KU Group Taking A Wheat State Whirlwind Tour

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

"I wanted to know who the people were and I kind of also wanted to know who my colleagues were," said John Derby, associate professor in visual art education.

"My students come from all over the state and from all different backgrounds. It's really been interesting to get out to the state and see where my students come from and really who they are," said Derby, who is originally from Ohio.

More than 40 University of Kansas faculty and staff are on a five-day tour of the Wheat State. They've made stops in rural communities and have learned about some of the small and big businesses in Kansas.

"It's just so easy to do. Your 40-50 hours a week in the office and get busy and forget to get out," said Mike Krings, KU media relations. "We want to be able to get out, see the state that we serve, really learn more about it. Learn more about the history, the culture, the economy."

After touring Cessna, the group visited the KU School of Medicine and the new pharmacy program in Wichita. They heard from students in the program and visited the exam rooms where patient-doctor experiences are simulated.

"Most of my experience with KU has been primarily on the med center campus, so it's been good to kind of see just how large the organization is and the services they are providing," said Lisa VanHoose, clinical instructor in rehabilitation science, from Arkansas.

A majority of the group did not grow up in Kansas. The tour gave them a whirlwind experience of the many things the state has to offer. It also showed them where their students will be needed in the future.

"It gives us so much to go back and work with, in regards to teaching our students and research. There's so much I'm going to be able to take back to my department," said VanHoose.

The group will have trekked more than 1,400 miles across Kansas and stopped in nearly 30 communities when they return to Lawrence on Friday.

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