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University Relations

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Jan. 30, 2009
Contact: Sue Lorenz, University Honors Program, (785) 864-3374.

KU to honor 2009 University Scholars at Jan. 31 menís basketball game

LAWRENCE — Twenty undergraduates at the University of Kansas named University Scholars for 2009 will be honored during two upcoming events.

The 20 new scholars will be recognized during the first TV timeout at the KU vs. Colorado men’s basketball game Saturday, Jan. 31, in Allen Fieldhouse. Tip off is at 3 p.m. The first TV timeout refers to the first stoppage of play after the clock winds below 16 minutes. On Feb. 1, the same students will be honored during an invitational dinner in the Kansas Union.

The University Scholars Program provides academic experiences that challenge students intellectually and enhanced opportunities to second-year undergraduates. The scholars must maintain at least a 3.5 grade-point average to stay in the program and are eligible for $500 scholarships for up to five semesters while enrolled at KU.

As part of the program, students enroll in an interdisciplinary seminar that allows them to integrate knowledge from fields of study outside their own. Each scholar works with a faculty mentor. That partnership is expected to continue until the student graduates.

This year’s seminar is titled “KC: The Biography of a City.” Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history and associate director for programming at the Dole Institute of Politics, is teaching the seminar. The course includes lectures and readings about the history, art, architecture, planning, music, food, culture, government, populations, challenges, triumphs and future of Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo.

The students will be accompanied onto the basketball court by Stanley Lombardo, director of the honors program; Sue Lorenz, associate director of the honors program and interim director of study abroad; and Earle.

The 20 students chosen each fall semester come from a wide range of disciplines across the university. They are selected on the basis of their academic records, demonstration of commitment to their education, their intellectual promise and faculty evaluations.

Administered by the University Honors Program, the University Scholars Program was established in 1981 by Deanell Reece Tacha, then-vice chancellor for academic affairs, now chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit. The program identifies exceptional undergraduate students and encourages them on their path toward outstanding achievement.

This program is supported financially by KU Endowment at the request of the provost. KU Endowment funding sources include the Greater KU Fund and the Francis H. Heller Fund. Heller is the Roy A. Roberts Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus, who served as the chair of the University Scholars Steering Committee from 1981 to 1988.

The 2009 University Scholars, all in their second year at KU, are listed below by hometown, major, parents’ names (when available), high school and faculty mentor.

From Lawrence 66049
Lily Boyce, majoring in geography; daughter of Kaylyn Munro and Brian Boyce; Lawrence High School; Shannon O’Lear, associate professor of geography

From Hays 67601
Megan Razak, majoring in microbiology, daughter of Brian and Sarah Razak; Hays High School; Victoria Corbin, associate professor of molecular biosciences

From Leawood 66224
Clarissa Wedemeier, majoring in biochemistry, daughter of Kim and Davd Wedemeier; Blue Valley West High School; Ruth Anne Atchley, associate professor of psychology

From Lenexa 66215
Rebecca Sullivan, majoring in music theory and American studies, daughter of Dan and Sarah Sullivan; Philip Barnard, associate professor of English

From Overland Park 66223
Matthew Gieschen, majoring in theatre and film, son of Greg and Jennifer Gieschen; Blue Valley West High School; John Gronbeck-Tedesco, professor of theatre and film and interim dean of the School of Fine Arts

From Overland Park 66213
Nicholas Mott, majoring in philosophy and in sociology, son of Greg and Lisa Mott; Blue Valley High School Northwest; Scott Jenkins, assistant professor of philosophy

From Shawnee 66216
Nicholas Curry, majoring in finance, son of Greg and Marie Curry; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Scott Murphy, associate professor of music and dance

Aubrey Wilson, majoring in French and economics, daughter of Jack and Kimberly Wilson; Shawnee Mission East High School; Mohamed El-Hodiri, professor of economics

From Emporia 66801
Bethany Christiansen, majoring in English and illustration, daughter of Dwight and Jeanine Christiansen; Emporia High School; Stanley Lombardo, professor of classics and honors program director

From Lindsborg 67456
Chantz Thomas, majoring in microbiology and history, son of Lorye and Greg Thomas; Smoky Valley High School in Lindsborg; Paul Kelton, associate professor and chair of history

From Paola 66071
Michael Tetwiler, majoring in English and biology, son of Lee and Mari Tetwiler; Paola High School; Mary Klayder, University Honors lecturer in English

From Lenora 67645
Annette Becker, majoring in art history and English; daughter of John and Ann Becker; Norton Community High School; Saralyn Reece Hardy, director of KU’s Spencer Museum of Art

Mathew Shepard, majoring in environmental studies and economics, son of Paul and Virginia Shepard; Norton Community High School; Andrew Torrance, associate professor of law

From Hutchinson 67502
Becca Braun, majoring in speech-language-hearing, daughter of Steve and Debbie Braun; Trinity High School; Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, professor of psychology and university honors faculty fellow

From Wichita 67208
Lauren Schimming, majoring in English and design; daughter of Damon and Adrienne Schimming; Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School; Patrick Dooley, professor of design

From Wichita 67215
Sarah Greenup , majoring in genetics, daughter of Barbara and Alan Greenup; Campus High School; Jennifer Gleason, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology

From Wellington 67152
Ariel Tazkargy, majoring in economics, English and peace and conflict studies, daughter of Zak Tazkargy and Lisa Dridi; Robert Antonio, professor of sociology

From Kirkwood 63122
John Hagerty, majoring in architectural engineering, son of Patrick and Marianne Hagerty; St. Louis University High School; Bob Coffeen, lecturer in architecture and urban planning

From Lincoln 68506
Katherine Blankenau, majoring in English and journalism, daughter of Monica and Dan Blankenau; Pius X High School; Misty Schieberle, assistant professor of English

From Nairobi
Angela Oguna, majoring in electrical engineering, daughter of Grace Oguna; James Roberts, professor of electrical engineering and computer science


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045