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Cynthia Coen Stephen Memorial Scholarship

About Cynthia Coen Stephen

Cynthia “Cindy” Sue Coen Stephen was born on September 22, 1943 to Howard and Ora Coen of St. John, KS. She spent her first three years on her grandparent’s farm west of St. John, along with her mother, while her father was serving in the U.S. Air Force during WW II. Cindy cherished her childhood memories on the farm and wrote about them later in life.During her school years, Cindy played the saxophone in the band, jazz band, and a quartet; was a member of the Kayettes community service club; sang in the mixed chorus, glee club and a women’s quartet; and was a high school cheerleader.

After graduating from high school, Cindy attended college at Fort Hays State University (FHSU). At FHSU, she was a cheerleader and helped underwrite a substantial part of her college education by working as a secretary and sales clerk at area businesses. Soon after graduation, she married James “Jim” L. Stephen of Norton, KS. She received bachelor’s degrees in both English and Business from FHSU. She also received a Master’s Degree in Counseling and completed all the coursework for Ph.D. in Counseling from Kansas State University. During her life, Cindy taught English at Hays Jr. and Sr. High, Kensington Sr. High, Concordia Sr. High, Cloud County Community College, and was a counselor at Emporia Sr. High and Emporia Technical College. She was director of the first school Counseling Center at Emporia State University and also taught classes there. She also taught psychology courses at Kansas State University while working on her Ph.D.

Cindy was a beautiful, kind, and generous person who had a love for education and a heart for young people,
especially those struggling with difficult life situations but still trying their best to succeed.


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