2023 ALOTY winner Jennifer Johnson holding her award plaque

The Office of Online & Adult Learning is now accepting nominations for the Adult Learner of the Year (ALOTY) Awards Ceremony. The ALOTY Award is given to an adult learner in recognition of their achievements and dedication to reaching their academic goals.

Submit a nomination for the ALOTY Award.

In addition to the ALOTY Award, the ceremony will include four new awards you can nominate individuals for:

  • Service Award — Recognizes an adult learner who exemplifies what it means to be service-oriented through studies, work or personal life.
  • Research Award — Recognizes an adult learner who has completed exceptional work in undergraduate research.
  • Applied Learning Award — Recognizes an adult learner who has excelled through their applied learning experience.
  • Leadership Award — Recognizes an adult learner who exemplifies leadership, either through studies, work or personal life.

Another recognition that will be awarded is the Support System Award. This award differs from the others because the student will be the one to recognize their support system.

  • Support System Award — Recognizes an adult learner’s support system that has encouraged them along their academic journey.­

Nominations for awards will be open until March 1. For any questions about the ALOTY Awards, email oal@wichita.edu or call 316-978-8325.

Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame

Gary Bender, Mona Nemer and M. Lee Pelton exemplify the merits and advantages of a liberal arts and sciences education and will be inducted into the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at 2 p.m, Feb. 6 in Wiedemann Hall. Induction into the Fairmount College Hall of Fame is the highest recognition of outstanding alumni who have had a significant impact on the region, nation and world. The event is open to the public. 

Andrew Hippisley, dean, Fairmount College, will moderate an audience-involved panel discussion with Bender, Nemer and Pelton about their university experiences and how a liberal arts and sciences education prepared them for their careers. A reception will immediately follow the event in Miller Concert Hall Lobby, Duerksen Fine Arts Center. 

Shania Burkhead-Harris holds her certificate and award check with Dr. Tom Luhring

When graduate student Shania Burkhead-Harris attended the 50th annual meeting of the Kansas Herpetological Society in Lawrence from Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, she didn’t know that she’d been nominated by her PI/advisor for the newest award offered by the society.

The Gann Scholarship for Women in Herpetology honors any female-presenting or assigned-female-at-birth student for their potential to contribute to the study of amphibians and reptiles, and their ability to be a role model for future women in STEM. Shania’s thesis research looks at variables affecting the growth and development of Small-mouthed Salamanders in artificial, outdoor wetlands. She has been a stalwart participant in Expanding Your Horizons events during her time in the department, as well as participating in outreach events for scout groups.

Dr. Tom Luhring, assistant professor of biological sciences, nominated Shania for the inaugural scholarship.

Cynorra Jackson photographed with the Dean of University Libraries Brent Mai

WSU Libraries are thrilled to announce that Cynorra Jackson, access services supervisor, has been awarded the 2023 Presidential Award for Library Personnel at the Kansas Library Association Conference.

The recognition highlights her exceptional dedication and contributions to the field of library services, emphasizing her commitment to enhancing access to information and promoting excellence in the profession. WSU Libraries congratulate Cynorra Jackson on her exciting achievement.

White background with black and yellow elements on the top and bottom with circular photo of Dr. Sun Young Lee with text: Dr. Sun Young Lee, Recipient: Spalding Faculty Fellowship, College of Applied Studies Logo

Dr. Sun Young Lee, assistant professor for the School of Education in the College of Applied Studies (CAS), has been selected for the Spalding Faculty Fellowship for the 2023-24 academic year. Recognized for her exceptional research productivity and ambitious national and international scholarship plans, the honor was conferred by Dr. Jennifer Friend, dean, CAS.

The Spalding Faculty Fellowship includes a grant of $6,987 for fiscal year 2024, allowing allocation for various purposes, including travel, equipment and graduate assistants.

This Fellowship is a tribute to V. Jean Spalding and her late husband, Lee (Leland) Spalding, who were dedicated volunteers in the Wichita community. Lee’s graduation from Wichita State in 1964 with a degree in management and Jean’s invaluable work in the budget office of USD 259 showcased their devotion to various community projects, including American Red Cross blood drives, Helping Hands through Central Christian Church, Via Christi Hospital and Partners in Caring. Their legacy of selfless service to their church, family, friends and community embodies their commitment to education at multiple levels.

The Spalding Faculty Fellowship is a testament to Jean’s dedication to education and aims to provide support for academics and research.

Winners of the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition at Wichita State were announced Nov. 3:

  • First Place: Jade Driggs, a doctoral candidate in human factors, working with Dr. Carryl Baldwin. The winning presentation was “Judgments of Difficulty while Observing an Automated System Support the Media Equation Hypothesis.​” Driggs will go on to represent WSU at the Midwestern Association of Graduate School’s 3MT competition in the spring.
  • First runner up: Sarangan Rajendran, a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering, working with Dr. Visvakumar Aravinthan. The presentation was “Battery Charging Considering Solar-Load Synchrony.”
  • Second runner Up: Anusha Krishna Murthy, a doctoral candidate in electrical and computer engineering, working with Dr. John Watkins. The presentation was “From Chaos to Control: Taming Large-Scale Discrete Systems.”

3MT is an academic competition that challenges doctoral and master’s students in the Graduate School to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience.

The research group in attendance at the North American Power Symposium in Asheville, NC

A technical paper authored by a group of Wichita State students, “Economic and Reliability Impacts of Combined Solar and Battery Energy Storage as a Non-Wire Alternative,” was recently recognized as the best paper in the 55th Annual North American Power Symposium. The paper was authored by two undergraduate students in the electrical and computer engineering program at WSU, Mary Peterson and Olivia O’Reilly, along with Esther Liu, who was a student at East High School at the time of authorship.

Peterson, O’Reilly and Liu were mentored by two then-doctoral students, Arun Kaarthick Manoharan and Sarangan Rajendran, faculty advisor Dr. Visvakumar Aravinthan, and two industry advisors, Al Tamimi and Charles Yokley, both from Sunflower Electric Power Corporation. The symposium was hosted Oct. 15-17 by Western Carolina University in Asheville, North Carolina.

In addition to receiving recognition for authorship of the paper, Peterson was also recently awarded the IEEE PES Scholarship for the second year. The scholarship is a merit scholarship awarded to undergraduate students in electrical engineering who are pursuing careers in electrical power systems.

Corri Newman

Corri Newman, MA-CSD (SLP) student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, was selected as second place winner for the Kansas Speech-Hearing Association’s Margaret Byrne Sarricks Scholarship. Her award-winning virtual poster presentation was entitled, “Supported Conversation Training Outcomes for Future Healthcare Professionals: A Pilot Study.”

Her pilot study, completed with faculty mentor, Dr. Erin O’Bryan, is in preparation for a larger study they will be conducting at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center. This affiliation is part of a collaboration between the VA and the College of Health Professions.

This pilot study examined learning outcomes from six students to measure effects of a self-paced online learning module about effective communication with patients with communication disorders. The results will be used for a larger comprehensive study investigating whether future healthcare professionals can improve skills for communication with aphasic patients.

Dr. Lori Santos

Dr. Lori Santos was named the 2023 Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator of the Year by the Kansas Art Education Association (KAEA). KAEA presented the award at its fall conference Oct. 7 at Emporia State University.

Santos, associate professor of art education in the School of Art, Design and Creative Industries, received her Ph.D. in art education, minor in art history with an emphasis in pre-Columbian, Latin American and Native American art from University of North Texas. In 2019, she attended the School of Art Leaders and began serving on the Task Force for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion with the National Art Education Association. She has led several small groups of Wichita State art students to Peru and Mexico to give them a cross-cultural experience and broaden their worldview, and her work has been shared through workshops, publications and art across the U.S. and around the world.

KAEA is a statewide professional organization dedicated to the growth and development of art educators and the advancement of high quality art education.

Taylor and Juliane with their awards

Community Engagement Institute’s (CEI) Public Health Program specialists, Juliane Walker and Taylor Carter, won awards at this year’s annual Kansas Public Health Association (KPHA) Conference. CEI congratulates both on their awards.

Walker was awarded the Jane Addams Award, which is awarded to a social worker who exemplifies the qualities of Jane Addams. Qualities include a pioneering spirit, a trailblazer, one striving to improve the health of the poor and sanitary conditions of communities.

Carter was awarded the Emerging Leader Award, which is awarded to an individual who has exhibited public health leadership in Kansas through advocacy, community involvement and/or program innovation as a student or early career professional.