Faculty and staff news, winter 2018 / 2019



Dr. Dean Elledge, program director for the Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program, won the Dentist of the Year award from the Wichita District Dental Society.

Rob Manske, professor in the physical therapy department, was awarded the American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy Ron Peyton award.

Noell Birondo, associate professor of philosophy, published “Whose Metaethical
Minimalism?” in the Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (2): 37–43. The article provides
a critical discussion and partial defense of the John Locke Lectures delivered by T. M.
Scanlon at Oxford University in 2009 and published in book form as Being Realistic
about Reasons (Oxford University Press, 2014). Birondo also accepted an invitation from the University of Western Australia to do a public lecture and master class on his current research in Perth, Australia, early 2020.

Jolynn Dowling, Riordan Distinguished Professor, received the Dorothy Woodin Award for outstanding service in public health nursing at the 75th annual Kansas Public Health Association conference.
Nikki Keene Woods, associate professor in Public Health Sciences, was named a Public Health Hero as part of Public Health Thank You Day.


Heather Ondercin, associate professor in American politics, published on the London School of Economics politics blog.

Sociology professor Chase Billingham co-authored a study with University of Buffalo sociologist Shelley Kimelberg called "Identifying the Urban: Resident Perceptions of Community Character and Local Institutions in Eight Metropolitan Areas." Read details of the study. A story about the study also appeared in The Atlantic.

Daniel Bergman, associate professor and interim head in the School of Education, published two articles: “Pre-service teachers’ pliable perceptions of ethical practices in student evaluation” in Issues in Teacher Education, and “‘I think you mean. . .’ Potential perils of teacher paraphrasing and alternative responses for student engagement” in The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, available here.

Ray Hull, Communication Sciences and Disorders professor, has coauthored a new book, “The Art of Influence,” with New York Times best-selling author Jim Stovall. This book is the fourth collaboration between Hull and Stovall in their personal development series, “Your Ultimate Guide,” intended to help readers gain business and personal success through effective communication.

Jolynn Dowling, Riordan Distinguished Professor, had her manuscript “Implementation of a Statewide Program to Promote Safe Sleep, Breastfeeding and Tobacco Cessation to High Risk Pregnant Women” published in the Journal of Community Health. Jolynn worked with community partners from Kanas University, the Kansas Infant Death and SIDS Network and the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians on the manuscript.


Fuchang Liu, associate professor in Curriculum and Instruction, presented "Common and Uncommon Fractions Are Mentally Represented Differently" at the APA 2018 Convention in San Francisco, California.

George Dehner, associate professor of history, was part of a Plenary Session for the annual conference of ASM Microbe, held in Atlanta. His talk was titled “Spanish Flu: The World Before, During, and After.”

Dinorah Azpuru, professor in the Political Science Department, gave a lecture on "Political Culture in Central America" as part of the international seminar Democracy in Latin America and Honduras in the XXI Century: Advances, Setbacks and Crises. The conference was sponsored by National University of Honduras and the U.S. National Democratic Institute, Dec. 6-7 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Azpuru is an expert on survey research in Latin America.


Effective Jan. 3, Michael Irvin will be joining the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance as the equal opportunity coordinator. Irvin comes from the employee relations office of Sedgwick County.

Jolynn A. Dowling, professor in the School of Nursing, has been named to the Janice M. Riordan Distinguished Professorship in Maternal Child Health at Wichita State University. The professorship was established in 2007 to honor the work of Janice M. Riordan RN, EdD, FAAN noted author, lecturer, researcher, consultant on breastfeeding and lactation management, and former professor in the School of Nursing at Wichita State.


Venetta L. Nutter died Sept. 30 in Salina. Mrs. Nutter worked in WSU's registrar's office in the 1940s and 1950s. She later was a happy homemaker and was an active member of the Parent Teacher Association at OK Elementary, Hadley Junior High and Wichita North High School. Read more about Mrs. Nutter.

Janice "Jan" Mary Riordan (Brick) of Southlake, Texas, died Sept. 17. Mrs. Riordan was a longtime professor in the WSU School of Nursing. She was a pioneering proponent for breastfeeding and a founding member of the Kansas chapter of La Leche League International. Riordan became a tenured professor in nursing at WSU, where she served on the faculty for 23 years before retiring in 2010. She was Professor Emerita of the School of Nursing at the time of her death. A professorship was endowed at WSU in 2007 to honor Riordan's contributions to nursing education. The Janice M. Riordan Distinguished Professorship in Maternal Child Health, with its focus on breastfeeding education and research, was hailed by the university as the first of its kind in a school of nursing. Read more about Mrs. Riordan.

Alvin Sarachek died Dec. 7, in Wichita. Mr. Sarachek was a former WSU Trustee's Distinguished Professor of Natural Sciences and, in his time here, helped draft the first comprehensive formal guidelines for tenure and promotion procedures for the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which served as the procedural model eventually adopted by WSU. Read more about Mr. Sarachek.

John Edmund Schrup died surrounded by his family Sept. 14, in Taos, New Mexico. Mr. Schrup taught from 1964-1966 as an instructor of drawing and painting at Wichita State. Read more about Mr. Schrup.