Kirk Schulz, university president, and Noel Schulz, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the College of Engineering and Paslay professor of electrical and computer engineering, both received the Fort Riley Distinguished Trooper Award on June 12.
Created in 2001, the award recognizes the sustained public service and contributions of private citizens to the Fort Riley community. The award includes an engraved medallion and certificate signed by the commanding general.
The Schulzes were recognized for their work in helping make Kansas State University one of nation’s most recognized military-inclusive public universities.
Kirk Schulz began expanding the university’s outreach to student soldiers and Fort Riley shortly after his arrival in June 2009. Under his leadership, a partnership program was created with the fort to support its organizations and activities. He also has increased the academic scholarships available to military students by more than 300 percent, to $1.1 million.
Additionally, the university’s faculty and staff have provided more than 10,000 hours of support to military students. Support has come through professional development, quality of life and resilience, informal education and cultural education.
“Military-connected students have been a cornerstone of Kansas State University for 150 years,” Kirk Schulz said. “We have a proud tradition of providing our Kansas military residents with education, research and outreach services that help their development, military service and quality of life. As Kansas State University moves forward to being recognized as a Top 50 public research university by 2025, I anticipate even greater benefits for our military-connected students.”
Noel Schulz serves as co-chair for the Kansas Military Child Education Coalition, a nonprofit organization that develops resources to advance the education of military children. Similarly, she provides leadership on support and transition programs for veterans who are pursuing their higher education degrees. Through her efforts, Kansas State University has two-and-a-half times more military-connected students than the average four-year public university.
“Kansas State University is proud to be home to the state’s largest military population in higher education,” Noel Schulz said. “We have military students enrolled in campus classes and distance courses around the world, and many distinguished military alumni are K-Staters. Kirk and I consider it an honor to be recognized for continuing to develop this legacy of service.”