1. Amanda Taylor and text message
    A text message gave her a voice.

    Family

    When freshman Ashley Umscheid died while texting and driving, her sister vowed it wouldn't be in vain. Amanda Taylor, graduate student and employee, committed to saving lives and preventing texting tragedies by telling her sister's story. Today, Amanda travels the country helping create anti-texting and driving advertising campaigns and speaking at high schools. Ashley never got to graduate from K-State, but Amanda will. Amanda is making a way for other families to one day see their loved ones cross the stage, too.

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  2. Consider this a course in Philanthropy 101.

    Family

    In Manhattan, campus pride starts with students helping students. That's the objective of K-State Proud, a student-led campaign that raised more than $700,000 to help those among them who need it the most. This nationally recognized fundraising campaign is just one more example of how the K-State family treats one another like, well, family.

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  3. Years of experience put him in first-year students' shoes.

    Passion

    English professor Gregory Eiselein believes that every Kansas State University freshman should have an amazing first year. That’s why he co-founded K-State First, a program that creates a community of learning and engagement for college freshmen.

    His students already called him one of the best, and recently a leading education academy did the same. Named the 2013 Kansas Professor of the Year by the CASE/Carnegie Foundation, Eiselein is ensuring that the university’s newest students thrive in and out of the classroom.

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  4. His dream career makes dreams for others come true.

    Fulfilling Dreams

    Jim Reed gives us good reason to fight over the window seat. As a student, he worked as a mechanic on the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer when it set the longest nonstop flight distance record. Today he builds commercial spacecraft for Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Travelers on these suborbital space flights can experience microgravity out of their seats and view planet Earth from their windows, making reaching for the stars all the more real.

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  5. A worried mother, her trapped baby and a Wildcat.

    Resourceful

    Mark Sowers is living a childhood dream of helping wildlife. As an undergraduate he worked with bison on Kansas State University’s Konza Prairie. As an alumnus he studies elephants in Kenya. One morning, his research team received reports of a baby elephant trapped in a well dug by Maasai cattle herders. Sowers and three others rushed to the site and struggled for more than 30 minutes to pull the several-hundred-pound baby to safety. With a small rope, teamwork — and a lot of perseverance — they eventually reunited baby and mother.

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  6. Her New York state of mind started in the Little Apple

    Creativity

    Lauren Bishop ❤ N.Y.

    Living her dream as an entertainment publicist for one of the city's biggest firms, the Kansas State University journalism alumna travels the world and rubs shoulders with rock legends. Her successful career started in Manhattan, Kansas, with encouraging professors and a vast Wildcat network. The hard work and discipline were all her own.

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  7. He’s combating climate change from the ground up.

    Passion

    He’s combating climate change from the ground up. Climate change. It’s been called the greatest threat facing our planet today. On the front lines of this epic environmental battle is Kansas State University soil microbiologist Chuck Rice. He sets his sights on the ground to find solutions with adaptation and mitigation strategies for the Great Plains. He’s digging deep to minimize the effect of extreme climate on our ability to feed 9 billion by 2050.

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  8. Before you hit snooze, be grateful a Wildcat woke up to smell the coffee.

    Creativity

    General Electric recruited Herbert Dimond out of Kansas State University to work on top-secret World War II projects. But he never forgot one thing that was no secret on campus: the value of an extra few minutes of sleep. So he also invented the snooze alarm, introduced by GE in 1956. It has occupied hallowed ground in dorm rooms ever since.

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  9. He turned a world
    of tragedy into a
    world-class triumph.

    Perseverance

    When a series of explosions rocked a grain elevator he was inspecting, Kansas State alumnus Kevin Saunders was launched into a parking lot more than 300 feet away. His body was broken, but his spirit was resilient. Defying all odds, Kevin transformed himself into the World's Greatest Wheelchair Athlete, a sought-after motivational speaker, and an inspiration to us all.

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  10. When the Wabash
    rose from the ashes,
    the crowd went wild.

    Resourceful

    It was the day the music nearly died. Little remained after a 1968 fire roared through Nichols Hall. But the Wildcat band was undaunted. Using the only sheet music that survived, they pumped up the home basketball crowd with a rousing rendition of "Wabash Cannonball." To this day, the jingle, the rumble and the roar still bring fans to their feet.

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  11. His recent class attendance just hit
    4.5 million.

    Passion

    More than 4.5 million YouTube viewers have already witnessed how anthropologist Michael Wesch and his students are transforming higher education through the power of technologies like YouTube. Together they've created videos that expound on how we learn and communicate. Enthusiastic professors like Wesch are proof that passion for teaching can begin small, yet impact thousands of lives. They're the reason why Kansas State ranks first among all public research universities for U.S. CASE/Carnegie Professors of the Year.

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