Spring 2007


Gleanings illustration

WSU’s Newest Gore Scholars

Two Kansas high school seniors have been awarded Harry Gore Memorial Scholarships, the largest undergraduate scholarships in the state.

Casey Cantrell of Lyndon and Rami Zayed of Wichita both plan to study biology at WSU. The two were among 268 students nationwide who competed for the scholarships, which recognize academic accomplishment with an emphasis on leadership skills. Both scholars will receive $12,000 a year for four years. Gore scholarships have been awarded annually since 1954.

An Artful New Presence on Campus

WSU’s Ulrich Museum of Art has a new overseer in Patricia McDonnell, who has joined the museum’s staff as director. “She was chosen because of her outstanding credentials as well as the breadth and depth of her professional experience,” says Rodney Miller, dean of the College of Fine Arts. “We are very excited about her vision for the museum in the 21st century.”

McDonnell explains, “When a university art museum gets it right, it is a bustling gathering place, a center where people come for the art, ideas and interaction. The Ulrich Museum has been that kind of crossroads, and I hope that we give it even more energy and expand our impact in years ahead.”

For the past four years, McDonnell worked as chief curator of the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Wash. Prior to that, she was on the team that launched the Frank Gehry-designed Frederick Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Both museums built new facilities and measurably increased their budgets while she was on staff.

McDonnell prepared for her career by earning a master’s and Ph.D. in art history from Brown University. She replaces David Butler, who accepted the directorship at the Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville, Tenn.

— Emily Christensen and Cori Dodds

Under Construction

gleanings illustrationWSU President Don and First Lady Shirley Beggs will no longer have to worry about their guests tripping over one another when a 2,000-square-foot addition to the president’s home is completed. The expansion aims to accommodate the large groups of students, alumni and community members the couple often entertains. The addition is a project of the WSU Foundation.

“We see this improvement to the president’s home of our fine university to be important to not only Don and Shirley Beggs, but also to future presidents and their spouses,” says Elizabeth King, foundation president. “The ability to entertain in their home is a wonderful enhancement.”

Located on the edge of campus at 1820 N. Hillside, the president’s home was built for $21,000 in 1938.

— Emily Christensen

New Education Dean

Sharon Iorio has worn many hats during her career in higher education at WSU. Hired in 1990 as an assistant professor in the Elliott School of Communication, she added the responsibilities of serving as Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences associate dean for curriculum development, faculty development and assessment in 1999. In 2004, she was promoted to the rank of professor, and as of July 1, she will take on the deanship of the College of Education.

“I look forward to working with the faculty and students of the College of Education,” she says. “For many years, the college has been known as an academic leader, and its graduates are highly sought after by school districts across the state. I am pleased and honored to have the opportunity to join the college as it moves that legacy forward.”

The College of Education is not un-familiar territory for Iorio. As associate dean, she was the college liaison to teacher education programs during preparation for the most recent National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education site visit and during development of 13 new WSU teacher licensure programs approved by the Kansas State Board of Education in 2004.

During her career, Iorio has authored a book, co-authored and edited a second, and written more than 30 articles. She serves on the editorial board of a national academic journal and is an award-winning researcher.

Academy for Effective Teaching

Robert Alley, Joyce Cavarozzi and James McKenney were inducted into WSU’s Academy for Effective Teaching during a reception attended by Don Beggs and other top university administrators. The three Wichita State emeritus faculty members taught curriculum and instruction, performing arts and political science, respectively.

Also honored during the reception were Susan Huxman, Elliott School of Communication director and associate professor, and Michael Flores, school of accountancy assistant director. The two were named 2006 Academy for Effective Teaching Award recipients.

Established in 1995, the academy’s purpose is “to recognize the importance of effective teaching to the successful education of the students and, thus, to the mission of the university. To this end we are devoted to fostering effective teaching by assisting in the development of good teachers and the rewarding of accomplished teachers.” Retired emeritus faculty from all colleges are members of aet.

Getting Out and About

gleanings illustrationFor the ninth year, participating Wichita State students are broadening their geographic and academic experience through National Student Exchange, a program that allows students to study at another nse institution for a semester.

This year, WSU students have chosen to study at 10 different institutions including the University of South Carolina, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, the University of West Florida and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Catch the Shockwave

gleanings illustrationStudent-driven college radio programming has returned to WSU — and anyone in the world with a modem can listen in.

Wichita State University Internet Radio — WSUiR — is run out of the university’s Center for Research in Arts, Technology, Education and Learning (perhaps better known as the CRATEL lab). WSUiR’s student staff is led by radio station president Lauren Hirsh, a senior in music education, and advised by CRATEL director John Harrison and Kevin Keplar, a former radio personality now serving as director of technology at the Elliott School of Communication. 

WSUiR features a mix of student disk jockeys, locally-produced music and news programs and special live remote broadcasts of concerts by Wichita-based musicians.

Tune in to www.wichita.edu/iradio and catch “The Shockwave” 24 hours a day.

Lamp of Learning Shines Online

gleanings illustrationIt was Nathan J. Morrison, the first president of Fairmount College, who directed that a “Lamp of Learning” be featured in Fairmount College’s official seal. And, in a tradition representing the light of learning sweeping away the darkness of ignorance, Morrison’s lamp was passed from the senior class president to the junior class president during commencement ceremonies.

Although the original lamp was lost, its image has remained an integral element of the seal throughout the university’s three historical phases: Fairmount College, 1895-1926; the Municipal University of Wichita, 1926-1964; and Wichita State, 1964-present.

During WSU’s centennial year, George Platt, associate professor emeritus and centennial coordinator, continued Morrison’s tradition by presenting a new lamp to the dean of WSU’s Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during the 1996 spring commencement ceremony.

Philip Schneider, now professor emeritus of English, crafted an oak base for the lamp. The lamp and base are on display in the LAS dean’s office — and they can be seen online at WSU’s official website, which itself has undergone changes.

In fact, a new website debuted in January after eight months spent planning, writing code and testing its usability. The look is different, but the address is the same: www.wichita.edu.

“These changes will establish WSU’s new website as a primary marketing tool, especially in our efforts to connect with prospective graduate and undergraduate students,” reports Barth Hague, associate vice president for university relations and co-chair of the WSU public website review panel that oversaw the new site’s development. As the new public Internet face for WSU, the site is also expected to better serve donors, alumni, the media and others outside the university, according to its developers.

Two major considerations in the website redesign, which was requested by President Beggs, were to simplify WSU’s web presence and help recruit students. To make sure the new site is more efficient and easy to use, developers turned to WSU’s Software Usability Research Laboratory, housed in the psychology department.

The site’s look is new, but its fundamental message is as old as Morrison’s lamp: Higher education makes a difference in our world. By the way, you’ll find WSU’s “Lamp of Learning” gracing the new home page for — appropriately enough — the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


A Fundamental Dream

One hundred years ago, in April 1907, the leading lights and top supporters of Fairmount College gathered at a spot on campus just to the north and west of Fiske Hall.


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