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Raylene AlexanderRaylene Alexander, assistant professor of aviation at K-State at Salina, has earned Master Aviation Educator accreditation.

Alexander is one of only 22 Kansas teachers of aviation and one of seven K-State at Salina faculty members to earn the accreditation.

Master Aviation Educator accreditation, offered through Master Instructors LLC, recognizes individuals who work as professional teachers of aviation in industry but who do not hold Federal Aviation Administration instructor certification.

Candidates must demonstrate an ongoing commitment to excellence, professional growth and service to the aviation community. They also must pass a rigorous evaluation by a peer review board. Designees are recognized as outstanding aviation educators for not only their excellence in teaching, but for their engagement in the continuous process of learning -- both their own and their students'.

Alexander joined K-State Salina in 2006. She is responsible for spearheading the Jet Ahead program, a mentoring program for female students in aviation maintenance -- airframe and powerplant -- around the country. She also serves as the technical education committee chair with the University Aviation Association.


Stephen BentonStephen Benton, K-State professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, has been selected a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. Benton is one of 67 scholars to earn the honor this year. His induction ceremony will be May 1 at the 91st annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Denver, Colo.

Fellow selection is based on exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. Fellows must be nominated by peers, selected by the association's Fellows Program Committee and approved by the association's council.

The American Educational Research Association works to improve the educational process by encouraging scholarly inquiry related to education and evaluation and by promoting the dissemination and practical application of research results. The association has more than 25,000 members, whose broad range of disciplines include education, psychology, statistics, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, anthropology and political science.

Benton's research has covered a variety of education research topics, including college student drinking, reading and writing processes, note taking and college student mental health.

He is co-author of a test manual and the book "College Student Mental Health: Effective Services and Strategies Across Campus"; eight book chapters; numerous edited volumes; and more than 60 refereed journal articles and 60 professional papers. From 1991 to 2000 he served as editor of the journal Educational Psychology Review. His work has appeared in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Psychology: Research and Practice, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Journal of Educational Measurement, Research in the Teaching of English, Educational Psychology Review and many more. In addition, he has served on several journal editorial boards and has been a reviewer for numerous journals and professional associations.

Benton has presented his work at major conferences nationally and internationally, including for the American Psychological Association, International Conference on Teacher Education and the American Educational Research Association.

His research has been honored previously by the American Psychological Association, which named him a Fellow in 2007. Along with his memberships in the American Educational Research Association and the American Psychological Association, he is a member of the American Evaluation Association and Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and an associate member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Benton joined K-State in 1983, earned the rank of associate professor in 1988 and was promoted to full professor in 1994. He has served multiple times as chair of his department. His many honors include a Professorial Performance Award in 2007, Excellence in Graduate Faculty Teaching Award in 1998, and the Award of Excellence from the University of Nebraska Alumni Association in 1997.

Since May 2008, Benton also has served a senior research officer at The IDEA Center, where he conducts and supervises research on large, messy data sets pertaining to student ratings of college and university faculty, and faculty and staff ratings of administrators.

Benton earned a bachelor's in secondary education, a master's in educational psychology and measurements and a doctorate in educational psychology, all from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


The Kansas House of Representatives and Senate passed resolutions March 23 congratulating K-State's A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications on its 2010 centennial celebration.

Kansas Reps. Sydney Carlin and Tom Hawk, both of Manhattan, presented a framed certificate of the House resolution to Gloria Freeland and Steven Smethers, faculty of K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Both Freeland and Smethers are graduates of K-State's journalism program.

"Thank you for your leadership in the school and the tradition of excellence for the past 100 years," Hawk said.

"A.Q. Miller was active in Kansas newspapers for 60 years," Carlin said. "Born in 1874, he got his start as a printer’s devil on the Clifton News. He is most remembered as the publisher of The Belleville Telescope. His commitment to excellence in journalism led to the presidency of the Kansas Editorial Association."

Kansas Sen. Roger Reitz, Manhattan, also presented the Senate resolution to Freeland and Smethers.

"As a K-State graduate, I am proud to bring this resolution to the attention of the Kansas Senate,” Reitz said.

K-State's A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications will celebrate its centennial Sept. 2-4.

The celebration will kick-off with the 11th annual Huck Boyd Lecture in Community Media. Award-winning journalist Gail Pennybacker will speak at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, in the K-State Student Union's Forum Hall. Pennybacker is an award-winning journalist at ABC/WJLA-TV, in Washington, D.C., and a 1981 K-State journalism graduate.

Other centennial activities include workshops on advertising, journalism and digital media, and public relations Thursday. Sept. 2, and Friday, Sept. 3. A celebration banquet and program will be Friday, Sept. 3, and include a silent auction.

Alumni can also attend a tailgate party for the K-State-UCLA football game Saturday, Sept. 4. Receptions, campus tours and tours of Greek houses and residence halls will also be part of the festivities.

K-State's journalism and mass communications program began in 1910, when Kansas State Agricultural College President Henry J. Waters appointed Charles James Dillon to teach "reportorial work" and to establish a department of industrial journalism. This department was to be separate from printing, which had been a part of the curriculum from the college's beginning.

Among the school's more well-known alumni are Marlin Fitzwater, presidential press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush; Clementine Paddleford, food writer for the New York Herald Tribune for 30 years; Gordon Jump, who played Arthur Carlson on the television series, "WKRP" and was the "lonely Maytag repairman"; Pete Souza, official White House photographer for Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama; Milton Eisenhower, brother of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and ninth president of K-State; and Marianna Kistler Beach, for whom K-State’s art museum is named.


Three faculty from K-State's College of Human Ecology have been recognized for their outstanding work.

Mary Meck HigginsMary Meck Higgins, associate professor and Extension specialist in human nutrition, has received the Dawley-Scholer Award for Faculty Excellence in Student Development. The award recognizes outstanding achievement resulting in the personal, professional or educational growth of one or more students. It includes $2,500.

Terrie McCantsTerrie McCants, instructor of family studies and human services and a conflict specialist, was given the Myers-Alford Teaching Award for outstanding ability not only in teaching undergraduate and graduate students, but also in providing valuable information to colleagues, peers and other practitioners in the field. McCants also is program coordinator for graduate and undergraduate certificates in conflict resolution, and is a mediator at K-State's Family Center. The award includes $2,500.

Elaine JohannesElaine Johannes, assistant professor of family studies and human services, was honored with the College of Human Ecology Faculty Extension Excellence award, which comes with $2,500. The award recognizes someone who has developed, implemented and evaluated an Extension program of outstanding quality. Johannes was singled out for "Get It - Do It," an intergenerational community health program addressing inactivity and obesity through youth-adult partnerships in small Kansas communities.