Barton School of Business Awards Jabara Scholarship to two Wichita-area students



The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University has chosen two recipients to receive the 2022 Professor Fran Jabara Scholarship in Entrepreneurship. This year’s winners are Cohen Ayres from Garden Plain and Grace Simon of Wichita. They will each receive $32,700 over four years to attend WSU and major in entrepreneurship.

“We are very excited to have Cohen and Grace as Shockers and Jabara Scholars,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School of Business. “The commitment and legacy of entrepreneurship at our university and community is strong. I look forward to seeing how Cohen and Grace’s journeys unfold.”

Cohen Ayers and Grace Simon



The Jabara Scholarship is one of the largest of its kind nationally for entrepreneurs. To qualify, a student must write an essay and have achieved at least 24 score on their ACT, a 3.5 high school GPA and declare a entrepreneurship major. The scholarship is named after the late Fran Jabara, who was a WSU faculty member for 40 years and founded the Center for Entrepreneurship at WSU. Along with serving as the dean of the College of Business Administration, Jabara received the Faculty Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 and the President’s Medal in 2002.

Cohen is the son of Jennifer and Cody Ayres, the latter of which is a past Jabara Scholar. Cohen has run varsity cross country throughout high school while participating in student government, National Honors Society, Boy Scouts and many clubs. In addition to school activities, Cohen has worked as a farmhand for the past four years while also managing a mowing business and caring for farm animals. He plans to double-major in entrepreneurship and international business.

Grace is a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish. At Bishop Carroll, she participates in cross country, track and field, yearbook, and is involved in student leadership. Grace volunteers for Scholar's Bowl and Walk in Sister's Shoes 5K race. She also organizes and donates Christmas items to numerous Wichita organizations, including Guadalupe Clinic, an elementary school, and the Wichita Children's Home. Grace enjoys starting and running her own small businesses as well as working for other small businesses.

"Wichita State has an amazing entrepreneurship program and provides me with a great opportunity,” Grace said. “I'm excited to get started."

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