The Best of the Best

The College of Applied Studies Hall of Fame recognizes individuals or groups of individuals who have made significant positive impact on the college at any point since its founding. This includes the full range of programs that have been associated with the college at various points in its history. The traits/qualities CAS Hall of Fame members possess should be reflective of the college’s core values of collaboration, inclusivity, innovation, leadership, and learning.

Class of 2023

Dr. Marcus Ballenger, professor and associate dean emeritus, is an award-winning teacher and scholar who authored innovative language arts textbooks and created the college’s Cooperative Education program.

Dr. Jeri Carroll, professor emerita in early childhood and elementary education, is an award-winning teacher and nationally recognized scholar, and former department chair and president of the WSU Faculty Senate.

Dr. Orpha Duell, professor emerita in educational psychology, is an award-winning teacher and nationally recognized scholar, and former department chair and president of the WSU Faculty Senate.

Rick Pappas, former educator in physical education, is an award-winning teacher at WSU after a distinguished career teaching in USD 259. He is nationally recognized as a curricular leader for innovative approaches to physical education.

Dr. Michael Tilford, former college faculty and dean of the Graduate School, is a national leader in minority studies. The annual Michael Tilford Conference on Diversity and Multiculturalism is named in his honor.

Class of 2022

Dr. Marlene Schommer-Aikins, professor emerita-educational psychology, is an accomplished scholar, former coordinator of the educational psychology master’s program, chair of the counseling, educational and school psychology department.

Sue Bair, assistant professor emerita-physical education, was a faculty member who served at WSU for 33 years, mentoring and profoundly affecting the lives of hundreds of physical education students.

Amber Carithers, alumna-English language arts, is a teacher at Hutchinson High School, and was part of the 2022 Kansas Teacher of the Year Team.

Dr. Leonard Chaffee, dean and professor emeritus, now deceased, Chaffee served as dean for 20 years (1967-1987) and remained on the teaching faculty within education administration after his retirement.

Dr. Randy Ellsworth, professor emeritus-educational psychology, served as dean (1996-97), associate dean (1994-2006), department chair (1990-94) and established the Center for Research and Evaluative Services.

Dr. Jon Engelhardt, dean and professor emeritus, served as dean at WSU (1997-2007) and is a nationally-recognized leader in education, founding two professional and research organizations and serving on executive boards.

Frank Rokosz, associate professor emeritus-physical education activity program (PEAP), is the longest-serving faculty member in the history of the college, teaching 45 years and leading the university’s PEAP program.

Dr. Oliver Troxel, former dean, now deceased, was the college’s first dean (1926-1929) and was highly active with the Red Cross and National Education Association.

Dr. John Wilson, professor emeritus-elementary education, “Dr. John,” as he is affectionately known by his students, was an education faculty member whose creativity, commitment and advocacy for educators distinguished his career.

Class of 2021

Harry F. Corbin, university president from 1949 to 1963, known for leading the fight to bring the university into the state system of higher education.

Richard Gaskill, executive director of the Sumner Mental Health Center, in recognition of his internationally-recognized work in play therapy.

John Hansan, former faculty and department chair, for his strong dedication to sports and role in launching the university’s Sport Management programs.

Nick Jimenez and family for their generous support in donating the largest scholarship for Sport Management students in the College.

Doris and Ralph Klose for their generosity in funding over 20 scholarships per year to secondary science and mathematics teacher education candidates.

Margaret Meek, longtime educator in Wichita, for her dedication and commitment to teaching, including her work teaching reading to diverse students.

Lori Miller, former faculty, for being a driving force behind the establishment of the Sport Management programs and an internationally recognized sports management scholar.

Jackson Powell, dean from 1950 to 1966, who advanced the college in multiple ways, including convincing Frank Lloyd Wright to design a new education center in Wichita.

Twyla Sherman, former faculty, in recognition of her 42 years of service to WSU in science education and the impact she had on individual teachers.

Leslie Sipple, the college’s second dean from 1929-1950, for his outstanding contribution to the Teacher Training Program and his recognition throughout the state and Midwest as a leader in education.

Gladys Taggart, former faculty, for evolving the physical education program at WSU, as well as her multiple contributions to all areas of women’s athletics.

Alicia Thompson, alumna and superintendent of Wichita Public Schools, for her outstanding leadership during some of the most challenging times in American education history.

Categories & Criteria

Academic: Current, former or retired faculty, staff and/or administrators who have distinguished themselves in advancing the college’s academic mission and/or positively impacting students or their field of specialization.

Alumni: Graduates or former students who have distinguished themselves in advancing the college or positively impacting their chosen profession.

Patron: Individuals who have distinguished themselves in advancing the college by donating their time and/or financial resources.

Community: Practitioners or partners who have distinguished themselves in advancing the college by virtue of their engagement with students, faculty and other constituents.

Open Category: Nominator proposes both a nominee and customized category for individuals who may not fit in the other categories but have distinguished themselves in advancing the college.

Nomination Process
  • Anyone may make a nomination
  • Nominations may be submitted here  
  • Nomination information includes:
    • the name and contact information for the nominator
    • the name and contact information for nominee or nominee’s representative in the instance of a posthumous nomination
    • specification of category
    • rationale for nomination (please provide as much information as possible)
    • optional item pertaining to whether the nominee is a First Generation graduate
    • if you have hard copy or digital files with additional information or recommendations about the nominee, please send them to the CAS Dean’s Office.
  • By mail: College of Applied Studies Dean’s Office, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260-0131
  • In person: Corbin Education Center, room 104 (north wing)
  • By email:
Selection Committee

Appointed annually by the college’s Leadership Team, representation on the committee includes the following:

  • Two representatives from the College’s Advisory Board
  • One member of the CAS Leadership Team
  • One CAS Student
  • One representative (faculty, staff or student) from each of the college’s academic departments
  • One representative from the WSU Foundation and Alumni Engagement
  • In the event of a presenting sponsorship, one representative from the sponsoring organization
  • Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Deadline for nominations to be considered in the next class of inductees is March 1.
  • Public announcement of the inductees will be in mid August.