Dr. Mercy Umeri, assistant teaching professor at the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs at Wichita State University., wrote about the Nigerian public education system in Leadership News, a leading newspaper in Nigeria. In the article, she challenges the leaders and elected officials to look into the educational system and make the needed changes for the country.

“One of the things I would love to see would be a manifesto for education,” she wrote. “A country cannot rise beyond its educational system. Nelson Mandela once said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.’ So how are we changing ours?”

Dr. Neal Allen — chair and associate Professor of Political Science— was recently interviewed by major news PBS Newshour and NBC Nightly News for his expertise on the upcoming Aug. 2 vote. His other interviews include the following:

Recently aired:

Allen was also quoted in the following articles on the topic.

In addition to these interviews, Allen has also been a panelist for the Kansas City Media Collaborative and American Public Square Zoom conversation, as well as for Kansas Week on PBS Kansas.

And on election night, Allen will be live on KAKE Channel 10.

Image of Birzer.

Professor and School of Criminal Justice graduate coordinator Michael Birzer was recently appointed by the Wichita City Manager Robert Layton to serve on the committee to select Wichita’s next police chief. Birzer, a Wichita native and former law enforcement professional, teaches and specializes in the study of policing. His research agenda is specific to policing issues in urban communities.

Birzer says he is honored to serve on this important committee. This is the third major police chief selection committee Birzer has recently served on.

According to the City of Wichita’s chief search public website, “The review committee made up of diverse community members has been convened to ensure representation throughout the search process, aid City staff with front-end processes, and interview candidates vetted by Public Sector Search and Consulting.”

Birzer said a community-minded police executive committed to servant leadership is what he’d like to see in Wichita’s next police chief.

Dr. Mythili Menon, assistant professor of English and linguistics and director of linguistics at Wichita State University, will speak as one of three panelists during a special edition Engage ICT event “Sorting out Facts, Truth, and Opinion” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 at the Brickyard. All spots for this in-person event have been reserved.

The event is presented by “1A” as part of “1A’s Remaking America.” The conversation will not be live-streamed, but a future episode of “1A” will feature the discussion. Participants can also follow KMUW on Twitter for a live look of the conversation.

Headshot image of Dr. Leonard.

Christopher Leonard, a licensed psychologist and Student Wellness Center director of counseling, has been selected to be part of the Center for Collegiate Mental Health (CCMH) Advisory Board. The CCMH Advisory Board, operated out of Penn State, directs and advises CCMH initiatives based on expertise and knowledge of challenges, trends and best practices in the field of college student mental health counseling.

Leonard will serve for three years on the board and provide recommendations on current and future projects, organizational and administrative protocols, as well as collaborate with the CCMH Business Team. 

Leonard has been instrumental in applying predictive data analytics to assist CAPS in maintaining low wait times with rapid access for crisis appointments while maintaining a focus on quality treatment and applied learning.  His knowledge and expertise will have broad impacts on college students’ access to mental health servicees with this appointment, and will help Wichita State continually adapt to the changing college student’s mental health landscape.    

Three Wichita State University Shocker Ad Lab teams received state and national honors recently during the National Federation of Press Women (NFPW) Communications Contest recognition ceremony in Fargo, North Dakota.

The teams won for an advertising campaign and public relations work completed and published during the spring and fall 2021 semesters. Shocker Ad Lab is a student advertising agency offered as a class in WSU’s Elliott School of Communication.

All entries were published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021. NFPW is a nationwide organization of women and men pursuing careers across the communication spectrum, including print and electronic journalism, freelancing, new media, books, public relations, marketing, graphic design, photography, advertising, radio and television.

Professional communicators from across the United States — including 13 WSU students — were honored. The Shocker Ad Lab creative work was entered in the Kansas contest, conducted by the Kansas Professional Communicators (KPC) by Shocker Ad Lab faculty creative director Madeline McCullough, a member of KPC and NFPW. After winning first place in Kansas, both campaigns went on to compete at the national contest in Fargo.

During the competition, a distinguished group of professional journalists, communication specialists and educators judged nearly 2,000 entries in a variety of categories from 39 states. Only first-place winning entries at the state level are eligible to enter the national contest. WSU was honored for the following:

NFPW “Honorable Mention – Advertising Campaign” for “Off the Grid with Gridiron”

Promoting the 2021 Wichita Gridiron variety show and fundraiser — a comedy show staged annually in support of the Kansas Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists’ scholarship fund. The campaign promoted in-person ticket sales, online ticket sales and donations in support of the scholarship fund, which benefits journalism students across Kansas.

Spring 2021 Shocker Ad Lab staff being recognized:

Anita Chokbengboun – Team co-leader, strategist and chief copywriter

David Diaz – Team co-leader and chief designer

Raquel Diaz – Video producer

Trey Greening – Copywriter

Joey Nichols – Broadcast and production coordinator

Madeline McCullough – Faculty creative director

NFPW “Honorable Mention – Public Relations Campaign” for “Valley Center Vietnam Moving Wall”

Promoting the “Valley Center Vietnam Moving Wall,” a half-size replica of the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Veterans Memorial as it toured the United States, making a stop in October, 2021 in Valley Center, Kansas. Visitors totaled 7,120.

Spring 2021 Shocker Ad Lab staff being recognized:

Melissa Tran – Team leader and copywriter

Dawsyn Long – Art director (WSU Undergraduate Admissions marketing coordinator)

Lori Froehlich – Strategy, research, military consultant recently retired from the Air Force

Jessica Oldenettel – Social media, historic research and copywriter

Spencer Hynes – Team support, research assistant

Fall 2021 Shocker Ad Lab staff being recognized:

Theresa Tran – Art director (Elliot School of communication temp)

Jeannie Qualls – Art director (Career Development multimedia coordinator)

Mariah Relph – Writer

Madeline McCullough – Faculty creative director


The Women of Wichita State University (WWSU ) has awarded four students a $1,000 scholarship for the 2022-2023 academic year. The scholarships will go to the following students:

  • Juliana Botero Echeverri, graduate student in business
  • Maria Aracely Martinez Gonzalez, undergraduate student studying real estate and sports management
  • Hilda Uloma Onuoha, undergraduate student in nursing
  • Meghan Wald, graduate student in special music education.

The WWSU was formed in fall 2018 by the combination of two groups; the Wichita State University Women’s Association, founded in 1928, and the Council of University Women founded in 1930. The purpose of the group is to serve the interests of the university, to provide student scholarships and to promote social interaction and a sense of community among its members.

Applications for the 2023-2024 academic year will be available in spring 2023.  For more information about WWSU please visit WWSU website.

Congratulations to Amy Drassen Ham, clinical professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, for being recognized in Excellence in Health Care from the Wichita Business Journal.

The series spotlights outstanding professionals in health care. Dr. Drassen Ham was selected because of her extraordinary work in higher education, research, and multiple COVID-19 pandemic response initiatives.

Image of Mary Faragher (left) and Jamie Harrington (right).

Congratulations to Wichita State University’s School of Nursing faculty members Mary Faraher and Jamie Harrington for receiving Wichita Business Journal’s 2022 Healthcare Hero Awards.

Health Care Heroes recognizes Wichita-area health care professionals who achieve excellence in their fields.

Kim Moore, executive director of Wichita State Workforce, Professional and Community Education, was presented a 1 EdTech 2022 Leadership Award at the annual Learning Impact Conference in Nashville, Tennessee June 15.

Moore was recognized as an outstanding leader in moving forward digital credentials and badging in higher education. According to 1 EdTech, her work is an inspiration to the 1 EdTech organization and to higher education in general. Her willingness to share her knowledge was cited as being valuable in moving the digital credential community forward.

With more than 7,500 members in 25 countries 1 EdTech has lead the evolution and development of the Open Badges ecosystem, including open badging standards. It is committed to furthering the adoption, integration and transferability of learners’ digital credentials within and across institutions, non-traditional learning opportunities, and employment centers.

Moore is a recognized subject matter expert in the area of badging and digital credentials. She presents regularly at conferences nationwide and consults and assists other institutions of higher education in their quest to develop a badge program.