DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR OF IMMUNOPHYSIOLOGY RECEIVES ONE OF FIELD'S HIGHEST HONORS
Despite making what are arguably some of the biggest advancements in research on the animal immune system, Frank Blecha puts his students' success before his own.
Now his former students have helped Blecha, a distinguished professor of immunophysiology, interim associate dean for research in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and head of the department of anatomy and physiology, earn national recognition for his contributions to veterinary immuniology.
On Dec. 6 in Chicago, Ill., Blecha will be formally recognized by the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists as the 2010 Distinguished Veterinary Immunologist of the Year. His former students nominated him for the honor, one of the highest in the field.
"It's really surprising that he hasn't received this award before now, as, in my mind, he's the most qualified person in his field," said Jishu Shi, associate professor of anatomy and physiology at K-State. "His work was really some of the first in certain areas, and I think he single-handedly increased our understanding of innate immunology in domestic animals."
Shi, a former graduate student of Blecha's, spearheaded the nomination campaign, which consisted of letters of support and a list of Blecha's achievements.
Since beginning his work in veterinary immunology nearly 36 years ago, Blecha has authored 139 refereed journals, 24 book chapters and more than 200 abstracts; contributed to four university patents; raised more than $9 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, among others; and made more than 100 invited presentations at regional, national and international conferences.
Teaching, and even immunology, weren't areas Blecha originally considered pursuing.
"Besides serving in the Army, the only thing I had ever done was rodeo and school. I wasn't sure I would be accepted into graduate school because my grades weren't all that great," he said. "Instead of buckling down, I spent the last two years of school rodeoing and not going to class."
As luck would have it, Blecha was accepted into grad school, where he became involved in a project on the immune system in animals. This chance study led to him earning a doctorate in the field. Soon after, Blecha, his wife and sons moved to Manhattan, and he began working at K-State in 1981.
Since then he's investigated the capabilities of cytokines and antimicrobial peptides, and has worked with interferons. His greatest work, though, has been that with his students, he said.
Blecha keeps a file with each of his former postdoctoral and graduate students' contact information and career paths. Some have gone on to teach at universities, others are CEOs of their own companies, and one works for the USDA and another for Pfizer Incorporated. They keep in contact and consider Blecha a friend.
That's part of what makes this award so special, Blecha said.
"Only one person from around the world is selected each year. To have been nominated by those students I've worked so closely with, I feel quite humbled by it," he said.
"When I came to K-State I didn't take graduate students right away because in my mind it's a great responsibility. It's basically like having a family," Blecha said. "I wanted to make sure I had things established, had a program going, and knew what I was doing. In looking at where my former students are now, I guess I did OK."
Although his graduate work ended in 1996, Shi still seeks advice from Blecha.
"Dr. Blecha is a friend as much as a mentor. I've turned to him for advice with each new step I take in my career. He's an excellent scientist, and has always been there when his students needed him," Shi said. "When it comes to working with my students, I'm trying to mimic half of what he did for all of us."
The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will feature Slawomir Dobrzanski, assistant professor of piano, who will perform David Gillingham's Concerto for Piano and Percussion Orchestra. It also includes the premier of "As My Eyes Turn to Sand," a composition by a K-State graduate student in music.
A highlight of the concert will be a performance by the Kansas City Youth Percussion Ensemble. Under the direction of Keith Larson, the ensemble offers youth age 9-18 the opportunity to perform music specifically composed or arranged for percussion instruments. Its small group sizes allow students to learn about and perform on different percussion instruments. Larson has more than 30 years experience teaching percussion to students of all ages and skill levels.
The K-State Percussion Ensemble is directed by Kurt Gartner, professor of music, and two graduate students.
K-STATE ALUM LEADS TEAM TO NATIONAL PHYSICS APPARATUS COMPETITION WIN
A K-State alum, a physics professor and a 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 for first place. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and began in 2005. A majority of the project was completed by 2009, but work remains on certain aspects, Zollman said. The project was part of McBride's doctorate research, and Zollman credits McBride for the competition success.
An experience while Zollman was on sabbatical at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich served as the basis for the group's idea. Zollman's colleagues at the German university were using a technique to teach the idea of how the human eye changes shape to focus on objects at different distances, but Zollman faced limitations in bringing something similar to his classroom.
"Some of the equipment that they used was difficult to find in the U.S. or was much more expensive here," he said.
McBride and Zollman set their focus on creating an easily affordable apparatus for teaching about how the human eye changes shape to focus on objects at different distances.
The device is now being used in classroom settings. It has been tested with students in general physics classes because they have premedicine and pre-veterinary students, Zollman said.
McBride has used the apparatus and similar apparatuses with her students as well.
K-State's physics department has entered a variety of apparatuses over the years in the competition, but this is the first top finish, Zollman said. Murphy received an award in 2009 for an apparatus to help teach some of the physics underlying MRI.
"It is important to emphasize that Dyan was the primary person in getting this to work successfully, and then to make sure that it was teaching the ideas that we wanted to teach," he said.
More information is available at http://web.phys.ksu.edu/mmmm/instructor.
RESEARCHERS INVESTIGATE CAUSES OF POPULATION DECLINES OF PRAIRIE CHICKENS IN KANSAS
In an avian equivalent of a rowdy campus bar, male Greater Prairie Chickens gather at booming grounds every spring to display for females. But long-term monitoring programs in Kansas have indicated major declines in this once common bird of the tallgrass prairie, according to two K-State ecologists.
Investigating the population biology of prairie chickens has been the research focus of Brett Sandercock and Samantha Wisely, both associate professors in K-State's Division of Biology.
"Understanding ecological causes of declining numbers is an important first step in conservation," Sandercock said. "Our goal is to use a combination of genetic and demographic methods to understand the impacts of land use and land-cover change on prairie chicken population dynamics."
Field work at three sites in the Flint Hills and Smoky Hills has been directed by three K-State graduate students in biology. The project started in 2006, and the research team has now captured and collected genetic samples from more than 1,300 prairie chickens; put radio collars on 320 females; located 380 nests; and collected 16,500 locations to describe movements and habitat requirements.
"Our students have had great working relationships with private landowners," Sandercock said. "The project couldn't have been completed without the support of ranchers and local communities."
Prairie chickens in Kansas have high genetic diversity and do not show any evidence of the inbreeding effects reported for more isolated populations, Wisely said. Reproductive potential is also good because females lay an average of about 13 eggs per nest and regularly re-nest if their first nest is destroyed.
"Population declines are clearly being driven by dismal rates of survival for nests, broods and incubating females," Sandercock said. "Most losses are due to predation, and our results are remarkably consistent among sites and years."
Predators have been investigated by videotaping prairie chicken nests and by deploying scent stations. Skunks, badgers and even gopher snakes have been recorded destroying eggs and young.
Reproductive success is so low that in some years at least seven nesting females are needed to produce a single juvenile prairie chicken, Sandercock said.
"High levels of predation appear to be related to rangeland management," he said. "Intensive grazing and annual burning removes vegetative cover that prairie chickens need for concealment during nesting, and the spread of woody plants in areas of fire suppression has aided recovery of predator populations."
"Regional managers are very interested in our research results," Wisely said. "We look forward to providing the field data needed to develop improved mitigation strategies."
The collaborative research effort was initiated by the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative Wildlife Workgroup Grassland and Shrub Steppe Species Subgroup to establish whether there are effects from wind structures to prairie chickens in the Midwest. The research team is focusing current research efforts around the Meridian Way Wind Farm, a 201-megawatt wind facility recently built in north central Kansas. The effects of rangeland management on productivity of prairie chickens were discovered before turbines were erected. New data from ongoing monitoring since completion of construction could be used to improve siting guidelines for wind power facilities in Kansas, according to Sandercock and Wisely.
Oversight for the research project was provided by the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, BP Wind Energy, Competitive Power Ventures, Horizon Wind Energy, Iberdrola Renewables and Next Era Energy Resources.
The National Wind Coordinating Collaborative provides a neutral forum so a wide range of stakeholders can pursue the shared objective of developing environmentally, economically, and politically sustainable commercial markets for wind power in the United States. The Grassland and Shrub Steppe Species subgroup of the collaborative's Wildlife Workgroup brings together representatives from state and federal agencies, private industry, academic institutions and nongovernmental organizations in a collaborative effort to identify critical research questions; secure and administer cooperative funding to conduct research; encourage peer-reviewed collaborative research; and identify both potential impacts and mitigation strategies to address any impacts. More information on the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative is available at http://www.nationalwind.org.
The agreements, signed Sept. 28, allow students at Neosho County to transfer credits to complete a K-State bachelor's degree through distance education after earning their associate degree.
The agreements signed include: associate of applied science in energy management to bachelor of science in technology management; associate of science in business administration to bachelor of science in general business; and associate of science in social science to bachelor of science in interdisciplinary social science.
"With so many students on their way to a bachelor's degree, life often gets in the way, and the degree is never obtained," said Barb Newhouse, associate director for academic programs at K-State's Division of Continuing Education. "With a completed associate degree and the opportunity to take the remaining two years online through K-State, the place-bound student has more options and more flexibility to pursue and complete a four-year degree program."
A degree map and more information about K-State's 2+2 agreements with Neosho County and other community and technical colleges in Kansas and other states are available at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/affiliations/2+2/.
K-STATE NO. 1 IN GRADUATION RATE FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT YEAR
K-State can stake claim as the Big 12 leader in all-sports graduation rate for an unprecedented fourth straight year, and five Wildcat teams garnered the league's top spot in their respective sports when the NCAA released its latest graduation rate data on Wednesday.
Both graduation success rate and four-class average data was released by the NCAA with K-State claiming top honors in both categories among its Big 12 counterparts.
"Graduating our student-athletes and providing them with a world-class experience remains our top priority here at K-State, and I am extremely proud of the academic performance represented by these figures," said John Currie, athletics director. "Leading the Big 12 in all-sports graduation rate for the fourth straight year is a credit to the dedication of our student-athletes, the academic commitment of our coaches and the outstanding work of the academic services staff and K-State's faculty members."
K-State's graduation success rate of 81-percent, which studies the 2000-2003 cohort for all Division I institutions, bested Missouri for the top spot among Big 12 schools. The GSR reflects the federal graduation rate cohort and adds those student-athletes receiving aid who entered mid-year, as well as those who transferred into the institution.
The Wildcats' four-class average of 67-percent, which is based on data from scholarship student-athletes receiving aid who were designated as freshmen for the 2003-2004 academic year, tied Iowa State for the highest ranking and marked the fourth straight year that K-State led the Big 12 in this category.
Individually, the football program's four-class average of 71-percent led the Big 12, which also marks the fourth straight year for K-State football to rank first among league institutions.
Four other Wildcat programs collected Big 12-leading figures in graduation success rate data. The men's and women's golf teams' rates of 100-percent ranked first. The men's track and field team also scored high in the ratings with a league-leading 83-percent figure, and the baseball team's rate of 81-percent rounded out the No. 1 rankings. The scores by both golf programs and the men's track and field team marked the second time in the last three years that each of these programs garnered a No. 1 ranking among their Big 12 counterparts.
"K-State student-athletes take great pride in accomplishing their goals, both on the playing field and in the classroom," said Jill Shields, associate athletics director for student services. "The release of the NCAA graduation rates reflects the expectation and commitment of our student-athletes, coaches, staff, and administration."
K-State had an exceptional year in the classroom in 2009-2010 as student-athletes earned a total of 421 Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll accolades, including 97 perfect 4.0 grade-point averages and 69 Academic All-Big 12 selections. Of the 69 Academic All-Big 12 honors, 21 came from track and field, 13 from football, nine cross country, seven baseball, four each from women's basketball, volleyball and men's golf, three from women's tennis and two each from men's basketball and women's golf.
PLANT EXPERT TO PRESENT HAGEMAN LECTURE
The effects of winter on plant growth will be the focus of the 13th annual Richard H. and Elizabeth C. Hageman Distinguished Lectureship in Agricultural Biochemistry.
Richard Amasino, professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present "Memories of winter: vernalization is an environmentally induced epigenetic switch" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, in 120 Ackert Hall. Amasino is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research investigator.
Many plants, including winter annuals, require relatively long periods of cold exposure during winter to initiate flowering in the spring. This change is known as vernalization. Plants need to be exposed to a certain amount of cold to represent a complete winter. This ensures that flowering only occurs when spring has arrived, rather than during a temporary warming in the middle of winter. Vernalization is vital for major crops like wheat and canola, as well as for spring flowers.
Amasino will also present the colloquium "Biochemistry teaching and earth history" from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 4 in 36 Chalmers Hall. Refreshments will be served at 9:15 a.m.
Both the lecture and colloquium are free and open to the public.
Amasino earned a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University. He earned his master's and doctorate from the University of Indiana. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington when tools for plant transformation and genetic engineering were just being developed. His doctoral research work was on how hormonal balance determines shoot differentiation in tissue culture. Since that time he has investigated how plants use epigenetic mechanisms, such as methylation of DNA and proteins, to regulate the action of genes.
Epigenetics adds another level of control on top of classic genetics. Amasino's work has had a major impact on our understanding of how plants control their flowering response to their environment.
The Richard H. and Elizabeth C. Hageman Distinguished Lectureship in Agricultural Biochemistry is supported by an endowment from the Hagemans. The late Richard Hageman, a Kansas native and K-State alum, was a research chemist and professor who studied plant nitrogen metabolism and rate-limiting enzymes in crops. Elizabeth Hageman, a retired biochemist, was involved in pioneering work on the in-vitro culture of bovine mammary gland tissue.
PLANT PATHOLOGY FACULTY RECEIVE NATIONAL HONORS
Two faculty members from the department of plant pathology were recognized at the recent annual American Phytopathological Society meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
Frank White, professor of plant pathology and an international authority on the molecular basis of plant disease, was named a fellow of the American Phytopathological Society in recognition of his distinguished contributions to plant pathology and society. White discovered a group of genes that are transferred from bacteria to plants during infection. He also identified bacterial genes naturally present in some plant genomes. White recently also characterized the family of bacterial virulence factors that alter the expression of plant genes and condition the plant for either susceptibility or resistance to disease.
"The recognition by your peers is always very satisfying, and although maybe not the driving force, makes the road seem smoother," White said.
White has been at K-State since 1985 and has been a full professor since 2001. He was recently named a recipient of K-State's 2010-2011 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.
Anna Whitfield, assistant professor of plant pathology, was named an up-and-comer in virology by the society. As part of the award Whitfield presented at the Schroth Faces of the Future Early Career Professionals Symposium on her current research and research priorities for the future. In addition to presenting at the annual meeting, she received travel assistance funds.
Whitfield has made significant progress toward determining the viral determinants of vector transmission for tomato spotted wilt virus. The virus infects a large number of plant species, many of which are important agronomic and ornamental crops. She collaborated with Dorith Rotenberg, research associate professor of plant pathology, on developing transcriptome tools for important arthropod vectors. Whitfield has also established a research program focused on the basic biology of plant virus vector interactions and the genomics of important insect vectors.
PROFESSOR STUDIES THE FEMALE VARIABLE IN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES
With most of the political winners declared after Tuesday's elections, the real interest may not have been in which political party took power. Instead it may have been in another political group: women.
"There were 10 female candidates running for governor on major party tickets. This is a record-tying number," said Brianne Heidbreder, assistant professor of political science.
"What I've noticed is that even though we've had an increase in the number of women elected to chief executive positions, we don't know a lot about their behavior in office, and whether or not gender shapes their behavior as governors," she said.
Most existing literature on female governors is biographical and ignores policy behavior, Heidbreder said. Consequently, she is exploring the importance given to social policies by current and former female governors through a series of research projects with a colleague at the University of North Dakota.
"The role of governor has been a steppingstone for other political posts, such as appointment to presidential cabinets," Heidbreder said. "These studies can teach us something about policy initiatives when it comes to decisions being made in the United States."
Heidbreder examined governors' state-of-the-state speeches from 2006-2008. These speeches are typically given annually and give governors a short amount of on-air time to address accomplishments as well as future issues of concern. She also explores whether female governors devote more time in these speeches to certain social issues than their male counterparts.
"In particular we looked at social welfare policy," Heidbreder said. "Some literature out there suggests that because of socialization processes, women may be more likely to focus on issues pertaining to women and children."
Analyzed data thus far supports this notion, Heidbreder said. She also plans to examine other policies like education.
Another project involves the "different voice theory," Heidbreder said. The theory, established in 1982, argues that when dealing with moral dilemmas, women and men address them differently. Women are likely to approach the dilemma from the contextual standpoint of how it affects the broader community. Men are likely to approach a dilemma from a justice perspective -- right versus wrong, for example.
The researchers examined candidates' policy on health care, social welfare and criminal justice in the state-of-the-state speeches.
"We found there actually wasn't a great difference between male and female governors," Heidbreder said. "Instead, Democratic candidates, both female and male, were more likely to address these social dilemmas from a contextual perspective than Republicans."
Heidbreder said this raises more questions than it answers. Due to time constraints for state-of-the-state speeches, Heidbreder said both genders may be addressing these topics on a broad level. To rule out the chance of a fluke, state-of-the-state speeches from a longer period of time will be analyzed.
"Governors are arguably the most prominent political figures in state politics because they typically receive the most media attention. They can speak to both public and political officials, and their ideas are often taken into consideration in the legislative process," Heidbreder said. "Therefore we'd like to determine if there really are gender differences at this political level."
The event includes lectures by Kirsten R. Murray and Les Eerkes of Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects.
The forum will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Little Theater of the K-State Student Union. The lectures will follow at 5:30 p.m. in Forum Hall, also at the Union. All events are free and open to the public.
Murray is principal/owner of Olson Kundig Architects. She joined the firm in 1989, becoming an owner in 2008. She is a generalist architect with particular interest and experience in community, arts, workplace and residential projects. She is currently working on several urban infill projects in Seattle, including Art Stable, the 1900 First Avenue hotel and apartments, and the Casey Family Programs headquarters.
Murray's work has been published in a variety of magazines and books, including the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Architectural Record and Architecture. Projects she has led have received several awards from the American Institute of Architects. She was instrumental in creating Olson Kundig Architects' widely recognized international intern program.
She speaks about issues of design and professional practice at universities and professional conferences around the country, and regularly serves on design juries.
Les Eerkes joined Olson Kundig Architects in 1994, becoming a principal in 2010. He is a versatile architect with a balance of design and technical expertise.
Eerkes has contributed to projects that have won multiple awards and have been published in such publications as the New York Times, Architectural Record and Architectural Review. He served as project manager on The Brain project, which received a national American Institute of Architects Honor Award and was published in "Tom Kundig: Houses," released by Princeton Architectural Press in 2006. The Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, another project, was featured in the book "Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete,"also released by Princeton Architectural Press in 2006, and in the exhibit of the same name at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Murray and Eerkes will lead the jury for the Bowman Design Forum, a competition open to K-State architecture students in their third year of study. Brent Bowman, a 1972 K-State architecture graduate and principal of the Manhattan-based architecture firm Bowman Bowman Novick, which also has offices in Kansas City, sponsors the forum.
Robert Walker, professor of geography at Michigan State University, will present "Biofuels and the Green Energy of Amazonia" at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, in the Cottonwood Room at the K-State Student Union. The lecture is free and open to the public. Sponsors include the provost's office; the department of geography and Marcelus Caldas, assistant professor of geography; Ben Champion, director of sustainability at K-State; the department of agronomy; the Division of Biology; and K-State's chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international honor society in geography.
While biofuels represent a renewable and green energy source, they have a downside. Walker will discuss how the demand for biofuels is putting a strain on the ecology of Amazonia. His lecture will look at the rapid expansion of Brazilian agriculture, rising beef consumption and how more Amazonian land will be in demand than is available under current conservation policy.
Since the early 1990s Walker has led a number of field activities in the Amazon basin, studying the land-use decision of households, the spatial processes of road building, and the impacts of land reform on tropical forests. His work has been supported by more than $6 million in grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other sources. His research has been published in several high-profile journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Land Use Science, Journal of Regional Science, Economic Geography, Geoforum, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and the Annals of the Association of America Geographers.
He is on a scientific steering committee in the College of Global Change and Earth System Science at China's Beijing Normal University, and with a committee involved with the Large-Scale Biosphere/Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, which is an international effort led by NASA and the Brazilian minister of science and technology. He also is on the advisory board of the Amazon Institute of People and Environment and the editorial board of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. His many honors include a Gilbert White Fellowship and serving as a Fulbright scholar.
Walker earned a bachelor's in chemistry and a master's in environmental engineering from the University of Florida, and a doctorate in regional science from the University of Pennsylvania.
AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION HONORING K-STATE DIETITIAN
Melissa "Missy" Schrader, a dietitian with housing and dining services and an instructor of hospitality management and dietetics, is being recognized for creating the annual on-campus Culinary Enhancement Workshop.
The American Dietetic Association Foundation will give Schrader the Mary Abbott Hess Award for Recognition of an Innovative Food and Culinary Effort at its annual food and nutrition conference Nov. 8, in Boston.
Schrader, a registered and licensed dietitian, is a campus and online instructor for HMD 342 Food Production Management, a course taken by students majoring in either dietetics or in hotel and restaurant management.
The purpose of the award is to encourage registered dietitians to make original and innovative efforts in food and culinary education. The award recognizes the efforts of an individual primary originator or developer of a body of work, said Deborah D. Canter, a K-State professor of hospitality management and dietetics who nominated Schrader.
Schrader organized the first Culinary Enhancement Workshop in 2005. The daylong event is open to food service professionals and College of Human Ecology alumni on the first day, and available at minimal charge to students on the second. Guest chefs have been Jet Tila on Asian cuisine; Taji Marie on Mediterranean cuisine and flavors of Latin America; Evan Kleiman on Spanish, Italian and Persian flavors; and Jane Butel on Southwestern cuisine. The seventh workshop will be in March 2011.
"This is a unique campus educational event focusing on diversity because it uses food, a staple in all cultures, as the medium for education," Canter said.
Over the last year K-State business offices and information technology services have been planning the upgrade to iSIS, K-State's student information system. The upgrade will provide improved features requested by faculty, staff and students, keep all components up to date for federal regulatory purposes, and update the system to the latest version.
The iSIS production system will upgraded during the fall break time frame. The system will be unavailable beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, through Wednesday, Nov. 24.
New and improved features of the system are:
* A new iSIS home page
* Improved navigational capabilities
* Improved access to advising information
The Faculty Senate committee on technology announced the dates for the upgrade at the Sept. 14 Faculty Senate meeting. The committee also has been instrumental in recruiting faculty to pilot-test the iSIS system before the go-live date.
For a view of the new iSIS home page and for project updates, visit http://www.k-state.edu/isishelp/upgrade.
TOGETHER WITH THE UNITED WAY, K-STATERS CAN RAISE $200,000 TO INVEST IN THEIR COMMUNITY
Each year K-Staters from across campus partner with the United Way of Riley County to support community members in need.
This year's campaign theme is K-State Cares About our Neighbors -- or K-State CAN! The goal is to double the participation rate and raise $200,000.
"Every contribution, no matter the size, goes a long way to help those in our community who need it most," said Bradley Kramer, campaign chair and head of the department of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. "If every K-State employee simply contributed $2 a pay period -- $52 for the year -- that would generate around $250,000, which could touch the lives of thousands of area residents."
A $50 donation is enough to provide a day of shelter for a family of four. A $100 gift provides a mentor for a troubled youth for three months, $250 provides six months of financial counseling for a family in need, and $1,000 provides one infant care scholarship for a full month. Payroll deduction is the simplest way to give, though one-time donations also are welcome.
Donations to the K-State United Way Campaign go to numerous organizations, including American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan, Catholic Charities, Crisis Center, Girl Scouts, Housing and Credit Counseling, Kansas Legal Services, Manhattan Day Care, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, RSVP, Salvation Army, Shepherd's Crossing and Sunflower CASA.
"Your gift allows the United Way to continue to help individuals and families achieve their full potential through education, income stability and healthy lives," Kramer said. "Together, K-State can help the community."
Employees who return their contribution letters to 103 Edwards Hall early will be eligible for the weekly drawings.
* Two tickets to the McCain performance of Cantus
* Reserved parking stall for the spring 2011 semester
* 16" x 20" frame with custom mat
* Paid day off
* Recreational Services pass
* Two golf passes to Colbert Hills
* Basketball signed by Coach Frank Martin
* Football signed by Coach Bill Snyder
* Basketball Loge Box tickets
* Lunch with Athletic Director John Currie
* Four passes to the Bluemont Buffet
* 100 coupons for 2-for-1 bowling
* Sampler box of Clif Bars
* Two $15 iTune cards
* Epson printer
* Four UPC movie passes
Prizewinners will be contacted by the K-State United Way committee and will be listed on the campaign website, http://www.k-state.edu/unitedway/.
The 2010 United Way campaign at K-State officially kicked off Oct. 27, and participants have until Dec. 10 to make a gift.
For more information about the K-State United Way campaign, go to http://www.k-state.edu/unitedway
2010 K-State United Way committee members are Bill Arck, Lynda Bachelor, Abe Fattaey, Anita Fahrny, Skylar Harper, Julie Henton, Ed Heptig, Mike Holen, Christie Horton, Jeff Katz, Kathy Kugle, John Leslie, Katie Marshall, Katie Mayes, Jan Middendorf, Brianna Nelson-Goff, David Procter, Ed Rice, Morgan Roesler, John Woods, Carol Shanklin, Lea Studer, Loleta Sump, Charlie Thomas and Bill Wisdom.