The University of Kansas An Official Employee Publication From the Office of University Relations



Dec. 12, 2003
Vol. 28, No. 8

KU researchers aim to prime oil pumps
Governance, administration discuss unauthorized "Women of KU" calendar
Sundance summons filmmakers
Campaign gives KU ‘Better Bites’
Classes help Edwards staff embrace Hispanic community
H.O.P.E. Hooray
KPR schedules holiday broadcasts
National Hispanic magazine picks KU
Festive feast
KU research helps to restore endangered minnow

Projects promise improved services, better technology by next summer
KU professor’s book receives critical acclaim
Employees of the month
Tuition assistance helps staff expand language skills

Donations still accepted

KU wins $915K grant to study effect of Human Genome Project

Scientists seek to simulate spine for surgery
Holiday ’Hawk
Military Science celebrates 60th
Exhibit reveals science history in Dyche Hall

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Tuition assistance helps staff expand language skills

By Jennifer Kepka

Some KU staff members are speaking in new tongues this semester, thanks to tuition assistance.

Nineteen staff members used tuition assistance to take classes in a foreign language this fall. Some are using the classes to expand upon current knowledge, while others are taking languages for the first time to help them in their work or research.

Scott Shackelford, an information specialist in biological sciences, used tuition assistance to enroll in Ukrainian this semester. Shackelford, who completed his master’s degree in Russian and East European studies last December, is taking the class in part to keep up skills he learned in previous studies.

“I think it’s important to maintain the languages acquired during the program,” Shackelford says. “Also, it keeps me involved with the REES and Slavic departments and gives me a chance to assist visiting professors from Russia and Eastern Europe.”

Shackelford’s study also helps him in his work at the Strawberry Hill Museum, which is dedicated to the history of German and Slavic settlers in Kansas City, Kan.

“I feel a personal connection to this cause because my grandfather grew up in the community,” Shackelford says. “I greatly appreciate the funding KU has provided for the class.”

For Kim Taylor, this fall’s language studies also were a continuation of previous studies. This is Taylor’s second year of studying Danish. Taylor plans to travel to Greenland this summer to research the making of traditional down blankets by Inuit women. The blankets are made in a former Danish colony in Greenland where Taylor, now an assistant exhibit designer for the Natural History Museum, will travel.

Kathryn Orth, a custodial specialist in Ekdahl Dining Commons, also is using tuition assistance to make communication easier at work. Orth took Mandarin Chinese because many of her co-workers at Mrs. E’s speak Chinese.

“I thought that by learning Chinese, I would be able to help them to understand English,” Orth says. “I try to speak Chinese with a couple of them at work.”

Orth, who received a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from KU in 2001, will use the classes toward obtaining her master’s degree in teaching English as a second language.

“Tuition assistance has helped me greatly,” she says. Orth hopes to continue her studies in Chinese next semester. “This way I would be able to help other co-workers, whose first language is not English, to learn the English language.”


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