Four Dirty Kanza Academic Scholarship Winners Announced

June 3, 2016

As the City of Emporia gears up for 1,200 riders to tackle the Dirty Kanza, a 200 mile grueling bike race on gravel, Emporia State announced the four recipients of the 2016 Dirty Kanza Academic Scholarship.

“One of the biggest reasons we started the scholarship was the opportunity to educate our participants about the academic programs Emporia State offers,” said Kristi Mohn, co-founder of Dirty Kanza Promotions and co-establisher of the Dirty Kanza Academic Scholarship. “A number of cyclists have kids that will attend college at some point, and Emporia State is a great option.”

“It’s also an opportunity to give back to our community by allowing Emporia State students to work with an international organization like Dirty Kanza Promotions to give them valuable working experience.”

The Dirty Kanza Academic Scholarship recipients are Cheyenne Dains, Bridget Wages, LaRhon Walker, and Franziska Willenbuecher. As part of the application, students submitted an essay discussing their idea of a healthy lifestyle. All scholarship recipients are invited to apply for internships with the Dirty Kanza Organization. 

A Gardner native, Dains is majoring in health promotion. In her essay, she wrote about making a difference in people’s lives by teaching others how to want and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dains wants to use the skills she’s learned from her academic research to show others how becoming healthy can be a fun process. 

Wages, a Peculiar, Missouri. native, is majoring in health promotion. She said in her essay that being healthy is a way to build community and form a special relationship with others. Wages wants to become an occupational therapist after graduating from Emporia State with her health promotion undergraduate degree.

From Kansas City, Missouri, Walker is majoring in recreation. In his essay, Walker wrote about wanting a professional career involving facility and event planning at a college or university. Walker wants to help college students by giving them a place to release stress through sports and exercises such as yoga, self-defense classes and intramural sports. 

Willenbuecher, a native of Limburgerhof, Germany, is majoring in business administration with a concentration in international business. In her essay, Willenbuecher talked about her healthy lifestyle consisting of set hours of sleep, a balanced meal plan and the incorporation of exercise into her daily schedule. Willenbuecher wants to promote a healthy lifestyle in the workplace and build a company’s culture around using physical activity as a tool for community building. 

Jennifer Denton, Foundation vice president for stewardship and administration, believes the leaders of Dirty Kanza Promotions serve as role models for all students in the City of Emporia.

“We are really grateful to have partners like Jim Cummins, Kristi and Tim Mohn and LeLan Dains who see value in lifting up our students through scholarships,” said Denton. “This scholarship does more than help our students financially, it also reminds students that the Emporia community cares about them and wants to see them be successful.

“I hope all our students will be encouraged when they reflect upon the success of the DK200.  It’s proof that big dreams can become a reality right here in Emporia. For any student who has an entrepreneurial mindset, people like Jim, LeLan, Tim and Kristi are excellent role models.”

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