Wichita State University names seven new Koch Scholar recipients


Seven high school students from Kansas and Oklahoma have been awarded $30,000 to $45,000 each as the newest recipients of the Koch Scholarship at Wichita State University.

  • Michael Goldberg: Wichita Collegiate School; finance
  • Allison Helmut: Circle High School in Towanda, Kansas; accounting
  • Carson McCachern: Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma; computer engineering
  • Ryan Meadows: Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma; electrical engineering
  • Alaina Veatch: Classical School of Wichita; finance
  • Margaret Weihe: Valley Center High School in Valley Center, Kansas; mechanical engineering
  • Caden Yurko: Grove High School in Afton, Oklahoma; computer engineering

The scholarship is awarded annually by WSU’s Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College. The new scholars each will be awarded $30,000 for in state or $45,000 for out of state tuition over four years.

“Koch is thrilled to continue to foster opportunities for students throughout the Wichita community. The Koch Scholars Program provides students the opportunity to pursue an education where they can explore their passions, develop their unique talents, and achieve success,” said Meredith Olson, Koch Industries vice president of public affairs. “Congratulations to this year’s scholars.”

This competitive scholarship program is open to high school seniors enrolling in the College of Engineering or the W. Frank Barton School of Business. All Koch Scholars are members of the Cohen Honors College, taking honors courses and participating in community service and professional development activities throughout the year. Scholarship selection is based on high academic achievement, work, volunteer and leadership experiences, an essay, and an interview process.

The Koch Scholars Program was first made possible by a $1.54 million pledge from Koch Industries in 2014. The fall 2023 semester marks the ninth class to participate in the Koch Scholars Program.

Koch Scholar fall 2023 recipients:

Allison Helmut

Circle High School
Towanda, Kansas

Allison is from Towanda, Kansas, and is the daughter of Todd and Kasey Helmut. She was the captain of Circle High School’s Madrigals show choir, and was involved in National Honor Society. She works at El Dorado Public Library and volunteers at Kansas Humane Society. She also enjoys participating in HOTT (Helping Other Through Teaching) at her former elementary school. Allison is excited for the opportunities, resources, and education the Honors College offers to help her with future successes. After graduation, she hopes to apply her education from Wichita State to become a CPA within the accounting field.

Alaina Veatch

Classical School of Wichita
Wichita, Kansas

Alaina is the daughter of Aaron and Victoria Veatch. She participated in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) as both a mentor and an athlete and helped organize rides for Girls Riding Together (GRiT). She also was a member of Classical School of Wichita’s cross-country, basketball, swim and tennis teams, along with practicing piano for 11 years. During her first year of high school, Alaina tutored students at Clark Elementary School and was able to instill confidence and perseverance in her students when encountering a problem. In addition to earning her bachelor’s in finance, Alaina is looking forward to the small honors classes that increase individualized learning and cultivating meaningful relationship with her peers and professors. After graduation, she plans to work in supply chain management or in business analytics and pursue a master’s degree in the latter.

Carson McCachern

Deer Creek High School
Edmond, Oklahoma
Computer engineering

Carson attended Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma. He is the son of John and Cindy McCachern. He was the team captain and lead programmer and driver for the first robotics team at his school, the Roboducks. He was also involved in Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout, Francis Tuttle Technology Center on the Superintendent’s Leadership Team, the National Honors Society, and National Technical Honors Society; however, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity and building Turtle Platforms for Martin Park Nature Center was his most meaningful involvement. Carson is excited for the option to study abroad and internships available through honors. After attaining his bachelors, he plans to become a computer engineer and develop new robots.

Michael Goldberg

Wichita Collegiate School
Wichita, Kansas

Michael is the son of Larisa Genin and Edward Goldberg, and he attended Wichita Collegiate School. He was the captain of the Wichita Collegiate bowling team and was involved in varsity golf, debate and forensics, and Leadership Academy. He also volunteered at a homeless shelter and served food, talked and played bingo with the attendants. During his experience, he learned that everyone comes from a unique background and should not be judged by their societal status. Moreover, he now knows how to help the homeless community inside and outside of the shelter. Michael is looking forward to the diverse courses offered to honors students and the small, discussion-led classes. He is also excited to meet his honors peers and faculty and for all the opportunities honors can provide him. After graduating, Michael intends to enter a career in finance and pursue a graduate degree in business.

Margaret Weihe

Valley Center High School
Wichita, Kansas
Mechanical engineering

Margaret attended Valley Center High School and is the daughter of Jeffrey and Stacey Weihe. She participated in STEM Club as the founder and president, Future Business Leaders of America as the president and Fellowship of Christian Athletes as the worship leader. She was also involved in varsity cross-country and track and interned at Textron Aviation in advanced design engineering. She also volunteered at her church’s nursery and taught lessons about God to the children. Margaret is excited to network with her equally driven peers within the honors college, gain new mentors and participate in research. Her post-graduate plans are to enter into research and development engineering while also pursuing the leadership track to high-level management.

Ryan Meadows

Deer Creek High School
Edmond, Oklahoma
Electrical Engineering

Ryan is the son of Scott and Gina Meadows, and is from Edmond, Oklahoma. He was the captain of the CAD team for First Robotics and was involved in the Oklahoma Honors Society, National Honors Society and National Technical Honors Society. He also graduated from the three-year high school engineering program offered through Francis Tuttle Technology Center. At the center, he participated in the 2022 blood drive, where he donated blood and presented to several classes about the importance of donations. Ryan is looking forward to the enhanced classes, the study abroad opportunities, and the benefits and support of being in the honors college. After graduation, he hope to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering, along with traveling the world.

Caden Yurko

Grove High School
Afton, Oklahoma
Computer engineering

Caden is the son of Aric and Brena Yurko, and he attended Grove High School. He was involved in the Engineering Design Competition team as the team leader and SkillsUSA as the vice president. He also participated in National Honors society, robotics team and the National Technical Honors Society. Along with his extracurricular, he volunteered at the Red Fern Festival in Tahlequah. Caden is excited to meet like-minded people in the honors college. After graduating with his bachelors, he plans to work in the forefront of his field so he can develop new technology.

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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