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Campus Happenings – Spring 2023

Pharmacy professor's estate gift will fund $1.6 million in scholarships

A bequest from the estate of Gary Grunewald, who spent 50 years on the faculty of the KU School of Pharmacy, has established an endowed scholarship fund for pharmacy students. The $1.6 million gift will fund two full-tuition scholarships each year. “Gary Grunewald’s philanthropy is a remarkable legacy and a tribute to his lifelong passion for science and teaching,” said Dean Ronald Ragan. As a mentor and doctoral adviser, Grunewald helped launch the careers of more than 40 graduate students in medicinal chemistry and countless others who were under his guidance as postdoctoral scholars. He retired in 2016 and died Feb. 20, 2023.


Kansas Women’s Basketball won its first WNIT Championship by defeating Columbia University 66–59 in Allen Fieldhouse on April 1, 2023.

Nursing graduate student improves health on three continents

May Maloba is making a difference in women’s lives. The KU School of Nursing doctoral student is bringing her expertise in women’s health to Africa, Asia and North America. In her native Nairobi, Kenya, Maloba has advocated for services needed to improve the health of women and children. She has trained medical professionals to increase preventative cervical cancer screenings in Cambodia. And in the United States, she has coordinated research that improves the survival chances for infants born to mothers with HIV. The focus of Maloba’s dissertation — and her latest project — involves the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which has been shown to significantly reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer.

New fellowship program at KU School of Medicine-Wichita

Public and private donors have provided the seed money for KU School of Medicine-Wichita to launch a new two-year fellowship this summer to train more child and adolescent psychiatrists in Kansas. The need for highly trained professionals who can best evaluate, diagnose and treat the mental health of young people is critical and continuing to grow. One in five youth in the state meet criteria for a mental health diagnosis and more than 35,000 are severely impaired as a result. Based on demand, Kansas could use more than 400 child psychiatrists; there are currently 60, working primarily in the northeast part of the state. Support for the program has come from the Patterson Family Foundation, city and county leaders, Wichita businesses and members of the community. To donate, please contact Brad Rukes at or 316-293-2641.

Two professors recognized for excellence in teaching

Cynthia Colwell, professor of music therapy & music education, and Mark Mort, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology are the recipients of the 2022 Chancellors Club Teaching Professorships. Colwell joined the School of Music in 2000 as the director of the Music Therapy Clinic and later became the program director for music therapy. Along with teaching, she has served as an academic adviser and been committee chair for 55 master’s theses and 11 doctoral dissertations. Throughout Mort’s 22 years with KU, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses and is currently an associate director in the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE). In addition to mentoring postdoctoral researchers, he has served as co-principal investigator on multiple external grants on best practices in STEM education. Both honorees will receive an annual $10,000 honorarium for each of the next five years.

Anonymous pledge to the Martin Center for Construction Safety

The Craig & Diane Martin National Center for Construction Safety at the KU School of Engineering received a 10-year pledge from an anonymous donor to help fund ongoing operations. The $750,000 donation will be used to hire investigators, support research, conduct construction safety studies and host activities such as seminars and conferences. The pledge follows the $3.5 million donation Craig and Diane Martin made in 2018 to establish and endow the center. “There is ample opportunity to do things that could help impact both injuries and fatalities in the industry,” said Craig Martin, noting there are roughly 1,000 fatalities at U.S. construction sites every year and more than 100,000 globally.

Celebrating 100 years of the 1923 Jayhawk

KU sophomores James O’Bryon and George Hollingbery designed this Jayhawk and earned money by painting it on windshields of cars going to the KU vs. Nebraska football game. They also decorated store windows in downtown Lawrence with the “duck-like” image that appeared on jackets, sweaters and uniforms for several years.

KU welcomes Ukrainian scholars

After the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the University of Kansas began working on several initiatives to support academic peers in the country. The Department of Slavic, German & Eurasian Studies sought funding to support graduate students and faculty whose education and work had been disrupted. Fundraising efforts during March and April allowed four graduate students and one faculty member to be funded for the 2022-23 academic year. KU has a long history and relationship with Ukraine, regularly offering Ukrainian language instruction, study abroad opportunities and hosting numerous visiting scholars and graduate students, including two tenured Ukrainian professors. Chair Ani Kokobobo said the department is grateful to everyone who contributed to the effort.

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