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Maria Orive named faculty ombuds

Maria Orive, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, began serving as the faculty ombuds Jan. 1. She succeeds Douglas Whitman, professor of business. Orive will be working in the Office of the Ombuds with full-time staff member, Kellie Harmon, interim university ombuds. The position is part-time for Orive, an active researcher and educator in her ninth year on the KU faculty.

The responsibilities of the faculty and university ombuds include facilitating communication when conflict arises among students, faculty, administrators and service offices at the university; listening to concerns and conducting investigations when appropriate; and serving as a consultant on conflict resolution.

Carlin tapped for international group

Diana Carlin

Diana Carlin, dean of the Graduate School and International Programs, was appointed by NAFSA: Association of International Educators to chair an international task force on the impact of transformations in higher education in the European Union on U.S. universities.

Task force activities during the next 12 to 18 months include a meeting in the Netherlands in March, presentations at the annual NAFSA meeting in June and workshops at NAFSA regional meetings in November as well as updated information on the NAFSA Web site.

Tsubaki earns ‘Order of Sacred Treasure'

Andrew Tsubaki, professor emeritus of theatre and film, has been awarded one of Japan's highest honors.

On Nov. 3, Tsubaki was granted the Order of the Sacred Treasure (Zuihou Shojushou) in recognition of his lifetime devotion to using education to pass along the traditions of Japanese culture.

Tsubaki taught and directed productions at KU from 1968 to 2000 in the Department of Theatre and Film and in Japanese language and culture. He was a driving force behind the annual Greater Kansas City Japan Festival and was executive director of the two-day event since 1997. Tsubaki has also been active with the Lawrence Sister Cities organization for several years and is on the group's advisory board.

The award was presented Jan. 19 by the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago during the annual New Year's gathering of the Greater Kansas City Japan-America Society.

Smith chosen as libraries PR director

Rebecca Smith will join University Libraries as director of public relations and advancement on Jan. 16.  Prior to relocating to Kansas with her family this summer, Smith spent six years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, most recently as public relations director for the UW-Madison School of Business.

Smith earned an undergraduate degree in advertising from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2000. She managed media relations for major gift announcements as a communications specialist with the University of Nebraska Foundation before taking the position of associate editor at the UW-Madison College of Engineering.

In 2002, she joined the business school. In the role, Smith managed communication surrounding the school's annual fund as well as regional alumni events. Smith also holds a master's degree in strategic communication from the UW-Madison School of Journalism.

Tristan Smith new museum coordinator

Tristan Smith has been hired as visitor services coordinator for the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Institute. He will oversee all aspects of visitor services and the museum's gift shop, Natural Selections.

Before coming to KU, Smith worked as the office manager and assistant marketing director at the Johnson County Museum of History in Shawnee.

Smith served as a visitor services volunteer at the Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Mo., in 2003 and worked at the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City, Mo., from 1996 to 2002. While there, he was a historical interpreter, historic preservationist and museum manager.

Smith has a bachelor's degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in history from Park University in Parkville, Mo.

Bankart joins International Programs

Charlie Bankart

Charlie Bankart is a new assistant dean in the Office of International Programs. Bankart, previously a grants and immigration specialist, has worked for OIP since August 2005. His responsibilities include overseeing international grant development work and the permanent residency application process for international scholars, coordinating programming and leading the Global Partners Program.

Before coming to KU, Bankart served for six years in international education administration at Indiana University.

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