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Press Release



March 17, 2005

Ark City native named March Student of Month at Cowley


Focused, driven, and with a big heart for animals, Amanda Hadicke has a clear vision of her future.

In one way or another, it’s going to involve nature.

Hadicke, 20, a sophomore biology major from Arkansas City, is Cowley College’s March Student of the Month. She is the daughter of Roy and Julie Hadicke. Brother Josh, 23, is majoring in engineering at Oklahoma State University. She is the granddaughter of Ora Lee and Mona Ball and Peggy Hadicke, all of Arkansas City, and the late Robert Hadicke.

Hadicke has impressive credentials that include holding a 4.0 grade-point average, being listed on the President’s Honor Roll, being a member of the Math & Science Club, Phi Theta Kappa, Mu Alpha Theta, the National Dean’s List, and Who’s Who Among Students at American Junior Colleges. In February, she was one of two students who represented Cowley on the PTK All-Kansas Academic Team. She also serves on Cowley’s Natural Science Department Advisory Board.

Despite her excellent grades and extracurricular involvement, Hadicke was surprised she was chosen for the award.

“I didn’t believe it,” she said. “I’m not in sports. I’m not in drama. You don’t expect to get something like this just going to school and getting good grades.”

But Hadicke is much more than that. While earning Presidential and Natural Science scholarships out of Arkansas City High School, Hadicke recently was nominated for the Outstanding Student of Arkansas City Award that is presented each spring.

When she isn’t studying or being involved in an organization, she drives to Wichita to conduct volunteer work at the Sedgwick County Zoo. For the past two years, Hadicke has spent six to seven hours almost every Sunday at the zoo, helping with cleaning and assisting zoo keepers with enrichment, the animals’ daily diets, and other duties.

“I’m also a RAIZE volunteer,” Hadicke said, which stands for Researching And Investigating Zoo Enrichment. “We observe the animals on a daily basis and document their behavior, such as how they interact with enrichment.”

Animal enrichment involves introducing novelty items to their habitat such as toys or spices, changing their environment, or stimulating their senses.

Hadicke also fits in a part-time job at the Cottonwood Animal Clinic in Arkansas City. There, she serves as an assistant to the veterinarian on a variety of tasks.

“I help with clients and assist with surgeries,” Hadicke said. “I love animals too much. That’s why I couldn’t deal with the sick ones on a daily basis. The ones you can’t save, I couldn’t see them dying every day.”

That’s the primary reason she decided against a major in pre-veterinary medicine. But ever since elementary school, Hadicke has thought about a career working with animals or nature.

“I’ve always loved the natural sciences and nature and working with animals,” said Hadicke, who has two house cats, two dogs, six cows and a pigmy goat named Annie she begged her father for when she was in third grade. “I went the biology route because I’m able to do the zoo work or a naturalist’s work. It covers both of those areas.”

Whatever Hadicke does, she gives it her all. She learned that from her father.

“A Student of the Month is a student who is hard working, strives to do their best, both academically and in their personal lives, has respect for others and considers their feelings,” she said. “It’s someone who gives 110 percent in every aspect of their lives.”

Hadicke said her father “taught me how to work hard for everything you want in life, and to give 110 percent, no matter what it is, work, school, grades, or personal goals. He’s told me never to give up. It’s a tradition in our family. Outside of my age group, he’s one of my best friends. I can talk to him about anything.”

He’s also influenced his daughter’s taste in music.

“I enjoy going to 70s and 80s rock concerts,” she said. “We went to Van Halen last November, and last spring we saw Styx and Peter Frampton. I’ve seen Journey and REO Speedwagon, and in a few weeks we’re going to see John Mellencamp.

Hadicke, who ranked third academically out of 177 ACHS graduates in 2003, said she knew for a long time she wanted to come to Cowley.

“Since it’s close, and I live in Ark City, I wanted to spend two more years at home and grow up and get adjusted to college before I went off to a four-year university,” she said.

That four-year university will be Emporia State this fall, where Hadicke will major in wildlife biology.

“I chose Emporia because it’s a good school, and it’s not extremely far away from Ark City,” she said. “Also, my uncle lives in Emporia.”

Hadicke has something else to look forward to after she graduates from ESU, a wedding. While no date is set, she’s engaged to Ark City native Matt Chaney. He’s a graduate of Southwest Missouri State University and works at a Super Target in Wichita.

Hadicke enjoys working outside with her dad, being with family and friends, and photography. Her love for the outdoors, particularly animals, has spanned many years.

“The six cows are left over from my high school FFA project,” she said.

Hadicke was so involved with FFA that last October she received her American Degree, the highest level of membership in FFA.

“It’s based on your involvement with FFA and your supervised agricultural experience,” Hadicke said. “You log the hours you spend on the project, the work you do, and you have to earn or invest $7,500 in your SAE.”

Only about 1 percent of FFA members receives an American Degree. Hadicke received hers at the national FFA convention in Louisville, Ky.

Hadicke said she hasn’t changed much since high school, but she’s more comfortable with who she is as a person.

“I’ve become more concrete in who I am,” she said. “In high school, I would sometimes sway my beliefs, maybe to conform to what others believed. Now, this is who I am. If other people don’t like it, I’m sorry. And I’m more stable in where my life is going and what I want out of life.”

Hadicke said she’s pleased with her decision to come to Cowley.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” she said. “I was unsure how college was going to be when I started. The teachers here are wonderful. They are very supportive. They answer any question you have. They are capable teachers, and all are very intelligent in their fields. And the feeling on this campus is very friendly. You feel comfortable here.”