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K-State Parents and Family Association

Highlights from Black History Month Celebrations

Notable Speakers Visit K-State for Black History Month & MLK Observance Week

K-State was quite fortunate this past month to host lectures from two major social activists:  Martin Luther King III and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

It has been fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Kansas State University, the last university he would be able to visit. Dr. King advocated for nonviolent approaches to social injustice in his presentation to over 7000 people sitting in Ahearn Fieldhouse. To honor the 50th anniversary of his lecture at K-State, Dr. King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, spoke to over 600 K-State students, administration, and community members in the K-State Student Union on Thursday, January 25th.

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Cats’ Cupboard: A Great Start to a Valued Campus Resource

An Update from Cats’ Cupboard Coordinator, Erin Bishop:

Erin Bishop photo


As coordinator of Cats’ Cupboard, I want to provide you with some happy news and exciting updates.  We have been very busy here, serving students, raising awareness, providing students and staff/faculty with resource referrals, and exploring ways to combat stigma.  As we move into the spring, we have some new things on the horizon to share!

Attached you will find a “Visitor Report” for our first semester of operation. From September 25 to December 22, we had 189 first time visitors using the pantry, and a total of 442 visits for those three months.  Our students came from every college on campus, with the largest majority being in-state students.  My quick math shows we have now had close to 230 unique victors with well over 590 visits to the pantry.  The second part of that sheet shows preferred usage times for students.  This is helpful as we move forward in evaluating our current policies and procedures.

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A New Partnership with K-State Polytechnic and American Airlines

American Airlines Flight Education Grant boosts Kansas State Polytechnic aviation education outreach efforts

Thanks to a $25,000 grant from American Airlines, plans are taking off on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus to help more secondary students learn what it’s like to be an airplane pilot.

Image result for american airlines logo

The grant, designed to increase enrollment in Kansas State Polytechnic’s professional pilot degree program, will fund construction of a mobile aircraft simulator lab, support short introductory flights for prospective pilot students and sponsor middle and high school student scholarships to the campus’s aviation youth Discover Programs.

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Spring Break, Not Spring Broke

Money Saving Tips for Spring Break by Emily Koochel of Powercat Financial

The semester is flying by and spring break is just around the corner! Spring break is meant to be a fun and relaxing time to get your mind off of school and rejuvenate yourself. However, traveling can become quite expensive and many students end up stressing out about their trip because of the overwhelming costs. Below are helpful tips and tricks to help save some extra cash so you can focus on having a well-deserved stress free week.

Meals can eat away at your budget very quickly, especially when restaurants at many spring break locations can be quite pricey, albeit delicious! Consider packing your own food and drinks when you are traveling. If you’re carpooling with friends, pack a cooler full of sandwiches, drinks, and snacks. This will be cheaper than stopping at restaurants along the way, even the seemingly inexpensive fast food places. It will also shorten the time of your trip by cutting out those timely meal stops and help you get to your destination faster! If you are flying somewhere you can also pack a meal and/or snacks. Food on airplanes and in the airports is very expensive, avoiding these options for meals will significantly decrease your meal costs. Another common way to bring down your food costs is finding a hotel furnished with a refrigerator and microwave, or better yet an in-room kitchen. Buying groceries and making a few meals in your hotel will be much cheaper than going out for every meal, or ordering room service.

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Young Alumni Spotlight: Carolyn Gatewood

PFA was fortunate enough to catch up with Carolyn Gatewood, a 2014 graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English and a minor in Leadership Studies with a nonprofit focus. Through her involvement in organizations such as Student Foundation, K-State Proud, Blue Key, Association of Residence Halls, and Christian Challenge, Carolyn’s K-State experiences have proven essential in navigating the transition into her professional career. The Shawnee, Kansas native is now a 9th grade English/Language Arts teacher at the Ewing Marion Kauffman School in Kansas City, MO.

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A Conversation about the Center for Student Involvement

Heather Reed, assistant vice president, also serving as the senior associate dean and director of student life sits down with PFA Intern Annie Jewell to discuss the recent changes regarding student clubs and organizations at Kansas State University.

Annie: Heather, thank you for taking the time to discuss the new Center for Student Involvement and what this means for the K-State students. The K-State Parents and Family Association aims to communicate changes that occur on campus to parents in a timely, thorough, and direct manner.

Heather: Of course!

Annie: Let’s get to it. K-State encourages all students to get involved in student organizations, which provide many opportunities for leadership, personal growth, community service, professional development and learning from others. Tell us about the newly formed Center for Student Involvement.

Heather: This summer, the Office of Student Activities and Services and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life merged to form the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). The center, in the newly renovated Student Union, assists with registration, provides information to students and offers programming on topics such as leadership development and offers resources to nearly 500 student organizations. We just hired a new executive director, Kelli Farris.

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Young Alumni Spotlight: Andrew Waldman

Andrew WaldmanWe recently caught up with Andrew Waldman, 2014 graduate of Kansas State University, to discuss the opportunities at K-State that helped him be successful in his career. Andrew, a Shawnee native, received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He now works for Deloitte Consulting.

Describe your transition from college to career. What were some of the major adjustments?
I actually had an unexpectedly quick transition! I wasn’t able to finish my Master’s thesis in May like I had planned, so I had to delay my graduation until August. I wrote and defended my thesis that summer while also completing a full-time internship at my fraternity’s Administrative Office. I finished my internship in Ohio on August 15, and moved back to Kansas over the weekend to start my first day at Deloitte on August 18. It was chaos. But I’d say the biggest adjustment was (and still is) learning how to balance a career with my personal life. There is literally always more work to do, but most of the time it’s not worth sacrificing quality time with friends and family on the weekends. The work will still be there on Monday.

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The Cats’ Cupboard Grand “CAN” Opening Was a Tasty Success!

The recently announced logo for the Cats’ Cupboard. This logo was voted on by K-State students, faculty and staff.

This semester was a big one for our NEW campus food pantry. Cats’ Cupboard celebrated it’s grand “CAN” opening in October alongside students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Supporters all across campus stopped by to see the pantry space, donate to the pantry, hear from students and faculty that helped start the pantry, and help promote this resource for students! 

As you might recall, we previously had a feature on Erin Bishop, the food pantry coordinator, and how she carries out the vision of the food pantry. That mission is to prevent food insecurity from being a barrier to student success. Awareness, as well as access to healthy food, is essential to her role and the role of the pantry moving forward. The collaborative effort of student life and academia will lead the way for practicing real change and enhancing K-State’s land-grant mission.

With space in the basement of Fairchild hall (009), a central location on campus, the shelves are stocked and the accessibility of food and other necessary items is now there for students.

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Be ready for sickness: steps to prepare for when your student becomes ill

The 2016 National College Health Assessment concluded that over 50 percent of college students sought out treatment, over the course of a year, for illnesses ranging from allergies and back pain to strep throat and ear infections. It’s inevitable that at some point in college, your child will get sick. When they do feel ill, Lafene Health Center is ready to help. Lafene Health Center

Located on campus, west of Kramer Dining Center, Lafene is conveniently located for a quick visit with a professional staff member. Lafene has services ranging from allergy and immunizations, X-ray’s, a women’s health clinic, and physical therapy to name a few.

The biggest difference between Lafene Health Center and a private doctor’s office is the cost. Students at K-State pay a specified privilege fee each semester which helps subsidize the cost of student health services. Most of the time, a short appointment without equipment or labs will be at low cost or no charge. Additionally, services including the pharmacy, laboratory, X-Ray’s, Physical Therapy, etc. are charged to students (mainly via health insurance) at a much reduced rate.

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Guest Post: How to Be A Thrifty Giver During the Holidays

This content was originally posted on the K-State Powercat Financial Services Blog on November 6, 2017 and was written by Gretchen Holthaus. Powercat Financial Services is a peer-to-peer program where students studying financial planning or financial services offer counseling to fellow students on budgeting, saving, credit, student loan repayment and transitioning to work. 

K-State Parents and Family Association wants to advise students and parents on some smart money habits throughout the holiday season. Time with students, and family, is special and we hope this article is useful as we celebrate the holidays! 

giftsDuring the holidays money can be tight— especially with all the pressure to get everyone you know a nice and meaningful gift. Below are some helpful tips for you and your wallet during the holidays.

Make a List and Check it Twice

First, list out all the people you’d like to get gifts for. After you do that, look through it again. Are there people on there that you maybe have lost touch with or don’t talk to as much anymore? If you are working with a tight budget during the holidays, it will be beneficial shortening this list to those you still have strong relationships with.

Another way to shorten your list would be to start a Secret Santa. Instead of you and your friends getting a gift for every single person, start a Secret Santa. This will limit the number of gift purchases while also allowing you to focus on getting a nice gift for one person instead of however many smaller gifts to stay in budget.

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