KU News 6/30: KU offering 3 new graduate degrees to Fort Leavenworth community beginning in fall 2022

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KU offering 3 new graduate degrees to Fort Leavenworth community beginning in fall 2022
LEAVENWORTH — The University of Kansas has been awarded a new agreement to offer three graduate degrees to the Fort Leavenworth community beginning with the fall 2022 semester. KU programs selected are the Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration and Master’s in Organizational Leadership. “I’m grateful that unit commanders recognized KU’s educational leadership in these disciplines and how they can benefit the careers of military personnel, as well as society at large,” said Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas.

KU’s Research Rising awards will address critical challenges facing humanity
LAWRENCE — Creating more secure and resilient communities, harnessing the power of big data to discover disease-fighting drugs, unlocking the secrets of genomes for the benefit of life on our planet, and transforming understanding of and support for intellectual and developmental disabilities: These are among the goals of the four projects selected for funding through KU’s Research Rising competition. Each University of Kansas research team will receive $3 million over five years to support the projects.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Mike Denning, Office of Military Graduate Programs, 785-864-1684, [email protected]
KU offering 3 new graduate degrees to Fort Leavenworth community beginning in fall 2022
LEAVENWORTH — The University of Kansas has been awarded a new agreement to offer three graduate degrees to the Fort Leavenworth community beginning with the fall 2022 semester.
In January, Fort Leavenworth officials released a request for proposal for universities to deliver new graduate degrees in support of the installation community. KU programs selected are the Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration and Master’s in Organizational Leadership. These programs join KU’s Master of Global & International Studies and Master’s in Supply Chain Management & Logistics, which have been offered at Fort Leavenworth for more than 10 years, and the Master of Science in Homeland Security, which has been offered in Leavenworth since 2017.
“Our expanded partnership with Fort Leavenworth ensures Jayhawk expertise and Jayhawk values have an increased presence regionally and around the world,” said Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas. “I’m grateful that unit commanders recognized KU’s educational leadership in these disciplines and how they can benefit the careers of military personnel, as well as society at large.”
As part of the new agreement, KU will also open up a new office within Fort Leavenworth’s Education Center. Sarah Weygand, a veteran Coast Guard officer, will lead the office as the university’s student and academic services manager.
“I am very excited about leading this new effort,” said Weygand, who is from Leavenworth and is joining KU after having led similar offices at Johnson County Community College and Park University. “As a local from Leavenworth, I know firsthand the incredible reputation KU has for serving our military-affiliated community.”
KU is ranked No. 5 among Tier 1 Research Institutions in the most recent Military Friendly Schools survey and the No. 1 Central Region and No. 13 overall public institution in the most recent Military Times “Best for Vets” survey. Additionally, two of the programs selected are nationally ranked. The MPA program has earned a long-standing No. 1 national ranking in local government management by U.S. News & World Report, and the Master of Business Administration online program was recently ranked No. 16 nationally and No. 10 for “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.”
“Having served in the armed forces, I also understand the inclusivity of the military-affiliated community,” Weygand said. “These programs will serve not only soldiers but also their family members and Department of the Army civilians who work on post.”
Tom Kelly, education services officer for Fort Leavenworth, echoed those sentiments.
“We are excited to increase the number of graduate degrees offered by KU on post,” Kelly said. “The university has a great reputation, and these degrees are highly relevant to the career development of our soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and military family members.”
With accelerated coursework and evening classes, students in Leavenworth can complete a KU master’s degree in as few as 10 months. The programs and class schedules are designed to meet the needs of professional and military careers. Moreover, the KU faculty who teach in Leavenworth are the same faculty who instruct graduate degree programs in Lawrence and are among the top scholars in the United States in their particular fields.
“In 2017, KU made a strategic decision to expand our outreach to the Leavenworth community by opening classrooms in the Marriott Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites, and we will continue to operate from those facilities,” said Mike Denning, director of the Office of Graduate Military Programs at KU. “Because of that vision, several years of engagement with public and private partners in the Leavenworth area and KU’s deep commitment to the U.S. Army, we were awarded this new agreement.”
Find more information about the classes and programs available in Leavenworth at leavenworth.ku.edu.

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Contact: Mindie Paget, Office of Research, 785-864-0013, [email protected], @ResearchAtKU
KU’s Research Rising awards will address critical challenges facing humanity

LAWRENCE — Creating more secure and resilient communities, harnessing the power of big data to discover disease-fighting drugs, unlocking the secrets of genomes for the benefit of life on our planet, and transforming understanding of and support for intellectual and developmental disabilities. These are among the noble goals of the four projects selected for funding through KU’s Research Rising competition.
Each research team will receive $3 million over five years to support projects that rose to the top of a strong pool of finalists after rigorous review by nationally and internationally recognized experts.
“These exciting projects bring together University of Kansas researchers from across disciplines to address critical challenges facing humanity. The knowledge, ideas, approaches and solutions generated by these teams will benefit people in Kansas and beyond,” said Simon Atkinson, vice chancellor for research. “What’s more, these teams will be highly competitive for federal research funding, so we anticipate a steady influx of external dollars in the future that will outpace KU Endowment’s initial $12 million investment to help establish these initiatives at KU.”
The projects align with one or more of KU’s five strategic research areas and will help the university achieve national preeminence in several areas of inquiry:

Securing Our Worlds: Physical, Digital, Social
This project will form an interdisciplinary, multicenter organization focused on finding solutions to otherwise unsolved problems related to safe and secure physical, digital and social environments — ultimately creating more secure and resilient communities. The principal investigator is Perry Alexander, AT&T Foundation Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and director of the Institute for Information Sciences. He is joined by faculty colleagues in engineering, philosophy, history and journalism. The project aligns with two of KU’s strategic research areas: Safety & Security and Human Experience in the Digital Age. Watch the team’s video to learn more.

Big Data for Drug Discovery
This project will integrate cutting-edge biotechnologies that collect large amounts of data in order to create a more holistic understanding of human diseases and empower the discovery of new drugs to treat them. The principal investigator is Michael Wolfe, Mathias P. Mertes Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. He is joined by faculty colleagues in molecular biosciences, pharmacy, chemistry, electrical engineering & computer science and several departments at KU Medical Center. The project aligns with KU’s Molecules & Medicines strategic research area. Watch the team’s video to learn more.

Growing KU’s Interdisciplinary Strengths in Genomics
This project aims to unlock the secrets held in genomes to understand where we come from, how we fight disease, how organisms respond to a changing environment/climate, and new bioengineering approaches for sustainable development and health advances. The principal investigators are Rob Unckless, associate professor of molecular biosciences and director of KU’s Center for Genomics, and Lena Hileman, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology. They are joined by faculty colleagues in molecular biosciences, anthropology, ecology & evolutionary biology and engineering. The project aligns with four of KU’s strategic research areas: Human Experience in the Digital Age; Earth, Energy & Environment; Development Across the Lifespan; and Molecules & Medicines. Watch the team’s video to learn more.

Advancing Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research at KU
This project would maintain and enhance KU’s international prominence in intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) research by investing in genomics and data science approaches to IDD — two areas that are a high priority for the National Institutes of Health, critical for advancing understanding of basic mechanisms of IDDs, important for developing more targeted and effective therapeutics, and essential for reaching a larger and more diverse range of affected individuals. The principal investigator is John Colombo, professor of psychology and director of the Life Span Institute. He is joined by faculty colleagues in psychology, special education, medicine and psychiatry. The project aligns with KU’s Development Across the Lifespan strategic research area. Watch the team’s video to learn more.
Research Rising is one of the university’s most significant investments in its research enterprise to date. It differs from other internal funding competitions at KU in prioritizing tenure-track faculty recruitment as a central feature of the projects — building lively intellectual communities that are attractive for top researchers and scholars. The funded projects will bring 14 new faculty members to KU in a range of disciplines, as well as several postdoctoral fellows and staff positions. The projects also support KU’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging by incorporating robust plans to increase representation and participation by members of historically marginalized groups, train new and existing researchers in DEIB best practices, and conduct public outreach to make science accessible and understandable for a wide audience.
Launching and implementing Research Rising is a key strategy to grow KU research in the Jayhawks Rising strategic plan.
“I’m thankful to KU Endowment for making this opportunity possible for our faculty, and I appreciate all the work that Vice Chancellor Atkinson and his team put in to make this such a strong competition,” said Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor. “Our faculty generated so many powerful proposals that will be a significant benefit to our state, the nation and the world. I’m excited to see where this leads.”

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