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Teacher Education program reaccredited with high marks from NCATE and KSDE



1 A Message from the President 2 Homecoming & Family Weekend 2016 4 Living the NFL Dream


6 Q&A with Dr. Ruth Mirtz 9 Fall  Memorable Moments 10 Extraordinary Experiences


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15   Best in Class: Jake Montoya ’05 17 Eisenhower Scholars Competition Returns 20 Coyote Sports Recap and Preview



Kansas Wesleyan University Spring 2017

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

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

Alumni Engagement Officer: Bryan McCullar

Managing Editor: Paula Hermann Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Development Officer: Jennifer Rein ’10

Graphic Designer: Amanda Colgrove ’15

Kansas Wesleyan President & CEO: Matt Thompson, Ph.D.

Marketing Assistant: Thomas Cunningham ’15, ’17

14 KWU Earns National Honors

Senior Development Officer: Jody Jorns

Office Manager: Linda Baumberger

Provost: Bill Backlin, Ph.D.

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Executive Committee of Board of Trustees: Charlie Grimwood, Ph.D., Chair Emily-May Richards, Vice Chair Steve Michel, Treasurer Jeff Bieber ’71, Secretary Randy St. Clair ’66, Immediate Past Chair

Writing Assistance: Thomas Cunningham ’15, ’17 Mike Hermann David Toelle ’08 Jennifer Toelle

Kansas Wesleyan University Foundation: Morrie Soderberg, Chair Ken Ebert, Vice Chair

Photo Credits: Tanner Colvin ’11 Amanda Colgrove ’15

Kansas Wesleyan Alumni Council: David Branda ’76, President Randy Lamer ’06, Vice President Rick Dahl ’99, Treasurer Lori Trow ’82, Secretary

@goKWU or @KWUCoyotes

Design: Rushing & Associates, Inc.

For news about KWU, visit www.kwu.edu/news. To change your contact information or to share news, click the MYKWU portal on the top banner of our website: www.kwu.edu.

Kansas Wesleyan University

On the cover: Rachel Thaemert ’17 will complete her student teaching at Southeast of Saline High School in May.

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.Issuu.com

Kansas Wesleyan

A message from

President Matt Thompson The Power of the Pack Our 130th year kicked off in celebratory fashion with hundreds of alumni returning for Homecoming & Family Weekend 2016. There were many special moments—the return of 12 Miss Wesleyans and the dedication of the Graves Family Sports Complex with Governor Bill Graves ’76—and what stands out are the stories that were shared by alumni about experiences that shaped their lives, friendships that blossomed and care that was shown to them by professors and community members. We call it the “Power of the Pack,” and it continues to define the KWU experience today. In early December, Aaron Hurd, a sophomore business student and member of the Coyote baseball team, experienced a near-fatal cardiac episode while attending class. According to one of the attending emergency medical technicians, Aaron’s life was saved through the combined efforts of a teammate, who immediately began compressions (he had just passed his CPR exam the night before), and a faculty member, who quickly initiated emergency procedures. During the first three days that Aaron was critical in the Intensive Care Unit, the “Power of the Pack” came to life. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff members gathered at prayer services, spent hours at the hospital with Aaron’s friends and family, and worked collaboratively to ensure that our campus community was cared for. A member of our men’s basketball team suggested the team wear baseball jerseys during their home game. Students led an effort to change Purple Friday to Red Friday in his honor. Here is a snippet from a letter that I received from a parent of another student:

“When we dropped Layne off at KWU in the fall of 2014, we weren't sure how she would do on her own and having the responsibilities of everything that life would throw at her, but we had nothing to worry about. After telling us about Aaron last night, she said that she is so happy about her choice to attend KWU because it is one big family, and everyone pulls together when someone is in need.” It was truly a miracle to watch Aaron’s swift progress and eventual release from Salina Regional Health Center the week before Christmas. Aaron’s father thanked me repeatedly for the care and support the KWU community showed. He said when they dropped Aaron off at KWU a year and a half ago, they felt good about the decision. Now they are convinced that KWU was the place where Aaron was meant to be. This is just one of the many examples I have witnessed of the “Power of the Pack.” I move through this academic year toward commencement with enormous pride in our students, faculty and staff. And I am so proud to be part of this pack.

Matthew R. Thompson, Ph.D. President

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1. President Matt Thompson honored Bill Graves ‘76, Martha Graves Reese ’74 and 36 lead donors during the dedication ceremony of the Graves Family Sports Complex. 2. Twelve former Miss Wesleyans, from 1956 to 2005, enjoyed a reception before being honored at the volleyball game. Listed by year they were crowned in the back row: Abigail (Ost) Elkins 2005, Sarah (Vanek) Kromer 2004, Dr. Selina Sanchez-Meier 1988, Pamela (Underhill) Kraus 1979, Sonia Nelson 1973, Diana Hill Wilkins 1971, Patricia (Pilger) Murray 1969 and Ann Henry Walter 1968. Front Row: Annabelle (Hoelscher) Fredrickson 1959, Sarah (Torburen) Lindblad 1961, Sheila Lisman 1964 and Ruth Elaine (Kocher) Fox 1956. 3. The annual Showcase Concert wowed alumni and friends. 4. The return of the carnival was a big hit with alumni, families and the Salina community. Kelly Cordova ’18 and Wesley Geisler ’19 showed their Coyote spirit before the spinning commenced. 5. Jim ’66 and Eileen (Wright) ’66 Moon were inducted into the Golden W and sang the alma mater with classmates at the 50th year reunion luncheon. 6. Troy Zeigler ’66 was captured in a comical moment during the Hall of Fame Breakfast. 7. The alumni flag football game has become a tradition at Homecoming. This year’s players included: Chris Brochtrup ’13, Derek Meyer ’10, Aaron Gay ’09, Patrick Shelton ’10, Zack Brown ’13, Will Kratky ’10, Vincent Burcher ’14, Jacob McCoy ’13 and Sean Grove ’14. 8. Margie (Nelson) Chatfield ‘71 enjoyed a tender moment with her uncle, Harold Nelson ’49, in the Welcome Lounge. 9. Hall of Fame inductee Ascendra (Peters) Donald ’07 shared memories of her time on the hardcourt during the Hall of Fame Breakfast. 10. Terry Thomas ’76 found humor in the remarks of Hall of Fame inductee Steve Sokolski ’73. 11. Karol (Hubbard) Mobley ’66 joined the ranks of the Golden W. 12. Football fans weathered the storms and several game delays throughout the evening. The Coyotes beat Southwestern 63–13. 13. Alumnae Dixie Brown ’71, Nancy (Winslow) Hoss ‘71, and Pam Junk ’70 reunited at the carnival. 14. Black Student Union alumni and current members of the Multicultural Student Union got to know each another during several events. Pictured are Dr. Ted Zerger, retired math instructor, and Charles Jessamy ’72. 15. Members of the 2004 track team, inducted into the Hall of Fame, signed a poster honoring their coach, Zach Kindler, who passed away in 2014.

Homecoming2016 & FAMILY WEEKEND





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SAVE THE DATE! October 6–8

Homecoming & Family Weekend 2017




President and Mrs. Thompson welcomed the Vanier Scholars to campus with a reception at the Kirwin House.

Vanier Family Establishes Scholarship Fund This fall, 22 students received notice that their tuition was nearly covered for the year, thanks to a local family with a commitment to education. John K. Vanier and Donna L. Vanier made a gift of $500,000 to Kansas Wesleyan University to establish the Vanier Family Scholarship Fund. The fund provides support for undergraduate students enrolled full time at KWU. Vanier Family Scholarships are based on consideration of a student’s demonstrated commitment to a strong work ethic, commitment to obtaining a higher education, having overcome obstacles in his/her life, need, previous academic performance, and performance on tests designed to measure ability and aptitude for higher education. The initial Vanier Family Scholarships were awarded for the 2016–17 academic year, typically in the amount of $20,000 each. The Vanier family has been a cornerstone in the Salina community for nearly a century and has supported Kansas Wesleyan for over half a

century through investments in scholarships, facilities and special projects. The Vaniers are members of the KWU Pioneer Society. “The Vanier family’s commitment to Kansas Wesleyan University will have a lasting effect on our students,” said Melanie Overton, Ed.D., vice president for Advancement. “Their philanthropy is revered throughout the state. Kansas Wesleyan is grateful for the confidence they have shown in our mission and our commitment to attracting deserving students.” Among the first recipients of a Vanier Family Scholarship is Samantha Highsmith, a freshman business management major from Salina. She sings alto in the philharmonic choir and the Wesleyan Chorale. “The Vanier Scholarship made college a reality for me,” said Highsmith. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity, and I look forward to four amazing years at KWU.”

Pictured: Back row: Abigail Marshall, Samantha Highsmith, Dalton Whitaker, Anilese Hayes, Cassidy Hornbacher and Albert Penado-Perez; Front Row: Wyatt Formo, Alex Filutze, Itzi Torres and Joshua Conner.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE VANIER FAMILY SCHOLARS! Kimberlee Blusher, Falun, KS Joshua Conner, Newport, OR Jordan D’Errico, Riverside, CA Alex Filutze, Willards, MD Wyatt Formo, Mammoth, AZ Garrison Gillard, Grove Heights, MN Anilese Hayes, Payson, AZ Dylan Heck, Cheney, KS Marlon Hernandez-Soriono, Salina, KS Samantha Highsmith, Salina, KS Cassidy Hornbacher, Lindsborg, KS Spensirr Howard, Tulsa, OK Shania Liggett, Ness City, KS Abigail Marshall, Salina, KS Edward Matthies, Kiowa, TX Michelle Paul, Corona, CA Albert Penado-Perez, Salina, KS Richard Perez, Los Angeles, CA Marissa Rocha, Corona, CA Paige Sierminski, Salina, KS Itzi Torres, Tepotzotlan, Mexico Dalton Whitaker, Edmond, OK


It didn’t take long for Tim Feaster ‘10, Chase Hartman ‘12 and Tessa Giammona ‘13 to land once-in-a-lifetime opportunities with national sports franchises. The three sports management alumni are enjoying early career positions with National Football League (NFL) franchises in California, and all three attribute their career readiness to in- and out-of-the-classroom experiences they had at Kansas Wesleyan.

Tim Feaster ’10 Equipment Assistant Oakland Raiders Although Tim Feaster was hard to stop as a defensive back for the Coyote football team, he knew that his physical size would prevent him from playing football professionally. What couldn’t be stopped was his passion for sports and his desire to work in a related field. He served a variety of roles in high school, college and professional athletics before landing the equipment assistant position with the Oakland Raiders. One of the unique aspects of Feaster’s duties is equipment maintenance. He is the “MacGyver” of the football team. “The game doesn’t stop for an equipment malfunction,” Feaster said. “I have to be creative to get equipment functional in a timely manner.” Feaster is responsible for practice field setup, assisting with player drills, and ensuring that players have all necessary attire and equipment. “I have routines with the receivers, and I frequently find myself catching passes from (Oakland Raiders Quarterback) Derek Carr. It’s amazing to get paid for something that I am so passionate about.”

Chase Hartman ’12 Community Relations Manager  an Diego S Chargers Chase Hartman secured an internship with the San Diego Chargers immediately after graduating from KWU. He moved up from intern to frontoffice staff after graduation, landing a spot in the organization’s community relations program. Hartman now coordinates game-day field presentations, Make-A-Wish visits, Play60 camps and various other community events and charitable campaigns. Hartman is most passionate about the opportunities his career provides for him to interact with young football players. “I can say with confidence that football taught me a number of life values that have shaped me into the man I am today,” said Hartman, who was an offensive lineman for the Coyotes. “I cherish any opportunity to use the sport to impart these same ideals to youth.” For Hartman, the lessons he learned while studying at KWU were the driving force behind his professional success.

Through his experience with the Chargers, Hartman’s passion for youth football has grown. Feaster also has experience in player development He plans on eventually becoming the director of and scouting for teams such as the Tampa Bay youth football for an NFL franchise. Rays (Major League Baseball). Feaster plans on enjoying a long career in professional sports as a head scout or equipment manager.


Tessa Giammona ’13 Corporate Communications Assistant San Francisco 49ers It is unusual to find a young woman who aspires to work in the NFL, but Tessa Giammona comes from a long line of football greats and has a passion for the game. She grew up on the sidelines next to her father, who coached high school football, and heard many stories from her uncle, Louie Giammona— the former running back for the New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles, as well as the nephew of legendary NFL coach, Dick Vermiel. Giammona got her feet wet while participating in an internship with the Salina Bombers indoor football franchise during her senior year at KWU. She also spent time on the KWU sidelines and credits former KWU defensive coordinator Bob Frey for taking her under his wing and allowing her to gain experience in all aspects of football operations. Her experiences in Salina eventually landed her internship opportunities with the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. As the current corporate communications assistant with the 49ers, Giammona assists in preparing coaches, players and staff members before media interviews. She also generates, edits and updates website content such as player biographies, team news and game-day releases.

The Future Looks Bright for KWU Science Labs Breakthrough Project Gives Equipment Facelift With the help of Dr. Dave Fancher ’64, Kansas Wesleyan University recently launched the Breakthrough Project, aimed at raising funds to upgrade, install and maintain science equipment so cutting-edge science and technology labs are available for use by KWU students. “This much-needed upgrade to our equipment will allow our science graduates to make breakthroughs in many areas of science and technology,” said Melanie Overton, Ed.D., vice president for Advancement. KWU has a brilliant history of scientific distinction; our students have gone on to become pioneers in American aviation; invent the retractable, pressurized Fisher Space Pen; create a model of sustainable agriculture using perennial plants; develop new medications; and complete groundbreaking projects for NASA. Today, half of Kansas Wesleyan students follow in their footsteps, training in fields of science requiring bold ideas and techniques, including biomedical chemistry, physics, computer programming, nursing, STEM education and network administration. The quiet launch of this campaign already has generated significant interest from KWU alumni. To date, more than $220,000 has been pledged for new lab equipment, yet more is needed. Naming opportunities for each lab will provide additional funds to renovate the labs themselves. Last year, the university committed an initial $100,000 to the project before seeking other donors, and purchased a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer. The NMR is used primarily to investigate the properties of organic molecules and is invaluable in biology and chemistry studies. Kayla St. Laurent, a senior majoring in Biomedical and General Chemistry, says the new NMR that arrived in early fall is a game-changer. “It makes a significant difference in our learning experience if we are being trained on equipment that we’ll be using in a professional setting.” Kayla St. Laurent, a senior Biomedical and General Chemistry major, examines molecules through the new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer, purchased with funds from the Breakthrough Project.

KANSAS WESLEYAN FACTOID: The Chemistry Club was founded in the spring of 1927. The original mission of the club was to foster good fellowship among the members, to broaden their interests, to create and maintain a university and community interest in chemistry and the related sciences, and to promote interest in chemistry as a profession.

An increasing number of KWU students, like St. Laurent, are attaining competitive placements in National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU). Their trailblazing projects include developing a new methodology for searching encrypted data, building a molecule to selectively target cancer cells and creating a simulated reality controlled by hand motions. KWU science graduates report that these experiences, complemented by classroom instruction, prepared them well for the field; however, they also identified the university’s outdated science equipment as hindering their preparedness for graduate-level laboratories. KWU administrators agreed and launched the project with the help of science faculty. Jeffrey Bieber, ’71 a current KWU Board of Trustees member, advanced the project greatly by naming the biology laboratory in memory of his late wife, Martha. Martha (Wessling) Bieber was a ’71 Marymount College nursing graduate. Her family was thrilled to honor her passion for the sciences and nursing. To learn more about the specifics of the Breakthrough Project or how you can get involved, please contact the Advancement Office at (785) 833-4341.


Reengineering the Library Ruth Mirtz, Ph.D., was a bookworm when she was a child. It helped pass the time in rural Byron, NE, a town with a population of less than 100, where she was one of five graduates in her senior class. When she wasn’t reading, she was learning to play the pipe organ in the Lutheran church, where her father was the pastor. She launched herself at Dana College as an Elementary Education major, but her path led her from teaching youngsters to teaching young adults. With a bachelor’s, a master’s and a doctorate degree in hand, she spent two decades as a college English professor and then earned a master’s degree in Library Science. One might conclude that her nose has been in a book most of her life! As the director of library services in KWU’s Memorial Library, Dr. Mirtz is energized by helping students, and when she’s not working, she is thrilled to be making music on the organ at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Salina.


with Dr. Ruth Mirtz

Which would you prefer, research or reading? Research. Librarians don’t have time to read! They read books about books. I mostly read newspapers and journals, but occasionally I read young adult literature to keep up with what the students are reading. What are the top three reasons students visit the library? 1) To use the computers. 2) To use the Student Success Center. 3) Well, I’d like to say because they need to print something or get a book on reserve, but I think it might be the free coffee and cookies!

What do you think would surprise people about the library? We work with 20 vendors to connect to all the electronic resources and the national and consortial agencies with which we are associated. There is much work that goes on behind the scenes. Do students use books for research these days? Yes, they do! Information is so easily accessible to students, but they need critical thinking skills to weed through all of the information, get what they want and evaluate whether the data is accurate. That is how we can be a valuable resource, and I enjoy teaching students how to do that.

What is the most underutilized resource in the library? Trade journals. I think that if students were reading what professionals in their fields of study read, they’d be even better prepared for jobs.

What do you do when you aren’t in the library? I bought a house from a master gardener. There are six varieties and 18 rose bushes in my backyard. Keeping up with it is a yearlong process. I also love playing the organ at church. I started out playing the piano when I was in the second grade, but the organ is so much more fun. You have 20 or more stops, and you can play Bach!

Besides books, or what you call “long-form monographs,” what else do you have stashed in the library? Laptops, calculators, VHS players, flash drives, overhead projects, slide projectors and more than 2,000 DVDs.

What’s the future of the library? As a liberal arts institution, we will always need books. We teach topics on the latest information as well as on the historical information and diverse perspectives. Our book collection supports that learning.


KANSAS WESLEYAN FACTOID: Prior to 1948, the Kansas Wesleyan library was housed in Carnegie Hall. The cornerstone for Memorial Library was laid in 1948, and the building was dedicated to all Kansas Wesleyan students and families who lost their lives during World War II. Today, the library is home to more than 60,000 book volumes, 9,500 journals and magazines, 2,000 DVDs, and tens of thousands of electronic books and articles. The Albert Nelson Student Success Center opened in 2011 and is housed in Memorial Library. It offers assistance to students to enable them to successfully complete their courses and improve their learning skills, particularly in English/writing skills and math.

Commencement 2017 Brenda McDaniel to Address Class of 2017

KWU alumna Brenda McDaniel ’73 will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2017 at the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6. McDaniel is a retired educator who served in the Salina public school system for three decades. She was a middle-school teacher at Roosevelt-Lincoln and Lakewood middle schools, served as an instructional specialist for USD 305, worked for two years as an educational consultant for the Smoky Hill Educational Service Center and has been an adjunct professor for the Department of Teacher Education at Kansas Wesleyan. Recognized as the Salina Master Teacher in 2002–03, McDaniel has also shared her time and talent by volunteering in the community. She also was honored with the KWU Alumni Achievement Award in 2003. She has been active in the Salina community, serving on numerous boards, including the Greater Salina Community Foundation and the Salina Art Center, for which she was president in 1995–96. She is a longtime member of the Salina branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). “Wesleyan was a place that taught us that service was important, and so I learned to give back to my community. And as a teacher, I tried to share that with my students. I told them to ‘educate yourself, study well and give back to your community.’”



A Missouri native, McDaniel pursued a degree in History and Sociology at KWU. She was president of Ahuru Black Sisters, was a member of the Black American Student Union, was a student counselor in the Black Perspectives Office and was on the Constitutional Review Committee. “My education at KWU prepared me to be able to relate to and work with many different people. The diverse environment we had here really helped me to go out and navigate the world successfully.”

For a complete schedule of Commencement Weekend events, visit www.kwu.edu/graduation2017.





(785) 833-4339 | BRYAN.MCCULLAR@KWU.EDU

Don’t miss out on any news from KWU. DON’T MISS OUT ON ANY NEWS FROM KWU. UPDATE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION BY EMAILING ALUMNI@KWU.EDU. Update your contact information by emailing alumni@kwu.edu.


Veteran Brings Unique Prospective to the Classroom While many students in Dr. Mike Russell’s history classes this semester are learning about the Cold War, the war in Iraq and the fighting in the Middle East through lectures and textbooks, Phillip Hauser is reliving them. A nontraditional student, Hauser joined the military after high school and served as an Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Tech for 20 years, retiring as a Master Sergeant. The age difference, he says, is sometimes comical. “My classmates are too young to remember 9/11 and the Cold War. I actually lived through them,” he says. “It does make me feel old.” His sense of humor and calm demeanor are remarkable given that he spent two decades deactivating bombs in Afghanistan, Turkey, Iraq and dozens of other war-torn countries. “I was living every 12-year-old boy’s dream: driving big trucks, shooting guns and blowing things up. And I got paid for it,” Hauser said. He jests, yet acknowledges that it was much more complicated than that. He studied for almost a year to master the skills needed to evaluate explosive devices and measure impact. His unit was trained in biometrics and in identifying new explosive weapons to stay ahead of the technology. 8

The technical expertise of Hauser’s unit (455th) was critical in Afghanistan as insurgents used improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as their weapon of choice. He left his mark in history in 2009 when President Barack Obama ordered the surge in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). In 2014, Hauser’s unit was the last Air Force EOD flight in Afghanistan. “We shut the lights off and walked away. It was a good feeling. We had accomplished what we came for.” Hauser is in his second year at KWU, a place where, as a young boy, he spent many Saturdays at Glenn Martin Stadium watching his father, the late Niles Hauser, who coached Coyote football, and cheering on his uncle, Byron Hauser, ’83, who quarterbacked the Coyotes in the ’80s. Hauser remembers when King Gymnasium burnt down.

“We lived in a house down Quincy Street, and after the fire, the community was able to take the bricks from the building. I think it was a way of helping the university clean up after the fire. I remember chiseling the bricks apart and tossing them into the truck and then helping my parents build their courtyard with them.” Hauser said he also took the ACT and ASVAB tests to enroll in the military in Peters Science Hall. When he retired from the Air Force, he decided to take advantage of the GI Bill and pursue a degree. He comes from a long line of entrepreneurs who have started their own businesses in the area, so he decided on Business Management. Hauser has come full circle, making new memories at KWU, like taking his 12-year-old son to the Graves Family Sports Complex. And he brings a unique voice to the classroom, sharing his experiences with a new generation of Coyotes.

KANSAS WESLEYAN FACTOID: In 1950s, the KWU basketball team used King Gymnasium for practice. Because of a lack of adequate seating for spectators in King Gym, home basketball games were played in Memorial Hall in downtown Salina. King Gym was also home to gym classes and was typically the site of Homecoming dances, the Lilac Fête dance, and various sorority and fraternity dances. The building, which was opened in 1916, was demolished after a destructive fire in 1987. The face of the iconic clock on the top of the building is now preserved in the Alumni Conference Room at KWU.


s t n e Mom

FALL 2016

CLASS OF 2020 JOINS KWU KWU welcomed 170 new first-year students in August. This class, which includes students from 18 states and two countries, will graduate in the year 2020. Fall enrollment was the highest in four years.

STUDENTS IMAGINE WHAT’S NEXT Four KWU students joined campus minister, Scott Jagodzinske, for the NEXT gathering in Atlanta on November 4–6. The Imagine What’s NEXT community is a unique space created out of the United Methodist Student Movement. NEXT is about encouraging and supporting those who dream of making a difference in the world right now for Christ. Pictured left to right: Nevada Moenning, Hannah Flinn, Anilese Hayes and Kenneth Dixon.

FIRST WRESTLING MATCH KWU hosted the first-ever dual wrestling match on November 16 against Bacone College in Mabee Arena. The Coyotes are in their first year of competition and are working on filling their roster in all weight classes.

MAKING MAGICAL MUSIC The Music department kicked off the holiday season in style with its traditional Christmas by Candlelight performance. More than 2,000 attendees enjoyed this year’s performance of “One Small Child,” which told the moving story of the birth of Christ through beautiful songs and music.

KWU TURNS 130 Faculty, staff and students marked the university’s founding on September 15 by enjoying purple and gold cupcakes made by KWU alumna Jennifer Redding ’90, ’92, and burying a time capsule with items that represent academics and extracurricular activities.



At Kansas Wesleyan University, out-of-the-classroom experiences enhance learning, expand networks and enrich the lives of our students. Here our students share a brief snippet about an extraordinary experience from the fall.

“It’s very exciting for me to be on stage playing with the Salina Symphony. And this spring, I get to play with the KWU Orchestra at the Kansas Music Educators Association Conference. Being a musician at KWU opens up awesome opportunities.” Thomas Forrester, senior, Salina, KS

“My first Thanksgiving in the U.S. was fantastic! It was surreal experiencing my first American holiday and NFL game all in the same day.” James Davies, freshman, UK “Another great day on the farm learning about planting techniques, chemical-free pest control and determining the proper time for harvest. Love watching the baby watermelons grow! I’m helping to build a trailer to transport food scraps from Shriwise Dining Hall back to the farm to use as compost.“ Diego Sanchez, senior, Shawnee Mission, KS “ Loved every minute of being in the classroom at Southeast of Saline this fall! The KWU Teacher Education department taught through example the importance of building relationships with your students.” Luke Curry, senior, Salina, KS


“Competing for a new wrestling program brings many challenges and uncertainties. The special part of this group is that we take tremendous pride in knowing that we are laying the foundation for years of future success with this program.” Zach Knox, sophomore, Louisburg, KS “At Walmart picking out toys for disadvantaged children in Salina! My cart is literally overflowing with toy cars, dinosaurs, footballs and games. Participating in the Marine Toy Box opened my eyes to how fortunate I was growing up.” Cassidy Hornbacher, senior, Lindsborg, KS

“BRRRR! It’s a cold day at the Frosty Fun Run! What a great service-learning opportunity. I’ve learned so much about Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Salina community. An awesome event for those that participated and helped fund a great cause.” Lacey Fitch, senior, Phoenix, AZ

“ Playing a key role in the fall theatre production as a freshman was a valuable opportunity. Learning from worldclass professionals challenged me and brought out the best in my performance.” Jose Moreno, freshman, Ellsworth, KS

“Got back in the leotard this fall! I had both of my feet firmly planted on the ‘other side of the table’ as a director and choreographer when my husband, Bill, and I were invited to participate as Broadway performers in the Salina Symphony’s The Best of Broadway concert at the Stiefel Theatre. We chose to do a number from CATS. We decided to do makeup and wear costumes similar to what we wore in the show when we performed in L.A. It was a challenge to prepare for our return to the stage, but certainly well worth the effort.” Karen Brassea, Professor of Theatre and Dance, Director and Choreographer

“I landed an Emergency Management internship with Saline County for the fall semester. My favorite experience was attending the KEMA (Kansas Emergency Management Association) conference. We got to hear from the emergency manager from Ferguson, MO. He provided us with details that were not known by the public and explained the emergency management team’s reactions to the riots and other events that took place.” Jordan Girard, senior, Blythe, CA 11

Class Notes


Marlene (Loyd) Lee has published her fifth novel, No Certain Home. The novel is based on the life of a Midwestern woman who, with less than a fifth-grade education, taught herself to be an international journalist.


Larry '64 and Janis (Erickson) '65 Frutiger of Wichita, KS, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 7, 2016.


Wes Hibbert has retired and relocated to Loudon, TN, with his wife, Sandy. He serves on the board of directors for The Good Neighbor’s Shoppe, a resale store that raises funds for local charities.

1969 1973

Richard Short, of Goodland, is now president of Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Craig “T” Walton has retired from his position as Harvey County Sheriff (KS). Walton was named the Sheriff of the Year by the Kansas Sheriff’s Association in October 2016.


Richard Smolin is now with Manpower in Chicago. He is the drummer and sound man for the band Notsomuch. Check it out on Facebook.


Janice Hoffman Gillberg is now with WPM Pathology Laboratory in Salina.


James Garcia is now principal of Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School in Fort Worth, TX. Betty Acock married Kelly Luttrell on June 18, 2016. The couple reside in Kentucky.


William E. Genereux, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in December 2015.

2001 2002

Erin (Wilson) Eustice of Hutchinson, KS, is now trust administrator at the Trust Company of Kansas. Jennifer A. Johnson, of Wichita, KS, was honored as a top CIO and as one of the Women of Achievement by the Wichita Business Journal. She is the chief information officer and chief operating officer for Equity Bank. 12


Jake Montoya was named the 2016–17 Secondary Education Teacher of the Year for USD 305 (Salina). He is currently the band director at Lakewood Middle School. Charlotte Krista (Marsicek) Blaisdell ’06 (Bloom) Hicks of Clearwater, FL, has opened a chiropractic clinic with her husband, Joseph. Visit YarrowFamily Chiropractic.com.



Krista (Marsicek) Blaisdell was elected as the county attorney for Geary County, KS. She earned her J.D. from Valparaiso University (IN). Chad Young is Kati Falk ’12 now the executive director of Salina Rescue Mission.

Jericho Johnson ’14


Ralita (Estwick) Cheeks has earned her master’s in Counseling. She is the youth director at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church and a school counselor.


Yeleny Torres Smith earned a master’s degree from Miami University (OH), where she participated in the San Diego Zoo Global Master’s Program. She spent the summer of 2016 studying the primates of Borneo, a large island located in Southeast Asia. The purpose of the study was to develop new methods of engaging communities worldwide in primate conservation. She’s now a zookeeper at the San Diego Zoo.


Kati Falk’s musical track was featured in the trailer of the blockbuster film “Hacksaw Ridge.” This was the third time one of her tracks has been used for movie campaigns.


Kyle Story is now facility and operations manager of the spa and fitness center at Cherry Creek Country Club in Denver, CO. Jericho Johnson was featured in the “Workforce” feature of the Salina Journal in November 2016. Johnson is a third-grade teacher at Cottonwood Elementary

Yeleny Torres Smith ’08 in Salina. She was recently awarded the USD 305 Horizon Award, which is given to educators who have demonstrated excellence during their first full year of teaching. Melissa Hodges is now a Salina City Commissioner.


Sean Morton graduated from the FBI National Academy on September 16, 2016. He is deputy chief for the Salina Police Department.

In Memoriam

Faculty and Staff Notes

Evelyn M. (Stuzman) Hallock ’41 of Salina passed away on October 24, 2016.

NEW STAFF MEMBERS Lindy Arndt Academic Services Coordinator

Eleanor Ermina (Courter) Switzer ’41of Salina passed away on September 6, 2016.

Amy Adams Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications

Thomas William “Bill” Hall ’43 of Davis, CA, passed away on October 28, 2016.

Joseph Bondio ’16 Admissions Counselor

Elizabeth “Betty” (Loder) Moore ’49 of Salina passed away on November 26, 2016.

Amanda Colgrove ’15 Graphic Designer

Leslie Melvin Heisz ’50 of Newton, KS, passed away on September 17, 2016. Helen M. Stephenson ’50 of Overland Park, KS, passed away on September 23, 2016. Robert Vidricksen ’54 of Salina, KS, passed away on January 14, 2017. Dr. Jack L. Larson ’58 of Manhattan, KS, passed away on September 30, 2016. Larry Dean Klein ‘62 of New York, NY, passed away on May 6, 2016. George Eddey ’64 of Westerville, OH, passed away on October 30, 2016. Jack Price ’65 of Raymore, MO, passed away on February 7, 2016. Nick Koengeter ’66 of Falmouth, ME, passed away on September 26, 2010. John Wataha ’67 of Manhattan, KS, passed away on November 3, 2016. Eric Rathbone ’67 of Tyler, TX, passed away on November 19, 2016. Philip H. Coe Jr. ’69 of Salem, WI, passed away on January 15, 2016. Rebecca (Bredow) Heidrick ’77 of Wichita, KS, passed away on October 21, 2016. Jack Owen Price ’78 of Raymore, MO, passed away on February 7, 2016. John Robinson ’81 of Burlington, CO, passed away on January 7, 2016. Victor Vishnefske ’84 of Tampa, FL, passed away on November 3, 2016. Laura A. (James) Schmidt ’01 of Salina passed away on March 26, 2016.

Harry Huber Harry Huber, a talented retired professor and musician, passed away on January 13, 2017, at the age of 102. For 32 years, Huber and his wife, Sara (Watson), dedicated their careers to the university. In the fall of 1947, Harry joined the KWU faculty as a piano instructor, and Sara began administrative duties in the dean’s office. In 1957, the Board of Trustees granted Huber a sabbatical to pursue his doctorate at Boston University’s College of Music. Huber served twice as chairman of the Fine Arts Division. In the 1950s, he was chairman during the groundbreaking and completion of Sams Hall of Fine Arts. In 1979, he and Sara announced their retirement. While he worked tirelessly in the Music department, she moved from the dean’s office to the president’s office, where she served six university presidents (two acting presidents). Upon retirement, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Kansas Wesleyan. While the Hubers closed their chapter as employees at Kansas Wesleyan, their dedication remained in the hearts of those who knew them. Memorial gifts can be made to the Huber Scholarship by contacting the Advancement Office. Gerald Lilly passed away on November 10, 2016 at the age of 88. Lilly was passionate about sports and faith. For decades, Lilly was a regular at Kansas Wesleyan Gerald Lilly sporting events. In 2011, KWU established the annual Gerald Lilly Award to honor an individual who exemplifies outstanding dedication and commitment to Kansas Wesleyan athletics. Lilly was the inaugural winner of the award for his continuous attendance and support since 1948. The award presentation is now a highlight of the annual Night with the Yotes fundraiser.

Sandrina Hallahan ’16 Assistant Volleyball Coach Pete Martinez ’16 Student Life Coordinator Courtney (Wiggins) Miller ’15 Career Services Coordinator, Resident Director Esperanza Montoya Custodian Luke Samford Assistant Cross Country/Track Coach Nicole Serrien Accounts Payable Manager Charles “Tony” Stennett Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Charlie Wallrapp Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach Tiffany (Daniels) Wearing Athletics Office Manager Niki Wilson ’16 Career Services Assistant, Resident Director RETIREMENTS Wayne Schneider and Darrell Victory, who have each served Kansas Wesleyan University for more than 30 years, have retired. Schneider served as chief financial officer; Victory served as director of plant operations. HONORS & PROMOTIONS Damon Kraft, Ph.D., who was promoted to assistant provost in September, will serve as interim provost after the announcement in February that Dr. Bill Backlin will leave the university at the end of April. Backlin accepted a position in Iowa to be closer to family. A national search is underway for the provost position. Kraft also serves as the chair of the Department of English. Barbara Marshall Nickell, M.A., was selected as Kansas Wesleyan University’s 2016 Faculty of Distinction honoree. This annual Kansas Independent College Association award honors faculty at each school for their outstanding achievements in and out of the classroom. She is chair of the Division of Fine Arts and the Department of Theatre Arts and Communication. 13


KWU Earns National Honors For the third year in a row, Kansas Wesleyan University earned the College of Distinction™, the Christian College of Distinction™ and the Kansas College of Distinction™ recognition. The College of Distinction designations recognize select schools for excellence in student-focused higher education. Colleges and universities selected must excel in four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. For the third year in a row, Kansas Wesleyan was named to The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, this year in a new category, Interfaith Community Service. This is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service learning and civic engagement.


2016 Student Loan Report, which uses Peterson’s financial aid data. KWU was included in Business Insider’s 2015 list of 610 smartest colleges in America (out of 1,338 schools analyzed). KWU was one of 44 schools in the country with an average SAT score of 1070. Kansas Wesleyan was also named a “MilitaryFriendly School” by Military Friendly, a division of Victoria Media. Institutions listed in the 2017 Guide to Military Friendly Schools are evaluated on engagement, education and employment of military students. Value Colleges has recently ranked the Emergency Management program at number four in its ranking of the Top 50 Best Value Online Bachelor’s of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for 2017.

The university also earned a few new honors. It was ranked ninth in the state for federal work study aid awarded, according to the

Teacher Education Program Receives Continued Accreditation In December, the university’s Teacher Education program received approval for continued accreditation with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for the next seven years. NCATE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a professional accrediting body for teacher education. It currently accredits 670 colleges of education across the country.

Dr. Kristy Rodriguez, who is in her second National Council for Accreditation year directing the of Teacher Education program, touts KWU’s partnerships with USD 305, USD 306 and Salina Catholic schools as a unique aspect of the program that is contributing to the graduates’ success.

There are currently 92 teacher education majors at KWU. The program has an outstanding placement record—100% of licensed graduates are employed in teaching positions upon graduation. And graduates are being recognized for excellence in teaching. USD 305 has consistently awarded its Horizon Award and Teacher of the Year Award to KWU alumni, including the 2016–17 Secondary Teacher of the Year recipient Jake Montoya ’05, a music teacher at Lakewood Middle School (see story page 15).

“Because of these solid partnerships, we are able to place every student into a local school classroom beginning with the first education class he or she takes. And they are not just observing. They are engaged in the classroom experience. By the time they graduate, they have been exposed to different grade levels and students of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. When they are hired, they are self-confident teachers with several years of relevant classroom experience,” said Dr. Rodriguez.


Best in Class It’s 12:05 p.m., and 80 energetic middleschoolers, who just came from the cafeteria, pour into a massive band room. It is stimulation overload as kids dodge about, piecing together instruments, rearranging chairs and searching for missing reeds. With the patience of Job and a simple raise of a hand, Jake Montoya ’05 brings the room to order, and band class begins. His assistant, Mr. Rohrer, leans over and says, “It takes a very special person to be able to do that with a room full of 80 kids.” It is that demeanor, plus a love for music and more than a decade of classroom management skills, that earned Montoya Secondary Teacher of the Year honors for USD 305 in Salina this fall. He humbly turns his attention to his students. “They work hard, and seeing the overwhelming joy they get when they accomplish something really inspires me,” Montoya said. “At KWU, I learned to be patient and to never give up, no matter what some teachers tell you or what tests might reveal,” said Montoya, who encourages his students by sharing motivational videos and success stories of people who have been discouraged along the way.

Montoya began playing guitar at the age of eight and joined his family’s band at age 13. He eventually launched his career with a degree in Music Education from KWU. He earned a master’s degree in Music Education from Kent State University (OH) while serving in his first teaching position as band director for the Solomon School District (KS). In 2013 he joined USD 305, juggling multiple teaching roles at local elementary, middle and high schools. At Lakewood Middle School, he currently teaches more than 350 students. He continues to have his hand in multiple projects. In addition to having his own country rock band, Split Decision, he is a member of the pit orchestra for musicals at the Salina Community Theatre; he plays lead guitar on Sunday mornings at Trinity United Methodist; and he is a junior golf coach at the Salina Municipal Golf Course.

“Anywhere that I’ve been, there’s this mindset that small towns have less. Most of my students have adopted that mentality, and I want them to understand that whether it’s in a big city or small town, they can achieve anything they set out to do,” he said. “I will continue to do my part and make sure our students have every opportunity at success.”


“Mighty Five” make a “Mighty” Contribution KWU received two new pianos this fall, thanks to a group of five students of Tatiana Tessman who provided vision and persistence to make it possible. Dubbed the “Mighty Five,” the leaders of this project included: Joyce Gorton ’67, Katie Hoffner, Carolyn Hofer, Angie Frisbie and Mary Lemon, with support from Ken Hakoda, chair of the Department of Music, and Barbara Marshall Nickell, chair of the Division of Fine Arts. Pictured: Tatiana Tessman, artist-in-residence and director of Keyboard Studies, and sophomore Caroline Beckman.

Delker Family Establishes Annual Fund Scholarship Kansas Wesleyan University recently received a new Annual Fund scholarship. The Lt. Colonel Warren and Glenna Delker Memorial Scholarship was established by their son, Lt. Colonel Brad Delker, USAF, (ret), of Oklahoma. Warren and Glenna (Bradshaw) Delker met at KWU and graduated in 1941. Warren completed three years at KWU before joining the Air Force. He received an honorary degree in 1941. Warren served as a B-29 pilot during World War II, taking part in the famous lowlevel Tokyo Fire Raids in March 1945. He was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses for gallantry during the course of the war. While Warren was in the Pacific, Glenna worked as a news reporter for radio station KFH in Wichita and had an occasion to interview General Jimmy Doolittle when he attended a bond drive in Wichita. Upon their deaths, Lt. Colonel and Mrs. Delker were buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. If you are interested in establishing an Annual Fund scholarship, please contact the Advancement Office at (785) 833-4343. 16

Ensure the Success of Future Coyotes Through Annual Fund Scholarships If your goals are to provide scholarships to deserving KWU students, name the scholarship in memory or honor of someone, provide the largest annual award possible, and learn about the specific students your scholarship supports, the best tool for you might be establishing an Annual Fund scholarship. We develop a simple agreement outlining the goals of your scholarship, for whom it should be named, and what you want your annual contributions to be. Then, 100% of the funds are awarded each year to students according to the criteria you establish. Annual Fund scholarships can be established with a commitment to give $5,000 or more annually.

KANSAS WESLEYAN FACTOID: The KWU campus greets President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959. President Eisenhower selected KWU to launch the Eisenhower Scholars program in 1969 since it was the closest university to Abilene, KS, his boyhood hometown.

Eisenhower Scholars Competition Returns to KWU On Saturday, January 28, Kansas Wesleyan gave high academic achievers a chance to earn one of two scholarships covering 90% of tuition. This invitation-only event allowed accepted students for fall 2017, who qualified for the Presidential Scholarship, the opportunity to compete for the Eisenhower Scholarship. The name of the new scholarship was resurrected from a scholarship program initiated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the late 1960s. “On our 130th anniversary year, it is fitting to reconnect the past with this new scholarship,” said Mark Bandré, Ed.D., vice president for enrollment management. “The Eisenhower Scholarship ensures that we are fulfilling President Eisenhower’s wishes to honor quality students at Kansas Wesleyan University, and continuing to attract the brightest and the best students to our campus.” Congratulations to Eli Truhe, from Salina High School South, and Samantha Chesser from Maize High School (KS), who earned the 2017–18 Eisenhower Scholarship. Participating students interviewed with faculty members, took a quantitative reasoning/logic test and were asked to write an essay based on a group problem-solving/logic activity on one of President Eisenhower’s speeches to the United Nations.

Correction: In the Fall 2016 issue of Contact, the Bolen statue was identified incorrectly. We apologize to Pat and Linda Bolen for our error. It has become a campus tradition to touch the coyote’s nose for good luck as one passes by.

To be eligible for this scholarship competition for next January, students must be high school seniors, apply to KWU by January 14 and have a KWU composite score of 94 or higher. The KWU composite score is calculated by multiplying GPA by ACT score. GPA is based on a four-point scale, and KWU converts SAT scores to their ACT equivalent. For more information, contact the Admissions Office at (785) 833-4305 or admissions@kwu.edu.

Summer Program Sets Up Students for Success KWU introduced a new program last summer to give students who need additional preparation for the transition into college the opportunity to hit the ground running. The Summer Bridge program is an intensive four-week, on-campus curriculum that includes courses designed to improve academic skills in English, to learn time management skills and to become familiar with university support services. The program gives the student a chance to demonstrate college readiness by enrolling in six credit hours. Students who complete the program with a 2.50 GPA or higher will be awarded the University Scholarship of $6,000 ($4,000 off-campus). For more information, contact Esteban Paredes, director of admissions, at (785) 833-4307.


Higher Learning Commission Visit Scheduled Kansas Wesleyan University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1958. To maintain accreditation, the regional accrediting agency makes evaluation visits on a 10-year cycle. Regional accreditation validates the quality of an institution as a whole and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution— ranging from its academic offerings and mission to its finances and resources. Members of the accrediting team will be on campus April 10–11, 2017. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s criteria for accreditation. The university is seeking comments from the public in preparation for its periodic evaluation. Comments regarding the college can be submitted to the following address or website by March 13: Public Comment on Kansas Wesleyan University Higher Learning Commission 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500 Chicago, IL 60604-1411 The public may also submit comments on HLC’s website at: www.hlcommission.org/comment.

KANSAS WESLEYAN FACTOID: Prior to the 1980s, Christmas by Candlelight was simply referred to as the annual Christmas Concert. In December 1980, a snowstorm caused the lights to go out in Sams Chapel at the beginning of the Christmas Concert. The remainder of the performance was played beautifully under candlelight.

Choir Tour Heads South

Spring Choir Tour*

The KWU Choir is preparing for its annual spring road trip with stops this year in three states: Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The annual tour dates back to 1935 when the choir traveled to Columbus, OH, to perform at the General Conference of Methodist Churches. Since then, KWU music students have shared their voices with alumni and audiences as far north as Ontario, Canada, and as far south as Nuevo León, Mexico. They have also made tour stops in such states as California, Utah, New York, Louisiana and New Mexico. Every four years the choir embarks on an international tour. For up-to-date information on this year’s choir tour, please visit www.kwu.edu/finearts.

Thursday, March 16 7:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church 116 W. Third St. Liberal, KS Friday, March 17 Amarillo, TX Sunday, March 19 10:50 a.m. New World United Methodist Church 2201 N. Davis Dr. Arlington, TX Monday, March 20 7:30 p.m. New Hope United Methodist Church 11600 N. Council Rd. Oklahoma City, OK Tuesday, March 21 7:30 p.m. Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church 5701 E. Mt. Vernon St. Wichita, KS *subject to change; please check website for detailed schedule

Shriwise Gets a Facelift When students returned from winter break in January, they were surprised to find that Shriwise Dining Hall had a new look. The dining area was painted, and it was furnished with all-new tables, chairs and booths. The flexible seating arrangement complements the new unlimited meal plan, which allows students to use their meal cards from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and creates a new space for study groups and individuals. New stylish lighting adds to the modern look. The second phase of the revamp will occur during spring break, when the serving area will get a fresh coat of paint. 18

KWU Explores New Nursing Degree The university is exploring transitioning from a from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to a Bachelor of Science with a major in Nursing (B.S.). The new Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Nursing would replace the current BSN degree, but the curriculum would remain intact. The change is in response to the October decision from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) not to approve the university’s application for programmatic accreditation. Despite the unexpected outcome, the report did show that the Nursing program met 25 of the 28 standards, which demonstrated the organization’s belief in the academic curriculum and the Nursing faculty. According to CCNE officials, the key factor in the decision was the program’s threeyear pass rates on the national licensing exam (NCLEX). The pass rates, which reflect previous program curricula, have improved; however, they are not at the level CCNE requires. “The curriculum for either degree is essentially the same,” said Janeane Houchin, RN, MSN, interim director of Nursing Education. “In both cases, students major in Nursing. Neither degree is more or less valued than the other. ” Typically, BSN degrees are awarded from a school of nursing, while the B.S. with a major in Nursing is awarded from a university. Because it is technically a new degree, CCNE would accept a new application for accreditation, and pass rates would not be a factor in the evaluation. In addition, the university is developing its RN to BSN program into an online program that could launch as early as this year. It would be the third

undergraduate online degree (joining Criminal Justice and Emergency Management). KWU also offers the MBA program fully online. The Nursing program continues to receive support from Salina Regional Health Center (SRHC) and the Kansas Wesleyan University Board of Trustees. Charlie Grimwood, Ph.D., chair of the Kansas Wesleyan Board of Trustees and former vice president of regional development for SRHC, reaffirmed the board’s commitment to the Nursing program this fall. “I have been in many conversations about voluntary programmatic accreditation,” Grimwood said, “Without a doubt, KWU’s nursing program is on a path to excellence. The faculty’s determination for continuous improvement is incredible. Recent curriculum changes and high performance expectations position the program for programmatic accreditation, possibly within six months. We now need more students to complete the new program so their outcomes validate this strong curriculum.” He also said that while many hospitals, including SRHC, do not base hiring decisions solely on programmatic accreditation, students applying for graduate school would benefit from this type of accreditation. “The KWU Board is unanimously committed to the Nursing program. We know how important it is to the vitality of Salina and many other communities,” Grimwood added.

Memorial Will Honor Bissells Soon after the passing of legendary football coach Gene Bissell last January, there were conversations about how to honor the lives of Bissell and his wife, Evelyn, and the contributions they made to the KWU community for 44 years. The Alumni Council of the KWU Alumni Association recently announced a campaign to establish a Bissell Memorial that was unanimously endorsed by those in attendance at the All Alumni Meeting during Homecoming & Family Weekend 2016. The Bissell Memorial will be composed of two black metal benches and a black metal garbage receptacle matching those already on campus. An inscribed plaque will be placed on the backrest of each bench—one plaque in memory of Gene and the other in honor of Evelyn. The memorial will provide a resting place near the north entrance of the Graves Family Sports Complex for those waiting for family. This will be appreciated especially by those who need assistance navigating the sports complex or for whom a prolonged period of standing is difficult.

Andrea Picklesimer, RN, MSN, assistant professor of Nursing, works with Brylee Walker in the simulation lab.

The campaign goal is $2,000 by April 12, 2017 (what would have been Gene Bissell's 91st birthday). Please send gifts to the campaign, made payable to KWU, in care of the Advancement Office, Pioneer Hall Room 125, 100 E. Claflin Ave., Salina, KS 67401; visit www.kwu.edu/alumni for online payment options; or contact Bryan McCullar, alumni engagement officer, at (785) 833-4339. 19

Fall 2016 The Kansas Wesleyan fall sports teams finished a very strong season, with all six programs (football, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball) finishing in the top quarter of the conference. KWU leads the KCAC Commissioner’s Cup standings after the fall competition with 61.5 points, nine better than Ottawa. Two KWU teams reached NAIA postseason play as men’s cross country qualified for the NAIA National Championships for a second straight season, and the women’s soccer team reached the NAIA Opening Round. MEN’S SOCCER The men’s soccer team experienced a resurgent season in 2016, finishing 13–6–1 overall and 9–1–1 in the KCAC. The Coyotes finished second in the KCAC behind Oklahoma Wesleyan, which spent a majority of the season as the number-one team in the NAIA. KWU reached the conference semifinals and just missed a berth in the NAIA Opening Round. Eight players were selected to the All-KCAC team, including first-team selections Jesse Lennon, Fauris Franco and Evan Williams. Lennon also earned NSCAA Honorable Mention All-Plains Region honors. Enrique Guyton and Jose MiJares were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. Mitch Kufahl FOOTBALL The football team had another extremely successful season in 2016, finishing 9–2 overall and 7–2 in the KCAC, a three-way tie for second place in the conference. The Coyotes just missed a berth in the NAIA Football Championship Series. A total of 15 individuals earned spots on the All-KCAC teams, including first-team selections Mitch Kufahl, Ayrius Brown and Christian McQueen. Kufahl also earned CoSIDA Academic AllDistrict honors. Four Coyotes were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. The Coyotes have put together a 19–3 regularseason record over the past two seasons.


Cynthia Chavez

WOMEN’S SOCCER The women’s soccer team won the 2016 KCAC regular-season championship, finishing in a tie with Ottawa and reaching the KCAC Women’s Soccer Championship match for a 12th consecutive year. The Coyotes also made an appearance in the NAIA Opening Round for a second straight year. Nine Coyotes earned spots on the All-KCAC teams, headlined by Cynthia Chavez earning KCAC Co-MVP honors and Jen Rogers being named KCAC Newcomer of the Year. Chavez shattered the KWU single-season goals and points records in 2016 with 26 goals and 59 points. Five Coyotes were named to the NSCAA All-Plains Region teams, and Rogers and Chavez were named Honorable Mention NAIA All-Americans. VOLLEYBALL The volleyball team enjoyed another successful season, finishing 18–4 in the KCAC and 23–14 overall. The Coyotes were third in the conference, losing to Tabor and conference champion Ottawa. The Coyotes lost in conference semifinals to Tabor, which ended up at the NAIA Final Site. Six players were All-KCAC, headlined by first-team selections Valerie Most, Kim Blusher and Hannah Reynolds. Most and Blusher also earned AVCA AllWest Central Region honors, and Most was selected as an NAIA and AVCA Honorable Mention All-American. The Coyotes had six players named as Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes. The program has a 98–16 record in KCAC matches over the past six years. CROSS COUNTRY The KWU men’s cross country team earned its second straight bid to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships after finishing second in the KCAC Championships on November 5 in Leavenworth. The KWU women’s cross country team was third in the KCAC Championships, just missing a berth in the National Championships. Freshman Rachel Franklin qualified as an individual for the National Championships. The men finished 30th overall at the National Championships, and Franklin was 216th out of 334 runners in her race. Six runners, including four for the men, earned Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete honors.

Howard Mahan The Coyote men’s cross country team earned a bid to the NAIA National Championships.

Spring The spring sports season at Kansas Wesleyan looks to bring a high level of success, similar to what was achieved by the fall sports teams in 2016. SOFTBALL Head Coach Hailey Torrez will begin her first season leading the Coyotes. Torrez served as an assistant last year. Six of KWU’s top hitters return from a year ago, including All-KCAC selections Sarah Hunger, Emily Sparks, Aymet Demara and Michelle Paul. Jordyn Parsons is the only returning pitcher for the Coyotes who saw varsity action last year. The team will lean on several newcomers to fill key roles in the circle. Peyton Deiters

BASEBALL The baseball team will again be right in the middle of a championship race in arguably the best NAIA baseball conference in the country. Peyton Deiters, a 2016 First Team NAIA All-American and 2017 Pre-season NAIA All-America selection, will lead the Coyotes offensively after tying the home runs record last season and setting new school records in hits and RBI. A talented pitching staff also returns for the Coyotes, with hard-throwing Cameron Clements set for an outstanding senior season. Several other players return at key positions for KWU’s recordsetting offense, which led the NAIA in hits per game last season. Coach Bill Neale is in his third season at the helm. TENNIS The tennis teams are coming off a strong fall season and will look to build on those positives in the spring. The women’s team has a strong group of returners with an integral year of experience under their belts. The Coyotes have a couple newcomers in Itzi Torres and Paityn Bower, who will play key roles in KWU’s success this year. The men’s team will be led by returners Samir Lopez, Mario Rincon, Marcus Robinson and Michael Moody and look to build on a strong late-season run last year as well as early successes this fall. Newcomer Felix Diaz is also a key part of Coach Bob Warkentine’s squad this year. KWU opens KCAC play on March 30 at home against Ottawa.

GOLF Coach Randy Bemiss has a solid group of players ready to go for the spring season on both the men’s and women’s teams. On the women’s side, Palmer Bosanko played at a very high level through the fall and will look to continue that level of success in the spring. The men’s team will look to senior leadership from Gordon Cobb, Tanner Jones and Howard Mahan. A young group of Coyotes outside of the seniors (all freshmen and sophomores) will help the team play into the top half of the conference in 2017 and battle with top team Oklahoma Wesleyan for the conference title. The teams open the season on March 13 and 14 with the Ottawa Spring Invitational at Eagle Bend in Lawrence, KS. TRACK AND FIELD First-year Head Coach Chris Sandefur will bring an expanding group of track athletes into his first outdoor season with the Coyotes this spring. A talented group of middle- and long-distance runners returns from both the men’s and women’s cross country squads. These athletes, combined with key additions in throws and jumps, could put the Coyotes in the conference championship race. KWU opens the outdoor season on March 24 with the Hutch Night Relays.


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SAVE THE DATE! October 6–8 | Homecoming & Family Weekend 2017


Profile for Kansas Wesleyan University

KWU Contact Spring 2017  

Kansas Wesleyan University's Spring 2017 university publication.

KWU Contact Spring 2017  

Kansas Wesleyan University's Spring 2017 university publication.