Recent K-State news

From K-State:

In today’s news from K-State for Monday, March 2, 2009:

The new issue of K-State’s Webzine, Perspectives, spotlights undergraduate research.

K-State undergraduate students have opportunities to work alongside faculty on challenging research projects. For video, photos and text, please visit:

MORE COMING: We anticipate having an additional e-mail later this morning.

1) MANHATTAN interest/ TIMELY: K-State to Observe Asian-American Awareness Month in March

2) President of K-State’s Asian American Student Union Successfully Transitions from The Work Force Back to College (Hometown interest for MANHATTAN and RANDOLPH)

3) MANHATTAN interest/ TIMELY: K-State’s Beach Museum of Art to Have Resource Center Open House for Teachers

1) Source: Christina Patch, News release prepared by: Nellie Ryan, 785-532-6415,


MANHATTAN — To observe Asian-American Awareness Month, Kansas State University’s Asian American Student Union and Union Program Council’s Multicultural Committee have teamed up to bring several events to K-State that promote cultural awareness of Asian-Americans.

The month’s activities will include a performance by comedian Elliot Chang at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, in the Grand Ballroom at the K-State Student Union. The K-State performance is part of Chang’s “Barely Legal” national tour. Chang has performed at more than 400 colleges, and his TV appearances include Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend,” MTV’s “FN MTV,” Spike TV’s “Crash Test” and NBC’s “Law & Order SVU.”

“What makes Elliot’s performance so great is his question-and-answer session,” said Christina Patch, sophomore in accounting, Manhattan, and president of K-State’s Asian American Student Union. “This is where he really talks about topics that are important to minorities, like Asians in the media and voting. A lot of times we don’t have a voice unless we have a huge voting group, and that’s true for any minority.”

The panel discussion “Personal Stories of Asian-American Faculty and Staff in Celebration of Our Heritage” will be noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the Union courtyard.

Sai Vang, a Hmong comedian, will be performing at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12, in the Union’s Room 212. The Hmong tribe was a group from Laos that was persecuted during the Vietnam War because they sided with the U.S.
Many Hmong tribe members fled Laos to Thailand, and a huge community of Hmong people now lives in the U.S., including Sai Vang. Vang’s comedic material deals with growing up poor, Asian-Americans, the differences between races and the differences between sexes.

“The Asian American Student Union at K-State actually has four members that are Hmong,” Patch said. “Sai Vang is really funny. He talks about his experiences and what he went through when he was younger. He does a great job of promoting cultural awareness.”

All events are free and open to the public. More information is available by contacting Patch at

2) Source: Christina Patch, News release prepared by: Nellie Ryan, 785-532-6415,


MANHATTAN — Christina Patch, president of Kansas State University’s Asian American Student Union, embraces coming back to college after five years in the work force. Patch, sophomore in accounting, Manhattan, said she has a passion for helping others and strives to enhance diversity on the K-State campus.

Patch lived most of her life in a Randolph, a small Kansas town in northern Riley County. She is a 2001 graduate of Randolph’s Blue Valley High School, where she was one of only 14 people in her graduating class.

“It was a lot less diverse community than Manhattan,” Patch said. “It was definitely different being the lone minority for awhile; but then again, it was just another experience with a different culture.”

After graduating high school, Patch attended K-State for one year, but found juggling three jobs and going to school impossible. She decided to enter the work force, which eventually led to her chosen career path. After working as a receptionist for H&R Block, Patch decided it was time to go back to school in pursuit of her accounting degree.

“While working for H&R Block, I was able to help people with their money, financial planning, taxes, etc.,” Patch said. “It was just a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, especially the customer service part.”

When Patch returned to K-State, she really strived to get involved on campus, something that she did not get to do her first time at college.
She joined the Asian American Student Union and Zeta Phi Beta, another multicultural organization. When Patch found out the Asian American Student Union did not have a president, she thought she would be a good fit for the job. She is now in her second year in the post.

As president of the student group, Patch wants to reach out to other groups across campus. She also wants to increase awareness about the Asian American Student Union and encourage all types of ethnicities to join.

“A lot of people think that the Asian American Student Union is limited to Japanese, Chinese or Korean students,” Patch said. “But we also reach out to other ethnicities like the Pan-Asian groups, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Anybody can join the Asian-American Student Union — it’s for everybody.”

Patch’s dad is American and was in the military, serving at Fort Riley.
Her mom is from South Korea. Neither of Patch’s parents went to college, which makes Patch a first-generation college student.

“I want to get my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree for my mom so she can have something to be really proud of,” Patch said. “She didn’t have a lot of the opportunities that we had growing up. She grew up in a really small village with a really impoverished family. My accomplishments make her feel great, and I like making her feel great.”

3) Source: Kathrine Schlageck, 785-532-7718, Web site: News release prepared by: Caitlin Muret, 785-532-7718,


MANHATTAN — There are treasures for teachers to be discovered under the arch at Kansas State University’s Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

The museum will have a Teachers’ Resource Center Open House from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, March 5. The museum’s free resources for teachers, families who home school and early childhood centers will be showcased.
Resources include videos, DVDs, art posters, curriculum boxes and materials from the National Gallery of Art’s Lending Affiliate program.
Also available will be information on free tours and transportation for local schools, and how to arrange for picture people — volunteers who can talk to children about art.

Ideas for integrating art with math, science, language arts and social studies also will be available. Refreshments and prizes will be offered, and there will be a raffle for printmaking supplies.

The Beach Museum’s Teachers’ Resource Center Open House is supported by the Kansas Arts Commission.

More information is available by contacting the Beach Museum of Art at
785-532-7718 or dropping by the museum on the southeast corner of the K-State campus at 14th Street and Anderson Avenue. Museum admission is free and complimentary visitor parking is available next to the facility. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to
5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays.

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In additional news from K-State for Monday, March 2, 2009:

1) Search Committee for K-State Athletics Director Announced

1) CONTACT: Amy Button Renz,


MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State University President-Elect Kirk Schulz today announced the formation of an eight-member search committee comprised of faculty, students, alumni and athletic representatives that will help him select the university’s next director of athletics.
Schulz appointed K-State Alumni Association President and CEO Amy Button Renz ’76, ’86, to chair the committee.

The committee will begin working immediately and offer its recommendations to Schulz later this summer.

“I believe that the next director of athletics at K-State will have a wonderful opportunity,” Schulz said. “I want to see us compete for Big
12 championships in all sports, and to do that we will need strong leadership from our athletics director in raising external funds and communicating with an enthusiastic alumni base regarding K-State athletics.”

In addition to Button Renz, the search committee includes:

Lee Borck ’70
Partner and CEO
Innovative Livestock Services
Manhattan, Kan.

Suzie Fritz ’02
K-State Head Volleyball Coach
Manhattan, Kan.

Mike Holen
Dean, College of Education
Faculty Athletics Representative to the Big 12 Conference Member of the Intercollegiate Athletics Council Manhattan, Kan.

Melody LeHew
Associate Professor, Apparel Textiles & Interior Design Chair-Elect, K-State Faculty Senate Manhattan, Kan.

Kevin Lockett ’96
Manager of Minority Entrepreneurship, Kauffman Foundation Former Student Athlete Leawood, Kan.

Chris Merriewether
Junior in Finance
Member of the K-State Men’s Basketball Team Member of the Student Athlete Advising Committee Jacksonville, Fla.

Lydia Peele
Senior in Education-Mathematics
2008-09 Student Body President
Olathe, Kan.

“K-State is fortunate these outstanding individuals have agreed to serve the university by helping us identify the best person possible for this important position,” Schulz said. “This committee brings a wide range of experiences and a strong concern for the athletic and academic interests of our student athletes. Prior to this search process, I also have appreciated the opportunity to meet with many university and athletic administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni and receive their feedback on our next athletics director.”

Schulz said he was very pleased Button Renz agreed to lead this search.

“Amy’s reputation speaks for itself,” Schulz said. “During a career that has spanned more than 30 years at K-State, she has consistently demonstrated a long-standing commitment to alumni, students, faculty and staff and promoted excellence for the entire university. The strong relationships Amy has built on campus, across the state and around the country, including working with athletics on many levels, makes her the ideal person to chair this committee.”

Commenting on the committee’s charge, Button Renz said, “I am honored to serve in this role and look forward to working with President-Elect Schulz and the other very accomplished members of this committee as we focus on bringing the best possible candidate to Manhattan. I’m confident we’ll find the right person, and that the next era of Wildcat athletics will be even more exciting.”

You may leave the list at any time by sending a “SIGNOFF K-STATE_NEWS”
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