Learn First Aid for Mental Health

Each year, one in five American adults experience a mental health issue.

Bert Nash Mental Health Center is training the Lawrence community to recognize such problems and respond appropriately. Just as law enforcement professionals, educators, employers, and co-workers prepare to help in physical emergencies, they can also lend important first aid support to individuals who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

DeHerte described key elements of the Mental Health First Aid program

Carla DeHerte, WRAP Program Team Leader at Bert Nash, explained the key elements of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) protocol. The 8-hour training teaches how to recognize warning signs and provides background information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and substance use. Participants learn a five-step intervention strategy and come away with a list of resources.

The primary goal of the training is to overcome stigmas related to mental illness and to promote understanding.

Spencer Research Library Celebrates 50 Years

Beth Whittaker is Assistant Dean of Distinctive Collections and Director of Spencer Research Library. She described recent updates made to the North Gallery, a space that currently houses an exhibit that celebrates the library’s fifty-year history and its namesakes: “Meet the Spencers: a Marriage of Arts and Sciences.”

Beth Whittaker gestures as she explains the variety of the Spencer Research Library collections.

Kenneth Spencer Research Library is the rare books, manuscripts, and archives library of the University of Kansas. Researchers can tap into a variety of collections, including Special Collections (established in 1953), the Kansas Collection, and the University Archives (established in 1969). Topics range from photos of Kansas over the decades; materials about ornithology and other natural history topics; science fiction; the history of education; Latin American holdings; ancient manuscripts, atlases, and much more. There is even a collection about contemporary political movements.

Leonard Bernstein Inspires Paul Laird

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Paul Laird

KU Musicologist Paul Laird has devoted much of his career to studying conductor and composer  Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990).   During the past year, he has given numerous presentations on Bernstein and his work as the world celebrates the 100th birthday of this extraordinary talent.  

Laird admires Bernstein’s “absolute musicality,” his knowledge of musical styles, his fabulous ear, and his extraordinary charisma.  

Laird has written five books about Bernstein, among them Leonard Bernstein: a Guide to Research. The book begins with an essay on the composer’s achievements and continues with annotations on Bernstein’s writings, performances, and educational work.  

When asked, Laird declares that “West Side Story” is his favorite of Bernstein’s works.

Music Filled the Room

Excaliber, a choir of seventh and eighth graders from Central Memorial Middle School, performed for Rotarians and their guests at the annual holiday luncheon.  

Marchiony Shares Update on KU Athletics

Jim Marchiony, KU Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs

Jim Marchiony has watched men’s basketball grow from being locally televised to being available  everywhere, even on your phone.

Marchiony, KU Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs, came to Lawrence in 2003. Prior to that he worked for the NCAA for 18 years, the last five of which he was media coordinator for the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament.

This isn’t Marchiony’s first time living in the Sunflower State. A native-New Yorker, Marchiony and his wife, also from New York, lived in Shawnee Mission prior to joining the NCAA. “We like to say we’re the only two New Yorkers who have moved to Kansas twice!”

Marchiony is proud to work for one of only 60 higher education institutions that are part of the Association of American Universities, which combined award 50 percent of all doctorate degrees nationally.

 “A University of this caliber deserves a successful athletic performance.”

Marchiony said that the priorities of his department are clear: the health, safety and well-being of the athletes, and education. “Even students with a professional future, we owe it to them to help keep them on track so if they don’t make it or after they make it they have something to fall back on.”

To that end, KU will cover tuition for any student that leaves early for a professional career and comes back later to finish their degree.

“Why is it important to have a good athletic department? Athletics can serve as a window to the university. We’d love it if 50,000 people crammed a stadium to listen to a lecture. With the society we live in, this is not going to happen. Athletics can draw people in and increase the pool of future students who come here.”

Marchiony said the department needs a significant increase in donations, especially for the football program. “Athletics funds itself. We have 5,000 to 6,000 donors right now and we need over 10,000.” In comparison to other Division 1 schools, KU has 10-12 fewer staff in football. “We are decades behind and it shows in our record.”

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