Mensa Scholarships

Mid-America Mensa is proud to be participating again this year in the Mensa Education and Research Foundation Scholarship Essay Contest. Entry forms are now available at www.mensafoundation.org/scholarships. The application form is online, and applicants will submit their essays at the Mensa website.

As in past years interested applicants will submit a 550-word essay describing their goals and aspirations. The essays selected by our local judges will go on to be judged at the Regional and National levels for the awarding of scholarships. Any person who will be enrolled in an accredited US institution for the 2021–2022 academic year is eligible to participate. It is not necessary to be a member of Mensa. There is a separate competition for Mensa members and their dependents, with details available at the same website. The deadline to participate is January 15, 2021.

Many of the scholarships are unrestricted, meaning that all entrants will compete for them. There is also a number of restricted awards whose recipients must meet certain criteria. The following is a brief summary of those:

  • 4 Paws and a Tail ($1,000) – Restricted to graduate level studies or continuing education of an established Veterinarian.
  • Bob and Mary Ann Cox Scholarship ($500) – For a student who has been out of formal education for a period of six or more years.
  • Carol Martinez Scholarship ($2,500) – Restricted to the field of Information Technology.
  • David Mann Scholarship ($2,000) – Study of aeronautical engineering or an aerospace field.
  • Don and Virginia Prince Scholarship ($600) – Must be a military veteran or spouse of a veteran.
  • Dr. Peter M. Kendall Science Scholarship ($600) – Restricted to the Natural Sciences including but not limited to Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, Geology, Environmental Science, Forestry, Pre-Med, Pre-Dentistry.
  • Greg Timmers Arts Education Scholarship ($600) – Fine Arts that can include applied arts such as architecture, photography, ceramics and textiles.
  • Harper Fowley – Isolated M Award ($600) – Study for an undergraduate liberal arts degree (B.A. or A.A.).
  • Helen Kupper Scholarship ($600) – For a student pursuing a degree in the Fine Arts.
  • Lester London Award ($600) – Graduate study in history.
  • Margie Mandelblatt Award ($1,000) – Study in journalism.
  • Margot Seitelman Memorial Scholarship ($1,000) – Graduate student who plans a career in professional writing or teaching English grammar and/or writing.
  • Rita Levine Memorial Scholarship ($600) – For a female returning to school after any absence of seven or more years – may be re-enrolled at time of application.
  • Rosemary Greathouse Scholarship ($600) – For a student pursuing a degree in the Arts, including creative writing and journalism.
  • The Skinner HELL’s M’s Memorial Scholarship ($500) – Interpersonal communications, mediation, or related study.
  • STEM scholarship ($2,000) – For natural and applied science, technology, and math majors (includes medical and health sciences majors).
  • The Sylvia Scholarship ($600) – For a woman pursuing a degree in the Natural Sciences or Mathematics.
  • Walt and Mary McGrew Scholarship for Veterans ($1,000) – For a veteran.

The following are restricted scholarships which are new this year!

  • Stem Scholarship for Women ($7,000) – (Four scholarships) – Restricted to the study of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for a female or transgender female.
  • CGM Health Careers Scholarship ($600) – Restricted to Medicine, Pharmacy, Veterinary Science, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy, or other Allied Health Fields.
  • First Timers’ Grant ($1,000) – Affirm and declare that applicant is the first person in family to have earned in excess of twelve college credits.
  • Celebrating Racial Diversity ($1,000) – For a person of color.

Election Soon of MAM’s 2021-2022 Board Members

Mid-America Mensa (MAM) will be electing a new Board of Directors before the January Board meeting. MAM’s Nominating Committee has chosen the following Board member nominees for their slate of board officers:

LocSec — Kim Jackowski
1st Vice President — Cynthia Heller
2nd Vice President — Brad Lucht
Secretary — Curt Krambeck
Treasurer — Shawn Dyer
1st Member at Large — Larry Cork
2nd Member at Large — Anita Ford

MAM’s Nominating Committee will meet at 6:30 pm just prior to the MAM Board meeting scheduled for January 14th, 2021, to present their slate as is.

MAM’s Nominating Committee is responsible for submitting a slate of officers at the Nominating Meeting to be held no later than January 15th. There is also an option for making nominations from the floor, but some stipulations apply, so it is important to review the requirements in the MAM Bylaws. If there is only one nominee for any position, the Election Committee will announce the nominee to be elected ‘by acclamation’. If there is more than one nominee for any position, the MAM Election Committee will be responsible for conducting an election in accordance with the group Bylaws.

Pythagorean Theorem Day

Pythagorean Theorem Day is celebrated when the sum of the squares of the month and day of a date equals the square of the last 2 digits of the year of that date. So we have one in December, 12/16/20 (122+162=202 or 144+256=400), another one on 7/24/25, and the last one this century will be 10/24/26. But that will be your last chance to celebrate until March of 2105, so don’t wait, whoop it up now!

In honor of the day (and the Theorem), I have included below, one of my favorite graphical proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. Look closely at the animated image and you can see why, with a right triangle with sides a, b, and c, that a2+b2 must be the same as c2. Note that the right triangles remain the same, they merely get rearranged. It is the left over area that gets reallocated as a2+b2 or c2 within the larger fixed-size square.

Updated: MAM Wins Ruby Award

Mid-America Mensa (MAM) received some well-deserved recognition during a recent recalculation based upon the 2020 American Mensa Annual Awards. In Class II, MAM was awarded a RUBY for a variety of its activities and accomplishments – earned by the local group as a whole. Basically, groups can earn points for “active participation in all that Mensa has to offer to positively impact the experience of the local group members”. The award was the culmination of points earned during the fiscal year just completed for April 2019 – March 2020. For more about this see: Jewel Awards Criteria, https://www.us.mensa.org/recognize/group-awards/local-group-jewels/

Awards like this one from American Mensa are like a precious gemstone because they show a degree of bright, active participation and glowing vitality that are so greatly needed by a living, breathing social organization. We had received the SAPPHIRE level of recognition in an earlier announcement but it has now been upgraded to the RUBY level which perhaps indicates a very solid core group of members who continue to build Mid-America Mensa’s story with a very high level of service. In addition, we continue to foster the growth of our entire membership through hosting local activities and events (like Cabin Fever earlier this year). Truly, we must like each other well enough to stick around with each other in MAM. Belonging to MAM continues to be time well spent by our members; so, congratulations to Mid-America Mensa for winning this American Mensa local group jewel award!

Ruby Jewel Award

Notable: MAM Wins Sapphire Award

Mid-America Mensa (MAM) received some well-deserved recognition during the recent 2020 American Mensa Annual Awards. In Class II, MAM was awarded a SAPPHIRE for a variety of its activities and accomplishments – earned by the local group as a whole. Basically, groups can earn points for “active participation in all that Mensa has to offer to positively impact the experience of the local group members”. The award was the culmination of points earned during the fiscal year just completed for April 2019 – March 2020. For more about this see: Jewel Awards Criteria, https://www.us.mensa.org/recognize/group-awards/local-group-jewels/

Awards like this one from American Mensa are like a precious gemstone because they show a degree of bright, active participation and glowing vitality that are so greatly needed by a living, breathing social organization. We have achieved the SAPPHIRE level of recognition for several years in a row which perhaps indicates a stable core group of members who continue to build the story of Mid-America Mensa with a high level of service to MAM’s members from year to year. In addition, we continue to foster the growth of our entire membership through hosting local activities and events (like Cabin Fever earlier this year). Truly, we must like each other well enough to stick around with each other in MAM. Belonging to MAM continues to be time well spent by our members; so, congratulations to Mid-America Mensa for winning this American Mensa local group jewel award!

Sapphire Award

Q&A with Stephen T. Johnson

Q&A with Stephen T. Johnson

What do you think about when you think about interconnections? Among other different things, Interconnections is a triptych mosaic mural located inside the Lenexa City Center Library, Lenexa, KS. This library is new to the Johnson County Library system. It had held a ribbon-cutting ceremony as recently as June 2nd, 2019, when tours were given to introduce the public to the new building, as well as to allow visitors to gaze upward upon the new public art project, Interconnections, which was designed by award-winning artist Stephen T. Johnson.

Editor’s note: When this library reopens on June 15th, spend some time with Interconnections if you can and learn about its little passages of colorful, harmonious interconnections.

Q-1/ Why is the essence of your triptych Interconnections like an alphabet?

Stephen/ Concert halls, art museums, and public libraries invite us to explore ideas and the interconnections they evoke through sounds, colors, and language. We rearrange the notes of a scale to generate musical compositions, we mix the colors of a rainbow to create visual works of art, and we reorder the letters of an alphabet to form words and texts.

As with a triplet of stained glass windows or three lines of a Haiku, Interconnections is a triptych that celebrates the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet through a profusion of typographic fonts, both uppercase and lowercase, intermixed with images from my books — Alphabet City, Alphabet School, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet.

Reading from left to right, the first panel celebrates the letters A to I, the second panel J to Q, and the third panel R to Z. The goal of Interconnections is to inspire visitors to the library to view our world in a fresh and playful way, and in so doing, discover for themselves juxtapositions of scale, color harmonies, rhythms in surface textures, and joy in what may seem unremarkable or ordinary, by transcending the mundane and unearthing its hidden beauty.

Q-2/ How did you begin to think about this creation as a conceptual idea?

Stephen/ After being awarded the commission, I had constructive discussions with members of the public art commission, particularly Christopher Leitch (also a staff member of the library), who encouraged me to push my concept for the designated three large vertical spaces to include references to my various children’s books. It was clear to me relatively quickly thereafter, that I should consider using my three published alphabet books — Alphabet City, Alphabet School, and A is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet as a source of inspiration for the murals. Paired with my love for abstract collage, which connects and contrasts edges, patterns, colors, shapes and imagery, this was the perfect medium to introduce my various typography binding the three designs in both a visual and conceptual manner.

Q-3/ Which particular skills did you apply/use with Interconnections?

Stephen/ The designs for these murals were constructed digitally beginning with physical collage (found paper sources like posters, magazine advertisements, old books, and the like), that I would scan into the computer and with Photoshop, change the size and colors of shapes and imagery. I also scanned various pages from my alphabet books and chose the letters that would work best within the overall design being mindful that they would be translated into glass mosaics for the final artwork.

Q-4/ What were the other helpful artistic resources you drew from? (Like, emotions, materials, tools, your father?)

Stephen/ My love of abstract collage that has a heavy typographical component came from several remnants of political posters that my father (Ted Johnson a Mensa member since the early 1990’s) saved from our years living in Bordeaux, France in the 1970’s. I referred to these posters for the design of Interconnections. My propensity for incorporating bright primary colors intermixed with pink, green and black create a dense and vibrant impact. This was made possible by the extraordinary artistic work of Franz Mayer of Munich. Beginning with the interpretation of my design, to the shipping and eventual installation, Franz Mayer translated my designs into gorgeous mosaics. Working with them was a joy and as an artist that generally works unassisted, I greatly enjoy the collaborative nature of public art which includes working with project managers, architects, consultants, local representatives, interior designers, and contractors that together, produce a mutually beneficial and memorable experience for all.

Other Suggested Online Resources:

Family Art Guide – https://www.jocolibrary.org/sites/default/files/lx_familyartguide.pdf
Library lessons — https://kansasalumnimagazine.org/issue-5-2019/stephen-johnson-library-lessons/
Lenexa City Center Library, Lenexa, KS — https://stephentjohnson.com/#/library/