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University community mourns death of School of Education student Joseph Zadina

Thursday, October 15, 2015

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas community is grieving the death of one of its students.

Joseph Zadina — “Joey” to his friends — was a fifth-year senior in the School of Education, studying elementary education. Zadina, a 22-year-old from Mankato, died Oct. 12.

“I am heartbroken to learn of the death of one of our students,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “Joseph Zadina was a recipient of one of KU’s prestigious Hixson Opportunity Awards and was preparing for a career as a leader in teaching the youngest pupils. I join the entire KU community in offering my condolences to his family, professors and all who knew him.”  

Zadina was loved and respected by all who knew him, said Rick Ginsberg, dean of the School of Education. Kelli Thomas, the school’s associate dean for teacher education and undergraduate programs, said Zadina’s positive presence in the School of Education will be missed by all.

"Joey brought life to the classroom and was special to the elementary students with whom he worked,” Thomas said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

A visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Melby Mortuary in Mankato, followed by a 3 p.m. funeral at Rock Hills High School, also in Mankato.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
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#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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