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John D. Clark
Army ROTC
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KU ROTC commissions new officers

Tue, 06/04/2013

LAWRENCE – Thirty-five new graduates of the University of Kansas were honored as newly commissioned officers in the armed forces during ceremonies May 20. An additional two graduates of other universities were honored as well.

Bernadette Gray-Little, chancellor, and Sara Rosen, senior vice provost for academic affairs, welcomed the cadets, midshipmen and their families, friends and guests.  Navy Rear Admiral Phil Davidson delivered the keynote speech and administered the oath of office for the new officers. 

Commanding officers presenting the commissions were Lt. Col. Storm Reynolds, professor of military science; Lt. Col. Montague Samuel, professor of aerospace studies; and Capt. David Schweizer, professor of naval science. 

KU is one of only 50 universities in the nation offering an ROTC program that represents all branches of the military. KU’s ROTC program also trains cadets from Baker University, Haskell Indian Nations University, MidAmerica Nazarene University, University of Saint Mary, Washburn University and Benedictine University. 

The newly commissioned officers are listed below by name, hometown and area of study.

Army:

  • Tyler Beck, Andover, economics
  • Mitchell Chiles, Salina, geography
  • Kaleb Gilmore, Hoyt, finance.
  • Andrew Haanpaa, St. Clair, Mo., biological anthropology
  • Blake Horvath, Fort Leavenworth, history
  • Nathan Kalish, Marthasville, Mo., history
  • Kayla Fletcher, Kansas City, Mo., cellular biology
  • Scott Kristenson, Newton, cellular biology
  • Michael Laverty, Manassas, Va., political science
  • Sarah Meyer, New London, Iowa, industrial design and art history
  • Garret Moe, Newton, psychology
  • York Olszewski, Leavenworth, mathematics
  • Josh Robinson, Lansing, history
  • Matthew Visser, Harker Heights, Texas, political science, French and global and international studies
  • Jacob Walters, Prairie Village, geography

Navy:

  • Ivan Babkov, Wichita, biochemistry
  • Luke Ezell, Leavenworth, electrical engineering
  • Dale Hardee, Topeka, mechanical engineering
  • Christopher McGaffin, Wichita, mathematics
  • Thomas McSweeney, Herman, Neb., electrical engineering
  • Alexander Pendleton, San Antonio, cellular biology
  • Nathan Slaughter, San Diego, psychology

Marine:

  • Kyle Gillogly, Dell Rapids, S.D., business-information systems
  • Ethan Ness, Shorewood, Minn., business management-leadership
  • Joe Santos, Pawtucket, R.I., history and African studies
  • Paul Speckin, Overland Park, business-finance

Air Force:

  • Nicholas Brunkhorst, Mitchell, Neb., Aerospace Engineering
  • Mason Bruza, Paola, physics
  • Britni Charles, Haysville, political science
  • Zachary Early, Las Vegas, Slavic languages and literatures
  • Cole-Christian Holinaty, Fort Leavenworth, communication studies
  • Kevin Jackson, St. Louis, communication studies
  • Brian Tabares, Emporia, psychology
  • Seth Wilson, Berkley, Mich., African-American studies
  • Grant Worden, Rochester, Minn., aerospace engineering.

Commissions were also presented to two students who graduated from other universities:

  • Travis Clarke, Army, Eudora, son of Gus and Cynthia Andrews, criminal justice from MidAmerica Nazarene University
  • Matthew Goyette, Army, Overland Park, Masters of Business Administration from MidAmerica Nazarene University.


Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner. See it here: http://bit.ly/1awodaa
Rock Chalk! Junior Ashlie Koehn named KU's 18th Truman Scholar
Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening.

.@KU bschool 's KIP team includes @KU _SADP students in all-ages housing project. http://t.co/c6Ss0FsWLL #KUworks http://t.co/FW0eI69uRi
Wanna Skype? Chancellor gets creative to surprise Truman winner From KU News Service: http://bit.ly/1awodaa Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas junior from Burns studying in Kyrgyzstan, interrupted helping her host family prepare dinner to make a Skype call on Monday evening. To her surprise, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little was on the other end of the call letting Koehn know she had been named a 2015 Harry S. Truman Scholar. Koehn is the 18th KU student to be named a Truman Scholar and the only 2015 recipient from the state of Kansas. Earlier this month, she was also named a 2015 Udall Scholar. And in spite of a distance of more than 10,800 kilometers and 11 time zones, Koehn’s thrill from hearing the news from the chancellor came through loud and clear. “Ashlie’s experience at KU epitomizes a quality undergraduate experience. She challenged herself in her coursework, exposed herself to different research opportunities, studied abroad in Germany, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan, and participated in both student government and community service projects,” Gray-Little said. “This is quite a year for Ashlie. Her hard work is a wonderful reflection on her and also a great reflection on the university, and we all congratulate her.” Each new Truman Scholar receives up to $30,000 for graduate study. Scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some premier graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and special internship opportunities within the federal government. Koehn, a member of KU’s nationally recognized University Honors Program, is majoring in environmental studies, economics and international studies. Her goal after earning her KU degree is to pursue a master’s degree in economics at either the London School of Economics or the University of Reading, with a focus on the economics of climate change. In 2014, she received KU’s Newman Civic Engagement Award for her work establishing the Coalition against Slavery and Trafficking. Her involvement with the issue was sparked by Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science and women, gender, and sexuality studies, who hosted national conference on contemporary slavery at KU three years ago. “Ashlie and I met several times to think about what KU students could contribute to the issue of slavery and human trafficking, and the result was her founding of KU CAST,” Britton said. “After a year as president, Ashlie successfully handed the organization over to the next student leader. She demonstrated her strong leadership qualities by setting a unique goal and then pursuing it with her sense of passion, engagement and dedication. No matter the country or context, her leadership strength is evident in her coursework, her public service and her work experiences.” The University Honors Program works with a campus committee to select KU’s nominees for the Truman Scholarship and supports them during the application process. Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships, noted it was an amazing ruse to pull off the surprise. Originally, the call was set up to be between Wallen and Koehn. “I was totally not prepared to be greeted by Chancellor Gray-Little, but it was an amazing surprise for sure,” Koehn said. “As a first-generation student, it took time to learn the collegiate system, but my parents taught me to be resourceful and independent from a young age and KU and the Kansas Air National Guard have provided me with the opportunities to drive me into the future, both at graduate school and in my career. I plan to use the Truman Scholarship to pursue a career as an environmental economist helping to shape future trade agreements and leverage action on important international environmental issues, particularly concerning climate change.” Koehn also had a surprise of her own for the chancellor — the meal she was helping to prepare was not exactly typical Kansas dinner fare. On the menu with her host family in Kyrgyzstan on Monday was a traditional Kyrgyz meal called Beshbarmak, or “five fingers,” because you eat it with your hands. The dish is made of horse and sheep and was being prepared as a birthday celebration for Koehn’s host mom. Chancellor Gray-Little, as she signed off from Skype, made sure to encourage Koehn to enjoy her Beshbarmak. Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Moundridge. She is an active member of the Kansas Air National Guard and currently on leave while studying abroad in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the KU Global Scholars Program and a past member of the Student Senate. In addition to being named a 2015 Truman and Udall scholar, she was named a 2014 Boren Scholar and Gilman Scholar and in 2013 was named the Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times