Spring 2006


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WSU’s Newest Gore Scholars

Brianna Reyes of Wichita Northwest High School and Sheersty Rhodes of Remington High School in Whitewater, Kan., have won Wichita State’s $48,000 Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships, which recognize leadership and academic skills. The Gore Scholarships are the largest in Kansas.

Reyes and Rhodes will each receive $12,000 a year for four years to pursue their studies at WSU. As a student-athlete, Reyes promotes spirit and cohesiveness among her softball team members and, as a Kansas Honors Scholar, is in the top 10 percent of her class. She is interested in studying education and pre-med at WSU. Rhodes, a National Honors Society member and president of student government at Remington, also is active in sports and music. She is interested in studying international business at WSU.

Some 300 students competed in WSU’s Distinguished Scholarship Invitational last November to vie for the Gore and other major scholarships. Gore Scholarships have been awarded annually since 1954.

New Gig for Biological Sciences Prof

David McDonald, WSU professor of biological sciences, has been named associate vice president for research and director of research administration effective this July. He will replace “Skip” Loper, who is retiring in June. The Office of Research Administration helps faculty prepare research proposals and manage grants and grant budgets.

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McDonald, who has chaired WSU’s biological sciences department since 1999, came to the university in 1992  as an assistant professor. He studied microbiology and biology at Kansas State and medical genetics and tumor biology at the University of Wisconsin.

His published work has been cited in nearly 600 manuscripts, and more than half can be found in the top 500 scientific journals. He has received research grants from Wesley Medical Research Foundation, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Athletic Training Degree Clears First Hurdle in Accreditation

WSU’s bachelor of arts degree in athletic training, which was approved last year by the Kansas Board of Regents, has received official notification of acceptance into the two-year “candidacy phase” of accreditation, according to Rich Bomgardner, athletic training education coordinator for kinesiology and sport studies at WSU.

That’s good news for current and incoming students who want to become certified athletic trainers, Bomgardner says. Certification requires that students study in an accredited program or one that’s undergoing the accreditation process.

Bomgardner applied for candidacy status through the Joint Review Committee of Educational Programs on Athletic Training last September. Although nine other Kansas schools have athletic training programs, several of which are already accredited, Bomgardner likes to point out that WSU’s location in a major city and the state’s largest health-care community is a big advantage for WSU’s program.

— Shannon Littlejohn

Shocker Notes from the Far East

Judith Johnson, alumni records assistant at the WSU Alumni Association and a former staffer in the university’s Office of International Education, took the trip of a lifetime last fall. She traveled with Joan Peterson, an admissions officer with international education, on a recruiting jaunt to the Far East.

“We’d go back in a minute,” says Johnson, who visited Singapore and then Malaysia’s stunning capital, Kuala Lumpur, during their trek to the Far East. “We enjoyed the exotic flora, the architecture, the food, the culture. But what I enjoyed the most was meeting some of our successful WSU alumni.”  In Singapore, Johnson and Peterson met Corrina Liao ’00/02/02. In Kuala Lumpur, they met with Sri Suryani Mohd-Razali ’98, Dalilah Ibrahim ’95, Subra Ramaswamyayer ’93 and Chandra Arunasalam ’91.

“Subra and Chandra are active in a Wichita State alumni group there in Kuala Lumpur,” Johnson reports. “They meet at a Pizza Hut. Chandra has a WuShock decal on his car — that must make for some interesting conversations!”

— Connie White

High-Flyer Visits Alma Mater

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Aerospace engineering grad Matt Stinemetze ’98 returned to WSU for a ground-level mission during National Engineers Week in February. A featured speaker in the 2005-06 WSU Alumni Association-sponsored Distinguished Alumni Speaker Breakfast Series, he talked to a group of more than 120 alumni, students and friends about his high-flying experiences as a project engineer at Scaled Composites in Mojave, Calif. 

As a project engineer, Stinemetze has been involved in building everything from a stylized cow vertebrae sculpture to carmaker Toyota’s prototype aircraft. But most impressive are his contributions as engineer and flight tester to the White Knight, the turbojet aircraft that lifted SpaceShipOne, the world’s first commercial non-government manned spacecraft, to an altitude where its own rockets could take over. On Oct. 4, 2004, SS1 won the much-coveted $10 million Ansari X prize and made private space travel a reality.

The Lure of New Zealand

New Zealand’s national symbol is a nocturnal flightless bird with nostrils on the end of its large beak. Now endangered, kiwi are difficult to see in the wild. But students and alumni participants who sign up for summer courses Anthro 397 or 597, New Zealand Environment and Culture, will be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of this rare bird.

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That’s because they’ll leave the classroom behind on a 12-day journey to New Zealand slated for May 17-31. The trip will focus on ecological anthropology with an emphasis on the native Maori and their interaction with the environment. Travelers will learn about Maori legends, visit an active Maori thermal village and witness Hangi (a Maori ritual) as well as experience local cultural entertainment.

They’ll also visit Mt. Maunganui and Rainbow Springs to learn first hand about the country’s rehabilitation program for the endangered kiwi. The trip will be led by Jacqueline Snyder, associate professor of anthropology.

WSU Music Alumnae Featured

Robert Glasmann, associate professor of music, is one of many music fans excited about the upcoming Wichita performances of two highly successful WSU vocal performance grads. Jennifer Lindshield ’02/02 is slated to perform with the Wichita Chamber Chorale on the community ensemble’s all-Mozart program March 18-19, and Beverly Hoch ’78 will be featured in WSU’s annual oratorio set for April 28. Joining Hoch on the program will be George Gibson, WSU professor emeritus of music.

The Uxbenká Project

Keith Prufer, WSU assistant professor of anthropology, is deep in study of Uxbenká, an ancient Maya ruin located in Central America, specifically in what is today part of the modern Toledo District of southern Belize.

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Prufer reports that data from hieroglyphic carvings at the site indicate it was settled around AD 250, a time of political expansion of Maya superstate Tikal, with which Uxbenká may have been aligned.

Uxbenká was occupied until around ad 900. Research in 2005 uncovered evidence that the site is considerably larger than earlier thought. There are several large plaza groups and at least two ballcourts at the site.

Discoveries in 2005 confirm that Uxbenká was well established as a secondary Maya capital by the mid-fifth century AD. The 2005 field project focused on preparatory work for excavation slated for 2006. 

Engineering New Facilities

Years of talk about a new engineering facility have turned into action, and the result will be the new Engineering Research Laboratory Building in the courtyard south of Wallace Hall and east of the Engineering Building.

Work began last October on the first of two buildings that will provide new research space for the College of Engineering. All four engineering departments — aerospace, electrical and computer, industrial and manufacturing, and mechanical — will have lab space in the new building, which is Phase I of a two-part project. The current project is a two-level 44,700-square-foot building. Completion is expected in Feb. 2007. Phase II is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2007. Plans are being finalized for the second building, to be built west of the National Institute for Aviation Research.

— Joe Kleinsasser

West Side Story

Wichita State’s new 24,000-square-foot West Campus center, which opened for classes Jan. 17, will be formally dedicated at 1:30 p.m., Fri., March 31. Ron Kopita, vice president for campus life and university relations, will officiate at the dedication. Open house activities will follow from 2-6 p.m. This spring, students are enrolled in 8,145 credit hours at the West Campus, a 20.5 percent increase compared to last spring’s numbers at its former location.


Educating with Compassion

On Nov. 17, 2005, after two months of keeping it under wraps, Elsie "Ellie" Shore, who teaches psychology at WSU, was officially named Kansas Professor of the Year.

Lights, Camera, Huxley

Wichita State's annual Hippodrome festivities have long provided a forum for outrageous, uproarious and occasionally offensive humorous skits.


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