Wichita State News

April/May academe at Wichita State

Monday, June 02, 2014

Academe welcomes news from WSU faculty and staff about research, teaching and service activities. This column recognizes grants, honors, awards, presentations and publications, new appointments, new faculty, sabbaticals, retirements and deaths of or current and former colleagues.


Les Anderson
Les Anderson

Les Anderson was posthumously inducted into the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame at the annual meeting of the Kansas Press Association in Manhattan. Anderson, who died in November 2011, was a longtime WSU journalism professor and former publisher of the Ark Valley News.

 The Office of Multicultural Affairs named Sheryl Propst, human resources training manager, as the 2014 OMA Unity Award recipient at the 6th Annual Phenomenal Women Recognition Celebration. The award is given to a faculty or staff member who goes above and beyond to support the mission of Multicultural Affairs and demonstrates a commitment to diversity at Wichita State.

Gayle Martin, public affairs associate in the Hugo Wall School, will be honored with an Institute Director of the Year award by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Martin has managed the school’s Municipal Clerks Certification Institute for several years. The award was presented at the 68th Annual Conference in Milwaukee, Wis.

Elliott School lecturer Sandy Sipes was honored during her introductory communication class by members of the steering committee of the Academy of Effective Teaching at Wichita State. Sipes was recognized as a finalist for the group’s Effective Teaching Award. She received a standing ovation from her class.

Shocker Bowling coach Mark Lewis stole the spotlight at the Night of Champions Banquet when he was named Kerm Helmer Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Coach Lewis dedicated his award to his team, many of whom won awards at the banquet as well. The event was held in conjunction with the 2014 xBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships, in Reno, Nev.

Susan Sterrett, the Department of Philosophy’s Curtis D. Gridley distinguished professor of history and philosophy of science, has been selected as one of 20 Summer Scholars to participate in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, “Mapping Nature Across the Americas,” at the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library, Chicago.

Seth Bate, director of leadership development at Center for Community Support and Research won best scholarly paper in the field of history (graduate level) from the Kansas Association of Historians for his paper, “Opposing an Anti-Semitic Voice in Wichita.” A general audience version of the paper, “Stamp Out Hate” was printed in The Journal by the Kansas Leadership Center, Vol. 5, Issue 4, Winter 2014, pg. 40-49.

Mara Alagic, associate professor in Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, was presented with this year’s Phenomenal Woman Award by Danielle Johnson of the Office of Multicultural Affairs for her contributions to the advancement of women and minorities.

A number of faculty and students from the Elliott School of Communication were honored at the 2014 Kansas Professional Communicators (KPC) annual spring conference, including:

• Associate Director Wilma Moore-Black took first place awards in the Speech category for “Tips to financial literacy awareness from the classroom to the workforce,” and in the Faculty Adviser for Student Publications category for the Communication Upward Bound newsletter, “CUB Reporter.” She also earned an honorable mention in the Reports category for the “CUB Annual Report.”

• Lecturer Madeline McCullough took two first place awards in the Specialty Article/Arts and Entertainment category for “A post not a pasture,” and “Become a vegetarian.”

• Assistant Professor Amy DeVault was recognized as the 2014 Sweepstakes Winner for the quantity of her awards, including three first place entries: in the Page Design category, she took first place for “Harmony” and “A new vantage point;” first place in the Photographer-Writer category for “Experience;” first place, along with ESC Graduate Teaching Assistant Taylor Dietterich in the Advertising Posters – Billboards and Banners category for “Experience.” DeVault’s second place awards include: the Page Design category for “Home” and “Go Get Em;” the Single Photograph/News or Feature Photo for “Welcome Home Daddy;” the Photo Essay category for “Finale at the Fort;” the General Photo Category for “Concert at the Fort.”

• Assistant Dean for College Outreach Cheryl Miller, Liberal Arts Dean’s Office, who took first place in the Audiovisuals category for the “WSU Fairmount College Convocation Video,” first place in the Publications Regularly Edited by Entrant category for the “Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Newsletter,” third place in the Feature Story/Non-Newspaper Publication category “Ending modern day slavery focus of professor’s work” and an honorable mention in the Personality Profile/500 Words or Fewer category for “Faculty Spotlight: Karen Countryman-Roswurm.”

The state-level awards were announced following a full day of education, skill development and networking with communication professionals. Winners of first-place KPC awards will advance to the National Federation of Press Women communication contest, which will be held Sept. 4 in Greenville, S.C.

The Wichita State Athletics Marketing Department has been selected as one of three finalists for the NACMA Marketing Team of the Year Award, an honor they won at the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) convention last year. The department’s “State of Wichita” and “#WATCHUS” campaigns will be competing against Kansas State University and the University of Southern California for the final honor during the kickoff session at the 23rd Annual NACMA Convention, set to take place June 9-12 at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla. The award was created to show the type of impact a marketing team has not only on the athletic department, but the campus and surrounding communities. The WSU Athletics Marketing Department includes: Associate Athletic Director of Marketing and Strategic Communications John Brewer; Assistant Director of Marketing and Game Operations Jason Malay; Assistant Director of Marketing and Social Media Kayla Blanding; Promotions Coordinator and Graduate Assistant Jon Parnell; and Marketing Associates Jessica Bazzelle, Caroline King and Wyatt Clark.

Eric Sexton
Eric Sexton

Eric Sexton, director of athletics, has been honored with an Under Armour AD of the Year Award (ADOY). One of 28 winners nationwide, Sexton was chosen by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) for his commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, the WSU campus and the surrounding communities. He will receive the award during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 11, at NACDA’s 49th Annual Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla.


WSU’s Center for Community Support and Research (CCSR) has been awarded a $98,175 healthy living grant from the Kansas Health Foundation. The CCSR was one of 12 grantees in the state to receive the funding, which will help support a new effort titled, “Implementing a Medicaid Systems Change: Health Action Plans for Medicaid Health Homes Members.” The program will address the issues of tobacco and obesity in Kansas.


Michael Rogers, professor and chair of Human Performance Studies and research director of the Center for Physical Activity and Aging, along with colleagues from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan, coauthored, “To keep an active life: An overview of our research on physical activity in frail old adults.” The presentation was made at the 2014 International Meeting of the Korean Society for Exercise Physiology on April 12, in Suwon, South Korea.

Dan Close
Dan Close

Elliott School of Communication Associate Professor Dan Close and instructor Laura Kelly gave a presentation titled, “What a Serial Killer Taught Us,” April 26 at the Society of Professional Journalists Region Seven conference in Overland Park, Kan. Kelly, formerly of The Wichita Eagle, was an author and the team leader of “Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door,” published in 2007 by HarperCollins. Close was the book’s editorial consultant and project editor.

Department of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology’s Associate Professor Ruth Hitchcock, Professor Joseph Mau, Assistant Professor Susan Bray and Richard Gaskill presented, “Play Therapy: Overview, Application, Research and Caution,” at the annual Kansas Counseling Association Convention held in Manhattan, Kan.

Sherry Goodvin, senior fellow for education leadership, and Ann Eastwood, alternative certification educator, both of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, presented “Renewal and Renovation of a Transition to Teaching Program through Deliberate Program Review,” at the National Association for Alternative Education in Orlando.


Susan Sterrett, the Department of Philosophy’s Curtis D. Gridley distinguished professor of history and philosophy of science, recently had an article, “The Morals of Model-Making,” published in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, which appeared online as an article on Dec. 17. It is on ScienceDirect’s list of the ‘Most Downloaded Articles.’

Public Health Initiatives Coordinator Sonja Armbruster, Community Support and Research, recently had an article, “Instilling a Culture of Quality Improvement in Your Organization,” published by MetaOps Magazine, along with co-author John Moran, senior quality advisor to the Public Health Foundation, senior fellow at the University of Minnesota and adjunct professor at Arizona State University.

Jose Enrique Navarro, assistant professor of Spanish, recently published “La enfermedad de la literatura en la narrativa de Enrique Vila-Matas,” in Anales de la Literatura Española Contemporánea 39.1. This monographic issue analyzes the vicissitudes associated with the idea of authorship and the concept of the literary work in contemporary Spanish literature.

Associate Professor Jeremy Patterson and Michael Rogers, Human Performance Studies, published “Consistency of measures obtained from the mobile device SWAY Application compared to a validated balance-testing device,” along with two of their graduate students, in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 2, 135-139, 2014. This paper reported that the balance score derived from the Smartphone accelerometers were consistent with balance scores obtained from a previously validated balance system.

Virginia Kay Williams, associate professor and acquisitions librarian, and Nancy Deyoe, assistant dean of technical services in the WSU Libraries, had an article entitled “Diverse Population, Diverse Collection? Youth Collections in the United States,” published in Vol. 31, issue 2 of Technical Services Quarterly.

Associate Professors Danny Bergman, Katherine Mason and Ashlie Jack, Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, along with former faculty, Dan Krutka and Raymond Flores, published their microblogging about teaching, “Nurturing participatory culture through collaborative online reflection with pre-service teachers,” in Teaching and Teacher Education.


The Rhatigan Student Center has appointed Andrea Stipp as director of the University Bookstore. Stipp had served as assistant director of the bookstore since April 2012. She will be responsible for overall leadership and direction of the retail operation.


Mel Kahn, professor of political science, portrayed Founding Father Alexander Hamilton at the Petroleum Club in April. As Hamilton, our nation’s first Treasury Secretary, Kahn addressed and fielded questions from members of the Pachyderm Club, a civic organization affiliated with the Republican Party.

Michael Rogers, Human Performance Studies, recently served on a grant review panel for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities in Atlanta, on the topic of “Pilot Interventions to Promote the Health of People with Blood Disorders.”

Pictures and video taken by Jerry Martin, director of the Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, and student Troy Belford, were used in a segment on KWCH Chanel 12 in April. The segment was for the CBS Sunday Morning Show, which interviewed author Carl Hoffman about his book, “A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art,” which describes Rockefeller’s disappearance during his expedition to the Asmat area of New Guinea Island in 1961. The photos and video were taken during Martin’s trips to demonstrate the Asmat people and culture in 2001 and 2007.

Jeff Noble, assistant professor in Department of Sport Management, was the quoted as a source in a Wichita Eagle article regarding the secondary ticket market for collegiate sporting events.


Wayne W. Dunning, 83, retired professor of administration of justice at WSU and past reserve officer with the Wichita Police Department, died on April 26. Survivors include his wife, Sharon Dunning; son, Steven Dunning of Hutchinson; daughter, Brandi Ridgeway of Carl Junction, Mo.; sister, Donna Moore of Flossmoor, Ill.; and five grandchildren. Memorials have been established with Cornerstone Bible Church in Wichita and the Kansas Humane Society. Arrangements through Cochran Mortuary.

Kapson McKever, 74, a retired custodian at WSU and native of South Korea, died April 26. Survivors include her husband, Daniel McKever of Wichita; stepson, Corey McKever of Ocala, Fla. Arrangements through Hillside Funeral Home East.

Deborah (DiNitto) Byers, 57, director of financial aid at Wichita State, died April 27. Byers was the regional vice president of the National Association of Financial Student Aid Administrators, President of Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, former president of the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and Hall of Fame recipient (2008) and WSU Bender of Twigs Recognition for 25 years of service. She attended Hutchinson Community College and Emporia State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in personnel administration and a master’s in student services management. Survivors include her husband of 29 years, Brian Byers; parents, Joseph and Joan DiNitto of Haven; children, Ashley Byers of Lawrence and Matthew Byers of Wichita; brothers, Joseph DiNitto, Jr., of Haven, Martin DiNitto of Overland Park and Michael DiNitto of Lawrence. Donations can be made in her honor to the Wichita State University Foundation. Arrangements through Lahey Mortuary West.

Orren Dale, 71, an associate professor of social work at Wichita State from 2007-13, died on April 28. Dale left WSU to serve as a professor and head of the School of Social Work at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., a master’s in social work at the University of Missouri and a doctorate in administration at Tulane University, in New Orleans. TAMU-C flew the flag at half-staff in his honor on April 30. Survivors include his wife, Rita Kunkel of Sedgwick, Kan., and sister, Paula Fry of Salcha, Ala. Memorial contributions can be made to the MSW Founders Endowed Scholarship at TAMU –Commerce or to the American Heart Association.

Anthony P. Gythiel, 83, a renowned translator, died May 15. Gythiel taught medieval literature and history at Wichita State from 1971-2010. Fourth of seven children, Gythiel and his twin sister were born in Poperinge, West Flanders, in 1930, and he was 9 years old when their mother was killed during the Nazi bombardment of Belgium. After earning a bachelor’s in philosophy and master’s in theology in Belgium, Dr. Gythiel went to Zaire as a Jesuit missionary. In 1963, Gythiel relocated to Michigan, where he earned a master’s in English literature and a Ph.D. in medieval studies from the University of Detroit. In 1968, he married Dana Jorns, a Lutheran school teacher, and became a naturalized citizen. Gythiel’s reputation as a disciplined instructor, familiar with 13 languages, endeared him to many students. During his 39 years at WSU, he received numerous honors, including the first-ever John R. Barrier Distinguished Teacher Award. After his retirement, Gythiel occupied his time with gardening and Orthodox studies, translating important theological-historical works about Eastern Christianity. At a unique academic convocation at St. George Cathedral in 2008, he was granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York. Survivors include his wife of 46 years, Dana; sisters, Monique and Maria of Belgium. Contributions in Gythiel’s honor may be made to the WSU Foundation, which oversees two scholarships in his name, to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary for student scholarship, 575 Scarsdale Rd., Yonkers, N.Y. 10707, or to Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita. Arrangements through Downing & Lahey East Mortuary.

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Created on Monday, June 02, 2014; Last modified on Monday, June 09, 2014