Keeping Salina Warm: Kansas State Polytechnic social work students create homelessness simulation, fundraiser for senior project

By Julee Cobb

When seven seniors in the social work degree option on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus decided to gather warm clothing for three local agencies, they had hoped to receive 100 winter coat donations. After only 30 minutes of their seven-hour-long collection drive, the students surpassed their goal and even amassed boxes and bags filled with scarves, gloves and hats.

The fundraiser was a part of the seniors’ final project in Social Work Macro Practice and Theory, a class focused on promoting change within a community, rather than an individual. The students – Stacy Crumble, Gina Nelson-Fishel, Lexi Gasper, Hali Norris, Katrina Ramirez, Maritza Rodriguez and Tammy Trepoy – wanted to use their project to shine a light on the local homeless population and decided to create an event that would be both philanthropic and educational.

Seven seniors in the social work degree option on the Polytechnic Campus created Keeping Salina Warm – an event designed to educate the public about homelessness. The students include Stacy Crumble, Gina Nelson-Fishel, Lexi Gasper, Hali Norris, Katrina Ramirez, Maritza Rodriguez (not pictured) and Tammy Trepoy.


From 5 p.m. to midnight on Dec. 1, the social work students held Keeping Salina Warm, which encouraged attendees to donate winter clothing items while learning about homelessness. Participants experienced what it would be like to be without adequate shelter on a cold night through a simulation held outside the Student Life Center on campus with tents and cardboard boxes. Dinner also was served in the style of a soup kitchen and representatives of the Salina Rescue Mission, Ashby House and Domestic Violence Association of Central Kansas talked with guests about their experiences with and services for people who need help getting back on their feet.

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Reaching new heights: Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team selects its first-ever female captain

By Julee Cobb

Maddie Perry, junior in professional pilot, Wichita, has been selected as the first-ever female captain of the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team.

The flight team on the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus has a brand-new leader and for the first time in the student organization’s history, it is a woman.

Maddie Perry, 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. Perry 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, Perry 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.

“It is such an honor to be chosen captain of the flight team by my peers because it demonstrates to me that they respect my ideas and vision for the team and trust that I will be a responsible and motivating leader,” Perry said. “I promise to work hard every day so that I meet their expectations. It also makes me proud to know that I am the first woman ever to be the team’s captain. I hope to use my position to encourage other female students to get involved in flight team as well as be a good example for young girls in the field of aviation.”

Along with adding more women to the flight team roster, Perry would like to see students beyond the aviation program join the organization. She says other collegiate flight teams have members who are engineering and math majors because they can make strong contributions to the competition events that don’t involve flying. She also wants to elevate the team’s connection with other student clubs and organizations on campus as well as with the Salina community, in particularly with youth; increase the team’s industry sponsorship and fundraising; and create an overall welcoming and encouraging environment.

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.

“I have watched Maddie mentor and tutor other aviation students as well as contribute to the growth of aviation education in our local schools by working with the next generation,” said Benjamin Jaffee, senior assistant chief flight instructor and flight team faculty advisor at Kansas State Polytechnic. “This is why I was excited for her and our members when I learned she had been selected. Maddie is a natural-born leader with an authentic love for aviation, so I know she will do an amazing job leading the flight team.”

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.

After hearing that she was selected the next captain – and first female captain – of the Kansas State Polytechnic Flight Team, Perry said both of her parents were proud and excited, adding that her dad “is on cloud nine.”

Purple goes green: Kansas State Polytechnic adds renewable energy to campus

By Kimberly Bird

A new wind turbine and solar panels have been installed at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus. The additions will help the campus become more energy efficient.

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus cut the ribbon on a new wind turbine and solar panels on Nov. 8.

The energy-efficient additions to campus are outside of the Student Life Center. The building will see the benefit of the alternative energy production, while the campus now has the first pieces in place for its goal to become more energy efficient and increase its sustainable energy production.

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Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus welcomes new executive director of enrollment management and marketing

Christopher Smith has been named the new executive director of enrollment management and marketing at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus.

By Julee Cobb

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus has hired a new leader to transform prospective students into Wildcats.

Christopher Smith, former director of admissions for two DeVry University locations, joins Kansas State Polytechnic as the new executive director of enrollment management and marketing. Smith, from McPherson, started his role at the beginning of October and is tasked with supervising the operations of both the admissions and communications and marketing offices. His primary focus is on increasing brand awareness and creating new recruiting strategies, with an overall objective of growing enrollment.

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Smith and his years of experience in student recruitment to the Polytechnic Campus,” said Verna Fitzsimmons, dean and CEO of Kansas State Polytechnic. “His extensive knowledge of the consultative approach to enrollment, which centralizes the student experience, aligns perfectly with our campus’s polytechnic approach to education. It will be exciting to watch Dr. Smith’s fresh perspective and new ideas elevate our engagement with potential Wildcats.”

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Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus adds technology education to bachelor’s degree offerings

By Julee Cobb

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus is expanding its degree options with a new offering for individuals interested in teaching technology at the high school level.

A Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a technology education endorsement is being launched at Kansas State Polytechnic in fall 2018. The degree option is a collaboration with the university’s College of Education and is designed to help address state and national needs for more science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, educators. Enrolled students will study mechanical, electronic and computer systems curriculum through Kansas State Polytechnic’s engineering technology program while the education pedagogy will be supported by the College of Education.

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Kansas State Polytechnic offering aircraft certification courses for industry professionals

By Julee Cobb

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus is expanding its offerings in aviation to provide much-needed education for professionals in the field of aircraft certification.

Kansas State Polytechnic is launching a professional development program centered on the understanding and application of Federal Aviation Administration regulations and processes used in aircraft type and production certification. The courses will be taught as a combination of online and in person, with instruction beginning in January 2018 for the first offering. After completion, which can be achieved in one year, students will receive a certificate from Kansas State Polytechnic’s professional education and outreach office and have the opportunity to earn a total of 180 professional development hours.
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Kansas State Polytechnic announces student ambassadors for 2017-2018 academic year

By Julee Cobb and Kris Grinter

Five new student ambassadors have been chosen to represent Kansas State Polytechnic for the 2017-2018 academic year. Back row, from left: Juan Diaz, Logan Renz and Colton Linenberger; and front row, from left: JT Brantley and Clayton Bettenbrock.

The Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus has selected five new Wildcats to serve as student ambassadors.

One sophomore, one junior and three seniors will represent Kansas State Polytechnic in the coveted leadership positions during the 2017-2018 academic year. Ambassadors attend a variety of on-campus, community-based and industry events to give their personal perspective on the student experience as well as promote campus offerings and purple pride. Undergraduates named as student ambassadors are JT Brantley, senior in mechanical engineering technology, Abilene; Clayton Bettenbrock, sophomore in mechanical engineering technology, Geneseo; Logan Renz, junior in UAS flight and operations, Hays; Juan Diaz, senior in professional pilot, Salina; and Colton Linenberger, senior in computer systems technology, Washington.

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Unmanned aircraft systems senior lands back-to-back internships with NASA

By Julee Cobb

Kendy Edmonds, senior in UAS flight and operations and UAS design and integration, Valley Falls, is interning with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, during the fall 2017 semester. This is Edmonds’ second internship with the space exploration entity.

Kendy Edmonds, a senior at the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus, is expanding her collegiate experience to include back-to-back internships with the nation’s best-known entity for space exploration.

Edmonds, Valley Falls, who is double majoring in unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, flight and operations and UAS design and integration, was selected for a fall internship at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, after completing a summer stint at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She is using her aviation background to help NASA with mission planning, procedural development and components testing, all in an effort to integrate UAS into the National Airspace System, or NAS.

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K-State Polytechnic to be part of Kansas Air Tour

Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus is to be part of the 2017 Fly Kansas Air Tour. It takes off from Wellington on Thursday, September 28, for a three-day, 10-city celebration of Kansas aviation. This year’s tour is presented by the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education and the Kansas Department of Transportation and will promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education as well as highlight the benefits of local airports in Kansas.

Stop by the local airports listed below to visit K-State Polytechnic and see planes up close and talk to pilots to learn about the role of aviation in Kansas.

The tour is scheduled to visit the following airports:



  • 8 a.m.             Aircraft Arrival
  • 10:30 a.m.     Departure


  • 12:30 p.m.     Aircraft Arrival
  • 2:30 p.m.       Departure

Dodge City

  • 3:30 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival
  • 4:30 p.m.        Departure


  • 5:30 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival



  • 10:00 a.m.     Departure


  • 11:00 a.m.     Aircraft Arrival
  • 1:00 p.m.        Departure


  • 2:15 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival
  • 4:00 p.m.        Departure

New Century

  • 4:30 p.m.        Aircraft Arrival


 New Century

  • 9:30 a.m.       Departure


  • 10:30 a.m.     Aircraft Arrival
  • 12:30 p.m.     Departure


  • 1 p.m.             Aircraft Arrival
  • 3 p.m.             Departure


  • 4 p.m.             Aircraft Arrival

Applied Aviation Research Center, PrecisionHawk continue key UAS flight collaboration

by Kimberly Bird

The Applied Aviation Research Center on Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus is continuing its work with PrecisionHawk, a provider of advanced commercial drone technologies, on operational testing with unmanned aircraft systems.

Pathfinder Phase 3

Volunteers in Pathfinder phase three use technological aids to survey the airspace around an unmanned aircraft operating in extended visual line of sight and to alter flight path when necessary to avoid manned aircraft.

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