The Student Alumni Network recently partnered with Hawk Link to hold the first Hawk Link Alumni Lunch. The goal was to connect at-risk students with potential mentors from the vast network of KU alumni.
Hawk Link, a program based out of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, supports students of color, queer students and undocumented students while they navigate their first two years on campus. “It’s building on the components of what students need while they’re here and how we can set them up to be successful into the future,” said Jordan Brandt, academic advisor in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
One of their programs, Study in the States, takes students to different cities to explore historical sites that tie in with their curriculum. A recent field trip to the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City brought a unique opportunity for Hawk Link students to connect with members of the Black Alumni Network in the area.
“It just made sense to invite the Alumni Association on our Study in the States trip,” said Brandt. “Students were already engaging with faculty, staff, and peers through Hawk Link but we were lacking an alumni piece. It’s great having folks who care about the population of students that we serve and want to invest in them.”
“I first learned about OMA through a tour with KU,” said Camille Moore, a freshman studying pre-med. “Through the Hawk Link program, we all live in Oliver on the third floor and have all gotten close with one another. I learned a lot talking to alumni about how to get through the process of college, and I now have the chance to reach out to them in the future.”
Jeainnie Brown, b’94, enjoyed the opportunity to both give back to students of color and connect with black alumni. Luke Bobo, Ph.D, e’82, was effusive in his praise for the students and their poise.
“The young people I interacted with are bright, articulate and aware,” Bobo said. “I look forward to these students making their mark on the KU community and I also look forward to them making a mark on our society-at-large.”
The Student Alumni Network is expanding its on campus reach with both KU and student organizations by offering usage of the Adams Alumni Center and helping connect students, alumni, and the Lawrence community. SAN’s other on-campus partnerships include a ‘trunk-or-treat’ for Lawrence area children with the Student Involvement and Leadership Center, and Big Jay’s Recess, an upcoming event with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and SILC.
To learn more about the Student Alumni Network and to see upcoming events, follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or visit the website.
Whenever ESPN’s College GameDay comes to Lawrence, students know to bring their A-game when it comes to signs. In between the signs cheering the Jayhawks and jeering the West Virginia Mountaineers, one student took a jab at the channel broadcasting the whole event.
Oklahoma’s Trae Young, considered by many to be a frontrunner for National Player of the Year, has received consistent coverage from the media all season, drawing the ire of some fans.
Jacob Camenzind, a sophomore from Wichita studying mechanical engineering, decided to poke some fun at the whole situation with a sign that read “ESPN mandated this sign be about Trae Young.”
“I knew College GameDay would probably talk about Trae Young since the show is essentially pregame coverage for all the games that day. I was also well aware of how tired some people are about ESPN’s constant coverage of Young, so I figured that’d be a good subject for the sign.”
A good subject it was, as Jacob began getting compliments and picture requests as soon as he walked into Allen Fieldhouse that morning. As the countdown to going live continued, the sign gained some new fans.
“When Rece Davis walked onto the court, he saw my sign, looked at me, and started laughing. As the rest of the analysts came in, Rece Davis pointed it out to Bilas, Williams, and Greenberg and they all gave a chuckle as well. During the show, one of the cameramen trained his camera on me, and he gave a thumbs up as I held up my sign. When I got on the video board, I knew we were on TV, and my whole section went crazy. Rece Davis stuck around after the show and took pictures with fans, and he told me my sign was hilarious.”
Jacob’s brush with fame wasn’t done. His tweet about the sign began to blow up, with more than 100 retweets on his own account, multiple KU fan accounts joining in the fun, and even a shoutout from Sports Illustrated.
Despite the sign, Jacob wanted to make his actual opinion on Trae Young clear.
“I love him as a player, don’t let the sign fool you. And to be completely honest, I have no problem with ESPN’s coverage of Trae Young. He is putting on a historic season, and he deserves every minute of attention he gets. I’m pretty tired of all the hate directed to him, but I still couldn’t resist making the sign because I knew people would find it funny.”
—Ryan Camenzind, j’17, Jacob’s brother, stood next to Jacob at College GameDay and watched as Jacob’s phone died in 20 minutes due to the constant buzz of notifications.
Mitch Tegtmeier and his wife, Erin, are both teachers. Naturally, they go all out in making Valentine card boxes for their three boys, Talon (5), Will (3) and Boston (10 months).
“I try to come up with something new and fresh every year for the boys to top the previous year,” Tegtmeier said. “I always give them some input as to what they would like their boxes to be. This year our older two boys are really into KU basketball, and we never miss a game. So they said they wanted Kansas basketball jerseys!”
After the boys picked out their favorite players for their boxes, Tegtmeier started brainstorming some ideas.
“I had a mental image of how I wanted these to finish, so I started drawing lines and chopping up some boxes. I spray painted the boxes and called in my brother, Ben for help. He’s a professional graphic designer, and he helped me cut and lay the vinyl.”
Once they were finished, the kids couldn’t contain their excitement.
“They wanted to play with the boxes right away. We had to hide them so that they at least made it until Valentine’s day.”
Over a two-day period packed with 10 surgeries at the University of Kansas Health System, five patients received a replacement kidney—thanks to a 10-person kidney donor transplant chain, the longest of its kind in the Kansas City area.
Kidney chains begin when a patient has a willing donor, but blood type or other complications prevent a match. The patient and donor are then listed in a national registry, while the hospital searches for other pairs in similar circumstances to see whether the first pair’s donor has a kidney that matches a different pair’s patient. If so, the two donors give their kidneys to the opposite patient.
Regional milestone for kidney chain
While four-person kidney chains are relatively common, said Dr. Diane Cibrik, professor and medical director of the kidney and pancreas transplant program, “every time you add another person to the chain, it adds more planning. That’s why this region has never seen a 10-person chain before. Now that we have done a 10-patient chain, we feel we can work together to build larger chains, including some chains that go on for years.”
This chain began when a donor who didn’t match with a friend gave his kidney to the hospital for another recipient.
“While our transplant team has the confidence to do what it takes to benefit our patients, none of this would have been possible without the selfless actions of the organ donors,” said Dr. Sean Kumer, associate professor of surgery and vice president of operative services. “It takes that first anonymous donor willing to donate a kidney to someone they don’t know—and may never meet—to get the chain started.”
Amna Ilahe, who directs the hospital’s living donor program, stressed the safety of living donation, thanks to rigorous testing of potential donors. As for the results, “living donation is a simple act that will make a big difference,” she said. “It can change a recipient’s quality and quantity of life.”
The newest major addition to the University of Kansas campus connects the department of geology with the School of Engineering, the Central District with the North District, and today’s students with their careers of tomorrow.
The Earth, Energy, & Environment Center, or EEEC, is composed of two new buildings, Slawson Hall and Ritchie Hall. We took a tour of the new buildings to see how a fully integrated building provides new strategies for education. Dr. Robert Goldstein, associate dean for natural sciences and mathematics and special adviser for campus development, led our trip though the new facility.
The tour began in Slawson Hall, with a large atrium at the corner of Hoch Auditoria and Naismith. Visitors are greeted with the sight of a 45-foot-long sea monster—the Tylosaurus fossil replica—a mosasaur that lived where Kansas is today.
“Wherever there’s a little spot, a little niche available, we put in carpet and comfy chairs for students and faculty to use. We want to make sure students hang out and study here.”
“This is the core layout room. We store our samples of rock core from the subsurface here. We use the tables with skate wheels to move boxes of rocks around to study them under white lights and UV lights.”
“This is the engaged learning classroom. 18 80″ monitors, two big screens, whiteboards all the way around. 18 tables, each with their own ELMO video presenter and microphones. It promotes engaged learning where the students are busy working on projects, and the professor’s podium is in the middle of the room, not the end of the room. They’re the coach, just circulating around helping students.”
“Check out the pattern on the side of the building. It’s limestone at the bottom, terra cotta above. We went with different types of terra cotta panels to give it a more dynamic appearance. Rather than a random patchwork of panels, we decided on taking the geologic cross-section of Kansas, right down to Mount Oread, and use that as the inspiration of the patterns by superimposing it on the side of the building.”
“It’s truly interdisciplinary, it’s at that intersection of earth, energy, and environment. We’ve got engineers and scientists under the same roof. We have paleontologists studying particles of organic matter trapped in 3 billion year old rocks, with an environmentalist studying contaminated ground water next door.”
“We just opened, and students are immediately finding these comfortable places… You’ll find faculty members sitting and grading papers here instead of in their offices because it’s so nice.”
“Having a lot of light that comes in helps visibility everywhere. We get natural light both in the hallways, and in the labs and offices. We added transparency, so if you’re standing in the hallway, you can see into the labs and they can see you, and that’s designed to promote interaction. That’s what a modern building can do for you.”
For an expanded look at our tour, check out our Flickr album. More coverage, including videos, of the Earth, Energy and Environment Center is available here.
As students make their way around the Kansas Union this semester, those who stop by The Market for lunch are in for a fresh surprise.
“Union Square,” the third-floor seating area outside The Market, underwent a major renovation over winter break. It offers students a new space to study, relax, or meet while grabbing a bite to eat.
“We had 6,000 square feet of space, with a beautiful campus view, that was only utilized over the lunch hour,” said Lisa Kring, director of building & event services. “We entered design with the goal of providing a student space that offered an experience, not just a place to inhale a quick lunch.”
New tables and chairs in a variety of shapes and sizes fill the area, including lounge seating, rocking chairs and eight study pods in a quiet corner.
Televisions line the walls of the space, with some available for students to connect their own devices. A 24-by 6-feet video wall of TV panels shows the latest in news, sports and entertainment.
For more news and updates about KU Dining, click here.
As the 2017-2018 Kansas basketball season enters conference play, the “Commemorate the Gr8s” tour continues to provide fans a behind-the-scenes look at the history of KU Basketball.
The exhibit celebrates the anniversaries of the 1988 and 2008 title teams with memorabilia from KU’s national championship seasons. Thanks to a partnership between the University of Kansas Libraries and the KU Alumni Association, the exhibit is making its way across America on a 28-city tour, visiting watch parties and other Jayhawk alumni network events.
LeAnn Meyer, assistant director of advancement at KU Libraries, has seen firsthand how the Jayhawk connection brings people together on the tour stops.
“Connecting with alumni, both near and far, has been incredibly rewarding,” Meyer said. “Jayhawk pride can be found coast to coast, and these events provide an opportunity for friends and alums to mingle with one another while perusing iconic photographs and memorabilia from the University Archives. The exhibit items often spark fond memories, and the stories shared create bonds between local Jayhawks.”
The exhibit includes the newspapers and magazines chronicling Danny and the Miracles’ amazing run and Mario Chalmers’ tying shot against Memphis, pictures from before, during and after the games that made the titles possible, and other artifacts from the championship teams.
“I have had the opportunity to see the last three KU Library exhibits that have been here in Colorado Springs and each of them have been fun and interesting,” Merriman said. “The library staff has a track record of putting together amazing presentations of artifacts and memorabilia. Those of us living out of state truly appreciate the chance to view and relive those moments.”
The stops on the tour also provide a chance for local Jayhawks to get to know fellow KU alumni who live in their area. Visit our networks page to find a Facebook group with nearby Jayhawks, and visit kualumni.org/commemorate to learn more about the tour and see when it comes to a city near you.
While many University of Kansas alumni head to local game watch parties to feel like they’re back home in Lawrence, one family came to see if Lawrence was home.
Curtis Rach of Orange County, California, says he always pushed his kids to explore things outside of their home state. So when his son Davis was choosing a college, he had narrowed it down to two choices: follow his twin brother to Auburn, or strike out on his own at KU. To help him make the decision, Curtis took Davis to a local watch party for KU’s tournament game against Purdue last season.
Rach reached out to Ramy Rahman, b’09, Orange County Network leader, beforehand and told him about his plans. When he arrived at the watch party with Davis, they both were more than impressed with the hospitality.
“When people at the event heard he was thinking about KU, they all came up, introduced themselves, and told us stories about their experience at KU,” Rach said.
Both alumni and current students on spring break took time to meet Davis and his father. “What helped with the decision for him was how warm and inviting everyone was, and that they were so passionate about KU,” Rach explained.
The camaraderie and excitement of KU watch parties may have surprised the Rach family, but Danny Woods, assistant director of legacy and alumni programs, knows it well.
“The goal of watch parties is to provide a venue in which alumni can gather and feel like they’re back on campus for a big game,” Woods said. “When you graduate you’re still yearning for that experience. ”
He added that watch parties are like the “front porch” of KU alumni events. “They are often the first alumni gathering that people attend, and it opens the door for them to attend other events in their area.”
Davis carried through on his promise and is now a freshman at KU.
Interested in finding a watch party near you? Visit our website for a list of watch sites by state, and check out the online calendar for official watch parties organized by alumni networks.
Before the school year, we took a behind the scenes tour of the new South Dining Commons, the 22,000 square foot dining hall that feeds the hungry people of KU, primarily residents from Oliver and Downs residential halls.
While the facility was beautiful and ready for students, it was the one piece of unfinished business that caught our eye:
Encompassing nearly 200 square feet, the traditional “K” flag that flies on top of Fraser Hall on game days now covers the wall students see when they first walk in.
“Having our dining center so close to Allen Fieldhouse, we wanted our interiors to have a sports and school spirit feel.” said Mark Petrino, director of KU Dining Services. “When we were brainstorming what to put on this massive wall, we decided we wanted something that would immediately catch the eye of every guest as they entered… What would show school spirit more than this iconic piece of KU history?”
South Dining Commons is located at 18th and Naismith and is part of the Central District Plan approved by the Kansas Board of Regents in November 2015.
The holiday season brings classic TV specials that generations of people have enjoyed. Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, The Year Without a Santa Claus and other holiday specials from Rankins/Bass Productions credit a Lawrence native and University of Kansas graduate for their famous style.
Paul Coker, Jr. began leaving his legacy as an artist as early as high school. While a junior at Liberty High School (soon to become Lawrence High School) in 1946, Coker, f’51, sketched the Chesty Lion logo that is used to this day as the school’s mascot.
As the designer for the holiday specials, Coker created the look and feel for the characters that have aired since 1969.
Coker spent most of his career as an illustrator for MAD magazine, illustrating over 375 articles in the satirical publication. The storybook style he used for Frosty the Snowman also was used to design Hallmark greeting cards.
Frosty the Snowman airs December 9 at 8 p.m. CST on CBS. -Ryan Camenzind