WSU College of Engineering awards $313,500 in Wallace Scholarships


Wichita State University’s College of Engineering has named the latest group of high school seniors to join the Wallace Scholar program.

The 13 Wallace Scholarship recipients will receive $28,500 each to attend Wichita State for four years. In addition, two students receiving other major university scholarships will be designated as Wallace Scholars.

Wallace Scholars are a community of more than 45 College of Engineering students, representing every class and nearly every major in the college. Wallace Scholars are involved in the College of Engineering, across the Wichita State campus, and in the Wichita community.

Selection for the Wallace Scholarship is based on recipients’ high school GPA, ACT scores, and performance at the annual Wallace Invitational for Scholarships in Engineering (WISE), which was held in November and drew 166 students from 13 states.

The Wallace Scholarship is made possible through the Dwane and Velma Wallace Endowment, created in 1976, which supports scholarships for engineering and computing students and provides funds for the College of Engineering. Since 1980, the endowment has benefited more than 360 engineering and computing majors at Wichita State.

The 2022 Wallace Scholars

  • Tyler Bixenman — Circle High School in Wichita — mechanical engineering
  • Caden Carlson — Aurora (Nebraska) High School — aerospace engineering
  • Cael Fielding — Rock Hill High School in Prosper, Texas — aerospace engineering
  • Jordan Manning —Mill Valley High School in Shawnee, Kansas — aerospace engineering
  • Brady Martin — Maize (Kansas) High School — electrical engineering
  • Olivia O’Reilly — Liberty (Missouri) High School — electrical engineering
  • Jack Peterson — Washington Preparatory Academy in Overland Park, Kansas — aerospace engineering
  • James Peterson — Washington Preparatory Academy in Overland Park, Kansas — computer science
  • Bri Pfeifer —Lee’s Summit (Missouri) West High School — biomedical engineering
  • Dhruv Roy, — Lone Star High School in Frisco, Texas — aerospace engineering
  • Mitchell Steele — St. Joseph Central High School Cosby in Missouri— biomedical engineering
  • Ivan Stevens — Classical School of Wichita — mechanical engineering
  • Alexia Vence —, Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast in Midwest City, Missouri — industrial engineering

Wallace Scholar biographies 

Tyler Bixenman
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
School: Circle High School
Major: Mechanical engineering
Tyler is the oldest of three brothers and was raised in Wichita. He has run varsity cross country and track all four years of high school, serving as captain his senior year, and placing at the state meet twice. Academically, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout high school and is a National Merit semifinalist. Tyler is also involved in the Math Relay Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as well as his local youth group where he helps lead a small Bible study. Aside from involvement with his church, he enjoys staying active through running and hiking, playing the piano, and hanging out with friends.

Caden Carlson
Hometown: Aurora, Nebraska
School: Aurora High School
Major: Aerospace engineering
Caden was drawn to pursue a major in engineering after he founded his additive manufacturing company, Carlson CAD. Through this entrepreneurial endeavor, Caden has had the opportunity to serve clients across Nebraska in fields such as patent certification and marketing. Beyond Carlson CAD, he is active in football, track, robotics, youth group, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, and Student Council. Caden also serves as the Nebraska Vice President of Future Business Leaders of America and is a National Merit semifinalist.

Cael Fielding
Hometown: Prosper, Texas
School: Rock Hill High School
Major: Aerospace engineering
Cael developed an interest in engineering while taking his first engineering course in high school and becoming a member of the high school Solar Car Team. He has been a member of the Mechanical Team since his sophomore year and has built two different solar cars that have competed in the Solar Car Challenge, hosted by Texas Instruments, at Texas Motor Speedway. He and his team successfully passed three days of scrutineering to qualify both cars for the race days. His team's Cruiser Division car was the first of its kind and won first place in the division's first ever year. Cael is also a member of Young Men's Service League and has held numerous leadership positions including Sergeant of Arms, Slating Chairman, Strategic Planning Chairman, and Career Fair Chairman. He has volunteered more than 120 hours with various philanthropies in his local community. Within his high school, Cael is a member of the National Honor Society and has participated in Student Council.

Jordan Manning
Hometown: Shawnee, Kansas
School: Mill Valley High School
Major: Aerospace engineering

Jordan is pursuing his major in aerospace engineering due to a long-standing interest in science and engineering. He is a team president for the Mill Valley Science Olympiad team and a member of FIRST Robotics team 1810, Jaguar Robotics. He also spent three years running cross country and one year running track. Jordan is the treasurer for the Mill Valley Spanish Honors Society, and he is additionally a member of the National Honors Society. Jordan loves to read books and play video games with friends. He also loves biking, kayaking, windsurfing, and hiking with his family.

Brady Martin
Hometown: Wichita, Kansas
School: Maize High School
Major: Electrical engineering
Brady began his love of all things STEM at a very young age. He began by building with Legos before he knew how to read. He specifically fell in love with engineering when observing the Lego Robotics Mindstorms Challenge. Brady has been a mathlete, played the violin for three years, and played tennis for two years during middle school. Brady has been a member of the trap shooting team all four years of high school and is a member of the National Honor Society. In his woodworking class, he designed and created blueprints, then built his own L-shaped desk. He also won his engineering classroom competition for his popsicle stick bridge, which held 203 pounds. Brady is a proud member of his church’s youth group, in which he is an active participant in volunteering for parishioners as well as community outreach helping to feed the homeless. Brady also enjoys rowing with the Junior Wichita Rowing Association and playing video games in his free time.

Olivia O’Reilly
Hometown: Liberty, Missouri
School: Liberty High School
Major: Electrical engineering
Olivia developed an interest in engineering at the age of 11, when her grandpa and dad introduced her to engineering. Since then, Olivia has taken multiple Project Lead the Way classes, such as Digital Electronics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing, to further her knowledge of engineering. Olivia is a student associate at the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies, which gave her an opportunity to be an engineering intern at Olsson Associates, a civil engineering and design firm. At her internship, Olivia was mentored by engineers from a variety of different fields and did the site development and design of a hypothetical Olsson building. In school, Olivia was a member of Spanish National Honors Society and was a violinist in her school orchestra, where she received all-district honors. Outside of school, Olivia enjoys running with her friends and is a four-time varsity letter recipient in cross country and a state qualifier in track.

Jack Peterson
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
School: Washington Preparatory Academy
Major: Aerospace engineering
Jack developed his interest in engineering through his participation in FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1825, where he was a member of mechanical, drive, and programming sub-teams. He has also been a member of the Overland Park Teen Council since his freshman year. In addition, he enjoyed being a delegate to the American Legion Boys State of Kansas, where he was a senator. He is a National Merit Semifinalist. Jack is a cadet sergeant in his Civil Air Patrol squadron. In his free time, Jack enjoys playing board games, running, and learning about airplanes.

James Peterson
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
School: Washington Preparatory Academy
Major: Computer science
James has been interested in engineering for a long time, but began programming after joining FIRST Robotics Team 1825, where he has been the mechanical lead, driver, and drive team coach, and is now the programming lead. He is also involved in the Overland Park Teen Council, was a Youth Liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and was a delegate to the American Legion Kansas Boys State of Kansas. James has been an active member of his church's youth group. James is also a Civil Air Patrol cadet sergeant. James is also a National Merit semifinalist. In his free time, James enjoys programming and playing board games with his family and friends.

Bri Pfeifer
Hometown: Lee’s Summit, Missouri
School: Lee’s Summit West High School
Major: Biomedical engineering
Bri found her passion for engineering through FIRST Robotics. As a member of FIRST Robotics Team 1986, Team Titanium Robotics, she found that she loved innovating and engineering. During her four years in robotics, she contributed to the team in various roles including being the Business Lead, controlling the FTC robot and coaching during matches at competitions, presenting to judges for awards such as the Chairman’s Award, organizing fundraisers and sponsorships, and scouting during competitions to aid the team in strategy. In addition to robotics, Bri is a member of the National Honors Society and has taken advanced, honors, and dual credit courses, as well as attended Summit Technology Academy for a biomedical studies course. She is also enrolled in her school district’s Early College Program where she takes a full course of college classes to prepare for her master’s degree in biomedical engineering, which she aspires to earn at Wichita State University.

Dhruv Roy
Hometown: Frisco, Texas
School: Lone Star High School
Major: Aerospace engineering
With a dream to impact the future of modern mobility, Dhruv strives to push the boundaries of his knowledge of the world around him as he pursues aerospace engineering. He was inspired to study the field through his ISM (Independent Study and Mentorship) class, as he studied and learned under the mentorship of experienced engineers. Since his freshman year, Dhruv was involved with Business Professionals of America at school and rose to the position of treasurer twice. He led his Website Design Team to achieve third place at the national competition and was a Texas State Qualifier in the Presentation Management event. He also was involved with DECA and placed National Alternate for Texas in the Professional Selling event. In addition, Dhruv actively contributes to his community as a tutor and mentor for children curious about STEM careers through free tutoring at local middle and elementary schools. Dhruv also enjoys anime, cars, comics, music, sports, Star Wars, video games, and spending time with friends and family.

Mitchell Steele
Hometown: Cosby, Missouri
School: St. Joseph Central High School
Major: Biomedical engineering
Mitchell is passionate about people and the role of serving others, while being easily intrigued with problem solving and technology. As a small boy, he never knew a stranger. His curiosity is the motivator of his adventure and interests. Life experiences have led him to pursue biomedical engineering. He looks forward to improving healthcare while capitalizing on his strengths. He is involved with Student Government and numerous clubs in school, as well as Christian youth activities. He is a member of National Honor Society, Area Health Education Centers, and Missouri Boys State. He enjoys participating in team sports and has lettered in swim team, baseball, and cross country, while earning Drug-free Super Star. He often volunteers within his community and school. In his spare time, he enjoys playing games with friends, traveling with his family, and taking a good long nap.

Ivan Stevens
Hometown: Andover, Kansas
School: Classical School of Wichita
Major: Mechanical engineering
Ivan's interest in engineering was piqued in sixth grade, when he participated in a Lego Robotics competition. Since then, he has taken every engineering class his school has to offer, even helping to teach Engineering III. He has been integral in pioneering Engineering IV at his school and was part of a project to build a fully autonomous chess board from scratch. Ivan runs cross country, competes in bowling, and plays tennis. He also competes in the local mountain bike race league for high schoolers (NICA). In 2020, he started his own mobile bike repair business, where he enjoys assisting fellow bicycle enthusiasts and working on mechanical challenges. Ivan also enjoys biking, camping, reading books on philosophy, playing chess, and doing pretty much anything outside.

Alexia Vence
Hometown: Midwest City, Missouri
Classen School of Advanced Studies at Northeast
Industrial Engineering
Alexia has been an aspiring STEM professional since her early years of exploring in 4-H—where she placed third in regionals for the Rose State Science Fair while in the fourth grade — experimenting in labs and attending nanotechnology and engineering camps. This has evolved into her becoming the Advanced Placement scholar and International Baccalaureate student she is today. She has a commitment to leadership and community, which began with tutoring in middle school and continues today. She has also volunteered throughout her high school years in the ASCEND Christian Leadership program, OKCPD's Youth Leadership Academy, the Pivot Teen Service Board, her school's events, and concession stands during basketball games and her brothers' football games. She has transcended the "all work and no play" mantra. She has worked and played hard in basketball for two years, in softball for three years with Region 8 Female Athlete of the Year and All Conference Team accolades, and finishing as a 2021 track and field state qualifier for Oklahoma.

Read more stories like this