Emily Ruder, a master’s student in Communication Studies, presented a debut paper at the 102nd National Communication Association conference in Philadelphia, Nov. 10 – 13. Ruder’s research project, “Father/Daughter Communication and Leadership,” focused on the extent to which fathers are leadership role models for their daughters. The paper was ranked one of the top four papers in the Master’s Education Division at the conference. This was Emily’s first national conference.
Miranda Klugesherz, a second-year master’s student in Communication Studies, received the George J. Mitchell Scholarship. The flagship program of the US-Ireland Alliance, the Mitchell Scholarship is a nationally competitive program which selects 12 young American leaders and fully funds a year of graduate study in Ireland. Mitchell scholars are encouraged to adopt an ambassadorial role and further ties between the US and Ireland while growing academically and in leadership and public service.
Concerned with food insecurity for most of her life, Miranda has dedicated her scholarship and community efforts to fighting hunger at the systemic level. Her research focuses on finding ways to give individuals who experienced hunger and poverty a voice in policy. Miranda is a graduate research assistant for the Institute of Civic Discourse and Democracy and a graduate teaching assistant for public speaking classes. Outside of school, she chairs the Junction City Food Policy Council, is an executive member of Live Well Geary County, and is an assistant coach for the speech team at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. Miranda will receive her MS in Social Policy at the University College Cork in Cork, Ireland. Back to top
Amanda Gaulke, assistant professor of economics, has been awarded a Spencer Foundation Small Research Grant in the amount of $40,850 for her proposal seeking to study student loan repayment. The goal of this project is to examine how people with student loans move through repayment and what factors are associated with losing good standing during repayment.
Despite student debt exceeding credit card debt, little is known about how people transition through the repayment process. Gaulke and her co-investigators, financial economists Maxime Roy and Christopher Reynolds of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, seek to understand which factors affect people’s ability to repay their loans, and to describe such dynamics as when and how people’s loans go into default, deference or forbearance.
“The media often discusses student loans in a negative light but there isn’t much current research that explains how student loans interact with other types of debt, such as credit cards and medical bills,” Gaulke said. Read the full story here. Back to top
Marcellus M. Caldas, associate professor, has been named editor of a special issue of the Journal of Land Use Science. The special issue will examine Land Use Science and Energy. Dr. Caldas is a recognized expert on land use change, biodiversity and energy policy in Brazil.
Bérangère Leys, post-doctoral researcher, and Kendra K. McLauchlan, associate professor, along with co-authors P.E. Higuera and P.V. Dunnette, published “Wildfires and Geochemical Change in a Subalpine Forest over the Past Six Millennia” in Environmental Research Letters. The study used a novel analysis of lake sediments to examine the impact of high-severity fires over the last 6200 years in a small subalpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Back to top
Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies
Faculty members in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies presented papers on the topic of Decoloniality at the 2016 National Women’s Studies Association annual meeting in Montreal, Nov. 10 – 13.
In “Toward a Decolonial and Intersectional Analysis of Rape in the Young Adult Novels of Alice Childress and Jacqueline Woodson,” Dr. Angela Hubler argued that while dozens of young adult rape novels have been published since 1976, only a few depict character of color, and even fewer thematize race. Alice Childress’ “Those Other People” and Jaqueline Woodson’s “I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This,” however, draw on a black feminist tradition that articulates the need for solidarity among the oppressed and posits the possibility of an interracial, coalitional politics.
Dr. Tushabe, in “Can Gender Be Decolonized?” focused on the effects of the tax system in Uganda, addressing the question of decolonial thought in a world that is (re)organized by gender. The colonial system imposed gender on indigenous peoples and divided people into categories of human, less human, or nonhuman, and citizen or noncitizen. This imposition was achieved in Uganda through the tax system by reorganizing familial relations into owner and property, making men citizens and owners of property, while women, children, land, crops, and animals became a man’s property. Back to top
Johnson Cancer Research Center
The Johnson Cancer Research Center has selected 47 students to participate in its undergraduate Cancer Research Award program. The students will complete research projects with faculty mentors in the spring and receive $1,000 awards from the center. Read the full news release here.
The Center also sponsored a George S. Bascom Memorial Lecture Nov. 3 by human papilloma virus vaccine expert Michael Hagensee, MD, PhD, Dept. of Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Hagensee discussed the development of current HPV vaccines, problems with low vaccination rates, and a possible solution. A video is available on the center’s website. Back to top
Journalism and Mass Communication
Nancy Muturi, professor in K-State’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to travel to Kenya to work with the United States International University-Africa and Dorothy Njoroge on research, curriculum development and graduate training.
Muturi will contribute to curriculum development in a newly developed master’s in journalism program at USIU-A. She will work with Njoroge to supervise staff, organize and conduct graduate seminars, and advise thesis writing for students. The seminars will focus on identification of national and international research resources to support and enhance research portfolios and collaborations between USIU-A and K-State. Read the full story here. Back to top
Music, Theatre and Dance
Three K-State piano students won awards at the Kansas Music Teachers Association State Piano Competition Nov. 6 at Washburn University in Topeka. Matthew Meals, senior in applied music, won the first prize in the junior/senior category. Samuel Fifield, senior in applied music, won the third prize in the junior/senior category. Oscar Vasquez, graduate student, won the second prize in the graduate category. All three are students of Slawomir Dobrzanski.
Singers from K-State’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance also competed in the West Central National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Auditions Nov. 4 – 5 in Wichita. Students competed in three rounds of auditions before being selected for the finals. Several K-State students placed in the final round and were awarded a monetary amount. Click here to read the list of finalists. Back to top
K-State Political Science faculty members had nine articles published or accepted in journals ranked in the top 10 in their field over the past year. They had an additional 11 articles published or accepted in journals ranked in the top 30. Beyond that, political science faculty gave invited talks at workshops and other venues at Stanford, Princeton, Rice University, USC, Rutgers, UNLV, NC State, CIDE in Mexico City, UC-Davis, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Oklahoma. View the full list of publications for the academic year 2015-2016 here. Back to top
Erik J. Garcia, M.S. in Psychology, received an American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award. His dissertation is examining how environmental housing conditions affect relapse behavior and the expression of receptors of a specific neurotransmitter (glutamate) in the nucleus accumbens—a brain region linked to reward and motivation—following amphetamine self-administration in rats.
Erik hypothesizes that more glutamate receptor changes will result in more drug seeking behavior for the rats after 40 days of abstinence. However, he expects that rats housed in an enriching environment will show less receptor changes and thereby less motivation to seek drugs after the abstinence period than will rats in an isolated housing condition. The $1,000 APA award will be used to offset some of the costs associated with his dissertation research.
Erik earned three varsity letters in football at Nebraska Wesleyan University before earning his Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Colorado State University in 2010. His PhD mentor is Dr. Mary Cain. Back to top
Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Engaged scholarship and service learning are key components of effective education and relevant research at K-State. Rural areas pose special challenges when trying to develop engaged learning and research opportunities. A newly released book, “The Landscape of Rural Service Learning, and What It Teaches Us All”, is a compilation drawn from a longstanding project led by scholars from across the country and K-State sociologist Spencer Wood, co-authored three chapters in the volume. The book frames the unique sets of challenges, opportunities, and needs facing rural areas within a context of improved educational experiences and efforts to fulfill the Land Grant mission to deliver services and knowledge to citizens, and is the first book-length treatment on service learning in rural areas. Back to top