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I'm A Hornet from President Allison Garrett

August 16, 2017

Debate Movie

ESU Debate champion Ryan Wash will be the focus of a big screen movie. Ryan and debate partner Elijah Smith won the National Debate Tournament policy debate championship (the first for an all-black team) and the Cross Examination Debate Association championship, the first time any team won both titles in the same year. According to reports, production companies involved in the project include Brad Pitts’ Plan B.  


National Spotlight

Education correspondent Claudio Sanchez has produced a second story for National Public Radio from his trip here in June for the National Teachers Hall of Fame induction.


A New Role

We are delighted to have Don Hill heading ESU’s government relations efforts. Don, a seven-term Kansas state representative for Emporia, began his new role August 1.


Library & Information Management

Melinda Rittgers and Cynthia Rogers, both students in the MLS program, were awarded the Kansas Library Association Education Foundation’s annual scholarship of $1,000 each.

Utah Director Dale Monobe meets with Dianna Winget at the Pacific Northwest Library Association conference. Dianna won the 2017 William Allen White Children’s Book Award. She will be in Emporia on October 7 for the award ceremony. Dale also met SLIM alumna Maura Walsh at PLNA. Maura now works in Library Development at the Washington State Library.

SLIM Colorado student Isabel Soto-Luna is one of 60 exceptional MLS students nationwide to be awarded a 2017-18 Spectrum Scholarship! The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services chooses Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to diversity, commitment to entering the library profession, demonstrated community outreach, academic ability and achievements, and leadership potential. 

On August 5, ESU students taking SLIM classes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, attend their first-ever orientation meeting.

Congratulations to alumna Cheryl Sylvester, named the new director of the Baldwin City Public Library. Kathy is the library’s first new director in 30 years.

Congratulations to 26 students who are this summer completing the STEM-ALL program funded by a 2015 Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program Grant. This is the second group to earn ESU’s Information, Technology, and Scientific Literacy certificate co-taught by Drs. Mirah Dow of SLIM and Ken Thompson, Department of Physical Sciences.


Arts & Sciences

Mike Hartung, a 72-year-old alumnus of Emporia State’s art program, is having three showings of his work — at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, the Salina Art Center and the Moss-Thorns Gallery at Fort Hays State. Hartung, his work and these first showings ever were featured in the Wichita Eagle. 

Ben Smith (ESU Biology B.S. 2010, M.S. 2013) has been promoted to the position of environmental protection specialist with the National Park Service at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada. He handles EPA and state compliance with drinking water diversions and wastewater treatment, along with the collecting and processing of water quality samples related to both. 

Twenty-five students attended the Inspired By Math camp July 17 through 19. Students designed a rocket model, learned cryptograph, played a breakout game and worked on AMC8 problems. Glen Curten from Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp. also gave a 3D printing talk.

ESU music faculty Dr. Martin Cuellar and Melinda Groves are in Mexico City performing a series of five duo piano recitals

Theatre alumna Joy Smith was featured in the Wichita Eagle in an article about her company, Princess Pros Entertainment, which features a cast of princesses available to entertain at private parties and community events. 

Congratulations to Alaina Buchanan (M.S. 2017) who is the new laboratory supervisor at Washburn University.

Christopher Alderman (B.S. BMB 2017) is one of 51 nationwide recipients of a $5,000 fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi. Chris is pursuing combined M.D./Ph.D. in oncology at the University of Colorado.

Congratulations to Janelle Thimmesch (MSFS 201), who is a new forensic toxicologist at the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center.  

During the Ad Astra 24-Hour Play Festival in Topeka on July 22, a 10-minute play by Dr. Kevin Rabas, chair of Department of English, Modern Language, and Journalism, was produced.


The Teachers College

John Wade, psychology associate professor, received the Shane J. Lopez Award for Professional Contributions in Positive Psychology from the American Psychological Association. Wade received the award at the APA’s annual convention in Washington, DC in early August.

Marj Bock, special education professor, and Kelly O’Neal-Hixson, special education associate professor, were awarded a nearly $66,000 grant in June 2017 for The Teachers College Special Education Fellows Program. Resources for this grant are provided by the Kansas Board of Regents. 

Neal Luo, school leadership/middle and secondary teacher education associate professor, received the 2016-17 Best Service Award from the Overseas Chinese Association for Institutional Research recently.

Kansas Literacy Week will be proclaimed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to be held September 3 through 9. Dennis Kear, executive director of the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center, requested the proclamation. September is Library Card Sign-up Month and the week coincides with National Read A Book Day on September 6 and International Literacy Day on September 8.



Dr. Joyce Zhou was invited to be a reviewer for two journals: Journal of Family Business Strategy and International Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making.

Addie Lackey (accounting senior), Aubrey Plankinton (MACC student), and Dr. George Durler attended the Beta Alpha Psi Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, Aug. 2 through 5. Over 1,200 students and faculty advisors attended. The organization and accounting firm KPMG jointly sponsor “A Day of Literacy” each year as a community service project to promote literacy where students do several activities with children in grades K-5. The following days are used for competitions, sharing of ideas, and motivational speakers.   


Student Government

2017-2018 student planners have arrived! They can be picked up at the CSI front desk in the Memorial Union. If academic departments would like some delivered, contact Megan McReynolds at


Information Technology

More than 50 youths participated in the Second Annual Summer TechMaker Camp for Youth was held July 25 through 28.

During July, Dr. Anna Catterson judged STEM events at the Osage and Ottawa County fairs.



For the 20th 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. 

Both the Emporia State men’s and women’s track and field teams earned All-Academic Team honors from United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association. The award honors programs that have at least a 3.00 cumulative team GPA. 

For the 11th time in head coach Bing Xu’s 13 years, the Emporia State University volleyball team earned the Team Academic Award from the American Volleyball Coaches Association. It is the 13th time in the last 15 years the Hornets have been honored. 


Academic Affairs

Kathy Landwehr, associate director of the Student Advising Center, has passed all classes, exams and evaluations and she is now a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach.


Government Relations

Joe Badger from Sen. Jerry Moran’s office stopped by ESU to chat with President Garrett about happenings in Washington D.C. and to talk about a several ESU highlights.



Connie Phelps presented at the 22nd Biennial World Council for Gifted and Talented Children conference hosted at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, in July 2017. 

Dr. Jun Yu and Dr. Joyce Zhou presented a research paper at the 2017 New York City International Academic Conference.

Dr. Christopher Stone and Dr. Jeffrey Muldoon presented a paper titled “The Veteran Myth: An Experiment of HR Managers’ Perceptions of US Military Veterans” at the 2017 annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Atlanta. 

Dr. Katherina O’Meara of English, Modern Languages, and Journalism presented on three panels at the 2017 Council of Writing Program Administrators summer conference in Knoxville. She also led a full-day intensive workshop, “Uncovering Program Knowledge: Using Institutional Ethnography in WPA Work.”

Faculty members Dr. Katherine O’Meara, Bethanie O’Dell, Roberta Eichenberg, Dr. Tom Mahoney in partnership with the Learning Technology team presented at the annual Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Technology conference. Dr. Anna Catterson served as the 2017 Chair of Colleague 2 Colleague. Video Services from ESU IT produced a highlight reel of award winners.

From the Department of Biological Sciences, Dr. Lynnette Sievert, professor; Greg Sievert, clinical instructor, and graduate students Bill Blair and Katie Porth attended the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Austin, Texas, July 12 through 16. Presentations at the conference were:

Bill Blair, S. van der Voot and Dr. David Edds, ESU professor, presented the poster “Morphological Analysis of Badis (Osteichthyes: Badidae) from Nepal.”

Greg Sievert presented the poster “Efficacy of Different Artificial Cover Objects in Reptile Surveys - A Long Term Study.”

Tyleia Prendergast (M.S. 2014) and Lynnette Sievert presented the poster “Effects of Digestion on Temperature Selection and Meal Size on SDA in Cornsnakes (Pantherophis guttatus).”



Dr. Jeff Muldoon and Dr. Antonina Bauman published a paper titled “Ethics and Closing a Business” in the Experiential Entrepreneurship Exercises Journal.

Dr. Tanja Steigner along with D. M. Kemme and B. Parikh, published their paper “Tax Havens, Tax Evasion and Tax Information Exchange Agreements in the OECD” in European Financial Management. 2017. 23:519-542. 

Dr. Antonina Bauman and colleague from the University of London, United Kingdom, Dr. Reinhard Bachmann, published a paper titled “Online Consumer Trust: Trends in Research” in the Journal of Technology Management and Innovation, volume 12, issue 2.

Dr. Marian Riedy and Dr. Bart Hanus (School of Business) published an article titled “It Is Just Unfair Using Trade Laws to ‘Out’ Security Software Vulnerabilities” in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

Drs. Jun Yu, Joyce X. Zhou, and Bin Yu published an article titled “Chinese Consumers’ Perception of Advertising: A Regional Analysis” in the Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, volume 11(1).

Drs. Kevin R. Coulson, Jun Yu, Joyce X. Zhou, and Jenny Yin Zhen published an article titled “Promoting Business Schools: A Content Analysis of Business School Magazines” in the Journal of Applied Business and Economics, volume 19(3).

Dr. Kevin Rabas’ new book of poems and stories, “Late for Cymbal Line” was published by Local Gems Press in Long Island.



Mark Summey and Dr. Anna Catterson of Information Technology attended the Canvas Conference in Keystone, Colorado.




Achievement - Emporia State University

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