“As new Jayhawks arrive on the Hill, it’s hard not to get nostalgic about our four years.”
Before Ben Brodsky walked down the Hill last May, he could sense it was coming. That feeling of nostalgia that all alumni understand was becoming all too real, and Brodsky, c’17, wanted to hit save and preserve his time at KU. Fortunately, the talented film and media studies major had shot hours of footage during his time on campus; timeless scenes that also captured a place in time.
His memories. His journey. But one with which we could all relate.
Brodsky got right to work, even before walking down the Hill. With the help of his twin brother Sam, b’17, he founded Ben Brodsky Films and Photography in 2013, applying his talents and education to projects for clients. As his commencement loomed, one project became more personal.
The result of the effort that he began as a student and finished as an alumnus, was a three-minute and forty-two-second video that was posted on social media this week, as students returned to the Hill to start the fall semester. Almost immediately the video became a viral sensation, with views topping 100,000 in the first three days.
Naturally, this time of year makes all of us remember what it was like heading off to college.
“Feels like yesterday I was jumping out of the mini van, unloading my college dorm room onto the hot Kansas pavement,” Brodsky posted on YouTube. “I remember my mom telling me ‘these are the best 4 years of your life, enjoy every minute of them!'”
Brodsky offered his own advice to freshmen flocking to the Hill.
“To all incoming Jayhawks,” he added, “experience everything you can; there is no limit to what you can do.” On Facebook, he added a shared sentiment.
“New Jayhawks, we hope you love this place as much as we do.”
Brodsky could have been referring to all alumni when we said “we,” but in this case, it was a nod to his project partner and collaborator, Amie Just, j’17, who scripted the video. Her words, which resonate with all Jayhawks, constitute a poem she calls, simply, “Home.” (Read our interview with Amie Just here.)
We love the combination of moving images and words that so beautifully capture the KU experience, drawing us closer together and to our beloved alma mater.
“Through the good times and the stressful ones,” he concludes, “KU was, and will always be, home.”
The following poem was penned by Amie Just, j’17, as an ode to her alma mater, simply titled: Home. Just wrote the script to accompany a video produced by a KU classmate, Ben Brodsky, c’17, celebrating the KU student experience. That video project, titled “KU: A Journey” has been viewed on social media more than 100,000 times by KU alumni, students and Jayhawk fans. And we agree, it is absolutely glorious to view. The images are beautiful, and the words, read by a familiar-sounding announcer, are sure to resonate. We talked to Just about her role in the project, and we’ve reprinted the poem, with permission, below for Jayhawks to enjoy.
This is home.
As tulips and sunflowers bloom, curious minds blossom too.
From Fraser Hall to Wescoe Beach, Allen Fieldhouse to Budig Hall.
This is home.
As tulips and sunflowers bloom,
curious minds blossom too.
Atop Mount Oread, nothing is out of reach.
From Fraser Hall to Wescoe Beach,
Allen Fieldhouse to Budig Hall
This is KU.
The future fills these classrooms.
Growing in expertise and insight,
dispersing elsewhere as the whistle blows.
We’re different, every one of us.
Ranging from business to journalism,
Knowledge flows through this golden valley we call KU
There’s no limit on where we come from or what we do.
From the first night, to the last.
Jayhawks, we are meant to be.
We are KU, born again anew.
Waving the wheat isn’t just for crops.
Seeing The Phog isn’t just for rainy days.
Lottery. Camping. Late Night.
the stories of yesterday tossed in the air as newsprint confetti.
The Rock Chalk Chant and Alma Mater sung loud and clear.
Tradition is KU.
This place becomes a part of you.
And we all become a part of this place.
Champions are born here.
Leaders are cultivated here.
Innovation is pioneered here.
Basketball grew its roots here.
Dreams become reality here
KU is us. KU is you.
But it doesn’t last forever here.
There’s a time to leave the nest.
Descending down the Hill for the very last time,
walking through a tower of remembrance for commencement.
Dressed in cap and gown, graduating Jayhawks march down the Hill of education and memories.
For one last time, the Rock Chalk Chant hums, for this is now our Alma Mater
No matter where we Jayhawks fly,
No matter how long we’re away,
Our absence is only temporary, as
KU will always be home.
We spoke with Amie Just, j’17, one of the collaborators behind the viral video sensation titled KU: A Journey. Just worked with KU classmate Ben Brodsky, a KU film studies major we profiled here, and contributed the script that would accompany the video footage collected during four years of campus shoots. The script might have otherwise been a stretch for the sports journalist Just. However, with the alma mater as her muse, the writing was poetic, and she titled her poem, which can be read here in its entirety, Home. Get to know the writer behind the behind the video that has resonated with so many Jayhawks in our exclusive interview with Amie Just.
What inspired you to write the poem for this video?
Ben (Brodsky, c’17) texted me in mid-April saying that he wanted to collaborate to make a video highlighting four years of memories at KU. The original idea was that the video and the accompanying poem would be a collage of the meaningful experiences we had in Lawrence.
Ben, the talented videographer that he is, had 1,000s of hours of video that he’d taken over the course of his college career and wanted to create something powerful with some of those clips. I thought it would be a good way to wrap up my time at KU, so I decided to go for it.
I wrote at least 25 different versions of the poem. I reworked some phrases, scratched full lines, changed words to different synonyms, restructured and moved things around dozens of times as well to get something I was proud of. The original piece I worked up maybe has one or two lines that are the same from the final product. I’m definitely not a poet — I’m a journalist. Those two writing styles are quite different, but I’m happy with how it turned out.
How do you want Jayhawks to react after watching it?
I want Jayhawks to feel a full range of emotions. That’s what I was trying to convey with my word choice. While we were at KU, we all had just about every emotion flare up from time to time. I wanted people to smile. I wanted people to laugh. I wanted people to feel a sense of belonging, nostalgia and homesickness. I wanted the words to make Jayhawks fondly remember their time at KU.
Words can be extremely powerful, especially when they’re paired with incredible images. I couldn’t have expressed all the feelings people had when watching this video in words. That’s why I chose to be minimal with them — let the viewers have their own feelings about what they were seeing and hearing. Different Jayhawks have different memories from the Chi O Fountain or Wescoe Beach. Being selective in word choice lets people go back to those memories and relive those feelings. I think that’s why people are having such a positive reaction to it. No one is telling them how to feel; They’re just feeling.
How have people responded after seeing it?
Several of my friends have reached out to me and said that they cried watching the video because it made them really miss their college experience. I never meant to make anyone cry, but I feel really honored that something we created elicits such a powerful response from people.
Other people said they got goosebumps or chills or a feeling they couldn’t explain. I get goosebumps every time I read the words of my poem or watch the video, or, truthfully, every time I think about this project. I’ve done a lot of writing in my day, but very few pieces have given me such a sense of fulfillment like this.
More than 80,000 times this video has been viewed on Facebook with more than 1,400 shares and 1,000 likes (editor’s note: as of this writing, views have eclipsed 100,000). That just demonstrates how incredible KU and the student, faculty, staff and alumni base is. These two recent grads put together a sentimental video about the University of Kansas and it hits home with all of us for different reasons. That’s just how special this place is. That’s the reason we wanted to do this in the first place — just showcase how much KU means to all of us.
Can you tell us about your KU experience?
I was a journalism major with minors in English and Human Sexuality. I spent the majority of my time in Memorial Stadium, Allen Fieldhouse, Stauffer-Flint or the Kansan newsroom in Dole. I didn’t exactly have the traditional student experience since I covered Kansas football and basketball for the majority of my time in school, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Going to sporting events was part of my education. I learned a lot that way and it absolutely prepared me for where I am now.
Because of my work as a student journalist at the Kansan, I had the opportunity to string for the Associated Press, contribute for the Topeka Capital-Journal and intern for the Washington Post all while I was in college.
I was also a member of Omega Phi Alpha. That was a huge part of my collegiate life because giving back to the communities I live in is really important to me. That’s also why I gave my time as a Journalism Student Ambassador and served as president and public relations director and gave back on the Journalism Student Leadership Board on the diversity committee. I was really fortunate to have the opportunities that I had within the J-School and sharing those experiences with others was something I enjoyed. Recruiting future Jayhawk Journalists to a journalism school that I helped make better is something I’m really proud of. Going to KU was the right choice. No other place in the world could have given me the experiences and opportunities that the KU J-School did.
What are your plans after KU?
After graduation I accepted a job in Missoula, Montana, covering University of Montana football for the Missoulian and all Lee Montana newspapers. I tell people that Missoula is an alternate universe version of Lawrence. I get a lot of the same vibes by walking around downtown and on campus. But there just happens to be mountains on all four sides with rivers skirting through.
I’ll try to get back someday soon. Maybe Kansas football can schedule the Grizzlies as a future FCS opponent? One can hope.
Yes, one can hope! Thanks for sharing your KU experience and this wonderful poem with KU alumni, Amie. We hope to see you come back “home” soon. Rock Chalk!
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.
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.
Judging simply by what page he was on, Kip Reiserer knew what his major should have been. Every time he came to the “Hitler and Nazi Germany” class led by Instructor Sam Newland, g’81, PhD’83, Reiserer drilled further into the textbook—and further away from his classmates.
“I had friends in the class, and nobody else read it,” Reiserer says. “I read really, really close to the whole thing.”
Reiserer, j’10, now combines the degree he did earn (broadcast journalism) with the interest he could not leave (World War II) for a social media following that has reached more than 150,000. On most days, Reiserer post two to four World War II photos and captions to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, illustrating for the young minds of the 21st Century the conflict that ripped humanity in half 75 years ago.
He has yet to monetize any of his accounts, but he posts at a heavy volume because what he broadcasts feels crucial to him, especially at a moment in history like the present.
“I do it because I think it’s important,” he says. “I don’t fully understand how the majority of an entire country could be swept by madness and change the world that much.”
A native of the Dallas suburb of Copell, Reiserer has long been enthralled by what may have been the most significant conflict in history. Although he did not want to make a career out of teaching its history, Reiserer found he had talent in the field of social media advertising and used his online feeds to merge the two.
In all three of his accounts, Reiserer posts a single photo or short video, accompanied by matter-of-fact captions. He never inserts an opinion and does not engage in political banter. His followers supported both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last fall, and Reiserer’s posts leave room for readers to make their own comparisons between past and present leaders.
Reiserer’s interest in WWII began when he watched “Saving Private Ryan” as a young teenager. His appetite grew after viewing other films about the conflict and his mother started buying documentaries on VHS tape.
“There was a running joke in high school, that it was all I would watch on TV,” he says. “It was so foreign to me, and I didn’t know anything about Europe or the Pacific.”
Shortly after graduating from KU, Reiserer moved to Kansas City. Needing a job, he put his broadcast degree to use in an unexpected way by starting a Twitter account for other journalists seeking employment; @KCJournalismJobs grew to 1,349 followers, and he quickly found that part of the key to social media success is specificity. He would put that lesson to use for his next online hobby.
Reiserer says he never read much, until his mother gave him a copy of a 655-page tome of WWII trivia. He started devouring Don McCombs and Fred Worth’s World War II: 4,139 Strange and Fascinating Facts, and was so excited about what he was learning that he wanted to share his findings. In summer 2012, after moving to Chicago, where he works in social media advertising, he realized that he could.
“What if I just created a Twitter account, and just started tweeting facts and photos?”
So he tweeted his way through most of the Strange and Fascinating Facts, then began looking for new sources. No problem: The internet is overflowing with people who want to talk about World War II.
“I had a seemingly unlimited amount of content that appealed to people all over the world,” he says.
Much of what he published came from other World War II-themed sites, but his journalism education reminded him that plenty of the material floating along the bitstream is dubious. The list of followers was growing, and fact-checking before tweeting became a boring but rewarding task.
“You can go down rabbit holes on Wikipedia,” Reiserer says. “Or, I’m looking at somebody’s crappy WordPress blog, but it’s got one great photo—but where did it come from?”
Maintaining a healthy tweet rate, keeping his facts reliable and declining to rant have made Reiserer’s internet identity valuable to promoters. The film company Lionsgate gave him tickets to Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” to disperse to followers; a book publisher in New York, Simon & Schuster, handed him five copies of its latest WWII publication to give away (plus one for him to keep and tweet from).
What about promoting some product that’s not related to World War II? In the modern world of advertising, marketers are vying for relationships with influencers like Reiserer.
“I’m not going to be retweeting cosmetics just to be making money,” he says, and thus, his accounts have yet to realize any profit.
WW2Facts and WorldWar2HistoryPics are hobbies, but Reiserer would love to turn it into a career. The dream job: Sponsors would pay him to visit historic sites and tweet about what they hold. A professional World War Twourist.
Reiserer hopes to repeat for others the experience he felt in Newland’s History 341 class and help someone an answer to the question that drives him as he digs up another online rabbit hole: “How could it happen?”
—Ronnie Wachter, j’00, is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and a freelance writer in Chicago.
Tips for social media success
One of the crucial rules of building a social media following is an ironic juxtaposition against the entire concept of social media: “You have to be patient,” Kip Reiserer says. “I’ve seen the process and the patience it takes to actually build a following.”
Working in Kansas City in 2010—a time when many journalists were early Twitter adopters—Reiserer earned more than 1,000 followers and strong interaction with a feed devoted strictly to media job opportunities in that area. After moving to Chicago, he began a far more successful run in 2012 with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts that drill into a completely different subject: World War II. For those trying to elbow out some room in the “Look at me!” mosh pit, Reiserer offers a few tips:
Stick to one, narrow subject. Although his subject spans the globe, affecting nearly every culture on earth at the time, and involved countless facets of life (economics, sports, entertainment, religion and more), all of Reiserer’s photos and captions connect directly to the subject’s core: armed conflict between two sets of nations.
It helps tremendously if your subject has deep emotional appeal, even if that appeal is to a small group of people. Even today, WWII arouses a potent mix of responses; with his Kansas City account, the hunt for a job is the hunt for money and status.
If you can find a niche, grab hold of whoever visits it. Reiserer says he monitors his feeds’ comments, watching as readers reply to each other and new conversations branch out. “If you’re going to do it organically, it’s the same concept, which is …”
“… You have to have a bottomless pit of content.” Reiserer stresses the importance of regular posting, which keeps an audience from drifting away to other attention-grabbers.
And keep working when the fans do not show up. “I’ve known several people who tried to create this account, or something like it,” he says. “It didn’t happen in a month and they gave up.”
Derby native Casey Combs walked across the stage at KU earlier this month, as she earned her Doctorate in Audiology. Casey is profoundly, or totally for a more practical term, deaf. Read full article and watch video
The Summer Venture in Business program is open to high-achieving 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade minority students or those who would be the first in their families to attend college. Former KU student body president Stephonn Alcorn and his Student Senate coalition had proposed such a camp last year as one way to help increase campus diversity. Read full article.
Tom Eblen, who mentored a generation of journalists as general manager and news adviser for the University Daily Kansan, died Saturday at age 80 in Prairie Village. As general manager and adviser of the Daily Kansan, Eblen oversaw the newspaper’s business affairs and provided lasting advice to students on writing and editing. Read full article.
Perry Ellis was one of the many fan favorites participating in an exhibition game that featured more than 40 former KU players and coaches including 12 members of Kansas’ 2008 national title squad. Read full article.
Robert Cobb, a University faculty member and administrator for over 30 years, passed away last week at the age of 91. In his time at the University, Cobb was an English professor, department head, dean, executive vice chancellor, professor emeritus and more. Read full article.
The Sacramento Kings hosted a second pre-draft workout on Wednesday with last season’s National College Player of the Year – Kansas’ point guard Frank Mason III. Upon arriving in Sacramento on Tuesday, Mason caught the attention of social media for inviting a Jayhawks fan to meet him at his downtown hotel. Read full article and watch video.
Jessie Blakeborough, a freelance reporter, college adviser and University alumna, created a Facebook page in January to plan a march to speak out in support of scientific research and science-based policy. Blakeborough, j’13, is one of four administrators for the march. Read full article.
“E 1200,” a new short crime drama written and directed by University alumnus Kalee Forsythe, will premiere at Liberty Hall. After going back and forth between getting her degree in film studies or architecture while at the University, Forsythe eventually decided to take a break from classes. Read full article.
Lisa C. Billman has joined SouthLaw PC as an associate attorney for the bankruptcy department located in the firm’s corporate office in Overland Park, Kan. She earned her law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2011. Read full article.
Grant Babbit, c’12, jumped straight out of the film and media studies program and into Los Angeles as a successful freelance cinematographer after graduating in 2011. He plans to come to the University next fall to talk to the current film students about his experiences. Read full article.
Scott Gootee, b’03, l’05, a corporate finance partner in the Kansas City office of Stinson Leonard Street LLP, was named to the 2017 40 Under Forty list by Ingram’s Magazine, the leading business publication covering Missouri and Kansas. Read full article.
Governor Pete Ricketts announced his appointment of Julie D. Smith to the First Judicial District Court of Nebraska. Smith earned her law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law. Read full article.
The keynote speaker will be Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall, appointed to the court in 2014. Stegall is a graduate of Geneva College, Pennsylvania, and the University of Kansas School of Law. Read full article.
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.
Jonathan Ng, c’03, j’03, earned degrees in Spanish and strategic communications and currently works as an attorney advisor for the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C. Originally from Leawood, Kansas, he now resides in Arlington, Virginia. He is a Life Member of the KU Alumni Association.
I became a Jayhawk because…
As a native Kansan, it’s the flagship institution of our state, and I wanted to go to the best place possible while still maintaining close ties to my home. But no matter where you go, the quality of your experience depends on what you’re willing to put into it. KU provides all the opportunities that you could ever hope for in a full college experience — to be challenged academically at a nationally-recognized research institution, to cheer on elite athletic programs and to spend four years on a beautiful campus in a quintessential college town.
How has KU propelled you into your current career?
KU represents a true microcosm of our larger global society by reflecting the diversity you will encounter in your personal and professional lives. It’s large enough to find other students and groups who share your common interests, but it’s also diverse enough to bring you in touch with, and to teach you to be open and empathetic to other views, opinions and worldviews that are different from yours. It’s ultimately those “soft” skills of empathy, adaptability and compromise that help you excel in your career that you learn by immersing yourself in a rich and full college experience that a place like KU offers.
How did KU push you to try harder or to try something new?
As a freshman, I got involved in Student Government because I had an interest in shaping public policy and loved the democratic process of governance. By my junior year, I ended up running for and being elected student body president. Winning the election was obviously a great experience, but just putting myself in the arena regardless of victory or defeat was one of the most formative experiences of my life.
My best advice for college students…
Practice being present. College is not simply a stepping stone to your career. It is a rewarding and formative experience in itself. There’s a reason why many people form their best friendships and memories during their college years. Once you start working, society has a way to differentiate and separate us with arbitrary labels. In college, everyone is essentially on the same playing field, which enables you to get to know people for who they are, not what they do. Enjoy it for what it is. Don’t be in such a hurry to graduate.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? and/or What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?
I always love returning to the Campanile and the view that overlooks Potter Lake, Memorial Stadium and the Kansas Union.
What’s the best KU tradition?
By far, the best KU tradition is the Rock Chalk Chant during the final moments of KU basketball games. It’s distinctly and uniquely KU. It’s a tradition you grow up watching on TV, participating in as a student at games in Allen Fieldhouse, and continue chanting as alumni long after you have graduated.
Reveal a “best kept” secret about the KU campus or Lawrence.