Our Staff


Valerie Wall, Program Director

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Valerie Wall has developed several programs in Wichita and the surrounding areas. The first was Circle of Friends, a peer mentoring program that was used in 120 schools, reaching over 4000 students. She also developed similar programs in Texas, Ohio, and Colorado.

Now she is the founder and director of a program for adults with disabilities to experience college. On the Friends University campus, more than 30 adults with disabilities participate in two different programs that she designed. One program is more social but has a life skills curriculum; the other is a four-year program with different classes each semester leading to participation in the university's graduation at the end of the four years.

As an educator for 34 years, Val has taught both Family and Consumer Science, (Marriage and Family, Foods, Interior Design, Sewing), and Special Education, (Intellectually Disabled and Inter-related in middle school and high school), as well as classes at the college level.

Val has taught at Hutchinson Community College, both on campus ( Interpersonal Relations) and online (Introduction to Nutrition). Through Tabor College at their Wichita site, she developed and taught a stress awareness class. She also taught a General Psychology class for both Tabor College and Butler Community College. In addition, at Butler she has taught Abnormal Psychology, Child Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Marriage and Family, and Exceptional Child. At Friends University, she has taught Interpersonal Relations, Human Growth and Development, Individual and Family in Society, Preventive Strategies for Families, and Toward Healthy Marriages.


Dr. Cynthia McGilvrey, Assistant Director

Cindy standing in room

In third grade, Cindy knew that she would go to college and become a teacher. She did not know that before becoming a teacher she would work at a grocery store for 13 years, have three children, and receive a life transforming scholarship.

The Grow Your Own Teacher scholarship allowed Cindy to stop taking university classes one at a time and be a fulltime college student. She was 28 years old, recently divorced, and had an 8-year-old, a 5-year-old, and a 2-year-old. She struggled as a single mother/fulltime college student/nearly fulltime Dillons employee, but with her parents’ and friends’ help graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor’s degree in English education.

John Marshall Middle School was Cindy's first teaching assignment: seventh grade Language Arts. From Marshall she went to Safe & Drug Free Schools as a violence and drug prevention-teaching specialist. She received my master’s degree and began teaching university classes at Baker and graduate classes at Wichita State University.

The next step in Cindy's USD 259 career was entering adult alternative education; she always loved being a teacher but now had found her perfect niche. For the remainder of my 27-year career she helped adults who had previously dropped out return to school and earn a fully accredited high school diploma. While teaching at the Urban League Learning Center, Cindy began pursuing a doctorate degree. She earned a PhD from Kansas State University in 2012. At the time of her May 2020 retirement, Cindy was the director of the Chester Lewis Adult Learning Center.

Now, in addition to private tutoring, Cindy is also the assistant director of Friendship Fields at Friends University, a university program for special needs adults. Teaching is not a job to Cindy; it is a vocation, a passion, and a lifestyle.


Dr. Ken Stoltzfus, Academic Dean/VP


Dr. Stoltzfus has been with Friends University for the last few years and has served as the Dean of the College of Business, Arts, Sciences and Education, and most recently as the Academic Dean/VP.

Prior to coming to Friends University, Dr. Stoltzfus served as a faculty member and department chair at Malone University, in Canton, Ohio; LCC International University in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He also served as a 2010 Fulbright Senior Scholar in Saratov, Russia. Dr. Stoltzfus holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Science Education from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Social Work from Temple University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare from Case Western Reserve University. He will assume his new role of Vice President of Academic Affairs on July 1, 2021.


Bill Allan, Associate Professor and Division Chair


From the very beginning, Bill Allan advocated for us and helped us get the program approved and implemented. We will be forever thankful.

Bill graduated with his bachelor’s of science from Abilene Christian University and his master of arts degree from California State Polytechnic.

(Retired) Associate Professor of Family Life & Division Chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Former Dean of the College of Business, Arts, Sciences and Education



What a great staff!

Abuelos for Vals birthday 1-28-23

Our instructors are certified or experienced in the areas they are teaching,

Friendship Fields Fun Staff

  • Diann Elliott, Coordinator and Instructor
  • Karen Brummer, Instructor
  • Dawn Martin. Para-Professional
  • Drew Wall, Para-Professional

Friendship Fields Academy Staff

  • Diann Elliott, Coordinator and Instructor
  • LaNier Roberts, Instructor
  • Ian Cunningham-Osterman, Instructor
  • Drew Wall, Para-Professional

Interns for Both Groups

  • Audrey Davis
  • Caroline Giles
  • Jenna Montague
  • Maddie Pittman
  • Makenna Mitchell
  • Olivia Landreth
  • Zack Dressler

Relatonships! Relationships! We love our students!

Making fried rice in Foods 1X Class in the academy 8-29-22

 Darren poses here with Director Val Wall


For more information about Friendship Fields, contact:

Val smile square 2

Valerie Wall

Cindy big smile square

Cynthia McGilvrey

Assistant Director
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