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I'm A Hornet From President Allison Garrett

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Samanatha “Sam” Neill (BSE 2002 English), an English language arts teacher at Buhler High School, who was named the 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year on November 18, during a special ceremony in Wichita. A total of four ESU alumni were honored at the banquet. Jamie D. Manhart (BSE 1993 English), Angela R. Powers (BSE 2000 English; MS 2005 Curriculum & Instruction; MS 2008 Instructional Design & Technology) and Sarah C. VenJohn (MS 2016 Curriculum & Instruction) were named regional teachers of the year.


Finance Minister

Lea Gimenez, Paraguay’s minister of finance, represented her country at the annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. last month. Gimenez earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Emporia State. 

Arts and Sciences 

Two of our piano students won first place at the Kansas Music Teachers Association competition. Tingyu Zhang won first place in the graduate division beating students from KU and K-State, among others. Yining Wang won first place in the undergraduate category.

Clarinetist Tara Lierz was selected as alternate or second place in the KMTA Artist Woodwinds category. She may compete at the regional (division level with other states) level next, in the event that the winner is unable to compete. 

Twelve students from the Department of Mathematics & Economics took a field trip to Kansas City to visit the rare book collection at the Linda Hall Library on November 10. The students viewed rare, old mathematics books including one dating back to 1482 and also toured the Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank.

Seven ESU students competed in the West Central National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Auditions in Greeley, Colorado. Three were semifinalists: Jiayang Yang in Graduate Women, Corey Mann in Freshman Men, and Ethan Bush in Junior Men. Ethan advanced to the finals and placed fifth! Students were led under the direction of Dr. Scott Wichael.

Congratulations to Larry Mounkes who landed an internship at the Lyon County Historical Society for the spring semester. He will be focusing on World War I. 

There were several exciting events on campus for Veterans Day. There was a book tour talk by “Outside the Wire” author Sgt. Justin T. Eggan, and a special session of the Veterans Roundtable to commemorate the entry of the anniversary of World War I.

Congratulations to LAS student Eric Williams, who will be an intern for Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder in his Washington, D.C., office this spring.

Congratulations to LAS student Tyrone Townsend, who has just been accepted into graduate school at Northwestern University to study counseling.

Leah Childers, assistant professor of mathematics at Pittsburg State University and ESU mathematics alum, spoke about “Area, Dots and Shoelaces” to Emporia Middle School students on the ESU campus on November 15. The talk had students exploring alternate ways to calculate area by observing patterns. 

Pardon Tinashe Masarirambi was awarded the Collegiate Student Development Fund for his work “An investigation to recover and individualize vertebrate DNA from the GI-tract of Dermestes maculatus, flesh eating insects: A mass disaster simulation study”.

ESU music faculty Gary and Terrisa Ziek performed at “We Sing the Faith,” a 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation Hymn Festival on October 15 in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and was directed by ESU Music alum Ben Spaulding. Over 300 singers participated, accompanied by brass and organ. 

Congratulations to ESU debaters Issie Engelbert and Arriq Singleton. The duo concluded the fall semester of competition ranked 31 in the top 100 partnerships.


Student Affairs 

Thirteen ESU students, along with staff members Kristi Bolen and Eden Tullis from the TRIO Student Support Services Program and Kathy Landwehr and Rachael Richardson from the Student Advising Center, attended the Ad Astra Conference for First-Generation College Students at Wichita State University on November 3 and 4. These students attended: Zauvi Laddimore, Lati Yeargin, Josue Mejia, Salma Villa, Michelle (Jordan) Blees, Patrice Haggerty, Justice Merriman, Brittany Cowel, Uzziel Salinas, Kaleb Barber, Julien Reynard and Jennifer Ibarra-Sanches. (3 PHOTOS)

Julie Cayton, assistant director of TRIO Student Support Services, was inducted as president of the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska chapter of the Educational Opportunity Association at the annual conference in Schaumburg, Illinois, November 12-15. She will also serve on the regional association board of directors.  EOA is a consortium of professionals in a ten-state region involved in the work of broadening accessibility to and success in postsecondary education for students who are first-generation, low-income, disabled or have military veteran status. 



Emporia State's Brian Newkirk placed 165th out of 249 runners that finished at the NCAA Division II Men's Cross Country National Championships in Evansville, Indiana. He is the first Hornet to compete at the men's cross country national championships in 15 years.  

Hornet safety Marcus Houghton and running back Landon Nault have each earned Academic All-District honors as presented by CoSIDA. They are both now eligible to move onto the Academic All-America ballot.  

Emporia State volleyball placed three players on the All-MIAA team as selected by the conference coaches. Junior Tatum Graves and freshman Yuchen Du were named second-team and junior Jamie Hauptman earned honorable mention. 


Student Government

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year’s Can the Bods a success! ESU successfully raised 40,042 cans to directly benefit Corky’s Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry supporting students in need.



Thank you to Diane (Thomas) Beatty (BSB ’78) for her thoughtful gift of a Beta Gamma Sigma key. It was installed on our lower lever east entrance in time for Homecoming. 

On November 1, the School of Business recognized its donors, scholarship recipients and Beta Gamma Sigma initiates at the annual Fall Scholarship Reception and Beta Gamma Sigma (BGS) induction. For Fall 2017, BGS inducted 24 members into their chapter, including chapter honoree Susan Thomas (BS ’86-Psychology, minor in Business). 

Dr. Joyce Zhou, Dr. Ed Bashaw and Dr. Mark Daly, above from left, had a great meeting to discuss partnerships with our Chinese friends David Cheng, president of the Kansas City Chinese Association, and Helen Xie. 

Davis Szabo and Franzi Willenbuecher, senior business administration students, attended the Beta Gamma Sigma 2017 Global Leadership Summit November 2 through 5 in Florida. The summit teaches participants about working with a team of leaders and sharing responsibility, improving communication, and insight on different types of leadership roles by BGS alumni. 

Dr. Joyce Zhou’s use of virtual reality in her classroom was cited as an example in an article in EdScoop. Learn more…


Library and Information Management

Alumna Stephanie Douglas (Colorado ’14) has been implementing some incredible programming at her branch of Jefferson County Public Library in Golden, Colorado. She designed the Girls in Stem, which won this year’s Library Community Partnership Award at the Colorado Association of Libraries conference. In addition, she created another program last year called “Library for All,” a monthly DIY-style program for adults with disabilities; that program is now being offered in four additional JeffCo branches.

On November 10, SLIM student Jacqueline Belden received the Pat Gaunce Scholarship from the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library. As the 2017 recipient of this award, Jacqueline was honored by her colleagues at KCKPL’s bi-annual staff in-service day, and Pat Gaunce herself presented the award. 


The Teachers College

Athletic Training students took first and second place at the Kansas Athletic Trainers Society Conference Quiz Bowl November 11-12 in Manhattan. Both teams will advance to compete at the district Mid-America athletic trainers conference in the spring. (PHOTO Front, left to right: Cayla Carter, Elizabeth Brown, Mizuki Kiriyama, Haylie Schmidt; Back: Michael Meadows, Robert Lyles, Logan Prins, Daisuke Monda).

Dr. Carol Russell, early childhood professor, and Tally Russell (BS 2011) were featured authors at Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore in Emporia on November 1 during Emporia’s First Fridays. Featured were Dr. Russell’s books, “Sandwiched! Tales, Tips & Tools to Balance Life in the Sandwich Generation” and “I Like Rocks” by Carol & Tally Russell; and Tally Russell’s book, “Magnificent Midnight’s Marvelous Memories: A Loving Relationship Between a Young Woman & Her Therapy Horse.” 

Dr. Heather Caswell, early childhood assistant professor, was recently appointed to serve as the ESU representative for the William Allen White Children’s Book Award Nomination Committee, which reviews books for Grades 3-8. Her term will begin fall 2018. She currently serves on the Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award Nomination Committee, which reviews books for Grades K-3. 

The class “High Impact Learning in Education” led by Dr. Melissa Reed, associate professor of elementary education, continues to introduce students to various venues and specialists in education this semester. Most recently, the class toured the Brown V Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, the Kauffman School in Kansas City, Missouri, and met with Senator Jeff Longbine and Representative Mark Schreiber. (PHOTO)

Jessica Stallings, associate professor of art therapy, served as a co-principle investigator and received the American Art Therapy Association Association’s Rawley Silver Research Award, the highest research honor in AATA, at the association’s annual national conference in Albuquerque in early November.

Graduate art therapy student Kim Nguyen received an American Art Therapy Association scholarship that covered the cost of her full-conference registration package. She was recognized at the AATA Annual Awards Ceremony at the association’s annual national conference in Albuquerque in early November.

On Saturday November 18, the Kansas Department of Education named Rachel Schloctermeier Pumford, ESU secondary education, and Katherine Umana, ESU elementary education, as the Fall 2017 Teachers of Promise.

Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, professor of art therapy, serves on the Board of Directors for the American Art Therapy Association and in November participated in AATA’s annual meeting, the AATA board meetings, among many other AATA events at AATA’s annual national conference (see below).

Congratulations to four alumni recognized for their work as principals by the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals. Rod Wittner (BSE 1992 Business Education) of Holton High School was named Area I High School Principal of the Year. Toby Countryman (BSE 1993 Social Sciences; MS 2009 Educational Administration) of Quinter Junior Senior High School, was named Area V High School Principal of the Year. Dave Coufal (MS 1992 Educational Administration) of Hiawatha Middle School was named Area I Middle Level Principal of the Year. Jane Oeser (MS 1993 Educational Administration) of Central Plains Middle School was named Area III Middle Level Principal of the Year.



Dr. Sunnin Keosybounheuang, Katie Mathews and Emily Redeker, graduate assistant, all from Emporia State’s health, physical education, and recreation department, presented multiple sessions on health education strategies related to mental health, social health & decision making at the 2017 Missouri Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance convention November 11-12 at Lake of the Ozarks. 

Dr. Yeol Huh and Dr. Dabae Lee, both instructional design and technology assistant professors, presented “Changing Ways of Collaborating In Online Courses – A Design-Based Action Research” at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology convention November 7-11 in Jacksonville, Florida. Huh and Lee were awarded first place for the presentation, earning the DDL Burmeister Outstanding DDL AECT Presentation Award, along with collaborators. 

Michael Smith (professor and chair, Social Sciences) presented on the 2018 Kansas elections at Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore on November 9.

Psychology students Aidan Johnson and Brettany Williams presented “Social Conformity and College Students’ Self-Selected Personality Characteristics,” at the Kansas Honors Connection Conference in Emporia on October 28. 

Dr. Connie Phelps, director of gifted education and special education professor, presented three sessions at the annual National Association for Gifted Children November 7-12 in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she also mentored 2017 Javits-Frasier Scholars. 

Kristy Dekat, assistant professor of Journalism, presented “Introducing Journalism Skills in an English Course” and “Crowdsourcing: Gathering Information from Your Audience” at the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association conference in Dallas on November 17 and 18.

Kathy Landwehr, Lati Yeargin, Ceanna Trice, Josue Mejia, and Zauvi Laddimore presented the workshop “First Generation: Building a Foundation for Success” at the Ad Astra Conference for First-Generation College Students. The conference took place Nov. 3 and 4 in Wichita.

ESU had a strong presence at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Herpetological Society held on November 3 – 5, 2017 at Friends University in Wichita:

  • David Gersten, Katie Porth (graduate students) and Drs. Alexis Powell and David Edds presented the poster “Have you seen me? Looking for Northern Map Turtles and Mudpuppies in eastern Kansas.”
  • Greg Sievert (clinical instructor) presented the poster “Efficacy of different artificial cover objects in reptile surveys in Kansas: A long term study.”
  • Tyleia Prendergast (M.S. alumnus) and Dr. Lynnette Sievert presented the poster “Effects of digestion on temperature selection and meal size on SDA in cornsnakes (Pantherophis guttatus)”. 
  • Biology students John Bellah, Jeff Anderson, Ali Alamri, Marcus Portofee, and Cursti Sorell also attended. 
  • For 2017 Kelley Tuel (M.S. alumnus) is secretary, Daren Riedle (B.S. alumnus) is treasurer, and Lynnette Sievert (professor) is President-elect of KHS and will be president in 2018.

Congratulations to Dr. Marcia Schulmeister and Jesse Higginbotham (ESU undergraduate – Earth Science major) on their recent presentation of their research on the Redmond Reservoir at the Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas on Nov. 8-9, in Manhattan. An abstract of their presentation was published online, click here to view it.

Dr. Terri Summey of the University Libraries and Archives presented two sessions at the Kansas Library Conference, October 25-27, in Wichita. She presented “Mindful Assessment in Five Minutes or Less” and a poster session “Emotional-Social Intelligence and Award-Winning Reference and Information Services Librarians.” 

Dr. Connie Schrock has given several talks in November. On November 3, she spoke at the School Science and Mathematics Association’s annual convention in Lexington, KY. The title of her talk was, “Leveraging Technology into Great Tasks.” November 10, she spoke at the the American Mathematical Association of Two-Year Colleges Annual Conference in San Diego. The title of her talk was, “Formative Assessment Standards Based Grading in College Trigonometry.

Dr. Deb Larson and Dr. Sonja Ezell hosted a two-day literacy workshop for teachers titled “Growing a Garden of Literacy Experts” in Garden City, Kansas, which was sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Literacy Center.

Dr. Andrew Smith, associate professor in SLIM, presented Outside looking in: Strengths and innovations of Serbian libraries in the protection and fostering of cultural heritage at the International Conference: Special Collections in the Context of Cultural Heritage Protection and the Fostering of Cultural Development, National Library of Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia.

Dr. Andrew Smith, associate professor in SLIM, with two recent MLS graduates, Cynorra Jackson and Rachel Miles, presented Learning about diversity through global experiences: The impact of the SLIM Global Experiences program on library science students’ preparation and professional practice at the 2017 Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism.

At the American Art Therapy Association Association’s annual national conference in Albuquerque in early November:

  • Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, professor of art therapy, and Jessica Stallings, associate professor of art therapy, presented with Keslie Humburg (alumni) presented “Partnering Royals Charities and Art Therapy: Grant Funded Arts and Autism Programming.” The multi-part grant supported arts accessibility programming for kids on the Autism spectrum and their families.
  • Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro and Keslie Humburg (alumni) presented “Lights, Camera, Autism: Traversing Autism Spectrum Disorder through Movie-Based Art Therapy.”
  • Jessica Stallings, associate professor of art therapy, presented her collaborative research “Practitioner Survey: Developing Evidence-based Practice for Working with Individuals with Autism.”
  • Jessica Stallings and art therapy graduate student Kim Nguyen, along with a practicing art therapist presented “Art Therapy for Social Change : How Art Therapists Can Respond to Community Crises.”
  • Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, professor of art therapy, and Dr. David Gussak (ESU Alumni, former ESU art therapy program director, current former chair of the Florida State University Art Education Department, and Interim Chair of the FSU Art Department) accepted the President’s Legacy Award on behalf and in honor of Dr. Joan Phillips. 
  • Libby Schmanke, clinical instructor of art therapy, presented “Shadow Cards: Working with Denial, Shame, and Resistance in Substance Abuse Treatment.” 

Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, professor of art therapy, presented to the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board on November 13 about the Kansas art therapy licensure initiative and attended the board’s educator’s roundtable on November 14.



Dr. Evandro Camara, Department of Sociology, has just been offered a book contract by Lexington Books, for publication of a manuscript entitled “The Critical Phenomenology of Intergroup Life: Race Relations in the Social World.”

Dr. Terri Summey of the University Libraries and Archives published a chapter entitled “Emotional Intelligence: A Framework for the Competencies and Traits of Reference and User Services Librarians” in the book, “Emotion in the Library Workplace” edited by Samantha Schmehl Hines and Miriam L. Matteson.  

Dr. Jinxuan (Jenny) Ma, assistant professor in SLIM, co-authored with SLIM GRA—Dr. Lynne Stahl in the research paper “A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of Anti-Vaccination Information on Facebook” published in the journal Library & Information Science Research.

Oregon SLIM alumni, Amanda Meeks, arts and humanities librarian at Northern Arizona University, and Alyssa Vincent, information services librarian at Northeastern Illinois University, had an article titled, “CREATE: Adapting the Framework to Studio Art Disciplines,” published in the November 2017 issue of College & Research Libraries News.

The Art Therapy Credential’s Board Newsletter published an article by Dr. Gaelynn Wolf Bordonaro, professor of art therapy, on Dr. Joan Phillips (ESU Alumni, ESU Adjunct, AATA Past-President, ATCB Past-President, Fulbright Scholar). 

Libby Schmanke, clinical instructor of art therapy, held a book signing at the American Art Therapy Association’s annual national conference in Albuquerque. The book, “Art Therapy and Substance Abuse: Enabling Recovery from Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction,” sold out during the conference. 

“Returning U.S. Soldiers Faced a Sobering Reality in 1919” by Thomas MacLean Richardson (History M.A., ’16) was published on the United States World War I Centennial Commission website.

SLIM alum Natasha Forrester Campbell (Oregon, ’02) published “Storytime Can Be Social Justice Time” in the Oregon Library Association Quarterly



SLIM Dean Wooseob Jeong attended the Washington Library Association conference along with current student, Elliot Stapleton; alumnus Sam Wallin; alumna and WLA President, Brianna Hoffman; Ph.D. alumna and national faculty Karen Diller; and alumna Judy Pitchford.

Emporia State was represented very well at the American Association of School Librarians in Phoenix. Attending were Ann Schuster, AASL Division 9 (including Kansas) director; Cristy Bolten (SLIM MLS); Dr. Mirah Dow; and Richard Connell (SLIM MLS).

Dr. Yeol Huh received third place for his co-authored DDL Journal Article Award at the Association for Educational Communications and Technology convention November 7-11 in Jacksonville, Florida.