The Jack Vanier family has made a gift of $60 million — the largest private donation in the history of K-State. The gift provides $40 million to benefit students, faculty, programs and facilities on both the Manhattan and Salina campuses, and $20 million for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan.
Kansas State University Salina instructor, Roxanne Martens, is now on her way to being a Certified Financial Planner after passing a two-day, 10-hour exam and studying for close to six months.
After earning a Master of Science in personal financial planning at the Manhattan campus this past May, Martens accepted a position with K-State Salina teaching such classes as financial counseling and advanced personal and family finance. Obtaining the certification is the next step not only in her personal education, but also in improving the type of professor she can be.
“I can teach my students what to expect when studying for the same exam upon their graduation as well as how to balance all of their financial responsibilities at school,” Martens said.
Passing the test was also a tremendous boost to her confidence, Martens said, and validated all the time, energy and effort she put in to the process. After logging close to 300 hours in her textbooks, Martens took the exam on Nov. 15 and 16 in Kansas City, with a four-hour session the first day and two three-hour sessions the second day. She learned about her positive results just before Christmas.
Currently, Martens is working towards the official credentials of a CFP – once she meets the “experience” requirements through teaching for three full years, she can use the abbreviation after her name. Martens is also in the process of creating an on-campus financial counseling program for students at K-State Salina.
Kansas State University Salina aviation professor, Bill Gross, has once again earned his Master Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI) accreditation, making him one of only 36 worldwide to receive the credential six times. Gross scored his first accreditation in 2003 and has successfully renewed it every two years since then.
Growing up on a farm in western Kansas led Gross down the natural career path of pursuing an animal science and ag education degree at K-State in Manhattan. But Gross just couldn’t forget his childhood days of accompanying his best friend’s father up in his plane. After teaching high school vocational agriculture for a few years, Gross spoke with his wife and decided to get his private flying license.
Gross has been a professor with K-State Salina since the fall of 1987 when it was called the Kansas Technical Institute and then briefly the Kansas College of Technology. Currently, he is the chief flight instructor teaching two classes a week, and he flies transportation for the university.
“I have the best view out of my office window,” Gross said. “I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living. And I enjoy watching each student grow and mature as they go through the program – I see a little bit of myself in them.”
Gross’ accreditation was renewed by Master Instructors LLC. He is one of nine Kansas State University faculty to have the prestigious Master CFI title.
More than 59 million women in the United States call themselves alumnae of the Girl Scouts, and it’s easy to see why. Between making life-long friendships, learning respectful behavior and gaining valuable insight into a variety of subjects, a Girl Scout’s experience can transform her future. And with the organization focusing on female empowerment, a partnership with Kansas State University Salina is the perfect pairing.
A few weeks ago 35 third and fourth-graders from the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland along with their leaders and parents gathered together at K-State Salina for a sleepover; but this wasn’t a typical slumber party filled with gossip, movies and pranks. Instead, the girls participated in activities that would help them earn their product designer badge.
“The Salina campus and the Girl Scouts have been wanting to collaborate, and we’re excited that this event not only furthered the girls’ education on creating and testing a product, but it also hopefully opened their eyes to the array of industries females can work in,” Kirsten Zoller said, events coordinator for the office of continuing education.
One of the exercises Kirsten lead involved the girls picking out good and bad design elements of everyday household products. Once the positive and negative aspects of each product were identified, they were asked to think of ways to improve that item or find a new use for it. One girl suggested adding perfume to nail polish because of its strong odor while another group redesigned a water bottle so it functioned better on their bicycles.
Julia Morse, an engineering technology professor at K-State Salina, also spoke to the young girls about cultivating their ideas. She showed them the correct process to go through once they’ve created a product and how to test it to get the best results.
K-State Salina is always excited about connecting with the community. The continuing education office extends Kansas State University’s intellectual resources through quality programming such as workshops, summer programs and professional development courses.
There are a variety of reasons why pilots take to the skies, and undoubtedly one of them is the enjoyment it brings. Although Drew Smith, an aviation professor at K-State Salina, loves to fly for the thrill of it, he often does it to bring others happiness. So when Smith’s daughter, Jessica, asked for her dad’s help with a special aviation project, he couldn’t say no.
Jessica Smith is a senior at Sterling College and a student teacher at Southeast of Saline Elementary School. The fifth-graders she works with are currently reading a book called “Candy Bomber” – the story of a pilot that drops candy to children in Berlin post World War II. She thought it might be fun for the students to experience the same excitement as the kids in the book, so she asked her dad to play the part of the pilot. Although dropping candy at just the right time so it lands in just the right place might seem like a difficult task, Smith has had plenty of practice.
“I’ve actually dropped care packages to Jessica at school,” Smith said. “Sterling College doesn’t have a runway for me to land. So when her mom or I have something we want to bring her, I fly over to a designated area in Sterling and drop packages to her.”
Smith talked to his friend Ron Chandler about borrowing a plane and on Jan. 22, he and his wife took off in a RANS S6S Coyote II. Smith battled moderate winds that day and made sure to stay a safe distance from the crowd of children, parents and teachers that gathered on the Southeast of Salina football field.
As soon as the plane flew over the 50-yard line, Smith told his wife to tip the bucket for the candy drop. The fifth-grade class squealed with glee as the small packages of goodies floated to the ground. One of the parents shot a video of the fly-over and Smith says the children’s reactions are exactly why he wanted to take part in that day.
K-State Proud, a student-led fundraising campaign established in 2007, is coming to K-State Salina on Friday, Jan. 24. Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are encouraged to stop by the information table in the College Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to make a $20 donation and receive this year’s K-State Proud T-shirt.
All contributions to K-State Proud establish Student Opportunity Awards. These awards are allotted by a student allocations committee in consultation with the Office of Student Financial Assistance to provide financial aid for students who have demonstrated extreme financial need or those who need temporary financial assistance. Special consideration will be given to students whose future at K-State may be in jeopardy and to students who have exhausted all other forms of financial assistance. Students and faculty members are encouraged to nominate students in need, or students may nominate themselves. Applications are received online on a continuing basis, and awards are allocated year round. The awards are open to students on all K-State campuses.
The nationally recognized campaign has raised $700,000 and made more than 300 Student Opportunity Awards since it started. Learn more about the K-State Proud campaign and meet some of the recipients of the Student Opportunity Awards at www.k-stateproud.org.
Kansas State University Salina will open its campus to junior high and high school students on Wednesday, Jan. 15, when it hosts Kansas Science Olympiad. K-State Salina is one of five regional locations and play will begin at 8 a.m. for the high school level and 9 a.m. for junior high participants.
The nationally recognized competition consists of 23 events focusing on biology, physics, chemistry, earth science, technology and inquiry. From attempting to support 15 kilograms on a bridge constructed with the lightest materials possible to using satellite imagery to solve problems, the students’ knowledge and skill level will be tested.
K-State Salina is an ideal venue for the event, especially for those interested in continuing their education in the science and technology field according to Don Von Bergen, the director of the Salina regional Science Olympiad and head of the arts, sciences and business department at K-State Salina.
“Holding the competition on our campus is a great opportunity for students to look around and network with instructors in top-of-the-nation programs, and they are exposed to new ideas everywhere,” he said.
Von Bergen actually coached a Science Olympiad team at the high school level for seven years and loves that students can take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it in a friendly competition setting.
“It’s where science comes alive,” Von Bergen said.
An awards presentation will follow the conclusion of the competition. First-, second- and third-place individuals will receive a medal, while first-, second- and third-place teams will get a trophy. Winners in each event are eligible for the state competition in April.
Volunteers are still needed and can contact Von Bergen at 785-826-2696 or email@example.com.
As interest and curiosity in unmanned aircrafts continue to grow, K-State Salina is once again at the forefront of the discussion. Iowa Public Television aired a segment on Jan. 3 and 5 on their weekly agra and business program, “Market to Market” highlighting K-State Salina as a leader in this emerging field.
Focusing on the integration of unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, and agriculture, the program featured Mark Blanks, UAS Program Manager, as well as the Manhattan campus during the Unmanned Systems Conference in October.
Josh Buettner, who produced the story, traveled to the Little Apple during the conference and spoke with Blanks, as well as Kirk Demuth, UAS Chief Pilot, about the advantages for farmers that would use unmanned aircraft systems along with their regular equipment. Buettner says he was surprised to find out about the improved environmental impact and how much money agronomists could save with the help of the aircraft.
K-State Salina is one of the first two universities in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and the program has been featured in many other publications and broadcasts.
To view the story in its entirety, click here: Drones Give an Elevated Perspective to Agriculture
Mark Blanks, U.A.S. program manager at KSU-Salina, says, “For our students it’s a huge potential if you’re now talking about package delivery. That’s a huge potential for operators, for jobs to go out and fly packages for different people. It’s like being a cargo pilot. You might be sitting in one room doing it.”
The drones, or octocopters, can carry up to five pounds over 10 miles and drop a package at your front door. Amazon will have to work with the Federal Aviation Authority, which K-State Salina is already doing.
“K-State Salina is probably the leading edge institution at looking at the application for this,” said Mark Blanks, the university’s unmanned aircraft systems program manager. “We work with the FAA to determine airworthiness.”
Kansas’ rolling plains in rural areas provides great testing sites. Read more