Kansas State University


First Scholars

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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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.

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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!






October/November Newsletter


brittsfarm7Hello First Scholars! Most of the fall semester is behind us, we are in the home stretch. Fall break is coming up followed by finals just a few weeks later. It’s time to buckle down and get ready for the end of the year.

First Scholars has done a lot of fun things the past few months that will be highlighted below including homecoming, intramural volleyball and the Ad Astra First Generation Conference. Happy reading.




Trip to Britt’s Farm

First Scholars took a trip to Britt’s Farm during homecoming weekend. Check out everything we did in the video and picture below.

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Check out the video to see more from the First Scholars day at Britt’s Farm.

Intramural Volleyball

Some First Scholar students got together for intramural volleyball. Our team has been having a great time.

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Ad Astra First Generation Conference

In September’s newsletter we told you about the Ad Astra First Generation Conference at Wichita State that some of the sophomore students went to. Hear about their experiences in their own words below.

Featured Student

Meet Coraima Yanez.


Upcoming Events

Coming up for the rest of the semester:

First Scholars Sophomore Bowling- November 14th 8pm-9 PM

Thanksgiving Break- November 22nd-25th

First Scholars Freshman and Junior Bowling- November 28th 8:30-9:30 PM

Playback Theatre and Holiday Celebration- December 8th 5:30-7:30 PM at the Purple Mask Theatre

Finals Week- December 12th-16th

Happy Birthday to the Following First Scholars!

Taylor Underwood October 6th

Gerald Frayre October 13th

Ashley Coleman October 13th

Kaitlin Gehring October 16th

Josh Woods November 1st

Katie Arpin November 2nd

Mandie Bennett November 3rd

Brianna Jackson November 4th

Adam Koch November 5th

Simran Malhi November 7th

Jasmine William November 18th

Maggi Sherbon November 21st

Cody Price November 28th



First Scholars September Newsletter

First Scholars September News

Note from Rebeca

Dear First Scholars,

Thanks for the warm welcome as I start my role of overseeing the First Scholars Program. I look forward to working with each one of you during your undergraduate career, helping you set goals, thrive, and shoot for the stars.  Please know that I am here to assist you-stop by Holton Hall 101.


Rebeca Paz


Welcome new first year scholars: Noah Aeillo, Katie Arpin, Jacquii Ayala, Lexie Broeker, Jessie Carr, Katelynn Clark, Emma Claybrook, Juan De Santiago, Lauren Ewing, Gabrielle Farris, Gerald Frayre, Monica Harrison, Selena Hernandez, Brianna Jackson, Westley Jennings, Lauren Lauffer, Jacob Loecker, Cody Price, Efrain Reyes and Montezia Shakespear. We are happy you have chosen K-State and that you have joined the First Scholars Program. Keep up the good work that you have started this semester.




The fall 2016 semester is off to a great start. So far this semester the first year First Scholars have  gone on a retreat to kick of the school year and have had a picnic. The annual trip to the pumpkin patch will be upon us soon! You can check out the video below to see some highlights from our picnic this year.


Featured Student

We are trying out something new this month! Each newsletter First Scholars will select one student to feature in a twenty-questions type style video. We would like everyone to get to know our scholars better and see all of the unique and fun things they are doing at Kansas State. This month we will be featuring junior Tyler Aden. Tyler is a mathematics major and is currently doing undergraduate research. Watch the video below to learn more about Tyler’s adventures at K-State.

Ad Astra First Generation Conference

A group of First Scholars sophomores attended a statewide First Generation Student Conference at Wichita State University
A group of first scholars attended the Ad Astra Conference for First Generation college students at Wichita State University this past weekend.  First generation students from across the state of Kansas shared their experiences of what it means to be the first in their family to attend college.
The conference theme was “Using Your Strengths to Reach the Stars.” This two -day conference comprised of workshops led by different participating campuses that focused on the challenges that first-gen students face and the valuable strengths they bring to the university.  Other topics included: utilizing campus resources, cross-cultural leadership, social justice, finding your passion, and others.
One of the K-State First Scholars, Isaiah Solorzano, represented the campus by participating in a student panel. All  scholars found the conference to be a valuable opportunity and they plan to lead a couple of sessions at next year’s conference. First Scholars Program coordinator and associate director for K-State First, Rebeca Paz, traveled with the students to WSU.  The following students participated in the conference: Julie Demel, Kaitlin Gehring, Megan Haresnape, Essence Rush, Maggie Sherbon, Isaiah Solórzano, Jasmine Williams and Coraima Yanez.




Meet the New Staff!

This year First Scholars has some new faces.

Rebeca Paz- First Scholars Coordinator


Molly Hadfield- Graduate Assistant


Alexus Lacy- Student Worker


Coming up…

Future First Scholars events for October include:

October 6th- Joshua Davis Lecture, author of Spare Parts from 7-8 in McCain Auditorium

October 10-14th Spark Week

October 12th- Majors, Minors and More Fair

October 18th- Last day to register to vote

October 23rd- Bonfire at Britz Farm