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Kansas State University

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The National Science Foundation has awarded $1.176 million over two years to Kansas' three research universities to upgrade a shared data network.

The collaboration involves K-State, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University, and will better connect the state's educational institutions.

The funded project, called "Prairie Light: Next Generation Optical Networking for Mid Continent Science," will boost the bandwidth of KanREN, the Kansas Research and Education Network, significantly and make the network more stable and reliable to benefit research initiatives in Kansas.

"The result will be a Kansas Science Commons on which researchers at institutions of higher education can build stronger research collaborations through broader sharing of sophisticated instruments and computing resources, and students will learn in an environment rich with tools and expertise," said Donald F. "Rick" McMullen, director and senior scientist for research computing at KU.

"This next-generation research network will enable activities that maximize national and state investments in computing infrastructure at individual campuses by making them easier to share and to build into distributed research collaborations," he said.


The department of employee relations and training recently merged into the division of human resources. It's now called the department of employee relations.

Char Shropshire continues as the assistant director for employee relations, including coordination of the employee assistance program, EAP.

Gina Lowe has moved to the compensation and classification unit and is now responsible for employee training, the performance management system and various classification duties.

Mylene Larson has also moved to the compensation and classification unit and provides administrative support for the unit.

Shropshire, Lowe and Larson can be reached through human resources at 785-532-6277.


As the first director of K-State's energy and environment program, Casey Lauer is a man with a plan for campus energy efficiency.

Lauer, who joined K-State in July, is tasked with developing a universitywide approach for energy conservation.

"I feel strongly about the opportunities that exist to conserve energy, and I'm excited about the resulting positive impacts that can be made throughout the campus community," Lauer said. "My overall objective is to promote a triple bottom line: economic, environmental and ecological stewardship culminating in a trifecta interactional benefit."

Lauer will provide leadership and oversight to existing initiatives with energy performance contracting and building control enhancements. Additionally, he will develop a behavioral- and technological-based energy conservation plan customized for individual colleges and stakeholders at K-State.

A 2004 graduate of the University of Kansas, Lauer earned a bachelor's in mechanical engineering. He is a member of Pi Tau Sigma engineering honor society. He also was a Kansas Honors Scholar and received the KU academic merit award.

Prior to joining K-State, Lauer was an energy engineer at Johnson Controls, where he developed energy-savings projects. He is a certified energy manager and general building contractor, and is currently working on becoming a licensed professional engineer.


A distinguished group of Kansas judges will open Kansas State University's 2010-2011 Dorothy L. Thompson Civil Rights Lecture Series and be part of the university's observance of Constitution Day.

"Who Will Judge You? Advancing Judicial Diversity" will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15, at the K-State Student Union's Forum Hall. The lecture is free. The lecture is presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters Manhattan/Riley County.

Justice Marla Luckert of the Kansas Supreme Court is the keynote speaker. Panelists are Judges Henry Green, Richard Greene and Melissa Standridge, all of the Kansas Court of Appeals, and Suzanne Valdez, director of the Criminal Prosecution Clinic at the University of Kansas. The moderator is K-State's David Procter, director of the Institute for Civil Discourse and Democracy.

The lecture also is sponsored by the Union Program Council; K-State's offices of affirmative action, diversity and dual career development, and multicultural programs and services; the Institute for Civil Discourse and Democracy and the pre-law program; the Riley County Bar Association; and the UFM Community Learning Center.

The Dorothy L. Thompson Lecture Series recognizes Thompson's contributions to the field of human rights on campuses throughout Kansas and the nation. Thompson was associated with K-State from 1971 until her death in 1992. She served as K-State's director of affirmative action and associate university attorney.


The music department kicks off its fall season of performances with a variety of musical events this month.

Guest pianist Irena Ravitskaya plays a recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at All Faiths Chapel. Ravitskaya, originally from Moldova in the former Soviet Union, is an assistant professor in the music department at Fort Hays State University.

Sept. 11, is Band Day, hosted by the music department. Two-thousand high school band members from across the state are expected at the halftime performance during the K-State versus Missouri State football game. The bands will perform a number of pieces as a massed ensemble, including crowd favorites "Wildcat Victory" and Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture."

The K-State Orchestra season begins with a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 in McCain Auditorium. The orchestra is directed by David Littrell, distinguished professor of music, with assistance from Blair Williams, graduate student conductor. In the program is Mozart’s "Symphony No. 19 in E-flat Major," Franz Léhar’s "Gold and Silver Waltz," Emile Waldteufel’s "Skaters’ Waltz," Johann Strauss Jr.’s "Wine, Women and Song Waltz" and Schumann’s "Cello Concerto in A Minor," featuring cello soloist Jacques Wood. Wood is a concert cellist pursuing his doctorate in cello performance at Yale. He formerly studied cello with Littrell from second grade into middle school, when he moved away from the Manhattan area.

David Pickering, assistant professor of organ, presents "Organ Music for a Wednesday Morning" at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 15 in All Faiths Chapel. Pickering will continue performing these half-hour recitals monthly, playing standard and contemporary organ music.

Also on Sept. 15, guest cellist Jacques Wood joins forces with Littrell, his former teacher, for a 7:30 p.m. recital in All Faiths Chapel. The recital, dedicated to the youth of Manhattan, features literature ranging from the early Suzuki books through advanced repertoire.

The Student Recital Series commences Sept. 23 with various student performers from vocal, wind, keyboard and string divisions. This hour-long concert begins 11:30 a.m. in All Faiths Chapel.

Sept. 25 the Latin Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kurt Gartner, performs at 11 a.m. for K-State Family Day in Bosco Plaza, outside the K-State Student Union. The group is comprised of a wind section and a rhythm section including a full complement of percussion. They perform popular Afro-Caribbean styles of music.

The concerts are free.

For information about these events or other scheduled student performances, call 532-5740.


Golfers can help K-State fight against cancer at the 13th annual Rob Regier Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday. Proceeds will support K-State's Terry C. Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research.

The four-person scramble, at K-State's Colbert Hills Golf Course in Manhattan, will have a shotgun start at noon. For those not yet registered, registration will be accepted at 11 a.m.

The tournament honors Rob Regier, a 1988 graduate of K-State in pre-dentistry who died of cancer at age 26. Regier's parents, Sandy and Les Regier, and his brother and sister-in-law, Randy and Juli Regier, all of Overland Park, are the tournament's hosts.

The registration fee of $150 per person includes dinner. Prizes will be awarded to top teams, hole contest winners and more.

More information about playing, being a sponsor or donating auction items is available at or by calling the center. More information on Colbert Hills is at

K-State's Johnson Center for Basic Cancer Research supports basic cancer research, training and public outreach. Its programs are made possible through private donations.


Patricia Crews, director of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will discuss the history of American quilts Friday, Sept. 10, at K-State.

Crews will present "American Quilts in the Modern Age, 1880-1940" at 4:30 p.m. in All Faiths Chapel. Her talk will look at how Americans responded to rapid industrialization, urbanization and immigration as reflected by quilt designs and techniques.

The presentation will be followed by a reception at K-State's Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art; both are the closing events for the Beach Museum's current exhibition, "Pieces of Time: Quilts from the K-State Historic Costume and Textile Museum." The events are free and open to the public. They are co-hosted by the Friends of the K-State Historic Costume and Textile Museum and K-State's department of apparel, textiles and interior design. The quilt exhibition closes Sunday, Sept. 12.

With two quilting guilds that have memberships of more than 200 people, quilting has long been popular in the Manhattan community, according to Carole Chelz, president of the Friends of the K-State Historic Costume and Textile Museum, and the past president of the Friends of the Beach Museum of Art.

"Dr. Crews is an internationally-known quilt expert, educator and author, and we are pleased she'll present the closing lecture for the quilt exhibition at the Beach Museum," Chelz said.

Crews has been a member of the University of Nebraska faculty since 1984, joining the school right after she earned her doctorate in apparel, textiles and interior design from K-State. She has won several awards for her teaching and research, including the Smithsonian's 1993 Frost Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in American Crafts for her book "Nebraska Quilts and Quiltmakers." She also is the author of three other major books on quilting: "American Quilts in the Modern Age," "Wild by Design: Two Hundred Years of Innovation and Artistry in American Quilts" and the "Flowering of Quilts." Crews was named a Willa Cather Professor for Outstanding Scholarship in 2003.

More information on the quilt exhibition is available by contacting the Beach Museum at 785-532-7718 or online at