College of Education Student of the Month
This award recognizes students who are knowledgeable, ethical, caring and good decision makers as demonstrated through leadership abilities, academic success, and a commitment to promoting the education through their involvement in the College of Education, the University, and/or the community.
Robert "JR" Ewing
For Robert "JR" Ewing, education is about much more than just helping students understand content. It means a dedication to working with students so they learn the necessary skills required in life as well as helping them grow as individuals. As the oldest of four children, JR recalls always having something to teach to his sister and this developed into a passion for teaching others during his career with the Army. It is a thrill for him when he recognizes that one of his students "gets it" and it is a culmination of these and many other little moments that has inspired JR to pursue a degree and career in secondary education with a focus in Biology. As a teacher, JR will be able to help his students become scholars and scientists just as he put his teaching skills to good use as a drill sergeant. He anticipates watching with pride as his future students graduate; just as he once watched young individuals who started out as "scared kids" proudly march across the Basic Training Graduation stage after having learned what it means to be a soldier.
JR has used his skills to aid in his own growth and that of his colleagues on and off campus. As a student, JR is a member of Kappa Delta Pi and the Pinnacle Honor Society. He is an Ambassador for the office of Non-Traditional and Veteran Student Services (NTVSS), has been a member of the Kansas State University Honor Council, and has been involved with the KSU Entomology Club. Through his involvement in this club, he has been able to help tutor K-State students in advanced biology courses. He has worked with the KSU Insect Zoo where he has helped educate patrons about insects and arachnids so that through a better understanding, they are less afraid of our little friends. As an Ambassador of NTVSS, JR helps veterans and non-traditional students transition into academic life through such means as tutoring and campus tours.
Off campus JR has skillfully contributed to the community in many ways. As a member and past Program Manager of the Knights of Columbus in Wamego, he has helped with such events as the Soccer Challenge and Basketball "Shoot Out." Within his church, JR has served as a religious educator helping teens age 14-16 to better understand the teachings of their faith. He has also helped youth in both 4-H and Boy Scouts of America, as a member of the KSU Entomology Club, by volunteering to help judge insect collections at the Kansas State Fair and by teaching classes on insect science for local Boy Scouts seeking merit badges.
JR identifies effective teachers as: compassionate, understanding, trustworthy, warm, good at communicating, passionate, and above, all patient. He sees teachers as being individuals that fulfill many roles in the lives of their students and he recognizes that becoming a teacher does not create infallibility. He would be one of the first to admit when a mistake was made and in that comes one of JR's greatest strengths—he cares. Not only does he care enough to admit when he made an error, he cares enough to tactfully point out errors that his colleagues and students have made as well. JR believes it is through recognizing our mistakes that we can grow, and students will be much more likely to relate to this growth process if their teachers are actively engaged in it. JR is both respectful and respectable and because of that he will truly be able to connect with his students.
Education Council is pleased to recognize JR Ewing as a valuable part of the College of Education and the teaching profession.