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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Scholarship aid critical for deserving students like Logan Barat

Logan Barat wouldn’t be able to afford his college education without working, so work he does:

The 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. shift at McDonald’s five days a week, prepping breakfast foods.

Logan Barat, graduate student in opera

Singing in the choir two days a week for two Wichita churches.

And working as a graduate teaching assistant in the College of Fine Arts at Wichita State University.

“The reason I’m able to go to school here is because I got the GTA job,” Barat says, noting that the position covers the cost of his tuition. “I’m pretty stretched, but hard work is the only way I can do this.”

Like Barat, many WSU students face financial struggles. Covering tuition, fees, books and living expenses is a challenge some ultimately are unable to surmount. That’s why the WSU Foundation has made it a priority of the Shock the World Campaign to increase the number of scholarships for students with financial need before the seven-year campaign concludes in June 2020.

“So far in the campaign, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we’ve been able to increase scholarships overall by about 63 percent,” says Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO. “Now we want to focus especially on that group of students who can’t afford to pursue their educational dreams without scholarship help.”

Barat, a graduate student in opera, grew up the oldest of four siblings in a single-parent household in Dawson, Minnesota. “My mother is my inspiration, especially when it comes to knowing the value of hard work,” he says. “Raising four kids by yourself isn’t easy.”

Once he completes his master’s degree at Wichita State, he hopes to get accepted into a national opera program to expand his performance skills and, hopefully, launch a singing career. “That’s a big goal, but I’m going for it,” says Barat, 23.

He already has accepted an invitation to join Ohio Light Opera this summer as a young artist, with the opportunity to sing in 50 performances of six different operas. Barat has come a long way since his junior year in high school, when his mother overheard him singing along to the “High School Musical” soundtrack and exclaimed, “You can actually sing.” That’s when he began to pursue voice performance as a passion and, now, as a career.

For more information

If you would like to learn more about helping students like Barat, contact Ann-Marie Siegwarth, WSU Foundation director of development for the College of Fine Arts, at 316.978.3804 or

annmarie siegwargh