Spring 2016



The Many Iterations of Henrion Hall

If halls could talk, those in Henrion would have plenty to say — about all kinds of things. We’d hear about athletics and art, for sure. There’d be tales of student love affairs and other intrigues, countless stories of Shocker activity, old and brand new.

The Fastest Quad Racer In The Land

He slips on his camera-synched goggles, triggering the Top Gun theme song. Powering up his quad racer, he fingers the twin-toggled radio controls, and in the whisssssk of a split second the seasoned pilot — call sign BrainDrain — is whipping down the course inches above the weeds.

Etzanoa: The Great Settlement

Wichita State anthropology professor and archaeologist Don Blakeslee was reading a new translation of an old account of a 1601 hostile encounter between Spanish explorers and Native Americans near the site of a “great settlement.”


Sharing Shocker Pride

Last Saturday (April 16), I visited WSU’s campus after almost 40 years. I had done my MBA from WSU in 1977.


Shock Talk

Shockers everywhere, at events long ago or happenings just the other day, always have something interesting to say.


Shocker Faces

Shocker Snapshots

WSU Alumni Association Members Take Pride in Supporting Scholars

The newly announced 2016-2017 academic year recipients of the WSU Alumni Association’s “Drive Your Pride” WSU License Plate Scholarship and the Legacy Endowed Scholarship were guests of honor at a reception on May 2.

Board Chair's Message

Where has your WSU degree taken you?

President & CEO's Message

Greetings Shocker Nation! Innovation is everywhere on campus, and the WSU Alumni Association isn’t to be left behind.

Class of 1966 Returns to Campus

Members of Wichita State’s Class of 1966 returned to campus May 5-8 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their graduation.

Homecoming 2016

At the height of weeklong homecoming festivities back in February, WSU seniors Whitney Wilson and Tim Eichler were crowned Homecoming Queen and King on Feb. 13 during a halftime ceremony in Charles Koch Arena.

Shocker Snapshots Across the Country

From New York City to California, WSU Alumni Association-supported Shocker get-togethers are becoming more frequent these days.

Leaders Selected for the WSUAA's Shockers Forever

The WSU Alumni Association’s student alumni group, Shockers Forever, has chosen officers for the upcoming 2016-2017 academic year.

Rico Speaks on the Lure of Color

Lynessa Rico ’05/05/09, the founder and president of Bright Consumer Consulting, a Chicago-based consumer behavior consulting and marketing research firm, knows a lot about color.


WSUAA News and Events


Message from the WSU President

President John Bardo introduces us to the Ideas Lab Leadership Council and updates us on all manner of innovative activity at Wichita State.

Teacher-Scholar Wins $500,000 Award

In 2011, Esra Buyuktahtakin, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, founded the Systems Optimization and Analytics Laboratory, which, she says, “is designed to conduct theoretical and applied research on mathematical optimization.”

Coalition of Neighbors

Darryl Carrington’s campus involvement extends beyond his role as a student and his position as community liaison.

Record Breaking Year for Fraternity and Sorority Life at Wichita State

The Shocker’s On the Hill Greek page celebrates WSU’s Greek-letter organizations, their members and alumni members.


These Gleanings entries survey the current university scene and feature original illustrations by Scott Dawson ’86.


Density Wave Theory

A gallery of both literary and visual art, Shock Art showcases works by Wichita State alumni, faculty and students.

Wichita Artists in their Studios

A gallery of both literary and visual art, Shock Art showcases works by Wichita State alumni, faculty and students.

"Hidden Me"

A gallery of both literary and visual art, Shock Art showcases works by Wichita State alumni, faculty and students.


From WSU Old Town

Wichita State’s public radio station KMUW has made the move from its 5,500-square-foot space at 3317 E. 17th Street to its new 7,000-square-foot space at 121 N. Mead. Let’s wander through their new digs.


Diamond Anniversary Shockers

Each year for 60 years now, the Wichita State University Alumni Association has honored excellence through its awards program, which recognizes the achievements and distinguished service of not only deserving alumni, but also faculty, staff and friends of WSU.

From Wichita to Winnipeg

Media cameras and reporters awaited Rick Stephens ’71/86 and Paul Harrison ’71 as they pedaled to the completion of their nearly 960-mile trip from Wichita to Winnipeg, Manitoba, in May.

Shocker Liaison

Julie Scherz ’69/71/89 is in her second three-year term as Wichita State’s faculty representative to Shocker athletics.


Fire in Her Voice

Before her death in 2004, WSU alumna Annette Daniels was in an ascendant trajectory in the opera world.

Bebop and Other Anamnestic Pleasures

The late Pete Armstrong ’42 (died 2009) was a printing executive by profession.

Renaissance Woman

A native of Kingfisher, Okla., Erna Prather Harris (1908-1995) was one of the few African American women to attend college during the Great Depression — and she chose to attend the University of Wichita.


Scoring Successes

When Gregg Marshall learned of Bruce Hornsby’s Wichita performance date, he called for fans to “show him a Shocker welcome!”

As Good As It Gets

There’s no question the 2015-16 Wichita State Shockers wielded the talent and the experience to be one of the best teams in the country.

New Roles for Kemnitz

Brent Kemnitz stepped down from his position as pitching coach, and is taking up new duties in WSU’s athletics department.

The Shockers Make School History

The Wichita State softball team wrapped up a successful 2016 season this May with an NCAA tournament appearance, the third in program history.

Sports Briefs

Shocker Sports News and Notes


Class Notes

Comings, goings, appointments, retirements, honors, accolades and other personal alumni news.


In Memoriam

Leaving lasting legacies are these Wichita State University alumni and friends.


"Charlie 'Bird' Parker and Bassist."

“Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and Bassist.” Photo by Edward Armstrong ’42, Wichita, 1940.


A First at Boeing

In February 2015, Leanne Caret '90, was named president and CEO of Boeing’s $30 billion St. Louis-based Defense, Space & Security business.

Powering Forward

Evan Funk ’04 is powering forward in his career in banking.

American Prizes

Daniel “Dan” E. Whisler ’09 enjoys conducting high school musicians.

Kate Garnes and Her Disarming Charm

Kate Garnes ’12 doesn’t need to conjure a spell to succeed in her chosen career fields.



Newsworthy info about alumni and university personalities and happenings — all packaged up in bite-size reads.


The Shocker, Spring 2016

The Shocker is published twice annually by the Wichita State University Alumni Association (WSUAA) for association members and other selected audiences.