K-State Current

K-State Current - January 19, 2022

K-State Current is a weekly news update for the Kansas Board of Regents to apprise the Regents on a few of the many successes and achievements made by K-State faculty, staff and students.

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K-State News

Post-Harvest Loss Innovation Lab kicks off $1M Food for Education project in Malawi

Field facilitator in MalawiA field facilitator from Lilongwe University in Malawi inspects maize in one of the newly planted school gardens.

The College of Agriculture's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss has signed a $1 million subaward agreement with Nascent Solutions for a U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition project in Malawi. The lab and the Malawi project are led by Jagger Harvey of Kansas State University's plant pathology department.

A USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service program, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects. USDA, similar to USAID, is a Feed the Future implementing agency of the U.S. government.

Nascent Solutions was awarded $22 million as the lead on this overall program in 2019, paving the way for the innovation lab to enter the project after two years of impactful work and discovery. With a program goal of reaching 65,000 students and 498,000 indirect beneficiaries in Malawi, it has so far reached and benefited 61,860 learners — more than half of which are young girls — in six districts and established 61 school gardens and three communal gardens. The overarching program objectives are to improve literacy of school-age children and increase the use of positive health and dietary practices. The K-State-led team now builds upon successes of the first two years of the project and can enhance in-country research capacity, characterize postharvest loss drivers, fast track any technologies and extension materials to reach target beneficiaries.

The Innovation Lab for the Reduction of Post-Harvest Loss team will lead a set of postharvest and school feeding improvement activities that address key components in the McGovern-Dole Results framework and USDA's learning agenda. Expert collaborators from across multiple disciplines and institutions will contribute to this work. The project team includes K-State's John Leslie, university distinguished professor of plant pathology, and Brian Lindshield, associate professor of food, nutrition, dietetics and health; Limbikani Matumba of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi; George Opit of Oklahoma State University's entomology department; and Andreia Bianchini of University of Nebraska's food science and technology department. The Post-Harvest Loss Innovation Lab's Management Entity team provides further support and contributions: Jessa Barnard, assistant director; Catherine Hickman, fiscal analyst; and Mamadou Thiam, program coordinator. Other collaborators include the Mars Global Food Safety Center and the University of Georgia's Peanut Innovation Lab.

The innovation lab project activities include:

  1. Establishing a mycotoxin — toxic fungal metabolites contaminating food supplies — research platform at LUANAR.
  2. Conducting a baseline assessment to identify postharvest issues along the Food for Education in-country value chain, related to proper drying and storing of stored product crops — e.g., maize, soy, sorghum, pigeon pea, etc.
  3. Identifying and sensitizing key stakeholders on evidence-based mitigation strategies, handed over as integrated intervention packages — technologies and training programs — through extension support to students, PTA members, farmers, government and other stakeholders.
  4. Enhancing capacity of the local university partner and rallying national stakeholders around these solutions.

The project is quickly gaining momentum, with a positive, forward-looking meeting with the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture in late November. The U.S.-based project team is poised to conduct site visits as soon as possible, with Professor Matumba pushing forward in the meantime.


K-State Faculty Highlights

Laura Hohenbary and Sim Jun recognized as Professional Staff and Professor of the Week

Laura Hohenbary and Sim JunLaura Hohenbary, grant specialist and assistant to the dean for research in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Sim Jun, assistant professor of sociology, anthropology, and social work, were recognized as Professional Staff and Professor of the Week at the Jan. 12 men's home basketball game.

Faculty Senate, the Office of the President, K-State Athletics and the Division of Communications and Marketing wish to recognize their contributions to K-State.

Hohenbary is resource for all faculty in the college to assist in searching for extramural funding opportunities, connecting faculty across disciplines, coordinating with RSCAD-related offices in other colleges and units, assisting with proposal development, and finding answers to faculty questions and concerns. She loves working in the College of Arts and Sciences as it gives her the ability to work with faculty in a wide range of disciplines and strives to provide resources that help support all grant needs, from small travel grants to large collaborative center grants.

Hohenbary has worked in research administration at K-State for more than 15 years, including positions that have given her a broad range of skills from pre-award proposal submissions to post-award financial reporting and compliance.

Jun received her doctorate from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2017 and joined the K-State social work faculty as an assistant professor in 2018. She has demonstrated a passion for educating future social workers, and her excellence in teaching has been recognized and celebrated by her students and colleagues. She won the 2021 Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Honors Program, and she also won a 2021 Global Campus Excellence in teaching award.

In addition to demonstrated teaching prowess, her research work includes publications on health disparities, health literacy and coping mechanisms among older adults. Jun is also a member of the gerontology faculty at the Center on Aging, a faculty scientist at the Johnson Cancer Research Center, and Community Advisory Committee member in the social work program.


Nutrition educator receives USDA award recognizing teaching in food and agricultural sciences

Linda YarrowLinda Yarrow, instructor in the Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health, has been named one of the regional award winners for the 2021 Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences. The annual award, presented by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, recognizes faculty at the national and regional levels and celebrates the use of innovative teaching methods and service to students.

This award has been awarded to 17 K-State faculty members over the years, but this is the first time the faculty member has been a member of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "The College of Health and Human Sciences is the academic home of several faculty members who teach, do research, or Extension work related to understanding and improving the nutrition and well-being of others,” said Tanda Kidd, food, nutrition, dietetics and health department head. Dr. Yarrow is very deserving of this award. She incorporates case studies from her work as a clinical registered dietitian to allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they are learning in her class to real-life settings to help them understand better how to improve the health of others from a nutrition perspective."

For 18 years, Dr. Yarrow has taught medical nutrition therapy to an interdisciplinary set of pre-health students. Being concurrently active in clinical practice creates a rich learning environment allowing her to provide real-life patient scenarios as students complete numerous case studies as well as gain experience with electronic health records. Learning is further enhanced through music, videos, guest speakers, extra practice sessions, and games.

Dr. Yarrow has received numerous awards: Commerce Bank Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, Myers-Alford Teaching Award, Excellence in Online Teaching, Mortar Board Outstanding Faculty, and SIDLIT Innovation in Teaching. As the director of her departments’ Guatemala Education Abroad program, Yarrow values the importance of international experiences where students gain cultural experiences and become globally competent which enhances personal growth and career opportunities.

“We applaud this year’s winners of the Excellence in College and University Teaching Awards for Food and Agricultural Sciences,” said Doug Steele, Vice President of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources at APLU. “The high bar they’ve set stands as a powerful example not only to their students, but to other faculty striving to better serve their students.”

A full list of award winners can be found on the National Institute of Food and Agriculture website.


K-State Student News

Architecture students win scholarships in 10th annual MANKO Design Competition

Abigail Hutchinson DesignTwo Kansas State University graduate students in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design received scholarships in the 10th annual design competition sponsored by MANKO Window Systems on Dec. 10.

Abigail Hutchinson, fourth-year architecture graduate student, New Castle, Colorado, is receiving a $5,000 scholarship as competition winner for her project “Topeka Domestic Violence Co-Housing Facility.” The design was an assignment in her comprehensive studio class, led by Chad Schwartz, associate professor, requiring students to integrate conceptual and technical knowledge into a highly resolved building proposal.

Oluchi Amakoh, fourth-year architecture graduate student, Nigeria, is receiving a $2,000 runner-up scholarship for her Manhattan Aquatics Center project for the studio led by Cameron Tross, visiting assistant professor of architecture.

Following a review, one student from each of the department's five fourth-year studios was selected to compete for the MANKO awards, with each developing a narrative slide presentation to present to jurors, who were all established practitioners in the field.

The competition jury included Thomas Osborne, executive director of construction at Northwest Independent School District in Dallas; Bang Dang, principal, Far + Dang in Dallas and adjunct professor at the University of Texas-Arlington; and Kate Dunfee, principal at Huckabee in Dallas.

The following architecture students also were selected for the MANKO Design Competition: Andrew Fugate, Topeka, representing the studio led by Michael Gibson, associate professor of architecture; Ryan Davelaar, Omaha, Nebraska, representing the BNIM studio; and Duc Nguyen, Shawnee, representing the studio led by Genevieve Baudoin, associate professor of architecture.

"I am not sure we could have asked for much more out of this design competition: five very strong projects that were presented incredibly well by these ambitious and accomplished students and a top-notch jury who went out of their way to engage with the nominees and their work," said Schwartz, who also is the fourth-year level coordinator.


Fourth-year veterinary student receives Lowrie Diversity Scholarship from national association

Ron OrchardThe American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges has announced the recipient of the 2022 Patricia M. Lowrie Diversity Leadership Scholarship: Ron Orchard, a fourth-year veterinary student and recent graduate of Kansas State University's Master of Public Health Program.

The $6,000 Lowrie scholarship recognizes veterinary students who have demonstrated exemplary promise as future leaders and have made significant contributions to enhancing diversity and inclusion in academic veterinary medicine.

"The AAVMC is proud to recognize these outstanding individuals," said the association's Chief Executive Officer Andrew T. Maccabe. "Their contributions inspire colleagues, provide a model for future generations of veterinarians and elevate the overall excellence of our member institutions. We look forward to honoring them during our 2022 annual conference."

"I'm proud to receive this acknowledgment, both personally and to represent K State on a national level," Orchard said. "To be mentioned at the same time as Ms. Lowrie is humbling. This award is significant for the veterinary profession because diversity and inclusion will ultimately allow us to provide the best care for the widest portion of patients possible."

Orchard worked extensively as a veterinary technician before entering veterinary medical school. He is a certified animal welfare administrator who completed forensic training to detect animal cruelty, as well as training in disaster response, and foreign animal disease recognition.

In 2018, Orchard received a Certificate in Organizing Social Change from the Midwest Academy and in July of this year, he completed the Certificate for Diversity and Inclusion in Veterinary Medicine from the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, with an eye toward working to increase diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine. Whether mentoring students or advocating for homeless pets, Orchard has volunteered countless hours supporting efforts to provide free preventive veterinary care to vulnerable community members and at-risk animals.

Nominees for the Lowrie award are chosen on the basis of being consistent champions in addressing inequities and underrepresentation in the veterinary profession, advocating for social justice and valuing diversity and inclusion at American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges member institutions.

Lowrie, now retired, served as senior advisor to the dean of the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and director of its Women's Resource Center. She is a longtime champion of diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession and in academic life overall. The Lowrie scholarship was established by the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges in her honor in 2012.

The scholarship and other professional diversity awards will be formally presented at the association's 2022 annual conference and Iverson Bell Symposium, which will be held both in person and virtually March 3-5, 2022.

The member institutions of the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges promote and protect the health and well-being of people, animals and the environment by advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and preparing new generations of veterinarians to meet the evolving needs of a changing world. Founded in 1966, the association represents more than 40,000 faculty, staff and students across the global academic veterinary medical community.





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