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Kansas State University

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Jacque GibbonsJacque Gibbons has been named the social worker of the year in Kansas.

Gibbons, an associate professor of social work, was selected for the honor by the Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The chapter cited Gibbons' commitment to the values and ethics of the profession; his volunteer service, particularly with the American Red Cross as a certified mental health responder; and his work training future social workers.

"Jacque Gibbons embodies what the practice of social work is all about," said Betsy Cauble, head of K-State's department of sociology, anthropology and social work. "Not only does he educate students to follow in his footsteps, but he lives his values through his work with the Red Cross and his support of other social service organizations. It has been a rare privilege to have Dr. Gibbons as a colleague. He makes us all better."

His service to his profession includes being chair of the Kansas chapter's ethics committee since 2001, and serving on the Manhattan and Riley County Hospice and Homecare Ethics Committee.

He also has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for nearly 40 years.

"My earliest involvement with the Red Cross was when I was in graduate school in the summer 1972. I stayed involved, mostly from a distance, until the 9/11 attack," Gibbons said. "The social work faculty at K-State discussed how we might put our skills to work in service of the community, state and nation. I decided to put my clinical social work knowledge to work as a disaster mental health specialist for the American Red Cross."

He completed his certification training in spring 2002 and has been providing disaster mental health services as a Red Cross volunteer ever since.

"Disaster mental health specialists help the whole disaster operation stay on an even keel, and that is a challenge when there are crises all around," Gibbons said. "Volunteers work to ensure the mental health of other volunteer staff, to assess the needs of disaster survivors for mental health services, and to help with the work of disaster relief."

His work includes assisting victims of Hurricane Katrina who relocated to Kansas, people affected by the 2007 ice storm and 2008 tornado in Riley County, and victims of other disasters like floods and fires.

"Jacque's volunteer work and service to the profession of social work are demonstrations of his devotion to helping others, and to his belief in doing his part to ensure the best services possible for the citizens of Kansas," said Janice Dinkel, an associate professor of social work at K-State who helped nominate her colleague for the honor.

Prior to joining K-State in 1982 Gibbons worked as a social worker in San Joaquin County, Calif., and in Jefferson County, Kan., and as a section supervisor in the Kansas City area office of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. He also serves as a consultant on the state and local level. He earned a bachelor's in social work from the University of Kansas, and a master's and doctorate in social work from Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

"I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to be a professional social worker. In all my years of practice I don't recall ever wishing I had chosen another career," he said.


Two College of Business Administration faculty members received teaching and research awards at the college's Dec. 11 commencement ceremony.

Fred Smith, instructor in accounting, is the fall 2010 recipient of the Kansas State Bank Teaching Excellence Award. Gangshu "George" Cai, assistant professor of management, received the 2010 College of Business Administration Outstanding Contributions in Research Award.

Fred SmithSmith, an Ernst and Young Teaching Fellow, consistently ranks at the top of student evaluations for amount learned and teaching effectiveness. He uses his accounting and teaching experiences to augment and enhance student learning. Smith received his bachelor's degree and master's in accounting from K-State.

"As dean it is very gratifying to know that we have faculty members who are committed to excellence," said Yar M. Ebadi, dean of the College of Business Administration. "Mr. Smith has a long history of producing excellence in the classroom. He engages his students in the learning process, and helps them understand how to take theoretical concepts and make practical application."

George CaiCai has compiled a research record of both quality and quantity. In the past year he had eight scholarly articles published or accepted for publication in refereed journals. He also was awarded six research grants and currently is working on 25 various research projects. His work has sponsored one visiting scholar and two postdoctoral research scholars at K-State in 2010. Cai received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Peking University and a doctorate from North Carolina State University.

"Dr. Cai is relatively new to the College of Business Administration faculty, but he is already making a tremendous impact through his excellent research activity," Ebadi said. "His hard work, positive attitude and enthusiasm for his discipline enhance the national and international reputation of the college. We are fortunate to have scholars of his caliber serving on our faculty."


Matthew WilliamsonMatthew Williamson, instructor of construction engineering technology at K-State Salina, has earned his professional engineer license in civil engineering-geotechnical.

The licensure allows Williamson to seal his own designs, plans and documents as being approved by a professional engineer.

"These credentials validate that I have in-depth engineering knowledge backed by practical experience," he said. "They show the depth of information being passed on to our students. It also benefits K-State Salina's engineering technology department to have licensed engineers teaching when it comes to accreditation."

Williamson took the exam in October and was notified of his results recently. The licensure process includes years of practical experience outside the classroom and hundreds of hours studying for the examination.

According to the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, only 62 percent of those taking the civil engineering licensure exam earn the license on their first attempt.