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K-State Today

October 25, 2023

Yingying Wu, Traffic Assistance Services for Kansas program selected for Excellence in Innovation and Economic Engagement Awards

Submitted by Dalsy Cupp

EIEE Awardees

Yingying Wu, assistant professor in fashion studies, and the Traffic Assistance Services for Kansas, or TASK, program have been selected as recipients of the 2022 and 2023 Excellence in Innovation and Economic Engagement Award.

The award recognizes faculty and staff, centers, institutes and units engaged in work that advances innovation and economic prosperity in our region and recognizes exemplary economic engagement in talent, innovation and place.

Wu was selected because of her incredibly innovative project and clear academic accomplishments. She was chosen for her work on a project called "Protecting Women Who Protect Us: Designing Firefighting Gear for Firewomen." According to the judges, Wu's work is bringing awareness to a largely unknown issue. Read about Wu's work in the spring 2023 issue of Seek magazine.

The TASK program was also selected to be recognized for its alignment with the Economic Prosperity Plan and the K-State 105 initiative. The judges commend the TASK program for the importance of this infrastructure work to the state of Kansas and the national economy. The program has positively affected all 105 counties across the state. This effort demonstrates long-term impacts and has been sustained for a substantial amount of time. The number of diverse communities and individuals this work has positively impacted is impressive. Accepting the TASK program award were Eric Fitzsimmons and Erin Muirhead from K-State and their collaborator from the University of Kansas, Steven Schrock.

The winners were chosen by a panel of external reviewers and were recognized at Research Connections — an event designed to give K-State researchers an opportunity to learn what their colleagues are doing, promote their own work and explore possible collaborations.

The Excellence in Innovation and Economic Engagement Award was created in 2017 as a result of K-State being named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity for the institution's strong commitment to economic engagement.