KU people

Williamson earns honorary membership in teaching association

The National Association of Biology Teachers has recognized Brad Williamson, an educator at the Center for Science Education, with an association Honorary Memberships. The award was presented during the recent 2010 Professional Development Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. Williamson is a master teacher in the UKanTeach program.

The Honorary Membership was established to recognize individuals who have achieved distinction in teaching, research or service in the biological sciences, and is considered the highest honor given by the association. Candidates for the award must be nominated by an association member who submits an official letter of nomination. That letter must be accompanied by a detailed biographical summary and be supported by letters of recommendation from at least nine other association members in good standing. Those individuals selected to be Honorary Members become lifetime members.

Trombone professor releases new CD

"Blue Wolf," Michael Davidson's recently released CD.

Michael Davidson, assistant professor of trombone, recently released “Blue Wolf” on Emeritus Recordings, available from Co-Op Press. Davidson performs the works of John Davison, Leonard Bernstein, Gerald Finzi, Sy Brandon, Richard Trevarthen, Walter Hartley and others, and he is joined on piano by Ellen Bottorff, KU lecturer.

Davidson is principal trombonist of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the South Arkansas Symphony, and trombonist with the Kansas Brass Quintet, the I-49 Brass Quintet and the LATEX Trombone Quartet.

He earned a bachelor’s and performer's certificate in trombone from the University of Florida, his master’s from Centenary College of Louisiana and a doctorate in trombone performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has performed with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra USA, the Topeka Symphony and the St. Joseph Symphony and in local performances with the Four Tops, Ray Charles, Johnny Mathis, Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris, Mel Tormé, Sandi Patty and many others. He was solo trombonist of Kansas City's Fountain City Brass Band when it won the 2007 North American Brass Band Association and United States Open championships.

Chen receives grant for autism research

Xue-Wen Chen, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, is a recipent of one of four $50,000 grants from the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and Bank of America in Kansas City.

The grants are made through a partnership between the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and Bank of America in Kansas City to support regional programs most likely to make the greatest impact on pediatric research. The grants are made from the Paul Patton Charitable Trust, which the bank oversees.

Chen received the grant for research in identifying genes with the highest probability of involvement in the etiol¬ogy of autism. Such research is critical to the development of better treatments for autism.

Mucci wins distinguished service award

David Mucci, director of KU Memorial Unions, was recently presented with the William H. Smith Distinguished Service Award at the Association of College Unions International Region 11 conference held in Kansas City, Mo.

The award was established to honor and recognize longtime student union or student activities professionals of Region 11 member institutions who have made exceptional contributions and demonstrated a long-term commitment to the student union/student activities profession on their campuses. Association Region 11 members are located in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Mucci, the fourth director of KU Memorial Unions, has been at KU since 1999. He began his student union management career at the University of Kentucky and has since worked at the Ohio Union at the Ohio State University, the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University and the Idaho Student Union at the University of Idaho.

Leon wins outstanding research book in theatre history award

Mechele Leon shows her award outstanding research in theatre history.

Mechele Leon, assistant professor of theatre, recently won American Society for Theatre Research 2010 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History. She earned the honor for her book "Moliere, the French Revolution, and the Theatrical Afterlife."

The book was chosen from 30 nominated theatre titles published in 2009.

The award is considered one of the highest honors in the specialty.

Wong-Cruz lands book award

Ketty Wong-Cruz, assistant professor of musicology, received the 2010 Casa de las Americas Musicology Award for her new book manuscript “La musica nacional: Identidad, Mestizaje y Migración en Ecuador.” The work examines changing perceptions of a nation through the analysis of musical practices and discourses about the artistic value of several styles of Ecuadorian popular music.

The book competition is organized every two years in Havana, Cuba. Eighteen books representing nine countries were entered into the competition this year. The award includes the publication of the book and a monetary prize.

Wong-Cruz joined the KU faculty in 2006, having taught previously at the University of Texas-Austin and in her home country Ecuador. She received her doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas-Austin with a dissertation on how urban popular music has constructed varied perceptions of Ecuadorian national identity. She also holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from UT Austin and a master's in musicology from the Moscow Conservatory P. I. Tchaikovsky. Her research interests focus on Latin American art, folk and traditional music, nationalisms, identity, migration, and popular music. She has conducted short and extended fieldwork research in Ecuador, Peru, Spain and New York.


Campus closeup
Susan E. King, associate professor of health, sport and exercise sciences and department undergraduate coordinator and physical education program coordinator

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