First Gentleman Rick Case poses among the fruits and vegetables in the community garden at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita

Walking through campus with Wichita State University First Gentleman Rick Case is like taking a stroll with an anthropomorphized version of the Farmer’s Almanac.

Case — who’s fluent in the care and feeding of flora — points out irises, lilies, hydrangeas, wisteria, ivies and chrysanthemums that thrive both at the President’s Residence on campus and at their private home in Wichita.

Ever the teacher, Case shares growing tips and offers advice about how to maintain the various blooms and nurture new seedlings. And ever the gardener, he stoops down every few yards to pull weeds, pick up bits of trash from the meticulously manicured pathways and steppingstones, or get a closer look at the progress of a particular plant.

Dr. Kevin Harrison interviews former Wichita council woman Lavonta Williams on the Wichita State campus

The black granite memorial in Piatt Park describes the tragedy of January 1965 and lists the names of those who died in the predominately Black neighborhood.

For Dr. Kevin Harrison, director of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Cohen Honors College, the story of that day is one that deserves more discussion and examination to understand.

Harrison grew up in the Wichita neighborhood around 20th and Piatt Street, less than a mile from campus. The memorial park marks the site where a U.S. Air Force Boeing KC-135 refueling tanker crashed, shortly after takeoff on the morning Jan. 19, 1965. The crash and resulting explosion and fires caused the deaths of 30 people, numerous injuries and the destruction of 10 homes. According to news reports, around 31,000 gallons of jet fuel covered the area with flames and smoke.

NIAR sustainment team leads and former McFarland employees stand in front of a metal plate.

Through a new collaboration with McFarland Research and Development, Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) will expand its burgeoning military fleet sustainment research and development capabilities.  

McFarland R&D, founded by Randy McFarland, will continue in operation. To further leverage McFarland R&D’s existing programs, NIAR will assume its facilities, equipment and operations — which focus on unique airframe repair and replacement strategies, tooling development to support repairs and modifications and depot support — beginning June 1. 

The inductees with Rodney Miller in front of a Wichita State University backdrop.

The College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Wichita State University held its 2023 Hall of Fame Gala on May 13. CFA recognized exceptional alumni from the college, patrons who give their time and resources in support of fine arts at WSU, and retired faculty, staff and administrators who have inspired the WSU community.

This year, five recipients were inducted into the hall of fame for their accomplishments and contributions to the College of Fine Arts: Alumni Taurean Everett, Michael Powell and Mary Joan Waid; patron Sam & Rie Bloomfield Foundation; and mentor Mary Sue Foster.

Mathew Muether, associate professor of physics, is one of several thousand scientists worldwide studying neutrino behavior. His grant support from the U.S. Department of Energy totals nearly $500,000 and finances his work on two projects anchored underground at FermiLab, the particle physics and accelerator laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

A Delta Airlines plane flying over a city.

Flight problems and customer complaints filed against major U.S. airlines continued to be concerns for travelers in 2022, according to the annual Airline Quality Rating, released today by Wichita State University.
 
All four performance criteria used in the Airline Quality Rating showed a decline for 2022 over 2021, AQR researchers Dr. Dean Headley and Dr. Brent Bowen found. Flight problems, refunds and baggage handling issues continued to be concerns. Overall complaints increased by 55% in 2022. This combination of complaints amounted to nearly 73% of all complaints last year, pushing down overall quality scores for most airlines included in the report.

Photo of Bully Berue holding a trumpet.

In June, Billy Berue will begin an eight-year stint as a trumpeter in The President’s Own United States Marine Band.  

The President’s Own — as it’s commonly called — was established in 1798 with a mission to perform for the president of the United States and the commandant of the Marine Corps. It was created by an act of Congress and boasts that it is America’s oldest continually active professional music organization. 

Graphic with a photo of Marie Bukowski and the text, "WSU | Wichita State University. Marie Bukowski, incoming dean, College of Fine Arts."

Marie Bukowski has been named the next dean of Wichita State University’s College of Fine Arts (CFA), effective July 9, 2023.

Hailing from Kent State University, where she served as the associate dean of graduate programs and faculty affairs in its College of the Arts, Bukowski comes to WSU with almost 30 years of teaching experience. Bukowski has taught many classes in the arts, including in painting, lithography and design.

Bukowski will replace Dr. Rodney Miller, who retires in June, and who served as dean of the college for 19 years. Bukowski hopes to continue upholding the legacy and goals of CFA and Wichita State while pushing the college forward.

Graphic with the text, "America's Seed Fund SBIR - STTR | Growth Accelerator fund competition | 2023."

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Wichita State University as a Stage One winner for the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Wichita State will receive a $50,000 cash prize to build strategic partnerships that will support the launch, growth and scale of STEM- and R&D-focused small businesses.

Wichita State’s award-winning model will amplify the impact and success of Growth Accelerator Partnerships and will work to foster and facilitate a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high-growth small businesses.

Photo of Mark Schneegurt.

The existence of life on other planets, especially Mars, is a question pondered in literature, movies and imaginations.  

Wichita State University’s Dr. Mark Schneegurt is working on that issue with the assistance of a $377,000 grant from NASA to examine the toughness of microbes isolated from spacecraft assembly facilities.