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ETHEL, a New York-based string quartet known for its innovative programming and commitment to contemporary music, will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union.

Admission is free. The performance is sponsored by a grant from the University Distinguished Lecturer Series, the department of music and the K-State student chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Acclaimed as America's premier postclassical string quartet, ETHEL infuses contemporary concert music with fierce intensity and opens boundaries between performer and audience, tradition and technology.

Formed in 1998 the high-octane group of Juilliard-trained performers includes Cornelius Dufallo, violin; Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; and Mary Rowell, violin.

The performance will be the lecture-recital "Present Beauty," which explores the concepts of time and continuity through music. The featured work of the program will be the quartet's new arrangement of the Philip Glass score from the movie "The Hours," a 2002 film based on Michael Cunningham's novel.

According to ETHEL members, there is an affinity between Glass' score and that of the novel's protagonist, author Virginia Woolf. As a writer she developed the theme of beauty as an experience rooted in the present moment, rather than in relationship to the past or the future. In his music Glass captures beauty in continuity, without beginning, climax or end.

Additional works on the program will be compositions by Terry Riley, Huang Ruo, David Lang and Julia Wolfe.

More information on the quartet is available at


Internationally recognized feminist philosopher and educator Maria Lugones will be the featured speaker for the women's studies program at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in the Town Hall Room at the Leadership Studies Building.

Her talk, "Multiplicity, Intersectionality and Decoloniality," will explore strategies for recognizing and resisting the interwoven violence of heterosexism, racism, cultural imperialism and global poverty. The presentation is free, and the public is invited.

A trademark of Lugones is her explicit commitment to think from within struggle, according to Michele Janette, director of the women's studies program. Lugones' research is grounded in more than 30 years of grassroots work with post-colonized communities in Latin America and the United States.

This includes participation in a local Binghamton chapter of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence; collaborating with Critical Resistance NYC to strategize ending gender/sexual and police brutality in communities of color; working with Hispano communities in northern New Mexico to protect their land and water rights against corporate takeover; and her current work on the intersection of decolonization and gender violence within indigenous communities in Bolivia.

A native of Argentina, Lugones is a founding member of Esceula Popular Nortena, a folk school in Valdez, N.M., for radical movement and political education against cultural, racial, sexual and class oppression. She directs the Center for Research in Philosophy, Interpretation and Culture, and teaches at Binghamton University in the philosophy, interpretation and culture graduate program and in the comparative literature department. She is the author of "Pilgrimages/Peregrinajes: Theorizing Resistance Against Multiple Oppressions," and is in the process of finishing two books: "Intimate Interdependencies: Theorizing Collectivism" and "Radical Multiculturalism."

Lugones' visit to K-State is sponsored and supported by: Fire, the Diversity Programming Council, the women's studies program, the departments of philosophy and modern languages, the cultural studies program of the department of English, the Dow Multicultural Resource Center at Hale Library, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice, United Multicultural Women, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Alianza and the American ethnic studies program.

More information is available from Janette,, or Shireen Roshanravan,


When two scientists were recently awarded the Nobel Prize for physics for their work with graphene, a Kansas State University professor was thrilled with the recognition of the new two-dimensional material.

Vikas Berry, assistant professor of chemical engineering, has spent three years researching graphene, a form of carbon that is only one atom thick. Although his background of study involves gold nanoparticles, Berry was inspired to study graphene after reading research by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, the two Russian-born scientists who received this year's Nobel Prize for their discovery of graphene and experiments associated with it.

"I was completely fascinated by the expanse of opportunities this new nanomaterial offers," Berry said. "With an atomic width, graphene exhibits exotic physics, and yet it has a large surface area. It's one of the easiest nanomaterials to work with since one can see it under a regular microscope."

Graphene has widespread appeal because of several extraordinary properties it possesses: it has the highest carrier mobility; is the world's strongest nanomaterial; is optically transparent; has a high thermal conductance; and is highly impermeable. Because of these properties, research involving graphene has exploded since its discovery six years ago, Berry said.

"Not too long ago, it was believed that this material would not exist," Berry said. "However, the Nobel laureates proved that it can actually exist in free form, and that one can isolate these as single atom thick crystals."

Since Berry began his graphene research, he has had a few opportunities to discuss his research with Geim. Berry's research with graphene has helped K-State become the first to look into the bio-applications of graphene.

Berry has built DNA sensors and bacteria transistors using graphene. Such research could help K-State become a top 50 public research university by 2025.

Berry and students recently researched gold ions and graphene under microwaves. They used a kitchen microwave oven to attach gold nanoparticles to graphene-oxide. The graphene-oxide acted as a stabilizing and supporting agent for the naked gold particles, which then showed strong catalytic activity. Their work appeared in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters in June.

To study the biocompatibility of graphene paper, Berry and students collaborated with Rodney Ruoff, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.

"To apply graphene's ultrahigh strength in the biomedical industry, it's important to study graphene's biocompatibility," Berry said. "There are several applications which require materials that are strong and biocompatible."

The researchers combined TWEEN -- a biocompatible compound -- with graphene paper and made an important discovery: Graphene paper was biocompatible in the three cell lines tested and the graphene-TWEEN composite paper inhibited bacterial binding. This showed that ultra-strong graphene papers could be modified to control bio-interfacial properties for medical applications, such as biocompatible knives and implants. The research appeared in Advanced Materials in January.

Berry's research laboratory currently is studying composites of graphene and boron nitride, another two-dimensional research material. While graphene is a highly conductive material, boron nitride is completely insulating, showing that the two materials seem to be complementary, Berry said. So far the researchers have isolated single-atom thick sheets of boron nitride and synthesized their dispersions. They're fabricating electrical devices employing both graphene and boron nitride and are preparing a manuscript for another publication.

"After the two Nobel laureates published their seminal paper, it was very clear that graphene was an extraordinary material," Berry said. "The developments in graphene research have been multiplying ever since."


The K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan is now HandsOn Kansas State.

The new name reflects the progressive spirit and attitude of the organization, according to Dani Cain, marketing and business development coordinator of HandsOn Kansas State. The name also represents the proactive, action-oriented and revitalized approach that highlights the center's mission to promote civic learning and leadership by engaging the campus and the community in meaningful volunteer and service opportunities, she said.

Since its inception the volunteer center has served as a clearinghouse for volunteers -- a place where individuals can find civic engagement and leadership opportunities, and where nonprofit organizations can find volunteers.

"As HandsOn Kansas State, we will continue to provide those opportunities, and aim to expand capacity-building training and services to corporations, organizations and individuals who want to make a difference through volunteering," Cain said.

"This overhaul, which includes the adoption of the HandsOn Network icon and nomenclature, allows us to leverage the existing brand equity, align our strategy with that of the national network, and reposition the center to better deliver on the promise to put people at the center of change," she said. "The name may have changed, but the dedication to serve and enrich K-State and surrounding communities remains the same."

HandsOn Kansas State, a program of the School of Leadership Studies, is the only university-based action center in the nation that is student funded and student run, serving both campus and community, Cain said. Included in the re-brand are HandsOn Kansas State's programs: Academic Mentoring and the Good Neighbors Program -- a joint venture with the city of Manhattan.

The K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan became the local affiliate of the HandsOn Network in 2007. The network is an international nonprofit organization connecting volunteer action centers in more than 250 communities in all 50 states and nine international locations to equip, mobilize and inspire people to take action that changes the world.

More information is available online at


The 2010 K-State Gardens Luncheon Series continues Thursday, Nov. 11, with a presentation on holiday centerpieces and table decorations by Bronwyn Douglas, co-owner of Kistner's Flowers, Manhattan.

"The upcoming holidays are a great time to display flowers around the home and a floral arrangement for that special family dinner gathering," said Judy Unruh, series coordinator for the K-State Friends of the Gardens board of directors.

The luncheon will be at the Colbert Hills clubhouse from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is $25 per person, payable upon registration. This includes lunch and the presentation. Net proceeds from the series support special projects at the K-State Gardens.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, Nov. 9.

To place reservations call Anne Springer at the department of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, at 785-532-1442; or e-mail Payment is due at the time of reservation and may be mailed to Friends of the KSU Gardens, 2021 Throckmorton Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506.

For more information, contact Judy Unruh at 785-587-8432 or


The College of Veterinary Medicine has earned accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education.

Accreditation for the college occurs once every seven years by the American Veterinary Medical Association. This association is designated by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting body for the nation's 28 schools of veterinary medicine, and is recognized worldwide as the gold standard in veterinary education.

"I'm very proud of this," said Ralph Richardson, dean of the college. "It's foundational to every one of our graduates because if they do not graduate from an accredited college, they cannot get licensed. It also speaks to the high quality of our college."

Accreditation consists of a self-assessment report summarizing the previous five years of activities, a site visit, and a vote by the association's council members.

The college was evaluated on 11 standards, including organization of its staff, faculty and administrators; finances needed to sustain the educational programs and missions of the college; curriculum; library and information resources available; and research programs.

Visiting the college were members of the Council of Education, a member of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, a member of the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association, and deans of other veterinary schools.

"It was an honor to show off our college as we went through the accreditation process, and to share our programs and facilities with the accreditation team and other deans," Richardson said.

Richardson said comments from the committee were very positive. Comments included that the college's library is exemplary and that library staff members were very dedicated to helping students, faculty and the veterinary community; the college was commended for its increase in research revenues and services income, especially in light of economic circumstances; and faculty were commended for dedication to the doctor of veterinary medicine student instruction, graduate education, public outreach and discovery.

The College of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1905 and has graduated more than 5,000 students with a doctorate in veterinary medicine.


A K-State epidemiologist will use a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for improving food safety in beef and dairy cattle systems in the U.S. and Canada.

H. Morgan Scott, a professor in the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, will collaborate on the project with researchers from the University of Guelph, Angelo State University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, Cornell University, Colorado State University and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The progress and achievements of the integrated project will be evaluated by K-State's office of educational innovation and evaluation.

"Our overall goal is to identify, evaluate and implement practical interventions for managing antibiotic resistance in beef and dairy cattle systems," Scott said. "We focus on the longstanding problem of resistance emergence, dissemination and persistence among enteric bacteria. If pathogenic bacteria resistant to antibiotics enter the food chain, treatment of humans can be complicated."

Scott said researchers will use a variety of methods to assess, and then improve, the quality of education and extension materials, such as veterinary curricula and commodity specific prudent-use guidelines.

"Threats to the continued use of several common agricultural formulations of antimicrobials are looming in the form of FDA guidance documents and draft federal legislation," Scott said. "Having scientifically proven tools available to veterinarians and producers to counter bacterial resistance where and when it arises is essential to maintaining public trust in our abilities to manage threats to public health."

The costs to animal agriculture will be tremendous if certain classes or uses of antibiotics are no longer available, Scott said.

"The use of antibiotics for treatment and prevention of bacterial infections in beef and dairy cattle is essential for producing safe and wholesome food for consumers, for maximizing the welfare of animals, and for sustaining profitability in animal agriculture," he said.

"We want to employ molecular microbiology to discover the mechanisms underlying several paradoxical responses of resistant strains to antibiotic selection pressures," Scott said. "Next it will be critical to field-test practical interventions designed to effectively manage antibiotic resistance levels in production, as well as near-slaughter phases of beef and dairy cattle systems."

Scientifically proven interventions will be shared with interested parties and decision makers in the cattle industry, who will be encouraged to further evaluate those methods in their production systems, Scott said. Decision makers also will be warned of ineffective interventions.

Scott said collaborating with other schools and working outside the research lab are important parts of the project. He and his lab students will visit feed yards and dairy production facilities to work directly with cattle.

"We plan to develop an integrated model to assess the temporal dynamics of antibiotic resistance and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to mitigate its dissemination in cattle systems," Scott said. "This model will be available for education and extension purposes as a very effective demonstration tool. We also hope this will greatly enhance detection of early-resistant E. coli, and we will be able to better estimate animal-level prevalence of resistance carriage through enhanced surveillance. We expect that our new approach will yield earlier detection and characterization of resistance to critically important antibiotics."

Scott said the ultimate goal of the project is to come up with solutions that can be used quickly and effectively industrywide.


Jon Darbyshire, general manager for RSA Archer's eGRC Solutions, a part of EMC's Security Division, will be the fall speaker for the College of Business Administration Distinguished Lecture Series.

Darbyshire's presentation will begin at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, in the Student Union's Forum Hall. The lecture is free, and the public is welcome. Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation sponsor the lecture series.

The founder of Archer Technologies in 2000, Darbyshire sold the company to EMC in January 2010.

A 1988 finance graduate, Darbyshire was the president and CEO of Archer Technologies LLC prior to its acquisition by RSA. In founding Archer Technologies, his vision was to create enterprise-wide informational technology risk and compliance management solutions that would replace traditional manual processes and disparate point solutions. His work evolved into the award-winning Archer eGRC solution suite, which today is used by one-third of Fortune 100 companies and more than 6.5 million people around the globe.

"We are always delighted to welcome successful and accomplished alumni like Jon Darbyshire back to campus to inspire current students in their career paths," said Yar M. Ebadi, dean of the College of Business Administration. "He is a prime example of how an entrepreneurial spirit combined with hard work produces outstanding business results. We are very proud of his achievements and appreciate him making time to share with our students this semester."

Prior to founding Archer, Darbyshire held senior executive positions in the security and risk management practices of Ernst & Young and Price Waterhouse. He has more than 20 years of experience in the security, risk and compliance management field.


Elizabeth Dodd, director of creative writing, was one of 12 writers selected nationally for the Mount St. Helens Field Residencies program near Randle, Wash. The program explored the landscape of the Pacific Northwest three decades after the devastating 1980 eruption.

Sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State University, the residencies allowed writers -- all of whom were chosen because their work was deemed to reflect "a keen awareness of the natural world and an appreciation for both scientific and literary ways of knowing" -- to learn directly from scientists researching the area.

Scientists have returned to the landscape periodically, investigating the processes of change as various species recolonize areas that were affected by the intense pyroclastic flow, Dodd said.

In July Dodd and the other writers joined the scientists for a week-long stay in the shadow of the volcano's blast zone, preparing for literary explorations of everything they saw.

"The entire landscape is rich with the symbolism of devastation and renewal," Dodd said. "Spirit Lake, just north of the mountain, used to be surrounded by old growth forest, but all the trees were leveled by the blast. Now those trees float in the lake like enormous, buoyant bones, and lots of them have young saplings or shrubs sprouting from the decaying wood."

Dodd said similar examples of regrowth are everywhere, but one has to know where to look.

"Some of these are very subtle -- like insects, or nesting birds," she said. Others, though, are more obvious.

"The lake was always called Spirit Lake, but the name seems so much more meaningful now," Dodd said.

The residency also allowed Dodd and the other writers to meet with more than 100 participating scholars from various disciplines.

"I accompanied a doctoral student who was researching the birds that had returned to nest in the most devastated area called the Pumice Plain," Dodd said. "My favorites were the birds I know from the prairie: nighthawks and horned larks nesting in the open plain where there used to be conifers hundreds of years old."

Reflecting on the experience, Dodd said the residency will help shape the book manuscript she's currently completing, a nonfiction study of the aesthetic importance of time.

"I'm interested in the way the natural world's cycles are reflected in stories and artwork," she said. "What I found most surprising, though, was how young everything was. Even the visible cone of the mountain itself is no more than 3,000 years old. We usually think of mountains as being symbolic of time frames that dwarf human culture, but that's not the case with Mount St. Helens."

In their talks, Dodd said many of the scientists focused on the concept of biological legacies through which species have been able to repopulate the changed landscape.

"But language is a legacy too," she said. "I'm interested in the narratives various Native American communities still have about Lawelatla -- that's the name of the mountain in Salish. And the basic story of natural recovery from devastation is a very potent one. It's a story that we need."

Dodd recently presented some of her resulting work at the Western Literature Association Conference in Prescott, Ariz.