KU links: Retired prof discusses tornado safety; business dean in state Chamber video

Summer, at least in KU school-year terms, is upon us. But we soldier on as normal here at Heard on the Hill, albeit a bit sunburned after Sunday’s commencement ceremony. (Check out these photos if you’d like to re-live it.)

In that spirit, here’s your weekly-or-so collection of KU bits n’ pieces from around the Internet:

• After Monday’s horrible tornado in Moore, Okla., NBC News talked with Joe Eagleman, a KU professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, about his research on the best practices when tornadoes threaten to hit schools or other large buildings.

• The Hutchinson News noted that Neeli Bendapudi, the dean of KU’s School of Business, was the lone academic official to appear in a recently produced promotional video for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce. She appeared alongside a number of business executives and Republican state lawmakers in speaking about the Chamber, whose political action committee spent a good deal of cash supporting conservative Republicans before the last round of state elections in November 2012. Bendapudi’s comments in the video are not terribly political, though: She says the state Chamber and KU have a “shared goal” to promote business activity in Kansas. She told the News that she didn’t intend to speak for the whole university, saying she “honestly did not think it through.”

• This story in The Atlantic about a “virtual worm” that could be used in biological research includes comments from Brian Ackley, an associate professor of molecular biosciences at KU.

• The Wichita Eagle told the story last week of John Castellaw, who went through periods of homelessness as a child but graduated this month as the student body president at Wichita South High School. Castellaw is coming to KU in the fall, the story reports, with an eye on medical school. He’s receiving a Hixson Opportunity Award, a KU scholarship for students from Kansas who’ve faced hardships.

• Elizabeth Kronk, director of the KU School of Law’s Tribal Law and Government Center, chimed in on this McClatchy story about Native American tribal laws on same-sex marriage.

• David Ekerdt, director of the Gerontology Center at KU’s Life Span Institute, [wrote this post for The New York Times’ “The New Old Age” blog][10], about an unusual possible gift for older parents on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day: an offer to help them unload some belongings.

If you make that offer to your dad this Father’s Day, why not also ask if you can take any KU news tips off his hands? Then you can send them to merickson@ljworld.com.

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