February 2021
Wichita State committed to Regents' Building a Future plan
Yesterday, we welcomed our students back to campus — both virtually and in-person — for the first time in 2021. It’s a beautiful and uplifting vision to see so many Shockers’ faces in the Rhatigan Student Center, on our beautiful campus, in classrooms, and in Zoom meetings. And even more heartwarming is seeing everyone observing our COVID-19 health and safety precautions: wearing masks, physical distancing and handwashing. We have almost 100% compliance, which tells me that our students, faculty and staff care about their own health, as well as protecting those around them. Keep up the good work, Shockers!

Several months ago, the Kansas Board of Regents adopted a new strategic plan called Building a Future. This plan, much like our own strategic plan, prioritizes our state’s families, businesses and economy:

Provide opportunity for affordable, accessible and impactful education
We are working hard to make sure we keep tuition affordable by keeping down costs as much as possible and raising private funds for need-based scholarships. We know the most important step we can take to support our community and Kansas is to provide educational opportunities for the citizens in our own backyard so they can go on to live productive lives for themselves and their families.
In the News at Wichita State
Wichita State celebrates Black History Month
While Black history occurs every day, we use February to emphasize and highlight the achievements and success of Black Americans. We invite you to take part in the numerous Wichita State University programs taking place throughout the month. 

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) invites you to engage with their Black History Month programming. The office has partnered with several organizations to host a variety of programs throughout the month. For a complete list of ODI events, visit wichita.edu/odievents or contact the office at 316-978-3034 or diversity@wichita.edu.
Additionally, Dr. Marché Fleming-Randle, chief diversity officer at Wichita State, will be leading a series of events:

Tilford Talks, sponsored by Textron Aviation, will be hosted by Riccardo Harris and Dr. Kevin Harrison, and in the spirit of traditional Tilford initiatives, will hold true to the mission of inspiring and promoting equity awareness at Wichita State, while also exploring the challenges to educating diverse student populations.

Coffee & Convo, sponsored by Textron Aviation: Engage in conversations around factual and relevant issues that deal with current events in the community and our nation.

After registering, all attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Team explores link between artificial intelligence and quantum computing
For three decades, an interdisciplinary team at Wichita State has been exploring how machine learning – also known as artificial intelligence – can maximize the potential of quantum computing.

Quantum computing applies the understanding of quantum physics – the behavior of energy and matter at its most basic level – so that computations may be performed at unprecedented speed, solving problems of exceptional complexity that cannot be solved by conventional computers.

Led by Dr. Elizabeth Behrman, a professor of physics and a pioneer in the field of quantum computing, and Dr. James Steck, professor of aerospace engineering, the group currently has seven faculty actively involved.
Kansas City student awarded full-ride Sexton Scholarship to attend Wichita State
Neymara Freeman — a senior at Sumner Academy of Arts & Science in Kansas City, Kansas — has been named the 2021 Linwood Sexton Scholarship at Wichita State University. Neymara, who plans to study business economics at Wichita State, participates in her school’s speech and debate team at a national level, teaches debate to middle school students, is a youth leader in her church, and has competed in the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics. Her career goal is to become a business attorney.
FAA awards Wichita State $684K to study unmanned aerial systems
Wichita State University will receive $684,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for three programs aimed at increasing safety measures for the use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The awards are for fiscal year 2021 and include $464,000 to lead Small UAS (sUAS) Mid-Air Collision (MAC) Likelihood studies; $120,000 to support the Validation of Visual Operation Standards for sUAS; and $100,000 to support High-Bypass UAS Engine Ingestion Tests. They will be conducted through the National Institute for Aviation Research.
Couple's $3.5 million estate gift will provide scholarships for students with financial need
A Kansas couple has pledged an estate gift of $3.5 million to the WSU Foundation to endow a general scholarship fund for Wichita State University students who demonstrate financial need.

The couple asked to remain anonymous. They commented that: “WSU has been important to our family, and we want to assure that future students continue to have access to transformational educational experiences at the university.”
MDL connects with capitol for COVID-19 testing
Wichita State University’s Molecular Diagnostics Lab (MDL) is partnering with the Kansas capitol in Topeka to keep the state functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of early January, the MDL began processing thousands of tests per week for the people who work and visit the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka — including legislators, staff, the media, lobbyists, or conferees.

“I am excited and appreciative of the National Institute for Digital Transformation’s Molecular Diagnostics Lab at WSU to provide testing during this legislative session helping keep our community healthy while we do the Kansans’ businesses,” said Ty Masterson, president of the Kansas Senate.
Disposable stethoscope emerges from Wichita State's COVID-19 relief efforts
A Wichita State University-based program aimed at aiding frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19 has resulted in the formation of a new Wichita startup company and a premium disposable stethoscope.

The Single Patient Stethoscope™ from Ad Astra Medical Devices, LLC, boasts a sturdy, lightweight design engineered for maximum performance in today’s demanding medical environments. Marketed as the Ad Astra MD Gen2, the stethoscope provides high acoustic quality at a budget that allows for single-patient use.

The origins of the Ad Astra MD Gen2 disposable stethoscope lie within Wichita State’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).
Faculty shows commitment to diversity education
In response to student interest, Wichita State is focusing on developing new courses focused on diversity.

Currently, Wichita State offers more than 330 courses with diversity content. Additionally, two-thirds of the first-year seminars offered are flagged with diversity content, and about 95% of students complete at least one diversity course while pursuing their degree.

“There’s been a growing interest among students wanting to be able to take diversity courses and have that content more widely available,” said Dr. Carolyn Shaw, associate vice president for strategic enrollment management.
Video celebrates 125 years of Shocker spirit
The Office of Strategic Communications invites you to view a video to celebrate Wichita State University’s first 125 years of innovation and education. To stay up-to-date on all the university’s videos, subscribe to Wichita State’s YouTube channel.