By Daegiona Wilson
Masterbuilder award is given to six graduating seniors who best embody what it means to be a Builder and typify the spirit of Southwestern College. They are Braden Calvin, Lakin; Kerry Coleman, Fort Worth, Texas; Drake Foster, Denton, Texas; Jean Francois-Kuoume, Houma, La.; Marcus Richard, Pearland, Texas; and Keyshawn Wyatt, Grapevine, Texas.
“Especially, in this year, when presented with so many extraordinary challenges, I want to thank you and congratulate you for your hard work,” Peterson-Veatch said to students via video message. “Your college is proud of you.”
Braden Calvin, psychology senior, can be seen walking his dog around campus
Calvin is vice president of communications for SGA, a member of psychology club and Pi Gamma Mu. He’s also a student ambassador, a teaching assistant, a student tutor, and a former resident assistant.
Calvin will be heading to Oklahoma State University to pursue his doctorate from the school of psychology.
Calvin said fellow Masterbuilder, Marcus Richard, psychology senior, challenged him. “He is the one who met me freshman year and pretty much said, ‘Why not be involved and why not meet people?’”
Calvin appreciates Cheryl Rude, professor of leadership studies. “Her classes are super interactive and practical. She sets very high expectations for her students and she is not mean about it. She helps us reach those expectations.”
As Calvin continues to grow, he advises to students to pay it forward. “Those little tiny acts of kindness build up.”
Kerry Coleman, business administration senior, often mows in the community when he not on campus.
He plans to become a firefighter in Fort Worth, Texas and start up his own landscaping company.
Coleman was drawn Southwestern because his grandmother lives in Winfield. She is an alum, and he says she has been his backbone over the last four years.
Coleman participates in football as linebacker and was formerly involved in SGA.
Coleman said the key to success for him has been constantly thinking positively.
Coleman said he thinks a Masterbuilder is a person who is involved and interacts with different people and groups.
“They are an ideal person who the college wants their end student to be when they leave Southwestern.”
Jean-Francois Kouame, biology senior, is a linebacker on the football team and vice president of administration in SGA.
“Coming here freshman year was difficult with knowing that classes and football was a lot tougher. So I had two things coming at me at once, but by being able to learn and adapt I was able to be successful in both of them.” Kouame plans to attend nursing school.
“Ever since junior high I loved science, medicine specifically. Southwestern really helped me embraced that with all the different classes that I’ve had.”
He credits Patrick Ross, professor of biology, and Tamara McEwen, associate professor of biology.
“They really opened my eyes to prioritizing, because being a biology major isn’t easy.” said Kouame. “I had to find time to study and to go to the lab outside of lab hours.”
Something that he will take from Southwestern is, “Learning to go meet people and not being an introvert.”
Drake Foster, history and philosophy & religion senior, plays defensive-line for the football and is vice president of student organizations in SGA.
Coming into college freshman year, Foster had his eyes set on eventually becoming a lawyer. As he we be attending Baylor’s school of law upon graduation, Foster said, “I’m glad that I am getting to live that out.”
Foster said being a Masterbuilder is, “Someone who has come here, had a vison for themselves, and has done it, but with the help from everyone around them.”
With a double major, he extensively interacts with a few professors.
Foster said that he has spent most of his educational time with Jacob Goodson, associate professor of philosophy, Jackson Lashier, associate professor of religion, and Stephen Woodburn, professor of history.
“I brag to anybody I have the best professors in Kansas. I’ll say it, I don’t care who knows it.”
Foster said that Woodburn is demanding and expects the best. “He really turns you into someone that is a very good student and gives you good skills to have.”
Foster said Southwestern has been a good place for him. “It has showed me that wherever I go, to have a standard of what to expect within a community.”
He would advise an incoming student to remember, “It is a marathon and not a sprint. There is a lot going on, but just put your head down and keep going.”
Marcus Richard, psychology senior, plans to go on to law school to become a corporate lawyer.
Richard said he’s honored to be named a Masterbuilder.
“It’s like being in the Southwestern Hall of Fame. It means a lot and I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here.”
He has been President of Student Government Association for both his junior and senior years. He plays safety and serves as a captain on the football team. He is also a student ambassador, on the president’s advisory council, serves as a resident assistant in Wallingford Hall, and mentors middle school students during Builderbound camps each summer.
Richard said Anjaih Clemons, director of campus life, and Connor Seaba, assistant football coach, both have influenced him.
“Anjaih forced me to get involved and made sure I was on top of myself and the game.”
Richard said he has learned to improvise and adapt to any situation.
As his time at Southwestern comes to an end, Richard said, “Remember that you are bigger than your sport. You are also a student and you deserve to do more than to just be a football player or a baseball player. Take advantage of your four years here.”
He would tell freshman to take care of business. “Get to know your financial aid. Understand how it works, and be able to take care of it so you have an understanding of what’s going on and how to get it done.”
Keyshawn Wyatt, business senior, is a running back for the Builders.
He recently broke the all-time school rushing record with 3,990 career yards. He was named to the All-KCAC First Team.
Wyatt is also a sprinter on the track and field team. He is part of Impact, a Christian ministry group on campus.
He plans to use his last year of eligibility to continue playing football and earn his masters.
Wyatt said if he thanks his roommates for his time at Southwestern. “They really push me to stay on top of my school work.”
To him, a Masterbuilder is reminds him of someone who is a role model.
Wherever he goes Wyatt said he will take the social skills and what he has learned over the past four years with him.