Summer 2005



Outstanding Audiologist

Nickola (Wolf) Nelson ’68/69/73 is WSU’s first recipient of the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders Outstanding Alumni Award. In recognition of Better Hearing and Speech Month (April), the WSU Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association sponsored two presentations by Nelson: “Drawing on the Past to Prepare for Future Challenges in Research and Practice” and “Language and Literacy Connections: Ten Steps Toward Relevant Intervention for School-Age Children.”

Nelson has received numerous awards in her field, including Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at the University of St. Xavier in Chicago. She is a fellow of both the International Academy for Research in Learning Disablities and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has published two multiedition textbooks. She holds the Charles Van Riper Professor of Speech Pathology and Audiology position and is director of the doctoral interdisciplinary health studies program at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich.


Professors of Distinction

Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences now has two Faculty of Distinction professorships. The first is the gift of Curtis D. Gridley ’80, a consultant for the Gridley Family Foundation in Sudbury, Mass. Part of a Kansas Board of Regents program that doubles the impact of gifts for endowed professorships, this position in the history and philosophy of science will be filled next fall after a nationwide search.

History professor Craig Miner ’66/67 will hold the second newly endowed position, the Willard W. Garvey Professorship of Business History, the gift of Jean Garvey ’88 to honor her late husband (fs ’41).


Academic MVPs

This year’s WSU Faculty Awards recognize a diverse group of educators.

LaDonna Hale and Steven Skinner, winners of the Academy for Effective Teaching Award, operate in very different fields: Hale teaches pharmacology to health-professions students, while Skinner, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, supervises courses in electronic circuits and optical networks. Yet both win accolades from students and colleagues with their willingness to answer questions and to simplify difficult concepts.

Darcee Datteri, assistant professor of psychology, and Kenneth Miller, professor of mathematics, received Excellence in Teaching Awards. Datteri and Miller both mentor graduate teaching assistants for their departments. Miller is also recognized for developing notes on improper integrals, which are now used by other faculty; Datteri, a 12-year student of piano and voice, studies how musicians learn.

Young Faculty Scholar Chunsheng Ma, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, has published 36 refereed papers since 1992, 30 of them single-authored, an unusual achievement in his field. Ma focuses on spatio-temporal statistics, which deal with geographically specific data changing over time — climate variation, for instance, or disease mapping.

Kenneth Pitetti lost his right leg below the knee in Vietnam, an experience that led him to become an exemplary professor of physical therapy and this year’s winner of the Award for Community Research. In partnerships with agencies such as the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas, Pitetti works with disabled children, studying spinal cord injury and neuromuscular disorders.

Betty Monroe, winner for Excellence in Creative Activity, has costumed more than 30 dance and theater productions for WSU over the past 15 years and supervised student designers in more than 50. The job requires research, archiving and tireless organizing of clothes and accessories — but Monroe always knows where to find the perfect item for a character.

Shang-Ching Chou’s 1988 book Mechanical Geometry Theorem Proving is the definitive text in its field; Chou, a professor of computer science, earned the Excellence in Research Award. In addition to being a sought-after keynote speaker at scholarly meetings, Chou has received National Science Foundation funding for 18 consecutive years. The NSF is the world’s most competitive funding agency in computer science.

Rosalind Scudder ’64/72/78 has taught for 30 years in communicative sciences and disorders and is founding director of WSU's Center for Teaching and Research Excellence. Winner of a President’s Distinguished Service Award for 2004, her honor for Leadership in the Advancement of Teaching reflects her work with new technology, including a Polycom videoconferencing device that enables doctoral students to “meet” with scholars across the globe.

— Anna Perleberg

Calendar Kids Win Gold

The Kids Training Team, a  collaborative effort of Wichita State, the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Children’s Mental Health Team, the Training Advisory Group and Title XIX, has produced its third award-winning calendar.

“Young @ Art 2005,” which features works of art submitted by children and teens from 23 participating mental health centers throughout Kansas, was awarded a gold medal as best children’s wall calendar by the Calendar Marketing Association. Previous award-winning Kids Training Team calendars are “Expressions of Joy,” produced for 2001-02 and “Celebrating Hope”  in 2004.


Poets Behind Bars

Poets help prisoners at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility express their feelings.

The Right Ingredients

WSU has a new “front door,” in the form of the recently dedicated Marcus Welcome Center.


These Gleanings entries survey the current university scene.