KU Endowment elects 4 new trustees

Friday, October 30, 2015

LAWRENCE — At today’s annual meeting of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees, four new trustees were elected: Angela Chammas of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois; Marvin Motley of Leawood; Diane Yetter of Chicago, and Carl Krehbiel, of Moundridge.

Angela Chammas earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in mechanical engineering, a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Houston and a master’s of organization and management from Capella University. Chammas is vice president of Human Capital Strategy and Technology Planning and HR Relationship Management for Sprint Corporation. She is a member of the KU School of Engineering and Mechanical Engineering advisory boards. She also serves on the Women Philanthropists for KU Advisory Board. 

Marvin Motley earned three degrees from KU: a bachelor’s in political science, a juris doctorate and a master’s in public administration. Motley is director of Sourcing, Supply Chain Management for Sprint Corporation. He has served as the chair of the KU Alumni Association National Board of Directors and on numerous committees of the Alumni Association board. He is a Life Member of the Alumni Association.

Diane Yetter earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from KU and a master’s degree in taxation from DePaul University. She is president of Yetter Consulting Services and founder of the Sales Tax Institute. She served as a KU Alumni Association Hawk to Hawk Mentor and is a Life Member of the Alumni Association. She is chair of the School of Business Board of Advisors. She has guest lectured for many years at the KU School of Business on topics ranging from state and local taxes to entrepreneurship.

Carl Krehbiel was elected an Honorary Life Trustee. Carl earned a dual degree in German languages and literature and political science from KU in 1970. He took over his family’s business, the Moundridge Telephone Company, in 1992, and served as a state legislator from 1999 to 2006. He is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel. The Floyd H. and Kathryn Krehbiel Scholarship Hall honors Carl’s late father and his mother.

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

WWI series will explore important role of nurses on Eastern Front

Friday, October 30, 2015

LAWRENCE – A University of Kansas lecture series focused on the lesser-known stories of World War I’s Eastern Front puts nurses in the spotlight for its second public talk.

"More than Binding Men’s Wounds: Women’s Wartime Nursing in Russia during the Great War"  will be presented by Laurie Stoff, Senior Honors Faculty Fellow, Barrett Honors College, Arizona State University. Stoff will examine why nurses on the front lines in Russia were indispensable to the war effort. Far from merely binding wounds, they often assumed public leadership roles and provided vital services that put them squarely in traditionally masculine territory, both literally and figuratively.  The lecture will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2 at The Commons in Spooner Hall.

The lecture series is part of KU’s World War I Centennial Commemoration, which is being coordinated by the European Studies Program to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

During the academic year the series, Everyday Lives on the Eastern Front, will bring four nationally recognized experts on WWI to campus to share original research. In addition to public lectures, speakers will explore these themes in workshops with undergraduate and graduate students and members of the community.

According to KU historians Nathan Wood and Erik Scott, the experience of World War I, particularly on its Eastern Front, shaped the modern world in ways that many people today may not realize. The Eastern Front was where the empires of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia and the Ottomans collided and ultimately collapsed, giving rise to new states in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

While the Western Front was defined by trench warfare, the Eastern Front was longer and often porous. It shifted back and forth across civilian populations with dramatically transformative effects, affecting lives at the everyday level. In the region, the Great War was inseparable from revolution, undermining imperial allegiances, generating social and national movements, and changing attitudes about gender and authority.

The remaining talks in the series are listed below:

  •  “The Russian Army in the Great War: The Eastern Front, 1914-1917,” presented by David Stone, professor of strategy and policy, U.S. Naval War College. 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Hall Center for the Humanities.
  • “A Minor Apocalypse: Everyday Life in Warsaw during the First World War,” presented by Robert Blobaum, Eberly Professor of History, West Virginia University. 7 p.m. March 29, 2016, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union.

The series and the KU WWI Centennial Commemoration are coordinated by the European Studies Program. KU co-sponsors are the Common Book program; Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies; Center for Global & International Studies; Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures; Department of History; Dole Institute of Politics; Hall Center for the Humanities; Humanities Program; Max Kade Center; Office of Graduate Military Programs; University Honors Program and University Press of Kansas. The Big XII Faculty Fellowship Program is also a sponsor.

More information about upcoming events is available on the European Studies website.

2015 ExCEL Award winners announced at Homecoming game

Saturday, October 31, 2015

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas seniors received the 25th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards during halftime of the KU-Oklahoma Homecoming football game Oct. 31 in Memorial Stadium.

The 2015 ExCEL award winners are Hannah Reinhart of Parkville, Missouri, and Evan Traylor of Edmond, Oklahoma.

Hannah Reinhart, who is majoring in journalism and political science, is the daughter of Michele and Tony Reinhart of Parkville. She is president of the Panhellenic Association and previously served as the director of interfraternal relations and membership development. She directed fundraising for Rock Chalk Revue and served on Student Senate. She was a recruitment committee coordinator for the Big Event and volunteers at Kansas Audio Reader, Natural Ties and Service for Sight.

Evan Traylor, a political science and Jewish studies major with a minor in leadership studies, is the son of Eddie and Ann Baumgarten Traylor of Edmond. He is an intern at KU Hillel and a board trustee for the Union for Reform Judaism, where he also served as a Kutz Camp co-program coordinator. He is a KU peer leadership consultant and a LeaderShape graduate. He participates in the Mortar Board Honor Society.

The ExCEL Award provides an annual $500 award to two students. The winners will plan the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

The winners were selected from among 10 finalists on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, and the Homecoming steering committee.

The award was established in 1991 to recognize one male and one female student for achievement and to add student interest to annual Homecoming festivities. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview.

New book 'On the Wing' tracks evolution of flight in natural world

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas biologist David Alexander grew up in Dayton, Ohio, the hometown of the flight-pioneering Wright brothers — so it’s only natural he became fixated with aviation from a young age, developing a lifelong passion for airplanes.

Later, in graduate school, a mentor in the zoology department who knew of Alexander’s love for aircraft suggested he “get into animal flight” as a line of scholarly investigation.

“My adviser told me, ‘You need to work on something you can get excited about,’” Alexander said.

It was great advice. Alexander has spent the past 20 years focusing largely on animal flight in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at KU, and this month he published his third book on the subject, titled “On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Flight” (Oxford University Press, 2015).

“I wrote a book a few years ago that had a chapter on the evolution of animal flight, and I realized nobody put the evolution of all flying animals in to one big picture,” Alexander said.

His new book traces the evolution of animal-powered flight since its advent in the fossil record some 350 million years ago. Alexander tracks the four groups of flying creatures: insects, pterosaurs, birds and bats. He said a central difference between these flyers could be found in their legs.

“Insects flew first,” he said. “They’re different from all other flying animals because they didn’t give up legs to evolve wings. Primitive insects had six legs, and ones that evolved wings have six. They still can be completely terrestrial. Birds gave up one pair of legs but kept the other pair separate from wings. There are birds that have completely lost flight like penguins and ostriches. Then you have bats where hind legs are incorporated into wing structure and incorporated into the flapping mechanism. No bats or pterosaurs evolved loss of flight.”

Despite such biomechanical differences, the four flying groups that Alexander covers in “On the Wing” all gain key advantages from their ability to take to the sky.

“A flying animal typically flies 10 times as fast as a running animal can run,” he said. “As a result, they’re more energy-efficient. They can go a longer distance on less fuel. And they have a search advantage. Up high, you can look down and take in a lot of area, whereas on the ground, vision is much more limited. Flight allows them to colonize new areas. It allows them to cross barriers that terrestrial animals can’t, like flying across oceans for migrations. There are tiny birds, sandpiper relatives, that fly across the arctic ice cap and Greenland for their migration.”

Asked about the most extraordinary forms of flight, Alexander gave examples of animal flyers that sleep, bathe and even mate while airborne.

“Both dragonflies and many hawks actually mate while on the wings — and they usually have courtship rituals that involve flight,” he said. “Both individuals do particular maneuvers, and eventually they join together. What’s so cool is that they do incredibly acrobatic things. Eagles lock talons and spiral down, and then just before they get to the ground they let go, fly up and repeat the process.”

Alexander said some birds like swifts and swallows are thought to sleep and bathe “on the wing.”

“They fly up pretty high and fly in slow circles and gradually descend, supposedly sleeping while they descend, then they wake up and do it again,” he said. “They also bathe by flying low over a pond and dipping their belly in the water as they fly over the surface.”

As for prehistoric pterosaurs, Alexander said researchers are left to reckon the method of their flying based on the fossil record.

“Fossils don’t tell us some of the things we’d like to know about how pterosaurs flew,” he said. “We make inferences based on their structure, but the biomechanics are on the mysterious side.”

“On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight” is available from Amazon.

Ten KU seniors named finalists for 25th annual Ex.C.E.L. Awards

Friday, October 23, 2015

LAWRENCE — Ten finalists have been selected for the 25th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards at the University of Kansas. The finalists, all seniors, will participate in the Homecoming parade at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence. Two winners, one male and one female, will be announced during halftime of the KU-Oklahoma homecoming football game Oct. 31 at Memorial Stadium.

The Ex.C.E.L. Award provides an annual $500 scholarship to two students. The winners will plan the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU’s Student Involvement and Leadership Center. Nominees were selected on the basis of leadership, effective communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The selection committee included representatives from Student Union Activities, the Board of Class Officers, the Student Involvement and Leadership Center and the Homecoming Steering Committee.

The award was first given in 1991 to recognize one male and one female student for achievement. Names of winners are listed on a plaque on the fifth level of the Kansas Union. To be eligible, applicants must be full-time undergraduate students with an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or higher. Each finalist completed an application and participated in an interview. The finalists and their academic majors are listed below, along with highlights of their campus achievements.



From Lawrence

Alex Kong, pharmaceutical studies with a minor in creative writing, serves Mortar Board as president and is founder and president of the KU Society of Scientists. He is an advisory board member for the School of Pharmacy peer mentor program and volunteers at the Lawrence Community Shelter and Kansas Audio Reader.



From Overland Park

Elliott Brady, biology, is on the executive board of the Jayhawk Health Initiative and a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He is the drum major for the Marching Jayhawks and also served as rank leader. He volunteers at the Heartland Community Health Center and has been a children’s camp counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Camille Douglas, marketing, is a multicultural recruitment student ambassador for KU admissions and president of the National Panhellenic Council. She served as vice president and secretary of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and is a member of the Black Student Union. She is a Sunday school teacher and a Christian youth camp counselor.

Michael Schugart, finance with a minor in psychology, is president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and also served as chaplain and historian. He is a student ambassador for KU Admissions and the University Honors Program and is a sponsorship committee member for KU Dance Marathon. He volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence.

Alvaro Papa Silva, mechanical engineering, is president of the Engineering Student Council and service chair for Mortar Board. He serves as vice president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and is a member of the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows Class of 2016. He is a University Honors Program student and studied abroad in India.


From Prairie Village

Madeline Sniezek, finance and accounting, is treasurer of Student Senate and a justice for the Panhellenic Association Judicial Board. She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and serves as the leadership and involvement chair. She is a founding member and past fundraising director of Hawks Helping Hawks, and she volunteers for the Girl Scouts of America and KU’s Big Event.


From Stillwell

Lauren Arney, biology with a minor in public policy, chairs the Student Health Advisory Board and is a member of Student Senate. She is president of the KU Memorial Unions Corporation Board and a member of Chi Omega sorority, where she has served as director of outreach cabinets, chapter secretary and community service chair.



From Parkville

Hannah Reinhart, journalism and political science, is president of the Panhellenic Association and previously served as the director of interfraternal relations and membership development. She directed fundraising for Rock Chalk Revue and served on Student Senate. She was a recruitment committee coordinator for the Big Event and volunteers at Kansas Audio Reader, Natural Ties and Service for Sight.



From Swanton

Angela Bass, elementary education, is vice president of membership for the Student Alumni Leadership Board and a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, where she served as vice president of membership programming. She is on the family relations committee for KU Dance Marathon and co-founded KU Students Together Against Cancer.



From Edmond

Evan Traylor, political science and Jewish studies with a minor in leadership studies, is an intern at KU Hillel and a board trustee for the Union for Reform Judaism, where he also served as a Kutz Camp co-program coordinator. He is a KU peer leadership consultant and a LeaderShape graduate. He participates in the Mortar Board Honor Society.   

KU nominates three students, one alumna for Rhodes, Marshall scholarships

Friday, October 23, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has nominated three students and a recent alumna for prestigious fellowships for study in the United Kingdom. Alexis Knutsen, Alex Kong, Jennifer Stern and Jessica van Loben Sels are applying for the Marshall Scholarship; Knutsen, Kong and Stern are also applying for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Marshall Scholarships provide funding for graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom, while the Rhodes Scholarship provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

“We’re proud of KU’s nominees who have accomplished a great deal during their time here,” said Bryan Young, director of the University Honors Program. “We know they will represent us well. Their successes serve as an inspiration for their peers and for the faculty and staff who have been fortunate to work with them.”

Regional panels review applications for both scholarship programs. Finalists are invited to participate in interviews in November.

KU students have previously won nine Marshall Scholarships and 26 Rhodes Scholarships. The nomination process is coordinated by the Office of Fellowships & Scholarships in the University Honors Program.

Alexis Knutsen, currently of Washington, D.C., is a 2014 graduate in classics and classical languages. She is the daughter of Bernhard and Christina Knutsen of Overland Park.

She was a member of the 2012 University Scholars Program, received a Critical Languages Scholarship and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for the study of Arabic, and she was named a 2013-2014 KU Woman of Distinction. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior and completed the University Honors Program.

“I am honored to be nominated for these prestigious scholarships,” Knutsen said. “I am also incredibly thankful for all the mentoring and support I have received from professors and advisers while at KU.”

Alex Kong is the son of Man and Sue Kong of Lawrence and a graduate of Free State High School.

He will complete his bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical studies this spring, and he plans to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree and a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry. At KU he has been active in the lab of Jeff Krise, associate professor of pharmaceutical chemistry. A member of the University Honors Program, an honors ambassador and a research ambassador, he received an honorable mention from the Goldwater Scholarship Program in 2013.

“When I first came to KU, I did so with the goal of discovering who I wanted to be,” Kong said. “I deepened my scientific passions while pursuing anything that caught my eye, from a cappella to creative writing and even baking. I never imagined that someone might consider me to be a worthy candidate for opportunities like this, but I am humbled by the support that this community and these experiences have given me.”

In the summer of 2015 he was selected for the Amgen Scholars Program. He hopes to pursue a research career in pharmaceutical science, teach at the university level and increase scientific literacy.

Jennifer Stern is the daughter of George and Joan Stern of Lawrence and is a graduate of Free State High School.

She is majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology. She conducted original research on climate change with Joy Ward, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology, and on ichthyology with William Leo Smith, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology and assistant curator at the Biodiversity Institute.

Stern said she was particularly interested in arctic whales and planned to integrate education and research into a career understanding and protecting crucial arctic ecosystems.

“I am incredibly honored to be a nominee for both the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships,” she said. “Both scholarships would allow me to attend phenomenal programs to become a well-rounded scientist and educator in conservation and climate change.”

She is a member of the University Honors Program and the 2014 University Scholars Program and head peer leader for the Peer Led Undergraduate Supplements in Biology program. Stern was named a 2015 Udall Scholar and an Astronaut Scholar.

Jessica van Loben Sels is the daughter of James and Monique van Loben Sels of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is a graduate of St. Pius X High School. She is a microbiology major and works in the lab of David Davido, associate professor of molecular biosciences, researching the herpes simplex virus.

Van Loben Sels said she hadn’t considered studying in the United Kingdom until she learned of the scholarship opportunity, and she enjoyed interacting with the researchers she met during the application process.

“I hope to have the opportunity to work with them and further advance my scientific understanding,” she said. “I aim to conduct therapy-oriented research later in my career, so working with such accomplished scientists in the United Kingdom would play an instrumental role in my professional development.”

She is a member of the University Honors Program and the 2014 University Scholars Program, and she is a recipient of the K-INBRE research fellowship in 2014 and 2015. Van Loben Sels was named a 2015 Goldwater Scholar and an Astronaut Scholar.

Politics, lack of progress drive cities to drop climate-protection commitments, study finds

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


LAWRENCE — As a response to Congress' decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, many American cities initiated efforts to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Between 2005 and 2010, climate protection became the cause du jour for many cities. In subsequent years, however, a notable number have backed away from their climate protection commitments. Mainstream political conservatism influenced these decisions and this effect was more likely for cities that had achieved fewer environmental milestones, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher.

Rachel Krause, assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration, was the lead author of the study, which examined municipalities that terminated their membership in ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability — by 2012, just two years after the association reported a peak number of members in 2010.

"Especially in the United States where not a lot of action has been taken to address climate change on the national level, cities have been pointed to as climate protection leaders. Recently, though, the tide seems to have shifted," Krause said. "Our research finds that the factors driving this change include a lack programmatic follow-through and 'mainstream' political opposition to climate initiatives. The latter is interesting because, despite the loud voice it often has in opposing local planning and climate protection efforts, Tea Party activity does not seem to have influenced cities’ decisions on a large scale."

The Policy Studies Journal published the researchers' findings earlier this year. Co-authors with Krause were Hongtao Yi, assistant professor in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, and Richard Feiock, professor of public administration and policy at Florida State University. Krause also wrote a blog post about the research for the London School of Economics and Political Science.

ICLEI prescribes a process of policy milestones geared toward helping cut emissions and reducing energy in both city government operations and the community at-large: conducting a greenhouse-gas emissions; adopting an emissions reduction target; developing a climate-action plan; implementing actions, and monitoring and verifying results.

From 2005 to 2010, the number of local governments that joined ICLEI increased almost fivefold to approximately 700 members, and it was generally considered the most important organization facilitating local climate protection efforts in the U.S. However, by 2012, membership had dropped by more than 20 percent.

The researchers examined the role that political opposition, weakened fiscal health and programmatic ineffectiveness had on cities’ decisions to end their membership.

Krause said because climate change is often entrenched in partisan conflict in the United States, the researchers examined the political makeup of voters in cities ICLEI member cities along with the strength of the local Tea Party movement, economic conditions and the each city's effectiveness at implementing ICLEI-prescribed milestones or policy.

Fiscal conditions provided the weakest influence, Krause said. The involvement of the Tea Party movement in each city also appeared to have little effect on local government action despite the group's vocal opposition to climate-protection efforts, she said.

"Traditional political partisanship appears to matter more than does Tea Party activism in influencing city governments to end their ICLEI membership," Krause said.

The researchers concluded that for every additional 1 percent of the vote went to GOP presidential candidate in 2012, a city was 0.7 percent more likely to drop its ICLEI membership.

The other major factor found that a city's success on implementing environmental policy made them more likely to remain in ICLEI.

"With every additional milestone completed, out of a possible 10, a city is between 3.4 and 4 percent less likely to drop their membership," Krause said.

So cities that didn't achieve any milestone or implement meaningful environmental policies were less likely to see the value in continuing as ICLEI members.

Krause said this finding was important because it allowed researchers to discount economic reasons, such as a city's foreclosure and unemployment rates, as factors that would influence environmental policy at the local level. 

KU awards 7 Wounded Warrior Scholarships

Friday, October 16, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Office of Graduate Military Programs has announced seven Wounded Warrior Scholarship recipients for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Students who earn one of the scholarships receive up to $10,000 per year, renewable for up to four years. The scholarships assist injured veterans and affected family members in meeting the financial challenges associated with pursuing a degree at KU. Donations made to the KU Endowment Association to benefit the KU Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund make these scholarships possible.

This year’s Wounded Warrior Scholarship (WWS) recipients:

Joshua Blake received the KU Keener Foundation WWS. He is a native of Larned and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps days after the 9/11 attacks. Blake served four years as an infantryman that included two deployments to Iraq. On his second deployment, in 2004, he sustained wounds from an improvised explosive device (IED) while on a dismounted patrol in Ramadi. Blake is a loving husband and father of four children. He is currently studying pre-engineering at KU.

Adam Croft received a KU WWS. Adam enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2001. While on a reconnaissance mission in September 2005, he survived a white phosphorous IED attack in Iraq but suffered third-degree burns. Croft is an undergraduate seeking bachelor’s degrees in public administration and in Russian & Eastern European studies. After graduating he intends to enroll in a graduate degree program.

Timothy Hornik is the recipient of the Bill and Shanthi Eckert WWS. Hornik is a native of Chicago, a retired U.S. Army captain, and the president of the Kansas Regional Group of the Blinded Veterans Association. In 2004, while serving in Iraq as an air defense artillery platoon leader, he was shot in the head and consequently blinded. Despite his injuries, Hornik obtained a master’s degree in social work from KU in 2010 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in therapeutic sciences at KU Medical Center. He plans to use his degree, along with his considerable social work case management experience, to assist and advocate for disabled veterans.

Mackenzie Istook received the Heart of America Patriot Foundation WWS. Istook is a self-described “Army brat” and has lived in seven different states, two foreign countries, and attended nine K-12 schools. Istook’s stepfather, Sgt. First Class Jonathan Tessar, was killed Oct. 31, 2005, by an IED, along with three other soldiers on a mission in Iraq. Istook was a third-grader when it happened. Though she continues to miss him daily, she has moved forward with her life. She is excited to attend KU to continue to expand her horizons with a good combination of academics and involvement in a sorority.

Corey Leach is the recipient of the KAMO Adventures WWS. Leach grew up in Olathe and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2011. While on a foot patrol in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, he stepped into an IED blast zone and suffered severe injuries to his neck, left eye, shoulders and left leg. After completing extensive rehabilitation, Leach medically retired from the Army in 2014 and entered KU. He is majoring in exercise science and is determined to reach his goal of becoming a physical therapist and working with veterans and athletes.

Adrian Lujano received the Heart of America Patriot Foundation WWS. Lujano enlisted in the Army in 2004 and served an 18-month combat tour in Afghanistan. During his tour, he survived multiple IED attacks and fierce fighting in the Korangal Valley and Kandahar Province with the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment. Following his active duty service, Lujano served in the New Jersey and Kansas National Guard. He is currently a senior in communications studies at KU.

Donald Spradling is the recipient of a WWS. Spradling joined the U.S. Navy in 1996 and was severely injured while serving as a deck seaman aboard a guided missile cruiser conducting counterdrug operations in South and Central America. Upon retiring from the Navy in 2008, Spradling shifted his focus to education and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from KU in 2014. He is currently a graduate research assistant in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering and is pursuing a doctorate in structural engineering.

Graduate Military Programs established the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund in 2012 through KU Endowment. The first two scholarships were awarded for the 2013-2014 academic year with another three scholarships awarded for 2014-2015.

“The ability to offer seven scholarships this year speaks wonders to the generosity of our KU alumni and the local community,” said Randy Masten, assistant director of Graduate Military Programs. “It is the donors that have made the idea of these scholarships become a reality. Every scholarship makes a significant and positive impact on the lives of the recipients and their families. KU’s support of our nation’s veterans with these scholarships is truly unique as very few other universities across the country recognize the service and sacrifice of our veterans in such a tangible manner.”

Donations to the Wounded Warrior Scholarship Fund count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the University’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Donations can be made by contacting the KU Endowment Association at http://www.kuendowment.org

Photo, from left: Don Spradling, Corey Leach, Tim Hornik with Black Jack, Josh Blake and Adam Croft (not pictured are Mackenzie Istook and Adrian Lujano).


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