Samira Sayeh

Samira Sayeh, assistant professor of French and Italian, specializes in Francophone literature and culture and the history of countries other than France that speak the language. Read More

News In Brief

New Kansas Supreme Court justice has KU ties

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has appointed William Daniel Biles to serve on the Kansas Supreme Court. Biles is married to Amy McCart, assistant research professor in the Bureau of Child Research.

“For nearly 30 years, Dan has been an incredible advocate for those he represents, including the Kansas State Board of Education, the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the state of Kansas,” said Sebelius. “His constitutional knowledge of issues and extensive experience in the legal field is well-respected. He has argued in front of the Supreme Court on multiple occasions and will now bring his unique perspective to the other side of the bench.”

'Research Matters' gains additional air time

“Research Matters,” the weekly radio spot that highlights scientific inquiry at KU, is getting an additional broadcast time on Kansas Public Radio.

“Research Matters” airs at 2:57 p.m. on Mondays and 1:04 p.m. on Sundays. It’s new, additional broadcast time will be 9:04 a.m. Fridays.

Each week, host Brendan Lynch examines the most important research under way at KU across a range of disciplines, including science, engineering, humanities, social sciences and life sciences.

The broadcast is available online for on-demand listening — complete with photography, relevant links, an archive of past shows and additional information about show topics — at

KPR broadcasts on KANU 91.5 FM in Lawrence, KANH 89.7 FM in Emporia, KANV 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City and K210CR 89.9 FM in Atchison. KPR can be heard on the Internet at KPR also operates KPR-2, a news-talk channel on HD Radio. Those broadcasts can be heard on a high-definition receiver or on KPR’s Web site.

KU 'best value,' according to Princeton Review

KU ranks among the best educational values in the nation, according to the Princeton Review.

KU is among the 100 Best Value Colleges 2009, which includes 50 public and 50 private institutions. Rankings are based on surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities. The selection criteria covered more than 30 factors in three areas: academics, costs of attendance and financial aid. The data is from the 2007-08 academic year, the first year in which KU’s tuition compact was in effect.

“We know that college is a major expense for students and their families, so we work hard to keep costs affordable while continuing to offer an excellent education,” said Chancellor Robert Hemenway. “Our tuition compact allows families to plan four years in advance, which is particularly important in these challenging economic times. It’s gratifying to see our efforts have been recognized.”

The Princeton Review rankings touted KU’s excellence in a variety of fields of study, including business, communications, education, engineering, journalism, music, nursing, premedical sciences and the social sciences.

University Press show to feature book jacket art

A traveling exhibit featuring winners from the 2008 Association of American University Presses Book, Jacket and Journal Show will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays Jan. 26-Feb. 6 at the University Press of Kansas, 2502 Westbrooke Circle. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The exhibit features 44 books and journals and 31 jackets and covers. For judging purposes, the books were divided into categories of scholarly or trade typographic and illustrated, poetry and literature and reference. Winners were selected from submission of 341 books, 376 jackets and covers and five journals published in 2007 that were submitted by university presses. Judges chose books for superior layout of typography or illustration; jackets and journals were judged for outstanding overall design.

Corbeill to speak as part of Humanities Lecture Series

Anthony Corbeill, professor of classics, will present “Androgynous Gods, Androgynous Nouns and the Invention of Heterosexuality in Ancient Rome” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5, at Alderson Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Part of the Hall Center for the Humanities’ 2008-09 Humanities Lecture Series, Corbeill’s lecture is supported by the Friends of the Hall Center and is free and open to the public.

Corbeill has published two books, “Controlling Laughter: Political Humor in the Late Roman Republic” and “Nature Embodied: Gesture in Ancient Rome.” He has also published on ancient sexuality, education and Latin poetry. His current book-length project is titled “The Boundaries of Sex and Gender in Ancient Rome.”

Corbeill received his bachelor’s from the University of Michigan and master’s and doctoral degrees in classical languages from the University of California-Berkeley. He has held the American Philological Association fellowship to the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae in Munich, Germany, a comprehensive dictionary of the Latin language (1990-91), and a postdoctoral fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (1994-95). He has recently been awarded a visiting fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford University.

Founded in 1947, the Humanities Lecture Series is the oldest continuing series at KU. More than 150 eminent scholars from around the world have participated in the program, including authors Vladimir Nabokov and Aldous Huxley. The spring 2009 Humanities Lecture Series also includes the award-winning writer, composer and musician James McBride, who will present “The Color of Water: The Search for Identity” on Feb. 24. Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, will close the series April 20 with “The Decline and Prospect of Universal History.”

RGS Convocation to focus on leadership

How do prepare for challenging roles such as leading a research team and taking on a new research project, and why one would want to do will be among the questions a panel of senior faculty members will address when the Office of Research and Graduate Studies holds its annual convocation Feb. 9 in Alderson Auditorium at the Kansas Union.

Panelists are Joane Nagel, University Distinguished Professor of sociology; Victor Bailey, Charles W. Battey Distinguished Professor of Modern British History; and Robert Hanzlik, professor of medicinal chemistry. Each of them has taken on a significant research leadership role at KU. Nagel is director of the NSF-funded C-CHANGE Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program. Bailey is director of the Hall Center for the Humanities. Hanzlik is director of the NIH-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Protein Structure and Function.

“Each panel member is an individual who, for whatever reasons, has successfully taken on a major leadership position after many years on the faculty,” said Steve Warren, vice provost for research and graduate studies. “They didn’t have to do this. They could just as easily have stayed focused on their personal research interests. We’ve invited them to share their insights and suggestions, because it’s important for KU that other, more junior faculty, follow in their footsteps.”

The convocation will begin at 3 p.m. and will also feature a year-in-review presentation and a question and answer session. The convocation will be followed at 4:30 by a reception in the Traditions area of the Union.

Online publication highlights KU research

KU Research: Investing in People and Ideas is a new web publication from the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. It highlights selected events and activities of 2008, including the KU Energy Council, cancer research, The Commons and completion of the Structural Biology Center. The publication is on-line at Printed copies are also available.

KU marks 100 years as member of AAU

Jan. 7 marked the centennial of KU’s election to the prestigious Association of American Universities. On that date in 1909, “Upon motion, the report and recommendations of the Special Committee on Aim and Scope was unanimously adopted, and the Universities of Kansas and Nebraska, Indiana University, and the . . . University of Iowa, were declared duly elected to membership in the Association.”

These four universities joined 18 others, both public and private, in what remains the most influential association of research universities in the U.S. and Canada. When AAU was founded in 1900, its “goal was to declare the equality of the top American universities with those in Europe and to work together to ensure high quality in U.S. graduate degrees.”

Today, there are 62 member universities. Combined, AAU universities in the U.S. have annual federal research awards of about $17 billion and award more than half of the nation's doctoral degrees. The AAU Board of Directors is made up of presidents and chancellors of member universities. Last fall, Chancellor Hemenway was elected to a one-year term as vice chair of the board. He has been a member of the 11-person AAU executive committee since October 2007.

Outstanding grad students to be recognized at two events

Two opportunities to recognize outstanding graduate students are planned this semester under the sponsorship of the Graduate and Professional Association and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

On Feb. 23, the annual Graduate Student Research Competition will take place in the Kansas Union. It will feature paper and poster presentations in three separate categories: humanities and fine arts, natural sciences (including pharmacy and engineering) and social sciences. A total of $3,000 in awards will be made, with separate judging in each category.

On March 12, the annual Graduate Student Research Summit will take place in Topeka. This event features work by graduate students from Kansas Regents universities. KU will be represented by 10 students in several categories. KansasBIO, the state’s trade and advocacy association for the bioscience industry, will present $3,000 in awards to students with exceptional work.

Applications for the Graduate Student Research Competition must by submitted by 5 p.m. Jan. 30. The application is on-line at For more information, contact GPA’s executive director, Ryan McCabe, at

Educational Opportunity Fund applications available

Applications are now available for the twentieth year of the Educational Opportunity Fund. All Lawrence campus departments, units and organizations are eligible to apply. Applications and information may be picked up at the Student Senate Office, 410 Kansas Union or in the Office of Student Financial Aid, 50 Strong Hall. Application Deadline is 5 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Student Senate Office. All grants are for the 2009-10 academic year. Individuals may not apply, the grants are for administration to students on the Lawrence campus by a department, unit or organization. Call 864-3710 with questions or request for application, or e-mail for an application to be e-mailed to your department, unit or organization.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).