Meet a Shocker: Kathy Phan


Kathy Phan, a native Wichitan, wanted to find a university that was affordable for her, Wichita State provided that proximity to her family. During her time at Wichita State, she’s been involved in several organizations including Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority Inc., Asian Student Conference and an ambassador for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Kathy is one of more than 3,500 students eligible for spring 2021 graduation. Learn more about her time at Wichita State and what is next for the grad.

What degree did you earn? 

I will be earning my bachelor’s degree in Nursing with a minor in Psychology.  

What led you to Wichita State to begin? 

I chose Wichita State to be close to my family and for the affordability of the school. My family is a big part of my life. I wanted to go to a university that provided the needed scholarships and financial aid, and Wichita State gave me that. I was also born and raised in Wichita; therefore, Wichita has a special place in my heart. 

How are you feeling leading up to graduation? 

Leading up to graduation, I feel a lot of excitement, but I also feel a little anxious as well due to the uncertainty that may lie ahead. I am grateful for all my experiences at Wichita State and excited for my next chapter.   

What has been your most helpful learning experience while being a student at Wichita State? 

The most helpful learning experiences came from all the organizations I have been a part of. Those organizations consist of Sigma Psi Zeta Sorority, Asian Student Conference and an Ambassador for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. These organizations helped me personally and professionally through the numerous opportunities by prompting me to lean into discomfort to grow. I was pushed out of my comfort zone on many levels, but it gave me the confidence to accomplish things I never thought I would be capable of. 

What was been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it? 

As a student, my biggest challenge was ultimately trying to figure out what I wanted to do career-wise and time management. From studying different organizations inside and outside of school, to making time for my family and myself, it became apparent to me that I had a difficult time managing everything. I overcame this by using all the resources I was presented and ultimately had to figure out what my priorities were. 

What are your plans after graduation? 

My plan after graduation is to take my nursing license exam (NCLEX). From there, I hope to practice as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit here in Wichita.    

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your time at Wichita State or your post-graduation plans?  

The COVID-19 pandemic took away in-person class time along with clinical rotations within the hospital. It can be difficult to learn when you must adjust your learning methods unexpectedly in a small-time frame. However, during that time, I truly found my passion in caring for those in need and the nursing profession.    

What advice would you give other Wichita State students? 

My advice to other Wichita State students would be to step out of their comfort zone and be involved in different organizations. These organizations are often a networking opportunity and allow for personal and professional growth. I would encourage other students to work hard, and time manage but allow yourself to relax and have fun in the process. Your college career is a time to find yourself, so it is okay to not know exactly where you want to go. Grades are an important component in your collegiate career but do not let it be the end-all-be-all that defines you. You will have many obstacles to overcome but it only makes your journey worthwhile. Work hard and take care of yourself in the process. 

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