Wichita State News

WSU honors two with excellence awards

Monday, August 15, 2011

The retired chief executive of Wichita’s Starkey Inc. and the communications and marketing director for Wichita Public Schools recently were honored by the Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs.

Carolyn Risley Hill
Carolyn Risley Hill
Carolyn Risley Hill, retired chief executive officer of Starkey Inc., received the Hugo Wall Award which honors public servants who continually give back to others through professional development and commitment to the next generation of public administrators.

In the past decade at Starkey, Risley Hill has led the charge to nurture development and independence of people with intellectual disabilities. She has served on local and state task forces making recommendations on how to best meet individual needs.

Her work with the Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) and her testimony to the Sedgwick County Commission and Kansas Legislature has helped lay the groundwork for solutions to the challenges faced by those with intellectual disabilities.

She is active in Advocates in Communities Team (ACT) of South Central Kansas and the Wichita Nonprofit Chamber of Service. She has served on social work advisory boards at Wichita State and the University of Kansas and regularly supervises WSU social work students.

A member of the SRS advisory board, Risley Hill worked 20 years at SRS, advancing to the position of commissioner of Youth and Adult Services. She also has experience working for the Child Welfare League of America.

Risley Hill earned a Bachelor of Social Work degree in social work from Wichita State and a Master of Social Work from the University of Kansas.

Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson, division director for communications and marketing, USD 259 Wichita Public Schools, received the 2011 Alumni Award for Outstanding Public Service.

Johnson’s public service career has revolved around public relations for nearly 25 years. During this time, she has honed her skills as a strategic communication, leader and manager. Johnson assumed her current position in 2001.

Her team focuses on developing and enhancing relationships that support mutual trust, open two-way dialogue, positive community perceptions and the educational needs of students. The team’s work, including assistance with a successful 2008 bond issue, has been recognized for excellence in school communications numerous times, most recently as a Gold Medallion honoree in 2009.

She is a graduate of Wichita State University, completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 1987 and a Master of Public Administration in 1999. Johnson currently serves on boards and committees with the Boy Scouts of America: Quivira Council, Wichita Festivals Inc., American Red Cross Central Plains Region Blood Services and the Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center. She was general chair of the 2011 Wichita Riverfest.

The awards were presented at the school’s recent Celebration of Excellence. For more information, contact Nancy McCarthy Snyder, director, Hugo Wall School, (316) 978-6536, nancy.mccarthy-snyder@wichita.edu.

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Created on Monday, August 15, 2011; Last modified on Monday, August 15, 2011