K-State professors take pies to face to benefit cancer research


Two professors were pied in the face for Relay for Life on Friday afternoon. Michael Wesch, associate professor in sociology, anthropology and social work, and Kelly Welch, assistant professor in family studies and human services, were chosen to be pied in front of the K-State Student Union.

Relay for Life is a part of the Cancer Research Society, which raises money for cancer research and relief.

At the beginning of the week, there were buckets in front of the Union where people could vote for a K-State faculty member or Student Governing Board member to get pied.

Five other people were in the running to be pied: President Kirk Shulz, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Pat Bosco, Student Body Vice President Joe Tinker, Student Body Treasurer Kevin Klein and Student Sen. Stephen Kucera.

“Our fundraising co-chair came up with this idea a month ago and it was just communicating with different people to get some well-known Wildcats involved,” said Jennifer Karr, co-chair for the K-State Relay for Life branch and senior in biology.

Karr said after raising approximately $200, this year was the second-best fundraiser the group has had.

“I love Relay for Life,” Karr said. “I got involved because of family members going through cancer, and that is why all of our committee members all have a personal experience that just inspires them, and this is just a really fun way to do it.”

After all the money had been tallied up, there were two winners who ended up getting pied in the face. Welch and Wesch threw a pie in each other’s faces since they both got selected.

For both Welch and Wesch, this was the first time they had ever been pied in the face. They said they would gladly do it again because it was a good organization to support.

“I know a lot about it (Relay for Life) because the Center for Basic Cancer Research funded my dissertation and I am a breast cancer survivor, so I am very actively involved in Relay for Life,” Welch said.

Welch and Wesch both said they were excited about being asked to be involved because they feel that getting involved with the students at K-State is important.

“We are well aware that a lot of the most important learning happens outside of the classroom,” Wesch said. “Whether it’s doing real research or being actively involved in advocacy, that is where real change happens in a person.”

Wesch and Welch said they have the greatest jobs in the world and love to get as involved as they can on campus and with students because they both bleed purple.

“We are real believers in that the amount of change that you see in your own life is how much you direct change towards helping change in other peoples’ lives, and that increases exponentially in us to help our students to go out and preach to the world,” Welch said. “What we do has intergenerational effects.”