New mammal unknown to science hailed as ‘top’ find in Discover magazine

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


LAWRENCE — A newly discovered mammal in the Pacific has earned worldwide attention after scientists named it Rattus detentus to call attention to an Australian detainee center on the animal’s home island. Recently, the new animal was featured as a top scientific discovery of 2016 in Discover magazine’s “Year in Science” issue.

For decades, scientists had suspected an unnamed animal was inhabiting Manus Island, part of the Papua New Guinea Admiralty Group.

“Its bones and teeth were known for quite some time,” said Robert Timm, professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and curator emeritus in the Biodiversity Institute at the University of Kansas. “For thousands of years, indigenous people on that island would eat them, and we know that because of middens — discarded trash from people’s kitchens. So we had lots of older fragmentary remains but no modern specimens. We knew of its existence because of skeletal remnants from only one rock shelter."

That all changed recently when biologists working with Conservation International and a graduate student from Finland, conducting research for his dissertation on Manus Island, located the first contemporary example of the rare rodent.

“Local residents on the island continue to set traps to capture these rats and other wildlife for food,” Timm said. “We now have three modern specimens. The first two consist of discarded bones from meals and were salvaged in 2002.”

In 2012, the graduate student obtained a fresh specimen that was captured in a snare by a local boy working with him.

“Now, we have a beautiful specimen to work with and well-preserved DNA,” Timm said. “The DNA is critical in ascertaining where this species belongs in the tree of life.”

Although the rodent’s relationship to other species is now understood, Timm said the habits and abundance of Rattus detentus remain shrouded in mystery.

“We actually know almost nothing about its behavior because it’s so hard to find,” he said. “We believe it specializes on eating big seeds that are hard to chew into, because of the teeth. One of our Australian colleagues worked very hard to find more of this newly recognized species using camera traps and a variety of other techniques, and he didn’t find any evidence of them whatsoever. That suggests there aren’t very many of them left.”

Manus Island is now best known for the Manus Regional Processing Center, an immigration detention facility operated by the government of Australia. The facility has drawn the ire of human rights groups throughout the world.

So Timm, KU research associate Ronald Pine and co-authors named the new rodent Rattus detentus to bring more attention to the refugee center.

The word detentus is Latin for “detained” and is meant to indicate the isolation of this animal on Manus Island and the recent use of the island to detain people seeking political or economic asylum. (Last August, Australia announced its intention to close the center, although a timetable for closure remains unclear.)

In addition to humanitarian concerns, Timm said the sprawling center contributes to a deteriorating habitat for the newly discovered species. Further threats include other wildlife, along with the introduction of domestic cats on Manus Island and widespread logging.

“There is significant deforestation there and no replanting of these beautiful tropical forests,” said the KU researcher. “Some sections of it are still wonderful, with high trees, thick luxurious growth — lots of habitat for all sorts of plants and animals. The problem is that now there are too many people and not enough care taken of the habitat.”

Photo: The Rattus detentus. Photograph courtesy of the Journal of Mammalogy and Valter Weijola.

KU to recognize 2017 Men of Merit

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

LAWRENCE — Sixteen students, faculty and staff have been selected as University of Kansas Men of Merit, recognized for positively defining masculinity through challenging cultural norms, taking action and leading by example while making contributions to the university and/or the community.

A reception will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. A short ceremony will take place at 5:15 p.m. to individually recognize and honor each man for his campus and community contributions.

This year’s honorees:

  • Harrison Baker — senior, psychology and human sexuality
  • Jeff Chasen — associate vice provost, institutional compliance
  • Hunter Finch — graduate student, higher education administration, University Career Center
  • W. Matthew Gillispie — clinical associate professor, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders
  • Kriston Guillot — law student, intern at Legal Services for Students
  • Vikram Lakhanpal — senior, engineering physics
  • Rayfield Lawrence II — sophomore, sociology
  • Juan Pablo Marroquin — senior, journalism & mass communications
  • Dan McCarthy — academic adviser
  • Abdoulie Njai — senior, human biology and pre-med
  • Sam Eastes — senior, journalism and global & international studies
  • Loïc Njiakin — senior, neurobiology, minor in English
  • Joshua Robinson — graduate student, public affairs & administration, city management intern, city of Overland Park
  • Reza Barati — assistant professor, chemical & petroleum engineering
  • Casey James Douglas— junior, sport management
  • Chris Sowa (posthumous) — KU Student Housing

The KU Men of Merit poster campaign was created in 2009 by former KU football player Gary Green. This project is coordinated and sponsored by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity.

Current research supports the important role gender plays in college students’ identity development and academic achievement. Studies indicate that nationally, male students are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than female students. In addition, men are less likely to engage in volunteer activities and participate in student clubs and organizations. This growing gender gap points to the need for college campuses to address the disparity and create mechanisms for increasing men’s involvement, engagement and achievement.

This poster aims to increase awareness of the importance of education and involvement in men’s lives, inspire campus men to take an active role in their college experience and provide role models and mentors for men to be successful. The poster features a quote from creator Gary Green: “It’s not about how many things you’re strong enough to tear down. It’s about how many things you are brave enough to build up with love.”

Posters will be available at the reception, in the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity office, and can be requested by contacting the office.

Sponsors and assistance with this poster include the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Larken Photo & Video Co.

Student play takes humorous look at complications of success

Thursday, January 26, 2017

LAWRENCE — Four young writers enroll in a course and find their talents, relationships and realities pushed to their limits by a washed-up, international literary guru. Directed and produced by the Jayhawk Initiative for Student Theatre, “Seminar” explores student and instructor interactions and the ethics of success.

“Seminar” opens Feb. 9. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9-11 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the William Inge Memorial Theatre in Murphy Hall.

“It seems like a simple concept for a play, but the intricacies between the characters and the relationships that form over the course of the seminar are what makes it so interesting – and legitimately funny,” said Drew Hafling, Topeka junior, director.

Under the mentorship of University Theatre, “Seminar” is created by KU theatre students – actors, director, crew and designers. The Jayhawk Initiative for Student Theatre is a student organization that works collaboratively with the KU Theatre and Jayhawk community to create and experience innovative theatre.

“‘Seminar’ has given me the opportunity to really explore my directing style and experience all of the responsibility that a director must take on,” Hafling said. “It’s been amazing to work with my fellow students and see the show take shape from the very start.”

The company includes Christian Boudreaux, Rose Hill junior, as Douglas; Elsa Bernauer, Leawood freshman, as Kate; Jake Gillespie, Paola freshman, as Leonard; Hannah Finch, Round Lake, Illinois, sophomore, as Izzy; Garrett Claud, San Clemente, California, freshman, as Martin; Emily Hunsucker, Boca Raton, Florida, freshman, stage manager; Abbey Lynn Smith, Altamont junior, lighting designer; Jake Dutton, Wichita senior, scenic designer, and Kate Smeltzer, Prairie Village senior, costume designer.

Tickets for “Seminar” are on sale at KU ticket offices and online at www.kutheatre.com. Tickets are also available by calling the University Theatre, (785) 864-3982, and the Lied Center, (785) 864-ARTS. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for senior citizens and KU faculty and staff, and $10 for children. KU student tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

The Department of Theatre is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.

For more information on the Department of Theatre visit www.theatre.ku.edu. For more information on the University Theatre, visit www.KUTheatre.com. Follow KU Theatre on Twitter and Facebook.

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Research: Aerobic exercise shows promise for treatment of wounded warriors with mild traumatic brain injury

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


LAWRENCE — Improvised explosive devices and associated blast injuries have left over 350,000 U.S. service members in Iraq and Afghanistan with an invisible wound: traumatic brain injury.

“Soldiers get blown on their butt from an improvised explosive device (IED). Often they lose consciousness for 30 seconds to six minutes — but there’s no penetrating injury,” said David K. Johnson, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas. “The military has great body armor now that keeps them from dying in these blasts, but the head and brain are still injured. Soldiers who otherwise would’ve died in previous wars now suffer head injuries. IEDs are cheap, easy to make and effective. This is why they are the signature weapon of terrorist organizations.”

Johnson is the principal investigator of a team of researchers on a two-year, $500,000 clinical trial to improve soldiers’ quality of life supported by the Department of Defense to assess intensive cardiorespiratory exercise as a way to help wounded warriors recover from mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI.

“By far, mTBI is the most common brain injury,” Johnson said. “There’s a lot of soldiers with pretty significant problems. It’s not just the initial injury that causes so much damage but also the biochemical reaction that unfolds over time afterward. You develop migraines, blurry vision, motor problems. Parts of the brain can die, and it takes a long time to recover — weeks, months, sometimes never.”

On a visit to Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley, home of the U.S. Army’s 1st Infantry Division, the KU researcher found soldiers recently deployed to the Middle East might not realize they’ve experienced mTBI.

“I asked maybe 30 guys hanging out in a barracks common room, ‘Have any of you ever gotten a head injury?’,” he said. “And they answered, ‘No, none of us. There’s a guy in the other brigade that maybe did.’ Basically, they were saying there was one soldier of over 20,000 at Fort Riley with a TBI.”

But accompanying Johnson was retired Lt. Colonel Randy Masten, assistant director of the Graduate Military Program at KU, who told him, “You asked it the wrong way.”

Masten queried the same group, “How many of you have been blown up?”

That’s when more than half of the soldiers in the room raised their hands.

“This means they’d been near an explosion that had knocked them off their feet and they became disoriented or lost consciousness,” Johnson said. “This moment was eye opening. It really helped  me realize the prevalence of mild traumatic brain injury in our war fighters.”

Johnson’s research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the form of dementia that erodes thinking skills and memory, and affects as many as 5 million Americans. He directs the Neuropsychology and Aging Laboratory and serves as the director of neuropsychological assessment at the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

He said mTBI and Alzheimer’s disease share common symptoms —  memory and thinking problems but also depression and anxiety. What’s more, mTBI triggers a buildup of amyloid plaque and tau tangles in neuronal cell bodies and injured axons, which happen to be the hallmark brain lesions of Alzheimer’s disease.

“An awful lot of the biochemical process in mTBI appears to be related to Alzheimer’s disease,” Johnson said. “There’s basically no drug therapy for mTBI. But we know aerobic exercise can reduce the amount of biochemicals associated with Alzheimer’s disease, reduce the plaques and tangles, so we think it will work with mTBI as well. Aerobic exercise helps the brain heal itself. In fact, the KU ADC was one of the first research centers in the country to demonstrate improved cardiorespiratory fitness also improves cognition in older adults and improves functional capacity in people who already have Alzheimer’s symptoms.”

Boosting the cardiorespiratory fitness of active duty service members at the “Big Red One” will be different than increasing fitness for older adults. Seniors tend to be sedentary while these soldiers already are physically fit. Johnson said his research focuses on testing the effectiveness of a fitness routine dubbed “ICE.”

“ICE is a more intensive workout regimen,” he said. “Instead of lifting weights, we want the soldiers running more to improve their aerobic capacity. They’ll do rowing machines and bikes to relieve boredom — but ultimately they’ll become runners. We’re trying to get them to run more miles more quickly.”

To assess the benefits of the ICE exercise program, more than 100 volunteers at Fort Riley will go through cognitive and physical fitness testing before and after ICE.

“I am very excited about investigating the link between Alzheimer’s disease and mild traumatic brain injury,” Johnson said. “We use a battery of cognitive tests that we’ve found to be very sensitive to Alzheimer’s disease. We expect to see improvement in these men and women’s cognitive abilities — they’ll be sharper and more focused — but the pattern of improvement should be the same as our older adults at the ADC who are also fighting off Alzheimer’s disease. We expect to see patterns emerge from the data that will help us understand if we are attacking the Alzheimer’s pathological process.”

Along with Masten, Johnson’s partners in the research include Col. John Melton, commander of the Irwin Army Community Hospital at Fort Riley, Dr. Jeffrey Burns, who co-directs the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center, and retired Col. Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs.

“What’s good for Alzheimer’s disease in older adults we hope is good for this mTBI,” Johnson said. “Because mTBI shares so much biologically with early Alzheimer’s disease, I hope that what is working in our older adults also works in these young men and women. It’s an incredible privilege to work with these soldiers, and I’m excited by the chance of improving their lives in any way, shape or form I can.” 

Photos from the First Infantry Division, U.S. Army.

KU Debate teams have strong showing at multiple tournaments

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas debate squad finished the fall semester ranked first in the country in the national varsity debate rankings and demonstrated their depth over the weekend of Jan. 21-23. KU debate teams scattered across the country to three different tournaments and had outstanding performances at all of them.

The team of freshman Kyndall Delph and junior Quaram Robinson debated at a select round-robin invitational hosted by the University of Pittsburgh and went undefeated in winning the tournament. Robinson was the first-place individual speaker at the tournament, and Delph was the third-place speaker. They defeated teams from Baylor, the University of Texas, the University of Oklahoma, Wake Forest University, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the University of Central Oklahoma and Weber State University. It was the fourth tournament won by a KU team this season.

Sophomores Jacob Hegna and Henry Walter competed at another select round-robin tournament hosted by Dartmouth College. Hegna and Walter went 4-2 at the tournament with wins over Harvard University, Emory University, Northwestern University and Wake Forest University and losses to Georgetown University and the University of California- Berkeley. All six of their opponents are ranked in the top-10 teams in the country.

Meanwhile, 14 additional KU debaters competed at a tournament hosted by Wichita State University. The team of sophomore Christopher Fry and junior Will Katz reached the quarterfinals and took fifth place at the tournament. The teams of sophomores Lainey Schrag and Tyler Woodcock, senior Mikaela Wefald and freshman Kathryn Lipka, and freshmen Zoe Crater and Julia Henry all qualified for the single-elimination rounds and finished in the top 16. KU had 25 percent of the teams in the top 16 at the tournament. Will Katz was the ninth-place individual speaker, and freshman Saif Bajwa was the 10th-place speaker.

“We are very proud of the performance of all of the teams this weekend and thankful for the hard work of all the assistant coaches who sacrifice so much to help the debaters succeed,” said Brett Bricker, associate director of debate. “We are also grateful for the support of the university, the College of Arts & Sciences, the communication studies department, the Student Senate and alumni that enable us to travel so many students to different locations on the same weekend.”

Scott Harris, KU’s David B. Pittaway Director of Debate, also won an award over the weekend. He received the inaugural Jeffrey W. Jarman Person of the Year Award in recognition of his contributions to the larger debate community. Jarman is the associate director of the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University and a former Jayhawk with a doctorate in communication studies from KU. 

For questions or additional information, contact Scott Harris at sharris@ku.edu.

Merienda Lecture Series will kick off Jan. 19

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies will host speakers from programs as diverse as health and medicine, the social sciences, the humanities, and international and interdisciplinary studies.

The Spring 2017 Merienda Lecture Series intends to strengthen ties with regional universities such as KU Medical Center and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The series will showcase speakers working and researching in Latin American countries and Latina/o communities in the United States, continuing KU’s tradition of being a regional resource of Latin American and Caribbean studies.

In the spring, CLACS will welcome:

  • Laura Herlihy, lecturer of Latin American & Caribbean studies at KU, who will examine indigenous political and human rights in Nicaragua;
  • Paula Cupertino, associate professor of preventative medicine and public health and director of JUNTOS Center for Advancing Latino Health at KU Medical Center, who will discuss health initiatives aimed at addressing disparities in the Latina/o community in Kansas as well as in México and Brazil;
  • Clara Irazábal-Zurita, professor of architecture, urban planning & design and director of the Latina/o Studies Program at UMKC, who will explore intersections of culture, politics and peace-making in urban development and socio-spatial justice in Latin American cities and Latina/o immigrant communities;
  • Viviana Grieco, associate professor of history at UMKC, who will present research on the political culture of independence in Spanish colonies in Latin America;
  • Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno, associate professor of curriculum and teaching, Foreign Language Education at KU, who will present research on Spanish dialectology and sociolinguistics in Latin American countries.


The Merienda Lecture Series is meant to be an informal opportunity to learn, eat and socialize. Please join CLACS at noon on Thursday in 318 Bailey Hall. Lectures are approximately one hour, including Q&A from an audience of students, faculty and staff from around KU and the Lawrence community. Available at each lecture is a complimentary lunch of beans and rice along with refreshments.

The dates are as follows:
    • Jan. 19: Laura Herlihy
    • Feb. 9: Paula Cupertino
    • March 2: Clara Irazábal-Zurita
    • April 6: Viviana Grieco
    • May 4: Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno

For more information and a schedule of events, please visit latamst.ku.edu or contact Aron Muci at 785-864-4213 or amuci0915@ku.edu.

KU graduate students use Tinker Field Research Grants for international research and travel

Monday, January 23, 2017

LAWRENCE — Through the Tinker Field Research Grants program, four University of Kansas graduate students recently completed international research in their respective fields.

The KU Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies won the prestigious grants from the Tinker Foundation in 2013 after holding the grant in the past from 1996-1998, 2001-2004 and 2008-2011. With a 1:1 match from KU, the Tinker support enabled a total of 52 students throughout the university to visit Latin American countries during the 2014-16 grant period. 

“Tinker Field Grants have provided first-hand experience in Latin America to KU graduate students. They have conducted preliminary research, developed contacts in their respective fields and familiarized themselves further with the region,” said former director Santa Arias. “The Tinker Grants provide a unique opportunity for students and CLACS  as well as strengthening the quality of research at KU and broadening the university’s international reach.”

Previous recipients of Tinker support from CLACS have gone on to develop strong research proposals for external funding based on their time in the field, as well as superior dissertations and theses. Many are now faculty members themselves, while others enjoy successful careers in private industry, the nonprofit sector and government service. Tinker recipients often pursue projects related to public health, conservation, community development, anthropology, culture and education. 

The 2016 Fall Tinker Field research recipients:

Mabel Alvarado Gutiérrez, doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology, visited Costa Rica to research accurate perspectives on species within Neotropical Ichneumonidae, including their morphological diversity, biogeography, and evolutionary relationships;

Katelynn Giraldo, master's degree student in Latin American & Caribbean studies, visited Colombia to research optimal resources that enable key decision-makers to provide the highest level of educational access to the greatest number of people in Medellín’s communities;

George Klaeren, doctoral student in history, traveled to Mexico to conduct research on the ways in which traditional scholasticism contested “modern philosophy” leading to the adoption of new university curricula, creation of epistemology and philosophy textbooks, and development of academic infrastructure for philosophy in colleges and universities in 18th-century New Spain;

Silvia Sanchez Díaz, doctoral student in anthropology, traveled to Guatemala to investigate the history of medicine and public health institutions and the new actors involved in decision-making.

To learn more about the 2016 Tinker grant recipients, the graduate research page on the CLACS website highlights some of their accomplishments.

For more information about the Center, please visit latamst.ku.edu or contact Aron Muci at 785-864-4213 or amuci0915@ku.edu.

University community remembers longtime political science professor Allan Cigler

Friday, January 20, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is remembering Allan Cigler, a professor emeritus of political science who spent his entire career at KU. Cigler died Jan. 13 in Lawrence. He was 73.

“Professor Cigler’s body of work as a researcher speaks for itself, and it is even more notable given his tireless efforts as a teacher and a mentor who helped shape the minds of countless students during his 44 years at KU,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “On behalf of the entire university, I express my deepest condolences to his family, friends and to all who knew him at KU.”

Cigler joined the Department of Political Science in 1970 as an acting assistant professor. He was promoted to assistant, associate and then full professor. In 1992 he was named a Chancellors Club Teaching Professor.

His teaching spanned introductory courses in American politics to the psychological base of political behavior. His scholarly interests were in American political parties and interest groups, topics on which he published several books and many articles.

“Political science faculty, staff, students and alumni are greatly saddened at the loss of Professor Cigler,” said Don Haider-Markel, who leads the department. “He shepherded generations of students and set the benchmarks for teaching excellence at KU. His spirit lives on in our classrooms.”

There were no services.

University community mourns death of longtime German language professor

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the death of Helmut Huelsbergen, professor emeritus of German. He died Jan. 5 in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was 87.

“Professor Huelsbergen served KU well as a teacher and a scholar in his field for 36 years,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “On behalf of the entire university, I offer our condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him at KU.”

A German native, Huelsbergen came to KU’s German department in 1958. He researched American neologisms of the 19th century, German Baroque literature, in particular the German poet Andreas Gryphius, and German mysticism.

At KU, Huelsbergen helped establish the German Summer Language Institute in Lawrence’s sister city of Eutin, Germany, and directed the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies. He was a longtime editor of the "Yearbook of German-American Studies" published through the center. He retired in 1994.

“Helmut Huelsbergen was a genuinely caring person and truly interested in each and every one of his students as an individual,” said German Professor William Keel. “He wanted his students to succeed and was most generous with his time and advice outside of the classroom — and this was reflected by the admiration and respect he received from several generations of KU students.”

No services are planned.

Nonprofit founder to receive 2017 honorary degree

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

LAWRENCE — The creator of a nonprofit agency that recruits military veterans to provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid around the world will receive an honorary degree from the University of Kansas.

William McNulty, an Iraq War veteran and co-founder of Team Rubicon, will be awarded an honorary degree at KU’s 145th Commencement on May 14, 2017, in Memorial Stadium.

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little recommended McNulty for an honorary degree to the Kansas Board of Regents. The board approved the chancellor’s recommendation during its meeting today, Jan. 18.

McNulty – himself a KU alumnus – created Team Rubicon to provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid to communities hit by natural disasters. The organization grew out of McNulty’s desire to continue serving his country when his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps ended. After organizing a team of veterans to help with disaster response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, McNulty recognized that military veterans’ unique skills offered a model for a disaster-response organization that would bridge the gap between the immediate aftermath of disasters and the arrival of large-scale relief efforts from governments and aid organizations.

As the organization grew, McNulty realized it could play a major role in veteran reintegration, easing the transition to civilian life. Today Team Rubicon has a volunteer army of 50,000, 75 percent of whom are military veterans who are helping themselves by helping others. McNulty also recently founded Team Rubicon Global, which focuses on exporting the Team Rubicon model of disaster relief service and veteran reintegration to 12 countries around the world.

“William McNulty has turned his experience in war-torn areas of the world into a global effort to aid similar communities, while at the same time easing the transition of military veterans to civilian life by offering a sense of community, identity and purpose,” Chancellor Gray-Little said. “His innovative and meaningful work is making our world a better place, and for that, he is an inspiration to the entire KU community. We look forward to awarding him his honorary degree in May 2017.”

McNulty will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for outstanding contributions to global humanitarian and relief efforts.

McNulty earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

KU awards honorary degrees based on nominees’ outstanding scholarship, research, creative activity, service to humanity or other achievements consistent with the academic endeavors of the university. Recipients do not need to be KU alumni, and philanthropic contributions to the university are not considered during the process.

Nominations are sought from inside and outside the KU community and reviewed by a committee. This year’s committee includes Edmund Russell, history (committee chair); Judy Wu, physics and astronomy; Joe Lutkenhaus, microbiology, molecular genetics and immunology; Mabel Rice, speech-language-hearing; Debra Sullivan, dietetics and nutrition; Jeff Briley, representing KU alumni; and Christina Amaro, a KU graduate student.

Read more at KU’s Honorary Degrees website.

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