Stefani Buchwitz
Self Graduate Fellowship

Self Memorial Scholarship announces 2021-2022 Advisory Board

Fri, 10/08/2021

LAWRENCE – The Madison and Lila Self Graduate Programs at the University of Kansas have announced the Advisory Board for the Self Memorial Scholarship. Advisory Board includes KU leaders and faculty members:

  • Jennifer Roberts, managing trustee, ex-officio. Roberts is the KU vice provost for academic affairs & graduate studies and professor of geology.
  • Stefani Buchwitz, ex-officio. Buchwitz is the director of the Self Graduate Programs.
  • James Clarke, ex-officio. Clarke is senior vice president of KU Endowment.
  • Caroline Bennett, professor of civil, environmental & architectural engineering.
  • Jonathan Brumberg, associate professor of speech-language-hearing.
  • Joseph Brewer, II, associate professor environmental studies program and director of the Indigenous Studies Program.
  • Meagan Patterson, associate professor of educational psychology.
  • Mike Wilkins, Larry D. Horner / KPMG Professor in the KU School of Business.

The Self Memorial Scholarship has support from an Advisory Board, established in 2021. The Self Graduate Fellowship has oversight from a separate Board of Trustees, established in 1993. The Advisory Board, composed of eight individuals, has responsibility for implementation and awarding of the Self Memorial Scholarship. Members are appointed for staggered two-year terms. 

About Madison and Lila Self Graduate Programs

Madison and Lila Self Graduate Programs administers the Self Graduate Fellowship and Self Memorial Scholarship. Both programs support KU graduate students and align with the mission of the late Madison “Al” and Lila Self to “identify, recruit, and provide development opportunities for exceptional students who demonstrate the promise to make significant contributions to their fields of study and society as a whole.” 

In 1989, the Selfs launched and permanently endowed the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship at KU. The fellowship accepted its first two doctoral fellows in 1991. Before Madison and Lila Self both died in 2013, they envisioned an additional program that funds first year master’s or doctoral students at KU. This program, now named the Madison and Lila Self Memorial Scholarship, came to fruition in 2018 with 11 scholarsTwenty students received the Self Memorial Scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year.   

The Self Memorial Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship that is awarded to outstanding undergraduate students from KU who will transition immediately into a full-time master’s or doctoral degree program at KU in the fall semester. Both domestic and international students are eligible for this scholarship. Students who are selected demonstrate achievement in leadership and scholarship, and possess the ability to envision and attain goals that require energy and tenacity. The Self Memorial Scholarship provides each recipient with a $10,000 scholarship award applied to tuition and fees ($5,000 in the fall semester and $5,000 in the spring semester), leadership and career development training, and an interdisciplinary cohort of graduate students. The leadership and career development training, called the Scholar Development Program, complements the specialized education and training provided by the graduate programs. 

The late Madison Self was a 1943 KU graduate in chemical engineering. The late Lila Self grew up in Eudora and attended KU with the Class of 1943.

More about the Self Memorial Scholarship Advisory Board:

Jennifer Roberts, managing trustee, also serves as vice provost for academic affairs & graduate studies and professor in the Department of Geology. Roberts received her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin and served as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Water Research Division of the USGS before joining KU in 2001. Her research focuses on hydrochemistry and microbial geochemistry, bridging basic and applied science to better understand the role of microorganisms in mineral weathering as it applies to carbon sequestration, petroleum reservoir diagenesis, paleoclimate and water quality from nano- to landscape-scales. Prior to her roles with Graduate Studies, Roberts served as chair of the geology department. Roberts has received recognition such as the Professional Excellence Award from the Association for Women in Geoscience, the Docking Young Faculty Scholar Award and the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Women Mentoring Women Award, among others. Her work has also received multiple major funding awards from institutions such as the National Science Foundation, the Army Corps of Engineers, the American Chemical Society and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Stefani Buchwitz, director, joined the Self Graduate Programs in January 2015.  As director, she oversees the department and staff, sets the policies and procedures, manages the budget and expenditures, produces unit reports and program documents, coordinates the Self Graduate Fellowship Board of Trustees and Self Memorial Scholarship Advisory Board, and supports the Self Graduate Fellows and Self Memorial Scholars. She also focuses on aligning the department with universitywide strategic planning and priorities while following donor-driven guidelines and gift letters. Buchwitz has worked in the KU system since 2006.  Prior roles include senior coordinator of student life at KU Medical Center, coordinator of student programs at the KU Alumni Association and graduate assistant at the KU Student Involvement & Leadership Center and the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity.  Buchwitz earned a doctor of education in educational leadership & policy studies, certification in leadership studies, master’s degree in higher education administration and bachelor’s degree in communication studies from KU. 

James Clarke joined KU Endowment in December 2015, where he leads a six-person team responsible for $2.7 billion in investments on behalf of the first foundation for a public university in the United States. Previously, he was a partner with Fiduciary Research & Consulting, an $8.5 billion outsourced chief investment officer firm in San Francisco. Clarke was also director of private investments for the $2.5 billion Kauffman Foundation. He began his career with Nations Media Partners, an investment bank specializing in telecom and media companies. As a private investor and entrepreneur, Clarke was involved in a start-up that went public on Nasdaq and others acquired by AT&T, Adare Pharmaceuticals and Macrogen. Currently he serves as chairman of Infegy, a data analytics company. In 2012, Clarke was elected as a trustee of the Washburn University Foundation and currently serves on its Investment Committee and board of directors. Other nonprofit board service and affiliations include Sheffield Place, PIPELINE Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Startup Weekend, the International Model United Nations Association and Topeka Phi Delta Theta Alumni Club. At KU, Clarke is a trustee of the Self Graduate Fellowship board, a member of the advisory board for the Self Memorial Scholarship, and a member of the investment and audit committees for the KU Center for Research. Clarke earned his bachelor’s degree from Washburn University and an MBA with an emphasis in finance and investments from KU.

Caroline Bennett is professor and associate chair for graduate studies in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering. Bennett earned her doctorate at the University of Cincinnati and joined the KU faculty in 2006. She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Kansas. Her research is aimed at improving the safety and performance of built infrastructure, including bridges and buildings, metallic highway infrastructure such as high-mast lighting towers and overhead sign structures, and other large civil infrastructure. She conducts experimental, numerical and field investigations, and she often works with structural limits of fatigue, fracture and stability. Bennett has been awarded the Robert Dexter Memorial Lecture from the American Iron and Steel Institute and the Inaugural Early Career Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction, and she is highly engaged with the national structural engineering community. Bennett is active in research focused on improving the effectiveness of higher education, and she has served as a faculty fellow with KU's Center for Teaching Excellence and as lead for KU School of Engineering's Engaged Learning Initiative. Bennett's research has been funded through the federal Transportation Pooled Fund program, the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the National Science Foundation. 

Joseph Brewer II is an associate professor in the Environmental Studies Program and director of the Indigenous Studies Program at KU. He received his doctorate in arid lands resource sciences from the University of Arizona working with agriculture extension agents based in American Indian communities on designing culturally relevant natural resources programs as well as departments. He began his faculty position at KU in 2014, and he currently works with Indigenous peoples on initiatives, concerns and issues related to natural resources management/stewardship; energy sovereignty and self-determination; the Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program (FRTEP); land tenure; and how local/regional Indigenous knowledge informs state/federal natural resources management agencies. He has served on numerous boards including Indian Land Tenure Foundation, Haskell Indian Nations University Institutional Review Board and Editorial Board of Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 

Jonathan Brumberg is an associate professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing with a courtesy appointment in electrical engineering & computer science and affiliations with the Neuroscience Graduate Program and Bioengineering Graduate Program. He earned his doctorate at Boston University in the area of computational neuroscience of speech motor control in 2009 and continued at Boston University as a research assistant professor before coming to KU in 2012. His research interests are in the neurological mechanisms underlying speech and communication and their use in brain-computer interfaces for communication.

Meagan Patterson is a professor of educational psychology and has been a faculty member at KU since 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s and doctorate in developmental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on the development of personal and group identity and the implications of identity for intergroup relations, academic motivation and performance, and civic and political engagement. Her teaching has been recognized with multiple awards, including the School of Education Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching, the Dr. Bob Frederick Educator Award and the Gene A. Budig Teaching Professorship in Education.

Mike Wilkins is the Larry D. Horner / KPMG Professor at KU, where he also serves as the doctorate coordinator for the accounting area. His research addresses issues related to auditing and capital markets. Wilkins recently completed a three-year term as an archival auditing editor at The Accounting Review and currently serves on the editorial boards at The Accounting Review, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory and Accounting Horizons. Wilkins teaches accounting theory in KU’s Master of Accounting program as well as the introductory empirical research seminar in the doctoral program. Wilkins received his bachelor’s degree in finance and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Kentucky and his doctorate in accounting from the University of Arizona.

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