Chancellor to present national science advocacy award to U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, L'82

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

LAWRENCE — U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran will receive a national award for his support of science research at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 14, at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

Sen. Moran will receive the Champion of Science Award from the Science Coalition, a nonprofit organization of more than 50 of the nation’s top research universities, including KU. The award recognizes members of Congress for their support of science research conducted at universities and national labs across the country.

The senator will be presented the award by KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little on behalf of the Science Coalition. The chancellor and senator will be joined by a special guest, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who will deliver keynote remarks at the event.

"Senator Moran understands the importance of federal investment in research and development, and he has been a strong advocate for the value of university research and the benefits it has for science and the economy,” Gray-Little said. “He is deserving of this award, and we’re honored for the opportunity to present it to him here at KU.

“In addition, it’s a tremendous honor for us to welcome Dr. Collins,” she said. “The NIH is the largest biomedical research organization in the world and a strong supporter of KU research, so we’re delighted for the chance to host the director.”

Moran is the second Kansas lawmaker to receive the Champion of Science Award. Thirty-five current members of Congress have received the award. Examples of Moran’s support of scientific research are listed in his award nomination.

Moran is hosting Collins throughout the day to highlight biomedical and bioscience initiatives in Kansas. Prior to the award ceremony, the chancellor and Moran will host Collins at a presentation of Kansas’ NIH Institutional Development Award program, which is designed to broaden the geographic distribution of NIH support for biomedical research by fostering research in states that have historically been underrepresented in NIH research participation. Kansas universities that have been invited to participate in this presentation include KU, Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University, Wichita State University and Washburn University.

Following the award ceremony, Moran and Collins will travel to KU Medical Center to meet with various Medical Center officials.

The NIH is a major source of biomedical research funding at KU. In Fiscal Year 2013, there were 601 NIH-funded projects at KU, totaling $103 million in expenditures. The NIH is home to the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute on Aging, which have granted national designation to the KU Cancer Center and the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

PUBLIC ACCESS: The award ceremony is open to the public, but seating is limited, and RSVPs are required. RSVP with Emma Cornish at 785-864-7100 or

MEDIA ACCESS: Media are invited to cover the award ceremony. Moran, Collins and Gray-Little will be available for interviews following the event at 10:45 a.m. For details, contact Joe Monaco at 785-864-7100 or

In addition, Moran and Collins will be available to media at 1:30 p.m. in the Hemenway Life Sciences Innovation Building at the KU Medical Center. For details, contact Donna Peck at 913-588-5956 or

Judge Julie Robinson, L'81, to receive 2014 Pioneer Woman award

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

LAWRENCE – The Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity at the University of Kansas will host the annual Women’s Recognition Banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 10, in the Kansas Union Ballroom. The program, which recognizes outstanding women in the Kansas community, will induct six new members to the KU Women’s Hall of Fame and honor one KU graduate with the Pioneer Woman award.

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees and the Pioneer Award recipient, 15 women will receive annual awards designed for students, staff, faculty, and alumnae who have enriched and improved the campus and community through their service, teaching for involvement.

The women’s recognition program is made possible not only by the Emily Taylor center, but also by the Commission of the Status of Women and the KU Office of Diversity & Equity.

Faculty and staff being honored include Outstanding Woman Educator Florence Reed, assistant professor of applied behavioral science and director of the Performance Management Laboratory; Outstanding Woman Staff Member Amy Long, associate director of the Student Involvement & Leadership Center; and Florence Boldridge, director of diversity and women’s engineering programs in the School of Engineering, who will receive the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Women Mentoring Women Award.

The 2014 Hall of Fame inductees include Dr. Kimberly Templeton, professor of orthopedic surgery; Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry; the late Adele Hall, 2003 University of Kansas Honorary Alumna; Deborah Teeter, university director of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning; Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business; and Marily Harper Rhudy, principal, MHR consulting.

The 2014 Pioneer Woman award is received by the Honorable Julie Robinson, judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. A KU School of Law graduate, Robinson was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 10 years before being appointed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas. After serving eight years, President George W. Bush appointed Robinson as the first African-American woman to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. While serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney she taught trial practice courses to KU law students and later served on the KU School of Law Board of Governors. In addition to her service to the University, Robinson is a Kansas Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has served on several committees of the Kansas Bar Association. Robinson’s colleagues agree that she “is a woman leader who has carried the banner of the crimson and blue with the humility and the highest standard of leadership.”

KU has inducted outstanding leaders into its Women’s Hall of Fame since 1970. The Women’s Hall of Fame is located at the fifth floor of the Kansas Memorial Union. Additional details about the KU Hall of Fame Inductees are as follows:

Dr. Kimberly Templeton, professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas Medical Center: Following a fellowship in musculoskeletal oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Templeton began her professional career as an assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at KU Medical Center. Templeton is the immediate past-president and was integral in the creation of the U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative Public Education Committee, which develops national education programs in areas of bone health and adolescent conditions. Templeton also worked with the Kansas Medical Society to create the Women Physicians Caucus, which provides a platform for women in medicine to learn from one another, network and grow in their profession. Templeton also is an at-large member for the National Board of Medical Practitioner and immediate past-president for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, KU School of Pharmacy: In 1970, Timmermann received her bachelor's degree in biological sciences at the National University of Cordoba, Argentina. After moving to the United States, Timmerman completed her doctoral studies at the University of Texas-Austin in 1980. Timmermann joined the KU School of Pharmacy faculty as a distinguished professor and served as chair of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry from 2005 to 2012. She is currently the director of the NIH-funded Center for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics. She is internationally known and highly regarded for her research in bioprospecting and her commitment to social justice. Since coming to KU, Timmermann has brought in more than $20 million in research funding.

Adele Coryell Hall, philanthropist, 2003 Honorary Alumna. In 1977, after 24 years of committed service, Hall became the first woman president of the Heart of America United Way. Ten years later she created the Women’s Public Service Network with the help of community and business leaders to foster a forum for social issues affecting women. In 1999 she was one of 12 forward-thinking women who created The Central Exchange, a nonprofit organization for the personal and professional growth of women that fosters community service and business leadership by women. In 2003 she received the KU Distinguished Service Citation for her service to Kansas, her community and the university. Hall’s Family Foundation has donated millions of dollars to aid KU in the development of the Hall Center for the Humanities, KU Cancer Center and various campus buildings and programs.

Deborah Teeter, university director, KU Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Teeter graduated from KU in 1975 with a master's in business administration and soon after was named the director of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning. For the last 40 years Teeter has worked with university administrators to provide statistical tools for planning and educate about the usefulness of data in shaping departments. Her collaborative nature led to the growth of the Association of American Universities Data Exchange, a group that works to improve higher education through data and analysis. Mabel Rice, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing, said Teeter's contributions to the university “are out of sight of most people, but for those who have watched her in action, she is truly inspiring.”

Neeli Bendapudi, KU Dean and H.D. Price Professor of Business, School of Business: In 1987, Bendapudi received her master's of business administration and a bachelor's degree from Andhra University in India, then came to the United States to start her doctorate in marketing at KU. After teaching at Texas A&M and Ohio State University, Bendapudi returned to KU. In 2011, she was named the first female dean of the School of Business. Since 2011, Bendapudi raised more than $55 million for a new state-of-the-art business school, worked to instill social responsibility in business students by starting a program that pairs MBA students with Kansas nonprofit organizations and collaborated with university departments to increase the number of women in business. “The university is lucky to have such an articulate and enthusiastic representative,” said Ann Cudd, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Marily Harper Rhudy, principal, MHR Consulting: After graduating in 1972 from the KU School of Pharmacy, Rhudy co-owned and operated three Topeka pharmacies for more than 20 years. She was the first female president of the Kansas Pharmacist Association and the first female chair of the American Pharmaceutical Association. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Rhudy as a Special White House Employee to serve as the pharmacist representative on the White House Health Professions Review Group, a part of the Clinton Health Care Reform. That same year she joined Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as director of Pharmacy Relations. Rhudy was soon named the first woman senior vice president for Global Corporate Affairs at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. In 2008, Rhudy left Wyeth and launched her own consulting practice. According to Gene Hotchkiss, senior associate dean of the School of Pharmacy, Rhudy has long been considered “the most influential woman in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States.”

Student honorees are as follows:

  • Megan Flanagan, Los Angeles, freshman, undecided major; Jameelah Jones, Conyers, Ga., graduate student in African and African-American studies; Sarah Maner, Lenexa, freshman in business marketing; and Hayley Tuggle, Topeka, freshman in biology; Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Brianne Riley, Naperville, Ill., senior in community health, Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics
  • Hannah Sitz, Andover, senior in strategic communication and psychology, Outstanding Woman Student in Community Service
  • Leigh Loving, McPherson, junior in genetics, Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership
  • Kayla Sale, Olathe, junior in mathematics, Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership
  • Alyssa Ong, Penang, Malaysia, senior in finance and accounting, Outstanding International Woman Student
  • Ashlie Koehn, Burns, junior, environmental studies and Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, Outstanding Non-Traditional Woman Student
  • Jill Langlas, Wheaton, Ill., senior in mechanical engineering, Sally Mason Student in Science
  • Tina Woods, Galena, sophomore in secondary Spanish education and pre-law, Marlesa & Hannalesa Roney Student Success Mentor.


Alumnus makes $1 million gift for KU Law

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas alumnus Frederick B. “Beau” Gould and his wife, Julie Gould, of Seattle, have made a $1 million gift to establish the Gould Family Scholarship at the KU School of Law.

Beau Gould is a practicing attorney and a commercial real estate investor. He earned a law degree from KU in 1989, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, George R. Gould, and his father, George R. Gould Jr. Both earned law degrees from KU respectively in 1922 and 1952, and were longtime attorneys in Dodge City.

KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little expressed appreciation for the gift. “As a third-generation KU Law graduate, Beau is part of a proud family tradition of Jayhawk lawyers. This generous gift builds on his family’s legacy and will benefit future generations of students who follow in his footsteps by attending the School of Law,” she said.

When younger, Gould was uncertain as to what career path to take. After he earned a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, his father suggested Gould work at a law firm to decide whether he wanted to be a lawyer. Gould took a job at Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix, and he soon applied for admission to the KU School of Law. His application included a letter of reference signed by Frank L. Snell Jr., a 1924 KU Law alumnus and a founding partner of the firm.

While attending KU Law, Gould benefited from scholarship support. To make ends meet, he also held four part-time jobs — as a disc jockey for several area radio stations, and as a kitchen helper in a sorority. Following law school, he briefly considered staying in the radio industry. On a whim, he moved to Seattle because his sister lived there. He began working for a real estate attorney and eventually started investing in commercial real estate.

Now that he’s financially able to give back to KU, Gould said it’s important to do so.  “I felt that this was the right thing to do, so that someone else would be a beneficiary of a scholarship,” said Gould.

Stephen Mazza, dean and professor of law, said, “The Gould family’s commitment to the law school is incredible. Beau understands our push to increase scholarship funding and its importance to the school’s future. We are extremely grateful.”

Gould said he would be thrilled if his family’s tradition of a Jayhawk education continues. The couple’s two teenage daughters, Grace and Hope, visited KU during Homecoming weekend.

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization 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.

Judge Julie Robinson, L'81, among African-American Leaders and Innovators

Monday, September 30, 2013

LAWRENCE —​Nine alumni whose University of Kansas eras span from the 1920s to the 1980s are the 2013 recipients of the KU Black Alumni Chapter’s African-American Leaders and Innovators award. The chapter, sponsored by the KU Alumni Association, will honor them Friday, Nov. 1, during its biennial reunion. Five of the recipients will attend the event, and four will be honored posthumously.

The five who are scheduled to attend include:

  • Homer C. Floyd of Harrisburg, Pa., who completed his bachelor’s degree in education at KU in 1961;
  • La Vert Murray of Kansas City, Kan., a 1971 KU graduate in political science;
  • Julie Robinson, Lawrence, who completed her journalism degree at KU in 1978 and graduated from the School of Law in 1981;
  • Leslie Meacham Saunders, Roswell, Ga., who graduated from KU with a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973; and
  • Lynette Woodard of Houston, who earned her KU communication studies degree in 1981.

The four posthumous honorees are:

  • Wilbur D. Goodseal, who earned his KU degree in education in 1952 and his graduate degree in speech pathology in 1962;
  • Marie Ross, who completed her KU journalism degree in 1944 from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, two years before the School of Journalism was founded;
  • Chester I. Lewis Jr., a 1951 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a 1953 graduate of the School of Law; and
  • Cheryl Warren Mattox, who completed her bachelor’s degree in piano from the KU School of Fine Arts in 1972.

Floyd was among the first African-Americans in the 20th century to play on KU’s football team. He won All-Conference honors in the Big Eight and was co-captain, the first black player to serve in this role. Floyd devoted his career to civil rights enforcement. During the 1960s, he directed the Topeka Human Relations Commis­sion, the Omaha Human Relations Board and the Kansas Commission on Civil Rights. As executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission from 1970 until his retirement in 2011, he led the resolution of cases that benefited millions of racial minorities, women and people with disabilities. In 1999 and 2002, he received the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Outstanding Achievement Award.

Goodseal, who died Aug. 5 this year, distinguished himself during a 42-year career with the Kansas City, Mo., school district. He achieved local, state and national recognition, including the 1994 prestigious Rolland Van Hattum Award from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Foundation for his leadership in creating and implementing curriculum and cultural awareness programs for students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. An avid supporter of the arts, Goodseal also performed in numerous ensembles to promote the arts and community relationships.

Lewis, who died in June 1990, was a Wichita attorney and a local, state and national leader in the movement for equality. He graduated third in his KU law school class and was a campus civil rights activist, president of his fraternity and a member of Student Senate. As an attorney, he challenged racial segregation in Wichita. He successfully sued Wesley Hospital, which had decreed that black patients could not have private rooms; the city of Wichita, which refused blacks admission to the municipal swimming pool; and numerous businesses, including Boeing Aircraft, for employment discrimination.

Murray, a certified economic development profes­sional, played a major part in bringing significant developments to Kansas City and Wyandotte County, including the Village West/Legends shopping district and four of the top tourist attractions in Kansas: the Kansas Speedway, Cabela’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart and Great Wolf Lodge. He and others orga­nized the city’s first Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration in 1984.

Robinson, who works in Topeka, served as a law clerk for federal bankruptcy judge Benjamin E. Franklin, a U.S. assistant prosecutor for the District of Kansas, and a judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the 10th District. In 2002, when she was sworn in as the 26th district judge in the federal district of Kansas, she became the first African-American woman to serve as a federal judge in the state.

In 1927, Ross was the first black woman to enroll in journalism classes at KU. When one of her professors tried to dissuade her from pursuing a career in journalism by claiming no white newspa­per would hire her, she brought him examples of many African-American-owned newspapers where she could find employment. In 1929, she left KU to work as a full-time member of the staff at The Call in Kansas City, Mo. During World War II, she moved to Des Moines to work for the Iowa Bystander. While continuing her career, Ross completed her undergraduate work to earn her KU diploma in 1944. She returned to The Call in 1959 to serve as manager and editor of its Kansas City, Kan., office. She died in July 2001.

Saunders, of Roswell, Ga., served as the University’s first coordinator of special projects/assistant director of admissions and helped lay the foundation for what is now the KU Black Alumni Chapter. She was the executive director of Kaw Valley Girl Scout Council and one of the young­est executive directors in the Girl Scouts’ national history. For her innovative approach to managing the organization, the IBM Corp. recognized her as one of the nation’s top 1 percent among nonprofit leaders. She is now president of LMS Management Consulting in Roswell.

Mattox died in February 2006 after a career as a renowned classical pianist, composer and arranger. She also hosted a radio show, taught elementary-school music and, with her husband, wrote two critically acclaimed children’s books, “Shake It to the One You Love Best” and “Let’s Get the Rhythm of the Band,” which were honored by the American Library Association and featured on the Emmy award-winning PBS children’s program “Reading Rainbow.” She received a master of arts in music from San Francisco State University.

Woodard played basketball at KU from 1977 to 1981 and was a four-time All-American, averaging 26 points a game and scoring a school-record 3,649 points during her KU career. She was the first KU woman to have her jersey hung at Allen Fieldhouse. In 1984, she led the U.S. women’s gold-medal Olympic team as captain at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. In 1985, she made headlines when she became the first woman to play for the Harlem Globetrot­ters. After working as an assistant coach for the KU women’s basketball team, she played for two years in the WNBA when it was created in 1997. When she retired in 1999, she returned to KU as assistant coach and served as interim coach in 2004. Since 2005, she has worked as an investment adviser for Cornerstone Securities. She is a member of 10 different halls of fame, including the Naismith Hall of Fame (2002), Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame (2005) and the African-American Sports Hall of Fame (2006).

The KU Black Alumni Chapter created the Leaders and Innovators award in 2006 and has honored 29 alumni. For a list of previous African-American Leaders and Innovators and details of the Black Alumni Chapter Reunion Nov. 1-3, visit

KU law school bestows Distinguished Alumni Award on three public servants

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

LAWRENCE — A Kansas Supreme Court justice, a former state legislator and a former chairman of the Kansas Board of Regents have received the highest honor given by the University of Kansas School of Law.

From left are Justice Carol Beier, Timothy Emert and John Vratil.Justice Carol Beier, Class of 1985, Timothy Emert, Class of 1965, and John Vratil, Class of 1971, received the Distinguished Alumni Award during a ceremony Saturday, May 11, in Lawrence. The award is presented annually to graduates who have distinguished themselves through exemplary service to the legal profession, their communities, KU and the state or nation.

“Justice Beier is an active and loyal alumna who has worked to improve the law school experience for all its students,” said Stephen Mazza, dean of the law school. “She has had incredible success in the legal profession, and she used her success to benefit her community, her state and her alma mater.”

“Regent Emert is the consummate public servant. He has spent a good portion of his legal career pursuing policies that have benefited the people of Kansas. And John Vratil’s devotion to improving the educational system for all Kansans is worthy of merit. The law school is honored to have him as a graduate.”   

Also recognized at the ceremony were new recipients of the James Woods Green Medallion, named in honor of the law school’s first dean. The school presents medallions to its major financial contributors. This year’s honorees were Jennifer Gille Bacon, Class of 1976; William (Brad) Bradley Jr., Class of 1980; Richard Sias, Class of 1954; Charles Hostetler, Class of 1963, and Julie Hostetler; Jeffrey S. Nelson, Class of 1980, and Lisa K. Nelson; Patrick Peery, Class of 1981; the law firm of Snell & Wilmer LLP; and John Stewart, Class of 1940, and Hannah Stewart.

More about the Distinguished Alumni Award winners:

Appointed to the Kansas Court of Appeals in 2000 and the Kansas Supreme Court in 2003, Justice Carol Beier is the first female graduate of the KU School of Law to serve on the high court. She has authored about 600 judicial opinions for the citizens of Kansas. A native of Kansas City, Kan., Beier graduated from KU with a bachelor’s in journalism in 1981 and a law degree in 1985. In 2004, she received her Master of Laws from the University of Virginia School of Law. She began her legal career as a law clerk to Judge James K. Logan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and then worked on family income security, education and employment issues at the National Women’s Law Center. Beier entered private practice at Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn and later became a partner at Foulston Siefkin LLP in Wichita. Beier’s community and professional service includes membership in the National Association of Women Judges, Kansas Bar Association and Kansas Women Attorneys Association. She was named to the KU Women's Hall of Fame in 2012.

Timothy Emert is the only Kansan to have served as chairman of the Kansas State Board of Education and the Kansas Board of Regents. He earned a bachelor’s in journalism in 1962 and a law degree in 1965 from KU and entered private practice as a sole practitioner in his hometown of Independence, Kan., where he has continued to live for 48 years. He was a member of the Independence Public Library board of directors, the local board of education and the Kansas State Board of Education. His public service continued in the Kansas Senate, where he represented the 15th District for eight years, spending four years as majority leader and six years as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Emert has served as a member of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, Kansas Commission on Public Broadcasting and Kansas Children’s Campaign. After leaving the legislature, Emert served as chairman of the advisory board for the Juvenile Justice Authority and a member of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission. In 2010, he was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by Gov. Mark Parkinson.

John Vratil graduated from KU with a bachelor’s in education in 1967 and a law degree in 1971, having served as an editor of the Kansas Law Review. He received a scholarship through KU’s Direct Exchange Program and continued his studies abroad at the University of Exeter in England. Vratil was a partner with the law firm of Lathrop & Norquist (later Lathrop & Gage) from 1992 to 2011, where his litigation practice focused on matters involving school law and finance, property taxation, contracts, employment claims, secured transactions, real estate and zoning. He currently serves as general counsel for the Blue Valley Unified School District. A Republican representing the 11th District, Vratil was first elected in 1998 and served three terms in the Kansas Senate, including 11 years as Senate vice president. Vratil was president of the Kansas Bar Association in 1995-1996 and served on the Kansas Judicial Council from 2001-2009. In 2012, he received the Friend of Education Award from the Blue Valley School District and the Leawood Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame Award.

View previous Distinguished Alumni Award recipients on the law school’s website.

Law school alumna inducted to KU Women's Hall of Fame

Monday, April 08, 2013

LAWRENCE – The Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity at the University of Kansas will host its annual Women’s Recognition Banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Kansas Union ballroom. The induction of six new members of the KU Women’s Hall of Fame will highlight a program honoring outstanding women across the university.

A total of 26 outstanding female students and three outstanding female faculty and staff will be honored with annual awards. These awards were established to honor KU female students, staff, faculty and alumnae who have enriched and improved the campus and community through their service, teaching or involvement.

In addition to the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the program is sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women and the Office of Diversity and Equity.

Faculty and staff being honored include Outstanding Woman Educator Andrea Greenhoot, associate professor of psychology; Outstanding Woman Staff Member Sharon Leatherman, office manager for KU Memorial Unions; and Jennifer Roberts, associate professor of geology, who will receive the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Woman Mentoring Women Award.

The 2012 Pioneer Woman award honors Stephanie Mott, who is executive director and founder of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (K-Step) and state vice-chair for Kansas Equality Coalition. K-Step works to eliminate discrimination against transgender people and their families through education. Working with the Kansas Equality Coalition, Mott helped bring about protections for LGBT students and staff in the Topeka School District and the addition of gender identity to Lawrence’s anti-discrimination policy. She serves on the board of the Topeka/Shawnee County Homeless Taskforce and Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka and volunteers with the Safe Streets Coalition, YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, Topeka AIDS Project and the Shawnee County Jail. 

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. The 2013 KU Women’s Hall of Fame inductees are:

Janet Sommer Campbell, general manager, Kansas Public Radio and director, Kansas Audio-Reader: Campbell graduated from KU in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in education with an emphasis on special education. That same year, she began her career at Kansas Audio-Reader as a secretary. Nine years later, she became director. Under her guidance, Audio-Reader grew to be the second-largest service of its kind in the country and was one of the first to pioneer the use of cable television and the internet for program distribution. Campbell became the interim director of KPR in 1997 and two years later was named general manager. KPR is an award-winning service of KU that provides continuous broadcasts of news and cultural programs to more than 100,000 listeners. She has been a member of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors since 2009, was appointed to the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council in 2005 and is an active in her church.

Cathy Daicoff, MPA, managing director, U.S. public finance criteria officer, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services Daicoff graduated from KU in 1977 with a degree in political science, then earned a Master’s in Public Administration and Finance from Syracuse University.  In 1978 she began her career at Standard & Poor’s Rating Services in the public finance department. Today she is the managing director of U.S. Public Finance and Chair of the Public Finance Criteria Committee. During her 35-year career at Standard & Poor’s, Daicoff has established a Canadian branch of Standards & Poor’s, navigated the company’s Latin American firm through a massive economic crisis and been named the senior policy officer and director of global policy training.  She has served as a KU Endowment trustee, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Board member and was a co-chair of the Women Philanthropists for KU.

Kathleen Davis, assistant professor, KU Medical Center, and director, KU Kids Healing Place: Davis earned her B.S.E in 1974, M.S.Ed. in 1997 and doctorate in 2007 from KU. Davis began her career as a special education teacher working with orthopedically handicapped children. Today she is a leading expert in pediatric palliative care and director of KU Kids Healing Place at KUMC. Davis’ role in founding and directing KU Kids Healing Place has made it one of the nation’s leading programs for pediatric palliative care.  Davis and the KU Kids Healing Place utilize a holistic approach to pediatric palliative care that is rarely found in other programs. Her program includes children with chronic illnesses, terminally ill children and provides support for families. Her methods are nationally respected, and she is often invited to speak at conferences and other educational gatherings in order to share her unique vision on pediatric palliative care.

Sara Thomas Rosen, senior vice provost for academic affairs, KU: Rosen received her doctorate in linguistics and cognitive sciences in 1989 from Brandies University. Shortly thereafter she began her career at KU. In 1991, she became an assistant professor and in 2006 was named professor of linguistics. Prior to her appointment in the Provost’s Office, Rosen served as chair of the linguistics department and dean of graduate studies.  As senior vice provost for academic affairs, Rosen has primary responsibility for academic programs as well as overseeing the quality of graduate and undergraduate programs. Rosen has been recognized as an influential adviser and educator by receiving awards such as J. Michael Young Academic Advising Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award from KU. Rosen continues to teach in the linguistics department and conduct research in theoretical syntax.

Donna E. Sweet, M.D., AAHIVS, MACP, professor of internal medicine, KU School of Medicine-Wichita: Sweet earned her M.D. in 1979 from KU Medical Center.  She has been an advocate, educator and caregiver to individuals with HIV for many years. She established the Sweet Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to individuals with HIV who need help with medications and with their everyday life. The Sweet Emergency Fund has raised thousands of dollars for those living with HIV or AIDS.  Her dedication to students has led to numerous recognitions including the Thor J. Jager M.D. Award for Distinguished Clinical Teaching; American Medical Association "Pride in the Profession" Award and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the KU School of Medicine. She has served on numerous not-for-profit boards including the Kansas Foundation for the Handicap, Junior League of Wichita Inc., United Way of the Plains and Positive Directions, and she has been recognized for her volunteer and professional excellence by countless groups.

The Honorable Kathryn H. Vratil, chief judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas: Vratil earned her Bachelor of Arts in American studies from KU in 1971. She then attended KU Law School, earning her juris doctorate in 1975. In 1975 she began clerking for Judge Earl O’Connor at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. In 1978, Vratil became an associate at Lathrop & Gage LLC. Five years later she was named a partner in the litigation department where she stayed until becoming municipal judge for the city of Prairie Village in 1990. In 1992 Vratil was the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. In 2008 she was appointed chief judge and continues in that position today. Vratil is a member of the Central Exchange in Kansas City, an organization created to increase opportunities for personal, professional and philanthropic growth for women.

Student honorees are as follows:

  • Hannah Bolton, Saint Libory, Neb., a senior in business management, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Kayla Cowell, Leawood, junior, finance & management, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Kylie Krizek, Mission Hills, junior, pre-business and speech-language-hearing, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Leigh Loving, McPherson, sophomore, human biology, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Emma Hogg, Overland Park, freshman, journalism, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Lisa Wojcehowicz, Milwaukee, junior, journalism, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Elizabeth Boresow, Leawood, senior, music therapy, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Candice Thompson, Plano, Texas, sophomore, pre-business, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Thanh Hai Cao, Hue, Vietnam, graduate student in American studies, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • J. Christine Spencer, Sandy, Utah, freshman in dance, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Jennifer Garren, Overland Park, senior in business management, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Samantha Benson, Prairie Village, senior in neurobiology, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Erin Christiansen, Chanute, sophomore in environmental studies, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Miranda Naylor, Garnett, senior in pre-pharmacy, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Sara Anderson, Lindsborg, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Ramona Yoder, Newton, junior in psychology, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Lauren Arney, Stilwell, freshman, Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Denise Barnes, Wichita, sophomore in journalism, Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Andelyn Fernandez, Wichita, Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Andrea Geubelle, University Place, Wash., senior in community health, Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics
  • Ashley Arenholz, Olathe, senior in applied behavioral science, Outstanding Woman Student in Community Service
  • Haley Miller, Kingman, senior in English and women, gender and sexuality studies, Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership
  • Lauren Reinhart, Parkville, Mo., senior in architecture, Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership
  • Alexandra Nicki Rose, Topeka, senior in political science, Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership
  • Ellen Frizzell, Prairie Village, senior in mechanical engineering, Sally Mason Woman Student in Science Award
  • Kristi Marks, Eureka, senior in accounting, Marlesa and Hannalesa Roney Student Success Mentor Award.

For more information, email or call (785) 864-3552.



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Why KU
  • One-third of full-time faculty have written casebooks used at U.S. law schools
  • 2 KU law faculty were U.S. Supreme Court clerks
  • KU’s Project for Innocence: 28 conviction reversals since 2009
  • 7,300+ alumni live in all 50 states and 18 foreign countries
  • Routinely ranked a “best value” law school
  • 12 interdisciplinary joint degrees
  • 26th nationwide for lowest debt at graduation. — U.S. News & World Report
  • 23rd nationally among public law schools. “When Lawyers Do the Grading,”
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • 70 percent of upper-level law classes have 25 or fewer students
  • 37th: for number of law graduates who are partners at nation’s largest law firms