September Academe

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. 


Lisa Hansen

Lisa Hansen

Lisa Hansen was named a winner in the Student Success category and John Perry was named a winner in the Teaching & Learning category in the 2017 Blackboard Catalyst Awards. Founded in 2005, the annual Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice. Winners are selected by a cross-functional team of Blackboard experts.


José Enrique Navarro, assistant professor of Spanish, is the 2017 recipient of the Benson Latin American Collection-South Central Modern Language Association Faculty Research Grant. He will use this grant to conduct archival research on book trade in Argentina in the 20th Century at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, at The University of Texas at Austin. 


KMUW, Wichita Public Radio 89.1 FM, hosted an “Engage ICT: Democracy on Tap” event titled “Running for Public Office” on June 13. Neal Allen, assistant professor of political science, served as a panel member to answer questions about the responsibilities and intricacies of running for public office. 

Mark Schneegurt gave a talk on his work with the trial transcripts of cryptoJews from the 1596 Mexican Inquisition. He gave the talk once on campus and gave a similar talk as a Café Chèvre at Congregation Emanu-el on Central on June 21. 

Alicia Huckstadt

Alicia Huckstadt

Alicia Huckstadt, professor, School of Nursing, presented “Do Educational Experiences with Culture Diversity Make a Difference in Patient Care?” at the Sigma Theta Tau International 28th International Nursing Research Congress, Dublin, Ireland on July 29.

Huckstadt, and Karen Hayes, assistant professor, School of Nursing, presented “Filling a Health Care Gap: Entrepreneurship” at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners National Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 22. 


Sandra Bibb, dean of the College of Health Professions, was featured on Reflections of Nursing Leadership website. The piece she wrote was a response to a call to action given by the president of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Bibb serves as a board member for the prestigious organization. To read her feature, go to

Mark Schneegurt was contacted by the prestigious Hartman Institute to have excerpts published from one of his historical works in a source book used for rabbinic training. The excerptsalso will appear in a smaller publication that will be distributed to 20,000 synagogues in North America for free. The work they will use is a translation he made from the Hebrew of inserts to Psalm 122 that are known only from the Ethiopian Jewish community, connected with their Sigd holiday. It is housed permanently on WSU SOAR:

Arwiphawee Srithongrung, associate professor of public administration for the Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs, published a scholarly journal article titled “Capital Budgeting and Management Practices: Smoothing Out Rough Spots in Government Outlays.” The article was published in Public Budgeting and Finance.

David Xu, Sue Abdinnour, Department of Finance, Real Estate and Decision Sciences, together with Barbara Chaparro, published the article “An integrated temporal model of belief and attitude change: an empirical test with the iPad” in the Journal of the Association for Information Systems in 2017. To read the article, go to


Julie Scherz, chair of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, was elected to a two-year term as Secretary for the Board of Directors for the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, a national organization to promote quality, accessibility and innovation in CSD programs in higher education.

Wonyoung Kim

Wonyoung Kim

The Department of Sport Management is proud to announce Wonyoung Kim as the new executive director for the Partnership for the Advancement for Sport Management (PASM). PASM, founded in 2013, is a community engagement hub bringing together faculty, staff, students and practitioners in collaborative, applied research initiatives. Kim is an assistant professor who also serves as a university service learning fellow. According to former PASM Executive Director and current Department Chair Mark Vermillion, “Dr. Kim’s commitment to both applied and service learning opportunities made him a natural selection for this position. Dr. Kim has worked with a variety of sport and recreation practitioners in the past year through PASM, including the Air Capital Classic, Derby Recreation Commission, and Wichita Parks and Recreation. The leadership Kim shows by engaging our primary stakeholders through PASM-related activities is helping to positively impact our department, students and regional constituencies.” For more information on PASM activities, please go to


The Community Engagement Institute announced that Joyce McEwen Crane, Strategic Development Coordinator and leadership development trainer and coach, was one of 54 international participants selected by the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education program to participate in the intensive eight-day Art and Practice of Leadership Development: A Master Class for Professional Trainers, Educators and Consultants course in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 


Neal Allen

Neal Allen

Neal Allen was quoted in an article published by the Wall Street Journal titled “In Kansas, a Very Fresh Face Is Campaigning to Be Governor.” The article is about Jack Bergeson, high school student, and his running mate Alexander Cline and their campaign to run for governor. “I don’t see a lot of danger in Kansas that we would elect a 16-year-old for governor,” said Allen. 


The Office of Academic Affairs announces the new emeriti faculty: 

  • Christopher K. Brooks, professor emeritus of English
  • Kenneth N. Ciboski, associate professor emeritus of Political Science
  • Mary Sue Foster, professor emerita of Art, Design and Creative Industries
  • Buddy A. Johns, associate professor emeritus of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Mary L. Koehn, associate professor emerita of Nursing
  • Almer J. Mandt, associate professor emeritus of Philosophy
  • Abu Masud, professor emeritus of Industrial, Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering
  • David E. Soles, professor emeritus of Philosophy
  • Deborah H. Soles, professor emerita of Philosophy
  • Michael J. Palmiotto, professor emeritus of Criminal Justice
  • Kathy H. Strattman, associate professor emerita of Communication Sciences and Disorders 


Recently retired WSU postal clearing clerk Tim Shrank died on Tuesday, June 6. He was 63. He enjoyed his work at the university and was well respected throughout the WSU campus. Prior to his time at WSU, Shrank was an Army Reserve Sargent. He received the Twenty-Fourth Annual Philip A. Connelly Award for Best Field Mess, recognizing his excellence in the Army Food Service. He is survived by his wife, Gayla, and numerous extended family members. 

George Platt, Hugo Wall School Professor Emeritus, colleague, mentor and friend, passed away on Friday, June 2, 2017, in Wichita, after a fall and brief illness. He was 86. Platt joined the faculty of Wichita State University in 1969, where he held positions as the director of Planning and Institutional Research, associate professor of Political Science, associate professor of Public Administration, associate vice president of Planning and Institutional Research and dsirector of Graduate Studies in Public Administration. He was the Wichita State Centennial Coordinator from 1994-1986, and became an associate professor emeritus in 1997. Platt also authored two books, contributed to eight others, and wrote dozens of articles and professional research papers. He was greatly involved in researching and compiling the entire history of Wichita State. Platt loved watching basketball and baseball, especially the WSU Shockers. He is dearly missed by his friends and colleagues at Hugo Wall School. 

C. Russell Wentworth, retired administrative dean emeritus, died Thursday, July 20, at his home in Traverse City, Michigan. He was 92. Wentworth retired at WSU after 17 years of service. In 1983, Wentworth received a Special Service Award from the Kansas Community Education Association and was featured in a special news editorial by the KAKE TV-10 news team titled "Someone You Should Know." 

Jay C. Decker, 82, died Monday, July 31, 2017. Jay’s rich legacy depends on how you knew him: as a loving family man, extraordinary musician and teacher, dear friend, avid tennis player and sports fan or inveterate punster and joke-teller. In truth, he was all of these and so much more. All who knew him will miss him. Jay’s career spanned nearly 70 years making music in Wichita and beyond. As a renowned cellist and young conductor, Jay founded the Springfield Youth Symphony and the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. He inspired hundreds of students and musicians throughout his tenures at Drury College (Springfield, MO), University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Wichita State University serving as Professor of Music and conductor of the WSU Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. His dedication to teaching and passion for travel took him across the US and Europe with orchestras. He loved conducting Wichita community favorites including the Wichita River Festival Twilight Pops Concerts, Family Holiday Concerts, Young People’s Concerts, Ballet Wichita’s Nutcracker and many others until long after he retired in 1998. He is survived today by his wife of 32 years, Phyllis V. Decker; daughters, Dana Knorr (Patrick), Debbie Gans (Ron); son, Dan Decker (Debbie); stepdaughters, Kim Coe (Kevin) and Kelley Stewart Naron; sister, Kathe Thompson (John); 12 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; many beloved family members and friends too numerous to name. He was preceded in death by his wife of almost 30 years, Alice (Graber) Decker, and his parents, Harold and Peg Decker. A celebration of Jay’s life will be held at 4:00 pm, Friday, August 18, 2017 at University Congregational Church in Wichita. Jay will also be honored at the (Wichita) Walk to Defeat ALS by his team of “JayWalkers” on September 23rd, and at the Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s October 28-29 Classics Season concert though the generosity of the Lattner Foundation. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jay C. Decker Endowed Scholarship for String Students Memorial, c/o WSU Foundation, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0002 or Wichita Symphony Orchestra, 225 W Douglas Ave, Wichita, KS 67202. Downing & Lahey Mortuary East.