Law school alumna inducted to KU Women's Hall of Fame

Monday, April 08, 2013

LAWRENCE – The Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity at the University of Kansas will host its annual Women’s Recognition Banquet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, in the Kansas Union ballroom. The induction of six new members of the KU Women’s Hall of Fame will highlight a program honoring outstanding women across the university.

A total of 26 outstanding female students and three outstanding female faculty and staff will be honored with annual awards. These awards were established to honor KU female students, staff, faculty and alumnae who have enriched and improved the campus and community through their service, teaching or involvement.

In addition to the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the program is sponsored by the Commission on the Status of Women and the Office of Diversity and Equity.

Faculty and staff being honored include Outstanding Woman Educator Andrea Greenhoot, associate professor of psychology; Outstanding Woman Staff Member Sharon Leatherman, office manager for KU Memorial Unions; and Jennifer Roberts, associate professor of geology, who will receive the Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett Woman Mentoring Women Award.

The 2012 Pioneer Woman award honors Stephanie Mott, who is executive director and founder of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project (K-Step) and state vice-chair for Kansas Equality Coalition. K-Step works to eliminate discrimination against transgender people and their families through education. Working with the Kansas Equality Coalition, Mott helped bring about protections for LGBT students and staff in the Topeka School District and the addition of gender identity to Lawrence’s anti-discrimination policy. She serves on the board of the Topeka/Shawnee County Homeless Taskforce and Metropolitan Community Church of Topeka and volunteers with the Safe Streets Coalition, YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, Topeka AIDS Project and the Shawnee County Jail. 

KU has inducted outstanding leaders into its Women’s Hall of Fame since 1970. The Women’s Hall of Fame site is on the fifth floor of the Kansas Union. The 2013 KU Women’s Hall of Fame inductees are:

Janet Sommer Campbell, general manager, Kansas Public Radio and director, Kansas Audio-Reader: Campbell graduated from KU in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in education with an emphasis on special education. That same year, she began her career at Kansas Audio-Reader as a secretary. Nine years later, she became director. Under her guidance, Audio-Reader grew to be the second-largest service of its kind in the country and was one of the first to pioneer the use of cable television and the internet for program distribution. Campbell became the interim director of KPR in 1997 and two years later was named general manager. KPR is an award-winning service of KU that provides continuous broadcasts of news and cultural programs to more than 100,000 listeners. She has been a member of the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors since 2009, was appointed to the Governor’s Cultural Affairs Council in 2005 and is an active in her church.

Cathy Daicoff, MPA, managing director, U.S. public finance criteria officer, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services Daicoff graduated from KU in 1977 with a degree in political science, then earned a Master’s in Public Administration and Finance from Syracuse University.  In 1978 she began her career at Standard & Poor’s Rating Services in the public finance department. Today she is the managing director of U.S. Public Finance and Chair of the Public Finance Criteria Committee. During her 35-year career at Standard & Poor’s, Daicoff has established a Canadian branch of Standards & Poor’s, navigated the company’s Latin American firm through a massive economic crisis and been named the senior policy officer and director of global policy training.  She has served as a KU Endowment trustee, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Board member and was a co-chair of the Women Philanthropists for KU.

Kathleen Davis, assistant professor, KU Medical Center, and director, KU Kids Healing Place: Davis earned her B.S.E in 1974, M.S.Ed. in 1997 and doctorate in 2007 from KU. Davis began her career as a special education teacher working with orthopedically handicapped children. Today she is a leading expert in pediatric palliative care and director of KU Kids Healing Place at KUMC. Davis’ role in founding and directing KU Kids Healing Place has made it one of the nation’s leading programs for pediatric palliative care.  Davis and the KU Kids Healing Place utilize a holistic approach to pediatric palliative care that is rarely found in other programs. Her program includes children with chronic illnesses, terminally ill children and provides support for families. Her methods are nationally respected, and she is often invited to speak at conferences and other educational gatherings in order to share her unique vision on pediatric palliative care.

Sara Thomas Rosen, senior vice provost for academic affairs, KU: Rosen received her doctorate in linguistics and cognitive sciences in 1989 from Brandies University. Shortly thereafter she began her career at KU. In 1991, she became an assistant professor and in 2006 was named professor of linguistics. Prior to her appointment in the Provost’s Office, Rosen served as chair of the linguistics department and dean of graduate studies.  As senior vice provost for academic affairs, Rosen has primary responsibility for academic programs as well as overseeing the quality of graduate and undergraduate programs. Rosen has been recognized as an influential adviser and educator by receiving awards such as J. Michael Young Academic Advising Award and the Excellence in Teaching Award from KU. Rosen continues to teach in the linguistics department and conduct research in theoretical syntax.

Donna E. Sweet, M.D., AAHIVS, MACP, professor of internal medicine, KU School of Medicine-Wichita: Sweet earned her M.D. in 1979 from KU Medical Center.  She has been an advocate, educator and caregiver to individuals with HIV for many years. She established the Sweet Emergency Fund, which provides financial assistance to individuals with HIV who need help with medications and with their everyday life. The Sweet Emergency Fund has raised thousands of dollars for those living with HIV or AIDS.  Her dedication to students has led to numerous recognitions including the Thor J. Jager M.D. Award for Distinguished Clinical Teaching; American Medical Association "Pride in the Profession" Award and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the KU School of Medicine. She has served on numerous not-for-profit boards including the Kansas Foundation for the Handicap, Junior League of Wichita Inc., United Way of the Plains and Positive Directions, and she has been recognized for her volunteer and professional excellence by countless groups.

The Honorable Kathryn H. Vratil, chief judge, U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas: Vratil earned her Bachelor of Arts in American studies from KU in 1971. She then attended KU Law School, earning her juris doctorate in 1975. In 1975 she began clerking for Judge Earl O’Connor at the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. In 1978, Vratil became an associate at Lathrop & Gage LLC. Five years later she was named a partner in the litigation department where she stayed until becoming municipal judge for the city of Prairie Village in 1990. In 1992 Vratil was the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas. In 2008 she was appointed chief judge and continues in that position today. Vratil is a member of the Central Exchange in Kansas City, an organization created to increase opportunities for personal, professional and philanthropic growth for women.

Student honorees are as follows:

  • Hannah Bolton, Saint Libory, Neb., a senior in business management, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Kayla Cowell, Leawood, junior, finance & management, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Kylie Krizek, Mission Hills, junior, pre-business and speech-language-hearing, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Leigh Loving, McPherson, sophomore, human biology, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Emma Hogg, Overland Park, freshman, journalism, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Lisa Wojcehowicz, Milwaukee, junior, journalism, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Elizabeth Boresow, Leawood, senior, music therapy, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Candice Thompson, Plano, Texas, sophomore, pre-business, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Thanh Hai Cao, Hue, Vietnam, graduate student in American studies, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • J. Christine Spencer, Sandy, Utah, freshman in dance, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Jennifer Garren, Overland Park, senior in business management, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Samantha Benson, Prairie Village, senior in neurobiology, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities.
  • Erin Christiansen, Chanute, sophomore in environmental studies, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Miranda Naylor, Garnett, senior in pre-pharmacy, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Sara Anderson, Lindsborg, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Ramona Yoder, Newton, junior in psychology, Outstanding Woman Student in On-Campus Housing and Sororities
  • Lauren Arney, Stilwell, freshman, Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Denise Barnes, Wichita, sophomore in journalism, Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Andelyn Fernandez, Wichita, Alma Poehler Brook Memorial Award
  • Andrea Geubelle, University Place, Wash., senior in community health, Outstanding Woman Student in Athletics
  • Ashley Arenholz, Olathe, senior in applied behavioral science, Outstanding Woman Student in Community Service
  • Haley Miller, Kingman, senior in English and women, gender and sexuality studies, Outstanding Woman Student in Leadership
  • Lauren Reinhart, Parkville, Mo., senior in architecture, Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership
  • Alexandra Nicki Rose, Topeka, senior in political science, Outstanding Woman Student in Partnership
  • Ellen Frizzell, Prairie Village, senior in mechanical engineering, Sally Mason Woman Student in Science Award
  • Kristi Marks, Eureka, senior in accounting, Marlesa and Hannalesa Roney Student Success Mentor Award.

For more information, email or call (785) 864-3552.


Book examines how climate change affects indigenous people

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

LAWRENCE — Climate change’s effects are starting to be felt around the world, and indigenous populations are in many cases among the first to have their ways of life disrupted. Yet these populations are often powerless, both politically and economically, to convince those with the ability to do something about it to do so. A University of Kansas law professor has co-edited a book examining how climate change has affected indigenous people worldwide and how they can legally address the issues in the future.

Elizabeth Kronk, associate professor of law and director of the Tribal Law & Government Center at KU, has co-edited “Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies” with Randall S. Abate, associate professor of law at Florida A&M University. The editors gathered work from a collection of legal and environmental experts from around the world, many of whom hail from indigenous populations. Their entries examine how climate change has affected indigenous peoples on numerous continents and how future legal action may help their cause.

“As far as I know it’s the only book of its kind,” Kronk said. “There are lots on climate change, but none that I know of that examine the effects of it on indigenous people. A lot of times when you hear about climate change people say ‘when or if this happens.’ Well, it’s already happening, and indigenous people especially are being forced to deal with it.”

The book examines climate change through an indigenous perspective in North and South America, the Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, Asia and Africa. The contributors, all either practicing lawyers or law professors, both explain the problems faced by indigenous populations and break down attempts to devise legal, workable solutions.

For example, Inuit citizens living near the Arctic in the United States, Canada, Russia and Greenland are in a region of the world that is warming four times faster than other regions. Yet, litigation brought by residents of the Native Village of Kivalina against companies that contribute large amounts of greenhouse gasses to the environment has been unsuccessful.

As a problem of global scale, climate change is incredibly complex and difficult to deal with via law and policy. There are local, municipal, national and international laws that often conflict.

“The indigenous people of the Arctic are literally losing their homeland,” Kronk said. “But climate change law is complicated, when you add all those levels of law, it’s even more so.”

The book’s 20-plus contributors outline ways indigenous populations can navigate the complex web of climate change law, and review both national-level successes and international-level shortcomings. They examine both options of mitigation law — which intends to halt and reverse climate change affects — and adaptation law, which acknowledges climate change and ways to legally adapt to it.

“Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples” could prove beneficial to legal scholars, environmental lawyers and anyone with an interest in indigenous populations among others.

“Whether as a novice's starting point or expert's desktop reference, I cannot think of a more useful resource for anyone interested in climate policy for indigenous peoples,” said J.B. Ruhl of Vanderbilt University Law School.

Knowing that one legal strategy will not fit all, the books authors spend a good deal of time exploring how specific indigenous populations can deal with climate change realities unique to their part of the world, within the frame of the law. The text also examines how indigenous peoples, often on the front lines of the climate change battle, can inform the rest of the world in dealing with the many associated social and legal issues.


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