Two Wichita-area students named 2023 Jabara Scholars in Entrepreneurship


The W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University has chosen two recipients to receive the 2023 Professor Fran Jabara Scholarship in Entrepreneurship. This year’s winners are Kayla Atkinson from Andover Central High School and Caleb Lowry from Eisenhower High School in Goddard. They will each receive more than $32,500 spread over four years to attend WSU and major in entrepreneurship.

“The Barton School’s legacy is directly tied to entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Larisa Genin, dean of the Barton School of Business. “Kayla and Caleb are now an integral part of that legacy.”

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 entrepreneurship as their major. The scholarship is named after the late Fran Jabara, who was a Wichita State faculty member for 40 years and founded WSU’s Center for Entrepreneurship. 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.

Atkinson is a senior at Andover Central High School. She is very involved with Circle of Friends, which is a mentoring program that establishes relationships between special education students and their traditional peers. Outside of school, Atkinson loves to bake, read, draw, and watch TV and movies. She wants to start a bakery and share her love for new techniques, baked goods and healthy eating.

“I got the call about the scholarship minutes before I had to clock in for work. It was one of my best days of work ever,” Atkinson said. “There are so many amazing business professionals that have gone through the Barton School program, and Wichita has such a great reputation for entrepreneurship.”

Lowry is a senior at Eisenhower High School in Goddard. He has participated in a variety of sports — including varsity football, golf, baseball, track, powerlifting and wrestling for his school. He has also helped lead a Bible study club and is a member of National Honor Society. Outside of school, Lowry serves as a member of his church’s leadership team and plays drums. His dream is to create a company related to sports and the outdoors.

“I love the idea of being an entrepreneur because I can create my own path,” Lowry said. “Whether it be joining a business to build its success or creating my own, I want to start something small and make it great.”

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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