Kansas State University


First Scholars

First-Scholars Spring 2019 Newsletter

First-Scholars Newsletter Spring 2019

As we near the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, we wanted to recap some of the events we have done, future events, and accomplishments our First-generation students have achieved!

On February 28, 2019 we had the great pleasure of hosting our second annual First-generation talent show! Some very special first-generation students were able to showcase their unique talents to fellow students as well as other attendees from the K-State population.

We want to thank the following students and judges for participating in this years talent show:
• Sami Mooneyham – Poem: “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff”, A.E. Housman
• Sequoyah Morabito – Piano: “Tickling the Ol Ivories”
• Elisha Stone – Singing & Ukulele
• Poise Hip Hop Dance Team
• Enrique Salas – Singing: “La llorona”

First-Scholar Sophomore Enrique Salas is performing during the 2019 First-generation Talent Show.

Poise Hip Hop Dance Team performs during the 2019 Talent Show. This includes Junior First-Scholar Bri Jackson (2nd in from the left).

On March 19 the First-Scholars program collaborated with the K-State Student Union to host a de-stress bowling night! It was a great time for students to be able to de-stress from post-spring break mid-terms and help them get back into the swing of things.

Students got to explore their wild side as we attended the Sunset Zoo for a visit on April 13th. This was a great opportunity for students to engage in the Manhattan community and experience some of the fun the little apple has to offer outside of the K-State campus!

We want to thank Phillips 66 for their on-going support for first-generation students. Through their sponsorship, we now have a first-generation student lounge! Located in Holtz Hall, this lounge offers a free space for students to come, hang out, study, and hold meetings! It’s equipped with some pretty unique swirly chairs along with plenty of couch seating! It includes some desks and a smart TV that students are free to use for presentations! The lounge is open during Holtz Hall tutoring hours which run:
Monday-Thursday 8:30 am – 9:20pm
Fridays 8:30 am – 4:20 pm
Sundays 5:30 pm – 9:20 pm
So, if you’re looking for an open space to study for upcoming finals, know that you’re welcome in the first-generation student lounge!

We will be celebrating the amazing accomplishments of the First-Scholars 2019 graduating class! On Friday May 17th, we are hosting our 2nd annual First-generation graduation reception! This will take place in Forum Hall located in the K-State Student Union. Doors will open at 6 pm with the event starting at 6:30 pm.

Spring 2019 Graduating First-Scholars:
• Lydee Brandyberry – Agribusiness
• Julie Demel – Social Work
• Gabriella Doebele – Mass Communications
• Megan Haresnape – Horticulture
• Jordan Roth – Computer Science
• Tyler Shadduck – Park Management and Conservation
• Kyle Wietharn – Architectural Engineering
• Jasmine Williams – Athletic Training
• Coraima Yanez – Life Sciences

Upcoming Event Dates
We are starting out the 2019-2020 school year strong with some events that we would like to invite you all to!
• Saturday, October 26th Family Day
• Friday, November 8th National First-generation Day

As always, thank you for your continued support for First-Scholars students as they progress towards finishing their degrees from Kansas State University. We look forward to seeing their growth through the years to come and everything they will accomplish! Thank you and enjoy the summertime!

First Scholars Fall 2018 Newsletter

First Scholars Semester Newsletter Fall 2018
We have reached the end of the Fall 2018 semester! The past couple of months have been filled with lots of joy, travels, new friends, and new memories made. We wanted to re-cap this semester before students left for their much earned winter break and also celebrate those that are completing their undergraduate degrees.

Congratulations to our graduating First Scholars for Fall 2018!
Tyler Aden, 2014 Cohort
Delante Madden, 2014 Cohort
Chris Sandquist, 2015 Cohort

Fall 2018 First Scholar graduate Tyler Aden!

Congratulations, Tyler!

First Scholar Fall 2018 graduate Delante Madden with First Scholars managing director Kiley Moody.

Congratulations, Delante we are so proud of you!

First Scholar Fall 2018 graduate Chris Sandquist with his family.

Congratulations, Chris!

We wanted to give a warm, K-State family welcome to our new First Scholars this year! We hope you have enjoyed your first semester here at K-State and that you have made many connections and life-long friends with your cohort and beyond. We know you are going to do great things as you venture into your college experiences and we are so thankful to have you join our family!

Say hello to the newest First Scholars to join our K-State family!

A huge part of the First Scholar experience is bonding with your fellow students. Here, we have Carley Oxford and Drew Mooneyham working together to move wooden logs in order to make their way across a bridge without touching the ground. Great teamwork and trust involved in order to complete the task.

The First Scholars got great bonding time in as they worked together to help each other cross the bridge that they made together. Here we can see Kayla Leduc, Arely Yanez, and Carley Oxford helping Sydney Fletcher.

September Happenings
On September 9th, we had our BBQ kickoff event for all first-generation students at the Manhattan City Park! This event was vital to have at the beginning of the semester as it was a great bonding experience to welcome the future 2022 graduating class of K-State! We would like to give special thanks to some special First Schoalrs for making it all come together wonderfully! First, First Scholars Resident Learning Assistant (RLA) Brian Mota who walked the new First-Scholars cohort to the park and got to get extra bonding time with them! And a big thank you to Brianna Jackson, Gerald Frayre, Gabby Farris, and Noah Aeillo who are the First Scholars event coordinators. They all planned out the event and did all of the amazing cooking that was happening! It’s not easy feeding around 70 hungry students. And of course, a big thank you for Kiley Moody who is the managing director for First-Scholars for keeping everyone in check and making her amazing brownie cupcakes.

2018-2019 First Scholar event coordinators cooking during the Fall 2018 kickoff BBQ event.
Pictured (left to right):
Gabbby Farris, Noah Aeillo, and Bri Jackson

Not too long after the BBQ, we had a very special baby girl born! Everyone, meet Maia Moncayo who was born on 9/17/2018. Her mother is Karina Michael-Moncayo. Karine was part of the First Scholars program and is also returning in the Spring 2019 semester to serve as the First-Generation Graduate Assistant!

These First Scholars celebrated their birthdays!
Sydney Weaver, September 3rd
Tyler Shadduck, September 9th
Lydee Brandyberry, September 11th
Abraham Rivera, September 18th
Kyle Wietharn, September 27th

October Happenings
On October 9th, First Scholars students had the opportunity to meet Eric and Deb Suder and have dinner with them at Kramer Dining Center. Students had the opportunity to talk with the Suders who have given tremendous support to not only the First Scholars program at Kansas State University but across the nation. After the dinner, the Suders were able to speak to all of the Scholars. During their speeches, the Suders gave heart-to-heart encouragement to everyone and let them know that they are fully loved and supported by them. Afterwards, the Suders gave each First Scholar a hug and wished them the best as they continue through the semester. The First Scholars program sends a big thank you to Eric Suder and Deb Suder for their continued support and love to our K-State students!

The Sophomore cohort got to do some traveling to Wichita State University as they attended the Ad Astra Conference. This took place from October 26th – 27th. The Ad Astra Conference is an annual conference that gives First-Generation students the opportunity to meet other First-Generation students from other universities, which provides a unique experience to bond with students that they can relate to one another. During the conference, students attended workshops to talk about being a First-Generation student on their campus and discuss ideas about how to better support each other.. These workshops were inclusive and allowed students to share their opinions and hear thoughts from students from other universities. In addition, the students also got to hear from keynote speaker Dr. Lindsay Romasanta who is a First-Generation student and now serves as the Director of Student Success Programs at the University of California San Diego! Dr. Romasanta spoke to students about her personal experiences going through her undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D. She spoke to what helped her get her to where she is today. Dr. Romasanta shared advice about making connections while in college. She emphasized the importance of going into professor office hours and focusing on doing all that you can while in college because those experiences will come back and help students in the end as they are finishing their degree and moving on to career. Big thank you to the First-Generation Graduate Assistant (Ana Parra) and First Scholars Graduate Assistant (Vanessa-Rose Turpin) for coming along with the students!

Ad Astra Conference key note speaker Dr. Lindsay Romasanta

These First Scholars celebrated their birthdays!
Alejandro Martinez, October 7th
Carley Oxford, October 13th
Gerald Frayre, October 13th
Kaitlin Gehring, October 16th

November Happenings
On November 8th, we celebrated National First-Generation Day! This was held in the K-State Student Union where we had the opportunity to have K-State faculty who are First-Generation talk about their experiences going through college as the first in their family to do so. Students were able to ask questions as they begin their journey. Thank you to Rafael Fernandez and Ana Parra and fellow students who helped create a large, green “1” to recognize all First-Generation students. Students were invited to sign the one and say why they are proud to be a First-Generation student at K-State.

First Scholar, Bri Jackson, next to the green #1 sign to showcase why she is proud to be a First-Generation student.

A panel of K-State faculty who are First-Generation speaking about their experiences and giving advice to fellow K-State students about how to navigate and get the most out of college.

Happy birthday to these First Scholars!
Katie Arpin, November 2nd
Bri Jackson, November 4th
Jasmine Williams, November 18th
Natalia Rodriguez, November 20th

December Happenings
On Sunday, December 2nd, we had our end of the semester celebration for students! It was held in the Frith Community Center and featured a popcorn bar and cookie decorating for students to de-stress before they begin studying for their finals. We also had some gift exchanges and saran wrapped prizes that students had to use oven mitts to unwrap in order to get a prize. Thank you to everyone who came to the event and were able to celebrate the end of the Fall 2018 semester! We hope you all enjoy your break and wish you all safe travels back home for the holidays!

And a special happy birthday to these First Scholars!
Jacqueline Ayala, December 2nd
Sydney Fletcher, December 3rd
Kamber Schulze, December 22nd
Sami Mooneyham, December 30th

From our First Scholars family to you and yours; Happy Holidays!

April/May Newsletter

We have reached the end of the semester! It is a rewarding time for the Scholars as they have reached the end of another school year and for some, they are reaching the end of their undergraduate studies.

This April we celebrated the Scholars and all of their academic achievement as well as the program’s first graduating cohort! At the First Scholars Families Reception and Celebration, the scholars and their parents were celebrated for their accomplishments. There was a full house with near two hundred people
in attendance. Diane Schorr, Executive Director of the Suder Foundation, shared words of wisdom with the scholars and their families. She also presented Dr. Steven Dandaneau, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, with the First-Gen Champion award. The senior cohort received a small gift from the Suder Foundation as a token of appreciation for their hard work and accomplishments.

During the reception, scholars received leadership awards and peer nominated awards. Students receiving leadership awards were Jesse Carr, Meagan Haresnape, Delante Madden, Karina Michel-Moncaya, Ashleigh Weigel, and Coraima Yañez. Coraima Yañez in recognition for steady leadership through academics and active involvement on campus. Delante Madden in recognition of outstanding leadershipand service to others within the First Scholars Program. Megan Haresnape in recognition of outstanding
leadership in the Pay -it -Forward position within the First Scholars Program. Jessie Carr, in recognition of outstanding leadership through the sophomore learning service project with the 4-H Verde Clovers. Ashleigh Weigel in recognition of diligence, engagement and commitment to the pursuit of education at Kansas State University. Karina Michel-Moncayo, in recognition of leadership displayed through strong character, responsibility and professionalism within the First Scholars Program.

The following students were nominated by their peers for various awards. Courage Award presented to Sarah McFarlene for having the courage to overcome obstacles. Triple First Award presented to Ashley Coleman in recognition of being the first of the first First Scholars students to graduate from K-State. Unforgettable Award presented to Jordan Roth for reminding us through his amazing actions how he can never be forgotten. Best Chris Pratt Look-alike Award presented to Tyler Sipes for not only looking like Christ Pratt but also for perfect imitation and personification. The Father Figure Award presented to Enrique Salas for exemplifying responsibility, trustworthiness and a caring attitude to the freshmen First Scholars cohort. Most Talented Award presented to Alicia Flach for her mastery in playing several instruments. Best Ever Papa G Award presented to Gerald Frayre in recognition for developing strong community among the first-year students, and an exceptional commitment to the students’ overall adjustment and success. The GOAT Award, Greatest of All Time, presented to Efrain Reyes in recognition of consistent engagement with and encouragement to the first-year cohort, and reminding us, with the greatest smile and attitude, that the grind does not stop. Katie Arpin and Lauren Ewing were awarded the Best Aunties Award in recognition of their two genuinely caring hearts toward for the younger freshman cohort, and gently reminding them to keep working hard and do well in school. Brother Bear Award presented to Brian Hernandez-Mota in recognition for being the best little brother to the freshman cohort. Most Impactful Senior Award presented to Delante Madden in recognition of outreach and dedication to the younger cohorts of the First Scholars Program. The Dynamic Duo Award presented to Sydney Weaver and Alexis Smith in recognition for being inseparable and providing a listening ear to their peers. The Big Sister Award presented to Shaylyn Ballard in recognition of always looking out for all of her First Scholars peers.

What are the senior’s plans?

Tyler Aden will be interning with the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, OH.
Ashley Coleman graduated early and is Mobile Team Lead Engineer with Homebase.
Jerrod Conley has accepted a job as a Avionics Manufacturing Engineer with Craig Technologies in Cape Canaveral, FL.
Adam Koch is pursuing a doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Kansas.
Kaleb Koerperich has accepted a position as a Project Engineer with Lang Construction Group in Des Moines, IA.
Callie Reynolds plans to attend graduate school where she will obtain a Masters Degree in Social Work.
Anthony Vitale will be graduating in the Spring of 2019 with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Simran Malhi will be working as a Software Engineer with Accend Learning in Leawood, KS.
Rachel Meyers is choosing among eight law schools to attend in the fall.
Karina Michel is pursuing a master’s degree in College Student Development at Kansas State University.
Brandon Heide has accepted a structural architecture internship with Perkins Eastman in New York City.
Jacob Loecker has accepted an internship with Interpres Building Solutions in Springfield, MO.
Delante Madden will graduate in the fall of 208 with a degree in Psychology.
Ansley Herzog will graduate this spring with a degree in Business Management.
Josh Woods will graduate this spring with a degree in Business Administration.
Taylor Underwood will be graduating this spring with a degree in Hospitality Management.

Congratulations to the following scholars as they pursue new adventures!

Isaiah Solorzano presented research at Developing Scholars Symposium.
Jesse Carr has taken a position with the Verde Clovers
Corima Yanez will be going to Kenya with the International Service Team at K-State.
Brianna Jackson will being traveling to Italy with the Study Abroad program.
Tyler Shaddock and Juan de Santiago will be traveling to China for two weeks through a cultural exchange programs with the Confucius Institute at K-State.

Important Dates

May 4th – Spring 2018 Term Ends
May 7th -11th – Spring 2018 Term Examinations
May 12th – Undergraduate Commencement
May 12th – Residence halls close at 1:00 pm
May 14th – May 2018 Intersession Begins
May 16th – Term Final Grades Available in KSIS

April Birthdays

Denisse Reyes- April 4th
Sarah McFarlane- April 18th
Ansley Herzog- April 27th

May Birthdays

Essence Rush- May 1st
Karina Michel- May 7th
Martin Ortega- May 12th
Noah Aeillo- May 13th
Montezia Shakespear- May 15th
Gerado Hernandez- May 23th
Enrique Salas- May 25th
Shaylyn Ballard- May 28th

Farewell to the Seniors as you move forward into the next chapter of your lives. We hope everyone has a great summer filled with fun and joy.

March Newsletter

Another month has passed, and the First Scholars have been very busy with various group activities and personal triumphs. First Scholars joined together this month to go Ice Skating together as well as attend the Sound of Music. The students were able to bond and make memories together, outside of school.
The First Scholars started off the month of March celebrating the talent of First Generation students on campus. Alongside the First-Generation Student Organization, the First Scholars hosted a First-Generation Student Talent Show. The talent show featured fourteen students, representing the First Scholars, Developing Scholars Program, Kauffman Scholars, and the First Generation Students Organization who showcased their talent in various ways. Hosted by First Scholar Delante Madden and First-Generation Student Diamond Sampson, the talent show featured singers, dancers, poets, and musicians.

A huge thank you goes out to our judges: Dr. Steve Dandaneau, Ms. Nidhi Bhandari, Mr. Brent Weaver, and Ms. Joy Chen.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to help out with our event!

Winning first place was Ty Aden for his poem “59”, a poem about prime numbers and love.

Second place went to Maria Vieyra for her artwork, “Frida, Papaya, and Me.”

Briana Jackson won third place for her dance performance and Alan Ramirez was named Honorable Mention for his freestyle dance solo.

While not everyone won a prize, all our scholars are winners. One thing is for certain, we have some truly talented First Scholars!

Recently, the sophomores worked yet again with the Riley County Verde Clovers. The Verde Clovers is a 4-H program for multicultural children. Dedicated to positive multicultural youth development, the Verde Clovers meet monthly. This year, sophomores have paired up with the program as peer mentors and have dedicated time to working with the members of the Verde Clovers. On March 12th, Scholars alongside K-State’s Men of Vision joined the Verde Clovers for a community meal as well as activities. The Scholars assisted the younger children as they completed a STEM activity focused on Engineering.

While the younger children completed a STEM activity, the older kids were assisted by the Scholars as they learned about and registered for 4-H Discovery Days. The evening was filled with joy and laughter with both the Scholars and members of the Verde Clovers enjoying their time together.

Congratulations are in order for some of our Senior First Scholars. Adam Koch was accepted into a Physical Therapy Doctoral Program at Kansas University that will start this summer. Karina Michel is pursuing a Masters in Student Development. We will be updating you in the next newsletter about our intelligent seniors as they decide their post-grad plans.

We want to take a moment to shout out our First Scholars Ambassadors. The ambassadors took time out of their busy schedules to call potential program recruits. After many hours and many phone calls, the First Scholars Ambassadors were able to get a number of students to apply for the program. The ambassadors still have a few more events this semester. Thank you to the First Scholars Ambassadors for all your hard work!

Scholars, mark March 30th in your calendars as an activist, feminist, and labor leader Delores Huerta will be visiting K-State. K-State’s HALO, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, and Office of Diversity and Multicultural Student Affairs in the Division of Student Life will be hosting the event. Delores Huerta will speak on Friday, March 30th at 7:00 p.m. in K-State Student Union’s Grand Ballroom. It is sure to be a great evening!

Important Dates

• March 26th: Last day to drop a regular session course
• March 29th- March 30th: Pay It Forward position interviews
• March 26th- April 20th: Enrollment for Summer/Fall 2018 Terms
• April 21st: First Scholars Family Reception and Celebration

Kat Chats Dates

• March 27th: Extinguishing Burnout

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to the following Frist Scholars!

March Birthdays

• Jordan Roth- March 5th
• Alexis Smith- March 16th
• Coraima Yanez- March 18th
• Zachory Allred- March 25th
• Rachel Meyers- March 27th
• Emma Claybrook- March 28th

Please look ahead and mark your calendars for the First Scholars Family Reception and Celebration. This will be a fun-filled time celebrating our First Scholars accomplishments and our first graduating class. This event will be held on April 21st, 2018 from 12-2pm in the Union Ballroom. We hope you will all join us!

February Newsletter

Welcome back! The Spring semester is well underway, and the First Scholars are back and already working very hard. Last semester proved to be a successful one with graduation, scholarships, and various academic honors.

Ashley Coleman graduated in December, making him the first graduate of the K-State First Scholars program.

Katie Gehring, junior First Scholar, received the Goss Discovery Scholarship. She is currently spending the Spring Semester studying in Granada, Spain.

Congratulations are in order for the following First Scholars as they made the Honors List last semester: Ashley Coleman, Julie Demel, Gabby Doebele, Alicia Flack, Katie Gehring, Megan Haresnape, Ansley Herzog, Wes Jennings, Adam Koch, Rachel Meyers, Denise Reyes, Callie Reynolds, Jordan Roth, and Jasmin Williams.

January 27th the Junior and Senior First Scholars attended a retreat that featured various speakers and topics. The Seniors had a workshop on identifying and responding to micro-aggressions given by Richele Dadian, a psychology intern with Counseling Services. Dr. Dawne Martin, Assistant Dean for Diversity and member of the College of Business, spoke about how to prepare for the workplace. The Freshmen and Sophomore scholars joined the Juniors and Seniors to listen to the seniors present their Senior Legacy Projects. Junior scholars were spoken to by Ms. Liz Penton and Ms. Anastasia Delgado about how to avoid falling into binge drinking during their college years. Ms. Aliah Mestrovich-Seay spoke and provided an eye-opening activity over privilege and how privilege plays a role in everyone’s life. Finally, Mr. Trent McGee, K-State 360 Coordinator, spoke to the Juniors about the value of student engagement.

There are several important dates to keep in mind during this month of February. First being the Ice Skating Party for all cohorts on February 11th, 7:30- 9:00 pm. The First Scholars Talent Show will take place at Forum Hall on March 1st, 7:00-9:00 pm. If interested in participating, contact Rebeca via email: rpaz@ksu.edu. Other important dates such as Withdraw/Drop deadlines and Kat Chats are listed below.

Withdraw/Drop Dates

  • Monday, February 5th- Last day to drop a regular session course for 100% refund.
  • Monday, February 12th- Last day to drop a regular session course for 50% refund.
  • Tuesday, February 20th- Last day to drop a regular session course without a W being recorded.
  • Monday, March 26th- Last day to drop a regular session course.

Kat Chat Dates

  • Tuesday, February 6th- Connection the Dots: Recognizing Depression
  • Tuesday, February 13th- The Language of Love
  • Tuesday, February 20th- Don’t Stress! De-Stress!
  • Tuesday, February 27th- Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorders: Not Just Female Problems

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to the following First Scholars!

January/February Birthdays

  • Gabriella Doebele- January 1st
  • Joshua Woods- January 11th
  • Elisha Stone- January 12th
  • Sequoyah Morabito- January 13th
  • Karol Suarez- January 16th
  • Jessie Carr- January 31st
  • Juan de Santiago- January 31st
  • Julie Demel- February 11th
  • Ashley Weigel- January 21st
  • Alicia Flach- February 22nd
  • Trae Mosher-Cherry- February 28th

Please join us at the First Generation Student Talent Show! It is sure to be a fun filled evening showcasing the talents of our First Generation Students!
As we work our way through the Spring semester, continue to work hard Scholars. Keep up the hard work and most importantly, make yourselves proud!


November and December Newsletter

Hello First Scholars! It’s December and that means Winter break is coming up soon! Here’s what’s been going on in First Scholars!

On November 3-4, our sophomore cohort was joined by a few other students of the K-State community to attend the Ad Astra Conference in Wichita, KS to learn more about what it means to be a first-generation student and what they can do to thrive during their time in college. Students engaged in large-group activities as well as smaller break-out sessions where they were able to learn about various topics, such as leadership and professional development.

November 8th was a wonderful day filled with celebrations for first generation students all across the nation. From 11:30-1:30, the film “A Walk in My Shoes” was shown in the Student Union by the First Generation Student Organization. Later in the evening, the First Scholars hosted a reception to welcome Deb and Eric Suder. The Suders also attended the first year class where students shared their first-gen stories. We would like to thank our activity coordinators for putting on a great celebration and to everyone who participated!

Sequoyah Morabito and Alejandro Martinez engage in a conversation with Eric Suder.

Ansley Herzog tells something funny to Deb Suder and Delante Madden.

Each year the sophomore cohort of students participate in a service-learning project. This year, the cohort is working with Verde Clovers. “Each member of the cohort has been assigned a key role to ensure the success of this organization. Many are peer mentors and have been assigned a group of mentees ranging from around 2-5 per group which also vary in age. For those who are not mentors are helping coordinate meals, activities,, etc. During the last meeting we held a Thanksgiving meal, most of the food was donated however there were also a few families which brought their own food to add to the meal. We then had a bilingual activity to engage both the mentors and mentees, we have had STEM activities which include various science experiments in the past. We begin each meeting with an ice breaker, have a meal, and then go into the activity planned for the week. Aliah Mestrovich-Seay and John Jobe, Verde Clovers Organizers, came to the first scholar’s class to train us and teach us about diversity inclusion.” Lauren Ewing, sophomore.

November Birthdays

Katie Arpiin 11/2

Brianna Jackson 11/4

Jasmine Williams 11/18

Mandie Bennett 11/27/17

Adam Koch 11/5

Simran Malhi 11/1


December Birthdays

Jacqueline Ayala 12/

Callie Reynolds 12/22

Kaleb Koerperich 12/29

Sami Mooneyham 12/30


Dates to Remember:

December 11-15 Finals Week

December 15-January 15- Winter Break

December 20- Fall 2017 grades available on KsIS

Tuesday, January 16- Spring Semester begins


Have a happy holiday season and winter break!

Remember to follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @KState1stSchol https://twitter.com/KState1stSchol


September Newsletter

Welcome First Scholars! The Fall 2017 semester kicked off with a retreat to Rock Creek 4-H camp, where the freshmen cohort as well as the peer mentors were able to spend time together in activities, canoeing, and listening to a panel of sophomore scholars talk about their experiences.

“Having a bonfire with friends… no family, while having s’mores and enjoying Enrique’s guitar music in the background under the stars felt out of this world” – Brian, H., Freshman

Welcome to First Scholars! Pictured left to right:

Back row- Cody 16’, Gerald 16’, Juan 16’, Gerardo, Tanner, Brian, Sequoyah, Lauren 16’ , Zach, Sarah, Aubrey, Ashley, Alejandro, Rebeca

Front row: Elisha, Karol, Ashlie, Katie 16’, Enrique, Sydney, Kiara, Alexis, Tyler, Shaylyn

The Sophomore cohort will be attending the Ad Astra Conference, November

In September, the junior and senior cohorts each participated in retreat weekends

Junior Cohort:

The Juniors met for their annual fall retreat in September where they talked about their Pay It Forward Projects and are doing a great job in their respective roles.  Some serve as peer mentors, some serve as ambassadors and others work as event coordinators. Please ask them about how they are paying back to the  program!  Thank you, Dr. Steve Dandaneau for engaging us in important reflections on social responsibility. Thank you, Dr. Stephanie Bannister for helping us understand the importance of managing our energy in our role of students and leaders of K-State. The juniors have started their semester strong!


Seniors: (picture above)

Eighty five percent of the seniors who started together four years ago are in course to graduate. This is a great accomplishment, seniors! The senior retreat took place in early September. During this time, the seniors heard from dedicated university faculty and staff about preparing for interviews and leaving social media footprints. Thanks, Ms. Pat Hutchins, and Dr. Roger McHaney for investing your time in First Scholars. The seniors are also working on their legacy projects.

A message from Rebeca, First Scholars Program Director:

Dear First Scholars,

We hope your semester is going well.   Please welcome the new students who  are eager to meet all the members of the  First Scholars family. We now have a full grown program-that means that our first class will be graduating in May. The seniors are  busy looking for employment, interviewing, or looking at graduation. Please ask them about their plans after graduation when you see them!  All cohorts have been busy with school, work and cohort activities.

Please know that we are here for you to help you succeed academically and help you reach your goals and dreams. Keep up the good work, we are proud of you!


A message from Gerald:

“Hello, my name is Gerald Frayre and I am the new Residential Learning Assistant for the First Scholars! I am a sophomore from Garden City, Kansas studying Chemical Engineering. As the year begins, I am excited to learn about the different backgrounds and perspectives each one of the freshmen First Scholars is bringing to K-State, but also the various challenges they each had to overcome to be here.”

A message from Liz

Liz Penton is the new graduate assistant for the First Scholars Program. She is from Topeka, KS and attended Kansas State University during her undergraduate career where she earned her B.S., Communication Science and Disorders. Liz is currently attending Kansas State University to earn her M.S., in Higher Education: College Student Development. She enjoys anything outdoors and cheering on the Cats outside of class. Welcome, Liz!

Happy Birthday to you!

Taylor Underwood 10/6

Alejandro Martinez 10/7

Ashley Coleman and Gerald Frayre 10/13

Kaitlin Gehring 10/16

Important Dates:

October 29 Pumpkin Patch at Britt’s Farms with all scholars. Meet at 5:45 PM.

October 27th is the last day to drop a regular session course

Enrollment is coming up soon! Check your KSIS account to see what time you enroll!

November 8: First Generation Student Celebration Day


Find us on social media!


Twitter: @kstate1stschol

Facebook: Kansas State University First Scholars

Instagram: @kstate_first_scholars

Find us on campus and learn about the First Scholars Program!

All events are held on the Union Ground Floor!

Event Date Time
Senior Day October 16th 8:15-9:30
Transfer Student Visit Day October 23rd 8:45-10:00
Senior Day November 3rd 8:!5-9:30
Senior Day November 10th 8:!5- 9:30
Junior Day November 13th 8:00-9:00
Junior Day December 1st 8:00-9:00
Junior Day December 4th 8:00-9:00
Junior Day December 8th 8:00-9:00

April Newsletter


Hello First Scholars! The school year is almost over and we have some students to highlight who have accomplished a lot this year. There are extraordinary student recipients, a McNair Scholar and students who have taken exciting trips out of the country. The #22untilnone service learning project is still going strong and everyone is preparing for upcoming finals. As you read through the newsletter keep in mind all the cool things that these students are doing and how you can also accomplish something amazing this year.



McNair Scholar Coraima Yanez

Coraima is a McNair scholar! McNair Scholars is a program designed to help advance students into graduate level programs. McNair scholars conduct their own original research, write reports, make presentations and have to opportunity to attend research conferences. Coraima wants to go to graduate school for cancer biology and immunology to focus her research on helping cancer patients.



Extraordinary Student Recipients:









Congratulations to Ashley and Simran who have been named Extraordinary Students this year. The Extraordinary Student award is only given to six undergraduate students each year. First Scholars is proud to have two of them! Ashley Coleman is a junior from Colby, Kansas majoring in computer science. Simran Malhi is a junior from Overland Park majoring in computer science.


Ashley’s Trip to Japan

Ashley went to Japan over spring break. He wrote about his experiences and shared some pictures.

“I went to Tokyo, Japan over spring break. It was a awesome experience to explore a culture vastly different from my own. While in Tokyo, I did many touristy things such as visiting Shibuya Crossing and Akihabara, the electronics district of the city. I also visited 3 different shrines and 4 different parks. The shrines were beautiful and enveloped with cultural traditions. I even wrote on my own Ema and hung it next to the shrine. My favorite day during the trip was a rainy day where most people decided stay inside so the Ueno park was empty. I was able to spend the entire day alone in a large beautiful park with a number of shrines, and that was truly wonderful.” – Ashley Coleman



















Dining Etiquette Workshop

The junior First Scholars participated in a dining etiquette workshop with Dr. Kevin Roberts from the Hospitality Management department. This etiquette workshop is designed to help students with their job and internship searches as many employers take prospective employees out to dinner during interviews. The students went to JP’s where they learned how to lunch professionally for all of their future business lunches.























Parent Reception

On April 22nd First Scholar parents attended a reception to celebrate the First Scholars. All parents are invited to visit. Recognition will be given to students who have excelled in academics and leadership.
























Tips for Finals

Finals are coming up soon you can find some great study tips at the links below:


25 crucial study tips for finals week




Upcoming Events

May 8th-12th Finals Week


April Birthdays

Jerrod Conley April 4th

Denisse Reyes April 4th

Ansley Herzog April 27th

Essence Rush May 1st

Karina Michel May 7th

Noah Aeillo May 13th

Montezia Shakespear May 15th

Lexie Broeker May 29th






February Newsletter

February Newsletter

The new semester has started and the First Scholars are already on a roll with a new service learning project. We kicked off this semester with a retreat to teambuild and learn about the new project #22untilnone. This project will focus on helping veterans and brining awareness to those with PTSD.


Spring Retreat

This year’s spring retreat took place on the 21st and 22nd of January. The sophomore students learned about effective communication and attended a lecture from Dr. Goff about PTSD. These students also started planning their service learning project #22untilnone. Check out the pictures from the Sophomore retreat below.































The freshman and junior First Scholars went to their retreat on Sunday. Dr. Kliewer talked to the students about adaptive leadership and how they can use those skills in their own lives.


Service Learning Project #22untilnone

This semester the sophomore First Scholars have organized a service learning project focused on military veterans and PTSD awareness. Every month they will chalk sidewalks on campus with the #22untilnone hashtag. #22untilnone references that staggering statistic that every day twenty-two service members commit suicide each day. These chalk hashtags on campus will be put out to encourage others to look up the hashtag and learn more about PTSD and how they can help others. The sophomore students will also be helping out current service members on Fort Riley through out the semester.










Learn more about this semesters service learning project from Maggi Sherbon.

Check out an interview with Julie Demel about last semesters service learning project with working with the elderly at Medowlark Hills


Eric and Deb Suder Visit

The First Scholars entertained Mr. and Mrs. Suder during their visit and talked about their experiences as first generation students.
















Student Feature

Meet Jacquii Ayala!




Julie Demel February 11th

Trae Mosher-Cherry February 28th

Upcoming Events

March 5th- 7-9 PM dinner and games at the Frith Center

March 20-24th Spring Break



December/January Newsletter

volleyball-2December Newsletter

It’s the end of the fall semester. Congratulations you made it! This newsletter will be a little different than the others. It will be full of helpful tips and tricks for finals week and the holiday season. I hope all of you have a wonderful winter break. We will see you in January!




Next time you see the people below be sure to wish them a happy birthday!

Jaqueline Ayala- December 2

Callie Reynolds- December 22

Kaleb Koerperich- December 29

Gabrielle Doebele- January 1

Josh Woods- January 11

Juan De Santiago- January 31

Jessie Carr- January 31

Check out some photos from this month.

Intramural Volleyball









First Scholars went bowling

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First Scholars Recruiting

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Playback Theatre

The First Scholars had fun sharing their stories with the Play Back Theatre crew from the Department of Drama Therapy

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playback-theatre-2 playback-theatre-5

















Congratulations To Brianna Jackson for participating in the Black and Gold Pageant.

For every fall semester since 1999, the Kappa Tau chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. presents the Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant. This prestigious pageant is our way of showcasing the intelligence, talent, excellence, and unparalleled beauty of black women on the campus of Kansas State University. This annual pageant continues to be not only the cornerstone program of Kappa Tau, but also a cornerstone program for the Kansas State University campus overall.

briana-pagent-photo briana-pagent-group-photo

Upcoming Outside Scholarships

We know you’re dying for something to work on during winter break, so we compiled a list of outside scholarships with upcoming deadlines. May the essay-writing and scholarship-winning commence!

American Residential Warranty Scholarship: Deadline: March 31st

Cyberbullying Awareness Scholarship: Deadline: December 15

Small Pet Select Scholarships: Deadline: December 31

Student Debt Relief Scholarship: Deadline: December 31

Military College Scholarship: Deadline: December 31

I Heart My School Scholarship: Deadline: February 28

Baer Reintegration Scholarship: Deadline: January 31

Boren Scholarship: Deadline: February 9

Writers & Illustrators of the Future: Deadline: Anytime

State of Kansas Scholarships : Deadline May 1

Kansas State University Scholarships: Deadline February 1

Final Exams: 7 tips for studying and 6 ways to reduce stress

Just remember: the stress, sleeplessness, and brain drain of finals week shall too pass; but in the meantime, consider these study tips and stress reducers.

Study Tips (Adapted from the Huffington Post and US News)

  1. Study in chunks. It’s official: cramming is not the best way to study. According to the Dartmouth Academic Skills Center, you should study in 20-50 minute increments and take a 5 to 10 minute break between each session.
  2. Alternate study spots. The New York Times explained that, rather than sticking to one area, you should switch things up when studying for exams.
  3. Form a study group. They can motivate you to get started when it’s hard to motivate yourself, and explaining concepts out load to others can help you figure out what you understand and what you still need to go over.
  4. Get some exercise. Some suggest that just 20 minutes of cardio a day can help improve your memory. Also, taking a break in nature is more relaxing than a stroll in the city. There’s also the option of a dance break in your dorm room!
  5. Study differently for each class. If you try to study for your algebra exam the same way you study for your English exam, you might not do very well. Check out this guide to learn how to study for math exams, language exams, and more.
  6. Start with what you know and add to it. If you build on what you already know by slowly increasing the amount and difficulty of information you study, you can connect new information with familiar information and you won’t forget the basics.
  7. Make studying interesting. It’s harder to remember lists of “boring facts” than a story, so try to connect with what you’re studying. Using memory aids and making information more personal with make it much easier to learn.

Stress Reducers

  1. Puppies! Or kittens! Or other furry friends! There are few things more enjoyable than playing with a fuzzy animal, and after 15 minutes or so, you’ll be rejuvenated and ready to hit the books again.
  2. Exercise. Go for a run, attend a yoga class, or take a bike ride. It can make you feel like a new person (and remember to drink lots of water afterward to stay hydrated)!
  3. Bake a healthy treat. Baking can be a surprisingly soothing activity, so try making a healthy goodie and you’ll have something fast that will fuel your brain.
  4. Now talk it out. Don’t keep your anxiety bottled up inside! Chat with a friend or family member, tell them what’s stressing you out, and ask for advice if you want it. Verbalizing the things on your mind helps ease the worry and calm you down.
  5. Perform a simple act of kindness. Spend a couple hours volunteering or help your roommate unload groceries. Sometimes just doing something nice for another person is the best way to get yourself to stop obsessing about your own problems.
  6. Take a break from social media. Spending too much time on Facebook and Twitter when finals are approaching will likely only add to your stress levels. Turn off social media email notifications so you’re not tempted to log on and enjoy the freedom!

Where to Give & Receive

This is a time of year when many are looking to give back and others are in need of a little help. Here are a few ways you can give and receive this holiday season:

Giving in the Manhattan Area

  • Donate any children’s toys in new or slightly used condition to Toys for Manhattan. Toys may be dropped off at 409 E. Poyntz on December 9th and December 11th from 9am-1pm.
  • Flint Hills Breadbasket is holding its annual Mayor’s Christmas Holiday Food and Fund Drive. Monetary donations and food donations will be accepted. The Breadbasket also hosts volunteers throughout the year, and you may contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (785) 537-0730 to discuss opportunities.
  • Donate new, unwrapped children’s toys to Toys for Tots by bringing them to the main office at Manhattan High School, West Campus. Toys for Tots will work with the Manhattan Boys and Girls Club to distribute the toys.

Giving in the KC Area

  • Adopt a family through Operation Breakthrough by providing three new, unwrapped gifts for each child in the family, which will likely be the only gift the child(ren) will receive. Call (816) 329-5222 for more information.
  • Harvesters—Kansas City’s only food bank—gladly accepts donations of timefood, and money in order to help serve over 388,000 people each year in the Kansas City area.
  • Give the gift of Christmas through the Angel Tree program by adopting a child and purchasing Christmas gifts for him or her.

Giving in the Wichita Area

Giving in Other Areas

  • The Salvation Army’s Share the Warmth program helps families in Kansas with paying their winter heating bills. Donations may be made to the Salvation Army.
  • Food pantries all over Kansas are in need of food and monetary donations and volunteers. http://www.foodpantries.org/st/kansas and click on the city names on the right-hand side to find the contact information for the nearest food pantry. Ask the pantry what its needs are and volunteer or donate to make a difference in your area!
  • Make a difference in the lives of individuals and families who are at risk of entering the cycle of poverty by donating to www.modestneeds.org.


Receiving in the Manhattan Area

  • Anyone may receive free children’s toys from Toys for Manhattan—no sign-up or application necessary. Toys for Manhattan is open for toy pickups on December 13th and December 20th from 9am-1pm at 409 E. Poyntz.
  • Flint Hills Breadbasket coordinates several food assistance programs in the Manhattan area. Call (785) 537-0730 to see if you, your family, or someone you know can receive food assistance from the Breadbasket.
  • Bread of Hope is a food distributor that provides groceries at a discounted price to anyone at any income level. Food orders may be placed online and food may be picked up at the nearest host site. (Compassionate Ministries in Junction City is the host site for the Manhattan area.)

Receiving in the KC Area

  • Request Christmas toys for a child through Toys for Tots by selecting your state and county here, then clicking “Request a Toy” to find the contact person for your area.
  • Harvesters is Kansas City’s only food bank, providing food assistance to individuals and families throughout the community. Type in your zip code here to find the nearest services.
  • Energy assistance from LIHEAP is available for eligible individuals and families. Applications for the program can be found here.

Receiving in the Wichita Area

  • Gaballi provides discounted groceries for anyone at any income level. Food orders are placed online and orders are picked up at the nearest host site. (The Benton Church in Benton, KS, is the host site for the Wichita area.)
  • Sign up for Mission of Hope Christmas Assistance through the Salvation Army if you or someone you know is struggling to make ends meet this holiday season.
  • The Kansas Food Bank provides hunger relief to individuals and families in the Wichita area and across Kansas. Call (316) 265-3663 for more information.

Receiving in Other Areas

  • Individuals or families struggling to pay heating bills may contact the Salvation Army’s Share the Warmth program toll-free at 1-877-566-2769, extension 402 to receive an application for utility assistance.
  • There are food pantries in all areas of Kansas that help with food assistance. Go to http://www.foodpantries.org/st/kansas and click on the city names on the right-hand side to find the contact information for the nearest food pantry.
  • Eligible individuals and families can apply for a Modest Needs grant to help restore financial self-sufficiency.

*If you or someone you know is looking to volunteer OR is in need of assistance at any time of the year, please visit www.211.org. Simply type in your zip code, click “Search for Community Services,” and look through the organizations and programs in your area.

Happy Holidays! Have a great break!