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Aug. 18, 2008
Contact: Kathy Rose-Mockry, Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center, (785) 864-3552.

KU Women of Distinction calendar lauds outstanding students, staff, alumnae

Hannah Love and Aly Rodee

LAWRENCE — The 2008-09 “KU Women of Distinction” poster-calendar highlighting accomplishments of female students and faculty at the University of Kansas is now available.

The new calendar features photos of 11 women pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees, three spring graduates, a military officer, two faculty members who have received national honors in the past year, five administrators and a KU alumna was the first woman in Kansas history to be appointed by a president as a U.S. district judge.

Kathryn H. Vratil is chief judge for the U.S. District Court for Kansas and earned degrees in American studies and law from KU. Vratil’s nomination to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush in July 1992 and confirmation by the U.S. Senate in October 1992 earned her a place in Kansas history.

“In addition, this year’s calendar features women in military service, student services, community service, health service, science, student leadership and athletics,” said Kathy Rose-Mockry, program director for KU’s Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center, which produces the calendar/poster. “We have a Fulbright scholar, two Goldwater scholars as well as recipients of other local and national awards,”

Chancellor Robert Hemenway will greet the women honored this year during a reception at 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Malott Room in the Kansas Union. The women were selected by a campuswide committee from nominations to the women’s resource center.

KU faculty featured are Elizabeth Asiedu, associate professor of economics, who received a 2007 Emerging Scholar Award from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine; and Edith L. Taylor, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Taylor is also a senior curator for Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center and a courtesy professor in geology.

Three administrators are recognized as advocates for students: Laura Bauer, former program director for Fraternity and Sorority Life in the Student Involvement and Leadership Center; Maritza Machado-Williams, director of the Academic Programs for Excellence; and Pamela L. Scott, associate director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Two more administrators are distinguished for promoting wellness: Mary Chappell, director of Recreation Services; and Carol Seager, director of Student Health Services.

Descriptions of the women’s achievements are included on the poster along with calendar grids for the academic year.

The calendars are free, although donations are accepted, and are available in the Kansas Union bookstores in Lawrence and the bookstores at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and the Edwards Campus in Overland Park. The Student Involvement and Leadership Center in the Kansas Union on the Lawrence campus also has copies available.

Students and recent alumni featured in the 2008-09 calendar are listed below by hometown, major, parents’ names and high school attended (when available).

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence 66044 and Fernandina Beach Fla.
Jenn Gapetz, senior in American studies, is honored as an Ecumenical Christian Ministries Alternative Breaks coordinator with the Border Studies Alternative Break program in Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. She is married to Joshua Gapetz and is a graduate of Fernandina Beach (Fla.) High School.

ELLIS COUNTY
From Hays 67601
Rachel L. Debes, senior in mathematics, is honored as a 2008 Goldwater scholar. She is the daughter of Ken and Debbie Debes and is a Hays High School graduate.

FORD COUNTY
From Dodge City 67801
Hannah Love, spring 2008 graduate in sociology, is honored for political action and involvement as the 2007-08 student body president and recipient of the 2008 Rusty Leffel Concerned Student Award. She is the daughter of Dan and Beth Love and a graduate of Dodge City Senior High School.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Olathe 66062
Molly A. McVey, doctoral student in mechanical engineering, is a Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellow at KU. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from KU. McVey is the daughter of Barb and Martin Pape, and is a graduate of Olathe South High School.

From Spring Hill 66083
Sarah Jane Birmingham, senior in art, is honored as an Ecumenical Christian Ministries Alternative Breaks co-coordinator for El Papaturro, El Salvador. She is the daughter of Charlie and Leslie Birmingham and a Spring Hill High School graduate.

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY
From Leavenworth 66048
Army 2nd Lt. Jessica E. Adkison was assigned as a goldbar recruiter for KU Army ROTC after earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies in spring 2008 at KU. Adkison is the daughter of Rick and Sherry Adkison and is a Lansing High School graduate.

POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY
From Wamego 66547 and New Orleans, La.
Rebecca Lynn Totten, senior in geology, is honored as a 2008 Goldwater scholar. She is the daughter of Matthew and Iris Totten of Wamego and Karen Parsons of New Orleans. She is a graduate of Fountainbleau High School in Mandeville, La.

RILEY COUNTY
From Manhattan 66502
Haley Grace Masterson, junior in neurobiology, is honored as the Ecumenical Christian Ministries financial management coordinator. She is the daughter of Gregg and Marilyn Masterson and a graduate of Manhattan High School.

SEDGWICK COUNTY
From Wichita 67203
Emily Melea Reimer, senior in architectural engineering, is honored as a woman student athlete who was named to the academic All-Big 12 First Team. She is the daughter of Jill Lokke and is a graduate of Northeast Magnet School in Wichita.

From Wichita 67212
Aly Rodee, senior in communication studies, is honored for political action and involvement as communications director for Student Senate for 2007-08. She is the daughter of Mike and Liz Rodee and is a graduate of Wichita High School Northwest.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka 66614
Heather M. Wurtz, senior in anthropology and Latin American studies, is honored as an Ecumenical Christian Ministries Alternative Breaks co-coordinator for El Salvador. She is the daughter of Tim and Karen Wurtz and is a Hayden High School graduate.

FLORIDA
From Fernandina Beach 32034 and Lawrence, Kan.
Jenn Gapetz. See DOUGLAS COUNTY

ILLINOIS
From Chicago 60630
Agata Karolina Kaminska is a master’s degree student in bioengineering preparing to study medicine. She will study in Poland on a Fulbright grant this academic year. Kaminska received a bachelor’s degree in Germanic languages and literatures and in Russian and Eastern European studies at KU in spring 2008. She is the daughter of Alina Piekosz and is a graduate of Lincoln Park High School in Chicago.

LOUISIANA
From New Orleans 70124 and Wamego, Kan.
Rebecca Lynn Totten. See POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY

TEXAS
From Lancaster 75134
Sha’Ray Lanicea Butler, senior in human biology preparing to study medicine, is honored as a woman student athlete who was named to the 2008 U.S. Track and Field/Cross Country Coaches Association Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field All-Midwest Region Team. She is the daughter of Raymond and Sonia Butler and is a graduate of Lancaster E. Robertson High School.

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