KU News: School of Social Welfare event will focus on supporting older adults facing social isolation

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Social work Grand Challenges event focuses on supporting older adults facing social isolation

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare’s Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration will host an interactive panel on supporting older adults through social isolation with intergenerational alliances. The public event, which will take place at noon Feb. 27 on Zoom, will include professionals from organizations including the Johnson County Area Agency on Aging and KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. After the panel presentation, participants will discuss how everyone can contribute to eradicating social isolation.

University Distinguished Professor Sarah Deer will highlight advocacy in lecture that examines tribal statutes on sexual violence

LAWRENCE — In her inaugural Distinguished Professor Lecture at the University of Kansas, acclaimed lawyer, advocate and scholar Sarah Deer will present “What If Survivors Wrote the Laws? An Exploration of Tribal Statutes on Sexual Violence.” The lecture will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 4 in the Malott Room at the Kansas Union.

KU chemist Kristin Bowman-James wins award honoring decades of commitment to science statewide

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Kristin Bowman-James will receive the Joseph G. Danek Award at a ceremony Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C. The $5,000 prize recognizes her commitment to enhancing the research infrastructure in Kansas by forging collaborations across institutions and disciplines, which is a goal of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR. Bowman-James served as the statewide project director for the Kansas NSF EPSCoR from 2005 to 2023.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Margaret Hair, School of Social Welfare, 785-864-9876, [email protected], @KUSocialWelfare

Social work Grand Challenges event focuses on supporting older adults facing social isolation

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare’s Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration (CCEC) will host an interactive panel on supporting older adults through social isolation with intergenerational alliances.

The event, which highlights alumni of the Sigler Family Aging Scholars Program, will take place Feb. 27 and include professionals whose careers are reshaping the future of aging. After the panel presentation, participants will discuss how everyone can contribute to eradicating social isolation.

The CCEC Grand Challenges for Social Work event – “Reshaping the Future of Aging with Intergenerational Alliances” – will take place on Zoom from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Sign up for the Zoom here.

Speakers include:

Lindsay Huddleston, eligibility specialist with Johnson County Area Agency on Aging.
Dan Goodman, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care.
Kelly Loeb, community engagement manager at the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
Kristin Nichols, a multidisciplinary practitioner working as a social worker at KU Outpatient Neurology.
Eric Sigler, who helped create the Sigler Family Aging Fellows and currently works as a grief specialist with KC Hospice.

“One of the Grand Challenges for Social Work is to eradicate social isolation, which has adverse effects on health and well-being. Older adults are among those most at risk of social isolation, yet aging services have workforce issues that constrain their reach,” said Melinda Lewis, director of the school’s Center for Community Engagement & Collaboration.

“The school’s Sigler Family Aging Scholars Program is designed to encourage social work practice in aging and bring more people into the rewarding work to meet this Grand Challenge,” Lewis said.

The Grand Challenges for Social Work is an initiative within the social work profession to champion social progress around a series of grand challenges that the profession works to affect.

Social workers who register for the event can receive one free continuing education credit.

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Contact: Elizabeth Barton, Office of Faculty Affairs, [email protected], @kufacaffairs

University Distinguished Professor Sarah Deer will highlight advocacy in lecture that examines tribal statutes on sexual violence

LAWRENCE — In her inaugural Distinguished Professor Lecture at the University of Kansas, acclaimed lawyer, advocate and scholar Sarah Deer will amplify sexual violence survivors’ voices and the relation to tribal statutes.

The lecture, titled, “What If Survivors Wrote the Laws? An Exploration of Tribal Statutes on Sexual Violence,” will take place at 5:30 p.m. March 4 in the Malott Room at the Kansas Union.

Individuals can register to attend the lecture, and a recording of the lecture will be posted afterward on the Office of Faculty Affairs website.

Deer focuses her scholarship on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights, relying on Indigenous feminist principles as a guiding framework. Her 2015 award-winning book, “The Beginning and End of Rape: Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America,” is a culmination of over 25 years of working with survivors, and it highlights the common thread of advocacy work throughout her scholarship.

Her lecture will share the results of her forthcoming publication based on a comprehensive review of tribal nations’ sexual assault statutes and illuminate potential frameworks for addressing sexual assault in tribal courts by employing Indigenous feminist legal theories about consent and sexual autonomy.

“My research shows that tribal criminal laws tend to be unaffected by rape law reform efforts in the 1990s,” Deer said. “Because Native people suffer the highest rates of sexual assault in the United States, my research is intended to support the reform of tribal statutes to ensure that tribal prosecutors have the tools needed to prosecute sexual assault.”

Deer is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. Her advocacy work to end violence against Native women has earned her national recognition, including awards from the American Bar Association and the Department of Justice. She has testified before Congress on four occasions and was appointed to chair a federal advisory committee on sexual violence in Indian country. Deer was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2014 and was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2019. She has co-written four textbooks on tribal law, and her work has been published in numerous law journals.

Deer holds a joint appointment at KU in the departments of Indigenous Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, as well as a courtesy appointment with the School of Law. She earned both her bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from KU.

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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: Claudia Bode, Kansas NSF EPSCoR, [email protected]

KU chemist Kristin Bowman-James wins award honoring decades of commitment to science statewide

 

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Kristin Bowman-James has earned many honors during her nearly 50-year career. But her enduring commitment to Kansas has not been spotlighted until now.

On Feb. 26, Bowman-James will receive the Joseph G. Danek Award in Washington, D.C. The $5,000 prize recognizes her long-term commitment to enhancing the research infrastructure in Kansas by forging collaborations across institutions and disciplines, which is a goal of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, or EPSCoR.

Danek, the award’s namesake, is considered the “father of EPSCoR” for his vision and role in developing the federal program, which is designed to address research funding disparity across the United States. It continues to thrive today with bipartisan support to build research capacity in traditionally underfunded regions of the country, including Kansas.

For 18 years, Bowman-James served as the statewide project director for the Kansas NSF EPSCoR, overseeing projects from 2005 to 2023. These efforts leveraged nearly $58 million National Science Foundation dollars to facilitate research and build research talent in Kansas, leading to researchers garnering more than $150 million in additional federal funding.

Bowman-James first became involved with EPSCoR initiatives in 1995 as part of a research grant involving chemists, chemical engineers and physicists from KU, Kansas State University and Wichita State University working on the design of novel materials. A few years later, as chair of the KU’s chemistry department, she received funds for three cluster hires across the chemistry/biology interface.

“I am surprised and thrilled to be receiving the Danek Award for doing something that I have greatly enjoyed for almost three decades,” Bowman-James said. “It has been an honor to work together with scientists and leaders across Kansas. It is because of their hard work and commitment that we realize the benefits of collaborative multidisciplinary research across our institutions.”

From nanostructures to microbiomes, lipidomics to bioinformatics, ecological genomics to forecasting — the list of projects conducted under Bowman-James’ leadership is long. All have one thing in common: an eye to tackling the state’s highest priorities, such as clean energy and sustainable agriculture.

“These efforts enabled a wide array of multi-university partnerships that have led to an impressive breadth of scientific discoveries and workforce development for the state,” said Belinda Sturm, KU interim vice chancellor for research, professor of civil, environmental & architectural engineering and Bowman-James’ successor as the Kansas NSF EPSCoR director.

In fall 2023, Bowman-James stepped down as the EPSCoR leader at the conclusion of the six-year project called MAPS, or Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant & Soil Systems.

“MAPS was a fantastic group to work with,” said Walter Dodds, University Distinguished Professor of biology at Kansas State University and theme leader for the MAPS project. “The EPSCoR support for this project and others in the past has been much appreciated.”

Presented by the EPSCoR/IDeA Coalition and Foundation Board, the Danek Award adds another honor to Bowman-James’ career, which includes serving as the first woman to chair the KU Department of Chemistry from 1995 to 2001. In 2021, she was awarded the American Chemical Society’s Award in Inorganic Chemistry for her contributions to inorganic chemistry, and she was also named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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