This week’s news in brief — Jan. 19

Wichita Transit to offer new connection to WSU West campus

After years of driving, ridesharing, walking or hailing down buses, WSU students with classes on the WSU West campus will now have bus access via the Wichita Transit Center. With the new route implemented on the first day of spring classes, students can now catchRoute 21 inbound to the Wichita Transit Center and board Route 12 to North Maize Road to attend classes based on the WSU West campus. 

The route and ride time is estimated to take 50 minutes, and additional details can be viewed on the Wichita Transit website

Students who wish to return to campus via Wichita Transit will need to board the last Route 12 pickup before 7 p.m. before taking Route 21 to campus (before 6:20 p.m.) or Route 202A (after 6:10 p.m. and until 9:45 p.m.). 

All hands on deck: students, teams encouraged to register for Shocker Rowing’s event

For students interested in rowing or participating in physical fitness events, Shocker Sprints will be hosting an indoor rowing event as part of a continuous effort to promote active fitness, teamwork and interest in WSU rowing. The event, which will take place on Feb. 11, will have participants take part in a 2k ‘rowing’ event via indoor rowing machines. 

Teams of four are encouraged to register for the 1000m event in which groups will race against other teams of students in their own ‘boats.’ A 500m fitness event will also be available to WSU students at no cost. 

Students can register or email Assistant Coach and Office Manager of Shocker Rowing Rachel Tuck at [email protected].

Shocker Locker changes operation hours to afternoon service

The Shocker Support Locker, WSU’s food bank for WSU students, faculty or staff experiencing food insecurity or in need of free groceries, has adjusted its hours for the spring 2023 semester. 

As of Jan. 17, the Locker will now be open from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Individuals interested in learning more about the days of operation, including holiday closures, can find additional information on the Shocker Support Locker tab on the WSU website.

NIAR Robotics and Automation Lab and Barton OCPD name new director, executive director

Former operations manager for The Smart Factory @ Wichita Matt Tomblin has been named as the new director of the National Institute for Aviation Research’s (NIAR) Robotics and Automation Lab. Tomblin will take office on Jan. 23, a week after the start of spring classes, and will be tasked with managing the systems and processes of the lab, including the use of industrial robots, collaborative robots and various control systems. With 14 full-time employees and more than 50 student lab technicians under his employment, Tomblin will utilize his experience from the implementation of the Smart Factory’s production line to ensure that NIAR Robotics and Automation systems run smoothly.

Also new to the Wichita State University management field is Mel Whiteside, who will now serve as the inaugural executive director of the Barton School of Business’s Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD). Along with time spent in the employment of FlightSafety International and Koch Industries, Whiteside previously served as the dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Butler Community College. Whiteside’s promotion, and a gift of $540,000 from Meritrust Credit Union to the Barton School, was announced in fall 2022 after the large donation made the establishment of the OCPD possible. 

Now, Whiteside will be responsible for expanding current OCPD programs, launching new initiatives and collaborating with other departments.

New software system implemented to share accommodation letters

The WSU Office of Disability Services has begun using a new system to send accommodation letters for students with disabilities or specific learning needs/concerns. 

Faculty who receive these letters via email will see that they now read as “Class, CRN # – Notification of Academic Accommodation Services,” and will come directly from the [email protected] email. Individuals with questions or concerns can reach out to the Office of Disability Services through their email: [email protected].

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SGA Senate meeting now biweekly

SGA Senate meetings, which previously met once a week, will now be bi-weekly. The next meeting will be on Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.  All Senate meetings are open to the public.