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Source: Jodi Kaus, 785-532-2889,
Web site:
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415,

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's Powercat Financial Counseling will have its official grand opening at noon Wednesday, Jan. 27, in the courtyard of the K-State Student Union.

The event is open to the public.

Speakers will include Matt Wagner and Lydia Peele, both former K-State student body presidents; and a representative from Waddell and Reed Inc., which was one of the entities that made an initial donation to get the counseling center started.

Powercat Financial Counseling opened in fall 2009. The center's mission is to improve the financial literacy of K-State students and provide professional counseling experience for students studying personal finance at K-State.

"The grand opening is an opportunity for us to introduce the new peer counselors and celebrate this valuable new program," said Jodi Kaus, director of Powercat Financial Counseling. "Student leaders and others saw the need for increased financial education and worked to make this center a reality so K-State students would have a place to get help managing their finances."

The new peer counselors include Amy Huninghake, junior in family studies and human services, Frankfort; Chelsy Parsons, senior in family studies and human services and finance, Holyrood; Kevin Makin, senior in family studies and human services, Lenexa; Mary Cox, junior in family studies and human services, Linwood; Charles Hazlett, senior in family studies and human services, and Patricia Moore, senior in family studies and human services, both from Manhattan; Laura Weiss-Cook, graduate student in family studies and human services, Ogden; and Kayla Horsky, senior in family studies and human services, Wichita.

K-State is the first Board of Regents' institution in Kansas to offer a center designed specifically to help students with personal finances. The newly created program has already been recognized for excellence. Visa's Practical Money Skills program named it one of its Innovative Educators for 2009.

"In the few short months we've been open, the students who have used our program have found it to be a valuable service," Kaus said. "We want to use the grand opening to get the word out to all students that we have a select group of peer counselors who are available to help them with all of their financial questions."

Also at the grand opening, Cadence, the K-State a cappella group, will perform. Several door prizes will be given away, including a 32-inch flat screen television, a Garmin GPS unit, an iPod and a portable DVD player, all donated by Commerce Bank student services. The Manhattan Staples store also has donated personal document shredders.

Besides one-on-one peer counseling, Powercat Financial Counseling will begin offering free workshops this semester on topics such as budgeting, understanding credit, identity theft and investing.

More information on K-State's Powercat Financial Counseling is available at

Two student-produced videos about the center are available on YouTube at: and