KU News Release


June 20, 2012
Contact: Kristi Henderson, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 785-864-3663

Students receive more than $29,000 from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

LAWRENCE – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas honored outstanding students this spring with more than $29,000 in awards and scholarships. The 18 undergraduate and graduate students received amounts ranging from $500 to $2,760.

The College grants scholarships and awards based on merit, need or both. Scholarships provide funds that may be used for tuition expenses only, while awards provide cash that may be used without restrictions. Both awards and scholarships are made possible by gifts from alumni and friends to the KU Endowment Association.

Three graduate students were recognized for outstanding research contributions. They were presented the awards, which come with cash prizes, at the College’s graduate recognition ceremony on May 13.

The Outstanding Thesis Awards went to Laurie Petty of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Steven Roels of Lawrence. Each will receive $500.

Petty earned a master’s degree in sociology. Her thesis, “The Importance of Perceived Department Chair Supportiveness on Faculty Parents’ Views of Departmental and Institutional Kid-Friendliness,” explored how parenthood affects faculty members, how administrators influence an institution’s culture and policies regarding families and how this impacts gender equality in academic institutions. Joey Sprague, professor of sociology, nominated Petty for the award.

Roels earned a master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. His thesis, “Not Easy Being Mead's: Comparative Herbivory on Three Milkweeds, Including Threatened Mead's Milkweed (Asclepias meadii) and Seedling Ecology of Mead's Milkweed,” stemmed from his interest in conservation and interest in endangered species such as Ascleapis meadii. Helen Alexander, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, nominated Roels for the award.

Laura Dean, a doctoral student in political science from Seattle, received the Howard J. Baumgartel Peace and Justice Award. The award, open to graduate students in the College or the School of Business, supports research for a thesis or dissertation related to peace and conflict. Dean plans to use the award to fund research in Latvia and Ukraine regarding human trafficking policies and case studies. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and master’s degrees from the University of Washington and KU. Erik Herron, associate professor of political science, nominated Dean for the award.

The College also selected 13 undergraduates to receive the following awards:

• Paul B. Lawson Award, for an outstanding junior student preparing to enter his or her senior year;
• Van Eekeren Family Scholarship;
• Veta B. Lear Memorial Award, for a freshman with a 4.0 grade-point average during his or her first semester;
• Allen S. Wilber Scholarship, for graduating seniors to assist in pursuing graduate study at KU in a social sciences or modern languages and literatures;
• Betty Wahlstedt Student Memorial Award, for undergraduates majoring in psychology, sociology or anthropology;
• Hilden Gibson Award, for a junior student studying in the social sciences, preparing to enter his or her senior year.

The scholarship and award recipients to be honored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are listed below by hometown and award received.

Funds for the awards and scholarships are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

• Jong J. Jeon, Overland Park, Allen S. Wilber Scholarship
• Kelli K. Williams, Olathe, Allen S. Wilber Scholarship
• Paul A. Thomas, Ottawa, Betty Wahlstedt Student Memorial Award
• Jon M. Nelson, Smolan, Betty Wahlstedt Student Memorial Award, Hilden Gibson Award
• Bonnie K. Ewart-Fisher, Wichita, Paul B. Lawson Award
• Carolisa G. Watson, Lawrence, Van Eekeren Family Scholarship
• Regina L. Bird, Belleville, Van Eekeren Family Scholarship
• Skyler Q. Richardson, Salina, Van Eekeren Family Scholarship
• Bobby B. Golen, Elmhurst, Ill., Van Eekeren Family Scholarship
• Joann X. Gonzalez, Garden City, Van Eekeren Family Scholarship
• Liesel A. Reussner, Lawrence, Veta B. Lear Memorial Award
• Mitchell D. Newton, Overland Park, Veta B. Lear Memorial Award
• Jessica F. Gregory, Osborne, Veta B. Lear Memorial Award

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences enrolls about two-thirds of KU students and encompasses more than 55 departments, programs, centers and the School of the Arts. Nearly half of the students at KU earn their bachelor’s degrees from the College. Courses in the College cover hundreds of subjects including history, literature, chemistry, biology, art history, mathematics, anthropology, psychology, foreign language and political 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.

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