Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Introduction: The Effect of Climate Change on the Global Agriculture Industry

Climate change has been vastly changing how and where food is being produced globally. Factors such as increasing temperatures and water scarcity are directly impacting the yields of specific crops around the world, often times decreasing the profits earned by agricultural companies. Unfortunately, most of these businesses are doing nothing to confront the problem. A seemingly never-ending drought and water scarcity are straining the operations of major food companies. The typical business model of these companies assumes that water needed for production is limitless and inexpensive. According to the UN-Water withdrawals of freshwater supplies have risen by at least 1% each year in the past 3 decades, and could rise to as much as 55% in the upcoming decades. The agency believes that one of the reasons for the lessened water levels is the increased demand for water in production of agricultural products. Other climatic conditions are greatly impacting the production of various crops around the world. In Honduras, for example, the summer rainy season has grown to be hotter and drier, which has in turn forced producers to pump up more groundwater and sometimes turn to expensive irrigation technology. Cool spells during the current dry season become even cooler, which causes the rate of ripening of bananas to slow down. In India, wheat and rice crops also suffer from the hot weather during the dry season. ( More )

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

End to segragation of Special Education students

Professor calls for end to segregation of special education students:   The time has finally come to end the separation of special education and general education students, researchers at the University of Kansas argue in a new publication. Not only does research show that all students have higher achievement in fully integrated environments, but support and public policy for schools to make such a switch are coming into place as well.Wayne Sailor, professor of special education and director of the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation Center and Amy McCart, associate research professor in KU’s Life Span Institute and co-director of the SWIFT Center, authored an article in the journal Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities arguing the “stars are coming into alignment” for full inclusion in schools. Such a change would reverse a trend in the United States since Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Amendments in 1975 to separate students based on perceived disability and re-examine the idea of special education.
“Even though the preponderance of research shows that all students, not just students with disabilities, fare much better educationally when integrated with general education, there still is segregation in the schools,” Sailor said. “The EHA was never intended to create an entirely separate system, yet that’s what happened. Special education became a place instead of educational supports.”
The authors argue that viewing special education as a way to examine the disabilities of an individual student and react to them is an outdated idea. Instead, educators should examine how they teach, the educational environment and shift resources to benefit all students. KU’s Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation Center, or SWIFT, is working with 64 schools in 16 districts in five states to implement their model of fully inclusive education. The center provides support that benefits everyone from state education officials to teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members. (More)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Master of Science in Applied Statistics and Analytics

The Opportunity   Big data is a big deal. And finding qualified employees to take on the complexities of big data is a big challenge. The opportunities are out there for highly-trained data analysts, scientists and statisticians ready to make an immediate impact on the workforce, particularly the healthcare, transportation, insurance and manufacturing industries. In 2014 the global management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, emphasized the shortage of data analytics and statistics professionals. There’s an even greater shortage in graduate degrees to advance data analysts into data scientists. The field of data analytics has expanded to include both applied statistics and computer science. Statistics—the science of uncertainty—provides the careful management and calculation of uncertainty. Computer science provides the information and tools necessary to build, manage, and manipulate vast amounts of data.
The Degree   Combine an in-demand degree with KU’s reputation and flexibility. The online Master of Science in Applied Statistics and Analytics is designed to provide graduates with hands-on statistical computing skills, emphasizing proper application and problem solving. In fact, many of the most employable graduate degrees involve statistics. In response to workforce demand, there are two areas of emphasis:
  • Data Analytics will provide graduates with experience working with and analyzing large datasets using several of the most common statistical software tools.
  • Statistics will emphasize hands-on statistical computing in the context of statistical methods commonly applied in industry and government agencies.
All coursework can be completed online, providing flexibility for working professionals. The degree of Master of Science in Applied Statistics prepares graduates for careers in the rapidly growing fields of statistics, biostatistics and data analytics. ( More )

AND http://news.ku.edu/ku-edwards-fulfills-promise-johnson-county-taxpayers from kunews@ku.edu  June 16, 2015

OVERLAND PARK — The University of Kansas Edwards Campus is offering a new, unique program aimed at attracting and retaining talent in Johnson County and the region. The new Applied Statistics and Analytics online graduate degree, starting in fall 2015, is the 10th program the university is adding as part of the Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT) initiative, an 1/8 cent sales tax that voters approved in 2008.
In exchange for the roughly $5 million the tax generates each year, KU Edwards committed to adding 10 degree programs that support business, engineering, science and technology, or BEST. In addition, the university invested $23 million in a new, state-of-the-art BEST building on campus.
“The JCERT tax has helped to support our local economy and business development,” said David Cook, vice chancellor of Edwards Campus. “We’ve had students providing hands-on work with companies large and small, and businesses are attracted to the graduates who are prepared to enter the workforce because of the opportunities created by the JCERT tax.”
The applied statistics and analytics online master's degree addresses a growing demand for statisticians in a number of industries such as transportation, insurance, manufacturing and health care. The American Association for the Advancement of Science projects a 27 percent growth in jobs for biostatisticians by the year 2022. KU is the only school in the region to offer this master’s degree. It is the first joint program between KU Edwards and KU Medical Center.
Programs like these fulfill the purpose of JCERT of growing the business community by attracting top talent to the area. Students gain an opportunity to learn in a hands-on, real-life environment due to the partnerships the university has developed with area businesses.
Andrea Salazar graduated with her professional science master’s degree in environmental assessment, one of the new programs offered as a result of JCERT. For her capstone project, she worked with Sprint to identify the company’s water footprint and developed a water conservation guide to help not only Sprint, but also its 6,000-plus suppliers, reduce their water usage.
“The role I played when working with Sprint offered me a huge opportunity to make a real impact on their sustainability,” Salazar said. “This opportunity wouldn’t have been available to me had I not been a part of the JCERT program.”
Note: Salazar is available for interviews, as well as a JCERT Board member and a representative from the business community, to discuss the tax and the effect it has already had in Johnson County.
About Johnson County Education Research Triangle
The Johnson County Education Research Triangle is a 1/8 cent sales tax that was approved by Johnson County voters in 2008. It marks a partnership among the taxpayers of Johnson County, Kansas State University and KU to bring the finest expanded higher education degrees and research to the county. The money supports the KU Edwards Campus, K-State Olathe campus and KU Cancer Center Clinical Research Center
About the Edwards Campus
The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings high-quality academic programs, research and public-service benefits of KU to the Greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of region.
- See more at: http://news.ku.edu/ku-edwards-fulfills-promise-johnson-county-taxpayers#sthash.lvm07iqR.dpuf

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Beige Book: Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District

Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District
Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas based on information collected on or before May 22, 2015. This document summarizes comments received from businesses and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest overall economic activity expanded during the reporting period from early April to late May. Activity in the Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco Districts was characterized as growing at a moderate pace, while the New York, Philadelphia, and St. Louis Districts cited modest growth. Contacts in the Boston District reported mixed conditions, and the Cleveland and Kansas City Districts indicated a slight pace of expansion. Compared to the previous report, the pace of growth slowed slightly in the Dallas District but held steady in the Atlanta District. Outlooks among respondents were generally optimistic, with growth expected to continue at a modest to moderate pace in several districts.

Monday, June 08, 2015

KU expanding accelerated program to earn bachelor’s, law degrees at other state universities

Students at state universities across Kansas will have an opportunity to accelerate their legal education and save a year of tuition through an expansion of the 3 Plus 3 Program at the University of Kansas. The program will allow high-ability students at participating Regents universities to maximize their undergraduate coursework, earning a bachelor’s degree and a KU law degree in six years instead of seven. Students will spend three years on requirements for the bachelor’s degree from their undergraduate institution and three years on requirements for a KU law degree. They will graduate with a bachelor’s degree after their fourth year and already have one year of law school under their belt. “We are excited to expand this opportunity to students across Kansas in collaboration with our Regents partners,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor. “It saves students a year of study and undergraduate tuition, and in addition it helps ensure that high-achieving students interested in legal careers earn their law degrees in Kansas. We know that students who graduate from a Kansas institution are more likely to stay in the state after graduation to work and serve the people of Kansas.” The 3 Plus 3 Program is entering its third year at KU with growing enrollment each year since its inception. - See more

Monday, May 18, 2015

Database Research and EndNote Citation Workshop

Saturday, June 6 / 9:00am to 11:30am / Regnier Hall 366, 364 computer labs. The Database Research and EndNote Citation Workshop is for beginning and continuing Graduate students. This is our “Early Bird Special” because it comes just before the Summer Semester starts. The purpose of the Research section is to help graduate students get a step up on their research skills in finding scholarly articles and peer reviewed journals in their subject area. We will look at several different databases concentrating on various search methodologies. The EndNote Citation section will demonstrate how to download journal citations directly from specific databases, how to organize these citations within the EndNote program, and how to insert these citations into the Word Document that the student is actively writing. The citation process includes in-text citation, reference lists at the end of the paper and separate bibliographies. RSVP Lissa Lord llord@ku.edu
 
 
 

National education initiative SWIFT becomes Life Span affiliated research center

Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation Center has become the Life Span Institute’s 14th affiliated center. SWIFT, a national K-8 technical assistance center, was funded with a $24 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2012 to create a KU research-based approach to inclusion that realigns educational resources to support all students, including those with disabilities. SWIFT, a national K-8 technical assistance center, was funded with a $24 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education in 2012 to implement a KU research-based approach to inclusion that realigns educational resources to support all students, including those with disabilities. The grant was the second highest in KU’s history to date. “We are proud to recognize SWIFT’s national scope and influence with a designation as one of the Life Span Institute’s centers,” said John Colombo, LSI director. “This project has the potential to be a turning point for American education.” The SWIFT Center at KU currently provides differentiated technical assistance to 67 schools in 19 districts in Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont. These states were selected based on criteria that included having a combination of rural, urban and high-need districts. Further, SWIFT assists state education agencies to expand and sustain statewide school reform. SWIFT brings together special and general education in a comprehensive continuum of supports and services. For example, said Wayne Sailor, SWIFT director, schools implement a multi-tiered system of support of increasing intensity of instruction for all students that includes addressing behavior issues that impede the learning progress. SWIFT is highly data driven, said Amy McCart, director of technical assistance. “The conversations we have with schools, districts and states around data indicate when organizational change is taking place and informs decisions about the differentiated nature and content of the TA we provide," she said. 
kunews@ku.edu  - See more

Database Research and EndNote Citation Workshop



Saturday, June 6 / 9:00am to 11:30am / Regnier Hall 366, 364 computer labs. The Database Research and EndNote Citation Workshop is for beginning and continuing Graduate students. This is our “Early Bird Special” because it comes just before the Summer Semester starts. The purpose of the Research section is to help graduate students get a step up on their research skills in finding scholarly articles and peer reviewed journals in their subject area. We will look at several different databases concentrating on various search methodologies. The EndNote Citation section will demonstrate how to download journal citations directly from specific databases, how to organize these citations within the EndNote program, and how to insert these citations into the Word Document that the student is actively writing. The citation process includes in-text citation, reference lists at the end of the paper and separate bibliographies. RSVP Lissa Lord llord@ku.edu

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Business school launching online MBA

The University of Kansas School of Business will begin offering a fully online Master of Business Administration program this fall. The program is designed for working professionals interested in advancing their careers through graduate management education without having to be present on campus. “The online MBA program opens up a significant new opportunity for students from all over the state, the nation and the world to connect to KU for a premier management education,” said Catherine Shenoy, director of MBA programs. “We are very excited about extending our MBA to a broader group.” Shenoy also said the online MBA program is well-suited for anyone wanting to make a career change, regardless of whether a student has a background in business. The online MBA program is administered in partnership with Everspring Inc., an educational design, technology and services provider that partners with leading universities to move their programs online. The partnership enables the School of Business to bring its leading MBA programs to students around the world using Everspring’s online platform and services. “I’m excited to be working with KU School of Business faculty to design dynamic, innovative learning experiences that access the powerful Jayhawk community around the globe,” said Karen Baldeschwieler, Everspring's chief learning officer. U.S. News & World Report ranks the KU Working Professional MBA program as 39th in the nation among public programs and ranks the full-time program among the top 10 in career placement. The online MBA program complements these MBA programs. - See more

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Book details benefits of teacher fieldwork with at-risk youths

For decades young people entering the teaching field have prepared for the career by taking classes and student teaching. A new book co-authored by a University of Kansas professor takes a look at how connecting pre-service teachers with at-risk youths and families can change their ideas of what it means to be an educator and, ultimately, make them better teachers.
Community Fieldwork in Teacher Education: Theory and Practice” details the experiences of students who were enrolled in teacher education coursework with a program for homeless youths and families, with youths in foster homes and in a charter school. Their experiences highlight the value of approaching teacher preparation from a context outside of the traditional method. “We spend quite a bit of time in class talking about the role of the teacher in a very traditional sense. We see this book as a counternarrative to the traditional model — the 'apprenticeship of observation' model — of how people often become teachers,” said Heidi Hallman, associate professor of education. “We highlight the stories of these beginning teachers in these unique roles working with homeless and foster youth, and we look at key things that happened in their experiences and how it may have been different from what they expected.” Hallman co-authored the book with Melanie Burdick, assistant professor of English and director of composition at Washburn University. It was published by Routledge as part of the Research in Teacher Education series. The pre-service teachers who took part in the project writing programs with at-risk youths did so through Hallman’s Methods of Teaching English class. The book details a five-year study and how the experience helped the future educators question what it means to be a teacher. Perhaps most importantly, the pre-service teachers quickly learned that curriculum is not something that is constrained completely to school. Youths’ experience outside of school, whether it be reading assignments, using social media or other daily activities, all play a factor in how they learn at school. Learners who have extra challenges such as homelessness or growing up in foster care will assuredly approach school curriculum differently than their peers, Hallman said, and directly realizing that helps educators avoid the idea that all students can be taught in the same manner.  [More]
kunews@ku.edu 5/5/2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bullying topic of online summer course

Bullying is a pervasive problem that cuts across all ages, genders, races and environments. It happens in schools, homes and in workplaces, including colleges and universities, and even in marital and familial relationships. Bullying is all about power and intimidation over another individual. Anyone can be a bully, and anyone can be bullied, including students, teachers, administrators and parents, spouses, employees, among others. In response to the recent state requirements for all schools in Kansas to have a bullying policy and a prevention/intervention plan in place, the University of Kansas School of Education will offer a special online graduate course during Summer 2015: EPSY 798 Bullying: Prevention and Intervention. Taught by Robert Harrington, professor in the Department of Psychology & Research in Education (soon to be Educational Psychology), this course will also serve to prepare educators for the federal mandates which require schools to monitor the physical, emotional, social and safety of school climates as well.  [More:  http://bit.ly/1yWhFrL ]



Monday, April 27, 2015

Periodic Table Of Elements That The World Is Running Out Of

You might not realize it, but almost everywhere around you are rare metals from the earth. In your phone, computer, or any other LCD screen, for example, you’ll find a dash of indium, a soft, malleable metal that is in short supply in the Earth’s crust. Gallium, which can emit light from a jolt of electricity, is used in semiconductors, LEDs, lasers, and the solar industry. Rhenium, one of the rarest elements in the earth’s crust, is most commonly needed in jet engines. In other words, in our daily lives, we rely on many metals that are either uncommon, environmentally damaging, or located almost solely in places like China, Bolivia, or the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo (i.e., not nations the U.S. is always on good terms with). What's the risk that one day we won't be able to depend on any of these elements? That's the question asked by researchers from Yale University, who have now catalogued how much we’re in danger of putting all our eggs in one basket.  (More with Tables)



Monday, April 20, 2015

End to segragation of special education students

Professor calls for end to segregation of special education students:   The time has finally come to end the separation of special education and general education students, researchers at the University of Kansas argue in a new publication. Not only does research show that all students have higher achievement in fully integrated environments, but support and public policy for schools to make such a switch are coming into place as well.Wayne Sailor, professor of special education and director of the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation Center and Amy McCart, associate research professor in KU’s Life Span Institute and co-director of the SWIFT Center, authored an article in the journal Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities arguing the “stars are coming into alignment” for full inclusion in schools. Such a change would reverse a trend in the United States since Congress passed the Education for All Handicapped Amendments in 1975 to separate students based on perceived disability and re-examine the idea of special education.
“Even though the preponderance of research shows that all students, not just students with disabilities, fare much better educationally when integrated with general education, there still is segregation in the schools,” Sailor said. “The EHA was never intended to create an entirely separate system, yet that’s what happened. Special education became a place instead of educational supports.”
The authors argue that viewing special education as a way to examine the disabilities of an individual student and react to them is an outdated idea. Instead, educators should examine how they teach, the educational environment and shift resources to benefit all students. KU’s Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation Center, or SWIFT, is working with 64 schools in 16 districts in five states to implement their model of fully inclusive education. The center provides support that benefits everyone from state education officials to teachers, administrators, students, parents and community members. (More)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New & Interesting Resources



The KU Libraries has added 4 new databases to the research collection that may be of interest you. You can access these databases from the Libraries' Homepage at http://www.lib.ku.edu
by selecting Articles and Databases which will take you to the alphabetical listing of databases. Select the first letter of the database name you want to research to connect to that database (i.e. P for Passport).


Passport, from Euromonitor International, is a global market research database providing statistics, analysis, reports, surveys and breaking news on industries, countries and consumers worldwide.  Access to this resource requires an extra step: log in with your KU online ID, and then agree to the terms of use presented by Euromonitor.

Electronic Enlightenment, published by the University of Oxford, it is the most wide-ranging online collection of edited correspondence of the early modern period, linking people across Europe, the Americas and Asia from the early 17th to the mid-19th century.

Ambrose Video Online provides streaming video of education, science and history films, as well as the BBC Shakespeare Collection and other award winning educational films.

Proquest History Vault: The NAACP Papers covers the years 1909 through 1972.  This collection contains internal memos, legal briefings and direct action summaries from national, legal and branch offices of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People throughout the country.