Sara Shepherd

KU reporter

Photo of Sara Shepherd

I'm the Journal-World's Kansas University and higher education reporter. Most of my time is (easily) spent covering all things newsworthy happening on KU's 25,000-student main campus here in Lawrence — from unusual or groundbreaking research, to multi-million dollar construction projects, to policies affecting student safety or academic success. I also cover the Kansas Board of Regents in Topeka, Haskell Indian Nations University (the sole four-year university run by the federal Bureau of Indian Education, attended by tribe members from across the United States) in Lawrence, plus highlights from the KU Medical Center and KU Hospital in Kansas City, Kan.

For KU news, find all the Journal-World's recent stories at, check out my Heard on the Hill blog, and follow @LJW_KU on Twitter. Follow me on Twitter @saramarieshep.

Previously, I was a crime and courts reporter for The Kansas City Star, where I covered untimely death or destruction most every day for a few years, everything from quadruple homicides to massive chemical fires. I’ve also covered suburban city government and schools for The Star and The Shawnee Dispatch, a weekly paper just up the road. My first beat at the Journal-World was features, covering food, arts and entertainment.

I'm originally from Emporia, but my family goes way back in Lawrence and at KU. I had ancestors living here when William Quantrill sacked the town in 1863 (they survived the massacre, probably thanks to being politically insignificant German immigrants). I’m also a fourth-generation KU grad, led by my great grandfather, who got his undergraduate and law degrees from KU. I majored in journalism, art history and French, and in case any of you fellow KU journos were wondering, my reporting beat on The University Daily Kansan was campus police. I'm occasionally asked whether covering the KU beat means I get in free to basketball games. It does not. My most covet-worthy power as KU reporter is a campus parking pass.

To reach me, call 785-832-7187 or send email to

Recent Stories

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KU basketball player Josh Jackson charged in car vandalism case; Self says he won't bench 'great ambassador' for KU

University of Kansas basketball player Josh Jackson was charged Friday with one count of criminal damage to property for allegedly damaging a car outside a Lawrence bar in December.

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Records requests connected to McCarthy Hall rape investigation denied; judge cites mental health of witnesses

The substance of a search warrant connected to a rape investigation at the apartment building where the University of Kansas men's basketball team lives is sealed to the public, a judge ordered on Wednesday.

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Bragg's diversion agreement effectively closes drug paraphernalia case, pending any other offenses

After being suspended three games, University of Kansas men’s basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. was expected to be back in uniform Monday night against Kansas State. Off court, Bragg’s recent drug paraphernalia case appears to be wrapped up.

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KU Athletics director explains ‘no comment’ stance on reports of basketball players’ misconduct

Zenger asserts department does not influence investigations

In recent weeks, members of the highly-ranked University of Kansas men’s basketball team have made national headlines due to off-court incidents. In an interview with the Journal-World on Friday, KU’s top athletics official assured that the KU basketball team is not out of control and said administrators' “no comment” stance on the alleged incidents was required.

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KU's Bragg gets diversion in drug paraphernalia case

University of Kansas men’s basketball player Carlton Bragg is now on diversion in his drug paraphernalia case.

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KU planning for metal detectors on game days at Allen Fieldhouse, Memorial Stadium

Security measures to prohibit guns estimated to cost more than $1 million

Starting this fall, prepare for an experience reminiscent of pro sports when entering Allen Fieldhouse and Memorial Stadium for games: metal detectors and security guards. Kansas law requires state universities to allow concealed handguns on their campuses beginning July 1, but KU anticipates banning guns from athletic events where attendance is expected to be more than 5,000 people, according to newly released concealed carry implementation information from the university.

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Bragg drug paraphernalia case proceeding in municipal court

University of Kansas men’s basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. has secured an attorney, and his initial court appearance in a drug paraphernalia case has been bumped to early March.

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KU basketball player Bragg charged in drug paraphernalia case; Self comments on charge

University of Kansas men’s basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. is the person charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in a case stemming from a rape investigation at the team’s dorm.

Attorney for former KU football recruit demands end to online posts labeling him ‘rapist’

Transfer hopeful disclosed involvement in Title IX investigation to KU months ago, attorney says

In a strongly worded letter, an attorney for a momentary University of Kansas football recruit accused a woman of defaming and harassing the man online — even going so far as to blame her posts for KU rescinding its verbal commitment to the player.

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Bragg, suspended from basketball team, has had more than one encounter with law enforcement this school year

Another recent brush with the law by University of Kansas men’s basketball player Carlton Bragg Jr. came to light Friday, a day after coach Bill Self announced Bragg’s indefinite suspension from the team.

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