Students of the Month
Mindy Brown - December 2001, Wichita, KS
Mindy Brown is a Student Ambassador. She also serves as president of Campus Christian Fellowship, is secretary of Phi Theta Kappa, is a member of the Student Affairs Committee, was named to the National Dean’s List, and to Who’s Who Among Students at American Junior Colleges. She holds a 3.83 grade-point average, and has a work-study job at Renn Memorial Library.
Did we mention that she enrolled in 28 credit hours last fall? That’s right, 28. It’s a schedule that kept Brown in class day and night. “In the beginning, I didn’t plan to graduate in December,” said Brown, the daughter of Jenny and Carl Brown of Wichita. “At the beginning of this semester I wasn’t planning on it, either.”
Brown was pleased to receive the award. “I’m very excited about it,” said Brown, who has three sisters: Crystal Kondo 24, Casey Brown 17, and Lauren Brown 7. “I think a student of the month has to be a leader and someone who is on campus and known to at least the faculty. They also have to do well in school and have goals set and meet them.”
Brown is a sophomore business administration major who attended Faith Christian Academy in Wichita. Several visits by Mike Packard from Cowley’s Mulvane Center persuaded her to enroll. “I wasn’t going to go to college up until two months before,” Brown said. “Then I went back and forth between a private college and staying home. Then I received a Presidential Scholarship in the mail. It really didn’t hit me until a couple of months before school started that I needed to do this.” Packard had served as principal at Faith for a couple of years, so he was no stranger to Brown.
She’s pleased with her decision to attend Cowley, and now has her sights set on another venture. “I think Cowley has prepared me for the world,” she said. “I’ve been in Christian schools and haven’t been around the world a lot. The Lord says to be in the world, but not of it. Cowley has prepared me that way.” One reason Brown tackled 28 credit hours is another calling in January. She has been accepted to attend the Focus on the Family Institute in Colorado Springs for the spring semester. Focus on the Family began in 1977 in response to Dr. James Dobson’s increasing concern for the American family.
Blake Stites - January 2002, Prescott, Kan.
Blake Stites has had a busy three semesters. The sophomore machine and tool technology major has played major roles in Cowley’s fall musicals and spring plays. He’s a member of Act One drama club, serves as reporter for Industrial Technology’s Vocational Industrial Clubs of America chapter, competes in forensics, was inducted this fall into Mu Alpha Theta, is on the National Dean’s List, has been nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges, and is president of Phi Theta Kappa. He also has participated in the college’s annual lip-sync contest Puttin’ on the Hits, and is the reigning Mr. Cinderfella. Stites was both grateful and surprised at the award. “I was really surprised,” said Stites, the son of Sue and Owen Stites. “I wasn’t really aware I was up for it. I was nominated in October, so I did the resume and interview process then. When I didn’t get it in October, I didn’t know I’d be eligible later on.”
Stites grew up just 20 miles north of Fort Scott. He has taken 15 credit hours at the community college there. He stumbled onto Cowley during a college fair in Ottawa during his senior year. “My interest was in machine tool, but I knew most of the schools in Kansas that offered it were trade schools, and that didn’t interest me,” Stites said. “One school had this chart listing all of the schools in the state that offered machine tool. I noticed Cowley offered it, so I went to the booth.”
Stites did some investigating on his own and discovered Cowley had exactly what he was looking for: a technical program that interested him, and the chance to continue working in theatre. “I met with (former theatre director) Dejon (Ewing) and (machine and tool instructor) Dan (Squires), since those were my two major areas of interest,” Stites said. “I took a tour of the campus, and then I was taken through the back of the Brown Center stage. When I walked out onto that stage and looked out at the seats in the auditorium, I knew this was where I wanted to go.”
Stites has been on the Robert Brown Theatre stage a lot since he arrived. He played the role of Frank Butler in the fall 2000 musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” He was Ernie Cusack in the spring 2001 play “Rumors.” And he played four characters in last fall’s musical “Big River.” He played the role of Chris Keller in the spring play “All My Sons.” Stites also is a work-study student for Scott MacLaughlin, Cowley’s director of technical theatre. The rare combination of a technical student and an activity such as drama keeps Stites busy. “I love theatre, and I always want to be involved in that,” he said.