Student Life

Student of the Month


Multi-talented Dickinson named Cowley's March Student of the Month


March 2003

Candice BiglerGraduating from Hays High School, Candice Bigler had several options. She could go to college and compete in track and field. She could go to college and be a cheerleader. She could go to college and just concentrate on her studies. She ended up at Cowley County Community College on an ACT Scholarship. She originally signed with Casey Belknap and the Tiger track team to compete in the heptathlon. Instead, Bigler decided to join Kristi Shaw’s Spirit Squad. That move may have been the most rewarding as Bigler met the man she would marry. Candice Bigler and Grahm Dickinson were married July 6, 2002. Recently, Candice Dickinson was named March Student of the Month at Cowley. "I’m very excited," she said of the award. "I was nominated the month before and didn’t receive it. I had forgotten about it, so this was a pleasant surprise." Dickinson, who was reared in Pratt but lived in Hays her senior year, is a sophomore math major who has her future pretty well mapped out. She and her husband plan to transfer to Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, where she’ll major in finance and minor in math. From there, Candice plans to get her master’s degree at the University of Missouri. Why Missouri schools? Her parents, Charles and Charlotte Bigler, live in Chillicothe, Mo. Her husband is a native of Newkirk, Okla. Her grandparents are Frances and Robert Brin of Arkansas City and Marilyn and Don Bigler of South Haven. She has one brother, Josh Bigler, who is in the Navy stationed in San Diego, Calif. Although Candice never ran track at Cowley, she’s stayed very busy. She was a member of the 2001-2002 Spirit Squad. She’s a Student Ambassador with a 3.9 grade-point average, and recently was named Ambassador of the Year and Tutor of the Year in the Student-Teacher Academic Resource Center. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, Mu Alpha Theta, and serves as vice president of Campus Christian Fellowship, in which she received the award for Outstanding Participation and Leadership for the second consecutive year. She also is a nominee for the Outstanding Student of Arkansas City award. And there’s more. Candice was nominated for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and has been on the National Dean’s List the past two years. She and Harold Bos III of Cambridge represented Cowley on the All-Kansas Academic Team, and she was selected to represent Cowley at the 15th annual Kansas Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values for 2003. "I’m very pleased that I came here," Candice said. "I hope the college I transfer to next year is like a big Cowley. I love it here. "I think there are incredible instructors here. I just love the size and really felt like I’ve been taken care of by multiple faculty and staff."

Candice, who enjoys stunting with her husband, who also was a member of last year’s Spirit Squad, said a student of the month possessed several quality traits. "It’s a person who obviously puts in a lot of time and effort in being a good student and an outstanding role model in the community as well as school," she said. The Dickinsons were trying out for Missouri Southern’s cheer squad in late March. Grahm plans to study pre-law, then apply to law school at MU. Candice, 20, credits a Cowley math instructor for her decision to major in the subject. "I had no idea until last year what I wanted to do," Candice said. "My dad is president of a bank, and my mom’s a math teacher. I decided to major in math at Cowley because I had taken a class from Greg Nichols. I love the way he teaches, so I kept on taking his classes." She’s leaning toward finance at Missouri Southern after being influenced by a program on her favorite radio station, KLVV, 88.7 FM, Ponca City. "It’s a Christian radio station, and they have a program on money matters that is based on Christian principles," Candice said. "I would like to own my own agency or my own business, give financial advice, investment advice, like debt reconciliation, that kind of stuff." Candice tutors 23 hours per week in the STAR Center inside the Nelson Student Center. She tutors math and composition students. "I’ve loved tutoring," she said. "It’s made me even better. It’s reiterated the concepts from teaching them over and over. It’s solidified my background, especially in math." Candice says she wasn’t nearly as good a student in high school. "I wasn’t as focused," she said. "I didn’t have any certain direction or career path I wanted to go. I was still involved in things and filled a lot of leadership roles, but I wasn’t as good a student." Candice said being married has helped her become more responsible. "It’s made me a much better student," Candice said. "We’re accountability partners. We make sure our homework and other responsibilities are done. We encourage and support each other the whole way."