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  4. June 11, 2009/Vol. 31, No. 22




A good teacher can make all the difference, which is why four of K-State's top teachers have been honored with the 2009 Commerce Bank Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

This year's recipients are Mary Cain, associate professor of psychology; David Krishock, instructor in grain science; Kay Ann Taylor, associate professor of secondary education; and David E. Thompson, instructor in family studies and human services.

Each of the awards, which are sponsored by the William T. Kemper Foundation and the Commerce Bancshares Foundation, includes a $2,500 honorarium. The awards are coordinated through the Kansas State University Foundation.

"Community support such as this allows us to reward faculty members who go above and beyond to meet K-State's commitment not only to its undergraduates, but a commitment to academic excellence," said Jon Wefald, K-State president. "The university promises students a superior education and these faculty members have shown that they take that mission very seriously."




Blake BelangerBlake Belanger, landscape architecture, presented "Complexity Ethos + Strategies: Nonlinear Landscape Praxis," X-L Arch III, Landscape - Great Idea!, April 30, Vienna, Austria.

More Noteworthy


On Campus - June


June 11-Aug. 16
Art exhibit
The Dollhouse"The Dollhouse," by Tom Leopold, is featured in "Destruction Framed: Photographs of the Chapman/Manhattan Tornado, June 11, 2008." This exhibition of photographs will be on display at the Beach Museum of Art June 11 through Aug. 16.

June 12
Jazz in June
The K-State Faculty Jazz Ensemble will perform in a casual cabaret setting in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room, 7:30 p.m. For tickets, contact Cherie Geiser at 532-7447 or

June 15
Helen Keller Tribute
The short film "Helen Keller: In Her Story" will be shown, accompanied by a display of various Braille items. 12:15 p.m., Hale Library's Hemisphere Room.

Pulling together

K-State's new faculty senate president, Melody LeHew, knows the next year will bring more than its fair share of challenges, among them the transition to new presidential leadership, the search for a new provost and a troubled economy. Read more

2009-2010 Faculty Senate


Searching for life's origins

Louis Crane, K-State professor of mathematics, is studying new theories about why the universe is the way it is. He has a grant from the Foundational Questions Institute to study new approaches to the quantum theory of gravity, his primary research area as both a mathematician and a physicist. Crane hopes to uncover implications of these theories for the origin and the future of life. Read more



Sweet memories

K-State art professor Lynda Andrus has turned a sweet taste of her childhood into art. A trip Andrus and her brothers made to a candy company as children, where they each got the chance to pick out any package of candy they wanted, proved to be inspiring. Read more







Gary Clark, K-State professor of biological and agricultural engineering, was recently initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society.

Each year, the society inducts more than 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni from across North America and the Phillippines.

Clark is senior associate dean with K-State's College of Engineering. While his current appointment is mainly administrative, Clark has held positions in teaching, research and extension.



Pat PesciPat Pesci, left, K-State's "Mr. Manners," and Rick Rudnick, below, residence life coordinator for Moore Hall, recently won the 2009 Putting Students First Award from K-State's office of student life.

The award recognizes one faculty member and one member of K-State's institutional advancement staff who have had a clear impact on the lives of K-State students.

Criteria for the award include commitment to students, outstanding teaching or leading of students, commitment to the ethical treatment of students and advising.

Rick RudnickAll nominees receive a certificate; award winners receive a plaque and $300 stipend.

Nominees for this year's award were: Joyce Cantrell, Olivia Collins, Kevin Donnelly, Lawrence Erpelding, Jeffrey Gwirtz, Ari Jumpponen, Daninel Kuester, Cathie Lavis, Robin Mosher, Janie Sackrider, Diane Schalles and Alison Wheatley.


Purple coneflowerPICTURE PERFECT

Passionate about purple

Purple coneflower (foreground) and meadow sage paint a vibrant pallette of pinks and purples at the Kansas State University Gardens.

For creative professional images contact university photographer David Mayes at 785-532-6304 or

A gallery of Mayes' photos can be seen at:







Starting with the July 15 edition, K-Statement will be landing in your e-mail inboxes instead of on your desk.

It's also becoming a weekly publication, scheduled to come out on Wednesdays.
To submit items, or for additional information about the kinds of things published in K-Statement, go to

Questions can also be sent to K-Statement editor Katie Mayes at or by calling 532-1548.




Brian Spooner, University Distinguished Professor of biology and director of K-State's Division of Biology, has accepted an interim appointment to serve as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Dr. Spooner has substantial support from the faculty, and has a long and successful tenure as director of the Division of Biology. I am confident he will do a superb job in his new post," said Duane Nellis, K-State's provost and senior vice president.

Spooner's research has primarily focused on a fundamental understanding of the behavior of the cells and cell populations that produce organs and organ systems during embryonic development. He also transitioned aspects of his research into space, with experiments on 18 space shuttle flights. Over the years, he's brought in more than $11 million in competitive extramural grant funding as a principal investigator. Spooner has 38 years of university teaching experience at K-State.




Researchers from K-State's Center on Aging won a National Mature Media Award for their work on sexuality in nursing homes.

K-State's Center on Aging won a bronze distinction in the trainings/in-services category for their submission, "Sexuality in Nursing Homes: The Heart has no Wrinkles." The award was presented by Mature Market Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for the senior market. The awards recognize the nation's finest advertising, marketing and educational materials designed and produced for older adults.

K-State's entry was among 900 judged by a panel of mature market experts from across the country for overall excellence of design, content, creativity and relevance to the senior market.




A grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Arlington, Va., will help the department of aviation at K-State at Salina develop mission planning for its unmanned aerial systems program.

The $380,240 grant was awarded in April and runs through March 2012.

K-State at Salina's Applied Aviation Research Center will create an Unmanned Aerial Systems Technology Evaluation Center.

The Technical Evaluation Center will evaluate existing unmanned aerial systems technology and platforms for their suitability in disaster response scenarios and train operators/maintainers. In addition, K-State's unmanned aerial systems program office will set up an advanced avionics miniaturization program in conjunction with private industry.




• A recording of classified job opportunities is available 24 hours a day on the Employment Information Line, 785-532-6271.

• A list of employment opportunities is posted at

• For additional information, call 785-532-6277 or come to the Division of Human Resources in 103 Edwards Hall. Applications are accepted 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays.


• A complete listing of vacancies can be seen at

• For additional information, call the office of affirmative action at 785-532-6220 or come by 214 Anderson Hall.