Service award recognizes faculty contributions to Kansas

Thursday, May 21, 2015

KU professor Paula Fite receives 2015 Steeples Award

LAWRENCE – Faculty efforts on a statewide anti-bullying project and the preservation of archives from across Kansas have been recognized with the Steeples Service to Kansas Award.

Three faculty at the University of Kansas were honored this year for their contributions to the people of Kansas through teaching and research: Paula Fite, associate professor of clinical child psychology with joint appointments in applied behavioral science and psychology; Anne Williford, assistant professor in the School of Social Welfare; and Sherry Williams, curator for KU Libraries.

Fite and Williford were nominated together primarily for their work on the Kansans Against Bullying project, which provided resources to 144 school districts in the state. They created a research-based tool kit for schools and communities, intended to reduce the frequency and effects of bullying. They disseminated this information at 10 regional workshops throughout the state. Fite and Williford were also available for personal consultation with administrators and school counselors. The project website, which is continually updated, has been visited by nearly 2,000 people. Given the number of people each of the teachers, administrators, counselors and website visitors may advise or counsel, the magnitude of its effect is substantial.

As curator of the Kansas Collection for the Spencer Research Library, Williams has played a role in ensuring the preservation of numerous records of historical value across the state. She has worked with many organizations, businesses, churches and individuals. Through such efforts, she helped increase documentation from African-American communities across the state. With a federal grant and collaboration with the Department of African & African-American Studies, she established the African-American Collecting Program, now in its 30th year. She has encouraged many more Kansans to preserve personal, family and community history through community lectures and presentations. Williams says that all Kansans have an important story to tell and that she is “fortunate to be able to assist them in ensuring that their past is well-documented, preserved and available to them, and to the research community.”

Don Steeples, interim dean of the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and his wife, Tammy, established this award in 1997 to honor Don Steeples’ parents, Wally and Marie Steeples, and to recognize outstanding service by KU faculty to other Kansans. The award provides recipients with $1,000 and an additional $1,000 base adjustment to their salaries.

Funds for the award are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation 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.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences confers the Steeples awards. The College encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.

PHOTOS (clockwise): Sherry Williams (center) is surprised with her award by Kent Miller, interim co-dean of KU Libraries, and Becky Schulte, university archivist; Paula Fite (center) with the College's prize patrol, including Jim Mielke, associate dean for the College, and Ric Steele, director of the Clinical Child Psychology Program; and Anne Williford with Tom McDonald, interim dean of the School of Social Welfare, who surprised her with the award.

Book details how Native American cotton selection led to the Industrial Revolution

Friday, May 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — Most historians credit English inventors with developing the mechanization of cotton spinning, which became a driving factor in the Industrial Revolution and introduction of the factory system as a substitute for hand labor.

But a University of Kansas researcher argues without the involvement of Native Americans selecting a new type of cotton over thousands of years in the Americas, the Industrial Revolution wouldn't have been possible at that time.

"The traits of New World cotton made it possible to mechanize, and the most important trait among those was being very long fibers, which makes strong thread," said Edmund Russell, the University of Kansas Joyce and Elizabeth Hall Distinguished Professor of History. "That new thread was the result of thousand of years of selection by Native Americans. The English inventors responded to an opportunity created for them by American Indians and New World cotton. They didn't invent the Industrial Revolution out of thin air."

Russell uses the example in his book "Evolutionary History: Uniting History and Biology to Understand Life on Earth," which was recently featured on the website for Russell's innovative approach to the idea of what influence human activity can have on evolution and non-human species.

"Often people think of evolution as subject matter for biologists and not for the humanities and not for the general public," Russell said. "What I’m trying to do is show that it's something that all of us can understand the concepts of and it's something that affects the lives of everybody, so it's in our best interest to understand how and why it works."

Russell uses the example of the both the Agricultural and Industrial revolutions as the two most important in history. The Agricultural Revolution and the development of being able to grow crops to establish a consistent food source reshaped humans from hunter-gatherers to settled farmers.

"Once you had settlements, then you had the growth of towns and cities, nations and empires, all of those things," Russell said. "They all rest on a base of agriculture. You don't get that complex social structure among hunter-gatherers."

The Industrial Revolution likewise allowed humans to tap into social energy that was captured millions of years ago and stored in coal, petroleum and natural gas, causing the development of machines, substantive labor and rapid economic growth into an industrial economy.

He said thinking of both in the context of evolution is important because both became possible due to evolution and non-human species. In addition to the Native Americans selecting a new type of cotton that made it easier for machines to easily produce clothing, the Agricultural Revolution also relied on a change.

"In order to domesticate plants and animals, the traits needed to be modified from wild traits to domestic traits so that you could have them growing in captivity," Russell said.

He uses the examples to illustrate how evolution doesn't necessarily lead to creation of a new species, he said.

"Most people think of evolution as something that happened out there in space and time. It's just something that nature did in the past. It stopped. Once species were created, it ended, and it doesn't really affect us today," Russell said. "It's an ongoing process. It's happening today, and it affects every minute of our lives."

He said thinking of evolution allows for the explanation in public health and agriculture on why certain diseases or pests develop resistance to chemicals that we use for vaccinations or as pesticides to treat crops.

Cambridge University Press published Russell's book.

Outstanding humanities graduate students receive Hall Center research awards, internships

Friday, May 15, 2015

LAWRENCE – The Hall Center for the Humanities has recognized several outstanding humanities graduate students with summer research awards and internships. These summer funding opportunities are part of the center’s significant level of support for graduate research.

The Hall Center's Humanities Summer Graduate Internship program supports exceptional and well-rounded doctoral or master's degree students who demonstrate the ability to make outstanding contributions in their chosen humanities or social science disciplines.

  • Harley Davidson, doctoral candidate in history, will intern at the National World War I Museum. This internship position will offer Davidson the opportunity to work at a unique, world-class history museum with a large, diverse collection and museum professional staff. Projects include creating public space information displays using material from the museum's archival collection and expanding existing and creating new digital content.
  • Amber Roberts Graham, doctoral candidate in history, will intern at the Truman Library Institute by assisting with two interrelated projects: marketing the museum and membership programs through several audience development strategies and conducting the internal and external research necessary for them to produce a useful summary of the opportunities for growing participation in the Truman Library's programs.
  • Rebecca Dickman, master's degree student in museum studies, will intern at the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Among other tasks, Dickman will research and develop bibliographies for humanities and visual arts exhibition projects as directed; organize and create entries for an in-house library database; and assist with documentation and installation of in-house exhibitions.
  • Alyse Bensel, doctoral student in English, will intern with the Kansas Humanities Council, where she will be responsible for researching and writing theater scripts exploring three key moments in Kansas environmental history since the 1860s. Following the completion of the materials outlined above, KHC will organize and premiere the work at sites across Kansas. Scripts and instructions will be made available for free download from the KHC website.
  • Meaghan Kelly, master's degree student in English, will intern at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This internship will provide a comprehensive experience in fundraising with an emphasis in prospect research, donor data management, and stewardship and grant-writing. Kelly will provide support to the museum's advancement division by assisting with varied administrative tasks.
  • Katrina Lynn, doctoral student in history, will intern with the Franklin County Historical Society. Lynn will conduct the preliminary research to determine the feasibility of several large-scale projects made possible by the recent completion of the scanning of some 6,000 negatives of photographs taken during the 1930s, '40s and '50s in Ottawa and its environs, many of which were published in the Ottawa newspaper. Within this collection are several hundred images documenting the World War II era, which are representative of small-town America during the war years.

In addition to the internships, four outstanding graduate students were selected for Graduate Summer Research Awards. These awards offer summer support for graduate students engaged in humanistic dissertation research and writing. The goal of these awards is to make possible full-time dissertation work for the months of June and July.

The four winners:

  • Alison Miller, art history, “Mother of the Nation: Femininity, Modernity, and Class in the Image of Empress Teimei”
  • Evgeny Grishin, history, “Becoming a ‘Schismatic’: The Concepts of the ‘Schism’ and ‘Schismatic’ in the Church and State Discourses of 17th and 18th-century Russia”
  • Renee Harris, English, “Reading Keats: Sociability and the Work of Affect”
  • David Trimbach, geography, “Citizenship Capital in Narva, Estonia”

These students will organize the Interdisciplinary Graduate Research Workshops during the academic year following the summer of support, where they and fellow graduate students will present their work. The Hall Center will post workshop meeting dates on its website. The Graduate Summer Research Awards are made possible by the support of the Friends of the Hall Center.

KU honors employees, team of the year

Monday, May 18, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas recognized its Employees of the Year and presented the 2014-2015 Team Award earlier this month in the Kansas Union. Chancellor Bernadette Gray Little and Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor, were present at the ceremony to honor employees.

The winners are as follows:

Staff Employee of the Year

Gail Trottier

One of KU’s Employees of the Year is a devoted artist in her own right, known for outstanding organizational skills in a field that requires adaptability and tenacity. 

Gail Trottier began more than 15 years ago with the Theatre Department in the Costume Shop.  Upon her arrival she brought with her years of experience working in professional theatres, and KU was fortunate to gain someone with her background. In her time with KU she has worked on numerous productions, including operas, plays and musicals. Constructing costumes for these productions requires making patterns, cutting, draping and fitting all in order to bring costumes from concept to reality for stage production all under time-sensitive deadlines.

An example of her work includes building costumes for KU’s larger productions, such as the musical “Into the Woods,” then the opera “La Boheme,” then moving directly on to a highly complicated show such as “The 39 Steps,” in which two characters needed to quick-change while playing 20 characters. Trottier’s exceptional skill and creativity are blended with a delightful sense of humor and a consistently professional work ethic. 

There is a large teaching function associated with Trottier’s position, and student workers assist in preparation and proper maintenance of costumes. She makes sure that work assignments flow smoothly through the shop while teaching students critical skills for the profession. As a result, many of these students have been successful in finding jobs in the costume production field upon leaving KU.

In addition to her dedication to her craft, as well as her service to the faculty, staff and students of the Theatre Department, this employee also demonstrated her commitment to the KU community by creating, on her own initiative, informative displays touting the newly formed School of the Arts. 

Trottier has wonderful talent, creativity and personal attributes that make her a special colleague and exceptional staff member. Through her contributions, she has touched and enriched the lives of many students, performers and patrons of the theatre.

Staff Employee of the Year Winner

Kim Nixon

KU’s second Employee of the Year is someone who is instrumental in celebrating the success of those around her but does not seek the spotlight for herself.  She is someone who truly cares for her staff, her customers and the students that work with her. 

Kim Nixon started working at KU in 2007 and has worked as the front-of-house manager for the Impromptu Café since the restaurant opened. She is responsible for the daily oversight of employees as well as working with and serving customers. She handles all of the daily tasks of the restaurant to keep it up and running. Employing current KU students as servers, Nixon creates a “family” atmosphere,” aiding her servers in the acquisition of marketable food service skills as well as aiding their personal growth. Almost all of her former employees stay in touch with her, often making it a point to stop by and see her when they are in town, some even traveling internationally to make the trip.

Nixon knows her regular customers by name, emailing them when their favorite dish is offered as the special and greeting them personally with their preferred beverage. Nixon manages the Impromptu Café Facebook page and is known for inserting her wit and personality along with updates to keep customers informed of the specials and excited about stopping by. 

Nixon does many things to show her staff and co-workers she cares about them. She is known for her original song parodies and haikus to mark special occasions. When her female employees graduate, they receive a tiara to wear during their final shifts. Birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones are celebrated by Nixon, creating a culture of fun for everyone with whom she comes into contact.

Nixon’s co-workers are effusive in their praise for her, describing her customer service as “magnificent” and her attitude on the job as friendly and welcoming. In an area traditionally marked with definite boundaries between front-of-house and kitchen staff, this employee is known for not allowing the usual battles to occur. She bridges the gap between the two areas when she “dons her clown pants” to help in the kitchen after her regular shift ends. Nixon makes an extra effort every day to make her customers and her employees feel special and valued. 


2014-2015 Team Honorable Mention

Daisy Hill Move-In Day of August 2014

Approximately 2,100 students were due to move into the Daisy Hill residence halls around a massive construction site in August 2014. Planning began six months in advance to develop a new approach to moving into those residence halls.  The team comprised KU Student Housing, KU Parking and Transit, KU Public Safety and the Vice Provost of Student Affairs Office, all with the understanding that for the new students and their parents, they only had one chance to make a first impression. Everyone’s expertise was necessary. In a nine-hour period, more than 1,400 students moved into the Daisy Hill residence halls in temperatures over 101 degrees with the assistance of 250 cases of bottled water, 10 golf carts, more than 400 student volunteers and more than 250 staff members involved. Staff, administrators and parents offered positive feedback. 


2014-2015 Team Award

Applied Behavioral Science

The winning team will receive a certificate of congratulations and lunch with the provost. Team members are as follows:

  • Andrea Noltner, office manager
  • Anne Hamilton, office specialist
  • Kelly Spavin, office specialist

The winning team is small, but the tremendous amount of work they accomplished, their attention to detail and the passion to their project were anything but small. The team planned, prepared and hosted a 50th anniversary celebration of the human development and applied behavioral science graduate programs along with a reunion for all of their master’s and doctoral graduates, past faculty members and senior staff members. The celebration took place Oct. 24-26, 2014, and was packed with events, including a social lasting until 1 a.m. Noltner lead the project, Spavin constructed the website and developed lists of graduates, and Hamilton managed event details, including seeking out caterers and photographers. To compile the alumni information, the three spent countless hours gathering data for almost two years, consulting various resources: The KU Alumni Association, KU Endowment, faculty outlook contacts, rolodexes, dusty boxes hidden in forgotten corners of storage closets, Enroll & Pay, spreadsheets created by former staff members, graduation lists, Google and emails from other alumni and friends of the department. They shared the list of alumni they were able to develop, with the alumni association and KU Endowment so that they and the department can now raise funds more effectively across a much larger number of potential donors.

The team contacted almost 1,200 alumni and hosted almost 200 of them on campus and in Lawrence for the celebration. Attendees indicated how impressed they were with how seamlessly the event was planned, how much they enjoyed attending, and how welcome they felt coming back to campus for the weekend. 

One participant said, “Thank you and your staff for setting the occasion for a great experience. I met and talked with students that I had not seen for 25 or 30 years. The program was fascinating and educational.” Another said, “It was a grand event and a marvelous memory you put together.  I came away with renewed appreciation for our roots, gratitude for our relationships, and I am excited about our department and its future.”   

Students to study African languages with FLAS fellowships

Monday, May 18, 2015

LAWRENCE — The Kansas African Studies Center (KASC) has awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships to 19 students for the study of five African languages this summer and during the 2015-16 academic year.

The Center received $990,000 from the Department of Education over four years to support students in their pursuit of advanced training in six less commonly taught foreign languages (Arabic, Amharic, Kiswahili, Hausa, Somali and Wolof) and coursework in African area studies.

Some awardees will be studying Kiswahili, Wolof, Somali and Arabic on campus this summer in KU’s second annual Summer African Language Institute offered by the Department of African & African-American Studies and the Kansas African Studies Center. Other recipients will travel to Africa for an immersion experience through programs such as the Arabic Studies Summer Institute at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, led by Associate Professor Naima Boussofara.

FLAS funds are awarded each spring in a competitive process open to graduate and undergraduate students. The FLAS program began with the National Defense Education Act of 1958 and continues today under Title VI of the Higher Education Act of 1965. The program’s flexibility allows students to pursue their own interests in a variety of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, STEM fields and professional programs. FLAS fellowships have helped to produce KU graduates who are distinguished foreign language and area studies experts with knowledge that enriches government, business and higher education.

Summer 2015 FLAS Fellowships (undergraduate and graduate) provide up to $5,000 for summer tuition and a stipend of $2,500. undergraduate 2015-16 Academic Year FLAS Fellowships provide up to $10,000 for tuition and a $5,000 stipend. graduate 2015-16 Academic Year FLAS Fellowships provide up to $18,000 for tuition and a $15,000 stipend.

The summer 2015 KASC FLAS Fellowship recipients are as follows:

Sammy Badran, graduate student in political science, Arabic

Sonya Bailey, graduate student in global & international studies, Arabic

Destiny Coleman, undergraduate in social work, Somali

Anita Easterwood, graduate student in African & African-American studies, Kiswahili

Madeline Farron, graduate student in French & Italian, Wolof

Jamie Fuller, graduate student in African & African-American studies, Wolof

Morgan Hopson, undergraduate in global & international Studies, Arabic

Adam Jamieson, undergraduate in journalism, Kiswahili

Aminata Seck, graduate student in global & international Studies, Wolof

David Simon, undergraduate in African & African-American Studies, Kiswahili

Resalla Yousif, undergraduate in African & African-American Studies, Kiswahili

Kat Youtsey, undergraduate in history and German, Arabic.

Academic year 2015-2016 KASC FLAS Fellowship recipients:

Alison Andersen, undergraduate in African & African-American studies, Kiswahili

Sammy Badran, graduate student in political science, Arabic

Cal Bayer, undergraduate in chemical engineering, Arabic

Jamie Fuller, graduate student in African & African-American studies, Wolof

Lindsay Harroff, graduate student in communications, Kiswahili

Morgan Hopson, undergraduate in global & international studies, Arabic

Berlin Merlyn, graduate student in African & African-American studies, Kiswahili

Madison Nigus, undergraduate in human biology, Amharic

Megan Peat, undergraduate in political science, Arabic

Tessa Scott, undergraduate in linguistics and African & African-American studies, Kiswahili.

Four seniors named recipients of Dillard, Strickland awards

Friday, May 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — Four seniors at the University of Kansas have been named the recipients of university awards recognizing academic success, leadership and involvement.

Sara Anees, a Wichita senior majoring in journalism, and Micah Melia, a Prairie Village senior majoring in anthropology, are the winners of the Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award, which is presented to a graduating senior who has unselfishly contributed to the university through active campus involvement.

Darby Evans, a Leawood senior majoring in English and journalism, and Michael Garrett, a Lenexa senior majoring in Spanish and journalism, are the winners of the Agnes Wright Strickland Award, given annually to a graduating senior in recognition of a good academic record, demonstrated leadership in matters of university concern, respect among fellow students, and indications of future dedication to services at the university.

The Dillard Award was created in 1993 by family and friends to remember and honor Alexis F. Dillard.

“The most rewarding experience that I have had at KU is something I experience every day – it's my opportunity to be a Jayhawk,” Anees said. “I am so grateful for the support that I have from my family and communities at this school who have helped me succeed. As a student with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, I am prone to experiencing varying levels of discomfort and ability on a daily basis. There were times in the past four years that complications and unknowns with my health almost prevented me from returning to school. Despite that, I refused to allow pain, however severe, from interfering with my goals. My involvement and contributions at KU are a direct result of my appreciation for the opportunities I have been given. I strive to make the most of each day, no matter what. With this recognition of support, I feel that it is very important for me to give to others when I am able.”

Melia said of her award, “I’ve seen the most personal growth in myself from the four years I spent at the Center for Community Outreach. I started as a JayLEAD intern, became development director, then Mentors in the Lives of Kids coordinator, and this past year served as executive director. I’ve learned so much about KU and Lawrence through this work. Volunteering through the CCO got me connected both to more KU students, staff and faculty, but also to Lawrence community members and nonprofit agencies. It’s an honor to receive the university award that recognizes student involvement after the experiences I had with the CCO. It was always my goal to be a contributing member of the organization in a way that maintained the mission to meaningfully serve Lawrence and KU.”

The Strickland Award was established in 1953 in memory of Agnes Wright Strickland, member of the class of 1887. The award consists of a lifetime membership in the KU Alumni Association.

“It is impossible to say whether one KU experience is more rewarding than another simply because all of them have all been rewarding in their own way,” Evans said. “KU has provided me with such an incredible array of opportunities, so I've learned something unique from each. It's difficult to compare studying abroad for a semester in Barcelona to dancing onstage at Rock Chalk Revue to clocking daily hours at the SILC office, but each and every experience changed my life in some way.”

Garrett also reflected on his most rewarding experience at KU and how it related to his journey to receiving this award.

“Whenever anyone asks me this question, I always go back to when I was the executive director of The Big Event at KU 2014. There was a moment right before we started our kickoff ceremony where I stood on the stage we had set up at the Rec Center parking lot and looked out at all of the volunteers. We had approximately 3,000 KU students, faculty and staff show up at 10 a.m. on a Saturday to give their time helping Lawrence residents. It was an inspiring and humbling moment for me. Our team had been working relentlessly for an entire year for this event, and to see it all come to fruition, with all 3,000 volunteers there, was truly awe-inspiring.”

A list of all 2015 student award winners and the criteria for each award is available online.

Two outstanding seniors receive Smith, Tuttle awards

Friday, May 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — Two outstanding seniors at the University of Kansas have been named the recipients of major university awards for their academic achievements and leadership.

Kevin Simpson, a finance and accounting major from Mission Hills, is the recipient of the Caryl K. Smith Student Leader Award, which is presented to a graduating senior fraternity man or sorority woman with high academic achievement who has demonstrated involvement with, and commitment to, his/her chapter, the national organization, the greek community, the university and the Lawrence community.

Bryce Volk, a senior in in microbiology from Newton, is the recipient of the Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle Student Scholar Award, which is presented to a graduating senior scholarship hall man or woman currently residing in a scholarship hall. Recipients demonstrate academic focus, leadership in his/her scholarship hall and also commitment to KU and the Lawrence community.

The Caryl K. Smith Student Leader Award was established by the Panhellenic Association in 1993 in honor of Caryl K. Smith's dedication and support of the greek community during her tenure as dean of student life.

“Holding multiple positions of leadership within the Greek community was an incredibly rewarding experience for me,” Simpson said. “It was truly an honor to lead organizations and people who I have become so close with over the years, and I'm forever grateful for the relationships and experiences that KU Greek Life provided me. I was able to grow as a communicator, a leader and a person.”

The Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle Student Scholar Award was established in 2012 to recognize a single senior who is representative of what distinguishes the KU scholarship hall student: commitment both to academic excellence and the cooperative ideal of the scholarship hall system at the University of Kansas.

“The most impactful experience I have had at KU has been my time as Proctor of Krehbiel Scholarship Hall,” Volk said. “I have had so many incredible interactions working with residents from different backgrounds and nations. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without their help.”

A list of all 2015 student award winners and the criteria for each award is available online.

College alumna, education professor recieve award for 'smart girls' book

Friday, May 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas professor and alumna have received a Silver Medal for Education award for a book on young women's giftedness, self-actualization and barriers to achievement.

"Smart Girls in the 21st Century: Understanding Talented Girls and Women" was one of 160 finalists for the Independent Book Publishers Association Benjamin Franklin Awards. The authors are Barbara Kerr, professor of education, and co-author Robyn Mckay, a KU alumna.

In their award-winning publication, which was released in November 2014, Kerr and Mckay examine education, adolescence, college, eminent women and career guidance. The book transcends the binaries of poor vs. privileged, gifted vs. ungifted and feminine vs. masculine.  The authors show how talent, gender and privilege intertwine in the lives of smart girls.

They also present a model of female talent development that offers clear, research-based guidance for parents, teachers and policy leaders who want to provide opportunities for all bright girls to achieve their full potential. Some of their recommendations have become controversial, given the popularity of ideas in psychology about the importance of “grit” and “mindset.” With regard to “grit” Kerr said, “Girls don’t need to be encouraged to be persistent and perfectionistic in all tasks – instead, they need to learn “selective conscientiousness – having grit only in the area of their passion.”

With regard to “mindset,” Kerr and Mckay acknowledge that a “growth mindset," which leads young people to believe that they can grow their intelligence through application to learning, is better than a “fixed mindset," which leads them to believe that their intelligence is stable and unchanging. They fervently disagree, however, with the popularization of the idea that bright girls should not be told that they are gifted. 

“It is not whether or not to tell your girl she is gifted but how to tell her,” Kerr said. “Bright girls need to know specifically what their intelligence and achievement test scores mean, how the tests may be biased, how their areas of strength relate to their interests, how this snapshot can be used to guide future learning.” 

On a foundation of the most recent psychological science on intelligence, personality, sex role socialization and human development, they show how bright girls grow up in societies where parenting, education and the media turn them away from the development of their talents. 

The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, which include 55 categories recognizing excellence in book editorial and design, are regarded as one of the highest national honors for indie publishers and self-published authors. The awards are administered by IBPA with help from more than 150 book publishing professionals, including librarians, bookstore owners, reviewers, designers, publicity managers and editors.

Kerr currently serves as the Williamson Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology within the Department of Psychology & Research (soon to be Educational Psychology), works with Lawrence Creates Makerspace and is the author of six books, among them: A Handbook for Counseling Gifted and Talented; Smart Girls; Smart Boys. She also directs a laboratory for the study of creativity.

Co-author McKay earned her bachelor's degree in biology and her doctorate in counseling psychology from KU. She's the founder and creative director of she{ology}, a leadership and coaching program for bright women.

More information about the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards is available here

The Department of Psychology & Research in Education (soon to be Educational Psychology) is housed in the School of Education, a nationally ranked school serving educators and health, sport & exercise science professionals to prepare them as leaders. 

New leader announced for community health research group

Friday, May 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — Vincent Francisco has been selected to oversee the leadership team at the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development, one of 14 affiliated research centers of the University of Kansas Life Span Institute.

He will also hold the Kansas Health Foundation Professorship in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

He will assume both positions upon the retirement of Work Group founding director Stephen Fawcett on Aug. 14.

Francisco, who previously served as associate director of the KU Work Group and assistant research professor, comes back to KU after 11 years at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he was an associate professor with the Department of Public Health Education and director of the Doctor of Public Health Program.

He continued his ties to KU in the intervening years as a partner of the WHO (World Health Organization) Collaborating Centre for Community Health and Development, which operates under the auspices of the KU Work Group as one of the few such centers in the United States.

 “We are so pleased to attract Vince to the leadership team,” Fawcett said. “An internationally recognized leader, he brings deep experience in the science and practice of community health improvement. His passion for discovery and application will help the KU Work Group have an even greater impact in its next 40 years.”

“I could not be happier to welcome Vince back to the university in this role,” said LSI director John Colombo. “He brings energy, enthusiasm and a tremendous work ethic to the task of sustaining the productivity and impact of the Work Group.”

Francisco’s research interests lie in community health and development, especially for marginalized groups. He had a major role in the development of the Work Group’s signature achievement, the Community Tool Box, an online resource for community development and public health used by more than 5.8 million people from 230 countries last year.

Francisco’s current research portfolio includes research on factors affecting community and systems change, building the capacity of community members to engage in community health improvement initiatives and environmental changes associated with improvement at the community level. 

College presents faculty with awards for research, teaching and mentoring

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LAWRENCE – Faculty contributions in research, teaching and mentoring were recognized recently with a series of awards from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas. The prizes acknowledge outstanding professors for commitment to advising and teaching to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as innovation in research. The following awards were presented this spring.

Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship in Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Budig Teaching Professorship Award recognizes faculty in the social and behavioral sciences who demonstrate a profound and excellent commitment to teaching. Winners receive a $5,000 prize and carry the title of Gene A. Budig Teaching Professor for the academic year.

  • Mark Joslyn, associate professor of political science

Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award

The Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award honors a unit in the College that is doing exemplary work to improve undergraduate student advising with an award of $1,000.

  • Department of Speech-Language-Hearing

Byron A. Alexander Graduate Mentor Award

The Byron A. Alexander Graduate Mentor Award has been given to faculty in the College since 1993. Winners have helped graduate students make the most of their experience and opportunities at KU and receive a $1,000 prize.

  • Nyla Branscombe, professor of psychology

John C. Wright Graduate Mentor Award

The John C. Wright Graduate Mentor Award has been given to faculty in the College since 2002. Winners have helped graduate students make the most of their experience and opportunities at KU and receive a $750 prize.

  • Matt Gillispie, clinical associate professor of speech-language-hearing

J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award

The J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award honors exceptional commitment to undergraduate advising. Students nominate the professors for enhancing their experience at KU through the advising relationship. The honor comes with a $1,000 award.

  • Judith McCrea, professor of visual art
  • Shannon Portillo, associate professor of public affairs & administration
  • Lorie Vanchena, associate professor of Germanic languages & literatures

Grant K. Goodman Undergraduate Mentor Award

The Grant K. Goodman Undergraduate Mentor Award recognizes faculty who are selfless with their time and experience and continue to have lasting mentoring relationships with students long after they leave the classroom. Winners receive a $1,000 award.

  • Kristi Neufeld, associate professor of molecular biosciences

Tony Arnold Faculty Research Stipend

The Tony Arnold Faculty Research Stipend is awarded to a faculty member who submits an outstanding General Research Fund proposal. Winners receive $1,200 to fund their research projects.

  • Michael Crawford, professor of anthropology
  • Jessica Gerschultz, assistant professor of African & African-American studies

Funds for the awards are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation 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.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.


Subscribe to RSS - news