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Campus Buzz from President Allison D. Garrett

July 24, 2019

Taking Command

ESU alum Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Harmon will take responsibility as the command senior enlisted advisor for the Kansas Army National Guard in a Change of Responsibility ceremony Sunday. Harmon (BA Political Science 1983; MS Counselor Education 1996; MS Instructional Design & Technology 2008) will manage the Kansas Army National Guard enlisted force and represent their interests at all levels of local and state government and to the public. 


Kansans to Know

Three Emporia State alumni were selected by Ingram’s magazine for the 50 Kansans You Should Know feature. They are Brian Richardson of Salina (BSB 1992), Anne Wilson of Elmdale (Teaching Certificate 1982) and Deryl Wynn of Kansas City, Kansas (BSB, BFA 1983). 


National Championship

Approximately 540 junior track and field athletes (plus their families) came to Emporia July 4 through 7 to compete in the USATF Region 9 Junior Olympic Outdoor Track & Field Championship meet. Welch Stadium hosted the meet after the planned site in Oklahoma could not. The team effort to host included ESU Facilities keeping the stadium open and clean, Sodexo running concession stands and Athletics staff coordinating. 


NASA Award

Congratulations to Lizeth Magaña (BS Physics 2016), named a Future Investigator in the Future Investigators in NASA Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST19) program. The award brings $45,000 per year for up to three years. Magaña is a Ph.D. graduate student at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Arts & Sciences

Students of Communication professor Kenna Reeves’s Communication and Event Planning summer course partnered with Hetlinger’s Developmental Services and local businessman Kent Schnakenberg to volunteer for Hetlinger’s second annual Field Day, which will be held September 6.

Shane Wilson (BS Economics 2014) is the new executive director of the American Legion Boys State of Kansas Leadership Academy. His three-year term began June 8 at the close of the 2019 session. 

Congratulations to Professor Max McCoy, English, Modern Languages and Journalism, whose book, “Elevations: A Personal Exploration of the Arkansas River,” was named a Kansas Notable Book for 2019. The 15 books on the list “feature quality titles with wide public appeal, either written by a Kansan or about a Kansas-related topic.” Max will be honored at an awards ceremony Sept. 14 at the Kansas Book Festival. 

Chris Delay (BSE 2000) is the new executive director of the Great Plains Theatre in Abilene. Billed as the only professional theater between Kansas City and Denver, it celebrates its 25th year in 2019. Chris began working at the theater as a college student during its second season, when he built sets.  

Congratulations to Gaile Stephens, associate professor of music, who recently was accepted an editor for the Kansas Music Review.

Seven young women attended ESU’s MASTER-IT! Program in June, the 20th year for the five-day residential summer program that connects students with female professionals in STEM careers. They took part in hands-on projects, toured Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant and visited the Cosmosphere. The program is directed by Drs. Marvin Harrell and Adelaide Akers from the Department of Mathematics and Economics. Drs. Melissa Bailey and Brenda Koerner from the Department of Biology also helped along three ESU math and science students who served as counselors and mentors.

Congratulations to history student Madison McBee, who has a summer internship at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

Ben Thomas (BFA Theatre 2005) recently competed on the Netflix game show “Awake: The Million Dollar Game.” The competition sought contestants who are sleep-deprived and required them to perform tasks and compete for more than 24 hours.



Dr. Ed Bashaw recently returned from a two-week trip in June to China and Bangladesh with Drs. Mark Daly and Sajed Rahman. They are excited about their partnerships to bring more students to ESU as well as send American students for study abroad.

Emporia State University students brought home 12, top-10 finishes recently at the 2019 Phi Beta Lambda National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas, accounting for half of the total wins for Kansas students. 

Odra Argueta Barrera, principal of the Instituto Guatemalteco Americano in Guatemala City, Guatemala, visited campus with several high school students. Odra stated that “all of them are really happy about their experience at Emporia; they say it changed their lives.”

Alumnus Marion Mariathasan (BSB Computer Information Systems 1999) was profiled in Green Market Report. He is co-founder and CEO of Simlifya, the cannabis industry’s leading regulatory compliance tool for licensees and those who audit them. 


Gwen Larson, assistant director of Marketing & Media Relations, was elected to a two-year term as president of the National Federation of Press Women during the organization’s annual conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.


The Teachers College

Dr. Basil Kessler recently obtained his Licensed Professional Counselor credential from the Kansas Behaviorally Sciences Regulatory Board.

Brock Nehls (BS Recreation, 2010) was recently named an assistant baseball coach at Emporia State. He will take over as pitching coach and assist with recruiting.

Interim Dean Dr. Joan Brewer took some time recently to read to the children at Emporia State University’s Center for Early Childhood Education. 

Scott Dahlberg (MS HPER, 2013) has been promoted to head cross country coach at the University of Wyoming. 

The Teachers College recently received notice it has passed the Kansas Board of Education’s review process and will continue to be accredited by the Kansas Department of Education. No areas for improvement and no stipulations were cited as part of this review.

Graduate art therapy students Salma Moustafa and Tina Brackman were among several who enjoyed an open studio day at the Earl Center on Independence Day. The event was offered by graduate art therapy faculty for current art therapy students and alumni.


Library & Information Management

Congratulations to student Ruth Mahaffy, who won the Sarah Rebecca Reed Scholarship, which supports a beginning student at an ALA-accredited Library and Information Science program. Ruth will receive an award of $2,250. 

Kathie Buckman, the SLIM Central Kansas Director, was elected president of the Wichita Area Library Association at the annual meeting in May.

During his time in Washington D.C. for the American Library Association conference, Dean Wooseob Jeong visited with Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.

Koch Center

In June, the Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics made a grant to the Kansas Council for Economic Education to support their Kansas teacher professional development training in finance, economics, and social science.

From July 8 to 9, the Koch Center launched its Teaching Free Enterprise in Kansas curriculum for social science and economics high school teachers in Kansas. Dr. Derek Yonai presented his modules on “Culture and Trade” and “Morality and Markets.”

In July, Patrick Callahan and Dr. Peter Staples joined the Koch Center team. Patrick is the Center’s Program Coordinator and Dr. Staples will be a visiting professor teaching economics classes in the School of Business.



Emporia State had nearly 70 returning student-athletes named to the MIAA Spring Academic Honor Roll, including 15 MIAA Scholar-Athletes. This group consists only of student-athletes with at least two terms of attendance at the certifying member institution, excluding summer terms. The 15 Hornets earning MIAA Scholar-Athlete status are the most of any school in the league among the spring returners.  

Classroom Work: Over 80 first-year students at Emporia State qualified for academic honors from the MIAA during the 2018-19 school year. This brings the total of Hornets that received academic honors from the conference to 248 during the past year.

International Basketball: Emporia State’s Malik Hluchoweckyj has signed a professional contract with KK Bratunac of the Bosnia BiH Liga. He is the second Hornet men’s basketball player to sign professionally after this past season. Hassan Thomas signed with Sampaense Basket of Portugal Proliga earlier this summer. Both are the first Hornet men’s basketball players to sign professionally since Terrence Moore signed with FOG Naestved in Denmark following the 2016 season.  

Another pro: Emporia State’s Tyra Jones has signed a professional contract with AD Cortegada in the Spanish Women’s League. She is the third former Lady Hornet to play professionally this year with Kelly Moten and Merissa Quick finishing up the season with the Wisconsin GLO of the Global Women’s Basketball Association.  

Emporia State women’s track & field All-American Brianna Schmitz is one of a record 585 nominees across all three divisions for the NCAA Woman of the Year. Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. The final award comes in September. 

For the 22nd straight year, the Emporia State Lady Hornet basketball team ranked in the top six in attendance among the over 300 NCAA Division II basketball playing schools. The Lady Hornets drew an average of 1,492 fans to their 13 home games on Slaymaker Court in White Auditorium during the 2018-19 season.  

For the 13th time in head coach Bing Xu’s 15 years, the Emporia State University volleyball team earned the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. It is the 15th time in the last 17 years the Hornets have been honored. 

Eight Emporia State track and field athletes earned United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors for the 2018-19 school year while both the Emporia State men’s and women’s team earned USTFCCCA All-Academic Team recognition. 



Dr. Jun Yu and Dr. Joyce Zhou presented a research project at the International Academy of Business and Economics conference in June.  

In July, Dr. Joyce Zhou presented a paper called “The Effect of Fancy Names on Consumers’ Decision Making” in Global Fashion Management Conference in Paris. This year’s theme was Fashion, Culture, and Design Management in Sustainable Environment.

In June, Dr. Derek Yonai spoke at Acton University as part of a Faculty Resource Panel breakout session; he discussed the vision for the Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics and steps made in relaunching the Center.

Michael Widdersheim, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Management, and Masanori Koizumi, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Library, Information, and Media Science, University of Tsukuba, Japan, presented “Research foundations related to the public sphere and public libraries” at the Conceptions of Library and Information Science conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia on June 17. 

Dr. Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, presented “Becoming vulnerable: Paradoxes of public engagement” at Leaving the Ivory Tower: Promises and Perils of Public Engagement, a pre-conference of the International Communication Association in May in Washington D.C.

Drs. Terri Summey, University Libraries and Archives, and Sandy Valenti, School of Library and Information Management, presented “Developing Our Leadership Excellence: A Framework Using Emotional Intelligence Indicators of Public Services Librarians in Academic Libraries” at this year’s American Library Association conference held in Washington D.C.



Dr. Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, recently published a co-written article titled “Extending communication campaigns from health to peacebuilding: A locally driven communication campaign approach as part of a peacebuilding initiative in Liberia” in Health Communication

Dr. Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, recently published a co-written book chapter titled ”’Are you okay?’: Online harassment and cyberstalking” in the book ”Communication and social media: Case studies across personal and professional relationships.”  

Dr. Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, wrotea newly released report for World Pulse titled “The Future of Security is Women: Women, Peace, and Security Report 2019.” The report is part of the Women, Peace and Security Global Polling Project, a partnership between Our Secure Future, World Pulse, and the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership/ICAN.  



ESU Faculty and Staff attended the Assessment by Design workshop hosted by Johnson County Community College – Office of Assessment and Planning. Annually, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness coordinates the effort for a group of ESU Faculty and Staff to attend the workshop to build assessment knowledge and skills. This year’s attendees were Stewart Gardner (Biological Sciences), Gieselle Taylor (ACES), Javier Flores (Accounting, Information Systems, & Finance), Katrina Miller (Counselor Education), Jeffrey Muldoon (Business Administration), Rachel Kohman (Center for Student Involvement), Kayla Smith (Residential Life), Carrie Boettcher (Counselor Education), Heidi Hamilton (Communication & Theatre), Brian Denton (Institutional Effectiveness), and JoLanna Kord (Institutional Effectiveness). 

Dr. Douglas Smith, School of Business, attended the second annual Race in the Market Place (RIM) forum in Paris. The RIM Research Network is an interdisciplinary look at how race/ethnicity is affected and affects the marketplace. 




Achievement - Emporia State University

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