Academics. Arts. Athletics.

Kylie DeClue was looking for a university that “had it all.”

She found it just 90 minutes from home.

As an accomplished cellist and softball player at Park Hill South High School, DeClue was looking for a university that strongly supported both the arts and athletics.

Kylie DeClue

Kylie DeClue

“And when I made my first campus visit to Pitt State during my junior year, the Bicknell Center was just built and the Plaster Center was being built right next to it,” she said. “Those were definitely strong selling points.”

Oh, and right next door to both of those new facilities was the nationally-recognized Kansas Technology Center.

“I knew I wanted to go into engineering, but I didn’t know what branch,” DeClue said. “During my tour of the KTC, they talked a lot about plastics. I thought it seemed very interesting, and the amount of equipment and machinery in the labs was very impressive.

DeClue, a Kansas City, Mo., native, has had an active first year at Pitt State. She’s a plastics engineering major, a music minor, a member of the PSU Honors College, a cellist in the university orchestra and an outfielder on the softball team.

It’s been an experience that she believes couldn’t have been possible at other schools.

“The size of Pitt State is just perfect for someone like me,” she said. “It’s big enough to offer a variety of different things, such as art and athletics. But it’s not too big so that you’re overwhelmed by one and don’t have time for the others.

 “The people here want you to be involved and want you to be successful, so they work with you. That’s really cool.”

“The orchestra, for example, has been very good about working with me on any scheduling conflicts due to softball,” she said. “The people here want you to be involved and want you to be successful, so they work with you. That’s really cool.”

She also finds it “cool” that the PSU faculty are so willing to give their time and attention to students.

While DeClue said it can sometimes be a struggle to manage academics, athletics and the arts, she said “the grind” is worth it.

“I wanted the full college experience, and I have it,” she said. “It’s hard at times, but it’s not impossible if it’s what you really want.”