In its annual ranking of universities and colleges, the U.S. News & World Report provided a list of the 25 "weirdest college nicknames and mascots." That's all well and good, but somehow they seem to have passed over our beloved, unique WuShock. After all, what could make a weirder mascot than a fistful of wheat? While we can't quibble about the USC-Santa Cruz Banana Slugs or the Evergreen State College Geoducks, the list includes the Pittsburg State University Gorillas and the Gettysburg College Bullets, which may indeed make odd mascots, but certainly an impartial judge would not have selected a gorilla or a bullet as weirder than a Shocker. Clearly, the judge has something against Wichita State. (Perhaps he's a Jayhawk.) And there's only one thing left for loyal Shockers to do: mount a letter-writing campaign. So, grab pen and paper and let the editors at U.S. News know how you feel about WuShock.
WSU engineering had a banner year with five engineering faculty receiving recognition for outstanding performances in their fields. Hossein Cheraghi, industrial and mechanical engineering, received a Dwane and Velma Wallace Outstanding Educator Award for excellence in research, while Ravi Pendse, electrical and computer engineering, received both the excellence in teaching award and the ASEE Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award. Ishmeal Heron and Kamran Rokhsaz, aerospace, received the graduate student teacher award and the Ralph R. Teetor Education award from the Society of Automotive Engineers, respectively. Finally, Ramesh Agarwal was elected to the prestigious rank of Fellow Member by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Larry Davis, chair and professor of English at WSU, and colleagues Clive Upton of Leeds University and Charles Houck of Ball State have completed a study of spelling and grammar in the journals of explorers Lewis and Clark. The paper, "Sett out verry Eairly Wendy: The Spelling and Grammar in the Lewis and Clark Journals," was delivered this August, and concludes that what we might consider spelling errors today are consistent and "almost always explainable." Some were actually the British spellings of the words; others were analogic spellings, or words spelled more like other words with the same sounds. Professor Davis' students are anticipating that his scholarly foray into alternate spellings will translate into understanding - Dare they hope acceptance? - of their own spelling errors.
This October, Laurie Roberts ‘87 nabbed a coveted Emmy award for "Best Anchorperson" from the St. Louis Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The chapter recognizes excellence in television broadcasting in five states. Roberts began her television career at KSNW-TV in Wichita. In 1995, she moved to Kansas City where she anchored the 5, 6:30 and 10 p.m. newscasts at KSHB-TV, the NBC affiliate. While at KSHB, she created "Today's Women," a women's issues program that received national recognition from American Women in Radio and Television, which awarded her the ‘Gracie,' named for television pioneer, Gracie Allen. Other "Gracie" winners include Jane Pauley and Oprah Winfrey. Roberts left the station in August to form her own television production company, which is developing a program for women called, "Women to Watch." Hosted by Roberts with a focus on helping women achieve balance at work, home and in life, the program will air this winter in Kansas City on PAX.
Five Wichita women climbed Mount Kilimanjaro this summer. Kori Gregg '92, Elizabeth Guhman, Karen Mettling, Greta Siemens and Lee Thompson planned the trip as pure adventure, but by the time they were actually packing their bags for Tanzania, the six-day trek had grown into a research project conducted by Frank Wyatt, WSU professor of kinesiology. "This trip offered an opportunity to see how climbing to high altitudes affects women's bodies," Wyatt says. The climbers monitored their heart rates during the ascent and noted any physical changes in a daily health log. After returning to Kansas, they were put through a series of tests to ascertain just what happens when low-altitude residents climb mountain high. Before Wyatt and his fellow researchers can come to any hard and fast conclusions, though, the trip will be repeated and the results compared.
Poetry to Music
Albert Goldbarth, Adele Davis Distinguished Professor of Humanities, has had a busy year. His latest book of essays, Dark Waves and Light Matter, was published this summer. His poems continue to appear all over the literary map, including in The Paris Review, The Iowa Review and The Kenyon Review. Yet the world of letters isn't enough; he's spreading out into music as well: composer Charles Griffin is setting one of his poems to chamber music for a multimedia show next year.