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2010 Arts and Sciences Achievements

* Jacque Gibbons has been named the social worker of the year in Kansas. The associate professor of social work was selected for the honor by the Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The chapter cited his commitment to the values and ethics of the profession; his volunteer service, particularly with the American Red Cross as a certified mental health responder; and his work to train future social workers. Dec. 2010

* David Stone, the Pickett Professor of Military History and director of the Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies at Kansas State University, is editor of the new volume "The Soviet Union at War 1941-1945." The book is published by British publishing company Pen and Sword Books; Casemate Publishing is in charge of U.S. distribution. Dec. 2010

* Kimetris Baltrip, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, was named a Business Journalism Professors Seminar Fellow by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. She was one of 15 professors chosen for the fellowship and attended the Business Journalism Professors Seminar, Jan. 4-7, in Phoenix, Ariz. Baltrip was selected for her extensive journalism experience at The New York Times, where she was a copy editor on the business and metro desks; her solid academic and teaching credentials; and her enthusiasm for business journalism. Baltrip would like to develop a business journalism course curriculum for K-State. Dec. 2010

* Research by a Urska Bukovnik, doctoral student in biochemistry, on synthetic channel-forming peptides to treat diseases like cystic fibrosis has been honored by the Biophysical Society. Bukovnik received a travel award from the society to attend its 55th annual meeting in Baltimore, Md., in March 2011. Recipients of the competitive award are selected based on scientific merit, with priority given to those who will present a paper at the conference. Bukovnik's paper is Synthetic peptide-based channels: candidates for treatments of channelopathies. Dec. 2010

* Jon Mahoney, associate professor of philosophy, has been named a Fulbright Scholar to Kyrgyzstan. He will work at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek. His research work will focus on democratic equality, with an emphasis on religion and politics. Nov. 2010

* A K-State alum, physics professor and research associate are the winners of the American Association of Physics Teachers 2010 Apparatus Competition. Dyan McBride, a May 2009 K-State doctoral graduate in physics and now an assistant professor of physics at Mercyhurst College; Dean Zollman, university distinguished professor, William and Joan Porter professor of physics and head of the department of physics; and Sytil Murphy, research associate in physics, received the award at the 2010 summer conference of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Portland, Ore. The trio's entry, "A Lens To Demonstrate Accommodation in the Focusing of the Human Eye," received a $1,100 prize in addition to first place. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and began in 2005. The project was part of McBride's doctorate research. Oct. 2010

* Perla S. Salazar, senior in mathematics, received a $3,000 Trjitzinsky Scholarship from the American Mathematical Society. The scholarship is made possible by a donation from the estate of Waldemar J., Barbara G., and Juliette Trjitzinsky, which established a fund to assist needy students who may be in danger of not completing their degree program in mathematics for financial reasons. Salazar was born in Mexico, and her family moved to Dodge City when she was 11 years old. She is the first in her family to attend college. Her goal, after receiving her undergraduate degree, is to earn a graduate degree in mathematics. Oct. 2010

* University distinguished professors T.G. Nagarja, diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, and Chii-Dong Lin, physics, received prestigious Higuchi-KU Endowment Research Achievement Awards for 2010. Each award includes a plaque and a $10,000 grant for ongoing research materials. Nagaraja is the recipient of the Irvin Youngblood Award for Applied Science for his research on the microbiology of the gastrointestinal tract in cattle. Lin received the Olin Petefish Award in Basic Science. He is recognized internationally in several fields of atomic, molecular and optical physics, including the study of ultrafast, intense-field, short-pulse, laser-based physics. Oct. 2010

* Jason Strachman Miller, senior in mass communications, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and current editor-in-chief of the Kansas State Collegian, won the 2010 Rolling Stone Collegiate Journalism Competition for his profile of a student who underwent a heterosexual conversion therapy program. The story appeared in the Collegian as part of a five-part series in December 2009. The package examined the relationship between the gay community, a local gay-friendly church and a local church offering therapy programs to live a heterosexual lifestyle. Two parts of the series were devoted to the student's story. Miller's award includes $2,500, and it was included in a mid-October edition of the magazine. Oct. 2010

* Chardie Baird, K-State assistant professor of sociology, and a sociology researcher from Florida State University won the best publication award from the mental health section of the American Sociological Association for their work, "Is There a Downside to Shooting for the Stars? Unrealized Educational Expectations and Symptoms of Depression." The publication appeared in the American Sociological Review, Journal Vol. 75 No. 1. Baird and Reynolds found that there is nothing wrong with encouraging students, even less academically promising students, from pursuing their higher education goals. Sept. 2010

* Seven K-State Army ROTC cadets rank in the top 20 percent of the nation's more than 5,300 cadets, earning them the title of distinguished military cadets. Four of the top-ranking K-State cadets also rank in the top 3 percent nationally. These four cadets finished higher in the national Order of Merit List than any other cadets in Kansas, and they were among the top eight cadets, out of 265, in the Big 12 Conference, including the No. 1 cadet in the conference, Kip Burba, a senior in history from Ada, Ohio.

* K-State is the new home of the Journal of Public Deliberation, with David Procter and Timothy Steffensmeier serving as its co-editors. Procter is a professor of communication studies and director of K-State's Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy; Steffensmeier is an assistant professor of communication studies and an associate with the institute. The decision to move the journal to K-State was made by the executive committee of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium. K-State was selected because of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy's experience with democracy scholars, practitioners, extension educators and public officials. Sept. 2010

* Seven Army ROTC cadets with K-State's Wildcat Battalion have graduated from the U.S. Army's Leadership Development and Assessment Course with honors. Honor graduates are cadets who exceed the standards and are in the top of their ranks, displaying strong leadership capabilities both professionally and tactically. Nationally, 18 percent of cadets graduate with honors from the course. This summer 23 percent of K-State's cadets took honors. Sept. 2010

* Michael Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology, was among the three individuals specially invited to be the first Fellows of the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. The new fellowship program connects the institute and its members to selected thought leaders in higher education like Wesch. As a Fellow he will spend the next year helping his peers explore the big picture of the learning experience. He will discuss his views on how learning happens and why creative approaches to learning matter. He and the other Fellows will participate in two videoconference sessions during the year and attend the 2011 National Institute of Technology in Liberal Education summit. Aug. 2010

* Harald E.L. Prins, a university distinguished professor of anthropology who has been recognized both at the university and national levels for his teaching, has been honored by his peers as the 2010 recipient of the American Anthropological Association/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology. The honor is the top teaching award in Prins' profession and recognizes teachers who have contributed to and encouraged the study of anthropology. July 2010

* When it comes to doing pushups, sit-ups, endurance running and other skills required in the U.S. Army's physical fitness test, few can top K-State's Christopher Robinette. The junior in sociology, Cedar Vale, finished ahead of nearly 500 other Army ROTC cadets in the Army physical fitness test at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. He scored 354 points on an extended scale -- 300 is the Army's standard maximum score -- placing him in the top 2 percent of his 446-person regiment. The test is part of the 29-day Army ROTC capstone training and assessment exercise, called the Leadership Development and Assessment Course. It is taken by thousands of college students each summer. Passing the physical fitness test is a prerequisite for becoming commissioned as a U.S. Army lieutenant. Each cadet must pass the test on their fourth day of course training. July 2010

* A master's thesis project by K-State's Brian Bookwalter, Topeka, was adopted by the Kansas Department of Transportation for a statewide campaign to discourage drivers from texting while driving. Bookwalter designed five anti-texting-while-driving posters that used familiar texting acronyms. His posters display various images, such as a pair of feet with a toe tag that says "NT BSY JUST DRVN" and a tagline along the bottom that reads "What will your last text message say?" The posters are credited with helping the passage of a state law banning texting while driving. June 2010

* K-State physics professor Brett DePaola is spending the 2010-2011 school year serving as a scientific adviser to the U.S. Department of State as a Jefferson Science Fellow. DePaola is one of only 12 individuals selected to receive the fellowship this year. Tenured academic scientists and engineers from U.S. institutions of higher learning are eligible for selection as Jefferson Science Fellows. They spend a year at the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development for an on-site assignment in Washington, D.C., that may also involve extended stays at U.S. foreign embassies and/or missions. Fellow assignments involve providing up-to-date expertise in the rapidly advancing science, technology and engineering arenas that routinely impact the policy decisions encountered by the State Department/USAID. June 2010

* A team of K-State researchers has patented a new, more cost effective way to make a gel that can be used in fuel cells, water filtration systems, or perhaps as a net to capture fine cometary dust. The product is a low density, high surface area gel formed in a gas. K-State physics professor Chris Sorensen, lead researcher on the project, said though the new material is like an existing product, it doesn't require an expensive, high-pressure drying step that removes moisture. This could be an advantage when it comes to the commercialization of the material. May 2010

* Sean McBride, K-State doctoral candidate in physics, was one of only 40 students selected to attend the first Faraday Discussion Graduate Research Seminar, April 10-11, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. An organizing committee selected students to attend the seminar based on scientific merit and academic credentials. McBride also was one of only six students selected to give an oral presentation at the seminar. His presentation was "An improved determination of the spring constant and slip length using large colloidal probe atomic force microscopy." In addition, McBride gave an invited poster presentation on his research at the 146th Faraday Discussion meeting, April 12-14, also in Richmond. May 2010

* To understand how global change is happening, K-State geography professor Kendra McLauchlan is receiving a nearly $440,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award. With this research funding, she will examine contrasts in vegetation history among three sites and reconstruct past changes in nitrogen cycling and other ecosystem properties. That will allow her to look back 10,000 years at nitrogen availability in forest and grassland ecosystems. McLauchlan is the sixth K-State professor in 2010 to receive the award. May 2010

* The American Physiological Society selected K-State's Jacob Hull, junior in biochemistry, Garden City, as a 2010 Undergraduate Student Fellow. Hull received a $4,000 stipend to cover living expenses for the 10-week summer fellowship working in the laboratory of Bruce Schultz, professor of epithelial cell physiology in K-State's department of anatomy and physiology. Hull is one of 24 students worldwide to be named a Fellow. The fellowship program aims to encourage students about careers in biomedical research. Among the selection factors were academic merit and quality of research experience. Hull's research project is "Role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma on epithelial growth, differentiation and activity" and is related to work done in Schultz's laboratory on the link between mutations in the cystic fibrosis protein known as CFTR and loss of the male reproductive duct that occurs in cystic fibrosis patients. Hull also received an additional $1,300 in travel funds to present his research at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting in Washington, D.C., which is expected to attract nearly 14,000 scientists. May 2010

* Sean McBride, K-State doctoral candidate in physics, was one of only 40 students selected to attend the first Faraday Discussion Graduate Research Seminar, April 10-11, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. An organizing committee selected students to attend the seminar based on scientific merit and academic credentials. McBride also was one of only six students selected to give an oral presentation at the seminar. His presentation was "An improved determination of the spring constant and slip length using large colloidal probe atomic force microscopy." In addition, McBride gave an invited poster presentation on his research at the 146th Faraday Discussion meeting, April 12-14, also in Richmond. May 2010

* K-State's Elizabeth Ploetz, fifth-year senior in biochemistry, received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, while Katerina Voigt, senior in chemical engineering, and Emily Mangus, Manhattan, a 2008 K-State summa cum laude graduate in biological and agricultural engineering, were both named honorable mentions. The fellowship award provides a $30,000 stipend and $10,500 cost-of-education allowance annually for three years of education. The National Science Foundation awards students funding for research-based master's or doctoral degrees in programs relevant to the foundation's mission. Ploetz will attend K-State through the fellowship and will continue working with Paul E. Smith, K-State professor of chemistry. They are studying the mechanism by which proteins are denatured by their environment, and the resulting process of protein aggregation. April 2010

* Kelsey Moran, K-State senior in political science and pre-law, Hays, has received a Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship. She has been named the 2010 Kathleen Greey Fellow through Phi Kappa Phi national honor society, for which she will receive $5,000 for graduate study. She is among 60 students nationally to receive the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship this year. She will use the fellowship to go to law school. April 2010

* K-State psychology students took the top three places in research presentations at the Great Plains Student Psychology Conference in St. Joseph, Mo. The students all work in K-State's Visual Cognition Laboratory and work with Lester Loschky, an assistant professor of psychology at K-State. Taking first place for "Attention modulates gist performance between central and peripheral vision" were Margarita McQuade, Gabriel Hughes and Caitlyn Badke; receiving second place for "The effects of story structure and order on recognition memory for a picture story" were Christopher Wallace and Suzanne Goddard; and earning third place for "The effects of image rotation in scene gist recognition in ground-based versus aerial views" were Joshua Davis and Ryan Ringer. April 2010

* K-State's Theresa Selfa, assistant professor of sociology, is serving on a National Research Council committee studying the economic and environmental impacts of increasing biofuels production. Selfa and 15 other experts from across the country are examining the Renewable Fuels Standard, biofuel tax and tariff policy, and production costs on biofuel and petroleum refining capacity. The committee also is looking at current and future biofuels that are projected to be used by 2022 under different policy scenarios. Their study also will examine the effect of biofuels production on the number of U.S. acres used for crops and forestry, and the associated changes in the price of rural and suburban land. April 2010

* Students from Kansas State University earned 53 awards -- the most by any school at the collegiate level -- in the Kansas Association of Broadcasters' 2010 Student Broadcast Awards competition. In addition, three K-State mass communications students received scholarships from the broadcasting association. In all, K-State students earned 24 first-place awards, 13 second-place honors and 16 honorable mentions for both individual and group efforts. In the undergraduate radio competition, K-State finished first in 12 of the 18 categories offered. Most of the entries in the competition were for work done by students at K-State's student FM radio station, Wildcat 91.9, or for K-State's cable television channel, K-State TV. Among K-State's first-place winners were several student-produced programs, including "Wildcat Watch," which airs on K-State TV and receives funding support from the K-State Student Governing Association and production support from the Educational Communications Center, now a part of K-State communications and marketing; Wildcat 91.9's "Sports Talk" and "The Conscience of Kansas" programs; and "Purple Power Play," a TV sportscast, which airs on K-State TV and is produced by K-State journalism and mass communications students. April 2010

* Chad Maulsby, K-State senior in social sciences, Clay Center, received the George C. Marshall Leadership Award, which is presented to the top Army ROTC cadets in the nation. Out of the nearly 4,800 cadets in the U.S., Maulsby is ranked 48th. The award honors Army Gen. George C. Marshall, who served as chief of staff of the Army and secretary of both state and defense. He was the author of the restorative Marshall Plan and was the only career soldier to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Following graduation from K-State, Maulsby will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the aviation branch and attend helicopter flight training and aviation officer training at Fort Rucker, Ala. April 2010

* Two female department heads at K-State were tapped to take part in the Oxford University Round Table on women in academia, March 14-19, in Oxford, England. Lorraine Cutler, head of K-State's department of interior architecture and product design, and Geraldine Craig, head of the department of art, attended the invitation-only event "Women in the Academy: Status and Prospects." Topics addressed at the round table included gender equity; discrimination; compensation, tenure and promotion; sexual harassment; and institutional restraints on women's leadership. The Oxford Round Tables are a forum for the study of current issues facing state and national systems of education, and each session is made up of a small select group of leaders from both the public and private sectors of several countries. April 2010

* K-State's program in social work has received continuing accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education. Offered by the department of sociology, anthropology and social work, the social work program has been continuously accredited by the council since 1974. The council is a nonprofit national association representing more than 3,000 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 1952, it is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the U.S. March 2010

* A video game helped a K-State student place highly in a prestigious Japanese language speech contest. Xavier Gavin, freshman in arts and sciences-open option, Wichita, placed second in the category for students with less than a year of college Japanese instruction at the 24th annual Japanese Language Speech Contest, March 6, at the Consulate General of Japan, Chicago, Ill. It is the fourth year in a row that a K-State student has placed in the competition, including a first-place finish in 2009. Gavin's speech was "Bring in Guitar Hero!" In his presentation, he discussed the use of high technology in the classroom and shared his idea to introduce video games like "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band" to promote music education. Gavin's instructor is Kumiko Nakamura, director of K-State's Japanese language program. March 2010

* The Konza Prairie Biological Station was named one of the eight wonders of Kansas geography by the Kansas Sampler Foundation. The prairie, jointly owned by K-State and The Nature Conservancy, and managed by K-State's Division of Biology, encompasses more than 8,600 acres of native tallgrass prairie with a three-fold mission dedicated to long-term ecological research, education and prairie conservation. Public voting for the award took place during a period of six weeks, with more than 12,400 votes cast. The competition started with 24 possible sites in the state for the honor. Along with being an internationally recognized research site, the Konza also features six miles of hiking trails that offer the public a way to experience the Kansas prairie. March 2010

* Jianhan Chen, an assistant professor of biochemistry, is receiving more than $670,000 as a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. CAREER is the foundation's most prestigious award for junior faculty to support early career development activities of teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the organization's mission. March 2010

* Yoshiro Ikeda, university distinguished professor of art, is the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts. The conference will be March 31-April 3 in Philadelphia, Pa. The award is given to one professor in the nation who has dedicated many years to being an extraordinary teacher. The recipient also must demonstrate excellence in his or her own work, as well as through the continuing accomplishments of students. Ikeda has taught at K-State for 32 years. He has received more than 50 awards for his work, which has been included in more than 350 exhibitions in North America and 37 international exhibitions in Japan, France, Spain Korea, Taiwan, England, Brazil and New Zealand. Since 1983 he has presented more than 40 workshops and lectures across the United States and in Scotland, Japan, Korea and Brazil. He earned the title of university distinguished professor, K-State's highest faculty honor, in 2004. Feb. 2010

* A K-State graduate student's efforts to raise awareness about global poverty netted him an invitation to the "Power 100 Summit" in Washington, D.C., Jan. 29-Feb. 1. David Westfall, a doctoral student in sociology, Arcadia, earned a spot at the third annual summit by participating in the ONE Campus Challenge, a competition that engages college campuses to take action in the fight against global poverty. The schools that earned the most points and that rank within the top 100 schools in the competition have students attending the national summit. The summit is organized by ONE, a global advocacy and campaigning organization dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. It brings together top student leaders from 100 campuses from across the country. Jan. 2010

* Two K-State theater students and a faculty member were honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 5, Jan. 17-23. Joe Klug, junior in theater,Overland Park, received first place in the regional scenic design competition; Dylan Harris, senior in theater, Wichita, received a meritorious certificate for her set design used in the fall 2009 K-State Theater production of "Speech and Debate; and Dwight Tolar, instructor of communication studies, theater and dance, who received a meritorious certificate for his work as director of "Speech and Debate." Jan. 2010

* K-State's Elliott Pujol, professor of art, is a recipient of the 2010 Governor's Arts Award for his work as a master metalsmith and Kansas artist. The Governor's Arts Awards are given annually to recognize distinguished Kansas artists, patrons and arts educators. Pujol's work is comprised primarily of vessels, including a copper covered 1960 Dodge truck. Among Pujol's many honors include being selected by the National Endowment for the Arts and Penland School of Crafts in 1971 as one of the 50 outstanding craftsmen in the United States. Pujol also was chosen by the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis in 2005 as a master metalsmith. Jan. 2010


2009 Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences