Meet the 2021 Kansas Participants!
Meet the 2021 Kansas Participants!

Meet the 2021 Kansas Participants!

We were excited to welcome the 2021 class of Kansas participants to the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute for an in-person program the summer of 2022! This awesome group also worked alongside our international participants in the summer of 2021 for our online-intensive program. Learn more about each of them below.

Alejandra Ibarra Garcia

Year: Junior
University: Wichita State University
Major: Psychology Major with a minor in Women’s Studies
Hometown: Dodge City

My name is Alejandra Ibarra Garcia. I was born in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico but I’ve lived in Dodge City, Kansas for nearly my entire life. I am a Psychology major with a minor in Women’s Studies at Wichita State University. My interests include mental health, education, and human rights. I’m passionate about helping others and trying to make the world a better place. Through the help of the Kansas Women’s Leadership Institute, I hope to strengthen my leadership skills and use them to encourage the people around me. I look forward to gaining knowledge, motivation, and experiences alongside the other women in the program. 

Cassie Wefald

Year: Junior
University: Kansas State University
Major: Double majoring in History and Anthropology
Hometown: Manhattan

My Name is Cassie Wefald and I am currently a Junior at Kansas State University. At K-State I am involved in the Library student ambassador program where I have been the chair for two years, along with library ambassadors I work with the libraries and the Beach museum of Art. With my History and Anthropology degrees I hope to go into a museum studies graduate program after I graduate. I am passionate about making lifelong learning accessible to everyone which is why I think museums are the perfect fit for me! With the KWLI program I hope to strengthen my leadership skills so I am able to apply them with current and future projects because leadership is the perfect foundation and provides critical skills for succeeding not only in a professional setting but it also in every aspect of life. I am excited work with this program and all these amazing women!”  

Elise Jones

Year: Junior
University: University of Kansas
Major: Double majoring in Psychology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Hometown: Abilene

I grew up on a farm 14 miles north of Abilene, Kansas. While being raised in an agricultural background, I switched gears to study Psychology as well as Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas. I maintain a passion for reproductive policy and sex education and have already earned a certificate in Gender, Law, and Policy. In the past couple of years, I have been learning American Sign Language and plan to further my language skills to become a certified interpreter. I am so excited to be a part of KWLI and to learn how I can actively participate in change for the better!!  

Gracyn Higley

Year: Senior
University: Kansas State University
Major: Animal Science Production Management with a minor in Leadership Studies
Hometown: Atwood

Hello! My name is Gracyn Higley I am from Atwood Kansas. I am currently a senior at Kansas State University and will hopefully be graduating this spring of 2021. My major is in Animal Science and after graduation, I intend to return home to help run the family farm. Food insecurity is something my family and I have talked about for as long as I can remember. As a family in agriculture, we discuss subjects like feeding our growing population, GMOs affect, our personal income, women in agriculture, or honestly the Ag. industry as a whole on a daily basis. I have found it very interesting to learn more about the multiple factors that affect people who are food insecure besides those struggling with poverty. I am continually looking to better my leadership capacity and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. KWLI will be an amazing opportunity for me to gain and exchange information from inspiring women all around the world.