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Milestones, money and other matters

New names for campus units, tipi at Strong Hall, aerospace awards, big win for student and HOPE recipients

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 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.

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.

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.

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