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ESU Alum Talks Leadership at the 2023 Hayes Lecture

Woman posing for the camera

An Emporia State alum with a lengthy career in telecommunication returns to her alma mater to present the Sam E. and Jeannene Hayes Lecture on Thursday, Oct. 26.

Wendy Wheat graduated in 2000 with a bachelor of science degree in computer information systems and a minor in business administration. She currently is a senior director in information technology with T-Mobile. She has worked for Sprint, now T-Mobile, for more than 23 years. After her time at Emporia State, Wheat earned a master of science in management from Baker University.

Her current role is focused on keeping the entire enterprise stable by implementing new processes, procedures, metrics and ways of working across all of technology. She is a board member and trusted advisor who is passionate about fostering connections among women in STEM and dedicated to helping others explore and understand opportunities in technology.

Wheat will present “Navigating Life and Leadership in a Diverse World” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, in Webb Hall on the second floor of ESU’s Memorial Union. The lecture is sponsored by ESU’s Blue Key Honor Society and is free and open to the public.

They Hayes Lecture is the official start of ESU’s Homecoming weekend of festivities. Dr. Sam Hayes (BS 1962) and his wife, Jeannene, of Mission Hills established the lecture series as a way to engage Emporia State’s alumni in highlighting their successes. Individuals whose leadership qualities, skills and accomplishments have led to distinction are featured in each annual lecture.

The first speaker in 2011 was Doug Smith of Leawood. Beginning in 2012, Doug and his wife, Nan, provided funds to create five scholarships for Emporia State students who attend the lecture. To be eligible for a scholarship, students must attend the lecture and complete a scholarship application, which includes a series of essay questions.