Patterson Scholarship Winner Knew Since Sixth Grade He Would be a Hornet
It didn’t take Travisray Salyers long to find his place at Emporia State University. The freshman from Eudora, Kan., has known since sixth grade that he was going to be a Hornet.
“Several of my teachers would talk about how great the Teacher’s College was and I just knew I wanted to be a part of it,” he said.
Becoming a teacher was another goal Salyers developed in grade school, dating back to first grade.
“I used to come home and play teacher. I would even make up lesson plans and go over what I learned in school that day. I also developed an interest in business and would always write pretend receipts and play ‘business’ with my friends and family.”
So it was no surprise when Salyers came to Emporia State University in the fall of 2013 to become a business education teacher. While he considered teaching math throughout middle school, he was drawn to business education after he began taking business classes in high school.
“It was Mrs. Angie Brown, my business teacher, FBLA Adviser, and Emporia State graduate who inspired me to pursue Business Education at Emporia State,” said Salyers.
It was also Mrs. Brown who introduced Salyers to Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), a high school organization aimed at bringing business and education together and creating leaders. Throughout high school Salyers was very involved in the organization, competed at the state and national levels, and even served as vice president of District VI, which included schools in Douglas and Johnson Counties.
When Salyers visited Emporia State as a senior in high school, he learned about the collegiate version of FBLA, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL). Like FBLA, PBL helps students develop the skills they need to succeed and be leaders in any field, while also giving them the opportunity to compete on a state and national level. The leadership skills he developed during his FBLA experience helped Salyers become president of PBL at only his second meeting.
“I knew that I was capable of being president, based on my experiences in high school,” he said. “I wanted to step up and initiate some new projects. Being a freshman actually worked to my advantage because I was able to bring in a fresh perspective. I also knew the experience would help prepare me for my future goal of being a business education teacher and FBLA advisor.”
In March of 2014, Salyers and Kirsten Zamarripa, another member of the Emporia State chapter of PBL, traveled to the state competition at Cowley County Community College in Arkansas City. There, Salyers competed in several events, including client services, where he placed first.
“Client services is a role-playing event,” explained Salyers. “I acted as a customer service representative for a person who needed me to help her fix a broken printer over the phone. I felt prepared for this event after having to handle phone calls in the School of Business. My basic goal during the event was to make the customer happy on the other line while trying to fulfill the requirements in the event.”
Zamarripa also placed in her state events and the two of them will represent Emporia State University at the national competition in Nashville, Tenn., in June 2014.
His involvement in PBL and working on campus really helped Salyers during his transition to college. Salyers works as a student assistant and webmaster in the dean’s office in the School of Business.
“It’s been really convenient because I’m getting to know some of my professors while I work. I’m also getting a lot of practical knowledge, learning how to update the website.”
Linda Orear, administrative specialist in the School of Business, and Salyers’ supervisor, said, “He’s a dependable student with a great work ethic. He came here wanting to be involved in the School of Business and has such an eager attitude. He’s been so helpful in the office and with the faculty, helping us with computer problems, and any other requests we may have, big or small.”
His work ethic and responsibility were also key reasons why he was selected as a James Patterson Education Scholarship recipient before he came to campus.
Patterson, a best-selling author, set up eight scholarships at Emporia State because he is passionate about getting children to read and believes that teachers are key to the effort, explained Dr. Ken Weaver, dean of the Teachers College, in an Emporia State news release.
“Mr. Patterson chose Emporia State University as a recipient of his generosity because he was impressed with how the Teachers College is preparing the next generation of great teachers,” added Weaver.
Salyers was selected to receive the $6,000 award after completing an application detailing his dedication to becoming a teacher and compiling recommendation letters from his previous educators and school administrators. An interview process was also involved. His James Patterson Education Scholarship was one of eight given to Emporia State incoming freshmen teacher education majors.
“This scholarship was very helpful because it gave the financial support I needed to come to school,” said Salyers. “It also gave me the reassurance that I am meant to become a teacher.”
While Salyers’ first year at Emporia State proved to be a memorable one, he is looking forward to the years to come.
“I’ve met so many awesome people and have had a lot of great opportunities so far. The environment at Emporia State was exactly what I was hoping for. I love the enthusiasm from the administration and the events and opportunities offered to students, like being in a club, or even a music video. I’m excited to see what’s next!”