KU News: Pharmacy students among best in licensure exams, Math Prize winners and more

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KU Pharmacy students again rank among best in licensure exams
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy posted the second-highest pass rate in the nation on the 2020 Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). The school’s 2020 graduating class had a 99% first-time pass rate, compared to a national pass rate of 85% among all ACPE accredited programs. This marks the second time in three years that the KU School of Pharmacy ranked second in the nation on the law exam, and the average pass rates of the classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 combine to lead all U.S. schools of pharmacy.

Winners announced for KU Math Prize Competition
LAWRENCE — The 38th Annual KU Math Prize Competition, sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, was held virtually April 2. Open to all KU undergraduates, the written exam for each level covered six questions to be completed in three hours. Cash awards were given in two levels.

Michael Engel to deliver Inaugural Distinguished Professor Lecture
LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas expert on the evolutionary history and diversity of insects will present his distinguished professor Inaugural Lecture, “400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects,” on Thursday, April 29. Michael Engel is one of a few entomologists in the world to explore insect diversity from a paleontological perspective.

2021 Gene A Budig Lecture set for April 27
LAWRENCE — Suzanne Robinson, associate professor in the Department of Special Education, as the 2021 Budig Teaching Professorship in Special Education award recipient and featured lecturer. Robinson will present “Lessons Learned: A Professional Lifetime in Teacher Preparation” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, via Zoom.

KU announces the 2021 Student Employee of the Year
LAWRENCE — The University Career Center has announced the 2020-2021 Student Employee of the Year as Logan Bell, of Lenexa, who works for the University of Kansas Office of First-Year Experience, now the Office of Orientation and Transfer Programs. Throughout his KU career, Bell, who is majoring in English, has served the office in several capacities such as orientation assistant, peer mentor for a learning community and as the student assistant.

Full stories below.
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Contact: Jackie Hosey, 785-864-1206, [email protected]
KU Pharmacy students again rank among best in licensure exams
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Pharmacy posted the second-highest pass rate in the nation on the 2020 Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE). The school’s 2020 graduating class had a 99% first-time pass rate, compared to a national pass rate of 85% among all ACPE accredited programs.

This marks the second time in three years that the KU School of Pharmacy ranked second in the nation on the law exam, and the average pass rates of the classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 combine to lead all U.S. schools of pharmacy.

“Our students have a long history of excelling on the license exams. They consistently score at or near the top in the country on both parts of the test. It is wonderful to be at the top in any year but even more impressive when students are at the top using a rolling average over a three-year window,” said KU School of Pharmacy Dean Ronald Ragan. “These data demonstrate that KU is one of the elite pharmacy programs in the nation and prepares graduates for all sorts of pharmacy settings.”

The Class of 2020 also scored in the top 21% of all school nationwide on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) with a 95% pass rate. The average pass rate among all ACPE accredited programs is 88%, according to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

This year’s graduating class exceeded the national average for residency placement, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Members of the Class of 2021 matched PGY1 (post-graduate year-one) residency programs at a rate of 71%, compared with a national rate of 65%. Of the 140 members of the Class of 2021, 72 sought a residency program.

Graduates seeking a residency often apply to multiple programs throughout the United States. Following an interview process, the students and the program directors rank one another. When the numbers line up, a match is made.

The number of pharmacy students applying to and securing residencies is on the rise nationwide. Settings are varied and include locations such as hospitals, community pharmacies, long-term care facilities and more.

Associate Dean Janelle Ruisinger, faculty adviser to the School of Pharmacy’s Residency Club, said residency programs allow newly graduated students the opportunity to expand upon the knowledge and skills learned in pharmacy school.

“Residency programs are not easy, and the workload is often intense,” Ruisinger said. “But the professional gains more than make up for the hard work. The consensus is that a one-year residency is equal to about three to five years of work experience.”

KU School of Pharmacy is currently ranked seventh in National Institutes of Health funding, marking the 25th consecutive year the school has been in the top 10, and the Pharm.D. program is ranked 23rd among all schools of pharmacy by U.S. News & World Report.
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Contact: Gloria Prothe, 785-864-3651, [email protected]
Winners announced for KU Math Prize Competition
LAWRENCE – The 38th Annual KU Math Prize Competition, sponsored by the Department of Mathematics, was held virtually April 2. Open to all KU undergraduates, the written exam for each level covered six questions to be completed in three hours. Cash awards were given in two levels.

The junior level was open to all undergraduates of non-senior standing and assumes a knowledge of first-year calculus. The winners of the junior level:

First place: Teerapat Saengsubin, a freshman in mathematics from Thailand. Saengsubin also was the top first-year student.

Second place: Drake Clark, a junior in mathematics and computer engineering from Lenexa.

Third place: Matthew Hunt, a freshman in mathematics and physics from Kechi.

The senior-level is open to all undergraduates and covers a range of standard topics of undergraduate math. The winners of the senior level:

First place: Jonathan Downs, a senior in mathematics and computer science from Leavenworth.

Second place: Jonah Berggren, a senior in mathematics from Lenexa.

Hailong Dao, professor of mathematics, and Dionyssis Mantzavinos, associate professor of mathematics, were in charge of the competition.
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Contact: Jill Hummels, 785-864-6577, [email protected]
Michael Engel to deliver Inaugural Distinguished Professor Lecture
LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas expert on the evolutionary history and diversity of insects will present his distinguished professor Inaugural Lecture, “400 Million Years on Six Legs: Evolution of the Insects,” on Thursday, April 29.

Michael EngelMichael Engel is a University Distinguished Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and senior curator in the KU Biodiversity Institute, a rank he has held since 2018. He is also a courtesy professor in the Department of Geology and the Museum Studies Program.

The lecture will begin at 4 p.m. and be recorded for those unable to attend the virtual event and posted to the Faculty Development website. Individuals can register to attend the virtual Zoom webinar.

Engel is one of a few entomologists in the world to explore insect diversity from a paleontological perspective, unifying information from the fossil record with that gleaned from modern anatomy, behavior, ecology, physiology and molecular developmental biology.

“I combine the study of insect fossils with modern insects to bring about a comprehensive understanding of insect life through time, looking at episodes of origination, diversification and extinction,” Engel said, “along with the major events in insect history and how they shaped insect diversity today.”

During his studies, Engel has discovered over 850 new fossil and living arthropod species, conducting work in over 50 countries – from above the Arctic Circle to equatorial deserts and tropical forests.

His work has revealed the earliest evidence of insects, the origins of wings and flight, and the rise and decline of bees.

“There are nearly 21,000 species of bees throughout the world, but only seven of which are honey bees that people are most familiar with,” Engel said. “The remainder of this diversity, most of which are solitary – rather than living in complex societies like honey bees – is what I’ve worked on. My bee studies, like my other insect work, have also unified paleontology with a study of modern diversity to understand the evolution of these preeminent pollinators.”

Insects are a common but overlooked part of the world’s ecosystem, as more than 50% of all species are insects, and the world could not survive without them. The six-legged creatures whose history spanned at least 400 million years introduced humans to the first of many evolutionary phenomena, which is why Engel believes it is appropriate we work to understand them.

Before arriving at KU, Engel was a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He continues to hold a research affiliate appointment with the museum and works there on an annual basis. He started at KU in 2000 as an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology.

Engel has published over 800 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as written and edited eight books, including “Evolution of the Insects,” which has served as a textbook for entomology programs throughout the world. His 2018 book “Innumerable Insects,” which combines the history of entomological science and art with an overview of insect diversity and biology, won two Nautilus Book Awards in 2019.

He received bachelor’s degrees in chemistry, physiology and cell biology from KU and a doctorate in entomology from Cornell University.

During his tenure with KU, Engel was a 2006 Guggenheim Fellow and in the same year received a William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. He is also a Fellow of the Paleontological Society, the Entomological Society of America, the Royal Entomological Society and the Linnean Society of London, and he has received the Paleontological Society’s Schuchert Award, the Entomological Society of America’s Thomas Say Award and the Linnean Society’s Bicentenary Medal.
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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: Janelle Laudick, 785-864-6089, [email protected]
2021 Gene A Budig Lecture set for April 27
LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Education & Human Sciences welcomes Suzanne Robinson, associate professor in the Department of Special Education, as the 2021 Budig Teaching Professorship in Special Education award recipient and featured lecturer.

Robinson will present “Lessons Learned: A Professional Lifetime in Teacher Preparation” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, via Zoom. The virtual event is free and open to the public, but participants must RSVP to Sherrie Saathoff at [email protected] for access information.

In her presentation, Robinson will discuss the lessons she has learned during a professional lifetime focused on teacher preparation, including preservice teacher preparation, in-service teachers’ continuing education, development of innovative teacher preparation programs, systems change on how and what teachers teach at the local and state level, and teacher preparation policy. She will address five lessons learned about what works and five lessons learned about continuing challenges.

Robinson specializes in consultation and collaboration, high-incidence disabilities and school reform. She received her doctorate in special education and cognitive psychology from the University of New Mexico. Learn more about Robinson online.

The Gene A. Budig Professorships and lecture series were established in 1994 by Gene A. Budig, KU’s 14th chancellor, and his wife. Learn more about the lecture series online.
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Contact: Millinda Fowles, 785-864-8360, [email protected]
KU announces the 2021 Student Employee of the Year
LAWRENCE — The University Career Center has announced the 2020-2021 Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) as Logan Bell, of Lenexa, who works for the University of Kansas Office of First-Year Experience, now the Office of Orientation and Transfer Programs (OTP). Throughout his KU career, Bell, who is majoring in English, has served the office in several capacities such as orientation assistant, peer mentor for a learning community and as the student assistant.

Logan BellThe SEOTY award recognizes student employees who embody service excellence, dedication and whose academic achievements remain exceptional. Bell received an engraved plaque and a $500 award. Additionally, he was selected as the State of Kansas Student Employee of the Year and will be entered into the National Student Employee of the Year competition.

“Logan is a pillar of our team. Logan leads with empathy, compassion and assurance, all while being his authentic self,” said Natalie Sextro, administrative associate and Bell’s supervisor. “We wholeheartedly value Logan’s ability to make work more enjoyable while achieving all of our goals.”

Forty-two students were nominated for this year’s award. A team of volunteer reviewers selected five finalists, including the winner. Additional finalists:

Bhroovi Gupta, KU Marketing Communications, majoring in design
Ryan Wendling, Department of Economics, majoring in economics
Paige Simpson, Business Communication Center, majoring in supply chain management
Preston Barley, Legal Services for Students, graduate student in accounting
The nominees were recognized during a virtual ceremony April 13. During the awards ceremony, Susan Klusmeier, vice provost for academic success, shared her appreciation for student workers.

“Student employees perform invaluable services with enthusiasm, dedication, flexibility, and initiative,” she said. “Student employees make KU a very special place to work.”

More information about the SEOTY program is available at http://career.ku.edu/seoty.
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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

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