Student success spotlight: McKinzie McWilliam

McKinzie McWilliam in a Wichita State T-shirt

This week’s Student Success and Persistence highlight comes from McKinzie McWilliam.

McKinzie — a junior majoring in elementary education and minoring in organizational leadership and learning — came to Wichita State after graduating from Miami High School in Amoret, Missouri.

McKinzie found support through working for Stephanie Cockrell, director of graduate programs in the Barton School of Business. She says that Cockrell’s support pushed her to succeed and eventually work as a peer coach and transition mentor in the Office of Student Success, helping other students succeed at Wichita State just as Cockrell did for her.

“I would have neither of these positions without Stephanie. When I met her, I had just failed a semester. After one semester with her, I made the dean’s list. If you had asked me when I met her where I saw myself in three years, it wouldn’t be here doing this. I have these jobs because of her, and I do them to try and be that person to someone else. Even though Stephanie is no longer my boss, I still do check-ins with her and think of what she would tell me to do when I am struggling.”

Cockrell says that faculty and staff have a unique responsibility in helping promote student success.

“Working closely with students to help them achieve their dreams is truly a privilege. As faculty and staff, it is our responsibility to meet students where they are and empower them to discover their full potential. The best thing we can do for students is connect them to the amazing resources available at WSU. Success Coaching, Shocker Learning Center, Care Team, ODI, Disability Services, advising, Financial Aid, Counseling and Prevention Services, TRIO and so much more are here to help students thrive both personally and academically. Together we can make a difference in a student reaching graduation. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to watch McKinzie grow as a student and a leader on campus.”

Do you know of a faculty or staff member who promotes student success, or a student who has been helped by a faculty or staff member, that should be highlighted in WSU Today? Email your ideas to Caelin Bragg, newsletter editor with the Office of Strategic Communications, at