Andra Gulenchyn ’17 Uses Phillips Scholars Program to Educate the Next Generation Posted on December 11th, 2015 by

Andra Gulenchyn '17 will use the Phillips Scholars Program to implement a literacy program in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Andra Gulenchyn ’17 will use the Phillips Scholars Program to implement a literacy program in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Gustavus Adolphus College junior Andra Gulenchyn is using a scholarship from the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota to educate the next generation of learners in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

As a Phillips Scholar, Gulenchyn will receive a $6,000 scholarship as a junior, a $6,000 scholarship as a senior, and — perhaps most importantly — a $4,000 summer stipend to support the implementation of a self-designed service project to address a need in a Minnesota community. She’ll also receive a $500 award to fund resources for her project.

“What’s really valuable is how the scholarship gives me the space and time to pursue my passion by serving a community that I care about without having to worry about it having a negative effect on my financial situation,” Gulenchyn said.

For Gulenchyn’s self-designed project, she’s created a model in which she’ll serve as a literacy specialist for the city of Brooklyn Park’s summer programs. Her role will support the city’s already-strong youth recreation and camp programs by adding academic content for children aged four to 12. “I’m developing a curriculum to stop the ‘summer slide’ by working with students on reading and writing skills,” Gulenchyn explained.

Because it lasts two years, the Phillips Scholars Program gives students time to plan, execute, and reflect on their project. Gulenchyn is currently in the planning phase and is excited to implement her curriculum this summer. “Literacy and education are passions of mine and I love working with kids,” she said. “The Phillips Scholarship has given me a space to do that and the ability to work with a community and kids that I really care about and value.”

During her senior year, Gulenchyn will have the opportunity to analyze her project, prepare a report on her activities, and present to the Minnesota Private College Fund, which administers the Phillips Scholars Program. Gulenchyn is also looking forward to working with other Gustavus students who might be interested in serving as a Phillips Scholar. “It’s been such a valuable experience for me in regards to personal growth and civic engagement, and I’m excited at the prospect of sharing the process with other Gusties,” she said.

A native of St. Francis, Minn. and 2013 graduate of St. Francis High School, Gulenchyn is a communication arts/literature teaching secondary education major. At Gustavus she’s involved as a collegiate fellow (residence hall advisor), tour guide for the admission office, member of the Gustavus Choir, and member of the College’s social justice theatre troupe, I Am, We Are.

Gulenchyn is the 13th Gustavus student since 1998 to be named a Phillips Scholar. Previous recipients include Melanie (Larson) Sinouthasy (1998), Sara Imholte (2001), Noah Johnson (2002), Linda Lee (2003), Zong Xiong (2004), Ma Lee Vang (2005), Nhung Le (2006), Ashley Gibbs (2007), Laura Jensen (2009), Irma Marquez Trapero (2010), Sandy Xiong (2012), and Nicole Ektnitphong (2013).


The Phillips Scholars Program recognizes and rewards Minnesota private college students who strive to make life better for people with unmet needs in Minnesota communities. The program supports potential leaders with outstanding academic credentials who intend to dedicate a portion of their lives to community service. Students from 16 eligible private colleges and universities are invited to apply for one of six $16,500 awards given annually.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad



  1. Laura says:

    YAY ANDRA!!!

  2. Sue North says:

    What a great idea, Andra! As a resident of Brooklyn Park, I am happy to know you are sharing your talents with the kids in my community. I love that you are filling an academic void for these students over the summer. Congratulations on your well deserved scholarship.

  3. Victoria Paine says:

    Congratulations Andra. You are the kind of teachers we need to inspire students now and in the future.

  4. barb stewart says:

    What an honor Andra ~ and well deserved! I’m sure you already know how blessed you are with one proud father who keeps all of us up to date on your many fine achievements! Excellent article and many congratulations to you (love your photo too!) ~ Barb (City of Brooklyn Park).

  5. Gerard Saylor says:

    Good job.