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News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-1544,


MANHATTAN -- From food safety to the use of social media like Twitter and Facebook, the expertise of Kansas State University researchers drew the attention of national media in 2009.

Some of K-State's top research newsmakers in 2009, according to K-State news services, included:

* Doug Powell, associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. When cases of contaminated foods or food recalls hit the headlines, Powell was frequently quoted by media. Among his numerous media hits in 2009, Powell was cited by the New York Times in three stories and by USA Today in two, as well as mentioned by a variety of media across the nation and Canada. Powell and a colleague from North Carolina State University especially attracted media attention in the fall for their research on getting college students to practice good hand hygiene as a way to stop the spread of outbreaks like H1N1 flu,

* Juergen Richt, regents distinguished professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. As an internationally known expert on emerging infectious zoonotic diseases, Richt received national publicity -- including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, UPI, Reuters and more -- for his research on the 1918 Spanish flu virus and H1N1 swine influenza viruses and other topics related to the H1N1 flu,

* Dan Thomson, K-State's Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology. In 2009 research by Thomson and other colleagues at K-State and West Texas A&M University led to the first licensed vaccine against E. coli 0157 in cattle -- -- and resulted in national media attention. Thomson also drew numerous media hits for his work as chair of an international animal health committee to develop beef cattle production and welfare standards worldwide. He was cited by media from coast to coast, including the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle.

* Michael Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology, studies how new media like Twitter and Facebook are changing the way people relate to each other. Among his many media hits in 2009 included the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Christian Science Monitor,, YouTube, Huffington Post and more. His work also was cited by National Geographic,

* Kate Stenske, assistant professor of clinical sciences. Stenske's research that found that dog owners are more likely to share germs with their pets by not washing hands rather than by sleeping with the dog or letting it lick their face garnered numerous media hits as did her tips on minimizing the risks of bites and bite-related infections from dogs and cats. The stories -- and -- were reported in USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News and World Reports, New Zealand Herald, UPI and other media across the nation and world.

* Phil Nel, professor of English and a children's literature expert. Nel garnered much media attention in 2009 for several topics dealing with children's literature. A book Nel co-edited, "Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature," was reviewed in the Sunday New York Times. Nel also garnered attention from media across the nation, including Reuters and the Christian Science Monitor, for his thoughts on the Harry Potter series and the classic children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are,"