Professor Sarah Deer inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame

Posted on Mar 8, 2019 in Alumni News and News

Sarah Deer, KU alumna and MacArthur Foundation fellow | National Women's Hall of Fame
The National Women’s Hall of Fame (NWHF) in Seneca Falls, New York, used International Women’s Day March 8 to announce its class of 2019 inductees in a ceremony to be held September 13-15, 2019 in Seneca Falls. This year’s class includes Professor Sarah Deer, who has a joint appointment with the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS).

Deer, c’96, l’99, will join the 276 current inductees in the NWHF and will be the first woman in the hall from the University of Kansas, and the fifth Kansan, following Amelia Earhart, Gwendolyn Brooks, Jean Kilbourne, and Ruth Patrick. This is the hall’s 50th anniversary and marks the number of years it has been documenting and recording how women have changed the landscape of U.S. History.

Deer was selected by a nationwide panel of judges, leading experts from organizations, and educational institutions who applaud her contributions to improving life for women. She is being recognized in particular for her work on the Violence Against Women Act and the Tribal Law and Order Act and her advocacy around issues of sexual assault and domestic violence in indigenous communities. Deer’s scholarship to end violence against women focuses on the intersection of federal Indian law and victims’ rights—she was named as a MacArthur Fellow in 2014.

“It is wonderful to see Sarah’s work reach the national acclaim it deserves,” said Rosemary O’Leary, director of SPAA. “Sarah is a passionate and tireless advocate for native women who seek justice in a system that denies them at every turn. She is an inspiration to her students, her colleagues, and the community. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than a spot in the National Women’s Hall of Fame to honor her contributions.”

“It is fitting that this announcement should come just one day after Sarah testified before Congress for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, speaking about Native American women, sexual violence, and tribal autonomy,” said Nicholas L. Syrett, chair of WGSS. “I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor. We’re exceedingly lucky to have her here at KU.”

The National Women’s Hall of Fame was founded “To honor in perpetuity those women, citizens of the United States of America, whose contributions to the arts, business, education, government, the humanities, philanthropy, and science, have been the greatest value for the development of our country.” The hall is the only public-nominated organization in the country dedicated to the purpose of recognizing and honoring the achievements of extraordinary individual American women from every walk of life and every era of American history.

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Jayhawks in the News | April 21

Posted on Apr 21, 2017 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics |

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Sarah Smarsh: Reporting on Rural America and Class | Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy

Sarah Smarsh, 2003 J-School graduate and a reporter on socioeconomic class, politics, and policy for The New Yorker, The Guardian, Harper’s online, and other publications, discussed media coverage of class in the United States in this Harvard University Shorenstein Center program.
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Inductees announced for KU Women’s Hall of Fame | University of Kansas

Since 1970, the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity has honored a select group of women to be inducted into the University of Kansas Women’s Hall of Fame. This year’s inductees include Sarah Deer, Terry Hoyt Evans, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Saralyn Reece Hardy, Colleen McCain Nelson and Jan Bowen Sheldon.
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Overland Park-based company to add 100 jobs in downtown Lawrence |

Inside Ventures, based in Overland Park, will expand to the former Riverfront Mall building in Lawrence and add 100 jobs. Trevor Nohe, b’07, is president of the company.
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Alumna, MacArthur ‘genius’ to join KU faculty | University of Kansas

Starting in fall 2017, Sarah Deer will join the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies and the School of Public Affairs & Administration in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences as a professor. Deer earned a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and philosophy from KU in 1995 and a juris doctor from the KU School of Law in 1999.
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Songwriter, Lawrence native Lisa Donnelly dies at 37 |

Lisa Donnelly, a Lawrence native and singer-songwriter, died Friday, April 7, in San Francisco. She earned degrees in psychology and theatre in 2002 from KU and was featured in issue no. 5, 2009, of Kansas Alumni magazine.
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Startup scores with mobile app that helps coaches connect with players digitally | Kansas City Star

In 2014, Austin Barone launched Just Play Sports Solutions while he was still a student at the University of Kansas School of Business studying finance and accounting. The idea for a new company came to Barone, b’16, while he was a kicker for the Kansas Jayhawks football team.
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Dentons wins litigation partner in Frankfurt |

Global law firm Dentons has strengthened its Litigation and Dispute Resolution and Arbitration practices with the recruitment of Heiko Heppner, l’08, who will join as a partner in Frankfurt. He joins Dentons from Clifford Chance.
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Former Uber exec and KU grad Brian McClendon joins university as research professor |

Brian McClendon, who recently left his post as a vice president at Uber, has joined the University of Kansas as a research professor in electrical engineering and computer science. McClendon, e’86, is a former vice president at Google and co-founded Google Earth.
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School of Business names 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients | KU School of Business

The University of Kansas School of Business will honor Gary Padgett and Mike Thompson with its 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.Padgett and Thompson received the award for their dedication to business excellence, community service and commitment to KU on Thursday, April 20, during a private reception at the Kansas Union.
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Whirlwinds of crystals called gravel devils spotted in Andes Mountains | Science News

Towering, crystal-filled twisters periodically swirl in a valley nestled between two volcanoes in the Andes Mountains, newly reported observations show. Geologist Kathleen Benison, PhD’98, of West Virginia University in Morgantown spotted the whirlwinds during an expedition in 2007 to an otherworldly region of northern Chile.
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Law school communications director named Employee of the Month | KU School of Law

Mindie Paget, c’98, g’01, and Joanne Eden, c’96, have been named Employees of the Month by the University of Kansas. Paget is the director of communications and marketing for the KU School of Law. Eden, c’96, is a grant officer with the Office of Research.
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Attorney Cody Wamsley joins the Chicago office of McDonald Hopkins | Yahoo! Finance

Cody Wamsley has joined McDonald Hopkins LLC, a business advisory and advocacy law firm, as an associate in the firm’s national Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Group. Wamsley holds an LL.M. in intellectual property law from The George Washington University Law School, a J.D. from University of Kansas School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the University of Kansas.
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NIC CEO Honored as a Top Doer, Dreamer & Driver of Digital Government | Business Wire

Harry Herington, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of NIC Inc., was honored by Government Technology magazine as one of its “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers & Drivers” of 2017. Mr. Herington, l’93, is the only individual honoree recognized this year from the private sector.
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KU alum and social media producer of CBS’s ‘The Talk’ impresses celebrities with incredible mustache, social media savvy | University Daily Kansan

Jordy Altman, a social media producer for CBS’s “The Talk” and 2008 University graduate, has worked for the multi-time Emmy nominated show since September 2016. Altman, c’06, coined the hashtag #EverybodyTalks to get followers involved online.
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Boise’s Sen. Burgoyne among a dozen vying for Court of Appeals slot | Idaho Statesman

Boise State Sen. Grant Burgoyne is one of 12 candidates seeking to fill a coming vacancy on the state Court of Appeals, Idaho’s second highest court. Burgoyne, 62, has a 26-year litigation practice and now concentrates on alternative dispute resolution and mediation. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho and the University of Kansas School of Law and has lived in Idaho since 1975.
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New Feature: Friday Five |

Justin Bauman, a 2004 and 2006 graduate of the Sport Management program, answered five questions for department chair Jordan Bass. Justin currently serves as the Director of Operations for the the Wake Forest Men’s Basketball team and head coach Danny Manning.
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Kurt Russell, Mr. Nobody in ‘The Fate Of The Furious,’ Wears USA-Based Niall Watch In Movie |

Golden Globe nominated actor Kurt Russell, AKA Mr. Nobody, dons a Niall GMT “Noir” watch in the eighth sequel in the Fast and Furious series. Niall was founded five years ago in Kansas City, Missouri, by Michael Wilson, a graduate of the KU School of Business.
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County manager named 2017 Outstanding Public Administrator | Johnson County Government

Hannes Zacharias, county manager of Johnson County, has been named the 2017 Outstanding Public Administrator by the Kansas chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas. He is a native of Dodge City, Kansas.
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Jayhawks in the News | Nov. 4

Posted on Nov 4, 2016 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics |

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Meet the man responsible for making sure Hillary Clinton’s strategy works | Los Angeles Times

Marlon Marshall, c’13, oversees the largest division of Clinton’s campaign and interacts with just about every other aspect of it. Officially, he’s the director of states and political engagement. A St. Louis native, Marshall is the most senior African American on either presidential campaign.
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For Native American women with breast cancer, finding quality medical services a difficult task | University Daily Kansan

Sarah Deer, a visiting law professor and alumna of the University, is part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. She was diagnosed with breast cancer ten years ago at the age of 33 and was “sidelined” for a year.
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KU alumni developing feature-length film | University Daily Kansan

Brothers Ben and Jacob Burghart have created their own short-action films, which will culminate with the production of “Follow the Leader,” the duo’s first feature-length film. They recently started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the production process.
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Tocagen Strengthens Leadership Team: Martin Duvall Appointed as Chief Executive Officer |

Marty Duvall, who earned a master’s of business administration degree from KU, was named chief executive officer and member of the board of directors of Tocagen Inc., a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene company.
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University alumni find success in entrepreneurial journey | University Daily Kansan

Two University alumni have ventured into the realm of Los Angeles entrepreneurship and a documentary series that follows the journey of entrepreneurs throughout the world. Tyler Reynolds, c’10, and Philip Ozorkiewicz,c’14, met when they were both upperclassmen at the University.
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Mayra Aguirre named vice president and secretary of Hall Family Foundation | Kansas City Star

Mayra Aguirre will join the Hall Family Foundation in January as the new vice president and secretary, where she will build on her grant-making experience and community background. Aguirre earned a law degree from the University of Kansas.
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Alumni fund center to prepare students for careers in transactional law | KU School of Law

The Polsinelli Transactional Law Center at the KU School of Law was established with $250,000 in gifts and pledges from 67 KU Law alumni and friends employed by Polsinelli- representing a 100 percent alumni participation rate.
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The Broadmoor Hotel: Where Billionaire Phil Anschutz Fell In Love With Business |

Philip Anschutz, b’61, knew early in life that he was put on this earth to be a collector of businesses. When he was 10, he told his parents he would own the Broadmoor hotel one day—and in 2011 he finally acquired it.
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Are smartphones making players worse? Or do coaches just need to adjust? | Starters

The blog post features a conversation with Austin Barone, b’16 co-founder of Just Play Sports Solutions and former KU football player, who shares how a coaching staff can embrace smartphone usage in the locker room.
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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, 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 29

Posted on Jul 29, 2016 in Alumni News and News

KU campus graphics |

Find out what fellow Jayhawks are up to in our biweekly edition of “In the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Citizen attorney involved in Dollar General v. Choctaw case |

Sarah Deer, a graduate of the KU School of Law, represented over 100 women’s organizations as interested parties in the Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw INdians U.S. Supreme Court case. Deer, c’96, l’99, co-authored an amicus brief on the proceedings.
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KU graduate recovering after being injured in terrorist attack in Nice |

Greg Krentzman, who was visiting Nice with his wife and daughter, was injured in the terrorist attack on Bastille Day. Krentzman, c’87, shared his story from the hospital where he is recovering. He currently lives in California.
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Plainville native elected as president of district judges’ association | The Hays Daily News

Judge Patricia Macke Dick, l’81, was elected president of the Kansas District Judges’ Association, an organization open to all state district court judges. She is the chief judge of the 27th judicial district, a one-county district made up of Reno County where she has served as judge since 1989.
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Former Jayhawk Kaun reveals retirement |

Sasha Kaun, e’08, is one of only two KU basketball players to win an NCAA title (2008), NBA title (2016) and medal in the Olympic games (2012). He recently decided to retire from professional basketball at the age of 31.
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Alumni Spotlight: Tommy Bobo | KU Undergraduate Research

Tommy Bobo, f’06, is an artist, non-profit IT consultant and adjunct professor. He graduated from KU with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Expanded Media. In this post, Bobo shares about his research and creative experience at KU and the most important thing he learned in school.
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Former KU baseball standout Bay returns to lead Williams Education Fund, Marketing and Sales | KU Athletics

Matt Baty was named Associate Athletics Director for Williams Education Fund, Marketing & Sales on Thursday. Baty, d’07, was an All-Big 12 Conference centerfielder, and he returns to the Hill after serving as the general manager of the Wichita Sports Forum.
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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, 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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“Genius Grant” winner helps celebrate February Sisters anniversary

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 in Alumni News and News

Sarah Deer, KU alumna and MacArthur Foundation fellowSarah Deer, a professor at the William Mitchell College of Law and the recipient of a 2014 MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” for her work on sexual violence against native women, visited campus Thursday to help celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the February Sisters movement at KU.

Deer, c’96, l’99, was the featured speaker at an event sponsored by the women, gender and sexuality studies department, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the School of Law and the Institute for Policy and Social Research to commemorate the group of 30 women known as the February Sisters. On Feb. 4, 1972, they occupied the East Asian Studies building until KU administrators agreed to hear their demands.

A list of six demands included a call for free day care for students with children, the hiring of more women for faculty and administrative jobs, stronger recruitment of female high school graduates and the creation of a women’s studies department “controlled and chiefly taught by women.” KU’s women’s studies program, launched in 1973, and Hilltop Child Development Center, started in 1972, grew out of the group’s protest and subsequent work to see the changes through.

Deer—a Wichita native who earned her bachelor’s and law degrees from KU—welcomed the chance to return home and acknowledged feeling a personal connection with the group.

“In particular, 1972 is the year of my birth,” she said. “I will be turning 43 this year, and it’s special to have that connection with the February Sisters … to know that that generation of women, my mother’s generation of women, stood up for so much and took so many risks to make change. That’s so inspiring to me, and I think you’ll see how some of that plays out in the work that I do today.”

In her presentation, “Sovereignty of the Soul: Native Feminism and Violent Crime,” Deer spoke of her work on behalf of native women, who experience rates of sexual violence 2.5 times higher than the national average. Federal data shows that 34 percent of Native American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped at some point in their lives. Having traveled extensively to tribal lands, Deer said, “My experience is that this data is an understatement; that in fact, the rate is much, much higher.”

After outlining the jurisdictional restrictions that limit tribal nations from prosecuting crimes on their lands, the MacArthur winner noted the passage of two laws that have strengthened the rights of native women: The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

“I was privileged to be in the room for both signings,” Deer said, before sharing with her KU audience video clips of the moving stories told at each signing ceremony by women who had been victims of sexual assault. “Both were special moments.”

In response to a question about her plans to more broadly share her views on the issues touched on in her talk, Deer noted that she has a book coming out in October called The Beginning and End of Rape In America: Confronting Sexual Violence In Native America.

“I wanted to call it Sovereignty of the Soul, because that’s my thing,” Deer said, but she agreed to her publisher’s wishes for a stronger, more provocative title. “It’s nerve-wracking to have a book coming out with that title. Like I think I have all the answers. I’m more about posing questions.”

For more on Sarah Deer, see the current issue of Kansas Alumni.

—Steven Hill

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Alumna and tribal law scholar among latest MacArthur “genius grant” winners

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 in Alumni News and News

Sarah Deer, KU alumna and MacArthur Foundation fellow
Sarah Deer, an alumna of KU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and School of Law and now professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is among this year’s 21 winners of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the “genius grant.”

In its Wednesday announcement, the MacArthur Foundation cited each of its honorees as “exceptional individuals doing transformative, creative work with a track record of achievement in their field and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.” Fellows each receive no-strings-attached grants of $625,000.

The foundation praised Deer, c’96, l’99, as “a legal scholar, strategist and advocate developing policies and legislation designed to help Native American tribal courts function better—especially in the realm of violence against women. Deer’s efforts were instrumental in the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 as well as the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013—both of which give more authority to tribal courts.”

Previous KU alumni to win MacArthur Fellowships include Marla Spivak, PhD’89, a bee researcher and distinguished professor at the University of Minnesota; David Hillis, g’83, g’86, PhD’86, director of the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at the University of Texas; environmental scientist Paul Ehrlich, g’55, PhD’57, author of The Population Bomb; sculptor and installation artist Ann Hamilton, f’79; Land Institute founder Wes Jackson, g’60; and Kent Whealy, j’68, founder of Seed Savers Exchange. Terry Plank, a KU faculty member from 1995 to ’99 and now a geochemist and volcano researcher at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, was honored in 2012.

Watch for more coverage of Deer’s honor in the November issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. More information about Deer and the other honorees can also be found at

—Chris Lazzarino

Watch the video below to learn more about legal scholar and advocate Sarah Deer. Photo above and video provided by the MacArthur Foundation.

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