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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 sshepherd@ljworld.com. Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Recent stories

Debate continues over procedure for social media policy violations
06:35 p.m., March 5, 2015 Updated 10:26 p.m.
The Kansas University Senate is still trying to agree on a written procedure for what happens when a KU employee is accused of violating the Kansas Board of Regents social media policy. By Sara Shepherd
KU ROTC cadets catch ride on Black Hawk helicopters
03:17 p.m., March 5, 2015 Updated 10:28 p.m.
Kansas University Army ROTC cadets got a lift to Fort Riley on Thursday on a squadron of UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Six of the helicopters flew in formation over campus at 11:30 a.m. and landed at Shenk Recreational Sports Complex, where cadets — who marched to the fields from the Military Science Building on KU’s main campus — boarded and flew to Fort Riley for weekend training. By Sara Shepherd
English teachers from Vietnam sharpen skills on KU campus
06:40 p.m., March 4, 2015 Updated 10:46 p.m.
Nga Luu teaches English to gifted high schoolers in her home country of Vietnam, but she never had the chance to visit an English speaking country until now. Luu is one of 13 Vietnamese teachers spending this school year on the Kansas University campus. By Sara Shepherd
KU Dining director wins ‘Academy Award’ of collegiate foodservice
01:53 p.m., March 3, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Nona Golledge credits staying on top of dining trends and “leading from the heart” with making her Kansas University Dining Services team a forerunner in university dining. Golledge, KU Dining director since 2006, was announced on Tuesday as the winner of the 2015 International Food Manufacturers Association Silver Plate Award in the Colleges and Universities category. By Sara Shepherd
Visiting KU professor shares Israeli perception of Netanyahu visit
05:28 p.m., March 2, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Many Israelis are cynical about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States, viewing it as an attempt to drum up popularity for his reelection that could even harm Israel’s relationship with America, a Kansas University visiting professor says. While Israelis see party politics of one kind — Netanyahu’s Likud v. Herzog’s Zionist Union — many Americans are talking about other party politics in connection with the visit — Republican v. Democrat. By Sara Shepherd
Academic freedom: Scholarly concept sparks lively mainstream debate
March 1, 2015
Academic freedom is a source of lively debate right now among some at Kansas University, where the cases of two faculty members have propelled the term out of academia and into mainstream headlines. And KU is not the only school with academic freedom disputes making the news. By Sara Shepherd
KU professor creating digital app to interpret black teen’s 1955 murder
02:39 p.m., February 26, 2015 Updated 10:19 p.m.
Founders of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Miss., have dealt with numerous roadblocks to commemorating the black teenager’s 1955 killing. Among them, many versions of Till’s death circulate in the area, and roadside markers at significant sites have been stolen or shot and replaced, only to disappear again. A Kansas University faculty member is working on an app for that. By Sara Shepherd
After years of decline, KU spring enrollment increases slightly
08:39 a.m., February 25, 2015 Updated 10:05 p.m.
After four years of decline, Kansas University’s Lawrence campus reported a small uptick in spring enrollment after totaling numbers from a count taken last week on the 20th day of classes. Total enrollment on the Lawrence campus went up 85 students, or .4 percent, from 22,971 in spring 2014 to 23,056 in spring 2015, according to the university. By Sara Shepherd
KU taking piecemeal approach to $4.8 million budget cuts for current fiscal year
06:08 p.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:21 p.m.
Responding to statewide spending cuts announced earlier this month by Gov. Sam Brownback, needed to close a budget gap created by lower-than-projected state revenue, KU leaders are discussing how to trim $2.7 million from the Lawrence campus budget and $2.1 from KU Medical Center for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
Irving Hill overpass to be painted ‘KU blue’ as part of improvement project
11:51 a.m., February 24, 2015 Updated 10:27 p.m.
By summer’s end, the Irving Hill Road bridge over Iowa Street will be bright blue with “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” on one side and “The University of Kansas” on the other. That’s according to a plan announced Tuesday by KU. By Sara Shepherd

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.

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.

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.

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