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Campus Buzz From President Allison D. Garrett

Broadband Discussion

Emporia State was honored to be the site of a visit byFCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who convened a broadband roundtable on Sept. 19 in the School of Business. The event was coordinated by the office of U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall. Community leaders, broadband providers and others attended.

Sleeping Pods

The fact that Emporia State is the first college or university in Kansas to bring sleeping podsto campus is garnering plenty of attention. In a partnership with San Diego-based Hohm, ESU is providing space for two sleep pods at no cost. Hohm paid for the installation, hired three students to work as attendants. Each ESU student receives two free hours of sleep per month then can book naps for $10 per hour or $5 per 30 minutes. Media outlets in Emporia, Topeka and Kansas City have covered the unique service.  

Arts & Sciences

The artistic works of Nancy Pontius are displayed in the Atrium Gallery throughout September. Pictured is Nancy at the opening reception of her display. Nancy is a member of the Emporia State University faculty and a talented set designer. Her set designs include “I Do! I Do!,” “Macbeth,” The Sound of Music,” and “Noises Off.”

Students of communication instructor Kenna Reeves’s Communication and Event Planning course and members of Lambda Pi Eta, the honor society for communication majors, partnered with local business owners Kent and Natalie Schnakenberg to help with field day activities at Hetlinger Developmental Services on Friday, September 6. Activities included helping clients play disc golf, corn hole, and ride bicycles. The Lyon County Sheriff's Office also participated in the festivities.

Congratulations to all of the ESU faculty and students whose art is on display at the offices of the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka. The paintings, ceramics, photography and glass pieces will be displayed through the 2019-20 academic year. 

Thanks to Drs. Melissa Bailey and Scott Crupper and students Taylor Smith, Kenadee Palmitier, Christi Meyer and Ashley Haas for participating in the career fair and poster session at the KBI laboratory to kick off National Forensic Science Week. The Master of Science in Forensic Science students from ESU presented their research, while the faculty talked to students about the program.


Alumni Craig and Brad Clark presented the Executive Houron Sept. 20. They discussed Resume Tips & Review. The Clarks’ next Executive Hour will be Nov. 1 on “Saving the World Through Entrepreneurship, Social Responsibility, and Sustainability.”

The Chinese Language lessonshad a great start. The language program meets every Saturday morning from 10 to 11am in the library except holidays and break.

The first McNair Scholar to be published is Carolina Taylor, accounting student, with Dr. Joyce Zhou. The paper titled “How Does Culture Affect International Business Between the United States and China?” was published in the Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness. 

The Chinese Students and Scholars Associationgathered and celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival on Sept. 15.

Libraries & Archives

Students learned about library policy, facilities, resources and services during the first international students’ library tour and talk on September 12, led by Dean Michelle Hammond.

The Teachers College

Dr. Tiffany Hill, Assistant Professor in elementary education, was recently named an approved Annual Report Reviewer for Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Dr. Sara Schwerdtfeger, Assistant Professor in elementary education, was recently selected for a national fellowship opportunity. The Klawe Fellowshipis a national opportunity for professionals to build their leadership skills as they advocate for high quality instructional materials at the local, state, and national levels.

Students in PE 300 History of Physical Education and Sport were instructed by Carmen Leeds, director of ESU’s Memorial Union and former coach, on the history and rules of Granny Basketballon September 17.  Leeds is currently on a Granny Basketball team and is in the process of creating such a team in Emporia.

Dr. Brian Harris, 1978 School Counseling graduate, visited with Counselor Educationfaculty on Monday, September 9th. Brian is a retired superintendent, currently living near Lawrence. He remembers Counselor Education when it was located in Visser Hall!

Dr. Connie Phelps, Director of Gifted Education, is on sabbatical in Europe this semester. She recently took a tour of “Black Paris Tour.” TheNoirs de France contributed their gifts, talents, and creativity in many fields such as jazz, writing, music, and military. The “Black Paris Tour” highlighted accomplishments of both American and European Black people during the past 200 years. Phelps also visited the Arken Museum in Copenhagen where she consulted with the founder of a new gifted school.

The Kansas Book Festival Youth Writing Contestwas coordinated by the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center at Emporia State University. This year’s theme was “To the Stars” and contestants were asked to describe an event from the state’s rich past and explain its impact. The writing contest was open to Kansas students in grades 3-12. Winners were selected in each of the four Congressional Districts.

The Kansas Masonic Literacy Center sponsored Kansas Literacy Week, September 1-7. Posters were distributed to schools and public libraries across the state. A social media contest promoted the week and four photos were drawn for a $100 library. There were over 240 entries and 2262 engagements. Winners included a rural family, two libraries, and a preschool.

KMLC partnered with the public librarians and the public and private schools in Coffey, Lyon and Osage Counties on the Rocket Project. The librarians went into all the kindergarten classes in their service area and read the book, “How Rocket Learned to Read.” They then gave a copy of the book, “Rocket’s Very Fine Day,” to each of the kindergartners compliments of the KMLC.

Alvin Peters, Director of the Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification, led informational meetings and/or orientations in Emporia, Manhattan, and Topeka in September for teachers seeking National Board Certification. The annual orientation academy at Emporia State was held September 6-7 and sponsored by State Farm, a long-time supporter of the center.

Health & Human Performance students presented to members of the USD 253 Emporia school district on September 18 for a weekly wellness class.

Emily Pham (BS 2019, Health & Human Performance) was recently named the new Wellness Coordinatorfor the City of Topeka.

The Department of Health, Physical Education, & Recreation hosted a workshop “You Can’t Spell HoPE without PE”on September 12 for coaches and educators. A number of ESU alumni attended.

The TESOL Program attended the KC campus' annual educator's fairon September 19. Dr. Cate Crosby, TESOL Program Coordinator, and Dr. Joan Brewer, Interim Dean of The Teachers College, met and talked with many students about the program.

Library & Information Management

Current SLIM students had a great tour of the Mikkelsen Libraryled by alum Brittany Fischer (SD MLS 2019) in South Dakota as part of LI802: Information-Seeking Behavior and Reference Services taught by Brenda Linares. 

Congratulations to Zoey Nelson (CO MLS 2019), who has accepted a new role at the Art Institute of Houstonas their Campus Librarian.

Congratulations to 2019 graduate Danica White, who received a three-year postgraduate appointment as faculty for the third cohort of the University Libraries Diversity Residency Programat Penn State.  

Koch Center

The Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics kicked off this year's Governance, Law, & Economics Lecture Serieswith a talk by Jack L. White of Fluet, Huber, + Hoang PLLC on "Free Speech: Context for Consciousness in Democracy" on Sept. 12. The event was attended by 170 students, faculty, staff, and friends of the University.

On Sept. 17, the Adam Smith Clubhosted Liberty at the Movies with a viewing and discussion of “A Beautiful Mind.”


Dr. Marcia Schulmeister, Professor, Physical Sciences, gave an invited presentation at the 21st National Environmental Conference at Tar Creek, in Miami, Oklahoma: “Lead, Zinc and Cadmium in flood-prone sediments along Tar Creek.” The presentation is part of her ongoing work on the fate of contaminant metals in the Tri-state mining district. This work was partially funded by a 2018 ESU High Impact Learning grant to Marcia and Qiyang Zhang, Assistant Professor, Physical Sciences.

Dr. Neal Luo was the invited speaker at Symposium on Education and Culture Development in the Greater Bay Area (Hong Kong)in May 2019. He presented his research on “American School Leadership Standards and Data-Driven Decision Making” to 250 Chinese teachers and school administrators.

Dr. Jasmine Linabary, Communication & Theatre, was an invited panelist at New York Universityfor a program September 13 on locally led peacebuilding titled "Reflections from the field: Why effective peacebuilding must be locally-led."


Emily Vardell published “Health insurance literacy and health disparities in the United States: A literature review” in The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion.