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I'm A Hornet from President Allison Garrett

November 3, 2016

Our Sunken Garden fountain received a new look this fall, taking it back more like the original fountain. New stone benches near the fountain complete the facelift.

For the first year, the ESU campus is joining the effort of Emporia Main Street to showcase local veterans with special banners hanging from light poles. A total of 200 banners are hung from the All Veterans Memorial in south Emporia to the end of Commercial Street. This year, another 50 banners continued on campus, many with connections to the ESU campus community.


Arts & Sciences

Music alumnus Gerald Gurss (BM 2001) is nominated for The American Prize in choral composition, professional category. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts. Learn more…

The Department of Biological Sciences hosted the annual Central Plains Society of Mammalogists meeting, above, at ESU’s renovated Ross Natural History Reservation over fall break Oct. 21 and 22. The meeting began with the inaugural gathering of the Kansas Bat Workgroup, which consisted of 50 professional biologists with state agencies, academia and NGOs. The main scientific program and socials were attended by 68 people, mostly students from across the 6-state CPSM region.

ESU biology faculty member, Dr. Dwight Moore, received the Distinguished Service Award from the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists for his initiation of the Kansas Mammal Meeting, hosted by ESU, which eventually evolved into the larger CPSM.

High school students from eastern Kansas schools participated in ESU’s annual Donald L. Bruyr Mathematics Day on Oct. 19 to show off their skills in mathematics. Students competed individually and as teams in algebra, geometry and the catch-all event, Math Scramble. Awards went to the top three teams and top five individuals in the competitions.

Jeremy Martin, professor of mathematics at KU, spoke to 21 Emporia Middle School students on October 25 at ESU’s Department of Mathematics and Economics. The students are part of a new STEM outreach program co-sponsored by the ESU department and Emporia Middle School called in the Inspired By Math.

Congratulations to Morgan Willingham (ESU assistant professor of art)! Morgan was featured in Lenscratch: Fine Art Photography Daily. 

Congratulations to 2004 ESU graduate Kyle Halverson (B.S. Earth Science, minor in Geospatial Analysis)! Kyle was recently promoted to the position of chief geologist for KDOT in September, 2016. Prior to this, he served as the northeast Kansas regional geologist from 2012 to 2016.

Former WIBW sportscaster and ESU alumnus J.B. Bauersfeld (BFA 2003) was profiled in the Topeka Capital-Journal about his new acting career in California.

The Department of Mathematics and Economics welcomed Hispanic and Latino middle school students from northeast Kansas to campus on Oct. 29 for the 10th annual Si Se Puede event to encourage Hispanic and Latino students to explore STEM fields. 


The Teachers College

The Kansas Association of School Psychologists honored Dr. Jim Persinger, professor and chair of Emporia State’s Psychology Department, with its Lifetime Achievement Award on October 14. The award honors an individual with an expansive career influencing the field of school psychology; it has only been given a handful of times in the 53 years since KASP was founded. 

The 2016 group of Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” includes two ESU alumnae. Dustin Dick of Topeka West High School and Sarah Lucero of Scott Dual Language Magnet School will be honored Nov. 17. Topeka’s Top “20 Under 40” award honors members of the Topeka/Shawnee County Community for their commitment and contributions both professionally and personally. 

Dr. Sungwoong Lee, Instructional Design & Technology assistant professor, was selected to participate in 2016 Association for Educational Communications and Technology’s Early Career Symposium sponsored by the National Science Foundation during AECT’s convention in Las Vegas, October 17-21.

Milton Knopp and Julie La Combe, Instructional Design & Technology graduate students, won the Association for Educational Communications and Technology’s Design and Development Competition. Knopp and La Combe were up against two teams from doctoral programs in the finals. They presented and won the final round during AECT’s convention October 17-21 in Las Vegas. 

A Professional Development School partner of Emporia State’s was recently named a National Blue Ribbon School. Wheatridge Middle School, in USD 231 Gardner Edgerton, will be recognized at an awards ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

Joe Kern, Instructional Designer with Information Technology, represented Emporia State’s FAN – STEM 1 (Fredonia, Altoona-Midway, Neodesha- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-Initiative) team at the October 18 Altoona-Midway Science Fair. The event drew over 43 students — a larger audience than a prior event held in the district.

The 2017 Kansas Superintendent of the Year, Sue Givens, is an ESU alumna. Sue (BSE 1977) has led the El Dorado Public Schools since 2007 and is a strong supporter of the BEST program between ESU and Butler Community College.



The Emporia State men’s basketball team has been ranked 11th in the MIAA Preseason Coaches Poll. The Hornets open the season with a pair of exhibition games against NCAA Division I opponents. 

For the fourth straight year the Emporia State Lady Hornets have been slated as preseason favorites to win the MIAA according to the 2016-17 Preseason MIAA Coaches Poll. The Lady Hornets are ranked No. 3in the D2Bulletin Preseason Top 25. 

Emily Schoenfeld earned All-MIAA honors for the third straight year to lead the Emporia State cross country teams at the MIAA Championships. Brian Newkirk had the top finish for the Hornet men and missed All-MIAA honors by one spot. 

Emporia State soccer defender Jaide Allenbrand has earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for her work in the classroom and on the pitch. She is now eligible to earn Academic All-America honors.  


Library & Information Management

Sandra Valenti, assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Management, and Bethanie O’Dell, assistant professor in University Libraries and Archives, were selected to serve on the Presidential Awards Committee for the Kansas Library Association. Terri Summey, professor in University Libraries and Archives, chaired the committee as the past president of KLA. This committee selected award winners for four different awards that are presented by KLA at its annual meeting.

Alumna Kristin Williams (History, MA 2005; MLS 2006) is the new director of the Frazier Farmstead museum in Milton-Freewater, Oregon.


Government Relations

Alan LaPolice visited students and staff at the president’s office on Oct. 24 to discuss issues affecting higher education. LaPolice is an independent candidate for the First Congressional House District in Kansas.


Information Technology

Video Services recently produced a documentary titled “Children Inspire Glass” that will air on local PBS stations.



On October 26, the School of Business hosted its annual Business Career Day. More than 570 students from 45 high schools convened on campus to learn about business majors and student life at Emporia State University.

Dr. Ed Bashaw, dean of the School of Business, was the emcee for the Economic Outlook Conference hosted at Emporia State.

Congratulations to our Beta Alpha Psi chapter and to the School of Business co-advisors Drs. George Durler and Liz Diers for achieving Distinguished status for 2015-2016. A letter from Merle Hopkins, 2016-2017 President, Beta Alpha Psi, reads: “We are proud to announce that your chapter has been recognized internationally as a Distinguished Chapter … the Lambda Psi Chapter has far exceeded the baseline requirements of Beta Alpha Psi and has excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism, and leadership.”



Congratulations to ESU alumnus Jeremy Tiemann (Biology, M.S. 2002) on his coauthored publication in Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation!



Darla Mallein, secondary social sciences education professor, participated in a panel discussion on “Creativity in Teaching in the K-20 Classroom” at the Western History Association’s annual conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 21. While in St. Paul, Dr. Mallein also participated in an invitation-only meeting sponsored by the Teaching with Primary Sources Midwest and Western Regions.

Dr. Sungwoong Lee, Instructional Design & Technology assistant professor, presented “The Effect of Video Games on Math Achievement,” and “Embodied Pulley Physics: The Development of Hands-on User Interaction in Virtual Reality” during the 2016 Association for Educational Communications and Technology convention in Las Vegas, October 17-21.

Dr. Yeol Huh, Instructional Design & Technology assistant professor, presented “Exploring Ways Online Teachers Teach Self-Regulated Learning Skills to Students in U.S. Online K-12 Schools” at the 2016 AECT Convention in Las Vegas, October 17-21. 

Dr. Damara Paris, counselor education, presented at the National Council on Rehabilitation Education Conference in Virginia “Perspectives from the Private Rehabilitation Counseling Field” October 16-18 in Arlington, VA.

The Kansas Library Conference was held in Wichita, October 19-21. This annual conference is co-sponsored by the Kansas Library Association and the Kansas Association of School Librarians. Several faculty members from the University Libraries and Archives and School of Library and Information Management presented at the conference:

  • Art Gutierrez, associate professor, presented “Empowering Patrons Through Self-Service: Laptop Lending Kiosk.”
  • Bethanie O’Dell, assistant professor, shared information on Reader’s Advisory in “Faking the Reading in Reader’s Advisory: Web Tools to Help you Make the Best Suggestions.”
  • Bethanie collaborated with Terri Summey, professor, on their presentation “Information Literacy Meets Web 2.0: Using Web Tools in Distance Learning.” In it they discussed their use of technological tools in several sections of UL100, a general education course.
  • Terri Summey, professor, presented “#DearNextPresident: Engaging Students through Current Events”, focusing on a research project with her UL100 students.     
  • Dr. Andrew Smith, associate professor in SLIM, made two presentations. He collaborated with Mr. Sreten Pantić, a teacher from Serbia, to present “Linking US students with the world: Solutions to problems encountered in cooperative programs with students in the US and overseas.” Dr. Smith also presented “Innovative solutions: Learning from international librarians” with several students from SLIM’s recent Global Experiences programs: Ashley Eck and Kayla Kettelson (Serbia trip, October 2015), Brittany Collins and Heather Miller (London trip, February 2016), and Anna Frantz and Carolyn Jackson (Serbia trip, April 2016).



Achievement - Emporia State University

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