From the Office of Public Affairs | http://www.news.ku.edu
Week of activities for KU Homecoming begins Oct. 23
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host its 111th Homecoming Oct. 23-28. The week will feature a variety of events for alumni and students, including the Rock Chalk Block Party in downtown Lawrence on Oct. 27, with activities concluding at the KU football game against Oklahoma on Oct. 28 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. KU Homecoming award finalists include students from Andover, Mulvane, Olathe and WaKeeney in Kansas and from Blue Springs, Missouri.
KU doctoral student earns national fellowship
LAWRENCE ¬— Maggie Swenson, doctoral candidate in the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs & Administration, has won a competitive Dwight D. Eisenhower/Clifford Roberts Graduate Fellowship from the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College. The $10,000 stipend will support Swenson’s research on improving health equity.
Full stories below.
Contact: Paige Freeman, KU Alumni Association, 785-864-0953, [email protected]
Week of activities for KU Homecoming begins Oct. 23
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas will host its 111th Homecoming Oct. 23-28. The week will feature a variety of events for alumni and students, culminating in the KU football game against Oklahoma on Oct. 28 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
The theme for this year’s Homecoming celebration is “Rah Rah Jayhawk,” a nod to the origins of the Rock Chalk chant and Jayhawk nostalgia. Homecoming activities will include:
1. Oct. 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Homecoming Kickoff at the Jayhawk Welcome Center. Get details on all the events of the upcoming week in a fun, festive atmosphere, with a performance by the KU Spirit Squad and special guest appearances.
2. Oct. 24, 10 p.m.-midnight: Glowtopia at Royal Crest Lanes, 933 Iowa St. Enjoy a neon-bright night of bowling, complete with free food and prizes, all in a spectacular, glow-in-the-dark setting. KU students and alumni bowl free.
3. Oct. 25, 6:30-11:30 p.m.: Hawktober Movie Night at Central Field by Stouffer Place Apartments. Head outdoors for an entertainment-filled fall evening featuring a showing of the movie “Haunted Mansion” (2023) plus food, games and a Halloween costume contest.
4. Oct. 26, 6-8 p.m.: Alumni Trivia Night at Wayne & Larry’s, 933 Iowa St. Test your knowledge of KU history for prizes, plus enjoy networking opportunities and more with the KU Alumni Association.
5. Oct. 26, 6:30-10 p.m.: Mike and Joyce Shinn African American Leaders and Innovators Award reception at the Jayhawk Welcome Center. The KU Black Alumni Network will host this event recognizing and celebrating Black alumni. There will be a meet-and-greet with Chancellor Douglas A. Girod, and dinner will be served. Get more details and register.
6. Oct. 27, 1-3 p.m.: Home Football Friday: Homecoming Fest! at the Jayhawk Welcome Center. Get in the spirit for Saturday’s football game against Oklahoma with activities hosted by the KU Alumni Association’s Student Alumni Network and Student Union Activities, including music from DJ Mac, refreshments from Pickleman’s and a 360 photo booth experience presented by Truity Credit Union.
7. Oct. 27, 3-6 p.m.: KU Black Alumni Network Reunion Weekend activities at the Jayhawk Welcome Center. Connect with students and alumni on tours of campus and the Jayhawk Welcome Center and during a special Mocktails and Mingle gathering featuring an alumni panel, food and beverages.
8. Oct. 27, 5:30 p.m.: Rock Chalk Block Party on Mass Street. Join fellow Jayhawks for an evening of music, games and activities, including the Homecoming Pep Rally and a concert by country artist Michael Ray. The free event, hosted by Kansas Athletics, is presented by Central Bank and supported by Adidas.
9. Oct. 28, 8:30-10:30 a.m.: Gameday at the Jayhawk Welcome Center. All Jayhawks are welcome to stop by and enjoy a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere ahead of KU’s matchup against Oklahoma. At 9:30, artist Megh Knappenberger will be unveiling a new series of paintings for the recently renovated Adams Alumni Center. A cash bar and light snacks will be available.
All KU student organizations registered through Rock Chalk Central are invited to participate in the Homecoming Student Competition, which includes signature events such as the Homecoming Sign Competition, Chalk ’n’ Rock and Jayhawk Jingles. More information on the Homecoming Student Competition and a complete schedule of events can be found at kualumni.org/homecoming.
At halftime of the Oct. 28 football game, KU will announce the winners of the 2023 Konica Minolta Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Award and the Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award. Nominees for the ExCEL Award were selected based on their leadership, communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship, and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding loyalty and dedication to the university.
The selection committee included representatives from the KU Alumni Association, Student Involvement & Leadership Center, Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, Student Union Activities/Kansas Memorial Union and the Homecoming Steering Committee. Fourteen student finalists have been selected from the pool of applicants for this year’s awards:
1. Ahmad Azhar, a senior in mechanical engineering and communication studies from Mailsi, Pakistan.
2. Camden Baxter, a senior in economics with minors in math and Spanish from Andover.
3. David Betts, a senior in information systems from Brooklyn, New York.
4. Cooper Curtin, a junior in finance with minors in Spanish and entrepreneurship from Centennial, Colorado.
5. Taylor Durst, a junior in psychology and sport management from Hills, Minnesota.
6. DaNae Estabine, a junior in psychology and philosophy from Olathe.
7. Libby Frost, a senior in business administration on the pre-med track from WaKeeney.
8. Jordan Nevels, a senior in theatre performance with a minor in film & media from Overland Park.
9. Thanh Tan Nguyen, a senior in business analytics and supply chain management from Phu Yen, Vietnam.
10. Yash Prajapati, a junior in applied mathematics and interdisciplinary computing in economics from Gujarat, India.
11. Emma Saville, a junior in multimedia journalism with a minor in photography from Mulvane.
12. Aarush Sehgal, a junior in molecular, cellular & developmental biology from Chandigarh, India.
13. Navya Singh, a senior in biochemistry from Chandigarh, India.
14. Selia Walton, a junior in project management and environmental studies with a minor in strategic communication from Blue Springs, Missouri.
This year’s Homecoming celebration is sponsored by Central Bank of the Midwest, Konica Minolta, KU Bookstore, Pepsi Zero Sugar and StoneHill Hotel. Jayhawks can purchase the official 2023 “Rah Rah Jayhawk” Homecoming T-shirt online from the KU Bookstore.
For more information and to view the full schedule of Homecoming activities, including events at the KU Edwards Campus, go to kualumni.org/homecoming.
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Contact: Savannah Rattanavong, Office of the Provost, 785-864-6402, [email protected], @KUProvost
KU doctoral student earns national fellowship
LAWRENCE ¬— Maggie Swenson, doctoral candidate in the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs & Administration (SPAA), has won a competitive Dwight D. Eisenhower/Clifford Roberts Graduate Fellowship from the Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College.
The institute awards the fellowship to doctoral students from select institutions who are studying topics related to the role of government in a free society, public service, public policy and an improved understanding of the U.S. role in world affairs. The $10,000 stipend will support Swenson in the completion of her dissertation, “Collaboration Toward Health Equity: Exploring the Drivers, Success, and Strategies of Cross-sector Collaborations on the Social Determinants of Health.”
Swenson’s research is informed by the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) framework, which examines how factors outside of health care affect health and well-being. This approach emphasizes public health departments working with non-health sectors, such as education, housing, employment and planning, to address health disparities. Swenson is exploring what makes these collaborations feasible and encouraging partnerships between non-medical entities to better serve communities’ health needs.
Swenson said when working in health-focused nonprofits, she observed disparities in health based on race and socioeconomic status that held true across disease and stages of life. She saw differences in every health outcome, from birth weight to mortality rates.
“As a nonprofit professional, I also saw gaps in the research on interventions local organizations could use to alleviate health harms to marginalized groups,” Swenson said. “The persistent health disparities and lack of knowledge on how to address them inspired me to come back and get my Ph.D. and study how local government, nonprofit and private organizations can better promote health equity.”
Dorothy Daley, professor in SPAA and Swenson’s dissertation adviser, said a collaborative approach is imperative in advancing health equity “where everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve their highest level of health.”
Daley said public health scholars and practitioners regularly call for multisector collaboration to achieve their programmatic goals, but the recommendations often lack a deep understanding of collaborative decision-making or collaborative governance. That is an area where public administration scholarship can help, according to Daley.
“Maggie’s dissertation will generate high-quality and impactful interdisciplinary scholarship by linking these two areas in clear and transparent ways. It has been really wonderful to see her grow as a scholar and pursue important work that has both theoretical and applied significance,” Daley said.
Swenson is currently conducting interviews with public health workers across the country to inform her research, as well as performing data analysis on factors that predict whether local health departments partner with non-health sector organizations. Her data analysis also looks at the success of those partnerships.
At the conclusion of her research, Swenson said she hopes to provide information on how to better design and implement partnerships that promote health equity, as well as disseminate the results to health departments and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States.
“I feel extremely honored and fortunate to be a recipient of the Dwight Eisenhower and Clifford Roberts Graduate Fellowship,” Swenson said. “I have collected and analyzed secondary data on how local health departments collaborate across sectors to promote health equity, but the perspective of frontline workers is vital. Having research funding allows me to complete interviews with local health officials to gain their perspectives on health equity collaborations. I also am excited that the Eisenhower Institute sees the value in my work.”
Swenson, a Fulton, Missouri, native, earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a bachelor’s degree in nonprofit leadership from William Jewell College. She expects to complete her doctorate at KU in 2024.
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