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Joe Monaco
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Research to play major role in women’s empowerment initiative

Tue, 04/15/2014

LAWRENCE — Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Mo., announced last month the new WE Women’s Empowerment initiative to get more women into leadership roles, whether it’s on city boards, task forces and commissions or in business settings.

University of Kansas research will play a crucial role in the initiative through a $23,000 research grant awarded from the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Barbara Kerr, the Williamson Family Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology in the School of Education, received the grant from the Women’s Foundation to conduct research and analysis that will underpin the mayor’s initiative. Kerr’s efforts included survey and focus group research designed to gather women’s attitudes and opinions — data the mayor’s office and its partners will use to improve gender equity and diversity on task forces and commissions, and to drive recruitment strategies, as part of the initiative.

“Mayor James has an ambitious plan to ensure Kansas City is an inclusive, diverse organization that supports the recruitment of women from different backgrounds to task forces, boards and commissions,” Kerr said. “I’m thrilled that the Women’s Foundation recruited me to do this research, and it’s exciting to know that KU will play a role in an initiative aimed at engaging women across Kansas City in local government. This is exactly the type of engaged scholarship for public impact we strive to do at KU.”

Kerr will present her research findings at the WE Women’s Empowerment Initiative reception Monday, April 21, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Speakers include Wendy Doyle, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation, as well as James and the chancellor.

As a result of the positive experience with Kerr, the Women’s Foundation is now exploring a range of other potential collaborative projects with various KU units. Potential projects include lectures, conferences and sponsored research similar to Kerr’s project.

“We sought out the University of Kansas because they had the expertise needed to help the Women’s Foundation best inform Mayor Sly James and the WE initiative on boards, task forces and commissions,” Doyle said. “This strategic partnership aligns perfectly with both organizations’ objectives, and more importantly, it will provide tremendous value for the people of Missouri and Kansas.”



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

Let's take a trip down to Coronado & #exploreKU at the pool with @KUSwimDive ! (and insta Go_Pro_Guys) http://t.co/SAiwyxiO8F
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


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