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beyond 2013 Edition

Take a look at that The August arrival of a Haas CNC Vertical Milling Center TM 2P and a Torchmate CNC Plasma Cutter 4X4 Growth Series allows students to design, build and test their designs for functionality, without having to send the parts to an outside party for manufacture. The two pieces of state-of-the-art industrial equipment added to the mechanical engineering technology laboratory increase students’ opportunities to fabricate their designs in-house, enhance hands-on student learning, and prepare students with skills that meet industry needs.

b eyon d The official alumni publication of K-State Salina Editor Natalie Blair Graphic Design Ashley Flowers Michael Oetken Writer Natalie Blair Photography University Photography Services Ashley Flowers Natalie Blair

Office of the CEO and Dean Verna Fitzsimmons, PhD

CEO, K-State Salina Dean, College of Technology and Aviation

David Delker

Associate Dean of Academics

Dixie Shierlman

Associate Dean of Student Life

Alysia Starkey, PhD

Assistant Dean of Continuous Improvement

Kathy Sanders

Senior Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean of Academics

Communications and Marketing Heather Wagoner

Director of Communications and Marketing

Michael Oetken

Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing

Natalie Blair

Director of Public & Alumni Relations

Ashley Flowers

Communications Coordinator

beyond is published annually by the Kansas State

University Salina Communications and Marketing team in collaboration with the Office of the CEO and Dean. Please share news items, suggestions, and comments by contacting us online at

On the cover

The Eiffel Tower shines on a chilly French night. K-State students traveled to London and Paris to study global logistics during a faculty-led study abroad trip. Photo: Ashley Flowers ‘12 Story on page 15.


3 P art n ersh ip s & P ro gress 5 Commu n it y Commitment 7 S t an d ou t S t u d en t s 9 Facu lt y S p ot lig h t 11 Celeb rat in g t h e Jour ney An interview with Tom Creech

13 Meet

t h e Dean

A wildcat welcome to Dean Verna Fitzsimmons

15 Wan d erlu st

K-State Salina students take their classroom abroad

2310 Centennial Road Salina, Kansas 67401-8196 785-826-2640

19 S t ay

Con n ect ed

from our CEO & Dean K-State Salina family,

It is truly an honor to have been selected as the CEO of K-State Salina and the Dean of the College of Technology and Aviation. As I get to know this campus and this community, I grow more and more impressed. As our alumni can attest, our people are our greatest asset. The dedication of the faculty and staff to our students’ academic and career success is phenomenal. Every alum I meet mentions at least one instructor who played an instrumental role in their career development. I hope you were able to provide feedback earlier this semester as we begin to update our strategic plan to meet the vision and goals of President Schulz’s K-State 2025 plan. Check for updates on our website as we continue this process. I look forward to meeting you in the months to come, Verna Fitzsimmons, PhD CEO, K-State Salina Dean, College of Technology and Aviation

Partnerships & Progress Lee Gatton named K-State Salina’s 2012 Alumni Fellow Lee Gatton’s interest in robotics started in grade school. As a kid in Russell, Kan., he was building circuits and by high school was building transistor radios. “I wanted to work with my hands but I knew I needed more than just a vo-tech school. So I came to KTI to learn more about electronics and their practical application.” Lee graduated from KTI’s electronic engineering technology program in 1971 and then moved to Topeka to take classes at Washburn. There, in December 1972, just as he was preparing to move to Texas, he met Beverly. He moved to Dallas in January 1973 to take a job as an electronics engineer for Texas Instruments. Six months later, the Gattons were married. After 11 years at Texas Instruments and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University, Lee returned to his alma mater to teach computer engineering. Two years later he became director of training at RSE Training in Salina and three years later went to Phillips Lighting in the role of information technology manager. In 2000, the Gattons moved to the Kansas City area and Lee went to work for Sprint as a software engineer. He earned a master’s in management information systems from Friends University the following year. When Lee retired in 2008, he took two months off. Then he founded GRD Robotics, developing robotics software. “In 2000 realized I could buy the robot and develop my own software. I needed something to do after retiring so I started the company.” He also started working with Dr. Saeed Kahn, associate professor of electronic & computer engineering technology. “I was on the program’s advisory board and it just seemed like a good fit. My research is in human-robot interaction, socially assistive robots, and companion robots. We’re looking at partnering with the family studies and human services program for research projects on how robots could assist the elderly.” Both Gattons also sit on the Computer Systems Engineering Technology Advisory Board. Beverly is an IT project manager for Fidelity Information Services, a leading global provider of software services to financial institutions.



K-State Alumni Fellows Program The K-State Alumni Fellows Program, sponsored by the Dean’s Council, the President’s Office and the Alumni Association, recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their careers. Beginning in 1983 the program has brought successful alumni back to campus to meet with students and faculty and share their expertise in the classroom and in informal settings. K-State Salina began participating in the program in 1993. Fellows are chosen by each college to return as distinguished guests and as mentors, friends and counselors. They are honored in recognition of the ultimate measure of a university – not curricula, facilities or programs, but the quality of its alumni.

Alumni Fellows 1993 Robert Christian Miller ‘68 1994 William R. Ballou ‘69 1995 Melvin Bergkamp ‘70 1996 Russell Savage ‘68 1997 T. A. Mindrup ‘69, ‘73 1998 Jay Alfred Parker ‘82 1999 Shahzad “Shah” Bhatti ‘83 2000 Douglas L. Oliphant ‘83, ‘90 2001 Julie Martin Maher ‘84 2002 Melvin Kejr ‘79 2003 Roger Fortmeyer ‘74 2004 Rex Eberly ‘83, ‘84 2005 Justin C. “Reggie” Redetzke ‘96 2006 Terry L. Krause ‘86, ‘01 2007 Jennifer A. Johnson ‘83 2008 Robert “Bob” Moeder ‘71 2009 Robert J. Kuhn ‘72 2010 Alan L. Cordel ‘77 2011 Dennis Shreves ‘72 2012 Lee Gatton ‘71 Know someone deserving of the Alumni Fellow honor? Send your nomination to

Photo: Natalie Blair

Oh, Canada!

Students in the airport management program got an inside look at what it takes to bring six F-18s and one-third of the 409th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, to Salina, Kan., for training with a unit of Forward Air Controllers from the Royal Canadian Artillery School. It took Capt. Andrew Greer and his team two months to plan a one-month stay. They worked with the Salina Airport Authority, the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range, the fire and police departments, and the Canadian government to plan everything from hotel rooms to where they would fuel the planes to where they would store the practice munitions.

Photo: Ashley Flowers

Couple gifts $25,000 to K-State Salina to honor Kuhlman Linda and Robert Haller surprised their longtime friend Dennis Kuhlman with a commitment of $25,000 to create the Dennis Kuhlman Student Activity Fund.

“It was a really great experience for us as students,” said Tyler Lewis, junior in airport management, Aurora, Colo. “As we prepare for a career in this industry, it’s important that we’re aware of everything it takes to recruit groups to use our airports as well as how we’ll need to meet their needs once they get here. These guys are flying six planes that require hangar space and 15,000 pounds of fuel apiece each time they go out - and they’re flying six times a day.”

The Hallers, from Eden Prairie, Minn., announced at Kuhlman’s retirement ceremony in May 2012 that the donation would honor their friend’s support of students, including raising awareness of programs and promoting campus and student life, while providing resources for the campus to continue to grow and prosper.

The Airport Planning and Management class that met with Capt. Greer is taught by Tim Rogers, executive director of Salina Regional Airport and accredited airport executive.

“I am very humbled and honored that Linda and Bob created this fund. No matter what it’s called, the important thing is that their gift will be used to help the students of K-State Salina and provide opportunities for student organizations’ continued success in the years to come,” Kuhlman said.

“Because Tim is teaching the class we have gotten to do some really neat things,” Lewis said. “We’ve learned about wildlife control around the runways, toured the airport’s fire station, visited with the air traffic control people. It’s an experience I can’t get anywhere else.”

To donate to the fund through an online contribution visit www. or contact Amy Cole, development director, at

Your Connections to Campus Natalie Blair

Danielle Brown

Amy Cole

Director of Alumni Relations

Director of Career Services

Director of Development, 785-826-2642, 785-826-2649, 785-826-2609

How I can help you: I want to connect you back to campus and your classmates and share your good news with everyone. Tell me when you get married, have kids, start a company, or get a promotion. I love to know about what people are doing with their degrees, so tell me your title and what you do, even send a photo of you on the job.

How I can help you: Even alumni can use our career services office. Simply use or create your online CES account. If you don’t currently need our services, help current students and fellow alumni by letting me help with posting open positions -- fulltime, part-time, internships, etc., coordinating campus visits, sharing company information with students, and networking with faculty.

How I can help you: I want to help people learn about this campus and the opportunities to engage with our students and programs, how you can help this campus and college progress, and how you can leave a lasting mark through annual giving.

Favorite purple item in my wardrobe: My purple Chuck Taylor All Stars.

Favorite purple item in my wardrobe: My K-State Salina polo!

Favorite purple item in my wardrobe: My parents gave me a beautiful purple silk blouse when I moved into this role with K-State Salina. I love it and, although I am little scared to wear it, it is amazing. partnerships & progress


Community Commitment

Photo: Ashley Flowers

Only the bravest and strongest made it to safety. The rest joined the undead.

The K-State Salina Zombie Run pitted the

survivors of a fictitious zombie attack against those who weren’t so lucky. The living

navigated a series of obstacles throughout a 2-mile course in Salina’s Thomas Park as

they tried to reach the finish line. Along the way, “zombies” tried to remove flags from

the runners’ belts. Any runner reaching the finish line with at least one flag remaining was

Just a few of the many projects completed by K-State Salina students, faculty, and staff this year in the community that supports us!

deemed a survivor. The event raised $675 for the Salina Area United Way. Courtesy Photo

The Salina Area United Way wasn’t the only local organization to benefit from volunteer efforts from K-State Salina students. Phi Delta Theta Kansas Eta went door to door on Halloween collecting non-perishable food items for the Salina Food Bank. This year’s

record-breaking efforts provided 580 pounds

of food to the food bank. The Salina Area Food Bank has assisted over 12,300 people in

2012, over a quarter of the Salina population.



Balthazor, Lambky, and Gorrell (event organizer). Photo: Natalie Blair

In December 2011 the campus’ chapter of Students In Free Enterprise encouraged students to swap some spit for the chance to win a $500 scholarship. The Give a Spit campaign helped build the national database of bone marrow donors to help save the lives of people with bone or blood cancers. When three students were contacted about being matched to patients in early spring 2012 they were surprised but all continued on to the blood work stage, which required drawing six vials of blood from the potential donor to test against the patient’s blood to make sure the initial match wasn’t a false positive. “They said it was extremely rare to be contacted at all, even more rare that I had been contacted after being on the list for such a short amount of time,” said Matt Lambky, then a sophomore in professional pilot, Towanda, Kan. The other two matches were Travis Balthazor, now a senior in professional pilot, Palco, Kan., and Chris Guetersloh, now a sophomore in applied business administration, Marion, Kansas. Knowing there was such a small chance of being an identical match to a patient, Balthazor wasn’t expecting the news he received while at an aviation conference. “I was told there was a 39-year-old woman with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and that we were a match,” he said. “I was told I might want to take some time and talk to my friends and family. So I did, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that if I didn’t go through with this I wouldn’t be able to live with myself knowing that someone is out there dying that I can help.” Balthazor’s blood work came back a match and in early May he found himself in Washington, D.C. for a physical. Two weeks later he was back in the nation’s capital for a peripheral blood stem cell donation. The method draws the donor’s blood from one arm, passes it through a machine to separate the stem cells, and then returns it into the other arm. The process can take up to six hours on two consecutive days. Donors often experience headaches, fatigue and achiness during the time they are receiving the shots, but most times the side effects disappear within two days after donating. “I was able to do normal activities within hours but was highly anemic, which is normal,” said Balthazor. “Running and physical activities took about three days and I was back to flying in one week.” “We had opportunities to donate set up all over town, at other universities, at the mall. It’s awesome to know that SIFE was already able to make a difference – and we’re just getting started, because once you’re on the donor list, you’re on it forever,” said Trista Gorrell ‘12, coordinator of the Give a Spit drive and SIFE member. More information about the Give A Spit campaign and how to become a donor is available at

Courtesy Image

When Salina-based Geoprobe Solutions had a problem, they asked K-State Salina students to fix it. The company manufactures direct push units, or probe rods, which must be advanced into the soil to collect samples at depths of more than 100 feet below grade. With as many as 25 rods in the soil at a time, weighing as much as 1,250 lbs., there is a danger that the rods could fall back into the hole while retracting. When a rod is lost, it - and the sample it contains cannot be retrieved. The break also could be a safety hazard for the team at the sample site. Four seniors in the mechanical engineering technology program developed a clamp system to prevent rod loss that could be used on the company’s current midsize units and their previous model. Their only other instructions were that the system should be cost-efficient and be able to be mass-produced, while increasing the distance between the operator and the potentially dangerous task. Dustin Turner, Luke Broberg, Matt Wesely, and Paul Bentz, all members of the class of 2012, manufactured prototypes of several clamp styles looking for the design that worked best. The final product was a C-shaped clamp that will reduce the risk of probe loss, save money, and reduce the risk of operator injury. Geoprobe is now manufacturing the clamp.

community commitment




Photo: Natalie Blair

Up until two years ago, Mark Wilson’s plan was to be a bush pilot. The concept of piloting an aircraft from the ground didn’t even seem like a possibility. And he never would have imagined that he would secure a paid internship with one of the leading unmanned aircraft systems manufacturers and operators in the world. Wilson, senior in unmanned aircraft systems and professional pilot, Wamego, Kan., spent his summer with AAI Corporation at one of their operation sites in Ft. Pickett near Richmond, Va. “I assisted the training department with daily flight operations, helping with everything from mission briefing and debriefing and helping test equipment,” he said. “It was really interesting to me to see how that company conducts their operations compared to K-State.” He also was a simulator instructor for AAI students, something he does for K-State Salina’s UAS program. “We go over flight planning, mission briefing, execution, mission debriefing, aircrew resource management, ground and flight 7


safety, and how all of the components interact with each other.” “The technology that goes into the systems is really interesting to me. I like that we learn about building and repair in addition to flying.” Wilson still gets time flying in the air working towards his certified flight instructor instrument rating. “We don’t know yet what requirements the FAA is going to have when they put out their (commercial UAS) regulations in 2015, so I want to be prepared for anything. And every rating just helps me more with situational awareness, which is imperative when remotely piloting an aircraft.” In addition to classes and lab time, as UAS Club vice president he gets more experience operating, building, and maintaining the UAS Club’s aircraft in preparation for competition. The club placed seventh and brought home nearly $4,000 in prize money at their first competition, the 10th annual Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Student UAS Competition at Patuxent River NAS, Md.

“We think we’ll do even better at the competition this year because we know what to expect and improved our helicopter with the prize money, so we’ll have longer endurance.” Because they aren’t building the aircraft from scratch, the team’s biggest expense this year will be travel to the competition. “Last year we took four members which is the bare minimum. Most teams had 10 or 12 people and we’d like to be able to bring that many. If we had enough funding we’d be able to compete all over the world. Our goal is to compete at the AUVSI competition in Australia with the maximum number of competitors, have a backup aircraft, and students wouldn’t have to pay for meals out of pocket.” The UAS Student of the Year will graduate in May 2013 and expects to work overseas until 2015 when the FAA announces regulations for operating remotely piloted aircraft in the national airspace. “Right now we are one of three universities offering a bachelor’s degree in UAS, so there will be lots of opportunities in the field.”

make room Kansas State University Salina’s enrollment has continued to increase, reaching 882 students in undergraduate and graduate programs both on campus and online. Total head count is up 47 students from the fall 2011 semester. The fall 2012 enrollment included 109 students from out of state and another 17 international students, making it one of the most diverse the campus has seen. Multicultural student enrollment also increased with 170 students identifying as Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander or multiracial. The residence halls were at 95 percent capacity, with only 10 open beds after move-in day.

Stealth Education Seldom seen, library ninjas perform heroic acts to ensure their patrons have access to information. These mythic vigilantes and their escapades are brought to life in “Legends of the Library Ninjas: A Quest for Knowledge,” a graphic novel resulting from a partnership between Kansas State University Salina and Kansas Wesleyan University. Greg Charland, senior in computer systems technology, Abilene, Kan., illustrated the book and worked with Heidi Blackburn, undergraduate services librarian at K-State Salina, and Kate Wise, associate librarian at KWU, to create storyboards. The book includes tutorials on how to conduct effective research, such as using Boolean logic, finding and evaluating sources, and using the Dewey decimal system. The book is available online at

Social media Battles stigmas Digital media student Brian Allen presented at the Small Town State of NOW Conference in November. The sophomore from Washington, Kan., spoke about how social media helped him rise above the social stigma he battles as a traumatic brain injury survivor. An accident left Allen partially paralyzed but he has found his passion in many different forms of digital media, including music. He finds the potential for creative expression and a global audience in online media exciting, and he uses blogs and social media to communicate with his expanding audience. “I want people to know that social media has allowed me to achieve empowerment. It’s not about the quantity of connections, but rather the quality of your people,” Allen said. “I wanted to speak at this conference because I believe I have a story to tell and, as a result, my words will empower the State of NOW audience.” State of NOW is the brainchild of Jeff Pulver, a technology entrepreneur best known as cofounder of the voice-over IP service Vonage. It is a series of conferences around the world dealing with the positive impact of living and working digitally that turns online interaction into an in-person conference.

Top: Fall 2012 left only 10 open beds after move-in day. Center: The Library Ninjas graphic novel has helped make using the library easier for K-State Salina and Kansas Wesleyan students. Bottom: Brian Allen and digital media program head Bill Genereux discuss video editing. Photos: University Photo Services

standout students


Mr. Roboto: Professor’s hobby turns into academic offerings “I became familiar with robotics after being asked to mentor the Salina Central High School robotics team on software and programming,” said Tim Bower, associate professor of computer systems technology. “In the last couple of years, K-State Salina started looking at the need for robotics classes, especially as it can provide some great interdisciplinary problem-solving in our engineering technology department.” Currently Bower is working with Tanner Stephenson, junior in computer systems technology, Great Bend, Kan., to learn the TurtleBot’s base platform as part of a onehour independent study class. “Our focus right now is just becoming familiar with the robot and how to program it so, for now, it is a software-only project,” Bower said. “But this will grow and involve electronics and mechanical students.

Photo: University Photography Services



Robotics has a close synergy with our unmanned aircraft systems initiatives as well.” Stephenson is spending the semester writing programming for the TurtleBot. “It is a new experience for me to work with robotics,” Stephenson said. “There are many complex and subtle issues that we are working on resolving, especially related

to programing autonomous behavior of the robot. I’m enjoying the challenges and am learning a lot.” Bower and Stephenson are experimenting with the base platform for now, with plans to eventually add an arm that would allow it to cooperate or compete with other robots. “The base platform is pretty basic, but it does have some interesting features,” Bower said. “It uses a Microsoft Kinect, the same

equipment that can be used with an Xbox 360, as visual and sonar sensors. And the programming environment that it uses, ROS, has an open source license, so there are no limitations on what we can do with it.” Bower selected the TurtleBot platform after working with Lee Gatton ‘71, owner of Overland Park, Kan., based GRD Robotics. “Lee has been very helpful and willing to consult with us to make sure that as our robotics offerings expand our students are developing the skills they will need in the workforce. Robotics is increasingly being used in industry and presents some interesting technical challenges not seen in other areas of software development, such as programing centered around input and output,” Bower said.

awards & recognition Dandu a leader in two engineering organizations Dr. Raju Dandu, professor of mechanical engineering technology, was appointed as a member of the 2012-2013 ABET Technology Accreditation Commission by ABET Board of Directors Executive Committee. As a ETAC Commissioner, Dandu will act as team chair and is responsible for reviewing programs nationally and internationally. He serves as the primary contact with the institution being evaluated and presents the visit team’s findings to the ABET commission. He is the first K-State Salina faculty member to serve as a United States ETAC Commissioner. Dandu also became the American Society for Engineering Education’s Midwest Section Chairperson during the section’s conference in September 2012, and represents the section on ASEE’s Zone III executive board.

Homolka slides into Hall of Fame Bob Homolka, professor of mathematics, was inducted into the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame in Wichita in February. In a career spanning nearly four decades, Homolka has umpired nearly 5,000 games. At the collegiate level, he has twice worked the College World Series in Omaha. He served as an umpire in the major leagues during the 1995 players’ strike. In addition to umpiring, Homolka presented two national papers on the subject of Baseball, Mathematics and Storytelling in 2009 and 2010.

Dr. Kurt Barnhart, head

of the aviation department and director of Applied Aviation Research Center, was named a Kansan to Know by Ingram’s magazine.

Troy Brockway,

associate professor aviation, earned the Master Certified Flight Instructor accreditation for the third time.

Ashley Flowers,

communications coordinator, won a gold award for excellence in print-posters from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VI.

Les Kinsler, professor

of computer systems technology and interim engineering technology department head, was named programming chairperson for the Midwest Section of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dr. Dennis Kuhlman,

retired CEO and Dean, was awarded the 2012 Kansas Society of Professional Engineers Award and named to the National Society of Professional Engineers’ 2012 class of Fellow Members.

Dr. Mindy Markham,

assistant professor of family studies and human services, was published in Family Relations journal.

Michael Oetken,

assistant director of marketing and communication, won a silver award for excellence in multimedia-video from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VI. This is Oetken’s 10th CASE award.

Margaret Presley,

instructor of social work, was named Social Worker of the Year by Smoky Hill Association of Social Workers.

Dr. Eric Shappee,

professor of unmanned aircraft systems, earned the Master Certified Flight Instructor accreditation for the sixth time.

K-State Salina Awards 2012 Rex & Jean McArthur Family Faculty Fellow Award:

Dr. Patricia Ackerman, associate professor of language arts and director of graduate programs

2012 Marchbanks Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence: Dr. Jung Oh, professor of chemistry

Classified Employee of the Year:

Annette Hernandez, administrative specialist for the engineering technology department

Unclassified Employee of the Year:

Danielle Brown, director of Academic and Career Advising Center

Professor of the Year:

Teresa Hartman, instructor of mathematics; Lowell Hinchee, instructor of aviation

Academic Advisor of the Year:

Raylene Alexander, associate professor of avionics

Club Advisor of the Year:

Kathy Brockway, associate professor of business, Students In Free Enterprise

faculty spotlight


Photo: University Photography Services

celebrating journey the

Beyond editor and alumni relations director Natalie Blair sat down with Thomas Creech, co-founder of Schilling Institute and the school’s third president, to find out what the first years were like.



When did the idea of an engineering technology school begin?

The base didn’t close until 1966. What did you do in the meantime?

World War II had accelerated an awareness of technology and a need for more emphasis on technology eduation to maintain a balance of power in the international race for technological dominance. In the early ‘60s there was a lot of interest at K-State in starting a technology program. In 1963 Hank Neely was assigned by Paul Russell, dean of the College of Engineering, to study the need for engineering technology education in Kansas and develop degree programs. Hank asked for my help in designing the degree programs and we met nearly every night for about a year creating a report that outlined the need for such a school, the spectrum of programs that could be offered, curriculum recommendations, and an organizational structure.

The first year campus was in the United Life building at 7th and Iron. We spent that year planning and establishing an image with every high school in Kansas and the public. Legislature didn’t make a funding provision for the college when the first bill was passed, so the first few weeks were a bit tense as the college existed with appointed personnel but no financial support.

Why Salina?

How did you recruit students? Getting the word out about the new Technical Institute as a new state college was a very critical task. We had about 20 employees total. There was very good cooperation between the staff because of the respect held for President Neely. The job ahead was formidable but the esprit de corps was high.

On “Black Friday,” Nov. 26, 1964, the Air Force announced that Schilling AFB in Salina would be one of 150 military bases to close. Dean Russell set a meeting between Hank and I and Col. Mike Scanlan, Shilling Air Base commander for Tuesday, Nov. 30, to see if we could obtain part of the land to develop an engineering technology college. They rolled out the red carpet for us that day and Col. Scanlan was one of the college’s strongest advocates.

Staff visited every high school in Kanas at least once that first year and all letters of inquiry were followed up by a letter and a visit by staff if possible. There was no budget for travel so staff used their personal vehicles and bought their own gasoline. The first enrollment estimate was 500 students for the fall 1966 semester.

Our other early advocates included Murray Wilson, founder of Wilson & Co., State Representatives Charles Heath and Bruce Johnson, and State Senator Jerry Simpson. With the help of the city fathers and Kansas State University, the state legislators introduced a bill during the Spring 1965 legislative session to establish the college on the vacated base. The report that we prepared was presented to the city fathers who sent it to the legislature with a cover page indicating the report was submitted by the City of Salina. The legislature passed HB 1101, called the Schilling Institute Act. They also passed the State Education Authority Act, which named Dean Russell, State Superintendent of Education Adel Throckmorton, and former State Senator Lauren Jones as the authority members.

The state was building a system of vocational schools and junior colleges and was receiving federal funding for technical education. Schilling Institute’s first budget was a substantial portion of that fund, which created resentment. Several legislators with these new schools in their district wrote bills to close Schilling and this information spread across the state like wildfire. Because of that, the actual enrollment was about 120 students.

How did you decide who got to be president? The State Education Authority’s first action was to appoint a president for Schilling Institute. Hank Neely was appointed July 1, 1965, and he appointed me as director of academic affairs shortly after.

So you didn’t flip a coin? No. We might have told a few people that, but the board made the appointment. And that’s the positions we’d have had if we’d decided it for ourselves. Hank was very good at the politics required for starting a new college.

What were the first degrees offered? Four programs were approved for the 1966-67 school year: Electrical Engineering Technology, an electronics emphasis leading to an associate’s degree; Detail and Design Technology, a mechanical engineering emphasis leading to an associate’s degree; Civil Engineering Technology, a field emphasis leading to an associate’s degree; and Aeronautical Technology, which was airframe & powerplant maintenance leading to a certificate of completion.

What was enrollment the first year?

What was campus like when you first moved in? The Air Force had vacated the base in July. Although there were many buildings, none of them were suitable for classrooms without extensive modifications. There was no money available so the faculty spent the summer of 1966 working as carpenters, electricians, and plumbers. Col. Scanlan had been told to get rid of all the furniture on the base, so he ordered his men to pile everything in one of the hangars for us. We dug out chairs, desks, filing cabinets, couches, anything we could make use of.

What kind of companies hired our first graduates? The first graduating class, in 1968, was ten people. All of them found very good opportunities. We got very encouraging feedback from employers who wanted to hire future graduates. Phillips Petroleum, (now Conoco Phillips), of Bartlesville, Okla., truly bolstered the morale of the faculty and staff of the college. The Sandia Corporation connected with the White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico had a very strong influence in promoting the school and made great efforts to hire graduates. A third employer of early graduates was Black & Veatch Engineering of Kansas City.

celebrating the journey





What attracted you to K-State?

What are your top three priorities?

This campus is awesome; there’s lots of room to grow and play. Having the flight department on the runway doesn’t get more ideal, our engineering technology labs are wonderful, we have many opportunities for hands-on experiences for all our programs. Our campus is like a living laboratory. The real bonus is that I’ve rarely met university employees so dedicated to student success. The support of the Salina community is also a real asset.

1. Educate people about the great opportunities in engineering technology. We need to educate high

What do you think are our strengths? We are building on what Tom Creech and Hank Neely started nearly 50 years ago. I really enjoyed sitting and talking with Mr. Creech about the campus’ history. We still have that passion and dedication in our students and our faculty and staff. The infrastructure can support growth and we have community support. There are individuals all around us who are active on our advisory boards, hire our alumni and offer internships, answer questions about what students should be learning.

Where do you see opportunities for growth? We need to support economic development in Kansas by offering programs that the region needs to grow. Also, the UAS industry will bring the aviation and engineering technology programs together.



school students and their parents about what the term “engineering technology” means. Many of our graduates have the job title of engineer. We need to get kids excited about the “hidden magic” behind the technologies they use every day. Most projects require more than one kind of engineering knowledge. It’s also a good profession for kids who are tactile learners and gamers.

2. Continue to support the aviation program to maintain its outstanding quality. 3. Build a student union. . A place for students to gather and one stop to get all of their questions answered, that includes one place online.

4. Better integration with all campuses as we support the K-State 2025 vision.

What are challenges we’ll need to overcome as we look to the future? Students have a great debt burden. They’re worried about books, rent, lunch. As a land grant university we need to find ways to make higher education more accessible and affordable.

How would you like to see alumni get more involved with campus? I would love to know them. Where have they gone and how did their education prepare them? What would they do differently? What do they want from their alma mater?

How would you like to see the campus get more involved with the community? Already our students are tenants, employees, consumers. We have student projects that support local entities and faculty are involved in service organizations. But we need to let the community know more about what we do and that we are a resource for them.


My husband, Jim, works as a research engineer at Excel Industries in Hesston and loves it. His commute is even 10 minutes shorter than when we lived in Cleveland. We have two daughters, Joan and Gail, who live in Ohio. They’ve been to visit several times. And there’s Binti, our goofy golden retriever.

Making Salina home:

We bought a house and a car. We love getting to know the community and have community theatre season tickets and are Salina Arts Center members. I also am a Rotarian.


I built my career between academics and industry. I felt like that made me a better educator and a better employee. I’m a lifelong learner and like sharing knowledge. Knowledge is only powerful when it’s shared.

Academic experience:

Kent State University’s College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, associate professor, served as interim dean 2008 - 2010; Case Western Reserve University; Cleveland State University; Wright State University’s Lake Campus; Milwaukee School of Engineering.

Industry experience:

Process strategy coach for Kinetic Insights LLC in Columbus, Ohio, and has her own coaching and consulting business in which she helps operations improve to align with strategic plans. Her industrial background also includes experiences as a product safety engineer, safety and regulatory engineer, and an international liaison engineer.

Starting young:

My dad, grandfather, two of my three brothers and two of my mom’s three brothers were in engineering. I was exposed to what a great career it is and how diverse it could be. Everybody did different things like bicycles, printing, manufacturing, logistics, telecommunications, and research and development, but education let them be outrageously successful.


• Motorcycle

– Yamaha midnight star, got license two years ago • Movie buff • Like to build things.

Favorite music:

I love music of all kinds. My students introduced me to lots of great music over the years. I even built a guitar and plan to learn to play it.

Favorite Doctor Who: David Tennant

Favorite books: • Change

Your Questions Change Your Life • Good to Great • John Carter of Mars series


Dr. Fitzsimmons on Facebook!

meet the dean





IN 2012 forty students traveled abroad studying topics in international business. Wildcats have been spotted under the Eiffel Tower, high in the Alps, at international car shows and ‘minding the gap’ on the Underground in London. These students were led by world travelers Fred and Sue Guzek, who live and work in France part-time, leading them to feel it is important to provide study abroad experiences for K-State Salina students. Fred, associate professor of marketing, and Sue, instructor of business, are creating business courses with an international experience component. The Guzeks have organized two courses so far: International Project Management and Global Logistics. Each course included a week of study abroad experience. Assisting with the classes are Kathy Brockway, associate professor of business, and Troy Brockway, associate professor of aviation.



GERMANY] SWITZERLAND ENGLAND FRANCE In March 2012, they took a group of students to Germany and Switzerland as part of the international project management class. The students visited the Porsche Museum and the MercedesBenz museum in Stuttgart, Germany where they examined brand management and explored the Salon International de l’Auto, or the Geneva International Motor Show, where they studied event management. A visit to the historic Cathédrale St-Pierre, which has been occupied since at least the 4th century, served as an example of social project planning. “The trip was amazing,” said Ashley Flowers, ’12. “We could sit in the classroom and talk about these things, but it was a completely different experience to go see them for ourselves. And it taught me to look at the world in a different way. We could have just taken the train up Simplon Pass in Brig, but we talked about what went into building the rail system and how families get supplies up the mountain to build their houses.” Other class projects included developing a management plan for a project, either real or fictitious, and planning the fictitious visit of a group of delegates from various countries. That project included planning the process of preparing both the delegates and the Salina community for the upcoming visit. The second trip came in October with students from the Global Logistics class. This group prepared for their trip to England and France, learning about international shipping and customs by visiting international companies based in Salina. At Great Plains Manufacturing they met with Daniel Rauchholz, president of Great Plains International, and Ulrike “Rikki” Thornton, export operations and account manager. They also met with Jason Peterson, international inside sales & operations manager at Vortex Valves, a division of Salina Vortex, Corp. The group then visited with the company’s representatives on the other side of the pond. Colin Adams, managing director of Simba Great Plains, and Travis Young, vice president of marketing and international business development at Vortex Valves, met them at Great Plains’ European headquarters in Sleaford, Lincolnshire. An overnight ferry carried the travelers and many tons of cargo from Portsmouth across the English Channel to Le Havre where they toured the harbor. Le Havre is the largest container port and second largest commercial port in tonnage in France. Class projects at the end of the semester included researching Somali pirates’ impact on global trade, the social implications of international trade on the River Thames, and what it takes to ship an antique Stearman aircraft from Salina to Australia. “We had the opportunity to meet with people who manage international logistics every day and it was really interesting to see all the little details that go into getting the product from Salina, Kansas, to somewhere that doesn’t have a sea port close by,” said Brandon Jackson, senior in technology management, who took the class as a distance student from his home in Grand Prairie, Texas. “And the opportunity to see London and Paris was great.” 17


student memories Shane Bullis ‘12

The seafood in Le Havre (France) was quite different. It was served very fresh - a lot of it still had eyes - and even though it had been cooked it was served cold.

Ashley Flowers ’12 I was exploring Picadilly Circus and the surrounding areas and partially by accident I found myself in Trafalgar Square. From the steps of the National Portrait Museum in the square you can see Big Ben. I was so taken aback when I saw it for the first time, glowing in the distance with all the traffic and bustle of the city at night. Seeing such a famous icon makes you feel big because there you are with this important piece of history, but also so small because it has seen so much more history than you could imagine.

Courtney Green, junior in general business administration, Salina, KAN. I enjoyed the museum night in Bern (Switzerland). There were lots of old-fashioned cars out on the street and the amazing museums filled with art and info stayed open until 2 a.m. The entire city was alive that night and all of the local people were helpful.

Tonya Hodson, junior in professional pilot, Marion, Kan. On our last day in England, Natalie Blair and I set off to see our own specific highlights of London. We went to see Paddington Station and the Sherlock Holmes museum and then we took the underground out to the Royal Air Force Museum. I had never read a Sherlock Holmes book and she doesn’t know much about aircraft but we had a great time and great conversation.

Brandon Jackson ’12 I loved Zermatt (Switzerland)! It’s such a beautiful town and there are no cars. It started snowing when we got up there, which was perfect because the carriage horses were all dressed up.

Jen McLean, senior in professional pilot, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. When we were in France, one of the students needed her medical card out of her luggage back at the port. So Kathy Brockway and I ran about two miles to get it and then we got stuck in a language barrier. We ran in and told them that we had an emergency. They just said, “two minutes,” and went back to helping other people.

Kathy Sanders, senior in technology management, Assaria, Kan. It’s been my dream to see the Eiffel Tower. The first night we were in Paris a few of us went to see it. It was so beautiful all lit up. The next morning I went to the top of the tower, even though I’m terrified of heights, because I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. The weather was beautiful so we had an amazing view from the top.



Mark your calendar January 22 Spring 2013 Semester Begins

March 18-22 Spring Break

April 20 Open House & Alumni Reunion

August 26 Fall 2013 Semester Begins

November 25-29 Fall Break

December 13 Fall 2013 Commencement

May 11 Spring 2013 Commencement

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Beyond 2013  

K-State Salina and beyond! Find out about all of the new happenings on campus with students, faculty and staff. Then, take a journey with K-...