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The Campus Buzz from President Allison D. Garrett

Inauguration Poetry

Dr. Kevin Rabas, Poet Laureate of Kansas and chair of the Department of English, Modern Languages and Journalism, will read an original inaugural poem at the January 14 inauguration of Laura Kelly, the 48th governor of Kansas.


Breaking Free

Fourth-grade students at North Lyon County Elementary School in Americus solved five math-based puzzles to find the combinations to locks on a breakout box. ESU’s Learning Technologies Department designed the boxes to assist the classroom teacher Shari Beatty prepare the students for the mathematics unit test.


Congratulations, Braxton!

Senior quarterback Braxton Marstall finished seventh in the Harlon Hill Trophy balloting for the best player in NCAA Division II Football. The placings were announced Friday. A five-time MIAA Offensive Player of the Week winner, Marstall was named the MIAA Offensive Player of the Year and finished the season 296 of 478 passes for 3,049 yards and 29 touchdowns through the air while adding 423 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. 


Information Overload

Jim Walther and Emily Vardell, both assistant professors in the School of Library and Information Management, were featured on the December 6 episode of Sunflower Journeys on Topeka’s PBS channel. The pair presented on information overload in the episode titled “Books, News and Information.  


Year in Review

A photo at sunset of ESU’s One Room Schoolhouse and the Memorial to Fallen Educators is included in Education Week’s Photos of the Year for 2018. 


Arts & Sciences

Flutists directed by Dr. Catherine Bergman of the Department of Music have been busy performing for the last month. This includes 26 in the combined ESU Flute Choir, Emporia High School Flute Choir and Emporia Community Flute Choir that performed at the Center for Early Childhood Education, in the Memorial Union and at White Library. The ESU Flute Choir played holiday music on the second floor of Plumb Hall and before concerts by the honors band and wind ensembles as well as at Walnut and Logan Avenue elementary schools in Emporia.

Congratulations to forensic science graduate student Dr. Christian Pascual who won in the Forensic Sciences Foundation/CRC Press Student Travel Grant Awardand Book Prize essay contest. He receives a complimentary meeting registration and travel expenses to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences 71st Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore. Christian is on leave as a faculty member at the University of the Cordilleras-College of Criminal Justice Education to study at ESU.

Students from Sacred Heart School sent a card to the music department after attending the Emporia Symphony Orchestra concert earlier this month. Assistant Professor of Music Ramiro Miranda conducts the orchestra.

Inspired By Math students from Emporia Middle School came to ESU on December 4 to learn about radioactivity from Randall Skiles, Supervising Instructor of Chemistry and Radiation Protection at Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation. He showed students how to calculate the half-life of elements, used a Geiger counter to demonstrate the radioactivity of several objects, and had a student put on the protective gear workers at the plant wear to protect themselves from radioactive material.

Kudos to these faculty and students in our biology department for serving on the local committee for the 45th Annual Meeting of the Kansas Herpetological Society, which was held in Emporia November 3 and 4: Lynnette Sievert (Chairperson), John Bellah, Jeff Anderson, Donglin Han, Jennifer Buchanan, Justin Autz, Michael Mahr, Alexis Powell, David Edds and Greg Sievert. During the conference, Greg Sievert was in charge of the herpetological photography allowing participants to view and photograph native Kansas amphibians and reptiles. ESU alumnus Dr. J. Daren Riedle was re-elected treasurer of KHS. Also attending were undergraduate student Cursti Sorell, professor emeritus Dr. Rodney Sobieski and alumni John Tollefson and Lani Witters. 

Congratulations to ESU’s American Chemical Society student chapter, which received a commendation from the ACS. Faculty advisors for the group are Dr. Diane Nutbrown and Dr. Eric Trump.



The School of Business held a graduation reception for both undergraduates and graduates. Several graduates took advantage of having a faculty member of their choice ceremoniously hood them. Check out our photo album and hooding videos from our reception on Facebook!

Our Administrative Team is excited about the progress in Cremer Hall. The second floor will see an updated Kansas Business Hall of Fame and a new Roe R. Cross Conference Room and kitchen.



More than 200 eighth-graders from Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences visited ESU earlier this month. Students in the class choose which school to visit, and nearly all of them chose Emporia State.



Hornet running back Landon Nault has earned Emporia State’s 54th Academic All-America® honors as presented by CoSIDA. The senior running back from Kingfisher, Oklahoma, was named a Google Cloud First-Team Academic All-American® by CoSIDA. A biology major with a 3.97 GPA, Nault led the MIAA in total rushing yards and earned second team All-MIAA honors for the Hornets. 

Six football players celebrated their graduation last weekend. Said Coach Garin Higgins, “Four straight winning seasons from this group. But that’s nothing compared to them earning their degrees today! Congratulations!”

Emporia State had 58 returning student-athletes named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll. To be recognized on the Academic Honor Roll, one must have a grade point average used by the institution for purposes of NCAA academic certification of 3.00 or better at the certifying member institution.  


The Teachers College

Graduate Art Therapy Student Amy Huxtable won ESU’s IT Social Media Competition this semester. The content of the posts was featured on the university’s communication channels, including websites, social media etc.

The Art Therapy research class poster session was held December 5 at The Earl Center. In the photo, graduate student Lindsey Hylen discusses her poster, “Art & Reflective Writing Research with Young Adults.”

Norma Hodges was presented a Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation DanceAppreciation Award at the recent KAHPERD Convention held on ESU’s campus.

Justin Broyles was recognized as the ESU HPER undergraduate Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation Dance Future Professional in Recreation.  

Traci Crusinberry was identified as the 2018 Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation Dance Graduate Student of the Year.  

Shelby Marten was recognized as the ESU HPER undergraduate Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation Dance Future Professional in Education.


Library Information & Management

Two Ph.D. students in SLIM defended their research proposals last month:

  • Amanda Harrison’s research is titled ”The Impact of the Network Society on the Professional Identify of Serbian Librarians.” Her dissertation committee members are: Dr. Andrew J. M. Smith, Chair, Associate Professor, ESU SLIM; Dr. Mirah Dow, Member, Professor, ESU SLIM; and Professor Alexkandra Vraneš, Member, Dean of the Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Kristine Woods’ research is titled ”Cooperative Catalogers’ Lived Experience Implementing Resource Description and Access.” Her dissertation committee members are: Dr. Sarah Sutton, Chair, Associate Professor, ESU SLIM; Dr. Mirah Dow, Member, Professor, ESU SLIM; Dr. Sandy Valenti, Member, ESU, Assistant Professor, ESU SLIM; and Dr. Shawne D. Miksa, Member, Associate Professor, Department of Information Science, College of Information, University of North Texas.



Dr. Geethalakshmi S. Lakshmikanth, Assistant Professor Information Systems, presented two research papers and served as a session chair at the Academy of Business Research Conference in November at Boca Raton, Florida. She won the Best Paper award for both of them: “Artificial Neural Networks in Business Systems – Roles and Techniques” and “Back-Propagation in Stock Market Prediction – A Survey.”

Dr. Emily Vardell, Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information management, presented “Health Information Needs, How Librarians Can Help” during the 2018 annual meeting and program of ESU’s Beta Epsilon Chapter of Beta Phi Mu, held during the Kansas Library Association and Mountain Plains Library Association conference in Wichita. BPM is the International library and Information Studies Honor Society.

Biology faculty and students presented at the 45th annual meeting of the Kansas Herpetological Society.Oral presentations given by ESU students and faculty were:

  • “Effect of Temperature Change on Rate of Digestion in Anaxyrus woodhousii by Donglin Han* and Dr. Lynnette Sievert.
  • “The effect of temperature on Pantherophis guttatus prey-handling behavior” by Jeffery Anderson Jr*, Dr. Lynnette Sievert, and Dr. David A. Penning.
  • “Effects of parasitism on stress levels in Northern Watersnakes (Nerodia sipedon)” by John Bellah*, Dr. Lynnette Sievert, and Dr. Stewart Gardner.
  • “Distributional and seasonal activity patterns of the Mudpuppy in eastern Kansas” by Justin Autz*, Jennifer Buchanan, Michael Mahr, Dr. Alexis Powell, Dr. Lynnette Sievert, Dr. David Edds, and Dr. J. Daren Riedle.
  • “An investigation into range limits of the Northern Map Turtle in Kansas” by Michael S. Mahr*, Eric Kessler, Justin Autz, Jennifer Buchanan, Dr. Alexis Powell, Dr. Lynnette Sievert, Dr. David Edds, and Dr. J. Daren Riedle.
  • “Spatial and Sexual Variation in Diet of the Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus) in Kansas” by Jennifer Buchanan*, Dr. Alexis Powell, and Dr. Lynnette Sievert.
  • “The Role of Scale in Analysis of River Turtle Assemblages” by Dr. J. Daren Riedle*, Travis Anthony, Dr. Day B. Ligon, and Dr. David R. Edds.

A poster presentation, “Aquatic Turtles on four Emporia State University Natural Areas,” was given by Jacob Schaefer.