Preparing Educators as Leaders

University announces June 2014 employees of the month

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Connie Gentry
Start date: Aug. 1, 2004
Job title: Administrative assistant, School of Education 

What that means: In her current role, Connie Gentry serves as the administrative assistant for an assistant dean and is most widely recognized as the “face” of the School’s Welcome Center.  Her duties also include maintenance of classroom schedules, coordinating conferences and meetings, and providing support wherever needed. She is perpetually pleasant and helpful to the people around her, especially students. Her institutional knowledge of the School of Education is beyond compare, providing a distinct advantage in managing the Welcome Center. She also is a creative thinker and one who enjoys a challenge, especially when it comes to improving services for the Welcome Center.

Notable: Gentry is always the first person to volunteer for added duties  — for example, when an associate dean lost his administrative assistant, Gentry volunteered to help him until a replacement could be found. When a faculty member wanted to bring 80 middle school students to KU for a visit, Gentry took the assignment and coordinated all the details, including food and gift bags.  
    


Janna Traver-McCann
Start date: February 2004
Job title: Assistant director and executive chef, KU Dining Services

What that means: Traver-McCann assists the director of Dining Services in areas of menu and recipe development for catering, retail cafes, residential dining and the athletic training table. Her work has affected the image of KU Catering across campus and nationally.

Notable: Traver-McCann was instrumental in the successful opening of Impromptu Café at the Kansas Union, an award-winning full-service a la carte restaurant. She discovered and implemented a unique way to bring the KU brand to banquets and refreshment orders via in-house sugar logo transfers for cakes and cookies. In the past 12 months Traver-McCann assisted in recipe development for Café Spice, the new Indian food concept at Wescoe Hall, and also collaborated on the redevelopment of menus for the Market at the Kansas Union.  She worked closely with several staff members to source products and develop recipes for the KYou Zone, a concept created specifically to serve gluten-free, allergen-friendly, and kosher meals at Mrs. E’s residential dining facility on Daisy Hill. This cutting-edge achievement garnered KU Dining Services considerable recognition and praise during the 2013 National Association of College & University Food Services sub regional conference.


10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
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.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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