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2009 Arts and Sciences Achievements

* An award-winning paper by Travis Linnemann, a K-State doctoral student in sociology, has been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Critical Criminology. "Mad Men, Meth Moms, Moral Panic: Gendering Meth Crimes in the Midwest" is a content analysis of newspaper coverage of people in the Midwest arrested for methamphetamine-related offenses. The paper previously earned Linnemann the American Society of Criminology's Critical Criminology Graduate Student Paper Award in 2008. Linnemann also was invited to present the paper at the first Crime and Popular Culture Studies Conference at Indiana State University in October. Dec. 2009

* Yasmin Patell, assistant teaching scholar in chemistry at K-State, has received the society's E. Ann Nalley Midwest Regional Award for Volunteer Service in recognition of her exemplary service to the chemistry profession. Patell serves the American Chemical Society both nationally -- as a member of the General Chemistry Examination Committee -- and locally -- as the K-State section's scholarship coordinator and secretary-treasurer. She organizes many American Chemical Society outreach activities, including the annual National Chemistry Week events at the Manhattan Town Center and Manhattan Public Library. Nov. 2009

* Tianfang Si, a K-State student in piano performance from Hangzhou, China, received second prize in the freshman-sophomore category at the 11th annual Kansas Music Teachers Association Honors Auditions Nov. 8 in Lawrence. For the competition, Si played the first movement of the Haydn Sonata in E flat Major, Hob. XVI:52, and the "Elegie" by Sergei Rachmaninov. Nov. 2009

* Christer Aakeroy, professor of chemistry, is serving a four-year term on the board of governors of the prestigious Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre. The center is a nonprofit, charitable institution based at the University of Cambridge in England. It is best known as the provider of the Cambridge Crystallographic Database, the world's foremost repository of molecular crystallographic data with nearly 500,000 crystal structures on file. Aakeroy is one of eight distinguished scientists on the board and is the only member from North America. Nov. 2009

* A paper by Ryan Bergstrom, a doctoral student in geography at K-State, is the first-place winner in the student paper competition at the 32nd Applied Geography Conference, Oct. 28-31, in Baton Rouge, La. Bergstrom received the award for "Perceptions of Sustainable Community Development and Natural Resource Management: A Case Study of Two Montana Amenity Towns." It is the second best paper award he has received in the last two years. Nov. 2009

* Stephen Wolgast, instructor of journalism and mass communications and K-State's expert in academic regalia, has been named a Fellow of the Burgon Society. To become a Fellow, Wolgast researched academic regalia at Columbia University and wrote a paper that delved into the history of academic dress at Columbia University. He found that the effort to create a standard code of dress for university graduates in the U.S. started earlier than traditionally thought. The Burgon Society is a British academic group dedicated to the study of academic dress. Oct. 2009

* David Dzewaltowski, professor and head of K-State's department of kinesiology, is a new member of the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Hall of Fame. Dzewaltowski, who received his master's degree from West Virginia University in 1985, joins 99 other West Virginia University alumni and/or faculty to be entered into the hall of fame. To be eligible for nomination, an individual must hold a degree awarded by the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences or a certification in athletic training prior to 1997, or have been a faculty or staff member who made significant contributions to the college, their profession and society. Oct. 2009

* Knowing such facts like destinations along the Silk Road and the position of the sun on the winter solstice has helped a team from K-State win the GeoBowl at the recent annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Division. Tyra Olstad, a K-State team member and doctoral student in geography, tied for first place in individual scores for the GeoBowl and will be on the select team representing the Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Division at the World Geography Bowl in April 2010. Also on the K-State team were Melissa Belz, doctoral student in geography; Samantha Hartley, master's student in geography; Colton Youngs, freshman in philosophy; and Jim Wells, doctoral student in geography. Oct. 2009

* Two K-State professors are winners of the prestigious Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards for 2009. Charles Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy, is the recipient of the Irvin Youngberg Award for Applied Sciences, and Duy Hua, university distinguished professor of chemistry, is the recipient of the Olin Petefish Award in Basic Science. Rice is ranked among the premier soil scientists in the world, with his research in the area of soil carbon and nitrogen cycling is especially well-known. The focus of his work is how soil management influences microbiological processes, and how that affects crop productivity, the release of greenhouse gases, and global climate change. Huy's research interests include studies of bio-based polymers and the synthesis of bioactive molecules, including anti-cancer, anti-norovirus, anti-malarial and anti-Alzheimer's agents. Each award includes a plaque and a $10,000 grant for ongoing research efforts. The award money can be used for research materials, summer salaries, fellowship matching funds, research assistants or other support related to research. Oct. 2009

* K-State is using a special $50,000 grant to expand university efforts for the retention and academic success of Latino students. JohnElla Holmes, coordinator of multicultural recruitment and retention for the College of Arts and Sciences, and Dawne Martin, assistant to the dean for diversity at the College of Business Administration, are the recipients of a 2009 Semillas grant, funded by the Walmart Foundation. K-State is one of only 20 institutions to receive the grant, which is part of the nonprofit organization Excelencia in Education's "Growing What Works" national initiative to refine and replicate model education programs to advance Latino student achievement at two-year and four-year colleges. Semillas is the Spanish word for seeds. Holmes and Martin will use the grant for Semillas de Excelencia Learning Communities, a program that expands and extends a current K-State program for recruitment and retention of Latino students to now include Latino freshmen experiences and learning communities. Sept. 2009

* Artwork by Jason Harper, who earned his bachelor's in fine arts with an emphasis in ceramics from K-State in May 2009, is being featured in the September issue of Ceramics Monthly magazine. Harper's work, "Binary in Nature," was selected for publication because he was the winner of the top Undergraduate Award for Student Excellence from the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts. Harper was the only undergraduate to receive the award, which is commonly known as the best undergraduate award. His artwork features ceramic twigs assembled together on a piece of acrylic plastic glass to represent units of binary code. As a whole, the separate ceramic zeroes and ones spelled out the word "digital" in binary code. Sept. 2009

* Seven cadets with K-State's Army ROTC Wildcat Battalion have graduated from the U.S. Army's Leadership Development and Assessment Course with honors. Honor graduates are cadets who are in the top ranks of their platoons and display strong leadership capabilities professionally and tactically. Nationally, around 17 percent of cadets graduate with honors from the course. This summer, nearly 39 percent of K-State's cadets took honors. Army ROTC cadets take part in the Leadership Development and Assessment Course in the summer between their junior and senior years at Fort Lewis in Washington. The course is designed to assess each cadet's leadership ability and is critical to determining what type of jobs cadets will assume when they are commissioned as active-duty Army soldiers. Sept. 2009

* K-State's world-renowned reputation in physics research with ultrafast intense lasers, done at the J. R. MacDonald Laboratory, helped make the university the location of the second International Conference on Attosecond Physics. The first conference was in 2007 at the Max Planck Institute for Complex Systems in Dresden, Germany. The event was expected to draw more than 200 top physics researchers from more than 25 countries. July 2009

* Donna Potts, associate professor of English, has been re-elected to a three-year term on the National Council of the American Association of University Professors. The 40-member council meets at least twice a year to determine association policy. The association is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, shared governance and standards of quality in higher education. Potts represents District II, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. June 2009

* Papers written by two K-State students were recently honored by the Midwest Association for Canadian Studies. The papers were presented at the 2008 conference of the Midwest Association for Canadian Studies in St. Louis, Mo. Abby Heraud, a graduate student in French literature, received the conference's Best Graduate Student Paper Award for "Protofeminism: Gender Roles and Sexuality in Gabrielle Roy's 'Bonheur d'occasion.'" Kate Herzog, a senior in anthropology, biology and French, received the Best Undergraduate Paper Award for "Those Left Behind: French Canadians at Home in World War II." The Midwest Association for Canadian Studies is an interdisciplinary regional organization of scholars and professionals. The association encourages creative and scholarly activity in Canadian studies. June 2009

* A team from K-State placed first in a three-way tie with a team from Emporia State University and a team from the University of Kansas at the recent 2009 Kansas Collegiate Mathematics Competition. Also at the competition, a K-State student finished first individually, while another K-State student finished in a four-way tie for second. This was the fifth year in a row that a K-State student finished first in the competition, and the fourth time in the last five years that a K-State team finished first in the competition, according to Virginia Naibo, assistant professor of mathematics at K-State and K-State team coach. May 2009

* Gary Conrad, a university distinguished professor of biology, received a four-year grant renewal of $1.48 million from The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health to study the cornea. The renewal makes Conrad's grant the longest continuously funded R01 grant in the state of Kansas at 41 years. Conrad's research on embryonic development of the eye has led to knowledge that could possibly improve LASIK surgery. He and his research associates have identified a difference in the connective tissue of normal corneas compared to those that have been cut during LASIK. May 2009

* K-State's Nicole Wayant, senior in geography and mathematics, Topeka, has received a Science and Mathematics Research for Transformation scholarship through the U.S. Department of Defense for graduate studies in geography. The award includes payment of full tuition and employment placement through department. The scholarship recruits civilian scientists and engineers to work for the department and is for students that demonstrate potential for a successful career in research and development. Wayant, a May 2009 K-State graduate, received a third consecutive summer internship with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. She will attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to pursue a master's in geography. In agreement with the Science and Mathematics Research for Transformation scholarship, Wayant then plans to work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Topographic Engineering Center in Alexandria, Va. April 2009

* Ben Meade, a K-State graduate student and graduate teaching assistant in geography, has earned the Graduate Student Paper Award from the American Association of Geographers' Geomorphology Specialty Group. The $250 cash award was presented at the national meeting of the American Association of Geographers, March 22-27, in Las Vegas, Nev. Meade's winning paper was "Spatial Extent, Timing and Causes of Channel Incision: Black Vermillion Watershed, NE Kansas." It is based on a research project Meade has been involved with since January 2008 as part of his thesis in geography. April 2009

* Yunhee Park, K-State freshman in pre-professional secondary education, won first-place honors at the recent 23rd annual Japanese Language Speech Contest at the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. The speech contest is open to all students of Japanese in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Park won the category for participants who have had three or more years of Japanese in high school or less than one year in college. Her speech was about Korea's Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations. She related the speech to her own dream of being a diplomat in the future. April 2009

* K-State's LeAnn Brazeal, associate professor of communication studies, and Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, associate professor of history, each received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities for "We the People" projects that encourage and enhance the teaching, study and understanding of American history, culture and democratic principles. Brazeal received $16,800 for her project, "Protecting Dissent: Integrating Freedom of Speech into the Public Speaking Course," while Lynn-Sherow received $24,987 for "Lost Kansas: Recovering the Legacy of Kansas Places and People." March 2009

* Three K-State professors have received Mid-Career Fellowships from the Kansas Arts Commission. Jonathan Holden, university distinguished professor of English, Nancy Morrow, associate professor of art, and Julie Pentz, assistant professor of dance, were honored at a Topeka reception March 4. The awards recognize artistic merit, sustained achievement and excellence in all art disciplines. March 2009

* For the second year in a row, articles written by K-State physics researchers have been selected to be part of the Journal of Physics B's annual Highlights. The articles were selected by the journal's board of editors to represent the quality and breadth of research published in the journal. The Journal of Physics B Highlights of 2008 includes three articles with K-State physics researchers as co-authors, including: "Strong-field non-sequential double ionization: wavelength dependence of ion momentum distributions for neon and argon," co-written by K-State's Igor Litvinyuk, assistant professor of physics, and five other researchers, and first published in February 2008; "Theory of high-order harmonic generation from molecules by intense laser pulses," co-written by K-State's Anh-Thu Le, research assistant professor in physics, and Chii-Dong Lin, university distinguished professor of physics, along with four other researchers, and first published in April 2008; and "Fragmentation pathways for selected electronic states of the acetylene dication," co-written by K-State's Lew Cocke, university distinguished professor of physics, and 20 other researchers, and first published in May 2008.

"K-State's J.R. Macdonald Lab has long been a leader in atomic physics involving collisions of atoms. Recently, our research efforts have expanded to include the interactions of very short pulses of high intensity light with atoms. The three papers which were selected by Journal of Physics B show that our faculty have established a strong international reputation in this relatively new field of atomic physics," said Dean Zollman, university distinguished professor and head of the department of physics. Feb. 2009

* Support from the Kansas State Historical Society is helping a K-State's David Vail, a doctoral student in American history, with his research exploring the history of petrochemical use, environmental use and impact, and postwar agricultural development in Kansas and the prairie West. Vail, Manhattan, recently received the historical society's prestigious Alfred M. Landon Historical Research Award to support his dissertation, which is tentatively titled "Kill That Thistle: Rogue Sprayers, Bootlegged Chemicals and the Kansas Chemical Laws, 1950-1980." The Landon award is named in honor of former Kansas Gov. Alf Landon and provides promising researchers with funds to help them access the archival sources of the Kansas State Historical Society. Feb. 2009

* A founding member of the advisory council of K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications is serving his second stint as chief White House photographer. Pete Souza, who earned his master's in mass communications from K-State in 2006, was selected for the post in the administration of Barack Obama. He also served in the same post during the Reagan administration. An award-winning photojournalist, Souza has photographed many world events and, in 2005, began taking pictures of Obama as a freshman U.S. senator, for the Chicago Tribune. He also has documented Obama's presidential campaign and trips to seven countries, including Kenya, South Africa and Russia. In addition, he published "The Rise of Barack Obama," a book of photographs, in July 2008. Jan 2009

* K-State's Nicole Wayant, senior in geography and mathematics, Topeka, is the inaugural recipient of the $1,000 Abraham Anson Memorial Scholarship from the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. The scholarship was created to encourage undergraduate students who have an exceptional interest in pursuing scientific research or education in geospatial science or technology related to photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying and mapping to enter a professional field where they can use the knowledge of their discipline to excel in their profession. Wayant received the scholarship based on her course work, letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals, work experience and her plans for continuing studies toward becoming a professional in a field related to the discipline. Jan. 2009


College of Arts and Sciences