Skip to the content

Kansas State University

[an error occurred while processing this directive]



Thomas A. Wright, K-State's Jon Wefald Leadership Chair in Business Administration, has been named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

To become a Fellow, individuals must have made outstanding contributions to the field of psychology and that person's work must have had national impact on the field of psychology.

In addition to the American Psychological Association, Wright is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Association for Psychological Science. He is the first K-State scholar to achieve Fellow status in each of these three prestigious professional organizations, an honor thought to belong to only about 80 people worldwide.

At K-State, Wright is a professor of management and is director of the College of Business Administration's Center for Character-based Leadership.

He is best known for his innovative thinking on psychological well-being, which can affect job performance and turnover. He has been published in many of the leading business and social science journals, and has been widely cited by the media. The winner of many teaching and research awards, he also has served as associate editor for two leading management journals, the Journal of Management and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Wright joined K-State in 2007. He earned his doctorate in organizational behavior and industrial relations from the University of California at Berkeley.


Stephen WolgastStephen Wolgast, a K-State instructor of journalism and mass communications, was recently named a Fellow of the Burgon Society for his research on the origins of academic dress in the U.S. The Burgon Society is a British academic group dedicated to the study of academic dress.

Wolgast researched academic regalia at Columbia University and discovered that the idea to adopt standardized academic dress was aired seven years earlier than previously thought.

Wolgast presented a paper on this topic at a ceremony Oct. 10 in London, England, officially marking his Fellow status. The paper also will be published in the society's peer-reviewed journal, Transactions of the Burgon Society, in 2010.

Wolgast also found that the idea to standardize academic dress in the U.S. was instigated by someone other than Gardner Cotrell Leonard, thought to be the father of U.S. academic dress.

That person was John McCook, a Princeton trustee, who contacted university leaders in the northeast to suggest that they adopt a uniform standard for their academic uniforms. McCook later received an honorary law degree from the University of Kansas and donated seed money for the university's first football stadium, according to Wolgast. Though that first stadium no longer exists, a small street near the present-day stadium is named for him.


Joe Wilk, senior instructor in K-State's modern combatives education program, has been invited to compete at "Strike Force Challenger," a major national professional mixed martial arts event. The event takes place Nov. 20 in Kansas City, Kan.

Wilk is credited with training and coaching the Fort Riley military combatives team to win the national championship in 2008. Over the last two years, he also has taught more than 800 K-State students, including ROTC cadets, student athletes and undergraduates. He also teaches a K-State summer course for Air Force ROTC cadets from all over the country and conducts free self-defense clinics for women and law enforcement groups in the Manhattan area.

The event will be broadcast live on Showtime.