Shocker Family Newsletter – September 2020


Greetings Shocker Families,

We are back in full swing on campus as students have completed the first three weeks of the semester. Students are getting accustomed to their fall class schedule, meeting new people both in and out of class, and are likely gearing up for their first exams.

As the Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to partner with you toward your student's success. The Wichita State University community truly cares and is committed to your student's journey and development. Our support programs, staff and faculty come together to offer an experience that we hope meets students where they are, and challenges them to move forward and grow. We encourage students to engage and connect in whatever way serves them. We know the academic year will be full of challenges and celebrations, and we look forward to supporting both you and your student along the way.

With that being said, I am excited to share that we will continue to host our monthly Shocker Family Connections series throughout the academic year. We piloted this program this summer to enhance communication with our families, and received a high level of participation (Thank you!). Please keep an eye on our website for upcoming topics and to sign up for our virtual sessions.

Registration is now open for Family Weekend 2020. I encourage you to register for this fun-filled virtual experience. Year after year, we look forward to celebrating what makes Wichita State a great place to be; our families, faculty, staff and students. To learn more about Family Weekend and to register, visit

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me directly at or (316) 978-6105.

With Shocker Pride,

Alicia A. Martinez Newell
Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs

Phone: (316) 978-6105

Important Dates

Please be aware that dates are set with the understanding events and deadlines may have to be moved or cancelled in the event it becomes unsafe to proceed as planned.

Friday, Sept. 4 – Last day to drop for 100% refund and without course appearing on record.

Monday, Sept. 7 – Labor Day: No classes, offices closed.

Thursday, Sept. 10 – First Gen Check-In. Click here to learn more.

Friday, Sept. 11 – Shockers After Dark. Click here to learn more.

Sept. 20 – 26 – Shocker Family Connection series. Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, Oct. 7 – Mid-semester point.

Saturday, Oct. 10 – Commencement Ceremony for 2020 spring and summer graduates. Click here for the Commencement website.

Reminder – Fall Break has been canceled.

Monday, Nov. 9 – Tentative date for Spring 2021 early registration to begin.

Friday, Nov. 20 – Last day of in-person instruction.

Nov. 23-29 – Thanksgiving Break: No classes, offices closed Nov. 26 – 27.

Monday, Nov. 30 – Classes resume remotely.

Thursday, Dec. 3 – Last day of fall classes.

Friday, Dec. 4 – Study Day.

Dec. 5-10 – Final examinations. Click here for exam schedule.

Sunday, Dec. 13 – Fall Commencement. Click here for the Commencement website.

Monday, Feb. 15 – Fall diplomas available.

» Click here for the full fall 2020 semester academic calendar.

» Click here for the full university event calendar.

Getting Settled

Your student has started settling into their new college routine. They've had time to get a feel for how their instructors teach and have reviewed the syllabus from each of their courses. They've also started to figure out what kind of activities they want to get involved in. Your student might also be feeling a little overwhelmed as their first exams will usually be around the fourth week of the semester.

Remember this is a time your student needs to work through independently, with a little support from home. Encourage your student to start asking for help when they need it so that they have enough time to benefit from the assistance they will receive. Many times, if a student waits to ask for help, it’s already too late.

How Can Families Help?

  • Encourage your student to ask their instructors for assistance if they need it. Tips on talking to instructors can be found here. Students can also visit to find academic support resources and sign up for free tutoring.
  • Test anxiety is common at this point of the semester. If your student would benefit from tips on exam preparation, have them contact the Office of Student Success at (316) 978-3209 or by emailing
  • If your student is considering dropping a course, encourage them to speak with an academic advisor. As students start making changes to their schedule, they need to keep in mind course sequencing for their major, refund rates and financial aid implications. An academic advisor can help them make the right choice.
  • Communicate with your student about how often you expect them to check in with you, and keep an open mind as to why your student may want to change the frequency of communication.

Conversation Starters

  • Have you been able to settle into your college routine? What does that routine look like for you?
  • Tell me about your instructors and your classes.

Healthy and Safety

COVID-19 Dashboard is Live

Wichita State University understands the importance of COVID-19 testing and the critical nature of sharing data with our campus community. This COVID-19 dashboard is a source of information to provide updates on COVID-19 data specifically related to the campus community. The dashboard will be updated weekly, though the data is continuously monitored by our administration and health experts.

» Click here to check out the new COVID-19 Dashboard.

Quick Facts About Isolation and Quarantine

Isolation – To be used when an individual has tested positive for COVID-19, or when an individual is symptomatic and waiting for test results.

  • Isolate for 10 days when tested positive, or
  • Isolate until 72 hours after fever is gone without medications and there is improvement in symptoms, whichever lasts longer.

Quarantine – To be used when an individual has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Close contact means being within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes. Quarantine is also to be used in the event of travel from a high-risk area.

  • Quarantine lasts 14 days from last contact with the affected person.

Activity Restrictions While in Isolation or Quarantine

When in isolation or quarantine:

  • Students should NOT go out.
  • Students should NOT have visitors.
  • Students should NOT go for walks.
  • Students should remain in their rooms.
  • Students should arrange for contactless delivery of food or other items with friends, family, or delivery services.
  • Students should wear a mask or face covering in common areas of their living space.
  • Students should NOT go to work, school, church/worship, public events, dining halls or group gatherings.
  • Students should seek advice by remote means rather than presenting to the doctor’s office.
  • If a student does leave their living area for any reason they MUST wear a face covering.

Perform Health Self-Checks Every Morning and Night

Isolating or quarantining students will need to monitor their temperature and symptoms (cough, trouble breathing or others) twice a day for 10 days.

» Click here to review the Student Guide for the fall semester.

» Click here for all the latest University information on COVID-19.

Family Weekend

Shocker Family Connections | Sept. 21 26

Each fall semester we invite the families of all Shockers to experience the beautiful Wichita State campus. This year, in an effort to protect the health and safety of our entire Shocker community — including students and their families — and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we will host our first ever Virtual Family Day!

This week-long virtual program features family-centered sessions from various campus departments, providing updates on services and encouraging words on how to support your Shocker from afar. Saturday's activities include a parent meeting, a message from President Golden, and optional interactive activities.

We hope to see you there!

» Click here to learn more and register for Shocker Family Connections.

Shocker Family Photo Competition

Does your family exemplify the Shocker spirit? One Shocker Family is holding a Shocker Family photo competition! Show us a picture of your family and your Shocker Spirit for the chance to win a gift basket stuffed full of Shocker swag from the Shocker Store.

To enter, post your photo on social media and tag it #ShockerFamily. The prize will go to family with the best, most Shock-tastic photo! Don’t wait — photos are due by the end of the day on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Entries are due by 11:59 CDT on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. The winner will be announced in the October issue of the One Shocker Family Newsletter and on social media for Shocker Family and Student Affairs. The person or people submitting the photo must be represented in the photo.

Please be aware that by participating in this contest you are agreeing to allow One Shocker Family to use your photo on our website, social media and in promotional materials. Please also be aware that your privacy settings may affect One Shocker Family’s ability to receive your submission. If you have questions or want to confirm we received your entry, contact us at

First Tuesday

A Monthly Message from Wichita State President Jay Golden

Shocker spirit shines across campus

August proved to be an exciting month for Wichita State and a time when we all made a turn to a form of normalcy. For quite a few months, as I and my dog Rudy walked around the campus every day, it seemed the only people we would come upon were the extraordinary team taking care of our campus, including facilities, landscaping and police.

That has all changed since the new semester started. How wonderful it has been to see our students back on campus, spending time together in the student center or in small groups walking to classes together — all the while being responsible by wearing their masks and abiding by appropriate social distancing.

I have witnessed one-on-one music lessons being taught outside in front of my office with the student and faculty member safely distanced from one another, outdoor faculty lectures with students seated in pre-drawn circles painted on one of our grass malls. Even our coaches are creative in the ways they are working with their teams. I recently went to the first day of softball practice and watched as the team took the field wearing masks and keeping socially distanced by using both dugouts and the stands.

» Click here to read the rest of Dr. Golden’s message.

» Click here to read the rest of First Tuesday.

» Click here for the First Tuesday archive.

Financial Aid News

Financial Difficulties Due to COVID-19

Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, families may be experiencing a reduction of income or job loss. Changes in finances may greatly impact a family’s ability to pay for college. The Department of Education allows financial aid administrators to use Professional Judgment to re-evaluate financial aid eligibility when the family income changes.

The office of Financial Aid may be able to use Professional Judgment on a case-by-case basis to make adjustments to the data used in calculating the estimated family contribution (EFC) to reflect these special circumstances. If a family is experiencing financial issues and would like to discuss financial aid options and information about the process of a Professional Judgment for the 2020 – 2021 academic year, we encourage them to schedule an appointment to meet with a financial aid advisor at

The office of Financial Aid can be contacted via phone at (316) 978-3430 or via email at

Campus News

With $1 million gift, Gene and Yolanda Camarena will help students of color succeed at Wichita State University

Gene and Yolanda Camarena are well known for helping underserved Kansas youth improve their lives through education and other causes. Now the Wichita couple is enhancing that legacy with a $1 million gift to Wichita State University to give students of color opportunities they otherwise might not have.

A little more than half of the Camarenas’ gift pledge, $520,000, will provide high-impact scholarships to 20 Hispanic and Black students each year for the next four years. Wichita State will match that investment in full as part of its mission to provide affordable and accessible educational opportunities to underserved students.

The gift was unveiled at a news conference earlier this week (Aug. 31) on the WSU campus.

» Click here to read more about Gene and Yolanda Camarena’s generous gift.

Diversity and Inclusion Career Chronicles with Aaron Austin, Ed.D.

Margarita Baez, Career Specialist, has created a Diversity & Inclusion in Career Development LinkedIn showcase page. This page creates a space to educate and empower our diverse student population. Information will be focused on the most prominent areas of D&I as they relate to career development: race, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and gender.

On this page, we are starting a series of D&I Career Chronicle Videos. The first speaker in this series is Aaron Austin, Ed.D., Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

» Click here to visit Diversity & Inclusion in Career Development on LinkedIn.

Classroom spaces are available for student use

Students who a mix of in-person and online courses may find themselves in need of an on-campus space to attend their online classes. To meet this need, classrooms that are not reserved for class may be used by students who need space for remote learning. A schedule of classroom availability can be checked by clicking here. Students can find the most up-to-date information on room usage by clicking here.

Campus Resources

University Libraries

Many Wichita State students are aware of the Ablah Library located on the east end of campus, but fewer may know about the McKinley Chemistry Library in McKinley Hall and the Thurlow Lieurance Music Library in Jardine Hall.

In addition to helping students track down information and resources needed to complete class projects or further their research, our libraries also offer public use computers, study rooms, interlibrary loan, and workshops to help students conduct research better and more effectively, to name only a few. In this time of social distancing, students may appreciate knowing that they have free access to hundreds of online databases through the University Libraries system.

» Click here to visit University Libraries’ site and learn more.

Office Hours are Student Hours

Successful students ask for help. Sometimes students don’t ask because they don’t understand how, or know where to go. One way to help them feel more empowered to ask for help is to reconsider the term “office hours.” As faculty and staff, we know those hours are when instructors set aside time to help students. But to students, many of whom are first-generation, they may be interpreted as hours that instructors are working and should not be bothered. You can help students feel more confident in communicating with their instructors by explaining that “office” hours really mean “student” hours.

» Click here for tips for students to communicate with their instructors.

Fraternities and Sororities

The Fraternity and Sorority community at Wichita State University is full of tradition, brotherhood / sisterhood and pride. The decision to join one of our 25 chapters is one that will not only enhance your student’s experience as a Shocker, but will positively impact their life long into the future!

Fraternity and Sorority membership is an incredible way to meet friends who become family and to challenge oneself to be the best they can be!

» Click here for more information on our chapters.

Career Development Center

Your student can nail the resume, land the interview and prepare for the job with the Career Development Center. The CDC can help your student to build marketable skills and gain professional work experience before and after graduation through targeted internships, one-on-one counseling, special workshops, career fairs and more. Now is the time to develop the right habits and skills for a lifetime of professional success!

Career Development holds multiple events every week to help students to be prepared and successful in the professional world. Some upcoming events include:

» Click here to see more of Career Development’s upcoming events.

» Click here to visit Career Development’s website.

Connect With Us

Stay up to date on campus news by following us on social media, or contact us at 316-978-3149 or at! If you haven’t already, subscribe to receive this newsletter in your inbox at

Shocker Family Network Group

Want to connect with other Shocker Families? Head on over to @ShockerFamilyNetwork for a member-led discussion group to get connected and get your questions answered by other Shocker Family members like you!

Find Us On Social

Facebook Page | @parentfamilyshockers

Facebook Group | Shocker Family Network

Student Affairs Facebook | @wichitastatesa

Student AffairsTwitter | @wichitastatesa

Student Affairs Instagram | @wichitastatesa

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