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K-State Today

October 13, 2011



Celebrating excellence: College of Human Ecology honoring seven for outstanding contributions

By Communications and Marketing

A 1948 graduate, a textile researcher and a chef are among those who will receive Kansas State University College of Human Ecology awards at the Celebration of Excellence.

Each year the college selects individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and to the college. The annual Celebration of Excellence will kick off with a reception at the K-State Alumni Center at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, followed by the recognition and awards program at 5:45 p.m.

The seven to be honored:

* Ruth Wells, Manhattan, a former nutrition specialist with K-State Research and Extension, will receive the Distinguished Service Award;

* Marc C. Shaffer, principle in Searcy Financial Services in Olathe and a 2005 graduate of the college, has been selected to receive the Entrepreneur Award;

* Janet Helm, Chicago, executive vice president with Weber Shandwick, will be Public Advocacy Award recipient. She received a bachelor's degree in human ecology and mass communication in 1979 and a master of science in institutional management in 1984;

* Sara Kadolph, Hubbard, Iowa, a retired professor from Iowa State University who received a master of science in clothing and textiles from K-State, is being honored for distinguished research;

* Chef Jet Tila, executive chef with Wazuzu Encore/Wynn in Las Vegas, will receive the Friend of the College Award;

* Courtney Lair, New York City, 2006 graduate in apparel and textiles and associate buyer for Bloomingdale's, receives the Young Professional Award; and

* Partner to the College recognition goes to the sports medicine department of intercollegiate athletics, which will be represented by John Currie, K-State athletics director.

Wells earned a bachelor's degree in vocational home economics from Central Missouri University in Warrensburg, Mo. Following graduation, she joined the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve and served during World War II. She continued her education at K-State, receiving her master's degree in nutrition in 1948. She also studied at Columbia University in New York, University of Wisconsin and University of Arizona. She taught vocational high school home economics in Missouri and in 1952 joined the extension service as a home economist in Neosho and Jefferson counties. She was a district agent and then a nutrition specialist at K-State, where she helped start the Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program in Kansas. She retired in 1980.

She is a life member of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a professional organization for extension, and the Kansas and American Home Economics associations. She travels extensively, most recently in Peru in January. She volunteers with Homecare and Hospice in Manhattan.

Shaffer, a certified financial planner professional and an accredited investment fiduciary designee, has been with Searcy Financial Services since 2006. His K-State degree is in personal financial planning with a minor in business and economics. He is also an enrolled agent -- a federally authorized tax practitioner -- and a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the Investment Management Consultants Association. He serves as the career chair of the Kansas City chapter of the Financial Planning Association and was chosen by KC Magazine as a member of the 2010 class of "Rising Stars," individuals under 40 years of age making a difference in their community and business. Philanthropic endeavors include Jazz in the Woods festival at Corporate Woods, the Kansas City K-State Alumni Planning Committee and the MS150 Bike Ride that raised money for multiple sclerosis research.

Helm is a registered dietitian who has combined degrees in journalism and dietetics to create a career as a nutrition communicator. She wears multiple hats -- as a public relations executive, blogger and nutrition journalist. She is the chief food and nutrition strategist in North America for Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm providing strategic counsel to a variety of food and beverage clients, including the award-winning Got Milk? milk mustache campaign. Helm is the author of the popular blog Nutrition Unplugged and the founder of Nutrition Blog Network, a site that features blogs written by registered dietitians. She is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune and Cooking Light magazine, and is currently writing a book with Cooking Light titled "The Food Lover's Healthy Habits Cookbook," which will be published in April 2012. A former media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, she has appeared on "Today," "Good Morning America" and CNN. For three years, she helped lead media training sessions for registered dietitians at the ADA Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo.

Kadolph's career encompasses more than 35 years of teaching, research and leadership. She recently retired after a 30-year career at Iowa State University, where she was named the Donna Danielson Professor of Textiles and Clothing in 2009. Kadolph also is a fellow of the International Textiles and Apparel Association. She is the author of several textbooks that focus on textiles and quality assurance in the textiles and apparel industry: "Textiles," now in its 11th edition, is used at more than 200 universities in the U.S. and internationally, and has been translated into Korean; "Quality Assurance for Textiles and Apparel" is now in its second edition; and "Textiles: Basics" will be published later this year. Kadolph earned a master's degree from K-State in 1973; she received a doctorate from the University of Minnesota in textiles and clothing. Her early research focused on clothing safety and product performance. Later she became interested in sustainability issues and developed a passion for natural dye research. Her main focus as a university faculty member was on teaching. She received the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award for the North Central Region in 2002, and the Bobbin Educator of the Year Award from the International Textiles and Apparel Association in 2000. Her research has been published in several journals related to college teaching, textile science, consumer education and research.

Tila, a Los Angeles native with no ties to Kansas, is a nationally known chef specializing in Asian cuisine. He learned the ancient traditions of classical Asian cuisine in family restaurants and at Bangkok Market. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Good Food with Evan Kleiman" and has appeared on such food shows as "The Best Of," "Food Finds," "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations," and "Smart Solutions." Recently he was on "Iron Chef America." In 2009, Jet unveiled Wazuzu, a Pan-Asian restaurant at the Encore resort in Las Vegas. He has a signature line of Asian dishes in Schwan's Home Delivery Service catalog. The chef has used his time and talents to help K-State's dining services and the department of hospitality management and dietetics create and execute the Culinary Enhancement Workshop series for students, alumni and food service professionals. Tila helped recruit high-profile chefs to present the workshop for a nominal professional fee in four of the last seven years.

Lair is a third-generation K-State graduate. For Bloomingdale's, she buys women's ready-to-wear brands, including Calvin Klein, DKNY and Michael Kors, and she has full buying responsibility for Lauren by Ralph Lauren. In New York she has worked as an assistant merchandise manager for Saks Fifth Avenue's online business responsible for product placement, editorial assortments and the execution of online promotions; merchant assistant in women's shoes at Bloomingdales.com; and assistant buyer at Bloomingdales.com where she was a member of the Best Merchant Team for both fall 2009 and spring 2010. Lair helps K-State students and young graduates with career guidance. She is a member of the New York Junior League and the Tri Delt New York alumni chapter. For Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, she has helped six high school seniors from underprivileged inner-city schools receive scholarships and admission to competitive colleges. She also mentors fifth-grade students through Bloomingdale's Mentor America program.

The long-running partnership between the department of intercollegiate athletics and the athletic training education program in the department of human nutrition is an example of athletics and academics working together for a common goal: education of our students. The relationship, nourished under the leadership of John Currie, director of athletics, has opened many doors for fundraising, internship opportunities and work experience for the undergraduate athletic training degree program. Sports medicine's athletic trainers provide supervision for students during their clinical experiences as well as classroom instruction. By using their facilities and trainers, students gain real-world experience at a first-rate athletic program in the U.S., and athletics benefits from additional assistance with injured athletes and in prevention of injuries.

For information about the Celebration of Excellence, visit http://www.he.k-state.edu/excellence or contact Jennifer Rettele-Thomas at 800-432-1578 or jenniferr@found.ksu.edu. Tickets to the reception are $20.