$19,000 in Annual KICF Scholarships

Since its creation in 1952, Kansas Independent College Foundation (KICF) has sought to recognize students each academic year who demonstrate the commitment to excellence, virtue, and integrity, and who honor the myriad of ways that students who attend KICF institutions receive an education that prepares them for a lifetime of success in their personal and, professional lives. To that end, KICF has created the Green and Gold Merit Scholarships and, each academic year, KICF will make awards in the following categories.

  • Minority Student Scholarship
  • First Generation Student Scholarship
  • American Service Member Award
  • “Better Life” Degree Completion Award
  • Future Leaders in the Arts Scholarship
  • Future Leaders in Business Scholarship
  • Future Leaders in Education Scholarship
  • Future Leaders in Faith Scholarship
  • Future Leaders in Health Scholarship 
  • KICF hopes these awards are an opportunity to show gratitude to donors who have supported these types of high-achieving students for many years. These students demonstrate why those donors - and hopefully others in the future - care about the education that students receive from Kansas' independent colleges. Though the criteria vary for each individual award, ALL nominees had to submit an essay detailing (1) Why they chose to attend their Kansas, Private institution instead of a state university or community college, and (2) Their post-college plans and how their education prepared them for success. Excerpts from winning essays include:

     - I never thought of myself as anything special but reading the words of encouragement by [Donnelly College Dean] Mrs. Stoothoff made me think that maybe I can do this. Since that first assignment I have been giving 110% in everything I do.

     - My goal was to be independent and truly find myself as a person in college. The next stage of my life away from home would be where I developed my purpose. After visits with larger universities and talking with staff, I believed that Ottawa University - because of its size - was a college where it would be possible to be a musician, student athlete, as well as thrive academically. 

     - I help lead academically through the Keleher Learning Commons. Many of the accounting and even some cybersecurity majors decide to study in groups to understand complex assignments. While working with others I help plan study sessions and help my classmates and teammates find resources they need

    - I retired from the United States Army as a Sergeant First Class after serving 20 years...My tenure in the Army has led me to strive to do my utmost best in all that I do. I had maintained a work ethic with my education that is par to when I was serving. I have achieved a 4.0 GPA, all while continuing to serve my community and my family. 

    Congratulations to Our 2021-2022 Green & Gold Scholarship Winners

    Minority Student Scholarship (5 @ $1,000 each): In addition to meeting all other criteria, and submitting a quality personal essay, these students must be identified as non-white by the institution according to IPEDS reporting. 

    Selia Avila (Wichita) – Nursing, 3.4 GPA, Newman University
    Nhanh Dao (Wichita) – International Studies, 3.0 GPA, Newman University
    Jenny Duong (Wichita) – Biology, 3.9 GPA, Newman University
    Makena Pang (Pukalani, HI) – Elementary Education, 3.5 GPA, MidAmerica Nazarene University
    Shayla To (Wichita) – Biology & Pre-Med, 4.0 GPA, Newman University

    First Generation Scholarship (5 @ $1,000 each): In addition to meeting all other criteria, and submitting a quality personal essay, these students must have indicated that their parents have “Less than a college degree” on the FAFSA.  

    Madeline Alvarez (Viola) – English, 4.0 GPA, Newman University

    Haleigh Marcon (Newalla, OK) – Applied Psychology & Art, 3.8 GPA, Ottawa University

    Stephen Nguyen (Wichita) – Secondary Education, English, 3.8 GPA, Newman University

    Daegiona Wilson (Wichita) – Communications, Journalism, and New Media, 3.6 GPA, Southwestern College

    Daniel Zavala (Olathe) – Liberal Arts & Sciences, 4.0 GPA, Donnelly College.

    American Service Member Scholarship (1 @ $1,000): In addition to meeting all other criteria, and submitting a quality personal essay, this student must be either an active duty member of the United States armed services, a veteran of the United States armed services, or have successfully completed a full term of service in a federally managed civilian community service program, such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps*VISTA, AmeriCorps* NCCC, or Senior Corps. 

    Robert Mueller (Milford) – Management & Ethics, 4.0 GPA, Manhattan Christian College

    Better Life Degree Completion Award (1 @ $1,000): In addition to meeting all other criteria, and submitting a quality personal essay, this student must have transferred into the KICF institution or re-started at the KICF institution after a minimum of two-years of non- enrollment in higher education, and must have previously earned at least 37.5% of the credit hours required to earn their degree prior to his/her current enrollment period at the KICF institution.

    Jonathan Hibbard (Manhattan) – Biblical Leadership, 3.6 GPA, Manhattan Christian College

    Future Leaders in their Fields (2 per Area @ $750 each): In addition to meeting all other criteria, and submitting a quality personal essay, these students must have declared a major in a discipline identified by the institution according to the qualifying CIP code.

    In education, Sydney Bangert (Kingman) – Elementary Education, 3.8 GPA, Sterling College

    In the arts, Johanna Beck (McPherson) – Writing, Editing, and Theatre Arts, 3.9 GPA, Sterling College

    In faith, Carolanne Blecha (Mulvane) – Biblical Leadership & Family Counseling, 3.4 GPA, Manhattan Christian College

    In education, Audrey Denges (Corona, CA) – Education & Biology, 3.2 GPA, MidAmerica Nazarene University

    In faith, Carson Graham (Overland Park) – Counseling, 3.6 GPA, Manhattan Christian College.

    In the arts, Caleb Kliewer (Hillsboro) – Graphic Design & Youth Ministry, 3.8 GPA, Tabor College

    In business, Austin Matsoff (Fort Lauderdale, FL) – Business Administration, 3.6 GPA, MidAmerican Nazarene University. 

    In business, Maea Ploetz (Gardner) – Accounting, 4.0 GPA, University of Saint Mary

    In health, Tara Sheets (Azle, TX) – Biomedicine & Psychology, 4.0 GPA, Tabor College

    In health, Elizabeth Vaughn (Kansas City) – Applied Psychology, 3.6 GPA, Ottawa University


    2021-2022 Scholarship Reviewers

    These volunteers shared their professional insight and dozens of hours of their time to help select our winners from this year's nominated applicants. Please join us in thanking: Ryan Archer, Account Executive, IMA, Inc., Pam Clinton, Director of Operations, Shelden Architecture, Chuck Duske, Regional Vice President of Academic Partnerships, Acadeum, Carrie Emberson, Marketing & Business Development Manager, BKD CPAs & Advisors, Heather Morgan, Executive Director, Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, Mischel Miller, Director of Teacher Licensure & Accreditation, Kansas Department of Education, Lauri Panu, Director of Business Development-Midwest, Apogee, Doug Penner, Former President, Kansas Independent College Association & Foundation, and Katie Sawyer, State Director, Office of U.S. Senator Roger Marshall.


    Any KICF member institution in good standing may nominate students for any of the KICF scholarships listed above. Institutions may nominate as many students as they wish for as many of the various scholarships as they wish. However, member institutions may only receive one (1) of the scholarships per year unless there are no other qualified applicants for the additional scholarships for which they have nominated students. Students are eligible to be nominated for the scholarships provided they meet the following criteria:

    1. The student is enrolled as a full-time degree-seeking undergraduate student (associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree) at a KICF member institution for the upcoming academic fall term, per the IPEDS definition of “full-time,” “degree-seeking,” and “undergraduate.”

    a. Exception #1: Part-time students may be nominated for the “Better Life” Degree Completion Award but must meet the other eligibility criteria.

    b. Exception #2: Graduate students may be nominated for the American Service Member Award or any “Future Leaders” Scholarship but must meet the other eligibility criteria.

    2. The student has earned at least fifty percent (50%) of the credit hours required to earn their degree as of June 30 prior to the award year.

    3. The student maintains a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.