Faculty member died on Monday


Caroline Sweeney editor-in-chief

Todd Simon, professor of public relations, died Monday.

Simon came to K-State in 1997 when he was named director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In 2004, Simon returned to teaching full-time.

Steve Smethers, associate professor of journalism and mass communication said, “We lost somebody who was a devoted administrator, a great mentor and a thorough teacher, a dedicated teacher.”

Before coming to K-State, Simon was a professor at the School of Journalism at Michigan State.

Angela Powers, director of the Miller School, was one of Simon’s students at Michigan State.

“He was a brilliant man. I would say that straight off the bat. He had a great sense of logic. He had a very logical mind,” Powers said.

Powers said that Simon took on more student advisees than any other faculty member.

“He was the very best kind of mentor you can have because he was very good at analyzing your skills and abilities,” Smethers said.

Mary Renee Shirk, graduate student in journalism and mass communications, had Simon as a professor while she was an undergraduate.

“Losing him means losing a professor who I knew was always on my side, a professor who had earned my respect by making me earn his,” Shirk said.

Complimenting his teaching and administrative career, Simon earned a law degree from Boston College Law School. He worked at the Omaha Sun while in college at the University of Nebraska.

In 1982, Simon accepted a teaching fellowship at the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

Charles Pearce, associate director for undergraduate education and associate professor of advertising, worked with Simon as the associate director.

“I was surprised that he approached me. He was good to work with. He was easy to work with,” Pearce said. “He had a very strong sense of justice.”

Pearce said that Simon recognized the need for change in the Miller School.

During Simon’s time as director of the Miller School, he implemented changes that are still in effect today.

“He came to the faculty and said we need to put the brakes on. That is when we implemented our admission requirements,” Pearce said.

Simon’s interest in the well-being of students resonated through the faculty.

“We were fortunate to have him in the school. He was passionate about students at K-State the way he was as at Michigan State,” Powers said.

Smethers said that Simon was good at giving the kind of practical advice that was often needed.

Currently, final details about covering Simon’s classes are being discussed, but Powers wanted to assure students that their concerns are being heard.

April Mason, provost and senior vice president, said in a statement, “Todd Simon served the university with distinction in multiple roles: from faculty member, to director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism, and as university ombudsperson. His loss to the K-State family will be felt by many and our thoughts and prayers go out most especially to Geri and their children.”

There will be a memorial service Sunday at 7 p.m. at All Faiths Chapel.

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healthy body image is to teach them to differeniate between black, white and gray areas,” Cutts said. “Teach them how to find the true message behind advertisements.”

Finding an “option C” is also important for anyone struggling with something about themselves, regardless of whether it is rooted in an eating disorder or not. Cutts said those struggling to overcome must find a way or path of their own leading to success.

Several K-State’s student groups have actively raised awareness for Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Sensible Nutrition and Body Image Choices peer education group, for example, hosted several events last week to promote healthy choices for nutrition and exercise.

Danica Pelzel, senior in kinesiology and dietetics and co-chair of SNAC, said the group worked in conjunction with other organizations on campus to bring “Yoga for Everybody”, a documentary on media’s portrayal of body image, a “mindful eating” lunch and a speaker to campus to promote healthy decisions.

Dianna Schalles, registered dietician at Lafene Student Health Center and advisor for SNAC, said SNAC tries to bring one nationally known speaker to K-State every year as part of the Eating Disorders Awareness Week events. She said the speakers are brought in to address issues and increase awareness in a balanced approach.

Schalles said one of the past struggles with eating disorders and body image disorders is that the disease is seen as predominately affecting females.

“There is a stigma for men in our culture,” Schalles said. “The statistics show this is an increasingly common thing in men too.”

Symptoms of male eating disorders or body image disorders may present in a different, uncharacteristic way, she said.

“In men, it may be an obsession with the buff, muscular body, with supplement use and abuse, whereas in women it’s the drive to thinness and dieting,” Schalles said.

Beauty today is not what beauty has ever been before, Cutts said, as she wrapped up her presentation. She said she was also encouraged, however, as signs that suggest these dangerous societal attitudes toward body image will change.

“This is the only time period in history that thin has been ‘in,'” Cutts said. “That will shift and I believe it is already shifting.”

an office.

“He went into this knowing it would be a good experience,” said Craig Lister, Garrett’s father. “The outcome wasn’t necessarily as important as the work involved and the experience he gained.”

Lister and Penner snagged 912 total votes, which accounted for about 29 percent of the 3,186 ballots that were cast. The duo said they were grateful for those that came out and voted on their behalf.

“We’re proud of the people who supported us throughout,” Lister said. “Close to 1,000 people rallied behind us in this campaign. We’re really happy to have had that support.”

Since both Lister and Penner are set to graduate next May, they have no plans for running again, but regardless of the loss, both candidates acknowledged the value of getting involved in student government and said they would encourage others to do the same.

“It’s a fun experience,” Penner said. “If you want something done about the university or anything, and you have what it takes to run, then do it. It is truly a great experience.”

Penner also made a point to express her thoughts on the value of running, regardless of the results.

“You know it’s a possibility going into it,” said Penner. “There’s going to be a winner and there’s going to be a loser. But I’m glad I did it, it was a growing experience. I’m definitely better because of it.”

Lister, who currently holds an SGA seat as chairman of the governmental relations committee, accepted the loss in good grace, expressing his plans to pass his good wishes to president and now president-elect, Spriggs.

“I’m proud as ever to be a Wildcat,” said Lister. “I’m glad I stepped up to take this role, and I mean, I wish I could be serving, but that’s how it fell. I respect the students’ decision and I congratulate Nate on the win.”

Something to sink your teeth in