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I'm A Hornet from President Shonrock

April 21, 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Jim Persinger, director of the school psychology graduate program, who was named the 2015 Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor last week. He will be honored at a university reception in late April, be listed in the spring commencement program and be the speaker at the December 2015 commencement.

Five faculty members have been named assessment champions for perpetuating exceptional learning experiences for students by using assessment as a change agent. Each will receive a $250 stipend. The five are Diane Nutbrown, assistant professor of chemistry; Darla Mallein, associate professor of social sciences secondary education; Kenneth Thompson, professor of physical sciences; Tim Burnett, associate professor of biological sciences; and Rob Catlett, assistant professor of mathematics and economics. For more:

Dr. Michael Dennis, associate professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, will be the keynote speaker at Research and Creativity Day on April 30. Dennis received the 2015 President’s Award for Research and Creativity, which was established in 1996 to honor an Emporia State individual active in research, scholarly activity or creative endeavors. The award includes a $1,000 prize.

Hundreds of volunteers will be exercising their green thumbs Friday to celebrate Arbor Day and Emporia State earning 2014 Tree Campus USA designation. The Community Hornets organization has handled the paperwork for both the 2013 and 2014 Tree Campus USA applications. Workers on the Facilities grounds crews will help with the planting.

Emporia State’s Department of Nursing is gaining a national reputation. Emporia State recently was presented the Stellar School Award from the National Student Nurses Association, an award voted on by student nurses. The campus chapter also was awarded the Community Health Project award.

The officers in our Department of Police and Safety keep busy during their shifts. Since the start of the fiscal year in July 2014, officers have responded to 629 student calls. The bulk of their calls are motorist assists, including 203 jump starts and 269 vehicle lockouts. In addition, officers have assisted the Emporia Police Department (198) and Lyon County Sheriff’s Office (21).

All Emporia State police officers attended the 10th annual Lyon County Sheriff’s Spring Training. Officer Jerrod Schumann attended field training officer classes in Minnesota and is now a certified FTO.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee sponsored its ninth annual Senior Prom earlier this month. With a theme of Movin’ and Groovin’, music from the 1960s was on tap.

Softball accolades — Stephanie Goodwin, senior outfielder on the Emporia State softball team, is one of 25 finalists for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division II National Player of the Year Award. Outfielder Caitlyn VanVleck was announced as one of 25 finalists for the NFCA Division II National Freshman of the Year Award. For both awards, the top 10 will be announced on April 30, the top 3 on May 14 and the winner son May 20. Goodwin is batting .434 with five home runs, 17 doubles and 52 RBI on the season. She is ranked third in the nation in RBI for the 15th ranked Hornets. She has an MIAA record 66 career doubles and is ranked third all-time at Emporia State with 179 career RBI. VanVleck has started all 42 games for the Hornets. She is batting .355 with one home run, four triples, 19 RBI, 33 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. She is ranked third in the MIAA in triples, sixth in stolen bases and tenth in runs scored and leads the conference freshman in those three categories.

On Sunday, Stephanie Goodwin’s single in Game 2 against Central Oklahoma broke the MIAA and Emporia State career record for hits set by Megan Davison. Goodwin now has 276 hits in her career.

Our newly renovated Peterson Planetarium celebrated a first earlier this month — the venue for an 8th birthday party for an Emporia boy. Thanks to the diligence of director Susie Aber and the boy’s father, the party came off without a hitch. The children enjoyed seeing the Magic Treehouse Space Mission, which tied in perfectly because the young man was reading the Magic Treehouse series of books.

Dr. Gary Wyatt, director of the Honors College, took 17 students from the college to the Great Plains Honors Conference in Texas recently. The students presented their scholarship through posters and presentations.

Dr. Rich Sleezer is the new associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Currently the chair of the Department of Physical Sciences, Rich assumes his new role June 7.

Three charitable organizations and a long-time donor teamed up to celebrate new artificial turf installed recently on Turnbull Field in the Trusler Sports Complex. The first-pitch ceremony was held Friday, April 10, before the Hornet softball games against Fort Hays State. Representatives of the Bill and Aloha Preston Family Trust, the Trusler Foundation and the Emil Babinger Charitable Trust  — major contributors to the project — have been invited to take part in a first-pitch ceremony. Workers in Universities Facilities helped with improvements at the field, which included the construction of a ticket booth, visitor’s dugout, landscaping, painting, edging, curbing and fencing. Future work includes installing playground equipment. For more:

Track and field success

Payson Maydew won the decathlon at the ESU Open Multis on April 10. Maydew posted a provisional qualifier finish. At the same event, Monica Howard was the runner-up in the heptathlon. Sophie Hayes placed fifth in heptathlon, and Brianna Schmitz followed up in seventh place.

Also on April 10, Callie Clark placed second in the triple jump — the best individual finish for the Hornets at the KT Woodman Invitational in Wichita. Maggie Wilson moved up to 14th on the national list after finishing third in the women’s pole vault in Wichita. Also at the KT Woodman Invitational, Peyton Weiss finished third in the long jump (ranked 17th in the nation), Sarah Dunkin Beam hit a provisional mark in the javelin. Wind was a factor at the meet as Andrew Etheridge won the men’s 100 meters but just missed a provisional qualifier because the wind was above the legal limit. Donald Wilcox’s second-place in the long jump also missed qualifying because of the wind.

Competition at the Kansas Relays saw six provisional qualifiers — Donald Wilcox’s fourth place in long jump, Sauel Saidi’s third place in men’s high jump, Peyton Weiss’ fifth in women’s long jump and Shelby Buster’s sixth place in hammer, which also was a personal best. Andrew Etheridge placed eighth in the men’s 110-meter hurdles. Kyle Pfizenmaier placed fourth in the javelin.

Our students’ successes continue after leaving Emporia State. Two alumni of Dr. Bill Jensen’s biology lab recently were recognized. Dr. Ashley M. Long (MS, ESU biology, 2010) coauthored a sixth publication in the primary literature from her research with Bill. Ashley received her doctorate from Texas A&M University and recently acquired a position as Research Scientist with the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. Nathan S. Holoubek (MS, ESU biology, 2014) is lead author of the following new publication in the Journal of Wildlife Management, which emanated from his thesis project in the Department of Biological Sciences. Nathan is now working as a wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Both publications were from research supported by ESU Faculty Research and Creativity Grants awarded to Jensen. Nathan's project was also supported by his Harold Durst Graduate Research Award.

Elaine Henrie, director of Financial Aid, Scholarships and Veterans Services, received the highest award bestowed by the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, of KASFAA. The award is given to someone who has contributed significantly to the financial aid professor for a minimum of 15 years. An active member of KASFAA for 15 years, Elaine has served as president-elect and president simultaneously to complete an unexpired term and currently serves as secretary.

Our facilities department is working on environmentally friendly initiatives. So far, 75 percent of our major buildings on campus are now being individually metered for electric and water use. The remaining should be up within a month. Every week, Facilities recycles spent light bulbs. In March, 900 pounds of bulbs were shipped off for recycling. Approximately 2,000 pounds of bulbs are recycled annually. Due to light bulb recycling efforts in the past year, the university has kept approximately 150 acres of water free of mercury contamination. In addition, workers collected and recycled 1,600 contaminated paint and shop rags. They were shipped off campus to be laundered and re-used. Every year, Facilities recycles hundreds of pounds of spent rags by this method of recycling. The department also has recently purchased an additional two eco-friendly electric vehicles to add to our vehicle fleet. They, along with the other electric vehicles already in the fleet, have zero emissions and are rapidly becoming the “norm” for our operations.

Congratulations to ESU alumnus Katherine (Katie) Weaver (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; ESU Dual Degree Pharmacy Program). Katie was recently recognized during the Class of 2016 - University of Kansas – School of Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony. We are all very proud of her outstanding accomplishments!

Our Center for Early Childhood Education received received full accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The five-year process was directed by Keely Persinger, CECE director and Heather Caswell, assistant professor in early childhood education and faculty liaison to CECE, with the CECE teachers. Located in the former Butcher Children’s School, the CECE offers classes for ages 1 through 6 with summer school programs for ages 6 through 10.

Speaking of accreditation, our Intensive English Program entered its first-year review under the Commission of English Language Accreditation. Our program has been reaffirmed for a period of four years, the maximum period that CEA awards. Dr. Gonzalo Bruce, dean of international students, and Dr. Jim Williams, vice president for student affairs, gathered information for the review.

Information Technology has partnered with the provost, Teachers College, SLIM, School of Business and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, to implement a new, fully online course evaluation system (Campus Labs’ CourseEvaluations) that will streamline the student course evaluation process. This new, paperless, system will provide students an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly interface, will decrease staff time to process evaluations and will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for faculty to gather important feedback about their courses. Training for this new system is currently under way.

The Office of International Education is sharing information about Emporia State University through recruitment tours in Bolivia, Paraguay, Honduras and Colombia. 

In a partnership with the community, our Facilities crews will work with Dirty Kanza 200 organizers for staging and course route through the campus. Community planning and discussions have already begun to prepare for riders on campus.

Congratulations to Benjamin Kerbs (ESU biology undergrad and newly-minted Shepard’s Scholar), who wrote his first publication in the primary literature! The paper emanated from his independent study in Ecuador in summer 2013. 

President Michael Shonrock, Dean Ken Weaver, and Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education Chair Matt Seimears spent a full Monday, April 13, visiting community college and P-12 school partners connected through the Butler-Emporia Students to Teachers (BEST) program. The first visit was with Butler Community College President Dr. Kimberly Krull and members of her leadership team. Next visit was with USD 490 Superintendent of El Dorado schools (and ESU alum) Sue Givens. The next two visits were to the newest members of Emporia State’s Professional Development School network, Ortiz Elementary School and Seltzer Elementary School in the Wichita Public Schools district. At both schools, the ESU leaders met with the principal and mentor teachers, toured the schools, and met with the 10 ESU students interning in these two schools. School Leadership/Middle and Secondary Teacher Education Chair Dan Stiffler participated in the Seltzer Elementary School activities.

A strategic and sustainable plan to enhance classroom technology has begun in Information Technology. The goal is to replace technology in our 160 classrooms on a regular schedule of about 20 percent of the classrooms each year on a five-year cycle.

Congratulations to Dr. Blake Flanders, who becomes the next president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents on July 1. Currently serving as the vice president of workforce development for KBOR, Flanders succeeds Dr. Andy Tompkins, who is retiring.

For the second year in a row, Information Technology’s Don Morfitt has received the Ellucian Outstanding Contributor Award for his valuable contributions to the Ellucian Mobile community! Don is highly respected among his colleagues for the great work he continues to do in developing functional mobile apps that students want to use. Several of his custom-built features for the ESU Mobile App, such as the course search function, have been incorporated into the latest releases of Ellucian Mobile, which is used by many universities across the country. More of his custom-built features, such as including student account balances in the ESU Mobile App, have already been scheduled for future releases of the Ellucian Mobile platform across the country.

Remodeling is wrapping up in Albert Taylor Hall. Work has included plaster repair, new paint, new carpet, decorative curtains, state of the art lighting control console, LED stage lighting and digital control sound system. 

ESU Facilities continues its commitment to emergency communication and safety by conducting the spring semester emergency notification test on April 15.



Achievement - Emporia State University

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