KU News Release


May 5, 2010
Contact: Sarah Crawford-Parker, University Honors Program, (785) 864-3539

University Scholars explore rhetorical perspectives of the Nobel Prize

More Information

LAWRENCE — Twenty undergraduates in the University Scholars Program at the University of Kansas are completing a seminar that included visits by a Nobel Prize winner and a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

University Scholars must enroll in an interdisciplinary seminar that allows them to integrate knowledge across disciplines. This semester’s seminar is titled “Rhetoric of the Nobel Prize.” Diana Carlin, professor of communication studies, teaches the course, which examines from a rhetorical perspective the selection of Nobel Prize winners, their acceptance speeches and the use of the Nobel Prize as a platform for social and political change.

As part of the seminar, the students met with Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ban land mines, and Pakistani rock star Salman Ahmad, who performed at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in 2006 and 2008. Ahmad is a United Nations goodwill ambassador.

The scholars also met with seven KU faculty members to discuss the Nobel Prizes in their academic areas: Cindy Berrie, associate professor of chemistry, Mohamed El-Hodiri, professor of economics, James Carothers, professor of English, and Jan Kozma, professor of French and Italian, on prizes for literature; and Phil Baringer, professor of physics and astronomy, and Judy Wu, University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Jim Woelfel, professor of philosophy and director of the Humanities and Western Civilization Program, discussed the Nobel Peace Prize.

University Scholars are selected on the basis of academic records, commitment to education, intellectual promise and evaluations by instructors. Sophomore students with a 3.8 cumulative grade-point average are eligible to apply. Students selected as University Scholars go through a rigorous application and interview process.

University Scholars are paired with faculty mentors to support their research interests. They receive $250 scholarships for up to five semesters while enrolled at KU.

The University Honors Program administers the University Scholars Program, which 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 in their path toward outstanding achievement.

The program is supported financially by KU Endowment at the request of the chancellor and the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. KU Endowment funding sources include the Greater KU Fund and the Francis H. Heller Fund for the University Honors Program. Heller is the Roy A. Roberts Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus, who served as chair of the University Scholars Steering Committee from 1981 to 1988.

The 2010 University Scholars, all second-year students at KU, are listed below by hometown, major, parents’ names, high school and faculty mentor.

ALLEN COUNTY
From Iola 66749 and La Cygne
Kellen Thomas Bolt, junior in English; son of Kay Bolt of Iola and Ken Bolt of La Cygne; Iola Senior High School; Susan Harris, Joyce and Elizabeth Hal Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture.

DOUGLAS COUNTY
From Lawrence 66046
Gerald Francis Wohletz Jr., junior in American studies and communication studies; son of Gerald and Jane Wohletz; Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park; Mary Christine Banwart, associate professor of communication studies.

JOHNSON COUNTY
From Leawood 66206
Meredith Marie Pavicic, junior in women’s studies; daughter of Kevin and Rita Pavicic; Saint Teresa’s Academy, Kansas City, Mo.; Hannah Britton, associate professor of political science.

From Olathe 66062
Anne N. Nzuki, sophomore in human biology; daughter of Fidelis Munyao; Olathe North High School; Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, associate professor of women, gender and sexuality studies and theatre and film.

From Overland Park 66209
Erin Ellen Diel, junior in chemistry; daughter of Bruce Diel and Ellen Beedle; Blue Valley North High School; Brian Ackley, assistant professor of molecular biosciences.

Tyler Scott James Holmes, junior in political science; son of Roger and Katherine Holmes; Blue Valley North High School; Burdett Loomis, professor of political science.

From Overland Park 66210
Olga Sevcuka, junior in psychology and Spanish; daughter of Nikolajs and Ninel Sevcuks; Blue Valley Northwest High School; Mahasweta Banerjee, associate professor of social welfare, and Gary Reich, associate professor of political science.

From Overland Park 66210 and Kearney, Mo.
Kelsey Rene Murrell, junior in English, journalism and Spanish; daughter of Dawn Murrell of Overland Park and Ronald Murrell of Kearney, Mo.; Kearney R-1 Sr High School; Marta Caminero-Santangelo, professor and chair of English.

From Overland Park 66212
Sida Niu, sophomore in chemical engineering; son of Shan Bai; Shawnee Mission South High School; Michael Detamore, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering.

From Overland Park 66224
Kelly Beth Cosby, sophomore in political science; daughter of Mark Cosby; Blue Valley High School, Stilwell; Jonathan Earle, associate professor of history.

From Stilwell 66085
Megan Kristin Ritter, junior in philosophy and Spanish; daughter of John and Candace Ritter; Blue Valley High School; L. Ayu Saraswati, assistant professor of women, gender and sexuality studies.

LINN COUNTY
From La Cygne 66040 and Iola
Kellen Thomas Bolt. See ALLEN COUNTY

MITCHELL COUNTY
From Beloit 67420
Kristen Marie Meier, junior in biology and Spanish; daughter of Mike and Roberta Meier; Beloit Junior-Senior High School; Stuart Day, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese.

MCPHERSON COUNTY
From McPherson 67460
James Gregory Loving, senior in chemical engineering and economics; son of James and Dawn Loving; McPherson High School; Kyle Camarda, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering.

SHAWNEE COUNTY
From Topeka 66610
Erin Elizabeth Atwood, junior in biology and Spanish; daughter of Michael and Jennie Atwood; Washburn Rural High School; Mikhail Barybin, associate professor of chemistry.

WYANDOTTE COUNTY
From Kansas City 66112 and Staines, Middlesex, England
Cherae Lichelle Clark, junior in English and French; daughter of Cedric Clark of Kansas City, Kan., and Rachel Hill of Staines, Middlesex, England; The American School in England, Thorpe, Surrey, England; Laura Moriarty, assistant professor of English.

MISSOURI
From Kearney 64060 and Overland Park, Kan.
Kelsey Rene Murrell. See JOHNSON COUNTY

OKLAHOMA
From Stillwater 74074
Hannah JoBeth Roark, sophomore in English and film and media studies; daughter of Joel and Terri Roark; Stillwater High School; Peter Grund, assistant professor of English.

ENGLAND
From Staines, Middlesex, and Kansas City, Kan.
Cherae Lichelle Clark. See WYANDOTTE COUNTY

INDIA
From Jamshedpur
Subhankar Halder, sophomore in mathematics and physics; son of Tusar Kanti Halder; Loyola High School; Michael Murray, associate professor of physics and astronomy.

From Pune
Dev vrat Khanna, sophomore preparing to study business; son of Vikram Khanna; Army Public School; Kelly Welch, lecturer in business.

MONGOLIA
From Ulaanbaatar
Bat-Ulzii Luvsansharav, sophomore preparing to study business; daughter of Luvsansharav Batgombo; Mongolian Turkish High School; Elizabeth Asiedu, associate professor of economics.

PARAGUAY
From Asunción
Carla Beatriz Fernandez, sophomore in biology and psychology; daughter of Maria Guzman; John Colombo, professor of psychology.


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