Check out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Labette County District Judge Jeffry L. Jack has been appointed to sit with the Kansas Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in one case on the court’s Tuesday docket. Jack was appointed a Labette County district judge in 2005. He graduated from the KU School of Law in 1987. Read full article.
Gregory Benefiel was confirmed as the next McPherson County Attorney Thursday evening. Benefiel, l’06, is currently an assistant attorney general for the state of Kansas in the criminal litigation division. Read full article.
Mahesh Daas, dean of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design (Arc/D), and the school’s Dean’s Advisory Board have announced the names of Arc/D’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards. They are furniture designer Wendell Castle, designer and community planner Silvia Vargas, and architect Jim Walters. The Young Architect-Designer Award recipients are architects Justin Cratty and Kenneth Simmons. Read full article.
Visual artist Nick Strange’s life revolves around his art. Strange, a University graduate who majored in visual art with an emphasis on printmaking, recently returned to his alma mater to design the solar eclipse promotional posters seen around campus. Read full article.
Andy Hyland didn’t win when he appeared on “Jeopardy!” and in a way, maybe that’s a good thing. Hyland, who is an assistant director of strategic communications at the University of Kansas, was a contestant on the game show episode that aired Monday, Sept. 18. Read full article.
A new restaurant opened on Mass Street in downtown Lawrence recently. Stonewall Restaurant and Pizzeria features a unique combination of authentic New York-style pizza and home-cooked classics like fried chicken options. Joe Kieltyka, a University alumnus from New York City who opened and operated the original Stonewall Pizza in Lenexa in the late ’70s, co-owns and operates the restaurant. Read full article.
Bill James, baseball historian and analytics pioneer, and his daughter and researcher Rachel McCarthy James, chronicled a 15-year killing spree in small-town America that they believe was committed by one serial killer who hopped on and off trains. Read full article.
Stephen McAllister, a distinguished professor at the University’s law school, was nominated to serve as the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas by President Donald Trump on Sept. 8. McAllister earned his bachelor’s from the University in 1985, and went on to graduate from the University’s law school in 1988. Read full article.
The University of Kansas has changed significantly over the past 20 years. Alumni, including Alumni Association staff member Jennifer Sanner, reflect on the changes in this feature from the Kansan, part of a larger special feature about the decade. Read full article.
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises has named R.J. Melman as the new president of Chicago’s largest restaurant group. His father, Rich Melman, founded the company 46 years ago. The younger Melman earned a degree in political science from KU in 2001. Read full article.
Allen County, Kansas, has been named as a 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winner. Dave Toland, executive director of Thrive Allen County and a graduate of the university, shares more about what the prize means. Read full article.
Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at email@example.com, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine.
Ally Stanton, j’10, g’12, directs student programs for the KU Alumni Association, including advising the Student Alumni Leadership Board. Previously, she represented the KU Office of Admissions helping to recruit future Jayhawks to campus. The former KU softball student-athlete also spent time as a graduate assistant for the KU Leads program within KU Athletics where she helped advise the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and facilitated leadership programming and retreats. Ally can still be found on the ball diamond, playing slow pitch for the 2016 Lawrence Parks and Rec Co-Ed Lower League Champions, the Squids in Space.
I became a Jayhawk because…
I visited campus for a KU softball camp and the feeling I had on campus was magnetic. When I returned home to St. Louis it felt like Jayhawks were coming out of the woodwork to tell me and my family all the great things about KU. It became a no-brainer to become a Jayhawk after that.
How has KU propelled you into your current career?
When I returned to KU in a career capacity, all the people who were there for me as a student immediately became helpful colleagues and friends. Jayhawks want to help other Jayhawks regardless if they are students, graduates, faculty or staff.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Allen Fieldhouse on a non-gameday afternoon. We occasionally had plyometric workouts in the Fieldhouse as a team, because there are lots of stairs to run up and down in that place. The lights were always off, so our only light leaked in from the windows at the top of the building, making super-dramatic shadows inside. It all felt very special and secret, and you’d forgot how much your body was just dying from the workout.
My favorite KU memory is…
Coming back to work here after spending some time away working at another institution. That first week back in Lawrence was wonderful. That feeling of ‘coming home’ was exciting and reaffirming.
Rob Riggle, the actor, comedian, Fox NFL Sunday contributor, and Dos Equis “Most Interesting Fan” spokesperson, is a Kansas Jayhawks football fan. He’s an alum of the school and passionate to the point that when he hosted the ESPYs a couple of years ago, he had the house band play the fight song and was flanked by KU cheerleaders for his entrance. Read full article.
Those are the words of Sarah Frazier, CBS Radio Houston market manager, who has her team working frantically to keep the community informed during Hurricane Harvey. Frazier, j’94, told Radio Ink that Monday morning it was clear there was a need to offer local residents a constant stream of evacuation and shelter information. Read full article.
Former Kansas guard Michael Lee resigned his post as Portland (Ore.) Roosevelt High basketball coach in order to work on lifelong buddy/former KU guard Aaron Miles’ Santa Cruz Warriors NBA G-League staff. He and former KU point guard Miles are grads of Portland’s Jefferson High. They actually attended middle school, high school and college together — true definition of best friends. Read full article.
When you think biology degree, you may picture someone sitting in a lab or collecting specimens outside. For Stephanie Downes, a biology degree led to a different path, where skills in analyzing and experimenting help her engage audiences with digital media. Read full article.
Prosecuting Attorney Debra Mclaughlin was named as the judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court in the Eastern Panhandle. McLaughlin, l’93, came to West Virginia in the late 1990s, and since 2002, has been a Morgan County Prosecuting Attorney. Read full article.
The 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America® has honored two Jayhawk attorneys from Monnat & Spurrier, Chartered. Sal Intagliata was honored for his work in the sectors of general practice and white collar criminal defense, and Trevor Riddle was honored in the criminal defense general practice sector. Both earned juris doctor degrees from the KU School of Law. Read full article.
Former Kansas Lt. Gov. Tom Docking died Thursday night at age 63. Docking served with Democratic Gov. John Carlin from 1983 to 1987. He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1986 but lost to Republican Mike Hayden. Read full article.
A University of Kansas graduate who has served as ambassador to South Africa and CEO of National Public Radio has been selected as the 2017 honoree of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Delano Lewis has led a career that is both diverse and notable. After graduating from KU in 1960 with majors in political science and history and a law degree soon after, he embarked on a career including roles with the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Uganda, as U.S. ambassador to South Africa, CEO of NPR and more than 20 years in telecommunications with C & P Telco in Washington, D.C., culminating as president of Bell Atlantic/DC, which is now Verizon.
Alongside his professional career, Lewis has made contributions as a public servant and philanthropist in the Washington, D.C., community and on a federal level. Recently, he’s focused his energy on sharing his experiences with others, compiling his life lessons in his memoir, “It All Begins with Self: How to Discover Your Passion, Connect with People, and Succeed in Life.”
“Ambassador Lewis is an incredible example of the varied and rewarding career that can start with a liberal arts and sciences degree. It is an honor to recognize such an accomplished and engaged graduate with this award,” said Carl Lejuez, dean of the College.
Lewis will be recognized with the College’s highest alumni honor during a reception Oct. 20 at the Adams Alumni Center. He will share some of his lessons on leadership during a short Q&A session with Lejuez. The public is invited to attend. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the event starts at 7 p.m. RSVPs are requested and can be made online.
The KU Alumni Association has announced the recipients of this year’s Fred Ellsworth Medallion: John Dicus and John Mize.
Fred Ellsworth, c’22, led the Association staff as executive secretary from 1924 to 1963. Since 1975 the Fred Ellsworth Medallion has honored individuals “who have provided unique and significant service to the University.”
Fred Ellsworth Medallion recipients are honored by the Association at a special dinner in conjunction with the fall Board of Directors meeting and introduced during the home football game that weekend.
Past winners of the medallion have been honored for their leadership in Kansas higher education, as chairs and members of University boards and committees, as consultants for special KU projects, and as donors to the University.
John Dicus, b’83, g’85, Topeka, is chairman and CEO of Capitol Federal Savings. He comes from strong Jayhawk lineage—his parents and grandparents attended KU. His father, Jack, b’55, received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1990, and his grandfather, Henry Bubb, ’28, received the honor in 1977.
Dicus served on the Association’s national Board of Directors from 1996 to 2001. He and his wife, Brenda Roskens Dicus, b’83, are longtime Life Members and Presidents Club donors, and they regularly participate in local alumni events and fundraisers, including the Rock Chalk Ball in Kansas City.
Dicus helps guide the School of Business as a member of its Board of Advisors, and in 2014 he was honored as a Distinguished Business Alumnus. As a trustee of the Capitol Federal Foundation, the bank’s charitable arm, Dicus was instrumental in facilitating the foundation’s $20 million contribution in 2012 toward the school’s new building. He also has contributed to the Kansas Honors Program.
For KU Endowment, he is a trustee and Chancellors Club Member, and he serves on the executive and investment commit- tees. He has helped lead the University’s fundraising e orts as a member of the Far Above campaign organizing committee. He also serves on the Greater University Fund advisory board.
“From his KU fraternity to the business school to KU Endowment to educational institutions across Kansas, John has been a ready and willing participant,” says Neeli Bendapudi, PhD’95, the University’s provost and executive vice chancellor. “What sets his engagement apart is the humble, unassuming manner in which he makes his contributions, whether it be time, talent, treasure–or frequently and just as likely—all of the above.”
Dicus served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee to Athletics from 1990 to ’94, and he contributed to the KU First campaign as a member of its athletics committee. The Dicuses are Williams Education Fund members.
Mize, c’72, Salina, is an attorney at Clark, Mize & Linville and general counsel for the Salina Regional Health Center. His dedication to KU and the Alumni Association spans decades and dates back to 1975, when he first volunteered for the Kansas Honors Program. He served on the Association’s national Board of Directors from 1999 to 2004, and in 2005 he received the Mildred Clodfelter Award for his volunteer service in Salina.
Mize and his wife, Karen Shumacher Mize, g’85, are Life Members and Jayhawk Society members and have participated in several KU activities in their local community, including Senior Sendoff and KU Days. They also have attended several Rock Chalk Balls.
As a member of Jayhawks for Higher Education, Mize advocates for the University and promotes the advancement of higher education in Kansas. He also serves on the Hall Center Advisory Board and has contributed to the Kansas Honors Program.
For KU Endowment, Mize is a 20-year trustee and an audit committee member. He is a Chancellors Club Life Member and Watkins Society member, and he served on the Campaign Kansas fundraising committee from 1988 to 1992. He also is a member of the Greater University Fund advisory board.
“His deep knowledge of local politics, community culture and the regional health system provided invaluable advice to KU administrators and KU Endowment fundraising staff in building a critical level of community support for not only the initial founding of the School of Medicine in Salina, but for the future expansion and growth of the permanent facilities for KU’s presence in Salina,” says Dale Seuferling, j’77, president of KU Endowment.
For Kansas Athletics, he served on the 2001 search committee for a KU football coach. The Mizes also are longtime members of the Williams Education Fund.
Mike Plank of Rock Chalk Talk sat down with Todd Reesing, starting quarterback of the 2007 Orange Bowl champion football team, to reminisce about that season and share what he’s been up to in Austin. Read full article.
Shala Mills was awarded the Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement, which was established in 2014 to honor exemplary faculty leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students. Mills, l’88, is chair and professor of political science at Fort Hays State University. Read full article.
The Office of Administration announced that Governor Greitens has appointed Guy Krause as Director of the Office of Administration’s Division of Personnel. Krause, l’90, has worked for the Office of Administration in various human resource and personnel positions since 1995. Read full article.
Michelle Larrabee-Martin and Greg Martin, owners of Kolo Collection in Atlanta, are featured in this article. The couple offers materials and design services in their business. Greg is a Kansas native who holds a law degree from KU. Read full article.
Kristi Rivera, d’08, g’10, always knew she wanted to be a teacher, and she has taught at Delaware Ridge Elementary in the Bonner Springs School District since 2009. Her brother nominated her to be recognized as the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan. Read full article.
Three new Ethics Commissioners were selected and sworn in August 3 in Wyandotte County, including John J. Bukaty, Jr., who holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. Read full article.
Nearly 10 years after the 2007 Kansas football team became the winningest in program history, members of the squad will see their names become permanent fixtures at the university. The entire team will be inducted into the Kansas Athletics Hall of Fame, and Aqib Talib, ’09, Anthony Collins, ’09, and coach Mark Mangino will be inducted as individuals. Read full article.
Barry Slatt Mortgage has appointed Thomas Cohen as senior vice president in the firm’s San Diego office. Cohen, l’85, has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry. Read full article.
Shala Mills has been appointed assistant vice president for graduate and extended learning at SUNY New Paltz, according to the college. Mills, l’88, will join the college administration on Aug. 28. She currently is director of liberal education and the political science chairwoman at Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Read full article.
Kansas City’s culinary soulmates – barbecue and beer – are headed to the Power & Light District next spring in the form of a new locally owned restaurant. County Line Ice House is owned and operated by a newly-formed LLC that includes Jeff Stehney, j’84; Zach Marten, b’02, l’05, co-founder of Back Napkin Restaurant Group. Read full article.
Some phenomena in the ocean can only be witnessed after dark. Matt Davis, assistant professor of biology at St. Cloud State University explains “milky seas” in this article. Davis earned a PhD in ecology and evolution from the university in 2010. Read full article.
On August 21, Lawrence and the University of Kansas campus were in the path of a rare solar eclipse. Estimates indicated that 99.3% of the sun would be blocked by the moon; however, cloudy conditions in Lawrence obstructed the view of the eclipse for most residents. We reached out to Jayhawks around the country to see how they celebrated the eclipse. Here are a few of their stories and photos. Enjoy!
Larry Stoppel, c’73 Optometrist, Drs. Stoppel & Brown, Optometrists, and Flint Hills Network volunteer
Larry Stoppel and his wife Nancy, d’73, headed to northeastern Washington County and waited at the Evangelical Lutheran St. John’s Cemetery for the solar eclipse. The cemetery is in Lanham, a community that sits on the state line between Kansas and Nebraska.
“The temperature dropped and it was very dark,” according to Nancy. “Looking at the sun when it was in totality was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. Words can not describe it.”
Larry added that “the solar eclipse was AWESOME, but hard to photograph. I like this short video time lapse that runs from 10 minutes before, during totality and 10 minutes after.”
The week before the eclipse I was swamped with work and didn’t have very much time to plan, but I hopped on Amazon to find the most inexpensive solar filter possible for my camera. I found a 4×4 solar filter sheet, cut it to the diameter of my 70-300 mm telephoto lens, and affixed a UV filter so it would stay on during shooting.
The day of the eclipse I had quite a few conference calls to run, emails to answer and work, work, work but I wasn’t going to let that prevent me from capturing the eclipse. Around 9:05 a.m. (PT) I went outside to set up my Canon 6D camera and check out where the sun was going to be.
Initially we had some cloud coverage in Costa Mesa, but it eventually cleared and I was able to focus on the sun within a matter of minutes. I have a custom firmware installed that allows me to automate shooting with the built-in intervalometer which shot a 1/100th of a second exposure every 10 seconds with an f5.6 aperture and ISO set to 100.
I left the camera shooting right outside my office window and between work emails and calls, I went outside to reposition the camera to account for the movement of the sun out of frame. Eventually, around 11:49, I had captured about 856 shots of the entire event. Every shot was pretty clear considering we had no cloud coverage in SoCal that day—shocker, I know.
During my lunch break I downloaded the shots and began to post on Facebook. Here is the beginning of eclipse:
Then I went back to work and as the day was winding down, I discovered I had enough shots to do a progression. I took shots from 10-minute intervals of the event and compiled this:
Thomas Wall, g’11
Owner/Architect, Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design
Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design in St. Louis was the location of a little-known KU alumni eclipse watch party. With over half my staff being graduates, pretty much every day is.
My wife, Megan (Lowdermilk) Wall, d’97, joined us about 11:15 a.m. and I got to work setting up my late father’s telescope. After much fiddling, focusing, adjusting, and focusing again, I managed to get the telescope focused on the sun (with a filter of course) and my camera attached to it.
By noon, everyone in the office was coming in and out in a constant parade. I don’t think any work got done for about 90 minutes.
But soon the moon started taking a sizable bite out of the sun, and we all stood together outside looking up at the sky. I haven’t seen this many Jayhawks looking at an orange ball since Mario’s Miracle. And when the sky got dark, and the birds stopped chirping and the crickets started, we all exclaimed at the same time. Seeing the green and gold and red and purple shooting from the sun as totality was reached was a site to behold. It was truly an amazing experience.
Photos shot with a Canon 6D using a Celestron C5 telescope as a lens.
Grey Group promoted Michael Houston to Worldwide Chief Executive Officer. A 10-year veteran of Grey, Houston, c’15, has served since 2016 as Global President and becomes only the fifth person to hold the CEO position since Grey’s founding in 1917. Read full article.
If you attended the University of Kansas or lived in Lawrence during the early 2000s, you might remember the radical politics of Solidarity. The ECM has housed the Solidarity Library for about 10 years now, according to Ailecia Ruscin, a local photographer who helped found Solidarity as a KU graduate student around the dawn of the millennium. Read full article.
Former Kansas point guard Aaron Miles, who got a crack at the NBA and spent eight years playing overseas and later coaching on KU coach Bill Self’s staff, officially was named the head coach of the NBA G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday. Read full article.
Clay Barker, the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, on Monday joined the staff of Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer in anticipation of Gov. Sam Brownback’s resignation. Barker graduated from the KU School of Law in 1997. Read full article.
Jessica Nelson has been selected for the KC Chamber’s ATHENA Young Professionals Leadership Award. Nelson, j’11, is the current president of the Greater Kansas City Network of the KU Alumni Association and is the managing director for TeamKC:Life+Talent with the Kansas City Area Development Council. Read full article.
Holly Teeter, l’06, has been nominated by President Trump to be a federal judge in Kansas. Teeter currently works in Kansas City, Missouri, and her background includes work at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm’s Kansas City office. Read full article.
The University of Kansas will soon have a new interim vice chancellor for public affairs. Reggie Robinson, director of KU’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, will assume his new role effective Aug. 14, KU announced earlier this week. Robinson, a KU alumnus, has led the School of Public Affairs and Administration since 2014. Read full article.
In her new position at the AAG office, Emily Fekete will lend her expertise in communications and media geographies to the communications team through new content curation, social media and program development. Fekete holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Jenifer Ashford, a Prairie Village resident who current serves as prosecutor for the cities of Shawnee and Lake Quivira, has been named to fill a 10th judicial district magistrate judge opening. Ashford, who graduated from the University of Kansas School of Law, will be sworn in later this month. Read full article.
Russ and Linda Sims, e’79, have sort of made it their signature move to take a bright blue flag that reads “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” to all of the historic and scenic places they’ve traveled to both capture the moment and represent the Jayhawks. Read full article.
The Institute for Energy Law is honoring Houston partner John Bowman, l’80, with its Lifetime Achievement in Energy Litigation Award, which is given to one energy litigator each year whose achievements “have won the admiration of his or her peers,” according to the organization. Read full article.
With move-in day fast approaching, the KU Memorial Union hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of KU’s newest dining option, South Dining Commons, on August 9.
Replacing Oliver Dining Hall, South Dining Commons is located at 18th and Naismith and is part of the Central District Plan. The 22,000 square-foot dining facility will primarily serve residents from Oliver and Downs residential halls, but is available for students, faculty, staff and the general public to enjoy.
Features of the facility include a variety of seating options, natural light from all directions, and the largest known game day flag presiding over the center. Director of KU Dining Mark Petrino described the dining hall as “a fun and unique design that will enhance the student experience for years to come.”
The facility houses 12 different food stations, offering a variety of options including Italian, Tex-Mex, homestyle, and the KYou zone, which offers vegan dishes and other options for dietary needs.
South Dining Commons will also have a grab-and-go grocery store, South Side, continuing the trend of offering quicker food options on campus, such as Jayhawk Grocer in Self Hall and the Studio Café in Hashinger Hall. A new commissary will also be hosted at South Dining Commons, where food will be stored and prepared for all KU Dining locations.
With a facility that feeds hundreds of students and distributes for thousands, a KU Dining’s large staff continues to grow. Over 200 employees are already on board, with around 150 of them students. Hiring will continue into the school year.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Petrino; Tammara Durham, vice provost for student affairs; Sarah Waters, director of KU Housing; and Harneet Sanghera, KU Memorial Union Corporation Board President.
“I have no doubt that in two weeks time, we will have new and returning Jayhawks laughing, creating memories, and dining on the wonderful food here,” Sanghera said, and the ribbon gave way to a giant pair of scissors, officially welcoming all of KU inside.
The KU Alumni Association was invited to tour the new facility. Check out our pictures and video below:
Barry Swanson, the university’s chief procurement officer, has left Kansas after spending the better part of his career in Lawrence. Swanson, c’83, began working at the University of Kentucky at the end of June as its Chief Procurement Officer. Read full article.
Former KU basketball player C.B. McGrath, an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina for the past 14 seasons, is hosting basketball clinics as the new head coach at UNC-Wilmington. Read full article.
Topeka native Mark Turgeon, c’87, had last been to Lawrence in March 2011, when his fourth and final Texas A&M team fell to the Jayhawks 64-51 as part of KU’s Senior Day festivities at Allen Fieldhouse. Read full article.
Shelly Freeman, a 30-year veteran with a specialty in employment law, joined Jackson Lewis PC’s Overland Park office as a principal. Freeman, l’88, previously worked at her firm, Freeman & Fowler LLC in Kansas City. She also is president of FineLine HR Consulting. Read full article.
Remember that Kansas team that reached back-to-back Final Fours (2002-03) and the national title game in ’03? Although he played just two games in the Association, Keith Langford might have had the most successful professional career of anyone on that squad. His list of overseas accomplishments make him look like the Kobe Bryant of Europe. Read full article.
Jeffrey Dingman is a finalist for the city manager’s job in Topeka. Dingman has more than 20 years of local government experience and earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Former University of Kansas player Aaron Miles is the new head coach of the G League’s Santa Cruz Warriors. Miles comes from Florida Gulf Coast, where he was an assistant under head coach Joe Dooley, a former KU assistant. Read full article.
Clinkscales Elder Law Practice, P.A. announced last week that Adam C. Dees recently joined its team of professionals. Dees, l’11, joins the firm as an Associate Attorney and will focus on estate planning and elder law. Read full article.
With a busy coaching career and family life dominating most of his time, former Kansas sharp-shooter Jeff Boschee has not been able to get back to Lawrence as often as he would have liked since the end of his playing days. He returned last weekend for the Hardwood Classic AAU tournament at Sports Pavilion. Read full article.
Have you seen a story featuring a Jayhawk? Send it our way so we can include it in a future post! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.