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Graduation Profile: Senior perseveres to give speech of a lifetime

As a first-generation college student and a single parent earning minimum wage, Alyssa Cole was stressed and frustrated. At the end of her rope, she decided to write a letter to the one person she thought could help, President Barack Obama. “Writing to him was basically a last resort,” Cole, a Garden City senior, said. […]

Jyleesa

Graduation Profile: Academic success isn’t up for debate

Waiting with bated breath for the results to be posted, the excitement in the room was palpable. After a moment of silent scanning, a single shout goes up and the team erupts. Jumping up and down, the cheers from the crowd signal that the team of Jyleesa Hampton and Quaram Robinson made it to the […]

Jordyn Gunville

Graduation Profile: Finding strength and hope through difficulty

Leaving her home on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota to study at KU changed Jordyn Gunville’s life in more ways than she ever imagined. Her move to Lawrence led her down an eye-opening path to her future in community health. Gunville grew up in Eagle Butte, South Dakota in the poorest county […]

Marcus Florez

Graduation Profile: Wake-up call turns expulsion into opportunity  

Marcus Florez, B.S. in chemistry, Class of 2015 If it weren’t for Marcus Florez being expelled, he may never have become a promising young Alzheimer’s researcher. Florez, a senior from Bel Aire, had a wake-up call at the young age of 14. He describes himself as a troubled kid, who was frequently suspended and finally, […]

Katherine Gwynn

Graduation Profile: Making space for women’s voices

 Katherine Gwynn, B.A. in English and women, gender & sexuality studies, Class of 2015 As a double major in English and women, gender & sexuality studies, Katherine Gwynn is an advocate for opening up the conversation about women’s experiences. “I’m really passionate about not treating women as a monolith in the arts or literature but […]

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Graduation Profile: Grad student follows ‘convoluted road’ to career

Amy Esplund, M.A. in speech-language pathology, Class of 2015 For many students, determining a future career isn’t always easy and the path to deciding on a major can be difficult. “It was a long, convoluted road,” Amy Esplund, a Eudora graduate student, said of her experience in choosing a major. As an undergraduate, Esplund considered […]

Vashti Goracke

Graduation Profile: Finding a place that fits

Vashti Goracke, B.F.A. in dance, Class of 2015 Vashti Goracke has a bittersweet relationship with dance. Some days are good, some days are bad. There can be lots of pain. But she wouldn’t trade anything for the ability to tell stories and say whatever she’s thinking and feeling through dance. Goracke’s journey through college has […]

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Graduation Profile: College experience alters path for senior

Marquise Paige, B.S. in geology, Class of 2015 The student carrying the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ banner at graduation this year is not the same student he was as a freshman four years ago. Student senator. Geology major. Camper. Researcher. None of these were experiences Marquise Paige, a Wichita senior, had envisioned when […]