Meet a Shocker: Gabriel Fonseca

As a full-time employee of Wichita State University, Gabriel Fonseca struggled to balance work, classes and a personal life while he pursued his doctoral degree; but, ultimately, the support of the university community helped him persevere.  
Gabriel is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring 2024 graduation. Learn more about his time at Wichita State and what's next for the grad. 

What degree will you be earning in May?

Doctorate in educational leadership 

What is your hometown?

Caguas, Puerto Rico

What made you choose Wichita State University?

I work here so I appreciated the support that the university provides for tuition assistance. In addition, I was excited about the program I was in because it aligned with my career goals and the unique aspects of the program. I was able to continue working full-time while going to school. Wichita State University provided me with the best of both worlds to do that and I was appreciative of that opportunity. 

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

The balance was a struggle at first. Going to school full time and working full time took a toll. Thankfully, I had supportive supervisors throughout my program that allowed me time to go to class. Classes were on Wednesdays, which for me were the busiest days of my professional life because I work with SGA and their meetings were Wednesday nights 30 minutes after I got out of class. Thankfully, I had really supportive SGA leaders who gave me the time and space to pursue my degree and the time to regroup before the long hours of meetings. Overall, due to the overwhelming support, my challenges were manageable.

What's your favorite off-campus location in Wichita?

I did a lot of homework and dissertation writing at Coffee Daze (the avocado toast — chef’s kiss!).

What would be the title of your autobiography?

“Living Fierce: Life, Work and Students on My Terms”

What are your plans after graduation?

I will continue working at Wichita State University, serving the students of Wichita State and supporting my teams in Student Engagement, Advocacy and Leadership (SEAL), Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), and the Student Government Association (SGA). 

What advice would you give other Wichita State students?

Dream big! Try new things! Challenge yourself! Step outside of your comfort zone and NEVER dim your light. You are worth it!

About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 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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