American Ethnic Studies
Yolanda Broyles-González, department head of American Ethnic Studies, has published the first academic treatment of singer Jenni Rivera as part of a cultural studies anthology titled “De Aztlan al Rio de la Plata,” edited by Sergio M. Martinez.
The anthology’s title marks its transnational focus: “Aztlan” is a Nahuatl Aztec designation for North America, while “Rio de la Plata” designates South America. Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera enjoyed a singular hemispheric popularity across national borders. When Rivera died in a plane crash on Dec. 9, 2012, Mexican-Americans lost their greatest living song idol, while the world in general lost one of the most eloquent and engaged advocates for women of color.
In her article, Broyles-González traces the emergence of Rivera from a Long Beach, California barrio to a stardom, which gave voice to the most disenfranchised sectors of society. Her voice performed a powerful history from the fringe, which modeled empowerment for women, most especially immigrant Mexican women. Click here to read more.
Rollie J. Clem, professor of biology, has been awarded the Joan S. Hunt Distinguished Mentoring Award by the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Program, or K-INBRE.
Candidates for the award must be faculty members at one of 10 participating Kansas and Oklahoma universities with demonstrated success in their field and must have mentored a substantial number of junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, or graduate or undergraduate students. The award was established in 2012 to recognize someone with demonstrated commitment to fostering the intellectual, creative, scholarly and professional growth of mentees. The award’s namesake, Joan S. Hunt, is professor emeritus of anatomy and cell biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center and the original principal investigator of K-INBRE. Read the full story here.
Two Communication Studies students were awarded Arts and Sciences Research Travel Scholarships to attend the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) Conference. Brett Sitts, an undergraduate, and Lindsey Milburn, a graduate student, will both travel to Minneapolis later this spring for the conference.
Sitts and Paige Wiley, another undergraduate student, both had papers accepted to the CSCA Undergraduate Honors Research Conference (UHRC) and will present their papers as part of a competitive panel.
Dan Kuester gave a presentation on creating personal connections in the classroom as part of the GTA Professional Development Series sponsored by the Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence (FETE). This series features faculty lectures for graduate students who are interested in receiving certification in teaching techniques.
“This is the second consecutive year I was asked to give one of the talks and I was happy to do so,” Kuester said. “I spoke about ways to make the classroom environment less intimidating for students.”
Amanda Gaulke presented “Stopping Out of College: The Role of Credit Constraints” at the Western Economic Association International Conference in Santiago, Chile as part of a Contemporary Economic Policy: Public Policy and Inequality Series Session arranged by Indiana University.
Assistant Professor Francesco Orsi published a correspondence piece titled “Environment: Progressive Taxes for Sustainability” in the international journal Nature. The correspondence suggests levying progressive taxes on goods that are particularly detrimental to the environment as a method of achieving a more sustainable society. Orsi is a recognized authority on the use and preservation of green space and sustainable transportation.
Mattheow Totten and Abdelmoneam Raef and their student Keithan Martin published an article in the Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering on studying the petroleum system of the subsurface Hugoton embayment basin of western Kansas.
The study focuses on improving the understanding of the orientation, geometry, and spatial distribution of ooid shoal complexes in Kearny County, Kansas. Integration of multiple datasets and advanced Artificial Neural Networks analysis resulted in the development of a well-calibrated predictive tool for classifying specific rock characteristics (lithological facies) based on geophysical well-logs.
Journalism and Mass Communications
Safiya Woodard, senior in mass communications at K-State, won the grand prize in the 2016 Biotech University reporting contest, a $2,500 academic scholarship. Woodard’s winning entry was a video documentary, “The Evolution of Biotechnology in Agriculture.” Click here to read more.
Laura Kanost, associate professor of Spanish, led a group of eight Spanish students on a two-week study abroad program in Costa Rica blending cultural and linguistic immersion, leadership, and multidisciplinary research. The students, who represent four different colleges at K-State, lived with host families in a rural community, engaged in a service-learning project, and participated in a variety of excursions and mini-classes. Pictured, from left to right: Natalie Wolf, sophomore, Arts and Sciences Open Option; Jacklyn Dawson, freshman, Business Administration; Katlyn Krause, junior, Geography; Anne Recker, senior, Animal Sciences and Industry; Christine Laflin, sophomore, Architectural Engineering; Shea Roy, senior, Kinesiology; Cassidy Frost, senior, Biochemistry; Kaylee Aherns, freshman, Arts and Sciences Open Option; Amy Hein, senior, Spanish and Marketing; Laura Kanost, associate professor of Spanish.
Music, Theatre, and Dance
The K-State Trumpet Ensemble made university history on Jan. 20 by being selected as semifinalists for the National Trumpet Competition.
Student trumpeter players Abby Giles, Sarah Grose, Lucas Johnson, Kyle Lefler, Steven Schmoll and Hunter Sullivan will be the first students from K-State to ever compete on this national platform.
The group will travel to Denver in March to compete with trumpet ensembles from all over the country.
Chris Sorensen, Cortelyou-Rust university distinguished professor of physics, is the lead inventor of the recently issued patent, “Process for high-yield production of graphene via detonation of carbon-containing material.” Other Kansas State University researchers involved include Arjun Nepal, postdoctoral researcher and instructor of physics, and Gajendra Prasad Singh, former visiting scientist.
“We have discovered a viable process to make graphene,” Sorensen said. “Our process has many positive properties, from the economic feasibility, the possibility for large-scale production and the lack of nasty chemicals. What might be the best property of all is that the energy required to make a gram of graphene through our process is much less than other processes because all it takes is a single spark.” Read the full story here.
Navante Peacock, senior in psychology and anthropology, won the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Undergraduate Student Poster Award at the society’s annual meeting in San Antonio. Peacock’s poster “Paved with Good Intentions: Perceptions of Racial Microaggressions” examined how third-party observers perceive racial microaggressions as harmful, intentional, and racist.
Andrew Marshall, a 2016 PhD graduate of the Psychological Sciences department, was awarded the SEAB Basic Behavior Analysis Dissertation Award from Division 25 of the American Psychological Association (APA). This award recognizes individuals whose recent doctoral research significantly advances scientific knowledge in the field of basic behavioral processes. Marshall’s dissertation investigated how risky decision making is influenced by the changing frequencies of risky losses; and losses-disguised-as-wins, or gambling losses that are presented along with the “bells and whistles” of slot machines, making you think that you won when you actually didn’t. Marshall has co-authored 14 peer-reviewed journal articles and 27 research presentations. He is now a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care at the University of California-Irvine.
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Mike Wesch‘s Digital Ethnography class was the subject of a featured article in Anthropology News (the flagship publication of the American Anthropological Association). In the article, Cathy Davidson (distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of CUNY) concludes:
“It’s significant that this remarkable course is happening at K-State, a massive public university with nearly open admission and one confronting the serious cutbacks that public higher education is facing in nearly every state…Mike Wesch and his K-State students are part of this movement to train active learners who don’t just fit into the status quo, they challenge it. That’s the future of higher education. Our mission cannot be just to train students to be “workforce ready” for work that no longer exits. They need to be world ready.”
Kevin Steinmetz and Richard Goe presented “Technological Con Artistry” at the Biennial Principal Investigator’s Meeting of the National Science Foundation’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program in Arlington, Virginia.
The Journal of Dairy Science recently highlighted an article led by Associate Professor Nora M. Bello as an example of “best research practices.” The article, about how to properly recognize experimental units in animal studies, was a multi-institutional effort of agricultural statisticians from academia and government across the US. The Journal of Dairy Science is the official journal of the American Dairy Science Association and the leading worldwide general dairy research journal.