Sara Shepherd (KU reporter)

As the Journal-World's Kansas University reporter, I cover all things newsworthy coming out of KU, with an emphasis on the school's 25,000-student main campus here in Lawrence. I tweet KU news @LJW_KU.

Previously, I was a cops and courts reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction of some kind most every day for a few years. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a weekly paper just up the road. My first beat at the Journal-World was features, covering food, arts, entertainment and lifestyle.

I’m a fourth-generation graduate of Kansas University, where I majored in journalism, art history and French. To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Recent stories

New ‘all gender’ restroom signs at KU rec center welcome men, women and others
March 29, 2015
If you are not a woman, and you are not a man — or at least don’t identify yourself as either — which public restroom do you go in? At Kansas University’s Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center you can avoid the conundrum by choosing one of the newly labeled “all gender” restrooms. By Sara Shepherd
Hundreds of KU class notes for sale online, but buyer — and seller — beware
March 28, 2015
David Alexander wasn’t shocked when he heard last week that notes from his anatomy lectures were for sale on the internet. At the same time, he wasn’t OK with it. Multiple students’ versions of Biology 240 notes are among hundreds if not thousands of pages of KU class notes for sale on for-profit websites that encourage students to upload their own notes to make money and download other students’ notes to study. By Sara Shepherd
Weekend event planned on Haskell campus canceled at last minute
March 27, 2015
A weekend-long series of events planned by students at Haskell Indian Nations University and reported in Friday’s Journal-World was cancelled at the last minute.
Four-day Haskell event features Native music, underlines school values
March 26, 2015
A group of Haskell Indian Nations University students envisions this weekend’s four-day Haskell Resurgence event as a fun way for peers to brush up on their school’s mission and values before Haskell’s upcoming reaccreditation site visit. And for anyone else looking to take in some contemporary Native American music, the first three days of the event are open to the public. By Sara Shepherd
Report: KU should offer benefits to employees’ domestic partners
05:55 p.m., March 24, 2015 Updated 09:57 p.m.
Especially because Kansas University policy prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, KU should provide domestic partner benefits to employees, a new report says. KU “continues to discriminate against KU faculty and employees with domestic partners,” the report states. “Further, Kansas state statutes and Board of Regents’ policy have not changed in this regard over time and thus set the tone for discriminatory practice.” By Sara Shepherd
Ideas take stage at TEDx event
02:59 p.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:40 p.m.
The Liberty Hall stage became a launchpad of ideas Monday. The first TEDxLawrence event featured a dozen speakers ranging from a cancer researcher to a world air guitar champ.
KU names new architecture dean
01:29 p.m., March 23, 2015 Updated 10:39 p.m.
Kansas University has hired a new dean for the School of Architecture, Design and Planning. Mahesh Daas, professor and chairman of the Department of Architecture at Ball State University, will start the job June 15, KU announced Monday.
KU physicists working on part for relaunch of world’s largest particle collider
March 23, 2015
Kansas University physicists are racing the clock to complete their part of the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator, on the cusp of restarting collisions again after a two-year hiatus for upgrades. And KU’s research involves a very large part: a machine weighing more than 14,000 metric tons, which is one of four particle detectors located around the 27-kilometer particle accelerator. By Sara Shepherd
Radical political literature collection, cited as one of nation’s best, marks 50 years at KU
March 21, 2015
I’d rather be killing communists in Central America Bring America back to God! Fluoridation … Is it morally right? People of America have some extreme political beliefs. One of the country’s best collections of material reflecting those beliefs is celebrating its 50th anniversary at Kansas University. The Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements at the Spencer Research Library has more than 100,000 items, from bumper stickers and posters emblazoned with the messages above, to books about extremist movements. By Sara Shepherd
Kansas home to three active hate groups, national report says
04:34 p.m., March 18, 2015 Updated 08:40 p.m.
Kansas is home to three active hate groups, according to a recently released report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Full story list

Recent photos

Armed with laptop, coffee and a view, KU assistant professor of history Erik Scott works on a conference paper during the Faculty-Staff Day of Writing at the Sabatini Multicultural Resource Center on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.

The photo of former KU student Joseph C. Liggett is among 129 photos of KU students and alumni who gave their lives in service to World War I, displayed on the sixth floor of the Kansas Union. Ray Liggett of Shawnee stumbled upon his great uncle's connection to KU and the war while doing genealogical research, but didn't previously know the Union was a memorial to him and other casualties. Ray Liggett said he learned that Joseph Liggett enlisted in October 1918 and died the next month. He was a member of KU's unit of the Student Army Training Corps but died in Lawrence in the influenza epidemic before he was ever deployed.

This small plaque, inscribed as a gift of the class of 1924, is displayed on the main level of the Kansas Union. It reads, "Kansas Memorial Union Building, erected in memory of the one hundred and twenty nine students and alumni of the University of Kansas who gave their lives in service in the world war." A few other World War I related wall displays appear on the sixth floor of the Union.

Schooners at Louise's Downtown

Shannon Feldt, left, and Susan McSpadden of Merriam fill out their marriage license application Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, at the Douglas County Courthouse. The couple received a license and planned to wed later Thursday in Kansas City, where they had arranged for the same minister that performed their commitment ceremony two years ago to officiate, this time for a legal union.

Full photo list