Programs & Events Programs and Events


Red Hot Graduate Research No. 4

4:00pm Friday, November 17 | The Commons

Red Hot Graduate Research is intended to bring together graduate researchers from all disciplines. The format of these sessions is inspired by Red Hot Research, which features short, slide-based talks that introduce audiences to a topic. In this iteration, Red Hot Graduate Research will feature five graduate researchers speaking for six minutes each.

Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers (and each other) during breaks. We hope that through these sessions, graduate students will have an opportunity for cross-disciplinary discourse that will in turn give new perspectives on their work and provide a forum for future work in their chosen research fields.
Haifa Alhadyian, Molecular Biosciences, Model Organisms in Biomedical Research
Nicholas Feroce, Linguistics, Pronouns and Neurons
Javier Torres, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Herpetological Research in Cuba
Pegah Naemi, Psychology, Trumping the Facts
Anthony Boynton, English, Racism & Afrofuturism
Christina Lord, French & Italian


Rock Chalk Talks

4:30pm Tuesday, November 28 | The Commons
Presented by the Center for Undergraduate Research

Rock Chalk Talks is a monthly event for undergraduate students that will put a handful of undergraduate researchers in the spotlight for approximately 6 minutes while they each present their research and talk about certain topics of the month. Included in each event:
• Undergraduate researchers will present their work while focusing on a theme
• A competitive trivia game after each presentation on the research that was just shared
• Prizes for the winners of the trivia game
• A social hour with snacks and friends


Industrial Towns of the American Landscape

with Photographer Justin Kimball
1:00pm Thursday, November 30 | The Commons

Kimball is known for his images from small, all but defunct towns in New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, many of which were company towns whose economies relied on natural resources, such as coal, steel, lumber, paper and farming. The pictures are of the people who live in these towns now, as well as their homes and back yards, and the streets and the buildings that once supplied the town with its livelihood and economy. While the pictures are about a specific region, they also point to a growing invisible, yet ubiquitous, part of the American landscape. The work is meant to pose questions about what happens when things get hard. They evoke questions about struggle, hope, and what it is to be human.

Join us for discussion following a brief introduction by the artist.


Red Hot Research No. 44: Community Interaction & Collaboration

4:00pm Friday, December 1 | The Commons

Red Hot Research is intended to bring together scholars from all disciplines, in response to the call set forth by Bold Aspirations. The format of these sessions is inspired by Pecha Kucha, which features short, slide-based talks that introduce audiences to a topic. Each installment features faculty members, speaking for six minutes each. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers (and each other) during breaks. We hope that through these sessions, faculty members will have a venue for cross-disciplinary partnering and exploration.

Ben Sikes, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/Kansas Biological Survey
Richard Barohn, Neurology
Jane Zhao, Business
Ann Ryan, Monarch Watch
Mahasweta Banerjee, Social Welfare
Jon Lamb, English


Shut Up & Write Tuesdays

9:30-10:30am Tuesday, December 5 | The Commons
Supported by The College Office of Graduate Affairs and The Commons

Shut Up & Write Tuesdays is a global network for writers that offers:
• committed, condensed time to write, and
• built-in feedback from peers

It began as a movement for writers in San Francisco to structure their time and connect with other writers. The idea was simple: write for an hour, then grab coffee afterward to converse and build community. Academics embraced the practice, and the idea spread. Dr. Sioban O’Dwyer founded a virtual Shut Up & Write Tuesdays to provide the benefits of the traditional meetups for those who could not attend in-person.

The event has a basic structure: Two 25-minute writing blocks, separated by 5-minute breaks. Afterward, attendees are encouraged to connect via Twitter, using #suwtna.

Learn more about the SUWT team; read about tips for improving writing time; and find non-academic reads to inform practice at


Prof² Workshop: Grant Writing in Your Career

3:30-5:00pm Thursday, December 7 | The Commons
Supported by the College Office of Graduate Affairs and The Commons

This event will feature a panel and Q&A session with faculty and grant professionals from area non-profits and institutions who will discuss the importance of grant writing and development from a career perspective.

Prof Squared is a workshop series held each semester with three workshops covering a different topic each semester. These workshops are designed to provide students with skills and knowledge that is applicable to careers both within and beyond academia.

Space is limited, please register here:


Childhood Poverty and the Kansas Child Welfare Crisis: Making Connections to Inform Prevention

9:30am-3:30pm Friday, December 15 | The Commons
Supported by The Commons Starter Grant Program and the KU Center for Children & Families

Over the past decade, the childhood poverty rate in Kansas has increased by 20 percent while policy changes in Kansas have increasingly prevented vulnerable families from accessing critical programs designed to help them meet their children’s basic needs. Over the same period, reports of child abuse and neglect to the Kansas Department of Children and Families have risen exponentially, and the number of children in foster care has reached an all-time high. This one-day conference will discuss the relationship between poverty and child abuse and neglect, and brainstorm with community leaders and KU faculty and researchers about potential avenues for prevention.

Keynote speaker Kristen Slack, Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will open the conference by addressing the question, “Can We Prevent Child Maltreatment by Addressing Poverty? On the Cusp of an Answer.” Her cutting edge colloquium will be followed by an interactive series of presentations, panel discussions, and roundtable conversations. Registration is free, and lunch and parking passes are provided.

Hosted by Michelle Johnson-Motoyama, Associate Professor of the School of Social Welfare, and Donna Ginther, Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Science Technology and Economic Policy, University of Kansas, with support from The Commons, the KU School of Social Welfare’s Center for Children and Families (CCF), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

RSVP by December 6:

Parking is available at the Mississippi St. garage. Attendees can pick up validation during the conference.

For complete conference details, including a schedule of events, visit the website:


Eve L. Ewing

Hybrid Lecture/Poetry Reading: Poetry in Context
7:00pm Wednesday, January 31 | Liberty Hall

Dr. Eve L. Ewing is a sociologist, poet, essayist, visual artist, and educator. Her research is focused on racism, social inequality, urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people. She earned a PhD from Harvard University and is a Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago; in 2018, she will begin as Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. Currently, she is developing a book based on her dissertation, which explores the 2013 public school closures in Chicago and the structural history of race and racism in Chicago's Bronzeville community. Her first collection of poetry, essays, and visual art, Electric Arches, was published by Haymarket Books (September, 2017).

Dr. Ewing is recognized as a thought leader and social influencer, especially in conversations involving academia, writing, black women, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. Her work has been published in many venues, including The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, Union Station, and the Breakbeat Poets anthology. She co-directs Crescendo Literary with projects including the Emerging Poets Incubator and the Chicago Poetry Block Party. Eve is one-half of the writing collective Echo Hotel. She is the current President of the Board of Directors of MassLEAP and is based in Chicago, IL.