Expanding the student experience

Group of honors students

The University Honors Program helps students make the most of their college experience on campus and off. Opportunity awards are among the tools that fuel that success. Far Above support has made possible 16 new funds that enable honors students to experience internships, service learning, study abroad and research. The program more than doubled the awards given to students in the past three years. Just in the 2015–2016 academic year, donors funded 250 student opportunities.


One summer, Jake Doerr worked for a historical society in Cleveland. He followed that with a Coro leadership program in Kansas City, Mo. “It was a great internship to learn how different groups work to gain consensus in the city,” Doerr said. “It inspired me to apply to KU’s Masters in Public Administration program.” Doerr, from Shenandoah, Iowa, graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in public policy. He received the Sailors London Review Award and the Kala Mays Stroup Intern Award.

Service learning

Katherine Wipfli, a junior from Oklahoma City, received an award for an alternative break trip. Her experience took her to Alamosa, Colo., and La Puente Home, a shelter with a children’s program, pantry and transitional housing. The James C. and Julia Markham Piper Fund made it possible. “I really enjoyed it because it was something I wouldn’t get to do on campus,” said Wipfli, who is studying chemical engineering. “I got to work with people in the community, and it was very humbling.”


Cody Christensen’s opportunity award took him to Washington, D.C., for a policy research internship at the Brookings Institution. “I was looking for a little bit of extra funding to help cover the costs of D.C.,” he said. “The scholarship allowed me to focus on the research.” Christensen, a senior from Topeka, Kan., is a School of Education research assistant and received support from the Kala Mays Stroup Intern Award. He is majoring in economics and political science.

Study abroad

Sam Eastes’ education has gone south since coming to KU. Eastes, a senior from Pratt, Kan., received a Young Family Opportunity Award to study abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica this fall. Eastes is majoring in journalism and global and international studies. His goal is to become bilingual and immerse himself in a new culture. “My study abroad opportunity wouldn’t be possible without this help,” he said. “I’m very grateful.”