Faculty and staff news, summer 2019


Awards and Honors

New emeriti faculty

New emeriti faculty, as announced by the Office of Academic Affairs:

  • Louis J. Medvene, professor emeritus, Department of Psychology
  • Russell D. Widener, professor emeritus, Department of Music 
Kelly St. Pierre
Kelly St. Pierre, professor in the School of Music, was awarded a one year Fulbright to teach and research in the Czech Republic for the 2019-2020 academic year. St. Pierre will be teaching at Charles University on the contents of her first book, Bedřich Smetana: Myth, Music, and Propaganda. While there she will also be researching for her second book, Measuring Czechness: Musicology, the People, and the State, at the Czech Academy of Sciences. St. Pierre's work investigates the surprising roles music research  has played in formulating ethnic cleansings in the Czech lands through the twentieth century, as well as the ways even modern music scholarship continues to negotiate — and sometimes mute — this past.
Amy Chesser, Melody McCray-Miller and Nikki Keene Woods
Amy Chesser, Melody McCray-Miller and Nikki Keene Woods have been awarded $250,000 in funding over a 2-year period through the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award. They will develop a women’s health network to increase health equity for the state of Kansas and involving women meaningfully in every aspect of PCORI’s work. Inneke Vargas will serve as research assistant. Read more about the award.
Soonchun Lee, Daniel Bergman, Greg Novacek and Cathy Durano

Soonchun Lee, Daniel Bergman, Greg Novacek and Cathy Durano were awarded a $30,000 grant from the NASA Kansas Space Grant Consortium (KSGC) for a Teacher Workshop Program entitled Space Science Hands-On Activities and Practices for Middle School Classrooms Using NASA Education Resources (S2HAP).

The S2HAP workshop is a practice-based and apprenticeship training program for middle school science teachers’ implementation of space-science lessons using NASA education resources.

Fifteen middle school science teachers will participate in a 3-day summer workshop and teach S2HAP lessons to improve their students’ interests and understanding in spacesciences in the fall 2019 semester.

Find out more about the NASA Kansas Space Grand Consortium award.

Shirley Lefever and Clay Stoldt

Shirley Lefever, dean of the College of Applied Studies and Clay Stoldt, associate dean, were nominated and recognized by two separate organizations during the month of February. Lefever was awarded by the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) as this year’s Distinguished Member. Stoldt was inducted as one of six inaugural members into the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA).

Lefever joined the ATE in 1989 and has served on as many as nine committees in her tenure has received the Presidents’ Service Award six times. Most recently, she served as the President of ATE for two terms spanning from 2015 to 2017.

Stoldt was recognized at COSMA’s annual meeting Feb. 8 in Atlanta, and he was one of six inaugural members in the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Stoldt has been involved with the organization since its founding a decade ago. He served as chair of COSMA’s board of directors from 2015 to 2018, during which time the organization earned its own recognition by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Stoldt was nominated by Mark Vermillion, chair and professor in WSU’s Department of Sport Management.


Mark Porcaro

Mark Porcaro, executive director of Online Learning and OneStop Student Services, published “Congratulations! You are a Best Ranked School! But…” on WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies), considering the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the relationship between page authority and page quality. Read the article.

Bill Miles

Bill Miles, professor of Economics in the Barton School of Business, wrote a section of a Point 2 Homes article titled “18 North American Cities Saw Home Prices Jump Over 50% in Just 5 Years.” His section predicted consumer responses to increasing real estate prices during the past 5 years and predicted how the prices would change in 5 years’ time. Read the article.

Meghann Kuhlmann and Lizzy Walker

Meghann Kuhlmann, Instruction and Research Services librarian and 
assistant professor, and Lizzy Walker, Metadata and Digital Initiatives librarian and assistant professor, had their manuscript “Superheroes in the Stacks: Planning a Halloween ComicFest at Your Academic Library” published in the Journal of Library Administration vol. 59 no. 3.

Usha Haley

Usha Haley, professor of Management and director of the Center for International Business Advancement, was quoted in Fortune magazine’s article “A Triple Threat to Consumers: China Tariffs Add to NAFTA Replacement Woes.” Haley commented on the replacement of NAFTA with USMCA, and its negative effects on consumers. Read the article.

Haley was also quoted in South China Morning Post’s “US demands level playing field in China, but can Beijing rein in state subsidies to end trade war?” Haley commented that she is not optimistic that China will agree to any of the United States’ trade demands, or lower subsidies for state-owned enterprises. Read the article.

Dorothy Harpool

Dorothy Harpool, director of Student and Community Initiatives, senior marketing lecturer, and Service Learning Faculty Scholar for the Barton School of Business, was featured in an “Ask the Expert” on Wallethub.com regarding Citi credit card offers. Read the article.

Carolyn Speer

Carolyn Speer, manager of Instructional Design and Access at the Media Resources Center, was quoted in Inside Higher Ed’s article, “Discussion Boards: Valuable? Overused? Discuss.” She distinguished the proper use of discussion boards versus blogs in online courses, and argued for the value of open discussion assignments in an online learning environment. Read the article.

Wei-Cheng Joseph Mau

Wei-Cheng Joseph Mau, professor of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology, and Jiaqi Li, assistant professor and graduate coordinator of the Counseling program, won the National Career Development Association (NCDA) Career Development Quarterly Article of the Year award.

Each year during the annual NCDA Global Career Development Conference, NCDA honors those who exemplify excellence in career development. The Outstanding Articles of the Year award will be presented at the 2019 NCDA Global Career Development Conference in Houston, TX. Their article entitled “Factors Influencing STEM Career Aspirations of Underrepresented High School Students” is published in the Career Development Quarterly, 2018, 66 (3), p. 246-258.

Carolyn Shaw

Carolyn Shaw, associate vice president of strategic enrollment management, was honored this week in Toronto by the International Studies Association (ISA) Active Learning Section with the 2019 Distinguished Scholar Award.   This award is given not just to a nominee who is an outstanding professor, but one whose pedagogical scholarship and professional engagement promote excellence in others.  Carolyn has 11 refereed pedagogical publications, has served as a facilitator for 11 teaching workshops in three countries, has served as the editor for the Active Learning section’s 13 Compendium articles, and has held 12 different officer or committee leadership positions in ISA. Read more about the ISA Active Learning Distinguished Scholar Award.

Jeff Jarman

Jeff Jarman, director of the Elliott School of Communication, was quoted in Inside Higher Ed’s article “Arguing with AI.” In response to a debate held between a human and AI through IBM, Jarman questioned whether AI understands the process of argumentation, especially the ability to alter an argument based on one’s audience. Read the article.

Noell Birondo

Noell Birondo, associate professor of philosophy, published a critical book review of “Aristotle’s Concept of Mind” (Cambridge University Press) in the Journal of the History of Philosophy 57 (1): 162-163.

Projects and Presentations

Suresh Keshavanarayana, Charles Yang, Allison Horner and H. Shahverdi

Suresh Keshavanarayana, Charles Yang, Allison Horner and doctoral student H. Shahverdi from the WSU Department of Aerospace Engineering have been working with engineers from Spirit Aerosystems on a multi-year collaborative research project aimed at developing predictive methods for forming composite and metallic honeycomb cores into complex shapes. 

This work, funded by Spirit AeroSystems, will provide design guidelines and forming process limits to support new aircraft development. 

Kim Moore

Kim Moore, director for Workforce, Professional and Community Education, has contributed to multiple interviews, panel discussions and publications throughout April and May 2019.

  • On April 23, Moore was a panelist at the Pearson “Now/Next in Learning” Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. She spoke on “5 Key Strategies for Designing Impactful Credentials.” Read more on the conference.
  • Moore was also interviewed by Pearson on April 23 regarding WSU Badges. The interview will air on the Pearson North America YouTube channel. See Pearson’s YouTube channel.
  • On May 21, Moore was the opening panelist at the IMS Learning Impact Leadership Institute in San Diego. Her topic was “Digital Credentials: Impact and Opportunity,” informing attendees of the state of digital credentials study. Read more about the Institute.
  • Moore was invited to participate in the May issue of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), titled “7 Things You Should Know About” publication regarding open badges standards. Read more about the ELI.
  • Moore participated in an on-camera interview on May 10 with KTWU, Topeka for a future episode of the television series Sunflower Journeys. The series will air on KPTS Wichita, KCPT Kansas City and KTWU Topeka, and will feature the WSU Community Education Day trip to Dodge City.
Noell Birondo

Noell Birondo presented his paper “Epistemic Injustice in Aristotelian Ethics” at the annual meeting of the Kansas Philosophical Society in February, hosted this year by WSU. In April, Birondo presented his paper “Aristotle and Aztec Human Sacrifice” at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Vancouver, Canada.

In Memoriam

Patricia Bruce

Patricia A. (Ahern) Bruce, of Quincy and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, passed away on Saturday, Dec 15, 2018. She was a retired longtime WSU office assistant and contributor to WSU scholarships. Read more about Patricia.

Paul Dickerson

Paul Dickerson, a long-time admissions staff member, Paul Dickerson, passed away on Dec 27, 2018. Paul was the shuttle driver for thousands of campus visitors each year and was instrumental in making their campus tour experience efficient and memorable. Aside from getting guests around campus, he also supported the admissions team with event logistics and equipment transportation. His daughter says he really looked forward to coming to work every day to take care of the needs of visitors and admissions staff. His colleagues remember him for his loyalty, dedication and service, qualities that transcended the workplace. Read more about Paul.

Helen Throckmorton

Helen Throckmorton, of Wichita passed on Feb 8, 2019. She retired as Professor Emeritus and former English Department Chair in 1992 after serving 38 years at WSU. Read more about Helen.

Frank Kastor

Frank S. Kastor of Evanston, Illinois, passed away on Feb 6, 2019. He was a professor of English at WSU for 30 years, and founded the C.S. Lewis Society of Kansas. Read more about Frank.

Albert Chambers

Albert G. Chambers, of North Little Rock, Arkansas, passed away on Jan 20, 2019. He was a WSU engineering graphics faculty from 1966-1969. Read more about Albert.

Sarabeth Farney

Sarabeth Farney passed away on March 14, 2019. She was a professor at WSU. Donations may be made under the Sarabeth Farney Memorial Fund to the WSU Foundation. Read more about Sarabeth and donate.

Beverly Alexander

Beverly Alexander, 75, passed away on March 5, 2019. She was an Administrative Assistant for the Language Department. Donations may be made under the Beverly Alexander Memorial Fund to the WSU Foundation. Read more about Beverly and donate.