KU News: KU leading project to aid students who internalized anxious feelings from pandemic

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KU leading project to aid students who internalized anxious feelings from pandemic
LAWRENCE — The Institute for Education Sciences has awarded a four-year, $3 million grant to a University of Kansas research team to launch Project ENGAGE. The project will analyze existing data to determine how internalizing and externalizing behavior patterns among students may have shifted during the last several years and to test a new intervention designed to improve outcomes for students with and at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders.

KU Legal Aid Clinic, Douglas County DA’s Office and Lawrence Public Library to host criminal record expungement clinic
LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Law’s Legal Aid Clinic will host a Clean Slate Criminal Record Expungement Clinic this spring in partnership with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office and the Lawrence Public Library. The clinic will take place in person from noon to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont St.

Virtual visit with ‘Disability Visibility’ editor heralds upcoming Common Book events
LAWRENCE — A virtual visit Feb. 22 by Alice Wong, disability rights activist and editor, will usher in several remaining activities surrounding the University of Kansas’ 10th Common Book, “Disability Visibility: First-person Stories from the Twenty-First Century.” Other events will include talks by authors Rebekah Taussig and Chloé Cooper Jones as well as multiple performances at the Lied Center of Kansas.

KU nominates 5 undergraduates for 2023 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships
LAWRENCE — Five University of Kansas students who have been actively involved in undergraduate research during their university careers are competing for Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, regarded as the premier undergraduate award to encourage excellence in science, engineering and mathematics. Winners will be notified in late March. KU’s Kansas nominees are from Lawrence, Liberal and Overland Park.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Mike Krings, KU News Service, 785-864-8860, [email protected], @MikeKrings
KU leading project to aid students who internalized anxious feelings from pandemic

LAWRENCE —The University of Kansas has secured grant funding to conduct a project to look for students with internalizing behaviors who have anxious feelings that may negatively affect their education, and to help teachers implement new strategies to attend to those feelings while re-engaging in school.

As the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it school closings, remote or hybrid learning and other academic changes, students often lost instructional time and struggled with health and well-being. The Institute for Education Sciences has awarded a four-year, $3 million grant to a KU research team to launch Project ENGAGE: Enhancing Student Engagement to Facilitate Learning and Well-being. The project will analyze existing data to determine how internalizing and externalizing behavior patterns may have shifted during the last several years and test “Recognize. Relax. Record,” a new intervention designed to improve outcomes for students with and at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders.

“We will look at data from years prior to the pandemic, during and now to see how internalizing behavior patterns have shifted over the time,” said Kathleen Lane, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Special Education at KU and principal investigator. “Building on lessons learned from Project ENHANCE, we’re now digging deeper to learn more about how kids are faring with anxious feelings and how a newly developed, evidence-based intervention can help students, teachers and schools.”

For the first goal of the project, data from approximately 8,000 students in 22 schools in two diverse districts will be analyzed. The second goal will begin with two elementary teachers and a small group of students experiencing internalizing behaviors – specifically anxious feelings.

That will be followed by a randomized control trial of Recognize. Relax. Record., also known as RRR, with about 65 teachers and nearly 200 students. Data will be gathered throughout the project to gauge how students who received the intervention fared compared with students in the control group. By the end, all teachers and students will have access to the intervention materials.

RRR is designed for use by teachers, and the KU team will deliver it in the initial phases to reduce workload on educators. It has three primary components, all addressed through explicit instruction. Students learn to recognize or identify thoughts and feelings related to being anxious. They also learn relaxation strategies and to support self-regulation, then record their thoughts and feelings, their use of selected relaxation strategies and their sense of engagement in school activity.

The research team will also analyze data throughout the project for dissemination in public forums, presentations and peer-reviewed publications. If successful, RRR and Project ENGAGE can be scaled for wider use. Co-principal investigators for the project are Mark Buckman, assistant research professor at KU; Wendy Peia Oakes of Arizona State University; and Eric Alan Common from University of Michigan Flint. Buckman and Common are both KU graduates.

Project ENGAGE was funded on the first submission, which Lane said is testament to the skill and dedication of the team.

“We are all very excited about Project ENGAGE, and the support it has received is a testament to the achievements of this talented group and illustrates how KU has continued to thrive during difficult times in education,” Lane said. “Most importantly, we are proud we will be able to work directly with teachers and our amazing district partners to help students to engage in their education and ensure their health and well-being.”

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Contact: Emma Herrman, School of Law, [email protected], @kulawschool
KU Legal Aid Clinic, Douglas County DA’s Office and Lawrence Public Library to host criminal record expungement clinic

LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas School of Law’s Legal Aid Clinic will host a Clean Slate Criminal Record Expungement Clinic this spring in partnership with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office and the Lawrence Public Library. The clinic will take place in person from noon to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Lawrence Public Library Auditorium, 707 Vermont St.

“As a public library, we want to expand public knowledge about the expungement process,” said Marc Veloz, community resource specialist at the Lawrence Public Library. “A tangible way we can do that is by providing a space for this service and helping get the word out to our community partners.”

An expungement seals an arrest record, diversion or conviction from public view, with certain exceptions. The Legal Aid Clinic will provide free legal representation to eligible individuals seeking to expunge records in Douglas County District Court and/or Lawrence Municipal Court.

“Convictions for certain crimes shouldn’t be a life sentence,” District Attorney Suzanne Valdez said. “Through this opportunity, individuals can access the expungement process for free and remove long-standing barriers to education, housing and employment. We are fortunate to be able to work with the Legal Aid Clinic to provide this service to our community.”

The clinic can accept clients with income up to 250% of the federal poverty level. Clients who qualify for Legal Aid Clinic representation but who do not qualify for a waiver of the court’s per-case filing fee will need to pay that court fee, but no attorney’s fees, as long as they are eligible for services.

After the intake clinic day at the library, clients will need to attend one additional appointment and any required court hearings with their Legal Aid attorney.

“We are excited for our law students to partner again with the District Attorney’s Office and the Lawrence Public Library to offer this clinic to individuals with records to expunge in Douglas County,” said Melanie Daily, clinical associate professor and director of Douglas County Legal Aid Society Inc. “Criminal record expungement serves an important role in the justice system by allowing qualified individuals to get back into the community and do good work – in their homes, schools, workplaces and beyond. It’s a last step in getting their records to reflect not their mistakes, but the progress they have made.”

For any questions regarding the clinic and expungement eligibility, contact the Legal Aid Clinic at 785-864-5564.

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Contact: Kevin McCarty, KU Libraries, 785-864-6428, [email protected], @KULibraries
Virtual visit with ‘Disability Visibility’ editor heralds upcoming Common Book events

LAWRENCE — A virtual visit from Alice Wong, disability rights activist and editor, will usher in several remaining activities surrounding the University of Kansas’ 10th Common Book, “Disability Visibility: First-person Stories from the Twenty-First Century.”

Wong will respond to submitted questions in an online presentation Feb. 22 and participate in an informal conversation with students Feb. 23 as the university community continues its yearlong exploration of the anthology, which provides diverse perspectives on the lived experience of both visible and invisible disabilities. Questions can be submitted through an online form by Feb. 2.

The Common Book program, presented in partnership by KU Libraries, the Hall Center for the Humanities and KU Academic Success, aims to build community among students, faculty and staff; encourage intellectual engagement through reading and discussion; and create shared conversation about topics and issues of significance in today’s world.

The talk is just one of many “Disability Visibility” events happening on and around KU’s Lawrence campus this spring. Here’s a rundown of the remaining activities:

1. KU’s New Music Guild will perform an interactive concert that examines how disability is treated in the medium of sound. The concert will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Lied Center of Kansas with an informal reception to follow. During the reception, the audience will have an opportunity to reflect with the performers, mingle, ask questions and discuss the themes of the concert with the performers.
2. On Feb. 12, Kansas Public Radio’s Kaye McIntire and her show “KPR Presents Book Club” will welcome Rebekah Taussig, author of “Sitting Pretty: The View from my Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body,” and Megan Kaminski, KU associate professor of English. Taussig is a KU graduate with a doctorate in creative nonfiction and disability studies. The group will discuss Taussig’s memoir and share collections of solicited essays, poems and short stories about listeners’ personal experience living with disability.
3. Alice Wong, editor of this year’s Common Book, will speak at a virtual event at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Register to attend the event and use this form by Feb. 2 to submit questions for the presenter. Students can also register here to join Wong for a student conversation at 3 p.m. Feb. 23 as well as submit questions for consideration using this form.
4. KU’s Educate & Act series turns its focus to “Disability Justice and Public Policy” in its March 2 panel on civic action and engagement. Presenters from across campus, along with specialists from outside the university, will take part in a session beginning at noon. Access the event through this link to the Zoom conference.
5. Join the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity and campus partners at 6 p.m. April 13 for the release of “Disability Justice is a Feminist Issue,” a collaborative zine project complementing “Disability Visibility.” After select contributors reflect on their submissions, there will be opportunity for Q&A. All are invited to submit an 8.5-by-11-inch page exploring the themes of disability justice, ableism, gender and feminism by April 1.
6. The Dancing Wheels Company and School, a professional dance organization bringing together dancers with and without disabilities, will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 14 at the Lied Center. Performing since 1980, Dancing Wheels offer performers with disabilities full and equal access to the world of dance. The performance is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which awarded a grant aimed at “Utilizing the Performing Arts to Enhance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives.” A team from KU worked with the dance company and school to integrate curriculum into KU classes.
7. Chloé Cooper Jones, KU graduate, philosophy professor and freelance journalist, will speak about her memoir, “Easy Beauty,” thoughts about disability, motherhood and the search for a new way of seeing and being seen at 7:30 p.m. April 25 in the Hall Center Conference Hall and online via a Hall Center Crowdcast, a video platform for online conferences and webinars. Cooper Jones, a Tonganoxie native, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing for “Fearing for His Life,” a profile of Ramsey Orta, the man who filmed the killing of Eric Garner.

Please visit the Common Book website for updates and more information on these events.

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Don’t miss new episodes of “When Experts Attack!,”
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Contact: Erin Wolfram, Academic Success, 785-864-2308, [email protected]
KU nominates 5 undergraduates for 2023 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships

LAWRENCE — Five University of Kansas students who have been actively involved in undergraduate research during their university careers are competing for Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, regarded as the premier undergraduate award to encourage excellence in science, engineering and mathematics.

The students’ applications are coordinated by the Office of Fellowships in Academic Success.

KU’s 2023 nominees:

1. Sivani Badrivenkata, Lawrence, a junior in pharmaceutical sciences
2. Thresa Kelly, Kansas City, Missouri, a junior in engineering physics – digital electronic systems with a minor in astronomy
3. Brandon Nguyen, Liberal, a sophomore in chemistry and with a minor in mathematics
4. Audrey-Rips Goodwin, Overland Park, a junior in chemistry and mathematics with a minor in psychology
5. Kate Wienke, St. Louis, a junior in physics.

Seventy-six KU students have received Goldwater scholarships since they first were awarded in 1989. Congress established the program in 1986 in tribute to the retired U.S. senator from Arizona and to ensure a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

The Goldwater Foundation trustees will announce the 2023 winners in late March. The scholarships cover eligible expenses for undergraduate tuition, fees, books and room and board, up to $7,500 annually. Each year the trustees award approximately 450 scholarships.

Only sophomore- and junior-level students with outstanding academic records, significant research experience and high potential for careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering are eligible for nomination. Nominees submitted applications that included essays related to their career goals and research experience and three faculty recommendations. Students interested in applying next year should contact the Office of Fellowships via email.

Brief descriptions of the nominees’ research experience, organizational involvement and career plans follow.

Sivani Badrivenkata, from Lawrence, is the daughter of Dayakar Badri and Haarisa Valasa and a graduate of Free State High School. Badrivenkata is majoring in pharmaceutical sciences and plans to pursue a doctorate in pharmaceutical chemistry to teach and conduct translational research in academia with a focus on integrating biologics in formulations to address global health needs. She currently conducts research in Michael Hageman’s pharmaceutical chemistry lab to assess the viability/efficacy of lactoferrin to treat vaginal E. coli infections in pregnant patients to prevent neonatal sepsis. Badrivenkata is a recipient of a spring 2023 Undergraduate Research Award, presented at the 2022 Kansas Pharmacists Association’s annual meeting and tradeshow and participated in the 2022 summer Undergraduate Research Program within the KU Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. She currently works as a speech and debate assistant coach at Free State High School, and in summer 2021, she was a research intern for a prostate clinical research project through KU Medical Center. Badrivenkata is a KU Global Scholar and a member of the University Honors Program, for which she serves as a program ambassador and previously served as an honors seminar assistant. Additionally, she hosted an art exhibition at the Kansas Union Gallery in fall 2021 and currently has five paintings displayed in KU campus libraries through spring 2023.

Thresa Kelly, from Kansas City, Missouri, is the daughter of Cassy Kelly and Scott Bergman and a graduate of Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. Kelly is majoring in engineering physics – digital electronic systems and minoring in astronomy. She aspires to earn a doctorate in astronomy and become a professional scientist researching active galactic nuclei. Kelly spent summer 2022 in David Sander’s lab at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy researching the multiwavelength properties of X-ray and midinfrared identified active galactic nuclei which resulted in both oral and poster presentations, and she is currently writing a first-author paper for submission to an academic journal. Currently, under the direction of Allison Kirkpatrick, KU Department of Physics & Astronomy, Kelly is researching the use of a James Webb Space Telescope to analyze active galactic nucleus host galaxies. She and Kirkpatrick presented this research at the 241st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January 2023. Kelly is a member of the University Honors Program, Tau Beta Pi National Honor Society, Out in STEM and the Society of Physics Students. She also formerly served as the treasurer and DJ for KU’s Swing Society. Additionally, Kelly is the recipient of multiple scholarships and awards, including the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Scholarship for academic achievements in engineering, Gene E. Feaster Award for academic and research excellence in physics and astronomy, Underclassman Achievement Award for academic superiority and Patricia Frist Memorial Scholarship (four consecutive years) for academic success and character.

Brandon Nguyen, from Liberal, is the son of Joe and Nguyen Nguyen and a graduate of Liberal High School. Nguyen is majoring in chemistry and minoring in mathematics. He plans to pursue a doctorate in chemistry and conduct research in inorganic or organic chemistry and teach at a university. As a freshman, Nguyen joined Timothy Jackson’s research lab, where he measured the reactivity of manganese(III)-hydroxo complexes with phenols. Through this research experience, he performed kinetic studies on an inorganic complex by analyzing the change in absorbance in a reaction and determined the rate of the reaction through kinetics. He presented a poster presentation on this research at the American Chemical Society Midwest Regional Meeting in 2022. Nguyen also serves as the development chair of KU’s Chemistry Club and is the recipient of the Drs. Bijan and Mary Taylor Amini Scholarship for demonstrating exceptionality as a chemistry student, a KU Center for Undergraduate Research Travel Award, Bricker ChemScholars Program Award for academic and research achievement and an Honors Opportunity Award.

Audrey Rips-Goodwin, from Overland Park, is the daughter of Cheryl Rips and Stanley Goodwin and a graduate of Blue Valley Southwest High School. She is majoring in mathematics and chemistry and minoring in psychology with plans to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience and conduct research in neuroscience/neuroeconomics of addictions, eating disorders and obesity. In 2021, Rips-Goodwin contributed to a large series of studies examining how age-related increases in Phosphodiesterase 11A4 contribute to age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease with Michy Kelly at the University of South Carolina. Rips-Goodwin is a co-author of a paper based on this research which is currently in review. In 2022, after transferring to KU, she joined Tera Fazzino’s lab and determined the accuracy of reported energy content of hyper-palatable foods combining her research interests in both chemistry and psychology and leading to two presentations. In 2022, she was named a Kansas Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence program scholar to conduct independent research. Rips-Goodwin is also a student ambassador for the KU College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, a Green Scholar for her sustainability efforts, a Bricker ChemScholar and a Frances H. Gayetta Lensor Scholarship recipient awarded to an exceptional female student majoring in chemistry. Outside of research and academics, she serves as a weekend volunteer at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Kate Wienke, from St. Louis, is the daughter of Libby Clabaugh and Steve Wienke and is a graduate of Webster Groves High School. Majoring in physics, Wienke aspires to earn a doctorate in astrophysics and lead a team conducting research on astrobiology or exoplanets. She also plans to teach at the university level and start a mentorship program for young gender and racial minorities in physics. In 2021, within Ian Crossfield’s KU ExoLab, she compared the densities of exoplanets with the elemental abundances of their stars. She presented on this research at the KU 2022 spring Undergraduate Research Symposium. Currently, Wienke is conducting research with Jessie Christiansen, California Institute of Technology, on using Spitzer Phase Curve Analysis to detect an atmosphere on the Super Earth-HD within the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. In September 2022, she was one of 36 students invited to participate in Caltech’s FUTURE of Physics for junior and senior undergraduate gender minorities in physics. Wienke is an Honors Ambassador and University Scholar and served as the project leader on a team examining diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging within the KU Department of Physics & Astronomy. She also serves as the social chair for the Women’s Rugby Club and was a member of the KU rowing team her freshman year. Wienke has received numerous accolades, including the KU Gene R. Feaster Physics Scholarship and KU Francis W. Prosser Physics Scholarship and was on the 2021 Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team for achieving a 4.0 GPA while participating as a Big 12 athlete.

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