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I'm A Hornet From President Allison D. Garrett

July 11, 2018

Celebrating Ties with Paraguay

Dr. Ken Weaver, dean of The Teachers College, represented Emporia State at the 50th anniversary of the Comité Paraguay Kansascelebration by the U.S. Embassy on June 28. Emporia State has been an active supporter of CPK for years, accepting Paraguayan students, sending 12 ESU student teachers to co-teach in Paraguay and bringing five Paraguayan teachers to co-teach in Emporia. Two of those are returning this fall to study for graduate degrees in Instructional Design and Technology. While in Paraguay, Weaver visited the Minister of Finance for Paraguay and ESU alumna Lea Giménez (BS 2004 - Economics).


Celebrating the Fourth

The ESU campus again welcomed the Emporia community to watch the fireworks showput on by the Flint Hills Optimist Club. Workers in University Facilities spent time last week preparing the grounds for visitors and putting up extra handicap parking signs and road blocks for spectators’ safety and enjoyment.


Continuing Distinction

Emporia State University is again recognized as a College of Distinction, 2018-2019. ESU remains the only public institution on the list of eight schools.  


Arts & Sciences

Congratulations to Morgan Willingham, assistant professor of art, whose photograph “You are (part of me still)” was selected in the juried exhibition“Environmental Portraits” at PhotoPlace Gallery.

ESU nursing’s extern programwas featured in a story on KSNT News about how Emporia’s Newman Regional Health addresses the nursing shortage.  

Congratulations to Brenda Bott (MS Biology, 1995), who was featured in a short article for the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute.Brenda is teacher/coordinator of the Biotechnology Signature Program for the Shawnee Mission school district.  

Many thanks to Dr. Qiang Shi, who led a recruiting trip to Xi’an, China.He and Dr. Brian Hollenbeck met with mathematics faculty from Xi’an Polytechnic University and Shaanxi University of Science and Technology. They also met with about 500 students from Tsinghua University High School - Qinhan.

During the trip to China in June, Dr. Brian Hollenbeck taught a one-hour course, Introduction to Mathematics,to 40 students at Xi’an Polytechnic University. It consisted of eight lectures from various fields of mathematics.

Congratulations to Brenna Zimmer (BS BMB, 2009; MS Physical Sciences-Chemistry 2011), who completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistryfrom the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on June 11. Since May 2017, Brenna has been a visiting scholar at North Carolina State University in Dr. Melanie Simpson’s lab while finishing her Ph.D. program. She now continues as a post-doctoral research associate in Dr. Simpson’s lab at NCSU.

Dr. Ramiro Miranda, assistant professor of violin, viola and conductor of orchestras, is attending the Nadia Boulanger Institutein Paris, France, this month. The month-long conducting program offered by the European American Musical Alliance is among the most prestigious in the world. A $5,000 grant from the Koch Cultural Trust will cover some expenses. 


Student Affairs

Thanks to Jason Brooks, assistant dean of students for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, for successfully applying for a campus innovation grant through Interfaith Youth Core.The $4,000 award will be used to create a new student-run interfaith organization, open an interfaith space on campus and host a panel discussion, lecture and faith fair.


Library & Information Management

Wooseob Jeong, dean of SLIM, spent July 5-7 visiting 20 libraries in southwest Kansas, from Elkhart to Kingman by way of Liberal and Dodge City. The trip was part of the dean’s pledge to visit all the libraries in Kansas.

Congratulations to Gloria Acosta, a Utah student, who received a REFORMA Scholarship and the Sarah Rebecca Reed Scholarship from Beta Phi Mu during the American Library Association annual meeting.

Kathie Buckman, Emporia regional director, accompanied students to the American Library Associationannual meeting in New Orleans as part of a one-credit field trip class. The group staffed an Emporia State booth with Dr. Emily Vardell, Emily Sanders-Jones and Dr. Wooseob Jeong.

Congratulations to Brandon West, who received the political activism award from the ALA Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.

Congratulations to Heather VanDyne, who received a Spectrum Scholarshipfrom the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services. Heather was one of 62 recipients in the competition that drew three times as many applications as there were available scholarships.


The Teachers College

Congratulations to Doug Marshall (BS Recreation 2011), who will be the new head track and field coach at Iowa Western Community Collegein Council Bluffs. During his undergrad days, Doug competed in ESU track and field. He was a multiple scorer for ESU at the MIAA Championships in both the long and triple jump. He was a national qualifier and competed at the NCAA Championships for ESU. He ranks third al-time in triple jump at ESU. 

The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparationhas promoted Associate Dean of The Teachers College Joan Brewer from site visitor to lead site visitor. She will now lead accreditation visits and train site visitors across the nation.   

This summer, the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center (KUALZ) and HPER’s Health & Human Performance program partnered to host the Developing Scholars Program — an eight-week, research-intensive program designed to provide selected students experiential learning opportunities in a wide range of Alzheimer’s diseaseand brain aging research.

The school psychology programhad a week-long orientation session in June with Drs. Jim Persinger and Carol Daniels to welcome the new candidates to the program. With an anticipated 28 beginning this year, ESU’s program is one of the largest in the country.  

Kansas Wesleyan Universityhas selected Taylor Reichard (BS 2015, Psychology; MS 2018, Health Promotion) to be the program’s next softball coach. Reichard served the last three seasons as an assistant coach at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, under coach Julie LeMaire, former head softball coach at ESU. Before NSU, Reichard served one season as a student-assistant coach at Emporia State under LeMaire, before following her to Fort Lauderdale.

Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, art therapy, attended board of directors meetings of the American Art Therapy Associationin late June in Washington, D.C. She serves on the AATA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion task force for the association and the board engaged in trainings in those areas.

Emporia State’s Department of Psychology partnered with GLSEN-Greater Kansas City to offer the first annual Youth Summit,an advocacy and leadership training attended by about 20 LGBTQ youth leaders. The event was hosted at the ESU Metro Center in Overland Park on June 23.

Dr. Melissa Reed, elementary education, and Chieko Zimmerman, elementary education major, organized a week-long event for 20 girls entering Grades 4-8 called “Creating Gems Summer Camp.”GEMS stands for Girl talk and Empowering Experiences for Mentoring and Supporting Strong Character. Programing included exploring literature, movies, service in communities and a panel discussion with professional women. GEMS was funded by the ESU Summer Undergraduate Research Program.

In May, Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro provided school-based art therapy services in Florida.

Congratulations to Jason Briar (MS 2005, Health, Physical Education, and Recreation), who was named the new vice president for student lifeat Sterling College. He previously was a middle school and high school principle for Fairfield USD 310.



For the 15th straight year, the Emporia State Lady Hornet basketballteam ranked in the top four in attendance among the over 300 NCAA Division II basketball playing schools. It is the 21st consecutive year the Lady Hornets have finished in the top six nationally. 

Hornet hurdler Wyatt Sander has earned Emporia State's 53rd Google Cloud Academic All-America® honor as presented by CoSIDA. A health and human performance major with a 3.93 GPA, Sander earned All-American honors as part of the third place 4x400m relay team that set school and MIAA records indoors. 

With four of 15 sports programs placing nationally in NCAA post season play, Emporia State University finished in the top one half of over 300 NCAA Division II schools in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings for the 23rd straight year with 164 points. The Director's Cup measures the overall strength of an athletic program based on NCAA postseason play. The Hornets placed 118th overall this year. 

The Emporia State men's basketball team continued a string of 16 straight years ranking in the top 25 in attendance among the over 300 NCAA Division II basketball playing schools. The Hornets drew an average of 1,281 fans to their 17 home games at Slaymaker Court in White Auditorium during the 2017-18 season to rank 25th nationally.



Alison Boughn (MS,2016, Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling) discussed teen suicide rates in an article published in the June 20 edition of the Sioux City Journal.

Alumni Christopher Alderman (BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2017) and Ayoub Sehlaoui (BS Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2015; MS Physical Sciences-Chemistry, 2017) were co-authors of “MicroRNAs as Immunotherapy Targets for Treating Gastroenterological Cancers,” published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, June 2018. Former ESU faculty member Yixin “Eric” Yang, was the lead author.



Libby Schmanke, Art Therapy/Counselor Ed, presented on “Using SoulCollage® for Recovery from Addiction and Other Shame-bearing Conditions” at the 11th SoulCollage® Facilitator Conference,June 28-July 1 in Wallingford, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Mark Stanbrough presented “Planning Practice: Intentional Coaching in Three Dimensions” at the North American Coach Development Summitin June sponsored by the United States Center for Coaching Excellence (USCCE) in Orlando, Florida. Stanbrough serves on the National Board of Directors for the National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education, a program of the United States Center for Coaching Excellence.

Dr. Kevin Rabas (English, Modern Languages, and Journalism) completed a two-day residency (June 28 & 29) in Marysville, as Poet Laureate of Kansas, where he conducted writing workshops for both children and adults, read poetry to the tunes of the civic band orchestra, and gave a luncheon presentation, “Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary.”

During the American Library Associationannual meeting:

  • Daniel Agbaji and Brady Lund presented a poster, “Why Do You Use ‘That’ to Classify? Assessing Academic Library Faculty and Staff Preferences Regarding Dewey vs LC.”
  • Vera (Haynes) Elwood presented “Learning to Listen: Supporting Youth Mental Health at Your Library.”
  • Lynne Stahl presented a poster for the ACRL Women and Gender Studies Session.
  • Brady Lund and Daniel Agbaji presented “How Can a Widespread International Partnership Between the United States and Nigeria Benefit Both Nations?”
  • Dr. Brendan Fay presented “Nazi Conspiracy Theories Between Weimar and the Third Reich.”
  • Brady Lund and Daniel Agbaji presented an Ignite Session: “Reporting Updated Statistics on the Evidence of DDC and LC in Academic Libraries in the US.” 
  • Dr. Jim Walther presented “The Fundamental Aspects of Library Project Management,” 




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