Guest Column: Opportunities abound at Wichita State


Lena Alhallaq/ The Sunflower

Rick Muma hugs Teri Hall, vice president of student affairs, after being named the 15th president of Wichita State University Thursday, May 6.

Welcome home, Shockers!

Over the past several days, Wichita State University has been bustling with the energy that accompanies the beginning of a fresh academic year, and it truly warms my heart to see all the new and returning faces to our campus community.

If you see me walking around campus, please stop and introduce yourself. I love meeting our students and learning more about the path that led you to Shocker Nation.

Early along my own academic journey, a mentor gave me perhaps the most important advice I have ever received: “Any time there is a door open, go through it. Take advantage of all opportunities that come your way.”

That advice has been the North Star throughout my professional career, and I offer you the same guidance as opportunities present themselves while you’re a student here.

Wichita State has so many doors that are open to you.

One recurring theme you’ll find throughout your time at WSU is applied learning — which, if you’re new here or unfamiliar with the term, is any type of real-world experience that supports your academic goals. Campus jobs with one of our partners, internships, co-ops and research are all examples of applied learning.

All our students are required to engage in applied learning to earn their degree, but it’s so much more than a requirement. It’s an opportunity to train side-by-side with professionals in your field. It’s a chance to earn a paycheck to help you pay for tuition, fees and living expenses. In fact, about 96% of Shockers earn a paycheck while doing their applied learning, which far surpasses the national average of 47%.

Applied learning also ensures that when you graduate, you’re fully prepared to make immediate and meaningful contributions to your employers and in your careers.

I also hope you’ll take time out of your studies to make Wichita State your home away from home. With resume-building and academic opportunities abound, you can also find plenty of outlets for fun and social activities. Grab a bite to eat in Braeburn Square on the Innovation Campus; join a student organization; hang out in the Hammock Lounge; or bowl a few frames at the Rhatigan Student Center.

Be sure to check out the calendar on our website and read the Shocker Blast newsletter that comes to your WSU inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Both of those resources are filled with information on entertainment, resume-building and professional opportunities, and campus news and updates.

Again, welcome home to Shocker Nation. I look forward to seeing you out and about on campus, and I wish you the best of luck this year and throughout your time at Wichita State.

Go Shockers!