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I'm A Hornet from Interim President Jackie Vietti

July 1, 2015

Melissa Bailey, interim director of the master of science in forensic science program and associate professor of biological sciences, is spending nine weeks as an intern at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory in Olathe. The MSFS program at ESU will be the first and only graduate program in Forensic Science in the state of Kansas. MSFS program at ESU is expecting an inaugural class of 17 students in Fall 2015. The sheriff’s office publicized Melissa’s internship, and the Associated Press picked it up, spreading the news to eight media outlets in Kansas. For more:

Congratulations to Emporia State softball player Taylor Zordel, one of a record 480 female student-athletes nominated for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Now in its 25th year, the Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership. Of the nominees, 207 competed in Division I, 93 competed in Division II and 180 competed in Division III athletics. For more:

Once again, the City of Emporia’s Fourth of July fireworks display will be ignited across the interstate from our campus, making Welch Stadium and the north end of campus prime viewing spots. Members of Flint Hills Optimist club are in charge of the great show every year. For more:

Congratulations to Emporia State closer Shawn Talkington, who signed a contract with the Wichita Wingnuts and joined the team for their game June 16 in Gary, Indiana. The Wingnuts lead the South Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. For more:

Michael Smith, associate professor in social sciences, recently appeared with Kansas state Rep. Stephanie Clayton, an Emporia State alumna, and joined other experts to discuss the Kansas Legislature on KCUR's Up To Date radio program, archived at

Emporia State added 68 first year players to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll for a total of 165 student-athletes with a GPA of at least 3.00 while eight first year players earn All-MIAA honors in competition with at least a 3.50 GPA to give the Hornets at total of 23 MIAA Scholar-Athletes. For more:

The Kansas Business Hall of Fame inducted new members last week at the Team Kansas dinner at Johnson County Community College. Jess Cornejo, founder of Cornejo & Sons contruction company in Wichita was the historical inductee. Min Kao and Gary Burrell, who founded Garmin, were the contemporary inductees. For more:

Track and field coach Steve Blocker has announced the addition of 30 student-athletes who will attend Emporia State in 2015-16 and participate in track and field for the Hornets. There is an even split of 15 men and 15 women in the class. For more:

David Edds, professor of biological sciences, co-wrote with his student Benjamin Smith the article “Lowhead dams and the downstream dispersal of zebra mussels,” which was published in “Hydrobiologia” (Volume 755, Issue 1 (2015), Page 1-12), which is an international highly impacted journal publishing original research in the biology of aquatic environment.

Emporia State Lady Hornet coach Jory Collins has announced the hiring of Kiel Unruh as a new full-time assistant. This will be his first year as a full-time member of the Emporia State coaching staff, but the 2009 Emporia State graduate is no stranger to Lady Hornet basketball. A graduate assistant on the Lady Hornets 2010 National Championship team, he has spent the last two years as the video coordinator at Texas Tech. For more:

Congratulations and many thanks to Emporia State faculty Betsy Yanik, Jorge Ballester, Marvin Harrell and all of those involved on a very successful collaborative effort between Emporia State and Flint Hills Technical College! The “Get Into Energy” camp for middle school students was held June 15-19. This project was funded by an Education and Diversity Kansas NSF EPSCoR grant. Eighteen students attended morning sessions at Emporia State and afternoon sessions at the tech college. Jeff Devilbliss and Rich Vilander led the FHTC sessions with coordination provided by Ben Coltrane. The students were involved a variety of mathematical modeling activities, the study of circuits, velocity and acceleration calculations, and the study of solar energy. Each student constructed a windmill generator. In addition, the group took a field trip to the Emporia Energy Center and Wolf Creek Nuclear Corp.

The preseason honors are beginning to roll in for the Emporia State football program as six members of the Hornets were named to the USA College Football NCAA Division II Preseason All-American watch list. They are quarterback Brent Wilson (Ponca City, Oklahoma), first team offense; wire receiver Kavaski Ervin (Mesquite, Texas), second team offense; outside linebacker Jarrett Stastny (Sanger, Texas) and tight end Reese Richards (Azle, Texas) honorable mention offense; and linebacker Jason Tetuan (Topeka) and defensive lineman Eddie Vinson (Omaha, Nebraska), honorable mention defense. For more:

A dozen preK-12 teachers from across the state are participating in the Flint Hills Writing Project at the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence June 22 through July 9. This summer session provides professional development in the area of writing for K-16 educators in all subject areas. Educators are immersed in the teachers-teaching-teachers model before continuing as teacher leaders in their respective buildings and school districts.

Congratulations to former Hornet outfielder Justin Harris, who signed with the Florence Freedom of the Frontier League. For more:

CBIZ Human Capital Services presented preliminary data to Human Resources last week for review and verification in advance of further system recommendations for University Support Staff and Unclassified Professional positions. The company was hired to conduct a comprehensive classification review and market analyses, develop salary structures and job descriptions and conduct living wage and benefits analyses

Emporia State track and field added three Capital One Academic All-America honorees to the Hornets’ growing list last week. Payson Maydew earned first-team and Donald Wilcox second-team recognition for the men while Peyton Weiss was a third-team selection for the women. Five Hornets have been named Academic All-America in 2014-15, more than any other MIAA school this year. They bring Emporia State's number of Academic All-America honorees in the 21st century to 25 and there have now been 49 total honorees since 1972. For more:

Continuing education: On June 19, faculty and assessment leaders attended a General Education Assessment Workshop held at Johnson County Community College. The workshop provided hands-on training in the assessment cycle, planning, data analysis and using Excel as a data tool. The attendees were Eric Conrad, Cynthia Kane, Kevin Rabas, Shawn Keough, Rich Sleezer, Steve Catt, Kim Simons, Cathy Grover, Michael Smith and JoLanna Kord.  

Congratulations to the 19 Emporia State undergraduates selected for the 2015 ESU Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Grants of up to $7,000 that support these projects include faculty summer salary, student compensation and a generous supply budget. The program is supported by Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE), the Honors College, ESU Research and Grants Center, Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Business and the Teachers College. For more:




Achievement - Emporia State University

Check out our students' achievements and accomplishments on Emporia State's site