Milestones, money and other matters

Rock Chalk Review | water lily

The Kansas Biological Survey in July changed its name to the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research to better reflect its mission and scope, which includes research in terrestrial, aquatic, remote sensing and analytical subjects, as well as management of the KU Field Station. “This re-designation aims to more clearly convey our prominent role in generating basic and transformative ecological knowledge to national and international audiences while maintaining emphasis on the important work we conduct for the state,” said Director Sara Baer.  

Photograph by Dan Storey

Home on the Hill

The First Nations Student Association in mid-October celebrated what was thought to be the first tipi outside Strong Hall. When alumni reminded FNSA that they also did so in 1978, the current Jayhawks responded with joy: “It is our strength,” they said of connecting with those who came before.

Rock Chalk Review | Aerospace awards
Photograph courtesy KU Engineering

Aerospace awards

Four aerospace engineering teams recently won design awards in prestigious competitions, including first place for graduate students in a regional jet design competition offered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The winning KU team, led by Lendon Jackson, e’21, unveiled designs for a family of jets they dubbed the
Skyblazers, which would be faster than current models while also reducing carbon footprints; they also include a “magic carpet” conveyor belt to offload cargo for reduced labor costs.

“This is the pinnacle of aerospace design competitions around the world,” Professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, e’88, PhD’93, told the Lawrence Journal-World.

Rock Chalk Review | Lucky shot
Photograph courtesy University of Kansas

Lucky shot

Santiago Patino, a senior in architecture from Eureka, Missouri, was the first student to win a whopping $5,091—equivalent to one semester of in-state tuition—for uploading his COVID-19 vaccine record to the Watkins Health Services student portal. In August, Chancellor Doug Girod announced an incentive program, featuring cash awards, gift cards, parking passes, basketball tickets and more, for students who receive and report their voluntary COVID immunizations. The program was funded with more than $200,000 in federal money designated for vaccines, testing and incentives.

Rock Chalk Review | Campanile

In September, KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Advancement announced that it would now be called the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX to more clearly communicate its role in investigating reports of racial, ethnic and sex-based discrimination on campus. In addition to the name change, the office launched a new website,, to provide greater support resources and an improved reporting process for the KU community.  

Rock Chalk Review | 2021 HOPE Award winners

KU’s senior class has selected Jonathan Hagel, assistant teaching professor of history, and Sarah Jen, assistant professor of social welfare, as recipients of the 2021 HOPE Awards. Given annually through the Board of Class Officers to Honor Outstanding Progressive Educators, the long-standing tradition was established by the Class of 1959 and is the only award given to a faculty member by the senior class. Jen and Hagel were recognized Oct. 23 at the KU-Oklahoma football game in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.