Senator Jerry Moran visits Kansas Wesleyan on Friday

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, left, listens as Kansas Wesleyan University President Matt Thompson talks about the many accomplishments of KWU and its students. Thompson provided the update early Friday afternoon at the nursing training center before Moran visited the facility. Salina Post photo”/>
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, left, listens as Kansas Wesleyan University President Matt Thompson talks about the many accomplishments of KWU and its students. Thompson provided the update early Friday afternoon at the nursing training center before Moran visited the facility. Salina Post Photo

By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
Post Salina

U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) paid Kansas Wesleyan University a lunchtime visit Friday to hear an update on the university and tour the nursing education center.

Kansas Wesleyan President Matt Thompson and a number of faculty were on hand for the visit.

Thompson told Moran about increasing college enrollment. In response to a question from Moran, Thompson said he attributed the increase in enrollment to “being small and open, and being very clear about what we were doing and how we were protecting students from COVID.” .

“That’s really one of the things that worries me about COVID is that the appeal of a university like Kansas Wesleyan is based on personal relationships with people – faculty, staff, students – and if you separate us or learn through technology, the advantage Kansas Wesleyan has in attracting and retaining students begins to dissipate,” Moran said.

Thompson spoke to Moran about the KWU brand The power of DNA.

“We are talking about The power of DNA as our brand in Kansas Wesleyan. Students continuing to do something they loved in high school and combining it with a great education. And it’s hard to do activities remotely, so we have to be in person to do them, and we’re working really hard,” Thompson said.

Another point of pride for the university is the success of KWU graduates. Thompson said that six months after graduation, 99% of KWU graduates are either in graduate school or employed. Of those who are employed, more than 70% work in their field of study.

“Which, you know, isn’t common today to have so many students,” Thompson said. “So we really take pride in preparing them well to go out into the world.”

Thompson said the Kansas Wesleyan has an economic impact of about $40 million each year in the community. Additionally, KWU students complete nearly 14,000 hours of community service each year.

Thompson also highlighted two former students, Stefanie Milam and Christian McQueen.

McQueen, a talented performance artist, is currently on tour with the Broadway Road production of Anastasia.

Milam, one of five KWU alumni working for NASA, is a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and the James Webb Space Telescope Project Assistant Scientist for Planetary Science.

“You might have seen her a bit. She was the face of the launch of the new Webb telescope, so if you’ve seen a woman give an update and a briefing on what’s going on with that, that’s Dr. Stefanie Milam,” Thompson said.

“I didn’t know about that story, and I’m glad to know because I went to Goddard Space Flight Center,” said Moran, who sits on the Senate subcommittee that allocates funds to NASA. “I guess our paths will cross and I’ll introduce myself and brag about his alma mater.”

Thompson also spoke about the university’s endowment and overall campaign. He said $20 million had been raised over the past two and a half years during the first phase of the campaign. The university is about to launch the second phase, he added.

He also said the university’s second-largest donation – $3 million – was received in December and will help the university renovate its music facilities and go towards a new cafeteria building and a new music center. community resilience.

“My impression watching Kansas Wesleyan over a long period, most of my life, is that you’re on ancestry, and that wasn’t always the case,” Moran said.

Thompson also mentioned the importance of college athletics. He said about 65% of KWU students are athletes. He also spoke briefly about the success of these athletes.

Thompson then introduced Janeane Houchin, Director of Nursing Education.

<b>Janeane Houchin, KWU Director of Nursing Education, talks about the successes of nursing students and graduates at the university.</b> Salina Post photo”/><figcaption class=Janeane Houchin, Director of Nursing Education at KWU, talks about the successes of nursing students and graduates at the university. Salina Post Photo

Houchin told Moran that on the licensure exam that nursing students must pass to practice, Kansas Wesleyan has, in recent years, been at or above the benchmark. by which all nursing programs are measured.

“We’ve worked very intentionally to provide our students with all the resources they could possibly have to pass this exam and they’ve proven that we’re providing them with what they need,” Houchin said.

According to Houchin, about 75% or more of every class of nursing graduates since 2018 have stayed in Kansas to work. Additionally, 90% of 2021 graduates stayed in Salina to work at the Salina Regional Health Center, while the entire class practices in Kansas, she said.

“It is important for us to meet the needs here,” she said.

Moran then visited the nursing training center.

Comments are closed.