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The Campus Buzz From President Allison Garrett

August 29, 2019

Emporia Movie Premiere

Prof. Kevin Rabas, chair of English, Modern Languages and Journalism, co-directed a short documentary, “Strawberry Hill Fight Club,”which screened at the IFC Kansas City film festival this summer. It will be screened Saturday in Emporia at the No Coast Film Festival and at the Kansas International Film Festival this fall.


First Place

 “Little Spouse on the Prairie,” the comedy radio program created by Valerie Brown-Kuchera, a student in the School of Library & Information Management Ph.D. program, was featured in the Daily Yonder blog. Brown-Kuchera’s program airs on High Plains Public Radio and earned first prize in commentary from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters.


Arts & Sciences

Congratulations to Diana Acevedo (MS Biology, 2012) who received the Nuestra Latina STEM/Education Award from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. She is currently a fourth-year student pursuing a Ph.D. in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. 

Congratulations to Dr. Erika Martin, biology, who is the new editor of Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science.

Exciting news for the ESU Jazz Ensemble I,which was selected to play at the Kansas Music Educators Association conference in February. Groups may only perform every two years. This is the ninth selection for ESU since 2001.

Congratulations to 21 students who took General Biology 141 in fall 2018. The students wrote a paper on their research on microplastics in the Great Plains. The paper was accepted for publication in the fall issue of Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science.

Congratulations to Rayna Karst (BA English 2018), who started her new job as communications coordinatorin the office of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly this month.

Alumni Landon Nault (BS Biology 2018) and Abigail Brown (BS Biology 2018) have started their graduate studies in the Physician Assistant Programat University of Oklahoma.



Congratulations to the Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter for being the “best in business” and qualifying for Highest Honors Chapter for the 2018-2019 academic year from Beta Gamma Sigma Global Headquarters. This status is indicative of a campus where academic excellence is valued and where the faculty officers of the chapter work diligently to enhance Beta Gamma Sigma’s stature on campus.

Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey Muldoon for winning the John F. Mee award for the “Best Management History Division Contributor,” the most prestigious annual award at the Academy of Management. This award commemorates the contributor of Professor John F. Mee, a long-time management scholar at Indiana University and the 7th President of the Academy. Dr. Muldoon was also named as the author with the most downloads in the last 12 months in the Journal of Management History for his article, “The Hawthorne Legacy: A Reassessment of the Impact of the Hawthorne Students on Management Scholarship, 1930­­–1958.”

Four students and the two co-advisors for Beta Alpha Psiattended the annual international meeting in Chicago, August 8–10, 2019. Pictured are, from left, Carolina Taylor, Benesta Liburd, Alex McAnerney, James Howerton, and advisors Dr. Juan Chavarria and Dr. George Durler.

The Chinese Students and Scholars Associationcompleted the new student orientation on August 18. The faculty presented topics related to the student campus life and studies.


The Teachers College

Dr. Connie Phelps, Professor of Gifted Education in the Department of Elementary Education/Early Childhood/Special Education, is the inaugural Dr. John E. King Endowed Professorof The Teachers College.

Dr. Carol Russell was Keynote Speakerfor the 2019 Canada International Conference on Education in Toronto, Canada, June 24-27, 2019. She presented “Integrating Art into the Inclusive Early Childhood Curriculum,” which culminated her over 40 years of interdisciplinary research and teaching experiences in inclusive arts. Her presentation focused on the right of creative expression for ALL children, regardless of ability level, culture or race, gender, or native language. 

Alvin Peters performed peer-review scoring for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standardsin Arizona this year for his 19th consecutive summer.

Dr. Melissa Reed and Chieko Zimmerman, elementary education major, organized a Civic Engagement Campat Emporia State University June 17-21 for children entering Grades 4-8 this Fall. Thirteen students worked on group investigations on topics related to environmental rights, human rights, and animal rights to explore civic engagement experiences. 

Dr. Janet Holland received the Best Paper Awardat the World Academy of Science, Engineering, & Technology Conference in Amsterdam, The Netherlands August 6-7, for “Eye Tracking: Biometric Evaluations of Instructional Materials for Improved Learning.” 

Dr. Nancy Albrecht was the Keynote I speakerat Symposium on Education and Culture Development in the Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong), May 24, 2019. She spoke to 250 Chinese teachers was interviewed by the media and local news. This symposium was sponsored by the Chinese government. 

Dr. Nancy Albrecht, Professor in Educational Administration, in The Teachers College and her husband, Kenneth Albrecht, Emporia State University alumnus, were delegates to the International Sister City 30th Anniversary Celebrationin Eutin, Germany this past June. Dr. Albrecht was the first teacher from Lawrence High School to accompany students on the first student/teacher exchange in 1991. The Albrechts have been actively involved in this international ambassador work for nearly three decades and have worked to establish scholarships to assist student participation in this program. More than 500 students have joined in these experiences. 

Maria Loewen (MS 2017 - Curriculum & Instruction) of Newton Schools recently toured schools in Paraguay. Sponsored by Kansas Paraguaypartners to observe teachers, Loewen participated in an iLearn conference during her 12-day trip. Loewen teaches science at the Santa Fe 5th and 6th Grade Center in Newton.

Dr. Jennifer Thomas and 10 Health & Human Performance majors attended the annual Working Wellness Conferencein downtown Wichita on August 20. The professional development opportunity was courtesy of the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita.

On July 23, visitors from the Vietnam National University of Agriculturemet with faculty from Emporia State’s Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages program and Instructional Design & Technology department, as well as Dr. Joan Brewer, interim dean of The Teachers College Dean.

“Establishing a Collaborative Culture in Linn and Barber Counties to Support Healthy Brain Development, Birth to Age 5,” a proposal by Dr. Dennis Kear, Executive Director, and Amanda Parkman, Administrative Assistant, Kansas Masonic Literacy Center, was funded for $25,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation.

Drs. Jim Persinger and Keith Wylie, along with undergraduate psychology ambassadors, presented to new ESU students during the mini majors camp that was part of Orientation activities.


Library & Information Management

We welcome Jeana Menger, who will be the new Program Director for Oregon, following the retirement of Pierina (Perri) Parise.

Eight students from the School of Library and Information Management spent 10 days studying libraries and archives in Serbia, under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Smith, Associate Professor. Highlights of the trip included visits to the Preservation Lab at the National Library of Serbia and the Children’s Library at the Belgrade City Library, as well as visits to libraries in the cities of Novi Sad and Niš. 

Congratulations to alum Stephanie Bailey-White, who was named the new Idaho state librarian. 

Current SLIM student, Ruth Mahaffy has been selected to receive the 2019 LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship ($3,000) sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Associationand Baker & Taylor.  

The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services awarded one of their 2019 Spectrum Scholarshipsto Oregon SLIM student, Alisa Williams. A prestigious committee of twenty-one jurors selected this year’s Spectrum Scholars based on their commitment to equity and inclusion, demonstrated community outreach, commitment to the library profession, and leadership potential.

Congratulations to alum Erin Wells, the new library director for the Walla Walla (Washington) Public Library. 


Student Affairs

The Center for Student Involvement kicked off the start of the year with New Hornet Orientation.Record numbers of students participated in the events of Orientation, and the festivities continued through the first week of classes with events like the Block Party, Party on the Lawn and Huge Activities Fair.

Our new Schallenkamp Hallwas featured in Saint Louis Construction News and Review for the work done by St. Louis-based KWK Architects. 


Koch Center

In July, Dr. Derek Yonai attended “A Free Society and the Academy” conference hosted by the Mercatus Centerat George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia.

During the first two weeks of August, Dr. Yonai led two professional development sessions for Texas high school teachersat Cleburne IDS and at Arlington ISD. At both development sessions, he taught his modules on “Morality of Markets” and “Culture and Trade” to the districts’ social science, geography, and history teachers.



Six individuals and the winningest men’s basketball team in school history will be inducted into the Emporia State Athletic Hall of Honor on Saturday, October 19 as part of Homecoming festivities at Emporia State. The inductees will join a group of 208 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators and 19 teams who have distinguished themselves, the University and their professions through their athletic achievement. 

Emporia State track & field All-American Brianna Schmitz is now the MIAA’s nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year. A total of 148 student-athletes chosen by NCAA conferences and a selection committee will advance as nominees for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The women were selected from a pool of 585 school nominees.  

Pete Clarke (BSB 1964) won gold medalsin both the 100- and 200-meter races for his age group at the USA Track & Field Open and Masters Championships in New York. Now 78, Pete was a member of the 1961-62 Cross Country team inducted into the ESU Athletics Hall of Honor.  

Emporia State’s Julius Jackson will become the third Hornet to sign a professional contract with Raiders Basket Jarvenpaa in Finland. He is the third Hornet men’s basketball player to sign professionally after this past season. Hassan Thomas signed with Sampaense Basket of Portugal Proliga while Malik Hluchoweckyj signed with KK Bratunac of the Bosnia BiH Liga earlier this summer. 



Dr. Carol Russell, Dr. Heather Caswell, and Mr. Fletch Russell, MFA presented “ESU’s Children Inspire Glass Project”for the 2019 Canada International Conference on Educationin Toronto, Canada, June 24-27, 2019. Their presentation focused on how the interdisciplinary group of ESU faculty and students offer extraordinary opportunities for Emporia area children ages 5-10 to create stories and design creatures to be transformed into glass sculpture. 

Dr. Janet Holland presented “Augmented Reality: 3D Holograms for Engaged Learning” July 27- 28 at the Pixel International Conference, The Future of Education, in Florence, Italy.

In July, Dr. Jim Persinger presented “LGBTQ+ Gifted” at GLSEN’s annual Chapter Leadership Institutein Los Angeles.

At the Pacific Northwest Library Association Conference, current SLIM student, Amy Stewart, presented on “Zine Creation, Beyond Fandoms: The Digital Ecology Behind Fanfiction and Why Libraries Need to Pay Attention,” and Bronwyn Dorhofer (2011) presented on, “Making the Most of Early-Career Librarianship.”

On August 15, Kenna Reeves, Communication and Theatre Department, spoke to the Emporia Chapter of Altrusa Internationalon “Conflict Management from the Inside Out: Filtering What I Say and How I Say It.” 

Dr. Heidi Hamilton presented a paper titled “Who’s really the victim? The ‘hashtag hijacking’ of #HimToo as localized narrative argument” at the Alta Conference on Argumentation.

Dr. Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, presented a paper titled “Whose ethics? An engaged project to develop ethical guidelines for research and evaluation” at the Aspen Conference on Engaged Communication Scholarshipin July.

The 2019 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologistswas in Snowbird, Utah from July 24-28. Five graduate students and biology faculty members Drs. Alexis Powell and Lynnette Sievert from ESU attended. The following oral presentations were given by the group. The * represents the student presenting.

  • Donglin Han* and Lynnette Sievert presented “The effect of temperature on activity of the digestive behavior of Anaxyrus woodhousii” (Woodhouse’s toad)
  • John Bellah* and Lynnette Sievert presented “Biting the hand that feeds you: Effects of parasitism in northern watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon)” 
  • Michael Mahr*, Justin Autz, Jennifer Buchanan, Alexis Powell, Lynnette Sievert, David Edds, and J. Daren Riedle presented “Morpologic variation, geographic distributions, and taxonomic boundaries of map turtles (Graptemysspp.) in Kansas”
  • Jennifer Buchanan*, Alexis Powell, and Lynnette Sievert presented “Diet of the mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) in lentic versus lotic habitats”
  • Justin Autz*, Jennifer Buchanan, Michael Mahr, Alexis Powell, Lynnette Sievert, David Edds, and J. Daren Riedle presented “Distribution and seasonal activity patterns of the mudpuppy in eastern Kansas”.
  • Lynnette Sievert presented the Trustee’s report and the Kennedy Student Award Report at the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles board meeting and at the SSAR business meeting. 

These presentations were given at the 104th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, August 11 through 16 at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville. Biology graduate student, Heather Kraus, presented results from her thesis research and her advisor, Dr. Bill Jensen, co-wrote this and two other presentations from this collaborative research effort. Citations as follows (*presenter): 

  • Kraus, H.M.*, W.E. Jensen, M.L. Jameson, G.R. Houseman, and M.M. Reichenborn. ”Nestling condition of a grassland bird not associated with food availability in restored grasslands of the Great Plains.” 
  • Morphew, A.R.*, M.L. Jameson, G.R. Houseman, W.E. Jensen, M.M. Reichenborn, D.F. Watson, and E.L. Kjaer. ”Native bee responses to habitat management of restored grasslands in the Great Plains.”
  • Watson, D.F.*, G.R. Houseman, M.L. Jameson, W.E. Jensen, M.M. Reichenborn, and A.R. Morphew. ”Effect of cattle grazing on Conservation Reserve Program grasslands across a precipitation gradient.”



Dr. Elizabeth Dobler co-wrote a book this summer, “FromCuriosity to Deep Learning: Personal Digital Inquiry in Grades K-5,” published by Stenhouse.

Zach Selley (OR MLS 2011 and adjunct instructor) has published an article on ”DPLA in the Pacific Northwest: The Orbis Cascade Alliance Case,” OLA Quarterly, Vol. 4, no. 4, 2019. 

“‘Tomboy’ is anachronistic. But the concept still has something to teach us,” an article by Lynne Stahl (OR MLS 2018) appeared in The Washington Post.

Dr. Jasmine Linabary, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Theatre, recently published a co-written article titled “From data points to people: Feminist situated ethics in online big data research” in International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

Patrick Callahan’s review of A.M. Juster’s edition and translation of John Milton’s Latin Book of Elegies was published in the University Bookman.

Dr. Michael Widdersheim, Brady Lund and Betty Kemboi, School of Library and Information Management, published the article “Change Management in Public Libraries: Research-Based Political Strategies” in the Journal of Library Administration

Prof. Kevin Rabas (EMLJ) published a new book of poems, “Watch Your Head” (Kellogg Press).

A response to Hazelwood: Kansas advisers helped to create legal support for students” by Prof. Kristy Dekat (English, Modern Language, and Journalism) was published in the Fall 2019 issue of Communication: Journalism Education Today Magazine.



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