KU News: Kansas Economic Policy Conference to address the COVID-19 recovery underway in Kansas

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Kansas Economic Policy Conference to address the COVID-19 recovery underway in Kansas
LAWRENCE — The 2021 Kansas Economic Policy Conference, held annually and hosted by the Institute for Policy & Social Research, will take place Oct. 21 at the University of Kansas. This year, the conference will address “The COVID Recovery in Kansas: A Work in Progress.” State legislators and policymakers will take part in discussions. The free event, which requires registration, also will be available via livestream.

KU nominates seven for Rhodes, Marshall scholarships
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has nominated six seniors and a recent graduate for prestigious fellowships for study in the United Kingdom with the support of the university’s Office of Fellowships. They include Kansas students from Lawrence, Overland Park and Wichita.

In search of the beat, KU Theatre goes ‘Head Over Heels’
LAWRENCE — Theatregoers will be dancing in their seats to songs by The Go-Go’s during a new production opening Oct. 22 at the University of Kansas. The jukebox musical “Head Over Heels” includes “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips are Sealed” and more. Cast and ensemble members include students from Andale, Kansas City, Lawrence, Maize, Marion, Overland Park, Rose Hill, Topeka and Wichita.

New class of KU Law Dean’s Fellows to mentor incoming law students
LAWRENCE – Thirteen students at the University of Kansas School of Law have been chosen as Dean’s Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year. The fellows, who mentor their first-year peers, include Kansas students from Douglass, Kansas City, Leawood, Olathe, St. George and Wichita.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Carrie Caine, Institute for Policy & Social Research, 785-864-9102, [email protected]
Kansas Economic Policy Conference to address the COVID-19 recovery underway in Kansas
LAWRENCE — The 2021 Kansas Economic Policy Conference, held annually and hosted by the Institute for Policy & Social Research, will take place Oct. 21 at the University of Kansas. This year, the conference will address “The COVID Recovery in Kansas: A Work in Progress.”

Although GDP growth has recovered compared to the sharp downturn in 2020, the labor market in Kansas and the United States continues to pose challenges for economic growth. In particular, mothers left the labor force in large numbers in order to care for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many women have not returned to work, and low-wage jobs remain unfilled. More information about the course of the pandemic in Kansas is available on the Institute for Policy & Social Research website.

The event will build on conversations held at the 2020 Kansas Economic Policy Conference, in which speakers addressed the far-reaching effects of the pandemic. They also noted that in many cases, including the availability of child care and access to high-quality broadband, the pandemic did not create new issues but instead made more people aware of existing problems.

“The federal government has provided billions of dollars to state and local governments in Kansas. We hope that this year’s conference provides a lively discussion of how we can spend federal money in the state to create a resilient Kansas economy,” said Donna Ginther, IPSR director and Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Economics.

Ginther will give a morning keynote on the “State of the Kansas State Economy and Economic Recovery.” The conference will then turn to “How Local Governments are Moving Forward,” featuring a conversation with Trey Cocking, deputy director of the League of Kansas Municipalities; Janet McRae, economic development director of Miami County; and Maury Thompson, deputy county manager of Johnson County.

Panelists will also discuss “Building a Resilient Kansas – Childcare, Housing, and Broadband,” with Kelly Davydov, executive director of Child Care Aware of Kansas; Shannon Oury, executive director of the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority; and Stanley Adams of the Office of Broadband Development in the Kansas Department of Commerce. Deb Miller, director of the KU Public Management Center, and Jim McLean, political correspondent with Kansas News Service, will moderate these conversations.

After lunch, state policymakers will have an opportunity to share their comments on Policy to Advance Recovery and Resilience. The panel will include:
1. State Sen. Dinah Sykes, minority leader, District 21, Lenexa
2. State Sen. Brenda Dietrich, District 20, Topeka
3. State Rep. Chris Croft, House District 8, Overland Park
4. State Rep. Susan Concannon, House District 107, Beloit
Ginther will offer remarks at the end of the conference.
In-person attendees will be required to comply with KU policies on masking and social distancing.

Attendees can join the conference in person or view the conference through livestream. Registration for the conference is required and is offered at no cost to attendees. A grant from the Economic Development Administration with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act University Supplemental Disaster Recovery and Resiliency Award funding supports this event. View the full program and register to attend on the conference website. Attendees can follow the conference on Twitter using #KEPC2021.

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Contact: Andy Hyland, Office of Public Affairs, 785-864-7100, [email protected], @UnivOfKansas
KU nominates seven for Rhodes, Marshall scholarships
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has nominated six current seniors and a recent graduate for prestigious fellowships for study in the United Kingdom with the support of the university’s Office of Fellowships.

Current seniors Melek Ben-Ayed, Anton Barybin, Jaleah Cullors, Joseph Hartung and Erin Sturd and recent graduate Laura Phillips have been endorsed for the Marshall Scholarship. Sofia Berrospi Fernández, along with Barybin, Ben-Ayed, Cullors, Hartung and Phillips, have been endorsed for the Rhodes Scholarship.

Marshall scholarships provide funding for graduate study at any university in the United Kingdom. The Rhodes scholarship provides expenses for one to three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.

Regional panels review applications for both the Rhodes and Marshall scholarship programs. Finalists for the Rhodes and Marshall are invited to participate in interviews in November. Applicants for the Marshall scholarships must be U.S. citizens; the Rhodes scholarship has 20 constituencies around the world, including the United States and Canada, and a new Global Rhodes Scholarship program.

The Office of Fellowships, a unit of Academic Success, coordinates KU’s endorsement process and supports candidates through the application process. Students interested in applying for these awards in future years are encouraged to contact the office by email at [email protected] Depending on other eligibility requirements, students may apply for these awards as graduating seniors or recent graduates.

KU students have previously won nine Marshall scholarships and 27 Rhodes scholarships.
Anton Barybin, of Lawrence, is majoring in chemistry. He is the son of Misha and Ekaterina Barybin and a graduate of Lawrence Free State High School. In 2020 he was selected for the Beckman Scholars Program, a 15-month program designed to enrich the development of young scientists. He was also awarded a Kansas IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) scholarship. He serves as a research ambassador for the Undergraduate Research Center. Barybin began research in the lab of Susan Lunte, Ralph N. Adams Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, in the summer before his freshman year at KU. Barybin’s research focuses on the design of separation-based sensors for monitoring neurotransmitters. Barybin is co-author on a peer-reviewed publication from Lunte’s lab and has presented his research at a regional meeting of the American Chemical Society and at a K-INBRE Symposium. He also presented virtually at the 2021 Pittcon conference and the Fall ACS meeting. Last spring, Barybin was named a Goldwater Scholar.

Melek Ben-Ayed, from Wichita and from Sfax, Tunisia, is a graduate of the American School of Doha and the son of Omar Ben-Ayed and Sondes Dhouib Ben-Ayed. A mechanical engineering major, Ben-Ayed serves as the chair of the Student Environmental Advisory Board, president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at KU and as an engineering senator and member of the KU Student Senate Executive Committee. For the past two years, he has worked as a resident assistant and desk assistant for KU Student Housing. Since 2019, Ben-Ayed has been involved with the Lawrence Sunrise Movement hub. He currently serves as vice president of the KU Sunrise Movement student organization and as a trainer for the national organization. Ben-Ayed has been involved in undergraduate research with Candan Tamerler, Wesley G. Cramer Professor of Engineering, and Christopher Depcik, professor of engineering. He is a member of Zeta Chapter of Theta Tau engineering fraternity and the Muslim Student Association.

Sofia Berrospi Fernández, of Lima, Peru, is the daughter of Ricardo Berrospi and Eleonor Fernández. A graduate of Colegio San Agustín, Berrospi Fernández is the first KU student to be nominated for the Global Rhodes Scholarship. Berrospi Fernández is majoring in economics and mathematics, with a minor in journalism. As an incoming international student, she was awarded the competitive International Excellence Award and admitted to the University Honors Program. She is a research assistant in the KU Trade War Lab for Assistant Professor Jack Zhang and in the Center for Environmental Policy for Professor Dietrich Earnhart, and she works as a student administrative assistant for the Institute for Policy & Social Research. She is president of the Economics Club, of which she previously served as treasurer, and is the student representative to the Undergraduate Committee for the Department of Economics. Off-campus, Berrospi Fernández had a summer research position with the China-focused think tank The Paulson Institute and was a remote tutoring volunteer during the pandemic.

Jaleah Cullors, from Overland Park, is the daughter of RL Cullors and Joslyn Fears. A graduate of Shawnee Mission West, she is double majoring in political science and global & international studies and triple minoring in Spanish, intelligence & national security studies and Middle East studies. She is a member of the University Honors Program and the Multicultural Scholars Program, and she was selected as a sophomore for the Global Scholars Program by KU International Affairs. As a McNair Scholar, Cullors pursued research on differences in terrorism coverage in the United States and the Middle East related to Islamophobia. Cullors is also an Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence Scholar and a Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute Fellow. She is currently serving as an Independent Task Force Intern for the Council on Foreign Relations and previously interned at People to People International. Her extracurricular activities include the Global Awareness Program, Hawklink, the Rising Scholars Program, the Black Student Union and volunteer experience at El Centro Academy for Children.

Joseph Hartung, from St. Louis, is the son of John and Mary Hartung. A graduate of St. Louis University High School, he is double majoring in history and global & international studies and triple minoring in African & African-American studies, national security studies and political science. Hartung is a member of the University Honors Program and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Hartung has conducted research for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa on military bases (with a publication forthcoming), on environmental security in Nigeria for the U.S. Military Advisor Training Academy and on international perceptions of African security issues for the U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office. Hartung has interned for both the U.S.

Department of State and Department of Defense, where he directly supported U.S. policy efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. He is proficient in Kiswahili and received a Boren Scholarship to study the language, though his program was delayed due to the pandemic. In June, he was announced as a recipient of the national Phi Beta Kappa Key Into Public Service Award. Hartung has played trombone in various KU ensembles and is a member of the KU Sailing Club.

Laura Phillips is the daughter of Jean and Steve Phillips. A graduate of Lawrence Free State High School, Phillips completed bachelor’s degrees in classics and in ecology & evolutionary biology in 2021, when she received the Campanile Award. She is currently completing a master’s degree in classics. As an undergraduate, Phillips was the coordinator at the Center for Community Outreach for the Earth program for four years. Phillips focused on sustainable gardening and food security within the program. She also worked for the Kansas Trails Council to help build and publicize hiking trails, with a focus on conservation and sustainable trail building. Phillips spent several summers in the Rocky Mountains at Philmont Scout Ranch, working on fire rehabilitation and forestry management, and leading backpacking treks for high schoolers interested in ecology. She has worked at the KU Monarch Watch Lab and conducted sustainable agriculture research with Maggie Wagner, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology. In the summer of 2020, she served as an intern for Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. After completing her bachelors’ degrees at KU, Phillips spent the summer of 2021 as an intern at The Land Institute in Salina, where she contributed to a USDA project on feral alfalfa.

Erin Sturd, of Overland Park, is majoring in chemical engineering with an emphasis in bioengineering and minoring in Spanish. Sturd is the daughter of Deana and Joseph Sturd and a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Sturd works with Mark Shiflett, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, at the Institute for Sustainable Engineering. In her research, for which she received an Undergraduate Research Award from the Center for Undergraduate Research, she studies polymeric membranes and mixed-matrix membranes for hydrofluorocarbon separation and hydrogen separation for gas recycling. She previously participated in an internship at the Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis. This past fall she had two presentations at the American Institute for Chemical Engineering meeting, and she has presented at two KU Undergraduate Research symposia and a showcase. She is a member of the Multicultural Scholars Program, is an Office of Fellowships Rising Scholar and serves as an iHAWKe Ambassador. Sturd has served as the president of the Engineering Student Council and a School of Engineering Self Fellow and is captain of the KU Crew.

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Contact: Lisa Coble-Krings, Department of Theatre & Dance, 785-864-5685, [email protected], @KUTheatre, @KUDanceDept
In search of the beat, KU Theatre goes ‘Head Over Heels’
LAWRENCE — Theatregoers will be dancing in their seats to songs by The Go-Go’s during a new production opening Oct. 22 at the University of Kansas. The jukebox musical “Head Over Heels” includes “We Got the Beat,” “Vacation,” “Our Lips are Sealed” and the song that serves as the title, among others. The comedy is based on the 16th century story “The Arcadia” by Sir Philip Sidney.

Conceived and written by Jeff Whitty and adapted by James Magruder, the University Theatre’s production of “Head Over Heels” is guest-directed and choreographed by Nakeisha Daniel, a freelance director, actor, choreographer and assistant professor of African American theatre and performance at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. Live performances will take place Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 29-31 in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre at Murphy Hall. Purchase tickets online at kutheatre.com, by calling 785-864-3982, or at the box office. Per KU guidelines, masks are required for audience members.

“This progressive love story is a delightful blend of heightened language with ’80s pop,” Daniel said, adding it’s only the second show she’s directed in the pandemic. “The cast is fantastic, and the design team did an incredible job creating a world of wonder. I hope the audience rocks out in their seats.”

Recognizing a need to feel excited about life and feel accepted in this moment in time, Daniel shared her hope that “Head Over Heels” not only entertains but also opens the door for audience members to reflect on who they are and stay open to new ideas. Together the characters in the show discover the answer to their woes lies in love, acceptance and dancing to the rhythm of one’s own heart, she said.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Daniel earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in musical theater, a master’s of fine arts in acting from Penn State University and furthered her studies in London and Canada. She served as the first-ever guest artist in residence at the Citadel Military College of South Carolina and is a 2018 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Cabaret and Performance Fellow. She has partnered with a variety of organizations, including The Alliance Theater Center, The Children’s Arts Guild (NYC), TYA USA, Charleston Gaillard Center, Engaging Creative Minds, and presented at SXSW ED Virtual Conference. Daniel is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association.

The creative team is rounded out by Ryan McCall, lecturer and musical director/accompanist for the Department of Theatre & Dance, as the musical director; Lindsay Webster, a master’s of fine arts student, as scenic designer; John Dylon Rohr, a master’s of fine arts student, as costume designer; Ann Sitzman, a KU staff member and the department’s technical coordinator, as lighting designer; Darci Jens Fulcher, visiting assistant professor in theatre & dance, as intimacy consultant; and Bailey Kirk, a master’s of fine arts candidate at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, as stage manager.

“Head Over Heels” cast members are Jake Gillespie, a guest artist and recent KU graduate from Lawrence, as Basilius; Paul-Michael A. Johnson, senior in theatre performance, as Musidorus; Rachel Meyer, a junior in theatre performance from Topeka, as Mopsa; Ella Galbraith, a senior in theatre performance from Andale, as Pamela; Charles Nordquist, a junior in theatre performance from Marion, as Pythio; Olly Mitchell, a first-year student in theatre culture and society from Maize, as Philoclea; Anna Duntz, a junior in anthropology from Wichita, as Gynecia; and Dakota Morgan, a sophomore in Slavic languages & literatures and anthropology from Rose Hill, as Dametas, as well as ensemble members Yasmin Armendariz, a first-year student in theatre performance from Kansas City; Johnny Dinh Phan, a junior in biochemistry and dance from Overland Park; Jennifer Egley, a senior in dance from St. Louis; Aubrey Lape-Brinkman, a sophomore in exercise science from Papillion, Nebraska; Katherine Leverenz, a first-year student in behavioral neuroscience from Houston; Daniela Saljanin, a junior in political science and Legal Education Accelerated Degree (LEAD) from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey; Basia Schendzielos, a sophomore in French and business from Bellevue, Nebraska; and Cicely Stevenson, a senior in theatre performance and dance from Nauvoo, Illinois. Additionally, the musicians accompanying the performances are McCall, on piano and conducting; A.J. Bonci, on guitar; Clark Russell, on bass; and Nick Urbom, on drums.
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Contact: Margaret Hair, School of Law, 785-864-9205, [email protected], @kulawschool
New class of KU Law Dean’s Fellows to mentor incoming law students

LAWRENCE – Thirteen students at the University of Kansas School of Law have been chosen as Dean’s Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year.

The Dean’s Fellows are a group of second- and third-year law students selected to mentor first-year peers. Fellows offer academic support and guidance, serving as resources for students navigating the transition to law school. Fellows are selected through an application and interview process that considers their academic performance, campus and community involvement, and rapport with classmates.

“Each year, new Dean’s Fellows are selected to uphold a legacy of collegiality and inclusiveness within Green Hall,” said Olivia Black, co-head Dean’s Fellow. “We accomplish this through mentorship and connecting first-year students to academic, social and mental health resources. The transition into legal academia is rigorous, and the Dean’s Fellows are committed to ensuring that 1Ls transition into law school seamlessly.”
The 2021-22 Dean’s Fellows are listed below.

Jadyn Atteberry is a second-year law student from Olathe. Atteberry earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics and data science from Kansas State University. She is a staff editor for the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and a member of Women in Law.

Jacob Barefield is a second-year law student from Martinez, Georgia. Barefield earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgia Southern University. This spring, he received the Law Class of 1949 Award for Leadership for the first-year class. The award is given annually to students who, in the opinion of the faculty, contributed most significantly to the overall experience of students in Green Hall. Barefield serves on the Student Affairs Committee for the law school, is a research assistant for Professor Uma Outka and is a member of Women in Law, International Law Society and Kansas Law School Military & Veterans Society. He is a graduate of Evans High School.

Olivia Black, a third-year law student from Wichita, is one of this year’s head Dean’s Fellows. Black earned a bachelor’s degree in health science with an emphasis in health administration from Wichita State University. She won the award for Best Draft and received second-place honors for Best Negotiation and Best Overall at the 2021 UCLA School of Law Transactional Law Competition. Currently, Black is participating in the KU Medical-Legal Partnership and concluding her Business and Commercial Law Certificate. After graduation, she will return to Wichita to practice at a law firm. Black graduated from Wichita East High School.

Alexis Christopher is a third-year law student from Parker, Colorado. Christopher earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication with a concentration in public relations from the University of Colorado. She is a staff editor for the Kansas Law Review, a KU Law Student Ambassador and a member of the Moot Court Council. Christopher also participates in Women in Law, Sports Law Society, Federalist Society, Business & Tax Law Society and Mindfulness in Law Society. Christopher graduated from Regis Jesuit High School.

Christian DeShazo is a third-year law student from St. Louis. DeShazo earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. DeShazo has been a student intern for the Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence & Post-Conviction Remedies and competed in the Transactional LawMeet Competition.

Linden Hoffman is a third-year law student from Leawood. Hoffman earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas. She has worked for a judge at the Missouri Court of Appeals and for a civil litigation firm in Kansas City. Hoffman graduated from Blue Valley High School.

Kyler Jackson is a third-year law student from Douglass. Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in pre-law and political science from Kansas State University. He is the president of the Energy & Environmental Law Society. Jackson graduated from Rose Hill High School.

Brandon Lock is a second-year law student from Southlake, Texas. Lock earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy and political science from Southern Methodist University. He is vice president of the Black Law Students Association, an active member in many other student organizations and a KU Rugby player. Lock graduated from Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas.

Amanda McElfresh is a second-year law student from St. George. McElfresh earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Wichita State University. She is the secretary for the Hispanic American Law Students Association and a member of Women in Law and First-Generation Professionals. McElfresh graduated from Rock Creek Junior/Senior High School.

Grace Quinlan, a third-year law student from Kansas City, Kansas, is one of this year’s head Dean’s Fellows. Quinlan earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Colorado State University. She is a staff articles editor for the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy and a member of Women in Law and the Energy & Environmental Law Society. Quinlan graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School.

Sarah Schmitz is a second-year law student from Wichita. Schmitz earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Creighton University. She is a staff editor for the Kansas Law Review and a member of the Energy & Environmental Law Society and Women in Law. Schmitz graduated from Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School.

Madeline Shriver is a second-year law student from Omaha, Nebraska. Shriver earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, philosophy and Spanish from Rockhurst University. She is the secretary for the Student Bar Association and is a member of the St. Thomas More Society and Women in Law. Shriver graduated from Millard North High School.

Catherine Stephens is a second-year law student from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Stephens earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the U.S. Naval Academy, where she was captain of the women’s rugby team. After graduating from the Naval Academy, Stephens served as a surface warfare officer in the Navy for six years. She was then a senior consultant for Deloitte, working on retention and recruitment policies and strategy for the Navy for two years. Stephens worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office this summer in Kansas City, Kansas, and is president of the Kansas Law School Military & Veterans Society. She is also on the Dean’s Diversity Leadership Council. Stephens is a military spouse and parent of two children. Stephens is a graduate of Lejeune High School.

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