K-State Proud

We are in day 5 of K-State Proud week. As a co-chair for the K-State Proud campaign, I am so happy that this week is here. In my opinion, K-State Proud represents the concept of a “K-State Family” in the best way.

The past two weeks students have been donating to K-State Proud. These donations directly impact the lives of their fellow K-State students through Student Opportunity Awards. These awards are given to students that have exhausted all of their financial aid and are at risk of leaving K-State. Last year alone, 70 students were kept at K-State because of K-State Proud. In six years, K-State Proud has raised more than $550,000 for Student Opportunity Awards. During campaign week this week, the goal is to raise $135,000.

Campaign week will wrap up on Monday, Feb. 25 with the K-State versus Texas Tech basketball game. We will gray out Bramlage in support of “students helping students.” Join the K-State family in supporting Student Opportunity Awards by visiting the K-State Proud website at www.k-stateproud.org. Also check out this video to learn more.

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Dancing with the K-State Stars

I had the opportunity to plan one of my favorite events at K-State for the second year in a row: Dancing with the K-State Stars. This was the 5th season of Dancing with the K-State Stars and was an excellent event. My committee on Union Program Council planned the event and made it new by adding Chelsie Hightower from Dancing with the Stars to our panel of judges.

This event pairs K-State “stars” with a professional dancer in the area. These stars include students, faculty, and staff. This years stars included members of Student Government, Union Program Council, Blue Key, Residence Halls, the band, and much more. This year the dances included the waltz, salsa, merengue, and swing.

Grant Hill, Student Body Vice President, and his partner Lexie Casey took home to mirror ball trophy as this years champions.

Having the opportunity to plan an event that brings more than 400 people to come watch was an awesome experience. I also was able to work with an agent and work with celebrity talent. Plus, hanging out with Chelsie Hightower and Sasha Farber during their time here was pretty awesome. This opportunity would not have been possible without Union Program Council.  When I was considering K-State for my education, I never expected to have this type of experience while in college.

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K-Staters say Ni Hao to China

This is a guest Blog by my good friends Nick Moeder, senior in accounting and finance and Brett Seidl, junior in communication studies

If you had asked either one of us a year ago what we would be doing during the 2013 winter break, one of the last things we would have said would have been going on a 25 day journey through China.  But on December 27th around 1:30 in the afternoon, we found ourselves boarding a 16 hour flight to Hong Kong, where the adventure began.  Traveling with us were Dr. Bill Meredith, Associate Dean of the College of Human Ecology; Ryan Wilkerson, internal auditor with ConocoPhillips and 2011 graduate of K-State; and Eric Haun, junior in finance.

Our trip was designed to be a mixture of fun, adventure, a unique cultural experience, and learning more about business, communications, and the world we live in.  We spent our first few days in Hong Kong, where we had an amazing view from our hotel rooftop as we watched the city’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display.  We also visited the Bain Capital office in Hong Kong, courtesy of Nick’s Executive Mentor in the College of Business, Paul Edgerley, a 1978 K-State grad.

Everywhere we went throughout the country, we constantly connected with other K-Staters.  In Xiamen, our group was hosted by Nick Piper, a 2008 K-State graduate.  Nick is the founder and CEO of Phoria Energy Solutions, a China-based company that promotes clean and efficient energy use in developing countries.  We spent some time learning about what Phoria does and the global economy.  Nick will actually be back at K-State this February to receive K-State’s Distinguished Young Alumni award.  You can read here about the award Nick received through the K-State Alumni Association.

After our time in Xiamen, Dr. Meredith and Ryan headed back to the states (something about needing to go to work), and the three of us continued our trek North for the remaining 14 days of our excursion.  Our next stop was Jiande, hometown of Bin Yang who is a senior in business management at K-State.  Bin was visiting home for winter break, and his entire extended family was ecstatic to host us for a week in their cold, mountainous town.  By the way, when we say we moved North, we mean it — temperatures hovered around zero degrees Celsius (about 32 degrees Fahrenheit) and due to Chinese government regulations, homes are not heated – brr!

Bin and his family were great hosts.  They kept us busy with things to do around Jiande and the surrounding towns, including tours of their bed sheet and screwdriver factories.   Seeing the Chinese factory conditions was an eye-opening experience for us and incredibly different than what we would see in America.  Bin also took us out on a boat ride around “thousand islands” lake, through a tour of the first Chinese-constructed dam, picking strawberries in a greenhouse for dinner, and even a visit to his little sister’s junior high where all of the 7th & 8th grade girls were obsessed with the three tall Americans that were visiting.

From there, we traveled through Shanghai and Beijing to see city and cultural sites such as the Shanghai Bund, Tiananmen Square, the Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China.  The great wall was impressive; it’s hard to imagine the structure being built hundreds of years ago!  Also in Beijing, we were able to meet up our fraternity brother, Glen Jarrett’s uncle, Alan Beebe, who runs a green energy consulting company in the city.  Alan and his wife invited us to dinner at their home, where we enjoyed a fantastic meal and learning about his business and Chinese politics.  It was also our first meal of the entire trip with forks and knives instead of chopsticks!

It’s amazing the opportunities that K-State has made possible for us, and this experience in China is right at the top of the list.  We learned so much about China, the world, and ourselves through all of the extraordinary things we were able to do. A huge thanks to all K-Staters who made our trip so memorable.

To read more about our experiences, check out Brett’s blog he wrote while we were there as a part of an independent study at bseidl.tumblr.com.

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Serving at Fiesta Bowl

The Fiesta Bowl has come and gone, but I wanted to take the time to reflect on an amazing opportunity I had to serve the people of Phoenix with my fellow Wildcats.

For the second straight year, K-State teamed up with our bowl opponents to serve the community that hosted the bowl game. I participated in last year’s volunteer project and this year I decided to serve again! A few of my Fraternity brothers and I joined many other K-State students to serve at the St. Mary’s Food Bank, one of the largest food banks in the world.

We were joined by many Oregon fans and faculty members to serve together. This was such a fun event. Overall, we packaged more than 23,000 pounds of food in a few hours. The opportunity to give back to the Phoenix area that served as a host to 40,000 K-State fans for a few days was a rewarding experience. I love to volunteer, but I specifically love serving with my fellow K-State students and fans. The service project the last two years has been one of the best parts of the bowl games and is something I hope students continue to

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Finals Week Prep!

It is finals week on campus and I am taking time away from the books to let you know how K-State helps with finals week!

This year, many places on campus have opened up 24 hours a day for finals week! In addition to Hale Library, the K-State Student Union and Leadership Studies Building are open all week. Every student on campus will have the opportunity to have a place to get final studying in this week before finals. Rumor has it, these places on campus are even giving out free treats to students studying there every night!

Union Program Council has sponsored study snacks in theK-State Student Union every night. My committee is in charge of providing the snacks. We even made fun, catchy signs to encourage students to study hard. We will have these candies out for students studying in the Union every night.

It is time for me to get back to studying for finals.


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K-State Thanksgiving

As I head into a long Thanksgiving break, I have been thinking about what I am thankful for. I realized that I have tons of things to be thankful for in my four years at K-State. I decided to share my K-State thankful list:

  • My parents. I wan’t even considering K-State as an option until my parents brought me to a Junior day. I fell in love that day and my parents were there to support me through every decision I have made at K-State since. Without them, I wouldn’t have considered attending the University that provided the best four years of my life.
  • My Admissions Representative, Trish Gott. She made sure that every question I had during my college decision was answered. Trish stopped to chat with me when I was on campus and continues to stop to chat with me on campus today. Without her, I wouldn’t have been as excited to come to K-State my Freshman year.
  • My Fraternity. I never considered joining a Fraternity until I realized how great the Greek system is my Freshman year. I joined a Fraternity of men that challenge me to be a better leader, support me, and that I have a great time with. I am so thankful for every member of my Fraternity and the impact they have made on my life.
  • The opportunity to get involved. I knew I wanted to get involved at K-State and many people told me I could. I didn’t realize how easy it would be. Every student at K-State has the opportunity to get involved and make an impact at K-State or in the Manhattan community. I am thankful for the opportunities K-State has provided to me.
  • Bill Snyder. How can I not be thankful for Bill Snyder? The first time I wabashed as a K-State student was Bill Snyder’s first game back as the head coach of the Wildcats. Little did I know that the next four years would be such an amazing ride. I can only thank Coach Snyder for the amazing experience I get to have every Saturday in the fall. Also, he has led us to #1. This is definitely the time to say thanks to him, he has made my college experience an amazing one!
  • My advisors. I have had the opportunity to interact with academic, financial aid, and club advisors. Each of these advisors has made an awesome impact on my life. They have inspired me to impact the lives of College students in my future. Many of the opportunities I have had at K-State have been because of the impact of my advisors.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I remember how thankful I am for my experience at K-State. I could continue this list and make it pages long, but I think it is safe to say I am pretty thankful for K-State. Let me know what you are thankful for! Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Make your Senior Day a Success

I’ve started to notice many new faces with purple folders in the K-State Student Union the last couple weeks. It hit me that it is the time of year for Senior Days! I had a great experience at my Senior Day and it was a major factor in my decision to come to K-State. Even with my great experience, I wish I had known some tips before I attended my Senior Day.

I recently asked Admission Representative Matt Marchesini, pictured to the right, for his tips to having the best Senior Day you can have. Here are Matt’s tips:

1) Let loose and enjoy the day. You’ll be getting a lot of information; don’t think you need to know everything now. Read it all later when you get home.

2) Meet students and ask questions about their K-State experience. The best people to ask about student life would be the students themselves! And don’t leave it to your parents to ask questions, you are the one headed to K-State!

3) Utilize your admissions representative. They are there throughout the day to help you get acclimated to the university.

4) Come a little early! The browsing fair is available for you to talk to university departments and organizations, getting there early gives you enough time to talk to them!

5) Take a minute or two throughout the day and imagine yourself at K-State. Can you see yourself wearing purple, walking through the Quad, cheering on our teams? That’s the best way to see if K-State is the right school for you.

These tips will help you on your Senior Day visit and any other visit you make to K-State in the upcoming months. If you see me on campus, don’t be afraid to say hello! Enjoy your time in Manhattan and have a great visit!

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Help Select the 2013 K-State Proud Logo

I have had the opportunity this year to serve as a K-State Proud Co-Chair. K-State Proud is an organization I got involved with Freshman year and it has had the biggest impact on my time at K-State.

As a reminder, K-State Proud is a student led philanthropic campaign on campus. We raised money to fund student opportunity awards. These awards go to students who have exhausted all forms of financial aid and are at risk of having to leave K-State. Last year alone, 70 students were able to continue their education at K-State because of K-State Proud. Over the last 6 years, K-State Proud has raised more than $550,000 for student opportunity awards. To learn more about K-State Proud, check out this video.

As a thank you for donating to the campaign, K-State Proud gives a free K-State Proud t-shirt to donors. These design of these t-shirts is done by students in the Matrix Design class on campus. All of the logos were narrowed down to three finalists to be voted on by students, faculty, alumni, fans, and friends. The voting is going on right now! Be sure to share your input on the logo here!

Be on the lookout for the winning logo! We are excited to continue to raise money to help  keep every member of the K-State family achieve their goal of an education. If you have more questions about K-State Proud, leave a comment or check out the website here.

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Seth Meyers at K-State: Behind the Scenes Planning

Seth Meyers, the head writer for Saturday Night Live and host of “Weekend Update,” is coming to K-State on Saturday, September 29th! Bringing big name entertainment has been a new focus of leadership on campus and we are excited to have Seth coming to K-State.

Students have been  planning this event. Student are in charge of everything from the selection of the artist, to the marketing, to picking up the talent, and even the execution of the event. These students are a part of Union Program Council (UPC). I serve on UPC and have seen first hand how students are preparing for Seth Meyers’ performance at K-State. I wanted to give you a peek at what has been going on behind the scenes to prepare for this event.

It all started this summer. The entertainment committee co-chairs Ross and Laura started to see what major comedians were in their price range, touring, and appealed to K-State students. This can sometimes be the hardest part of the planning. Figuring out what artists will do well at K-State is a BIG task and it needs to be right for a successful event. Once the co-chairs selected Seth and got the approval to try to sign him, the negotiations began.

Students in UPC work with agents to find the dates that work for both UPC and the artist. Once a date, location, and price are confirmed the contract is signed by the artist and by UPC. This process takes time and is crucial to the success of the event.

We are currently in the marketing phase of the Seth Meyers event. The Union Graphics office created fliers, handbills, and other communications pieces to promote the event. Students are even walking around campus with t-shirts of Seth Meyers’ face and the event information on them. Filling Bramlage Coliseum is not an easy task, but Ross and Laura’s creative marketing is helping make this event successful.

As the date of the event draws near, Ross and Laura are getting everything prepared for Seth’s arrival. They are booking a hotel room for him, gathering his requests for his dressing room, and continuing to promote the event.

The concert is going to be hilarious. For members of UPC it will be looked at as one more successful event. Ross and Laura will breathe out sighs of relief in between their laughter that night, but will be so proud of the event. UPC works hard to bring big name artists to campus. I hope this peek into the planning of the event has shown you the opportunities students have at K-State.

Don’t forget to come to the show! “An evening with Seth Meyers” Saturday, September 29th at 8 pm in Bramlage Coliseum.

To learn more about the event visit the UPC website or the Facebook event page here!

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Lunch of Celebration

Today I had the opportunity to have lunch with some awesome K-State alumni. These alumni have all agreed to give deferred gifts to Kansas State University. I was able to sit at a table with many of them and hear about their K-State experience. The coolest thing about hearing their experience, is that it sounds so much like my experience. This University has changed and grown through the years, but the atmosphere and quality of people at K-State hasn’t changed.

It is comforting to know that I can come back to campus and know that the experience is still going to be as amazing as it is right now. I have had the opportunity to meet plenty of alumni and this fact has always been expressed to me.

Events like this get me so excited to give back to K-State. This University has given me so much and I can’t wait to give back. Plus, the food is really good at these events.

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