A photo of the Ulrich billboard featuring artist Faith Ringgold's "Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles" (1996), which was located at 1400 E. Harry in Wichita.

An Ulrich Museum of Art public art project created at the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic has been honored with a Special Project-Group Award by The Arts Council. The Ulrich was named among 12 outstanding local individuals, cultural organizations and businesses that were recognized for their roles in furthering the growth and development of arts in Wichita. The award will be presented to the Ulrich staff at the 2021 Art Awards ceremony in November.

The Ulrich + Artists + You Community Billboard Project took place from July to November 2020 and consisted of 20 billboards featuring prominent pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. The billboards were placed in various locations throughout Wichita and the surrounding area, from busy intersections to typically overlooked neighborhoods. The result was a public art project that made art accessible to Wichitans at a time when the museums were closed to the public.

Ulrich Director Leslie Brothers, who created the concept for the unique project, said it was a way to transcend the challenges imposed by COVID-19.

“We are thankful for the nomination and thrilled to receive the award,” Brothers said. “The billboard project was a way to stay connected to our patrons while reaching out to all our communities. We anticipated that many might not know of the Ulrich as an educational resource with an amazing collection open to everyone, so, for six months, we placed billboards in neighborhoods all over the city to send a message that they matter.”

In selecting works, the Ulrich focused on three categories: pieces by established and highly respected Wichita or Kansas artists whose works are in the museum’s collection, including Patrick Duegaw, Terry Evans, Ann Resnick and Larry Schwarm; works by artists in the collection with strong Wichita or Kansas ties such as Kevin Mullins and Gordon Parks; and works by a culturally- and racially-diverse array of both American and international artists from the collection, including Benny Andrews, Alice Aycock, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Romare Bearden, Gajin Fujita, Robert Indiana, Zhang Huan, Louise Nevelson, Alan Rath, Faith Ringgold, Hank Willis Thomas, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Matika Wilbur and JeongMee Yoon.

Along with placing the billboards around Wichita, the project also partnered with the popular museum app Smartify to give visitors in-depth information about the billboards at the location and curated Spotify playlists to listen to while driving to the billboards. The project also featured an online programming series, called Ulrich Virtual, which provided free Zoom talks by many of the billboard artists that viewers could watch from the comfort of their own homes. Those talks are now available on the Ulrich Museum’s YouTube channel.

The shutdown has been lifted and the billboards are no longer up, but their popularity remains. Given their effectiveness in reaching new audiences and generating excitement about art, the museum isn’t ruling out the possibility of creating another billboard project sometime in the near future.

“It’s something we’ll definitely consider,” Brothers said. “It would have to be something slightly different, a new angle, but now we know it’s a great way to represent the museum among our community.”

Dr. Masud Chand, professor of international business, was recently featured in WalletHub. Chand was asked to share advice credit card balance transfers.

Alicia Thompson holding a plaque she received at the ceremony

Wichita State’s College of Applied Studies (CAS) inducted its inaugural class of 12 for its Hall of Fame Sept. 24. The inaugural class featured inductees from throughout the college’s history, including alumni, patrons and former faculty members.

The CAS Hall of Fame recognizes individuals or groups of individuals who have made a positive impact at the college at any point since its founding. This includes the full range of people and programs that have been associated with the college at various points in its history. The traits and qualities Hall of Fame members possess are reflective of the college’s core values of collaboration, discovery, diversity, integrity and leadership. The inaugural class includes the following:

  • Harry F. Corbin, university president from 1949 to 1963, known for leading the fight to bring the university into the state system of higher education.
  • Richard Gaskill, executive director of the Sumner Mental Health Center, in recognition of his internationally-recognized work in play therapy.
  • John Hansan, former faculty and department chair, for his strong dedication to sports and role in launching the university’s Sport Management programs.
  • Nick Jimenez and family for their generous support in donating the largest scholarship for Sport Management students in the College.
  • Doris and Ralph Klose for their generosity in funding over 20 scholarships per year to secondary science and mathematics teacher education candidates.
  • Margaret Meek, longtime educator in Wichita, for her dedication and commitment to teaching, including her work teaching reading to diverse students.
  • Lori Miller, former faculty, for being a driving force behind the establishment of the Sport Management programs and an internationally recognized sports management scholar.
  • Jackson Powell, dean from 1950 to 1966, who advanced the college in multiple ways, including convincing Frank Lloyd Wright to design a new education center in Wichita.
  • Twyla Sherman, former faculty, in recognition of her 42 years of service to WSU in science education and the impact she had on individual teachers.
  • Leslie Sipple, the college’s second dean from 1929-1950, for his outstanding contribution to the Teacher Training Program and his recognition throughout the state and Midwest as a leader in education.
  • Gladys Taggart, former faculty, for evolving the physical education program at WSU, as well as her multiple contributions to all areas of women’s athletics.
  • Alicia Thompson, alumna and superintendent of Wichita Public Schools, for her outstanding leadership during some of the most challenging times in American education history.

The inaugural class of inductees were chosen via an open nomination process and then selections by a committee in 2020.

“I can’t imagine a more impressive group of people to be part of our first class in the CAS Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Clay Stoldt, interim dean. “The scope of their accomplishments and the impact they have had is incredible. Their legacies set the bar for all of us who are part of the college today.”

A call for nominations for the second group of CAS Hall of Fame inductees will be issued soon, and anyone may make nominations.

The first cohort of the Widener Global Leaders Program will consist of 10 women from the Barton School of Business, the Elliott School of Communication in Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Music in the College of Fine Arts.

The Widener Global Leaders Program, a new, year-long, interdisciplinary program housed in the W. Frank Barton School of Business, has announced its first cohort of students.

The inaugural class will consist of 10 women from the Barton School of Business, the Elliott School of Communication in Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and School of Music in College of Fine Arts.

Beginning in fall 2021, the student participants will begin their transformation into global leaders by developing business skills, communication skills, artistic awareness, a commitment to social responsibility, cultural intelligence, and a global mindset. They will engage in various interdisciplinary experiences embedded in the worlds of business, communication, and music, which reflects the skillset of Peri Widener, who is the inspiration behind the program.

Congratulations to our 40 Under 40 in Public Health.

AAron Davis, director of the Center for Public Health Initiatives at Wichita State’s Community Engagement Institute (CEI), was recognized by the de Beaumont Foundation Sept. 14 as one of the “40 Under 40 in Public Health” in recognition of his work at CEI.

Founded in 1998, the de Beaumont Foundation focuses on improving health at the community level by investing in tools, partnerships, policies, and the public health workforce.

Under Davis’ leadership, he  and his colleagues have been able to double the amount of work that they do to support public health initiatives in Kansas. The center has helped local health departments build resources to address technical skills for areas like electronic health record (EHR) implementation and develop adaptive skills, including those needed for engaging in community policy change.

“A central tenet of government is protecting the health and safety of our population,” Davis said. “This makes public health one of the most essential services we can provide at all levels of government and we have a civic responsibility to enhance this complex and ever-adaptive field.”

The de Beaumont Foundation announced its 2021 list after reviewing applications from hundreds of rising leaders in public health. The group was selected by a distinguished panel of public health professionals for their leadership and impact on their community’s health.

“At a time when health professionals are being required to adapt and take on monumental challenges, we are incredibly proud of these leaders,” said Brian C. Castrucci, doctor of public health, medical assistant, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation. “We created the 40 Under 40 initiative to recognize and tell the stories of rising leaders who are making a difference in communities across the country. By promoting their work and accomplishments, we hope to attract and inspire a new generation of leaders.”

The Modern and Classical Languages and Literature department would like to extend its gratitude to Kevin Griffin, a Wichita State alum, for his donation of Japanese-language reading materials to the Music and Language Innovation Center library located in Jardine Hall.

After studying Japanese at WSU, Griffin moved to Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster to help provide relief. Griffin currently works for the Japanese company DMM Eikaiwa as the lead software designer.

His donation includes study and reference materials, novels, short story collections and poetry collections. All materials can be found at the Wichita State Music and Language Innovation Center located in Jardine Hall (room 313).

Poster for film 'She Moved the Prarie' featuring women in Kansas field.

“She Moved the Prairie,”—a film directed by Cheyla Clawson Chandler, Wichita State School of Performing Arts associate director and assistant professor of dance— has been recently featured at film festivals worldwide. Chandler choreographed and directed a dance film.

“She Moved the Prairie” is a 25-minute dance film that focuses on women’s labor practices in the home and on the land in Kansas in the early 20th century. Chandler was selected for a National Tallgrass Artist Residency in 2020 and spent 10 days in June of 2020 creating the movement for the film on location at Matfield Green, Kansas, and at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City, Kansas.

Cheyla received several grants to complete this film project including a Tallgrass National Residency stipend, a Wichita State University Research/Creative Project grant, and support from the WSU School of Performing Arts Angels Organization.

“She Moved the Prairie” is a collaboration between faculty and students from WSU Dance and Filmmaking. Chandler set the choreography with students and guest artist Sarah Frangenberg, which was filmed at her farm outside of Douglass, Kansas, as well as the Shaffer Homestead in Latham, Kansas. A student filmmaker, Caitlyn Cody, was the cinematographer for the project. Bret Jones, professor of performing arts and digital arts, was co-director. The music was composed by WSU graduate music student, M. Joseph Willette.

“She Moved the Prairie” has been accepted into several online and international film festivals. These include Roma Short Film Festival (Rome, Italy), Toronto International Women Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), Montreal Independent Film Festival (Montreal, Canada), Full Shot Cine Magazine Online International Film Screening, Mannheim Arts and Film Festival (Mannheim, Germany), Nahui Ollin Film Festival (Durango, Mexico), and Kadoma International Film Festival (Osaka, Japan).

For information about future screenings, please email cheyla.clawson@wichita.edu

Graphic featuring text 'Congratulations Quang Nguyen | Wichita Business Journal 2021 Marketing Awards.'

Quang Nguyen, Wichita State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion communications and marketing specialist, was recognized as an honoree at the Wichita Business Journal’s 2021 Marketing Awards Aug. 26.

The award honors Wichita-area senior marketing professionals who excel in making their company or organization look and perform its best.

“Marketing is heavily important to both the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Wichita State University because it allows us to tell the story of our students,” Nguyen said. “We need to allow our students to share their college journeys and experiences and it is critical to our work with stakeholders; otherwise, we have missed an opportunity to achieve our mission of being an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good.”

Wichita Business Journal - Diversity and Inclusion Awards

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion was honored Aug. 12 at the Wichita Business Journal’s fifth Diversity and Inclusion Awards, formerly known as the Leaders in Diversity Award. This is the third time the office has been recognized by the Wichita Business Journal.

This event recognized the accomplishments of Wichita-area businesses, individuals and nonprofits as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry in our community. The honorees selected demonstrate respect or inclusive treatment for others, advocacy for underrepresented groups and commitment to the advancement of cultural diversity in the business community.

Dr. Kaye Monk Morgan, vice president of the Office of Strategic Engagement and Planning, was honored Aug. 12 at the Wichita Business Journal’s fifth Diversity and Inclusion Awards, formerly known as the Leaders in Diversity Award.

This event recognized the accomplishments of Wichita-area businesses, individuals and nonprofits as they strive to reflect the rich tapestry in our community. The honorees selected demonstrate respect or inclusive treatment for others, advocacy for underrepresented groups and commitment to the advancement of cultural diversity in the business community.