Dr. Samuel Akao, WSU College of Education adviser, came to Wichita State in 1994 as associate dean of University College. When the college was reorganized in 1998, he joined the College of Education as an adviser in its student services section.
As associate dean, Akao helped plan, develop, implement and evaluate programs and services to enhance the freshman-year experience in University College. To accomplish this, he called upon an array of previous experience working with freshmen and undecided students. He served from 1989 to 1994 as director of the Advising Center for Exploratory Students at the University of Arizona. He had also served as a program evaluator for the Grand Rapids Indian Adult Learning Center.
After earning his bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii, Akao went on to earn a master's degree in family ecology and a doctorate in adult and continuing education, both from Michigan State University.
Akao, who was 45 years old, died Nov. 8 from asthma complications. He is survived by his wife Janice and three children. A memorial has been established with the American Lung Association of Topeka, Kan.