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Lynn George
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KU announces July employees of the month

Tue, 08/19/2014

The University of Kansas has announced two Employees of the Month for July 2014:

Name: Larry Higgins
Start date: 1980s
Current job: Plumbing and boiler operations, Facilities Services

What that means: Larry Higgins ensures staff and students are supplied with heat and hot water, even when equipment fails. In addition to setting up, maintaining, trouble-shooting, and repairing boilers across campus, Higgins also sets up and monitors the chemical levels in the boiler systems to ensure the quality of the water in them. This helps save the university operating and maintenance costs. These efforts also have helped save the KU money in terms of major expenditures due to Higgins’ systematic efforts to extend the life of boiler systems well beyond their normal life expectancy.

Notable: When Facilities Services and Housing Maintenance merged in 2012, Higgins took on the daunting task of getting the KU Housing boiler systems up to the same operational levels as those in academic buildings on campus. In order to do this he had to design new chemical feed systems for all the steam boilers in these buildings. These systems were in poor condition, and now they are starting to clean up and run more efficiently. This took time and effort, and Higgins was deemed the only one on campus with the knowledge to accomplish this task. There are over 150 boilers on campus of different makes and ages, and Higgins has the ability to work on all of them.
 

Name: Natalie Parker
Start date: 2008
Title: Education program coordinator, Center for Research on Global Change

What that means: In her current role Parker provides management expertise for a major sponsored research initiative, the NSF IGERT C-CHANGE. This program engages more than 30 doctoral students, dozens of faculty across disciplines and institutions, and requires travel and site itineraries for large groups to remote places such as Greenland. 

Notable: Parker’s management skills and adaptability have helped to contribute to the success of a KU-Haskell collaboration over the past five years. In organizing the annual summer Institute with Haskell, some new challenge will typically arise. These challenges range from figuring ways to manage special purchases for Institute participates, all the way to assuming responsibility for last-minute group travel arrangements. Additionally, Parker designed a system for coordinating teaching evaluations to enable students to evaluate instructors separately, making it so every department receives their faculty evaluations. Another challenge was the C-CHANGE website. Without being asked, Parker learned web site design and management in order to update and improve the site. As a related contribution she encouraged trainees to contribute travel blog entries to the site and trained others on how to use this feature. 



When looking to tackle the issue of obesity in rural America, where should we start? The answer is not what you might think. Empathy, says Christie Befort, an associate professor at KU who has just won a $10 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to investigate solutions to rural obesity. Many physicians are embarrassed talking about weight—especially in a small town where everybody knows each other, Befort says. By providing obesity treatment options in rural primary care, she plans to start a conversation, and maybe a revolution, in rural health care. For more details on Befort's efforts, check out the 2015 Chancellor's Report: http://bit.ly/1D5A5MO and her video: http://bit.ly/1C5xYZa Tags: #KUcommunities #Obesity #Health #Rural #Midwest Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute - PCORI

KU helping connect families, improve services through "parent support training.” http://t.co/agWgHXKuLy http://t.co/BPJVVoLeYo
Explore KU: Experience a KU Men's Basketball tradition It’s explosive. It’s dramatic. It’s intimidating. It’s a KU tradition (see more at http://bit.ly/KUtraditions) simply known as the Confetti Toss. But it creates a primal eruption of fan enthusiasm at the opening of every KU men’s basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. It starts as the visiting team is introduced on court. The KU student section is visibly bored and unimpressed. The entire section under the north basket holds up University Daily Kansans — making the point they’d rather read the newspaper than even look at the other team. They shake and rustle the student newspapers. Then the moment they were waiting for arrives — the Jayhawks enter the court. All Rock Chalk breaks loose. Newspapers, confetti and thousands of thundering voices soar into already charged atmosphere of KU’s hallowed basketball arena. The confetti hits its high point, near the banner on the north wall reading “Pay Heed, All Who Enter: Beware of the Phog.” And the confetti rains back into the stands, onto the court and into the memories of all at hand. It’s time to play.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times