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The Campus Buzz from President Allison Garrett

January 30, 2019

Shattering the Record

In his Emporia State debut at the UCM Invite in Warrensburg, Missouri, Carey McLeodbecame the first Hornet to go over 25 feet indoors in the men’s long jump. He won the event with a mark of 25-01.25 (7.65m) to break Jessie Gadison’s 26-year-old record of 24-08.50 set at the 1993 Mule Relays. McLeod’s mark is an automatic qualifier and ranks second in the nation. See the jump here.

A Quarter Century

Two outreach programs from the Department of Math and Economics celebrate 25 years in 2019. Both target girls wanting to learn more about STEM fields. Sonia Kovalevsky Daywill bring about 60 high school junior girls and their teachers to campus February 14. The day recognizes the participants’ accomplishments and Kovalevsky, the first recognized woman with a Ph.D. to make significant contribution to the field of mathematics before the 20th century. On April 6, 220 young Kansas women in Grades 6 through 8 will participate in Enhancing Your Future with Mathematics and Science,pictured above. They will hear from female professionals in STEM fields.


A New Year

Watch Dr. Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas, read an original poem at the inauguration Jan. 14, of new Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. Link here…


Giving Back

A project to relieve stress during finals week ended up raising $1,200 for the United Way of the Flint Hills. Virtual Learning Librarian Bethanie O’Dell and Dr. Terri Summey of Reference and Research Services created a Harry Potter-themed escape roomin the library. After winter commencement, they reopened the room to the Emporia community. Participants paid $5 or $10 each, depending on age, for the opportunity to find clues and solve puzzles to escape the room within 45 minutes. 


Arts & Sciences

Congratulations to student editors and reporters of The ESU Bulletin who won awards from the Kansas Press Association. Editor in Chief Sarah Spoon received first place in investigative reporting; former Managing Editor Allie Crome received second place in series reporting, and Managing Editor Margaret Mellott directed the effort that received second place for best newspaper redesign. The Bulletin, which competed in the nondaily division II category, also received second place for best newspaper website.

Congratulations to Dr. Connie Schrock who received a certificate of merit for excellence in advising-faculty advisorfrom NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising Regiona 7. Connie is a professor of mathematics.

Congratulations to alumnus Bekah Lane (B.S. Biology 2016) who spent last summer working for Whale and Dolphin Conservationin Plymouth, Massachusetts. Each week she spent three days on the boat and three days in the office as a research intern collecting opportunistic sighting and behavioral data on the humpback whale. She is teaching in a Wichita high school while working to find the best fit for a graduate program.

Congratulations to ESU alumnus Dr. Hanna Kim (BID 2009; MS Biology 2012) whose collaboration with scientists from The University of Pennsylvania and around the world led to the discovery of new small moleculesthat exhibit neuroprotective activity in Parkinson’s disease models. 

Congratulations to Amanda Simon, a graduate student in history, who received a 2019 Robert J. Grover Scholarship.


Academic Affairs

The ACES Tutor Development Program, led by Gieselle Taylor, received Stage Two, Level 1 approval from the College Reading and Learning Association’sInternational Tutor Training Program certification team.



Braxton Marstall earned another post season honor to lead a total of three Hornets on the Don Hansen All-Super Region Three Football team. The senior quarterback from Emporia was named second-team quarterback and was joined on the All-Super Region Team by Third-Team selections Landon Nault at running back and Jace McDown at linebacker.  

Emporia State freshman Carey McLeod of Kingstown, Jamaica, was named the MIAA Men’s Field Athlete of the Week after breaking a 26-year-old school record at the UCM Invite (above). The same day, he was named the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II National Men’s Field Athlete of the Week.  

Emporia State’s Tyra Jones led the Lady Hornets to two road wins to pick up her third MIAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Weekaward this week.


The Teachers College

During travel to a conference in Hong Kong, Dr. Dan Stiffler and Dr. Neal Luo alsovisited three different universities in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China. They met and discussed potential collaborations with the university administrators from South China Normal University, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and Guangdong Polytechnic Normal University.

Faculty and students of the Art Therapy program held a retreat at ESU’s Ross Reservation in November to work on class projects.

The Kansas Masonic Literacy Center is sponsoring “Read to Succeed”at Timmerman Elementary School in Emporia this semester. Thirty volunteers including ESU students and staff, Emporia Masons and members of the Eastern Star are listening to 30 second, third,and fourth graders read for 30 minutes each week to help the improve their reading fluency and comprehension. The program started January 16 and ends April 26. 

Nineteen Kansas educators learned recently they are among the 3,907 nationwide who achieved the highest professional credential they can earn —first-time certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standardsin 2018.The teachers received guidance from Emporia State’s Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification, which has a 78 percent initial certification rate for teachers achieving national board certification over the past 13 years. This is nearly twice the national initial certification rate of 40 percent.

The Kansas Masonic Literacy Center collaborated with the Community Daylight Masonic Lodge in Wichita to sponsor a Winter Recess Book Projectat Hyde Elementary School over the recent winter break. Each student received an appropriate book compliments of the Daylight Lodge and the Literacy Center to read over the winter break. When school resumed January 3, teachers used the books as a read-aloud and comprehension activity. Preliminary results indicate 110 families reported the students read the whole book, 17 read part of the book and only 10 families reported they did not read the book.


Library Science

SLIM helped sponsor current Oregon student Lia Gutierrez’s participation in the Guadalajara Book Fair in Mexico in November. Her engagement in the book fair was a part of the “Libros for Oregon” initiative, which purchases Spanish language materials for public libraries in Oregon. 

Congratulations to Lisa Brunick (Nebraska MLS 1999), who was named South Dakota Library Association’s 2018 Librarian of the Year. Lisa is a reference librarian/instruction coordinator at Augustana University’s Mikkelsen Library.



Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Zhou for receiving a 2018­–2019 i3 Grant(Innovate, Inspire, & Ignite). This year’s focus is on designing, developing, and implementing Open Educational Resources. 

The Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge is a venture idea competition that is open to all students from Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College, with $4,500 in cash prizes. The Elevator Challenge is the kick-off event for competitors on February 12. 



Dr. Dipak Ghosh, professor of economics, presented at the first international conference on “Impact of Current Events on the Future of Businesses,”organized by the B-school, Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management and supported by the Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia.

Dr. Annie Opat presented two sessions at the Southeast Reading Recovery and Early Literacy Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 16-18. Opat’s topics included “Shaping our Language to Facilitate Independent Learning” and “Providing a Clear Focus: Learning to Look at Print.” Three teacher leaders affiliated with Emporia State University also attended: Christine Coulter (Tonganoxie School District), Nichole Kuhn (Topeka School District) and Rita Vonada (Lincoln and Hays School Districts). 

Two Oregon SLIM alumni have been involved in a pilot webinar program offered by the Academic and College Research Libraries chapterof the Oregon Library Association (OLA). Last month Candise Branum (Oregon MLS 2009) presented on “Critical Library Management.” This month, Colleen Sanders (Oregon MLS 2015) presents on “Geek out, don’t freak out: How to chill out and learn to love assessment.” 

Dr. Dan Stiffler and Dr. Neal Luo presented their research titled “Student quantitative course-based evaluation of faculty teaching: What non-modiļ¬able factors make a difference?”at the Hong Kong International Conference on Education, Psychology and Societyin December 2018.

Dr. Dennis Kear, executive director of the Kansas Masonic Literacy Centerand Jodi Case, Lyon County Mobilizing Literacy liaison, presented “Building Better Brains in Young Children: Physical Well-Being, Attachment and Play” to 24 caregivers and prekindergarten teachers on January 17 at Emporia USD 253’s Mary Herbert Administration Building.

Dr. Terri Summey, reference and research services, and Dr. Shawna Shane, health, physical education, and recreation, presented “It’s a Matter of Life and Health:  Strategies for Helping Youth to Become Health Literate” at the International Conference on the Health Risks of Youth January 2-5 in Los Cabos, Mexico. 

Dr. Sunnin Keosybounheuang, Dr. Joan Brewer, and Dr. Shawna Shane presented “Simple Health Education Strategies” at the International Conference on the Health Risks of YouthJanuary 2-5 in Los Cabos, Mexico.



Six mathematics faculty and two students attended the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore on January 7 through 12. JMM is the largest math meeting held in the world. While there:

  • ESU math major Shibo Gao and Dr. Qiang Shi co-presented the Inspired By Math program during the poster presentation.
  • Dr. Betsy Yanik presented the Si Se Puede program at the poster presentation.
    ESU computer science major, Song Yang, presented undergraduate work she and Dr. Shi, her advisor, completed. Her work was titled, “Acoustic Classification of Bird Species Using Wavelets and Learning Algorithms.”  
  • Drs. Thomas Mahoney and Chad Wiley sat on a panel discussion titled, “Project NExT Workshop on Standards-based Grading Tools and Tips for Successful Implementation.”
  • Dr. Brian Hollenbeck presented “The SIR Game: Modeling an Epidemic.”



Libby Schmanke, art therapy, wrote a chapter, “Art Therapy Applications & Substance Abuse,” in the new text “Expressive Therapies within the Medical Model: Clinical Applications.”



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