Leader in Independent Higher Education awards service and success scholarships across Kansas

Topeka, KS: The Kansas Independent College Foundation, (KICF), on behalf of its member institutions, is proud to announce the 2023 Maud Wyatt Recognition Scholarship Recipients. These 19 recipients are all full-time, degree seeking students on the cusp of graduation, and have each demonstrated excellence in academics, character, and integrity. Our winners have encouraged their peers to build bright, dynamic futures, all while maintaining GPAs of 3.5 or above. Please help us congratulate our 2023 recipients:

  • From Baker University, Annika Munch of Belton, MO, majoring in Secondary Education with a

3.92 GPA

  • From Barclay College, Payton Stewart, a Theological Studies Major from Rock Springs, WY with a GPA of 4.0
  • From Benedictine College, Reese Danitschek of Wichita, majoring in Pre-Dental Biology with a

3.95 GPA

  • From Bethel College, Joshua Kennell, a Biology major from Newton with a GPA of 0
  • From Central Christian College of Kansas, Riccardo DiVincenzo of Sicily, Italy, majoring in Management & Marketing with a 3.98 GPA
  • From Cleveland University – Kansas City, Ashley Dye, a Radiological Technology major from Eudora with a GPA of 3.82
  • From Donnelly College, Perla Grijalva of Kansas City, majoring in Liberal Arts with a 0 GPA
  • From Friends University, Ian Schneweis, a Zoo Science major from Wichita with a GPA of 9
  • From Hesston College, Tana Hayworth of Lincoln, majoring in Engineering with a 0 GPA
  • From Kansas Wesleyan University, Olivia Velasquez, an Art Administration major from Park City with a GPA of 3.52
  • From Manhattan Christian College, Rylee Sauer of Gretna, NE, majoring in Biblical Leadership and Social Justice with a 3.7 GPA
  • From McPherson College, Eliseo Silva, a Graphic Design and Photography major from Sterling with a GPA of 3.79
  • From MidAmerica Nazarene University, Stanley Baldwin of Thornton, CO, majoring in Chemistry and Kinesiology with a 3.87 GPA
  • From Newman University, Kaylie Kovach, a Pre-Physical Therapy Biology major from Pearland, TX with a GPA of 3.69
  • From Ottawa University, Peyton Mallory of Lawrence, majoring in Exercise Science with 573 GPA
  • From Southwestern College, Paiden Bell, an Accounting and Business Administration major from Lawrence with a GPA of 3.52
  • From Sterling College, Robert Stansbury of Lorraine, majoring in Applied Mathematics with a 0 GPA
  • From Tabor College, Katie Lowery, an Exercise Science major from Auburn, CA with a GPA of 79
  • From University of Mary, Zaira Spencer of Ewa Beach, HI, majoring in Psychology with a 3.88 GPA

“Our 2023 winners show that true leadership goes beyond good grades and academic achievement, but encompasses the power of community and fellowship,” says KICF President Matthew Lindsey upon the announcement of the 2023 scholarships. “The member campuses of KICF cultivate well-rounded leaders who not only excel in their studies but also make a positive impact on the world around them, and these awards showcase the brighter future they’re shaping.” To that end, here are some perspectives on the future from our winners:

  • I want people to be able to see that it is possible to achieve greatness [at my institution] and how much that added support can help others believe in themselves too.
  • The staff and instructors know me by name and are always willing to help The diversity among the students has helped me learn a lot about different cultures. [My institution] is a school that accommodates my needs both educationally and spiritually.
  • I have developed many characteristics that are useful in both higher education and life in general…Chief among them are communication and responsibility. I have learned just how important communication is to a good With clear and concise communication, things can be done in the most efficient and useful way possible.
  • I am a firm believer that small class sizes offer a better opportunity for better
  • Smaller institutions like [my institution] are the reason that student athletes like me are able to pursue their dreams while also getting to continue to play the sports they love.
  • My experiences at [my institution] have changed how I view education and have given me many tools which will be vital in the field of education. Throughout my many Practicum experiences (observations and work in different classrooms) I have been able to explore my teaching philosophy and Without my professor’s constant support and dedication to my education, I know I would not be where I am today. Their dedication to my pedological development has encouraged me to explore different teaching methods, classroom management tools, and overall view on education, all of which I will take with me into my career.
  • I am a student who could have plenty of excuses to give up on my education, I already have a family, a job that I like, and it could be said that my time has passed to be a student. However, I chose to take the challenge and show others that if I can do it, anyone I want to show future students that it is never too late to achieve their goals. We all have dreams, but they don’t come true on their own.

The scholarship was established in 1995 through the generosity of Maud Wyatt, whose bequest has supported the work of KICF and its institutions since 1961. The Kansas Independent College Foundation seeks to develop, promote, and direct unified approaches to selected corporations, foundations, and individuals for financial support of Kansas’ independent colleges and universities.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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