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The Water Cooler, November 2020

In this month’s issue of the Water Cooler we bring you great virtual opportunities for professional development through the Jayhawk Career Network’s upcoming webinar series. We highlight the benefits of the Business School’s online MBA program and feature articles and podcasts that will appeal to managers, working parents and future job seekers alike. Plus, we are pleased to share new, full-time job openings with Matterport, a leader in 3D capture and spatial imaging.


We also bring you stories about Jayhawk researchers, mentors, and teachers who are doing award winning work and we continue to feature articles and information that promote, support, and celebrate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.


We hope you will join us tomorrow for Jayhawks Flock Together our virtual fundraising event to benefit the Jayhawk Career and Student Alumni Networks, as well as KU Campus Cupboard. Registration is free. And, as we move towards Thanksgiving, wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday.


Rock Chalk.


Howard Graham, g’08, PhD’19

Director of the Jayhawk Career Network

We bring you great virtual opportunities for professional development through the Jayhawk Career Network's upcoming webinar series.




Top recruiters share encouraging stories of how America’s future looks bright

From the start of 2020, it feels as if we’ve ricocheted from one problem to an even worse situation—without any respite. Over 65 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the virus outbreak tore through the country.


Nevertheless, there’s hope on the horizon. Despite all of the doomsayers, America’s future is still bright and exciting. A large number of recruiters offered their firsthand experience of the current job market and predictions for what will happen in the last quarter of 2020 and beginning of 2021.


Read more



Managing working parents during the pandemic

Ellen Ernst Kossek, management professor at Purdue University, is researching how the pandemic is putting an enormous strain on working parents and the new challenge that poses for their managers.


She shares how supervisors can offer much-needed consistency and predictability for working parents on their teams. She also outlines specific ways to give working parents more flexibility while still holding them accountable.






How to spot the signs of team overwhelm (and what to do about it)

In your eyes, your team is a group of productivity superstars. They get top-notch projects across the finish line. They tackle their to-do lists with strategy and confidence. They put out fires without breaking a sweat.


At least, that’s what you like to think. Unfortunately, overwhelm on teams has become frighteningly common. In one survey, 52% of workers admit that they’re stressed out at work on a daily basis. And, research from Deloitte found that 64% of executives say overwhelmed employees are an urgent or important issue.


Read more


Compassionate Conversations



Research explores how speakers use creativity in English as a second language

Everyone has found themselves at some point in a conversation in which they have to discuss a “taboo” topic or get creative to make themselves understood. Imagine how much more difficult that is when conversing in a second language.


M’Balia Thomas, assistant professor in KU’s School of Education & Human Sciences, has published research on how people get creative when discussing difficult topics in a second language, part of her larger body of work on everyday creativity.


Read more



How those with power and privilege can help others advance

Tsedale Melaku, sociologist at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and David Smith, professor at the U.S. Naval War College, have been looking at the ways people with the most power in society and organizations can become better allies to those who have less authority and influence.


Melaku and Smith join host Alison Beard in a live taping that includes audience questions about the right ways to call out microaggressions, hold senior management to account, and use majority group privilege to help those in the minority.




Campus Connections



Give your career a competitive edge

This is a crucial time to strengthen your business acumen and increase your earning potential. With the KU online MBA, you’ll be empowered to apply new skills in your current position or step into new opportunities in almost any field. Entry-level MBA salaries are an average of 20 percent higher than salaries for those with only an undergraduate business degree, and salaries for MBA graduates reach as much as 80 percent higher within five years.1


Invest in your success with a top-ranked online MBA for just $36K, with no GMAT required. Skip the application fee by using the waiver code AlumniSpecialOffer20.


Learn more today!

1Retrieved on August 31, 2020 from

Provided by our connections at the University of Kansas School of Business




Hawks to Watch: Tony G. Reames, energy justice scholar

The most urgent issues our communities face — such as equitable access to clean energy — don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re tied to a vast network of forces and systemic factors. Which is why, for Tony Reames, the key to eliminating barriers to affordable, sustainability energy lies in addressing the interconnection of energy, race, place, and class. And through his energy justice activism and scholarship, he’s working to close the energy-efficiency gap.


Read more




Mentor Spotlight | Tarun Sabarwal

Professor Sabarwal studies economic and social decision-making and its collective impact.


“When institutions, organizations, or individuals make decisions that affect the choices of others, the final results can often be complex and lead to unintended consequences. I use mathematical models of markets and game theory to predict outcomes in these situations and to develop principles to guide predicted outcomes.”


Read more




Professor appointed editor at top accounting journal

KU School of Business Professor Chan Li has been appointed as an editor at The Accounting Review, the premier journal for accounting research.


Li’s editorship marks the third among recent Accounting Review editorial rotations for KU business school accounting faculty. Colleagues who previously served as Accounting Review editors include Mike Wilkins, Larry D. Horner/KPMG Professor, and Michael Ettredge, distinguished professor emeritus.


Read more




Unwinding: Ayesha Hardison connects lessons from the work of Zora Neale Hurston to current events

Examining our past can provide clues on how to avoid problems we’ve already encountered. For Zora Neale Hurston scholar and associate professor of English and Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Ayesha Hardison, there are similarities in the themes of Hurston’s work and social uprisings happening on American streets in 2020.


Learn more about Hardison’s work on the latest episode of Unwinding.


Featured Job



Senior Staff Software Engineer

Matterport is looking for an enthusiastic Sr. Staff Software Engineer and Principal Software Engineer to join our Platform team. You’ll be responsible for crafting and scaling services for the Matterport Platform which serves billions of requests a month. The ideal candidate is an individual who thrives on new challenges, possesses a strong platform development background, and has a drive to invent.





Featured Jayhawk Business



Truity Credit Union

Jayhawk: Tim Mock, Business Development Officer

Location: Lawrence, KS


Truity Credit Union is a proud partner of the KU Alumni Association and offers a full range of financial services to its members from basic savings and checking accounts to mortgage loans to complex investment planning.


Support Truity Credit Union and more KU businesses on the Jayhawk Business Directory.




Jayhawks Flock Together

Join us for this virtual fundraiser benefitting the Jayhawk Career Network, Student Alumni Network and KU Campus Cupboard. Browse one-of-a-kind auction items and join in on the virtual party.7-8 p.m. CT Registrati Registration is free!

7-8 p.m. CT

Thursday, Nov. 19


Validation: The most powerful communication tool you were never taught

Discover the surprising power of emotional validation, including its ability to defuse tension, resolve arguments, strengthen the connection, deepen your trust, and make you an all-around more likable human being.

11 a.m. CDT
Tuesday, Dec. 1


Bridging the multigenerational gap

Ryan Jenkins, an internationally-recognized keynote speaker and author will bring market insight into the generational gap and why it exists.

11 a.m. CT

Tuesday, Dec. 8


Not nice: Stop people pleasing and start speaking up

Dr. Aziz Gazipura is a clinical psychologist and one of the world’s leading experts on social confidence. Gazipura will teach participants that the opposite of nice is not mean but rather real.

11 a.m. CT

Wednesday, Dec. 16

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Jayhawk helps communities grow through The Giving Grove

Kansas City-based organization The Giving Grove supports community volunteers planting and caring for free neighborhood
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KU Alumni receives Insight Into Diversity Magazine’s Inclusive Excellence Award

The award honors alumni association programs, culture and initiatives that encourage and support diversity, inclusion
Read More

Welcome to the University of Kansas Alumni Association

Your membership in the KU Alumni Association is the single most powerful way to make all of KU stronger, including the value of your own degree. Through your membership, the Association: