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News (54)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 00:00

Creative writing major wins award at Harlaxton

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NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 28, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Melinda Hipple, a Baker University junior from Baldwin City, Kan., won an essay prize while studying abroad at Harlaxton College during the fall semester.Melinda-Hippleforweb

Hipple, a creative writing major, was honored for her competition manuscript, "The Dust of Other Stars," which consisted of the opening chapters of a novel for young adults. The award is granted each semester to a student who has excelled in academic endeavors and produced a piece of academic work or writing worthy of celebration.

Since 1989, Baker has sent 499 students to study abroad at Harlaxton, recently ranked as the most desirable study abroad opportunity by Best College Reviews.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 28, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University earned two top honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 5 competition Jan. 18-24 at Minnesota Normandale Community College, winning the Golden C Wrench as Stagecraft Showdown champions and the Stagecraft Spirit Trophy.Kennedy-Center-group2forweb

Competing against schools of all sizes, the winning technical theater team from Baker was Ryan Bearrick, Chanute, Kan., senior; Emi Kniffin, Wichita, Kan., sophomore; Joey Majchrzak, Olathe, Kan., senior; Cheyenne Queen, Derby, Kan., senior; and MacKenzie Sammons, Wellsville, Kan., junior. The competition included stage weight/furniture and prop placement, border tie and hang, costume quick-change, light hang/focus and knot tying.

Region 5 covers schools of all sizes from Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 23, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Six Baker University students traveled to Atlanta during the holiday break to learn more about event operations and strategies connected to the Chick-fil-A Bowl and other organizations as part of an interterm course titled "Bowl Game Extravaganza: Sport Public Relations in Action."Jan15 Interterm-trip BU-at-Hall-of-Fame

Drew Huttinger, Austin Johanning, Tye Hughes, Cooper Johns, Nick Patterson and Austin Keberlin joined Ron Christian, assistant professor of sport administration, the final week of December for the weeklong trip. The course was designed to provide the students in-depth analysis of public and media relations theories, strategies and applications within the context of the sport industry. Throughout the course, the students examined and applied the concepts of public relations, communications, corporate social responsibility, and media relations strategies to the problems of sport organizations.

"The interterm experience at Baker is so unique, and that's the foundation that made this class trip possible," Christian said. "The connections we have made are opening doors to a number of opportunities. Atlanta is a model sport community with a great support system. We had quite an experience seeing the different facets of public relations and event operations. We hope to continue providing this opportunity for students."

In addition to attending the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl between Texas Christian and Mississippi, the group visited officials with the Atlanta Hawks, the Georgia Dome, the College Football Hall of Fame, CNN and the World of Coke.

"The Hawks welcomed us and provided an in-depth Q & A about their operations, as well as public relations and marketing strategy," the Baker professor noted.

The College Football Hall of Fame recognized Baker University, one of the winningest NAIA programs. Charlie Richard, who compiled a 123-28-1 record in 14 seasons coaching the Wildcats, was inducted posthumously into the hall in 2004.

"One of the coolest things about the trip to Atlanta was walking into the College Football Hall of Fame and seeing the Baker University helmet on the wall along with all the other college football teams in the nation," Huttinger said. "I also thought the College Football Hall of Fame was one the most incredible places I've ever been too. The virtual experience of the whole place is unreal."

The students embraced the experience to interact with professionals in sport administration.

"Hearing tips and advice from senior VP's was an amazing learning opportunity," Hughes said. "It was unbelievable to work with and be a part of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, seeing firsthand many behind-the-scenes operations and gaining work experience with such a renowned sporting event."

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 22, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Best College Reviews has compiled a list of the most desirable study abroad opportunities, and the British campus of the University of Evansville, Harlaxton Manor, a popular destination for Baker students, tops the rankings.Harlaxtonforweb

Since 1989, Baker has had 499 students study abroad at Harlaxton, including nine students this semester. The students abroad for the spring are Keaton Anchors, Kansas City, Mo.; Laura Price, Frisco, Texas; Paige Meader, Waverly, Kan.; Sarah Baker, Wellsville, Kan.; Brianna Garza, Austin, Texas; Shannon Bond, Olathe, Kan.; Hali Wimbush, Paola, Kan.; Stephanie Skedel, Garnett, Kan.; and Kaysha Green, Lawrence, Kan. Dave Bostwick, associate professor of mass media, is the faculty member at Harlaxton.

The rankings were based on the following criteria:

• The program is open to a limited number of students, 500 or less, providing a more intimate experience while abroad.

• The program is at least a semester long.

• Faculty from the university are involved with the students internationally, either traveling with the students, teaching abroad, or overseeing the program in the country.

• The university has a specific location internationally, students are not simply enrolling at international universities.

"This has been a life-changing experience for an entire generation of Baker students," said Martha Harris, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of business and economics. "This program's ranking is an indication of the quality of instruction and experience that our students have enjoyed and helps to explain why our students are such enthusiastic supporters of the program when the return. It has been a privilege to be associated for this program for over 25 years."

The Victorian manor house with over 100 rooms in the picturesque English countryside is located just one hour north of London. Students spend a semester studying an interdisciplinary introduction to British life and culture, including literature, art history, economics, history, and political science. Each course contains a combination of lectures, seminars and travel.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Community Choir to begin spring season

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NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 21, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — The Baker University Community Choir will begin rehearsals for its spring season on Thursday, Jan. 29. The weekly rehearsals are held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursdays at McKibbin Recital Hall in the Owens Musical Arts Building, 408 Eighth St., on the Baldwin City campus.Community-Choir

New members are welcome, and no audition is required. A $20 semester participation fee is charged for all non-Baker students.

Cathy Crispino, interim director of choral activities, directs the community choir, which was formed in 2010. The ensemble performs repertoire from the history of all choral traditions and selections from contemporary composers.

On May 1, the University Community Choir will join other Baker choirs to present Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem." The event is at 7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin First United Methodist Church, 704 Eighth St.
For more information, contact Crispino at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

Friday, 16 January 2015 00:00

History of the Wildcat

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History of the Wildcat

When Baker's football team made history in 1890 by winning the first intercollegiate sporting event in Kansas, the name didn’t reflect the team’s ferocity. “The Methodists,” as Baker athletic teams were known in the early days, demonstrated tenacity and acumen in defeating the University of Kansas 22-9. In response to the overwhelming promise of the earliest football team, newsmen and spectators alike couldn’t stop talking about how the Baker boys played like “wild cats,” said former Baker University Archivist Brenda Day, recounting the legend behind Baker’s current-day mascot. Four years after Baker defeated the University of Kansas, Baker’s Board of Trustees brought the game of football into question. A debate about whether to continue the game focused on several points. The first was academic.

Birth of the Wildcat

“Apparently, there was a lot of anxiety on the part of church that the emphasis on sports was interfering with the academic mission of the University,” said Harold Kolling, former university historian. The second was a question of well-being. “In those days, football was not played with the protective gear there is today, so that led to a lot of injuries,” Kolling said. In an effort to stop the distraction and the danger of football, leaders of the university and of the Methodist Episcopal Church worked to ban the new sport. They had the support of women of that day who were concerned about the well-being of the players. In  1894, the Baker Trustees voted to banish football. Despite the ban, Baker student interest in the sport was great, and football was popular at area institutions. It took some coercing on the part of students and several prominent faculty members to bring the sport back to Baldwin. William Alfred Quayle, who had left his post as university president more than a decade earlier and was on his way to the episcopacy of the Methodist Episcopal Church, spoke in favor of a reinstatement. Students petitioned to the Board of Trustees, and in 1908, success once again was found in picking up the pigskin. The football team gained ground as a mainstay at Baker, and students of the university made it their initiative to give a name to their promising squad. Drawn from history, the winning 1915 team was ordained the “Wild cats” by the Baker Orange, but it wasn’t until another publication took the name that the mascot became a bastion of Baker pride.

Justifying the Name

In 1921, the university yearbook officially adopted the name The Wildcat, with the editor explaining in the foreword the justification: “The K.U. Jayhawk, the Princeton Tiger, and the other animals of the college menagerie must . . . realize that now Baker has a 'pet' just as many other schools have,” explained James S. Chubb, 1921 Wildcat editor. “It is the hope of the makers of this book that Bakerites will yield this adopted kitten the place he deserves; not merely that of our athletic figurehead but as the sign of every student enterprise.” While the wildcat is a firmly imbedded icon of athletic success, its look has changed with the times. At the football home-opener Sept. 8, 2007, in honor of the university’s sesquicentennial, a new Wildcat mascot was unveiled along with a unique name: WOWzer. The new costume was made possible by a donation from Baker friend and benefactor Jan Schroeder. Reina Murphy, a freshman from the Kansas City area, won the university’s name the Wildcat contest. “I like school spirit a lot,” she said. “I always joke that if I was coordinated enough and was a good dancer, I’d be a cheerleader. Having named the Wildcat, makes me feel like I’m a part of that.”

NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.MLK-speaker

Baldwin City, Kan. — Dawn Pleas-Bailey, vice president for student life and special assistant to the president for community outreach at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan., will be the guest speaker at Baker University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. The event, part of Baker's first worship service of the spring semester, is set for 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Osborne Chapel on the Baldwin City campus.

Pleas-Bailey coordinates year-round partnerships with middle schools, high schools, community colleges and nonprofit organizations in Wichita, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla., to provide college preparatory training for students from first generation, ethnic minority and low socioeconomic backgrounds.

With a natural affinity for college students, she has served in various capacities at the college for the past 20 years, including roles as the dean of students, associate dean and assistant dean of students before being promoted to her current post. She has twice been named Southwestern College Student Government Outstanding Administrator of the Year.

Pleas-Bailey has spoken extensively regarding leadership development, conflict resolution, individual motivation, academic success, female empowerment and faith-based learning to organizations and educational institutions. She has done extensive research on the first African-American graduates of the college.

She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania in the higher education management. She received her master's in education from Newman University in Wichita and bachelor's degree from North Central College in Naperville, Ill.

Mungano, Baker's student-run diversity organization, assisted in the planning of the MLK Jr. celebration.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

Thursday, 15 January 2015 00:00

Baker graduate receives Horizon Award

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NEWS RELEASE
Jan. 15, 2015
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Spring Hill Elementary School teacher Haley Epperson, a 2013 Baker graduate, has been recognized as a Horizon Award recipient for her first-year teaching excellence.Haley-Eppersonforweb

The Kansas State Department of Education annually recognizes 32 educators — 16 elementary teachers and 16 secondary teachers — in the state. Four elementary and four secondary classroom teachers are selected for the award from each U.S. Congressional District.

Epperson, a fourth-grade teacher, joined the Spring Hill district in 2013-2014.

In a release posted on the Spring Hill website, Epperson said of her students, "My goal is to keep their curiosities high and create fun, hands-on experiences for them so they learn concepts. I hope that all of them maintain a desire for learning as they grow."

As a district-level winner, Epperson has the opportunity to compete in the Kansas State Department of Education's 2015 Kansas Cable Telecommunications Horizon Award Program. The initiative provides each Kansas school district with the opportunity to encourage, recognize and reward new members of the profession. The mission of the program is to honor exemplary first-year teachers who perform in a way that distinguishes them as outstanding.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 19, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Baldwin City, Kan. — Instructed by faculty with legal expertise and a well-rounded liberal arts education, students interested in law have thrived in small classroom settings at Baker University for more than a century. Lee Green, a faculty member for nearly 30 years, believes he knows the reason behind the success of the students before they embark on a career in the legal field.2014-Winter-PROUDcoverforweb

"The liberal arts focus on developing critical thinking, writing and oral communication skills is a big part of the reason that so many Baker graduates have had success in law school and in their careers as practicing attorneys," says Green, Juris Doctor, and professor of business and economics.

With the recent addition of a pre-law interdisciplinary minor at Baker, current students continue to be coveted by prestigious law schools as they prepare for a distinguished career. Six Baker graduates — Dale Werts, BA '84; Pat Hulla, BS '90; Anji Gandhi, BA '93; Kate (McGrath) Ellis, BS '93; Kendra Hanson, BA '10; and Katie Sellers, BS '11 — recently reflected on how their Baker experiences contributed to their success. Regardless of the stage in their profession, all of the alumni conveyed common threads leading to a gratifying career: critical thinking and excellent communication skills, inspiring faculty and valuable mentors.

NEWS RELEASE
Dec. 18, 2014
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NursingforwebTopeka, Kan. — The following students were named to Baker University's School of Nursing's dean's list for maintaining a 3.5 grade-point average or higher for the fall 2014 semester:

James Aubey, Topeka, Kan.; Katharine Baldwin, Lawrence, Kan.; Christina Beat, Topeka, Kan.; Tyler Bessey, Lawrence, Kan.; Tashe Campbell-Helm, Tonganoxie, Kan.; Janie Carman, Lawrence, Kan.; Jessica Carroll, Topeka, Kan.; Caitlin Davis, Lawrence, Kan.; Megan Decker, Topeka, Kan.; Malaya Deemer, Junction City, Kan.; Teresa Drovetta, Lawrence, Kan.; Emilie Durgan, Lawrence, Kan.; Laurel Edwards, Lawrence, Kan.; Marci Flory, Overbrook, Kan.; Keishly Franco, Junction City, Kan.; Sarah Gregory, Topeka, Kan.; Chelsey Huddleston, Topeka, Kan.; Samantha Johnson, Lawrence, Kan.; Leia Karimul Bashar, Austin, Texas; Lauren Kauffman, Lawrence, Kan.; Cathy Kofoid, Topeka, Kan.; Kerry Kurta, Topeka, Kan.; Elizabeth Louden, Topeka, Kan.; Madeline Luther, Lawrence, Kan.; Faith May, Wakarusa, Kan.; Cathryn McClelland, Lawrence, Kan.; Tanner McCrary, Berryton, Kan.; Mackenzie Rex, Lawrence, Kan.; Rachel Rush, Topeka, Kan.; Holly Santee, Lawrence, Kan.; Kayla Schmidt, Lyndon, Kan.; Shelbi Southworth, De Soto, Kan.; Alexandra Strange, Manhattan, Kan.; Madeline Thrasher, Topeka, Kan.; Jamie Todd, Onaga, Kan.; Gillian Trotter, Lawrence, Kan.; Rylee Uhlrich, Topeka, Kan.; Amanda Vickers, Topeka, Kan.; Maria Walker, Fort Riley, Kan.; Gwen Warton, Mayetta, Kan.; Amanda Welcher, Lawrence, Kan.; Amanda Whiteside, Overland Park, Kan.; Erika Young, Topeka, Kan.

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Baker University is committed to assuring student learning and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.

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