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.
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.
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.
“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.
City Manager Matt Allen was presented with Leadership Kansas’ Jim Edwards Alumnus of the Year Award in recognition of what the organization viewed as his steady, innovative community leadership. Allen earned a master’s degree from KU in 1997. Read full article.
Frank Mack, who teaches arts administration at the University of Connecticut and previously led Shakespeare theater companies in California and New Jersey, has been named executive producer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Mack earned a bachelor’s degree from KU in 1985. Read full article.
Henry Wear, g’14, received his Ph.D. in sport and entertainment management in May from South Carolina and earned his first postdoctoral position, as a lecturer in the sport management program at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. Read full article.
The University of Kansas has selected Dr. Douglas Girod as its 18th chancellor. The search committee tasked with finding Gray-Miller’s successor has local ties. Greg Ek, b’76, was part of the 24-person search committee. He also serves as a board member for the KU Alumni Association and serves as the chairman of its audit committee. Read full article.
VIVUS, Inc., announced that Thomas B. King has been appointed to VIVUS’ board of directors. Mr. King’s nearly 40 years of pharmaceutical experience ranges from large to development-stage pharmaceutical companies. He received an MBA from the KU School of Business. Read full article.
Bernard Greenberg, a retired professor of entomology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, would assist law enforcement agencies in murder investigations by helping to determine details of the death from the presence or absence of bugs on the body. He earned a doctorate in entomology from the University of Kansas in 1953. Read full article.
Nate White, 39, was named chief operating officer of Sanford Health in 2012 and will become executive vice president, based in Fargo, beginning in August. he earned a law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law in 2004. Read full article.
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.
Caleb Bobo, c’16, is a native of St. Louis who earned a degree in political science with a minor in African and African-American Studies. He is currently a first-year graduate student and diversity fellow at Saint Louis University. Caleb is a member of the KU Alumni Association and served on the Student Alumni Leadership Board as an undergraduate.
I became a Jayhawk because…
Simply put, there was no competition. I applied to and visited several universities, but none gave me the same feeling that the University of Kansas did. It was the perfect size and distance from home. I found it to be the perfect balance between the social scene of a major, state university and the academic rigor of an elite research institution. Everything one could want out of their college experience, they can get at KU.
How has KU propelled you into your current career?
Graduate school is difficult for many reasons. Professors expect a lot out of their students and most of us balance professional opportunities with classes. Luckily, KU’s academic programs prepared me extremely well for my graduate studies, and the emphasis my professors and advisers put on internships during my undergraduate career allowed me to find employment in my new city.
What’s your favorite spot on campus? and/or What spot do you return to whenever you’re back on the Hill?
The Nunemaker Center is the home of the KU Honors Program. Not only is it an awesome place to study on The Hill, but the staff who works there always made me feel so welcomed when I walked through the doors. I’ve remained very close with several of the faculty and staff I met through KU Honors, and I always try to visit when I come back to Lawrence.
My best advice for college students:
Be flexible with your academic program! A lot of students, myself included, think we have our lives figured out at 17 or 18 years old but that’s often not the case. Allow yourself to be challenged through classes, projects and extracurricular activities outside of your chosen discipline. You never know when you’ll discover an interest or passion that you didn’t know existed.
Describe a moment, during or after your time as a KU student, when you felt the greatest sense of Jayhawk pride.
I was really fortunate to make a great group of friends at the University of Kansas and after we all graduated, it’s been amazing to watch each of them begin their lives post-undergrad. Several are working for major corporations in New York, Chicago and Kansas City. A few moved to Washington D.C. to work for members of Congress or other governmental organizations. A handful ended up in elite graduate, legal or medical programs across the country, and I know a few who became officers in the United States Military. Each and every time I’m able to touch base with them over the phone or via social media, I always feel so much pride knowing that although we have a wide variety of interest and goals, we all walked the streets of Lawrence together.
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.