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Bill Steele
Graduate Military Programs
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KU awards first Wounded Warrior scholarships

Tue, 04/02/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas’ Office of Graduate Military Programs has announced two students have received the University’s first-ever Wounded Warrior Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded to assist injured veterans, and family members who are identified as primary caregivers, in meeting the financial challenges associated with pursuing a degree at KU. The awardees are as follows:

Anthony Schmiedeler, born and raised in Kansas City, Kan., is a 25-year-old junior in graphic design. He served in the Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009, achieving the rank of sergeant as an amphibious assault vehicle crew chief. Schmiedeler was deployed to Iraq in 2006, and again in 2007, during which he encountered multiple improvised explosive devices and enemy assaults. He began rehabilitation upon return from his second deployment. Schmiedeler has an ambition to become a professional graphic designer and one day own his own design firm; the Wounded Warrior Scholarship will help to set him on the right track.

Jennifer Thornton, a native of San Diego, holds a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Mississippi and an master's degree in education from the University of Washington. Jennifer was a seventh-grade teacher for seven years before being accepted into the KU School of Social Welfare’s Master of Social Work program for fall 2013. Her interest in social work was sparked after her husband, Jason, was medically retired from the U.S. Army after serving two combat tours in Iraq. She has been a fierce advocate for her husband, whose continuing recovery has included inpatient stays in Seattle; Yountville, Calif.; Queens, N.Y., and Galveston, Texas. Upon completion of her MSW, Thornton plans to work with wounded warriors and their families. She currently resides in Leavenworth with Jason and their 4-year-old son, Hayden.   

Recipients of the Wounded Warrior Scholarship receive $10,000 per year. The scholarships, which are renewable for up to four academic years, provide funds for tuition, fees and books, and living expenses.

“We are very excited for Anthony and Jennifer as our first two recipients of KU’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship. They were selected from a number of well-qualified applicants,” said Mike Denning, director of KU’s Graduate Military Programs. “And we are extremely grateful to the Hartley Family Foundation; Tom and Jennifer Laming of Leawood, Kansas, and to the dozens of other donors from across the country who provided gifts to establish this scholarship.”

Donations to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public 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.

.@NYTimes columnist @WCRhoden will speak at a symposium about race and sports April 23. http://t.co/UiKA9MYNv0 http://t.co/PHwCOHqcfD
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