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Campus Buzz from President Allison Garrett

Emporia State Art Therapy Students posing with art at zoo

Triathlon Curriculum

Dr. Joan Brewer, ESU interim dean of The Teachers College and professor of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, co-wrote “Splash, Spin, Sprint,” a school curriculum for ages 6 through 12. Launched by USA Triathlon, the curriculum is a resource for physical educators as well as a call-to-action to address the growing health problems related to physical inactivity and obesity among American youth. Billy Mills Middle School in Lawrence is piloting the program.

Urban Coyotes

A current article in National Geographic magazine includes alum Stanley Gehrt (MS Biology, 1988) and his study of coyotes in Chicago. Stan is a wildlife ecologist with Ohio State University and the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation. He began studying Chicago coyotes in 2000.

Nature Article

Dr. Lu Jiang (M.S. Biology, 2013) was a co-author on an article published in Nature, “a weekly international journal publishing the finest peer-reviewed research in all fields of science and technology.” The article studied the relationship between specific gut bacterium and alcoholic hepatitis, which could inform possible treatments for the disease after further study. After leaving ESU, Dr. Jiang completed her Ph.D. at University of Kansas Medical Center in 2018 and now is a postdoctoral scholar at University of California San Diego.

Arts & Sciences

Congratulations to alum Dr. Erik Calderon (B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2011), who recently passed both his internal medicine and pediatric board exams. He is now officially a full-blown doctor!! A graduate of Emporia High School, Dr. Calderon went from ESU to complete medical school at University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2015, and then moved to his residency in Internal/Pediatrics at the Wichita Center for Graduate Medical Education.

Alum Ken Johnson (BME 1976) retired in November after a 34-year career as a baritone in the San Francisco Opera Chorus after a 34 year career. He took his final curtain call for a performance of “Hansel & Gretel.”


The Phi Beta Lambda Chapter will raise funds for nationals next spring in Salt Lake City, Utah, by working at Pizza Ranch in Emporia on Jan. 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. Please consider joining us for supper and supporting our students! In 2019, ESU students brought home more awards from nationals than any other school in Kansas.

The Scholarship Reception and Beta Gamma Sigma induction ceremony was held Nov. 19. BGS is the honor society for AACSB-accredited business schools. Thirty members were inducted, including faculty member Dr. Jun Yu and honoree, Mr. Bill Pickert. This year’s chapter is on track to obtain the Highest Honors for the fourth consecutive year. ESU has the only Highest Honors chapter in Kansas.

The Hult Prize competition was held on Nov. 23. The winning teams head to Washington, D.C., (first place) and San Francisco (second place) in March. First place was Team Tawi Bags: Kennedy Mwangi, Donovan Reeves, (Jill) Tzu-Yuan Huang and Justice Brobbey. Second place (Team Therm Way) goes to Karla Flores, Emily Euler, Shakirjan Kabulov and Courtney Burian.

Beta Alphi Psi recently held its faculty/honorary initiation and trivia night. Drs. Lei Wen and Juan Chavarria were faculty inductees, and Kris Culliton was the honorary inductee. Kris is the BAP National Corporate Partner representative for the Accounting and Finance Women’s Alliance.


Emporia State University will receive two awards for advancement work at the upcoming CASE District VI Conference. Both awards recognize the ESU Alumni Association’s 2019 Classroom Takeover activity. It won Silver in the category of “Department or Unit Branding Programs.” It was also selected as one of two District Finalists in the Platinum Category of “Best Practices in Alumni Relations,” which means it will move on to CASE’s international competition.

Information Technology

Faculty recipients of the 2018-19 Innovate, Inspire, Ignite (i3) mini grants presented at Provost Council in November. This years’ recipients developed Open Educational Resources for their curricular areas. Presenting were Joyce Zhou from the School of Business and Bethanie O’Dell, Amy Sage Webb, Rosalie Krenger and Jonathan Leach representing the Library and English, Modern Languages, and Journalism.

The Teachers College

Nearly all of the educators mentored through a program at Emporia State recently found out they had achieved their goal. Twelve of 13 teachers who worked toward renewing their certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards during the 2018-19 school year were successful. This means since 2005, ESU’s Great Plains Center for National Teacher Certification has a 99.5% success rate on renewing certification on teachers who use its services.

Every fall, first year art therapy graduate students learn about adaptive and developmental techniques in AT 800 Introduction to Art Therapy, which includes a trip to the Topeka Zoo to paint with the elephants.

Art therapy graduate student Taylor Alexander received a student scholarship to the American Art Therapy Association Annual Conference at the AATA’s annual conference held in Kansas City in November.

Congratulations to Grady Goff (BS Health & Human Performance, 2014), who graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic and opened his own practice, Restoration Chiropractic in Wichita.

Alum Richard Sack (BS Education, 1966) received the inaugural Vincentian Charism Award from the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth for his volunteer work. Richard taught industrial arts in small town high schools before moving to Leavenworth, where he taught another 30 years.

Library & Information Management

Calla Jarvie (SD MLS 2019), director of the Rock County Community Library in Luverne, Minnesota, was interviewed in an article about Minnesota rural libraries in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Student Affairs

Daniel Fragel, assistant director of Recreation Services, was recently been selected as the Assistant Director of Media for the National Intramural & Recreational Sports Association’s 2020 National Basketball Tournament. Daniel will serve as the director for the 2021 tournament.

Mike Wise, director of Recreation Services, serves on the 2020 Region IV Award of Merit Evaluation Committee. This award is presented to the individual recognized each year as the person who contributed significantly to the regional advancement of the National Intramural & Recreational Sports Association.


Lady Hornet Jessica Wayne earned MIAA Player of the Week honors after recording Emporia State's first triple double in nearly two decades.


On November 22, Dr. Amanda Lickteig presented "Designing Digital Interactive Reading Guides" at the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Baltimore as part of the Studies in Literacies and Multimedia Assembly.

Dr. Erin Blocker presented “Reducing Dementia Risk in Rural Communities” based on her Lifestyle Empowerment for Alzheimer’s Prevention (LEAP!) research at the 8th Annual Kansas Education Conference on Dementia November 14 in Mulvane. The conference is the one of the largest conference of its kind in the nation.

Director of ACES Gieselle Taylor presented “Comprehensive and Engaging Tutor Training that’s Manageable for Learning Centers” at the national College Reading and Learning Association Conference.

Dr. Andrew Smith presented a poster with Matthew Walston, a graduate student in SLIM, at the Kansas Library Association conference, titled “Women in Leadership: A Kansas libraries perspective.”


Dr. Brittany Dennis, counselor education, co-wrote “Pedagogical Perspectives on Counselor Education: An Autoethnographic Experience of Doctoral Student Development” in The Qualitative Report earlier this year.


Students in ESU’s athletic training program traveled to Topeka on November 17 to attend the 13th Annual Kansas Athletic Trainers Society Symposium.