Wichita State University
April 2023
April 2023
Latest News
Wichita State professor uncovers forgotten native nation that could ‘revolutionize’ history of the Great Plains
The Great Plains has often been overlooked in the history books of North America, but recent discoveries made by a team of Wichita State University archaeologists are rewriting the history of where the beating heart of North American actually was in the pre-historic era before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.

According to research findings by Dr. Don Blakeslee, professor of anthropology and archaeologist at Wichita State, it turns out that the Great Plains was much bigger and much more politically and economically influential in North America than previously thought.

In 2018, Blakeslee discovered the forgotten town of Etzanoa outside of Arkansas City, Kansas. But what he didn’t know until now is the true extent of what lies underground: An entire nation of ancestors of today’s Wichita tribe towns — called Quivira — totaling more than 200,000 people, who traded goods all across North America and who even had a previously unknown common language.
EPA selects Wichita State as site for environmental justice center
Wichita State University’s Environmental Finance Center is one of 17 locations selected to establish an Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Center. This new center will promote environmental and energy justice in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and adjoining Indigenous nations.

According to the EPA's news release, the environmental justice centers will be tasked with “removing barriers and improving accessibility for communities with environmental justice concerns. The centers will also provide training and other assistance to build capacity for navigating federal grant application systems, writing strong grant proposals, and effectively managing grant funding.”
Senator Moran, ATF, BJA visit Wichita State to announce new campus facilities
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steven Dettelbach and Senator Jerry Moran recently visited Wichita State University to announce plans for a unique new National Forensic Laboratory at WSU.

The forensic laboratory is a new $75 million facility that will complement the Gun Crime Intelligence Center of Excellence (GCIC) and National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) Correlation and Training Center (NNCTC II), which were announced last summer.
Army awards Wichita State $100 million contract for ground system digital transformation
The U.S. Army has awarded Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) a $100 million contract to advance and modernize the Army’s ground transportation fleet.

The five-year Modernization of Integrated Technology for Ground Systems (MINT-GS) award comes from the Materials Division, Advanced Manufacturing of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center (GVSC) at Detroit Arsenal, Michigan.
WSU professors recognized for innovative research
Three Wichita State researchers have been awarded the John A. See Innovation Award.

The award is given each year as a way to recognize novel ideas that have the potential to meet a market need and attract further funding once they have advanced through the early prototyping phase. Examples of supported costs are prototype development, design, product testing and market analysis.
WSU lab that took off during COVID switches gears to microbiology
With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, Wichita State University’s Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory will soon be expanding its focus to become a full microbiology laboratory.

The lab’s evolution will give students more opportunities for applied learning, boost research capabilities and help fill a gap for medical testing across the state.

Wichita State University established the MDL in October 2020 in response to a statewide need for high-volume COVID-19 testing with a quick turnaround. At the height of the pandemic, the MDL was processing thousands of specimens per day with results in less than 24 hours, ensuring quick quarantine and treatment for those infected, and allowing hundreds of businesses, schools and state agencies across Kansas to stay open.
WSU senior gains national attention with her research in physics
Ayshea Banes knew she wanted to study astronomy when a class at Wichita State nearly brought her to tears.

“I took Astrophysics II in the fall, and that was with Dr. [Jason] Ferguson, and that class really solidified my love for astronomy and physics,” said Banes, a senior in physics. “I remember I was sitting in class and, I don’t remember exactly what he was teaching, I think it was more of the cosmology we were learning in the class, and I literally wanted to start crying. I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is exactly what I want to do.’”

Banes took that passion and ran with it, taking any opportunity to immerse herself in her newly chosen field. One of those opportunities occurred this past January, when Banes was chosen to present at the American Astronomical Society’s annual meeting in Seattle.
Wichita State Innovation Partner: Deloitte's Smart Factory @ Wichita
Wichita State University began planning for its Innovation Campus in 2012 and two years later started work on the 120 acres that once housed Braeburn Golf Course. It is now home to numerous companies, agencies and organizations that partner with WSU and work together to foster resources, ideas, expertise and student talent.
One of those partners is Deloitte's Smart Factory @ Wichita. We asked Jason Bergstrom, Smart Manufacturing Go-to-Market leader and principal for Deloitte Consulting LLP, to describe how Wichita State’s Innovation Campus helps the Smart Factory succeed.
In the News
Research at Wichita State
With yearly funding topping $270 million, research at Wichita State ranges from bioscience, chemistry and engineering to mathematics, physics and ancient civilization. 
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Innovation at Wichita State
Innovation is more than just talk at WSU. It permeates everything we do, all we aspire to become and reaches far beyond our campus boundaries.
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Student-centered. Innovation-driven.
About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing more than 120 acres, and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.