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K-State Today

January 23, 2013



Students, faculty benefit from academic excellence awards providing funding for travel, equipment, lecture series and more

By April Mason

President Kirk Schulz and Provost and Senior Vice President April Mason recently completed the latest round of funding decisions for Academic Excellence awards. These awards support proposals that advance the university toward the goals of K-State 2025 and its aspiration to be recognized as a Top 50 public research institution.

The fund combines resources from the offices of the president and provost. Faculty have two award periods during each academic year to propose projects for funding. Following review of 57 submitted proposals received for the spring award period, the following have been selected for funding:

Debbie Mercer and Linda Thurston, office of the dean of education, to initiate a Distinguished Educational Research Lecture Series as part of the faculty mentoring program in the College of Education; Mercer to enhance the development of a military and veterans educational initiative; Jeffrey Pickering, political science, to support hosting guest speakers in the security studies and master of public administration graduate programs; Gary Mortenson, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, received travel support allowing the trumpet ensemble to accept an invitation to participate in the Brass Chamber Music Workshop at Haus Marteau in Lichetenberg, Germany.

Sara Thurston-Gonzalez and Tonatiuh Melgarejo, Alianza, to fund programmatic initiatives that advance and advocate Latino issues on campus and expansion of their scholarship program; Carol Shanklin, Graduate School, to support Graduate Student Council efforts and summer research programs; Linda Teener, Lou Douglas Lecture Series, for invited speaker Edward Wolff’s lecture, “Rising Inequality of Income and Wealth: Causes, Consequences and Potential Remedies”; Gerry Craig, art department, research expense support for tenure-track faculty; Robert Goodband, animal sciences and industry, to replace equipment in common-use lab.

David Poole and Timothy Musch, dual appointees in anatomy and physiology and kinesiology, received conference travel support for students to attend a national conference; Lisa Craft and Heidi Blackburn, library services at K-State Salina, to create a mobile, collaborative learning environment that will develop students’ research skills; Michael Herman and Loretta Johnson, Division of Biology, support for the 11th Ecological Genomics Symposium; David Dzewaltowski and Richard Rosenkranz, kinesiology and human nutrition, to purchase youth obesity prevention child care observation research equipment and fund student travel to a national conference; Ryadi Adityavarman, interior architecture and product design, to fund a series of lecture and workshop events in international hotel planning conducted by prominent scholars and designers in hospitality design.

Shawn Hutchinson and John Harrington, geography, to renew K-State’s membership in the University Consortium and re-establish the GIScience Lecture Series; John Uthoff and Ben Stark, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, for classroom upgrades in the theatre design/technical theatre classroom; Marcelo Sabates, office of international programs, and Carol Shanklin, Graduate School, to provide travel support that would allow faculty traveling abroad to targeted areas to extend their trips in order to conduct graduate recruitment activities; Mark Haub, and Sara Rosenkranz, human nutrition, and Brett Wong, kinesiology, to purchase a computing equipment and software; Michele Janette, women’s studies, partial support for symposia being conducted at K-State.

Elaine Johannes, family studies and human services, to purchase equipment and furnishings for shared work and collaboration space; Ping Li, chemistry, partial support for the purchase of a new biosafety cabinet; Craig Harms, kinesiology, travel support for graduate students to attend a national conference; Bill Zhang, architectural engineering and construction science, travel assistance to present research papers at two conferences; Ben Stark, School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, certification fees.

Medhat Morcos, electrical and computer engineering, funding for an invited lecturer and scholar; Karin Westman, English, support for one conference and one symposium to be hosted at K-State; Mithilia Jugulam, agronomy, travel support for an international conference; Mary Rezac, chemical engineering, travel support for speakers from Brazil and the European Union to speak at the Center for Sustainable Energy Symposium; Anne Beamish, landscape architecture and regional and community planning, travel support for graduate students to participate in an international event in Toronto.

Richard Mattson and Sunghun Park, horticulture, forestry and recreation resources, for the purchase of equipment needed for plant propagation course; Ron Madl, grain science and industry, and Ben Champion, office of sustainability, to fund the development of a biodiesel conversion program at K-State; Zongzhu Lin, mathematics, to support travel of graduate students as part of an exchange program with the University of Kansas during the spring semester; Bronwyn Fees, family studies and human services, to replace outdated equipment and fund travel for training on data analysis.

Vibhavari Jani, interior architecture and product design, funding support for the design and installation of an exhibition series titled “Diverse Art, Architecture and Cultures of South Asia” as part of the sesquicentennial celebration activities; Brett Esry, physics, to help fund the ultrafast, intense laser physics workshop to be hosted at K-State; Bryan Bischof, mathematics, travel assistance to an international summer research program and to bring a scholar to campus for a one-week workshop; Mary Hale Tolar, Trisha Gott, Chance Lee and Bethany Miles, School of Leadership Studies, to fund travel costs to the Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit; Greg Stephens, arts, sciences and business at K-State Salina, to support the Luncheon Lecture Series.

As in the past, more proposals are submitted than can ever be funded. For the spring 2013 award period, a total of $400,587 was requested and the Academic Excellence program was able to fund $180,750.

A new request for proposals will be announced in August at the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.

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