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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson
KU News Service
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University grieves death of graduate student, teaching assistant Nate Smith

Tue, 08/12/2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is mourning the July 1 death of Nathaniel “Nate” Gene Smith, a doctoral student and teaching assistant.

Smith, of Lawrence, was nearing completion of a doctorate in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science. In addition to teaching, Smith advised and mentored students in the program. He was 38.

“On behalf of the entire KU community, I extend my sympathy to Nate Smith’s family, friends, and the colleagues and students to whom he was so dedicated,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little.

Smith was a research assistant in the Life Span Institute for a project on self-instruction for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His primary interest was in human services and staff management in programs for those with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

In addition to belonging to many professional and campus organizations, Smith was a consultant for Sloan Publishing and a guest reviewer for the journal The Behavior Analyst.

“The department has lost a productive, engaging and generous scientist, scholar and colleague, whose promise marks a tragic loss to our field,” said Edward Morris, professor and chair of the Department of Applied Behavioral Science. “We extend our condolences to his family and friends, peers and mentors, and those whose lives he touched with sincerity, charity, good will and wit.”

A celebration of life will take place Sept. 6 near Smith’s hometown in Bay County, Michigan.



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
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Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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