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XIX Chapter | Kansas State University Fall 2018 Newsletter

Initiation Banquet and New Members

As the conclusion of this

school year quickly approaches, so does the time for the 2018-2019 class of Mortar Board to pass on the torch to the incoming class. To celebrate the formal initiation of Mortar Board’s incoming class, a banquet was held on Sunday, April 14th at K-State’s Alumni Center. At the banquet, Mortar Board welcomed 29 outstanding undergraduate members and one honorary member into its ranks. Although we are sad to see the 2018-2019 class go, we are excited to see the incredible things this new group of intelligent and driven individuals will accomplish. The 2019-2020 class is comprised of the following members: Rebekah Cain, Allen, Kan.; Gabrielle Phillips, Andover, Kan.; Cameron Parr, Benton, Kan.; Shelby Foster, Derby, Kan.; Michaela Hughes, Ellinwood, Kan; Olivia Rogers, Gardner, Kan.; Sahiba Grover, Nicholas Kalny and Abigaile Molzer, all from Lenexa, Kan.; Alexis Abadayan and Trenton Kempker, both from Olathe, Kan.; Jacob Leikam, Overland Park, Kan.; Siddarth Jambunathan, Shawnee,

Kan.; Jacob Balzer, Jared Rack and Caitlyn White, all from Hays, Kan.; Shannon Bellamy and Sarah Hansen, both from Hutchinson, Kan.; Lindsay Chassay, MacKenzie Gwinner and Isis Thornton-Saunders, all from Manhattan, Kan.; Dene Dryden, Palco, Kan.; Hannah Caswell and Zachary Hilbig, both from Salina, Kan.; Molly Mulqueen, Topeka, Kan.; Jacob Korb, Valley Falls, Kan.; Matt Plummer, Wamego, Kan.; Kirby McCandless, Wichita, Kan.; and Eunice Lalunio, Philippines. This year, Mortar Board selected Amanda Cebula as its honorary member. Amanda is an instructor at Kansas State’s Staley School of Leadership Studies and serves as one of Mortar Board’s

faculty advisors. During the Initiation Banquet, Amanda spoke about being open to opportunity and seizing opportunity when it presents itself. She also said how she effectively invested her time and effort at her previous job. As a result of her hard work, she became the co-author of “The Leadership Edge,” a book she uses to teach at K-State. She emphasized how the ideals of Mortar Board have made a profound impact on her life and reflected on her short but very meaningful time as a faculty advisor of Mortar Board. As the torch passes from this Mortar Board class to the next, the tradition of Scholarship, Leadership, and Service will continue to flourish with our new members.


Mortar Board Week 2019: great fun, great lecture

“My message is to be genuine and better.”


his spring’s Mortar Board Week was a blast for chapter members and others on campus. The chapter deemed it a success as the leadership committee excelled in planning and carrying out a variety of activities.


Last lecture

The cornerstone or most popular event of the week was easily Dr. Pat Bosco’s “Last Lecture” on Thursday, Feb. 14. He will retire in July from his position as Vice President for Student Life at K-State.

As any speaker does during a “Last Lecture” event, Dr. Bosco reflected on his professional and personal development and what matters most to him. Despite being Valentine’s Day, there was strong attendance, filling the majority of Town Hall in the Leadership Studies Building. The chapter also recorded the event live on Facebook. The lecture is still available on our page “K-State Mortar Board - XIX Chapter,” if anyone wishes to listen to it. Dr. Bosco discussed authen-

tic leaders and why K-State is special. The Collegian reported on the event and quoted Dr. Bosco saying, “My message is to be genuine and better.” Leadership committee member William Carter said Dr. Bosco explifies Mortar Board’s ideals of leadership, scholarship and service. At least 6,700 Facebook users viewed the video, and over one thousand people engaged with the lecture video online. The chapter was excited to be able to share Dr. Bosco’s message with those not able to be on campus at the event. Other portions of the week included a trivia night, tabling at the Union, and passing out study snacks. These helped raise awareness of chapter activity on campus. Unfortunately, due to incliment weather the event for writing

letters to professors had to be cancelled on Friday.

Trivia night

Five teams battled it out on Tuesday during Mortar Board Trivia Night. There were four rounds and a total of 40 questions. Categories featured K-State trivia, pop culture, history and science. A combination of chapter

members and other students from across campus participated. The winning team earned gift cards. Later in the week, students. of course, reacted well to the study snacks handed out by chapter members. “Mortar Week is a week when we display our ideals with fun events like trivia and also Dr. Bosco’s Last Lecture,” William says.

From the leadership committee, Max Meyer and William Carter run trivia night.

Mortar Board members enjoy testing their trivia knowledge.


Alumni spotlight: Caitlyn (Webb) Thomas Alumna Caitlyn Thomas reflects on her Mortar Board experience and her time as a college student, pursuing leadership, scholarship and service. She graduated with a bachelor of business administration in accounting, a certificate in international business and a bachelor of arts in economics. She rounded out her studies at K-State with a minor in Spanish. Complementing her peer, she says, “Emily Stolfus, did a fantastic job of organizing an event to support Ethiopia Reads. Through her coordination and the investment of the community, books were able to be sent to start and grow libraries in Ethiopia.” This was Caitlyn’s favorite activity during her time as an active member at K-State.


any proposal that a friend would make...” In London, I lived with five other women, all from different parts of the globe. Additionally, over 20 countries were represented by the 38 students in my program. My friends were dynamic and capable but they were also selfless and motivated to change lives. From them, I witnessed that: To lead, we must serve. To serve, we must seek the good of those around us. To do good, we must act as a friend. My husband, Colin, and I now live in Philadelphia, PA. Just as Pi Sigma Alpha defined my year in London, the principles of scholarship, service, and leadership are shaping our time on the east coast. We are dedicated to building our marriage, fostering right community, and committing to friendship in big and small ways. We recognize that, just as Mortar Board’s Gold and Silver colors represent achievement and opportunity; the greatest achievement we will attain is unity and the most exciting opportunities we will discover will come from life-giving relationships. When we gradate school, the question “where” dissipates. Instead, we must ask ourselves: “what” do I want to be about? and “why?”

“... Scholarship transformed into curiosity, service into intentionality and leadership into friendship.”

n college, the question “where” evolves into: “what” and “why.” Instead of “where” am I going to be, the thought turns into “what” am I going to be about? And “why?” After graduating K-State in May 2017, I left Kansas and the United States for one year to study for an MSc in Local Economic Development at the London School of Economics. Three of the most crucial lessons I


learned at the LSE align with Mortar Board’s Motto: Pi Sigma Alpha. Before my time at K-State, I understood scholarship to mean book learning, service to translate into community hours, and leadership to equate title. As a member of Mortar Board, my understanding of these words changed: scholarship transformed into curiosity, service into intentionality, and leadership into friendship. These core characteristics defined my year in London. I discovered scholarship as the insatiable desire to learn from my peers. As a Rotary Global Grant Scholar, I experienced Rotary’s Motto: Service Above Self – and witnessed how mindful service impacts the needs of global communities. Most importantly, my

friendships grew my comprehension of servant leadership. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “I have always been in the habit of acceding to almost

Mortar Board honors outstanding faculty

Each year the K-State Mor-

tar Board chapter honors notable faculty on our Kansas State University campus who embody our principles of leadership, scholarship and service. Each of the faculty members recognized was honored because of student nominations. These notable faculty members have continued to make an impact on our campus, and in the lives of each student they interact with.

Dr. Mick Charney Architecture, Planning & Design

Dr. Trevor Durbin Arts and Sciences

Dr. Jacqueline Fassler-Kerstetter Arts and Sciences

Dr. Douglas Walker Business Administration

Mr. James Alberto Education

Dr. William Hageman Engineering

Dr. Martin Seay Human Ecology

Dr. Colby Moorberg Agriculture


Members brush up on etiquette

Don and Jan Wissman

hosted the XIX Chapter for an etiquette dinner Monday, March 4. The 14 members who attended listened to a presentation from “Mr. Manners” himself, K-State professor emeritus Pat Pesci.

Pat and the members discussed various table settings and how to navigate them at a formal or business dinner. Some of the behavior tips were to not “camp” or rest your elbows on the table and to wait to begin eating until all have been served. We also learned how

to politely ask for seconds, which was particularly handy at this dinner. The presentation was a nice refresher for the chapter, and it was generous of the Wissmans to host our group for the evening.

Member spotlight: Ashlyn Fisher


shlyn Fisher, daughter of Chad and Misty Fisher of St. John, Kan. Kansas received the prestigious Michael E. Brown Alpha Tau Omega Mortar Board Leadership Scholarship at the annual K-State Mortar Board Initiation Banquet on April 14 at the K-State Alumni Center in Manhattan, Kansas. The award is given to a K-State student member of Mortar


Board’s XIX chapter who is in good academic standing and possesses good character. The recipient must also be someone who has substantially and meritoriously contributed to the quality of student life at Kansas State University and demonstrated outstanding leadership in Mortar Board, said Bill Muir, president of the K-State Alpha Tau Omega Students’ Aid Endowment Fund. Bill said Ashlyn’s eagerness to lead the group from the start of her presidency of the chapter was impressive. In carrying out her duties as president, Ashlyn has excelled as a leader, communicator and group member, he said. “In addition to keeping the chapter running, she has also been a fully active member, never asking the members to participate in something she would not be part of herself,” Bill said. “Her ability to balance the present chapter while also thinking about the impact this

chapter’s decisions will have on future members also speaks highly of her ability to serve on behalf of the common good of the entire organization and not just her own motives.” “The highest compliment we can give to her is that she makes others’ lives easier because of her presence in them,” Bill continued. “She has a bright future ahead and we are excited to see the difference she will surely continue to make in this world.” Mary Tolar, director of the Staley School of Leadership Studies and former chapter adviser, said Ashlyn has had an extraordinary impact on the chapter. “Among a group of extraordinary student leaders, Ashlyn intentionally made space and opportunity for all members to grow and contribute – and she did so with humor and care,” Mary said. Ashlyn, a graduating senior in biology at K-State, said she was

thankful and humbled to receive the award. “Being named the recipient of this scholarship was such an honor, and I was immediately flooded with a feeling of gratitude,” Ashlyn said. “Michael Brown, a previous Mortar Board advisor for 13 years, has provided me with an opportunity to financially invest in my own medical education, and I couldn’t be more thankful.” In her time as K-State, Ashlyn said she has learned many lessons while serving as an active group member and leader. Beyond Mortar Board, Ashlyn has also served as vice president of the K-State Pre-Med Club, treasurer for the WellCAT Ambassadors, a Pre-Health Ambassador, member of Alpha Epsilon Delta National Pre-Health Honor Society.

“As my time as a collegiate member of Mortar Board ends, I find myself reflecting on all that we have accomplished in such a short amount of time,” Ashlyn said. “Ending my college career as a Mortar Board member fills me with a sense of pride both in myself, my fellow members, and the lasting impact we will leave on the XIX Chapter. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to carry the torch with over this last year, and I am honored to have had the opportunity to grow as a leader while serving them,” she said. After graduation, Ashlyn will continue her studies at the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Fisher says she picked the school due to her passion for improving rural

health care. She said she hopes to pursue a residency position in anesthesiology, surgery or pediatrics once she completes medical school, and return to southcentral Kansas to open her own practice and start a family.

Beginning the semester with Mike Finnegan


ike Finnegan hosted the chapter for a barbecue at his house during our first meeting of the spring semseter on January 28. He talked to the group about some of his life experiences, knowing chapter members will be graduating in May 2019. “I learned the importance of using the first few weeks of working with a new company to understand its culture, norms and structure before beginning to implement your ideas and projects,” said chapter member Elizabeth Weesner.


Mortar Board Calendar

Spring Events 01/28 02/07 02/11-15 02/25 03/04 04/01 04/14 04/15 04/15-19 04/22 04/29 05/18


Meeting at Mike Finnegan’s Faculty Recognition Event Mortar Board Week Trivia tabling in the Union Trivia Night on campus “Last Lecture” series with Pat Bosco Distinguished Young Alumni, Kale Monk KSU/KU basketball watch party Etiquette Dinner at Jan Wissman’s Capture the flag for Mortar Board Monday New Member Initiation Banquet Spring retreat and scavenger hunt Book drive for Ethiopia Reads New member elections Social at advisor Amanda Cebula’s Spring Commencement

In April, chapter members collected

around 250 books during the book drive for Ethiopia Reads.

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XIX Chapter Spring 2019 Newsletter  

XIX Chapter Spring 2019 Newsletter