Rudd Foundation Announces 20 Scholarship Winners in Kansas

Wichita, KS. May 1, 2018 – This year the Rudd Foundation created a new, 4-year college scholarship program that covers any remaining cost of attendance to help Kansas high school seniors who qualify for a Pell Grant attend either Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University or Wichita State University. Today it announced 20 winners from across the state who will comprise the first-ever cohort of Rudd Scholars (full list attached).

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the exceptionally high-caliber, well-rounded students that were chosen for this year’s Rudd Scholarship,” said Peter Najera, President of the Rudd Foundation. “They are not only great leaders in the classroom, but also in the workplace, on the sports fields and in their communities. Though these students have diverse interests and backgrounds, what they certainly have in common are the Midwestern values of grit, humility, determination and work ethic.”

In addition to living on campus and carrying a full load of classes towards their college degree, scholars will also participate in many developmental activities outside the classroom, network with leaders in their future professions, build strong relationships among themselves, and serve to help the next generation of scholars through an active and connected alumni association after graduation.

“We view this scholarship as an investment in the extraordinary potential of these young adults,” said Najera. “This program will enable these students to achieve their long term goals after graduation and be positive contributors to our Kansas communities and society as a whole.”

2018 Rudd Scholarship Winners

  • Sara Amend, Goodland High School, Wichita State University
  • Cara Babcock, Lansing High School, Emporia State University
  • Cydney Bergmann, Concordia Jr/Sr High, Fort Hays State University
  • Taylor Brock, El Dorado High School, Wichita State University
  • Jade Burroughs, Salina South High School, Wichita State University
  • Jadie Chauncey, Junction City High School, Wichita State University
  • Aaron Clark, Great Bend High School, Emporia State University
  • Michaela Forkenbrock, Lyndon High School, Emporia State University
  • Meleny Jacome-Banuelos, Stanton County Sr High, Fort Hays State Univ.
  • Danica Kostner, Kingman High School, Fort Hays State University
  • Riston Landwehr, Medicine Lodge Jr/Sr High, Wichita State University
  • Taryn Lee, Valley Falls High School, Emporia State University
  • Shaley Leedy, Field Kindley Memorial High, Wichita State University
  • Jesse Nightingale, St. Emmilia Classical Academy, Wichita State Univ.
  • Hoang Phi Tran, Wichita South High School, Wichita State University
  • Michael Rivera, Shawnee Mission North High, Wichita State University
  • Ashok Sharma Jr., Wichita South High School, Wichita State University
  • Hannah Showalter, Andover High School, Emporia State University
  • Abbigayle Tyler, Hutchinson High School, Wichita State University
  • Rafael Uribe-Olivares, Garden City High School, Wichita State University

About the Rudd Scholarship

The Rudd Scholarship is a renewable, 4-year program that covers any remaining cost of attendance after all other aid, grants, and scholarships are applied to a student’s account. Cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board. By removing financial barriers to a college education, chosen scholars are expected to achieve a high level of excellence on campus in preparing themselves to be leaders in their profession and in their communities after graduation. More information about the scholarship can be found online at  

About the Rudd Foundation

Leslie Rudd established the Rudd Foundation in 1998 as a way to honor the Midwestern values that strengthen character and lead to a lifetime of success in business, community, and family. The Foundation gives back in meaningful ways to help both people and organizations who possess the initiative, determination, and capacity to achieve their goals and thereby make a positive impact for those around them. More information can be found at, Twitter (@RuddFoundation), Instagram (@ruddfoundation), Facebook (@RuddFoundation) or Linkedin.

Contact: Corri Roberts, 316-847-4828,

Hays Daily News: FHSU Announces College Scholarship Opportuity for Kansas Students

FHSU President Tisa Mason — a first-generation college graduate — said that mission is congruent with the goals of Fort Hays as an institution. “I know that recruiting first-generation students in particular is important to Kansas and certainly, as you all know, that is very parallel to my journey as a first-generation student,” she said Friday. “It sends a very important message of the importance of an advanced education, which without a doubt is a life-changer and a transformative experience for everyone who’s been able to go to college.”

FHSU News: Fort Hays State University Selected as Participant in Rudd Foundation Scholarship Program

“The cost of higher education can be especially challenging for first-generation students,” said Dr. Tisa Mason, FHSU president, who was the first in her family to get a college education. “That makes gifts such as this one from the Rudd Foundation especially valuable, not only for the direct benefit to the students who will receive them, but for the message it sends about the importance of advanced education to create innovative leaders in business, education and citizenship,” she said.

KVOE: ESU Announces New Scholarship Program

The Rudd Foundation has created a new scholarship for incoming college freshman. Wednesday morning Rudd Foundation representatives and ESU staff members held a special presentation for the Rudd Scholarship.  The scholarship aims to assist first generation underrepresented college students during their education at either ESU, Wichita State or Fort Hayes State.