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I'm a Hornet from President Allison Garrett

February 24, 2016

Congratulations to Matt Seimears (Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education), Dusti Howell (Instructional Design and Technology), Chris Pettit (Physical Sciences), and Joseph Kern (Information Technology) who received a No Child Left Behind Improving Teacher Quality competitive grant titled FAN-STEM 1 (Fredonia, Altoona-Midway, Neodesha- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- Initiative) in the amount of $194,820.  The funding is for 19 months and is to be used to improve the content knowledge and instruction of elementary teachers working in high-need areas of Kansas.  The grant funding period began on February 15, 2016, and ends September 15, 2017. 


The ESU Flute Choir will perform at KMEA, the state music convention at Century Plaza II in Wichita on February 26. The performance will be at 11:35 in 203 Birch at the Century II. Under the direction of Dr. Kate Bergman, the flute choir was selected based on an audition recording sent in last spring. Dr. Bergman will also be presenting a flute clinic at the convention.


And if you want to see the flute choir in action, they opened the story WIBW TV in Topeka did about our Founders’ Day celebration on February 12. The story and video are here: And a photo album of the event is online at


Also at Founders’ Day, our two winners in the $1863 Scholarship essay competition were announced. Both are biology students. Bill Blair won $1,000 for his essay, which is online at Bekah Lane received $863 for the second-place essay, online at


WIBW TV also came to campus on February 11 to showcase our Sonia Kovalevsky Mathematics Day. Thanks to Professor Marvin Harrell for sharing about the event during the interview. Marvin and Professor Betsy Yanik work hard year-round on this and other STEM outreach efforts. Full video is here:


On Saturday, February 13, the first 25 PreK-12 teachers and school librarians specializing in information, technology and scientific literacy attended class with Dr. Kenneth Thompson and Dr. Mirah Dow on the Emporia campus. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services.


We were pleased to welcome Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) to campus on February 16. He toured our department of nursing and also heard about learning technologies. A photo album from the visit is here: and a video of the senator using our Lightboard is here:


Our weapons policy task force began formal work on Friday with its first meeting. The group plans to have draft policies developed by May 25. For more:


Approximately 226 students were recognized at the First-Year Recognition Reception for outstanding GPAs during their first semester at ESU. A photo album from the event is online at


Quarterback Brent Wilson has earned second-team All-American honors from the Don Hansen Football Committee. Receivers Kavaski Ervin and Mitchell Foote along with kicker Austin Morton were named Honorable Mention All-Americans. For more:


Emporia State’s track and field teams used the last weekend before the MIAA Championships as a tune-up and came home with four provisional qualifiers, three event championships and four runner-up finishes at the Nebraska Tune-up and K-State Steve Miller Open last Friday. For more:


Kudos to two alums of The Teachers College. Kim Curtis, gifted facilitator in Salina Public Schools, served on the KSDE Gifted Standards for Educators revision team with Dr. Connie Phelps. Kelly Reynolds, gifted facilitator in Kansas City Public Schools, serves as President of the Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented and Creative.


Emporia State was included in a sports feature on KSNT TV of Topeka. The story, “Defining a Student Athlete,” included an interview with Jordan Reed, ESU freshman football and track and field athlete, and Dr. Scott Water of The Teachers College. To see the story:


Our PDS program is expanding — elementary education faculty have worked with public school teachers and administrators in the Gardner-Edgerton and Maize school districts to create new Professional Development School partnerships that will begin in August 2016. Emporia State elementary interns will be working at Grand Star Elementary and Wheatridge Middle Schools in Gardner and Maize South and Vermillion Elementary Schools in Maize.


Congratulations to Taylor Kriley! Taylor currently serves as the Center for Student Involvement Director of Campus Engagement & New Student Programs and recently has taken on a new role as the Senior Director of the Center for Student Involvement.


Thanks to political science student Murad Jalilov and our new student group, Up to Us, for bringing to campus a debate on the national debt. Dr. Max Skidmore of University of Missouri Kansas City and Bob Weeks of last week debated the topic: “Should the U.S. implement austerity measures due to the size of the national debt?” The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Social Sciences and the Public Administration Club.  An audio recording of the debate is at


The new dean of our School of Business will begin work by June 5. The hiring of Dr. Ed Bashaw, currently dean of the College of Business at Arkansas Tech University and professor of marketing, was announced last week. For more:


Congratulations to our 2016 Distinguished Alumni, all of whom are from Kansas. Announced on Founders’ Day, the group will be honored during Homecoming in October. They are Dr. Ronald “Ron” H. Fredrickson (BSE 1953 – Social Sciences), Osage City; Shirley Johannsen (BSE 1964 – Elementary Education), Topeka; Herman Jones (BS 1991 – Psychology), Berryton; Mike Law (BSB 1981 – Business Administration), Olathe; and Steve Sauder (BSB 1968 – Business Administration), Emporia. For more:


At the same time, the 2016 University Service Citation recipients were announced. They will be honored in June. They are Virginia H. “Ginny” (Bundy) Higgins (BSE 1962 – Speech, MS 1969 – Speech) of Topeka, Dr. Loren Pennington of Emporia, John T. Staton (BSE 1960 – Elementary Education, MS 1964 – Educational Administration) of Auburn, Alabama, and Marion S’Lee (Choate) Stuart (BSE 1947 – Art, MS 1966 – Art) of Clay Center. For more:


Five Emporia State undergraduate students presented research posters at the Kansas Statehouse last week during the annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. The students were Christopher Alderman and Lauren Miller of Emporia, both seniors in biochemistry and molecular biology; Luke Olsen of St. Mary's, senior in health promotion; Taner Thurman of Wichita, senior in business administration; and Ebrahim Kayali of Istanbul, Turkey, senior in computer science. Lauren was interviewed by WIBW TV about the event:


Emporia State track and field set a school record and had four provisional qualifiers on Saturday at the Inaugural Gorilla Classic in Pittsburg. Three of the provisional qualifiers also moved up on the Hornet all-time list. Freshman Taysean Goodwin continued his outstanding freshman season, setting a school record in the 400m. His time of 47.67 breaks Duke Tibbs’ old mark of 48.02 set at last year's Husker Invite and he is currently ranked third in the nation in the 400m. For more:


Dr. Lendi Bland, Elementary Education, Early Childhood and Special Education, along with ESU alums Arlene Clark (BSE ’81-Elementary Education) and Donna Tranter (BSE ’84-Elementary Education), and Jim Browning, judged 70 fourth-, fifth- and sixty-grade science fair entries at Mission Valley Elementary School in Eskridge, Kansas. Fifth grade teacher Luke Bryan (BSE 2014-Elementary Education) directed and organized the science fair.


ESU’s M.S. Forensic Science students toured the new KBI facility in Topeka. Eric Yang, Kim Simons, Melissa Bailey and Carlos Peroza accompanied members of the inaugural class on a special behind-the-scenes tour. 


The Alumni Association hosted a networking event in Kansas City on Thursday, February 18. Special guests included Head Football Coach Garin Higgins and representatives from the School of Business. 


The School of Business held the second annual elevator challenge on February 15. Students from across campus gathered in the School of Business to ride the elevator for 27 seconds and pitch their business idea for a chance to win one of three $100 prizes. Members of the business community came to support the students and discuss their business concepts for the Emporia Entrepreneur Challenge that kicked off this month!


Congratulations to Dr. C.E. Emmer (associate professor, social sciences) who has been invited to present class lectures in June during International Week at the University of Vechta in Germany.




Achievement - Emporia State University

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