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MAGAZINE Summer 2013

Vol. 5, No. 1

Opening Doors Graduate education is unlocking new doors to the future (Page 2)

Park University — opening doors to students since 1875.

Contents 2 8


18 12


Opening doors


Global Executive MBA program


Leading the way


Campus connection


Pursing dreams at Park


Study of Loss


Poetry Power

21 Doors from the Parkville Campus 22 Meeting the demands 24 University News


28 In academia 30 Alumniad 32 Getting to know our alumni 33 Alumni benefits

Park University Magazine is published for Park alumni and friends by the Office of University Advancement and the Office of University Communications. Send address corrections to the Office of University Advancement, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Box 65, Parkville, MO 64152, call (816) 584-6200 or e-mail Visit for more information. The mission of Park University is to provide access to a quality higher education experience that prepares


Alumni Weekend 2013

36 Master’s degree measures 41 Class Notes

a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective, and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

44 Park Mourns

Core values that guide our actions • Accountability • Civility and Respect • Excellence • Global Citizenship • Inclusivity • Integrity

Park’s Promise:

Go green with Park Park University Magazine is available online. To opt out of receiving a printed version of the magazine, please e-mail the Office of Alumni Relations at If you receive more than one copy in the mail, please let us know. Thank you for supporting Park’s efforts to be more eco-friendly. Park University Magazine is created by: Kathy Winklhofer, Wink Creative Communications, Vanessa Bonavia, V Communications,

Serving those who serve their community and country with personalized, globally-relevant education for life.

Dear Park Community, As I look back to last fall and that first day of classes, I shake my head in wonder about how quickly the 2012-13 academic year flew by. While the pace was furious, the University’s exciting outcomes were forged directly from our new five-year strategic plan, Park’s Promise. This issue of the Park University Magazine focuses on graduate education. In addition to that topic we will also highlight an important element of Park’s Promise — aligning the Parkville Campus Master Plan with the bold commitments of that new strategic plan. With the assistance of faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumni and community leaders, the future needs for the Parkville Campus were carefully evaluated and shaped into a master plan that will ensure optimal functionality and enhance the beauty of the Parkville Campus. Campus zoning will provide flexibility in guiding future projects and the plan’s phasing will align projects with the growth occurring as a result of Park’s Promise. An example of Park’s deep commitment to serving the U.S. military is also shared in this issue. Due to the country’s sequestration, tuition benefits were suddenly suspended in March for active duty service members in the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines Corps, U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force. Park responded immediately by pooling private funds to establish Emergency Military Scholarships, thereby providing full tuition support for those caught without resources. Park was the first college or university in the nation to provide such assistance for stranded learners to continue their education without incurring debt. To our amazement and delight, the announcement of Park’s Emergency Military Scholarship Fund went viral on Facebook and Twitter, and soon resulted in numerous interviews on national television and radio stations, as well as newspaper articles, across the country. The outpouring of “thanks” the University received around the country also included significant financial contributions for the scholarship fund. Some donors had not previously heard of Park. All donations and words of encouragement were, and continue to be, deeply appreciated. For Park, the decision to act quickly and do the right thing for those who serve our country was not difficult. This kind of commitment is part of Park’s heritage as well as our future. Stephen Terry, director of Park University’s Department of Military and Veteran Student Services (right), was interviewed by Carolyn Long of KCTV in Kansas City on Veterans Day in November 2012.

As the 2013-14 academic year approaches, I envision an even brighter year as we continue to deliver on Park’s Promise to “serve those who serve their community and country by providing personalized, globally-relevant education for life.” That is a promise worth keeping and one that is desperately needed by our community, our nation and beyond!

Best regards,

Michael H. Droge, Ph.D. President, Park University

Park University Magazine Summer 2013 Vol. 5 No. 1 Michael H. Droge, Ph.D. President (816) 584-6202 Laurie McCormack Vice President for University Advancement (816) 584-6210 Rita Weighill, ‘90 Vice President for University Communications and Marketing (816) 584-6212 Brad Biles Associate Director for University Communications (816) 584-6888 Julie McCollum Director of Alumni Relations (816) 584-6206

Let us hear from you

Contact the Office of University Communications and Marketing with your comments about the Park University Magazine. (816) 584-6212 Office of University Communications and Marketing 8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 65 Parkville, MO 64152

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Opening Doors Graduate education is unlocking new doors to the future

Summer 2013 - 2

By Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D. Dean, Park University School of Graduate and Professional Studies

We live in fascinating times. Around the globe, we’re witnessing vast social, economic and technological change that is both uncertain and rich with opportunity. The pace of change is relentless as the world presents us with many new and exciting doors to open. The question is “How do we best prepare ourselves for this changing world?” In the past, while things were always changing, change seemed manageable. We could select a solid, reliable door, follow a dependable script on how to succeed and anticipate a somewhat predictable career path. Today, however, we’re experiencing change at an extraordinary pace. Which door should we open? What is the script for us now? How do we prepare? When we look to the future from where we are today, there is no script. There is no one door. Fortunately, there are many doors to choose from and the scripts we follow are ours to create. The key to the future lies in education. And increasingly, that key is graduate education. Graduate education provides the knowledge and skills to adapt quickly, and in many cases, open doors to career paths that were not available — or even imaginable — just a decade ago.

Big questions The big question for anyone considering a graduate degree is often “Is it for me and is it worth it?” Many considerations factor into this decision, including career aspirations, family circumstances, current job demands and finances. I am proud that Park University’s graduate programs are among the most affordable among private institutions in the United States, and are priced competitively compared to the in-state tuition of most public institutions. Ultimately, graduate education is a personal decision. Success requires allocation of resources — including time, energy and commitment. Sometimes people say “I am too old to go back to school.” I can state from personal experience the years will go by anyway. Three or four years from now, you will be that much older — with or without the degree. Sometimes people say “I’m not bright enough for graduate school.” I am convinced that one problem we have in this world is that individuals underestimate themselves and their capabilities. While graduate study is rigorous, the defining characteristics of a successful graduate student are not innate brilliance, but rather determination, hard work and relentlessly sticking to the goal. Every year, it’s a joy to witness Park graduate students accomplish what they did not think possible. Summer 2013 - 3

Opening Doors Graduate education is unlocking new doors to the future require a master’s degree or doctoral degree. Educational level and salary level are also related to lower unemployment. A BLS report issued in January demonstrated that educational levels have been a protection against unemployment. As education levels increase, unemployment rates drop. The lowest unemployment rates are among those with advanced degrees; at the same time, those with advanced degrees also command larger salaries.

Earning potential Not only does graduate education enhance employment adaptability, it increases one’s earning potential. A bachelor’s degree alone is increasingly no longer sufficient for lifetime employment — a graduate degree is often required. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-sixth of the fastest growing occupations for 2006-16

The process of earning an advanced degree develops and polishes attributes that increase one’s attractiveness to employers. Within a master’s program, there’s a greater expectation of performance, research, independent thinking, accountability, leadership, and the ability to examine, articulate and argue different points of view. The intensive training ground of a

master’s program develops the invaluable competencies that employers most value. Master’s students at Park University, particularly in the online environment, frequently gain experience leading virtual teams, conducting virtual presentations and interacting with fellow students located around the globe.

National interest Graduate education does not only benefit the individual. Graduate education also is in the interest of our nation. In our global environment, we compete with many nations, two of which vastly outnumber us. China and India each have far greater populations than the U.S., with a combined population of more than 2.5 billion, dwarfing that of the U.S. According to Inside Higher Ed, China and India are currently graduating far more

EDUCATION PAYS Unemployment rate in 2012 (%)

Median weekly earnings in 2012 ($)

2.5 2.1 3.5 4.5 6.2 7.7 8.3

Doctoral degree Professional degree


Master’s degree


Bachelor’s degree


Associate’s degree


Some college, no degree


High school diploma Less than a high school diploma



652 471

All workers: $815

All workers: 6.8% Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey Summer 2013 - 4

“A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.” — Thomas Jefferson

Graduate Doors at Park With students from more than 60 countries, the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University comprises an impressive learning community where students shape their own future. Park’s master’s degree programs include:

college graduates than the U.S. (China: 8 million associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees; U.S. less than 2 million). By 2020, China is projected to have more college graduates than the U.S. population of 25-to-64-year-olds. As The New York Times recently pointed out, China is investing $250 billion a year in higher education. These investments, coupled with the sheer demographic differences, place pressure on America to harness and develop our human intellectual capital. Beyond global competitiveness, education is fundamental to human dignity, self-governance and the rule of law. Our nation’s founders recognized that education is fundamental to a free and civil society. One illustration of their commitment to education is found on Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone. Jefferson served prominent public service roles, including as governor of Virginia and president of the U.S. Yet he chose only three accomplishments for his tombstone: author of the Declaration of Independence; author of the Virginia Declaration of Religious Freedom; and founder of the University of Virginia. These accomplishments most defined his contributions to the future of a nation he worked so hard to build. For Jefferson, the university he founded was necessary in order to perpetuate the principles he established in the documents he authored. It insured that generations of Americans would keep open the doors of a free society. Today, we at Park University also assert the importance of higher education in addressing the daunting issues facing our human family, our country and our world.

• Master of Business Administration (concentrations available in General, Finance, International Business and Management Information Systems) • Master of Healthcare Administration • Master of Public Affairs (concentrations in Business, Government and Global Society; Disaster and Emergency Management; Public Management; and Nonprofit and Community Services Management) • Master of Education (emphasis areas in Adult Education, Educational Leadership with Certification, Language and Literacy, and Teacher Leadership) • Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership • Master of Music in Performance (applied emphasis in Cello, Piano, Viola and Violin)

Graduate Certificates Park also offers an array of graduate certificates — 12-to-15 credit hour programs that provide credentialing for those with at least a bachelor’s degree. Credits can be applied toward a master’s degree. Park certificate programs include: • Business and Government Leadership • Computer and Network Security • Disaster and Emergency Management • Finance • Global Business • Healthcare/Health Services Management and Leadership • Leadership of International Healthcare Organizations • Management Information Systems • Music Performance • Nonprofit Leadership • Graduate Artist Diploma in Music Performance

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Students from China enrolled in Park’s Global Executive Master of Business Administration program include (left to right): Beining Lai, Minrui Liang, Tanhua Yang, Yizhu Li, Fan Liu, Fei Wu and Dan Meng with Jackie Campbell, M.H.L. ‘09, assistant director of Park’s MBA program, and Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of Park’s School of Business.

Introducing: The Global Executive MBA Program The School of Business at Park University has launched a Global Executive Master of Business Administration program to meet the needs of today’s business executives. This new MBA program is designed especially for professionals with managerial experience who want to prepare for managing in a globally competitive world. The GEMBA program is highly appealing to executives from the Asia-Pacific region. Park’s Global Executive MBA program welcomed its first cohort of seven Chinese executives in June. Before beginning the 11-month, 33-credit-hour curriculum, the Chinese executives will complete a one month intensive business English language course.

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The GEMBA program will also include formal and informal opportunities for these Chinese executives to network with business leaders in the Kansas City area. “It’s common for universities to send MBA students to learn in China, but only three schools in the United States are creating innovative learning opportunities for Chinese executive MBA students, and one of them is Park University,” said Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of Park’s School of Business. “This new program offers a mutually beneficial global perspective by giving Chinese executives a unique insight into the American businesses culture and climate

while giving Park’s faculty and other MBA students, as well as the Kansas City business community, a greater understanding of the business environment in the Asia-Pacific region,” Kleindl said. Courses for the Global Executive MBA program are taught by Park’s Ph.D. faculty hailing from five different countries. Park’s GEMBA faculty have participated as Fulbright Scholars, engaged in international research and have international teaching experience. Another cohort of business executives from the Asia-Pacific region is expected to begin the program in the fall.

Leading the way Park University Magazine continues this special series to highlight members of Park’s Board of Trustees and various advisory boards who provide support and counsel to the University. Park University is grateful for their invaluable commitment of time, expertise and financial support to lead the way to Park’s continued success. As an independent university, Park is governed by a 21-to-31-member Board of Trustees. The Board is comprised of business, civic and philanthropic leaders, and alumni and friends, who advocate on the University’s behalf. Additionally, several advisory groups comprised of interested alumni and friends provide guidance and ideas to the University in general, and specific academic units in particular.

David Warm

Jackie Snyder, Ed.D.

“I’ve been affiliated with Park for more than 20 years and actively involved for the last decade,” said Warm. “From my perspective, Park has never been better positioned to carve a more influential role in higher education, regionally and nationally.”

As a Parkville, Mo., resident, alderman and a lifelong educator, Snyder wants to make sure the community knows that Park University is a special place. “The positive presence of Park’s faculty and students is an invaluable resource for our community,” she said. Last year, she joined Park’s Civic Advisory Council to help the University reach further into the Parkville and Kansas City metropolitan community to forge mutually beneficial connections, from internships and employment to educational partnerships.

Park University Board of Trustees Executive Director, Mid-America Regional Council

If anyone knows what it takes to achieve regional and national success, it’s Warm. Since 1990, he has been the executive director of the Mid-America Regional Council. MARC is a nonprofit association that serves nine counties and 120 cities in the bi-state Kansas City region to provide a forum for the region to work together to advance social, economic and environmental progress. Warm’s relationship with Park began two decades ago working with public affairs colleagues at Park on various educational and community initiatives. After serving on Park’s Civic Advisory Council, Warm joined Park’s Board of Trustees in 2011 and recently served on Park’s Strategic Planning Commission to help develop the new strategic plan, Park’s Promise. “Park’s Promise is impressive in its clarity and focus,” Warm said. “With the board, faculty, staff and the broader community all working toward defined and relevant objectives, Park is on a clear path to continued success.” Warm, who has a master’s degree in public administration, said the value of Park’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies has never been more important. “Many growing career paths simply cannot be accomplished without a master’s degree,” he said. “A graduate degree demonstrates to an employer a level of accomplishment, perspective and relevancy. But its real power comes from its ability to support better outcomes in the workplace that get noticed, valued and promoted.”

Park University Civic Advisory Council Chancellor Emeritus, Metropolitan Community College

Snyder has referred many students and employees to Park during her tenure leading one of the Kansas City area’s largest community colleges. In 2005, Snyder became the first female chancellor of the Metropolitan Community College in its more than 90-year history. She previously served as president of MCC’s Penn Valley campus, during which time she increased enrollment more than 20 percent. As MCC’s vice chancellor of economic and resource development, Snyder opened its Business and Technology campus that provides workforce training for more than 20,000 students each year. With a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctorate in higher education, Snyder is a big believer in graduate education. “In today’s world, a bachelor’s degree is a base. If you don’t keep learning, growing and bringing new ideas to the table, there is no way to advance in an organization or to advance an organization.” She particularly admires Park for its leadership in online education that is making graduate education possible for busy adults and its work with the military. “Most people don’t realize all that Park is doing across the country,” she said. “I enjoy making sure they know.”

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Campus Connection Approved 2013 Master Plan reflects Park’s Promise priorities Summer 2013 - 8

Back row left to right: Clint Harris, Becky Peck, Scott Hageman, Rita Weighill, ‘90, Dr. Jerry Jorgensen, Paul Gault, ‘65, M.P.A. ‘88, Mark Martin, Dr. Michael Droge, Danny Sakata, Eric Blair, M.P.A. ‘06, and David Monchusie, ‘00. Seated left to right: Clarinda Creighton, Kay Boehr, Laurie McCormack and Dr. Gayden Carruth. Standing in front: Roger Hershey and Barry Huhn.

The experience predictably provokes a chorus of awe-inspired “oohs” and “ahhhs.” Whether for the first or umpteenth time, those who enter Park University’s flagship Parkville Campus resoundingly agree that its historic and picturesque beauty is undeniable. As Park looks to the future, it is investing time and talents to preserve and enhance the University’s centerpiece while initiating renovation and expansion plans to enrich the communal connection that distinguishes the campus experience.

Strategic and Master Plans Last year, the University established Park’s Promise, the 2012-17 strategic plan, which outlined five strategic priorities that will guide Park’s future: 1. Ensure student success. 2. Strengthen the Park brand. 3. Ensure customer service and organizational effectiveness. 4. Optimize the use of technology. 5. Strengthen Park’s fiscal position. On the heels of Park’s Promise, the University’s Board of Trustees recently approved the 2013 Master Plan.

So what’s the difference between a strategic plan and a master plan? Actually, they’re not necessarily different. One influences the other. “Our purpose was to establish a vision and a direction for future improvements to the physical environment on Park University’s flagship campus in Parkville that reflect and support the priorities established in Park’s Promise,” said Roger Hershey, J.D., L.L.M., vice president and general counsel, and assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees, who led the 2013 Master Planning Commission.

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Campus Connection Essentially, Park’s Master Plan outlines how the University plans to create a more efficient, vibrant and inviting residential campus experience for students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community. Every improvement relates back to Park’s Promise and its strategic priorities. Facilitate growth The Master Planning Commission was constituted by Michael H. Droge, Ph.D., Park University president, and was comprised of Park staff, faculty and members of the Board of Trustees. The University engaged the Kansas City, Mo., office of AECOM, a global architecture, engineering and technical design firm, to serve as a consultant to the Commission. “The Parkville Campus is absolutely stunning,” said Barry Huhn, AECOM senior associate and leader of the AECOM consulting team. “The Master Plan establishes a logical series of renovations, expansions and new development projects to promote continuous improvement of the campus and facilitate the University’s longterm growth.” Overall, the plan defines “Functional Use Zones” rather than establishing specific building footprints or defined programs to allow for flexibility as conditions change and funding opportunities arise. Zones include academic, administration, athletic/ recreation, residential, library, student services, distance learning and service spaces. 2013 Master Plan Goals Overarching goals outlined in the Master Plan are intended to improve both function and aesthetics guided by fundamental principles including: • Connectivity — Promote a more pedestrian-centered campus by

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connecting all buildings with accessible and clearly defined pedestrian pathways. Create better connectivity with downtown Parkville with attractive and safe pathways from the campus. • Balance tradition with innovation — Respect the historic architecture and character of the University’s buildings while integrating technology to promote a world-class learning environment. • Beauty — Protect and enhance the iconic views of Mackay Hall and the many natural views of the campus and its scenic Missouri River bluff location. Enhance pedestrian terraces or “quads” as they relate to buildings in an intentional manner as landscaped outdoor “rooms” rather than functional sidewalks. • Community — Create a more visitorfriendly campus with highly visible welcome and information points. Develop more central gathering spaces with multiple uses that enhance student life, including a new “Park Commons” that would also be accessible to other constituents of Park, including employees of the Parkville Commercial Underground whose tenants provide student internships, employment and other resources that strengthen the University. 2013 Master Plan Recommendations Digging deeper, five bold proposals establish the framework for the 2013 Master Plan: 1) Replace the athletic functions in Labor Hall with a new athletic training facility and separate non-athlete fitness facility. 2) Renovate Alumni Hall, Herr House and the Parkville Commercial Underground’s President Condit Exit for enhanced academic and student life experience. 3) Expand classroom space in the Mabee Learning Center/Academic

Underground and backfill vacated above-ground space with faculty offices consolidated by department. 4) Create “Park Commons” as a renewed Academic Underground focal point for student activity with a café, lounge and support services that are adjacent to a reconfigured, technology-driven library space. 5) Reinforce the Copley Quad residential area with new student housing as the campus population increases, along with a new dining facility. Retain Dearing Hall and Chestnut Hall for student housing to enable the University to provide versatile student housing options and price points. The Master Plan recommends projects that are based on projected increased enrollments. The University’s Office of Enrollment Management has projected a student enrollment of 1,950 students on the Parkville Campus by the year 2018, with 750 projected to live on campus. The Master Plan provides a framework to accommodate this growth. Aesthetic strategies have been balanced with financial considerations and plans for phased implementation. As with all major undertakings of the University, any long-term debt required to fund specific projects will go before the Board of Trustees for approval through the budgeting process. “Implementation of the Master Plan will call for careful and strategic funding solutions that bring together revenue from tuition, interest earned, private gifts and, potentially, public/private partnerships,” Droge said. “We look forward to exploring all avenues with our Board of Trustees, alumni and other constituents.”

Left to right: Roger Hershey, Barry Huhn and Dr. Michael Droge

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Dr. Ingrid Stölzel, director of Park University’s International Center for Music, inside the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel, home to the ICM on the University’s Parkville Campus.

Pursuing dreams at Park New director to brighten the spotlight on Park’s International Center for Music The finest musicians around the globe have been finding their way to Park University over the last decade. Yet Ingrid Stölzel, D.M.A., appointed director of Park’s International Center for Music in February, said the program is still one of the world’s best-kept secrets. Stölzel plans to change that. “Our students have performed in some of the most prestigious venues around the world and have won more than 25 international awards since the ICM opened its doors. This kind of success is unprecedented for an institution of Park’s size,” Stölzel said. “My goal is to expand the ICM’s visibility regionally, nationally and internationally, and

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ultimately, establish it as one of the premier schools in the world for advanced study in musical performance.” The International Center for Music was established in 2003 with a mission to train and educate the next generation of accomplished musicians in a focused and creative atmosphere with a faculty of renowned excellence. The ICM offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, graduate certificates and diplomas focused solely on performance in violin, viola, cello and piano. Since its inception, the ICM has been attracting serious attention. “We’re competing with schools like The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music to attract high-caliber young musicians,” Stölzel said. In fact, pianist Behzod Abduraimov, a Park senior applied music/piano major from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, turned down a full ride to Juilliard for the chance to study with the renowned faculty in the ICM, particularly compatriot Stanislav Ioudenitch, ICM associate professor of music/piano and artistic director, and the 2001 gold medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

1991. Stölzel earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in music composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance in 2009. Stölzel also received a Bachelor of Music degree in music theory from UMKC and a Master of Music in composition from the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford (Conn.). “I’ve been in this country for more than 20 years and can relate to the adjustment that our ICM students experience when they arrive in America for the first time,” Stölzel said. “Everything is so new. Even talking about the shared language of music in English can be challenging.” Stölzel said the ICM musicians arrive at Park with the goal to become great performance musicians. “ICM students are here to pursue a similar dream and that creates a special family here. Most of our students live on campus and have access to the performance space and to the practice rooms 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so the environment breeds a very dedicated musician.”

Housed in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the Parkville Campus, the International Center for Music currently has 19 students from the U.S., Brazil, China, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Uzbekistan and Venezuela. “Our space in this beautiful chapel is wonderful for focused practice time, and our degrees are designed in a way that students have maximum time and individual attention,” Stölzel said. “All of the professors are world-class,” said Artem Kuznetsov, an ICM student from Saratov, Russia, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in piano performance. “Because the program is small, we have the opportunity to have more time with them and to grow faster as professional musicians.” Earlier this year, Kuznetsov won the silver medal in the Collegiate Piano Division at the 2013 International Crescendo Music Awards Competition. But not all students come to the ICM from abroad. Violinist David Radzynski, a native of New Haven, Conn., was fresh

Abduraimov’s decision has paid off. In 2009, Abduraimov became the youngest grand prize winner in the history of the prestigious London International Piano Competition. Today, Abduraimov performs regularly as a concert pianist with orchestras around the world, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra and, most recently, at the International Piano Series in Milan, Italy. Next April, he will make his solo debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the top five orchestras in the world.

Point of connection For many Park ICM students, it is their first time living in the United States. That’s a point of connection for Stölzel, a native of Germany who has been in the U.S. since

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Pursuing dreams at Park

from earning his master’s degree at the Yale School of Music when he heard about the ICM from a family friend. Radzynski is enrolled in the ICM’s graduate certificate program and was one of two American semifinalists in the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand, one of the world’s most prestigious violin competitions.

Dedication and focus Adopt-A-Student Exceptionally talented musicians are selected for admission to Park’s International Center for Music solely on their artistic promise, not because of their ability to pay. ICM students perform, tour and collaborate with national and international orchestras and world-renowned musicians. To enable this intensive commitment of time and talent, the Adopt-A-Student program was established to provide scholarships to fund tuition, room and board, and other general expenses for up to two years.

Stölzel said that ICM students are training to perform at the highest levels to prepare them for the international spotlight to perform on stages and in orchestras around the world. This competitive career path demands utmost concentration, dedication and focus. “As a professional musician, I feel my experiences are valuable to these students who are building professional music careers,” Stölzel said. Described as a “composer of considerable gifts” and “musically confident and bold” by National Public Radio classical music critic Tom Manoff, Stölzel has earned a number of awards, and her compositions are performed worldwide. This year, Stölzel was the first prize winner of the Ortus New Music Competition and her composition for the wind ensemble, Panta Rhei, was selected for the 16th Biennial Festival of New Music at Florida State University. In June, Stölzel was a guest composer at the Abiquiu Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico where her piano trio composition, “The Road is All” (commercially released by Navonna Records), will be performed.

Stölzel previously served as the program manager All-Steinway School To provide students with the best equipment possible for the study of music, Park’s ICM has pledged to become an All-Steinway School. To earn this prestigious distinction from Steinway & Sons, 90 percent or more of the pianos owned by Park must be from Steinway & Sons with a Steinwayapproved maintenance program in place to ensure all pianos are kept in performance-quality condition. Only 154 institutions worldwide have earned this title. To learn more about Park’s ICM Adopt-A-Student and the All-Steinway Program, contact Nancy Steinacker, director of development, at or (816) 584-6866.

Facebook Fan Become a fan of Park’s International Center for Music on Facebook at to learn about upcoming performances and student successes.

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for the Youth Symphony of Kansas City for 12 years, and has been a member of the newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble since 1998, most recently serving as president of its board of directors. Stölzel continues to serve as associate editor for the International Journal of Contemporary Composition, as well as an assistant professor of music at Park. Whether directing Park’s ICM, teaching or composing music, Stölzel relates to the essence that drives every ICM student and faculty member — and audience members who have experienced the thrill of one of Park’s ICM performances. “We feel music. We want to be moved by music,” Stölzel said. “The awe-inspiring talents of these young musicians at Park are moving audiences — literally bringing them to their feet — in thunderous applause in performances around the world.”

Study of Loss Park’s new Center to Advance the Study of Loss will address end-of-life complexities No one wants to think about death. Yet every day, thousands of nurses, physicians, social workers, counselors and clergy grapple with a maze of increasingly complex circumstances surrounding illness, death and grief. For a culture making great strides in postponing the inevitable, the process of dying and death is posing new social, emotional and ethical challenges. To create a bridge between academic study and applied knowledge in fields related to end-of-life care, Park University has launched the Center to Advance the Study of Loss. CASL will provide training and support to professionals in a variety of disciplines who provide direct support to those facing or coping with death, dying and bereavement. CASL is the result of a partnership that started three years ago when Tulsa, Okla., based Crossroads Hospice, one of the nation’s leading providers of hospice care, provided a $10,000 grant for a new program to pair Park students from a wide variety of disciplines — including nursing, psychology, social work and journalism — with Crossroads Hospice patients to document patients’ life stories by creating personalized memory books.

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Ideal timing As Park began exploring ways to expand learning opportunities for students and professionals regarding end-of-life issues, Laurel Hilliker, Ph.D., joined Park as an assistant professor of sociology. With her doctorate specialization in grief and bereavement studies, the timing couldn’t be more ideal. While teaching Park sociology classes, including the multidisciplinary Dying, Death and Bereavement course, Hilliker worked closely with Park’s Office of University Advancement to develop a proposal to expand the successful partnership with Crossroads Hospice to meet a growing need. This year, Crossroads Hospice awarded Park a $100,000 grant to launch Park’s Center to Advance the Study of Loss. With Hilliker as the executive director, CASL plans to provide multidimensional services, including: • Continuing education workshops, conferences and publications to support nurses, physicians, social workers, hospice administrators and volunteers, clergy, police officers, emergency medical technicians, counselors and other professionals dealing with end-of-life issues in their respective fields. • Public education and awareness programs with the aim to dispel misconceptions surrounding death and bereavement. • Expanded interdisciplinary opportunities for Park students, including a certificate in thanatology and a minor which will embrace a variety of multidisciplinary courses, such as Hospice and Palliative Studies and the Sociology of Health and Illness. “CASL is a model for how Park is forming partnerships between academics and

the community to bring resources to strengthen its promise to serve those who serve,” said Laurie McCormack, vice president for university advancement. “Health care, hospice, social workers and emergency responders are among the many professionals who will benefit from the support and training provided for the complex and evolving circumstances that impact our families and communities.” Perry Farmer, president of Crossroads Hospice, is pleased to expand its partnership with Park as CASL’s first major funder. “Our relationship with Park started years ago when we realized that many of our most outstanding staff members were Park graduates,” he said. “Crossroads Hospice could not be more proud of the steps Park is taking to expand palliative education and training. We’re honored to be a part of CASL’s inception and growth.”

donation, insurance, members of the clergy and others who confront end-oflife concerns, to discuss collaborative opportunities with CASL. “CASL will be a central resource in the Midwest and across the country to bring professionals, students and the community together in an atmosphere of academic and collaborative research to strengthen our collective knowledge surrounding end-oflife issues,” Hilliker said. As part of its five-year strategic plan, CASL is consulting with architects to establish a physical location on the Parkville Campus. Park’s extensive online and distance course expertise will enable CASL to offer training and collaboration on a national and international scale.

Confronting complexity Hilliker’s interest in the study of death and dying, known as thanatology, began long before she pursued formal education in the field. Her journey started in a law office where she worked as a paralegal to help clients with probate, wills and estates. “I was interacting with many people dealing with confusing and complex circumstances associated with death and dying,” Hilliker said. “I began to realize a greater need in our culture to provide more social support and a better understanding for those who are grieving and coping with loss.” Death brings with it complicated social, legal and ethical dilemmas that are impacting professions beyond the medical field. In March, Hilliker hosted a brainstorming session on the Parkville Campus and invited health care and hospice professionals, leaders in the fields of counseling, law enforcement, organ

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The Symphony is a poetry collective comprised of four poets from diverse backgrounds: (from left) Randall Horton, R. Dwayne Betts, John Murillo and Marcus Jackson.

Park University hosted The Symphony, a nationally acclaimed group of four poets of AfricanAmerican and Latino heritage, to conduct a creative writing workshop at the University’s Parkville Campus in March.

Poetry Power

Park is bringing education, the arts and the community together around the power of poetry Photos by Kenny Johnson

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Stanza. Couplet. Iambic pentameter. Poetry sometimes gets a bad rap for its schemes and rules that leave us wondering about all the fuss behind the rhyme. It turns out, rhyming isn’t required and rules need not apply. In fact, Park University is helping return poetry to its original role as a powerful outlet for creative expression and social connection.

In Brackett’s first year at Park (2007), she established the Ethnic Voices Poetry Series, now in its sixth year and funded, in part, by the Missouri Arts Council. The oral poetry series is designed to expose individuals to artistic thought and expression that challenges preconceptions about those whose experiences and points of view differ from their own.

“Poetry was never meant to be proper or restrained by rigid rules,” said Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, associate professor of English and director of the Degree with Honors program. “Poetry’s beats and rhythms are inherent in rap and hip-hop music, and are evident in the growing popularity of poetry ‘jams’ and ‘slams’ across the country where poetry is performed orally as it was back when epic poems like ‘The Odyssey’ were performed in the streets for public entertainment and competitions.”

Several years ago, Anne Johnston, workforce liaison at PREP-KC, brought students from area high schools to hear The Symphony perform during an EVPS event. That’s where Brackett met Johnston and began brainstorming ways to partner to create a poetry workshop at Park. “That’s what happens when you put two educators together,” Brackett said. “It’s inspiring to see how ‘way leads on to way’ when you connect the arts, education and community.” And yes, Brackett most eloquently quoted a line from poet Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”

Brackett said poetry offers a no-holds-barred opportunity for self-expression, particularly for those who don’t feel empowered to express themselves. “Poetry is an art form designed for personal expression that welcomes ‘street’ language and plays with sound, imagery and emotion.”

The Symphony

Way leads on to way

As part of the “Poetry at Park” initiative directed by Brackett, Park hosted The Symphony, a nationally acclaimed group of four poets of African-American and Latino heritage, to conduct a creative writing workshop at the University’s Parkville Campus in March. The workshop was the culmination of a grant-funded collaboration led by Park with Kansas City metropolitan area public schools, PREP-KC (Kansas City’s Partnership for Regional Educational Preparation) and the American Jazz Museum.

Weeks before the high school students met for the creative writing workshop on the Parkville Campus, they received copies of a poetry anthology selected by The Symphony. Guided by their creative writing teachers, students discussed anthology selections through the use of a blog, with members of The Symphony joining the online discussion. The Symphony poets arrived from their respective homes across the country in Kansas City to present a free public poetry performance on Feb. 28 at the American Jazz Museum. On March 1, they facilitated the workshop where the students met one another for the first time. Park’s creative writing faculty helped facilitate the workshop that included a guided tour of the Parkville Campus.

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Poetry Power

Photo credit: Jenni Ladd

Author Caroline Kennedy visits Kansas City for book signing

Students with Caroline Kennedy (third from left), from left to right: Joseph Tudon, Harmon High School, Kansas City, Kan.; Sierra Sheppard, Oak Park High School, Kansas City, Mo., and winner of the Poetry Out Loud regional competition held at Park University; Alyssa Moncure, Notre Dame de Sion High School, Kansas City, Mo.; Unique Hughley, Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.; and Akil Williams, Grandview (Mo.) High School.

The events, as well as the purchase of the poetry anthology, were made possible through grants Park received from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid-America Arts Alliance and the Francis Family Foundation, to support activities that bring Park, the arts community and area high schools together to celebrate the power of poetry.

Kennedy connection

Topping off the successful collaboration was a serendipitous visit by Caroline Kennedy in Kansas City, Mo., on March 31 to discuss her new poetry collection, Poems to Learn by Heart, during a community presentation. Selected students from the creative writing workshop got the opportunity to meet Kennedy and present their original poems at the event.

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Brackett looks forward to planning and expanding next year’s creative writing workshop as part of the Poetry at Park programs in 2014-15, thanks to funding received in April from the NEA’s “Art Works” grant. Brackett said these programs help expand the power of poetry, especially to those who still find it intimidating. “You don’t need to explain the deep meaning of a poem. You can enjoy poetry for its sounds, rhythms and the emotion it evokes,” she said. “Though you may not understand it, you can feel it. Poems are very personal and will have different meanings for different people. That’s the power of poetry.”

Doors from the parkville campus The doors featured on this Summer 2013 Park University Magazine cover are all from the University’s Parkville Campus.

MACKAY HALL - Construction on this building, which is on the National Register of History Places, began in 1886 and was completed in 1893. Constructed with the help of student laborers, Mackay houses the University’s administration offices, classrooms and the academic departments of business administration, criminal justice, history, modern languages, political science/public administration and sociology.

McCOY MEETIN’ HOUSE - This facility, built in 1932, was originally the home of the YWCA. It was renovated in 2001 with a gift from Virginia (Jinny) McCoy and is still used for University functions.

GRAHAM TYLER MEMORIAL CHAPEL - Originally built in 1931, it was rebuilt in 1938 after an extensive fire. The chapel houses the International Center for Music and is the setting for the University’s convocations and for summer weddings. (Many students and alumni have been married in the Chapel.) HERR HOUSE - Built in 1927, this building was originally a student residence hall reserved primarily for upper-level students. Today it houses administrative offices.

Photos by Kenny Johnson

COPLEY-THAW HALL - Built in 1918 as a residence hall, Copley now serves as an office and classroom building. The academic departments of communication arts, education, English, journalism, philosophy and religion are located here. Copley is also home to KGSP-FM (90.3, “Pirate Radio”), a TV studio and the campus newspaper, The Stylus. Summer 2013 - 21

Meeting the Demand Park pursues stringent accreditation process to offer new Master of Social Work degree Health care and technology are widely known to be career fields in demand. But what is the one field that is growing faster than the average for all occupations? Social work. As the country recovers from a deep recession and multiple wars, social workers are in high demand. “In challenging times, the need for professionals to intervene — on the individual, organizational and community levels — goes up,” said Walter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D., professor of social work, and director of Park’s Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work programs.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent through 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Kisthardt said that on any given day in the U.S., there are about 650,000 social workers actively employed in professional positions. In the U.S. adoption and foster care system, there are approximately 750,000 children requiring the assistance of a social worker. The federal government employs more than 8,000 social workers, typically only those with MSW degrees.

Intensive process

As part of Park’s strategic plan, Park’s Promise, the University is committed to providing students with degree programs that support career fields in high demand. There was no doubt among Park’s leadership that investing in the intensive process to offer an accredited Master of Social Work degree, in addition to its currently accredited Bachelor of Social Work degree, is a top priority. To be competitive, master’s degree programs often require the intensive and complex pursuit of national accreditation. Park is currently in the thick of the process to achieve accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education to offer a new Master of Social Work degree program in 2014. Why is it important for prospective social work graduate students to enroll in an accredited program? “Their career depends on it,” Kisthardt said. “It’s a stamp of quality and credibility that employers are demanding.” Those in the social work field with a BSW or other degree — such as psychology, sociology, education and nursing — are recognizing the need for an advanced degree to gain influence and advancement in their organizations. For those who want to become a licensed clinical social worker, a MSW degree is required. According to Kisthardt, licensed clinical social workers

are involved in more therapy and counseling than any other profession.

Four concentrations

Fortunately, this complex path to achieve accreditation is not new to Kisthardt, who successfully led the MSW accreditation process as a sociology professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Park is benefitting from his expertise. CSWE accreditation is a stringent process that includes three critical phases: pre-candidacy, candidacy and assessment. Park is currently approved for pre-candidacy to offer an accredited MSW program. Accreditation requires development of a program’s mission, goals and curriculum. Unlike most MSW programs with only one or two areas of concentration, Park’s MSW program will offer four concentrations: • Military Social Work • Child Welfare (abuse/neglect, adoptions, foster care) • Mental Health/Substance Abuse • Gerontological Social Work Concentrations will be integrated into coursework and supervised field practicums to ensure students are gaining competency not only in the classroom, but also in the real world. Students who enter Park’s MSW program will be able to complete it in one or two years. Those with a Bachelor of Social Work from an accredited program will qualify for “advance standing” and can complete the master’s program in one year. Those who enter with another degree will need to complete the two-year program. Those with a BSW are considered to already have a foundation upon starting the MSW and can begin the program in their chosen area of concentration.

Social work entrepreneurs

Kisthardt said there’s a misconception about social workers being altruistic and not interested in earning money. “The

stereotype about the poor social worker is prevalent and simply not true,” Kisthardt said. In fact, Park’s MSW program will incorporate courses on leadership and entrepreneurship. “Entrepreneurship in social work is almost an oxymoron. But we’re learning that as government cuts back on funding, more social workers with a MSW and a license are starting businesses. This does not diminish the compassion associated with the field. They are not mutually exclusive.” Following a successful site visit by the CSWE Commission on Accreditation, Park’s MSW program will move from precandidacy to candidacy. By February 2014, Park will begin offering the MSW degree on the Parkville Campus, including evenings and weekends with blended online courses. Students who complete Park’s MSW degree in the program’s first year will have earned a degree from an accredited program. Park’s MSW program is being developed around the same principles established in its BSW program that integrates the “strengths perspective,” a term coined by Kisthardt and his colleagues in 1988 that is now infused in social work programs across the country, including Park. “It is our core teaching philosophy that people are not a set of problems or deficits to fix. We teach our students to recognize each individual as a person with unlimited potential.”

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University earns rankings from national publications Park University’s School of Business was ranked the No. 1 “Best for Vets” business school in the country by Military Times magazine in March. As part of the rankings, Park’s veterans’ staff and academic support both received four stars out of a possible four, the only college/university in the rankings to earn the distinction. Nadejda Bucsan (left) and Cody Croan

Bucsan, Croan honored with Outstanding Parkite Award Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 201213 academic year at the University’s annual Honors Convocation in April on the University’s Parkville Campus. The most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors Nadejda Bucsan, business administration/management major, and Cody Croan, English writing major. The Outstanding Parkite Award is given to one senior female and one senior male student on the Parkville Campus who best exemplify the ideals of the University in their character, conduct, scholarship and student activity participation. In addition, the University recognized its outstanding faculty with the presentation of the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award to Brian Shawver, associate professor of English, and the Distinguished Humanities Faculty Award to Dennis Okerstrom, ‘74, Ph.D., professor of English.

Park University was ranked No. 10 in the nation for the quality of its online programs, according to rankings released in January by the Guide to Online Schools. The criteria the Guide to Online Schools used included (in order of weighting): recommendation rates; cost of tuition and textbooks; retention rates; repayment rates of student loans; and accreditation, as well as student reviews. For the fifth consecutive year, Park was selected as one of the top military-friendly colleges and universities in the country by Military Advanced Education magazine. Park was selected for inclusion on the list in the magazine’s 2013 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities, which provides information in four key categories of consideration to service members, veterans, their spouses and dependents (in order of assigned weighting): support services, flexibility, financial assistance and military culture. Military Times, an independent source for news and information for the military community, and its associated newsweeklies, ranked Park on its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2013” list as No. 2 among all private colleges/universities in the country and No. 3 overall in the “online and nontraditional” category (schools that serve military students primarily online or through a network of small campuses). The publication gave Park “4 stars” (out of four) for its academic support services — the only school in the category to receive this mark — and “3.5 stars” for its military/veterans staff. Park University continues to hold down the top spot as the No. 1 ranked value among private universities/colleges in the United States, according to Parents & Colleges, an online resource for parents of college-bound students. Park has been ranked No. 1 in the category “Top 10 Best Value Private Colleges and Universities” since the summer of 2010.

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UNIVERSITY NEWS Park offers Emergency Military Scholarships Many people were caught in the middle of the U.S. government’s sequestration, and the active duty members of the U.S. military were significantly impacted by suspensions to their tuition assistance funds. In response to those cuts, and in support of the men and women who serve our country, Park University announced in mid-March that it was granting Emergency Military Scholarships to help any qualified active duty military personnel continue their higher education studies. The scholarship provided full tuition assistance immediately to those students who were not eligible for G.I. Bill benefits, Pell grants or federal loans.

School of Business earns ACBSP accreditation Park University’s School of Business has earned accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. ACBSP is a specialized accrediting organization that reviews the quality and integrity of business degree programs. Accreditation by ACBSP is based on an independent evaluation of an institution’s business school and programs by a group of professionals, which include academic administrators and faculty in the field of business. Park is one of just three four-year colleges/universities based in the Kansas City region to be accredited by the ACBSP and is the only independent/ private college/university based on the Missouri side of the KC region to earn ACBSP accreditation.

“I am proud to lead an organization that has taken these strides to ensure our active duty military students’ educational needs are met during these difficult times,” said Michael H. Droge, Ph.D., Park University president. “I invite members of the community to join the University in supporting our U.S. military students with a gift to the Emergency Military Scholarship Fund.” To make a donation to this fund or other scholarships, visit, or contact the Office of University Advancement at or (816) 584-6200.

Park military students earn awards Crystal Howard, junior management/marketing major at the Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center, was honored as a “Hidden Hero” at the Celebrate America’s Military event in November 2012 in San Antonio. Hidden Heroes in the military community routinely give their time, energy and skills as expected, and then consistently give an extra measure to their military duties, and many to the civilian community in which they live. Howard was chosen for her community service volunteering and going the extra mile in her military duties. Senior Master Sgt. Rodney Frotz, a senior management/human resources major at Park University’s Malmstrom Air Force Base (Mont.) Campus Center, was named one of four Air Force Global Strike Command airmen to receive an award from the U.S. Strategic Command for accomplishments in 2012. Frotz, a 341st Generation Flight superintendent at Malmstrom AFB, was selected as the Senior-Tier Enlisted Airman of the Year. Verenice Castillo, a junior social psychology major, was selected as the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Air Force Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse magazine. The award honors military spouses of all ranks and from all branches of service, recognizing their important contributions and unwavering commitment to the military community and the country.

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UNIVERSITY NEWS Former MLB player McRae assisting Park baseball team Brian McRae, a 10-year Major League Baseball veteran, who spent the majority of his career (1990-94) with the Kansas City Royals, was hired in February as an assistant coach for the Pirates’ baseball team. “This is an incredible addition to our baseball staff,” said Claude English, director of athletics. “This is like Warren Buffett spending time with a business major. Any time you have the ability to bring in someone that’s spent 10 years at the highest level, you’ve done something special for your student-athletes.” McRae hit .261 in his career with 103 home runs and 532 RBIs in more than 1,300 games. He managed the 2012 Morehead City (N.C.) Marlins of the Coastal Plains League, a collegiate woodbat summer organization, and has served as an analyst on ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” as well as for the Chicago Cubs Network and radio. “Brian brings a lot of credibility to our program,” head baseball coach Cary Lundy, ’82, said. “He played the game the right way and we think he’ll be able to make an immediate impact on our guys. He lived their dream, and our guys will get something out of this. He knows how to teach the game.” Photo by Chris Vleisides/Kansas City Royals

Brian McRae

Spring athletic programs advance to NAIA national championships Lindsey McDonald became Park University’s newest track and field All-American and set a new school record in the process, finishing fifth in the marathon at the 2013 NAIA Track and Field National Championship in May in Marion, Ind. She finished the 26.2-mile race in 3:00.52. The top-ranked Park men’s volleyball team advanced to the championship match of the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational Tournament, but the Pirates were upset by No. 2 seed Concordia University-Irvine (Calif.) in the finals in April in Denver. The Pirates ended the season as the national runner-up with a 27-2 record. The Park University softball team won its opening game in the NAIA Softball National Tournament Opening Round in St. Joseph, Mo., in mid-May, but lost its next two games to end the Pirates season with a 31-11 record.

Lindsey McDonald Summer 2013 - 26


Dr. Virginia Brackett; Randall Horton, Symphony poet; Susie Wolff, Harmon School (Kansas City, Kan.); R. Dwayne Betts, Symphony poet; John Murillo, Symphony poet; Marcus Jackson, Symphony poet; Dana Dixon, Grandview (Mo.) High School; and Chris Odam, Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo., at the creative writing workshop at the University’s Parkville Campus in March.

University receives Art Works grant from National Endowment for the Arts Park student assumes duties with Corps of Cadets at West Point Robin Duane, a senior social psychology major, assumed the duties as the command sergeant major of the United States Corps of Cadets. Duane participated in an Assumption of Responsibility ceremony in March at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. Duane, who has served five tours of duty in Afghanistan in special operations forces, was instrumental in helping build a school at Bagram Air Base in eastern Afghanistan where Park Psychology Club, Park’s chapter of Psi Chi and Muslim Students Association members shipped supplies and clothing over the last five years.

Park University received a $7,500 National Endowment for the Arts “Art Works” grant to partially fund the “Poetry at Park” initiative established by Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, associate professor of English and director of the Degree with Honors program. The grant will support writing workshops, performances at magnet high schools in the Kansas City, Mo., area, and a public reading by The Symphony, a group of four African-American and Latino poets. (Read a story about the initiative on page 18).

Park opens campus center in Southern California Park University and Barstow (Calif.) Community College have partnered together to increase educational opportunities for students at the community college and in the Barstow area. Park opened a campus center at BCC during the Fall 2012 semester to help guide students needing to finish their degree. Students are able to earn a bachelor’s degree by attending Park classes at the Barstow Campus or they can pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree through Park’s online offerings. Park’s degrees at BCC are part of a 2+2 program, with an associate’s degree from the community college satisfying requirements for the first two years of a bachelor’s degree from Park. Bachelor degrees offered face-to-face include criminal justice administration, management, social psychology and education. Several options within each major allow for special concentration within those fields. Summer 2013 - 27

In academia Publications Tom Bertoncino, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of athletic training, wrote an article that appeared in February in PrepsKC, a magazine focusing on high school sports in the Kansas City area. In the article, “Tackling Concussions with Multiple Tests,” Bertoncino recommends a more comprehensive approach to assess and care for athletes with head injuries, especially in regard to concussions. An article by Samuel Chamberlin, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics, was published in the March issue of the Journal of Algebra. The title of the article was “Integral Bases for the Universal Enveloping Algebras of Map Algebras.” Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Master of Healthcare Administration program, wrote “Healthcare Administration: A Demand for Talent,” that appeared in the “Careers in Healthcare” supplement of USA Today in late December 2012. The article discussed how the demand for extraordinary talent in health care management is expected to be “phenomenal.” Jolene Lampton, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting and management, authored the article “Techniques for Lasting Impact in the Teaching of Ethics,” published in the March issue of the World Journal of Social Sciences. The article discussed methods that can be used in the instruction of ethics. Lolly Ockerstrom, ‘73, Ph.D., associate professor of English, had a monograph on Virginia Woolf published by Cecil Woolf Publishers as part of its Bloomsbury Heritage Series, Virginia Woolf and the Spanish Civil War: Texts, Contexts and Women’s Narratives. Sunita Rao, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, co-authored a paper that was published in the conference proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Uncertainty Processing, held in September 2012 in Prague, Czech Republic. The title of the paper was “Assurance Services for Sustainability Reporting Under Dempster-Shafer Theory of Belief Functions.”

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A book written by Brian Shawver, associate professor of English — The Language of Fiction: A Writer’s Stylebook — was published in January by University Press of New England. The book discusses the various issues of language, style and grammar as they are used in novels and short stories.

Presentations Kay Barnes, distinguished professor for public leadership in the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, and founding director of the Center for Leadership, was the keynote presenter at the Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference in April in Overland Park, Kan. The focus of Barnes’ keynote address, “Having it All: A Dream or Reality?” was to encourage women to engage in selfreflection regarding their personal and professional goals. Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of modern languages, presented a paper at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association’s annual conference in Atlanta in November 2012. Byer’s paper, “Mystical Journey in Post-Tridentine Italy,” focused on her research on Isabella Sforza’s biography, revealed through a collection of her letters as a journey into her soul.

Gail Hennessy, assistant professor, Linda Seybert, PhD., associate professor, and Michelle Myers, Ed.D., dean, all in the School for Education, presented “Empowering Teacher Candidates to Use Artifacts to Demonstrate Competency” at the Association of Teacher Educators conference in Atlanta in February. The presentation shared the process the School for Education used when planning, developing and executing a new electronic portfolio to assess and evaluate teacher candidates’ competency of Missouri’s new state teaching standards. Laurel Hilliker, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, presented research at the Association for Death Education and Counseling’s annual conference in April in Hollywood, Calif. Hilliker’s research presentation on “Who am I Now? Experiences of Formal Grief Care Among Baby Boomers” was a qualitative study of 38 “boomers” who attended grief support groups after the death of a spouse.

In academia Greg Rose, director of online operations for Park Distance Learning, presented a session at the Pearson CITE Online Learning Conference in Chicago in April. Rose’s session, “A CloudBased Tool Demonstration for Visually Mapping and Planning LOM,” demonstrated Web 2.0 technology by which academic managers and assessment designers can fully map, visualize and collaborate on a complete or partial learning outcomes manager course assessment implementation of any scale. Terrence Ward, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of nonprofit and community services management, co-presented at the National School Boards Association conference in San Diego in April. The presentation, “Budgeting for the New Normal,” involved a look at the importance of moving beyond one-year mandated budgeting and looking at fiveyear budgeting, then using that understanding to guide the school board and school district administration in a shared vision that can be used to drive organizations to sustained change in a time of financial turmoil.

Awards, appointments, and recognitions Michael Eskey, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of criminal justice administration, was one of two instructors in the nation selected as a recipient of the 2013 Pearson CITE Awards of Excellence for Excellence in Online Teaching. Eskey was recognized with the award at the CITE Online Learning Conference in Chicago in April. The award honors outstanding accomplishments in online higher education using the Pearson platform. Audrey Mathews, D.P.A., adjunct instructor of public affairs, was honored with the American Society for Public Administration’s Elmer B. Staats Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service. The award was presented in March in New Orleans during ASPA’s annual conference. The award recognizes one person in the nation who has dedicated his/her life to public service and has gone above and beyond in his/her service to the community.

Laurie McCormack, vice president for university advancement, was one of 30 individuals honored in March as member of the Class of 2013 Influential Women as selected by a panel of independent judges for KC Business magazine. The magazine describes those selected as women who inspire others, create opportunities for their organizations, give back to their communities and mentor others. Jeanette Prenger, ’09, a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was selected as a recipient of an Enterprising Woman of the Year award for 2013 from Enterprising Women magazine. Prenger was honored during the 11th annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards Celebration in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in April. The award recognizes women business owners who have demonstrated that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. Prenger is the founder/president of ECCO Select, a human enterprise solutions provider headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. Linda Vestal, ‘94, director of university mail services, was selected as the Manager of the Year by the Mail Systems Management Association. Vestal was honored with the award during MAILCOM, the MSMA’s spring conference in April in Atlantic City, N.J. Vestal was also selected as the Kansas City MSMA Manager of the Year, receiving that honor in May. Steve Wilson, M.P.A. ‘13, assistant athletics director for sports communications, was selected as the recipient of the 2013 Clarence “Ike” Pearson Award from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Wilson received the award, given annually to an outstanding NAIA communications/sports information director for accomplishments and services over a career, in June, at the NAIASports Information Directors Association Convention in Daytona Beach, Fla. Steven Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, received the 2012 Kansas City World Citizen of the Year Award in Oct. 24. The award was presented by the World Citizen Committee of the United Nations Association’s Greater Kansas City Chapter.

Summer 2013 - 29

Alumni Council Jeff McKinney, ‘81 President Round Rock, Texas

Lighting the way through the past and into the future, the Classes of of 1961, 1962 and 1963 honored their alma mater with a gift of three lamp posts along the sidewalk west of Norrington Center and Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall in celebration of the classes 50th anniversaries.

Toni Madeira, ’88 President-Elect Kansas City, Mo. Kathryn Phillips Hernandez, ’83 Secretary/Treasurer St. Joseph, Mo. Susan Kensett McGaughey, ’74 Past President Olathe, Kan. David Barclay, ’53 Overland Park, Kan. Nick Casale, ’71 Parkville, Mo. Bob Dandridge, ’04 New Baden, Ill. Duane Davidson, ’00, MPA ’03 Liberty, Mo. David Ehrlich, ’00 Dumfries, Va. Jay Flaherty, ’71 Kansas City, Mo. Karen Peters Frankenfeld, ’59 Bella Vista, Ark. Michelle Gaiewski, ’10 Cedar Park, Texas Sarah Hopkins-Chery, ’07, MA ‘09 Parkville, Mo. LaKeisha Johnson, ’08, MPA ’12 Independence, Mo. Edna Martinson, ’12 North Kansas City, Mo. Jessica Moody Morgan, ’09, ME ’11 Riverside, Mo. Betsy Porter, ’62 Holiday Island, Ark.

Contact the Office of Alumni Relations with news, comments and questions about the Park University Alumni Association and its members.

Staff Liaison Julie McCollum Director of Alumni Relations (816) 584-6206 - office (800) 488-7275 (816) 505-5409 - fax

Photo by Kenny Johnson

Phone: Fax: E-mail: Address:

(816) 584-6206 or (800) 488-PARK (7275) (816) 505-5409 8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 37 Parkville, MO 64152

Alumniad News and notes for Park University alumni

The purpose of the Park University Alumni Association is “to assist and advance the interest of Park University and to cherish the spirit of friendship among its members.� Summer 2013 Vol. 103, No. 2 Summer 2013 - 31

Getting to know our alumni Dear Friends, It is important for Park University and the Park University Alumni Association to know about its alumni — what jobs they have, what advanced degrees they hold, where they live, etc. The University and the PUAA needs this information for reasons most alumni don’t think about. Yes, we want to continue to send you the Park University Magazine and invitations to events, and periodically ask alumni for donations for special projects. More importantly, though, we need to answer questions from the federal government and the Higher Learning Commission about the successes of our graduates. Knowing how Park alumni are using their degrees helps us plan for the future as well as show prospective students, employers and the HLC, the University’s accrediting agency, that a Park education has important value and prepares our graduates for successful careers. “Why is this important to me? I earned my degree in the past,” you may be thinking. The degree you put on your résumé, your LinkedIn page or a public profile carries the reputation of the University today. As Park stands strong in 2013, so does the value of your Park degree whenever you received it. Over the next year, you will be asked to participate in a few surveys. Some surveys will be anonymous and include questions about your time at Park. You will be asked “As you look back on your experience at Park University, how satisfied were you with your overall experience? Why do you say that?” Other surveys, which are not anonymous, will ask for your name and ask questions such as “Who is your employer? What is your job title?” The University will use this information to figure out who is hiring our graduates so we can provide better career support services for our students and our alumni. Remember, Park alumni may use the services of the University’s Career Development Center for life. This information also helps develop future programs that can be accessed by our alumni as well as current students. When you get the e-mail asking you to participate in a Park survey, please take the few minutes to complete the questions and help keep your alma mater strong and relevant in today’s world. To access more information about the University’s alumni surveys, visit Kindest regards,

Jeff McKinney, ’81 Julie McCollum Park University Alumni Association President Director of Alumni Relations Summer 2013 - 32

Alumni Benefits

With the strength of 65,000 members, the Park University Alumni Association can secure discounts and special opportunities for Park alumni. Here are a few currently being offered to its members. For more details go to . Liberty Mutual Auto and Property Insurance Liberty Mutual offers Park University alumni a discounted rate of up to 10 percent off on auto, home and renter insurance. Visit or call (800) 524-9400 to learn more. UMB Visa Card Looking for a new credit card? Check out the Park University Visa card now available to Alumni Association members. The rates are very competitive and the rewards program is generous. Plus, you can choose from five Park designs and show the world you are a Park grad. Travel Around the Globe Travel with Park alumni, family and friends. Sign up to travel to interesting and exciting places with fellow alumni. Watch the news and events sections for trip details. Past trips include Alaska, New York, Tuscany and the Italian Riviera, China, Switzerland/Austria, Ireland and a Greek Island cruise.

online community PirateLink

Connect to Park alumni through social media Facebook: parkuniversityalumniassociation Connect to PirateLink through

Twitter: LinkedIn: Join the “Park University Alumni” Group Flickr: You Tube:

Park Alumni E-mail Keep your student e-mail account after you graduate. If you attended Park before the days of student e-mail, learn how to get a “” e-mail account at . Park University Merchandise Park University Alumni Shop,, offers t-shirts, mugs, flags and much more bearing the Park University brand. Career Services As a benefit of graduating from Park University, alumni may utilize the services of the University’s Career Development Center at no charge. To discover what is available visit . PirateLink Online Alumni Directory Find your former classmates. Keep your contact information up-to-date with the University. Discover networking opportunities at . Click on “PirateLink Online Community” to view your options. Summer 2013 - 33

Save the date

Harvest Fest Homecoming

Alumni Weekend 2013 September 20 and 21 Parkville Campus, Parkville, Mo. Join us for a Pirate Weekend in Parkville!

Friday, September 20 Welcome Reception and Open House

9:30 – 11 a.m. Hosted by Park University President Dr. Michael Droge and his wife, Dr. Molly Droge University White House

Alumni Association Awards Luncheon

Friday, September 20, Noon Kansas City Marriott Downtown, Muehlebach Tower, 12th and Wyandotte (southeast corner), Kansas City, Mo. Transportation to and from the awards luncheon will be provided. During the luncheon, we will honor: Distinguished Alumni — Bob Kendrick, ‘85, President, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and Jeanette Prenger, ‘09, President and CEO of ECCO Select Torchlighter Award — Louise Morden, former member of Park University’s Board of Trustees and current Honorary Trustee Park Promising Young Professional — Sarah Hopkins-Chery, ’07, MA ‘09, US Airways Supervisor, and Park University Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach and Adjunct Instructor of Communication Arts Summer 2013 - 34

Purchase tickets or sponsor a table at .

alumni weekend 2013 EXTRAS Hotels

Friday, September 20 Alumni Games

Baseball and Softball (Friday afternoon), Basketball and Volleyball (Friday evening) Visit for a complete schedule and to sign up to play.

Party at the Power Plant

8 p.m. to Midnight River’s Bend Restaurant and Bar, 2 Main Street After the games, party with your Park friends at a favorite Parkville hangout.

Saturday, September 21 Alumni Games Continue

• Join the Park 5K team for a Saturday morning run in English Landing Park • Women’s and Men’s Soccer (Saturday morning) Visit for a complete schedule and to sign up to play. • Pirate Tailgate Tent (Beer and wine for sale, IDs checked at the bar) • Park Family Fun Day • Pirate Parade • Pirate Ship Bounce House, Photo Booth, Face Painting, Balloons and more. • Picnic at Julian Field (with class reunion tables) • Maroon and Gold Men’s Soccer Game • Crowning of Harvest Fest Royalty • Kids’ Soccer Clinic with Park’s Soccer Teams after the Game • Campus Bus Tours • See what’s new at Park!

A special Park University room rate of $95 per night is available at the Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City at Briarcliff, 4000 N. Mulberry Drive, Kansas City, MO 64116. This new hotel is located approximately five miles from the Parkville Campus and the Kansas City Marriott Downtown (location of Friday’s awards luncheon) and less than seven miles from Union Station Kansas City (Real Pirates exhibit). Reserve your room at www., or call (816) 841-3300 / (888) 236-2427. For other hotel options in the area, visit .

Car Rental

Need a car while visiting the Parkville area? For a discount at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, visit and use code 05A8293. To rent from Hertz, visit, and use code 1928274.

Class Reunions

Contact to make special arrangements for class reunion activities.

Park Stylus Reunion

If you ever worked on the Park Stylus come back to Parkville for a bash with John Lofflin, professor of journalism/ photography. Join the discussion in the “Park Stylus Reunion” Facebook group.


Parkville’s fall celebration will also be happening on Saturday. Enjoy music, food and drink in Downtown Parkville and English Landing Park along with the activities on the Parkville Campus. Visit for more info.

Spend Saturday evening with Real Pirates

6 to 9 p.m. Union Station Kansas City See the world’s first exhibition of an authentic pirate ship and its treasure. Experience the Golden Age of Piracy aboard the Whydah, one of the most successful pirate ships of her day, and learn about her roots as a slave ship and subsequent takeover and conversion into a pirate ship in the early 1700s. Park has reserved this special National Geographic exhibition for the exclusive enjoyment of our alumni, students and friends. There will be a special Pirate treat for the kids, along with appetizers and a cash bar. Purchase discounted tickets at .

Details and registration Summer 2013 - 35



MEASURES Eric Klingensmith

Is it worth it? Beyond the stats and facts on the value of a master’s degree, the litmus test is to hear directly from those who have made the investment. From health care and business to public affairs, education and the arts, Park University graduate alumni affirm their decision to invest in advanced education is paying professional and personal dividends.

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Master of Education, ’12 Adjunct Instructor of English, Park University English Teacher/Head Cross Country Coach, Smithville High School Smithville, Mo. “I’m looking forward to advancing my leadership in the education field,” said Klingensmith. Klingensmith teaches English honors courses while presenting at National Council of Teachers of English conferences around the country. Serving on his School Improvement Advisory Council has enhanced his understanding of critical education issues such as school safety and culture. After completing a master’s degree in English, Klingensmith began working on his master’s degree in education leadership while furthering the education of others as an adjunct instructor of English at Park. “The experience of being a teacher and student helped me become better at both.” Klingensmith also has coached a number of highly ranked high school cross country teams in Missouri. He is especially proud of his work to establish Julia’s Warriors Run for Hope, a 5K run that provides awareness and funds for cancer research. Whether as a teacher or coach, Klingensmith said he adheres to the motto of “leadership by example.”

James Warren

Master of Healthcare Administration, ’12 Client Results Executive Cerner Corp. Middle East Doha, Qatar “When I began my master’s degree, I never thought I’d be influencing the policies of a national health care system,” said Warren. Today, Warren manages Cerner’s implementation of electronic health records for Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar, which will become one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the world. An undergraduate degree in finance and pre-pharmacy gave Warren a broad understanding of the business world, but he said it wasn’t until he worked four years with Cerner in Kansas City, Mo., and London that he realized career advancement would require the knowledge and skills of graduate education. “If you’re considering a graduate degree, consider it early in your career, but it is never too late,” Warren said. “It can be difficult balancing work, life and school, but the rewards of a graduate degree can be powerful.”

Michele Malone

Master of Healthcare Administration, ’11 Director of Women’s Services and Nursing Excellence North Kansas City Hospital North Kansas City, Mo. “I needed more than a traditional Master of Business Administration degree to advance in the turbulent health care environment,” said Malone. Malone has led many critical hospital initiatives, including the establishment of a Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit at North Kansas City Hospital. Today, she leads NKCH’s maternity and women’s health programs, and oversees the hospital’s participation in the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators and its process to earn a “magnet hospital” designation, the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence. “Health care is a complex environment that requires leaders to be accountable for patient and financial outcomes. We can only be successful through innovation and by continually reimagining the future,” she said. Because of Park, Malone said she is up for the daunting task. “I’m prepared to do whatever I’m called upon to do, in whatever stetting my career may take me.”

Gulrukh Shakirova

Master of Music Performance, ’10 Associate Instructor of Piano Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music Bloomington, Ind. “My graduate degree is an achievement that has opened many new doors to a better life,” said Shakirova. A pianist, Shakirova has delighted audiences around the world, winning top prizes in competitions in France, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the U.S. “I received a full scholarship to return to Park University after earning a graduate certificate in piano to continue my training with the brilliant faculty in the International Center for Music,” she said. “Park provided a beautiful atmosphere for me to reach a new professional level and studying at Park offered a smooth bridge from being far from home to an independent life in a new country.” Without a graduate degree, Shakirova said she would not be able to teach at the college level while pursuing her doctorate degree. “No matter the field, graduate education can be hard, but once you earn it, you will never lose it,” she said.

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MEASURES Ryan Owens, ’08

Master of Business Administration, ’11 Associate Vice President, Small Business Development Officer UMB Bank Blue Springs, Mo. “I wanted the advantage that a graduate degree offers,” said Owens. “An MBA sets you apart from the herd of applicants in business and differentiates you when it comes time for a promotion.” Owens said his undergraduate degree in management offered broad knowledge, but he wanted to study business on a deeper level and bring that experience to his company and his customers. Today, Owens leads business development and manages client relationships to help customers determine the best financial solutions to help grow their business. Owens said pursuing his master’s degree was definitely an investment. “A bachelor’s degree doesn’t have the same value it had 20 years ago,” he said. “For me, to stay competitive, it was definitely worth the time and money. I wouldn’t want to be in the business world without it.”

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Kellie Mzik

Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership, ’10 Assistant Professor of Communication Georgia Military College Milledgeville, Ga. “Without my master’s degree, I wouldn’t have the career I love,” said Mzik. When Mzik graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2008, the department chair at her college offered her a job as a lecturer/ adviser. The catch was that she had to have a master’s degree or be working toward one, so she started the process. But not without shock at the price tag after the college she considered nearly tripled its tuition. Researching options, she was glad to find Park University. Today, Mzik teaches public speaking and interpersonal communication while advising students. “Teaching is immensely rewarding,” she said. Not only was Park’s online program affordable, she said it was enriching. “I interacted with a diverse group of scholars from all over the world which gave my graduate experience a cultural richness not easily attained in many face-to-face programs,” she said.

Irina KobzevaPavlovic, ’04

Master of Public Affairs, ’11 Executive Director International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City Kansas City, Mo. “I’m especially interested in global issues, so my decision to pursue a degree at Park’s Hauptmann School of Public Affairs was a natural,” said Kobzeva-Pavlovic. Born in Russia, KobzevaPavlovic has held leadership positions with international organizations such as People to People International and Sister Cities Association of Kansas City. Currently, she oversees events, marketing and volunteers for the International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City and will be joining Park as an adjunct instructor teaching undergraduate public affairs courses. “Teaching and education are in my blood. My father teaches at Saint Petersburg (Russia) State Polytechnical University and three generations of my family have obtained advanced degrees, so I definitely have big shoes to fill.”

Russ Johnson

Master of Business Administration, ’04 Councilman, City of Kansas City, Mo. President, System Solutions Kansas City, Mo. “I didn’t pursue my degree because someone said I should,” said Johnson. “There was more I wanted to learn and continuing my education has been well worth the investment.” Johnson uses his MBA education every day as both a software developer and city councilman. “City government demands a business acumen to make sound financial and operational decisions,” he said. Johnson was the tactical leader on the Downtown Kansas City Streetcar Project that is scheduled to begin in spring 2015. Johnson said an MBA provides a solid foundation for any career. “An MBA is valuable for anyone who plans to advance beyond their specialty, such as engineering or technology, to manage projects that impact business success.”

Darwin Rivera, ’04

Master of Business Administration, ’07 Senior Program Manager, HID Global Executive Vice President, National Society of Hispanic MBAs Washington, D.C. “Attaining my MBA has opened a lot of doors for me,” said Rivera. For Rivera, pursuing an MBA was a logical choice for career advancement. “I was drawn to management roles that bridge the technical with the business side of things,” he said. Rivera said Park was a good fit for his schedule and the best value overall. “I could not afford to stop working while going to school and Park enabled me to continue my education even during deployments to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.” Today, Rivera leads multidisciplinary teams to manage projects in Central America, South America and the U.S. Working with a nonprofit to support Hispanic MBAs and teaching as an adjunct instructor at a community college in northern Virginia, Rivera’s education and experience allow him to give back. “I’m able to share the knowledge I’ve gained both in my studies and in the real world.”

Ashley Rath

Master of Business Administration, ’09 Owner and Lead Event Planner Dishy Event Planning St. Louis, Mo. “I knew I wanted to start my own business one day,” said Rath. Yet with an undergraduate degree in journalism, Rath said she didn’t have the business knowledge or experience. To realize her dream, Rath pursued an MBA. “I selected Park not only for the convenience but also for the prestige of its online programs,” she said. Park’s reputation did not disappoint. “Professors always had their proverbial doors open and were readily available for phone and online support. And I was able to build relationships and conduct group exercises with classmates as if we were in the same location.” The MBA experience gave Rath the knowledge and confidence to build a growing business. Today, Rath’s full-service wedding and event planning company received Wedding Wire’s Bride’s Choice Award and The Knot’s Best of Weddings in 2012 and 2013. “In the competitive wedding industry, having a master’s degree definitely sets me apart from the competition.”

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MEASURES Bradley Jenkins, ’10

Master of Public Affairs, ’12 Immigration Services Officer U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services Lee’s Summit, Mo. “I unequivocally attribute my career success to my graduate degree,” said Jenkins. “Having applied for dozens of federal positions, I was told over and over that without a master’s degree, breaking into federal service is nearly impossible, and that a graduate degree is required for most, if not all, government positions above the GS-5 level,” he said. Jenkins added he still had to evaluate the risks of taking on the debt to pursue his master’s degree. With a significant salary increase since earning his master’s degree, Jenkins said it was worth it. Most importantly, Jenkins valued the Park experience. “I interacted with people around the globe, which gave me greater insight that is valuable in my field,” he said. “Given the current political climate surrounding comprehensive immigration reform, the career challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for me with my advanced degree are vast.”

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Aaron Leonard

Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership, ’13 Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Military Outreach Coordinator, Project Rebirth Fort Eustis, Va. “Like most everything we choose to do in our lives, a graduate education is what you make of it,” said Leonard. As a field artillery officer in the Army, Leonard has more than 25 years of military service. He currently oversees the Army’s worldwide training aids, devices and simulators. Leonard’s primary interest is psychological resiliency from the effects of war in the military and how adventure therapy enhances individual resiliency. He has completed multiple adventure therapy courses and a Ride 2 Recovery challenge to better understand different training methods. “With a team from Project Rebirth, Sierra Club and Outward Bound, we’ve created a program for soldiers to better understand their capabilities through self-esteem building wilderness experiences,” he said. Leonard also plans to pursue college-level teaching and fellowship opportunities. “A master’s degree opens future opportunities for me that would otherwise not exist,” he said.

Luke C. Lewis

Master of Public Affairs, ’11 City Manager Marceline, Mo. “I can’t imagine anyone enduring the adversity that municipalities face without a Master of Public Affairs degree to lean on,” said Lewis. To keep the famous boyhood home of Walt Disney running smoothly, Lewis manages a demanding list of responsibilities, from city leases, contracts and permits to the annual budget. Since his appointment in 2011, Lewis reorganized every department, introduced new technology and infrastructure to improve public services, and negotiated a public/private partnership to develop a new biofuel with zero emissions. “In a global economy, natural resources are more expensive. Forward-thinking municipalities are partnering with the private sector to develop carbon-neutral energy and sustainable water supplies.” Lewis has many years of business and law enforcement experience. Bridging the gap between public and private sectors — and solving problems on a larger scale — required graduate education in public affairs. “My degree has prepared me well for the vast challenges of public service.”




LaDonna Ebright, ’80, retired as assistant professor from Park University’s School for Education. (Photo below)

Harold Henderson, ’64, was honored with the Florida Athletic Trainers Association’s 2012 Florida High School Athletic Trainer of the Year award.



Teresa Gatton, ’91, D.O., a family medicine physician, has joined Northwest Health System, practicing at Northwest Family, Pea Ridge, Ark.

Larry Hume, ’75, is the Shelby County, Texas, Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Distinguished Service Award recipient. The award was presented in large part for his activities involving veterans’ issues and activities. (Photo below) Mary Lee, ’81, received the 2012 Military Writers Society of America Silver Medal in the “Children Under 12” category for her second children’s book, When Grandma’s False Teeth Fly, released in February 2012. It was also released in Spanish in December 2012. Her first children’s book, My Air Force Mom, was published in 2007.

Greg Hillman, ’77, was elected to a three-year term on the board of directors of the Silver Crescent Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting South Carolina’s manufacturing industry. Hillman is director of SC Launch Inc., a private nonprofit affiliate of SCRA Technology, Columbia, S.C. King Taylor Jr., ’78, is the author of Pennies, Nickels & Dimes: A Historical Prospective of the African-American Entrepreneur and African-American Economy. The book was published in April.

Todd Kerr, ’86, an accomplished health industry compliance and audit executive based in Nashville, Tenn., has joined Deloitte & Touche LLP to expand its national Governance, Regulatory and Risk Strategies practice. Kerr is a managing director serving Deloitte’s health care clients.

Lauri Johnson Poe, ’82, is managing consultant with BKD LLP’s International State and Local Tax services practice in Kansas City, Mo. BKD is a certified public accounting and advisory firm. Steve Shannon, ’84, is the director of quality assurance at Ag Junction in Hiawatha, Kan. Ag Junction is an organization concentrating on the precision agriculture market. Don H. Compier, M.A.R. ’85, is author of Listening to Popular Music – Compass: Christian Explorations of Daily Living, published in February. Compier is dean and professor of theology at Community of Christ Seminary, Graceland University in Independence, Mo.

Mary Lou Jaramillo, ’92, M.P.A. ’96, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Providence Medical Center and Saint John Hospital, Kansas City and Leavenworth, Kan., respectively. In addition, Jaramillo was honored in May by United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City during the organization’s “Hats Off to Mothers: Celebrating Kansas City’s Exceptional Women” luncheon, which recognizes outstanding models of motherhood in the Kansas City community. Chris Monsey, ’92, is an intellectual property attorney at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane, Ind., Division. He was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the team that earned NSWC Crane the prestigious Department of Defense George Linsteadt Achievement Award for its exceptional work in technology transfer. NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command. T’Risa McCord, M.P.A. ’93, is senior vice president and chief administrative officer of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (Mo.). McCord manages the organization’s administrative and development services activities.

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CLASS NOTES Walt Schoemaker, ’94, J.D., an adjunct instructor of healthcare administration at Park University, testified to the Kansas House of Representatives’ Federal and State Affairs Committee on the adequacy of penalties for retailers who sell tobacco to children. Brad Wesselmann, ’94, is senior business systems analyst at, an online physicians job bank and magazine. He works in the company’s St. Louis office. Angela L. Gray, ’95, is general manager of the Richmond (Va.) Metropolitan Authority where she is in charge of developing and maintaining the expressway system and parking facilities for the city. Ruben Guerra Jr., ’95, is internet technology audit manager for Ascension Health in Austin, Texas. Jennifer Newcomer, ’95, is a cognitivebehavioral therapist at Dipoto Counseling Group, Kansas City, Mo. Phillip Vardiman, ’96, assistant professor of health, sport and exercise science at the University of Kansas, conducted an epidemiological study on injury and illness data from athletes who took part in the 2011 Pan American Games in Mexico. A certified athletic trainer, Vardiman volunteered to treat athletes at the games. He is conducting a study to find out the frequency of various types of injuries among athletes and how the integrative medicine model works within an international competition model. Greg Mills, M.P.A. ’97, was appointed city administrator of Riverside, Mo.

Bonnaye Mims, ’97, M.P.A. ’98, was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives for District 27. Mims is a member of the Hickman Mills (Mo.) School District and vice chair of the Jackson County (Mo.) Democratic Committee. Steve Beamer, M.P.A. ’98, is the chief of police for North Kansas City, Mo. Linda Wallace, ’98, is chief human resources officer at Sierra Medical Center, El Paso, Texas. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and has been certified as a senior professional in human resources. Larry Davis, ’99, was named Loss Prevention Manager of the Year for Loomis Armored during its annual loss prevention management meeting in Houston. Davis is the loss prevention manager in the company’s Riverside, Mo., office.

2000s Kirkland C. Brown, ’00, earned the prestigious project management professional credential, issued by the Project Management Institute. Brown is a project manager for PCI Strategic Management, Oden, Md. Kelvin S. Belcher, ’02, is the 59th Medical Wing 2012 Non-Supervisory Civilian of the Year. Selection was based on a combination of accomplishments, including job performance and knowledge, leadership and community service. Belcher is a physical science technologist assigned at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Rogelio Segovia, ’02, is the principal of Roberts Elementary School, El Paso, Texas. David Grace, ’03, is an assistant basketball coach at the University of California Los Angeles.

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Alicia Stephens, ’03, was named 2012 Professional Economic Developer of the Year by the Missouri Economic Development Council. The award is presented to an MEDC member who has made significant contributions in the field of communitybased economic development. Stephens is the executive director of the Platte County (Mo.) Economic Development Council. Kyle “RJ” Blett, ’04, was promoted to the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, 59th Medical Squadron. Blett spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of sergeant. After his time in the USMC, he re-enlisted in the Air Force. Melanie TateSaccaro, ’04, a cancer survivor, strutted her stuff in February at the glamorous New York Fashion Week. She walked the runway as a survivor model at a fundraising gala that benefited YES!, a nonprofit organization that supports people living with liver cancer. Randall Duncan, M.P.A. ’06, is the author of Emergency Management and the Media, in Principles of Emergency Management: Hazard Specific Issues and Mitigation Strategies. Duncan also published an article titled “Fire Service Influence on Homeland Security Regionalism and Councils of Governments (COGs),” in the peer-reviewed journal International Fire Service Journal of Leadership and Management. Capt. Caleb D. Eames, ’06, is a public affairs officer assigned to the Marine Corps Installations Pacific at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan.

Submit your news for inclusion in Class Notes to the Office of Alumni Relations: or Park University, 8700 NW River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152. Letesha N. Newsom, ’06, served at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural ball. Newsom is a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Clayton Lowry, ’07, is the Defense Commissary Agency’s senior enlisted adviser to the Europe area director. Nima Shaffé, ’07, is a reporter on the morning news program, “Action News This Morning” on WXYZTV in Detroit. Follow Shaffé on Twitter, @ NimaShaffe. 1st Lt. Henry L. Sims Jr., ’08, M.P.A. ’12, is operations flight commander at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In this capacity, he is responsible for supervising, evaluating and facilitating the performance of 47 cadets.

Sandra Nunnaley, ’11, is the secretary of the Board of Directors for the Kansas City, Mo., School District. As an officer of the board, she signs all official documents and is responsible for compliance of district administrative policies, board governance policies and all requirements of the State of Missouri. She manages board files and agendas for public meetings and coordinates candidate filing for vacancies in the district. Robert Palmer, ’12, is a defender for the Major Indoor Soccer League’s Indepencence, Mo., based Missouri Comets. He is joined by former Park University men’s soccer teammate Ramone Palmer. Staff Sgt. William “Jay” Price, ’12, (left) held his re-enlistment ceremony in the Park University F. E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.) Campus Center office. Retired Lt. Col. Eric S. Davis (right), director at Park’s FEWAFB Campus, officiated.

2010s David P. Anderson, ’11, is a financial consultant with Anderson Financial Group at Hilliard Lyons, Saginaw Township, Mich. Aliesha Cassie, ’11, is a member of the Kansas City Shock, a team in the Women’s Premier Soccer League that began its inaugural season in May.

Send a birth or adoption announcement and receive a “Baby Pirate” bib or T-shirt.



Barbara Kidd, ’08, married Robert Rathbun on Jan. 1. The couple resides in Dallas, where they both are pursuing master’s degrees in biblical languages and applied linguistics. Lindsey Rardeen, ’08, and Capt. James Douglas Turk, U.S. Army, were married on Jan. 5 in Kansas City, Mo. Amy Lewis, ’10, married Michael Van Wagner on Aug. 18, 2012. After a honeymoon in Maui and Kauai, Hawaii, the couple resides in Kansas City, Mo. Kaili Baker, ’11, and Joshua Trusler, ’12, were married April 27. Kaili is a project coordinator for B.E. Smith, a health care executive search firm. Joshua is employed at Enterprise Leasing, in the management trainee program. The couple resides in Liberty, Mo. Tanya Griffin, ’11, and Christopher Williams were married Sept. 15, 2012, in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is continuing her education at the University of Alaska.

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MOURNS 1930s John A. Wilson, ’34 Springfield, Ohio, Nov. 7, 2012 Eleanor F. Voorhies, ’37 Bedford, Mass., Jan. 10

1940s Virginia Smith Lane, ’40 Austin, Minn., Nov. 28, 2012 Elizabeth Treeman Willems, ’40 Oklahoma City, Okla., Jan. 22 Emily Te-Fan Tsou Woo, x42 Newton, Mass., March 23 Robert G. Grattan, ’43 Decatur, Ga., Dec. 20, 2012 Ruth Rinehart Hunter, ’44 Eugene, Ore., Nov. 6, 2012 Arthur J. Kamitsuka, ’45 Merrick, N.Y., April 4, 2012

Donna Spellman Merrill, ’53 Holt, Mo., May 21 Wayne E. Sheneman, ’55 Reno, Nev., March 24

1960s Jack Johannsen, ’61 Cedar Park, Texas, Dec. 10, 2012 Doreen “Dody” Kolb, ’61 North Hampton, N.H., Jan. 29 Lt. Col. (Ret.) Joseph F. Kasun, ’62 Bayside, Calif., Feb. 21 Richard A. Hippler, ’63 Fredericksburg, Va., Nov. 26, 2012 William H. Ewing, ’64 Wayne, Pa., Dec. 20, 2012 Bruce A. Wilson, ’64 Simi Valley, Calif., Feb. 2 Leslie Hotsenpiller Jordon, ’69 Hartsburg, Mo., Dec. 22, 2012

1980s John Frank Barron, ’80 Vandalia, Ohio, Dec. 1, 2012 Mary L. Connell, ’82 Covelo, Calif., April 7, 2012 Wilma P. Warnock, ’83 Independence, Mo., Jan. 2

Alice McConaughy Hartbarger, ’46 Shelbyville, Tenn., March 31, 2012

Steven Moorhouse, ’69 Peoria, Ariz., May 17

Jean Peeke Olin, ’46 Richfield, Minn., Dec. 19, 2012


Ira C. Nickle, ’85 Lexington, S.C., Nov. 16, 2012

George Dearing, ’74 Harrison, Ark., April 23, 2012

Kevin G. Callicutt, ’86 Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 19

Bert W. Stewart, ’76 San Diego, Calif., Oct. 31, 2012

Lt. Col. (Ret.) James Harvill Jr., ’86 Madison, Ala., May 15

Ann Pollard Winters, ’46 Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 15 Carol Vandebunt Canfield, ’48 Wilmington, Del., Nov. 22, 2012 Catherine Williams Odden, ’48 Minneapolis, Minn., April 20

David L. Frank, ’77 Harvest, Ala., Oct. 10, 2012

Thomas E. Slocum, ’84 Austin, Texas, March 14

David A. Ebright, ’87 Parkville, Mo., Nov. 19, 2012

Alma Freda Jacobs, ’92 Hebron, Ohio, Jan. 10 Martin O’Connor, ’94 Overland Park, Kan., Feb. 20 Albert B. Sands, ’94 Westerville, Ohio, Nov. 25, 2012 Theresa M. Meloy, ’97 Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 8 Dennis F. Trabue, ’97 Kansas City, Mo., April 21 Tammy J. Dagenett, ’99 Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 14

2000s Sheila W. Howey, ’03 Monument, Colo., Nov. 17, 2012 Rosemary L. Garrity, ’05 Great Falls, Mont., Nov. 20, 2012

Richard O. Snyder, ’49 Enid, Okla., May 9

Robert C. Guy, ’79 Indian Harbour Beach, Fla., April 27, 2012

Jeffrey Woodworth Sr., ’88 Three Lakes, Wis., May 22


John F. Knight, ’79 Bainbridge, Ga., Oct. 13, 2012


Preston Settle, ’06 Waycross, Ga., March 3

Jane Wimberly Ayars, ’52 North Manchester, Ind., Dec. 15, 2012

Charles W. Ruckh, ’79 Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 10

Charles R. Laxton, ’91 Hudson, N.C., Jan. 11

Sean M. Robinett, ’09 Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 2, 2012

Herman L. Finkbeiner, ’52 Rexford, N.Y., April 1

Summer 2013 - 44

Joseph L. Ottmann, ’91 Eugene, Ore., April, 11

Jaime L, Hicks, ’05 Lonoke, Ark., Jan. 26

Spring 2013 - 45

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Kansas City, Mo. Permit No. 6112

8700 NW River Park Drive Parkville, MO 64152

Another reason to walk the walk. Introducing the UplomaTM. We’ve designed and built the highest quality recognition statement. A product that finally matches a university level of effort. Made of the finest materials, each UplomaTM is crafted in Park University’s colors and displays Park’s logo. Completely customizable, you can specify year, degree and graduate name. Personalize your very own or give one as a gift. A UplomaTM makes the perfect desktop diploma for any grad.

Park University Magazine, Summer 2013  

Park University Magazine for alumni, faculty, staff and friends, published Summer 2013

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