Heard on the Hill: Mother, daughter offer tips for orientation; KU formally announces it has received NCI designation today; KU sculpture prof’s work on display in Mass.

Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Here’s another good chunk of advice from Julie and Lindsey Mayfield, the KU mother-daughter team who have been blogging about their experiences for U.S. News and World Report. This time, they tackled tips for parents at college orientations, a big summertime activity on campus.

Mom Julie suggests that parents stick to the school’s plan and get separated from your child if that’s what the school intended.

“There are things that you as a parent need to be paying attention to and absorbing, so don’t miss those by trying to supervise your child’s experience instead of having your own,” she wrote.

Lindsey (who actually is an orientation assistant at KU), recommends a list of questions to ask, too. My favorite? “How can I see my student’s grades?” Parents don’t get automatic access, even if they’re paying the bills. It’s got to be worked out by the student.

Good stuff in both posts.

• Today is the day of KU’s big cancer announcement, when it formally announces it has received National Cancer Institute designation.

It’ll be a big day, and a bunch of dignitaries will be in Kansas City, Kan., at 2 p.m. for the announcement.

Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services will be back in Kansas for the announcement, along with a whole bunch of KU leaders and many other politicos.

Not on the list of political figures attending the ceremony that I received? U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, who was first to post the news of the Cancer Center’s being awarded designation on his Facebook page.

He is, however, scheduled to deliver a speech on NCI designation on the Senate floor in Washington. UPDATE: Just to clarify, Roberts was invited to speak, but declined because of possible votes in Washington, according to his spokeswoman.

“Polis:Biomass by Matthew Burke

• A KU sculpture professor’s work is on display in Lenox, Mass., at the city’s 15th annual “SculptureNow” exhibit.

Matthew Burke, associate professor of sculpture, assembled his “Polis:Biomass” linear wood sculpture over the course of one week with the help of a team of local volunteers, students and others. The work will remain on the lawn of the Kemble Inn in Lenox until Oct. 27, when it will be taken back to Kansas.

The sculpture, Burke said, is designed as a woven “earth antenna” that is placed on a very specific spot “with the intention of drawing upon the subtle energy of the earth.”

The hope is to enhance the site’s magnetic energy through the shape of his work. It uses nearly one linear mile of wood, including white oak, red oak and hackberry, all native trees to Kansas.

Twenty-six sculptors are featured in the exhibition.

• I don’t know much about harnessing the subtle energy of the earth, but, boy, if I could, I’d use it to get you to submit a tip for Heard on the Hill to ahyland@ljworld.com.