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Women of K-State

Women of K-State
Office of the President
Kansas State University
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Diana McElwain

Women in the News


As teachers, leaders, mentors and friends, women of K-State make a difference! Here are a few recent highlights from women across K-State!


Carol W. Shanklin to receive K-State Alumni Association's 2018 Flinchbaugh Family Wildcat Pride Award


Keen recognized with ASHRAE Award of Merit

Julia Keen, professor and Bob and Betty Tointon engineering chair in the architectural engineering and construction science department, has received the E.K. Campbell Award of Merit from the international ASHRAE organization.

The award honors an individual for outstanding service and achievement in teaching, and includes a plaque and honorarium of $10,000. The annual recognition goes to a current ASHRAE member in good standing who is associated with an institution of learning. The awardee must teach courses or conduct research in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning or refrigeration at the graduate and/or undergraduate level in an engineering or engineering technology program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Keen joined the faculty of Kansas State University in the College of Engineering in 2003. She is a licensed mechanical professional engineer in Kansas and Iowa, and holds two ASHRAE certifications — high-performance building design professional and building energy audit professional. She is also owner of the consulting company, Keen Designs, PA.

As a part of the ASHRAE organization, Keen has acted as faculty adviser of the K-State student branch since 2003 and has held several chapter positions, including president. She has served as director-at-large to the ASHRAE board of directors and currently holds the elected position of society vice president. Her service and contributions to the organization, as well as the heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration industry, were recognized when she was named recipient of the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award, and she has also been promoted to the level of fellow. Keen serves as an ASHRAE distinguished lecturer.

ASHRAE is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The society and its more than 56,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability.


Kristan Corwin named associate dean for research in College of Arts and Sciences

Following an internal search, the College of Arts and Sciences has named Kristan Corwin as the new associate dean for research.

Since June 2017, Corwin has served as interim associate dean for research of the university's largest college, serving 22 academic departments, two ROTC programs, and two research centers. She succeeds Beth Montelone, who is now senior associate vice president for research. Corwin holds the rank of professor of physics and held the Ernest K. and Lillian E. Chapin professor in the physics department in 2017.

As associate dean for research, Corwin will work as a partner with the dean to support and grow the college's Research, Scholarship, Creative Activities and Discovery, or RSCAD, in its many forms. She will engage with faculty to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, promote the development of early career faculty, interface with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, provide the dean with strategic planning and data analysis, and manage the college instructional fee programs and faculty enhancement program. Corwin will represent the college on the Associate Deans for Research Council and serve as a liaison to the Graduate School, coordinating with research compliance and safety offices. She also will oversee planning of facility construction and repair.

Amit Chakrabarti, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, expressed his support for Corwin's hire.

"We are very fortunate to have Dr. Corwin, who has top-notch research experience in her field and with interdisciplinary projects with other departments and colleges, to take leadership in moving the college of Arts and Sciences RSCAD program ahead," Chakarabarti said.

Corwin joined K-State in 2003 as an assistant professor and established a research group in optical frequency metrology and nonlinear optics, emphasizing gas-filled hollow optical fibers, optical frequency combs, and novel laser systems. She has co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, and served as principal investigator for more than $7 million in research funding since joining K-State.

Since 2006, she has served as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a federally funded Research Experience for Undergraduates site in K-State's physics department. In 2015-16, she was a visiting fellow at JILA, University of Colorado, a joint institute for the study of astrophysics, biophysics, quantum information, precision measurement, and atomic, molecular and optical physics. She is currently serving as chair-elect of the American Physical Society Division of Laser Science.

Corwin holds a bachelor's degree in physics from the University at Buffalo and a master's and doctoral degree in physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Endowed professorship awarded to engineering professor Melanie Derby

Melanie Derby, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University, has been named a recipient of the Hal and Mary Siegele Professorship in Engineering.

The award is created through funds to honor Hal and Mary Siegele on the campus of Kansas State University, and to recruit and retain the highest quality faculty in the College of Engineering. Both Kansas State University alumni, the late Hal Siegele was a 1947 graduate in chemical engineering, and his wife, Mary, is a 1948 graduate in arts and sciences.

As a recipient of the Hal and Mary Siegele Professorship in Engineering, Derby will receive flexible funding annually for five years to help cover needs such as research equipment and supplies, support of personnel involved in her research, professional travel and summer salary.

Derby joined the faculty in the mechanical and nuclear engineering department in 2013, where her research focuses on thermal fluids problems pertaining to the food, energy and water nexus.

She is a Kansas State University College of Engineering Keystone Research Faculty Scholar, and has received a 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a 2017 American Society of Mechanical Engineering Outstanding Early Career Award, and a 2017 Kansas State University College of Engineering Outstanding Assistant Professor Award.

"Melanie Derby is an excellent choice for this endowment," said Darren Dawson, dean of the College of Engineering. "Her outstanding early career accomplishments are strong evidence of how deserving she is of the Siegele professorship — earmarked for retaining this caliber of faculty member." 



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