Kathy Rose-Mockry
Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity

2016-17 Women of Distinction Calendar honors KU leaders

Fri, 08/26/2016

LAWRENCE — Twenty-three women with ties to the University of Kansas are featured in the 2016-2017 Women of Distinction calendar. The Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, which produces the poster-sized calendar, will host a reception to honor the women and their achievements Aug. 30.

The women represent KU students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni who have distinguished achievements in their efforts at KU or in their community.

“It is critical to provide role models for those who identify and present as women, given the implicit bias and structural barriers that exist that challenge women’s equal access, pay and advancement in many academic, workplace and leadership arenas,” said Kathy Rose-Mockry, director of the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity. “This year’s calendar features women who inspire us to advocate, achieve and refuse to accept the status quo.” 

Seven current students, six alumnae, and 10 faculty and staff are featured on the calendar. Five areas of service and distinction also receive special attention through the calendar: Innovators advancing learning through technology, exemplary educators, global awareness ambassadors and change-makers, science humanitarians and women building communities.

First issued in 2004, the calendar was established to challenge the stereotyped representation of women in publications and the media and to provide an alternate view by instead honoring women for their accomplishments as leaders, entrepreneurs, role models and change-makers.

A reception to acknowledge this year’s featured women and their contributions will be from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, in the Ballroom of the Kansas Union. The public is welcome to attend.

The Women of Distinction calendars are free, although donations are accepted. They are available at several locations, including the KU Bookstore, Jayhawk Ink and the Emily Taylor Center, 4024 Wescoe Hall.  

Individuals featured on the 2016-2017 Women of Distinction Calendar and selected achievements and honors:

Annie McKay

President and CEO, Kansas Action for Children & Voices for Children Foundation

  • Kansas Children’s Cabinet Senate minority leader appointee
  • Sunflower Foundation Advocacy Fellow (2016)
  • Founding executive director, Kansas Center for Economic Growth

Saralyn Reece Hardy

Marilyn Stokstad Director, Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art

  • Integrating the Spencer Museum into the academic life of KU through interdisciplinary projects and initiatives.
  • Embedding living artists in the program and profile of the museum and encouraging new work from global artists.
  • Leading a facility renovation that reflects a learning mission in action and encourages KU and community engagement.

Jyleesa Renee Tate Hampton

Second-year graduate student, communication studies, KU. Hampton’s hometown is Overland Park. She attended Shawnee Mission South High School; her parents are Reba and Matthew Tate.

  • University of Kansas Graduate Research Fellow (beginning Fall 2015)
  • Appointed to serve on the KU Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Task Force to address campus climate issues (2016)
  • Awarded the National Cross Examination Debate Association (CEDA) Mid Atlantic Critic of the Year award

Abby Hall

Research attorney for Justice Eric Rosen of the Kansas Supreme Court. Hall graduated in May 2016, and her hometown is Overland Park. She currently resides in Lawrence. She attended Shawnee Mission North High School. Her parents are Jackie Millin and Jeff Krieger.

  • Symposium Editor, Kansas Law Review: included organizing Symposium on Campus Sexual Assault and publishing an issue on campus sexual assault (2015-16)
  • Robert F. Bennet Award for leadership in public service (May 2016)
  • Winner and best brief writer (with team member Ashley Akers), KU In-House Moot Court Competition (October 2016)

Shegufta Huma

Senior, political science and Spanish, KU. Huma’s hometown is Wichita. She attended Wichita East High School. Her parents are Anjuman and Mohammad Anwar.

  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights intern, Washington, D.C. (Spring 2016)
  • Muslim Public Affairs Council Policy and Government Summit Delegate (2014)
  • University Senate vice president (Fall 2015)

Jessica van Loben Sels

Doctoral candidate, Pathology Department, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • National Institute of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholar (March 2016)
  • Goldwater Scholar (April 2015)
  • Astronaut Scholar (June 2015)

2nd Lt. Rhavean Anderson

Second-year law student, KU; former student athlete (Track & Field).

Anderson’s hometown is Memphis. She attended Ridgeway High School, and her parents are Ray and Teresa King.

  • Became an officer in the United States Marine Corps (Aug. 6)
  • Was the senior speaker at the KU senior K-ring ceremony
  • Team captain of the KU Track and Field team (2015-16)


Innovators Advancing Learning Through Technology

Marilyn Mulligan Ault
Senior research associate, ALTEC, Center for Research on Learning, KU Life Span Institute

  • Director of ALTEC since 2000
  • Co-principal investigator on research and development projects to improve teaching and learning

Jana Craig-Hare
Assistant research professor
ALTEC, Center for Research on Learning, KU Life Span Institute

  • Making IT Happen Award, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) (2016)
  • Earning doctorate from KU (2011)
  • Actively participating in Research+Practice Partnerships with K-12 districts, schools and teachers


Amber Rowland
Assistant research professor, ALTEC, Center for Research on Learning, KU Life Span Institute

  • National School Boards Association “20 to Watch” Educator (2008)
  • Staff Achievement Award, KU School of Education (2011)


Exemplary Educators

Elizabeth Kozleski
Professor and chair, Department of Special Education, KU

  • UNESCO Chair, International Inclusive Education (2005- 2012)
  • Teacher Education Pearson-Merrill Award for Excellence in Teacher Education (2011)
  • University of Northern Colorado Century of Scholars Award (2013)

Joy Ward
Dean’s Professor of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)- conferred by President Obama in the White House (2010)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • Inaugural Wohlgemuth Faculty Scholar Award, KU


Mary Kate Dennis

Assistant professor, School of Social Welfare

  • Honorable mention, Illinois Distinguished Dissertation Award by the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, honoring and giving voice to Oglala Lakota elders (2014)
  • Hampton Faculty Fellow, the Spirit of the Eagles Program, Mayo Clinic; focusing on improving health outcomes for American Indian people
  • Hartford Dissertation Award in Geriatric Social Work, the John A. Hartford Foundation


Sharon Toulouse

Assistant director of Bands, KU School of Music

  • Third female in U.S. Army history hired into the 2LT-COL officer ranks as Army band officer
  • First female band director at KU
  • Selected to be a military mentor for the U.S. Senate Youth Program (2008)


Global Awareness Ambassadors and Changemakers

Melody Stratton
Outreach & Alumni Communications coordinator, KU Office of Study Abroad

  • NAFSA (Association of International Educators) Region II Rising Star Award (2015)
  • Diversity Abroad Future Leader Award (2014)
  • The George Washington University Graduate School of Education & Human Development Fellowship (2011)

Ashlie Koehn
Program director, Climate + Energy Project. Koehn’s hometown is Burns. She currently resides in Overland Park. She graduated from Fredrick Remington High School. Her parents are Rodney and Carolyn Koehn.

  • Truman Scholar (2015)
  • Udall Scholar (2015)
  • Kansas Air National Guard Airman of the Year 2013

Claire Carson MacLachlan
Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, MacLachlan graduated from KU in 2016, and her hometown is Prairie Village. She currently resides in Togo, West Africa. She attended Shawnee Mission East High School. Her parents are Julia and Lawrence MacLachlan

  • Vice president, Alpha Kappa chapter of Omega Phi Alpha (2016-17)
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Member, Pi Sigma Alpha (political science honor society)


Science Humanitarians

Hebron Kelecha
Medical student, KU School of Medicine. Hebron graduated with her degree from KU in 2016. Her hometown is Gardner. She attended Gardner – Edgerton High School. Her parents are Habtamu Oda and Tewabech Korecho.

  • Leadership Alliance Scholar, Yale School of Medicine (Summer 2015)
  • Elected director of Diversity & Representation for OneKU Coalition (Spring 2016)
  • Editor’s Choice Kansas City Top Model (January 2014)

Tiffany Fisher
Process engineer, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company

Fisher graduated with her degree from KU in 2016. Her hometown is Moundridge, and she currently resides in Houston. She attended Moundridge High School. Her parents are Lisa Grace and Wayne Fisher

  • Founding a new program for KU Engineers Without Borders at National Teacher’s College Kaliro in Uganda
  • Helping develop the introductory course for chemical engineering – transitioning from the traditional lecture style to being more collaborative and interactive
  • Participated four years in the SELF (Self Engineering Leadership Program) at KU

Rachel Bowes
Post-doctoral researcher in the Kansas Biological Survey

  • Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, Center for Undergraduate Research, KU (2014; Honorable mention, 2015)
  • National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. Dissertation research: Historical Changes in Food Web Structure of Large Rivers (2015)


Women Building Communities

Teale Muir
Medical student, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. Muir’s home town is Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she currently resides. She attended Jenks High School. Her parents are James and Mary Muir.

  • Center for Community Outreach managing director (2015-16)
  • Jayhawk Health Initiative participant
  • University Scholar

Lauren Arney
Medical student, KU Medical School. Arney’s hometown is Stilwell. She attended Blue Valley Southwest High School. Her parents are Todd and Stacey Arney.

  • Agnes Wright Strickland Award Recipient, KU (May 2016)
  • KU Memorial Unions Corporation Board president (2015-16)
  • KU Student Senate senior senator (2015-16).

Nanyi Deng
Senior in psychology. Deng’s hometown is Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China. She attended Wenzhou No. 22 High School. Her parents are Changguang Deng and Lidan Qian

  • Founder, International Peer Support (January 2016)
  • Clark Coan International Student Leadership Award (May 2016)
  • Research assistant, Department of Psychology (2015-16)

KU in the news

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
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