Stephan Bisaha

News Reporter

Stephan Bisaha covers education and young adult life for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. Before coming to Wichita, he was an NPR Kroc Fellow. Stephan has reported national stories for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other NPR programs. His work has ranged from analyzing data for an investigation into the Department of Veteran Affairs to the business of emoji pillows.

Stephan was honored with a 2020 Regional Murrow Award in Sports Reporting for Kansas Community College Football Now Has Its Own Stars, Netflix Series And Scandals. He received two honorable mentions, in the sports feature and hard news categories, from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in 2020, along with second place in news features from the Public Media Journalists Association. His 2019 sports feature, Are Video Games A Sport? Hoping To Attract Fans And Students, Kansas Colleges Say Yes, received second place from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters. Stephan has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in data journalism.
 

Ways to Connect

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Zach Zimmer’s roommates at Benedictine College had grown accustomed to seeing him stressed.

But on the first Saturday in September, the college junior got them worried. He was running a temperature of 101.5.

“We knew immediately at that moment,” Zimmer said, “that this could be something more serious.”

Holly Mulcahy

Six months in a pandemic has meant six months of virtual events.

That’s also led to a lot of “Zoom fatigue.”

While in-person events are slowly returning, large gatherings like galas and festivals are still regulated to online-only. Here are four tips from Wichita organizers about how to draw attention in the saturated virtual world:

Public speaking skills

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Universities don’t just sell the chance at an education. The whole college experience has been a key tool for keeping students around.

Wichita State University budgeted more than $1 million dollars on ways for students to have fun on campus last year.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

For the first time since March, at least some Wichita Public Schools students returned to the classroom Tuesday.

But concerns about spreading the coronavirus means school will look a lot different this year. KMUW education reporter Stephan Bisaha spoke with Morning Edition host Jonathan Huber about some of the biggest changes.

How school will look different this year

All middle school and high school students will start the school year learning remotely. But don’t expect virtual classes to be treated like they were in the spring.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Students at Wichita Public Schools will be able to participate in extracurricular activities after all this fall.

The school board voted 6-1 on Tuesday to allow fall sports and other activities to go forward, a reversal of an earlier decision to cancel both for the first nine weeks of the school year because of the coronavirus.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Some students at public universities in Kansas have, or will yet get, the coronavirus.

Football players training over the summer have tested positive. A frat house in Manhattan has an outbreak. And some dorm students elsewhere in the state have gone from just-unpacked to quarantined.

Schools spent the summer preparing. Desks have been moved six feet apart. In-person classes are getting cut back. Masks must be worn.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW File Photo

Wichita’s middle and high school students should brace for at least nine more weeks of virtual learning.

On Thursday, the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education voted 5 to 2 to start the school year with remote-only classes for the district’s middle and high schools.

"It's the right thing to do for the kids and the city," said board president Sheril Logan. 

School activities will also be remote only, meaning there will be no fall sports competition. The school board will revaluate the restrictions nine weeks after school starts.

Stephan Bisaha / KMUW

Jay Golden started 2020 with a new job as president of Wichita State University.

Three months later he announced the school was going remote-only because of the cornavirus. 

Since then, classes have been entirely online and educators worried students wouldn't want to enroll in college during a pandemic. But Golden says more students have signed up than last year. They're moving into the dorms and getting ready for in-person classes to start again on Monday. 

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Online schooling got off to a rocky start in Kansas, with teachers quickly piecing together virtual offerings. Parents complained about needing to be constantly involved while the work failed to engage their students.

Now faced with sending their children back to a physical classroom this fall, Kansas parents are trying to enroll kids in the state’s virtual schools. Lawrence’s received more than three times as many applicants compared to this time last year, and Wichita Public Schools' Education Imagine Academy filled up in a week.

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Kansas teachers that don’t feel safe going back to crowded hallways as schools reopen could take medical leave or teach online. But at the many districts that don’t have those options, teachers eye another choice: quitting.

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