ’57 Marler Dr. William McCreary ’69 Dr. Patricia Ann Michaelis ’71 Steven and Pamela Michel Morrison Foundation Trust/Roger & Sissy Morrison Frank ’54 and Jeanne Norton Robert ’58 and Karen ’58 Pinkall Mary ’98 and John Quinley Marlene Selden ’55 Eugene ’60 and Glenna Sheets Dr. Steven Wilson ’80


Margie Chatfield ’71, Jeff Bieber ’71, and Karen ’17 and Ken ’17 Ebert.

STOLZ CIRCLE ($1,000–$1,885) James and Betsy Alexander Lucerne Anton ’76 The Rev. Tim ’76 and The Rev. Pat Ault-Duell Bank of Tescott Herbert Bassett ’65 Mike Baumberger ’96 Ray Beach ’66 Bennett Autoplex Inc. Mike and Debra Berkley Dr. Kent and Dena Berquist Dr. Ginny Bevan Gene Bicknell Dr. Aaron ’65 and June Blair Philip ’71 and Linda Bowman *The Hon. Dan ’62 and Dorothy ’61 Boyer David Branda ’76 The Rev. Victor ’66 and Eileen ’64 Calcote Dr. Yuan and Grace Chiang Carlene Childs The Rev. Harold Cooper ’59 Rebecca Copley and Don Johnson Marshall ’62 and Sandra Crowther Diane ’73 and Addison Davis Desert Foothills UMC Disabled American Veterans Kenneth ’63 and Janet ’64 DuBois Dr. Keelyn ’94 and Rebecca Ericson Al ’65 and Kathy ’67 Franzen Dr. Richard and Angie Frisbie Robert P. ’69 and Micaela Gibson Dr. Charles and Pat Grimwood Eric ’64 and Mollie ’63 Haberer Ken and Jessica Hakoda Lloyd Holbrook ’59 Jeffrey Horlacher ’76 Larry ’57 and Barbara Houdek Dr. Karen ’68 and Gerald Johnson Jerry Jones and Dr. Kathleen Barrett-Jones Larry ’72 and Sonja Kaiser Darrell and Mary Lemon Sarah Anne ’61 and James Lindblad Darlene Harris-Lindsley ’55 Wayne Lowen and Brigid Jensen-Lowen MJT Enterprises, Inc. Trisha Marietta ’71

The Rev. Bruce Marshall ’60 and Janice Rundle Marshall ’61 David Martin ’65 Dr. Gordon and Evelyn Maxwell James ’57 and Karen ’81 McClain Dr. Donna McKinley ’66 Robert ’73 and Karen Meyer Mark Miller and Julie Sager Miller Bryan and Peggy Minnich Brian ’89 and Crystal Mitchell Cheryl ’68 and Donald Monaghan David Michael Mortimer ’67 Dr. Arthur and Connie Neuburger Barbara Marshall Nickell Byron ’72 and Sandy ’73 Norris Dr. James Osorio Dr. Melanie and Rev. Charlie Overton Kaye ’57 and Barbara Pearce Dustin Pestinger Dr. Paul ’66 and Karla ’65 Peters Pete and Rita Peterson Nick ’68 and Regina Petron Kathleen ’84 and William Pierson Kay Quinn ’84 Michael and Susan Ramage Cynthia Richardson-Crooks ’75

Larry ’64 and Janis ’65 Frutiger and Ursula Weilert

Pioneer Society members provide annual support for the university in the amount of $1,000 or more ($500 for alumni who graduated within the last 10 years, faculty and staff). If you are interested in joining the Pioneer Society, please contact Jennifer Rein, development officer, at (785) 833-4338.

Chester Ross ’52 Kay ’64 and Max Russell Salina Rotary Club Wayne Schneider Larry ’78 and Joy Smith SSW Promotions Jon and Kathy Starks Sunset Properties Dr. Clifford ’51 and Jo Trow United Capital Management Barry ’10 and Lisa Weis Randy and Frieda Mai Weis Jeff ’92 and Marcia ’91 Wells William ’62 and Judith Yeager Dr. Gary and Mary Anne Weiner

MAYO CIRCLE ($500–$999) Matt Drinkall Marcus ’79 and Michelle Greene Mike and Paula Hermann Lois Madsen ’15 and Christopher Curry Randy Syring Karen and James Tumlinson * Denotes deceased


Research Experiences

for Undergraduates

Senior Calvin Ainsworth couldn’t help but shout when he checked his phone and saw the good news. He had been accepted into a prestigious summer research program at Oklahoma State University, and he didn’t mind if everyone in Pioneer Hall overheard his excitement. Ainsworth was one of three Kansas Wesleyan students who participated in a nationally competitive REU program during summer break. Funded by the National Science Foundation, REUs (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) give students a chance to try their hand at graduate-level research. The program is more than just fetching coffee or making copies. Students contribute in meaningful ways to ongoing projects at major research universities across the country. Calvin Ainsworth, senior Ainsworth, senior in physics from Diana, in physics, worked on a Texas – REU at Oklahoma hardware project for the State University focusing world’s most powerful on High Energy Physics. particle accelerator. He ran experiments to try to Christian Kornelis, senior develop a more efficient in physics from Copperas power supply for the pixel Cove, TX – REU at Kansas detectors located deep State University, focusing within the Large Hadron on Atomic, Molecular, and Collider (LHC). Optical Physics. Located near Geneva, Samantha Chesser, Switzerland, the LHC is junior in physics and math an international project, from Wichita, KS – REU with thousands of scientists at Boise State University, contributing their expertise. focusing on Material They hope to solve some of Science and Engineering. physics’ greatest mysteries and discover new, smaller particles. “I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Ainsworth. “It’s not really work when you enjoy what you come in to do!” Christian Kornelis, senior in physics, helped build a vacuum-sealed chamber for laser experiments at Kansas State


Samantha Chesser was selected for an REU at Boise State University.

University. It needed to be airtight to work properly. Using a torque wrench, he applied uniform pressure to all the bolts. Then, he aligned the optics to make sure the laser was straight. Kornelis said he was surprised at how much time researchers spend preparing experiments. Because of all the technicalities in building the tool, they only collected data for a week before starting the process all over again. “When you get to that point where you are collecting data, you see how everything works together and all your hard work comes to fruition,” said Kornelis. His efforts will help scientists understand how molecules change when hit with ultrafast, intense laser pulses. Samantha Chesser, junior in physics and math, conducted cutting-edge research that could make renewable energy even more practical and affordable for millions of Americans. She joined a team at Boise State University to take a closer look at asphaltenes. These small, molecular substances can be used to build flexible solar panels that are lightweight and cost less to produce than traditional panels made from silicon.

Although they have great potential, solar panels made from asphaltenes aren’t very efficient at the moment. Chesser’s team ran simulations on a supercomputer to try to understand how asphaltenes behave in various circumstances.

A Summer of Growth

All three students said that one of the best parts of their summer was meeting likeminded people. They could discuss scientific topics in depth and go on adventures together in their host community. “Everyone is excited, outgoing, and wants to be here and learn,” said Chesser. “And go explore the mountains!” REU programs give students a sense of direction for their future. Some love research and want to attend grad school, while others decide they would prefer a career in industry. Perhaps most importantly, REUs help students see themselves as true scientists. “It really builds confidence in them,” said Dr. Kristen Kraemer, a physics instructor at KWU. “They return to campus more focused.”


in the Capital Washington Center Internships Jump-Start Fulfilling Careers Two 2018 KWU graduates are already seeing the career benefits of their Fall 2017 internships in our nation’s capital. The Washington Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that orchestrates semester-long internships at sites throughout Washington, D.C. Participants gain hands-on experience in their field of study while building a professional network and exploring local historical sites. Kansas Wesleyan is the only institution in Kansas that has a partnership with the highly respected Washington Center. Emma Reitz ’18 developed her creative and analytical skills during a marketing internship at the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. Now, as the marketing director for Weis Fire & Safety Equipment in Salina, she applies those same skills in the workplace: 1. Planning a marketing campaign from start to finish. 2. Reaching the correct target market by considering what appeals to different genders, age groups, lifestyles, etc. 3. Speaking technically about her work and defending her artistic choices. “Kansas Wesleyan really gives you the opportunity to learn outside the classroom,” she said. “The Washington Center internship gave me a lot of confidence in what I was doing.” Joseph Layton-Santos ’18 gained valuable insight into the business side of video production during his internship at Double R Productions. In addition to polishing his filmmaking and editing skills, he wrote a press release for the first time, managed project timelines, and learned how to think critically about the best film shots for a scene. “It’s more than just making videos all day,” he said. This fall, the former offensive lineman is suiting up for a Masters of Business Administration degree at Kansas Wesleyan. He knows an advanced degree will equip him with essential business skills as he pursues a career in sports media.

Nearly 60 KWU alumni call Washington, D.C., home. These passionate leaders are using their professional skills to make a difference from our nation’s capital.

Dr. Aaron Blair ’65

Scientist Emeritus and former Chief of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics National Cancer Institute

A generation of farmers are reducing their risk of NonHodgkin lymphoma thanks to the work of Dr. Aaron Blair. As a cancer researcher, Blair combines the scientific techniques of his training with knowledge from growing up on a farm in Jewell County, KS. Blair’s team orchestrated a long-term agricultural health study to try to find connections between the development of certain diseases and exposure to pesticides and industrial chemicals. Beginning in the early 1990s, they followed a large cohort of farmers and their spouses and collected data through annual surveys. Findings from his work have been instrumental in setting guidelines for pesticide application. The risk of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma becomes much lower when farmers use protection while applying pesticides, then immediately wash up and change their clothes. “I was always interested in science, and Kansas Wesleyan did a really good job of accentuating that interest,” said Blair.

Cynthia Richardson-Crooks ’75

Director of Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Operations Division (EEOCO) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

If a worker with diabetes experiences low blood sugar, does her employer have to accommodate her request to eat a snack? Cynthia Richardson-Crooks, J.D., LL.M. addresses questions like these everyday. As director of EEOCO, she helps thousands of federal workers understand their rights and responsibilities under fair

employment laws. Her office also trains managers to identify and eliminate discrimination in the workplace. “I’ve always been a person who really resonates with the basic tenants of fairness,” she said. Her public service career began at the U.S. Department of Education as an equal opportunity specialist. In a memorable case, a legally blind man alleged that he didn’t receive extra time to complete the law school entrance exam. After Richardson-Crooks reviewed his case with the university, he gained admittance to law school. Deeply grateful, the gentleman gave Richardson-Crooks an African violet. The gesture impressed her and convinced her to continue in this line of work.

Dr. Stefanie Milam ’02

Astrochemist NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

When Dr. Stefanie Milam was six, she wanted to be a ballerina or astronaut. Now, as a NASA scientist, the entire universe is a performance hall where she watches comets and stars dance across the sky. Her work includes observing the chemistry of comets and stars through telescopes; lab simulations to understand how chemistry happens in space; and contributing to the James Webb Space Telescope project. The latter is the largest and most powerful telescope ever built for space. Its mission will shed light on the mysteries of the universe as it observes the first stars and galaxies. “The realm of possibility is endless!” she said. “We’re going to be blown away at the things we discover.” Dr. Milam is part of a team that has proposed to send a spacecraft to a comet and bring samples back for analysis. If selected, the samples will be returned and analyzed well beyond the 2030s. Dr. Milam will return to campus in May as our 2019 Commencement Speaker.


Professor shares lifelong passion for

Education F

or Susan Baird, teaching is more than an occupation – it’s a calling. There is a passion deep within her heart to teach, to care, to guide, to lead and to be the difference in a young person’s life. She spent 36 years teaching science and English at Southeast of Saline Junior High, but as retirement approached, she realized she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to educating the next generation. Baird joined the KWU family as an instructor of teacher education in 2016. Now, she helps future teachers gain the skills and confidence they need to be successful in the classroom. “I guess I wasn’t done,” she said. “I wanted something different, but I still wanted to make a difference.” Drawing from her own experience, Baird shares time-tested strategies for lesson planning, classroom management and integrating technology. She challenges her students to think for themselves and have opinions grounded in evidence. Susan Baird, Instructor of Teacher Education, has been influencing future teachers But, her most important lesson is to begin with at KWU since 2016. relationships and make a genuine connection with exams required for licensure. students. Rodriguez appointed to “I hope my students can see my passion for “Kids are going to pay more attention and want teaching in me every day and that they will foster to do better at school if you have a foundation of a Accreditation Council their own passion for teaching as they prepare to take relationship,” she said. their first teaching position!” Baird said. That philosophy applies to Baird’s relationship Dr. Kristine Rodriguez, Assistant The opportunity to teach at with her college students as well. Professor of Teacher Education, Director of Teacher Education and She gets to know them outside “I wanted something Kansas Wesleyan came through Dr. Wesleyan Experience, and the chair of Kristi Rodriguez. She sat in Baird’s the classroom by attending different, but I still the Division of Teacher Education, has classroom as a junior high student, their activities on campus. That been appointed to the Accreditation wanted to make a completed her student teaching under way, when they become student Council of the Council for the Baird’s tutelage and taught science and teachers during their final difference.” Accreditation of Educator Preparation. math in the classroom next door at semester, they know they can Dr. Rodriguez will serve a term on the Southeast of Saline. – Susan Baird reach out to Baird any time. council through June 30, 2021. “Susan has been in my corner for “A lot of people don’t realize The CAEP’s stated mission is as long as I can remember,” said Rodriguez, who is how challenging that transition is during student to advance excellence in educator currently the director of teacher education at Kansas teaching. It’s very taxing,” she said. “I feel like I am preparation with a goal of assuring Wesleyan. “She has empowered me – much like that person who is there to support them and get quality education preparation and she does her current KWU students – through her them through that experience.” support for continuous improvement to generosity, patience, insight, and motivation to be the Baird gives her student teachers freedom to strengthen P-12 student learning and person and educator I am today.” verbalize their frustrations before talking it through development. It was an easy decision to reach out to Baird when together. As the semester progresses, those end-ofMore than 800 educator preparation an instructor position came open at KWU. the-day messages take an excited turn: “You’re not providers participate in CAEP “Because of her passion for her subject matter, her going to believe how great this went today!” accreditation. Those providers including students and for teaching itself, I knew there was no Thanks to devoted teachers like Baird, an institutions of higher education as one better qualified to train our future educators,” impressive 100 percent of KWU students who finish well as numerous alternative routes to said Rodriguez. educator preparation. the teacher preparation program pass the Praxis PLT



New Hires

Bill Backlin, Academic Dean Abigail Bacon, Student Success Center Graduate Teaching Assistant Shawna Beckman, Assistant Professor and Director of Social Work Field Education Rhonda Bethe, Assistant Chief Financial Officer Tama Davidson, Accounts Payable Specialist John-Michael Greening ’18, Resident Director & Student Activities Graduate Assistant

Retired faculty member Gerald Gillespie, M.S., was granted emeritus faculty status at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony. Gillespie taught in the field of Psychology for 28 years at Kansas Wesleyan before retiring in May 2016. During his time at KWU, Gillespie attained tenure and rank of Associate Professor as well as being awarded Exemplary Teacher of the Year in 2000.

Faculty Update Dr. Ken Hakoda has successfully completed his Ph.D. in Education and Music Education from Teacher’s College of Columbia University in New York. Dr. Hakoda also is the Conductor for the Salina Symphony.

New KWU Foundation Board Members Joyce E. Gorton ’67, a resident of Salina, KS, taught school at Wilson and Hays, KS, for eight years, and served as the accountant and later the Corporate Secretary at Grain Belt Supply Co., Inc. Frank C. Norton ’54, a resident of Salina, KS, is the founder of Norton, Wasserman, Jones & Kelly, LLC (Salina, KS). He has been practicing law since 1956, working in the areas of planning estates; writing wills and trusts; planning family and charitable giving; probating wills; assisting persons or others who are purchasing homes, land or other property; setting up business organizations and working on business planning and operational matters. Norton previously served on the KWU Foundation Board 2000-10. Steve Scofield ’65, is a resident of Belleville, KS, and in addition to farming, has taught math and physics in four different high schools in Kansas over the course of his career. Scofield serves on the Belleville Endowment Committee and is a former city council member for the City of Belleville.

New Board of Trustees Members Cynthia Richardson Crooks ’75, a resident of Annandale, VA, is the Director of Health & Human Services Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and Operations (EEOCO). She is a 1975 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts and earned her LL.M. from Georgetown Law Center.

M. Olaf Frandsen, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications; MBA adjunct faculty member Linda Henningsen, Assistant Professor of Nursing Education Lisa Hodges, Director of Human Resources, Legal Services, and Compliance; MBA program advisor and adjunct faculty member; and Disability Review Coordinator Zachary Kyle ’18, Assistant to VP of Admissions & Advancement Josh Lewis, Assistant Football Coach Claire Massey ’17, Admissions Counselor

Sean Herrington ’93, a resident of Salina, KS, is a critical care specialist and co-medical director, Salina Regional Health Center. He is a 1993 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He received his medical degree from University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Shannon Masteller, Yotee’s Assistant Manager

Robert Allan Loyd ’68, a resident of Davenport, IA, is a retired Safety Specialist – US Army Munitions Command. He is a 1968 graduate of Kansas Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts and earned his Master of Science in Systems Management from University of Southern California.

Kayla Pearson, Assistant Director of Human Resources

New officers were also elected including: Chair: Emily-May Richards Immediate Past Chair: Charles G. Grimwood Vice-Chair: Jeffrey H. Bieber ’71 Treasurer: Jane A. Philbrick ’80

Logan Matthews ’18, Assistant Cheer & Dance Coach Christian Mitchell ’18, Resident Director

Elizabeth Rabe, Assistant Professor of Accounting Arden Schellert, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Program Director Logan JP Schrag, Marketing and Communications Coordinator Jason Schweer, Head Wrestling Coach Patsy Stockham ’94, Career Services Coordinator Taylor Reichard, Head Softball Coach Kevin Wright, Assistant Professor of Biology


Send your news and photos related to births, death, marriages, job changes, achievements, etc. to alumni@kwu.edu or Kansas Wesleyan University Advancement Office, 100 E. Claflin, Salina, KS 67401. When sending in photos for publication, please submit digitally in the highest available resolution. We look forward to hearing from you!


Janel (Prather) Bhattacharya started a new job at Aventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon.

On April 20, students enjoyed the opportunity to learn from six alumni, including Barry Weis ’10 (pictured above), who returned to campus to speak in various classes. To volunteer your time for our upcoming Alumni Visit Days, contact Kendall Carter at kendall.carter@kwu.edu or (785) 833-4339.

Class Notes 1959

Bill Austin was recognized by Shawnee Mission Health as a 2018 Hero in Healthcare. Austin has been volunteering at the hospital since 1998 and has accumulated more than 7,800 hours of service.


Tom White is serving as a KWU Admissions Representative in New Jersey.


Dr. Christopher A. Cantrell works at the Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systems Atmospherique (LISA) located on the campus of Universite Paris-est Creteil, in Creteil, France, a suburb of Paris. He received a Make Our Planet Great Again grant from the French government to perform research on atmospheric chemistry for five years.


Pratt, Kansas, named their ball field “Pinkall Field” in honor of Bruce Pinkall for his 30 years of service as recreation director for the city.


Darlene (Peterson) Wilson was hired as a Pre-K teacher at USD 308 in Hutchinson, Kansas.


Roger Wilson is the high school vocal teacher at USD 308 in Hutchinson, Kansas.


Brandon Cheeks, Sr. has taken a position as assistant principal in the Newton, Kansas, school system.

Kay ’55 and Jim ’58 Jarvis happily greet fellow alumni at the Salina Alumni Gathering.


Amanda (Stirn) Wagner works as a development associate at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, and was married on May 19, 2018.


Hannah Holt is now engaged to Garrett Young ’17. Madeline Christner was promoted from training officer to Communications Supervisor for the Garden City Police Department in Kansas.


Taylor Klover graduated from Kansas State University where she received her Masters of Fine Arts, she is moving on to teach at Weber State University in Utah, and she is newly engaged to fiancé Scott Bauer. Courtney (Wiggins) Miller resigned the career services position at KWU to be a dorm pastor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University of Texas in Waxahachie. Catherine Williams, a master’s student at Kansas State University, has received the 2018 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Excellence in Teaching Award for the master’s level. The award recognizes graduate students who excel in classroom teaching and promote awareness of graduate teaching contributions to the university’s scholarship and its teaching mission.


Joe Bondio G’18 is enrolled in the Police Academy to become a highway patrolman in Kansas City. Luke Curry is working as the Canton-Galva High School athletic director, making him the youngest high school AD in the state of Kansas. Dylan Hidalgo married Breanna Bodiford on April 27, 2018. Dylan also began working as a graduate assistant at Grand Canyon University. Brandon Maio G’18 has taken a position at Ridgecrest Charter School in California as a health & life skills teacher for grades 6-8. Keighley Miller will now be teaching at Louisburg in Kansas City. Niki Wilson G’18 started a new job as restaurant marketing director at Chick-fil-A.


Kimberlee (Blusher) Drinkall married KWU Head Football Coach Matt Drinkall on May 3, 2018.


In Memoriam Charles E. Kellogg, Jr. ’43, of Pittsburg, KS, passed away Oct. 15, 2017. B. June (Rogers) Smith ’49, of Portland, OR, passed away Sept. 27, 2014. Charles Earl (Charley) Hoffhaus ’50, of Prairie Village, KS, passed away Jan. 8, 2017. Bernie Bierman ’70, Phil Coleman ’68, Stan Razak ’73, Chuck Culley ’61 and Mike Malone ’70 enjoy an alumni gathering on campus this summer. Are you interested in helping organize an alumni gathering near you? Contact Kendall Carter at kendall.carter@kwu.edu or (785) 833-4339.


Tina Butts will be teaching K-5 Music at Spring Valley Elementary in Junction City. Paige Johnson started a new position at Salina Tech. Mariah Knox was hired as a graduate manager and video analyst to the Milwaukee women’s basketball staff. Katlyn (Davis) Krehbiel married Jacob Krehbiel on July 21, 2018. Kat is now a multi-media sales executive for the Salina Journal. Melissa Larson will now be teaching in Deerfield, KS. Madison (Mayberry) Nicholas married Blade Nicholas on May 8, 2018; Madison was started a new job at Cerner Corporation in Kansas City. Brylee New and Nick Murray were married June 3, 2018. Bay’lee Purdy accepted a full-time assistant coaching position at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, IA. Ian Reiss-Hodges started a new job as a sales associate and social media assistant at Warriors Playground. Tyler Smith accepted a full time coaching position in the women’s basketball program at Queen’s University of Charlotte in North Carolina.

Kansas Wesleyan is partnering with Publishing Concepts Inc. (PCI) to create a new alumni directory. Our 2014 directory project added 1,227 emails, 1,541 job titles, 1,239 employer names and 716 phone numbers to our alumni data base. At the request of many alumni, this year’s directory will include a special section with information on as many Marymount alumni as we can identify. Please expect a phone call from a PCI representative to update your contact information so other Coyotes know how to contact you. To learn more, contact Kendall Carter at kendall.carter@kwu.edu or (785) 833-4339.

Be a part of the conversation!

Follow us on Facebook for updates between Contact issues. Jim Perry

The lilacs blooming outside of Pioneer Hall is one of my favorite memories of KWU! The fragrance, especially after a light Spring rain, would carry across campus.

Lona Mcclanahan My favorite time of year at KWU!

Josephine Parker Kansas Wesleyan University

Class of 75. What beautiful lilacs and memories.

Kenneth R. Roots ’50, of Chapman, KS passed away June 3, 2017. Phyllis (Blank) Miles ’51, of Salina, KS, passed away June 14, 2018. Beverly (Trapp) Salmon ’57, of Salina, KS, passed away June 16, 2018. Harold J. (Hal) Hanable ’58, of Glendale, CA passed away April 29, 2018. R. B. (Rudy) Hayes, III ’60, of McCracken, KS, passed away Nov. 1, 2017. Jerrald E. (Jerry) Smith ’63, of Chapman, KS, passed away Dec. 8, 2017. Gary Kenneth Kindler ’67, of Esbon, KS, passed away Mar. 1, 2018. Wilma (Boller) Spellman ’70, of Salina, KS passed away Nov. 25, 2017. Pamela J. (Nelson) Harter ’82, of Hays, KS, passed away June 22, 2018. Lois (Roy) Holt ’82, of Salina, KS, passed away May 1, 2018. Ken Cochran, of Joplin, MO, passed away November 19, 2017, at the age of almost 85. “The Hound” as he was known at KWU, coached, started the Heart of America Sports Camps and later invented Pop-A-Shot. Clarice Emig, wife of former Board of Trustees member, Dr. Dale Emig, passed away May 10, 2018. Max Lee Folk, of Ellsworth, KS, passed away Apr. 15, 2018. James Montague, of Salina, KS, passed away June 17, 2018. He was a security guard at KWU from 1990-97. Dixie J. Pearson, of Lamar, CO, passed away June 14, 2018. Dixie was the wife of Larry Pearson ’59—they met while both were students at KWU. Roy Wilbur, former Board of Trustees member (’02-’08), passed away May 8, 2018.

16 16

Athletics SPRING REVIEW Men’s Basketball

Men’s Basketball finished the season 16-13 overall and 14-8 in the KCAC, the most conference wins since 2006-07 and the first time finishing over .500 since 2008-09 season. KWU also reached the KCAC playoffs for the first time since 2009-10 hosting Friends in Mabee Arena in the quarterfinals. Senior Terell Gandy was named the KCAC Defensive Player of the Year in the conference as well as Third Team All-KCAC and All-KCAC AllDefensive Team honors. Jamon Fulton was named Honorable Mention All-KCAC and Darius Hammond was named to the All-Freshman Team.

Women’s Basketball

Women’s Basketball finished 15-16 overall and 12-10 in the KCAC. KWU swept defending conference champion Tabor in the two regular season meetings between the teams. Coach Ryan Showman picked up his 100th career coaching win on January 3 against McPherson. Sophomore Courtney Heinen and junior Gabbie Miller were named to the Honorable Mention All-KCAC team.


Wrestling had a strong finish to its season in 2018. Two grapplers qualified for the NAIA National Championships, under a new direct qualification structure that eliminated the regional qualifiers and gave conference champions a direct bid to the national tournament. Tanner O’Donnell won the KCAC at 184 pounds and Taylor Moeder was the 141-pound champion and KCAC Most Outstanding Wrestler as both qualified for NAIA Nationals. Moeder became KWU’s first NAIA Wrestling AllAmerican finishing fourth in his weight class.

Indoor Track

Indoor Track saw the men finish 11th and the women 12th at the KCAC Championships. Michael Sarafin earned All-KCAC honors in the 3000m and the 5000m. John Greening was All-KCAC in the 800m.


Baseball finished 27-27 overall and 14-16 in the KCAC and were in a three-way tie for fifth, but missed out on a KCAC Tournament berth after applying tiebreakers. Rex Campbell carried a 38-game reached base safely streak during the season and earned Second Team All-KCAC honors. Pitcher Jakob Sandoval earned a KCAC Gold Glove. Yodai Nakamura, Ryan Cantrell and Zach Lehman were named Honorable Mention All-KCAC. Coach Bill Neale picked up his 100th career win on March 3 against Saint Mary.


Softball finished 18-26 overall and 8-14 in the KCAC. The team battled through a midseason coaching change. KWU saw Megan Krause earn First Team All-KCAC honors. Lindsay Maryon and Lauren Blue were Second Team selections and Tara Stubits and Emily Sparks were Honorable Mention selections. After the season, nine current and former KWU softball players were selected as part of a group representing the US playing softball in Italy for 11 days.

Women’s Golf

Women’s Golf won the KCAC Championship for the first time since 2015 with a dominating performance in the second leg of the KCAC Championships at Buffalo Dunes in Garden City in April. Senior Palmer Bosanko easily won the second leg tournament and tied for the overall conference championship. Follow the Coyotes all season on

Twitter @KWUCoyotes

The team won by 26 shots over Bethany in the final standings. The team played in the NAIA National Championships in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, in May. Bosanko, Tiara Diaz, MacKenzie Fabrizius and Carina Hernandez were named All-KCAC.

Men’s Golf

Men’s Golf finished in second place in the KCAC Championship race in 2018. KWU was only 12 shots behind Bethany in the final overall standings after five rounds of golf action. Ben Hadden, Coleman Houk and Troy Watson were All-KCAC.

Women’s Tennis

Women’s Tennis finished sixth in the KCAC and 9-10 overall on the season. The Coyotes faced McPherson in the KCAC playoffs. Paola Vargas was named KCAC Women’s Tennis Freshman of the Year and to the All-KCAC team. She was ranked 43rd in the ITA NAIA Women’s Tennis national rankings.

Men’s Tennis

Men’s Tennis finished the season strong winning six straight matches to earn the fourth seed and hosted Southwestern in the tournament’s first round. KWU finished the season 10-5 overall and 6-3 in the KCAC. Mario Rincon and Michael Moody were named Second Team All-KCAC.

Outdoor Track

Outdoor Track saw Michael Sarafin pick up a KCAC Championship in the 1500m at the KCAC Championships in Wichita. KWU also had several other All-KCAC performances at the Championships where the men finished tenth and the women twelth. Hannah Walter earned All-KCAC honors in the shot put for the women with an eighth-place finish.

FALL PREVIEW Cross Country

Cross Country looks to be right in the mix of things on both the men’s and women’s side. The women’s team will be led by returner Bailie Troll, but several new team commitments should pay immediate dividends for Coach Samford now entering his second season. On the men’s side, a strong group of returners led by Michael Sarafin and Grant Loewer should put the Coyotes in position again to battle for a spot at the NAIA National Championships.


Football will battle for a KCAC Championship this season. Head Coach Matt Drinkall is expecting close to 140 student-athletes in camp when practices start in August. Returning First Team NAIA All-American Trenton Poe-Evans anchors a strong returning group on offense, along with Demarco Prewitt and Eli Smith. On defense the Coyotes must look to replace key players on the line and at linebacker with the graduations of Garett Updegraft and Christian McQueen and Kretien Webb. Several new impact players will be called upon to fill key roles to start the season.

Women’s Soccer

Women’s Soccer will look to build on the successes enjoyed at the end of the 2017 campaign. A key group of returners will anchor the Coyotes at key positions in Deanna Baird (defense), Alyssa Skobis (midfield) and Kirsten Andersen (forward). A large group of newcomers will help push KWU back to the top of the KCAC and bring a title back to Salina.

Academic Awards Trenton Poe-Evans (football), Eli Smith (football), Palmer Bosanko (women’s at-large) and Grant Loewer (men’s track) were named to the Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams. Nominees to the Google Cloud Academic All-America® program must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.3 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) and must have attended their current institution for at least one full academic year and have reached sophomore athletic eligibility status. Honorees to the Academic AllDistrict First Team in their four respective districts are then considered for Academic All-America status as voted on by the National Academic All-America Committee. KWU had 42 student-athletes earn Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors in 2017-18. Volleyball had ten student-athletes earn the honor, the second highest total in the NAIA among the volleyball programs across the country. In order to be named as a DaktronicsNAIA Scholar-Athlete, student-athletes must have at least a 3.5 GPA as defined by the institution, be of junior academic status and have attended the current institution for at least one full academic year as a transfer or two full academic years as a non-transfer. There were 86 Academic All-KCAC honorees in 2017-18. Football had 21 Academic AllKCAC honorees, leading the conference. Volleyball had 13 honorees. In order to be named to the Academic All-KCAC team, student-athletes must maintain a 3.333 GPA as defined by the institution, be at least sophomore academic status and letter in their respective sport. PHOTOS ON PAGE 16: Top: Paola Vargas; Middle: Trenton Poe-Evans; Bottom: Russell McClung

Men’s Soccer

Men’s Soccer has several talented players returning for the Coyotes this fall, including Miguel Prieto, Diego Rodriguez and Tim Doherty. Second year coach Diego Cocon has put together a strong team for 2018 ready to compete at the top level of the conference along with top-five ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan, McPherson and Ottawa.


Volleyball will again be in the hunt for the KCAC Championship in 2018. The Coyotes return a solid group of players from last season led by seniors Kortney Cunningham, Aspen Lungwitz and Morgan Beougher. Coach Aubuchon has brought in several top recruits for the fall including Kansas State transfer and Salina native Shaelyn Martin who will work on her MBA while competing for the Coyotes this season.

NEW HEAD COACHES Prior to joining Kansas Wesleyan, Gidd Sasser led his alma mater at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to 10-0 in the 2017 Overwatch season and captured the Collegiate Southern League while increasing his roster to over 50 players. Sasser is the first full-time Head Coach of the Kansas Wesleyan Esports program. Josh Molino, a 2011 graduate of the University of Central Florida, came to Kansas Wesleyan after serving as the Director of Junior Tennis at Genesis Health Club in Salina. Molino has experience coaching varsity boys’ tennis at Detroit Country Day School in Beverly Hills, Michigan where his team won the Michigan Division 3 state championship. Taylor Reichard is the new softball coach, taking over for Shelby Graves who served as interim coach following the departure of Kevin Jannusch during the season. Reichard was most recently an assistant at Nova Southeastern in Florida. She also served as an assistant at Emporia State after a successful playing career at ESU. Jason Schweer, a 2012 graduate of Grand View University, is the new head wrestling coach. Schweer comes to KWU after spending three seasons as an assistant coach at University of the Ozarks, where he helped develop a new program into a competitive program at the NCAA Division III level.

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The Fall 2018 issue of Kansas Wesleyan University's biannual alumni magazine.


The Fall 2018 issue of Kansas Wesleyan University's biannual alumni magazine.