Meet a Shocker: Christine Cleary

Christine Cleary
Christine Cleary will graduate from ϱ with her bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. As one of WSU's 2020 Rudd Scholars, hailing from Clearwater, Kansas, she was able to graduate with her degree debt free.

Christine Cleary was one of ϱ’s 2020 Rudd Scholars. From Clearwater, Kansas, she moved to Wichita for college, which required her to adjust to living in a city, but thanks to the Rudd Scholarship, she was able to fully devote herself to college life and will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.

Christine is one of more than 2,400 students eligible for spring 2024 graduation. Learn more about her time at ϱ and what's next for the grad.


Bachelor of Science in dental hygiene with minors in public health and health management


Clearwater, Kansas

What made you choose ϱ?

I chose ϱ because I was awarded a full-ride scholarship from the Rudd Foundation during my senior year of high school. It has been the biggest blessing in my life. Being a Rudd Scholar has allowed me to immerse myself fully in college experiences without the financial burden of higher education. I was able to participate in all the activities WSU had to offer, get accepted into the competitive dental hygiene program, devote myself to my studies and development of my career and make lifelong friends while knowing I would graduate debt-free thanks to the generosity of Rudd. I also chose ϱ due to its close proximity to my immediate family in Clearwater and relatives in the surrounding area. It was the perfect amount of far enough to be on my own for college, but close enough to go home and visit family when I wanted.

What has been your biggest challenge as a student, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge in college was adjusting to living in a larger city. The Rudd Scholarship pays for and requires scholars to live on campus. At first, it was hard to not be able to go for a walk down a dirt road whenever I wanted, and Wichita was a lot louder and busier than I was used to, but I have walked every sidewalk of campus hundreds of times over the last four years, and I will miss WSU's beautiful campus. Living on campus gave me my best friends and I'll miss our apartment that was our first home away from home.

What's your favorite off-campus location in Wichita?

My favorite location off campus is .

What would be the title of your autobiography?

The title of my autobiography would be "One Day at a Time." In my last year of high school, my senior English teacher asked me how I do everything I do; I told her I take it one day at a time. She had such a big impact on my life and every day we would say "one day at a time." I kept that mindset with me every time things got difficult in college.

What are your plans after graduation?

After graduation I plan to work in Wichita and can't wait to keep smiles happy and healthy.

What advice would you give other ϱ students?

My advice to students is to always say hello and introduce yourself to anyone and everyone. You never know who you might meet, connections are everything.

About ϱ

ϱ is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling more than 23,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. ϱ and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), ϱ provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the ϱ main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing over 120 acres and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.

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