Speaker Date Topic
Thomas Montiel, Executive Director Apr 20, 2021 12:00 PM

With a passion for assisting youth and a proactive mindset, Thomas brings a strong leadership presence to KANSEL.   His “So What? Now What?” approach with students and staff brings a culture of caring, consideration, collaboration and creation.  Going out of his way to hear student’s problems, engaging issues and working as a team to address individual needs.

Working multiple jobs since he was 15, Thomas’s professional experiences include positions in Non-profit Leadership, Workforce Development, Sales, Retail and Food Management and lots of “blue collar” manual labor.

Travis Balthazor, Flight Operations Manager May 04, 2021 12:00 PM
UAS Flight Operations
UAS Flight Operations

Travis Balthazor oversees flight instructors and pilots for UAS research, outreach, and flight training. He has extensive knowledge of current 14 CFR Part 107 regulations, Public and Section 333 Exemptions through Certificate of Authorizations. As Flight Operations Manager, he ensures that all flight operations are conducted in accordance with applicable regulations and routinely works with the FAA to gain operational approval for flights that are outside the regulatory constraints. Balthazor has a master’s degree with a focus on human factors in UAS. Additionally, he received a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Technology– professional pilot as well as a minor in aviation safety and an unmanned aircraft systems certificate from Kansas State University. Balthazor has several manned flight ratings including commercial instrument multi-engine airplane and certified flight instructor instrument airplane. As a flight instructor, Balthazor trains and endorses students on check rides. Balthazor routinely teaches outreach course offerings to the public. Through these courses, he instructs individuals, companies, and departments to integrate UAS within their respective industries. These courses span many industries but are often directly taught to law enforcement, academia, agriculture, and construction.

Russell Fox, Professor, Friends University May 11, 2021 12:00 PM
“Wichita vs. Topeka: When Cities and States Conflict”

Russell Arben Fox, a native of Spokane Valley, WA, has lived in Wichita for 15 years. He received a BA and MA in Political Science and International Studies from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, in 1993 and 1994, and a PhD in Politics from Catholic University of America in Washington DC in 2001. He taught at Mississippi State University, Arkansas State University, and Western Illinois University, before arriving at Friends University in 2006. He currently serves as Professor of Political Science and directs their History & Politics major, their University Honors Program, and their Model United Nations Program. He has published numerous articles on American history, education, continental political thought, communitarianism, Confucian philosophy, and bicycling, and is currently working on a book on mid-sized cities. He is a long-time blogger, a regular political commentator for KPTS and KAKE, a contributor to the state-wide newspaper service Insight Kansas, a frequent participant in city advisory boards, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife Melissa are the parents of four daughters.

Margaret Kline, President May 25, 2021
Wichita Genealogy Society
Wichita Genealogy Society

Margaret is the current president of the Wichita Genealogical Society.  An engineer by degree, she spent the first 25 years of her career at Boeing followed by a 15 year stint with the FAA.   She retired from the FAA in 2019 and now works part time for a non-profit DC research firm.  Genealogy is a hobby of 30 years that has turned into an avocation.  She has traced her family in Ireland, Croatia and various locations within the U.S. with ancestors that came here as early as the Mayflower and as late as 1910.

Her talk will introduce you to the Wichita Genealogical Society and their association with the Wichita Public Library.  Along the way, she’ll touch on Rotary-unique history as extracted from area newspapers dating back to the early 1900s.