Article errors sadden staff, family



    I am writing to you in regard to an article that was featured in the Collegian on Nov. 24 titled, “International Award recognizes 2 KSU professors” by Amelia Wiederaenders.
    On Nov. 21, the K-State Office of International Programs coordinated an awards ceremony and reception for the recipients of the International Educator Award.
    This award is presented once a year and is awarded to one of the nominees chosen by the Selection Committee.
    This year was a special exception as the Selection Committee made two nominations for the award, Ted Cable and the late Elfrieda Nafziger.
    Two of your staff members attended the ceremony and reception where they were personally given a program for the event, Kristine Young’s (Interim Associate Provost) business card, and additional handwritten notes with correct titles and spellings.
    We were thrilled that Collegian reporters were interested and present for our last event during International Education Week.
    However, we were very disappointed when we opened the paper Monday morning to see that the writer not only completely butchered one of the recipient’s names and misspelled another, but also wrote a thoughtless and sloppy article.
    Elfrieda Nafziger’s name was incorrectly spelled as “El Frida Nafsinger.”
    Also, Nafziger was never a professor at K-State. She taught English high school classes abroad and worked for the K-State Office of International Programs in various capacities over the years.
    Not only was this event a special circumstance honoring two award recipients, but at the event (as noted in the caption underneath the gaunt picture that was used), Nafziger’s husband and two sons were present to receive the award on her behalf. Nafziger’s sons traveled to K-State from the East Coast for this special occasion.
    Several other typos were noted in the same article including Young’s name and title.
    All this information was detailed in the program, business card and notes that were given to the reporters. The two Collegian staff members also took time to personally speak with William Richter, the Chair of the Selection Committee.
    Elfrieda Nafziger holds a special memory here at the Office of International Programs as well as across the K-State campus and community. The printed mistakes were inexcusable and unacceptable.
    Your staff members obviously did not take the time to complete their research and confirm the story’s detail with anyone either at the event or in our office, nor did they take the time to read the printed material that was given to them.
    Had your staff taken the time and searched the K-State Web site, they would have found a remembrance article feature on Mrs. Nafziger in our newsletter, the Outlook.
    I am ashamed of the article Wiederaenders and the Collegian staff printed, as the family members were eager to receive a copy of the Collegian this week featuring the article.
    This article would have been a memento that was kept by her family.
    I ask that a letter of apology be written to her widower, E. Wayne Nafziger, Distinguished Professor of Economics at K-State.

Kathleen Witcher
Events Coordinator
Office of International