Kansas State University


First Scholars

Author: Vanessa-Rose Turpin

First Scholars Fall 2019 Newsletter

First Scholars Fall 2019 Semester Newsletter

Summer & August Events
Over the summer, we had the honor of welcoming new First Scholars to K-State! These first-generation students will be able to bond together through monthly events that the first-generation office hosts. Additionally, they will be able to use this office as well as other campus resources during their college experience as they become the first in their family to graduate from college! A warm welcome to our 2019 cohort of First Scholars!

We started this semester off with our annual visit to the K-State Challenge Course. This time allows our new cohort of First Scholars to bond together through challenges that require team effort to complete. These challenges include using their communication and leadership skills to create a plan that will allow everyone to walk across wooden logs to get from one side to the other. These activities are engaging and highly mind stimulating.

This Challenge Course activity required the students to rely on each other through a human chain as each person crossed wires and wooden logs until they got to a swinging rope that had to be passed along after each person completed the task.

September Events
We had the pleasure of having Eric and Deb Suder visit our First-generation student lounge (located in 101 Holtz Hall) to visit with our First Scholars and give them personal advice and encouragement as each student shared their short and long-term goals. Thank you to the Suders for their continued support of first-generation students here at K-State!

We hosted our first FriYay of the semester on Friday, September 6th. The first Friday of each month is dedicated to hosting a gathering to bring awareness of first-generation students so that other students are aware of the resources and events that the office proivdes. Any student or faculty member may stop by for a snack and to see our upcoming events and learn about what the Office of First Generation Students has to offer.

October Events
This year we decided to go back to Britt’s Farm and enjoy their pumpkin patch, hayrack ride, and corn maze! Once our exploring through the corn maze was done, we ended the night with a bonfire and enjoyed some s’mores. A special thank you to Britt’s Farm for hosting us again!

November Events
November 8th will always be a special place in our hearts as this is the National First-generation Student Celebration Day! This day is dedicated to celebrate our first-generation students and the successes they have accomplished. This year we decided to have a whole week of celebration with a new event each day that students could participate in. The week of celebration ended with our “1 party” where we hosted a huge celebration for all students to come and enjoy the festivities put on by the Office of First-generation Students, Union Program Council (UPC), K-State First, and other campus partners. Additionally, we held an art competition in which first-generation students had the opportunity to showcase their talents.

This art piece was created by First-generation graduate student Arobelle Andrews and it is entitled “Within.” Arobelle explains her artwork as “the struggles in life are like turbulent waves, but it’s up to us to use those waves to rise to the surface and reach the fresh air. We can be stuck drowning in our struggles or face those challenges head on and use them to move past our limits and rise above the water. The tree symbolizes the growth that comes from within and allowing us to see that we can view life as beautiful as nature. Overall, being limited in what you have (information/resources/support) does not mean you have to confine yourself within boundaries, it just means you push pass those limits.”

This photograph was taken by first-year and First-generation student Dylan Connell. Dylan says that working for the Collegian and studying photography at K-State has advanced his skills to levels he couldn’t picture before. He says that he is grateful to be a First-generation student at K-State.

December Event
We capped the year off with our annual First-generation End of Semester Celebration! We had cookie decorations, a hot chocolate and popcorn bar, and games that included trying to unwrap gifts from a saran ball all while using oven mitts! Quite the challenge but the students prevailed.

Fall 2019 Graduates
Lastly, we want to say congratulations to our Fall 2019 graduates!
Jessie Carr
Jessie graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Services. She accepted a position as an extension agent in Wyandotte County. Congratulations, Jessie!

Katie Gehring
Katie Gehring graduated with Summa Cum Laude Honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Services as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. Katie has accepted a facilitator position with Healthier Lyon County! Congratulations, Katie!

Essence Rush
Essence graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and is serving as a long-term substitute at an elementary school in Manhattan. Congratulations, Essence!

Upcoming Events
Our first event for the Spring 2020 semester is Ice Skating! This will be held on Sunday, February 16th from 7:30 – 9 pm and it will take place in the City Park Ice Skating Rink located at Poyntz Avenue & 11th Street. We ask that each student bring $3.50 for skate rentals.
(Flyer is included below)

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!