Brynds and Chapman chosen as Outstanding Seniors 

Two active student leaders who are among the top in the Class of 2023 at Pittsburg State University have been chosen for this year’s Outstanding Senior award — a tradition that dates back more than 60 years. 

They were recognized at the Pitt State Leadership Awards ceremony, and their names will be engraved on plaques installed along the Senior Walk in front of Russ Hall. 

Here, they share in their own words their reaction to being chosen, their experience at Pitt State, and their advice for younger students: 

Taylor Brynds 
Psychology & Management 
Cherokee, Kansas   

Taylor served as an officer and student leader of five campus organizations and is a founding member and officer of two student organizations: The Food Recovery Network and the Psychology and Counseling Society. She also served as president of the Honors College Association, was a Top 12 Homecoming Royalty candidate, a Kelce Business Scholar, worked on-campus in the Psychology Department as an office assistant in the Center for Reading, and participated in community service efforts such as the Big Event, the Lord's Diner, and Fostering Connections.  

What does it mean to you to be chosen for this award? 

I feel remarkably honored to represent PSU’s legacy as Outstanding Senior. To be considered among all of the extremely qualified applicants was humbling in itself. The recognition by the supportive faculty at PSU is an incredible feeling. I cannot think of a better way to conclude my time at Pitt State. 

What has your experience been like at Pitt State? 

These past four years have gone by in a flash, but they have been packed with opportunities. I have loved getting involved in amazing organizations such as the Honors College Association and Gamma Alpha Lambda and meeting life-long friends. At PSU, I had the unique experience of getting to know two different colleges as a dual degree seeking student in business and psychology. From this experience, I know that the faculty and staff at PSU genuinely care about the students and will assist you in reaching your goals.  

What advice would you have for younger students? 

My recommendation for students is to get involved! There are so many opportunities that result from getting involved with the student organizations at PSU, from leadership to career skills to travel opportunities. Step out of your comfort zone and see where it takes you! Finally, I can say with confidence that it takes zero talent to be kind or to work hard, but these traits can take you far. 

Cale Chapman 
Communication & Sustainability 
Mission, Kansas   

Cale has been a leader in numerous on-campus organizations including Gorilla Activities Board, Lambda Pi Eta Honors Society, Lambda Chi Alpha, and as a Gorilla Gateway PEERS Mentor and University Ambassador. He's been honored as a Golden Gorilla, 2022 Homecoming Royalty, 2021 Outstanding Fraternity Man of the Year, 2020 Fraternity Emerging Leader of the Year, and 2020 Aspiring Leader on Campus. He works on campus as a lab manager in the broadcast lab at Whitesitt Hall and is the weekend anchor and news producer at KOAM News. 

What does it mean to you to be chosen for this award? 

Just to be nominated for this award is a huge honor. I know many hard working and dedicated students that have been nominated in years past, so to be seen on the same level as those individuals was a huge honor for me because I’ve looked up to a lot of those people as friends and mentors throughout my time here at Pitt State. To be selected by the faculty and staff as an outstanding senior means the world to me. I greatly admire our faculty and staff because of all the time and dedication they pour into our university to make it run so smoothly. Without their support, I would not have had all the wonderful opportunities available to me that I did throughout my time here. To know that such an outstanding group of people thought that highly of me is a wonderful feeling.  

What has your experience been like at Pitt State? 

I love going to Pitt State and I have really enjoyed my four years here as a student. The students, faculty, and staff as well as the community that make up Pittsburg State give our school an atmosphere like no other. Everyone here rallies behind the university and our students. As a university community, we are fortunate to have such great support.  

Over the last four years with COVID, we have experienced our fair share of bumps and bruises, but the Pitt State community has never given up and I think that speaks volumes about what everyone is about here. Pitt State has always focused on how to make the best of our situation. We found new ways to enhance the student experience and keep our community together. We rose to the challenge and adapted to our new way of life.  

I found a second home here and I will never forget all the wonderful experiences and memories I have made during my time at PSU.  

What advice would you have for younger students? 

My advice to younger students is to stay flexible and be open to change. You never know when the world is going to turn upside down. When things start to change, it's our job to adapt and make the best out of what we have. Not everything is going to go as planned, but that does not mean our progress stops. We can adapt and learn new ways to innovate. Being adaptable is a boon to every facet of life, whether you’re a student on campus or someone out in the workforce.