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KU to recognize 2017 Men of Merit

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

LAWRENCE — Sixteen students, faculty and staff have been selected as University of Kansas Men of Merit, recognized for positively defining masculinity through challenging cultural norms, taking action and leading by example while making contributions to the university and/or the community.

A reception will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union. A short ceremony will take place at 5:15 p.m. to individually recognize and honor each man for his campus and community contributions.

This year’s honorees:

  • Harrison Baker — senior, psychology and human sexuality
  • Jeff Chasen — associate vice provost, institutional compliance
  • Hunter Finch — graduate student, higher education administration, University Career Center
  • W. Matthew Gillispie — clinical associate professor, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders
  • Kriston Guillot — law student, intern at Legal Services for Students
  • Vikram Lakhanpal — senior, engineering physics
  • Rayfield Lawrence II — sophomore, sociology
  • Juan Pablo Marroquin — senior, journalism & mass communications
  • Dan McCarthy — academic adviser
  • Abdoulie Njai — senior, human biology and pre-med
  • Sam Eastes — senior, journalism and global & international studies
  • Loïc Njiakin — senior, neurobiology, minor in English
  • Joshua Robinson — graduate student, public affairs & administration, city management intern, city of Overland Park
  • Reza Barati — assistant professor, chemical & petroleum engineering
  • Casey James Douglas— junior, sport management
  • Chris Sowa (posthumous) — KU Student Housing

The KU Men of Merit poster campaign was created in 2009 by former KU football player Gary Green. This project is coordinated and sponsored by the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity.

Current research supports the important role gender plays in college students’ identity development and academic achievement. Studies indicate that nationally, male students are less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree than female students. In addition, men are less likely to engage in volunteer activities and participate in student clubs and organizations. This growing gender gap points to the need for college campuses to address the disparity and create mechanisms for increasing men’s involvement, engagement and achievement.

This poster aims to increase awareness of the importance of education and involvement in men’s lives, inspire campus men to take an active role in their college experience and provide role models and mentors for men to be successful. The poster features a quote from creator Gary Green: “It’s not about how many things you’re strong enough to tear down. It’s about how many things you are brave enough to build up with love.”

Posters will be available at the reception, in the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity office, and can be requested by contacting the office.

Sponsors and assistance with this poster include the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the Larken Photo & Video Co.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
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Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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