Posted on May 20, 2019
in Alumni News
Matt Baysinger and Ryan Henrich met at Blue Valley West High School in Overland Park. Both ran track for the Jaguars and both, in Baysinger’s words, “were a couple of real ding-dongs.”
“Our idea of fun was not what the typical high school kid is into,” says Baysinger, now 33 and CEO of Swell Spark, the Kansas City-based company that launched two of the most unique and popular entertainment options to hit Mass Street in years: Breakout Lawrence and Blade & Timber.
Read more about Swell Spark and the Jayhawk business partners.
Shared experiences are the heart of Matt Baysinger, c’09, g’11 and Ryan Henrich’s, ’09 epic adventures. After testing out escape rooms in Nashville, the pair of Jayhawks are bringing new ways to have fun in Lawrence. Read additional coverage in issue No. 3, 2019, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
Posted on May 16, 2019
in Alumni News
In recognition of her outstanding career at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Elizabeth Broun will receive an honorary degree from the University of Kansas at the 147th Commencement.
Broun, c’68, g’69, PhD’76, served as curator and subsequently interim director of KU’s Spencer Museum of Art. During that time, she oversaw a dramatic expansion of its collections.
In 1983, she began her tenure at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, beginning as chief curator and assistant director and assuming the position of director in 1989. As director, she led the Smithsonian American Art Museum to become the premier center for research in the field of American visual history under her direction and vision. She retired in 2016.
For more on Broun’s career, read our feature from issue No. 4, 1999 of Kansas Alumni magazine.
To learn more about Commencement, including the history of class banners, honorary degrees, and the special experience for Big and Baby Jays, read our full feature, The Walk.
Posted on May 10, 2019
Jordan Kriete is a diehard St. Louis Blues fan. When the St. Louis native had the chance to go behind the scenes at the professional hockey team’s headquarters, she couldn’t resist.
Kriete, who will graduate in May with a degree in marketing, hopes to land a job in sports marketing, ideally with the Blues. When a friend mentioned Kriete’s goals to her own coworkers, one suggested Matt Gardner as a possible connection.
Using the Jayhawk Career Network’s mentoring platform, Kriete reached out to Gardner, j’01, the team’s vice president of digital media & emerging technology. He invited Kriete to spend a day with the hockey organization.
After a one-on-one visit with Gardner, Kriete met with staff in the Blues marketing and social media departments. She also had the opportunity to attend morning skate, sit in the press box and meet players before their interviews. “I’m a huge Blues fan, so I was going crazy,” she says.
Not only did Kriete catch a glimpse of her dream job, she also gained powerful insight into the sports industry. Gardner gave Kriete advice about landing her first job and offered to connect her with other professional hockey teams. The two continue to say in touch.
“The thing about KU is I didn’t even know him and he didn’t know me, but just because I’m a Jayhawk he wanted to help me out,” Kriete says. “That’s just what our alumni do, which is really awesome. I know when I graduate and someone reaches out to me, I’ll feel like that’s such an honor.”
The Jayhawk Career Network gives students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on May 1, 2019
in Alumni News
The importance of giving back. How a chance to meet with professionals can jumpstart a career. And a friendship that naturally developed into a mentorship.
In a video that premiered at the 2019 Rock Chalk Ball, students and alumni shared stories of how one Jayhawk connection changed their world.
“It’s strength in numbers. The more people we have engaged in the Jayhawk Career Network in Kansas City will help everybody network,” Jason Booker, d’99 says. “It’s helped me in my career in KC, and there’s lots of people who would benefit from the same opportunity to connect and work together.”
Six Jayhawks describe how mentoring and making connections has helped them to succeed.
These stories are just a few of the many made possible through the Jayhawk Career Network. The Jayhawk Career Network gives students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at email@example.com.
Posted on Apr 30, 2019
Nearly 550 Jayhawks gathered April 27 to celebrate the University of Kansas at the 24th-annual Rock Chalk Ball, which is hosted by the Alumni Association and the Greater Kansas City Network.
Local news anchor John Holt, j’81, l’84, and digital reporter Crystle Lampitt, c’10, served as emcees. KU head football coach Les Miles and his wife, Kathy, were honorary chairs of the event.
The Bartle Hall red carpet was filled with KU friends, fans and alumni posing for pictures before moving into the Grand Ballroom for dinner. The evening festivities also included live music and silent and live auctions, which raised nearly $110,000 and featured a wooden Jayhawk carving from Kansaw Carvings artist Dan Besco, a trip to Greece, a ride in Crown Toyota’s Jayhawk car and a KU T-shirt quilt.
Proceeds from the 2019 Rock Chalk Ball will benefit alumni and student programs, including the Jayhawk Career Network, which has already created incredible connections among students and alumni.
Thank you to the event’s title sponsor, Intrust Bank, and the presenting sponsors— Charlie Hustle, KJO Media and Gohagan and Company— for their contributions to this year’s ball.
Official photos from the event, courtesy of Steve Puppe, are available here and may be downloaded for personal use. If you attended this year’s Rock Chalk Ball, we’d love to have your feedback—please complete our survey.
Posted on Apr 29, 2019
in Alumni News
Thomas Angel’s journey has been anything but normal.
A decade of overseas deployments, microfracture surgery, and an application to the University of Kansas on a whim have all contributed to his dream of becoming a neurosurgeon.
Thanks to the power of the Jayhawk Career Network, Angel connected with H.C. Palmer, a veteran and retired physician.
“I just really think that our relationship, no matter what, is not a medicine mentorship,” Angel says. “I think it’s a life mentorship.”
Palmer, c’59, m’63, and Angel discussed their relationship in a video that premiered at the 2019 Rock Chalk Ball.
Thomas and H.C.’s story is just one of many mentorships made possible through the Jayhawk Career Network. The Jayhawk Career Network gives students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Apr 18, 2019
When a group of KU students needed help connecting with alumni in New York City, the Jayhawk Career Network was there to help.
The KU Ad Club is a student organization that hosts professionals in advertising and marketing to discuss their career journeys. In April, the group took its biennial trip to New York City, home to one of the largest networks of advertising agencies. With an assist from the Jayhawk Career Network, 11 students were able to meet with KU alumni at multiple agencies in the area.
“It was a lot of work planning the trip,” says Wilcox, a senior in journalism and president of the Ad Club. “We had some connections from when we visited two years ago, and the Alumni Association helped us find more businesses with alumni. KU grads in New York are outnumbered by east coast schools, so when Jayhawks come by they really want to help you succeed.”
One of the highlights of the trip was a panel discussion at NBC, featuring five employees who got their start at KU. Jamie Cuthburth, b’95, senior vice president of integrated marketing at NBC, organized and moderated the panel.
“Some of the panelists didn’t even know their co-workers went to KU,” Wilcox says. “It was cool seeing them all working at such a prestigious company, and to know they were in our shoes at one point.”
The trip to New York also meant a chance to make a KU Mentoring connection in person. Wilcox had previously connected with Carol Journey Adler, b’09, an enterprise account executive at Apple.
“I spoke with her over the phone earlier in the semester, and she gave me good advice and recommended a couple of sales books to read,” Wilcox says. “We met at a KU alumni happy hour in New York, where I got a chance to meet her in person and continue the conversation.”
If you want to make connections with alumni like Stephanie did, the Jayhawk Career Network give students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at email@example.com.
Posted on Apr 17, 2019
in Alumni News
KU Mentoring is just a platform to help students get jobs, right? Wrong.
Not only do students have access to an expansive network of alumni, alumni also have access to each other. Joel Balzer, c’09, took advantage of this opportunity to harness the power of the Jayhawk network.
Balzer is a development officer for major gifts at KU Endowment and works primarily with the School of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Business.
What exactly does that mean? “It’s really about having a conversation with a person and finding out what they’re passionate about, or what their family is passionate about,” Balzer says. “And if it happens to be in the realm of supporting KU philanthropically, then I facilitate that.”
Balzer says KU Mentoring was instrumental in helping him secure his new role. “Obviously I had my own initiative to want to work for KU Endowment, but I wouldn’t have been able to get there without the help of other Jayhawks,” he says.
Balzer has attended several networking events throughout his career, but it was often difficult to identify who else in the room was a Jayhawk. With KU Mentoring, Balzer didn’t have to guess, nor did he struggle to make a connection.
“I’ve never encountered a group that was so willing to help someone that they really didn’t know,” he says. “And to use a platform like KU Mentoring, that just opened up the sector for me even wider because it was an easier way to connect with people.”
There’s never a bad time to start making connections. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or years from now, Jayhawks help Jayhawks. Balzer believes these connections help get you where you want to go, but explains there’s more to it.
“Continue to reach out to people because the connections that you make are so imperative towards your future career, or your current career,” he says. “I truly believe that it’s the people that you know are going to get you in to the places that you want to get, and everything that makes up yourself is going to be the reason why they keep you.”
Whether you’re looking to move jobs, change careers, gain industry insights, or simply ask for advice, it’s all at your fingertips with KU Mentoring.
Are you in a position to give your time? Sign up for KU Mentoring! The Jayhawk Career Network gives students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on Apr 15, 2019
in Alumni News
In thanks for his time and service to the University and his Jayhawk network, the KU Alumni Association is proud to present Chris Longino the Dick Wintermote Volunteer of the Year award. The award will be presented to Longino, b’06, at an alumni event in Tampa Apr. 18.
After a childhood on the move as a military kid, Longino attended Free State High School in Lawrence and later received his bachelor’s degree from the KU School of Business. His career took him to Chicago before a move to Tampa in 2010.
Longino has lead the Tampa-St. Petersburg network since 2016 and has helped organize activities such as a holiday toy drive, a food drive after Hurricane Irma and fundraising efforts for a local elementary school after a fire.
Longino currently serves as a senior field information analyst at the National Insurance Crime Bureau, where he has worked since 2007. He and his wife, Kelley, are expecting their first child.
About the Award
This annual award recognizes network volunteers who demonstrate extraordinary leadership to their network and the KU Alumni Association during a one-year period (July 1-June 30). An internal staff committee within the KU Alumni Association consisting of those who work closest with volunteers meets each year to decide on award winners.
Posted on Apr 7, 2019
in Alumni News
Something special is brewing. Spring is in the air, downtown streets are bustling with business, and wherever you look people are flocking to fill patios and pints at their favorite breweries.
As if anyone needed more reason to be excited, April 7 is National Beer Day, and all across the country, alumni are applying their KU degrees in the most delicious and refreshingly thirst-quenching ways, working in the beer industry for operations both big and small.
With degrees in Microbiology, Geography and Latin American Studies, Chemistry, Art History, and Atmospheric Science, these alumni are using their diverse talents to create and innovate in their spaces, combining yeast, hops, and water with enthusiasm and a healthy dose of Jayhawk pride.
Meet Geoff Deman, head brewer and director of operations at Free State Brewing Company; Aaron Justus, brewer at Ballast Point; Matt Williams, president and co-founder of Lawrence Beer Company; Victoria Gunderson, brewer at 23rd Street Brewery; and Sean Flynn, associate pilot brewer at MillerCoors. Raise your glass for these alumni as they reflect on their KU memories, careers in beer, camaraderie, and community in the industry. Cheers, and Rock Chalk to our ’Hawks who brew!
Read the story from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.