KU people

Rockhill named finalist in Smithsonian's national design awards

Dan Rockhill

Dan Rockhill, the J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture, has been named a finalist in the 12th annual National Design Awards, presented by the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Rockhill will be honored in the architecture design category for his work with both Rockhill and Associates and Studio 804.

The director of Studio 804, a graduate program that designs and builds affordable, efficient homes and structures throughout Kansas, Rockhill will be honored with winners this fall in New York. Studio 804 is currently building the Center for Design Research in Lawrence, an innovative facility that will foster interdisciplinary research in energy efficient design and building practices. The studio has also built a community arts center for Greensburg, Kan., after the community was devastated by a tornado and homes for neglected Kansas City neighborhoods.

Rockhill and his associate David Sain have also pursued strong design and sustainable building efforts rooted in the regional vernacular and have developed designs around the country.

First launched at the White House in 2000 as a project of the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards were established to promote excellence and innovation in design. The awards are accompanied each year by a variety of public education programs, including special events, panel discussions and workshops. First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as the honorary patron for this year's National Design Awards and receive the finalists at an event at the White House this summer.

Rockhill was also recognized in 2007 for the same award and was received by then-First Lady Laura Bush.

Frieling wins engineering distinguished alumni honor

Gerald H. Frieling Jr. a 1951 mechanical engineering graduate, was honored May 7 with the KU Mechanical Engineering 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award for his professional career accomplishments, commitment to education and promotion of community service. His industrial background included association with four public companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, two of which he was chairman and CEO, whose focus was innovative research and leadership in promoting growth and progress in the development of materials. Frieling currently is on the faculty of the Mendoza School of Business at the University of Notre Dame. He resides in Niles, Mich. with his wife Joan, who was also a graduate of KU.

Sweet named distinguished medical alumna

Donna Sweet

Donna Sweet, professor of internal medicine professor at the School of Medicine-Wichita and Wichita Internal Medicine Midtown physician, will receive the Distinguished Medical Alumna award from the Medical Center Alumni Association.

The Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award is presented annually to a living graduate of the KU School of Medicine and recognizes an individualís noteworthy contributions to KU, his or her field and to the health of all people through patient care, basic and clinical research, teaching skills and/or health services administration.

The KU Medical Center Alumni Awards recognize graduates in the health fields of medicine, allied health and nursing.

A Wichita native, Sweet earned her bachelorís and masterís degrees from Wichita State University before attending the KU School of Medicine and graduating in 1979. In addition to teaching medical students and residents, practicing medicine and serving as a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS research and care, she has served in several academic and administrative appointments including the Governorís Task Force on AIDS and medical director of Internal Medicine Clinics for the School of MedicineĖWichita.

Sweet and the other eight recipients will be honored during Alumni Reunion Weekend Oct. 7-8 in Kansas City, Kan.

Simpson named Illinois State dean of arts and sciences

Gregory Simpson

llinois State University has named Gregory Simpson as the new College of Arts and Sciences dean effective July 1.

Simpson, who served as an interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at KU, received his doctorate in experimental psychology from KU, his masterís in psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and his bachelorís in psychology from the University of the Pacific. He has served as an acting associate dean, chair of psychology and a professor at KU. Prior to his tenure in Kansas, Simpson was a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

As interim dean, Simpson oversaw 58 departments and programs in five divisions, with a budget of $100 million. He was responsible for implementing parts of the college strategic plan and integrating the new School of the Arts into his college. Simpson is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, Psychonomic Society and Midwestern Psychological Association and served as an executive board member for the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology.

Simpson received the W.T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching and was a Senior Administrative Fellow from KU.

Woods named director of advancement for the College

Patrick Woods

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has named Patrick Woods its new director of advancement. The hire completes a reorganization of external relations efforts in the College.

As the director of advancement, Woods will work collaboratively with the director of communications and the director of community engagement to develop and implement a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to enhance external relations for the College.

Woods will manage the deanís fundraising schedule, work closely and strategically with KU Endowment and maintain contact with primary donors, prospects and board members. Duties include donor cultivation, targeted community outreach and collaborative planning related to alumni and donor events. He began last month.

Woods managed a successful campaign for state Senate for Donald Betts Jr. of Wichita; worked in the office of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as the education policy director and legislative liaison and at the State Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services as the director of governmental affairs; and is a lecturer for KU's Department of Public Administration. He also serves on the Topeka Public Schools USD 501 Board of Education.

Woods earned his bachelorís in political science and history from Friends University in Wichita and will complete his masterís of public administration from KU this May.

The directors of communications and community engagement were named earlier this spring. Jessica Beeson, formerly project coordinator, will serve as the director of community engagement, and Kristi Henderson, formerly associate director of external relations, will serve as the director of communications. Both have been with the College since 2008.

Scott named editor of language studies journal

Paul Scott, assistant professor of French and Italian, has been appointed French and Occitan editor of the Year's Work in Modern Language Studies after an international search. He is the first North-American based editor of the journal. Founded in 1939, the journal has been published annually by the Modern Humanities Research Association.

The French and Occitan section, with up to 18 articles and 300 pages of text per issue, is one of the largest and Scott will have responsibility for 18 contributors covering fields from medieval French to contemporary cinema.

Edwards campus names new staff members

The Edwards campus has hired several new staff members. Leigh Driver, facility operations manager; Sue Osborne, administrative assistant; Lesley Owens, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate program adviser; Andy Irwin; information technology support technician; and Adrienne Collins-Runnebaum, student success director, have all joined the campus.

As the Edwards Campus facility operations manager, Driver is responsible for maintaining a clean, safe and comfortable environment for the faculty, staff and students. He is also instrumental in overseeing the construction of the new Business, Engineering, Science and Technology Building, which will be complete at the end of the year. Driver is an EPA certified HVAC technician from ESCO Institute and has more than 15 yearsí experience working in operations management.

As an administrative assistant, Osborne provides student support and serves as the coordinator for Edwards Campus community events. Osborne spent the past four years working with the American Cancer Society and previously worked for the Shawnee Mission School District. She graduated from Grace College, Indiana, with a bachelorís in business administration and psychology.

As the graduate program adviser for the College, Owens offers assistance with admissions, enrollment and degree completion in communication studies, global and international studies and public administration programs. Owens graduated from KU with degrees in English and humanities and earned a masterís from Pennsylvanian State University. Owens has four yearsí experience working with college students. Previously, she was the program assistant of the KU Graduate Writing Program.

As an IT support technician, Irwin is responsible for managing the centralized system as well as fixing desktop problems for campus staff and faculty. Irwin is currently a sophomore at KU studying business. He has extensive knowledge of a variety of computer programming and has worked at KU in different technology roles since 2006.

As the student success director at the Edwards campus, Runnebaum will collaborate with student success units on the Lawrence campus plan student-related events such as orientation, welcome week and academic success week. She will also manage services including disability, tutoring, financial aid, scholarships and career service support and participate in the strategic planning for Edwards Campus student success and advising departments. Runnebaum received her bachelorís in business management and her MBA from Emporia State University. Runnebaum joined Student Success in 2008.

Leeds named Arizona law dean

Stacy L. Leeds

Stacy L. Leeds, interim associate dean for academic affairs, professor of law and director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the School of Law, has been named dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law. She will begin July 1.

Leeds has focused her teaching and extensive research on property, natural resources and American Indian law. At KU she has served as interim associate dean for academic affairs and as director of the Tribal Law and Government Center. Prior to joining KU, she was a professor and director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center at the University of North Dakota School of Law. She began her career of teaching law at the University of Wisconsin School of Law, where she served as a William H. Hastie Fellow. She received her master of laws degree from the University of Wisconsin, her law degree from the University of Tulsa, her master of business administration from the University of Tennessee and her bachelor's from Washington University in St. Louis.

Among her many honors, Leeds was awarded the prestigious Fletcher Fellowship to support her work on tribal sovereignty and citizenship issues. As a Fletcher Fellow, she was named a nonresident fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University during the 2008-09 academic year. In addition, she has served as a judge for many tribes including the Cherokee Nation, where she was the only woman and youngest person to ever serve as a Supreme Court Justice.

Leeds, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, becomes the first American Indian woman to serve as dean of a law school. She will replace Cynthia Nance, who has served as dean since her five-year appointment in 2006.

Hodgesmith named to courtsí Ďblue ribbon commissioní

Martha Hodgesmith, associate director of the Research and Training Center on Independent Living, is serving on the Blue Ribbon Commission. The 24-member, state supreme court-appointed panel is taking public comment on how to improve the Kansas court system. A series of meetings will be held at 18 locations across the state to collect feedback on all aspects of the court system. The review is the first of its kind since the 1970s, when the stateís courts were unified.

Hodgesmith and Joseph Harkins, former Kansas Corporation commissioner, will moderate each hearing. The first hearing was held May 17.

For more information, visit

Callaway to receive award for family medicine direction

Paul Callaway, clinical professor of family and community medicine at the School of Medicine-Wichita and Wesley Family Medicine Residency program director, will receive the 2011 Program Director Recognition Award from the Gold Level Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors. The award, to be handed out June 13 in Kansas City, Mo., recognizes directors who have demonstrated accomplishments in tenure, training, performance and advocacy.

Campus closeup
Malika Lyon, coordinator, International Visiting Scholars
Read more


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).