What it takes to be a Tiger: Soccer, coffee and a drive to change the world

Photos courtesy Caden Frank

Being involved in just about everything might seem like a lot to most students, but Fort Hays State graduate student Caden Frank welcomes being busy with open arms. Even though it can be challenging, he continuously finds a way to actively pursue his passions. 


“With as much happening with grad school, research, the coffee shop, and my soccer teams, I have to make sure I can plan on my schedule staying somewhat similar each week and plan ahead as much as possible,” Frank said. 

Throughout his time at Fort Hays, Frank has been involved in Astronomy Club, Fort Hays Honor Society as Chair of the Social Committee and as Senior Vice President, the Honors College, FHSU VALUE program, Newman Civic Fellowship as Newman Civic Fellow for the university, and the Fort Hays Men’s Soccer Team. He also works at Breathe Coffee House, Hays High Assistant girl’s and boy’s soccer coach, and as a graduate research assistant for the Center for Civic Leadership.

When he’s not brewing coffee at Breathe, on the soccer field, or running around campus for the different organizations he is involved in, Frank is working on what he is passionate about; community engagement and outreach. 

“I have found a couple of things that I am intensely passionate about throughout my career here at FHSU,” Frank said, “The first of these is change and creating environments for students and community members to interact to not only change the society and community they are a part of for the better but also to transform each other into more well-rounded individuals. This is probably where my love for community engagement comes from.”

Frank is also very passionate about college-aged kids, primarily college-aged men, who are transitioning from high school to college or to the workforce. His work on campus has helped to foster this passion as he continued through college. 

Frank played soccer at FHSU from 2017-2019

“I believe that there is tremendous potential for long-lasting change in groups of young men centered around the same goals for the betterment of their community,” Frank said. “I also think that this is one of the hardest groups to motivate around mutual goals and one of the hardest groups to maintain the same drive towards change with. My want to work with Greek Life comes from that passion.”

Post-graduation from his graduate program, Frank plans on finding a job in college athletics or in Greek Life somewhere. He currently has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership and is working towards his master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs; something right up Frank’s alley in all that he has been involved in throughout his time at Fort Hays. 

Every student at Fort Hays has different qualities that represent what it means to be a Tiger. For Frank, what makes him a Tiger is his drive for success through what he is passionate about, and changing the world around him for the better. 

“Being a Tiger to me means taking charge of my own life and my own success. FHSU has plenty of resources to be successful and many of them are very easily accessible. Being a Tiger means understanding my impact on the world around me and making sure that impact is an overwhelmingly positive one,” Frank said, “It means being community-oriented and willing to serve others. It means adapting to change and being comfortable with taking steps where people haven’t gone before.” 

Breathe Coffee House owner Patrick McGinnis has witnessed these qualities that make Frank who he is, firsthand. McGinnis and Frank have worked together at Breathe since the spring of 2020, and McGinnis has watched Frank grow throughout his time as a Tiger. 

“I met Caden as part of a Leadership 310 team that did a Can We Just Talk? project with me at Breathe Coffeehouse.  He ‘got’ and bought into the big picture of working to start conversations, connect the community and create opportunities for growth.  The semester-long project wasn’t enough for him and so he started meeting with me and volunteering for other community initiatives and organizations,” McGinnis said. “He sees where help is needed and is willing to embrace whatever he must do to make it happen. He is one of those unique people that leads with passion and fully commits to what he does. He shows no fear in attacking any problem and his belief inspires others to do the same.”

Frank is one of the many Tigers at Fort Hays who is truly making campus and the world a better and brighter place. Frank attributes a lot of his success on changing the world to Fort Hays, and is excited for future Tigers to get to experience that as well. 

“FHSU is preparing us to be sent out into the “real world” but I think we fail to realize sometimes that this campus is the real world and we can have a huge impact on it now. FHSU is preparing students to not just go into the world but to go and change it,” Frank said. 

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