Wichita Skyline

Person of the Month

 

2014

 

September - Glyn Rimmington

 

I spent my childhood on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia, just 100km north of the capital, Brisbane. My younger sister, Lynda, and I attended Nambour High School. Each year I try to get back in September to visit my family. It is a 16 hour flight from Dallas to Brisbane. I attended the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, and graduated with a PhD, all for free, thanks to Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who made university education free for about 10 years. My first job after graduating was at the University of Melbourne in Victoria, about 1,500km south of the Sunshine Coast. I worked in the Engineering Faculty (College) as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, and progressed through the ranks to Associate Professor (Professor) and worked in the Faculties of Agriculture & Forestry, Education and Institute of Land & Food Resources. In 2000, I was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science. My work at the University of Melbourne took me to China, USA, UK, Europe, SE Asia and Canada for collaborative research, sabbaticals and conferences. I became a frequent visitor to the University of California, Davis, the Agricultural University of Hebei and later the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Botany, Vegetation Ecology Laboratory. In 2001, I came to work as the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Global Learning at Wichita State University. I have worked in the Colleges of Engineering, Education and Liberal Arts & Sciences as well as in central administration. I developed two areas of scholarship, one in intercultural communication learning and the other in environmental science. I continue to teach and publish in both areas. My research work has taken me to Russia, China and Australia, with short visits to many other countries. In the US, I am fortunate to have visited 46 states of the union. My family and I are all dual US and Australian citizens. My son, Alexander, is a Shocker graduate now working as a Medical Technologist in Lenexa and my daughter, Anne, is a Husker in her senior year, majoring in Art History and French. I have been on the board of the Global Learning Center of Wichita for 12 of the last 13 years, serving variously as President and Treasurer. I created the GLC web site. I joined Wichita Area Sister Cities just this year and have enjoyed making the new web site. I love travel and meeting people of different cultures. I seek culture shock and disorientation as a means to learning more about myself and others.

 

June - Margo Parks

 

I come from Alliance, Nebraska, and grew up with 16 brothers and sisters including me (10 girls and 6 boys). I am the sixth from the top and am the only one of the family living here in Wichita. I have one son and he is married and has given me three male grandchildren ages 3, 5, and 7. They keep grandma very busy and I love it--if anyone knows about boys you know how rambunctious boys can be. We go home to Alliance to spend time with some of my brothers and sisters, and also to Denver where most of the others live. We have around 170 nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and great great nieces and nephews. Well what can I say, we are all Catholic and as you may know, Catholics have large families.

I started as a Sister Cities volunteer in 1971 when I started working in the City Manager's Office. This was a job that I did on top of other things that I did in the Manager's office. I liked it so well that I became a member and have been a member since 1972. I have served as WASC secretary for two different presidents, Karen Linheart and Jennie Goodvin and have served on all the Committees (China, Mexico and France), on the Scholarship Committee, Membership Committee, Social and Fundraising Committee. I went with the delegations to Mexico (Cancun and Tlalnepantla) two times, and then went on my own three times after that. I have gone to France, with a group not as a delegate but with a group of 21 City Employees and then they (France representatives) came and we reciprocated their visit. Then, I went again with a group headed by Carol Webb and enjoyed every minute of it--she did such a good job of getting this trip together. I have enjoyed the things that are necessary to be a member and a volunteer and hope that other people that join as members get involved because that is the only way to learn more about Sister Cities.

 

 

April - Eunice Ellis

 

Eunice was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. After graduation from the University of Colorado, she married David Ellis and moved to New Jersey, where David was a graduate student in the Aerospace Engineering Department at Princeton University.

During the 15 years they lived in New Jersey, they started their family, a son David Jr. and a daughter Katie. While there, Eunice taught at Miss Mason's School, a private day school in Princeton; worked as a publications editor at Princeton University; worked as a copy editor for the Van Nostrand Reinhold Publishing Co. in Princeton and New York City; and earned a teaching certificate in French. New Jersey is where she and her husband, both long-time tennis players, began competing in an East Coast racquet game called Platform Tennis, a game adapted from tennis that is often played in sub-freezing temperatures.

Eunice was set to begin teaching French when her husband was offered a position, too good to pass up, at Cessna Aircraft Co., and she and her family moved to Wichita in 1977. She had hoped to find another position teaching French, but there were no openings at that time. She was, however, able to use her French when she began

working in the international division of the Coleman Co. A year later she accepted an offer to join the Food Service International Division of PepsiCo, then the corporate owner of Pizza Hut.

Following seven years as Manager of International Field Services, she was given the opportunity to become Director of Pizza Hut's BOOK IT! Program, a reading incentive program for elementary school children. During the 16 years that she was in this position, more than 22 million children throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia were participating in the program each year. She also expanded Pizza Hut's commitment to children and education in a variety of other programs and sponsorships, partnering with such organizations as Scholastic, National Geographic, NASA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Library of Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and the White House.

While working, Eunice continued taking French courses at WSU, including several taught by Brigitte Roussel, and she joined the Alliance Française and Sister Cities organizations. In 1981, she was a co-leader of a Sister Cities' exchange group of high school students from Kapaun Mt. Carmel going to Orléans for a month's stay. Because of her love of France and the French language—the beauty of their country, their literature, their art, their history, and last but not least, their incomparable cuisine—Eunice has continued to travel there with family and friends, most recently in May of 2013.

For the past nine years, Eunice has been treasurer of Wichita Area Sister Cities.

 

March - De Eaton

At the monthly board meeting on March 27th, long time board member, De Eaton was announced as the person of the month for March, 2014. Thanks to the service of De, the WASC board has made a significant impact on the community of Wichita. De's primary passion is the WASC scholarship program, which she is the Chair of. De's tireless service is much appreciated.

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