Fall 2017



A Scientist's Scientist

Appointed by PM Justin Trudeau, Mona Nemer '77 takes up the post of Canada's Chief Science Adviser.

Broadway Shockers

Wichita State's School of Performing Arts has graduated scores of talented actors, singers and dancers: Meet three of them.

Sporting Careers

From pro basketball and baseball, to collegiate and NFL football, WSU grads excel in sport administration.

The Artful Grace Wilkie

Grace Wilkie's painting by British artist Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) sells at Sotherby's in London for six figures.



Readers write in to comment on The Shocker and its contents.


Shock Talk

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


Congrats, WSUAA Scholars

This academic year, the Wichita State University Alumni Association has awarded the most student scholarships in the organization's history.

Board Chair's Message

Wichita State has been a part of my life – all my life. So I'm thrilled to be serving the university and its alumni as board chair of the WSUAA.

President and CEO's Message

As our campus continues to evolve with construction and completion of Innovation Campus buildings, one thing has been a constant here for more than 60 years: the Wichita State University Alumni Awards.

First Pavers Placed in Shocker Alumni Walkway

Located between the Marcus Welcome Center and Woodman Alumni Center and leading south into the heart of Wichita State's ever-expanding Innovation Campus, the Shocker Alumni Walkway has added its first set of alumni brick pavers.

WSU Alumni Travelers Cruise in Style

Wichita State alumni and university friends have been making memories and posting travel adventures together on WSU Alumni Association-hosted excursions for decades. The most recent was this fall on an “Adriatic Rhapsody” cruise from Athens, Greece, to Rome, Italy, aboard the Marina.

Distinguished Alumni Speakers

The 2017-2018 lineup for the WSU Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series is a dynamic one, featuring four Shockers who are standouts in their chosen professions.


WSUAA News and Events

A Slice of Wichita: Pizza, Planes & Beer

Festive ICT and the WSU Alumni Association partnered on presenting the first city-wide, family-friendly celebration of all things pizza, planes and beer in the Air Capital.


Message from the WSU President

President John Bardo outlines five high-impact initiatives for Wichita State entering 2018.

Beyond English 102

Chance Swaim's path to journalism started when he was a kid, with his curiosity and questions about the world.

Greek News

Denis Dieker '77/80 received the Order of the Golden Heart at SigEp's biennial Grand Chapter Conclave in Orlando, Fla.


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


Shock Art

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



A listing of WSUAA and university happenings.


Chalkboard Days: Making a Difference

After years as a teacher and administrator in Wichita public schools, Alicia Thompson '15 was appointed district superintendent in spring 2017.

Shocker Football, Cardiac Surgery and the Art of Mending a Broken Heart

When Vincent Gott '50 was 85, he decided to develop a pictorial history of open-heart surgery. Five years later, he has completed this effort, which includes 75 watercolor paintings, each one depicting a heart defect.


Pizza Hut Building Moves to New Campus Location

The original Pizza Hut building, which was moved to WSU’s Innovation Campus on Sept. 18, will be turned into a museum dedicated to the history of the world-famous pizza chain.

No Humble Pie

A funny thing happened to Dan ’53/04 and Frank ’00 Carney on their way to business degrees at Wichita State. Both were sidetracked, at least temporarily, by the chore of building an international business empire.


Going Out in Style

Wichita State senior volleyball players Abbie Lehman '17 and Emily Hiebert have led the Shockers to unprecedented success.

Oh, My My! It's a Season of Shocker Hyena Hoops

Wichita State adopts a collective animal embodiment of spirit after landing its highest preseason national basketball ranking since 1981-82.

Shockers Looking to Find Ways to Win

Wichita State opens its 2017-18 basketball season with wins over Cal-Irvine, Missouri State and UMKC.

Sports Briefs

Shocker Sports News and Notes.

Bob Lutz

Columnist Bob Lutz '84 says Wichita State basketball coach Gregg Marshall has a formula that is built to last.


Class Notes

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


For Love of Prairie

Donald A. “Doc” Distler, whose German last name – appropriately enough for a biologist – means thistle, was a member of Wichita State’s biological sciences faculty for more than 50 years.

A Conductor's Touch

Jay C. Decker ’56 – Wichita native, 1955 winner of the Naftzger Young Artist Award for his cello performance and music education graduate of the University of Wichita – was first tapped as conductor of the WSU Symphony Orchestra and concurrently associate conductor of the Wichita Symphony in 1971.

Vocalist of Note

In May 1981, when she walked across the commencement stage, LaVerne L. Baker ’56/56/81 claimed the distinction of becoming the first African American to earn a doctorate at Wichita State.

Vivacious Shocker

E. Jean (Cline) Curry '48/76 served as president of Wheaties and was named Homecoming Queen during her senior year.

Shocker Historian

George Milo Platt, WSU associate professor emeritus of public administration, received the 1997 WSU Recognition Award from the WSUAA.

Night of Stars Star

Monty Hall hn '71, star and producer of the TV show "Let's Make a Deal," emceed the 1970 Night of Stars nationally televised benefit for those directly affected by the Wichita State football plane crash.

Sports Hall of Famer

Don W. Lock '70 was a two-sport standout athlete at the University of Wichita from 1954 to 1958.

Motion Graphics Pro

Navarro Linzey d’Artagnan Parker ’97 was an Emmy-winning motion graphics animator who posted more than a decade of experience in post production and motion graphics in Los Angeles, San Diego and Wichita.

In Memoriam

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


The Real Virtual Harvey

For some of my peers, online teaching remains a pale doppelganger of “real life” teaching. There’s no doubt it isn’t for everyone. Whenever this debate perambulates the corridors of my campus, I can’t help but recall my first foray into the virtual realm.


NASA Honors Imtiaz

Since graduating from Wichita State with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering, Kauser Imtiaz ’79 has amassed acclaim for his work on some major NASA projects.

A Forensic Matter of Identification

Warren Samms ’07/09, who was profiled earlier this year in Chemical & Engineering News, earned master’s and doctoral degrees in chemistry at Wichita State.

Well Known Territory

Johanna O’Brien Winter ’10 started a new job on Nov. 1 as city administrator of Girard, Kan.

Shocker Doctor Joins KC/MO's MAVI

Marcus A. Barber ’02 studied biological sciences and biochemistry at Wichita State, where he was active on campus as a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and the Student Ambassador Society.



Newsworthy info about alumni and university personalities and events - all packaged up in bite-size reads, complete with original illustrations by Wade Hampton.


The Shocker, Fall 2017

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