News release prepared by: Greg Tammen, 785-532-4486, gtammen@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012

Scientific influence: 21 active university researchers recognized for shaping science throughout Kansas history

MANHATTAN -- Science's roots in Kansas run deep with purple.

During 2011, the Ad Astra Kansas Initiative named 21 active Kansas State University faculty members among the top 150 researchers ever to work in Kansas throughout its 150 years of statehood. Ad Astra is a Hutchinson-based organization that promotes the scientific accomplishments of Kansans.

"It's exciting to see that several of Kansas State University's distinguished and up-and-coming faculty researchers were recognized as being among the best in Kansas throughout its historic 150 years," said Kirk Schulz, university president. "As K-State moves forward to become a top 50 public research university by 2025, I anticipate that our faculty researchers will make discoveries and contributions that shape the state and the nation's future well into the next 150 years."

Ad Astra's yearlong project, "Science in Kansas: 150 Years and Counting," celebrated the state's sesquicentennial and helped emphasize the importance of science and the career possibilities in research and innovation to K-12 students. Researchers were nominated for the list, with the Ad Astra committee making the final decision. 

Joining the list alongside other historically noted Kansas researchers like George Washington Carver, Charles H. Sternberg and Clyde Cessna are:

* Christine Aikens, assistant professor of chemistry

* Kristan Corwin, assistant professor of physics

* Elizabeth Davis, associate professor of clinical sciences and section head of equine medicine and surgery

* Dan Devlin, professor of agronomy and director of the Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment and the Kansas Water Resources Institute

* Sigifredo Castro Diaz, bioprocessing engineer with the Advanced Manufacturing Institute

* David Gustafson, professor of computing and information sciences

* Bill Kuhn, professor of electrical and computer engineering

* Chii-Dong Lin, university distinguished professor of physics

* Elizabeth McCullough, professor of textiles and co-director of the Institute for Environmental Research

* Kendra McLauchlan, assistant professor of geography

* Ruth Douglas Miller, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering

* T.G. Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology

* Virginia Naibo, associate professor of mathematics

* Abbey Nutsch, assistant professor of food safety and security

* Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of agronomy

* Mary Rezac, ConocoPhillips professor of sustainable energy and professor of chemical engineering

* Chris Sorensen, Cortelyou-Rust distinguished professor of physics and university distinguished teaching scholar

* Xiuzhi "Susan" Sun, university distinguished professor of grain science and industry, director of the Bio Materials and Technology Laboratory and co-director and founder of the Center for Biobased Polymers By Design

* Youqi Wang, professor of mechanical engineering

* Philine Wangemann, university distinguished professor of anatomy and physiology

* Anna Whitfield, associate professor of plant pathology