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March 14, 2008

Thompson named March Student of the Month


Manny ThompsonMild mannered and well liked in the classroom, you would never guess Cowley College freshman Immanuel “Manny” Thompson is an incredibly gifted boxer in his free time.

The always-active Thompson was recently named Cowley College’s March Student of the Month.

Thompson, son of Brenda Thompson, is a Sports Medicine major from Wichita. He has two younger brothers, Gary 18, and Garrett 13. He is currently taking 25 hours of classes at Cowley, but still manages to be involved in Student Government, Multicultural Scholars Program, Black Student Union, IMPACT, Cowley Crazies, PAWS, and Student Athletic Training for the Cowley College Men’s Basketball team. 

“Despite all the classes and activities I am involved in I still manage to get everything done,” Thompson said.

He is an ideal student who has an exceptional attitude and extraordinary motivation.  He regularly attends activities and also encourages other students to attend. Impact staff members agree that he could teach their Time Management workshop.

Whenever Thompson’s name is mentioned, Cowley faculty and staff mention his wonderful attitude, his pleasant demeanor, and his ability to make everyone around him feel good.

He was named to the list of Who’s Who Among American High School Students during his time at Wichita Southeast High School. He was also a talented football player at Southeast and was offered a scholarship to play football at Hutchinson Community College. However, he decided to come to Cowley.

“Here at Cowley they have good sports and education programs and lots of clubs and organizations,” Thompson said. “It just seemed to be a perfect fit.”

Despite his busy schedule, Thompson still finds time to train and keep in shape through boxing. He has been boxing since the age of 11 and has received many trophies and awards through the sport.

He is currently working out with Team punisher in Winfield. When he’s in Wichita he trains at the Dog Pound Fighting Association with coach Johnny Papin, who has served as his coach since the sixth grade.

While in the seventh grade, the Wichita Eagle did a 13-part story on Papin, Thompson, and Thompson’s mother, Brenda. Thompson was struggling with his grades so his mother pulled him out of boxing. Once he got his grades up he started boxing again.

Not only did he box, he dominated as he won regional and state titles in Silver Gloves and won a state title in Golden Gloves. He also won state and regional titles in the Junior Olympics and qualified for nationals twice.

“I love everything about it, all the running and sparring,” Thompson said. “I also enjoy it because I’m good at it.”

Thompson and coach Papin were also featured in the Readers Digest, which summarized the 13-part series that appeared in the Wichita Eagle.

Thompson hopes to one day work in the medical field and box professionally.

“Why waste your talents, you might as well use it to your advantage,” Thompson said.

Being named Student of the Month served as an uplifting experience for Thompson.

“It was perfect timing, when I found out it made my day,” Thompson said. “It’s nice the hard work is being noticed.”

Thompson’s future goal is to repay his mother for all she has done for him and his two younger brothers “I just want to keep a smile on her face and pay her back when I get older,” Thompson said. “She’s my motivation.”

After Cowley, he plans to transfer to Wichita State University to be closer to home and be able to get back to training with Papin on a daily basis.

Thompson is glad he made the choice to come to Cowley and would recommend it to anyone.

“It’s been a real good experience,” Thompson said. “The teachers here make sure the students fulfill their dreams and goals. They care about you a lot and will do anything they can to help you.”