Shane Lopez of the KU School of Business, set to take part in a public event at the Lawrence Arts Center this very evening, worked on a Gallup poll that was featured yesterday by the New York Times.
The poll of about 172,000 people had to do with the "well-being" of Americans by occupation, and per the Times and Gallup it was most notable for how highly teachers ranked on the list, trailing physicians on how they rate the quality of their lives. Lopez is a senior scientist for Gallup as well as a professor of the practice in the business school.
When I talked to him this week about his new book on hope and Lawrence events related to it, he told me he uses his psychology background to help Gallup craft questions and scales to measure concepts like hope and well-being. He doesn't have to handle the mathematical heavy-lifting of coming up with representative samples to poll.
This post also gives me an excuse to include a quote from Lopez that is tremendous but did not fit in my story earlier this week.
He was telling me about how he worked with Stan Lombardo, a KU professor of classics, to help put together an iPhone app that aims to help people become more hopeful with a story alluding to Homer's "The Odyssey." Lombardo, who writes and publicly reads translations of ancient Greek works such as Homer's poetry, is literally a Zen master and has a Wikipedia page.
Anyway, here's what Lopez said when describing Lombardo, whom he also called a "renaissance man": "He's a modern-day Hemingway, without the alcohol and depression."
I'm sure that bit of praise will be printed on the back of Lombardo's next translation.
Lopez's "Making Hope Happen in Our City" event is at 7 p.m. today at the Lawrence Arts Center.
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Your weekly roundup of KU mentions in the news from around the country, a bit of a light one this time:
• Less than 18 months after he was fired as president of the University of Oregon, former KU provost Richard Lariviere's new job is not shaping up as an easy one.
Lariviere took over in October 2012 as director of the Field Museum in Chicago. I just visited the museum a couple months ago and had a fine time, but that apparently was not enough to help it overcome some serious budget issues that developed well before Lariviere came aboard.
The Chicago Tribune has reported pretty extensively the past week on the museum's troubles. It seems that last decade the museum borrowed many millions of dollars to pay for improvement projects, and then the recession hit. That has left it with no choice but to cut its budget.
Of the museum's two missions — providing the public museum for visitors and conducting scientific research — it appears the research side is likely to face more cuts, the Tribune reports. The museum's scientists pushed back against that idea during a meeting with Lariviere late last week.
• Time magazine wrote about a new book by Shane Lopez, a professor of the practice in the KU School of Business, called "Making Hope Happen." Lopez tells the magazine what he's learned about how hope and how it helps in business and academics.
• Carol Holstead and Doug Ward, both associate professors of journalism at KU, authored a blog post for the Chronicle of Higher Education about how instructors can use social media, Facebook and Tumblr in this case, to get students engaged.
I'm choosing to believe that if I'm hopeful that I'll receive KU news tips from you, it will happen. Please help this come true by getting those tips in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your weekly update on where folks from KU have popped up in the news around the country:
• The Minnesota Star Tribune cited a study by assistant professor of business Felix Meschke, along with two University of Minnesota researchers, that found companies that make big political donations don't really tend to help their bottom lines. That study has been mentioned in the New York Times and Time magazine, too.
• Chip Taylor, director of KU's Monarch Watch Program, talked with the Washington Post's kids' section about monarch butterflies' annual migration to Mexico and back.
• Stanley Lombardo, a professor of classics, took part in a "Homerathon" at Ave Maria University in Florida, per the Naples Daily News. A Homerathon is a 24-hour reading of all 24 books of Homer's "Iliad," and the translation used was Lombardo's.
• Shane Lopez, a professor of the practice in the KU School of Business, talked with the Gallup Business Journal about his research on the importance of hope in business.
• Phillip Hofstra, a professor of design at KU and the most recent winner of the HOPE teaching award from students, got a mention in this Kansas City Star story about Shea Rush, the son of former KC high school basketball star JaRon Rush (and nephew of former KU star Brandon). Shea, 15, is also Hofstra's grandson, and the story says Hofstra's work has inspired his grandson to consider a career in architecture.
If you spot any KU mentions somewhere out there in the vast expanse of the Internet, feel free to shoot me a link at email@example.com. And, please, don't forget to send your KU news tips there, too.