KU links: The end of the line for the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap; update from Topeka high-schooler who received KU scholarship offer
Your weekly set of KU tidbits from around the Internet, which I'm afraid must begin on a sad note:
• The chicken tenders were perfectly aligned. The ranch dressing was well-distributed. The cheddar cheese was ready with its sharp kick. And the underrated but dependable tortilla was always there, holding it all together. It felt like destiny. But sometimes, in the cutthroat world of the Cooking Channel Best College Eats tournament, you run into something that looks like a shovel filled with spaghetti and chili, and you lose. You know you gave it your all, but it hurts just the same.
In the bracket of the best college food, or at least in this particular one that the Cooking Channel put together this spring, 31 food items have to go home unhappy. They're left to hold out hope for next year, or whenever someone else has the idea to put together an online bracket for college-campus food. This is the fate of the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap.
But, wrap fans, consider: Just because it lost to that chili-spaghetti thing from Marquette in the Elite 8, by a count of 4,192 votes to 3,309, that doesn't mean that its whole year was a failure. We'll always have our memories of its glorious tournament run. Let's savor them.
• As the Journal-World's Sara Shepherd notes here, the KU Wind Ensemble earned itself a some glowing words in reviews by The New York Times and a New York music website after its performance at Carnegie Hall last week. It will make an encore performance for free at the Lied Center on Tuesday.
• We've got an update on our old friend Leobardo Espinoza Jr., the Topeka high-schooler blogging about his college choice for The New York Times who received a scholarship offer from KU. He writes today about the experience of receiving a rejection from Washington University in St. Louis. "I'm one step closer to KU," he told his friends, and he says he considers KU "a fantastic school." He's still waiting to hear from Brown, Stanford and Yale — or at least he was when the post was written — so he's not sure where he's going yet.
• The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cited the research of William Elliott, an assistant professor of social welfare at KU, on the subject of college savings accounts for children. We reported earlier this year on the research he and others at the School of Social Welfare have done on the subject.
• This story on Yahoo! News reports that Steven Hawley, a KU professor of astronomy and astrophysics and a former astronaut, is helping the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson conserve and display a NASA rocket engine retrieved from the ocean floor by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com.
Perhaps you're now adrift, having assumed you'd be spending all of your time this week clicking to vote for the Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap. But don't worry; you can expend that energy sending KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
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I admit it feels a bit funny, filing updates for you all on how many people are clicking on a "vote" button for a chicken wrap as part of a cable-channel promotion, but all the evidence out there suggests a lot of you are into it, so I'm going to continue.
The KU Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap has moved on to the Elite 8 of the Cooking Channel's college food bracket, but it faces a stiff challenge in this round from the Marquette University entry, which received more than 10,000 votes during the last round to KU's 2,500 or so.
The Marquette entry — a dish at a Milwaukee chili restaurant just called "The Marquette" — appears to be a plate of spaghetti topped with chili and about 6 pounds of sour cream and cheese. (The Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap isn't exactly light fare — it's got 735 calories and 8 grams of saturated fat, according to the KU Dining Services online nutrition site — but it doesn't sound as bad for you as the other stuff remaining, including something from Baylor called the "Gut Pak.")
This all may be kind of funny and allow me to type "Gut Pak," but the KU Memorial Unions are treating this as a serious chance to get some media exposure. Claudia Larkin, the Unions' marketing director, came to see me during Heard on the Hill Office Hours this morning and tells me the staff have had "strategic planning meetings" each step along the way during this bracket process (and I think that was only a little bit of a joke).
The KUcrunchtime.com URL the Unions bought has gotten quite a few hits, she said, they'll be sending posters and banners around campus as things warm up here and now they're printing "thousands" of stickers for students to take and further their crunchy chicken cause.
KU is winning the matchup with Marquette narrowly as I type this late Wednesday afternoon. You can vote here.
We've got you covered on the chicken-wrap front, but you can send your tips from all other areas of KU news to email@example.com.
KU links: Chancellor’s message on state funding; texting and driving; your crunchy chicken wrap update of the day
Many things are published on the Internet each week. Some of them mention KU. Here is your weekly roundup of those.
• As the Kansas Legislature contemplates possible funding cuts for higher education, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little's office published a message from her arguing against such cuts for KU and other state universities.
• Men's Health magazine has an item about texting and driving, and as many people do when they're talking about texting and driving, the writer consulted with KU psychology professor Paul Atchley, who knows a thing or two about it.
• The Kansas City Star covered a talk by Shane Lopez, a professor of the practice at the KU School of Business, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He talked about the power of hope, a subject he wrote a book about. If you find it interesting, I suggest you watch the pages of the Journal-World later this week.
• Runner's World magazine reported on a forthcoming study from some KU Medical Center researchers on how certain types of shoes can affect the way teenagers run.
• And now that all that fluff is out of the way, we've got what you've really come here for: Your Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap Update Of The Day. It seems the KU Memorial Unions have pounced on the wrap's run through this Cooking Channel college food bracket and are putting together a full-fledged get-out-the-vote campaign.
The Unions bought a URL to promote the wrap's tourney run: KUcrunchtime.com. And they've made banners promoting the wrap, which I'm told are posted at the KU Union and the Underground at Wescoe Hall. You may also encounter some students who've been hired to wander around campus carrying posters and banners, as well.
The wrap is leading Syracuse University's honey buns handily, as of Monday afternoon. Voting on this round of the bracket runs through 2 p.m. Wednesday.
We're sure that the chicken wrap's sterling performance so far is due largely to the Heard on the Hill polling bump, measured before many times by novelty online bracket scientists. It's a phenomenon that can continue only with your help, so send those KU news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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KU links: KU men’s basketball team reaches title game in academic bracket; Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap advances in college food tourney
Your spring break edition of KU tidbits from around the Internet:
• The KU men's and women's basketball teams will hit the court in their NCAA Tournaments today and tomorrow, but the results are already in for the publication Inside Higher Ed's annual Academic Performance Tournament. So you can go ahead and distribute prizes for your office pools in that area.
The tournament is a fun little exercise that uses the same seeds and bracket as the basketball tournaments but advances teams based on their Academic Progress Rate—the NCAA's measure of academic performance for each team. A graduation-rate measure is used as a tiebreaker.
APR gives each athletic program at each school a score based on how many players stay in school and remain eligible to play. It doesn't penalize programs for athletes who leave early to play professionally, as long as they are in good academic standing when they leave.
The KU men's team has performed as well in the academic tourney in recent years as it has in, well, basketball. It won the whole thing last year, and this year it made the title game before running into the buzzsaw that is Belmont University (man, those "B" teams, huh?). Memphis and Butler also made the Final Four.
The men's team's APR is a perfect 1,000 for each of the past four years published by the NCAA here. The women's team's score is a bit lower — 982 in the most recent year published. As such, the team was knocked out in the first round by Colorado in Inside Higher Ed's corresponding women's tournament.
• Speaking of brackets: The KU Crunchy Chicken Cheddar Wrap has moved on to the Sweet 16 of the Cooking Channel's college food tournament, where it faces some honey buns from Syracuse University. It defeated some Iowa State cherry pies in the first round, by a margin of 4,257 to 3,904. (The University of Missouri's entry lost in the first round.)
• We told you a few weeks back that Kim Wilcox, a former dean of liberal arts and sciences at KU, had managed to be named a finalist in two different state universities' search for a new leader (both of which go by the acronym UW, no less). But now each of the UWs has chosen someone else. The University of Wisconsin-Madison picked Rebecca Blank, the acting U.S. secretary of commerce, while the University of Wyoming went with Robert Sternberg, the provost at Oklahoma State University.
We are sure you have spent your spring break, if you get one, resting calmly and reserving energy for the final two months of the semester. Get yourself started up again today by sending in a few KU news tips to email@example.com.