Academics and other honors

Park University located in Parkville, Mo., recently held its December 2017 Kansas City Area Commencement ceremony at the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Mo.


The university had 397 students eligible to participate in the ceremony — 156 students received a master’s degree and/or a graduate certificate, and 241 students received a bachelor’s degree, associate degree and/or undergraduate certificate. Michael Collins, president and chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Kansas City, Mo., presented the keynote address. Collins, a 2004 graduate of Park, is also the immediate past chair of Park’s Board of Trustees, having served as chair from 2015-17.

The following local students had their bachelor of science degrees conferred:

Shayne Laramie Christian Kirkwood, criminal justice administration/security, Topeka (attended Seaman High School).

Shantae I. Ryan, management/human resources, Gulfport, Miss. (attended Highland Park High School, Topeka).

Ashley Nicole Swatzell, geography, Magna Cum Laude, Manhattan.

Jennifer LeAnn Kintzel, social psychology, Magna Cum Laude, Baldwin City.

Two local recent graduates of Kansas State University’s College of Education, Lindsey Goff and Anne Roberson, were recently recognized with the college’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award for their leadership and scholarship.

Goff and Roberson are both December bachelor’s graduates of the college. Goff an elementary education graduate is of Manhattan. Active in College of Education organizations, she assisted with public relations for Educators Rising, a peer mentorship initiative; served as president of Phi Delta Kappa, a professional association for educators; was mock interview chair for the College of Education Council; and served as secretary of the Kansas National Education Association-Student Program. She also assisted with boosting university connections with military-connected students. A 2012 graduate of Manhattan High School, she is the daughter of Jason and Robin Whitten, and Thomas and Holly Goff.

Roberson is a magna cum laude graduate in elementary education is of Manhattan. Active in several university and College of Education organizations, she was a College of Education ambassador, social media officer for the College of Education Council, and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi education honorary, the Kansas National Education Association-Student Program and Golden Key international honor society. She received the Leadership, Manhattan-Ogden School Foundation, College of Education, Habiger Education, Skeen Education, Bramlage Willcoxen Student Teacher and Kansas Career Work-Study scholarships. A member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority, she served as membership education vice president and homecoming chair. She also served as an instructor at a local dance studio; was a volunteer reader at Schools of Hope; and a volunteer baker at a local hospice house. She is the daughter of Derrick and Mary Kris Roberson and a 2013 graduate of Manhattan High School.

Kansas State University civil engineering graduate Blake Moris, of Manhattan, has been selected by the Federal Highway Administration to receive a Dwight D. Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship for 2018. The program provides fellowships and funding to students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees in transportation-related disciplines.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awards the fellowship annually to 150-200 exceptional students around the country. The 12-month, $31,900 award Moris received includes $10,000 for tuition, a $1,700 per month stipend, and $1,500 for travel to the upcoming annual meeting, Jan. 7-11, of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.

He is a December graduate of K-State with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He will start work on his master’s degree in civil engineering at the university in January.

Under the supervision of Eric Fitzsimmons, assistant professor of civil engineering, Moris will research overweight and oversized freight flow and safety on the state’s roadways, using the Kansas Truck Routing and Intelligent Permitting System, or K-Trips.

As an undergraduate, he was a member of the Kansas State University Marching Band, serving as drum major in fall 2017 — a position he will also hold in 2018.

The Center for Transportation Workforce Development, a part of the Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, manages activities that integrate transportation into college and university programs, with the aim to increase the number of post-secondary students interested in pursuing transportation-related careers as well as helping to retain top talent in the U.S. transportation industry.

A Kansas State University veterinary student is the recipient of a $1,500 scholarship presented by the Kansas Livestock Foundation and its partners. The scholarship, for the 2017-2018 school year, was announced at the recent annual Kansas Livestock Association Convention in Wichita.

Haley DeLong, third-year veterinary medicine student, of Emporia, received the Ralgro Wheels for Bucks Scholarship from Merck Animal Health and the Kansas Livestock Foundation. This award recognizes K-State veterinary students who want to be large animal veterinarians.

The Kansas Livestock Foundation was established in 1983 for charitable, scientific and educational purposes. The foundation is a trade organization protecting the business interests of independent ranchers, feeders and dairy farmers.

The flight team on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina recently announced Maddie Perry of Wichita, junior in professional pilot, was selected to serve as team captain at the recent annual officer elections. She is currently the only woman on the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team, which is comprised of 25 members ranging from freshmen to seniors. She also is the first female to earn the title of captain in the group’s more than 20-year existence. As the team’s leader, she will be in charge of fundraising, managing community outreach events, such as their youth aviation summer programs, and preparing members for regional and national collegiate competitions.

To be considered for flight team captain, students must meet certain qualifications, including being an active part of the team for the past competition year, having participated in the most recent competition and having been to a minimum of one competition. During elections, which also consist of voting on secretary/treasurer, safety officer and student coach, the captain candidates give a presentation to flight team members on their involvement and accomplishments, goals for the organization and why they are best suited for the position. Members then have an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates before casting anonymous ballots.

In addition to flight team, Perry manages one of the wings of a residence hall on campus as a resident assistant. Currently, she is working on her certified flight instructor rating and plans to graduate in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in professional pilot. Her ultimate career goal is to be an airline pilot, starting at a regional carrier and then moving to a major airline.

Perry’s interest in aviation was inspired by her father, who is a private pilot. She began flying with him in the family’s Cessna 182 Skylane when she was in middle school, first for enjoyment and later learning how to take the controls.

Mary Vanier of Manhattan, recently gave a gift of $1 million to Kansas State University to create at least 30 matching gift scholarships as part of the K-State Family Scholarship Program. This program is an initiative of the Kansas State University Foundation to increase scholarship dollars to help the university attract and retain students and to inspire new donors to invest in student success.

The Mary L. Vanier K-State Family Scholarship will be used to match at least 30 new gifts for scholarships. New gifts of $30,000 will be matched with $30,000 from Vanier’s gift, while $10,000 will go into an expendable scholarship fund, making $2,000 scholarships immediately available to students.

New gifts of $30,000 will be matched with $30,000 from Vanier’s gift, while $10,000 will go into an expendable scholarship fund, making $2,000 scholarships immediately available to students. Fifty thousand dollars will go into the endowment, ensuring future generations of Wildcats will receive scholarships as well.

The program’s goal is to widen the philanthropic support base for Kansas State University by inspiring new donors to give while creating scholarships necessary to help students attend the university today and in the future.

The K-State Family Scholarship Program is looking to expand.

Visit for more information.

To participate in the K-State Family Scholarship Program, visit for more information or contact John Morris at (785) 532-7587 or