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Source: Shanna Williams,, 785-532-7548
Note to editor: Kaitlin Chipman is a graduate of Olathe Northwest High School.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


MANHATTAN -- Spirit is something that can only be seen if you let it shine. At Kansas State University, there are students who shine so brightly, others can't help but notice. These are the students who earn the honor of being included in the ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholars Program -- a program that has provided $1 million in scholarships, support and mentorship at K-State each year through a five-year partnership.

The newest class of ConocoPhillips SPIRIT Scholars at K-State was announced April 14 at an event on campus with ConocoPhillips representatives.

Twenty-six students, including 15 new SPIRIT Scholars and 11 continuing SPIRIT Scholars, were recognized by ConocoPhillips, the third largest integrated energy company in the United States, at an evening dinner and reception. In addition, 11 graduating SPIRIT Scholars were honored at the event.

"At ConocoPhillips we are proud of our long-standing relationship with Kansas State University and are pleased to have it as a part of our SPIRIT Scholars program," said Rand Berney, senior vice president for corporate shared services at ConocoPhillips, and executive contact for the partnership with K-State. "Many of our best and brightest employees around the world graduated from K-State, and they are an essential and valued part of our success."

ConocoPhillips selected K-State to be a part of its SPIRIT Scholars Program in 2007. The partnership includes a five-year commitment of $1 million to the university each year for scholarships and support in the colleges of Business Administration and Engineering. The funding also provides support for K-State's career and employment services, the president's office and student life and diversity initiatives.

The support each student receives allows him or her to focus intently on their studies while at K-State, as well as professional development and career opportunities after graduation. ConocoPhillips' partnership with K-State dates back 50 years.

"K-State's partnership with ConocoPhillips has led to the development of some extraordinary young professionals, as well as fantastic resources for K-State students across campus," said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. "ConocoPhillips' partnership with K-State supports our goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025."

The K-State ConocoPhillips SPIRIT scholars who were honored include:

Joshua Linn, chemical engineering, Abilene, graduating scholar; Lauren Wissman, accounting, Albert, new scholar; Michael Baalmann, mechanical engineering, Andale, continuing scholar; Jake Morrissette, mechanical engineering, Concordia, new scholar; Anna Miller, accounting, Council Grove, graduating scholar; Richard Yule, management information systems, Derby, graduating scholar; Spencer Kaufman, mechanical engineering, Dodge City, continuing scholar; Andrew Wagner, management information systems, El Dorado, new scholar.

From Greater Kansas City: Marcus Bragg, computer science, Kansas City, Kan., new scholar; Nathaniel Lane, accounting, Leawood, graduating scholar; Jessica Long, chemical engineering, new scholar, and Rachel Schultze, accounting, new scholar, both from Lenexa; Kaitlin Chipman, accounting, Olathe, continuing scholar; Timothy Mourlam, Roeland Park, graduating scholar; and Kelsey O'Hara, electrical engineering, new scholar, and Brad Schnefke, accounting and finance, continuing scholar, both from Shawnee.

Cord Denton, mechanical engineering, Harper, new scholar; Allison Straub, management, Hays, new scholar; Cory Hardman, mathematics and computer science, Lansing, continuing scholar; Emily Coon, mechanical engineering, Lawrence, continuing scholar; Trenton Wilke, chemical engineering, Leoti, new scholar.

From Manhattan: Katherine Connor, management information systems, graduating scholar; Danielle Devlin, accounting, graduating scholar; Danielle Quigley, chemical engineering, graduating scholar; and Casandra Robinson, mechanical engineering, graduating scholar.

Reese Gehring, mechanical engineering, Moundridge, continuing scholar; Alan Winter, biological systems engineering, Mount Hope, graduating scholar; Emily Jones, mechanical engineering, Mulvane, continuing scholar; Victor Ojeleye, accounting, Ottawa, new scholar; Juan Flores, management information systems, Topeka, new scholar; Calvin Christie, computer science, Waterville, graduating scholar.

From Wichita: Sydney Case, accounting, new scholar; Charissa Dugan, finance and accounting, continuing scholar; and Jacqueline Spahn, accounting, continuing scholar.

From out of state: Ryan Wilkerson, finance, Columbia, Mo., continuing scholar; Charles Shinogle, management information systems, Weatherby Lake, Mo., new scholar; and Cameron Harder, mechanical engineering, Austin, Texas, new scholar.

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.