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Our Authors

The Eye on Kansas website is now in archive mode only. It remains in memoriam for its initial author and creator, Dr. Tom Gould.

Eye on Kansas was part of Rural Oasis, a resource for Kansans, and was created and was maintained by Kansans. It was a non-profit and accepted no advertising.

Our authors were interested in Kansas and shared many wonderful stories about the people, places and things enhancing this state. Many thanks to them and their viewers.

Michele Boy
Michele BoyBorn in New York City and raised up and down the east coast, pen and pad became my best friend at an early age.  I graduated Queens College with a bachelor's degree in Communications.  After a ten year career in television, I left to pursue new adventures.  I spent two years taking odd jobs to explore the different cultures of America.  In 2001, I put down roots in Syracuse, Kansas and married a farmer/rancher.  In addition to being a reporter for the local weekly paper, The Syracuse Journal, I drive a tractor.

Hannah Chow
Hannah ChowRaised in the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri, I did not have the privilege to discover the natural beauty of rural Kansas until my teenage years. Road trips from Kansas City, Missouri to Denver, Colorado introduced me to the extraordinary art of the Flint Hills and other Kansas landscapes in the most organic forms. I thank God every day for giving me eyes that see nature as what it is, "God's art." Kansas landscapes help remind me of that. I am married to a remarkable fine artist, Allan Chow, who spends much of his time creating oil-on-canvas landscape paintings of the Flint Hills. In the Chow household, my husband paints Kansas while I write about it. I received a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I currently work as a freelance writer and English tutor. In my spare time, I teach Ballroom, Latin, and Swing dancing.

Shelby Haag
Shelby HaagI’m a typical farmers’ daughter with a tale of two states. While my home address is Bartley, NE my family has farmed just across the state line in Decatur County for three generations. Kansas State University graduate in May 2009 in agricultural communications and journalism. Ever since my childhood I have learned life lessons through the daily challenges, responsibilities and joys of rural life by working alongside my parents and three brothers. It was through my years on the farm that I discovered my passion for Midwest agriculture, and even more so for the people it involves.

Cecilia Harris
I was born near the small town of Cuba in north central Kansas and never saw any reason to leave the Sunflower State, residing in Abilene ever since earning a journalism degree from Kansas State University in Manhattan. After writing for newspapers for several years, I left the field for the joys of motherhood and the flexibility of a professional freelance writer’s schedule. I love discovering fascinating attractions, great-tasting food at unique restaurants, fun events, and interesting people in Kansas almost as much as I enjoy writing about all of the above to inspire the exploration and appreciation of my home state. I have written numerous feature stories about people, places and activities for several magazines, and currently write blogs on food, art, culture and heritage for the state’s website, blog.travelks.com. I also have authored two books, “Historic Homes of Abilene” and “Abilene’s Carousel.”

Cynthia Harris
Cynthia HarrisCynthia Harris is a contributing author to K-State Agronomy: A Century Remembered, 1906-2006 (Manhattan, KS: Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, 2006), and co-author to the upcoming Hometown Appetites: The Story of Clementine Paddleford, the Forgotten Food Writer Who Chronicled How America Ate, to be released by Gotham Publishing on September 18, 2008

Barbara Higgins-Dover
Higgins-DoverMy life as a native Kansan is spent on a small 6-acre property just outside of Lawrence, Kansas.  I graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and a Masters degree in Education.  I write and publish children's books and music as well as magazine articles for several different publishers. My writing interests are overwhelmingly focused on life in and around the state of Kansas. I am particularly interested in how the natural environment influences the types of people that we become, especially the socioenvironmental influences that children experience. My first children's book, Catfish Cookies (www.catfishcookies.org) displays that type of socioenvironmental influence and beautifully depicts the life of a small blue catfish living in the Kansas River.

Hannah Kendall
Haling from the Oregon Coast, I'm married to a hometown Haviland boy, Ryan Kendall. My first visit to the place was when we were dating in college and the nostalgia of it left its mark on my heart. I homeschools my kids and serve as an art teacher in the community. Ryan works as Dean of Students and Athletic Director at Barclay College as well as Men and Women's Basketball coach.

Dorothy Masters
Dorothy MastersI was born on a farm south of Eskridge on the edge of the Flint Hills close to Lake Wabaunsee. My father a mule skinner worked building the lake dam for the WPA in the early 1930’s, just before I was born in 1936. I came in the year of the grasshoppers and my parents already had six kids. So I doubt if they needed me or the grasshoppers: it was a struggle to just survival in the Big Depression. It was also the year of the terrific Kansas dust storms. After graduating from Eskridge High School, I became a registered nurse and worked for 40 years before becoming a writer of my experiences, starting with a weekly column titled, “This and That.” I also published two books, “Keep on the Sunny Side of Life” and “A Day on the Trail.” I was married until Loren’s tragic tractor accidental death. We had adopted two children; I have seven grandchildren. I still live on our farm, “Mortgage Ridge,” west of Harveyville.

Jacob Mauslein
mauslein  Howdy, my name is Jacob Mauslein. I was born in  Nebraska, and raised around Hiawatha, Kansas. I have a MA in Political Science at Kansas  State University. School takes up a majority of my time,  but when I'm not hitting the books, you can usually find  me playing tennis, spending time with friends, or  watching some form of college sports. Having finished my MA, I am continuing my education. pursuing a doctorate in the field of national security.


Tom Parker
parkerI’m a native of West Texas but just barely—born in Monahans, six months or so in Pyote, and then relocation to Albuquerque, where I was raised. My careers have been varied. I’ve worked as a warehouseman, heating and refrigeration technician, security guard, burglar alarm repairman, dental equipment repairman, journalist and freelance writer. My newspaper column, This Place, won the Kansas Press Association Award of Excellence for 2003. Several of my stories have been published in Bird Watcher’s Digest. I’ve also received numerous other awards for my articles and stories, including two first place awards from the Kansas Press Association for 2006. I continue to write a weekly column, Dispatches From Kansas, for the Washington County News in rural northeast Kansas. My wife, Lori, and I escaped the rat race in Denver in 2001 and now live in Blue Rapids, Kansas, a town so small it doesn’t even rate a blinking light. Which is just the way we like it.

Heather Poore
Heather PooreI grew-up on a small farm outside of Leonardville, where I was active in 4-H, FFA and showing Angus cattle. I have since become a graduate of Kansas State University majoring in Animal Sciences and Agricultural Communications. I live in Alton and work in Osborne as the city economic development director. In my spare time, I enjoy freelance writing and working on the farm with my husband.

Lisa Quested
My name is Lisa Quested. I was born and raised in England. I also lived in Germany for 2 years in my early twenties. I have lived in Kansas ever since. I am married with two children. I owned my own small town restaurant for four years and now am happily just employed there!! While the owner of the small business, I became familiar with the plight of small town America. I advocate people who chose to live in a small town, to support the businesses also. There are numerous rewards for small town living: small class room sizes, great moral values ,caring neighbors and community events, to name a few. This unfortunately comes at a price for the business owners, who see their consumers drawn to the pull of city convenience.

Tweed Ross
Tweed Ross

Associate Professor
Director of the Catalyst
Educational Leadership
Kansas State University


Randy Rundle
randy rundleI am the owner of Fifth Avenue Antique Auto Parts in Clay Center Kansas. My company is known worldwide for its ability to make antique vehicles more reliable and fun to drive. Next time you are in Clay Center, feel free to stop by chat (or look at the motorcar!).


Zack Smith
Zack SmithMy name is Zachary Smith, I’m 18 years old, and I was born and raised in Coffeyville. I attend Field Kindley High School and will graduate in May, 2009. After high school, I plan to attend Coffeyville Community College for a year, and then transfer to Pittsburg State University where I will major in Journalism/Broadcasting. Ever since I was a young child, I have dreamed of becoming a news reporter. Some of my favorite hobbies include: hanging out with friends and family, playing piano, singing in the school choirs, watching the news, eating junk food and many others.

Joe Zentner
A Topeka native who graduated from THS in 1960 and Wichita State University in 1964, Joe Zentner is a freelance writer, photographer and angler who has catfished all over Kansas. He lives today in North Carolina, where his wife is a visiting professor.

Our Past Authors

We've enjoyed the writing of wonderful authors. Here are those who have written for us in the past.

April Blackmon
April BlackmonI am the Community Relations Officer at Fort Riley. My office assists in providing military assets to community events and helping others learn more about the post and soldiers, among other things. I am an Army brat who has lived in Kansas three times and several other places around the U.S. and Germany. I earned my bachelor's at K-State in journalism and mass communications and I am working on my master's degree. Photography is my passion and hobby.

Morgan Chilson
I grew up determined to shake the prairie grass from my heels and leave
Kansas for the bright lights and golden opportunities I was sure awaited me.
But a K-State journalism degree later, I somehow just stayed. And stayed.
And got married and had kids and realized how much it really means to say,
"Well, it's a great place to raise children." I left the full-time newspaper
business seven years ago to be at home with kids and started freelancing. I
now work a fulltime freelance business, writing for magazines, newspapers,
and ghost-writing and editing books.

John Cyr
John CyrPhotography has always been of interest to me, even when I was in grade school and the only camera I had was a plastic box-type Kodak. Now, as then, it is a means of marking time and place, recording where I go and what I see. Although my camera has changed, most journeys remain mere walks around home, typically in the early morning or evening when the light is less glaring. It's at these times I find the quiet settings along a country road to be so attractive and a reminder of why I like Kansas.

Dane Hicks
Dane HicksI'm an import to Kansas. I publisher of The Anderson County Review, a community weekly dating to 1865 in Garnett. I hold a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and I'm a 1985 graduate of the United States Marine Corps Officers Candidate School at Quantico, Va. I've authored two novels, 2003's "The Skinning Tree" about a serial killer in a small Kansas town, and 2001's "A Whisper For Help," a psychological thriller based in the Missouri Ozarks.

Katie Morford
MorfordI majored in print journalism (as of 2008) at Kansas State University. A native Kansan with roots dug deep in spacious Kansas grasslands. Some of my most precious memories are of wheat harvest with relatives-rides to the grain elevator in dusty, creaking grain trucks, a cool soda from a friendly elevator attendant and chatting with friends over a back-of-the-truck picnic. I love watching storms come in, taking country walks with my dog, enjoying Kansas sunsets and sitting on my grandma's porch swing looking out over a corn field. Most of all, I love the strong, hospitable people who helped earn Kansas the nickname "Heartland of America."

Dan Patrick
I was born and raised in Wichita.   Growing up I thought Wichita was a sad, gray dump; it bored me immensely and I hated it.   When I came to Manhattan to attend Kansas State University, however, I found that one of my identifying characteristics was that I was from Wichita.   This forced me for the first time in my life to look at Wichita from the outside in, and I came to realize all the things that make Wichita great.   Now whenever anyone asks me where I'm from, I say with great pride, "Wichita." Majored in advertising and Spanish at K-State.   In my free time I like to read, write, draw, paint and cook.   I'm most happy when I'm creating.

Charles Pearce
I was the co-owner of an art business and an advertising director before beginning my academic career. My real-world experience has helped me teach at four different universities: Middle Tennessee, Nebraska, Southern Illinois and K-State. I came to K-State in 1986, and received the Stamey Teaching Award three years later

Tulora Roeckers, Associate Editor, 2005-2006
I am what is called a non-traditional student at Kansas State University. That is, I’m the mother of 5 children (4 at home) as well as a graduate student pursuing a MA degree in English, Creative Writing, and hope to earn a certificate in technical writing along the way. My father was the son of a Kansas farmer and grew up not far from my mother in the Coffee/Anderson county area. But at the time when the two married they decided the military might be able to provide a kind of security and health care for a growing family that farming could not. And so, I was born a G.I. brat at Forbes AFB, Kansas. Our family moved around some during my childhood, but the one constant for us was Kansas. We always came back home.

Sarah Popelka
Raised in the rural Kansas community of Belleville, I had the typical farming childhood. Growing up, my siblings and I were very active in 4-H, FFA, sports, raising livestock and helping out on the farm. My large-extended family taught me to value the love and closeness we share. I cherish the security of the simple life, yet I also enjoy the energy a city provides. Luckily, I am able to find both in Kansas. Currently, I am a student at Kansas State University majoring in Journalism and Mass Communications and Nutrition. My majors greatly reflect my personal interests: I find people fascinating so writing about them and for them seemed like a perfect fit. On the side with the company of my friends and family, I enjoy skydiving, boxing and attending K-State activities in Manhattan.

Linda Sutton
I'm a native of Chester, NE, returned home to help small businesses in my former rural community. I am an employee of Wichita State University and accepted the newly created position with the Kansas Small Business Development Center in June 2003 to begin helping small businesses in North Central Kansas. The service to North Central Kansas began when Cloud County Community College agreed to partner with Wichita State University to provide a Small Business Development Center for 11 counties in North Central Kansas. SBDC provides quality, confidential, management counseling at no cost as well as affordable training seminars to both start-up and existing small businesses.

Lori Thielen
I'm a communitcations specialist at the North Central Regional Planning Commission in Beloit. Raised on a family farm and Hereford ranch in north central Kansas near Falun, I went on to graduate from Kansas State University with majors in agricultural economics and agricultural communications. Prior to moving to Beloit and now near Wilson, I worked three years in the Agricultural Economics Department at K-State as a research associate.


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Last Updated October 23, 2017
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