April 22, 2021
Story and photo by Joe Vinduska
This is part five of a six-part series on the importance of academic integrity at Barton. The college will feature these student stories throughout the spring semester to showcase the virtues of academic integrity. These virtues include trust, responsibility, honesty, courage, fairness, and respect.
It took non-traditional student Elsie Randel, 44, of Great Bend, some time to figure out exactly what she wanted to do with her life, but she was raised to follow the “golden rule” as a child and she has let that guide her through her quest for knowledge and education, as well as enhance her appreciation for the virtue of responsibility as it pertains to academic integrity.
“This rule should apply if you are secular or religious,” she said. “The notion applies to being a good human. Maintaining integrity in any situation is of the utmost importance. ‘Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end,’ as Spock from Star Trek once said. With that in mind, responsibility is logical when you look at it from the view of wanting to set an example and be a mentor to others. As a peer, I will always do my best to be an excellent example for others. Each of us has a responsibility to others to set a standard for conducting interactions and maintain integrity in any situation, especially in academia. When students are learning and engaging with others at any level of education, these interactions are meaningful because they will take them into their lives and careers.”
It's easy to see the desire to perpetuate these ideas as Randel continues her education and career. She is attending Fort Hays State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. After she graduates in 2022, her next move is to work in grant writing to help non-profit organizations obtain funds through grants to assist Veterans with fees and other costs for obtaining a service dog.
“I will be working with Veterans of the U.S. Military,” she said. “My mission is to make the process of obtaining a service dog for Veterans with PTSD, TBI, and other physical or mental handicaps less arduous. I will advocate for Veterans to improve their quality of life through obtaining service dogs. These brave souls protected us and gave themselves freely to serve and protect. The civilian population and the government owe these Veterans a great deal. The least I can do is improve the quality of life of the Veterans I come into contact with.”
Randel said her time at Barton was very helpful in getting her going in the right direction.
“My experience at Barton was life-changing,” she said. “I grew so much as a person in my time at Barton. I enrolled in Student Support Services due to anxiety and financial reasons and it was the best decision I have ever made. With Penny Zimmerman, Rita Thurber, Nolan Esfeld, and countless others by my side, I transformed as a person. Every staff and faculty member at Barton that I encountered touched my life and supported me ceaselessly. I had dark days, trials and tribulations and it was not an easy journey. Growth and change are often a bit painful. Growing pains and learning about who you really are and what you really want is not for the faint at heart. Barton is my village; the village that supported me, helped me up, gave me pep talks and never gave up on me. The whole gang is fantastic. I heart Barton Community College.”
For more information, contact Director of Innovation & Compliance Lee Miller at (620) 786-7453 or email@example.com.