News

NEWS RELEASE
April 26, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Ballard_at_chamber

New basketball coach to be guest at chamber event

Baldwin City, Kan. — New Baker University men’s basketball coach Brett Ballard will be the featured guest at the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Lodge. The public is invited to the event.

Ballard was named the Wildcats head coach in March. Before Baker, Ballard served as the director of basketball operations at the University of Kansas from 2008 to 2010 after being the administrative assistant/video coordinator with the KU basketball staff for four years. In 2003-04, Ballard was a student assistant for the Jayhawks.

Ballard oversaw the academic progress of the Jayhawks, working closely with the off-season strength and conditioning program, assisting with on-campus recruiting, team travel and team video. Ballard was also the camp director for the Bill Self Basketball Camps. Ballard organized and directed over 2,500 campers each summer and also coordinated and directed the Coaches Clinic, the Winter Clinic and the Wilt Chamberlain Special Olympics Clinic. He also was heavily involved with all day-to-day operations of the program.

As a part of the Kansas basketball program, the Jayhawks won the 2008 national championship, advanced to three NCAA Tournament Elite Eights, won the past six Big 12 regular-season championships and claimed the past four of five conference postseason tournaments.

Ballard played two years for the Jayhawks -- 2001 and 2002 -- after transferring from Hutchinson Community College in his hometown of Hutchinson, Kan. A guard, Ballard played in 56 career games, scoring 59 points and dishing out 32 assists. KU went a combined 59-11 in his two seasons as a Jayhawk, including appearing in the 2001 NCAA Sweet Sixteen and the 2002 NCAA Final Four in Atlanta, Ga. He was named an Academic All-Big 12 selection as a senior for his efforts in the classroom.

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NEWS RELEASE
April 23, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  Pat-and-JCCC

University partners with community colleges

Overland Park, Kan. — Baker University has partnered with several community colleges and a private college in Kansas to assist students continuing their education.

Baker’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies has signed articulation agreements with the following community colleges: Allen County, Cloud County, Butler County, Hutchinson, Coffeyville, Dodge City, Garden City, Independence, Labette, Neosho County, Pratt, Seward County, Johnson County, Hesston College and the Metropolitan Community Colleges. In photo at right (Baker President Pat Long, left, and Johnson County CC President Terry Calaway sign an agreement).

The partnership is designed to improve the transition process for students from community colleges and other universities while transferring to Baker. Through the agreement, Baker waives the course-by-course evaluation of the general education requirements. Students earning an Associate of Arts degree or Associate of Science degree from a regionally accredited institution will have met the general education requirements at Baker.

“The community colleges and technical schools have responded very positively to our articulation initiative,” said Marvin Hunt, vice president and dean of Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies. “This initiative helps the community colleges to create more opportunities for their students, and helps make the students aware of what Baker has to offer them as a next step.”

Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies has campuses in Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita in Kansas, and Lee’s Summit and North Kansas City in Missouri.

For more information about Baker’s partnership with the colleges, contact Connie Beene, director of professional and experiential learning, at (913) 491-4432 or at This e-mail 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.
 

NEWS RELEASE
April 22, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Students, Baker Orange, Baker Online honored at collegiate conferenceChrisSmith

Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University’s mass media and communication department received top honors April 18-19 at the annual Kansas Associated Collegiate Press conference in Wichita.

The Baker Orange received the All-Kansas Award, recognizing the top student newspaper for a four-year private college in Kansas. The Orange has captured the honor 11 times in 13 years.

The Orange Online site was awarded a gold medal.

Chris Smith, editor of the Orange for the fall 2009 semester, was honored as Journalist of the Year for four-year colleges and universities in Kansas.

The Orange won 25 individual awards in the newspaper competition, including six first-place honors.

First-place winners from the Baker Orange were Amanda Helm, single ad design; Cate Richards, cartoons; Baker Orange staff, illustration; Lauren Anderson, interior page design; Chris Smith, sports features; and Reina Murphy, Chris Smith, Alesha Miller and Kelsey Epperson, multimedia story telling.

Gwyn Mellinger, professor and chair of mass media and communication department, and Dave Bostwick, assistant professor of mass media and communication, serve as faculty advisers to the Baker Orange and Orange Online.

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NEWS RELEASE
April 22, 2010
Contact: Steve Rottinghaus, Baker University public relations director, (785) 594-8330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

SPGS graduate a key player in renewable energy

A journey west along the rolling hills of Interstate 70 nearly a decade ago inspired Geoff Coventry.Coventry

“I was driving across Kansas, fighting the wind, heading to a ski trip to Colorado with my family,” Coventry said. “Kansas has a lot of wind and I had been researching renewable energy for a while. That trip is when I began to form a business plan.”

A year later in 2003, Coventry became a founding member of the Lenexa-based TradeWind Energy, now one of the largest independent wind project companies in the country and the only wind energy project developer in the Kansas City area. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baker’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies in 2006.

Entrepreneurial by nature, Coventry has grown accustomed to pursuing cutting-edge careers. Before becoming a leader at TradeWind, he cofounded and was vice president of NetSales, Inc., one of the first companies to provide outsourced electronic commerce services to businesses. As senior vice president at TradeWind Energy, Coventry’s responsibilities include managing business operations, human resources, information technology, marketing and accounting. He also manages the company’s electronic transmission activities and is instrumental in the company’s strategic planning initiatives.

“I enjoy starting businesses and seeing them grow,” he said. “Renewable energy was an area that intrigued me. Wind energy, in particular, looked poised for a significant growth opportunity, and I like being part of an industry that is going through a paradigm shift.”

TradeWind Energy is indeed growing. The company founders held their first meetings in a library because they had no office space. Since then, TradeWind has partnered with a large Italian electric utility company, expanded its office space three times quadrupling its original office size,   and has grown to nearly 60 employees. TradeWind Energy has close to 40 projects on more than 700,000 acres of land under development in 11 states from the Great Lakes of Michigan to the Texas gulf. If all the projects are built, combined they will generate 8,000 megawatts in total electric capacity, enough to generate the power needs of about 2.5 million homes.

TradeWind’s marquee wind project is the Smoky Hills Wind Farm, in the same location that sparked Coventry’s interest in renewable energy. The largest wind project in Kansas, it generates nearly 250 megawatts of power, enough to power 75,000 homes.

TradeWind Energy won the prestigious 2009 Kansas Governor’s Energy Achievement Award, which recognized the wind energy developer’s leadership and accomplishment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“It is such a dramatic, stunning site,” Coventry said. “So many people drive by the wind farm, and it is a focal point of the state. The bulk of the project sits in Lincoln County, spread out for many landowners, and it has had such a dramatic impact on a small, rural county that is not heavily funded. It was a rallying point and source of pride for the community, and a lot of people were directly impacted.”

While his company began to blossom, Coventry was taking classes at Baker’s Overland Park campus. He was able to share some of his business development plans with the class.

“I did a lot of research online before deciding where I wanted to obtain my business degree,” Coventry said. “Being able to continue working and attending classes stood out to me. Baker’s reputation and the way the program was structured with people instructing courses who have business experience appealed to me. They are not just dealing with theory, but real application. The students bring a lot of discussion to the class and my work at TradeWind Energy came up quite a bit. We had quite a diverse group and everyone gave their viewpoints.”

TradeWind continues to develop projects and anticipates increasing its capacity to produce electricity by completing 300 to 500 megawatts per year through 2015.

“This has been a very rewarding experience,” Coventry said. “We are making a positive impact and helping the environment by making the energy cleaner and more sustainable.”

Coventry’s coworkers also make the experience more enjoyable. TradeWind sponsors a company Green Team, 15 employee volunteers who try to set the standard for being environmentally responsible in the workplace.

“We all love our work,” Coventry said. “Being in a positive culture is very much the focal point of our management team. This is the best place I ever worked.”

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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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