Dr. Bardo

John W. Bardo
President, Wichita State University

John William Bardo was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1948. He grew up in that area and graduated from Oak Hills High School in 1966. After high school, John attended the University of Cincinnati where he received a bachelor’s degree in economics (1970). He also studied economics and social policy at the University of Southampton, England, during his junior year. After graduating from Cincinnati, John received a master’s degree in sociology from Ohio University (1971) and a Ph.D. in sociology (1973) from the Ohio State University. He also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard in 1987.

John’s first academic appointment upon completing graduate school was at Wichita State University as an assistant professor of sociology. He also worked and taught in the Hugo Wall Center for Urban Studies. During his time at WSU, he also obtained a Fulbright to Australia where he and his wife Deborah studied Americans as migrants and had a sabbatical appointment at the University of Wales at Swansea in social policy.

After leaving WSU, John held a variety of appointments at Southwest Texas State University, the University of North Florida, Bridgewater State College, and Western Carolina University. At Western Carolina, John served as chancellor from 1995 to 2011 after which he rejoined the faculty.

John’s academic interests involve the relationships between higher education, the economy and quality of life. He speaks regularly on issues associated with the New Economy and building competitiveness. When not working, John enjoys international travel and working with stained glass.

John first met his wife Deborah in Neff Hall on the WSU campus and they married in 1975. They have one son, Christopher who lives in Cary, North Carolina where he is studying biology and chemistry at North Carolina Central University.

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Ted D. Ayres, Vice President and General Counsel
Wichita State University

Ted D. Ayres earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Central Missouri State College in 1969 and his juris doctorate degree in 1972 from the University of Missouri.

In May 1996, Mr. Ayres joined Wichita State University as general counsel and associate to the president. In July 2002, he was promoted to vice president and general counsel. He also serves as general counsel to the WSU Foundation, the WSU Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Inc. and the WSU Board of Trustees.

He and his wife, Marcia, have three sons.

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Anthony J. Vizzini, Provost and Senior Vice President
Wichita State University

Dr. Anthony J. Vizzini received his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1986 from MIT and joined the faculty at the University of Maryland. In January of 1987 he was appointed as the founding director of the Composites Research Laboratory and was responsible for the composites program within the A. James Clark School of Engineering. He has led sponsored research projects such as delamination prevention through structural tailoring techniques; short duration, high temperature effects of composites; crushing mechanisms of composites; and damage tolerance of composite sandwich panels.

In August 2003, he became Professor and Department Head of the Aerospace Engineering Department at Mississippi State University and in 2005 became the inaugural holder of the Bill and Carolyn Cobb Chair within the Bagley College of Engineering. He became the Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Western Michigan University in 2009 and then the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wichita State University in 2013.

Dr. Vizzini is the author of over 100 articles and has been involved in the design and manufacture of composite structures for space applications and uninhabited air vehicles. He is a registered engineer in the states of Mississippi, Michigan and Kansas. He is a past president of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Processing Engineering (SAMPE), a past president of the American Society for Composites, an ABET program evaluator, an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and a Fellow of the American Society for Composites.

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Lou Heldman, Vice President for Strategic Communications
Wichita State University

Lou Heldman is responsible for university communications and marketing. He serves as a member of the President’s Executive Team and the board of directors of the Wichita State Innovation Alliance.

Lou’s previous roles at the university included interim director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and of the Elliott School of Communication.

As the university’s Distinguished Senior Fellow in Media Management and Journalism, he taught communication courses and business seminars centered on the impact of the Internet on media, business and society.

Prior to joining the university in 2007, he had a career in newspapers and websites, including as President and Publisher of the Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com, the state’s largest newspaper and most visited news website.

As managing editor in Fort Wayne, Ind., he led staff news coverage that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting. He also worked as an editor at newspapers in Miami, Tallahassee and Detroit. In Miami, he was part of the team that created the Spanish-language daily El Nuevo Herald. Immediately prior to coming to Wichita in 2002, he was president and publisher of the Centre Daily Times, State College, Pa.

He is a graduate of Ohio State University and of the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.

Mary L. Herrin, Vice President for Administration and Finance
Wichita State University

Mary L. Herrin, CPA, was named WSU's vice president for administration and finance in January 2008, replacing Roger D. Lowe, who retired.

Ms. Herrin received bachelor's and master's degrees from Wichita State University and was awarded a Kansas Certificate of Certified Public Accountant in 1979. She joined WSU in 1973 as an administrative assistant and served as associate vice president for administration and finance/director of budgets before being named to her current post.

She is secretary of the board of directors of the Central Association of College and University Business Officers and a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers. She also serves on the 2008 YWCA board of directors as vice president of finance and is a member of Mortar Board and Soroptimist International of Wichita.

She was honored in 2003 with the President's Service Award, and in 2005 with the Wichita State University Alumni Association's Staff Recognition Award.

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John S. Tomblin, Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, Executive Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research
Wichita State University

John Tomblin oversees university research centers, institutes and sponsored programs; and the Office of Research and Technology Transfer and its staff. He has overall administrative responsibility for developing, coordinating and stimulating research and creative activity; enhancing external funding; and ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. This includes leading university-wide strategic growth activities including acquisition of research funding; planning and development of research space; research commercialization; incubation of new companies; and recruitment of corporate research partners.

Dr. Tomblin is also the executive director of the National Institute for Aviation Research and a a Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Tomblin oversees eighteen laboratories in four locations encompassing 350,000 square feet, 400 employees and a yearly budget of $45+ million. Under his leadership, NIAR has gained worldwide recognition in the area of composites and advanced materials; greatly expanded its capabilities and footprint; and nearly tripled its yearly funding.

Dr. Tomblin is the administrator of the Composite Materials Handbook 17 (CMH-17) working group meetings and co-chair of the CMH-17 data review working group. CECAM, NCAMP and CMH-17 are FAA-sponsored research programs revolutionizing the use of composites and advanced materials in the aviation industry.

Previously, Dr. Tomblin has served as NIAR’s director of research and development; professor for the College of Engineering from 2000-2004; and assistant professor of aerospace engineering from 1994-2000. He has also served in adjunct professor roles at Kansas State and Wright State Universities. He received his Ph.D., master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. He resides in Wichita, KS with his wife Katharine and three sons.

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Eric L. Sexton, Director, Intercollegiate Athletics
Wichita State University

Eric L. Sexton was appointed as director of athletics in April 2008. A 1987 graduate and former student-athlete at Wichita State University, Sexton previously served the university as executive director for government relations and board of trustees.

He received both his Bachelor of Business Administration in management and Master of Public Administration from Wichita State University, and his doctorate in political science from the University of Kansas.

During his tenure, he has received numerous awards, including the Wichita Business Journal 40 under 40 award; the National Security Forum of the U.S. Department of Defense; Leadership Wichita; and the University of Kansas Black Faculty and Staff Council President's Scholar. In summer 2002, President George W. Bush named him to the Presidential Commission for the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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Andrew Schlapp, Executive Director of Government Relations, Board of Trustees and Operations
Wichita State University

Andrew Schlapp joined Wichita State University in June of 2008, as the Executive Director of Government Relations and the Board of Trustees. This position gives him sole responsibility to develop and administer government relations strategies for the university in consultation with university executives. His responsibilities include tracking legislation and policy issues at the federal, state, and local levels that impact the university's governance and finances as well as working with departments to facilitate and coordinate appearances by government officials on campus. In addition to his government relations responsibilities, he serves as Executive Director of the WSU Board of Trustees.

Schlapp graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor's in business administration and received a master's in public administration from Wichita State University.

Mr. Schlapp is currently a member of the Governor's military council and on the executive board of the Sedgwick County developmental disability organization.

Andy and his wife, Jane, have three children.

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