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I'm a Hornet from Interim President Jackie Vietti

A quick reminder that the Emporia State campus will close at noon Wednesday, December 23, and reopen at 8 a.m. Monday, January 4 with our new president Allison Garrett. I have truly enjoyed my tenure as your interim president. Thank you yet again for the privilege of working beside you in that capacity these past seven months. As a result, my mantra is Once a Hornet — ALWAYS a Hornet!

Because the end of the year is a busy time for the ESU Foundation, their offices will be open Dec. 28 through 31.

Congratulations to Jason Brooks and Dr. Gary Wyatt who, with the University Diversity and Inclusion Alliance of 41 faculty, staff and students will lead efforts to create a plan to transforms our culture into a model for diversity and inclusiveness. Effective January 1, 2016 Jason will become the assistant dean of student affairs for diversity, equity and inclusion. Gary will serve as the academic affairs administrative liaison for diversity and inclusion while the University’s plan is being developed.

Our heartfelt thanks to the Lyon County Commission, who on Thursday approved our University Community in Motion plan by passing a $250,000 appropriation to Emporia Sate’s Recruitment and Retention Scholarship Fund for the 2016-17 academic year. For more:

We sent a simple question to faculty, staff and students regarding Emporia State’s mission and vision driven efforts. Of 251 students who responded to the question “During this semester, have you been equipped with leadership skills to serve goals beyond your own?” 76.49 percent answered yes. Of 138 faculty respondents to the question “During this semester, have you taught students leadership skills to succeed in a world broader than their own?” 76.09 percent answered yes. And of 418 staff respondents to the question “Is Emporia State University working for the common good?” 90.91 percent said yes.

MIAA Offensive Player of the Year and Harlon Hill Trophy Finalist Brent Wilson was named the Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association Super Region 3 Offensive Player of the Year. He was joined on the All-Region team by Mitchell Foote as a second-team receiver. For more:

Just yesterday, Brent Wilson also was named All-American. The senior record setter was named a second-team Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-American on Tuesday. He is the first Hornet quarterback to be named at least second-team All-American in school history. For more:

Information Technology and Emergency Management have worked together to introduce a new campus emergency alert channel. Alertus software on university-owned computers will show alerts in full screen if an emergency notification is issued using our RAVE system.

Speaking of IT, the IT Showcase is a publication with updates on programs, technology and other enhancement projects the department is working on. Here’s the digital copy of the fall issue:

The No. 17 Emporia State men’s track & field team had four provisional qualifiers and a school record while the women turned in two provisionals and six top three performances at the Crimson & Gold Invitational and Boo Rodgers Combined Events December 4 and 5 at Pittsburg State. For more:

Playing in the NCAA Division II National Football Quarterfinals for the first time in school history, No. 18 Emporia State fell 38-17 at No. 1 Northwest Missouri on December 5. Kudos to the Hornets and their postseason run. They end the season 11-3, the most wins since going 11-2 during their 1989 NAIA National Runner-up season. For more:

During the playoffs, the Alumni Association coordinated watch parties in Emporia, Kansas City, Lawrence and Wichita.  Go Hornets! 

From the Department of Music: In November, one of our music alumni, pianist Angel Yang (MM, 2009) won the Fifth Music Teachers National Competition, supported by the National Music Education Department of China. This four-day competition, held in Beijing, included dozens of competitors from universities throughout China. Dr. Yang is associate professor of music at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China. She received the Bachelor of Music degree from Liaoning Normal University, the Master of Music degree from ESU, and the Doctor of Music Arts degree from KU. Dr. Yang is one of the most exceptional and successful students to come out of our music program in recent years. We are all very proud of her accomplishment!

Please join me in congratulating ESU biology alumnus Nathan Holoubek (MS, Jensen lab, 2014)! Nathan has been promoted to a position as Senior Natural Resource Research Scientist (Forest Disturbance and Fire Behavior Scientist) with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Especially nice to see his thesis research (e.g., Holoubek and Jensen 2015 align so closely with his career path. 

Beta Alpha Psi, an internatonal honorary organization for accounting, finance and information systems majors, and Wright CPA Group teams up to conduct a fraud alert workshop for not-for-profit organizations and churches on December 3. Approximately 10 different representatives attended the event.

A new set of F.M. Steele photographs is on display in the Skyline corridor of the Memorial Union on the Emporia State University campus. These images — 32 works in all — have not previously been exhibited in Emporia. For more:

The Office of International Education and the division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Islamic Center of Emporia, Arabic Students Cultural Association, Muslim Students Association and the Saudi Club launched on December 7 the program “United for Peace,” a series of events that will take place in Spring 2016 to inform the community at large about Islam and the Muslim world.

Teachers College alum Kaitlynn Grube received a TGIF (Teacher Grants Ideas Financed) through the Credit Union of America. Teachers who are Credit Union members can apply and can be awarded up to $500. She applied for the grant to get more math manipulatives for a new math curriculum. Kaitlynn teaches third grade at Dodge Literacy Magnet in Wichita.

As part of The Adaptive University strategic plan, Emporia State implemented a new electronic way for the campus community to submit Early Alerts (SCAF/Student Concern Action Form) regarding academic concerns. For fall 2015, over 500 Early Alerts were submitted, and individualized outreach went to each of those students by the Student Advising Center.

Emporia State University is engaging in continued international student recruitment efforts in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.

Alum Christine Garrett at Rosehill Enhanced Learning Center received $5,000 as runner up in the Elementary Division of the Battle of the Brains for “Camp STEM … Science, S’Mores and More.”

The Office of International Education celebrated the International Education Week November 16 through 23. The weeklong celebration was marked by students’ cultural displays, country presentations and study abroad information sessions. The week closed with an international cultural/talent show at the Bruder Theater.

Emporia State’s Art Therapy program sent contributions to the American Art Association for its collaborative mural project. A total of 35 AATA-approved graduate art therapy programs have been called to contribute a piece of art for a mural to be displayed and permanently housed in the AATA’s National Office in Alexandria, VA. Participating programs were asked to incorporate a design representing their program on a 12-inch by 12-inch canvas. When combined, the mural pieces will form out the acronym “AATA.”

As part of the new strategic plan, Emporia State opened ACES (Academic Center for Excellence and Success) in August 2015, within the William Allen White Library. ACES currently offers tutoring in biology, chemistry, psychology, writing, researching and citation writing, and assistance for English language learners. For the inaugural semester, there were over 1,200 student visits to ACES, where students were seeking assistance from a tutor.

Dr. Anna Catterson (alum of The Teachers College), educational technology coordinator in Information Technology, introduces the newly built lightboard to campus and Dr. Clint Stephens, director of Leadership Studies, demonstrate the practical use of the device in the classroom in a YouTube video at

Lauren Campbell, a general and special education elementary teacher in the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools and Emporia State alum, received an Award of Excellence from the Kansas Association for Gifted, Talented and Creative.

Thirty-five Emporia State University Hornets studied abroad this Fall 2015. Some students went abroad for a whole academic year and others went for a short-term under the guidance of a faculty member. The countries visited by Hornets were Germany, Italy, Nicaragua, Serbia, South Africa, U.S. Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom.

For the second consecutive year, the Department of Instructional Design & Technology won the award for donating the most canned goods to The Teachers College annual holiday food drive.

The Alumni Association of Emporia State University welcomed all of Emporia State’s Winter Commencement graduates to their alma mater’s Alumni Association! Graduates were presented with an I’m a Hornet alumni pin and welcome certificate. Alumni Association President Gary Handy ‘04 provided welcoming remarks at both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies. 

Representatives of Chevrolet gave Teachers College alum Shane Heiman’s second-graders at New York Elementary in Lawrence, Kansas, a big surprise. They visited New York Elementary to present the students with framed professional sketches and 3-D models of the children’s own “Ultimate Dream Cars.” Heiman’s students designed the cars they’d like to drive someday, like the Chevrolet Candy World. Other students’ designs included robot, dinosaur, rainbow, flame-thrower and submarine themes. The children’s parents were invited to attend today’s Dream Machine Reveal Party and received Chevrolet goodie bags. Chevrolet also made a video of the visit to New York Elementary.

One hundred percent of the fourteen educators mentored through a program to help them become National Board Certified Teachers recently found out they were successful in their efforts. One teacher earned her certificate for the first time. Thirteen of the educators work in K-12 education; one works for a university. For more:

An organization that Dr. Jim Persinger, chair of the Psychology Department, serves on the board of is receiving the 2016 Government and Professional Relations (GPR) Outstanding Advocate Award from the National Association of School Psychologists. The organization, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network- Greater Kansas City Chapter, was selected because of its efforts in reaching out to schools, parents, and students.

Nine students from the Butler and Emporia, from Students to Teachers (BEST) elementary education program were selected to receive a James and Catherine Buck Charitable Trust Scholarship for the spring 2016 semester. The scholarship is made possible by the James and Catherine Buck Charitable Trust and the Butler Community College Foundation. The recipients of the $1,750 scholarship are Kaitlin Jennings, Mynnette Kitchen, Mario Triana, and Claire Yost who are juniors, and Jason Boyer, Megan Chamberlain, Jessica McCarthy, Jenna Rollins, and Chandler Wellner who will be student-teaching in the spring.

Next spring, University Facilities will begin a pilot program of shuttle buses between the Memorial Union and White Auditorium for home basketball games. A 25-passenger bus will be used to shuttle students as well as faculty and staff. More information will come closer to the launch of the service.

Faculty and students in SLIM, the School of Library and Information Management, were honored during the fall semester:

  • Dr. Sarah Sutton and Rachel Miles, a Master of Library Science student, presented “Using Alternative Metrics for Collection Development” at the Kansas and Missouri Library Association annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Dr. Andrew J. M. Smith with Master of Library Science students Sharon Anderson, Lisa Greenfield, Cynorra Jackson, and Marjorie Snyder presented “Libraries without Borders: Common Themes and Different Solutions” at the Kansas and Missouri Library Association annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri. 
  • Ron Rozzell, a Master of Library Science student, presented “Minecrafting Data: How to Collect Information, Best Practices for Reviews, & Data Collection for Advocating” at the Kansas and Missouri Library Association in Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Dr. Jim Walther traveled to South Africa with 12 Master of Library Science students enrolled in the course The Impact of Libraries and Archives on South Africa.
  • Dr. Mirah Dow presented “Project STEM-ALL: Specialize with ESU’s Information, Technology, and Scientific Literacy Certificate” at the 2015 Kansas Association of School Librarian’s annual conference in Salina, Kansas.
  • Dr. Robin Kurz is serving as an ex officio board member of the Young Adult Library Services Association through June 2016.  She is on the American Library Association ballot in March for a three-year term on the YALSA Board.
  • On Thursday, December 3, Padma Polepeddi, a candidate for the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Library and Information Management, successfully defended her dissertation research titled “Making Sense of the Information Needs for Acquisition of Information Literacy Skills of English-speaking New African Immigrants:  A Case Study of Ethiopian Women at Eloise May Library, Denver, Colorado, USA.”
  • Tracie M. Kreighbaum, a candidate for the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Library and Information Management, successfully presented on Friday, December 4 her proposal for dissertation research titled “Problem Solving for Survival:  An Exploration of Rural Homeless Adults’ Information Use Environment.”
  • Brian D. Schwartz, a candidate for the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Library and Information Management, successfully presented on Friday, December 4, his proposal for dissertation research titled “More than a look-up skill:  Medical information literacy education in osteopathic medical schools.”
  • Mira Greene, an ESU SLIM Ph.D. student was awarded the honor of credential member (2015-2020) of the Academy of Health Information Professionals, Medial Library Association. Mira also co-presented “Creating a Standard of Practice for License Alternatives” at the 2015 Charleston Conference, Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, Charleston, South Carolina.
  • SLIM Ph.D. student, Brian Schwartz, a medial librarian at The Rocky Vista University, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado, is one of five faculty receiving funding from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for research titled “Teaching the Humanity of Evidence-based Medicine: Informed by the Literature, Guided by the Physician, Framed by the Patient.”