KU News: KU recognizes 13 students with 2022 University Awards, Campanile Award

Today's News from the University of Kansas

0
89

From the Office of Public Affairs | http://www.news.ku.edu

Headlines

KU recognizes 13 students with 2022 University Awards, Campanile Award
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has awarded 13 seniors with honors that recognize community engagement, leadership and academics. The recipients include students from Emporia, Eudora, Overland Park, Prairie Village and Wichita.

Study finds empathy training improves mother-child relationships, life satisfaction
LAWRENCE — A new study from the University of Kansas and Baker University has found that an intervention focusing on empathy skills can improve relationships between mothers and children and life satisfaction. “We know that, during that adolescence time, there is often conflict between the adolescent and parent. We thought this might be a good way to help reduce that conflict and help people see the others’ perspective within the context of this one relationship,” said Meagan Patterson, professor of educational leadership psychology at KU and study co-author.

New online play from Darren Canady asks who owns the notion of Blackness
LAWRENCE — A new play from Darren Canady, University of Kansas professor of English, premieres online May 6 and runs through May 13 as part of the Minneapolis-based Playwrights Center’ Playlabs Festival. “The Percy Meacham Dance Experience” explores ideas around artistic freedom and the notion of Blackness.

KU Engineering student wins Phi Kappa Phi fellowship
LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas senior in chemical engineering with plans to pursue a medical degree in the KU School of Medicine after graduation is this year’s winner of the James Blackiston Memorial Graduate Fellowship from the KU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Amanda Hertel, of Shawnee, wins $1,500 and is the chapter’s nominee for a national Phi Kappa Phi fellowship.

Full stories below.

————————————————————————

Contact: Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, KU News Service, 785-864-8858, [email protected], @ebpkansas
KU recognizes 13 students with 2022 University Awards, Campanile Award
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has awarded 13 students with honors that recognize community engagement, leadership and academics.

Campanile Award
Issued by the Board of Class Officers, the Campanile Award is given to a single graduating senior who has displayed remarkable leadership, character and respect for KU.
Ahmad Baset Azizi is a senior from Kabul, Afghanistan, majoring in political science, global & international studies and music and minoring in Middle East studies and intelligence & national security studies.

“I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to receive three degrees at the University of Kansas,” Azizi said. “My education and leadership experiences at the University of Kansas enabled me to nurture qualities and gain skills that helped me get out in the real world and work in nonprofits, local, state and federal levels of government to make a difference in our world.

“The research and intelligence & national security program helped me to learn how to put the pieces of a complex puzzle together and make calculated decisions in crisis situations. I am convinced that my education at the University of Kansas contributed to helping save lives in Kabul during the U.S. evacuation process from Afghanistan in August 2021. For that, I will always be grateful and proud to call myself a Jayhawk.”

University Awards
The University Awards, among the most prestigious awards presented at KU, were established to recognize students who embody service excellence, dedication or whose academic achievements are stellar.

Class of 1913 Awards
These annual awards go to two graduating students who show evidence of intelligence, devotion to studies, personal character and promise of usefulness to society.
Emma Cosner is a senior from Overland Park majoring in chemistry and minoring in physics.

“Over these last four years I’ve grown into a woman I’m proud of and a woman who would have inspired my younger self,” Cosner said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without the incredible mentorship of James Blakemore and Julie Leseberg, the instruction of my professors and the support of my friends.

“KU has an incredible undergraduate research program. Joining the Blakemore Lab to pursue inorganic chemistry research was the best choice I’ve ever made and has propelled me into a career in science. I am ecstatic to continue my research at graduate school this fall.”

Marc Mendel is a senior from New York City majoring in finance and minoring in entrepreneurship.

“The University of Kansas has been a transformative experience in my life,” Mendel said. “I want to thank my family, friends, professors, advisers and mentors over the past four years who have pushed me and molded me into the person I have become.

“As the Class of ’22 walks down Mount Oread into their own, unique paths, I urge my fellow Jayhawks to use the values and skills we have developed to consider their purpose, mission and legacy to lift society, just as I continue to accomplish through financial literacy.”

The Donald K. Alderson Memorial Award
The award goes to a graduating senior who has demonstrated loyalty to and interest in the university and who has been active in events and services that benefit other students. This award was established in memory of Alderson, former dean of men and dean of student services.

Andrew Moore is a senior from Prairie Village majoring in accounting and minoring in Spanish and business analytics.

“The University of Kansas has given me the best four years I could have ever imagined, and I hope that in some way I carried it forward and helped other people have an amazing experience as well,” Moore said. “I am honored to receive the Donald K. Alderson Memorial Award and am inspired to continue serving the university as an alumnus.”

The Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award
This award goes to two graduating students who have unselfishly contributed to the university through campus involvement. It was established in 1993 by Dillard’s family and friends to remember and honor him.

Bhroovi Gupta is a senior from Mumbai, India, majoring in visual communication-graphic design and minoring in business entrepreneurship.

“Not only was I honored to be a part of the highly recognized design department at KU, I also had the opportunity to work on multiple projects like KU commencements, orientation and multiple admissions projects with the fantastic Marketing Communications team of the university,” Gupta said. “To see my design printed in thousands of copies and being distributed around the state as the chancellor’s annual holiday card was definitely a highlight of my career.

“Outside of class, while contributing as the president of the KU Association of Indian Students and the cultural chair of the KU International Student Association, I realized the importance of learning from the people around and growing together as a community. Both experiences have helped me develop leadership skills and an overall holistic personality that prepares me for the future ahead.”

Ellen Vandewater is a senior from Wildwood, Missouri, majoring in computer science.
“My connections, experiences and skills I have gained through my involvement at KU are invaluable to me,” Vandewater said. “Being able to be a part of such an open and welcoming community gave me such an amazing opportunity to grow and experience life in a way you can’t learn in just a classroom. I hope that I gave back to the community as much joy as it has given me.”

The Rusty Leffel Concerned Student Award
This award annually goes to students who demonstrate a concern for furthering the ideals of the university and higher education. The award was established by a group of seniors in 1973 to honor their fellow student, Leffel.

Melek Ben-Ayed is a senior from Sfax, Tunisia, majoring in mechanical engineering.
“I am honored to be recognized for this award as it embodies what I strive for daily: making a difference,” Ben-Ayed said.

“I hope that the initiatives that I worked on at KU are continued onwards for years to come.”

Nathan Do is a junior from Wichita majoring in biochemistry and minoring in Spanish.

“My time at KU has been immensely rewarding so far, primarily from the incredible communities I’ve immersed myself in,” Do said. “I believe much of the passion instilled in me was cultivated by my involvement with several student organizations, ultimately teaching me the importance of community engagement and uplifting others, which I hope to carry with me throughout my future.

“I want to thank my peers and mentors throughout my college journey and look forward to another fruitful year of growth and learning here at KU.”

Emily Hull is a senior from Eudora majoring in business analytics and information systems.
“I am so happy to receive this University Award knowing that I have made a lasting impact on my campus and Lawrence community,” Hull said. “My lasting goal throughout my time at KU has been to inspire fellow students to get involved and give back to their communities, so I consider this award to be goal accomplished. I can’t wait to continue this personal mission beyond KU after graduation.”

The Caryl K. Smith Student Leader Award
This award goes to a graduating sorority or fraternity member who has demonstrated commitment to the local chapter, the KU sorority and fraternity community, the university and the Lawrence community. It was established in 1993 to honor Smith, a former dean of student life.

Brenne Ernst is a senior from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, majoring in biochemistry and minoring in business.

“Coming to the University of Kansas as an out-of-state student, I promised myself I would take every opportunity to be involved, form friendships and excel to the best of my ability,” Ernst said. “I did that by stepping into the role of Panhellenic Association president as a sophomore. This position brought personal and professional connections, transformative experiences and some of my favorite college memories.

“My remaining time as a Jayhawk was spent continuing to develop my leadership abilities, contributing to the Chi Omega sorority and appreciating the life I have come to know and love in Lawrence, Kansas. I hope to leave a strong legacy of female leadership, and I look forward to proudly representing KU as an alumna.”

The Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle Student Scholar Award
This award is presented to a graduating senior scholarship hall student. Recipients have demonstrated academic focus, leadership in the scholarship hall and also commitment to the KU and Lawrence communities.

Phuong Truong is a senior from Can Tho, Vietnam, majoring in supply chain management and in business analytics.

“My sincerest gratitude to my family, mentors, friends, our community and the unnamed who have been there to give me their encouragement, support and mentorship,” Truong said. “Sellards (Scholarship Hall) has been my second home, where I can be myself. I adore the times that I can share ideas and work with others, who are also driven to make profound changes to our community every day.

“Being at KU is never lonely. When you’re there for the community, they will be there for you.”

The Agnes Wright Strickland Awards
These awards were established in 1953 in memory of Strickland, a member of the Class of 1887. They go annually to graduating seniors in recognition of their academic records, demonstrated leadership in matters of university concern, respect among fellow students and indications of future dedication to service in the university.

Radhia Abdirahman is a senior from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, majoring in human biology, applied behavioral science and global & international studies and minoring in African & African diasporic languages.

“Since I was young, I’ve observed my family members selflessly give back to their community, and I believe, without a doubt, that they have subconsciously inspired me to do the work that I do,” Abdirahman said. “Service and community engagement have been a cornerstone of the work I’ve enjoyed thus far and what I hope to pursue after KU.

“I would like to extend a massive thank-you to my professors and mentors for supporting and encouraging me to think creatively to find ways to center my work around social justice and advocating for those in need. I would also like to thank my peers and those I’ve been fortunate enough to engage with for continuously inspiring me and pushing me to find ways to be a better leader and friend.”

Brian Madrigal is a senior from Emporia majoring in accounting.

“I don’t think I could accept any recognition for any award without acknowledging the time, energy and faith that my family, friends and mentors have given me,” Madrigal said. “Above all, I’d like to thank my mom and dad for all they’ve sacrificed for me to be where I am today.

“During my time at KU, I’ve dedicated myself to trying to foster a community on campus that 18-year-old Brian needed when he first stepped foot on campus. These last four years have been copious with hardships and unprecedented challenges for everybody; however, if there is one takeaway I’d like to share, it would be to find a specific future that will help you justify your past and present.”
-30-
————————————————————————
The official university Twitter account has changed to @UnivOfKansas.
Refollow @KUNews for KU News Service stories, discoveries and experts.


————————————————————————

Contact: Mike Krings, KU News Service, 785-864-8860, [email protected], @MikeKrings
Study finds empathy training improves mother-child relationships, life satisfaction
LAWRENCE — Any parent who has had a child reach middle school age can attest that adolescence can be a tough time. A new study from the University of Kansas and Baker University has found that an intervention focusing on empathy skills can improve relationships between mothers and children and life satisfaction.
Researchers delivered an empathy skills training to 108 mothers and their adolescent children, ages 13 to 15 in northwest China. They tested participants’ cognitive and affective empathy skills before the 20-day training and again three months later. The results showed participants reported improved mother-child relationship quality and general life satisfaction.

“We know that, during that adolescence time, there is often conflict between the adolescent and parent. We thought this might be a good way to help reduce that conflict and help people see the others’ perspective within the context of this one relationship,” said Meagan Patterson, professor of educational leadership psychology at KU and a co-author of the study.

The study used an intervention designed by Li Chen-Bouck, associate professor of education at Baker University and a former student of Patterson. Designed to help people consider the viewpoints of others and understand how they experience situations in life, the program aimed to improve empathy, and the researchers hypothesized those skills would improve other aspects of life, including relationship quality and life satisfaction, which was confirmed in the findings.

The study, written with co-authors Bixi Qiao of Northern State University and Anqi Peng, doctoral candidate at KU, was published in the Journal of Adolescent Research.

Chen-Bouck designed the intervention while conducting research on the role of gratitude in parent-child relationships as part of her larger body of work on parenting in China. The country is ideal for the research, as it has undergone significant cultural, educational and social changes in recent decades and parents and children are both facing new demands. Additionally, topics such as empathy have not been as widely studied in mainland Chinese society as they have in the West, the authors said.

“I could tell from the participants (empathy) was kind of a new idea. We looked at two components of it, cognitive and affective, and asked them to identify the emotions of people in a picture, identify the emotions of a character in a video clip, take a character’s perspective and assume their role, asked the participants to feel the feeling that a character was experiencing in the video clip, and asked the participants to observe and infer possible causes of behaviors and affective states presented in the video clip,” Chen-Bouck said.

In interviews, participants reported they considered others’ viewpoints and experiences more and that their life satisfaction and relationship quality improved as a result. However, quantitative data showed that empathy skills did not improve. That result was consistent with other research that has studied empathy skills training, according to the researchers.
“The participants felt happier with their lives in general and in their relationships but did not show a noticeable increase in empathy skills,” Chen-Bouck said. “We think there are multiple reasons why that might be. It’s possible empathy skills might not develop within the time frame of this study. It could be, that if we followed up in a year, we would know more about long-term effects.”

The authors noted that getting people thinking about empathy is good, and not only for parent-child relationships, as participants reported feeling higher levels of empathy for their co-workers, spouses, friends and others. In future research, they hope to further study both the current empathy skills intervention and empathy in general in other settings, including in schools, and if it has effects on bullying, both peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher, an occurrence that is more common than commonly thought, Chen-Bouck said.
The results also show the value in studying both parents and children in research.

“Both mothers and children seemed to show benefits. They reported there was a positive cycle where they were both working harder to understand the other,” Patterson said. “In parenting interventions, we often just think about the parents, but this shows we should think more about children’s perspectives as well.”
-30-
————————————————————————
Subscribe to KU Today, the campus newsletter,
for additional news about the University of Kansas.

http://www.news.ku.edu
————————————————————————

Contact: Rick Hellman, KU News Service, 785-864-8852, [email protected], @RickHellman
New online play from Darren Canady asks who owns the notion of Blackness
LAWRENCE – What if choreographer Alvin Ailey decided to racially integrate his all-Black dance company today? Can you imagine the firestorm?

Darren Canady could, and has, in his new play, “The Percy Meacham Dance Experience,” a professionally shot video recording that premieres online tonight and runs through May 13 as part of the Minneapolis-based Playwrights Center’ Playlabs Festival. There is no charge to watch the performance, but RSVPs are requested.

Canady, professor of English at the University of Kansas, said he was going through the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey’s archives when the idea occurred to him.

“I noticed he had integrated his company much earlier than I realized,” Canady said, “and while it wasn’t entirely without controversy, it was a pretty smooth process. I supposed if he were working today with a similar mission – to give a dance evocation of the Black experience – I don’t think it would be as simple for him to integrate the company. Our ideas about racialized embodiment have changed, and that’s the germ of the play.”
Canady described the plot — as it turned out via the Playwright Center’s rehearsal and development process, which included a lot of rewriting.

“Percy Meacham is a mature choreographer, and he is beholden to his executive director and some members of the board of directors, who say it’s time for the company to take a more multicultural and broadly appealing approach,” Canady said. “So he goes along with it, but it causes a rift in the company.

“Ultimately, it’s a play about how we make art. Who gets to own the notion of Blackness? What does it mean to sell out? What is artistic freedom? Shouldn’t an artist be allowed to change and grow?

“I also wanted to explore the mistaken idea that because dancers use their bodies, they don’t have great intellectual or emotional depth. I wanted to show that, yes, they use their bodies, but it’s a tool … only because they have wellsprings of thought and connection between the mind, body and soul.”

Canady said he had to roll with the punches that the waves of the COVID-19 pandemic threw at the Playlabs process. At first, the final product was to be an in-person performance of “Percy Meacham,” which was one of three plays chosen for the festival’s 38th year. But the Playwrights Center decided instead to make professional video recordings of the plays and stream them online, in the interest of the audience, cast and crew’s safety.

Canady said he is grateful for the opportunity to learn about producing a play on video.
“We had to decide how much to acknowledge this is a play versus a film,” Canady said. “We settled on trying to make that theatricality present without ignoring the fact that it’s on film.”

Canady said that while he is grateful to have “Percy Meacham” on tape, he hopes the initial staging will serve as a promotional video for future, in-person productions.

-30-

————————————————————————
Don’t miss new episodes of “When Experts Attack!,”
a KU News Service podcast hosted by Kansas Public Radio.

https://kansaspublicradio.org/when-experts-attack
————————————————————————

Contact: Cody Howard, School of Engineering, 785-864-2936, [email protected], @kuengineering
KU Engineering student wins Phi Kappa Phi fellowship
LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas senior in chemical engineering with plans to pursue a medical degree in the KU School of Medicine after graduation is this year’s winner of the James Blackiston Memorial Graduate Fellowship from the KU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Amanda Hertel, of Shawnee, wins $1,500 and is the chapter’s nominee for a national Phi Kappa Phi fellowship.

Hertel received multiple honors while at KU, including a Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society Scholarship, Undergraduate Research Awards in spring 2021, fall 2021 and spring 2022, the Fred Kurata Thermodynamics Award and the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Performance Award in Chemical Engineering.

“I am extremely impressed with Amanda’s academic and research abilities and strongly believe that she is highly deserving of this scholarship,” said Prajna Dhar, professor of chemical & petroleum engineering, who taught Hertel as an undergraduate researcher in her lab. “I have no doubt that she will continue to excel even in the extreme rigor that students face in medical school.”

Hertel worked in the Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering as an undergraduate teaching fellow in material and energy balances, and she led Zoom discussions and held weekly office hours for Introduction to the Chemical Engineering Profession. Elsewhere on campus, Hertel served as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Mammalian Physiology and Principles of Human Physiology.

Hertel has served as the vice president of the Tau Beta Pi and has been an undergraduate research fellow since fall 2019. Hertel also serves as a FIRST Robotics mentor, where she advises high school students on the electronics used in the FIRST Robotics competition. She also volunteers at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

About the Blackiston Fellowship
The Blackiston Fellowship was created to honor the memory of James Blackiston, a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics and an instructor in the Intensive English Center, now the Applied English Center, at KU. He graduated from Michigan State University, where he was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi. In 1975, Blackiston played a key role in the formation and activation of the KU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

The Blackiston Fellowship recipient becomes the KU chapter’s nominee for one of nearly 60 fellowships from Phi Kappa Phi with values from $5,000 to $15,000. These national fellowships provide assistance to students during their first year of post-graduate study.
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. More than 100,000 members maintain their active status in Phi Kappa Phi, which offers them numerous benefits as dues-paying members, including access to $1.4 million in awards and grants each biennium.

-30-

————————————————————————

KU News Service
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3256
Fax: 785-864-3339
[email protected]
http://www.news.ku.edu

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

Today’s News is a free service from the Office of Public Affairs

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here