Congratulations Patricia Houston! Director of Organizational Culture | | Wichita State University Community Engagement Institute.

Congratulations to Patricia Houston, who has been selected as the director of organizational culture for the Community Engagement Institute (CEI) at Wichita State.

In the newly created position, Houston will direct the design, planning, implementation and monitoring of strategies and programs that will enhance the organization’s culture and overall employee experience for CEI.

“We are very excited for Patricia to start as the director of organizational culture for CEI.  Patricia brings years of experience and a deep passion for this work,” said CEI executive director Scott Wituk. “She will help support staff so that we can be our best for each other and our community partners. I look forward to working with her more closely and seeing where her leadership takes us.”

Houston has been with WSU since 2017 and was recently working in CEI as a prevention and promotion specialist with Prevention Initiatives. She has been a member of CEI’s Equity Team for years.

Houston was selected for this new position through a CEO internal search. She has earned Bachelor’s of business administration from Wichita State University, and a Master’s of business administration from Baker University. Houston is a seasoned professional with experience in non-profit leadership, culture change, project and program management and facilitating challenging conversations in created spaces of belonging. Overall, she has a wealth of knowledge about the human experience.

“I’m looking forward to taking on this new role and continuing the work we have begun here at CEI to foster a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment to produce a vibrant culture rich in authenticity, empathy, expertise, collaboration and growth,” Houston said.

Houston will start in her new position Sept. 18.

Three images laid out featuring a conductor on the front of a train, six students gathered around a table listening to an instructor, CEI members peforming a ground breaking in front of a tractor and textKansans are using a global lens to solve local challenges #USAforSDGs

Congrats to Dr. Sarah Jolley and Vanessa Lohf, Wichita State’s Community Engagement Institute (CEI,) for their project being recently highlighted by the United Nations Foundation as part of its American Leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) series.

The United Nations Foundation was formed to support the United Nations and serve as a strategic partner and resource for the United Nations in solving global problems.

In the first year of this project, Jolley and Lohf facilitated a virtual Learning Collaborative with the five community teams that involved presentations from community foundations in the United States, Canada, England and Sicily. For the second year of the project, CEI will bring the communities together four times as part of a Community of Practice to facilitate progress on implementation plans developed by each Foundation.

CEI is also documenting learnings from the process to develop a white paper on the results of the pilot project that will be shared with other community foundations in the United States and around the world.

John Colclazier — Wichita State University Environmental Finance Center (EFC) program manager and recent graduate of the Hugo Walls School’s Master of Public Administration — traveled to Nome, Alaska, to lead a workshop on water utility management in late August. Colclazier also led a workshop in Anchorage for water utility operators while in Alaska.

The EFC is a recognized leader in asset management for water utilities and leads workshops on this and other topics nationwide. The workshop was funded through a grant to EFC from the Environmental Protection Agency to have the EFC provide technical assistance to small water and wastewater systems throughout the country.

Two WSU Environmental Finance Center staff are shown discussing asset management with staff from the El Dorado wastewater treatment plant.

The WSU Environmental Finance Center (EFC) will have a prominent presence at the 13th annual Kansas Water Environment Association/Ks Section AWWA joint conference in Topeka, Kansas, Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

Five members of the EFC staff, including center director Tonya Bronleewe, will give presentations on drinking water and wastewater topics affecting cities, states and the nation. Other EFC staff members giving presentations include Brian Bohnsack, Michelle Dehaven, Jeff Severin and Baylee Vieyra.

The conference will also host 600 other drinking water and wastewater professionals. Presentations will include discussions on community engagement, workforce recruitment and retention, lead testing of drinking water and a pilot test of an asset management program for water utilities.

For more information, please contact Tonya Bronleewe, EFC Director, at

Dr. Wei Wei, College of Engineering mechanical engineering assistant professor, has been one of 21 designated as a Keen Engineering Unleashed Fellow for 2022. The designation as an Engineering Unleashed Fellow recognizes leadership in undergraduate engineering education.

To get the designation, Wei and the other faculty members participated in the Engineering Unleashed Faculty Development National Workshop Program, creating resources that will help them and intercollegiate colleagues advance the community’s mission to integrate entrepreneurial mindset into practices that benefit their students, their institutions and society.

Image of book cover of Mexican Americans in Wichita's North End.

The book “Mexican Americans in Wichita’s North End” was recognized as the 2022 Best History Book at the International Latino Book Awards Aug. 20 which took place in Los Angeles The book documents the history of the Mexican American community in the Wichitan neighborhood known as the North End or El Pueblo.

The book was authored by Wichita State professors Dr. Jay Price, Department of History professor and chair, and Dr. Enrique Navarro, Latin American and LatinX Studies certificate coordinator and associate professor of Spanish, and Anita Mendoza, WSU alumna and community leader.

Congratulations Alicia Sanchez on being a champion of diversity & inclusion! 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Awards presented by Wichita Business Journal

Alicia Sanchez—Office of Diversity and Inclusion assistant dean of students and director—was recognized as one of the 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Award recipients by the Wichita Business Journal Aug. 18.

The award honors Wichitans who work hard at making their companies, and the city’s business community, more diverse. The two received awards at the annual banquet, hosted at the Hyatt Regency.

Congratulations Dr. Bobby Berry on being a champion of diversity and inclusion! 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Awards presented by Wichita Business Journal

Dr. Bobby Berry—Office of Diversity and Inclusion diversity and inclusion faculty fellow and assistant dean for diversity and outreach in College of Applied Studies—was recognized as one of the 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Award recipients by the Wichita Business Journal Ambassadors for Diversity and Inclusion event.

The award honors Wichitans who work hard at making their companies, and the city’s business community, more diverse.

Image of members attending CMB and Barton Business School Conference.

The Center for Management Development (CMD) and the Barton School of Business recently hosted the 50th Anniversary of the Wichita Property Tax Conference. Almost 400 appraisers, assessors, attorneys, consultants and property tax experts from across the U. S. attended. During the event, members participated in four days of educational and inspirational workshops at Hubbard Hall and infused more than $2,500,000 into the local economy.

 The members of the conference are grateful to the following team members who made the conference a huge success:

  • Pat McLeod, former CMD Director, and current Conference Director worked many hours with the Wichita Property Tax Conference Planning Committee and the CMD team to make the conference an outstanding success.
  • Wilma Hart, former CMD Coordinator, and current conference team member arranged for and coordinated the complex logistical tasks of people movement, among many other responsibilities.
  • Paula Seiwert, Associate Director of the CMD, planned and executed outstanding marketing and promotional materials to educate and persuade professionals to attend.
  • Melissa Donham, Director of Operations for the CMD, coordinated IT tasks while tracking financials and keeping the books current.
  • Tracy Rittmueller, Registrar of the CMD, coordinated participant registrations, food and beverage services, and contributions from other vendors and WSU professionals.

And a loud “thank you” to the excellent service from our WSU partners:

  • Facility Services
  • Chartwell’s catering team
  • Shocker Printing
  • MRC Team
  • Parking Services
  • Event Services
  • Post Office

WSU’s Counseling and Prevention Services (CAPS) continues to serve the campus community and beyond through its Suspenders4Hope program, which was recently highlighted on the national “Frontline Industry Podcast” for its work with the Thrive Restaurant Group. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.