Fall 1999


Liberal Arts

Faith's Harvest

Using oral and written histories, the associate dean of WSU's Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has written a book about Mennonite communities.

Sharon Hartin Iorio, associate professor of communication, says the book grew from her research into how a group interprets change. The Mennonite culture, she explains, has evolved from a closed, German-speaking society into one more integrated with society at large. "I want," she says, "to record their vision of that change." The story of a relatively small number of Mennonites who settled in northwest Oklahoma, "Faith's Harvest" can be purchased at Amazon.com and WSU's bookstore.

Congrats to Flentje

H. Edward Flentje, professor of public administration in the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs, has been named director of WSU's Center of Urban Studies. A faculty member since 1979, Flentje had served as center director from 1989-92. He also has worked as secretary of administration in Kansas Gov. Mike Hayden's cabinet and as director of the state planning and research division in Gov. Robert Bennett's administration.

Health Professions


Aretha Franklin isn't the only one to sing the praises of a little respect. Mary Lescoe-Long, a faculty member in the department of public health sciences at WSU, does, too. She's conducted research into why turnover and absenteeism remain unacceptably high for front-line nursing home professionals despite efforts to increase salary and offer better benefits. The fact is the national turnover rate is up to 200 percent, which costs organizations big bucks. After analyzing data collected from six Kansas nursing homes, Lescoe-Long and her research team came up with recommendations for improving the situation. The bottom line: better training, communication and more respect could keep nursing home workers on the job.


"Marvin" wins NASA Competition

A team of WSU aerospace engineering students won this year's Human Exploration of Space-University Partners (heds-up) competition with a design for a long range Martian exploration rover nicknamed Marvin. Wichita State's team defeated teams from across the nation — and made more than a few administrators smile. "We're overjoyed," says Walter Horn, WSU aerospace engineering chair. "It helps confirm we have an aerospace program and a group of students that can compete with any in the country."


Change is in the Air

The Department of Health and Physical Education has changed to the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Studies, and a new undergraduate degree has been added: a bachelor's in sports administration.

Fine Arts

Pass the Baton

Michael Palmer, former Wichita Symphony music director and conductor from 1977-90, has accepted a one-year appointment to lead WSU's orchestra program. He replaces Harry Davidson, now at Duke University. Palmer will continue his schedule of professional engagements, including appearances as guest conductor and music director of The American Sinfonietta, a 40-piece orchestra of virtuoso players. A gifted pianist, Palmer returns to Wichita after stints as music director and conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and as artistic director of the Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington.

Boughton's Farewell Bash

School of Music Professor Harrison Boughton will hold his retirement celebration May 5-7, 2000. Former students are invited to attend the milestone event, which will be held at WSU's Metropolitan Complex. "We'll enjoy a mass choir, receptions, brunches, roasts and other foolishness," Boughton promises. Those interested in participating are encouraged to send names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses to: Dr. Harrison Boughton/WSU School of Music/Box 53/Wichita, Kansas 67260; boughton@tWSUvm.uc.tWSU.edu.


Kudos for Sharp

Douglas Sharp, director of the School of Accountancy in the W. Frank Barton School of Business, has been named Outstanding Faculty Adviser by Beta Alpha Psi, a national accounting fraternity. Sharp, an associate professor who's taught at WSU since 1969, is one of six advisers nationwide to receive this recognition.


Funding Excellence

On any given evening this year, 18 student employees will be sitting at their phones under the watchful eyes of Brandon Smith, Wichita State's new coordinator of The Annual Fund for Excellence. The student workers are calling Wichita State alumn...

A New Deal

A "reconstituted" Board of Regents now holds a wider rein on higher education in Kansas This past spring the Kansas Legislature voted into law a historic bill that restructures the system of governance for higher education in the Sunflow...

Schaus follows Belknap as WSU director of athletics

This July, Jim Schaus became WSU's 16th director of athletics, following Bill Belknap, who retired from the position after six years on the job. Schaus (pronounced Shouse) has spent nearly 20 years in athletic administration with a strong emphas...


Liberal Arts Faith's Harvest Using oral and written histories, the associate dean of WSU's Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has written a book about Mennonite communities. Sharon Hartin Iorio, associate professor of communica...