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Gwynne L. Jenkins, assistant professor of anthropology and of women's studies, received doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees in cultural anthropology from the State University of New York at Albany. Her thesis, "The Bureaucratization of Birth: Midwifery Programs, National Health Care, and Local Birth Conventions in Rural Costa Rica," won a 1999 Presidential Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation Award from SUNY at Albany. Jenkins was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics. Her teaching interests include medical anthropology, gender, reproduction and ethnography in Latin America.
 
Marni R. Kessler, assistant professor of art history, comes to KU from Wesleyan University, where she was a Luther Gregg Sullivan Visiting Fellow. She earned doctoral and master's degrees in art history from Yale University. She received a master's degree in art history from Williams College and a bachelor's degree in English from Vassar College. Previously, Kessler was a visiting assistant professor at Barnard College and visiting lecturer at Yale. She has received numerous fellowships and grants, including a National Endowment for the Humanities dissertation fellowship and a Prize Teaching Fellowship at Yale.
 
Jill S. Kuhnheim, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, has received grants and traveled to Chile and Argentina for research. She earned a doctorate in Spanish literature from the University of California at San Diego and a bachelor's degree in English literature from Reed College. Previously, she was an associate professor of Spanish and Portugese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kuhnheim also was a visiting professor at Miami University of Ohio and the University of Kentucky. Her book, Gender, Politics, and Poetry in Twentieth Century Argentina, was published in 1996 by the University of Florida press.
 
Joan A. Letendre, assistant professor of social welfare, is a longtime school social worker with research interests in violence prevention in schools. She earned a doctorate in social work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and a master's degree in social work at the University of Chicago. She earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Letendre was a visiting lecturer at the University of Illinois-Chicago and an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago.
 
Brenda Mak, assistant professor of business, comes to KU from the University of Hong Kong, where she was an assistant professor of computer science and information systems. She completed a doctorate in marketing information systems and a master's degree in statistics at Northwestern University. She received a master's degree in industrial administration from Carnegie-Mellon University and a bachelor's degree in business administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Mak was an assistant professor of computer and information science at Cleveland State University and an assistant professor of business and economics at Indiana University-Kokomo. Her teaching and research interests include data mining, genetic algorithms, neutral networks, electronic commerce, software engineering and system analysis and design.
 
Lorin P. Maletsky, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, comes to KU from Purdue University where he was a member of the biomechanics laboratory and a visiting professor. He earned doctoral and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and a bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. His teaching interests include solid mechanics, engineering design and biomechanics. His research interests include machine design and orthopedic biomechanics relating to total knee prostheses. He hopes to investigate topics such as kinematics of the knee during gait and the effects of ligaments on knee joint function. Maletsky received a Magoon Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1999.
 
Robert Mead, librarian at the law school library, comes to KU from the University of New Mexico, where he was a visiting reference librarian. He earned a master's degree in library science from Emporia State University's New Mexico extension and a master's degree in public administration from the University of New Mexico. He received a juris doctorate and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of New Mexico. As an attorney, he represented clients in special education and social security law. He had a postdoctoral fellowship with the New Mexico LEND Program, an interdisciplinary program designed to assist families with children with neurodevelopment disabilities.
 
Naima Boussofara Omar, assistant professor of Arabic and Arab culture in African and African-American studies, received her doctorate in foreign language education at the University of Texas, where she was an assistant instructor in the department of Middle Eastern languages and cultures. She earned a master's degree in education at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and then received a Fulbright grant to conduct research on English instruction in North Africa. Her areas of academic interest include applied linguistics, teaching English as a second/foreign language, teaching French as a foreign language, and sociolinguistics with a focus on culture and language change and variation in Arabic-speaking communities, with a special focus on North Africa.
 
John W. Parks IV, assistant professor of percussion, is a doctoral candidate in percussion performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He earned master's degrees in jazz pedagogy and percussion performance from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in music education from Furman University in Greenville, S.C. This summer Parks performed as principal percussionist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble on its tour of Japan and Taiwan and served as principal timpanist of the Schlossfestspiele Orchestra in Heidelberg, Germany.
 
Hossein Saiedian, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, comes to KU from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, where he headed the University Committee on Research. This year he received the UNO Excellence in Teaching Award and the Excellence in Research Award. In 1998 the Journal of Systems and Software included Saiedian on its list of top 10 software engineer scholars. His teaching and research interests include software engineering and management, object-oriented software development, software specification and design, and software process improvement. Saiedian earned a doctorate in computer science from Kansas State University, and a master's degree in mathematics and a bachelor's degree in business from Emporia State University.
 
Trevor Sorensen, associate professor of aerospace engineering, returns to KU from Columbia, Md., where he was program manager of the advanced missions development group at Honeywell Inc. He completed his doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees in aerospace engineering at KU. He developed the mission operations concept for the Next Generation Space Telescope and participated in proposal efforts for several NASA missions including JPL space missions and Life Sciences Support. Previously, Sorensen was Clementine lunar mission manager, designing and directing the first autonomous operations experiment in space. He won the NASA medal for exceptional scientific achievement and was nominated as Engineer of the Year by Design News magazine in 1994.
 
Ric G. Steele, assistant professor of psychology and human development and family life, comes to KU from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where he completed a post-doctoral fellowship in behavioral medicine. He also was an adjunct member of the psychology faculty at the University of Memphis. Steele earned doctoral and master's degrees in psychology from the University of Georgia and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Texas A&M University. His research interests include family coping strategies, psychosocial correlates of physical illness within the family and psychosocial factors influencing adherence to medical treatment.
 
John Michael Stratton, head of the Regents Center Library, returns to KU after an 18-year absence. Most recently he was director and associate professor at the Wallerstedt Learning Center at Bethany College in Lindsborg. Previously at KU he was a library assistant at Spencer Research Library and the science library. He earned a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois and a bachelor's degree in history from KU. He was elected president of the Kansas Library Association for 2000-2001.
 
Ward H. Thompson, assistant professor of chemistry, earned his doctorate in theoretical chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Oklahoma State University, where he received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and was named a top 10 senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. Most recently Thompson was a postdoctoral research associate in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Colorado. His work there involved the study of solvent effects on the nonlinear optical properties of push-pull polyenes and theoretical studies of proton transfer reactions.
 
Jennifer H. Waldeck, assistant professor of communication studies, earned a doctorate in communication from the University of California-Santa Barbara, a master's degree in speech communication from California State University at Long Beach, and a bachelor's degree in communication from Ohio University. Her doctoral dissertation was titled "Technology Use and Organizational Socialization." She has worked as a teaching assistant at the University of California and as an adjunct faculty member at Santa Barbara City College.
 
Tara Silvestri Welch, assistant professor of classics, has been an acting assistant professor at KU since 1998. She earned her doctorate in classics from the University of California, Los Angeles; her master's degree from Corpus Christi College, Oxford University; and her bachelor's degree in Latin and Greek from the University of Southern California. She has received a Rhodes Scholarship, a Chancellor's Fellowship at UCLA and a certificate of excellence in teaching at KU. Welch has studied abroad in Italy and Germany. Her research interests include Augustan age literature, Roman topography and Athenian history.
 
Kevin Willmott, assistant professor of theatre and film, is an award-winning filmmaker and playwright. He acted in, wrote, produced and co-directed Ninth Street, which has been screened internationally and won Willmott a place in the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. The film stars Martin Sheen, Isaac Hayes and Queen Bey. He has been a screenwriter for film and television, including The '70s miniseries on NBC. He earned a bachelor's degree from Marymount College of Kansas, and a master of fine arts degree from New York University. Previously, he was a guest artist at Central Missouri State University and Ithaca College. He has taught screenwriting and film and video production management at KU.
 
Shu Wu, assistant professor of economics, received his doctorate in economics from Stanford University, where he was a teaching and research assistant. He earned a master's degree in operation research and a bachelor's degree in mechanics from Peking University in Beijing, where he received the Guanghua Excellence Award. His research and teaching interests include monetary economics, financial economics and applied time series econometrics.
 
Hong-Guo Xu, assistant professor of mathematics, comes to KU from Case Western Reserve University, where he was a visiting assistant professor. He received his doctoral and bachelor's degrees from Fudan University in China, where he was a lecturer in the mathematics department. His research interests include numerical linear algebra and its applications in system control theory, signal processing and matrix theory. He received the Householder Award in 1993 and the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in 1995 for study in Germany.
 
Un Chong Yi-Christopher, assistant professor of music and dance, comes to KU from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she was an adjunct assistant professor of voice. She also has been an adjunct assistant professor of voice at Rockhurst College and William Jewell College. She earned a master's degree in voice performance and a bachelor's degree in piano performance from UMKC, where she was a Herwitt scholar. She has extensive performance experience in voice and piano, and has been a guest artist at concerts in New York, California, Washington, D.C., Canada, Korea, Germany, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland. She has won numerous competitions, scholarships and awards, including the Most Promising Young Singer Award at the Metropolitan Opera District Auditions in Kansas City, Mo.
 
Bhakti Ziek, assistant professor of textile design, comes to KU from Philadelphia University, where she was an associate professor of woven design and coordinator of textile design. While at Philadelphia, she earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and directed "Art & Industry: The Visiting Artists Jacquard Project," which gained international renown for the textile program. She received a master's degree in fiber from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., a bachelor's degree in textile design from KU and a bachelor's degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her weavings are in the permanent collection of the American Craft Museum in New York City, and her extensive exhibition record includes the current miniature exhibition in Finland.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Marni Kessler
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Joan Letendre
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lorin Maletsky
 
 
Robert Mead
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Trevor Sorensen
 
 
 
 
 
Ric Steele
 
 
John Stratton
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tara Welch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bhakti Ziek

 

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September 8, 2000
OREAD is an employee publication, published
bi-weekly at the University of Kansas, Office of
University Relations, University Relations Center,
Lawrence, KS 66045-1630, Lynn Bretz, Interim Director.
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