Kaylie Kovach, a rising senior at Newman University, is a 2023 recipient of the KICF-Maud Wyatt Recognition Scholarship.
The Kansas Independent College Foundation (KICF) awarded 19 Kansas students with the scholarship. Each winner is a full-time degree-seeking student on the cusp of graduation who has maintained a grade point average of 3.5 or above. These students demonstrate excellence in academics, character and integrity, and show a commitment to the value of a private college education in Kansas.
KICF President Matt Lindsey said the 2023 winners show that “true leadership goes beyond good grades and academic achievement, but encompasses the power of community and fellowship.”
He continued, “The member campuses of KICF cultivate well-rounded leaders who not only excel in their studies but also make a positive impact on the world around them, and these awards showcase the brighter future they’re shaping.”
KICF also recently announced its 2023 Green and Gold Scholarship winners, three of whom are Newman University students. Angelica Esperanza Rodriguez, a biology major, received a Minority Student Scholarship; Kaelyn Johnson, a sonography major, received a Future Leaders in Health Professions scholarship; and business data analytics student Kenneth Huie received a Future Leaders in Business award.
“We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve their goals,” Lindsey said. “Kansas will succeed when it supports all students. … These scholarships are our contribution to that success.”
Forming her future
For Kovach, receiving the KICF-Maud Wyatt Recognition Scholarship was a true blessing.
“I had just gone through a rough patch at the end of the fall semester that left me wondering if I would be able to continue my education and graduate from Newman this 2023-2024 year,” she said. “This scholarship not only gave some financial relief but also opened my eyes to see that hard work really does pay off in the end.”
She is especially grateful to Director of Financial Aid Myra Pfannenstiel and Assistant Director of Financial Aid Kara Schwinn for their help and support throughout the application process.
In her recommendation letter for Kovach, Newman President Kathleen S. Jagger noted Kovach’s “remarkable dedication and focus in pursuing her career goals in physical therapy and impressive academic achievements.”
Kovach is an active Traditions and Transitions facilitator and a member of the Honors Program, the Honors Council and the women’s volleyball team. She has made the dean’s list every semester and has taken advantage of numerous shadowing and internship opportunities in the physical therapy field, thanks in part to her participation in the Newman Navigator program.
“Kaylie possesses a deep appreciation for education and is motivated to utilize her knowledge and expertise to assist others, with a long-term objective of becoming a physical therapist who specializes in helping athletes recover from injuries efficiently and with confidence,” Jagger wrote.
Newman’s classes provided Kovach with field knowledge as well as study skills that will benefit her as she pursues a doctorate in the future.
“I have become more resilient and confident because of some of the challenges I have faced during my time at Newman,” Kovach said. “Being in the Honors Program and having the smaller class sizes has made it very easy to build friendships with other students and connect with my professors. I have people that I know will support and help me which takes some of the stress away.”
Kovach credits the Newman Navigator program for forming relationships and discovering resources she wouldn’t have otherwise.
“The most helpful thing for me so far has been gaining a mentor,” Kovach said. “My mentor is Madison Decker, a Newman alumna that Dr. Kelly McFall helped me get in touch with. She helped me learn the initial steps to get started on my path to becoming a physical therapist.”
For Kovach, that dream formed at age 13 after her first experience with physical therapy.
“Being an athlete my whole life had come with a few injures that I had to recover from,” she said. “From then on, I knew that it was the right job for me.”
Having received interactive care from her own physical therapist, Kovach hopes to serve her future patients in a similar way.
“I would love to help athletes recover from their injuries and help them reach their goals,” she said. “I want to be able to connect with them so they feel comfortable and motivated to work hard.”
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