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  4. May 8, 2008/Vol. 30, No. 20



International Grains

The spring Presidential Awards honor outstanding teaching, advising and administrative skills.

Receiving the Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence are David R. Brown, a graduate teaching assistant in economics; David Lehman, an instructor of marketing; Charles Sanders, an associate professor of history; and Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of anthropology.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising recipient is Daralyn Gordon Arata, the university's pre-law adviser.

Bradley Kramer, professor and head of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, is receiving the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head.

"These Presidential Awards acknowledge the truth that any great university owes its reputation to the creativity, dedication and excellence of its faculty members," said Jon Wefald, K-State president.

"K-State also welcomes the many contributions undergraduates make to research," Wefald said, "and our faculty members are known for encouraging those efforts."

Michael Reppert, senior in chemistry, is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Student in Research.

Gary W. Conrad, university distinguished professor of biology, has won the Presidential Distinguished Faculty Award for the Mentoring of Undergraduate Students in Research.




Roger Adams, K-State libraries, presented "Eat, Drink & Be Neelix, or, How to Cook a Targ," Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association annual meeting, March 20, San Francisco.

More Noteworthy


On Campus - May


May 8
The faculty brass quintet
(Paul Hunt, trombone; Craig Parker and Paul Mueller, trumpet; Jackie Kerstetter, horn; and Steve Maxwell, tuba) will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 8 in All Faiths Chapel. The concert will include works by Charles Ives, Petr Eben, Gyorgy Ranki and the Pulitzer-winning composer George Walker. Photo by Dan Donnert, K-State Photo Services.

May 10
Salina commencement

10 a.m., Kansas Highway Patrol Training Center Administration Building J, 2025 East Iron Ave., Salina.

May 13
Advising 'Webinar'

NACADA Webinar, "Making Career Advising Integral to Academic Advising," 1-2:30 p.m., Flint Hills Room, K-State Student Union. Presented by Ken Hughey, K-State, and Joanne Damminger, Rowan University.

May 16
Beach kids workshop
Participants will visit the "More Than Words" exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution and make their own journals to write in and illustrate. For children 6 and older. Cost is $5 and reservations are required, 532-7718. 2-4 p.m., Beach Museum of Art.

May 16
Manhattan commencement
1 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum for the Graduate School, and at 3:30 p.m. in McCain Auditorium for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

May 17
Manhattan commencement
* College of Arts and Sciences, 8:30 a.m., Bramlage Coliseum.

* College of Architecture, Planning and Design, 10 a.m., McCain Auditorium.

* College of Education, 11 a.m., Bramlage Coliseum.

* College of Business Administration, 12:30 p.m., Bramlage.

* College of Agriculture, 2:15 p.m., Bramlage.

* College of Human Ecology, 4:15 p.m., Bramlage.

* College of Engineering, 6:15 p.m., Bramlage.

Wildcats to take on the world

More than 2,900 students will participate in commencement ceremonies in Manhattan and Salina this month. The class of 2008 is the 141st to graduate from K-State since the first class graduated in 1867. Read more


The value of doubt

Creating doubt in consumers' minds doesn't sound like a branding opportunity. But research by Kyoungmi Lee, an assistant professor of marketing, suggests that consumers are less likely to hold onto existing ideas about a brand if they're made to feel a sense of difficulty thinking about it, especially when time-pressured. Read more



A man of many automata

Bob Holcombe can find inspiration in something as simple as a mailbox. Read more





Daniel KuesterDaniel Kuester, pictured at left, an assistant professor of economics, has been named the first Trenary Chair in Economics.

The Trenary Chair is believed to be the only economics chair in the country devoted to the teaching of economics, said Lloyd Thomas, head of K-State's department of economics. It is named for Roger Trenary, a longtime teacher of undergraduate economics courses at K-State from 1977 to 2006. In that time, Trenary taught about 24,000 students.

Trenary was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2003 and died in February 2007.

"Roger had all the qualities of a great teacher," Thomas said. "He was very bright — a quick study. He had a vibrancy and vitality seldom equaled."

Like Trenary, Kuester is regarded as an engaging and caring teacher.

"Dan is totally devoted to undergraduate teaching," Thomas said. "He deals with more than 700 students each year, and does so with enthusiasm and joy."

Kuester received his undergraduate degree in 1994 from Drury University in Springfield, Mo., and a Ph.D. in economics in 2000 from the University of Missouri. He taught at the University of Arkansas before joining K-State.


Three research programs focused on improving the lives of Kansans were selected for grants from the university's Targeted Excellence program.

M. Duane Nellis, provost and senior vice president, announced the awards, which are in their fifth year.

"This ongoing strategic investment in the university's existing and emerging strengths is transforming our research capabilities and facilitating the interaction of faculty members and students from all across campus," Nellis said. The Targeted Excellence program is a competitive initiative that supports and enhances cooperative, interdisciplinary programs that show promise of elevating K-State's stature as a top 10 land-grant institution.

From 25 pre-proposals, 12 were chosen to submit full proposals and, of those, three were selected for funding. Individual awards range from $515,000 to $850,000 over a three-year period. Funded proposals include:

* Advancing Genomics at K-State: Ultra-High Throughput DNA Sequencing, $850,000, with Eduard Akhunov, Bikram Gill, Frank White, Karen Garrett, James Nelson, Susan Brown, Loretta Johnson, Michael Herman, Jianming Yu, and Sanjeev Narayanan, Ludek Zurek and Doina Caragea as co-principal investigators.

* Aircraft Cabin Environmental Security, $640,000, with Mohammad Hosni, Byron Jones, Helmut Hirt and Andrew Smith as co-principal investigators.

* Enhancing Excellence in Grassland Ecology: a Center for Basic Grassland research at K-State, $515,000, with Anthony Joern and David Hartnett as co-principal investigators.



Koreans view BRI as biocontainment model

A delegation of academics, politicians and engineers associated with Seoul National University were in Manhattan recently to bolster research relationships in agricultural sciences and learn about how K-State's Biosecurity Research Institute was built.

The South Korean university is using the BRI as a model for biocontainment facilities to be built on a new agricultural biotechnology campus. Eun Woo Park, agriculture and life sciences dean at the Seoul institution, led the 12-member delegation.

"I wanted to give the engineers an opportunity to learn about the concepts, technology and operational considerations behind biocontainment research facilities," Park said. "The engineers were very impressed with the facilities."






A power upgrade that will make K-State's nuclear reactor the fifth highest-powered university reactor in the country is expanding the possibilities for researchers who work in areas like radiation detector testing, radiography and trace element analysis.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved an upgrade to the output of K-State's TRIGA reactor from 250 kilowatts to 1.25 Megawatts. The reactor's primary function is to generate neutrons for experiments. University researchers use the reactor for diverse projects, from developing bomb-detection equipment to aid in homeland security and testing new types of radiation detectors developed by the K-State SMART laboratories, to analyzing the chemical composition of Stone Age tools.

The increase in power will provide more intense radiation for researchers studying imaging like that used in health care, said Mike Whaley, who manages K-State's reactor. The added power also improves detection of trace elements and creates opportunities to study such topics as how radiation might convert cellulose to ethanol.


Continuing a mission to preserve and even restore small towns' vitality, the Center for Engagement and Community Development at Kansas State University has organized a summit for owners of rural grocery stores.

"We expect to hear from owners and others about the challenges they face, as well as how they've addressed them," said David Procter, center director. The summit also is an opportunity for elected officials, economic development workers, food distributors and university researchers to meet face to face and exchange ideas.

The June 1 summit, to be 1:30-4:30 p.m. in Inman, grew out of the surveys and in-depth interviews the center has completed as part of its Rural Grocery Store Initiative.

Common concerns include growing distribution fees, shrinking sales and commuting customers.

Registration for the free event must be completed by May 15 and can be done online at




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