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Since 2002, more than 60 K-State faculty have attended the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching, the purpose of which is to provide inspiration and support for college teaching.

As many as five K-State faculty members will be selected to be 2010 Wakonse Fellows by attending the upcoming Wakonse Conference. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 19.

At the conference, college teachers share teaching strategies and methods in the rustic environment of Camp Miniwanca, Mich. A major focus of the conference is pedagogy, but participants also discuss other academic culture issues. The conference promotes the development of junior and senior faculty, and has attained national prominence.

Deans, department heads and colleagues may nominate faculty, and self-nominations also may be submitted. Written support from a dean or a department head will be considered evidence of the nominee's recognized commitment to excellence in teaching and providing learning opportunities. Details of the nomination and selection process can be found at

In addition, the provost's office will provide $500 per person to defray registration, travel, and meal expenses; additional expenses -- approximately $400 per person -- will be the responsibility of selected faculty. Nominated faculty members are encouraged to seek funds from their colleges and departments to support their attendance.

Information is available at, or by contacting Bill Genereux at 826-2927 or, or Steve Stockham at 532-4453 or Genereux will organize the 2010 K-State contingent's trip to the Wakonse Conference.


Jane Butel wears the title Chile Queen with aplomb. She is often credited with starting the Tex-Mex cooking craze and has written and taught about Southwestern and regional Mexican cuisine.

After graduating from K-State's College of Human Ecology with a degree in home economics and journalism and landing such hefty positions as vice president for American Express in New York, Butel became a devotee of the chile and its accompanying cuisines. She has written "Real Women Eat Chiles," published by Northland in 2006, and 19 other cookbooks.

Butel will bring her internationally famous skills to K-State Thursday, Feb. 25, and Friday Feb. 26, for the annual Culinary Enhancement Workshop sponsored by the department of hospitality management and dietetics.

"Flavors of the Sizzlin' Southwest," the Feb. 25 workshop for food service professionals and alumni, is limited to 50 attendees. The first 30 to register will make tamales in an hourlong hands-on session with Butel. Registration for the workshop, to be in Derby Dining Center, closes Friday, Feb. 12. Cost ranges from $100 for an individual to $500 for Culinary Leader sponsorship. Registration includes demonstrated recipes, lunch, beverages and a copy of her 2008 book from Workman, "Chili Madness, a Passionate Cookbook by Jane Butel."

On Feb. 26, Butel will repeat the workshop with K-State students.

Butel's cooking school in New Mexico, named one of the best in the U.S. by and Bon Appetit magazine, has been featured in publications around the world. She also conducts culinary tours in Mexico and Spain.

Her topics at K-State will be chili madness, corn craze and the evolving Southwest. Lunch will feature her favorite recipes.

For information, contact Missy Schrader at To register by phone, call Charla Henry at 785-532-7536 or 800-432-1578.


If you are interested in sharing the wonder of the tallgrass prairie and Konza Prairie Biological Station, docent training will soon begin.

From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 20, an orientation session will take place at the old Dewey Ranch House. This training session is the first of 13 needed to become a Konza Prairie docent.

Trained docents guide hikes and driving tours for public and school groups visiting the Konza Prairie. Other service opportunities include helping with K-12 student research activities, workdays and special projects. Docents also have the opportunity to attend educational in-service programs and social events.

More information is available at or by contacting Valerie Wright, the Konza's environmental educator, at 785-587-0381 or at


K-State’s department of grain science and industry will kick off its Centennial Celebration Lecture Series with a noted expert in grain foods and nutrition at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room.

Julie Miller Jones, a nutrition adviser to government, the food industry and the International Life Sciences Institute, will present "Grains of Truth: Separating Grain Nutrition Myths and Facts."

Research has associated grains -- particularly whole grains containing cereal fiber -- with the reduction of chronic conditions including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and certain kinds of cancers. Yet, grains and whole grains are eschewed by many consumers for a variety of reasons.

Jones will address these issues, as well as the health-promoting aspects of grains and whole grains.

Jones is an award-winning nutritionist and teacher, who also is a leading advocate for public health education and women in the sciences and technology.

More information about the department's Centennial and the Celebration Lecture Series is available at