KU News: KU alumna Sarah Smarsh receives national TRIO Achiever Award

Today's News from the University of Kansas

0
167

Headlines

KU alumna Sarah Smarsh receives national TRIO Achiever Award
LAWRENCE – Citing her “long-standing commitment to the mission of TRIO programs through her writing and journalism,” the Council on Opportunity in Education (COE) has honored author and University of Kansas graduate Sarah Smash with a 2021 National TRIO Achiever Award. Smarsh was recognized during COE’s 40th Annual Conference Award Banquet in Atlanta. As an undergraduate, Smarsh participated in the KU TRIO McNair Scholars Program.

Hall Center announces 2021 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award winners
LAWRENCE — The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas has announced the winners of the 2021 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Awards. Awards are given in three categories: fiction, poetry and nonfiction. The recipients are Jim Hoy, Patricia Lawson, Janice Northerns and Dave Tell. All recipients have Kansas ties.

Architecture and design students awarded 2021 Kansas City Architectural Foundation scholarships
LAWRENCE – Nine University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design students, representing both the architecture and design departments, have received 2021 Kansas City Architectural Foundation scholarships. They include Kansas students from Eudora and Overland Park and Missouri students from Independence, Kansas City and Lee’s Summit.

Full stories below.

————————————————————————

Contact: Laura Kingston, Center for Educational Opportunity Programs, [email protected]

KU alumna Sarah Smarsh receives national TRIO Achiever Award
LAWRENCE – Citing her “long-standing commitment to the mission of TRIO programs through her writing and journalism,” the Council on Opportunity in Education (COE) has honored author and University of Kansas graduate Sarah Smash with a 2021 National TRIO Achiever Award. Smarsh was recognized during COE’s 40th Annual Conference Award Banquet on Sept. 13 in Atlanta. While she was unable to be present, Smarsh will accept the 2021 award in-person at COE’s next annual conference in September 2022.

The TRIO Achiever award acknowledges TRIO alumni who have accomplished something extraordinary in their designated professions. Smarsh has not only accomplished in her field as a writer of journalism and books, but the topics she writes about — class, privilege, place, politics, gender — specifically relate to TRIO Programs.

The Federal TRIO programs provide support services for first-generation college students, with the goal of achieving academic success through postsecondary education and beyond. There are several TRIO programs housed at KU, such as TRIO Upward Bound and TRIO Talent Search, and the program Smarsh participated in was the KU TRIO McNair Scholars Program, which is designed to diversify academic and research fields by preparing students for graduate school through scholarly activities and research opportunities. Prior to becoming a McNair Scholar, Smarsh earned work-study money as an Upward Bound tutor providing academic help to middle school and high school students in Topeka and Kansas City.

“As a first-generation student, I lacked many things my middle-class peers took for granted: parental financial support, a computer, family guidance through the college experience. I was an engaged student who performed well in and outside the classroom yet was often food-insecure and psychologically overwhelmed,” Smarsh said. “When I passed a McNair Program flyer printed with the terms ‘first-generation’ and ‘low-income,’ I finally had words for the otherness I felt on campus even as a racially privileged student. The KU McNair Scholars Program did more than just provide needed resources and push me toward higher academic goals — it validated my struggles and showed me that I was not alone.”

Becoming a McNair Scholar her senior year at KU provided her a research stipend to help her begin research on her long-dreamed book project and also led her to apply for graduate school. As a first-generation college student, this was something she had not considered prior to the program. Smarsh went on to graduate school at Columbia University, where she earned an MFA in nonfiction writing. She was a tenured English professor at Washburn University in Topeka before leaving academia to focus on her writing.

In 2018, Smarsh published her first book, “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth,” which became an instant New York Times bestseller, a National Book Award finalist and earned rave reviews in various publications. Detailing her childhood growing up on a family farm outside of Wichita, “Heartland” explores themes common to Smarsh’s work, such as class, economic hardship and busting stereotypes of rural America.

In 2020, Smarsh published “She Come by It Natural: Dolly Parton and the Women Who Lived Her Songs,” a cultural analysis of the celebrated singer, songwriter and philanthropist. The book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Non-Fiction.

“I am deeply humbled by the National TRIO Achiever Award,” Smarsh said. “This award is special to me not so much because it recognizes my professional accomplishments today, but because it comes from higher education advocates who know about the difficult journey it took to get there. I share this honor with all of them and hold their work in the highest esteem.”

Smarsh is the second TRIO alumnus from KU to receive the Achiever award. In 2018, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, creator and executive producer of the television show “S.W.A.T.,” received the honor.

-30-
————————————————————————
The official university Twitter account has changed to @UnivOfKansas.
Refollow @KUNews for KU News Service stories, discoveries and experts.


————————————————————————

Contact: Eliott Reeder, Hall Center for the Humanities, 785-864-4798, [email protected], @KUHallCenter
Hall Center announces 2021 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award winners
LAWRENCE — The Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas has announced the winners of the 2021 Byron Caldwell Smith Book Award. Awards are given in three categories: fiction, poetry and nonfiction.
The Byron Caldwell Smith Award was established at the bequest of Kate Stephens, a former KU student and one of KU’s first women professors. As an undergraduate, Stephens learned to love the study of Greek language and literature from Professor Byron Caldwell Smith. She established this award in his name. It is given biennially to individuals who live or are employed in Kansas and who have written an outstanding book published in the previous two years. The next Byron Caldwell Smith Awards will be given in 2023.

The 2021 awardees are as follows:
For Fiction:
Patricia Lawson, “Odd Ducks” (BkMk Press, 2020)
This debut collection of nine humorous stories, set in and around Kansas City from the 1950s to the 2000s, often depicts adults awkwardly mentoring talented young people, whether in a community garden, a library or in one-on-one advice. Other characters feel like outsiders in their own neighborhoods or suddenly become outsiders when straying into unfamiliar places. Patricia Lawson’s work has appeared in Pleiades, The Dalhousie Review, New Letters and elsewhere. She taught for many years at Kansas City Kansas Community College and was an associate editor of The Same. “Odd Ducks” is her solo fiction debut.
For Poetry:
Janice Northerns, “Some Electric Hum” (Lamar University Literary Press, 2020)
Janice Northerns’ debut collection, “Some Electric Hum,” disentangles the gnarled branches of a family tree into poems of complicated love and endurance. Deeply engaged with place, these poems range across Texas to Kansas to hold up the objects and people that create a personal history and “grapple with words just west of the tongue.” Northerns, who grew up on a farm in in rural West Texas, currently lives in southwest Kansas.

For Nonfiction (shared):

Jim Hoy, “My Flint Hills: Observations and Reminiscences from America’s Last Tallgrass Prairie” (University Press of Kansas, 2020)
Dave Tell, “Remembering Emmett Till” (University of Chicago Press, 2019)
Jim Hoy, professor emeritus at Emporia State University, has always called the Flint Hills home, and over the decades he has made a study of them — their tough terrain and quiet beauty, their distinctive folk life and cattle culture — and marshaled his observations to bring the Flint Hills home to readers in a singular way. “My Flint Hills: Observations and Reminiscences from America’s Last Tallgrass Prairie” combine family lore and anecdotes of ranching life with reflections on the region’s rich history and nature.

In “Remembering Emmett Till,” Dave Tell, KU professor of communication studies, gives five accounts of the commemoration of the infamous crime. In a development no one could have foreseen, Till’s murder — one of the darkest moments in Mississippi’s history — has become an economic driver for the Delta. Historical tourism has transformed seemingly innocuous places like bridges, boat landings, gas stations and riverbeds into sites of racial politics, reminders of the still unsettled question of how best to remember the victim of this heinous crime. Tell builds an insightful and persuasive case for how these memorials have altered the Delta’s physical and cultural landscape.

The winners will receive their awards and deliver brief remarks about their award-winning books at a public presentation, book signing and celebratory reception at the Hall Center for the Humanities. That event, which is free and open to the public, would normally take place later this fall, but due to the current surge in COVID-19 infections, it will take place instead in 2022. The date and time will be announced in due course.

-30-
————————————————————————
Subscribe to KU Today, the campus newsletter,
for additional news about the University of Kansas.

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

Contact: Dan Rolf, School of Architecture & Design, 785-864-3027, [email protected], @ArcD_KU
Architecture and design students awarded 2021 Kansas City Architectural Foundation scholarships
LAWRENCE – Nine University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design students, representing both the architecture and design departments, have received 2021 Kansas City Architectural Foundation (KCAF) scholarships.
The Kansas City Architectural Foundation has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships since being founded in 1984 and over $30,000 a year to students pursuing degrees in architecture and design.

Students were awarded the following KCAF scholarships:
AIA Kansas City Grant:
1. Mallory McGraw, architecture, Independence, Missouri

The Daw/Jarvis/Goodman Scholarship:
1. Ashlyn Reece, architecture, Overland Park

The DLR Group Scholarship:
1. Brittany Perez, architecture, Lee’s Summit, Missouri

The Fellows Scholarship:
1. Darius Mathis, architecture, Kansas City, Missouri

The KCAF General Scholarship:
1. Emily Almloff, architecture, Overland Park

The Kivett Scholarship:
1. Griffin Katzenmeier, architecture, Eudora

The Spreckelmeyer Scholarship:
1. Isaac Taylor, architecture, Overland Park

The Women in Design Scholarship:
1. Bhroovi Gupta, visual communication design, Mumbai, India

The Zilm Scholarship:
1. Jose Moreno, architecture, Kansas City, Missouri.

-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