40 Universities Form ‘BridgesAlliance’ to Address Workforce Barriers

Posted on Jul 15, 2020 in Career/Life and News

The following was announced July 15 by our partners at PeopleGrove, who power the KU Mentoring platform.

The threats facing higher education and the economy have accelerated amid a global pandemic and have made future paths for students and recent alumni unclear. In an effort to unite institutions and their communities, PeopleGrove introduces the BridgesAlliance, a growing network of 40 universities worldwide that have pledged to connect students to meaningful experiential learning, and open doors to non-traditional career opportunities.

In a pilot program this summer with Wellesley College, the founding member of BridgesAlliance, more than 300 students have been hired through the college’s network.

“We approached PeopleGrove to help us serve current students and class of 2020 graduates facing a challenging job and internship market. Our goal was to fill this gap through skill-building and networking experiences that were short-term and virtual in nature,” said Jen Pollard, Director of Operations and Analytics for Career Education at Wellesley College. “Bridges has helped us celebrate what makes our community diverse and unique, promote a deeper level of connection, and reach record engagement in experiential learning. We’ve increased accessibility to opportunities for all students in a way that is meaningful and lasting.”

Members of the BridgesAlliance include Wellesley College, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia State University, University of Miami, Drew University. A full list of members appears below. These institutions will leverage their networks, including alumni, families, supporters and corporate partners, to provide students with real-world career experiences in respective fields.

“Our university stands behind the values of diversity and inclusion, and joining the BridgesAlliance will support us in achieving a new vision of equitable access to immersive experiences and mentoring for all students – regardless of background or social capital,” said Farouk Dey, Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life at Johns Hopkins University. “Joining this alliance enables us to partner with a network of peers in higher education to empower all students to design their most audacious futures.”

Like-minded universities are encouraged to join the BridgesAlliance and pledge their commitment to connecting students and alumni with mutually beneficial experiential learning engagements.

Rising seniors and recent graduates face a challenging job market

“Hiring freezes and the withdrawal of jobs and internships are just a couple of challenges today’s students and recent graduates are facing – we must tap into the wealth of knowledge and innovation that exists in higher education,” said Adam Saven, co-founder and CEO at PeopleGrove. “Universities from across the country have banded together to form BridgesAlliance, and will work to identify new ways to get graduates into the workforce at a time when their skills are needed most.”

PeopleGrove helps higher education institutions bring personalized, connection-focused communities to students and alumni. PeopleGrove’s Bridges online platform empowers students and universities to tap into their network of alumni, parents and friends for short-term project-based work. BridgesAlliance magnifies the power of Bridges, providing access to real-world work experience shared across PeopleGrove’s network of innovative institutions.

“By engaging our rich and diverse network of alumni, we can connect students to meaningful opportunities that will help them build the skills they need to be successful in the workforce of today and tomorrow,” said Christian Garcia, Associate Dean and Executive Director, Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the BridgesAlliance, and eager to address the pervasive barriers to entering the workforce that today’s graduates are facing, particularly those from marginalized communities.”

To learn more about BridgesAlliance, please visit bridgesalliance.org.

BridgeAlliance Partners

Ashford University
Barnard College
Benedictine College
Boise State University
Boston College
Brigham Young University
Clark University
Cornell University
DePaul University
Drew University
Georgia State University
Gonzaga University
Johns Hopkins University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Maryland
Middlebury College
Northeastern University
Ohio University
San Francisco State University
San Jose State University
Seattle University
Southwestern University
Stanford University
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Trinity College
Tulane University of Louisiana
University of Alabama
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Irvine
University of Delaware
University of Kansas
University of Miami
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Pittsburgh
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Wellesley College
Williams College

Jayhawks can post their own projects today at mentoring.ku.edu.

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The Water Cooler, June 2020

Posted on Jun 18, 2020 in Career/Life and News

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network


The KU Alumni Association joins the University, nation and world in denouncing racism and the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others. As the recent letter from Dave Roland (National Chair, Board of Directors), Tamara Huff-Johnson (President, Black Alumni Network), and Heath Peterson (President, KU Alumni Association) states, the KU Alumni Association is committed to equity, inclusion and the upholding of the ideals that the Jayhawk represents.

This commitment to being part of the solution extends to the pages of the Water Cooler. As we move forward and continue to grow, we will redouble our efforts to offer content that not only provides the latest in industry and career trends but also helps us live up to our Jayhawk ideals.

This month’s Water Cooler revolves around a theme of financial literacy and wellness. You’ll also find links to articles and podcasts that can help businesses learn how to become more just and equitable–part of the long-term solution to ending racism and building stronger communities.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19

Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

P.S. Remember, Jayhawks flock together. Be a resource to the class of 2020 through one-on-one connections in KU Mentoring or gift a one-year membership to kickstart their KU Alumni career.

Let’s Talk: Financial Literacy

The benefits of saving money: set goals, spend less and save more
The average American isn’t saving nearly enough.

According to a Federal Reserve survey, if faced with an unexpected $400 expense, almost 40% of American adults say they wouldn’t be able to cover it with cash, savings or a credit card charge they could quickly pay off.

Have these savings shortcomings always existed? Not exactly, the data shows.

Take a closer look at the benefits of saving money

*Sponsored by our connections at INTRUST Bank

How to save money by spending intentionally
When so many have lost their jobs and so many more are wondering what’s next, spending less and saving more feels a lot like the right thing to do.

If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you could need to cut way back to an essentials-only budget, especially if you’re making a plan for recovering from job loss. But if you’re doing OK right now, it’s still a good idea to find opportunities to save money.

The 10 most common investing questions—answered

Investing. It’s complicated, foreign, and daunting, and yet, we’re secretly fascinated by it. Stocks. Bonds. Don’t they sound so intriguing?

Well, Career Contessa hit up some of their favorite financial sources and money experts to answer 10 common questions on personal investments. And, dare we say it? Learning all of this was kind of…fun.

The 30 best high-paying jobs of the future

The future of work is looking pretty bright, at least for nurses and software developers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections program publishes estimates for job growth across hundreds of occupations.

Business Insider combined those job growth projections with 2019 median annual earnings for each occupation from the Bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics program, using the geometric mean of the two numbers, to find roles that are both growing and high-paying.

Ask your money questions

For so many of us, a big part of the coronavirus uncertainty has to do with money — our income, our jobs, and our savings and investment accounts.

The Ellevest team is here all day, every day, continuously answering money questions — in the order they get them, right here on this page. All questions asked, by anyone, are listed anonymously in case they help others. Bookmark this page and check back regularly for new entries.


Off-Campus Student Housing at Best Western Plus. Full amenities. No lease. $1,295 monthly.


The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network

Compassionate Conversations

What do I say? How to communicate social support, initiate authentic conversations with coworkers during turbulent times

Employees are experiencing today’s tumultuous environment differently, depending on race, family status, socioeconomic status and physical location. Here are some thoughts on how to communicate with humility and empathy in your everyday workplace conversations.

Activate your allyship: 4 ways to be a workplace activist

In many offices, virtual or otherwise, Black professionals and allies are left with more questions than answers.

What should I do if my company is silent about racism? How can I take a stand? Amplify my voice? How do I address racism without losing my job?

The Riveter shares four tips to become a workplace activist and activate allyship.

HBR Ideacast: Corporate America’s Work in Fighting Racism is Just Beginning

Ella Washington, an organizational psychologist at Georgetown University, argues that private sector American organizations have a big role to play in sustaining the fight for racial justice that has gained such momentum in recent weeks.

Washington explains how to build more a more just workplace — and society — over the long term.



Campus Connections

Our online MBA prepares you to become tomorrow’s global leader

With our highly ranked online MBA, you can build a strong network as a Jayhawk and develop the skills you need to advance your career. Ranked the No. 31 Best Online MBA by US News & World Report, our online MBA provides the same quality education as an on-ground program with the added flexibility to achieve your ideal study-life balance. Our curriculum is focused on the opportunities and challenges of being a global leader.

Learn more today!

*Sponsored by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business

Diverse KU career prepares Cook for public affairs role

Announcing that he had filled a key role in his senior leadership team this spring, Chancellor Doug Girod named Dave Cook as the University’s new vice chancellor for public affairs and economic development.

Leading a public affairs unit he calls “very strong,” Cook will look for new opportunities to involve all campuses and affiliates. “Now is a great time to call on those key KU stakeholders who love the University and want to step up and help.”


Jayhawks in the News

Jayhawks in the news

Veteran learns valuable lessons while earning degree in honors program at KU Edwards Campus

Rising Up at KUEC: In this Q & A series, outstanding 2020 KUEC graduates share how KU Edwards Campus has helped them start, advance or change their career. Meet Nate Eikmeier.

Emergency manager helps guide safety-first response to pandemic threats

As a fire control radar technician on the Navy’s advanced Aegis combat weapon system, Andrew Foster watched for potential threats far beyond the horizon. When danger loomed, he promptly delivered options and solutions up the change of command—wartime experience that perfectly suits his current mission as KU’s emergency management coordinator.
“I started watching [coronavirus] reports in early January,” he says, “when reporting started coming out of China about this mystery illness that was killing people off.”


Strategies for Educational Improvement: Thriving in a New World
Re-Entry and Engaging All Learners: Designing for the Future of Learning

This interactive session will focus on ways to plan and design for the blended or hybrid learning experience that awaits us in the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond.

2-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 30

Strategies for Educational Improvement: Thriving in a New World
Wellness & Self-Care

Includes presentations and a panel discussion by outstanding practitioners currently working to support mental health and wellness for teachers, students, and famlies.

2-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 2


Stay confident with KU behind you


Want to receive this monthly email in your inbox? Subscribe here. Find an archive of past issues of The Water Cooler here

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The Water Cooler, May 2020

Posted on May 20, 2020 in Career/Life and News

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network


May is traditionally filled with graduation memories and though the Class of 2020’s walk down the Hill was postponed, we congratulate and welcome our newest graduates to the proud ranks of KU Alumni.

In this issue of the Water Cooler you’ll find articles relevant to recent graduates and seasoned alumni alike, including the value of volunteering and mentoring, where to find virtual internships, professional development opportunities and, because we know many of you are considering furthering your education, we’ve featured an exciting new course the School of Business is offering in its online MBA program.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19
Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

p.s. Even in tough times, Jayhawks flock together. See how you can make a difference for a 2020 graduate.

Career Talk

Why volunteering right now could be a smart thing to do

Maybe you’ve been laid off or furloughed. Maybe you’re still working, but your normally full social life is … not so much. Maybe you’d been looking for a job for a while already, and suddenly so are millions of other people.

And meanwhile, people need help. Volunteering some of your extra time, if you have it, can help both your community and your career — whether you’re looking for a job or just looking to grow.

Firstly, it’s a networking opportunity.

How to be a happy and productive remote worker

Whether you’ve been working remotely for a decade or are just getting started on your remote working journey, there are ways of making sure it’s a delight instead of a total drag.

In a recent survey, 77% of respondents reported greater productivity when working remotely compared to working in an office setting. In a different survey, 82% of respondents reported feeling happier when working remotely.

However, remote work is not all sunshine and yoga pants.

Suffering Zoom fatigue? How to fix that

Zoom fatigue is real and it’s hitting us quickly! This podcast discusses what Zoom fatigue is, why you are not crazy for getting exhausted just thinking about another video call and actionable ways to overcome this fatigue with Tracy Hooper, founder of The Confidence Project.

Summer internship canceled? Not at these companies embracing virtual versions

So far, 200 graduate and undergraduate students have signed up for a summer of online courses, long-distance social networking and remote teamwork at insurance giant, Humana.

But the company is still looking for more.

It has space for candidates who might be interested in learning about corporate strategy, marketing, health care delivery, analytics and operations.


The Water Cooler | Jayhawk Career Network


Campus Connections

The online MBA’s capstone experience emphasizes leadership

This summer, the University of Kansas School of Business will add a new course to the online MBA program! The pilot capstone course promises to add energy and excitement to the curriculum, as well as emphasize leadership and decision-making in a data-centric business environment. Learn more from program director, Steve Leonard, during our June 9th live webinar.

Register today!

*Sponsored content by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business

Free and low-cost online learning and professional development from KU in KC

Working from home doesn’t have to mean forgoing professional development.

Developing clear communication styles within your team, learning to be an effective leader, or developing valuable skills you can bring to your team is just as important as it’s ever been.

Read more

Jayhawks launch podcast focused on marketing excellence in the New Midwest

CultivatED Marketer is a bi-weekly podcast focusing on the Midwest marketing communications community — and, more specifically, the professional development needs of that community.

The mission at CultivatED Marketer is to help grow brand YOU.

Read more

Professional & Continuing Education: TECH3060 – Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification

Organizations, both public and private, need to work faster, reduce costs, and maintain high standards of consistency and quality. They can achieve these goals through improvement programs such as Lean and Six Sigma.

The Lean process emphasizes waste reduction and improved processing speed, and Six Sigma stresses an analytical approach to the elimination of defects and the reduction of variation. When combined, they can solve organizational problems and improve performance, leading to a competitive edge.

This five-day program prepares new Green Belts to lead projects and contribute to improving services and manufacturing.

Read more

Distance master’s program creates new opportunities

KU’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology offers two ways for people to earn a Master’s of Science degree online without relocating or interrupting their careers.

The department’s literature-based and laboratory-based Distance Master’s Degree programs allow students to earn a Master of Science degree in a collaborative academic environment from anywhere in the world.

Read more


Jayhawks in the News

Mentoring programs help female economists secure tenure-track positions

There remains a dearth of women in economics, with far fewer females securing tenure-track jobs and publishing academic research than men. Past research points to several barriers contributing to this “leaky pipeline” including: access to mentoring, social networks, and implicit biases.

With some help from University of Kansas Economics professor, Donna Ginther, many groups, including the American Economic Association (AEA), are working to change this through workshops and other endeavors.

Read more

McNulty’s volunteer army joins COVID-19 battle

As William McNulty helped care for survivors of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, an insight guided him to co-found Team Rubicon: Military veterans—trained in crisis management, experienced at responding calmly under pressure and passionate about service—are ideally suited to fill a gap in disaster-relief efforts around the globe.

Ten years later, with more than 100,000 volunteers in five countries, McNulty, c’01, and Team Rubicon face a global health crisis that calls for different tactics.

How does a group known for putting armies of volunteers on the ground contribute to a pandemic response that counts lockdowns and social distancing among its most effective tactics?

Read more

Hawks to Watch: Alex Nichols, content producer & writer

Since graduating with a degree in English from KU nearly nine years ago, Alex Nichols, c’11, has applied his comedic talents and knack for storytelling to a wide range of creative endeavors, working both on-stage and behind-the-scenes in independent sketch comedy, short fiction, online marketing, television, and, most recently, educational content development.

But moving outside of his comfort zone didn’t always come naturally for Alex, and saying “yes” to new gigs often required him to confront self-doubt and fear of failure.

At the end of the day, he eventually realized, it’s all about perseverance, trial and error, and a willingness to move forward when things don’t go as planned. In his words, “just do stuff.”

Read more

Three alumni receive top award from KU Law

Three University of Kansas School of Law alumni will receive the law school’s highest alumni honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award, this year.

The award celebrates graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to the legal field and service to their communities and the university.

Stinson LLP Managing Partner Mark Hinderks, c’79, l’82; Shook, Hardy & Bacon Chair Madeleine McDonough, l’90; and retired U.S. Army Major Gen. Clyde Tate II, c’79, l’82 will receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Read more


Leadership Daily from KU

Treat yourself to free, “snackable” education to start your lunch hour with 15-minute, mid-day webcasts to enhance your professional skills

12:15-12:30 CDT
Every weekday

Rock Chalk Connect | Wichita Virtual Happy Hour

Join the Wichita Jayhawk Alumni Network for a virtual happy hour! One Jayhawk connection can change your world (even virtually.)

5-6 p.m. CDT
Thursday, May 21

Webinar: Taking your Voice Online: Designing a Digital Campaign

The Women’s Leadership Series empowers women to serve in leadership roles – both elected and appointed.

12 p.m. CST
Thursday, May 21

Want to receive this monthly email in your inbox? Subscribe here. Find an archive of past issues of The Water Cooler here

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KU alumnus makes Jayhawk masks that give back

Posted on May 14, 2020 in Career/Life and News

John Killen

If you’re looking to mask your Jayhawk pride, John Killen is your guy.

Killen, j’85, is president & CEO of WinCraft, a manufacturer of licensed and promotional products for over 500 colleges and professional sports teams. As COVID-19 continued to spread, the company began to look at how they could help.

“After looking at what was needed, we knew we could produce masks to help,” he says. “We went to KU first to develop the product and the campaign due to our great relationship with the University. The first masks we sold had Jayhawks on them.”

Since then, more than 200 colleges have reached out to produce masks with their school represented on them.

The production of each mask comes with a purpose. A portion of proceeds from each Jayhawk mask will go to the KU COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. In addition, WinCraft donated hundreds of masks to essential KU employees in Facilities, Housing & Dining Services, and Kansas Athletics.


“Wincraft is a private company and likes to give back,” Killen says. “We asked KU for a charitable component, and they suggested donations for the [COVID Relief] fund. The response has already been overwhelming, with thousands already sold.”

The machine-washable masks are available for sale at KU Bookstore and Rally House. Please note that the masks are not intended to be used as medical grade Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE.

—Ryan Camenzind

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Water Cooler – April 2020

Posted on Apr 29, 2020 in Career/Life and News

For over a year now, we’ve been compiling career resources, news and info while also highlighting some of the Jayhawks who really rock their 9-to-5. The Water Cooler is a monthly email newsletter for alumni, students and friends of the University. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe here.

To our Jayhawk community,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused daily disruptions and uncertainties in our professional and personal lives that have put us all on our back foot. In the pages of Kansas Alumni magazine, in the streams of our digital communications, across our virtual networks and here in the Water Cooler, we are putting our best foot forward.

We’re celebrating and supporting Jayhawks by highlighting resources and opportunities for you. We strive to unite KU Alumni – even though we must physically be apart for now.

Also, to keep you up-to-date on career resources across the University and our alumni community we are pleased to start bringing the Water Cooler to your inbox monthly.

Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19

Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

Coping during COVID-19

What to do if you’re feeling lonely during the Coronavirus

As the current crisis unfolds across this country, and around the world, the typical first human instinct is to fold inward — to protect those closest and hunker down for the long haul.

But we must resist this urge. We must be proactive in our efforts to connect with others, even as officials order social distancing. If we don’t, this tragedy unfolding before our eyes will be far worse.

Working from home? 12 guides to help navigate the remote life

With options to work from home on the rise globally, companies have been forced to reckon with the fact that remote work, works.

According to Owl Labs 2019 State of Remote Work report, remote workers are not only happier at work, but they’re 13% more likely to stay at their current job for the next 5 years than their onsite counterparts.

3 tips to avoid WFH burnout

Lots of research suggests that drawing lines between our professional and personal lives is crucial, especially for our mental health. But it’s difficult, even in the best of circumstances. In no small measure, that’s because the knowledge economy has radically transformed what it means to be an “ideal worker.”

Bring campus home with Zoom backgrounds from The Hill

If you’re spending a lot of time on Zoom these days (like we are), we’re here to help.

Our team has put together a set of KU-themed custom Zoom backgrounds— so instead of seeing your home office (or lack of!) your colleagues and friends can see beautiful views of your beloved alma mater.

5 tips on landing a job during the coronavirus pandemic

From surging unemployment numbers to the sudden shift to remote work, the coronavirus pandemic makes landing a job right now even more complicated. But that doesn’t have to stop you. Here are five tips on how to set yourself up for success when this is over.

18 companies hiring remote workers amid the Coronavirus pandemic

Responsible for leading a group into a new world of working from home? Read these four strategies for remote work to keep your team secure, productive and positive in these new circumstances.

Your unemployment resources by state

This list of resources and links is originally based on a Reddit submission but is constantly being updated as more information becomes available.

Five lessons to help you move your conference online

University of Kansas Professional & Continuing Education (KUPCE) staff members were forced to make quick decisions regarding a host of conferences and events, including the 800+ attendee Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC) scheduled for March 18-20 in Dallas.

Learn how KU Professional & Continuing Education turned a 50-year-old, on-site conference into an engaging online event in less than a week.

Jayhawks in the News

Medical resident draws on international missions in battle against global pandemic

Zach Krumsick’s international sojourns to Peru, Belize, Mexico and Kenya have stood in good stead throughout his medical education. Working in the emergency medicine department of the only state-verified Level I Trauma Center in middle Tennessee, Krumsick, m17, is on the front lines of the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve been told by administrators that we were probably one of the most well-prepared hospitals in the area,” Krumsick says, “but [Nashville’s March] tornado set us back really far.”

Hawks to Watch: Kiel Johnson, Artist

To say that Kiel Johnson enjoys the creative process is something of an understatement. He’s positively enamored with it. On any given day, you might find the LA-based artist fashioning an old-timey Western stagecoach out of cardboard, sending sparks flying from metal sheets, or constructing a miniature cityscape from cut-outs, equipped with a winding river and steamboat.

He is, admittedly, a bit obsessed with building and inventing. But don’t call him a workaholic. The way he looks at it, work and play are one and the same.

Young alumna lives girlhood dreams with chic KC bridal boutique

Paige Albert can still remember growing up in Andale and falling in love with fashion and love stories while drawing sketches of what her future wedding gown would look like.

Now 25, Albert, c’19, owns Something White Bridal Boutique, a premier bridal shop in Kansas City’s Crossroads District that features gowns created by designers from around the world.

Albert was still a KU student when she bought Something White Bridal Boutique—Kansas City’s bridal shop of the year for 2020—which she describes as “simple, chic and unique.”


First Annual Virtual Destination Talent: Find, Showcase, and Connect with Talent in Kansas City

Shape your organization’s talent pool, gain critical insight into trending workplace topics and earn SHRM credit all within one conveniently online conference.

9 a.m.-4 p.m. CST
Friday, May 1

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KU students, industry professionals connect at blockchain conference

Posted on Dec 12, 2019 in Career/Life and News

KU blockchain conference

A spring semester gift to the University of Kansas is already paying dividends.

On Feb. 7, Silicon Valley financial technology company Ripple awarded a $2 million grant to KU as part of the University Blockchain Research Initiative​. The program focuses on accelerating academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments at top universities.

Ripple is led by Brad Garlinghouse, c’94, who serves as CEO of the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency and digital-payment processing firm.

One of the programs benefiting from the grant is the KU Blockchain Institute, a student-led organization that focuses on advancing KU’s standing in the fast- developing field of blockchain. The group is open to students from all disciplines, including engineering, business, economics, mathematics, science, health care and technology.

Daniel Jones, a senior from Owasso, Oklahoma, is president and co-founder of the KU Blockchain Institute. His interest in blockchain was sparked by attending industry conferences and studying abroad.

“I was able to network with seasoned professionals who seemed adamant that blockchain technology would be a huge disruption for their industry,” Jones says. “I remember thinking, ‘If these executives are so worried about this technology, maybe I should check it out.’ Incumbent firms may see blockchain as a major disruption, but the KU Blockchain Institute sees blockchain as a serious opportunity for student entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo.”

Daniel Jones, Brad Garlinghouse and Jack SchraadDaniel Jones, Brad Garlinghouse and Jack Schraad, co-founder and vice president of the KU Blockchain Institute

Since its launch in August 2018, the KU Blockchain Institute has hosted three large conferences, including an October 2019 conference on cybersecurity. Speakers from FedEx, Lockheed Martin, the University of Arkansas and IBM attended, as well as Garlinghouse.

So what exactly is blockchain?

“Blockchain uses applied mathematics and cryptography to create trust in any transaction,” Jones explains. “Blockchain is a verifiable data structure that creates trust or traceability through a transfer of value. The transfer of value takes place through a transaction around a digital asset. ​A digital asset can represent any piece of physical property or store of value.”

“Using distributed ledger technology, blockchain creates a direct peer-to-peer exchange system for the transfer of value. Blockchain is to value what the internet is to information.”

—Ryan Camenzind

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Jayhawks connect at Kyou Networking Day

Posted on Aug 8, 2019 in Career/Life and News

Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

More than 300 Jayhawks at 22 different events came together Aug. 1 over coffee, at happy hours or online to network and make new connections for Kyou Networking Day.

One of those connections came from San Antonio, where 30 Jayhawks attended a happy hour. “We had a woman who had recently moved to San Antonio and was looking for a job in the education field,” said network leader Morgan Bertram, d’02. “She was able to connect with a principal of a local school who was able to help her in finding some teaching openings.”

Here’s a look at a few more of the many events that alumni organized for Kyou Networking Day.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

“Out of 11 attendees, four of them were from Hugoton, Kansas. Small town, small world!” -Network leader Julie Andrews, d’81


Houston Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect
Twelve Houston Jayhawks made the trip to Holman Draft Hall for a happy hour, including three attendees who had moved to Houston in the last six months.

North Denver

Jayhawks connect

“We had a great Denver Kyou Networking Day breakfast this morning. There were seven KU alumni in attendance, two returning from a previous breakfast event. And Chris won the award for furthest drive, joining us in north Denver from over an hour away!” – Network volunteer Alisha Templeton, c’01


Chicago Jayhawks at Kyou Networking Day | Jayhawks connect

Fifteen KU alumni spent their Thursday afternoon together, including a large group of recent graduates.

If you enjoyed your network’s event, or want to see one happen in your own city, visit our volunteer resource page. To learn more about how KU can help you find a career connection of their own, visit the Jayhawk Career Network.

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Jayhawks in the News | July 19

Posted on Jul 19, 2019 in Career/Life and News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.


Endangered language | Globe Miami Times

Dr. Willem de Reuse, g’83, a linguist employed by The Language Conservancy, is part of an effort to save the Western Apache language. de Reuse has studied the Apache for 25 years and is the author of A Practical Grammar of the San Carlos Apache Language.
Read full article.


Serious distance runners can’t stay away from Flagstaff, lure of high altitude | Arizona Daily Independent

Courtney Barnes, a former collegiate runner at the University of Kansas, is one of the newest employees of Run Flagstaff, a specialty running store located downtown on Historic Route 66. Barnes, c’18, c’18, moved to Flagstaff last year and is training for the USA National Championship in Des Moines, Iowa.
Read full article.


Former Jayhawk Perry Ellis inks with professional club in Japan | KUSports.com

Perry Ellis has agreed to join the Osaka Evessa club in Japan for the upcoming season. Ellis,’16, has spent his professional career playing in the NBA’s G League as well as overseas in Australia, Italy, Germany and Turkey.
Read full article.


YWCA Greater Pittsburgh finds new chief executive in Texas | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Janine Woods was named chief executive of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh effective July 8. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s from Webster University in St. Louis, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
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Camcorp names new president | Feed & Grain

Camcorp, a manufacturer of high-performing air pollution control and pneumatic conveying equipment, named Tony Thill as its new president effective July 1, 2019. Thill earned an undergraduate degree in business in 1989 from the University of Kansas.
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Walker School names new communications and marketing director | Marietta Daily Journal

The Walker School has named Karen Park, j’16, as its new director of communications and marketing. Park has worked at The Detroit Free Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and most recently at InterContinental Hotels Group.
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Expert in advance care planning named Director of Regenstrief’s Center for Aging Research | BioSpace

Susan Hickman, Ph.D., has been selected to lead the Indiana University Center for Aging Research at the Regenstrief Institute. She will be the second director in the center’s history. Dr. Hickman, g’95 PhD’98, is a clinical geropsychologist focused on optimizing the quality of life for older adults through improved decision-making and communication about treatment preferences.
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Akron Children’s Hospital names chief ambulatory officer, 2 VPs | Becker’s Hospital Review

Akron (Ohio) Children’s Hospital has appointed Matthew Groninger as vice president of medical and surgical subspecialties. Groninger, g’04, most recently served as vice president of ambulatory services at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans. He earned his master’s degree in health services administration from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.


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Jayhawks in the News | July 12

Posted on Jul 12, 2019 in Career/Life and News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.


Jersey Mike’s SVP of leadership, coaching and culture presents strategies for improving work culture and personal development in new book | KITV4

With over 40 years of leadership and coaching experience, author Keith Hertling, the senior vice president of leadership, coaching and culture for Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, knows how to create and maintain a great work culture. In his new book “Life Lessons on Leadership, Coaching and Culture,” Hertling, g’86, shares his inspiring stories which also double as a resourceful guide for both business owners, managers, and employees.
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Vice chancellor for public affairs named facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission | University Daily Kansan

Reggie Robinson, vice chancellor for public affairs at the University of Kansas, has been named facilitator for the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission, Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday. Robinson previously served as director of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. He also received both his undergraduate and graduate law degrees from the University.
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KU Libraries announces 2019 Research Sprints participants | University of Kansas

Melissa Peterson, g’11, was selected to participate in the 2019 Research Sprints. Peterson’s research project, “Kansas Homesteading: It’s More Interesting and Complicated Than You Would Expect,” focused on the daily experiences of Kansas homesteaders, the history of indigenous peoples’ dispossession and the expansion of the nation-state.
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Multi-brand insurance company names CFO to bolster strategic financial operations | NBC29.com

Susan Wollenberg has been selected to serve as Chief Financial Officer for Windhaven® Insurance and The Hearth Insurance Group™, Jimmy E. Whited, CEO of the Florida-based companies, announced today. Wollenberg, b’85, began her career as a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte and Touché.
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Who’s Who 2019: Gary Komar | Chicago Agent Magazine

Gary Komar, c’92, is a vice president of residential lending at Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. and is based out of their downtown Chicago branch. In addition to his home market of Illinois, he is licensed to originate mortgages in California, Texas, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
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Who’s Who 2019: Josh Denlow | Chicago Agent Magazine

As the leader of The Denlow Mortgage Team at Draper & Kramer Mortgage Corp., Josh Denlow, c’95, serves a diverse range of clients across Chicago, Evanston and the surrounding suburbs. He began his professional life in the telecommunications industry before the dot-com crash inspired him to seek a new direction.
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Arbor Investments promotes Schoenfelder to VP | Food Business News

Josh Schoenfelder has been promoted to vice president of Arbor Investments, a private equity firm focused on the food and beverage industries. Schoenfelder, b’09, joined Arbor in 2014 and since 2016 was a senior associate.
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Jake Silverman joins Strategic Capitol Consulting | The Missouri Times

Political consultant Jake Silverman is the newest addition to Strategic Capitol Consulting, LLC, a government affairs and business development firm. Silverman, c’11, joins the firm as a lobbyist and political strategist.
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KU photographers capture campus from every angle | University Daily Kansan

Andy White, c’12, and Meg Kumin, c’99, g’03, the official photographers for the University of Kansas, are responsible for capturing campus life from every perspective. From the top of Fraser to the chaos of Allen Fieldhouse, there are few places Kumin and White haven’t captured.
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Tommy Bohler hired as city administrator | Waushara Argus

Tommy Bohler, g’15, was hired as the new city administrator, clerk and treasurer by the Wautoma City Council. He earned a master’s degree in public administration with a focus on city management.
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Rutgers Brain Health Institute announces appointments to further autism research | Rutgers News

Brian Greer, g’12, PhD’14, will join Rutgers in late July as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in RWJMS and as a core member of BHI. He will serve as the assistant director of CSH-RUCARES, overseeing the Severe Behavior Disorders in Children Program.
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Medical doctor connects faith and health care through theology degree | Public

Donna Ewy, m’94, holds a total of six degrees. She specializes in geriatrics, long-term care and hospice care, and uses her background in theology to connect her faith with health care.
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Former governor staffer launches Congressional campaign | Ottawa Herald

Abbie Hodgson, D-Lawrence, has launched a 2020 campaign for the Kansas Second Congressional District. Hodgson, c’03 g’09 PhD’18, holds three degrees from the University of Kansas and taught in KU’s Communication Studies department for a decade.
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Meet new Kansas executive director for Latino affairs Aude Negrete | KSHB

Aude Negrete, c’09, was announced as the state’s new executive director fo rthe Hispanic and Latino America Affairs Commission. The commission helps connect the Latino and Hispanic community with the governor’s office.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.


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Jayhawks in the News | July 5

Posted on Jul 5, 2019 in Career/Life and News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at share@kualumni.org.


Copiah-Lincoln Community College announces new leader for Natchez campus | Natchez Democrat

The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Sandra Barnes, Ph.D., of Natchez as the new Vice President of the Natchez Campus during a recent special meeting, school officials said. Barnes, PhD’99, will begin her new role as vice president at Co-Lin, Natchez on July 15.
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New United professor brings unique perspective to pastoral theology | Winslow Evans & Crocker, Inc.

Rev. Gary F. Green II, c’09, joined United theological Seminary of the Twin Cities as assistant professor of pastoral theology and social transformation. Green is a Ph.D candidate in pastoral theology at Brite Divinity School. His undergraduate degree is in applied behavior science.
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City attorney named VP at Colorado Municipal League | Centennial Citizen

Centennial city attorney Robert “Bob” Widner was elected by the Colorado Municipal League executive board to serve as vice president for 2019-20. Widner is a 1989 graduate of the University of Kansas Law School.
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After a career as Marion County’s ‘fixer,’ John Lattimer steps into retirement | Statesman Journal

After 51 years of public service – including positions in Oregon such as Legislative Fiscal Officer, State Auditor and Chief Information Officer – John Lattimer, g’72, retired as chief administrative officer for Marion County in Oregon.
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Rick Wiedemann named next Tuthill Transfer Systems president | Pumps & Systems

Effective August 1, 2019, Rick Wiedemann will become President at Tuthill Transfer Systems. Wiedemann, g’08, has been with Tuthill since 2015 when he joined Tuthill Vacuum & Blower Systems in Springfield, Missouri as Director of Global Business Development & Americas Sales.
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Preston James IV shared how he impacts the lives of students | Rolling Out

Preston James IV, the executive director and founder of the Other Side of Sports organization, shares what attracted him to the legal profession and how he impacts the lives of students. James, l’00, g’00, is also the sports management program director at LaGrange College.
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Senior-level hires and promotions in South Florida | Miami Herald

Tiffany M. Hurwitz is a new partner at Siegfried, Rivera, Hyman, Lerner, De La Torre, Mars & Sobel, P.A., based in the firm’s Coral Gables office. Hurwitz, j’00, focuses on construction law and heads the firm’s contract drafting department. She joined the firm in 2006.
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Dr. Maureen Weber joins staff at Wright Memorial Hospital | KTTN.com

Wright Memorial Hospital welcomed hospitalist, Maureen Weber, MD, to the medical team. Prior to joining Wright Memorial, Dr. Weber earned her medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, KS. She was a Chief Resident in the Research Family Medicine Residency Program in Kansas City, MO.
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Eastern Michigan University appoints dean of the Honors College and assistant vice president for academic affairs | Education Dive

Brian Pappas, a professor of law and public policy and administration with extensive experience in conflict management and resolution, has been named assistant vice president for academic affairs. Pappas earned a doctorate in public administration at the University of Kansas.
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Columbus’ Partners Dance Studio moves to new location, offers more classes | Columbus Journal

Sabrina Castillo begins teaching at Partners Dance Studio this fall. She recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in business, including a minor in dance.
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Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at share@kualumni.org, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.


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