Welcome to Kitchen 8
Elizabeth Miller Watkins, through generosity, creativity, and foresight, created Watkins and Miller Scholarship Halls at the Univeristy of Kansas with the "dream to aid self-supporting girls to get an education."
As all Miller and Watkins residents know, each hall has 7 small kitchens. Although the use of the 7 kitchens has evolved over time, they still remain an integral part of life and camaraderie within the halls. Our organization serves as a link between the past and present women of Miller and Watkins as a metaphoric "Kitchen 8."
Thank You for Making the 2014 K-8 Annual Meeting Weekend so Memorable
Watkins Wins Scholarship Hall of the Year Award
It was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. Just a few hours after the last cup of tea was poured at the Watkins and Miller Alumnae Teas, Elizabeth Miller Watkins Scholarship Hall was named the 2013-14 Scholarship Hall of the Year by the KU chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH). KU NRHH presented the award at its annual Stoner Awards ceremony on April 27.
KU NRHH’s mission is to promote the “pillars of leadership, recognition, community service and scholarship” through recognition and service to the University of Kansas community. They presented the Scholarship Hall of the Year annual award to Watkins based on the hall’s outstanding “academic achievements, community service work, and contributions to the greater Scholarship Community,” explained Watkins President Katrina Sieg.
“All of the women of the house are so proud of the award,” Katrina said. “I believe it has truly set our hall on a new path. We are proud to be Watkins Women!” Freshman Kylie Hiatt, said she literally heard the good news when “Trina burst in the front door screaming that we won!”
Winning the 2013-14 Scholarship Hall of the Year Award is a tremendous achievement for the Watkins women and concrete proof that Watkins Hall has definitely “gotten its groove back,” as Katrina said in the 2014 Kitchen 8 Newsletter. Looking back to last fall, one half of the women who moved into Watkins were freshmen. That should have meant it would be a “growing” year for Watkins instead of being the year the Scholarship Hall of the Year award finally returned to Lilac Lane. However, the incoming freshmen turned out to be “Super Freshwomen” because right out of the gate the hall earned a 3.50 GPA fall semester.
In addition to the hall’s academic success, the incoming freshman also became Super Freshwomen when it came to community service. When Watkins women elected Freshman Morgan Anderson as Community Service Chair at the start of this semester she immediately launched an innovative approach to community service: micro-volunteering, which combines “active” and “passive” volunteering. According to Morgan, passive volunteering has allowed Watkins women to work community service activities into small breaks in their busy schedules, such as using study breaks, phone duty and surprise snow days as opportunities to help others. On the afternoon of one snow day in February, Morgan said Watkins women made more than 150 Valentine’s cards for patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Morgan’s micro-volunteering projects were so successful that the Watkins women elected her Community Service Chair for next year, too.
Watkins’s active community service projects this semester have included participating in “The Big Event of 2014” to help needy local residents with household projects, planting a tree on Earth Day, and working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters to help at-risk youth. Many Watkins women even used their spring breaks to do volunteer work. Morgan spent her spring break helping the Special Olympics while another Watkins woman traveled to Florida to do volunteer work at a Florida homeless shelter.
Watkins women, from seniors down to the Super Freshwomen, also took their leadership responsibilities very seriously this year. To illustrate, although Kylie was one of the first to “hear” the good news about Watkins winning the Scholarship Hall of the Year award, she didn’t get to attend the awards ceremony. “I had a J Board meeting,” said Kylie, who is one of two freshmen serving on the Watkins Judicial Board.
With women like these, the prospects for Watkins winning 2014-15 Scholarship Hall of the Year award are looking up. Of the 13 positions on the Watkins Hall Executive Board, Super Freshwomen recently were elected to 10 of them (see story below). As the new officers get together and start making plans for next year, they will be able to do so within view of the 2013-14 Scholarship Hall of the Year trophy, which now proudly sits on the living room mantle at Watkins Hall.
Congratulations Watkins Women!
Watkins Hall Elects 2014-15 Officers
Kitchen 8 congratulates the following Superwomen of Lilac Lane who were recently elected to serve as Watkins Hall officers for the 2014-15 academic year:
President: Junior Alaine Caudle
Vice President: Sophomore Hannah Swagerty
Secretary: Freshman Maggy Nunez
Treasurer: Junior Donna Diec
Social Chairs: Freshmen Kylie Hiatt and Adri Vanavong
Social Care Chair: Freshman Alice Pyle
Community Service Chair: Freshman Morgan Anderson
Environmental Chair: Freshman Christina Hagemeier
Health and Fitness Chairs: Freshmen Jen Calderwood and Janice Radakowich
Alumnae Chair: Freshman Claire McLaughlin
Historian: Freshman Shavonne Abella
Kitchen 8, K-8, is an alumnae organization comprised of residents, past and present, of these halls and other supporters of Mrs. Watkins' tradition. As the official keepers of her legacy we endeavor to provide a community of support for previous, current and future residents through mentorship, charitable contributions through the Elizabeth Miller Watkins Memorial Scholarship Fund with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, staying informed of the condition of Watkins and Miller Scholarship Halls and striving to follow her example of compassion and selflessness.