Engineering Student Success Center Staff


Alicia NewellAlicia A. Martinez Newell
Director of Student Engagement
alicia.newell@wichita.edu (316) 978-3420

Degree: Master of Science in College Student Personnel with emphasis in administration in higher education

Position – Director of Student Engagement:
I have the privilege of working with all engineering students from the start of their academic career through graduation! I direct the daily operations of the records and registration process for the College of Engineering. This includes new student orientation, academic advising and registration, transfer evaluations, exceptions, degree audits and verification and commencement. In addition, reviewing policies and procedures regarding academic advising at the undergraduate level and supervise the support staff within the ESSC. I also work with all undecided engineering students during advising.

Favorite thing about Wichita State University: Student Involvement! Wichita State has over 200 organizations for students to get involved with. No matter what your interest is, there’s something for everyone… and if not, we’ll help you create it! Having a vibrant student life on campus creates an amazing environment full of Shocker pride.

Best place to study on campus: WSU is committed to the academic success of each and every student on campus. There are numerous academic resources and tutoring centers across campus ready to assist students at any given time. By studying in any of the tutoring centers across campus (GEEKS, Writing Center, Math Lab) the moment a student stumbles on a problem, someone is there to assist them right away so they don’t have to struggle alone.

Best thing about being a Shocker: Family! The support students gain while on campus is unparalleled. Having the support of your peers, instructors and administrators all working together for one common goal--- STUDENT SUCCESS. Knowing that you are not alone on this journey and have support across campus to help develop the whole you---  is what I love most about being a Shocker!


Andrea HolzwarthAndrea Holzwarth
Director of Engineering Outreach & Recruitment
(316) 978-5914

Degrees: Bachelors of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communication
                 Masters of Business Administration

Position - Director of Engineering Outreach & Recruitment:
I oversee all engineering recruitment & outreach efforts. I also implement recruitment strategies for the CoE. I work alongside the Office of Financial Aid & WSU Foundation to award all engineering scholarships. In addition, I serve as the Assistant Affliate Director for Project Lead The Way at the WSU College of Engineering

Favorite thing about Wichita State: My favorite thing about Wichita State is our experience-based and work based learning experiences that you can receive as an undergraduate student through the cooperative education office. When I was a student, I was able to intern at two different organizations where found my passion for recruiting students to higher education.

Favorite thing about College of Engineering: The Engineer of 2020 program. I love that the CoE is stepping up and graduating engineers who are work-force ready.

Best thing about being a shocker: The best thing about being a shocker is the connections you receive, as a student you are connected to numerous alumni in your area of study who want nothing more than to help you succeed. The faculty and staff at Wichita State are second to none, they want the best for you and are willing to help you achieve your dreams.

Erin ShieldsErin Shields
Engineering Recruitment Coordinator
(316) 978-7691

Position - Engineering Recruitment Coordinator: Most of my time is spent sharing information about the WSU College of Engineering with high school students, parents and teachers through group/classroom presentations or individual appointments. I visit local, regional and out-of-state high schools, and I most enjoy having authentic conversations with students about their interests in engineering and the experience-based education we offer at WSU. I also assist in the planning and coordination of Kansas BEST Robotics events and the Engineering Open House event for high school students.

Favorite thing about the College of Engineering: I admire our focus on preparing students for the real world by making internships, cooperative education and undergraduate research accessible year-round. We don’t just want our students to graduate with a piece of paper; we want them to be high quality engineers with experience that will make them marketable and successful whether they choose to go into industry or stay in academia after graduation.

Best place to relax on campus: Shocker Sports Grill & Lanes! There is something for everyone on the lower level of the Rhatigan Student Center. You can rent a bowling lane with friends, shoot some pool, or gather to watch a Shocker basketball game. And don’t forget to order some of the delicious food while you’re there. (I recommend the Turkey Bacon Cheddar BBQ Wrap.)

Best advice for a high school senior: 1) Start your college application process early. Before you become bogged down in the many responsibilities of senior year, take the time in August and September to get all your college applications submitted. Then you can spend more time finding scholarship opportunities, many of which may require you to be admitted before you will be considered. 2) You cannot be expected to do it all alone. Ask a teacher, counselor, or mentor to take a look at your college/scholarship applications before you submit them. They will be able to give you positive feedback on the structure and grammar of your résumé and essays. Rely on the wisdom of family and friends when you are struggling to make sense of the college application process. When in doubt, find a great resource to help you!


Norman BentNorman Bent
Director of Diversity & Inclusion
(316) 978-3420

Family: Three loving boys

Degree: Master of Arts, Education with emphasis on International Education.

Position-Director of Diversity & Inclusion:
I coordinate all outreach, recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in engineering. I also work with the African American Advisory Board and the Hispance Advisory Board.

Favorite thing about Wichita State University: Commitment to success and long lasting positive and life changing experiences for all students. These can be achieve through college involvement, cooperative education, exposure to students from all walks of life.

Best advice to a high school senior: Don’t underestimate your possibilities! Always, seek to be and do your very best. Don’t let others tell you that you cannot be the next engineer, or scientist, or the next creator of amazing things! If you think you are studying hard, STUDY even HARDER! Always ask yourself, WHY NOT ME! And place in your mind that IT IS MY TIME NOW!

Best advice to a Wichita State junior: Hey, you are one step closer to becoming a senior! Enjoy your cooperative learning and remember your service learning-PASS IT ON! Continue to enjoy your WSU learning experience.


JPEGImageKaren Reynolds
K-12 Special
Projects Coordinator
(316) 978-6475

Family:  Loving husband, two great sons, one wonderful dog

Degree: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with emphasis in mathematics and education

Position - K-12 Special Projects:

My job is to help ensure that we fill the engineering pipeline to meet the growing need for engineers. We will do that by exposing young students to the world of engineering and providing experiences that help students choose the path that is right for them. I work on all K-12 Special Projects including Kansas BEST Robotics and Shocker MINDSTORMS. I also serve as the Assistant Affliate Director for Project Lead The Way at the WSU College of Engineering.

Favorite thing about the College of Engineering: Our team. Everyone here wants the same things – to help students succeed and to be the very best College of Engineering in the region. And being here right now, when the need for qualified engineers and other STEM graduates is so high, we have the chance to be part of something really special and make a difference.

Best place to study on campus:  In good weather, there’s nothing better than a bench outside on WSU’s beautiful campus

Best thing about being a Shocker: Being a Shocker is a source of pride for me. It’s like being part of a big family and you get this kind of warm, comfortable, relaxed feeling because you’re with people you care about and with whom you share so many things. And, of course, I love WuShock!

Best advice to a high school Senior: Hang in there! The only thing better than being a senior is being a graduate.


Best advice to a Wichita State Junior: You’re almost there. You’re over the hump and you have laid the groundwork. It just gets better from here on.


Polly Basore

Polly Basore

Strategic Communications and K-12 Outreach Officer polly.basore@wichita.edu
(316) 978-6512
Family: My son Henry is a sophomore in college.

Degree: B.S, Journalism, Oklahoma State University; M.S, Journalism, Columbia University

Position - Strategic Communcations & K-12 Outreach Officer:             I work with a team of WSU engineering students to inspire children’s interest and aptitude in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through fun and educational programming held on campus, at schools and within the community. I also coordinate strategic communications for the CoE,

Favorite thing about Wichita State: The students here are truly something special. Hard-working, friendly and open to friendship with all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. 

Best thing about being a Shocker: WuShock is the best mascot ever. 

Best place to relax on campus:  Anywhere outside when flowers and bushes are in bloom.