KU News Release

April 5, 2011
Contact: Jill Jess, University Relations, 785-864-8858

KU to induct alumnae, administrators into Women’s Hall of Fame

LAWRENCE — Six women, all distinguished in their fields and connected to the University of Kansas, will be inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame today.

The new inductees will be honored during the annual Women’s Recognition Program to honor outstanding women in the KU community. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Big 12 Room in the Kansas Union.

The 2011 inductees are:

Sheila C. Bair is chair of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. An Independence, Kan., native, Blair earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1975 and a law degree in 1978, both from KU. She was sworn in as chair of the FDIC in June 2006, having previously served on the organization’s Advisory Committee on Banking Policy. Her innovations have transformed the FDIC with programs that provide temporary liquidity guarantees, increases in deposit insurance limits and systematic loan modifications to troubled borrowers. In the 1980s, she was research director, deputy counsel and counsel to then-Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan. Last fall, Forbes magazine listed Bair among the 25 most powerful women in the world and Time magazine’s “Time 100” listed her among the most influential people in 2009.

Gloria Farha Flentje is senior vice president of Spirit AeroSystems, an international firm with more than 13,000 employees, based in Wichita. Flentje received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and international relations from KU in 1965. She earned a law degree from Southern Illinois University in 1976. She is widely recognized for her 20 years of work with a premier law firm in Kansas and in the aerospace industry and her involvement in the Wichita community. She was the first woman president of the Wichita Bar Association. She is a fellow of the American College of Employment and Labor Lawyers, a distinguished group of leading employment and labor lawyers in the nation. At KU, she has served as a leader with KU Endowment and the Chancellors Club Advisory Board.

Lynn Bretz is director of University Communications at KU. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1971 and master’s degree in journalism in 1979, both from KU. She also received a master’s degree in English from the University of Denver. She has had essays published in two books, “Landscapes in Kansas: Paintings by Robert Sudlow” and “Through the Looking Glass: Elizabeth ‘Grandma” Layton,” and written articles for Ms Magazine, Kansas Alumni Magazine and the Kansas City Star Magazine. Before joining the staff at KU, Bretz worked for Commodity News Services, a division of Knight Ridder, in Kansas City and for the Lawrence Journal-World. She began at KU as a writer/editor for University Relations, where she progressed to become director in 2002, having served as interim director for three years. She was a appointed to her current position in July 2006.

Hannah Britton is director of the Center for International Political Research at KU’s Institute for Policy and Social Research. She is also co-director of a workshop on leadership for women from Egypt and Morocco funded by the U.S. Department of State. She joined the KU faculty in 2005 and is widely recognized for her research of women in South Africa. Britton’s many awards include a Ned N. Fleming Award and a W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. She will spend next year in South Africa for two new research projects: one focusing on gender-based violence in southern Africa and the other on governance and AIDS in Africa.

Katherine Rose-Mockry is program director of KU’s Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center. She s a doctoral student in educational leadership and policy studies at KU. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1978 and a master’s in education in 1984, both from KU. She has held her current position since 1998. Previously, she directed the Women’s Center at the University of California-Los Angeles. She serves on several boards, including the KU Women’s Studies Advisory Board, KU Diversity Council and the GaDuGi SafeCenter Community Coalition. She also serves as adviser for the Commission on the Status of Women, Moms at KU and International Women Connect. She implemented KU’s Women of Distinction calendar, which is distributed every fall to highlight women students, staff, faculty and alumnae for outstanding achievements and service to the campus and community. She was the first recipient of the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Women Mentoring Women Award. Other honors include receiving the KU Learning Communities Outstanding Educator Award and the 2011 CLASS Award.

Patricia A. Thomas is associate dean for cultural enhancement and diversity at KU Medical Center and cancer biology researcher. In her administrative position, she has created a model program that supports the recruitment and development of minority faculty, identification of health disparities in research and improvement of community partnerships and health literacy. Her research focuses on the differences in survival between ethnic groups following a breast cancer diagnosis. She has nationally been recognized for advancing women’s leadership and career opportunities. Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Harvard University, a master’s degree in biology and biochemistry from KU and a medical degree from New York University’s School of Medicine. She joined KU Medical Center in 1997 as a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, where she remained until 2009 and served as chair for the past six years.

KU has inducted outstanding leaders into its Women’s Hall of Fame since 1970. The Women’s Hall of Fame site is on the fifth floor of the Kansas Union.

In all, 33 students, staff, faculty and alumnae will be honored at the Women’s Recognition Program for their outstanding contributions and achievements. Twenty-one students will receive awards for their contributions in athletics, community service, the international community, leadership and science and recognition of their partnerships and achievements as single mothers. In addition, a number of women will be recognized for outstanding contributions to on-campus housing and sororities.

Faculty and staff women being honored include Emily Malin, assistant director of the Mount Oread Scholars Program in the University Advising Center, Outstanding Woman Staff Member; Marian Hukle, lecturer in mathematics, and Kimberly B. Swanson, assistant professor in French and Italian, each named an Outstanding Woman Educator; and Ruth Ann Atchley, chair of the Department of Psychology, Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Women Mentoring Women award.

The 2011 Pioneer Woman award will honor Elizabeth Miller Watkins (Jan. 21, 1861-June 1, 1939), a Lawrence philanthropist once known as “Lady Bountiful” for her substantial contributions to KU. Watkins, who had been unable to complete her education because of family financial difficulties, specifically used her wealth to assist women students in getting an education, including funding two women's scholarship halls and endowing scholarships for women.

The program is sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women, a student organization on campus since the 1960s, and the Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center, a program of the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.

Students to be honored at the 2011 Women’s Recognition Program are listed below by hometown, level in school, major, parents’ names, other schools attended and award.

From Baldwin City 66006 and Lawrence 66046
Emily Faith Miller, senior in biology and Spanish; Lynnette Ojanguren (Baldwin City) and Jeffrey Miller (Lawrence); Lawrence High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Scholarship Hall

From Lawrence 66044
Cynthia Orock-Mika Oben, senior in microbiology; Lawrence Free State High School; Sally Mason Woman Student in Science

From Lawrence 66046
Danyel Leniece Bell, senior in accounting; Lawrence High School; Ethel Bohning Single Mother Award

Carol Kruse, junior in communication studies; Outstanding Nontraditional Woman Student

From Lawrence 66047
Emily Jane Moseley, senior in journalism; Paul and Jane Moseley; Lawrence High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Sorority

From Eureka 67045
Kristi Colleen Marks, sophomore preparing to major in business; Kandy and Jeffrey Marks; Eureka High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Residence Hall

From Gardner 66030 and Nixa, Mo.
Shelby Mykayla Hunter, freshman in voice, Benjamin Hunter (Gardner) and Jennifer Prier (Nixa, Mo.); Nixa (Mo.) R-11 High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Residence Hall

From Leawood 66206
Meredith Wood Walrafen, senior in management and leadership; Robert and Nancy Walrafen; Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village; Outstanding Woman in Partnership

From Leawood 66209
Camille Renee Smith, sophomore in biology; Kenneth and Sheri Smith; Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park; Alma Poehler Brook Award

From Overland Park 66213
Mackenzie Rose Andra, freshman preparing to major in pharmacy; Kenneth and Michelle Andra; Olathe East High School; Alma Poehler Brook Award

From Overland Park 66214
Anna Christine Creaden, senior in English and secondary education; Ed and Cindy Creaden; Shawnee Mission South High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Scholarship Hall

From Stilwell 66085
Megan K. Ritter, senior in philosophy; John and Candace Ritter; Blue Valley High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Sorority

From Beloit 67420
Kristen Marie Meier, senior in biology and Spanish; Mike and Roberta Meier; Beloit Junior-Senior High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Scholarship Hall

From Kansas City 66112
Jasmyn Lasha Leapheart, senior in communication studies; Michelle Moore; Sumner Academy of Arts and Science; Outstanding Woman Student in a Sorority

From Lebanon 65536
Samantha Elise Wiese, senior in geology; Rebecca Wiese and David Wiese; Lebanon High School; Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership

From Neosho 64850
Sarah Kathryn Martin, freshman in global and international studies; Clarence and Joan Martin; Joplin (Mo.) High School; Alma Poehler Brook Award

From Nixa 65714 and Gardner, Kan.
Shelby Mykayla Hunter. SEE JOHNSON COUNTY

From Lincoln 68516
Allison Margot Roy, senior in speech-language-hearing; Vicki and Joe Roy; Lincoln Southwest High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Sorority

From Houston 77071
Lynn Van Hoang, junior in East Asian languages and cultures and health information management; Henry and Thao Hoang; Challenge Early College High School; Outstanding Woman Student in a Residence Hall

From Richmond 77469
Leslie Christina Montes, sophomore in design; Antonio and Kim Montes; Lamar Consolidated High School, Rosenburg, Texas; Outstanding Woman Student in a Scholarship Hall

From Luoyang
Xiao Liang, senior in chemical engineering; Guofang Liang; Outstanding International Woman Student

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.

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