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I'm a Hornet from President Shonrock

February 18, 2015
  • With an enrollment of 5,845 students on Tuesday — the 20th day of classes for Spring 2015 — we mark the seventh consecutive semester of growth since Spring 2012. Our total is an increase of 110 students over Spring 2014.

  • Emporia State is home to students from over 52 different countries who bring their unique culture to campus. Watch our TV spot:

  • Our recent auditions for I’m A Hornet drew 211 students over three days. That’s a lot of students interested in being Faces of Emporia State. Last year, we had 140 total students during two audition periods in spring and fall.

  • We announced the 2015 University Service Citation Awards last week. The annual awards, begun in 1980 by the Emporia State University Alumni Association, will be presented to Gary Parks of Rose Hill, Mark and Pat Sevier of Kansas City, Kansas, and Ron Thomas of Emporia. They will be presented during the volunteer appreciation luncheon Saturday, May 30. More here:

  • It was a week of announcements as the 2015 Distinguished Alumni were also selected. They are Retired U.S. Army Col. Guy C. Beougher of McLean, Virginia, executive director of operations for the Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Army; Richard “Dick” Hawk of Leawood, chairman and chief executive officer of Hawk Management & Financial Services and owner of Gaslight Grill, both in Leawood; Dr. Ilene K. Kleinsorge of Corvallis, Oregon, executive dean, Division of Business and Engineering, dean of College of Business, Oregon State University; John D. McPherson Jr. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, retired president and chief operating officer of Florida East Coast Railway; and Lana Scrimsher Oleen of Manhattan, Kansas, owner of Lana Oleen Consulting LLC. They will be honored during Homecoming festivities in October. For more about these exceptional alumni:

  • Plenty of Hornets were at the Kansas Statehouse last week. On Tuesday, Feb. 10, Michael Shonrock presented testimony to the House Education Budget committee. Student leaders including Associated Student Government President Tyler Huddleston, Vice President Victoria Harmon and Public Affairs Director Michael Wilson joined their counterparts from the Regent universities to inform legislators about issues important to students. And on Wednesday, Feb. 11, three students participated in Kansas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. They were Charissa Forsythe, Junior, Emporia (Faculty mentor: Diane Nutbrown, Physical Sciences); Maria Castro Munoz, Senior, Lima, Peru (Faculty mentor: Tim Burnett, Biological Sciences); and Katy Schwinghamer, Senior, Hartford, (Faculty mentor: Marcia Schulmeister, Physical Sciences).

  • Emporia State Alumni employed at Newman Regional Health are showcased on a recent video. Lynn Redeker, Tammy Black, Cathy Pimple, Kayla Baker, Tyson Allen, Kayla Krueger, Bobby Johnson and Heather Aylward shared their passions and past experiences while attending Emporia State. The video will be shown at the women’s basketball game on Feb. 25.

  • Moving forward — check out these incredible before-and-after photos of the progress being made on the Emporia State University campus.

  • Over 300 Emporia State student-athletes and support students were honored during basketball games Thursday, Feb. 12 for earning spots on the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll during the 2014 calendar year. They had to achieve a 3.0 grade point average in either Spring 2014 or Fall 2014 to be included. Each of the athletes also received a personalized congratulatory email from President Shonrock.

  • Speaking of athletes, Spencer Allen, who played basketball for the Hornets from 2005 to 2009, has returned to campus as the new assistant director of athletic development at the Emporia State University Foundation.

  • Building Services employee David Rodriguez, known to many students as “Uncle Dave,” received the Student Athlete Advisory Committee award for his work with student athletes during the Feb. 12 basketball games.

  • Since 2000, scholarship distribution for male and female athletes at Emporia State has more closely represented the student population than the ten Big 12 schools, Wichita State and the four Division II schools in Kansas, according to an article in the Topeka Capital-Journal that studied Title IX discrepancies. The full article:

  • Welcome, Hornets! During the month of January, Emporia’s Newman Regional Health welcomed 45 babies. Emporia State University in partnership with the Alumni Association presented each of these newborns with a Corky’s Crew onesie. 

  • Mayra Aguirre ’03, executive director of the Hispanic Development Fund at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, spoke to several student groups as part of Blue Key’s “I Love ESU” week. The “I Love ESU” week is part of the University’s Founders’ Day celebration, and Blue Key and the Alumni Association teamed up to bring Mayra to campus.

Founders’ Day

    • Emporia State celebrated Founders’ Day on February 13 under the theme “Hornets for the Common Good.” Students provided their views on the meaning of “common good” in a short video ( and Philosophy Professor Charles Brown, 2014 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor, shared his views of the common good. Said Brown, “Each person is both an individual and a member of a community. Most of us are members of many communities. We need to cultivate both our individual and our social nature. Thriving societies both require and cultivate robust and creative individuals just as creative individuals require and nourish thriving societies and the common good.”

    • This year commemorates the 150th year of classes being held here in Emporia. Lyman Kellogg held KSN’s first day of class with 18 students on February 15, 1865.  Alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and community members enjoyed a luncheon and program as part of the celebration. A special guest at the luncheon was Donna Russell of Emporia, great-granddaughter of Ellen Mathilda Cowles, one of the 18 students in the first class at attend Kansas State Normal.

    • Members of the Kellogg Society, which consists of donors who have made a planned gift to Emporia State University, enjoyed a presentation on the University’s strategic plan and master plan following the Founders’ Day lunch. 

    • Roe R. Cross Distinguished professors played an integral role with the Founders’ Day celebration. Besides Dr. Brown’s discussion of common good, Dr. Mel Storm of English, Modern Languages and Journalism, awarded two scholarships to students who entered an essay competition. The 42 submitted essays on “How Emporia State has changed my life” were read by seven Roe Cross professors with semi-finalists sent to guest judge, alumnus Kay Alden. Second-place winner was Morgan Penner, a student in the early childhood master’s program, who received $863 for telling about “Becoming A Hornet” as a working mother (her essay is at First place and $1,000 went to Ebrahim Kayali, who is studying computer sciences and intends to earn a Ph.D. in engineering. Ebrahim’s essay, “City of Science and Blood,” tells of fleeing certain death in his native Syria for the hope of a new life through his education at Emporia State ( His two older brothers, Molham and Mohammad, are also earning degrees here.

  • During the alumni board’s winter meeting on Feb. 14, Brian Denton presented an update from our government relations team on the Kansas legislative session thus far; DenaSue Potestion, president/CEO of the ESU Foundation, shared the continued success of the Now & Forever campaign (currently at 76% or $34.5 million of the $45 million working goal); Tyler Curtis, alumni relations executive director, provided an update on the progress in aligning alumni and university strategic plans, and Michael Shonrock gave brief remarks about the positive momentum at the university and within the surrounding community.

  • The Fan-Lin Safety Workshop sponsored by the Office of International Education provided a series of speakers to educate students. The presentations included the Emporia Fire Department on cooking safety and testing smoke alarms, Emporia Police Department on pedestrian safety, Emporia State Police and Safety on personal safety and seeking emergency assistance, ESU Student Wellness on health preparedness and safety for extreme heat and extreme cold and ESU Emergency Management on severe thunderstorm and tornado preparedness. The workshop is an evolution from the Fan-Lin Fire Prevention Workshop created to honor Yawei Fan and Zheng Lin, two ESU international students who died in an apartment fire in 2011.

  • On Saturday, Feb. 7, 200 students, parents and guests toured campus and residence halls and dined in Hornets Nest during the first Black & Gold Visit Day of the spring semester.

  • Carrie Boettcher, university emergency manager, is serving as the 2015 chair of the Local Emergency Planning Committee for Lyon County Emergency Management.

  • The Emporia State softball team, ranked No. 18, opened its 2015 season Feb. 13 in Bentonville, Arkansas. The team split two games on the opening day of the 8-State Classic with a 4-2 win over Harding University and a 7-2 loss to Arkansas Tech. On Saturday, the women swept two games, defeating Drury University 3-0 in the first game and Northwestern Oklahoma 7-6 in the second game. Sunday’s schedule of the three-day event was canceled for weather.

  • Weather also changed the schedule for ESU baseball. The team defeated Bemidji State 8-1 on Saturday. Sunday’s doubleheader against Bemidji was moved to Monday, then later canceled for weather.

  • Campus improvements continue! The curb and gutter project along Highland Street is nearly complete; the only item to be done is the entrance into the tunnel. Work on the sidewalk along the north side of the new curb and gutter will start in the near future. The facilities greenhouse near the art annex is now demolished. Work is proceeding to clean up and grade this area off Highland Street area for landscaping.

  • Special guests on campus recently were 60 sophomores, juniors, and seniors from the four high schools in Kansas City, Kansas (USD 500), five teachers and retired USD 500 Assistant Superintendent (and ESU Alum) John Rios. They spent Feb. 9 on campus learning about elementary and secondary education, the influence of technology on teaching and learning, orientation to teacher preparation, becoming active on campus as university students and preparing for college admissions. They also read to 60 kindergarten students from Riverside Elementary School in Emporia and ate lunch in the Hornet’s Nest.

  • Emporia State had four event champions at the Herm Wilson Invitational track and field meet at Wichita State on Feb. 14. Andrew Etheridge continued his dominance in the 60m hurdles turning in identical 8.05 times to win both the prelims and the finals in provisional qualifying time. Duke Tibbs won the 200m in a time of 21.89 that ranks fourth all-time at Emporia State and should convert to one of the top 10 times in the nation this year. Donald Wilcox went 22-08.50 (6.94m) to win the long jump. Emporia State also had a provisional qualifier in Sam Saidi who cleared 6-10.75 (2.10m) to finish second in the high jump. Morgan Brant had a provisional qualifier in the high jump as she cleared 5-07.00 (1.70m) to claim first place. Peyton Weiss improved her provisional mark in the long jump with a leap of 18-05.00 (5.61m) to place second. 



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