Seven undergraduate students earn hospitality management scholarships from Greater Kansas City hotels

The Olathe K-State campus offers graduate-level classes and is a place for community professionals to continue learning. (Archive Photo | Collegian Media Group)

Seven Kansas State hospitality management students will receive $2,000 scholarships from The Hotel and Lodging Association of Greater Kansas City Education Foundation.

These scholarships, from Kansas City businesses and hotels, will help support the full-time students from the Olathe and Manhattan campuses as they continue their studies in addition to full-time jobs.

Of the seven recipients, six are at the K-State Olathe campus completing their hospitality management bachelor’s degree completion program.

One scholarship recipient, James Pratt, sophomore in hospitality management at the Olathe campus, said he already earned another scholarship from the association for next semester.

“The scholarships mean a lot to me because it means that I can take a little bit of time off work in order to focus on my studies,” Pratt said.

The students in the program at the Olathe campus are non-traditional students, meaning most are pursuing full-time careers along with their bachelor’s degrees.

Pratt said he hopes to someday be a general manager for a hotel.

“I currently work as a front desk attendant and night auditor, so I’m kind of familiar with a lot of the front desk duties of hotels,” Pratt said. “The scholarship helps so I can actually focus on my studies because the money’s available for me to do that.”

Similarly, Chrissy Zemencik, senior in hospitality management at the Olathe campus, said any scholarship she receives helps alleviate some of the financial stress that comes with school.

Her advisor, Brett Horton, professor of practice at K-State Olathe’s hospitality management program, attends meetings with the Hotel Association and informed students of this scholarship.

On top of a full-time course load, Zemencik runs her own baking business from home.

“My business is still fairly young — about three years old, so I try to spend all of my time focusing on growing and developing it,” she said. “However, with any business, I experience different highs and lows in sales, so having scholarships help me to worry less about figuring out how to cover my schooling.”

The bachelor’s degree completion program at the Olathe campus offers students working full-time the opportunity to not only earn their bachelor’s degree, but live and work all in the Kansas City area.

The other scholarship recipients are seniors Celeste Buchanan, Don Gates and Myron Peterson and junior Riley Seuser from Olathe; and junior Jared Schoeneberg from Manhattan.

My name is Sean Schaper, and I'm the news editor for the Collegian. I’m a junior in journalism with a secondary focus in film studies. I grew up right outside of Kansas City in Leawood, Kansas. As a first-generation K-Stater, I look forward to leaving behind accurate coverage for the current and future Wildcat community.