KU News: Homecoming news, student awards and new findings on “street earnings”

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KU Alumni Association invites campus, community partners to participate in Homecoming 2022
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host its 110th Homecoming Sept. 26-Oct. 1, culminating in the KU football game against Iowa State on Oct. 1 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Home on the Hill.” The KU Alumni Association has selected the members of its student-led Homecoming Steering Committee, who will work with Paige Freeman, the association’s director of student programs, to coordinate activities for Homecoming 2022.

Pharmacy student earns national research award
LAWRENCE — Yezan Salamoun, a Doctor of Pharmacy student in the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy from Overland Park, has received an Underrepresented Minority Gateway Research Award from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education. AFPE awards the scholarship to Pharm.D. and undergraduate students who are considering a career in research. The award enables them to work with a faculty mentor on a research project. The honor goes to students who will contribute to research that will positively affect public health and patient outcomes. Salamoun is one of 10 students to receive the award this year.

Department of Theatre & Dance names 2022 award and scholarship winners
LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Department of Theatre & Dance recognized 53 students as recipients of its year-end awards and scholarships, totaling over $225,000 in financial support. “Our awards and scholarships give us a chance to celebrate some of our students’ many stellar accomplishments and make a real difference in helping them achieve their goals,” said Henry Bial, professor and department chair. “We are thankful for the many generous alumni and friends whose donations aid students financially. The department has more than three dozen named scholarships and awards, which preserve our donors’ legacies through the support of burgeoning theatre and dance artists.”

Quality of street earnings improves when data providers limit analysts’ discretion, study finds
LAWRENCE — When a news article reports whether a company’s earnings met analysts’ estimates, the numbers are usually based on “street earnings” information sourced from forecast data providers such as Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters. However, a new study by Eric Weisbrod, assistant professor of accounting at the University of Kansas School of Business, examined what happened when one such provider discontinued its practice of relying on analysts for certain decisions. It shows this change led to street earnings more predictive of future performance.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Paige Freeman, 785-864-0953, [email protected]
KU Alumni Association invites campus, community partners to participate in Homecoming 2022
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host its 110th Homecoming Sept. 26-Oct. 1, culminating in the KU football game against Iowa State on Oct. 1 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Home on the Hill.”

The KU Alumni Association has selected the members of its student-led Homecoming Steering Committee, who will work with Paige Freeman, the association’s director of student programs, to coordinate activities for Homecoming 2022.

Steering committee members:

1. Aylar Atadurdyyeva, a senior in microbiology and political science from Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, executive director
2. Nana Ansere Amfo Sackey, a sophomore in visual communication and design from Accra, Ghana, and Lawrence, programs chair
3. Andy Denekas, a senior in philosophy and pre-law from Omaha, Nebraska, public relations/outreach chair
4. Anna Korn, a sophomore in sports management from Phoenix, programs co-chair
5. Mikayla Leader, a senior in mathematics and STEMTeach from Wichita, competitions chair
6. Lindsey Rapp, a junior in business from St. Louis, awards chair.

KU’s Homecoming experience aims to celebrate KU history and tradition and instill Jayhawk pride in all members of the KU community, near and far, through the engagement of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. To help foster engagement, the Alumni Association and Homecoming Steering Committee encourage campus and community partners to submit an event for the Homecoming calendar on behalf of your department or organization. Program submissions will be accepted until Aug. 5.

The association and steering committee will hold a virtual Homecoming Information Session July 27 from 2 to 3 p.m. and invite any KU campus or Lawrence community partner interested in hosting an event or learning more about Homecoming to attend. Register here for the information session, which will be recorded and available later to those who register.

This year’s Homecoming celebration is sponsored by Best Western Plus-West Lawrence, Central Bank of the Midwest, Konica Minolta and Pepsi.

The Alumni Association will continue to update kualumni.org/homecoming as more information on the week’s activities becomes available.

About the KU Alumni Association

Through the support of members and donors, the KU Alumni Association advocates for the University of Kansas, communicates with Jayhawks in all media, recruits students and volunteers, serves the KU community and unites Jayhawks. For more information, visit kualumni.org.

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Contact: Brad Stauffer, [email protected]
Pharmacy student earns national research award
LAWRENCE — Yezan Salamoun, a Doctor of Pharmacy student in the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, has received an Underrepresented Minority Gateway Research Award from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education. AFPE awards the scholarship to Pharm.D. and undergraduate students who are considering a career in research. The award enables them to work with a faculty mentor on a research project. The honor goes to students who will contribute to research that will positively affect public health and patient outcomes. Salamoun is one of 10 students to receive the award this year.

“Yezan has been a highly self-motivated and productive member of the Funk laboratory and has prepared himself to successfully transition into a graduate program in the pharmaceutical sciences,” said Ryan Funk, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “The AFPE Gateway to Research Award will further support Yezan and his development as he continues his training towards becoming a pharmaceutical scientist.”

Salamoun, a graduate of Blue Valley West High School in his hometown of Overland Park, may pursue a doctorate. He said that’s what he’s thinking right now but knows he will have other options after he completes his fourth and final year of pharmacy school next spring.

“When I met Dr. Funk and started to enjoy the process of research, he really pushed me to do more than just get published once, to look good on my resume,” Salamoun said. “Now I envision myself doing a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical chemistry after pharmacy school. I’m not fully certain, but that’s what this fourth year of pharmacy school is about — finding things that we enjoy. We’ll see what I enjoy the most.”

He has a great jump on a research career, exploring ways to identify biomarkers that would indicate how a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient might respond to a specific drug treatment. In the Funk Lab, Salamoun is helping to research how mice react to similar conditions to the autoimmune disease in humans.

“Rheumatoid arthritis is a super painful and tragic disease state,” Salamoun said. “It’s an inflammatory condition where your immune system is recognizing your joints as foreign tissue, so it starts attacking those joints, causing swelling and joint pain.”

Methotrexate is a common drug therapy used to treat RA. Originally a drug to treat cancer, it can have serious side effects. Salamoun said a third of RA patients treated with methotrexate respond well, a third have toxic side effects and a third will not benefit at all.

“It would behoove us to know who is going to respond well to that drug in advance,” he said. “Doctors are kind of just guessing, and it can take four to six months to know how a patient responds. Meanwhile, the disease is progressing, and that can cause permanent joint damage. Our research aims to find a test or biomarker that would identify which patients would respond well to methotrexate and which patients would not.”

Currently doing a clinical rotation at a compounding pharmacy in Lawrence, Salamoun said he is enjoying this phase of his KU education.

“It’s one thing to learn something in a classroom. It’s another thing to apply it in the real world,” Salamoun said. “There’s only so much you can learn in school, and it helps to have those (classroom) skills to find the answers, but it’s OK if you don’t have the right answer.”

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Note to editor: Winners from Kansas and Missouri are listed below. Winners from other states and countries are listed online.
Contact: Lisa Coble-Krings, 785-864-5685, [email protected]
Department of Theatre & Dance names 2022 award and scholarship winners
LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas Department of Theatre & Dance recognized 53 students as recipients of its year-end awards and scholarships, totaling over $225,000 in financial support.

“Our awards and scholarships give us a chance to celebrate some of our students’ many stellar accomplishments and make a real difference in helping them achieve their goals,” said Henry Bial, professor and department chair. “We are thankful for the many generous alumni and friends whose donations aid students financially. The department has more than three dozen named scholarships and awards, which preserve our donors’ legacies through the support of burgeoning theatre and dance artists.”

The Kuhlke Humanitarian Award was presented to Maya Gold, of Vernon Hills, Illinois, who completed her bachelor’s degree in dance, for humanitarian service to the department. The Kilty Kane Award, the highest award that can be given in recognition of outstanding contributions made to University Theatre, was presented to Chris Pendry, of Lawrence, who completed his bachelor’s degree in theatre performance with a double major in film production. Both students contributed significantly to the life of the department, both on and offstage, Bial said. Additionally, Katherine Pryor, a longtime administrator in the department who most recently served as director of the University Theatre, was co-named this year’s Kilty Kane Award recipient in honor of her retirement. Both awards are named for actors (Jerome Kilty and Emeritus Professor William Kuhlke) credited with memorable performances as guest artists in Murphy Hall.

The Elizabeth Sherbon Award, named for the retired KU professor of dance who established the dance major at KU, was presented to outstanding dance students. This year’s recipients are Johnny Dinh Phan, of Overland Park, a dance student double-majoring in biochemistry, and Olivia Johnson, of Clive, Iowa, a dance student double-majoring in mathematics. Both recently completed their junior year.

Scholarship and award recipients from Kansas and Missouri are as follows:

Kansas

Katelyn Arnold, Topeka, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship

Anna Avery, Overland Park, Claire Reinhold Scholarship

Lane Barrette, Basehor, Allen Crafton Memorial Scholarship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship

Renee Cyr, Lawrence, Donald and Betty Dixon Scholarship in Theatre, Margaret Bushong Theatre Scholarship

Johnny Dinh Phan, Overland Park, Elizabeth Sherbon Award, Dance General Scholarship, Lee Family Scholarship in Dance

Syndey Ebner, Shawnee, Janet Hamburg Dance Scholarship

Andrew Ens, Olathe, Theatre General Scholarship

Ella Galbraith, Andale, Shirley and Tom P. Rea Memorial Award

Coy Garrett, Lawrence, Loren Kennedy Traineeship

Jake Gillespie, Lawrence, Jack B. Wright Award

Samantha Gotskind, Overland Park, Claire Reinhold Scholarship

Stephanie Hartz, Topeka, Dance General Scholarship

Anna Hastings, Olathe, Janet Hamburg Dance Scholarship

Timmia Hearn DeRoy, Lawrence, Joseph R. Roach Dissertation Research Award

Isobel Langham, Topeka, Dance General Scholarship

Cassandra Ludlum, Topeka, Marilyn Hunt Scharine Costume Design Award, New Theatre Guild Foundation: William and Penny Gamm Scholarship, and Margaret Bushong and Suzanne Calvin Scholarship

India MacDonald, Topeka, New Theatre Guild Foundation: Don Knotts Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Trainee Co-Coordinator, and Richard Kelton Memorial Scholarship, George Sundstrom Travel Award

Connor Maloney, Wichita, Alexis and Craig Stevens Performing Arts Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Scholarship/Traineeship, Kari Wahlgren Theatre Scholarship

Brad Mathewson, Topeka, Charles “Buddy” Rogers Scholarship

Knox McClendon, Topeka, Glenn Bickle Award, Stephanie Ann Smith Memorial Scholarship

Rachel Meyer, Topeka, Gerhard Zuther Memorial Award for Dramatic Scriptwriting, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship

Olly Mitchell, Maize, Alexis and Craig Stevens Performing Arts Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship

Caleb Parish, Lawrence, George Sundstrom Travel Award

Chris Pendry, Lawrence, Kilty Kane Award

Diego Rivera-Rodriguez, Lawrence, Friends of the Theatre Reese Saricks Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Scholarship/Trainee Co-Coordinator

John Dylon Rohr, Arkansas City, Laura Louise Pryor Award, Brian Ten Eyck Davis Award

Anna Shelton, Hesston, Dance General Scholarship, Patricia Joyce Ellis Scholarship

Jenny Sledge, Lawrence, Loren Kennedy Scholarship

Lauren Smith, Topeka, Julie Damron-Dittmer Scholarship, Loren Kennedy Traineeship

Jonathan Wall, Iola, Claire Reinhold Scholarship

Annika Wallace, Atchison, Claire Reinhold Scholarship

Hazel Youngquist, Perry, Patricia Joyce Ellis Drama Scholarship, George Sundstrom Travel Award

Missouri

Alexandria Demps, Kansas City, Missouri, Dance General Scholarship, Bernadette Robinson Scholarship

Molly Robinson, St. Louis, Missouri, Dance General Scholarship, Harry B. Craig Dance Scholarship

The Department of Theatre & Dance is one of three departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies. For more information on the Department of Theatre & Dance, visit theatredance.ku.edu. For information about our performance season, visit kutheatre.com.

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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
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Contact: Jon Niccum, 785-864-7633, [email protected]
Quality of street earnings improves when data providers limit analysts’ discretion, study finds
LAWRENCE — When a news article reports whether a company’s earnings met analysts’ estimates, the numbers are usually based on “street earnings” information sourced from forecast data providers such as Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters.

However, a new study by Eric Weisbrod, assistant professor of accounting at the University of Kansas School of Business, examined what happened when one such provider discontinued its practice of relying on analysts for certain decisions. It shows this change led to street earnings more predictive of future performance.

“The Roles of Data Providers and Analysts in the Production, Dissemination, and Pricing of Street Earnings” appears in the Journal of Accounting Research.

“Markets are becoming more data-driven all the time. Our goal is to better understand the role of data providers in modern capital markets,” Weisbrod said.

“In this study, we use a natural experiment to isolate the effect of data providers because street earnings can be jointly influenced by data providers, analysts and the company’s management.”

Co-written with Khrystyna Bochkay of the University of Miami, Stan Markov of the University of Texas at Dallas and Musa Subasi of the University of Maryland, Weisbrod’s research examines how, in 2009, Thomson Reuters stopped relying on analysts to determine the treatment of unexpected charges and gains in favor of their immediate exclusion from GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) earnings.

“The methodology change improved the timeliness and quality of Thomson’s street earnings data, making more predictive of future performance,” Weisbrod said. “Accordingly, investors increased their reliance on the data, and analysts also changed their treatment of unexpected line items to be more similar to Thomson Reuters.”

As a metaphor to describe the methodology adjustment, Weisbrod said it’s comparable to what would happen if baseball umpires changed the way they kept score during a game, following their own discretion.

“People often assume analysts know the best earnings adjustments to make and that data providers are simply a conduit to transmit information between analysts and investors. But we find when the data provider removes analysts’ discretion and follows a simple rule to always exclude unexpected items, it actually improves the predictive value and quality of the information,” he said.

Incentives also factor into such decisions.

“Even though analysts are professionals and are trying to predict future performance, they also have to curry favor with management and generate trading volume for their brokerages,” he said. “Given these incentives, our findings suggest street earnings information actually improves when you take some decisions out of analysts’ hands and let the data provider decide in a more uniform way.”

Weisbrod’s research indicates that data providers are constantly evolving. For instance, they are increasingly tracking non-financial information known as key performance indicators (KPIs). What were the company’s carbon emissions? How many revenue passenger miles were flown this quarter?

“Analysts are beginning to forecast these KPIs,” he said. “But there are no steadfast rules on exactly how to measure carbon emissions and other non-financial data. So to some degree, data providers serve as referees in determining how to standardize these items.”

In 2016, Weisbrod moved to Washington, D.C., to serve as an academic fellow in the Office of the Chief Accountant at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During that time, the SEC was clamping down on how companies discussed non-GAAP numbers in their earnings press releases to ensure they were not misleading. At the same time, the Chief Accountant’s office also began taking an interest in how third parties were presenting companies’ financial info online. These experiences motivated his research on this topic.

The Dallas native came to KU in 2020, where his field of study focuses on financial data providers and financial analysts.

“As markets become more data-driven, and as investors start weighing additional measures in their investment decisions — whether it’s governance, sustainability or non-financial performance — people should take care to look at who’s providing the data,” he said.

“What are their incentives? Are there any rules in how they’re giving you this information? You always want to make sure you’re not being manipulated.”

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

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