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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.

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!

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