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MAGAZINE Spring 2012

Vol. 4, No. 1

Politics in perspective Thinking on a higher plane at Park University about political debate

Contents 2





President’s greetings


Politics in perspective


What we can learn from politicians


Conquering Congress


Media mayhem


Campaign flair


Test your presidential I.Q.


Paying it forward


Political savvy


Departments 8

University news


Park’s Board of Trustees


In academia

28 Alumniad 30

Visiting Parkville

32 Events 38

Class notes


Park mourns


Destination Parkville

Park University Magazine is created by: Kathy Winklhofer, Wink Creative Communications, Vanessa Bonavia, V Communications,

Park University Magazine is published by the Office of University Advancement and the Office of University Communications and Marketing for Park alumni and friends. Send address corrections to the Office of University Advancement, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Box 65, Parkville, MO 64152, or 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 a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective, and engage in lifelong learning and service to others. Core values that guide our actions • Accountability • Civility and Respect • Excellence • Global Citizenship • Inclusivity • Integrity 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 Spring 2012 Vol. 4 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) 584-6211 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

President’s greetings Dear Friends, Citizens in the United Sates may speak freely and shape their environment through our country’s democratic process. As Americans, that is both our privilege and duty. Walter H. Judd, M.D. (1898-1994), a 20th century American, missionary, physician and congressman from Minnesota, remarked, “People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote — a very different thing.” Being informed and engaged truly is the key. Higher education plays a critical role in advancing the electorate’s understanding of the benefits and challenges of participating in a society that ensures personal and political freedom. In this issue of the Park University Magazine, you will find articles written about Park alumni, staff and faculty members who understand our democracy and who are making a significant difference in their classrooms, in their communities and in their professional organizations. As we move through the 2012 election year, I hope this magazine issue inspires you to discover your unique voice and to champion what is truly important to you and your family as you engage in our country’s election process…and vote.

Best regards,

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

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Politics in perspective Thinking on a higher plane at Park University about political debate

“This bulletin board is dedicated to inspiring thought on controversial topics. If you disagree with ideas presented here, think and discuss them, but do not deface that with which you do not agree. Critical thinking requires considering not only those values we concur with, but also evaluating those we abhor. Successfully challenged concepts are modified or discarded. Concepts which we dare not consider are the true danger to freedom.� The above statement is tacked on a bulletin board located in Park University’s Department of Political Science, just outside the offices of Ron Brecke, Ph.D., professor of political science, and James Pasley, Ph.D., associate professor of political science. Spring 2012 - 2

Filled with news articles representing opposing views on current issues, the bulletin board has been a mainstay in the department for 20 years as a way to prompt debate and discussion among students. Early on, there were instances of articles getting ripped down or defaced. To remedy the situation — and to take advantage of a prime teaching opportunity — the above statement was drafted by Brecke and his colleagues, and has been a cornerstone to the department’s approach to teaching political science. Living up to this statement isn’t easy. Nothing brings out the best and worst in others more than political discourse during a presidential election. From cable news and radio talk shows, to newspapers and conversations around kitchen tables, there’s no shortage of opinions. And with social media entering the fray, from Twitter to Facebook and new Internet blogs popping up daily, there’s no shortage of places to vent, either. For Brecke and Pasley, the challenge is to help students debate and deliberate the issues of the day from a thoughtful and reasonable perspective that reflects the values of a higher education at Park.

Differences welcomed At Park, students’ views are encouraged, but not at the expense of those of their classmates. “We look at ideas; we debate ideas. No personal attacks are allowed,” Brecke said. “We try to engender an openness in the classroom that allows students to think freely and arrive at their own conclusions.” Brecke and Pasley couldn’t be more different in their political leanings or their specialties. Brecke tends to come at issues from “the left” while Pasley tends to be on “the right” side of matters. Brecke emphasizes domestic politics and heads up Park’s Legal Studies program, while Pasley’s brings to Park an expertise in

Photo by Kenny Johnson

James Pasley, Ph.D., associate professor of political science (left), and Ron Brecke, Ph.D., professor of political science.

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Politics in perspective

James Pasley, Ph.D., associate professor of political science (left), and Ron Brecke, Ph.D., professor of political science. Photo by Kenny Johnson

international relations and foreign policy. In fact, Brecke said he hired Pasley in 2006 especially for their differences. “I knew he didn’t share my politics,” Brecke said. “I also knew our differences would benefit Park students.” They may not agree when it comes to politics, but on one thing they most definitely agree: teaching politics shouldn’t be about left, right or center. Rather, it’s about learning and thinking at a higher level — considering issues thoughtfully from all perspectives.

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Building better citizens “We want to build analytic thinkers and, ultimately, citizens who can look at issues and policies and make reasonable judgments for themselves,” Pasley said. More than just the nuts and bolts of politics, Brecke and Pasley want students to understand the distinction between political science and citizenship. “Fact-based information is good to know, but

I’m not certain it’s vital to the survival of a democracy,” Pasley said. Brecke agrees. “As a citizen, how does it help you to know there are 435 members in the House of Representatives? Facts and stats often have little to do with thinking like a citizen.” “That said, it’s important to have the knowledge and awareness of how things work to effectively participate or seek change,” Pasley said.

Political cues So how do citizens — and particularly this year, voters — make sense of the political landscape and determine what is right or wrong? “We want students to understand politics, where they fit and what they believe,” Brecke said. As divisive as they seem, Brecke said political parties are actually helpful to citizenship in this regard. “Political parties give us cues that simplify political life,” he said. “You don’t have to know everything there is to know about politics. You don’t need to tell me the names of the chief justices to be a good citizen.” Political parties offer a shortcut to help make rational, decisions that reflect your values, Brecke said. “If that means studying the Republican Party or finding that you agree with 80 percent of what the Democratic Party believes, then there is your cue.” Brecke and Pasley emphasize the need for students to understand U.S. politics in relation to political systems around the world. “If you’re patriotic and believe in the American system of government, you should know why you believe what you believe and how it compares. It goes back to critical thinking,” said Brecke. In Pasley’s international and comparative politics classes, students get a broader perspective. “We look at the disconnect between policy and laws, promises and reality, and the actual practices within countries around the world,” he said. “Political challenges have never been uniquely American.”

Question everything As the presidential election gathers momentum this fall, how might we all approach the ongoing, often fiery focus on political discourse and debate? Brecke and Pasley offer some wisdom to guide our own perspectives. “Question everything,” Pasley said. “Yes, asking questions is paramount, as is keeping an open mind and remaining skeptical, not cynical,” Brecke said. “Cynics question the motives of everyone. That turns to negativity. Cynics never trust anything, and are always looking for an ulterior motive. On the other hand, skeptics question ideas, not people or personal backgrounds. I think that’s the appropriate way to enter into politics.”

Photo by Kenny Johnson

100 Percent Success A political science degree prepares students for careers in the public sector, graduate school and law school. For students who want to focus directly on their pursuit of success in law school, Park University offers a bachelor’s degree in legal studies. The program is uncommon. “There are only a dozen other legal studies programs like ours in the U.S.,” said Ron Brecke, Ph.D., professor of political science and director of Park’s Legal Studies program. It uniquely prepares students for law school, particularly the grueling Law School Admission Test. Since 1993, Park’s Legal Studies program has had a 100 percent success rate of students who have applied and been accepted into law school. “It especially prepares students for the critical first year of law school, one that can be a tremendous shock,” Brecke said. The program is designed to get students used to thinking in a completely different mode. For example, law professors often play what Brecke calls “hide the ball” because law professors are notorious for never giving students a definitive answer. “This approach is in line with the nature of the law itself, which is always searching for answers,” Brecke said.

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What we can learn from politicians Photo by Kenny Johnson

by Erik Bergrud, M.P.A. ’94

Associate Vice President of Constituent Engagement

Turn on your television. Read the comments on any online news site. Talk to friends, neighbors or family members. Disdain for politicians is palpable everywhere you turn. Imagine for a moment that you are a Park University student and your professor has assigned you the daunting task of interviewing a cross-section of voters and asking them not only to share in descriptive terms their opinions about elected officials, but also of individuals who have different political perspectives than they do. You might have to wash your ears out with soap after many of these interviews! It would be so easy to conclude that the amount of venom being spewed in the direction of elected officials and political candidates is a testament to the state of politics in 21st century America.

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But perhaps, instead of lashing out, we should take a hard look at ourselves. After all, we elect these officeholders (unless we avoid voting). What can today’s political climate teach us about ourselves? What does it mean to be a citizen of the United States? In reflecting upon this, I looked back at my final day as a Park student and what I have learned since then.

Lessons learned

Eighteen years ago this spring, my former professor, boss and mentor, the late Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D., stood up to acknowledge that my classmates and I had been approved by the faculty and subsequently recommended that Park confer our degrees upon us. Park President Donald Breckon, Ph.D., accepted Hauptmann’s recommendation, noting “I hereby confer upon each of you

the degree for which you have been certified, with all the rights and obligations there unto appertaining, and for which the diploma you are about to receive shall forever be the testimony.” I left the May 1994 commencement ceremony with a Park diploma in hand, but it took me several years to understand the significance of the “rights and obligations” that accompanied my degree, a Master of Public Affairs with an emphasis in government/business relations. My Park education helped me to connect theory with practice and to develop my critical thinking skills. My past seven years serving both as Park University’s governmental liaison and key community relations representative has offered me a different kind of education — a unique opportunity to talk behind the scenes with elected officials, business executives and civic leaders.

In my work, I have encountered countless local, state and national elected officials, serving in nonpartisan positions or representing one of the two major national political parties. My impressions of elected officials have actually become more favorable over this time, and I would like to share with you some lessons I have learned across these many interactions with the hope that they will resonate with you. • Be courageous; put yourself out there — Running for office and subjecting oneself and one’s family to intense public scrutiny requires a significant degree of courage. What are you willing to risk in order to achieve something you passionately believe in? • Don’t attempt to read minds unless you are a bona fide mind reader — Political pundits have developed a cottage industry of parsing politicians’ words to determine their underlying intent. Oftentimes they project upon elected officials’ sinister intentions with no basis in reality. If you are not a bona fide mind reader, then how do you know what any senator, governor or mayor is really thinking? • I’m from the government and I’m here to help — Ronald Reagan famously joked, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’” I have encountered elected officials who support government expansion and others who not only advocate for limited government but also see themselves as existing outside the government. Ironically, once elected, they became the face of the government. Regardless of political persuasion, elected officials view themselves as being helpful. Stellar constituent service is a hallmark of a successful officeholder. • Your voice matters — Elected officials depend upon the expertise of citizens who know the opportunities and implications related to complex public policy decisions. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Adlai E. Stevenson once said, “(Citizens) are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.” Are you making your voice heard? The citizens of Parkville, Mo. (home of Park’s flagship campus), recently elected a new mayor who defeated his opponent by a paltry 37 votes. This result served as a stark reminder to those of us who live and/ or work in Parkville about the power of the vote and how it can cause a city, state or nation to change course.

The First Step “The real challenge is taking the first step,” said Erik Bergrud, Park’s associate vice president of constituent engagement. Just before completing his term as president of the American Society for Public Administration, Bergrud fulfilled his promise to soar 855 feet (or 108 floors) from the top of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas during the 2012 ASPA Annual Conference, March 2-6. His breathtaking leap helped raise funds for a new ASPA endowed graduate student scholarship. “Some people have asked me whether my jump was a lifechanging experience,” Bergrud said. “It’s actually a metaphor for life — once you overcome fear and take that first step, you can accomplish anything.” Watch Bergrud’s breathtaking leap at Read more about Bergrud’s experience in the ASPA National Weblog:

Imagine what our world and our communities would be like if all 22,000-plus Park University students and 64,000-plus Park University alumni exercised their “right and obligation” to vote! I truly believe, to paraphrase Mahatma Gandhi, “We can be the change we want to see in the world.” Get to know your city councilmember, your mayor, your state representative, etc., and you’ll likely discover that they believe Gandhi’s words as well. Spring 2012 - 7

UNIVERSITY NEWS Kater appointed to associate vice president for distance learning post Park University appointed Charles Kater, Ph.D., as associate vice president for distance learning, beginning his duties Jan. 3. Kater is responsible for providing leadership and strategic planning for Park Distance Learning, which houses all of Park’s distance learning operations, including its campus centers outside the Kansas City area and online. He is guiding Park in staying on the cutting edge of online education, education for adult learners and education for military personnel. Kater joined Park after previously working as director of technical programs and curriculum for the Kansas Board of Regents since 2010.

Degree program in fitness and wellness now offered at Park Beginning with the Fall 2012 semester, Park University will offer a degree program focusing on health promotion and lifestyle modifications. The Bachelor of Science in Fitness and Wellness degree will be offered face-to-face at the University’s Parkville Campus. The degree program will introduce students to basic principles that assist and motivate them to reach their optimal fitness and wellness potential while leading others to an overall healthful lifestyle. The optimal goal of the program is to enhance the quality of life through equipping students with the knowledge and skills that promotes long-term fitness and wellness. “Much of today’s approach to health care is preventative medicine, putting athletic training at the forefront of that philosophy,” said Tom Bertoncino, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Athletic Training. “Because of these evolving changes in health care, athletic training is the ideal profession of the future.” A minor in fitness and wellness will also begin to be offered this fall.

Park debuts mobile application for iPhones, Androids Park University has launched a mobile application for iPhones and Androids geared toward prospective students and families to learn about the University’s unique programs and culture through self-guided tours, as well as to help navigate the Parkville Campus. The application features many capabilities, including academics, news, videos, photos, and interactive Parkville Campus map and panoramas of the campus. “Having a mobile application like this allows Park to reach out to future students from their personal devices while instantly upgrading the convenience of obtaining information on everything Park has to offer,” said Eric Blair, director of undergraduate admissions. “The mobile application will enhance our national presence without passing on tons of costs to our students.” Search “Park University” via Apple’s App Store (for the iPhone) or via Google Play (formerly known as the Android Market, for Android devices.) Once downloaded, skip the registration portion, which is designed primarily to gather information on prospective students, and look at this great mobile app!

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International Center for Music pianist releases debut CD, begins tour

From left: Julie Wilson, member of the Park University Board of Trustees and senior vice president/chief people officer at Cerner Corp., is pictured at the Founders Day celebration with Cerner representatives Sharon Downs, Angie Stanland, Dana Streck, Liz Thiel, Stephanie Roberts, Tricia Geris and Rama Nadimpalli. Cerner was the Summa Cum Laude sponsor for the event.

University raises more than $200,000 at Founders Day event Park University raised $202,333 at its annual Founders Day celebration on May 10 in the Victory Suite of Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Founders Day Chair Tom Holcom, member of the Board of Trustees and chair of its Advancement Committee, along with the Office of University Advancement, led the effort to this nearly 300 percent increase in both gross and net revenue. This year’s celebration featured a shorter program, different venue and more specialized opportunities for major sponsors. Students representing the Park Warrior Center, Department of Athletics and the Presidential Honors Scholarship, who were featured in the event video and whose programs will benefit from this year’s proceeds, were on hand to mingle with the guests. Attendees were also treated to hors d’oeuvres from the home countries of the student-athletes. When announcing the grand total, Holcom declared a new goal and challenge — by 2017 the Founders Day event would annually raise $500,000. “With Founders Day clearly marked as Park’s premier fundraising event, the Office of University Advancement will also be increasing the attendance and visibility of the Alumni Association Awards Banquet as the premier ‘friend-raising opportunity,’” said Laurie McCormack, vice president for university advancement. McCormack also thanked Board of Trustees member Julie Wilson, senior vice president/chief people officer at Cerner Corp., as well as Cerner’s Neal Patterson, chief executive officer, president and chair of the board, and Cliff Illig, vice chair of the board, for the use of the Victory Suite.

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, grand prize winner at the 2009 London International Piano Competition and a Park University senior applied music/piano major, released his debut CD with Decca Classics, London, and participated in a monthlong tour of Australia in March and April. Abduraimov signed with Decca Classics in 2011. His debut CD, “Abduraimov,” features works by Liszt, Prokofiev and Saint-Saëns. In April, he made his debut at Royal Albert Hall in London, and this year, will be featured in recitals as part of the Gilmore Rising Star and Vancouver Recital Series, London’s International Piano Series and Milan, Italy’s La Societa dei Concerti. The Australian tour by Abduraimov, who studies under Stanislav Ioudenitch, winner of the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and professor of music in the University’s International Center for Music, included performances with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Abduraimov also performed recitals in Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong.

This year’s Alumni Association Awards Banquet will be on Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Kansas City Airport Marriott during Alumni Weekend, which has moved to September to coincide with Harvest Fest Week. For more information about the University’s fundraising, visit Spring 2012 - 9

UNIVERSITY NEWS Exhibit highlighting Park connection to Titanic Park University, which has a unique connection to the Titanic, is commemorating the centennial of the ship’s sinking with a special exhibit in the McAfee Memorial Library on the University’s Parkville Campus. The exhibit, on display through Tuesday, July 31, includes items related to the Titanic and the time period, as well as pictures of two Park alumni who, along with their 10-month-old child, survived the ship’s sinking off the coast of Newfoundland on April 15, 1912. Albert and Sylvia Harbaugh Caldwell, both 1909 graduates of Park, and their son, Alden Gates Caldwell, were returning to the U.S. from a mission trip in Siam (now Thailand) when they boarded the ship in Southampton, England. Their story of what happened on the night of the sinking mirrors that of other survivors and was included in the June 1912 edition of the Alumniad. They were one of the few families to have survived intact and, to make the tale even more compelling, Albert was one of only 14 second-class male passengers to survive out of 168. The story of the Caldwells resurfaced recently with the release of the book, A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival, written by Albert’s great-niece, Julie Hedgepeth Williams, Ph.D. Williams wrote and researched the book using recollections of her great-uncle and research from Albert’s grandson, Charles Caldwell, Ph.D., among other relatives. She also utilized resources from various institutions, including material provided by Carolyn Elwess, ‘71, Park University archivist, who oversees Park’s Fishburn Archives and Special Collections.

Albert and Sylvia Harbaugh Caldwell, both 1909 graduates of Park, and their son, Alden Gates Caldwell,

University starts Center for Global Peace Journalism Park University has launched the Center for Global Peace Journalism to promote peace and encourage responsible, non-inflammatory reporting. Peace journalism means balancing stories, giving peacemakers a voice, not parroting government propaganda and avoiding inflammatory, demonizing and victimizing language, said Steven Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center. The CGPJ, which was approved in January by the University’s Board of Trustees, holds seminars for high school students and the international journalism community through hands-on workshops and online coursework. The Center will also conduct peace and counterterrorism seminars in Uganda, and train journalists in Kenya and other countries, to avoid inciting election violence. For more information about the Center for Global Peace Journalism and to read its inaugural publication, visit Spring 2012 - 10

UNIVERSITY NEWS Park students volunteer in Joplin, Jamaica and New Orleans on service trips The Park Service Organization, a group of students dedicated to providing community service to the Park University Parkville Campus and the surrounding community, volunteered at ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” build site in Joplin, Mo., in October 2011. Fourteen Park students and staff participated in the project, which included building seven homes in seven days for families affected by the May 22, 2011, tornado that killed more than 160 people and destroyed nearly 8,000 homes. Park students moved and sorted lumber from various build sites, swept houses in preparation for insulation installation, prepared yards for landscaping and worked on a new community park. Also, a group of students and staff traveled to Joplin during the 2012 spring break in March to partner with ShowMeUCare. The group helped plant trees, removed shards of glass from yards, cut grass and removed trash. They also were involved in the cleaning and maintenance of multiple locations, including homes and the Abundant Life Christian Center building where they stayed. A group of six Park students and staff participated in an alternative fall break abroad to Petersfield, Jamaica. Much of the service work consisted of teaching basic computer skills to a variety of pupils, from children to senior citizens. Using just two working computers found in the community, the Park volunteers provided simple hardware, software and Internet skills to help the community communicate with the rest of the world. Another group of Park students participated in People to People International’s Young Generation IMPACT Weekend in New Orleans in January. The students worked with Habitat for Humanity to rebuild homes in New Orleans’ Seventh Ward, which remains largely devastated since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Students painted the interior of a home, measured and cut baseboards, built shelves and assisted with paneling, siding and shingling — all in less than 20 hours.

Park student wins prize for service trip to Jordan Andria Enns, a Park University senior communication arts/public relations and broadcasting major, and Degree with Honors program student, won the grand prize in the 2011 United Planet Day Contest for an essay she wrote about her 2010 trip to Uganda working on a peace journalism project. Enns was awarded $2,000 to go toward expenses for a United Planet service trip to Amman, Jordan, during Park’s 2011-12 winter break. While in Jordan, Enns worked for Friends of the Global Fund, a nonprofit organization aiming to end malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the Middle East and Northern Africa, writing grant proposals, creating marketing materials and doing video journalism.

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Leading the way Park University Magazine continues this special series to highlight individual trustees and members of Park’s 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. From academic policies to strategic planning and fiscal management, Park’s Board of Trustees work tirelessly to ensure the University is operating effectively to achieve its mission, strategic priorities and financial objectives.

Ann Mesle

Circuit Judge 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Mo. Kansas City, Mo. As an attorney specializing in education law, it made great sense for me to be involved with Park University. I have a great passion for higher education, so when I was approached to join Park’s Board of Trustees, it was easy to say yes. When I was in private practice, I did a lot of work for schools and school districts. My family is very education focused. I have a brother and sister at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. I have a niece teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Education is part and parcel of our whole family. I understand very well what it means to have a quality education. That’s one of the many reasons I’m involved with Park. Park University is a special place. It’s very international in its world view. I also appreciate the focus on the military and the service programs, such as business, teaching and nursing. Park has also been a pioneer in online education as well. It’s fascinating to me that it has professionalized the online courses and is able to weave them into the traditional education stream. But the best thing about Park is the people. They are just totally cool. President Michael Droge, Ph.D., is a wonderful man. I love the way the University’s administration works with the faculty and even has great relationships with the union on campus.

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Eric Wade, ’82, M.P.A. ’85 City Administrator City of Lenexa, Kan.

My education at Park University led me to my career in government. Through both my undergraduate degree in political science and graduate program in public affairs, I had a number of classes with Jerzy Hauptmann, Ph.D., who fostered in me a passion for learning. As a city administrator for the past eight years, I work closely with the city council in Lenexa, Kan., to oversee day-to-day operations, budget, policy and personnel decisions that impact critical city services such as police, parks and public works. Every day, I get to be a part of making a positive difference in people’s lives. Just as a city administrator guides the success of a city, so too does a trustee guide a university. As a Park trustee, my role is to constantly look out for the University’s best interest. At Park, I’m committed to helping with policy issues that impact Park’s future. As a Park alumnus, I had the traditional campus experience. As a trustee, I recognize how Park is using technology innovatively to reach students across the country. By combining its tradition with technology, Park has tremendous potential for future growth.

Board of Trustees 2011-12 Deanna K. Medlin Armstrong, ‘70 President/CEO Communication Design Consultants

Daniel J. O’Neill Owner/President The Roasterie Inc.

Donald P. Arndtsen, ‘50 Manager Arndtsen Cooperative Enterprises LLC

Rosemary Fry Plakas, ‘63 Curator/Historian Library of Congress

R. Lynn Bondurant, ‘61 President Bondurant Consulting John C. Brown President and CEO ELCA Properties Inc. Robert C. Burns Dentist/Owner (Retired) Burns Dental Care Gayden F. Carruth Executive Director Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City Peter J. deSilva Chairman and CEO UMB Bank, n.a. Katheen J. Dodd Founder and CEO The Corridor Group Dennis H. Epperson, ‘69 Patent Attorney (Retired) Private Practice and Partner Knobbe, Martens, Olson and Bear Kristopher Flint, ‘97 CEO Stark Collective LLC Joseph Geeter III, ‘99 Corporate Employee Relations Manager AmeriGas Propane Thomas H. Holcom President, Military Banking Division MidCountry Bank Benny Lee Chairman Lee Research Institute Susan Kensett McGaughey, ‘74 Home Health Aide Grace Hospice Ann Mesle Circuit Court Judge 16th Judicial Circuit of Missouri Lt. Gen. John E. Miller President Miller Analytic

Jeanette Prenger, ‘09 President Ecco Select Eugene A. Ruiz President Ruiz & Associates P.C. Danny K. Sakata Analyst Northrop Grumman Judith M. Simonitsch CPA (Retired) Deloitte and Touche LLP Richard E. Thode CPA (Retired) PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP J. Eric Wade, ‘82, M.P.A. ‘85 City Administrator City of Lenexa, Kan. N. Gary Wages President/CEO (Retired) Saint Luke’s Northland Hospital David Warm Executive Director Mid-America Regional Council Philip D. Wheeler, ‘62 Food Industry Executive/Consultant (Retired)

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” — John Quincy Adams

Julie M. Wilson Senior Vice President/ Chief People Officer Cerner Corp.

Honorary Trustees Howard C. Breen Robert P. Corbett, ‘38 Charles A. Garney CEO Briarcliff Development Co. Virginia B. McCoy L. Louise Morden Vice President Niagara’s Wax Museum Complex Gerald R. Moss Spring 2012 - 13

Conquering Congress

Park alumnus and newly appointed trustee pursues the halls of Congress to bestow the country’s highest honor on unsung Marine heroes

Joseph H. Geeter III, ‘99, (right) then president and now national legislative officer, Montford Point Marine Association, with original Montford Point Marine James “Rudy” Carter in 2007 at the MPMA National Convention in Jacksonville, Fla.

Five years of dedicated work by Park alumnus and Board of Trustees member Joseph H. Geeter III, ‘99, came down to a five-minute vote by the U.S. Congress. It all started with a phone call in 2007 from a 90-year-old former Marine, James “Rudy” Carter. Carter had just read about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black World War II pilots, who were being recognized for their service to the country with the Spring 2012 - 14

Congressional Gold Medal. He challenged Geeter, then national president of the Montford Point Marine Association representing the first black Marines, with one simple question: “What was he planning to do about it?” To this devoted Marine who had endured racism and discrimination while serving in World War II, the answer was clear. “Well, Rudy,” Geeter said, “it looks like I’m going

to get the Congressional Gold Medal for the Montford Point Marines.” That promise launched Geeter into the wilderness known as Washington, D.C.

First to serve The Montford Point Marines were the first black Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps after President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Above: A platoon of Montford Point Marine recruits stand at parade rest in 1943 at New River, N.C. Breaking a tradition of 167 years, the U.S. Marine Corps enlisted blacks, June 1, 1942. Below: Three black Marine recruits run the obstacle course at Montford Point Camp, N.C., in 1943. Exceptional recruits were singled out to serve as drill instructors.

“Montford Pointers proved themselves in battle and they proved themselves as American citizens. My challenge was to convince the U.S. Congress to honor their legacy at the highest level possible.” — Joseph H. Geeter III, ‘99 Spring 2012 - 15

Montford Point Marines in dress blues, May 1943. The Marine Corps was established in 1775, however, it was not until 1942 that blacks were permitted to serve in the Corps.

ordered the Armed Forces to admit AfricanAmerican recruits in 1941. From 1942 to 1949, an estimated 20,000 black Americans trained at the segregated Montford Point Camp in North Carolina, and were assigned to segregated battalions and units. In spite of rampant discrimination and racism, the Montford Point Marines demonstrated loyalty, hard work and a willingness to serve a nation that, at the time, did not offer them many basic civil rights. In 1965, more than 400 “Montford Pointers” met for a reunion that sparked the establishment of the Montford Point Marine Association, a nonprofit veteran group based in Philadelphia. Today, the MPMA has 37 chapters across the U.S. “Montford Pointers proved themselves in battle and they proved themselves as American citizens,” Geeter said. “My challenge was to convince Congress to honor their legacy at the highest level possible.”

Winding road Geeter learned that the Congressional Gold Medal presented to the Tuskegee Airman was the result of a bill passed by Congress. “I certainly had no idea how to get a bill passed,” Geeter said. “But I made a promise to Rudy and I was determined to figure it out.”

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Montford Point Marines stand aboard a troop ship during World War II. Montford Point Marines fought in some of the greatest battles of the war, including Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Geeter boldly set out on the winding road known as the political process. “I was sputtering until I met then Florida Sen. Anthony “Tony” Hill (D-Fla.),” Geeter said. Hill led him to influential people and groups, starting with U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) and the Congressional Black Caucus of U.S. Legislators.

pages long, the bill took Geeter most of a weekend to write. “The facts, dates, spelling — everything had to be just right,” he said. “My Park education came in handy.”

Geeter was able to secure 20 minutes at their next meeting. He invited several original Montford Pointers to tell their stories to the captivated audience; 40 minutes later the Congressional Black Caucus was enthusiastically behind Geeter’s plan to pursue the Congressional Gold Medal for these deserving Marines.

Targets of opportunity

“Their stories are powerful,” Geeter said. For the most part, blacks didn’t receive the same military recognition or opportunities after the war, he said. While white Marines were regarded as heroes, black Marines were cautious to even wear their uniform for fear of being arrested for impersonating a Marine. Despite the unfairness, Geeter said they don’t harbor regret or animosity. “They are proud of their service to their country.” When Brown agreed to co-sponsor the legislation for the medal, her assistant called Geeter to ask for the bill. The bill? “I discovered it was up to me to draft something,” Geeter said, “and I had no idea how to write a bill.” But he figured it out quickly with the help of Google. Although just two

Within weeks, an official number was assigned to the bill. “That’s when the real work began,” he said.

Geeter credits his 25-year military career for preparing him for nearly every challenge in life — including Washington, D.C. He spent countless hours walking the bewildering halls of Congress looking for “targets of opportunity” — his military term for catching influential people to ask for their support. He quickly realized that Congress was in no hurry. “There was always something else at the forefront — a budget, a health care plan,” Geeter said. “They had bigger fish to fry than my little bill.” Geeter didn’t have a lobbying budget to wine and dine influencers. He had a few handouts, time and tenacity. “I don’t give up easily,” he said.

National buzz Encouraging encounters fueled his hopes, such as meeting Sen. John McCain (RAriz.) who Geeter said looked him “square

in the eye” and assured him the bill would have his vote. “That’s when I knew there was a real chance to make this happen,” he said. Fast-forward to the 2011 MPMA convention in Atlanta — home to CNN. “CNN covered our bill and other media outlets picked up the story,” Geeter said. “It started a national buzz.” Just as the bill was gaining momentum toward a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives, Geeter hit a classic political roadblock: re-election. After the November 2010 elections, some key sponsors of the bill didn’t get re-elected. “We nearly had to start over,” Geeter said. Brown encouraged him not to lose faith and reintroduced the bill in the House in July 2011. Despite the setback, Geeter’s efforts had momentum. By now, he had built a lobbying team. “It was no longer just me in D.C. with my lonely suitcase,” he said. Their perseverance paid off. On Oct. 25, 2011, the bill came up for a vote in the House of Representatives.

C-Span suspense Geeter remembers racing home to watch the vote on C-SPAN. “I watched it like it was the Super Bowl,” he said. The bill needed 290 of 435 votes; “yay” votes displayed on an electronic board rose quickly from 20 to 120… then it happened: a “nay” vote. Fortunately, this was a fluke and the “nay” vote turned to the positive. “Either someone pushed the wrong button or they didn’t want to be the only knucklehead to vote no,” Geeter said. The final vote was 422 to zero. “I jumped up hollering and even took a picture of the TV screen!” Geeter said. “Five years of hard work came down to a five-minute vote. It was incredible.”

Super majority If a bill has overwhelming support in the House, it needs a “super majority” to pass in the Senate, or 67 of 100 votes. On Nov. 9, 2011, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) introduced the bill on the Senate floor. “She kept them through the dinner hour to pass the bill in time to celebrate the 236th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps on Nov. 10,” Geeter said. He received a call late on the evening of Nov. 9. The bill had passed the Senate. On Nov. 23, 2011, President Barack Obama signed the bill into law that would bestow the highest honor to the Montford Point Marines: the Congressional Gold Medal.

Unfortunately, Geeter and the Montford Pointers were not present when Obama signed the bill. Once the Senate passes a bill, the president has 10 days to sign it. He had been out of the country and needed to sign several bills unceremoniously before the Thanksgiving holiday. However, a big celebration is being planned for June 27, when the Congressional Gold Medal will be presented to the Montford Point Marines at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. To fulfill his promise, Geeter said he looks forward to personally inviting Carter to attend.

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John Lofflin, associate professor of journalism at Park University.

Photo by Kenny Johnson


It’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla of election news coverage, but Park is teaching students to question everything.

When President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney face off in the presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, months of political news coverage will take a momentary break. All of the money spent, press releases sent and commercials aired will be quieted as voters have their say. When the votes are counted and the nation has its president elected, it will be time

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for the media to look retrospectively at the campaigns. And what they will find? According to some Park University media watchers, there will be endless stories about polls and stats that did little to offer substantive value to voters.

Social surge

Facebook, Twitter and a host of other social media outlets were leveraged in the 2008 presidential election, especially by Obama’s campaign team. This year, expect social media to play an even bigger role.

A recent survey by Digitas, a global brand and social media agency, found that 61 percent of respondents expect 2012 presidential candidates to have a social media presence; 38 percent say candidate information found on social networks like Facebook and Twitter will influence their vote as much as TV or newspapers. John Lofflin, associate professor of journalism at Park, calls the Internet and social media outlets a great democratizer. “Social media opens up to a greater number of voices to expose broader concerns,” he said.

“There is a terrific disadvantage not having the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily, to an administration, even though we never like it, and even though we wish they didn’t write it, and even though we disapprove, there isn’t any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press.” — John F. Kennedy

But while social media may be emerging as a useful tool for presidential politics in 2012, the vast majority of voters will still turn to traditional media outlets for information as they decide for whom to cast a vote. Lofflin and Ron Brecke, Ph.D., professor of political science, will team-teach a class in the fall that they present every four years: “The Presidential Election and the Media.” Students will examine political news coverage: the role the media plays in the political process, how it influences an election, what aspects of media coverage are actually substantive and how to identify bias. One of the issues the course will explore is how journalists frame the election. It’s here that Lofflin and Brecke have one of their biggest beefs with the media.

Horse race and hoopla

The race. The front-runner. Too close to call. Sports analogies and metaphors abound when the media reports on an election. “In political science, we call it the concentration on the ‘horse race and hoopla’ in elections. Who’s ahead? Who’s behind?” said Brecke. Using sports analogies to talk about the political season is detrimental to the

democratic process and is just lazy reporting, Lofflin said. “Sports metaphors put the election into a less serious category,” he said. “The day after the World Series, everyone goes back to their own lives. But the day after an election, there will be change that may impact us all. The coach of the winning team can’t send anyone to war, but the president can.” There is a tendency for the media to focus on the race rather than dig deep into substantive issues and policies, Brecke said. “Simply said, the media doesn’t encourage critical thinking.” Why don’t reporters spend more time on the substance? The demands of a 24-hour news cycle and ratings are a big factor. “Reporters focus on the candidate’s every move whether there is actual news happening or not,” Lofflin said.

Question everything

While it is a cliché, the most important thing in an election is to be an informed voter. With the explosion of information — much of which may be valuable — voters still may not be getting the full or accurate story. More than ever, Brecke and Lofflin said, voters have the difficult challenge of sorting through it all, detecting bias and thinking critically about everything they read or hear. How can voters cut through the cacophony and find value from the media? Listen with a cautious ear for bias, Lofflin said. Question everything, Brecke recommends. Just because it’s reported through a major media outlet or retweeted a hundred times does not make it true or well reasoned. Because humans are involved, it is impossible to have a completely unbiased look at the campaigns, Lofflin said. “As long as you recognize the potential for bias in the media, then you’re a step ahead in finding value to cast an informed vote,” he said.

Much of the coverage in presidential campaigns is about personal attacks, campaign missteps and controversies, Lofflin said. “None of that is of real value to voters.” After awhile, voters tend to tune out, which doesn’t help them in deciding who they will support, he said. Spring 2012 - 19

Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science.

Campaign Flair Park is home to an eclectic collection of political keepsakes

“I Like Ike” “Vote Kennedy-Johnson” “Reagan Again” These campaign slogans are on just a few of the many buttons, posters and other political memorabilia that live at Park University. Just in time for the 2012 presidential election, Park Archivist Carolyn Elwess, ‘71, will showcase Park’s collection, which tells quite a story of American politics. The collection will be on display

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Saturday, Sept. 1, through Friday, Nov. 30, in the McAfee Memorial Library on the University’s Parkville Campus.

Politically incorrect

“Political buttons, bumper stickers and posters offer an interesting examination of American culture,” said Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science. “They reflect attitudes, issues and campaign strategies over the years.”

And they don’t always reflect the positive. More often, buttons and such are used to deliver subtle, and not-so-subtle, jabs at opponents — most often with humor. Some of the more irreverent items are popular collector’s items. Park’s collection includes buttons with slogans such as “No More Bushes,” “Sore Loserman” and “Ted Kennedy for Lifeguard.” This is certainly nothing new, Elwess said. “I was in school at Park during the Vietnam War and I recall the Watergate and Chappaquiddick scandals quite vividly. The material that was flying around then was pretty wild.” Political buttons and the like have always been an inexpensive way to provoke controversy and debate, Westcott said. “They certainly present an opportunity to get your digs in without saying a word.”

Comical to quirky

It seems campaigns will use most anything printed to send their message. Park’s collection includes “Election ‘68,” a board game with playing cards that feature political leaders of the day, including Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Players move around the board and draw “issue” cards with challenges such as “Escalate the war in Vietnam,” “Cut back on the space program” and “Pardon Jimmy Hoffa.” Other quirky items in Park’s collection include a National Lampoon magazine with a caricature of Nixon during the Watergate era, a T-shirt celebrating Sam Ervin (who headed up the impeachment hearings against Nixon) and a Where’s Dan Quayle? book (think “Where’s Waldo”). The collection’s historical significance is evident in items such as a Herbert Hoover button that belonged to Elwess’ father and a Shirley Chisholm button that’s likely the most valuable. (Chisholm was the first African-American congresswoman. She ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1972.) Elwess has grown Park’s collection and is always on the lookout for new items. Some prove more elusive than others. “The Truman buttons are the hardest to find,” she said. Spring 2012 - 21

Test your Presidential I.Q.

Artwork created by New Jersey artist Kelly O’Connell. Visit her portfolio at Spring 2012 - 22


Who was the first president to appear on television? A) Franklin Roosevelt B) Dwight Eisenower C) Herbert Hoover


Which president was the first to live in the White House? A) George Washington B) John Adams C) Thomas Jefferson

3. Which president was the first to have his photograph taken while in office? A) James Polk B) Martin Van Buren C) Andrew Johnson 4.

Which president held office with a musket ball lodged in his shoulder? A) George Washington B) James Monroe C) Ulysses Grant


Which president’s face is not portrayed on Mount Rushmore? A) Thomas Jefferson B) Franklin Roosevelt C) George Washington


Which president was the youngest person to become president? A) John Kennedy B) Theodore Roosevelt D) William Clinton


Who is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms? A) Grover Cleveland B) Benjamin Harrison C) William McKinley


Which president had been a prisoner of war? A) Ulysses Grant B) Andrew Jackson C) William McKinley


Which president was the first to be born an American citizen (previous presidents were British subjects)? A) William Harrison B) Rutherford Hayes C) Martin Van Buren

10. Which president was a star center on the University of Michigan football team? A) Dwight Eisenhower B) Gerald Ford C) Bill Clinton 11. Which two presidents died on the same day, July 4, 1826—the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence? A) George Washington and John Adams B) John Adams and Thomas Jefferson C) Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams 12. Which president was a geologist? A) Herbert Hoover B) Abrahm Lincoln C) Calvin Coolidge 13. Which president had the shortest term (he died after only one month in office)? A) Zachary Taylor B) Millard Fillmore C) William Harrison 14. Which president was the first to go up in an airplane, go down in a submarine, ride in a car and visit a foreign country while in office? A) Theodore Roosevelt B) Herbert Hoover C) Dwight Eisenhower 15. Which president was first to use the telephone? A) Rutherford Hayes B) James Garfield C) Chester Arthur 16. The U.S. Forest Service was created by which president? A) Harry Truman B) Theodore Roosevelt C) James Garfield Spring 2012 - 23

Answers: 1. A, 2. B, 3. A, 4. B, 5. B, 6. B, 7. A, 8. B, 9. C, 10. B, 11. B, 12. A, 13. C, 14. A, 15. A, 16. B

Paying It Forward Private scholarships honor Park alumni, leaders, mentors, family and friends Privately funded scholarships are an important part of the educational process at Park University. Awarded each year by the Office of Student Financial Services, scholarships ensure the continuation of Park’s long-standing tradition to provide education to qualified students, regardless of their ability to pay. Privately funded scholarships at Park are often created in honor of or in memory of special people in the lives of alumni and students. The following are examples of alumni-related scholarships that illustrate how this financial commitment can grow and strengthen the University while providing critical student support.

The Paul H. Gault Endowed Leadership Scholarship Paul H. Gault, ‘65, M.P.A. ‘88, is a former vice president of business and finance at Park University. (He currently serves Park as special assistant for administration and assistant secretary/assistant treasurer to the Board of Trustees.) As part of his studies, Gault served an internship at UMB Bank in the endowment department. In honor of the long-term relationship between Park and UMB Bank under the direction of Gault, UMB created the Paul H. Gault Endowed Leadership Scholarship. In a letter to the University that accompanied the initial gift, UMB wrote, “We appreciate the opportunity to be a part of Park University, and in particular, we are proud to be associated with Paul Gault. We are excited that our community’s current and future leaders will be able to further themselves through this scholarship, which in turn will advance our community.” Many friends and alumni have also added to this fund, including Dorla Watkins, ‘80, M.P.A. ‘00, current vice president for finance and administration. “It is my hope that we can grow this endowment to $250,000 in honor of Paul’s significant impact on Park University,” Watkins said. This scholarship is awarded annually to a student who is pursuing a graduate degree. Because of Gault’s connection to the Hauptmann School for Public Affairs, preference is given to applicants who are enrolled in the Master of Public Affairs program; however, applicants enrolled in any of the University’s graduate programs are eligible. Spring 2012 - 24

The Daley Walker Family Endowed Scholarship The Daley Walker Family Endowed Scholarship was spearheaded by Daley and Dixie Walker’s son, Steve Walker, ‘76, and family friend, Greg Abanavas, ‘75. It was established to ensure that Daley Walker’s legacy of changing students’ lives would live on in perpetuity at Park University. Walker, a professor of mathematics, had a 50-year legacy of teaching excellence at Park. His powerful and unforgettable impact on thousands of students who went on to successful careers in the sciences, education and countless other professions is undeniable. The scholarship will be awarded to a fulltime student(s) with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average who has a declared major in mathematics, natural/physical science or education, and interest in a career teaching mathematics or natural or physical science at any level. The fund grew to endowment level in early 2012, but the family’s goal is to grow the fund to $100,000. Since no interest funds would have been available to award until fall 2013, Steve and his wife, Janet, gave a gift this spring so the first scholarship could be awarded in fall 2012.

The Ed Nelson Memorial Scholarship Ed Nelson was Park’s first-ever varsity basketball coach and athletic director. From 1961 to 1979, Nelson also coached baseball, golf, tennis and soccer. He was also the dean of men and acting dean of admissions, as well as a member of the faculty. Nelson’s family, friends and former athletes created this scholarship to honor the life of this special man and mentor. Through the fundraising efforts of a group of Nelson’s former athletes and an anonymous matching gift challenge, the fund reached endowment level as this issue of the Park University Magazine was going to print. The annual scholarship awards will be made to members of the men’s basketball team who meet the scholarship criteria.

The Winona E. Flaherty Memorial Scholarship Winona E. Flaherty served as the director of Park’s Waverly Health Center from 1962 to 1972. During that time, Flaherty, a registered nurse, provided health care to students, dispensing medicine, love and wisdom to all those who needed her attention. Her son and daughter-in-law, Jay, ‘71, and Cindy Flaherty, ‘73, wanted to honor her memory and love of the nursing profession by establishing a scholarship in her name. The scholarship will be awarded each academic year to student(s) enrolled in the Ellen Finley Earhart Nursing Program at Park University. The goal is to grow the scholarship fund to more than $25,000, at which time it will become endowed and continue on in perpetuity. As with all endowed scholarship funds, the income earned on the fund will become the annual award.

Contribute or Create To contribute to these funds, send a check to Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Box 65, Parkville, MO 64152, or make a one-time or recurring credit card gift online at (click “online donation form” in the upper left hand corner of the web page.) Please indicate which scholarship fund should benefit from your gift. If you are interested in creating a scholarship to honor an important person in your life, call the Office of University Advancement at (816) 584-6200 and ask to speak to a member of the development staff. To apply for a Park University scholarship, visit

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In academia Publications Joan Aitken, Ed.D., professor of communication arts, co-authored a textbook designed for the basic college communication course, which teaches interpersonal communication, interviewing, group communication and public speaking. The textbook, Communicating: A Social, Career and Cultural Focus, offers a comprehensive blend of basic communication theory, research and skills, with a strong emphasis on relationship communication, workplace and intercultural communication. A Voice for Kansas, a book written by Debra McArthur, director of academic support services, was published earlier this year. The book began when McArthur taught language arts and once assigned her high school history students a journal writing project based on the settling of Kansas territory. McArthur did extensive research to accurately portray the setting and events that surround the fictional heroine Lucy Thomkins and her family in Kansas territory during 1855. In The Final Mission of Bottoms Up: A World War II Pilot’s Story, an absorbing, alternating account of World War II and its aftermath published in late 2011, Dennis Okerstrom, ‘74, Ph.D., Park University professor of English, provides a unique gem, chronicling the story of the young men who flew Bottoms Up on its 21st and final mission in 1944 as the end of World War II was in sight.

Presentations Michael Eskey, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of criminal justice, and Henry Roehrich, Ph.D., assistant professor and program coordinator of marketing/ management, presented “Developing, Implementing and Adaptability of an Online Faculty Evaluation and Observation System” at the Sloan-C International Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in November 2011. The presentation provided attendees with a background of Park’s evolution to the Online Instructor Evaluation System, the growth of the Online Instructor Training Course, and the transition to the Faculty Online Observation system and Faculty Mentoring Program.

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Daniel Donaldson, Ph.D., associate vice president for academic affairs, and Paula Shipper, Ed.D., director of distance academic services, made a presentation at the Council of College and Military Education national conference in Orlando, Fla., in February. The presentation, “Complete Academic Services for Online Excellence,” discussed processes implemented for online excellence for military/ veteran students, including course design with Americans with Disabilities Act compliance and the role of Park’s Department of Military and Veteran Student Services, including its online courses and online resource center. Judi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, presented a workshop for the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Orlando, Fla., in November 2011. The presentation, “Maximizing Student Engagement in Online College Classes,” provided a review of literature pertaining to maximizing student engagement in online courses. Estes also demonstrated techniques used in her online courses and shared teaching practices of the School for Education and specifically the Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood degree. Thimios Zaharopoulos, Ph.D., special assistant to the president for academic outreach, presented a paper at the Fifth World Universities Forum in Rhodes, Greece, in January. The paper, “The Entrepreneurial University and Traditional Academic Governance: Navigating Between Traditional Academics and the Need for Financial Well Being,” used Park University as a case study of an entrepreneurial university to discuss how the University and shared governance have evolved and interacted over the past few decades.

In academia Awards, appointments, and recognitions The Missouri College Personnel Association honored Park University’s Department of Military and Veteran Student Services and its Park Warrior Center, along with Stephen Terry, the department’s director. The DMVSS received the 2011 Missouri Innovative Program Award, recognizing the outstanding student affairs program in Missouri higher education that demonstrates innovative practices and produces quality results in student learning, development, engagement, satisfaction and organization performance. Terry was honored with the Missouri Outstanding Professional Award, which recognizes individuals who significantly contribute to student success in higher education. Kay Barnes, distinguished professor for public leadership in Park’s Hauptmann School for Public Affairs and founding director of the Center for Leadership, was awarded the Living Legend Award by the Heartland Women’s Leadership Council in November 2011. The award recognizes a Kansas City woman leader who exhibits exemplary leadership skills in her professional, business and community involvement, and has made significant contributions to the Kansas City community and the professional/community organizations she supports. Kimberly Connelly, assistant director of the Office of International Student Services, was recognized with the “Most Innovative Internationalization Initiative” honor for Park University’s Global Museum, during the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Region IV Conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in November 2011. Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the Master of Healthcare Leadership Program within the Hauptmann School for Public Affairs, received the Marcia P. “Marcy” Crowley Service to the Section for Women in Public Administration Award in March at the American Society for Public Administration’s annual conference in Las Vegas, honoring her outstanding service to SWPA. At the conference, she was installed as vice chair of SWPA and will ascend to chair in 2013.

Two Park University programs received awards at the Association for Continuing Higher Education annual conference in Orlando, Fla., in October 2011. The Park University Faculty Online Observation system was awarded the Creative Use of Technology Award, which recognizes ACHE members for their innovative uses of instructional and distance learning technologies in lifelong learning. The Park Warrior Center and Success for Veterans Program received the Distinguished Program Award for its overall success in supporting the University’s student veterans. Steven Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts, was awarded a $150,000 U.S. Department of State grant to direct and teach a peace media and counterterrorism project in Uganda through September. The project, “Peace Media and Counterterrorism: Establishing Collaborative Frameworks to Prevent Violent Extremism,” includes eight seminars for media and security officials in Uganda. The grant also was instrumental in Youngblood starting the Center for Global Peace Journalism at Park University. (See story on page 10.) Taylor Whipple, sophomore psychology major and Degree with Honors program member, was selected as one of Campus Connect’s 2012 Newman Civic Fellows. The award recognizes inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities. Whipple discovered a passion for working with physically and emotionally disabled children during her freshman year as part of a service learning course requirement, and she has worked with children to incorporate art and music into their lives as therapy for physical and emotional disabilities.

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Alumni Council Susan Kensett McGaughey, ‘74 President Jeff McKinney, ‘81 Vice President Jay Flaherty, ‘71 Treasurer Cynthia James Null, x58 Secretary David Barclay, ‘53 Duane Davidson, ‘00, M.P.A. ‘03 Bob Dandridge, ‘04 David Ehrlich, ‘00 Karen Peters Frankenfeld, ‘59 Nancy Greinke, ‘01 Michael Hurley, ‘71, Ph.D. LaKeisha Johnson, ‘08

Let us hear from you! Contact the Office of Alumni Relations with news, comments and questions about the Park University Alumni Association and its members. Phone: (816) 584-6206 or (800) 488-PARK (7275) Fax: (816) 505-5409 E-mail: Address: 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Box 37 Parkville, MO 64152 Spring 2012 - 28

Toni Madeira, ‘88 Michael Newburger, ‘70 Denzil Ross, ‘06, M.B.A. ‘09 Karie Schaefer, ‘06, M.A.C.L. ‘12 Bobbi Shaw, ‘01

Staff Liaison Julie McCollum Director of Alumni Relations (816) 584-6206

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.� Spring 2012 Vol. 102 No. 2 Spring 2012 - 29

Visiting Parkville Dear Park Alumni, As director of alumni relations, I travel around the country meeting Park alumni. In the past few weeks I attended the Austin (Texas) Campus Center commencement ceremony, hosted a group of alumni and students for a barbecue dinner and baseball game in Surprise, Ariz., and partied with alumni in Las Vegas. Every time I leave my office on the Parkville Campus, I meet alumni who tell me they have a goal to visit Parkville. Many alumni have never been to Parkville; some haven’t been here in a long time. Whichever the case, I want to extend an open invitation to all alumni to make that visit. The Office of Alumni Relations is located in Park House, the oldest building on the Parkville Campus and one of the oldest in the town. It was built around 1845 as a home for Col. George S. Park, one of the founders of the University. Seldom does a week go by without visitors stopping in to say hello. Many are alumni who graduated from one of our distance campus centers or online programs. They are curious about the old buildings and the faculty and staff they came to know through the Internet while they were students. Some visitors are family members of alumni. They heard the stories of campus life and want to see where it all happened. There are also those alumni who haven’t been back for a while or are bringing their family and friends to see where they had all those good times. Whatever the story, alumni are always welcome on the Parkville Campus and especially in Park House. Two new events are targeted to attract our alumni to Parkville. Check out “Destination Parkville” on pages 44-45 of this issue of the Park University Magazine. This is our new Alumni Weekend, which has moved to the fall and coincides with the University’s Harvest Fest Week! The schedule includes many new activities for people who just want to visit the Parkville Campus — even for the first time. For those of you celebrating a reunion, don’t worry! The traditional reunion activities have not changed. If you have suggestions or additions for the schedule, drop me a note at Grad Day is our other new event. Though we have held the event twice already, we still consider it new and want to spread the word. Every year, students come from out of town to the Kansas City Area Commencement to take part in the largest graduation ceremony that the University holds. They also want to see the Parkville Campus, walk up the stairs of Mackay Hall and see in person the symbol of Park University that they learned to recognize as a student. Today, all students who come from our distance campus centers or online programs to participate in the Kansas City Area Commencement are invited to attend Grad Day. Working with representatives from departments all over campus, the day before the ceremony graduates and their families are treated to a special luncheon and campus tours. If you are an alumnus/alumna who is getting a second degree and has not yet been to Parkville, make plans now to come for your Grad Day. And, help us spread the word at your campus center.

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From left: Sarah Hopkins-Chery, ‘07, M.A. ‘09; Julie McCollum, director of alumni relations; Nick Casale, ‘70; and Jessica Moody Morgan, ’09, M.E. ‘11, at the Parkville Coffee House, Parkville, Mo.

Hope to see you on the Parkville Campus! Julie McCollum

Director of Alumni Relations (816) 584-6206 or (800) 488-PARK (7275) Join me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Announcing the

Park alumni directory Park University is creating an alumni directory to be offered to members in both print and digital formats. As in the past, the University is collaborating with Harris Connect. Alumni Association members will be contacted by Harris Connect for the purpose of updating contact information, and sharing accomplishments and family news. Each member will be contacted by e-mail, postcard or phone, and will be offered the option to complete the questionnaire online, by phone or mail. We ask that you please participate in this project. The information you provide helps the University stay in touch with its cherished alumni and helps alumni find their old friends and make new contacts. So, when that phone rings or you get an e-mail from an unfamiliar sender, remember — Park and Harris Connect are partners. Additional information to answer your concerns can be found at

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Alumni events South Carolina Alumni Dine with the Board of Trustees The Park University Board of Trustees visited the Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center during the Board’s meeting on Jan. 20. Alumni from the area, including those from the Beaufort and Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base campuses, dined with Park President Michael H. Droge, Ph.D., vice presidents and trustees.

Alumni Association Hosts Event in Las Vegas

On March 5, the Park University Alumni Association hosted a reception at the 2012 American Society for Public Administration Annual Conference at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. Alumni from Park’s Hauptmann School for Public Affairs attending the conference and from the Las Vegas area networked and met met with University administrators and faculty.

Park at Spring Training in Arizona

A spring training game between the Kansas City Royals and the Arizona Diamondbacks was the setting for an alumni get-together on March 31. Alumni and their families enjoyed barbecue and baseball in Surprise, Ariz.

Alumni Welcome Grads to the Alumni Association

As Park University said its traditional “Farewell to Graduates” on May 3 at The Cashew in Kansas City, Mo., alumni from the area joined the celebration to welcome the new graduates to the Park University Alumni Association. Susan Kensett McGaughey, ‘74, PUAA president, Park administrators and several members of the Alumni Council were on hand to give their congratulations. See photo on page 29.

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Alumni Speakers Support Park Students James Simpson, ‘97, Liberty, Mo., chief of police, was the keynote speaker at the 17th annual Doris A. Howell Leadership Awards Banquet on April 11 on the Parkville Campus. Toni Madeira, ‘88, was the recipient of the Tipton Award, given to honor an outstanding service contribution to Park University by a Park alumnus/alumna. The banquet is named for Doris Howell, ‘44, an internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care. The Tipton Award is named to honor Bill and Mary Lou Tipton, both ‘28. Throughout their lives, the Tiptons served Park University through the Park University Alumni Association, Friends of the Park University Library and the Park University Board of Trustees. A’Yanna Gilmore Webster, ‘97, Ph.D., a motivational speaker and entrepreneur, was the keynote speaker as a part of Park University’s “Get In Gear: Financial Literacy Week,” a week-long event designed to educate students on managing their personal finances. Webster’s presentation on April 19, “Ultimate Money $kills: Scholars, Dollars, Budgets and Bills” was co-sponsored by the Alumni Association. Daryl Forte, ‘90, Kansas City, Mo., chief of police, spoke to Park University’s CLAS Connectors (the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Advisory Council) on April 19 at a reception at the Truman Medical Centers Behavioral Health building in Kansas City. He discussed the role of social workers in the legal system. CLAS Connectors is comprised of alumni and members of the Kansas City area business community who volunteer their time to support the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The event was sponsored by Crossroads Hospice and its executive director Jeannie Thomas, ‘99.


New Alumni Visit Parkville for the First Time

Austin Alumni Unite

Park University alumni in the Austin, Texas, area have a special opportunity this coming year — newly elected president of Park’s Alumni Association, Jeff McKinney, ‘81, is a resident of Round Rock, Texas. He attended the Austin Campus Center commencement ceremony on May 18 and addressed the newest members of the Alumni Association about plans to organize alumni in the area. The goal is to create ways for Austin alumni to network and socialize and, at the same time, unite in ways to provide support for the Austin Campus. If you are interested in helping this group, e-mail

Graduating students from campus centers around the nation and online programs often travel to the Kansas City area to participate in Park University’s largest commencement ceremony. In recognition of this phenomenon, the University has started a new tradition. The day before the ceremony, graduates and their families are invited to visit the Parkville Campus where they are greeted in a hospitality room with a bag of Park items, including a T-shirt and an “I’m a Park alum” button. They are treated to tours of the campus and a special luncheon with members of the faculty and staff from their degree areas. This year, children who came with their parents participated in a “Pirate” scavenger hunt as they toured the campus. Graduates have reported that they truly appreciate the opportunity to see the flagship campus of their alma mater in person.

When Pigs Fly!

Over the course of the past academic year, Park University students celebrated in a whole new way. The “George S. Pork” parties helped students learn how to give back to the University and the importance of being a philanthropic alumnus. Whether it was a hot wing eating contest, an ice cream social or a fresh-blended milkshake extravaganza, Park students supported their school while having fun at the same time. At the beginning of the year, all freshman students were greeted with a “George S. Pork” piggy bank. Change collected in this bank was their admission into the exclusive events over the academic year. At each event, students would empty their piggy banks and make a donation to the school. Simple enough! By the time they have completed their degree at Park, students will have given back many times — small amounts, yes, but meaningful in so many ways. By learning what it means to give back as an alumnus, and how those donations from current alumni impact them every day, these parties not only provided students with a safe and fun experience, but they also helped to build a new force of Park philanthropists.

Master of Business Administration graduates from across the country gathered at Park University’s Kansas City Area Commencement ceremony on May 12.

Watch your e-mail for invitations to events in your area. Visit for additional details and registration.

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savvy Politics will, no doubt, be a hot topic of conversation in the months to come. With a general election on Tuesday, Nov. 6, political science junkies will be in overdrive. But for many, politics isn’t a spectator sport — it’s their life’s work. Park University has long been a place for those preparing for success in political and legal careers. Park University Magazine recently caught up with several alumni to find out what they are doing now, how Park influenced their careers and their thoughts on politics, media and the value of higher education to a democracy.

Spring 2012 - 34

Javier Centonzio, ‘09

Teresa Loar, ‘94

One of the greatest lessons I learned at Park came from Dr. Ron Brecke (professor of political science) who said, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.” Simple words that mean so much to me, because they remind me to look at every issue from all sides. More importantly, it reminds me to recognize my bias and perspective when trying to decide where I stand on a certain issue. Dr. James Pasley (associate professor of political science) taught me to always use reason and to think before I made any comments regarding my views on issues. The advantage we have as Americans is that we allow for all of our citizens to participate in our democratic process, regardless of the level of education. Allowing access to higher education is what I feel is vital to maintaining our democracy, because it allows for those who wish to pursue a higher education the freedom to do so.

I’m a political junkie and read as much as I can on a daily basis. I also try to meet candidates to understand their positions on issues. I look at the person as a whole and not just bits and pieces of media hype. Being a former politician, I’ve learned from experience there are always two sides to a story; one should weigh all the facts before making a decision. I was a campaign manager for a U.S. congressman for 16 years, so I had a healthy education in national politics. I was elected twice to the Kansas City, Mo., City Council. It was truly a front-line education. Anyone running for higher office should serve at a local level first. That’s where the rubber meets the road. My education at Park taught me more than I ever imagined. Dr. Ron Brecke took me under his wing and I held on for dear life. Park widened my perspective and helped me see things differently.

B.A., Political Science and Legal Studies Law Student, Stetson University College of Law, St. Petersburg, Fla. National Project Director, Veterans Advocacy Initiative ABA Law Student Division

Jennifer Kiely, ’04, M.P.A. ’07

B.A., Political Science Director of Government Affairs Tetra Tech, Kansas City, Mo. (currently on assignment in Afghanistan)

B.A., Legal Studies; Master of Public Affairs Student at Walden University (working toward Ph.D. in public policy and leadership) Social Insurance Specialist, Social Security Administration Kansas City, Mo.

Carson Mongkeya, ’00

Park offered books, lectures and shared ideas along my educational journey that have changed the way I see the world. Higher education is a necessity to an informed decision. All voting citizens should be capable of making an informed decision on their voting options. We have the right to vote, but if we let media influence our votes and we really don’t research the issues, then we aren’t making informed decisions. Without informed decisions, what do we really have? The answer is a bit scary, but the solution is simple: educate yourself. I use several sources to educate myself on political issues. No matter how I am getting my news or hearing about issues, I always do my own independent research. I am a skeptic, which, when it comes to political issues, is a good thing. I take into account a source’s affiliations such as advertising, contributors, etc., especially when there is a statistic or study involved, and I take all of the information available and make my own informed opinion.

As a foreign service officer, I support my government’s interests as well as the people and our foreign policies. In my work, I have to be proactive and know my surroundings. I research what our people need and what will benefit them. I educate myself constantly by reading the news and researching issues. This is particularly important in my role to provide policy recommendations on bilateral and multilateral engagements between the Federated States of Micronesia and European countries. I value that Park opened me up to many ideas. I have taken great pride in knowing that I graduated from one of the greatest institutions in the United States. In the Federated States of Micronesia, we believe in democracy and higher education. Getting a higher education is the greatest thing to have, for one’s individuality as well as for a developing a nation and its workforce.

B.A., Political Science Deputy Assistant Secretary for Americas and European Affairs Department of Foreign Affairs Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, Pohnpei

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Greg Raymond, ’68, Ph.D.

B.A., Political Science Frank and Bethine Church Chair of Public Affairs Department of Political Science Boise State University, Boise, Idaho My education at Park altered my life’s trajectory. The combination of engaging professors, individual attention and demanding requirements prepared me for a rewarding professional life that I could scarcely have imagined. My career includes serving as a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs at Harvard University, and publishing 16 books and more than 100 articles and essays on foreign policy and world politics. Without Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann’s encouragement, I would never have considered pursuing a graduate education in political science; without his tutelage, I would not have had the success that I have enjoyed as a political scientist. In taking “Western Heritage” at Park, I learned the relationship between democracy and civic intelligence was first raised by the ancient Greek historian, Thucydides. Among the lessons we can draw from Thucydides today is that while only a small number of officials may actually make policy, in a healthy democracy everyone must participate in weighing policy alternatives.

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Patrizia Pfefferkorn, ’11

B.A., Political Science/International Politics Medical Student, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus Technical University Dresden, Dresden, Germany One of my favorite means of educating myself and forming an opinion at Park was the discourse and open discussions with my fellow students inside and outside of the classroom. Thankfully, I’m still in touch with a few of my fellow political science alums and we have a kind of ongoing international online discussion forum. I am also one of the founding members of a new group at my school called “Politics and Medicine.” We focus on all political issues relating to the medical field, ranging from science patenting and medical drug distribution in developing countries to more regional issues. I think there is a strong connection between the two subject areas and any doctor would do himself/herself a great disservice in not staying on top of both. I think education in general is a key pillar of any functioning democratic system. Democracy itself is based on the premise that all decisions are to be made by the people.

Lyman Rickman, ’11

Billy Williams, ‘07

I enjoy discussing the morality of events taking place on the international level, as well as what justice may require in cases where an event results in some sort of immoral situation. For example, the exploitation of the environment and the disproportionate negative effect it has on the global south. I learn about an issue by reading or watching the news, then I compare what is said or what I read against what I already know and what I value, and then I form an opinion. The most important thing is for people to see politics as salient, to have the initiative to do something and to have a responsive government.

Throughout my career and now with Arnstein & Lehr, my education from Park University has been a valuable asset to me, and I know I would not have achieved the same success without it. To keep up with politics and to inform myself, I typically read the The New York Times online and listen to National Public Radio. For me, an educated and informed society is extremely important to a democracy. I think it is the only way that we can collectively reach better decisions, and remain productive and prosperous.

B.A., Political Science Graduate Student University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Frederick (Rick) P. Tucker, ’84

B.A., Political Science and Psychology Presiding Circuit Judge, Macon and Shelby Counties 41st Judicial Circuit of Missouri After graduating from Park, I spent five years cleaning carpets and volunteering for programs I learned about while at Park, such as the International Relations Council in Kansas City, Mo. I then attended law school and worked 12 years as a public defender before opening my own law practice where I helped people with debt and bankruptcy cases, and also volunteered for Legal Aid. In March 2011, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon appointed me to complete a judicial term for a retiring circuit judge, and now I am running for office to keep the job. Representing a belief in equal justice for everyone is an awesome and wonderful privilege for me. There are a lot of wellmeaning people in the world, but we can only make a difference to the extent that we act as an informed and educated people. We can all benefit when we are constantly willing to increase our awareness to the problems and solutions surrounding us.

B.A., Political Science and Legal Studies Associate, Arnstein & Lehr LLP Miami, Fla.

Paul Williams, ‘91

B.A., Political Science Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP Kansas City, Mo. My education has been critical to my success as a trial lawyer. I focus primarily on product liability and tort and negligence cases, representing clients in federal and state courts across the U.S. My practice includes counseling clients regarding Consumer Product Safety Commission issues and product recalls. Part of my job is to educate the judge and jury about issues and equip them with the information to resolve a dispute. People on a jury come from all walks in life, with varying levels of education and panoramic life experiences. My education at Park enabled me to think critically, to evaluate issues from multiple perspectives, and to analyze and develop solutions. My experience at Park, particularly with my professors, helped shape who I am, how I approach professional as well as personal issues, and has added depth to my appreciation for the diversity I experience every day.

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Alumni 1940s

Jim Cariddi, ‘49, and his wife, Mae, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Jan. 25. Their four daughters surprised them with a party at Pierpont’s in Kansas City, Mo.

1960s Ronald J. Tyrl, ‘64, was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. Tyrl is professor emeritus of botany at Oklahoma State University and has received the prestigious Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in College and Teaching from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence. From January 1970 through August 1972, Tyrl taught at Park University. Martha Malan, ‘68, along with several Park friends, traveled to St. Paul, Minn., to attend the opening of “Capital Crimes: The St. Paul Gangster Musical,” written by David Hawley, ‘69. In attendance were Lee Salem, ‘68; Anita Parker Salem, ‘67; Patrice Michaels, ‘68; Linda Morrow, x68; Kay Ketcham, ‘68; and Penny Scialla, ‘69.


1950s In honor of the families of James Gerner, ‘52, and Doris McClatchey Gerner, ‘51, the Park Hill (Mo.) School District renamed the Park Hill Early Childhood Education Center the “Gerner Family Early Childhood Education Center.” The Gerner family owned and farmed the property that now includes the district’s administration office, Park Hill High School and Congress Middle School, as well as the Early Childhood Education Center. Doris served on the district’s school board from 1972-78. Jim Cobb, ‘56, has successfully established a new career in retirement. His oil paintings were on display in the show “Figuratively Speaking” at Chelsea’s Agora Gallery in New York City. aspx

Tim Pelton, ‘70, founded Ultimate Outcomes LLC, a web-based company that provides guidance for end-of-life planning through a variety of resources such as personal consulting and teleseminars. With a corporate commitment to give back to the community, 10 percent of all the proceeds that are derived from Ultimate Outcomes activities are donated to several nonprofit organizations, including Park University. Wilson “Bill” Cooney, ‘76, was appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the Joint Interim Committee to Study Seacoast Territory Insurance.

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SuEllen Weissman Fried, ‘75, was profiled as a “Global Woman” in the International Women’s Day issue of the Diplomatic Courier, a global affairs policy publication. Rick Grayson, ‘76, was selected as a “PGA Junior Golf Leader.” He is the first member of the Midwest PGA Section to receive this award, which recognizes a PGA professional who is a leader in junior golf and who reflects the ideals of those who work with youth. In addition, Grayson has been listed every year since 1996 on Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Golf Instructors in America. Grayson is a PGA teaching professional at Rivercut Golf Course’s Connie Morris Golf Learning Center in Springfield, Mo. Francis “Pete” Campbell, ‘78, has been appointed to a directorship of The Mesa (Ariz.) Lions Foundation and Charities Inc. He will serve a three-year term. MLFC supports Lions Clubs exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and represents all the participating clubs in the Mesa area.

1980s Eric Marcott, ‘82, joined the Washington, D.C., law firm of Vedder Price as a shareholder. He will be establishing a new government contracts practice group. Fred Griffin, ‘86, is district manager of Insperity Inc., a provider of human resources and performance solutions for businesses. He oversees the company’s sales efforts in the Washington, D.C., area.

CLASS NOTES Jeanie (Larkin) Pepper, ‘94, is senior donor relations account manager at Lifeblood in Memphis, Tenn., a full-service, nonprofit blood donation center. Jeffrey Ashmen, ‘95, retired 3rd Infantry Division Command sergeant major, is a full-time sales associate at Coldwell Banker Holtzman, Hinesville, Ga.

Toni Madeira, ‘88, left, with Clarinda Creighton, Park’s associate vice president for student affairs.

Toni Madeira, ‘88, received the 2012 Park University Tipton Award, presented annually by the Park Student Government Association to honor an alumna/alumnus who has made an outstanding service contribution to the University. Madeira serves on Park’s Alumni Council and the School of Business Advisory Council. She is instrumental in providing opportunities for students to network with alumni and to participate in community service projects. She is also responsible for the creation of Alumni Match, a new alumni mentoring program. Madeira is chief financial officer of Candace Bennett and Associates, a consulting firm focused on market research, communications and organizational assessment and development.

1990s Jan Zimmerman, ‘93, M.P.A. ‘97, is the police chief of Raymore, Mo. raymore-hires-kcpd-major.html Ron Butcher, ‘94, heads the GIS Asset Management Practice, Timmons Group, a provider of geospatial, information architecture and engineering services, based in Richmond, Va.

Andre Butler, ‘95, was selected by Ingram’s, a Kansas City business magazine, to its January list of “50 Kansans You Should Know.” Butler is the chief executive officer of Heart to Heart International, based in Olathe, Kan. Jan_2012/50Kansans/Kansans8.php Philip L. Fowler, ‘95, gunner sergeant, USMC (Ret.), was elected to the Monrovia, Ind., Town Council, representing the 4th District. Richard Wells, ‘95, received the Faculty of the Year Award for 2011 from Henley-Putnam University, San Jose, Calif. Wells teaches subjects on terrorism and counterterrorism. Robert L. Phoebus, ‘96, is senior vice president, Defense Sector, for STG Inc., a government contractor partnering with more than 50 federal agencies, Fortune 100 companies and overseas organizations based in Reston, Va. Dionysius Sebwe, ‘97, is Liberia’s deputy sports minister designate. Sebwe, who played professional soccer in the U.S. and internationally, is assisting the Ministry of Youth and Sports in his homeland to develop a grass-roots soccer program. item/601-sebwe-wants-ex-players-on-boardto-develop-effective-football-programs Karen Krauser, ‘99, was appointed as associate circuit judge in Clay County, Mo., by Gov. Jay Nixon.

Jeremy Willmoth, ‘99, M.P.A. ‘06, is county administrator for Cowley County, Kan.

2000s Nadia Blazevich, ‘00, is the manager of talent and culture development at GT Exhaust, Lincoln, Neb. The company specializes in sound and emission solutions. Jacqueline Clark, M.P.A. ‘00, director of communications and public affairs at Ash Grove Cement Co., Overland Park, Kan., led her organization’s team to win six awards at the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s 2011 PRISM Awards. Bryan Holbrook, ‘02, is deputy chief of the Bexley (Ohio) Police Department. Sgt. Holbrook is a 27-year veteran of the department. Carol Hernandez, ‘02, and Javier Hernandez, ‘04, co-founded the Austin, Texas, chapter of Latinas Leading Tomorrow ( ), a young Latina leadership nonprofit organization. Amy Carrillo-Cobb, ‘02, is the treasurer and member of the organization’s Advisory Board. “As Park graduates, we were able to receive a variety of leadership skills from the University and are able to give back to our community here in Texas. Our vision is to develop strong, success-driven young women who are empowered with the freedom and aspiration to be the notable leaders of tomorrow.” Javier is senior deputy sheriff/ school resource officer for the Travis County (Texas) Sheriff ’s Office and Decker Middle School; Carol is a financial aid specialist at Austin Community College; and Amy is a senior accountant at Myriad RBM Inc.

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CLASS NOTES Mary Boettcher, ‘03, was appointed president of Integrys Transportation Fuels LLC, in Chicago. She is responsible for operation and expansion of the compressed natural gas business of parent company, Integrys Energy Group. Jeremy Francis, ‘03, M.P.A. ‘06, Ph.D. received the 2011 FBI Director’s Award in Excellence for Outstanding Counterterrorism Investigation of the Year. He also received the 2010 International Association of Chiefs of Police Prevention of Terrorism Award sponsored by Booz, Allen and Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm based in McLean, Va. Francis completed his Ph.D. and published his dissertation “Terrorism Preparedness of Municipal First Response Public Safety Agencies in a North Central State” in December 2011. Bob Dandridge, ‘04, retired chief master sergeant, was the keynote speaker at the Scott Air Force Base (Ill.) luncheon on Jan. 20. The theme of the event, “Building the Dream, Bridging the Gap,” honored the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. The event committee presented Dandridge, a member of Park University’s Alumni Council, with a check for the Alumni Association’s Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Scholarship. asp?id=123287383

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Solomon Reta, ‘04, Ph.D. earned his doctorate degree in information technology management from Capella University.

Tristan Smith, ‘06, is executive director at the Houston Fire Museum. In addition to his other duties, he is in charge of directing the financing and construction of a new museum building.

James E. Spencer, ‘04, is the command sergeant major in charge of the Army Sustainment Command at the U.S. Army Garrison Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. new_top_NCO_at_Army_Sustainment_ Command Lisa Winders, ‘04, is director of military education at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C. Kathy Waite, ‘05, is a real estate agent with Paradigm AdvantEdge Real Estate, Midwest City, Okla. Greg Matos, ‘06, had his memoir, Shattered Glass: The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard, published. Matos recounts the time he played a pivotal role in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At the same time, he was taking online classes at Park. He wrote “I’ll never forget after the attack writing to my professors that I would need a brief respite and their unwavering support for me through that difficult time.”

Jon Sobbe, ‘07, is head softball coach at Liberty (Mo.) North High School. Brett Gordon, ‘09, is operations manager of Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kan. The 17,500-seat arena is host to major concerts and athletic events. Anthony Hardwick, ‘09, Omaha, Neb., was featured nationwide as an advocate for those wanting to move the start of the holiday shopping season to the day after Thanksgiving, as opposed to the late Thanksgiving schedule recently being adopted by many retailers. He appeared in such publications as The Ledger of Lakeland, Fla. and The New York Times, explaining the hardship this new practice is creating on employees and families. Rodrigo Neri, ‘09, is a senior software engineer at Cerner Corp., Kansas City, Mo. At night he likes to invent and create new things, like his mobile app, “myhomework.” His hobby was featured at homework-work-from-home-working-well-forkc-transplant-rodrigo-neri Joe Seward, ‘09, opened Seward’s Barber Academy in Stafford, Va. After retiring from the U.S. Marine Corps, Seward completed his business management degree at Park and simultaneously earned his barber’s license through the Barber College of Woodbridge, Va.

CLASS NOTES 2010s Chalermchon “Charlie” Cyre, ‘11, was recognized by the 355th Fighter Wing at DavisMonthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) as the Intermediate Civilian of the Year on Feb. 4.



Amber VonDerBruegge, ‘03, married Travis Spencer on Feb. 7, in Cancun, Mexico. Amber works for the BancAbility network of banks in product creation and strategy planning. The couple resides in Kansas City, Kan.

Melinda Jansen, ‘08, M.A.C.L. ‘10 and her husband, James Aaron Courter, ‘06, welcomed Easton Courter to the family.

Joleen Dedmon, ‘11, was selected in January to become a member of the Air Force’s Tops in Blue team. Tops In Blue is a traveling entertainment group composed of 35 to 40 vocalists, musicians, dancers and technicians that perform for military personnel and their families throughout the world. Due to its enormous popularity, the group has become America’s goodwill ambassadors around the globe. Luke Lewis, M.P.A. ‘11, is city manager of Marceline, Mo. Maddie Waldeck, ‘12, is the director of the representative payee program at Kim Wilson Housing, a nonprofit organization in Kansas City, Kan., which provides housing options for people with special needs. Waldeck manages payment of bills for persons who receive disability benefits or supplemental security income, and are unable to pay on their own.

Submit your news for inclusion in Class Notes to the Office of Alumni Relations, Park University, 8700 N.W. River Park Drive, Parkville, MO 64152 or

Jacqueline Carlino, ‘06, (above) married John Bastob III, on June 3, 2011. Jacqueline works with students with special needs. The couple resides in Kearney, Mo. Brandie Bates, ‘09, married Jamie Moore on Nov. 11, 2011, in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nev. They both serve in the Montana Air National Guard.

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

Spring 2012 - 41

Park mourns 1930s Rev. Edwin E. Hancock, ‘34 Washington, Iowa, March 28 John J. Cramer, ‘36 Ann Arbor, Mich., Dec. 5, 2011

Rev. Malcom R. Carrick, ‘46 Berea, N.Y., Oct. 15, 2011

Ronald Browning, ‘69 San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 31, 2011

Harry J. Reeves III, ‘86 Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 14, 2011

Jean Langley Morrison, ‘47 Corvallis, Ore., Dec. 10, 2011


James Jeter, ‘87 El Paso, Texas, April 10, 2011

Lois Hodgson-Barbour, ‘48 Toledo, Ohio, April 3

Dorothy Schneider Froning, ‘36 Evelyn Swartz, ‘48 Wichita, Kan., March 9 Lawrence, Kan., March 8 Louise Hall Hobbs, ‘38 Rev. Raymond V. Garvey, ‘49 Naperville, Ill., Feb. 16 Tyler, Texas, March 15 Mary Appel Moon Phillips, ‘39 Kenneth R. Hougland, ‘49 Kirkwood, Mo., May 5 Denver, Colo., May 12

1940s Jean Ebb Avery, ‘41 Humboldt, Neb., Jan. 10 Hubert Merchant, ‘41 Western Spring, Ill., Jan. 14 Marguerite Kast Adams, ‘42 Sunnyvale, Calif., Feb. 7 Milo Brandt, ‘42 Indianapolis, Ind., Nov. 20, 2011 Lila Lane Rogers, ‘42 Albuquerque, N.M., Feb. 8 Robert M. Kubik, ‘43 Berkeley, Calif., Feb. 5 Charlene Swenk Schoggen, ‘43 Litchfield Park, Ariz., May 13 Robert Murrin, ‘44 Ojai, Calif., Jan. 22

Shirley Wolff Hunting, ‘49 Seattle, Wash., March 25

1950s Marilyn Ilger Belson, ‘50 Adelphia, Md., Dec. 4, 2011 Carolyn Gifford Dungan, ‘50 Denver, Colo., Sept. 16, 2011

Fred L. Edwards Jr., ‘71 South Pasadena, Fla., April 28 Geneva Bailey, ‘73 Kansas City, Kan., March 23 Richard “Bud” Lackey, ‘75 Boonville, Mo., March 18 Harold D. Adams Sr., ‘76 Overland Park, Kan., Dec. 13, 2011 James Randall Vainrib, ‘77 Montgomery, Ala., Jan. 9 Jack A. West, ‘77 Lee’s Summit, Mo., May 4 Michael J. Adler, ‘79 Pensacola, Fla., June 29, 2011

Joseph P. McHale, ‘89, M.P.A. ‘96 Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 8, 2011 D. Faith Hubbard Trainer, ‘89 Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 5

1990s Rodney F. Dutton, ‘90 Fayetteville, N.C., Jan. 23 Vickie M. Lapp Sears, ‘93 Platte City, Mo., April 23 Harry J. Shelton Jr., ‘95 Gulfport, Miss., May 3, 2011


Darryl Meehan, ‘98 Bridgeport, Conn., Feb. 11

Edward Perry, ‘50 Tustin, Calif., Sept. 13, 2011

Billy J. Jones, ‘80 Dumas, Miss., Aug. 27, 2011


Dale Dempsey Gorman, ‘51 Dallas, Texas, March 21

Elizabeth R. Robinson, ‘80 Peoria, Ariz., Oct. 7, 2011

Rodney L. Powell, ‘51 Mary Esther, Fla., Feb. 4

Joseph E. Lloyd, ‘81 New Carrollton, Md., Aug. 26, 2011

William J. Clark, ‘53 Kingston, Tenn., July 7, 2011 Megan Stone Jax, ‘57 St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 9

Lawrence C. Stacy Jr., ‘81 Kansas City, Mo., March 20 Richard R. Wiebe Sr., ‘82 Grovetown, Ga., April 24

Harold F. Smith, ‘44, Ph.D. Parkville, Mo., Feb. 17


Rev. Telford H. Dindinger, ‘45 Muscatine, Iowa, Dec. 19, 2011

Francis Lawson, ‘64 Montgomery, Ala., Jan. 13, 2011

Alice Niemann Fraser, ‘45 Bandon, Ore., Jan. 10

Michael Lowe, ‘67 Piscataway, N.J., June 20, 2011

Norman “Pep” Petrocine, ‘45 Tucson, Ariz., Dec. 10, 2011

William Metcalf Jr., ‘67 Topeka, Kan., March 13

Jerry Stevens, ‘83 Mountain Home, Idaho, Nov. 11, 2011

Elaine Harris Watt, ‘45 Fishers, Ind., Oct. 4, 2011

Christopher J. Walton, ‘68 Joliet, Ill., April 8

Charles E. Holtzman, ‘86 Dumfries, Va., Jan. 18

Spring 2012 - 42

Marian S. Scott, ‘88 Enterprise, Ala., Jan. 8

Ray D. Williams, ‘84 Kansas City, Mo., Sept. 24, 2011 John C. “Jack” Brown, ‘85 Liberty, Mo., April 1

Deborah Holman, ‘00 Warsaw, Mo., March 1 Juan Luis Cabrera Sr., ‘02 Kansas City, Kan., Jan. 15 Myrtle F. Johnson, ‘02 Stafford, Va., Feb. 11, 2011 David Enzbrenner, ‘03 Atchison, Kan., Dec. 9, 2011 Lana L. Sparks, ‘03 Lorton, Va., Oct. 23, 2011 Melissa Solomon, ‘04 Independence, Mo., June 7, 2011 Walter “BJ” Dybus, ‘07 San Antonio, Texas, Oct. 9, 2011 Suzanne Sapien, ‘07 Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 20

Faculty and Staff Harold A. Durfee Hilton Head Island, S.C., Oct. 15, 2011 Retired professor Barbara J. Higdon, Ph.D. Lamoni, Iowa, Dec. 30, 2011

In 1975, Higdon joined Park University as the dean of the School of Continuing Education. She later became vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, serving in that capacity until 1984 when she left to become the president of Graceland University. She was the first woman at Graceland to serve in that capacity. Higdon retired in 1991, but returned in 2000 to serve as provost and later in 2006 to serve on the Graceland University Board of Trustees.

Harold F. Smith, ‘44, Ph.D. Parkville, Mo., Feb. 17 Smith was one of Park’s most beloved alumni and highly respected staff members. Thousands of Park alumni will remember Smitty’s smile, his energy, his sense of humor and the free tickets for “a swim in the Missouri River” that he gleefully handed out to unsuspecting friends and acquaintances. After graduating from Park in 1944, Smith earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Kansas in 1946, a master’s degree in library science from the University of Denver in 1950, and a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in 1963. He became head librarian at Park in 1964 and served in that position until his partial retirement in 1990 when he was named librarian emeritus. Smith stayed on at Park as part-time archivist until 1995. The list of his achievements while at Park is too long to print in its entirety, but here is a sampling. Under his direction, the Park University library became a focal point for library innovations both locally and nationally. Smith co-founded the Kansas City Library Network, the Northwest Missouri Library Network and was the first president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Library Network — all of which gave Park the leadership role in library cooperation and benefits. Smith also co-founded the International Library Exchange Center, which was headquartered at Park. That organization has sent thousands of books to libraries in underdeveloped countries, believing that “books are a lot cheaper than bullets and bombs.” All that aside, most members of the Park University family will

remember Smith’s love for and devotion to Park and its history. He and his wife, Carolyn Douglas Smith, ‘47, were reunion planners extraordinaire, hosting many Class of 1944 gatherings at their home overlooking Parkville and the campus. One of his famous quotes, when asked about the events was, “it was an occasion at which much unrecorded history of the College was reviewed!” He founded the Park College Historical Society in 1985 and was a tireless supporter of the Friends of the Library; both organizations involved hundreds of people in preserving Park’s heritage and in improving the library. Smith also developed an oral history project through which he recorded and transcribed the fascinating memoirs of long-time Park alumni, faculty, staff, administrators and Parkville residents. His work as archivist preserved many documents and memorabilia that might have otherwise been lost, and, in the process, he recruited alumni and local residents in the effort to keep the past safe for prosperity. Finally, Smith was instrumental in planning, raising funds and equipping the unique underground McAfee Memorial Library and he made sure that an adequate area was assigned to house the Fishburn Archives and Special Collections. Due to his persistence, Park University now has one of the finest historical collections of any similar university in the nation. Smith was one of Park’s most enthusiastic alumni ambassadors — one whose contacts with his classmates and the larger membership of the alumni association generated not only good will, but also tangible support for his alma

mater. Smith was recognized by the University’s Alumni Association in 1975 as Distinguished Alumnus and in 1989 for his community service and support of Park with the Outstanding Service Award. He also served two terms on the Alumni Council. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, three sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Written by Carolyn McHenry Elwess, ‘71, Park University Archivist.

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september 27-30 Visit Park University in all its fall glory for Alumni Weekend. Make it a vacation with local attractions such as the museums, casinos, Country Club Plaza, Kansas City Power & Light District and much more! Meet President Michael Droge, Ph.D., faculty and students when Alumni Weekend joins Harvest Fest. Families welcome. Bring the kids! Register online:

Spring 2012 - 44

Schedule of Events With lots more to be added!

Thursday, Sept. 27

• Golf Tournament, 9 a.m., Tiffany Greens Golf Club • 50th Reunion Dinner

Friday, Sept. 28

Class Reunions: Classes ending in “2” and “7” are celebrating their special anniversaries this fall. Interested in helping with the plans? E-mail to be put in touch with your classmates. Athletes: Watch for special invitations to join your former

teammates for a Saturday scrimmage on the athletic fields.

Special Groups: Chesnut will be gathering on

campus for a weekend of reminiscing. If any other group would like to arrange a reunion, please e-mail

Housing: Since classes are in session, campus housing is not available. A special hotel rate of $91 per night is available at the Kansas City Airport Marriott, (800) 228-9290. Questions: Contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (800) 488-7275, e-mail us at, or visit us online at

• Brunch for the 50th Reunion Group • Career Workshop • Alumni/student mentoring luncheon • Classroom Visits • Park Sing • Campus Tours • Dinner on the campus • Class Reunion dinners • Evening entertainment and socializing • Women’s Volleyball, 7 p.m. • Alumni Reception in Breckon Sports Center

Saturday, Sept. 29

• Alumni Association Meeting • Alumni Basketball, Softball and Soccer Games • Picnic Lunch and Tailgate • Children’s play area • Campus bus tours • Women’s Soccer, 1 p.m., Julian Field • Crowning of new Harvest Fest Royalty, recognition of the past royalty • Dorothy Harper Watson Literacy Center Anniversary Celebration • Alumni Association Awards Banquet, Kansas City Airport Marriott. Cocktail reception: 6-7 p.m.; awards banquet: 7-9 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 30 • Chapel Service • Farewell Lunch

Spring 2012 - 45

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

8700 N.W. River Park Drive Parkville, MO 64152

Profile for Park University

Park University Magazine, Spring 2012  

Park University Magazine for alumni, faculty, staff and friends

Park University Magazine, Spring 2012  

Park University Magazine for alumni, faculty, staff and friends