January health

By Kayla Overbey

Friday, January 27, 2012

National Health

  • Scientists have suspended the publication of a virus, The New York Times and BBC News say. The virus H5N1 has caused concerns among researchers and scientists, proving more contagious than previous strains. While their research proves beneficial, the scientists admit that the release of the strain could start a pandemic.
  • The world’s first usage of embryonic stem cells to help improve eye diseases have positive results, says The Lancet. Retinal surgeon and leader of the UK trial Professor James Bainbridge told BBC News, “It’s hoped that this kind of intervention might protect people’s sight”.
  • A new study suggests that working long hours doubles the risk of depression. Bryan Bruno, researcher, told CNN that poor sleep is detrimental to a healthy mind. The study focuses on workers, but could be applied to students balancing school and long work hours.

Local Health


  • Recent studies say that oils such as sunflower and olive oils are healthier than others for frying food. BBC News says it is recommended by researchers that people trade lards, butters, and palm oils for better alternatives. Such a change could lower risks for illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

Visiting attorneys debate gay marriage at School of Law event

By Kayla Overbey

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Panelists debated the legalization of same-sex marriage at the Kansas School of Law yesterday, but they did agree on one thing: the controversy may soon fade as public support grows.

Dale Carpenter, professor of civil liberties law at the University of Minnesota, spoke in support of same-sex marriage and said that legalization would bring a tangible benefit to millions of citizens without harming traditional marriages.

“I see every reason to believe same-sex marriage will benefit everyone in this country,” Carpenter said at the panel discussion presented by the University’s Federalist Society.

He contested the idea that same-sex marriage would harm heterosexual couples and the ideals of marriage. “I don’t see how my relationship is made stronger because someone else’s relationship is undermined,” Carpenter said.

Dale Schowengerdt, an experienced litigator, argued against legalization of gay marriage during the discussion panel.

“This rush to same-sex marriage is a passion of the hour,” Schowengerdt said. “This is such a radical change that it will produce a harmful effect on society.”

According to a May 2011 Gallup poll, a majority of Americans now support recognition of gay marriage as the issue becomes less controversial and more mainstream.

Joshua Williams, vice president of Queers & Allies at the University, said the debate is losing impact.

“I feel people are for same-sex marriage. Most of America does not mind it,” Williams said. “They’re like, ‘Let people get married, we don’t care.’”

Some event participants said the case for same-sex marriage would soon be a problem of the past.

During the debate, Carpenter said taboo issues of the past are nationally accepted without question today. He compared same-sex marriage to the women’s movement of equal rights in the 1960s and 1970s.

Samantha Horner, president of Kansas’ Federalist Society, an event sponsor, agreed with Carpenter’s analysis.

“I think by the next generation it’s probably going to be a moot point,” she said.

Horner said the case would make its way to the Supreme Court within 10 years. “It will come down to a ‘yes, we’re going to recognize same-sex marriage’ or ‘no, we won’t’ throughout all of the states,” Horner said.

Stephen McAllister, professor of law at the University, moderated for the panel.

The debate has moved toward “the decency of recognizing human dignity,” McAllister said. “For my kids’ generations, they’ll look back and wonder what the big deal was.”

The event was also sponsored by OUTlaws and Allies and KC Legal.

— Edited by Jason Bennett


Notes: This article was a project for one of my journalism classes last semester. I was one of many students who decided to cover the same event. It was interesting, but ultimately I was proud of this article. 

Globally focused organization comes to campus

By Kayla Overbey

Monday, September 12, 2011

Alderson Auditorium hosted a number of students looking to help others at Nourish International’s first interest meeting last Thursday evening.

The purpose of the meeting was to explain the mission and goals of Nourish International, a new global organization on campus. The chapter founded at the University of Kansas is the first chapter established in the Midwest.

Adam Nicholson, the chapter’s founder, led the meeting with an explanation of Nourish International’s three goals: engaging students, empowering communities and eradicating poverty. Nourish International fundraises throughout the academic year and sends students to impoverished countries on summer mission trips. The organization has been in more than 80 countries in the past five years.

Nicholson explained the founding of Nourish International at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus by Sindhura Citineni.

“She just stepped up to the plate, took a swing and she hit a home run,” Nicholson said, using her as a prime example of student determination.

Plans were discussed by Nicholson about raising awareness on campus. Most recently, the the University’s chapter has worked with the Spanish department to contact suppliers in Paraguay about importing fresh goods to campus for students. Venture director Nicole Lawson encouraged students to contribute to the efforts.

“We want you to be as involved as you can and want to be,” she said.

— Edited by Sarah Champ


Notes: This is the follow-up article to my previously posted article about Nourish International. View it on the UDK’s website here. 

New student group focuses on aiding impoverished countries

By Kayla Overbey

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A new University organization is expecting as many as 50 people at its first meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Alderson Auditorium. Adam Nicholson, the University chapter founder and a junior from Lawrence, will be preparing for the meeting.

“The auditorium can hold over 100-plus, so we’ll be ready for more, but we’d have to start cutting pizza slices in half.” Nicholson said.

Nourish International works against poverty by sending students to impoverished countries. It fundraises throughout the year by planning events both on and off campus.

The organization has sent student mission groups from 24 different universities across the nation to countries around the world. According to the website, the effect has been beneficial. The Ohio State University chapter provided a Peruvian community limited to only contaminated water with clean, drinkable water by installing pipelines and digging reservoirs and also provided a regional health fair.

“Over 300 locals attended the fair in Bello Horizonte to see the dentists, pediatricians, gynecologists and primary-care physicians that volunteered their time,”said Mackenzie Rapp, an OSU graduate.

As a student, Sindhura Citineni founded the organization at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2003. After a few years accompanied by mass success, the student movement grew and spread to other campuses. They established chapters at more than 20 universities, with more colleges adopting the program each year.

Students from Brown University and Cornell University established community-shared organic gardens in El Salvador by providing funds and assisting with physical labor. The chapter from the University of Pennsylvania trained 10 women with HIV on setting up a papermaking business in Uganda. The Texas A&M chapter hosted educational workshops in Guatemala about agricultural information, including how to use crops to their greatest value, how to build composting latrines and water safety among other things.

Currently, the chapter at Kansas consists of three executive board members. At the information fair during Hawk Week, about 70 students signed up and the chapter is expecting a large turnout at Thursday’s meeting. Nicole Lawson, venture director at Kansas and a senior from Shawnee, said the organization has a hands on approach and students can see the effect of their work directly.

“Instead of just studying the problems of the world, through Nourish we are able to be a part of the solution,” Lawson said.

Nourish International uses sustainable development projects to permanently affect the communities it helps. This means the organization’s efforts will continue to grow and the communities will be able to self-sustain long after their physical labor has finished.

The group is adamant about connecting with a wide range of students.

“We want and need diversity for this group to perform to its full potential,” Nicholson said. “Real life is happening right now. The world doesn’t stop spinning to wait for you to graduate. You can literally change the world while you’re still in college.”

— Edited by Mike Lavieri


Notes: After I was given a voluntary position with the UDK, they asked me to research a new group on campus and write a piece about them. I was ecstatic and eager, and this was my result.  Here is a link to the original article, online.

New campus kiosks scan users’ images

By Kayla Overbey

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The KU Memorial Unions will soon add six interactive kiosks to campus.

These kiosks will include an interactive campus map, schedules for athletic events, access to the University’s twitter accounts, event information and calendars.

As people use the kiosks, the kiosk software will scan the users’ images and sort them into four categories, said Bob Terry, president of Axon Displays. This audience information will then be provided to advertisers.

Those who are hesitant about image-tracking software need not worry; Axon Displays is not retaining images acquired by the program. They will only give advertisers information about the demographics who use the kiosks.

Mike Reid, KU Memorial Union director of public affairs, confirmed five of the six locations. Three are planned for the Kansas Union, two will be located in the Underground, while one is yet-to-be determined. The University of Kansas will be the first university in the nation to establish these kiosks on campus.

— Edited by Mike Lavieri


Notes: This was my very, very first “article” written for the UDK (University Daily Kansan). I walked into the newsroom, asked for a position, and they immediately threw me into the kiddie pool by asking me to call up and confirm a few facts, and write a short piece about it. This was the result.

Introductions are Necessary

My name is Kayla Overbey. I’m a student at the University of Kansas majoring in Journalism–News & Information. This blog will cover topics that I find important and interesting. I’ll be focusing mainly on Health & Food. My posts will include national studies, health tricks, and local (Lawrence, Kan.) news regarding community and university health.

The first two or three blog posts will be old articles I’ve written for the University Daily Kansan. I figured it would be a good idea to archive/log them here, for reference on credibility and previous work.

My main posts following those will be aggregate posts concerning Health & Food, reaction posts to those news links and class projects for my journalism major.

Keep in mind, while reading, that I am new to this wide, constructed world of journalism! I’m still learning. 🙂

–Kayla Overbey