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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘We need more students like Fabi’: International student accomplishes dream to study in US

Shelby DuVall
Fabiola Ayarza, or “Fabi”, a Human Resources major, listens as her friend and fiancé applaud her work and involvement at WSU during an interview on Apr. 11.

Fabi Ayarza came to Wichita State from Lima, Peru, with a childhood dream to study in the United States. In 2018, her dream came true when she arrived at Wichita State to start the Intensive English Language program. Now, she’ll fully realize that dream as she graduates with her bachelor’s in May.

Ayarza came to Wichita State after visiting her fiance, Marcio Muñoz, when he was a student at Friends University. 

“It was so interesting to travel and see him and see how Wichita is,” Ayarza said. “(I’d) never been (to) Kansas before.”

Following this, Ayarza began her undergraduate career with a major in human resource management before adding a second major: management. Ayarza said she decided to double major in management to complement the human resources aspect.

“I had found that for (the) Barton School of Business, we have to be majoring into different types of set skills of leadership,” Ayarza said. “And the management major complements that.” 

Ayarza also works in the human resources department, something she’s dreamed of doing since coming to the university. 

“I had my orientation day that day, (and) I said, ‘One day I’ll be working in that building,’” Ayarza said. “It’s happening.”

Ayarza also said that her job allows her to apply her skills outside of the classroom, working in the human resources office and handling paperwork.

“It’s wonderful because we are not only learning what we are (while) listening in classes,” Ayarza said. “We also are applying those learning skills in the real world.”

Ayarza is the president of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), and she credits Coleen Beckley, her friend and coworker, for helping her bring the organization back to life.

“(Beckley) helped me on this journey since 2022 since we brought back the SHRM organization to Wichita State after the pandemic,” Ayarza said. “Which has been a very long transition for all of us.”

Beckley said she is grateful for her friendship with Ayarza, as it helped her develop relationships. 

“We need more students like Fabi,” Beckley said. “Being a returning adult student, I did worry about interactions with younger students and how that was going to work, and she bridged that gap.”

Beckley describes Ayarza as vivacious, bubbly and always positive. 

“She has overcome adversity and does not let anything stop her,” Beckley said. “When she sets her mind on something, it’s gonna happen.”

Muñoz, who met Ayarza in their home country Peru via Facebook, describes Ayarza as crazy, but in a good way. 

“She wants to get involved in any kind of activity,” Muñoz said. “She wants to help everyone — students, people outside on the street, everyone.”

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About the Contributors
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Reporter
Jacinda Hall is a reporter for The Sunflower. Hall is a senior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Hall hopes to pursue a career in writing, editing or teaching journalism at the high school level after graduation. Hall uses she/her pronouns.
Shelby DuVall
Shelby DuVall, Reporter
Shelby DuVall is a sophomore reporter, designer and photographer majoring in graphic design. This is her first year on the Sunflower staff, and at WSU. She's from Altamont, Kansas, and enjoys rollerskating and gaming. DuVall's pronouns are she/her.

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