News Items In Category XNews

Seattle Jayhawk feeds the front lines

Posted on Jul 1, 2020 in Alumni News

Ellen KuwanaIt started as a simple idea: donate pizza to the lab workers processing COVID-19 tests at the University of Washington’s virology labs.

But for Ellen Kuwana, c’92, her plan to utilize her lab experience to safely deliver food to health care workers in her free time continued to grow. A side hustle turned into a full-time commitment on weekends and eventually led Kuwana to quit her full-time job to focus on supporting both front-line workers and local restaurants in the Seattle area.

Kuwana, a freelance science writer, launched We Got This Seattle to spend her workdays coordinating donations, picking up food from Seattle-area businesses, and bringing the food to lab workers and other health care personnel.

The daughter of a KU chemistry professor, Kuwana graduated from the University with a biology degree before earning her master’s degree at UC San Francisco, where she also worked in research labs. Since then, she’s called Seattle home.

How did We Got This Seattle grow from a one-time idea to a full-time job?

“I would not have embarked on this road had I not been a scientist by training. In January and February 2020, I was spending a lot of time on Twitter following science journalists discussing the situation in China and Italy with the novel coronavirus. Most of our friends, in part because my husband is an MD–PhD, are in science or medicine.

I knew UW Virology was working around the clock, literally 24–7 to process the COVID-19 tests, with 80 people per shift. Health care workers are a visible workforce who get recognition for their work, and I felt the lab personnel deserved some recognition for their part in keeping everyone safe. I tweeted out to three local pizza places, asking who wanted to help me send pizzas as a thank you to UW Virology. I got a donation from one within three minutes. I figured that I could deliver the food safer than a random driver because of my lab training. You learn to not touch your face, and to be very aware of what you are touching, as well as how to properly put on and remove protective gear.

With my husband working six days a week in a hospital, I could not completely keep myself safe, so I decided to do some good with an amount of risk that I was qualified to mitigate to the extent possible. I was working two jobs at the time, and delivering food on Friday, Saturday and Sunday when I wasn’t working my main job. 

This was really just me from March 13 to April 4. Then Signe Burke, who works full time at Amazon, contacted me and wanted to help. She’s been a lifesaver and has helped me with fundraising and tracking the eight to 10 deliveries each day. On April 1, I got a little scared for my safety and hired two college students to help me with picking up and delivering food, as a way to lower my personal risk of getting sick. This was out of concern for myself, but also to protect my husband’s well-being as much as possible, as he is an essential worker. 

On April 10, I quit my job, because this effort was taking 40 to 50 hours a week. It was a tough decision in many ways to quit and fill that time with unpaid volunteer work, yet it also felt right. Sometimes you just know. At the same time I was deciding to quit my job, restaurants had closed. So what began as a gesture of appreciation, delivering food, became a lifeline of meals.”

What’s your relationship with the restaurants?

“The first few meals were donated, but as restaurants went takeout-only and offices and the University of Washington closed, revenue was down 80 to 90 percent for most restaurants. I set up a personal Facebook fundraiser and raised $25,000, then found a 501(c)(3) called Open Collective and connected that to the WeGotThisSeattle.co website so that people could make tax-deductible donations with 100 percent of funds going to local restaurants. I find out what front-line sites need, order from one of 65 plus restaurants I’m working with, pick up the food, and deliver it to a point person at a hospital, clinic, firehouse, homeless shelter, ambulance company, etc. I took the same work ethic and sense of professionalism into this volunteer effort as I would into a $1 million-dollar grant-funded research project.

I didn’t set out to do this—it just snowballed and the need was there. Not only did people in hospitals and labs need meals, but also restaurants desperately needed the business. Almost all have given me some kind of discount, and a few have been able to make rent or bring back a few workers because of the support of We Got This Seattle. The journalist in me loves asking questions, which is how I found out that one Thai restaurant that contacted me and donated two meals were $1500 behind on rent! I made it a point to order more meals from this Thai restaurant and got them enough business that they could pay rent on time. It was a win-win. So our mission statement reflects the importance of supporting local restaurants: Our dual mission is to support our front-line workers and local restaurants during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

And I know it’s meant a lot to the restaurants. One other component of this project is that Seattle has a vibrant Chinatown–International District, and we often go there for food. There are wonderful gift stores and a strong sense of history that you can sense and touch. There have been racist incidents: windows broken, graffiti, business owners threatened. It became important for me to order from many restaurants there as a show of support (and who doesn’t love Chinese food after a long day at work?). Everyone is trying to help each other. Every one of those restaurants has discounted the boxed meals for We Got This Seattle. They suggest other restaurants I should support, if I can. It’s a great community, and I hope everyone weathers this tough time.”

What will you remember from these months?

“There are many stories that will stick with me. An old friend got back in touch with me on Facebook to ask for my help. Her beloved father-in-law, who had been at UW for many years, died from COVID-19 complications, and she wanted to send a meal to the medical team at the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) who took such great care of him. It took quite a bit of coordination and more than 20 emails, but we made it happen.

A woman who was a patient at UWMC contacted me and wanted to bring up snacks (several hundred dollars worth), thank you cards and cookies to thank the medical team, and wanted my help to coordinate a lunch, which I did. She has a cochlear implant, which she could not wear when she was sick. Imagine the fear and vulnerability of being in the ICU with this virus, and it’s hard to communicate with your medical team? She said they went above and beyond (and had to get really close to her face) to communicate with her. It was very important to her and her family to thank them, and they drove in from more than an hour away to do so.”

If you want to help, visit We Got This Seattle’s website to learn more.

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The Water Cooler, June 2020

Posted on Jun 18, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network

 


The KU Alumni Association joins the University, nation and world in denouncing racism and the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others. As the recent letter from Dave Roland (National Chair, Board of Directors), Tamara Huff-Johnson (President, Black Alumni Network), and Heath Peterson (President, KU Alumni Association) states, the KU Alumni Association is committed to equity, inclusion and the upholding of the ideals that the Jayhawk represents.

This commitment to being part of the solution extends to the pages of the Water Cooler. As we move forward and continue to grow, we will redouble our efforts to offer content that not only provides the latest in industry and career trends but also helps us live up to our Jayhawk ideals.

This month’s Water Cooler revolves around a theme of financial literacy and wellness. You’ll also find links to articles and podcasts that can help businesses learn how to become more just and equitable–part of the long-term solution to ending racism and building stronger communities.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19

Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

P.S. Remember, Jayhawks flock together. Be a resource to the class of 2020 through one-on-one connections in KU Mentoring or gift a one-year membership to kickstart their KU Alumni career.

Let’s Talk: Financial Literacy


INTRUST BANK
The benefits of saving money: set goals, spend less and save more
The average American isn’t saving nearly enough.

According to a Federal Reserve survey, if faced with an unexpected $400 expense, almost 40% of American adults say they wouldn’t be able to cover it with cash, savings or a credit card charge they could quickly pay off.

Have these savings shortcomings always existed? Not exactly, the data shows.

Take a closer look at the benefits of saving money

*Sponsored by our connections at INTRUST Bank


ELLEVEST
How to save money by spending intentionally
When so many have lost their jobs and so many more are wondering what’s next, spending less and saving more feels a lot like the right thing to do.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you could need to cut way back to an essentials-only budget, especially if you’re making a plan for recovering from job loss. But if you’re doing OK right now, it’s still a good idea to find opportunities to save money.


CAREER CONTESSA
The 10 most common investing questions—answered

Investing. It’s complicated, foreign, and daunting, and yet, we’re secretly fascinated by it. Stocks. Bonds. Don’t they sound so intriguing?

Well, Career Contessa hit up some of their favorite financial sources and money experts to answer 10 common questions on personal investments. And, dare we say it? Learning all of this was kind of…fun.


BUSINESS INSIDER
The 30 best high-paying jobs of the future

The future of work is looking pretty bright, at least for nurses and software developers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections program publishes estimates for job growth across hundreds of occupations.

Business Insider combined those job growth projections with 2019 median annual earnings for each occupation from the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics program, using the geometric mean of the two numbers, to find roles that are both growing and high-paying.


ELLEVEST
Ask your money questions

For so many of us, a big part of the coronavirus uncertainty has to do with money — our income, our jobs, and our savings and investment accounts.

The Ellevest team is here all day, every day, continuously answering money questions — in the order they get them, right here on this page. All questions asked, by anyone, are listed anonymously in case they help others. Bookmark this page and check back regularly for new entries.

 

Off-Campus Student Housing at Best Western Plus. Full amenities. No lease. $1,295 monthly.

 

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network

Compassionate Conversations


KU EDWARDS CAMPUS
What do I say? How to communicate social support, initiate authentic conversations with coworkers during turbulent times

Employees are experiencing today’s tumultuous environment differently, depending on race, family status, socioeconomic status and physical location. Here are some thoughts on how to communicate with humility and empathy in your everyday workplace conversations.


THE RIVETER
Activate your allyship: 4 ways to be a workplace activist

In many offices, virtual or otherwise, Black professionals and allies are left with more questions than answers.

What should I do if my company is silent about racism? How can I take a stand? Amplify my voice? How do I address racism without losing my job?

The Riveter shares four tips to become a workplace activist and activate allyship.


HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
HBR Ideacast: Corporate America’s Work in Fighting Racism is Just Beginning

Ella Washington, an organizational psychologist at Georgetown University, argues that private sector American organizations have a big role to play in sustaining the fight for racial justice that has gained such momentum in recent weeks.

Washington explains how to build more a more just workplace — and society — over the long term.

 

 

Campus Connections


KU SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Our online MBA prepares you to become tomorrow’s global leader

With our highly ranked online MBA, you can build a strong network as a Jayhawk and develop the skills you need to advance your career. Ranked the No. 31 Best Online MBA by US News & World Report, our online MBA provides the same quality education as an on-ground program with the added flexibility to achieve your ideal study-life balance. Our curriculum is focused on the opportunities and challenges of being a global leader.

Learn more today!

*Sponsored by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business


KANSAS ALUMNI MAGAZINE
Diverse KU career prepares Cook for public affairs role

Announcing that he had filled a key role in his senior leadership team this spring, Chancellor Doug Girod named Dave Cook as the University’s new vice chancellor for public affairs and economic development.

Leading a public affairs unit he calls “very strong,” Cook will look for new opportunities to involve all campuses and affiliates. “Now is a great time to call on those key KU stakeholders who love the University and want to step up and help.”

 

Jayhawks in the News

Jayhawks in the news


KU EDWARDS CAMPUS
Veteran learns valuable lessons while earning degree in honors program at KU Edwards Campus

Rising Up at KUEC: In this Q & A series, outstanding 2020 KUEC graduates share how KU Edwards Campus has helped them start, advance or change their career. Meet Nate Eikmeier.


KANSAS ALUMNI MAGAZINE
Emergency manager helps guide safety-first response to pandemic threats

As a fire control radar technician on the Navy’s advanced Aegis combat weapon system, Andrew Foster watched for potential threats far beyond the horizon. When danger loomed, he promptly delivered options and solutions up the change of command—wartime experience that perfectly suits his current mission as KU’s emergency management coordinator.
“I started watching [coronavirus] reports in early January,” he says, “when reporting started coming out of China about this mystery illness that was killing people off.”


Events

Strategies for Educational Improvement: Thriving in a New World
Re-Entry and Engaging All Learners: Designing for the Future of Learning

This interactive session will focus on ways to plan and design for the blended or hybrid learning experience that awaits us in the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond.

2-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 30


Strategies for Educational Improvement: Thriving in a New World
Wellness & Self-Care

Includes presentations and a panel discussion by outstanding practitioners currently working to support mental health and wellness for teachers, students, and famlies.

2-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 2

 

Stay confident with KU behind you

 


Want to receive this monthly email in your inbox? Subscribe here. Find an archive of past issues of The Water Cooler here

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KU announces plans to return to campus this fall

Posted on Jun 15, 2020 in Campus News

Strong Hall

On June 15, the University of Kansas shared the following announcement with students, faculty and staff:

Colleagues,

Last month, we shared with you a document titled Guidance on Reopening Campus, which detailed our guiding principles for reopening campus in a measured, stepwise fashion. Today we write to share the newest components of our plans for the fall semester on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses.

Our goal is to welcome back as many students as we can while continuing to prioritize the health of our community. To do this, we must continue preparing a dynamic and flexible educational experience that accounts for the realities of life during and after a pandemic. This means rethinking everything from how we design classes, to how we deliver housing and dining services, to how we accommodate extracurricular activities and events.

Undoubtedly, the fall semester will be unlike any in history. It will require flexibility, compassion and resilience. And it will require each of us to behave responsibly and in a way that benefits the entire community. If this pandemic has taught us one thing, it’s that we are all in this together.

Academic calendar

The academic calendar will change to minimize potential health hazards. Fall classes will begin as planned on August 24, and classes will conclude before Thanksgiving, at which point students are encouraged to leave campus for the semester. After Thanksgiving, there will be a study week, followed by a week of final exams conducted remotely. There will not be a Labor Day holiday or Fall Break.

Pending approval by the Kansas Board of Regents, the first day of the spring semester will change from January 19 to February 1. Stop Day and Finals Week remain unchanged. Spring Break will not occur midway through the semester as it typically does; rather, it will be added to the Winter Recess, resulting in the later-than-normal February 1 start.

Course scheduling and classroom configuration

Our goal is to maximize the in-person classroom experience to the greatest extent possible. KU is committed to ensuring the majority of students, if they choose, have the majority of their courses with in-person instruction in whole or in part. In-person scheduling will prioritize typical freshman courses, labs or courses that are most effective in-person, courses involved in the KU Core, and courses that are required to complete a degree.

To ensure flexibility and meet the specific needs of students and instructors, we will provide support this summer for faculty to design and develop fall courses so the same section can be offered in multiple formats— i.e. in-person, online and/or a hybrid approach — while ensuring that each format is a highly engaging experience for our students no matter where they may be.

To help limit the density of students in classrooms and allow for frequent cleaning, we will schedule classes from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, though most courses will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday will be utilized as a last resort.

Additionally, we will modify time between MWF classes to 15 minutes to avoid congestion in buildings, walkways, buses and other areas. We are piloting a health monitoring app that allows each Jayhawk to check symptoms and access secured buildings based on health status on a daily basis, and we are marking each building to change traffic patterns to help de-densify campus.

Students, as we finalize the class schedule this summer, those of you who have already enrolled can expect there may be some adjustments to your fall schedules. We will reach out to you in July with more information about how your schedule may change.

Testing and contact tracing

Testing and contact tracing will be key to a thoughtful and science-based return to campus. Through our on-campus Watkins Health Services, we will be partnering with The University of Kansas Health System and LMH Health to coordinate our testing and contact tracing efforts, in conjunction with Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. This partnership will enable KU to access our partners’ medical expertise, technology and data in ways that will benefit both our campus and the broader Lawrence community. We will provide further details later this summer with guidance for how our students, staff and faculty will participate in testing activities.

On-campus housing and dining

On-campus residential facilities and dining centers will be open for the fall, and modifications will be made to promote physical distancing and other health and safety measures in each building. Most facilities will operate near capacity, with additional shared community expectations in place to prioritize the health and wellness of students who live – and staff who work – in these facilities. The move-in process will be spread over a longer period of time to reduce congestion and allow for physical distancing. More information from KU Student Housing will be shared soon with students.

Faculty and staff who are at-risk and unable to return to campus

We know some of you have underlying health conditions – such as asthma, hypertension, diabetes, chronic lung disease, or weakened immunity – that may put you at higher risk if exposed to the virus. We are ready to work with you to make reasonable accommodations. We will use the same process for COVID-19 as we use for other ADA accommodation requests. Details are available at https://humanresources.ku.edu/employee-accommodations. Please fill out your forms as soon as possible so we can ensure your work is covered appropriately. Per federal guidelines, please be prepared to provide documentation from your physician when you apply. Contact our ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility at accessibility@ku.edu or 785-864-7416, and they will help you make plans. If it is the case that you are not eligible for an accommodation, we will work with you to determine what options may be available to meet your needs.

Safety is each of our responsibility

While no one can ever promise complete safety to another – this was true prior to COVID-19 and will be true after – we are so appreciative of all the people who are giving tireless effort in campus workgroups to explore options that support greater safety for our campus. In sum, it is because you – students, staff and faculty – are KU’s greatest assets that we are taking a comprehensive and coordinated approach to provide for your health and wellness when you are on campus this fall.

While we are providing for your safety, we need to also ask that each of you provide for the safety of your fellow Jayhawks, as well as for your own, when you return this fall. You can expect to be asked to: sign a social responsibility pledge and commit to the actions it describes; wear a mask when you are in a space with others who may be closer than six feet apart; and adhere to social distance guidelines according to public health guidelines. You’ll learn more about our asks of you as we get closer to the fall semester.

More information to come

Of course, all of this is subject to change based on the latest medical guidance and evolving circumstances. Again, we will continue to partner with – and rely on – each of you to help us continue to develop our plans in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for all you do on behalf of KU.

Respectfully,

Doug and Barb

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

KU students, alumni share experiences being #BlackatKU

Posted on Jun 10, 2020 in Alumni News

Sun rising on the KU campus | #BlackatKU

As the national conversation on racial discrimination continues, Black KU students, staff, faculty and alumni are sharing their experiences of racism, microaggressions and tokenism at the University with the hashtag #BlackatKU.

The hashtag was created by Tiara Floyd, c’20, the 2019-20 student body president. She was the first woman of color elected to that position.

KU departments such as the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, and KU Student Senate have echoed the calls for more stories.

Wondering what you can do to help?

The Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity created a Google Doc of PDFs and videos on subjects such as white privilege, imperialism, and the prison industrial complex.

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center created this list of action items and resources:

The University of Kansas, the Office of Diversity and Equity, and the KU Alumni Association have released statements condemning racial violence and discrimination.

Our commitment to KU alumni: We must do better

Posted on Jun 10, 2020 in News

Adams Alumni Center | Our commitment to KU alumni: We must do better
Jayhawks:

We have always prided ourselves on the quality of our content– the stories we share with loyal Jayhawks to help keep alumni connected to KU. The core values that drive our digital storytelling efforts have become like a mantra to us. We strive for our online communications to always be timely, relevant, and accurate. That approach appeared to serve us well, until now.

One of our recent emails, our Crimson + Blue newsletter, appropriately led with a story about KU’s history with racial injustice and protest. The other stories in the newsletter, while delivering on our promise to be timely and relevant, failed to honor our commitment in a more profound way. As noted by one of our loyal alumni, our coverage in that edition of Crimson + Blue–taken collectively–failed to feature or demonstrate our claimed commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. That criticism is fair, and the scrutiny is welcomed. By failing to include stories representative of the diverse group of alumni we serve, we fall short of our ultimate goal of uniting all Jayhawks in support of KU. We must do better.

While we firmly believe that words matter, actions matter more. Today we are changing the way we create and curate our stories by clarifying the lenses through which we view our work. Yes, we will still strive for all our communications to be timely, relevant and accurate. However, a stricter test must be applied to our work if we hope to engage all Jayhawks, starting with these essential questions:

Is it reasonable?

Timing is everything, and we will make sure our communications are delivered with sensitivity to the current context and climate.

Is it right?

Accuracy matters, and we will work to ensure the highest editorial standards and fact-check our work.

Is it relevant?

Jayhawks relate to what’s happening at KU based on their unique experiences. We will try to tell compelling stories that resonate with all Jayhawks.

Is it representative?

We will work harder to include stories and faces that reflect the diversity of interests and perspectives represented by our vast Jayhawk community.

We are proud of our 350,000+ KU alumni, and we recognize that their Jayhawk pride rides along with other identities formed by their life experiences and their time at KU. I promise that we will do a better job of recognizing and celebrating the unique experiences of all Jayhawks in our coverage for KU alumni, because our words reflect our actions, and our actions must reflect what we value as a community of Jayhawks.

David Johnston signature

 
 

David Johnston
Sr. Vice President for Strategic Communications
davidjohnston@kualumni.org

A Message from the KU Alumni Association

Posted on Jun 2, 2020 in News

Adams Alumni Center

The KU Alumni Association shared the following message on June 2, 2020.

As Jayhawks, we abhor acts of racism and violence. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others far too many to name, are painful reminders of the bigotry and injustice that still plague our nation—even as our communities cope with a pandemic that has starkly emphasized the inequities in our health care system and our economy. The KU Alumni Association remains steadfast in our commitment to unite all Jayhawks and strengthen the University of Kansas. Our university and the City of Lawrence were founded by citizens who believed in the freedom of all and the power of education and, for 155 years, many students have come to KU to because of the Jayhawk’s proud history and the ideals the Jayhawk represents.

We ask all Jayhawks to reflect, consider and act on how we can be a part of the solution and not perpetrate, either directly or indirectly, the problems. Dr. Martin Luther King, in his letters from the Birmingham jail, stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He added, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Mr. Floyd’s brother, Terrance Floyd, spoke powerful words yesterday about his pain and the fact no one could suffer more pain than his at this moment. He also emphasized that violence does not support his brother’s memory. He went on to talk about the importance of being part of the solution.

Jayhawks have always been part of the solution. With our actions, the KU Alumni leadership team will work with the University community to move forward and achieve genuine change. We must continue to be part of the solution, even after the painful memories of these events are no longer fresh in our minds or at the top of news feeds.

The Association pledges to do all that we can to uphold these ideals.

Sincerely,

Dave Roland, e’80
National Chair, Board of Directors

Tamara Huff-Johnson, c’12
President, Black Alumni Network

Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09
President, KU Alumni Association

Additional KU resources

Sixth-generation Jayhawk makes history

Posted on May 29, 2020 in Alumni News

Back in 2017, we profiled Corey Goodburn, a freshman from Roeland Park with some serious KU history. Fast forward to 2020, and Corey is now a proud KU graduate.

Like many Jayhawks, Corey Goodburn has KU in his blood.

His mother, Sara Dickey Goodburn, j’86, preceded his time at the University. It’s the four generations that came before that make this family historic.

Corey Goodburn CommencementSix generations of Goodburns have called KU their alma mater, with roots tracing all the way back to the beginning. Corey’s great-great-great-grandmother is none other than Flora Richardson Colman, c1873, the University’s first female graduate.

In addition to his mother and great-great-great-grandmother, Corey’s great-great grandmother, Nellie Colman Bigsby, c’1900; his great-grandmother, Flora Nell Bigsby Dickey, c’28; and his grandfather, David Wendell Dickey, b’56, all graduated from KU. All of that history makes the special day mean a little bit more for Corey.

Being a sixth-generation Jayhawk means that I’m more connected to my family than ever,” Corey says. “Yes, we may all come from the same family, but now we relate because we all share KU history.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Corey and his family were not able to have the Commencement experience every student wants. Their family made due with a celebration from home.

We made it a day celebrating Corey, complete with KU decorations, pictures, balloons and a congratulatory banner outside,” Sara says. “That morning, Corey dressed in his gown, mortar board and tassel as the immediate family settled in to watch KU’s virtual celebration. Extended family members either called, sent video messages or dropped by to see Corey during the day. I do look forward to the day when we can watch him walk down the Hill with his fellow graduates to make the celebration complete.”

Until then, Corey has spent his time both reflecting on the past and preparing for the future. 

“When I was young, I attended every single KU home football game,” he says. “After attending some games, I knew I had to attend college at KU. I saw firsthand that the KU culture and experience was something I wanted to be a part of down the line.”

So no pressure to attend KU, with all that history?

“Being a Jayhawk was my choice, and I wasn’t pressured a single bit from my family,” Corey says. “I will do the same with my future kids. Although they will be raised Jayhawks, I will want them to choose the path and university that is best for them. Fingers crossed it’s the University of Kansas.”

Editor’s note: Our profile of Corey as a freshman included the following: Although Corey’s days as a Jayhawk are just beginning, he’s already looking ahead to another four-year milestone. “On [my mother’s] graduation day in 1986, she and my grandfather took pictures by the Jayhawk statue in front of Strong Hall,” Corey says of the landmark that his grandfather’s class gave to the University in 1956. “It’s my wish to take the same photo with my mom upon my graduation in May 2020.”

Four years later, that wish has come true.

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A Commencement surprise, 50 years overdue

Posted on May 25, 2020 in Alumni News

Rita Matusek Ashley, f'70 g'72 g'84

(Left to right: Judy Bowser, Rita Matousek Ashley and Durinda Ashley)

Walking through the Campanile, down the Hill and into Memorial Stadium at Commencement is one of KU’s greatest traditions, and the Class of 2020 had to postpone the special day. This year’s senior class shares the missed experience with the Class of 1970, which was forced to have Commencement in Allen Fieldhouse due to heavy rainfall.

In an unfortunate twist of timing, 2020 marks the Class of 1970’s year to enter the Gold Medal Club, which normally means an on-campus reunion to celebrate alumni’s 50-year anniversary. Plans for the special weekend included a walk down the Hill with the Class of 2020. 

Rita Matousek Ashley, f’70, g’72, g’84, was one of the many graduates of that class who had made plans to be in Lawrence for Commencement. Instead, she and her friend Judy Bowser, d’69, decided to visit Lawrence a couple days after the original scheduled date for a simple hike around campus.

Rita Matusek Ashley, f'70 g'72 g'84“The fact that the Class of 1970 did not get to walk down the Hill has always been a disappointment for me,” Ashley says. “I watched my husband and both of my sons walk down the Hill. I was thrilled when the 1970 class was invited to walk with the 2020 class. When that plan did not materialize I shared with friends that I was going to do the walk myself ‘just because.’”

Bowser had other ideas to make their trip special. She secretly invited their friend Durinda Ashley, d’71, and surprised Ashley with a cap and gown at the Campanile to give her friend a Commencement experience that was 50 years and three degrees overdue.

“The combination of the surprise, the perfect weather, the remnants of confetti and champagne corks at the Campanile and the walk three times made it a memorable day,” Ashley says.

Ashley’s KU experience was a unique one, as the first-generation college student came back two more times for a graduate degree in German Education and an MBA from the Edwards campus.

“The whole KU experience was memorable for me,” she says. “Ultimately, [my favorite memory] always comes back to the Rock Chalk chant. The chant is a unifying force for KU grads. The chant reminds me of the great people I got to know at KU. Those people then remind me of the valuable experiences I had at every level at KU and continue to have as a result of the experiences I shared at the University.”

—Ryan Camenzind

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The Water Cooler, May 2020

Posted on May 20, 2020 in Career/Life

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network

 

May is traditionally filled with graduation memories and though the Class of 2020’s walk down the Hill was postponed, we congratulate and welcome our newest graduates to the proud ranks of KU Alumni.

In this issue of the Water Cooler you’ll find articles relevant to recent graduates and seasoned alumni alike, including the value of volunteering and mentoring, where to find virtual internships, professional development opportunities and, because we know many of you are considering furthering your education, we’ve featured an exciting new course the School of Business is offering in its online MBA program.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19
Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

p.s. Even in tough times, Jayhawks flock together. See how you can make a difference for a 2020 graduate.

Career Talk


Why volunteering right now could be a smart thing to do

Maybe you’ve been laid off or furloughed. Maybe you’re still working, but your normally full social life is … not so much. Maybe you’d been looking for a job for a while already, and suddenly so are millions of other people.

And meanwhile, people need help. Volunteering some of your extra time, if you have it, can help both your community and your career — whether you’re looking for a job or just looking to grow.

Firstly, it’s a networking opportunity.


How to be a happy and productive remote worker

Whether you’ve been working remotely for a decade or are just getting started on your remote working journey, there are ways of making sure it’s a delight instead of a total drag.

In a recent survey, 77% of respondents reported greater productivity when working remotely compared to working in an office setting. In a different survey, 82% of respondents reported feeling happier when working remotely.

However, remote work is not all sunshine and yoga pants.


Suffering Zoom fatigue? How to fix that

Zoom fatigue is real and it’s hitting us quickly! This podcast discusses what Zoom fatigue is, why you are not crazy for getting exhausted just thinking about another video call and actionable ways to overcome this fatigue with Tracy Hooper, founder of The Confidence Project.


Summer internship canceled? Not at these companies embracing virtual versions

So far, 200 graduate and undergraduate students have signed up for a summer of online courses, long-distance social networking and remote teamwork at insurance giant, Humana.

But the company is still looking for more.

It has space for candidates who might be interested in learning about corporate strategy, marketing, health care delivery, analytics and operations.

 

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network

 

Campus Connections


The online MBA’s capstone experience emphasizes leadership

This summer, the University of Kansas School of Business will add a new course to the online MBA program! The pilot capstone course promises to add energy and excitement to the curriculum, as well as emphasize leadership and decision-making in a data-centric business environment. Learn more from program director, Steve Leonard, during our June 9th live webinar.

Register today!

*Sponsored content by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business


Free and low-cost online learning and professional development from KU in KC

Working from home doesn’t have to mean forgoing professional development.

Developing clear communication styles within your team, learning to be an effective leader, or developing valuable skills you can bring to your team is just as important as it’s ever been.

Read more


Jayhawks launch podcast focused on marketing excellence in the New Midwest

CultivatED Marketer is a bi-weekly podcast focusing on the Midwest marketing communications community — and, more specifically, the professional development needs of that community.

The mission at CultivatED Marketer is to help grow brand YOU.

Read more


Professional & Continuing Education: TECH3060 – Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Organizations, both public and private, need to work faster, reduce costs, and maintain high standards of consistency and quality. They can achieve these goals through improvement programs such as Lean and Six Sigma.

The Lean process emphasizes waste reduction and improved processing speed, and Six Sigma stresses an analytical approach to the elimination of defects and the reduction of variation. When combined, they can solve organizational problems and improve performance, leading to a competitive edge.

This five-day program prepares new Green Belts to lead projects and contribute to improving services and manufacturing.

Read more


Distance master’s program creates new opportunities

KU’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology offers two ways for people to earn a Master’s of Science degree online without relocating or interrupting their careers.

The department’s literature-based and laboratory-based Distance Master’s Degree programs allow students to earn a Master of Science degree in a collaborative academic environment from anywhere in the world.

Read more

 

Jayhawks in the News


Mentoring programs help female economists secure tenure-track positions

There remains a dearth of women in economics, with far fewer females securing tenure-track jobs and publishing academic research than men. Past research points to several barriers contributing to this “leaky pipeline” including: access to mentoring, social networks, and implicit biases.

With some help from University of Kansas Economics professor, Donna Ginther, many groups, including the American Economic Association (AEA), are working to change this through workshops and other endeavors.

Read more


McNulty’s volunteer army joins COVID-19 battle

As William McNulty helped care for survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, an insight guided him to co-found Team Rubicon: Military veterans—trained in crisis management, experienced at responding calmly under pressure and passionate about service—are ideally suited to fill a gap in disaster-relief efforts around the globe.

Ten years later, with more than 100,000 volunteers in five countries, McNulty, c’01, and Team Rubicon face a global health crisis that calls for different tactics.

How does a group known for putting armies of volunteers on the ground contribute to a pandemic response that counts lockdowns and social distancing among its most effective tactics?

Read more


Hawks to Watch: Alex Nichols, content producer & writer

Since graduating with a degree in English from KU nearly nine years ago, Alex Nichols, c’11, has applied his comedic talents and knack for storytelling to a wide range of creative endeavors, working both on-stage and behind-the-scenes in independent sketch comedy, short fiction, online marketing, television, and, most recently, educational content development.

But moving outside of his comfort zone didn’t always come naturally for Alex, and saying “yes” to new gigs often required him to confront self-doubt and fear of failure.

At the end of the day, he eventually realized, it’s all about perseverance, trial and error, and a willingness to move forward when things don’t go as planned. In his words, “just do stuff.”

Read more


Three alumni receive top award from KU Law

Three University of Kansas School of Law alumni will receive the law school’s highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, this year.

The award celebrates graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to the legal field and service to their communities and the university.

Stinson LLP Managing Partner Mark Hinderks, c’79, l’82; Shook, Hardy & Bacon Chair Madeleine McDonough, l’90; and retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Clyde Tate II, c’79, l’82 will receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Read more


Events

Leadership Daily from KU

Treat yourself to free, “snackable” education to start your lunch hour with 15-minute, mid-day webcasts to enhance your professional skills

12:15-12:30 CDT
Every weekday


Rock Chalk Connect | Wichita Virtual Happy Hour

Join the Wichita Jayhawk Alumni Network for a virtual happy hour! One Jayhawk connection can change your world (even virtually.)

5-6 p.m. CDT
Thursday, May 21


Webinar: Taking your Voice Online: Designing a Digital Campaign

The Women’s Leadership Series empowers women to serve in leadership roles – both elected and appointed.

12 p.m. CST
Thursday, May 21


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KU alumnus makes Jayhawk masks that give back

Posted on May 14, 2020 in Alumni News

John Killen

If you’re looking to mask your Jayhawk pride, John Killen is your guy.

Killen, j’85, is president & CEO of WinCraft, a manufacturer of licensed and promotional products for over 500 colleges and professional sports teams. As COVID-19 continued to spread, the company began to look at how they could help.

“After looking at what was needed, we knew we could produce masks to help,” he says. “We went to KU first to develop the product and the campaign due to our great relationship with the University. The first masks we sold had Jayhawks on them.”

Since then, more than 200 colleges have reached out to produce masks with their school represented on them.

The production of each mask comes with a purpose. A portion of proceeds from each Jayhawk mask will go to the KU COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. In addition, WinCraft donated hundreds of masks to essential KU employees in Facilities, Housing & Dining Services, and Kansas Athletics.

 

“Wincraft is a private company and likes to give back,” Killen says. “We asked KU for a charitable component, and they suggested donations for the [COVID Relief] fund. The response has already been overwhelming, with thousands already sold.”

The machine-washable masks are available for sale at KU Bookstore and Rally House. Please note that the masks are not intended to be used as medical grade Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

—Ryan Camenzind

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