This week’s news in brief – Nov. 17

Parking limit to be applied at campus YMCA

The Steve Clark YMCA on campus will now enforce a two-hour parking maximum in their lots. Students, faculty and staff who violate the limit can be cited if they exceed the two-hour limit or are seen parking and leaving the YMCA lot. For active student-athletes or students that use Student Health Services, the parking limit can be seen as a time constraint that limits their service.

Dylan Williams, a sophomore who enjoys weightlifting and mixed martial arts, feels that a parking limit just isn’t enough for students who are dedicated to maintaining their physical and mental health.

“When you live in The Flats, the YMCA takes up so much real estate for parking. One of my biggest motivations for moving out was the various parking problems,” Williams said. “I’m more worried about students’ mental health. Because it’s not just the gym students lose access to, it’s the mental health clinics which many need as an outlet for their needs.”

WSU mourns loss of theatre program director 

The WSU Theatre Program Director for the College of Fine Arts, Danette Baker, died on Nov. 12 after being hospitalized for serious health complications. Baker, who struggled with cancer, was known as a skilled director, actress and professor. In addition to performing in theatres across the country, Baker was an eight-time recipient of the Mary Jane Teall Theatre award for Outstanding Acting and had various other awards for performing and directing. Services were hosted Wednesday morning with former friends, co-workers and students in attendance. In lieu of flowers, the Baker family requested that monetary donations be given to the Danette Baker Memorial Fund, which aims to provide financial aid for aspiring theatre students.

Gamma Upsilon names Fleming-Randle as Citizen of the Year

Marchè Fleming-Randle, known as the vice president and chief diversity officer for WSU’s Army ROTC and the first African American Female Vice President for Military and Veterans Affairs, is adding another achievement on to her list of accomplishments. The Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. awarded Fleming-Randle as the 2022 Citizen of the Year. Omega Psi Phi is the first fraternal organization founded at a historically black university.

“This award means to me that people recognize the skills, knowledge and abilities I bring to the table to move the needle on diversity, equity and inclusion,” Fleming-Randle said.

Fleming-Randle was honored at the chapter’s annual Founders Banquet hosted on Nov. 12. In addition to local recognition, Fleming-Randle will be competing for the district and national Citizen of the Year award as the Gamma Upsilon nominee.

“As the university’s first African American female Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer….I am excited to be nominated and selected,” Fleming-Randle said. “I love seeing change and being a part of change.”

Neutrino detector prototype team presents findings in Paris

With aid from a $2 million grant from NASA in 2021, Wichita State students and staff completed designs on a neutrino detector prototype (a device made to eventually fly outside of the Earth’s natural shields and study neutrino particles) and presented their findings in Paris as representatives of the Solar Neutrino Orbiting Laboratory Detector Development Project. The study of neutrinos, subatomic particles with no charge and little mass, can be utilized to discover the structure of the universe and the origins of mass, two of physics’ most burning questions. 

The project, “Cube-sat Space Flight Test of a Neutrino Detector,” includes WSU students Jarred Novak, Octavio Pacheco, Brain Doty, Ayshea Banes and Jonathan Folkerts and WSU master’s graduate Trent English. Folkerts, Novak and English have recently returned from presenting their findings in Paris, France in front of some of the biggest innovators in mathematics and physics sciences.

Muma announced as WBJ Executive of the Year

In addition to being named Wichita NAACP’s Person of the Year award, Rick Muma has recently been awarded as one of the 2022 Executives of the Year by the Wichita Business Journal. Recipients are selected based on their impact and value of change in the business community. As President of WSU, Muma has encouraged the development of programs in NIAR and WSU Tech that have provided additional educational and business opportunities. In commemoration of the award, a video of praise and gratitude was posted by the university’s YouTube page.