Making their mark


Carl Ricketts

Carl Ricketts

BSE 1980, MBA 1981

A strong work ethic. An unselfish team player. A decision maker.

A modest Carl Ricketts is uncomfortable talking about himself in those terms, but it’s clear to anyone who has spent time in his presence that he possesses all of those qualities.

They are the same qualities, he notes, that all Emporia State University graduates seem to exhibit.

“The typical ESU student—myself included—feels it’s important to just out-work the competition,” said Ricketts (BSE 1980, MBA 1981). “I think that is the one characteristic that we take into the work world that serves us well.”

Currently chief strategic planning officer for Topeka-based Capitol Federal Savings, Ricketts was recently promoted to head the bank’s Corporate Services division.

“It’s important for me to be a coach and try to instill some of the values in the people coming up that others instilled in me. I look forward to helping the younger generation improve their skills and find the right way to get that next rung up the ladder.”


Ilene Kleinsorge, Ph.D.Ilene Kleinsorge, Ph.D.

BSB 1981

“I’ve been able to compose my life as I go by finding connections that others may not see and making things happen that are greater than first imagined.” Dr. Ilene Kleinsorge’s words are a fitting assessment of her transition from single-parent college student working four part-time jobs to her current post as dean of Oregon State University’s College of Business.

Kleinsorge earned an accounting degree from Emporia State University in 1981.

The lessons Kleinsorge learned about cooperation and flexibility are the same ones she relies on today as she leads Oregon State’s business college serving 2,400 majors, 650 minors, and another 1,650 students taking business coursesas part of their majors.

Those lessons also opened a door to the ability to dream big.

“First and foremost, the learning I got from ESU was that I could do anything I wanted to do,” said Kleinsorge, noting that her Emporia State experience taught her the value of collaboration.