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Scholarship creating in memory of Mendi

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A scholarship has been created for Wichita State University students in memory of Mendi (Egging) Cotter, a Pratt native and graduate of Pratt High School.

Pratt native Mendie (Egging) Carter was a bright light of hope for those who knew her. A tragic car accident took her life one year ago on a foggy highighway near Cheney, but her family is holding on to positive memories and her husband, Jason Cotter announced last week, a new scholarship at Wichita State University in her honor.

Newlyweds Jason and Mendi Cotter had a plan to attend classes on the Wichita State University campus together – he while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in secondary education, she a master’s in communication. They were able to do that for one semester before Mendi died in a car accident while driving in western Sedgwick County on Sept. 23, 2019.

But from tragedy comes triumph – in this case, in the form of an endowed scholarship/fellowship Jason created in Mendi’s memory to commemorate the one-year anniversary of her death. Mendi worked full-time as communications director at the St. Paul University Parish so that Jason could pursue his dream of becoming a teacher. At the time of her death, Mendi’s co-worker Tony Cruzeiro told the Sunflower newspaper, “She brought light into the room.”

The scholarship will be available to undergraduate or graduate students of any major who have completed at least a year of college. Jason stipulates that students demonstrate volunteerism, as that, along with her Catholic faith, were cornerstones in Mendi’s life. She was a “big” at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Sedgwick County.

Lisa Parcell, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Elliott School of Communication, wasn’t surprised to hear that volunteerism would be a part of the scholarship created to honor Mendi’s legacy. “Mendi would have loved that. She believed in helping people,” Parcell said.