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K-State Today

May 9, 2018

First Scholars Program inaugural cohort completes fourth year with remarkable retention rate

By Rebecca Paz

The First Scholars Program, a scholarship program for select first-generation students, was established at K-State in fall 2014 in partnership with The Suder Foundation. Four years later, 76 percent of the original cohort is on course to graduate between three and a half to five years.

The 2018 First Scholars class graduates represent the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering and Human Ecology. Those students on track to graduate in five years pursue degrees in the colleges of Architecture, Planning & Design, and Engineering. The cohort has an impressive cumulative GPA of 3.26, and includes three magna cum laude graduation candidates, outstanding student leaders, college award recipients and undergraduate researchers.

Sixty-nine percent of the graduates plan to join the work force after graduation; many already have secured employment. The remaining 31 percent will enter graduate school, with one graduate set to pursue a doctorate of physical therapy starting in June and another student entering law school. 

The following students are part of the First Scholars inaugural cohort:

Rachel Meyers, Bucyrus, sociology; Ashley Coleman, Colby, December 2017 graduate in computer science, magna cum laude; Ansley Herzog, Ellinwood, business administration; Adam Koch, Frankfort, life science, magna cum laude candidate; and Brandon Heide, Hutchinson, architecture. 

From Greater Kansas City: Delante Madden, Kansas City, psychology; Simran Malhi, computer science, and Taylor Underwood, hospitality management, both from Overland Park; and Callie Reynolds, Olathe, psychology. 

Karina Michel-Moncayo, Liberal, communication sciences and disorders; Kaleb Koerperich, Marysville, construction science and management 

From Wichita: Jerrod Conley, mechanical engineering; Denisse Reyes, business administration, magna cum laude candidate; Anthony Vitale, civil engineering; and Joshua Woods, business administration.