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I'm A Hornet from President Allison Garrett

February 15, 2018

Helping Others

Hornet student-athletes are ranked No. 17 in Division II schools for community service hours. Our athletes organize the Senior Prom for the Emporia community each year, work with the Make-A-Wish organization to sponsor a child and also volunteer at Food for Students and Camp Alexander.


Arts and Sciences 

Dr. Brent Thomas, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, joined nine students and six faculty from the departments of biology and chemistry at the 16th Annual K-INBRE Symposium in Overland Park on January 13 and14. K-INBRE, the Kansas-IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, provides research funds to Emporia State faculty and students.

ESU biology was well-represented at this year's Kansas Natural Resource Conference, held this year in Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, with 25 students and six faculty attending.

Four faculty members and 21 students traveled to Des Moines, Iowa, for the annual festival for Region 5 of Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Commendations for outstanding work in the region were presented to senior Dustin Bittel for his stage management of “Family Furniture” and to alum Nathan Dale Short for his direction of “Six Characters in Search of an Author.”  Susan Mai also received a commendation for her costume designs for “Sense and Sensibility.” 



Luke Rodina (Emporia State graduate in 2006, Biology) and former member of the ESU Cross Country/Track and Field teams finished 51st at the USATF National Cross Country Championships held in Tallahassee, Florida, on February 3. Rodina is a major in the U.S Marines and competes with the U.S. Marine Corps team. 

Emporia State came away with five provisional marks, six event championships and a school record in two different meets on February 3. Lati Yeargin set a school record with a provisional qualifying time of 7.61 in the prelims of the 60m at the Herm Wilson Invitational.  

The Emporia State men's tennis team is slated for fifth and the women seventh in the MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll released February 5. 

Emporia State's Latiyera Yeargin has earned MIAA Women's Track Athlete of the Week honors. Lati is currently ranked second in the 60m in the MIAA and is 13th in the nation. 

On February 8, Emporia State soccer coach Bryan Sailer announced the signing of eight high school players that will join the Hornets in 2018. Six of the eight signees are from Kansas, while the other two players hail from Missouri and Colorado. The class has three forwards, two mid-fielders, two defenders and a keeper. 


Information Technology

The Learning Spaces team within IT recently installed some exciting new technology in the Math Department. These 27-inch interactive surfaces allow faculty to draw equations and engage with software applications via a stylus. The tablets sit at a comfortable 30-degree angle and faculty can rest their hands on the surface. These replace the podium monitor, and the stylus can serve as the mouse. If interested in learning more, contact the Learning Technologies team in IT.



Dr. Liz Diers’ accounting students are participating once again in the VITA program. Anyone needing help with income tax returns can drop them off at Cremer Hall 304 on February 14, 21 and 28 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.mPlease do not bring in complicated returns. 

Congratulations to Dr. Joyce Zhou, associate professor of marketing, for receiving the Presidential Award for Diversity

The Emporia Area Chamber and Visitors Bureau named Dynamic Discs as the 2017 Business of the Year. Congratulations to business alumni Jeremy Rusco (’06 BSB, business administration) for his success, which started in 2005 as his college-based eBay hobby while he attended Emporia State University.  

School of Business faculty, Dean Ed Bashaw and students enjoyed a day in Wichita at Koch IT Insights Day.

On February 5, 36 teams pitched their ideas for a chance to win $100 at the Elevator Challenge. Rich Avery, owner of Pizza Ranch, judged the event. Winners of the Elevator Challenge were: Carissa McAfee, best pitch; Austin Lingenfelter and Mason Esch, best idea; and Bailey Reinhardt, judges choice.

Dr. Joyce Zhou, associate professor of marketing, was mentioned in the article “VR and AR: Learners as Creators and World Builders of Our Immersive Future” in EDUCAUSE


Library and Information Management

Current South Dakota SLIM student Calla Jarvie was recently named as library director at the Rock County Community Library in Luverne, Minnesota. Jarvie previously worked as Library Associate at Siouxland Libraries in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  

ESU SLIM was ranked No. 23 overall by Master’s Programs Guide’s published ranking of the top 50 institutions for online Master of Library Science degree programs of 2018.  

SLIM also was included in two rankings from College Choice — Best Master’s (No. 31) and Most Affordable Online Master’s (No. 18).


The Teacher’s College 

Every child deserves great teachers, which is why Emporia State is part of a coalition called Teach Kansas City, consisting of colleges, universities, school districts, nonprofits, businesses and foundations. An event launching the effort to recruit more teachers for Kansas City was held February 8.

The February 3 presentation by Dr. Enilda Romero-Hall, (BS – Business Administration, 2007; MS – Instructional Design & Technology, 2008) on “Innovation and Development” will be available on TEDxUTampa. 

Tina Brackman, current graduate art therapy student, has pieces being displayed at the Creations of Hope Gallery in Topeka through February and March.

The Family Literacy Program based at Emporia State is expanding its services. Renee Salazar in The Teachers College is coordinating so tutors will be available in the areas of math, literacy and reading in grades K-9 at schools in Emporia, Americus, Lebo and Olpe.

Seung Oh (MS – Art Therapy, 2015) is working on his Ph.D. in Counselor Education at the University of Central Florida.

Alumnus Bob Hartsook (BS, MS 1970), was profiled in the fall 2017 print edition of the SigEp journal. The article looks at Hartsooks billion-dollar fundraising career.

Dr. Lee Anne Coester is directing a new program, Math Leadership Institute, at the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence at ESU. The program educates and supports coaches and teacher leaders in elementary mathematics. Ten teachers from multiple districts come to JIEE six times during the 2017-18 school year, checking out classroom manipulatives and getting professional development.



Phil Kelly’s article, “The United States and the Geopolitics of Water: Human Need, Mississippi River Barges, and Offshore Eurasian Balancing,” will be published later this spring in the journal Geopolitics, History, and International Relations.



Members of the School of Library & Information Management presented at the 2018 Association for Library and Information Science Education Conference in Denver:

  • Dr. Sandy Valenti presented her Works in Progress poster, “Instructing the Instructional Librarian: Best Practices for MLS Programs.”
  • Dr. Mirah Dow and Dr. Kenneth Thompson presented “Co-Teaching Across Academic Disciplines” for school library special interests group “The expanding universe of school library pedagogy, practice, and research.” 
  • Dr. Jenny Ma presented “5.3 Juried Papers: Teaching, Advising, and Scholarship.”
  • Ph.D. alumnus Tracie Kreighbaum placed third for her poster.

Dr. Kevin Rabas, chair of the Department of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism, presented a program at the Emporia Public Library on February 3. His topic, “Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary,” is a presentation as Poet Laureate of Kansas.

Presentations at the Kansas Natural Resource Conference in Manhattan: 

  • Jeffrey Anderson, Jr., (graduate student, Biology) participated on a panel for a discussion titled "Diversity in Conservation," where the issue of under-represented gender and ethnic diversity among natural resource professionals was discussed.
  • Bin Li and David A. McKenzie, “Climate Impact on Cell Anatomy of Woody Plant Invaders in the Flint Hills Region of Kansas” oral presentation.
  • Alexander G. Barnes, Brenda A. Koerner, and Curtis Leitch, “Altering Fire Season to Manage an Invasive Legume, Sericea Lespedeza” oral presentation.
  • Brenda A. Koerner and Wenji Wang, “History Matters: The Influence of Land-use Legacy on the Allelopathic Potential of an Invasive Legume, Lespedeza cuneate” oral presentation.
  • Heather M. Kraus and William E. Jensen, “Nest Success and Brood Parasitism of Birds in Response to Grazing of CRP Grasslands” oral presentation.
  • Benjamin S. Wilson and William E. Jensen, “Response of Bird Communities to Cattle Grazing and Plant Diversity in CRP Grasslands” oral presentation.
  • Susan Steffen, Ben Neely, and William Blair, “Bluegill: Baitfish or Sportfish?” oral presentation.
  • Fraser Watson, Gregory Houseman, Mary Liz Jameson, William Jensen, Molly Reichenborn, “Effects of Precipitation, Grazing and Initial Planting Practice on CRP Plant Diversity Across Kansas” oral presentation.
  • Alexandra Morphew, Mary Liz Jameson, Gregory Houseman, William Jensen, Molly Reichenborn, and Fraser Watson, “Assessing the Benefits of Forbs and Grazing on CRP Land for Wild Pollinator Populations” oral presentation.
  • Kelsey L. Porter, Brenda Koerner, and William Jensen, “Effect of Freezing Temperatures on the Regrowth of Lespedeza cuneate” poster presentation.
  • Ali Alamri*, Saad Alqahtani*, and Erika C. Martin, “Pilot Study: Building a Non-Recirculating Microcosm System and Testing How Temperature Influences Growth of Southern Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus erythrogaster)” poster presentation.





Achievement - Emporia State University

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