At this time of year we joyously celebrate our newest assembly of graduates and wish them well in their personal and professional journeys. And then something powerful happens. Our new alumni apply what they’ve learned here, add more knowledge along the way, and, given a little more time and some hard work, emerge as leaders.
Our alumni give so much of their time, treasure, and talent to the University of Kansas that it is truly uplifting. One intangible gift they offer, specifically for KU students, is inspiration. These Jayhawks combined their knowledge, experiences, and KU connections and then fashioned them into remarkable success.
Throughout the year, the schools and the College make a point to recognize a handful of alumni who are shaping their workplace, their fields, their communities, and society. On Friday night, the School of Pharmacy recognized alumnus Joe Courtright, CEO of USA Drug, now part of Walgreens.
This weekend the School of Law presented its top alumni honor to three graduates, Judge Karen Arnold-Burger chief judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals; John Bowman, partner with King & Spalding LLP; and William “Brad” Bradley Jr., founder of NIC Inc. In September, the College feted diplomat and executive Delano Lewis, and the School of Architecture and Design announced three recipients of its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards.
In February, the School of Music delivered its first Outstanding Music Educator Award to Kelli Baker during a statewide music educators workshop. In the coming days, the School of Business and the School of Engineering will announce honors for some of their luminaries; the School of Education will honor alumna and Superintendent of the Kansas City, Kansas, School District Cynthia Lane with KU’s Friend of Education Award; and the School of Social Welfare will recognize excellent field instructors, many of whom are program alumni, with the annual Margo Award.
Delano Lewis. Photo by Brian Goodman Photography.
The recognition of our Jayhawks isn’t limited to academic units. Achievements come from near and far. Music alumnus and organist Brian Mathias was recently selected to join one of the nation’s biggest gigs, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Over the past year, two of our alumni, Diane Yetter and Terry Putney, were named among Accounting Today’s 2017 “100 Most Influential People in Accounting.”
Closer to home, the KU Alumni Association presented its 2017 Fred Ellsworth Medallion to College alumnus John Mize and B-School alumnus John B. Dicus, who, incidentally, is now the first third-generation recipient of the award. In October the Black Alumni Network of the KU Alumni Association celebrated nine alumni — including Associate Dean of Engineering Andrew Williams and Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs Reggie Robinson — with the Mike and Joyce Shinn Leaders and Innovators Award.
Our institution-wide pinnacle, KU’s Honorary Degree, is regularly bestowed upon influencers, change leaders, and innovators, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos.
Students, the abundant success of our alumni tells us something valuable: It’s important to take calculated risks and seize the opportunities as they appear to us. Be bold as you embark on your careers. As faculty and staff, we’ve seen your potential firsthand. We know you’re destined to succeed. Promise me you’ll maintain connections to KU — social media can’t do it all. Make a point to really stay in touch with each other and this great institution. What you know matters. Who you know matters, too.
One day in the future, and sooner than you might think, you too will be an inspiration for a fresh generation of KU graduates. You have it in you to be a leader. We know because you’re already a Jayhawk.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
The rapid growth and expansion of KU’s Lawrence campus continues with the new Earth, Energy and Environment Center, which opened earlier this semester. The EEEC features modern labs, classrooms and study spaces for the next generations of Jayhawk students.
The new construction also brings the campus closer together, as students can now walk from the engineering buildings to Jayhawk Boulevard without going outside, thanks to a skybridge over Naismith Drive. From the entrance to Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 to Lindley Hall, we took a walk through the path to see for ourselves.
And if you haven’t been on campus recently and are completely turned around, here’s where our path took us:
The new Earth, Energy and Environment Center opened for the 2018 spring semester. Find more coverage of the building here.
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.
Triebold Paleontology recently cast and installed a replica of a mosasaur fossil known as Tylosaurus proriger. C.D. Bunker, curator at KU’s Natural History Museum, and his associates collected the fossil in Wallace County in 1911.
An intimidating predator, the mosasaur will take your breath away. The size and length are imposing enough. But its teeth seal the deal—or in this case, the fate of an 84-million-year-old sea turtle the Tylosaurus is chasing in the display
“This is the Earth Energy and Environment Center; it’s all about the earth sciences,” said Bob Goldstein, Haas Distinguished professor of geology and special advisor for campus development in the provost’s office. “What better specimen to bring the public in than a spectacular 45-foot-long sea monster from the cretaceous of Kansas.”
Ancient fossils and KU connections
Sea turtles were likely prey for mosasaurs, and this particular fossil shows nearly 100 bite marks from a mosasaur similar in size to Tylosaurus proriger. Anthony Maltese, c’04, was part of the team that collected the sea turtle fossil south of Quinter in October, 2011.
Bunker’s original Tylosaurus specimen resides at the KU Natural History Museum in Dyche Hall. It is believed to be the largest complete mosasaur fossil in existence.
About the Earth, Energy & Environment Center
The Earth, Energy & Environment Center (EEEC) sits next to Lindley Hall and will open for classes in spring 2018. The two buildings of the EEEC—Ritchie Hall and Slawson Hall— will feature bridges to Lindley Hall and Learned Hall.
The multidisciplinary center is a collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the School of Engineering. It will bring together faculty, students and researchers from geology and engineering to tackle energy and environmental research.
Watch the slideshow below to see more pictures of the installation, or view the photos on Flickr. Read more about the installation from the Lawrence Journal-World.
“Garfield: The Musical With Cattitude” opened Friday night and, even at the matinee show the following day, the actors, including alumna Brianna Woods, gave energized performances that would make you think it was opening night all over again. Read full article.
As one of the first American designers to challenge the boundary between utility and fine art, Wendell Castle creates an enticing breed of objects marked by superior craftsmanship and ingenuity in form, style, and technique. Castle, f’58, g’66, received an honorary degree from KU in 2013. Read full article.
Circuit Judge John Christian Yoder, whose work in law and politics spanned more than 40 years, including two terms in the West Virginia Senate, died Friday as a result of complications from heart surgery. He began a career in government service in his native state of Kansas and graduated from KU School of Law in 1975. Read full article.
NASA was slammed with a record number of astronaut applicants this year and out of more than 183,000 people, only 12 were given that proverbial golden ticket. The deserving dozen includes a Texan and University of Kansas graduate named Loral O’Hara. Read full article.
Peter Mallouk, c’93, b’93, l’97, g’97, an estate planning attorney, started his business with an eye toward servicing medical professionals in suburban Kansas City. Today the company, Creative Planning, is at the vanguard of a profound shift in finance. Read full article.
David Seely, l’82, was elected the new president of the Wichita Bar Association. He joined Fleeson, Gooing, Coulson & Kitch in 1984 and focuses on civil litigation, especially cases involving oil and gas. Read full article.
Philosophy majors spend their college years pondering deep questions, such as: What is the meaning of life? Do we have free will? And what job am I going to get with this degree after graduation? As chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Sheila Bair, c’75, l’78, leaned on her philosophy degree from the University of Kansas to make crucial decisions during the financial crisis. Read full article.
Nikki Glaser’s come a long way from her days as a reluctant college student at the University of Kansas. Eleven years after graduating with an English degree, Glaser’s back in Lawrence, this time as a headliner at the Free State Festival. Read full article.
The first couple to ever say “I do” in the new, upscale Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas, in a ceremony on Sunday, happened to be Olathe native Dan Ryckert and his beloved Bianca. Dan is a 2007 graduate of the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation recognized the third class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows, which includes KU graduate Justin Fairchild, g’13. Read full article.
Jayhawk Loral O’Hara, a 2006 graduate of the KU School of Engineering’s aerospace engineering program, on Wednesday was introduced as one of 12 members of NASA’s 2017 astronaut candidate class. After her KU graduation, O’Hara earned a master’s degree at Purdue University. Until joining NASA for the arduous astronaut selection process, O’Hara most recently worked as a research engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
O’Hara, e’06, was born in Houston and reared in nearby Sugar Land, Texas. When her NASA class was introduced during a ceremony at Johnson Space Center, O’Hara was quick to note her joy in reaching a lifelong dream in her hometown.
“Growing up in Houston, I had Johnson Space Center right down the road and I was able to visit often,” O’Hara said. “My second-grade class even got to grow tomato plants that flew on the space shuttle, a program that I actually recently just found out is going on today with students flying seeds on the International Space Station. Those early experiences really hooked me and are a big part of what ignited the dream to be an astronaut.”
Among her diverse interests, O’Hara is a private pilot, scuba diver, surfer, sailor, spelunker, painter, certified EMT and wilderness first responder, and she noted that her unusual hobbies helped her join NASA’s latest astronaut candidate class.
“I’ve always been really curious and loved trying new things, learning new skills,” O’Hara said. “I’ve just been fortunate that the experiences that I have always gravitated toward are also those that helped me get up here today, things like fixing engines and flying and diving.”
She reports for duty in August to begin two years of astronaut training, after which she will be assigned technical duties in NASA’s astronaut office while awaiting her first flight assignment.
Sarah Smarsh, 2003 J-School graduate and a reporter on socioeconomic class, politics, and policy for The New Yorker, The Guardian, Harper’s online, and other publications, discussed media coverage of class in the United States in this Harvard University Shorenstein Center program. Read full article.
Since 1970, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity has honored a select group of women to be inducted into the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Sarah Deer, Terry Hoyt Evans, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Saralyn Reece Hardy, Colleen McCain Nelson and Jan Bowen Sheldon. Read full article.
Starting in fall 2017, Sarah Deer will join the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and the School of Public Affairs & Administration in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences as a professor. Deer earned a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and philosophy from KU in 1995 and a juris doctor from the KU School of Law in 1999. Read full article.
Lisa Donnelly, a Lawrence native and singer-songwriter, died Friday, April 7, in San Francisco. She earned degrees in psychology and theatre in 2002 from KU and was featured in issue no. 5, 2009, of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read full article.
In 2014, Austin Barone launched Just Play Sports Solutions while he was still a student at the University of Kansas School of Business studying finance and accounting. The idea for a new company came to Barone, b’16, while he was a kicker for the Kansas Jayhawks football team. Read full article.
Global law firm Dentons has strengthened its Litigation and Dispute Resolution and Arbitration practices with the recruitment of Heiko Heppner, l’08, who will join as a partner in Frankfurt. He joins Dentons from Clifford Chance. Read full article.
Brian McClendon, who recently left his post as a vice president at Uber, has joined the University of Kansas as a research professor in electrical engineering and computer science. McClendon, e’86, is a former vice president at Google and co-founded Google Earth. Read full article.
The University of Kansas School of Business will honor Gary Padgett and Mike Thompson with its 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.Padgett and Thompson received the award for their dedication to business excellence, community service and commitment to KU on Thursday, April 20, during a private reception at the Kansas Union. Read full article.
Towering, crystal-filled twisters periodically swirl in a valley nestled between two volcanoes in the Andes Mountains, newly reported observations show. Geologist Kathleen Benison, PhD’98, of West Virginia University in Morgantown spotted the whirlwinds during an expedition in 2007 to an otherworldly region of northern Chile. Read full article.
Mindie Paget, c’98, g’01, and Joanne Eden, c’96, have been named Employees of the Month by the University of Kansas. Paget is the director of communications and marketing for the KU School of Law. Eden, c’96, is a grant officer with the Office of Research. Read full article.
Cody Wamsley has joined McDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm, as an associate in the firm’s national Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Wamsley holds an LL.M. in intellectual property law from The George Washington University Law School, a J.D. from University of Kansas School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Harry Herington, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of NIC Inc., was honored by Government Technology magazine as one of its “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” of 2017. Mr. Herington, l’93, is the only individual honoree recognized this year from the private sector. Read full article.
Jordy Altman, a social media producer for CBS’s “The Talk” and 2008 University graduate, has worked for the multi-time Emmy nominated show since September 2016. Altman, c’06, coined the hashtag #EverybodyTalks to get followers involved online. Read full article.
Boise State Sen. Grant Burgoyne is one of 12 candidates seeking to fill a coming vacancy on the state Court of Appeals, Idaho’s second highest court. Burgoyne, 62, has a 26-year litigation practice and now concentrates on alternative dispute resolution and mediation. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho and the University of Kansas School of Law and has lived in Idaho since 1975. Read full article.
Justin Bauman, a 2004 and 2006 graduate of the Sport Management program, answered five questions for department chair Jordan Bass. Justin currently serves as the Director of Operations for the the Wake Forest Men’s Basketball team and head coach Danny Manning. Read full article.
Golden Globe nominated actor Kurt Russell, AKA Mr. Nobody, dons a Niall GMT “Noir” watch in the eighth sequel in the Fast and Furious series. Niall was founded five years ago in Kansas City, Missouri, by Michael Wilson, a graduate of the KU School of Business. Read full article.
Hannes Zacharias, county manager of Johnson County, has been named the 2017 Outstanding Public Administrator by the Kansas chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. He is a native of Dodge City, Kansas. Read full article.
Five distinguished Jayhawks working in the world of engineering in Kansas City recently discussed the many challenges and questions facing the metro area now and in the very near future.
The event was hosted by Black & Veatch and held Tuesday, April 11. Clint Robinson, e’85, g’91, associate vice president of Black & Veatch, served as moderator.
The panelists included Kevin McGinnis, c’93, vice president at Pinsight Media; Angie Grant, e’04, vice president at Henderson Engineers, Inc.; Stephen Hardy, c’00, chief executive officer at mySidewalk; Herb Sih, ’89, managing partner at Think Big Partners; and Scott Stallard, e’81, b’81, vice president at Black & Veatch.
The Kansas City Network’s career networking committee helped organize the Smart Cities panel. The committee plans to host quarterly industry-specific events for KU students and alumni.
Jocilyn Hansen, e’15, earned a degree in architectural engineering and currently works as an assistant project manager for Burns & McDonnell. Originally from Dell Rapids, South Dakota, she now resides in Overland Park. Jocilyn is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association.
I became a Jayhawk because…
I got chills doing the Rock Chalk Chant during my first visit to KU. Being a Jayhawk is just as magical and mystical a feeling as the mascot itself. I have felt that magic from that first visit and I still feel it today.
How has KU propelled you into your current career?
I got my first internship offer from a former Jayhawk who had been an adviser during my first years at KU. Today, he and I continue to work for the same company; our network of Jayhawks has only grown. The Jayhawk network can take you anywhere, from Lawrence to St. Petersburg, to Sydney and back!
What’s the best KU tradition?
The KU tradition I love the most is being somewhere and making connections with someone based on our Jayhawk. I’ve made Jayhawk connections in the middle of nowhere Montana just because of my Jayhawk pin, worn every game day with pride! Or just shouting ‘Rock Chalk’ across an airport terminal, it’s really the best feeling!
What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?
I love to grab Sylas and Maddy’s and head up to the Campanile. It’s especially great when a carillonneur is playing an evening concert. The lights of Lawrence beyond the Hill, “I’m a Jayhawk” playing on the bells, it can really be a sureal experience.
Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.
I can remember walking home from the engineering school, down Jayhawk Boulevard on a particularly sunny day and thinking to myself, “Wow. I am weeks from graduating from THE University of Kansas. I made it as a Jayhawk.” This was my paradigm moment. I was proud of myself, proud of my school, proud of everything around me.
Reveal a “best kept” secret about the KU campus or Lawrence.
Allen Fieldhouse. Sure, during basketball games it’s the greatest place on Earth, but there are two other times you should go. During the weekday when no one is around–the lights are out and it’s beautiful. And after a game, after all the rushing to get out of the bleachers stops, it’s just you and the newspaper and the scoreboard. Try them both, you won’t be disappointed!
Two-time PGA tour winner Gary Woodland, who ranks 10th on this season’s money list with four top 10 finishes in 11 events, is playing in his fifth Masters and first since 2015. He did not qualify for the tournament last year. Read full article.
As a graduate of the University and the last dean of women, Kala Stroup, c’59 g’64 PhD’74, has held many positions in higher education and still works with students to make the University an inclusive place. Read full article.
Linda Ellis-Sims spent her childhood in Independence, Missouri. Though her parents did not attend college themselves, they always placed a priority on education. Ellis-Sims gained an appreciation for math and science while achieving academic success in high school. An athlete in high school, Ellis-Sims also developed a strong passion for sports. Both of her interests factored into her decision to attend the University of Kansas. Read full article.
Susan Tabor, who was born blind, works for a service that provides both readings and information to those who are blind, visually impaired or print-disabled. After high school graduation, Tabor went on to pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degree in social welfare at the University of Kansas. Read full article.
A veteran, a state government leader, a CEO and a managing partner will be recognized with the University of Kansas School of Law’s highest honor. The awards will be presented at a private dinner April 8 in Lawrence. Read full article.
Teeter, b’71 g’75, has been working in analytics at KU for 45 years. Not only has she changed the way the University handles the data, but she has forever impacted the lives of those that work with her. Read full article.
Washburn University has hired former University of Kansas player and Wake Forest assistant Brett Ballard, d’04, to succeed Bob Chipman as head men’s basketball coach, the school announced Thursday. Read full article.
C.B. McGrath has been named UNCW’s 11th head coach of men’s basketball, the university announced today. His appointment is effective Tuesday, April 4. McGrath earned a B.A. in human biology and a master’s degree in education from KU. Read full article.
Faegre Baker Daniels partner Brandee Caswell, l’98, has been selected for the 2017 “Top Litigator” award by Law Week Colorado. The award is given to lawyers who excel inside and outside of the courtroom in plaintiff and defense work, and in trials and appeals. Read full article.
Topeka native and University of Kansas graduate Steve Tilford, a popular figure at cycling events in Lawrence because of his outgoing personality and area roots, died early Wednesday morning on Interstate 70 near the Utah-Colorado border, according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. Read full article.