Faculty and staff news at Wichita State

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 current and former colleagues.


Eric Wilson, instructor for the Elliott School, was recently awarded two fellowships. The first as a Recruitment Fellow working with WSU Admissions on the Strategic Enrollment Management process. The second fellowship is to attend the business journalism professor’s seminar during Reynolds Week at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Phoenix. Wilson submitted an application through a competitive process and will spend three days training on financial reporting and data journalism practices with journalists and professors from across the country.

Heidi Cornell, assistant professor in special education, received a University Research/Creative Projects Award (URCA) from Wichita State University for her project titled “The Role and Impact of Interagency Collaboration on Education Outcomes of Students with EBD: Perspectives from Teachers and Administrators.”

Alan Badgley, associate director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), was awarded the Kansas SBDC’s State Star for 2016. This award recognizes business consultants and staff in the SBDC Program who have demonstrated exemplary work performance, significant contribution to the organization’s economic development efforts and a strong commitment to small businesses. Badgley serves dual roles as both an associate regional director and business advisor with the Kansas SBDC at WSU. He was recognized for his exceptional work with clients in Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding, guiding companies through the development of business strategy and working with business owners to identify technology commercialization opportunities.

Marche Fleming-Randle

Marche Fleming-Randle

Three Wichita State University faculty and staff were honored as a part of the 2017 Leaders in Diversity Awards. Marche Fleming-Randle, assistant to the president for diversity, Rhonda Lewis, professor of psychology and Yolonda Adams, finance director for Ennovar were among 16 individuals and eight organizations selected. The winners were chosen for their commitment to promoting and supporting diversity in their organizations and in their communities.

Noell Birondo, associate professor of philosophy, received a Tilford Fellowship for his honors course, Race, Racism and Social Justice. The $4,000 fellowship is awarded to faculty members interested in developing a new diversity-related course, modifying an existing course or conducting scholarship on diversity-related pedagogy.

Dan Close, associate professor in the Elliott School of Communication, was elected to the state board of the Kansas Authors Club.

Marche Fleming-Randle, assistant to the president for diversity, was honored with the Wichita Urban Professionals Mentor Award. She was also appointed by Sen. Jerry Moran to the Kansas Service Academy Selection Military Board.

Kerry Jones, writing center director, was a semifinalist for Snake Nation Press’ 2016 Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award for her short story collection, “The Last Innocent Year.”

Cheryl Miller, senior assistant dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was elected vicepresident of the Kansas Ornithological Society. She also serves on the KOS Kansas Bird Records Committee, which reviews records of rare bird sightings in the state.


Rich Bomgardner, program director of Athletic Training, received a University Research/Creative Projects Award (URCA) from Wichita State University for his project, “High School Faculty Awareness of Post-Concussion Return-to-Learn Policies.”

Moriah Beck

Moriah Beck

Moriah Beck, assistant professor of chemistry, was awarded a $415,340 grant from the National Institutes of Health for her project, “Probing Actin Filament Assembly, Structure, and Dynamics by Palladin.”

Katie Mitchell-Koch, assistant professor of chemistry, received a $110,000 Doctoral New Investigator grant from the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. The grant will fund her project, “Toward Improved Non-Aqueous Biocatalysis: Mapping Relationships between Enzyme Structure, Interfacial Solvent Dynamics, and Enzyme Dynamics.”

Catherine Searle, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received a $150,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for her project, “Lower Curvature Bounds, Symmetries, and Topology.”

Alexandre Shvartsburg, assistant professor of chemistry, received a $610,000 career grant from the National Science Foundation for his project, “High-Resolution Multidimensional nonlinear Ion Mobility Spectrometry for Analytical Separations and Structural Characterization.”


Dinorah Azpuru, associate professor of political science, was invited to speak at the Forum for Democracy in Latin America in Mexico City. She was on a panel with U.S. Ambassador Roberta Jacobson. Former presidents of Latin America, the secretary general of the Organization of American States and other dignitaries also participated as speakers at the event.


Elaine Steinke

Elaine Steinke

Elaine Steinke, professor in the School of Nursing, was one of several experts cited in the article, “How to get your sex life back after a heart attack,” published on Men’s Heath online. To read the full article, go to http://bit.ly/2jMdWPb.

Jason Herron, assistant professor of educational psychology, co-authored “The Influence of Gender on Non-Academic Skills Associated with Post-School Employment and Further Education,” in Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals.

Katie Cramer, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, published a chapter entitled “Using YA Literature to Interrogate the Heteronormative, Transphobic Culture of School Sports” in “Developing Contemporary Literacies through Sports: A Guide for the English Classroom,” edited by Alan Brown and Luke Rodesiler.

Wei-Cheng Mau, professor, Counseling, Leadership, Education and School Psychology, authored and co-authored several articles: “Transforming high school counseling: counselors’ roles, practices, and expectations for student success,” “Gender and racial differences in career decision-making dispositions of college students enrolled in STEM majors,” “Characteristics of US students that pursued a STEM major and factor predicted persistence in degree completion” and “Social, Cognitive, and Cultural Factors of STEM Career Aspirations and Decision-Making in Taiwan, Research and Reflections,” which appeared in a variety of education journals.

Ashley Jack, assistant dean, Education, and Gayla Lohfink, associate professor, Curriculum and Instruction, co-authored “Advocating for English Language Learners: Elementary Teacher Education Curricula to Meet the Literacy needs of All Students,” published in “Teacher Education Yearbook XXV: Building upon Inspirations and Aspirations with Hope, Courage, and Strength in Teacher Education.” Jack also partnered with Kim McDowell, department head, Curriculum and Instruction, and Shirley Lefever-Davis, dean, Education, on “Curriculum as a reflection of teacher self-efficacy,” published in “Self-Efficacy in Action: Tales from the Classroom for Teaching, Learning and Professional Development.”

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers, assistant director of Clinical Education, along with colleagues from the National Institute for Fitness and Sport in Kanoya, Japan, published "Effects of bodyweight squat exercise in physically frail older adults” in the Journal of Sports and Health Science. In this study, 15 older adults with an average age of 79 years who needed assistance performing activities of daily living performed squat exercises using bodyweight as resistance while singing in a group-setting for one set of 48 reps twice weekly for 12 weeks.

Fuchang Liu, associate professor, Curriculum and Instruction, has a book accepted for publication by Routledge, "Common mistakes in teaching elementary math – And how to avoid them," due to come out at the end of March.


Emily Patterson, who has been the associate director of facilities planning, was promoted to director of facilities planning.

The Community Engagement Institute is pleased to announce that Jennifer Pacic was chosen as the director of the Center for Organizational Development and Collaboration. Pacic comes to WSU from her hometown of Denver. She has extensive experience in working with nonprofits and community coalitions, including starting and running her own nonprofit. She served as an independent contractor for several years, providing organizational consultation services to nonprofits in Colorado. She helped several faith-based organizations create new coursework allowing them to partner with local colleges. Pacic also helped art-related organizations strategically reach new audiences and helped several nonprofits successfully start.

Mythili Menon was hired as assistant professor of English and Linguistics. Menon has a doctorate from the University of Southern California. She studies meaning, structure and representations shared across cognitive domains such as language, artificial language, music and vision.


Joe Kleinsasser, director, News and Media Relations, was a guest panelist at the Kansas Community College Leadership Institute session at Cowley College. He presented the workshop “Working Effectively with the Media.”

Sana Malik, lecturer, Public Health Services, was selected to participate in the U.S. Alumni Thematic International Exchange Seminar, “The New Frontiers of Global Public Health,” in Atlanta. She was chosen based on her commitment to create lasting positive change in her local community and around the world.


Paul Magelli Sr., 85, died Sunday, Dec. 4. He was dean of the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Wichita State University from 1970 to 1983, and has held several other high-ranking positions in academia. For 13 years, Magelli pushed Fairmount College faculty to be forward thinking and comprehensive in their approach toward undergraduate education. As dean, he led the college in its pursuit and application of knowledge, and prepared students and faculty for their roles in the future. He went on to become the founder and executive director of OSBI Business Consulting at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Some of his career highlights included president, Parkland College, Champaign, Illinois; president, Metropolitan State College, Denver; and vice president for Academic Administration, Drake University; Des Moines, Iowa. An active administrator and consultant, he also served as an advisor to The Kaufman Foundation on the development and implementation of initiatives to advance entrepreneurship training and knowledge, which included efforts at American colleges and universities. Magelli also helped establish the Bristol Enterprise Centre at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. Over the past few years he frequently taught in China, and participated in a Mayo Clinic study for clinical and aging populations related to hypoxia, the response to altitude.

Longtime KMUW development director Pat Hayes, 78, died Tuesday, Jan. 3. She was the development director and volunteer coordinator for KMUW Public Radio for 38 years, until the time of her death.

John McBride, a former faculty member in the Anthropology Department and later in FREDS in the business school, died on Friday, Dec. 30. He was 85. To honor his wife Flavia's love of swimming and their enjoyment of life on the WSU campus, they created the Flavia and John McBride Wichita State University Heskett Center Education Fund, focused on training future lifeguards and teaching adults to swim.

Maurice Jay (Maury) Penner, died Aug. 15, 2016, from Parkinson’s/Lewy Body Disease. Penner was a native of Kansas City, Kansas, and earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Kansas in 1974. After working for Kansas state government, he was a professor at Wichita State, after which he moved to the Bay Area, becoming a professor of public administration at the University of San Francisco.

John Gist, 74, died Tuesday, Jan. 31. He spent most of his life in Wichita, working as a city planner for the City of Wichita, an architect and land planner with Oblinger/Smith and finally director of Facilities Planning at Wichita State. He is survived by his wife, Mary, and son, Robert.