Recent News Items
KU faculty recognized for pivoting research to address COVID-19 pandemic
Two University of Kansas faculty members are being recognized for adjusting their research to better understand the coronavirus pandemic and to provide valuable information to the public and policymakers. The recipients are Folashade Agusto, assistant professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and Donna K. Ginther, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Economics and director of the Institute for Policy & Social Research. Ginther and IPSR staff members Xan Wedel, Lindsay Jorgenson, and Thomas Becker created and maintain a COVID-19 resource center (see link below) to provide information on the virus's economic impact locally and globally.
New Kansas Statistical Abstract offers key data as Kansas weathers pandemic
The 54th edition of the Kansas Statistical Abstract is now available online. In a year that brought the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic turmoil, the KSA shares data on Kansas and the United States in 16 categories that provides context for the challenges Kansans are now facing and offers key information for local and state government leaders seeking the best paths forward for recovery and growth.
Doctoral student Morgan Farnworth selected for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership program
Morgan Farnworth, doctoral student in public affairs & admimnistration at the University of Kansas, has been selected to participate in one of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's leadership programs. Specifically, Farnworth was selected for Health Policy Research Scholars, which helps researchers from all fields apply their work to policies that advance equity and health while building a diverse field of leaders who reflect our changing national demographics. As a member of the program's newest cohort, Farnworth will focus on the role of government in advancing health equity.
Kansas counties with mask mandates had half the rate of new infections
A new study by Donna K. Ginther and Carlos Zambrana has found that counties in Kansas where residents are obliged to wear masks in public have seen about half as many new coronavirus infections as counties that do not have a mask mandate in force. The study is part of a countrywide trend, experts said. Localities that impose mask mandates often see fewer cases, fewer hospitalizations, fewer deaths or lower test-positive rates than nearby localities that do not.
The third coronavirus surge is here and masks are still optional
The US has entered an ominous new surge in the coronavirus pandemic, with more cases reported on Friday than any other day since the crisis began in March. And yet, in many areas of the country where infections are spiking, wearing a mask in public is still completely optional. Researchers Donna K. Ginther and Carlos Zambrana at the University of Kansas found that counties thaht opted out of a statewide mask order saw a surge in coronavirus infection rates, while counties with a mask mandate saw cases flatline. Read more from the Huffington Post, and view the original research, at the links below.
Pere DeRoy's Academic Journey Profiled in the Guyana Chronicle
A recent profile in the Guyana Chronicle charts the personal and scholarly journey of Pere DeRoy from her working-class household in East Ruimveldt Guyana through her development as a doctoral candidate in the department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Under the direction of Dr. Hannah Britton (Political Science, WGSS), Pere is pursuing research on how anti-trafficking policies and services affect the nature of interpersonal and structural gender-based violence in Guyana. Pere's work is informed by years of professional experience in the design of public programs for working-class and rural populations in areas ranging from sexual and reproductive health & rights to employment and public assistance. She has conducted research for advocacy and policy reform on domestic and gender based violence prevention. Together, these experiences have given her a deep understanding of processes and drivers underpinning government policies as well as policies' social, political and economic impacts on individuals and communities. Read more about Pere's important work at the link below.
Kansas Economic Policy Conference to address policy interventions in time of crisis
When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the United States in March 2020, government at all levels needed to manage a public health crisis, continue providing essential services, and stave off economic disaster. However, public health interventions, such as stay-at-home orders and contact tracing, have had mixed reception from the public and mixed support from government officials. The 2020 Kansas Economic Policy Conference, taking place virtually on October 22, will address the question: What is the role of government in a crisis? Learn more and register for the conference at the links below.
KU partnering with 3 Kansas counties to effectively use COVID relief funds for community needs
A diverse group of University of Kansas scholars, researchers, staff and students has been helping three Kansas counties - Johnson, Miami and Wilson - determine how to spend more than $44 million in federal COVID-19 funds by the end of 2020 to have a lasting influence. IPSR director Donna K. Ginther and staff Xan Wedel, Genna Hurd, Lindsay Jorgenson, and Thomas Becker contributed to this effort.
IPSR Fall 2020 Newsletter
IPSR shares updates on the 2020-21 cohort of Doctoral Research Fellows, the Data Documentation Initiative, the Big Ideas Incubator, and more in its Fall 2020 newsletter.
Donna K. Ginther named Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor
Donna Ginther, professor in the Department of Economics, was awarded a Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professorship. She joined the KU faculty in 2002 and was promoted to professor in 2009. Ginther has played a critically important role in economic development in Kansas through her research, reports and consulting work with a variety of state institutions and government leaders. She has received more than $7 million in grant funding and has published major works in numerous areas of labor economics. Ginther is recognized for her work explaining gender and racial differences in major grant funding outcomes. Click the link below to read more about Ginther and other KU faculty who were awarded distinguished professor status.