Stephanie McCorgary Osterthun
Mrs. Stephanie (McCorgary) Osterthun has so many wonderful memories of Arkalalah, but none can top the memory of being crowned Queen Alalah LVII. “I felt like it was such an honor for my family, my parents and grandparents were so proud of me,” Osterthun said. She also holds dear the memories of attending the street games with her grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. C.M. Nugen, and of marching with the Arkansas City High School band during the Arkalalah parade.
Osterthun attended Cowley from 1987-1989. At Cowley, she was involved in the CC Singers and inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She went on to graduate from Wichita State University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in general studies, with a primary concentration in administration of justice and a secondary concentration in accounting and economics. She worked in the public affairs office at Koch Industries and as a receptionist at a Wichita area law firm before deciding to enroll for a Paralegal program at Wichita State in August of 1993. However, she received a call from her mother, Cheryl Townsley, about an admissions representative position that was open at Cowley College, and decided not to enroll in the Paralegal program and instead applied for the position at Cowley.
She was hired by the school in September, and has been involved in helping college students ever since. “Other than meeting my husband (Stu), it was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Osterthun said. “I finally found out what I wanted to do, and that is to help college students.” She worked at Cowley for two years before moving to Manhattan to begin working on her master’s degree. She obtained her masters in student counseling and personnel services from Kansas State University in December 1997. She spent the final few months driving to Manhattan from Arkansas City to finish her masters program as she was hired back at Cowley as a counselor/advisor in September 1997. She went on to become the Director of Admissions at Cowley in April 1998 and held the position until August of 2000, when she left to become the Director of Onsite Advising at Butler Community College’s Andover center. She eventually became a full-time advisor at Butler before leaving the school this past April. Osterthun’s husband, Stu, worked at Cowley for 13 years before accepting a position as a marketing specialist in the office of University Relations at his alma mater, Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., this past October.
Osterthun recently began a new job on June 1, serving as the Director of Financial Literacy for the National Student Loan Program, which is based in Lincoln, Neb. The job consists of traveling to college campuses and financial aid conferences to give workshops on debt/money management to college students and financial aid officers with the goal of reducing student loan default rates. “It’s going to be different, but it is exciting to learn something new and have a new challenge,” Osterthun said. “I will miss the direct contact with students, but am also looking forward to the change of pace.” Osterthun has attended each Queen’s coronation since being named Queen LVII. Although she has left Ark City, she will continue to make it back for Arkalalah. “I am so proud of the Arkalalah tradition,” Osterthun said. “It takes a tremendous amount of commitment from so many people to put together an event of this magnitude. This coming Arkalalah will be even more special because I will be living farther away. I have a guaranteed excuse to come home.”