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K-State Today Student Edition

February 8, 2013



Purple runs deep in Hawaii: Online academic advising graduates celebrate commencement

By Pam McGlynn

Kansas State University may be located in Manhattan but through its distance learning programs it is able to reach beyond state borders and across land and sea to impact the lives of students. Connection and allegiance to K-State is strong, even for students that never come to campus.

Jodi Chowen and Marilee Ching are colleagues who both work full time for Brigham Young University Hawaii, but they are also Wildcats. In December 2012, Chowen and Ching completed online master’s degrees in academic advising from Kansas State University.

Chowen said, “I would have loved to come to commencement at K-State. The emails from K-State athletics helped me feel connected to the events happening on campus along with weather alerts and updates. I was not able to attend commencement, but my colleague and I attended our university's commencement to celebrate the completion of the program. I think there is something special about putting on the academic regalia that reinforces the reality that we had completed a master's degree program.” 

At a recent Kansas State University alumni event in Honolulu, about an hour’s drive from their university, the women had an opportunity to see that they are not alone in their connection to Kansas State.

“I don't think I realized how deep purple runs until we received the banner and pens from Dr. Ken Hughey, followed up by a meeting with alumni and College of Education Dean Debbie Mercer,” Chowen said.

“We enjoyed visiting together, and our new alumni friends were very welcoming and invited us to an upcoming game-day party, Chowen said. “Dean Mercer shared more K-State materials with us and treated us to dinner.”

Both graduates enjoyed their time attending Kansas State University and highly recommend the online academic advising graduate program to others seeking to enter or enhance their advising careers.

Marilee Ching expressed her appreciation for the program and the faculty’s dedication. “The coursework has been so very relevant. I use something I learned in my interaction with students, faculty, and staff every day,” she said. “I especially appreciated the individual feedback from the faculty. I know it was time consuming for them but their comments really gave me direction and helpful advice.”