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2018-19 Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

March Kudos

Heather Anderson, Assistant Director of Communications & Recruitment for the School of the Arts and the College of Liberal Arts & Science, earned a Gold Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for her work on the Department of Visual Art’s Visual Art Day. The award recognizes Heather for planning, marketing and execution of the event.

Sarah Deer, professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration and the Department of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, will be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame as part of the 2019 class. Deer was selected by a nationwide panel of judges, leading experts from organizations and educational institutions that applaud her contributions to improving life for women. She is being recognized in particular for her work on the Violence Against Women Act and the Tribal Law and Order Act and her advocacy around issues of sexual assault and domestic violence in indigenous communities.

The Department of Economics received a Degree-Level Assessment Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence.

The Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies received a Degree-Level Assessment Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy received the Haufler Core Innovation Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Denise Farmer, student success coach within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Online degree completion program, been named the recipient of this year’s C.L.A.S.S. Award for her dedication to supporting students. The C.L.A.S.S. Award (Citation for Leadership and Achievement in Student Services) is presented annually by the Board of Class Officers to a staff member. The annual award recognizes distinguished achievements in student services that show a commitment to the needs of KU students and contribute to the welfare of students. In her role, Farmer is responsible for advising students in the College’s online program as well as advising on-campus students pursuing the Bachelor of General Studies in Liberal Arts & Sciences degree. Her role includes working with online students from the point of inquiry to graduation and assisting them with achieving their education goals.

Matt Jackson, analytical chemist in the Department of Chemistry, received a KU Research Achievement Award for his work with the Soper Research Group. Jackson has developed tools to study a new class of virus-sized vesicles that human cells use to communicate across the body, built a flow cytometer for rare cell analysis and, most recently, worked on nanoscale technologies that can sequence single molecules of DNA. Through the National Institutes of Health-funded Center of BioModular Multi-Scale Systems, Jackson collaborates with researchers at KU and beyond, and he has trained and mentored five KU graduate students.

Laura Moriarty, associate professor in the Department of English, had the premiere of the movie adaptation of her novel The Chaperone in New York. As part of the event, Moriarty walked the red carpet and participated in a panel at the New York Public Library.

Ann Rowland, associate professor in the Department of English, won a prestigious National Humanities Center fellowship for her project “Reading Keats in America.” The project is a history of reading which takes a group of Boston readers at the turn of the 20th century as a window into the longer-term history of literary reading, discovering unexpected continuities in reading practices from Keats’s era to our own digital age. Literary reading has a history of technological change, media reconfiguration and shifting social values, but remains an enduring cognitive and cultural practice for understanding ourselves and others. This book examines what literary reading has been used for in the past in order to bring into focus what it remains good for today.

Erik R. Scott, associate professor in the Department of History, was awarded an American Council of Learned Services (ACLS) Fellowship. The award allows Scott to extend his current sabbatical through the fall of 2019 and will help bring national attention to his research.

Steven Soper, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemistry, was elected to American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). AIMBE’s mission is to advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering as well as to recognize excellence and accelerate innovation within the field. The group’s College of Fellows comprises the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers as defined by AIMBE. College membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering and medicine research, practice or education and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of medical and biological engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to bioengineering education.” Soper was recognized for his work in the field of biomedical microfluidic devices with potential to revolutionize diagnosis and monitoring of cancer patients.

February Kudos

Patty Gentrup has been named the interim director of the Public Management Center (PMC). Laura Howard resigned from the position last week when Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly appointed her to serve as interim director of two key state social services cabinets, the departments for Children & Families and Aging & Disability Services. Gentrup has been with the center for the past year as manager of consulting services. She comes with a wealth of local government experience and strong ties to the public affairs & administration school. Gentrup is an alumna, having received her master’s degree in public administration from the No. 1-ranked program. She went on to serve as the board president of the school’s city management alumni network, the KUCIMATS.

Donna Ginther, professor in the Department of Economics, was presented with the 2018 Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication. Granted annually, the Shulenburger Award recognizes KU staff, faculty, students and academic departments that demonstrate outstanding efforts to facilitate open access by creating a variety of open channels for public communication between scholars and community members around the globe. Former KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger, a longtime advocate for open access, established the award with a private gift in 2014 to recognize exceptional advocacy and innovation in the scholarly communication system. The award committee noted Ginther’s work to bring open design thinking to STEM and social sciences research – specifically the report she helped author, titled “Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21stCentury Research” – as well as a strong record of open access publication, peer review of open journals and advocacy with early career researchers. Nominators highlighted Ginther’s expertise on the economic barriers to open science. Ginther is also an affiliate professor with the School of Public Affairs & Administration.

Erik Scott, associate professor in the Department of History, has received a prestigious $60,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete his book project on the history of defection from the Soviet Union and what it can tell us about the nature of Cold War borders. His research traces the winding journeys of defectors from the Soviet Union to the West through border zones, extraterritorial spaces and disputed areas beyond the limits of state jurisdiction, including international waters and airspaces.

Johnathan Perkins, director of rmal Garinger Academic Resource Center (EGARC), was presented with the was presented with the 2018 Shulenburger Award for Innovation & Advocacy in Scholarly Communication. Granted annually, the Shulenburger Award recognizes KU staff, faculty, students and academic departments that demonstrate outstanding efforts to facilitate open access by creating a variety of open channels for public communication between scholars and community members around the globe. Former KU Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger, a longtime advocate for open access, established the award with a private gift in 2014 to recognize exceptional advocacy and innovation in the scholarly communication system. Perkins was selected for his long-standing and significant commitment to open access. The award committee noted Perkins’ support for the development of open education resources in language learning. Nominators highlighted his role in securing a highly competitive Language Resource Center grant from the U.S. Department of Education. In addition to his work in EGARC, Perkins is the associate director of the KU Language Training Center and co-director of the Open Language Resource Center.

Bill Staples, professor in the Department of Sociology, will spend May 2019 as a Fulbright Specialist and Visiting Professor at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society, Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

December Kudos

Marco Caricato, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, was selected as a winner of the ACS OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award for Spring 2019.

Thomas Cravens, professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Cravens was recognized for important contributions in space and solar system physics and astronomy, particularly in the areas of planetary ionospheres and solar system X-ray emission. Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers. Members may be considered for the rank of fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the association’s 24 sections or by any three fellows who are current AAAS members, provided that two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution.

Nicole Hodges Persley, associate professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance and the Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, served on the executive committee for the 2018 International Black Theatre Summit at Dartmouth University. Titled “Breaking New Ground Where We Stand”, the event was a reconvening and commemoration of August Wilson’s legendary Black Theatre Summit ‘On Golden Pond’ which took place at Dartmouth in 1998.

Mikhail V. Medvedev, professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, was recently elected to be an American Physical Society Fellow. Medvedev was selected for seminal contributions to the understanding of relativistic collisionless shocks, the development of the theory of jitter radiation, and for his role in other significant advancements in modern plasma physics.

Rosemary O’Leary, Director of the School of Public Affairs & Administration, is the namesake of a new award to be given for the first time at International Research Society for Public Management conference in 2019. The award will recognize scholarship on women in public administration. O’Leary is a previous recipient of IRSPM’s lifetime achievement award.

Christophe Royon, Foundation Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, received the Humboldt Research Award. The highest scientific award given by the German government, the award is granted in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.

November Kudos

Bozenna Pasik-Duncan, professor in the Department of Mathematics, has been selected by the Institute of Engineering and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for Life Membership. This honor is reserved for individuals who have truly distinguished themselves through their sustained and lasting contributions to IEEE.

Julia Reilly, graduate academic advisor for the College Office of Graduate Affairs, was selected for KU’s 2018-19 Aspiring Leaders Program. The Aspiring Leaders Program aims to make KU a stronger institution by providing university staff an opportunity to learn the essentials of effective leadership and equip them to lead from where they are within their organization.

Amy Schmidt, academic advisor in College Advising & Student Services, was selected for KU’s 2018-19 Aspiring Leaders Program. The Aspiring Leaders Program aims to make KU a stronger institution by providing university staff an opportunity to learn the essentials of effective leadership and equip them to lead from where they are within their organization.

The School of Public Affairs & Administration won the Second Annual Voinovich Public Innovation Challenge, sponsored by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, in conjunction with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) during their 2018 annual conference in Atlanta. Shannon Portillo, assistant vice chancellor of undergraduate programs at KU Edwards Campus and professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, presented KU’s innovative winning project, “Collaborating with Community Colleges in Pathways to Public Service,” in the pitch competition and went on to win the top prize.

Joan Sereno, professor and chair of the Department of Linguistics, and Allard Jongman, professor and associate chair of Linguistics, were honored with a special session at the fall meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). The session, entitled “Coupling Phonetics and Psycholinguistics,” celebrated their sustained collaboration and contribution to the acoustics, perception, and processing of speech.

Taylor Tappan, doctoral student in the Department of Geography, has been granted a 2018 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award from the U.S. Department of Education to conduct his fieldwork in Costa Rica. His research examines how Alto Chirripó, an autonomous indigenous territory collectively owned by its resident communities, has functioned over time as a forest conservation unit in the context of rural population growth and expansion of swidden-fallow (slash-and-burn) agriculture within its boundaries.

Xuemin Tu, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, was elected secretary to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Central States Section for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The purpose of this section is to enhance the communication among the section members, promote the collaboration for both basic research and applications of mathematics to industry and science, represent applied and computational mathematics in the entire central region, and support the SIAM mission in the central region of the United States. The central states section serves SIAM members in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

October Kudos

Abel Chikanda, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and the Department of African and African American Studies, was part of a team awarded $250,000 by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The award provides funding to coordinate a prestigious John E. Sawyer Seminar series on global health and medical humanities in Africa.

Roberto De Guzman, professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, received a $650,000 Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. The award will fund a collaboration between KU and Haskell Indian Nations University to support post-doctoral fellows in science research.

Tanya Hartman, professor in the Department of Visual Art, and alumnus and photographer Brian Hawkins produced a film project, tentatively titled “How to Leave Your Country”, about a Wichita program that teaches English to African, Asian, and Central American immigrant schoolchildren.

The Kansas African Studies Center, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, and Center for East Asian Studies received millions of dollars in highly competitive funding from the Department of Education to award Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships and serve as National Resource Centers over the next four years.

The Project on the History of Black Writing received a Digital Extension Grant of $150,000 from the American Council of Learned Societies, which will allow an expansion of the Black Book Interactive Project to make more African American novels available for digital research.

Kathryn Rhine, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, was part of a team awarded $250,000 by the Andrew Mellon Foundation. The award provides funding to coordinate a prestigious John E. Sawyer Seminar series on global health and medical humanities in Africa.

The School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures hosted the 42nd Annual Mid-America Medieval Association (MAMA) Conference, an international event that coincided with the launch of the school’s graduate certificate in medieval and early modern studies.

Holly Storkel, professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders and Associate Dean for Academic Innovation and Student Success, has been named Editor in Chief of the scholarly journal “Learning, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools,” which is published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Kevin Willmott, professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies, debuted his latest collaboration with director Spike Lee. Willmott served as a screenwriter for “BlacKkKlansman,” which continues to receive international acclaim.

September Kudos

Darren Canady, associate professor in the Department of English, was named a Hall Center fellow for 2018-19. Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations. Canady will work on “March Madness,” a new full-length play. Inspired by real-life events, the play will dramatize a fictionalized account of the controversy and furor ignited by a successful men’s basketball team’s choice to go on strike in response to a series of macro- and micro- racist aggressions on their university’s campus.

Brian Donovan, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, was named a Hall Center fellow for 2018-19. Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations. Donovan will work on the ongoing book project “American Gold Digger: Money, Marriage, and Law from the Ziegfeld Follies to Anna Nicole Smith.” During his fellowship period, he will complete two chapters of his book, one examining the idea of a "gold digger" in the post-World War II era, considering its role in the construction of postwar domesticity and a so-called crisis of masculinity during the 1950s. The following chapter will analyze the idea of gold diggers in the wake of the sexual revolution, focusing on the concept of “palimony” and the separation trial of Lee Marvin and Michelle Triola.

Sara Gregg, associate professor in the Department of History, was named a Hall Center fellow for 2018-19. Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations. Gregg will spend her time completing the research and much of the writing of a new book manuscript, "Free Land: Homesteading the U.S. West." This project offers a long-overdue revision of homesteading in American history. Within popular culture and among scholars, the homestead movement evokes the archetypically American promise of securing freedom, even as it often brought settlers into conflict with the natural limits of Western landscapes. Gregg's research examines the impacts of the migration to “free land” between 1862, the date of the first Homestead Act, and 1986, when Congress ended homesteading in Alaska. Foregrounding the experiences of a selection of individuals alongside an assessment of the law’s environmental legacy and cultural significance, this research returns the contingency of nature to the mythic tales of homesteading’s greatest achievements and failures.

Tanya Hartman, associate professor in the Department of Visual Art, was named a Hall Center fellow for 2018-19. Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations. Hartman will work on the project "How to Leave Your Country," a multidisciplinary performance that uses handmade marionettes, animation, spoken word poetry, original sound compositions and memoir to present the stories of documented and undocumented immigrant and refugee teenagers enrolled in English as a Second Language classes at East High School in Wichita. This work will be staged at schools and community centers throughout the Midwest.

Alfred Tat Kei Ho, professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, has earned the Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. He will be presented with the award at the NASPAA annual conference next month in Atlanta.

Weizhang Huang, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

Maki Kaneko, associate professor in the Department of Art History, was named a Hall Center fellow for 2018-19. Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations. Kaneko will work on a book project investigating the art of Jimmy Tsutomu Mirikitani (1920-2012), a Japanese-American artist who was homeless for a large portion of his life. He gained significant public attention in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks for his works on themes of the internment of Japanese-Americans and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Through the visual analysis of his surviving works as well as investigation into their reverberations in both U.S. and Japanese societies, this study will present Mirikitani’s artwork as a counter to the nationalist mode of remembrance of such historical events as early 20th-century migration, U.S-Japan imperialism, and atrocities that occurred during the Asia-Pacific War (1937-45).

Tracey LaPierre, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Sociology, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

Mechele Leon, associate professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance, was named a Hall Center fellow for 2018-19. Fellows are released from teaching and receive an office in the Hall Center and a small research stipend. Fellows often use this time to work on book manuscripts, large-scale works of art or dissertations. Leon will work on a book-length project history of French theatre artists working in the U.S. in the 20th century, focusing on six French directors and their companies from the 1910s to the 1960s. As a theatre historian, Leon trains her attention on the performance event: the directors and actors, plays and repertories, producers and sponsors, and the reception of these companies by the public and critics. Through this case studies, Leon intends to illuminate the complex economies, both material and symbolic, through which national theatres circulate on the international market.

Christina Lord, doctoral candidate in the Department of French, Francophone & Italian Studies, received the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities. Lord will work on her dissertation, “Toward a Posthuman(ism): Transgressive Human Identities in Modern French Science Fiction."

Steven Maynard-Moody, professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, has earned illiam Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. He will be presented with the award at the NASPAA annual conference next month in Atlanta.

Angela Park, doctoral candidate in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, has earned the Staats Emerging Scholar Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. She will be presented with the award at the NASPAA annual conference next month in Atlanta.

Kathryn Rhine, associate professor of anthropology, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

Tarun Sabarwal, associate professor, associate chair and director of graduate studies for the Department of Economics, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

Ximena Sevilla, doctoral student in the Department of History, received the Richard and Jeannette Sias Graduate Fellowship in the Humanities. Sevilla will work on her dissertation, “On the Edge of the Wild: Representations of the Montaña Region of Peru before the Rubber Boom.”

Holly Storkel, Associate Dean for Academic Innovation and Student Success, and two of her students were awarded the 2017 Editor's Award from the journal Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. Their award-winning article is entitled “Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children With Specific Language Impairment: Identifying an Adequate Intensity and Variation in Treatment Response." An Editor's Award selection is limited to the most impactful works in Holly's field that meet the highest quality standards in research design and presentation. Holly and her students will be presented with their award during the Researcher-Academic Town Meeting (RATM) at the 2018 ASHA Convention in Boston, MA.

Nina Vyatkina, professor and chair of the Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

Robert Ward, associate professor of molecular biosciences, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

Kim Warren, associate professor in the departments of History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies; and the Indigenous Studies Program, was named a 2018-19 Senior Administrative Fellow. The Senior Administrative Fellows Program offers tenured faculty interested in leadership roles the opportunity to see the nuts and bolts of administrative activities and responsibilities.

August Kudos

Darren Canady, associate professor in the Department of English, has been selected as a 2018-21 Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center. The Core Writer program gives 25-30 of the most exciting playwrights from across the country the time and tools to develop new work for the stage. They receive development workshops and professional support over a three-year term. Work by Core Writers composes the Center’s public season.

Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, has been awarded the 2018 Leslie A. Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award. The award recognizes faculty members at NASPAA institutions who make outstanding contributions to public service education through excellence in teaching over a sustained period of time. Ho will be awarded $500 at the 2018 NASPAA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Ga., in October.

Rachel Krause, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, won the 2018 Emerging Scholar Award from the Science, Technology & Environmental Politics Section of the American Political Science Association. The Award recognizes a researcher within ten years of their Ph.D. degree who is making notable contributions to the field of science, technology, and environmental politics.

Susan Marshall, lecturer in the Department of Psychology, received The Bob & Kathie Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is the first university teaching award that recognizes nontenure track faculty.

Steven Maynard-Moody, professor in the School of Public Affairs & Administration, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the NASPAA Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award. Maynard will be awarded $1,000 at the 2018 NASPAA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Ga., in October. NASPAA is the accrediting organization for the public administration and public policy sections of SPAA.

Mark Mort, associate professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, received the Ned N. Fleming Trust Award. This award, established in 1990, recognizes outstanding teaching. Faculty members who have not previously received a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award are eligible for nomination.

Nicole Hodges Persley, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in the College, directed the production of “Ain’t No Such Thing as Midnight Black” at Kansas City’s Melting Pot Theatre from May 25 to June 9.

Jorge Soberón, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, has earned a “Distinguished Mexicans” award from the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City. He is one of 31 recipients from 16 countries who will be honored.