Students Earn Great Plains Manufacturing Scholarships

K-State Salina is continuing a one-of-a-kind scholarship program that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree while working part-time and gaining valuable on-the-job experience with Salina manufacturing company Great Plains Manufacturing.

Eight students from K-State Salina — all working toward one of the campus’s engineering technology degrees — have been announced as the Great Plains Scholars Program recipients for this year. The students work 20 hours per week at Great Plains Manufacturing, gaining vital skills in specialized industry technology, including line assembly, robotic weld automation centers and more.

Through the program, the students each receive a scholarship that covers most of their educational expenses while also earning wages from Great Plains Manufacturing. Students will also graduate earlier by taking year-round classes offered as part of the scholarship program. Those who start in this program in their freshman year can graduate in as few as three years.

This is the second year that K-State Salina and Great Plains Manufacturing have teamed up to fulfill industry needs and give students professional manufacturing experience that they can then use to further their careers after graduation. In the future, Great Plains Manufacturing plans to expand the program to include 20 students in 2024-2025 and up to 36 students in 2025-2026.

The following K-State Salina students have been selected for the 2023-2024 Great Plains Manufacturing Scholars Program:

  • Roman Bustillos, junior in mechanical engineering technology, Syracuse
  • Dylan Ford, freshman in mechanical engineering technology, McPherson
  • Zach Gurka, freshman in mechanical engineering technology, Esbon
  • Jacob Koop, senior in mechanical engineering technology, Inman
  • Jeffrey Maiden, senior in mechanical engineering technology, Salina
  • Scott Person, sophomore in electronic and computer engineering technology, Minneapolis
  • Josiah Reilly, junior in mechanical engineering technology, Salina
  • Ethan Unruh, freshman in electronic and computer engineering technology, Galva
K-State Salina is currently accepting early applications for the program from interested incoming freshmen students for the fall 2024 semester. Learn more and apply on the Great Plains Scholars Program website.
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Photo:  Eight K-State Salina students have been selected as the next Great Plains Scholars. Pictured from left: Allison Blake, corporate recruiter, Great Plains Manufacturing; David Disberger, president and CEO, Great Plains Manufacturing; students Jacob Koop, Josiah Reilly, Dylan Ford, Zach Gurka and Jeffrey Maiden; Kevin Solofra, professor, K-State Salina; and Alysia Starkey, CEO and dean, K-State Salina. Not pictured: students Roman Bustillos, Scott Person and Ethan Unruh.