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winter 2014

The Magazine of Rockhurst University

The Day the Hawks


the NAIA

Rockhurst’s 1964 Cinderella Story

leading the way

“Rockhurst University is a gem for Kansas City. Rockhurst produces leaders that are willing to give their time, talent and treasure back to our community. Students receive a Catholic, Jesuit education that provides a strong foundation for successful careers. It is a privilege and an honor to serve this fine University knowing it continues to develop leaders who are men and women for others.” Denny Thum, ’74 Chairman, Rockhurst University Board of Trustees

winter 2014

The Magazine of Rockhurst University

departments Leading the Way Denny Thum, ’74

Rock Report From the President


Big 3 MBA Alliance


Dan Rather Visits


Faculty Kudos


Sports News


For Alumni Alumni Q&A


From the Chapters


Retro Rockhurst


Career Center


Everyday Leaders


Where Are They Now?


In Memoriam


(From left) Tom Fisher, Ralph Telken, Joel Frisch and Denny Rabbitt, all members of the Rockhurst College men’s basketball team that won the NAIA championship in 1964, reunited recently on campus. Photo by Steve Puppe Photography.

Features page Bringing Home the Trophy


On the eve of the 50th anniversary of Rockhurst’s legendary victory in the NAIA basketball championship, we look back at the game that rocked Kansas City.



Saint John’s Bible Visits Rockhurst

The first handwritten, fully illuminated Bible created in half a millennium is on view at Rockhurst.

In Closing Mandi Sonnenberg, Ed.D.

Time and Place Brazil, July 2013




Who Is Taking Care of Us? Nursing is the most popular major for incoming freshmen. What is the field like today for those who want to make a career of caring for others?

Front Cover Photo by Steve Puppe Photography




From the president

Getting All A’s



etting all A’s usually generates bragging rights. Percy Walker, a famous Southern author, however, warned about getting all A’s and flunking life. The balance between getting A grades and learning life’s lessons provides the appropriate context for the national conversation on higher education.




Rockhurst’s 1964 Cinderella Story

The Magazine of Rockhurst University Rev. Thomas B. Curran

President Obama has proposed ratings for colleges linking financial aid with performance. Colleges will soon be required to be uniformly transparent about performance and costs. And parents and families will be able to cap payments so that their loan debt is manageable. If we were to grade Rockhurst on the ratings suggested, how would we fare? Affordability – The national yearly average for tuition, room and board at public colleges is a fraction of the average for private schools. However, substantial financial aid packages bring the cost to attend Rockhurst in line with many public universities. Dig deeper and you’ll find that Rockhurst often winds up costing less than a public institution if you consider its graduation rates compared to public institutions. Rockhurst graduates are in the workforce, on average, 15 months before those of public institutions. Accountability – The Higher Learning Commission reaffirmed accreditation for Rockhurst, in 2013, for 10 more years. Yearly, we participate in the Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI). And we benchmark our freshmen and seniors against our peers, region, and other Jesuit schools through the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The results are public and very impressive. Accessibility – 96 percent of our undergraduate students receive financial assistance. Rockhurst is clearly earning A’s, but we are also proud of our C’s: Citizenship, Critical Thinking, and Communication. Citizenship – As a Jesuit university, we claim that we are in the city for good. Our students provide more than 30,000 service hours, valued at $800,000, each year, to the community. Critical Thinking – We maintain a core curriculum that still includes philosophy, theology and religious studies, the arts and science; it is both formative and transformational. Communication – This is a constitutive part of every class. Students finish areas of study as articulate individuals who are ready to engage the world in which they live. Getting all A’s and some C’s needs to be part of the conversation in higher education. This will ensure a work force that demonstrates competence, is filled with compassion, and acts with an informed conscience.


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WINTER 2014 RU, the magazine of Rockhurst University, is published by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing. Staff Sharon Alexander, ’11 Jeremiah Barber Alicia Douglas Katherine Frohoff, ’09 EMBA Estuardo Garcia Lauren Hannawald Tim Linn Jennifer Price Melissa Thompson Angela Verhulst Editor Katherine Frohoff Design JJB Creative Design Contributing Writers Rev. Thomas B. Curran, Estuardo Garcia, Tim Linn, Jennifer Price, Mandi Sonnenberg, Ed.D. Photography Estuardo Garcia, Michaela Hanafin, ’16, Tim Linn, Mark McDonald, Jennifer Price, Steve Puppe Photography Send letters to: Katherine Frohoff Rockhurst University 1100 Rockhurst Road Kansas City, MO 64110-2561 or Katherine.frohoff@rockhurst.edu Printed on recycled paper.

Rock Report

Rockhurst, KU, UMKC Create MBA Alliance


ockhurst University has partnered with the University of Missouri-Kansas City and University of Kansas to form the Big 3 MBA Alliance – a first-ever partnership among these three AACSB-accredited schools.

The alliance has one clear goal: to inform Kansas Citians that it matters where you earn your MBA.

(From left) Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business; David Donnelly, acting dean, UMKC Bloch School of Management; Cheryl McConnell, dean of the RU Helzberg School of Management

Learn more about the alliance at big3mba.com.

“In today’s world, some employers view an MBA degree as simply a box to check when reviewing someone’s job application,” said Cheryl McConnell, dean of the Helzberg School of Management. “We’ve come together to change this because when you invest in a top MBA program, you’ll graduate with a top degree, connections to alumni networks filled with the world’s leading business professionals, and, most of all, a skill set that can take you anywhere you want to go.” Despite competing for many of the same MBA candidates, directors at all three institutions agreed that it was time to form the alliance. “Area students are fortunate to have three excellent programs in their backyard, and it’s beneficial for these institutions to work together to offer students options for a top-tier education,” said Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business. What sets these programs apart? In short, AACSB accreditation, vast alumni networks that span the globe, and full campus facilities. “Many types of accreditation sound the same, but they’re not,” said David Donnelly, acting dean, UMKC Bloch School of Management. “Our programs are all AACSB-accredited, which is the highest standard of achievement in business education.” Other shared factors include national rankings, world-class faculty, and long histories in Kansas City.

Historic Visit Unites Faith Communities


uring his Oct. 8 visit to the Rockhurst University campus, Zion Evrony, Ph.D., stressed the commonality of the Jewish and Catholic communities.

the Jewish people and the Catholic Church may be the best in 2,000 years,” with the two parties working on initiatives to expand economic ties and to combat anti-Semitism, Evrony said.

As the ambassador from Israel to Vatican City, it’s a commonality that Evrony specializes in. Evrony delivered a presentation as part of the Visiting Scholar Lecture Series that traced the relationship between the Holy See and the Jewish nation from 1904, before Israel was even established, to the present.

The trip to the United States was the first for a sitting Israeli ambassador to the Vatican. And it came during the year of the election of Pope Francis, the first Jesuit to assume the papacy.

“The relations today between Israel and the Holy See are good and based on mutual trust, and the relations between

“His new style, his new universal message of modesty, caring for the poor, love of peace and interreligious dialogue makes it especially interesting to work with the Holy See,” Evrony said of the new pope.

Ambassador Zion Evrony, Ph.D., speaks to a political science class.



Leadership “Begins With Character,” Rather Says

Student speaker Colleen Smyth, ’14, snaps a selfie with Dan Rather while on stage.


hey might be different in many ways, but legendary journalist Dan Rather said effective leaders all seem to have one thing in common.

“It begins with character,” he said. “A leader has character.”

Rather’s remarks came Nov. 11 as part of the second annual Rockhurst University Leadership Series luncheon, presented by the Rockhurst University Leaders Council. After answering questions in the morning with a small group of Rockhurst University students (and planting a tulip on campus), Rather addressed a crowd of more than 515 on “Leadership Principles From the World’s Most Powerful Leaders.” Having interviewed 12 U.S. presidents and a host of other world leaders in his time as both a correspondent and behind the anchor desk at CBS, Rather said he could pick out any number of exceptional leaders. But he singled out four he has met during his more than six decades in the news business: civil rights champion the

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, South African leader Nelson Mandela and President John F. Kennedy. Each, he said, had different aims, goals and styles, but they all shared commonalities such as vision, passion, effective communication and the courage to see their visions through, even in decidedly adverse or dangerous environments. “When we get to the testing point, it’s not about the money, it’s not about the politics, it’s not even about personal ambition,” he said. “At the testing point, the most critical point… what it’s about is courage.” Through those examples, Rather said, are lessons that could be useful to everyone else. “You don’t have to be head of an organization, or head of a team to be a leader,” he said. “You can wake up in the morning and say ‘I seek to see a difference, I seek to make a difference.’”

The second annual Rockhurst University Leadership Series was made possible by the following sponsors:


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 Marny and John Sherman

 J.M. Fahey Construction Co.

 Medtrak

 Country Club Bank

 Waddell and Reed

 Commerce Bank

 American Century Investments

 Arvest


 GlynnDevins

Rock Report

Thanks to alumni and friends of Rockhurst, groundbreaking for the first phase of the new academic building is scheduled for Friday, March 7, 2014.

We did it!

Joining us for the celebration will be internationally syndicated cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury.

Trudeau is a member of the Andrews McMeel Universal family, which, through the generosity of John McMeel, is donating original works of art focusing on leadership to be displayed in the new building. Fundraising for phase two of the building is currently underway to support an addition that will include a theater, art studio and related space.

Vatican Library Holds Intrigue for RU Instructor


abbi Herbert Mandl, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of theology and religious studies at Rockhurst University and a rabbi emeritus at Overland Park’s Kehilath Israel Synagogue, said he has long known where his research interests would lead him — the Vatican Apostolic Library. Said to be the first rabbi allowed to study in the 15th century library that recently received a digital upgrade, Rabbi Mandl said he, like others, had to meet a long list of application standards before stepping foot inside. When he did, during a late October trip to Rome, the experience matched what those requirements might suggest. “It was a very, very serious atmosphere,” Rabbi Mandl said. “There were 20 or 30 other people in there at any one time researching, but you could hear a pin drop.” Rabbi Mandl’s interest in visiting the library was spurred by research in canonical marriage law, a topic he’s pursued since his doctoral dissertation. In terms of rare, original texts related


Rabbi Herbert Mandl, Ph.D.

to that subject and other historical documents, there may be no better place than the Vatican Library. “I had a Martin Luther manuscript in my hands,” he said of the materials held at the library. “I held a Henry VIII love letter.” Despite studying over the course of about three weeks, Rabbi Mandl said he only got to about a quarter of the texts he intended to study. However, he said his admittance file to the library is valid for five years, giving him the opportunity to return.

“The option to give up is not possible. A church that does not care for the sick, promote health and show special concern for the vulnerable would have a hard time claiming to follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” – Sr. Carol Keehan, D.C., president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, speaking on the Affordable Care Act.



Senior’s Volunteer Work Becomes a Passion

Callie Gercken, ’14, has volunteered for the past three years at child care center Operation Breakthrough.


ockhurst University senior Callie Gercken said she’s given a lot over the past three years to Kansas City’s Operation Breakthrough.

high-fives when I see him in the hall and his mom and I are on a first-name basis,” Gercken said. “It’s great to still have that bond.”

But not as much, she said, as she’s gotten in return from the midtown Kansas City organization. Since her sophomore year, the biology major from Springfield, Mo., has been a familiar face at the center, which provides early childhood education and after-school child care for preschool to eighth-grade students.

After a stint in the administrative offices, helping to coordinate and record volunteer hours, Gercken helped revamp the center’s annual Juneteenth celebration, which commemorates the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the freeing of the last slaves in Texas in 1865.

Gercken’s work at Operation Breakthrough began as a tutor for a third-grade student.

“Here, they have a Juneteenth carnival, but it had gotten away from the cultural and historical aspect of it,” she said. “I took it as my mission to bring that back. And I had a blast doing it.”

“I actually developed a really great relationship with him. I still give him

Perhaps her biggest task would come later, when the center’s volunteer coordinator left and Gercken said she was asked to take on those duties on an interim basis for a month. The work was, at times, difficult, especially when it came to juggling her work life with school obligations. What makes that extra time worth it, she said, are the children at the center who approach her proud of a test score or whose faces light up at a new Halloween costume or birthday package. Gercken said it’s an experience she would recommend to all of her fellow students. After she graduates, Gercken is considering pursuit of a master’s degree in biology and later an MBA.

Students Spend Fall Break

Serving Others

Nearly 50 students set aside two days of their fall break to help build homes in Oklahoma City with the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. They constructed and sealed walls, built roof trusses, installed insulation barriers and more. See more photos at rockhurst.phanfare.com.


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Faculty Kudos

Annie Lee, Ph.D.,’94, assistant professor of chemistry

Sabbatical Leads to Research Rejuvenation


uring the typical academic year, professors must balance a number of different responsibilities – advising, serving on committees and teaching – in addition to their own research interests. A sabbatical is designed to give those same faculty members a chance to refocus their energy on the research that drives academic pursuits. For Annie Lee, Ph.D., ’94, associate professor and chair of the department of chemistry, a recent sabbatical did exactly that, giving her a chance to participate in an avenue of research completely new to her. Lee’s sabbatical started in January 2013 and lasted through May. Her research took place at the University of Kansas Medical Center, alongside principle investigator Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Ph.D., and Karthik Ramachandran, Ph.D., both researchers at KUMC and founders of the company Likarda. Their project centered on growing, from cell culture, both three-dimensional cancer tumors and islet cells for diabetes research. “Normally, when cancer drugs are tested, it is on cells growing on a two-dimensional surface. But that doesn’t always mimic what tumors are doing in a patient because tumors are three-dimensional,” Lee said. The experience showed Lee that even though Rockhurst itself might not have the same capabilities as larger research institutions, those resources are not far away for students and faculty alike. “There are so many opportunities here and close by,” she said. “You don’t have to go far to take part in really ground-breaking research and we all have contacts in this town, making this a fertile place for collaborations.”

Mark Pecaut, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, recently was recognized for 2012 Best Graduate Research Paper by the Astronomical Society of New York. Coauthored with two colleagues, his paper, titled “A Revised Age for Upper Scorpius and the Star Formation History among the F-type Members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association,”was published in The Astrophysical Journal. The principle finding of the research is that the Upper Scorpius Association, a widely used benchmark association of stars that have a common origin, is twice as old as previously thought. This age revision affected the predicted masses of several directly imaged substellar companions. The research also was featured in popular publications, including Sky and Telescope and Science Daily. Craig Prentiss, Ph.D., professor of theology and religious studies, is the author of a newly published book: Staging Faith: Religion and African American Theater From the Harlem Renaissance to World War II (NYU Press, 2013). Sudhakar Raju, Ph.D., professor of finance, was the keynote speaker at a seminar titled “Macroeconomic Disasters, Behavioral Finance and Optimal Currency Areas,” held in Bahrain and covered in the Daily Tribune. Two books by Brendan Sweetman, Ph.D., professor and department chair of philosophy, recently were translated for use in other countries: Religion: Key Concepts in Philosophy, translated into Portuguese for use in Brazil; and Religion and Science: An Introduction, translated into Persian for use in Iran.

For more faculty news, visit rockhurst.edu/facultykudos.



Hawks Soccer Forges Italian Connection

(From left) Paolo Scoppola, ’14; Giorgio Antongirolami, ’02, ’05 MBA, associate head coach; and Lucas De Rossi, ’15, are the Italian faces of Rockhurst University’s men’s soccer.

“Having an American education is really awesome and will help me find a job in Brazil, where I want to work after I graduate.” —Lucas De Rossi, ’15


f you’ve been on the sidelines of a Rockhurst University men’s soccer game, you may have heard a lot of yelling in an unfamiliar language. That’s because Giorgio Antongirolami, ’02, ’05 MBA, associate head coach, has been taking an active approach in recruiting talented soccer players from his home country of Italy. With the Roman connections he’s made from his time living in Italy playing semi-professional soccer, and with the aid of Simone Gasperini, who played for Rockhurst from 2005-06,

Save The Date

Feb. 20, 2014


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Antongirolami has built a system to scout and recruit players for Rockhurst. And he’s not just looking for a guy who can handle the rigors of the more physical American-style soccer, he’s looking for someone who can handle the challenges in the classroom. Antongirolami said he can give students the opportunity to earn a degree, become proficient in English and to play the sport that they love. This was a no brainer for Lucas De Rossi, junior, and Paolo Scoppola, senior, who still have a dream of playing

soccer at the next level, but also have the dream of working abroad with their international business degrees. “Having an American education is really awesome and will help me find a job in Brazil, where I want to work after I graduate,” De Rossi said. Scoppola, who was one of seven students named GLVC 2012-13 fall scholar athlete, has similar plans. “I want to travel around the world by taking some job with a multinational corporation,” Scoppola said. “I’m just not sure who that will be with yet.”

Rockhurst University is gearing up to celebrate 40 years of women in sports at Rockhurst. We’re inviting back all of our female Hawks for some fun, fellowship and to watch the women’s basketball team take on Missouri S&T. It’s all part of the annual Alumni Night at the Ballgame. For more details on the event, visit rockhurst.edu.

Rock Report

A League of His Own


hile many NCAA athletes are going pro in something other than sports, senior Mark Sappington is trying to do both. Following a year off from school after being drafted by the Los Angeles Angels his junior year at Rockhurst University, Sappington is back in the classroom finishing up his last two semesters before earning a bachelor’s in economics. For Sappington, finishing his education was never in question.

Mark Sappington, ’15

“I have five brothers and sisters and we’ve all committed to finishing college,” Sappington said. “I want to set a good example and show them that an education is extremely important and a high priority for me even though I already have a job.” And that job keeps him pretty busy. Sappington began training for the Angels farm team last winter. He played

151 games during the season. As his skills improved and he honed his 98-mph fastball, Sappington was moved from Class A to Class AA by the end of the season where he left as the Angels’ top pitching prospect. Of course, by the time the baseball season was over, the school season was in full swing, which meant Sappington had a lot of catching up to do. “It was really tough for the first few weeks,” Sappington said. “Dean (Cheryl) McConnell, Dr. (Myles) Gartland, Coach (Gary) Burns and Coach (Tony) Tocco have been really supportive in helping make all of this happen. It’s awesome.” Sappington will head back to Los Angeles in January to start training and gearing up for the next minor league season before coming back in the fall to graduate with the class of 2015.

Childhood Illness Gives Player Perspective


olding down a job in a pediatric oncology unit, finishing her senior year of college and taking the court as a forward on the Rockhurst University women’s basketball team can be a challenge. But it’s one challenge that senior Shauna Bauml said she’s glad to have. She thinks back to her freshman year in high school in 2006, her diagnosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma after finding a lump on her neck, as the moment that everything, it seems, changed. “I truly thought my life was just over, that I had just been told that I was dying and that was it,” she said. Over time, Bauml said her perspective shifted and she decided to pursue nursing instead of meteorology, focusing on what she had yet to look forward to, not what she had missed. At some point during those six months when she was undergoing treatment, Bauml said she made a list with her social worker of future goals. Among them was playing college-level basketball. In May 2013, Bauml received a one-year, $5,000 Dream Factory scholarship. She said the scholarship will allow her to pursue a degree in nursing. While studying, she’s also working as a nurse technician in the pediatric oncology unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital, where she once spent six months as a patient. Though at first bringing back painful memories, she agreed that her experience gives her a unique perspective from which to connect with patients.

Shauna Bauml, ’14

For athletics news, visit rockhursthawks.com. rockhurst.edu


Bringing Home


How the Hawks became hometown heroes and national champs BY TIM LINN


t might have been almost 50 years ago, but Denny Rabbitt, ’64, still remembers the atmosphere of Kansas City’s Municipal Auditorium on March 14, 1964. The cheers were deafening as the seconds ticked closer to the buzzer. With standing room only and a record-breaking crowd of 10,783, people were reportedly trying to sneak in through the building’s windows to catch a glimpse of the Hawks playing Texas’ Pan American University in the final game of the 1964 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics men’s basketball tournament. Once the final buzzer rang, the celebration spilled out into the streets and throughout Kansas City, said Ralph Telken, ’64, who won the NAIA National Tournament Hustle Award and would be named First Team All American for his performance that year. “As soon as the clock ran out, everyone rushed the floor and started celebrating. There were parties all over that night,” he said. “Campus was empty.”

Above: Walt Tylicki (31) guards as Hank Scherzer (14) drives in a shot during a game. Right: (From left) Tom Fisher, Ralph Telken, Joel Frisch and Denny Rabbitt, all members of the Rockhurst College men’s basketball team that won the NAIA championship in 1964, reunited recently on campus. Photo by Steve Puppe Photography.

To watch video from the recent photo shoot with the basketball alumni, visit rockhurst.edu/basketballshoot. 10


The victory resonated with Kansas City, which had adopted Rockhurst as its hometown team for the tournament. Blair Kerkhoff, a Kansas City Star sports writer who has written several books on college athletics, said the Star covered Rockhurst’s progress throughout the six days of the tournament, culminating in an article and photo on the front page, and a high-profile splash on the sports page, to celebrate the final victory. “The fact that Rockhurst won the game was such a big deal that The Kansas City Star used a headline type they usually only use for war,” Kerkhoff said. “It was the true hometown team winning it.” Continued on page 12



“As soon as the clock ran out, everyone rushed the floor and started celebrating. There were parties all over that night. Campus was empty.” — Ralph Telken, ’64 Continued from page 10

Following the 1964 tournament, the NAIA avoided scheduling Rockhurst games during rush hour because of the traffic jams their games would cause. But getting to that final game had been a long journey for the 12 young men on the Rockhurst College team that year. They had bounced back from a losing season in 1960-61, posting a 16-9 record in 1961-62 and winning 27 games while losing only four in 1962-63. With the addition of recruits like Al Payne, ’66, the squad had plenty of talent and Rabbitt said they continued to develop as a unit, thanks to an intense practice and conditioning schedule. “We would just run and run these drills,” he said. “It really was a lot of work, every night, but it’s just what you did.”

Ralph Telken (4) watches as Jim Selzer (35) sinks a shot at Mason-Halpin Fieldhouse.

When they weren’t practicing or in class, Telken said members of the team were frequently playing pick-up games or just shooting around in the Mason-Halpin gym. That work would pay off: three school records would be broken that season and Rabbitt said players like Dick Hennier, ’64, Pat Caldwell, ’66, and Jim Selzer, ’64, were all at the top of their game. “If there was such thing as SportsCenter back then, Hennier would have been on there probably every other night,” he said. Still, players say the team never took victories as a given, particularly in the tournament itself. That might be because on the whole, the NAIA was a hotbed of outstanding basketball during the mid-1960s. “There were a couple of factors in that,” Kerkhoff said. “There were teams that were coming from different parts of the country that were bringing incredible talent here,” some of whom were African-American players that had been playing in the league since the NAIA became the first national intercollegiate athletics organization to integrate in 1948.

(From left) Harry Witte, ’64, and Denny Rabbitt, ’64.



The other factor, Kerkhoff said, is that for whatever reason there was a lot of talent in the small college pool at the time, perhaps owing to the fact that the NCAA college basketball tournament had yet to rise to its current prominence.

(From left) Joel Frisch (24), Al Payne (10), Pat Caldwell (34), Jim Warras (32) and Rich Grawer (35).

That, plus the momentum Rockhurst built with each successive victory, made for a lot of hype coming into the last game. “The kind of support that we had from the city and from the students was unbelievable,” Rabbitt said. “I still thank them for that.” The final contest did not disappoint. Rockhurst fell behind at the end of the first half, but made up ground in the second. The final score at the buzzer was 66-56. The city was then and is now also the home of the NAIA, so for a local team with a “Cinderella story” to make it all the way to the end of the tournament and then to win it all was special, Kerkhoff said, particularly against another team the caliber of Pan American University, whose Lucious Jackson would go on to become an NBA All-Star. It’s a game that Rabbitt said he still gets asked about and one that Kerkhoff said would cement the NAIA’s prominence in Kansas City for years to come. “You’ve got the strong local team against the strong out-oftown team,” Kerkhoff said of the lead-up to the final game. “That’s the kind of national basketball drama that sells, and it definitely did.”

BASKETBALL LEGACY CELEBRATION Rockhurst University is inviting all of its past basketball players to Kansas City March 23-24, 2014, for a weekend of activities celebrating the program’s legacy at the school. A luncheon Sunday, March 23, will celebrate the history of basketball at Rockhurst University. On the evening of Monday, March 24, members of the Rockhurst College men’s basketball team that won the NAIA championship in 1964 will be honored during an NAIA tournament reception in downtown Kansas City.

Visit rockhurst.edu for more information.



Handwritten Saint John’s Bible Visits Rockhurst

By Jennifer Price


t had been more than 500 years since anyone dared to take on such a challenge. But in 2011, Donald Jackson, master calligrapher and the official scribe to Queen Elizabeth II, proved to the world he could do it. Jackson, along with a team of artists and scholars, created the first handwritten, fully illuminated Bible in half a millennium – The Saint John’s Bible. Thanks to Rockhurst’s Office of Mission and Ministry, you can view two of the seven Heritage Edition volumes in Greenlease Library as part of “A Year With The Saint John’s Bible” program. The Heritage Edition of the Bible, a series of 299 fine-art reproduction editions of the original, features elegant calligraphy and original full-color illuminations that use modern imagery to illustrate and complement the surrounding sacred text. “The illuminations are breathtaking,” said Ellen Spake, Ph.D., assistant to the president, who helped bring The Saint

John’s Bible to campus. “The more time you take to browse through the pages, the more details you’ll notice. For example, you can see strands of DNA woven into the ‘Genealogy of Christ,’ and the Twin Towers in another. Satellite images of the Ganges River Delta and photos from the Hubble telescope were used in the ‘Creation’ illumination.” Family and Alumni Weekend visitors had the chance to view all seven volumes, which were on display throughout the month of September. The exhibition is completely hands-on, so you can flip through the volumes, glove-free, to view the illuminations. “Donald Jackson even found a way to incorporate sound,” added Spake. “In the Psalms, you can see sound waves traveling vertically and horizontally on the pages. The waves were created by monks chanting the Psalms at Saint John’s Abbey, as well as by the chanting of other religious leaders. It is stunning.”

Above, left: (From left) Leandra Stuckey, ’14; Ellen Spake, Ph.D., assistant to the president for mission and ministry; Meagan Dardas, ’17; and Eric Penton, ’16, flip through The Saint John’s Bible to find their favorite illuminations. Above, right: Mary Kate Phillips, ’14, examines the “Wisdom” illumination. Opposite page: “Birth of Christ,” Donald Jackson, Copyright 2003, The Saint John’s Bible, Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minn. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Visit rockhurst.edu/sjbvideo to watch a video about The Saint John’s Bible and its visit to Rockhurst. rockhurst.edu


Who Is Taking


Care of Us

The changing face of nursing By Estuardo Garcia


s Nancy DeBasio, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, president of Research College of Nursing, looked out over the 55 soon-to-be nurses at last May’s pinning ceremony, she told the eager crowd something personal. “I’ve been a nurse for 45 years,” she said. “There has never been a day where I have regretted making that decision.” Every academic year, more and more classrooms at Rockhurst University and Research College of Nursing are filled with students who have chosen nursing as their career path. For the last two years, nursing has been the number one major for incoming freshmen. This shift in popularity for the nursing program couldn’t have come at a better time. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama set in motion the biggest change in health care since Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965.


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Ryan Saling, ‘06, ‘12 MSN

Nurses Take More Responsibility DeBasio speculates that the influx of newly insured Americans will shift the use of the emergency room as their main source of health care to establishing a relationship with a primary care provider who will coordinate services for themselves and their families across the lifespan. “The newly insured will now have the opportunity to access quality health care in a manner that will enable them to achieve a more optimal state of health,” DeBasio said. “The challenging part will be the lack of infrastructure and the lack of sufficient advanced practice nurses and primary care physicians. That will place a burden, to some extent, on nursing programs and medical schools. A team-oriented approach including nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians and other health care providers will be the model of choice to keep people healthy, to prevent illness and to manage costly chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.” Already in the field is Ryan Saling, ’06, ’12 MSN, who is now a nurse practitioner for IPC at Villages of Jackson Creek in Independence, Mo. One of the reasons he decided to continue his education was the bigger role nurse practitioners would play in the next five to 10 years. “We (physicians and nurses) are a team and nurse practitioners are going to become an important player on that team as the shortage of physicians continues to grow and increasing numbers of people enter the health care delivery system,” said Saling. Continued on page 19

“While we collaborate with physicians, we are accountable for those services we provide as independent practitioners within our scope of practice.” — Ryan Saling, ‘06, ‘12 MSN



“With the new computer system, the physician inputs the order directly into a computer so there will be no question on the course of treatment.” — Cassie Morrison, ’07

Cassie Morrison, ‘07


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Continued from page 17

“While we collaborate with physicians, we are accountable for those services we provide as independent practitioners within our scope of practice. Nurse practitioners treat patients in many settings where other qualified, independent caregivers are scarce, especially rural areas and long-term care facilities. The ability to prescribe medications is essential to ensuring that individuals receive the full range of services necessary to manage their care.”

New Systems Call for New Roles With many more people taking an active role in maintaining a person’s health, newer systems have been implemented across the country to better keep track of medical records and treatment plans. Provisions in the new health care law have required medical service providers to make these changes. Among the changes is the switch from paperbased medical records and physician orders to an electronic system. This is the task that has been given to Cassie Morrison, ’07, director of clinical application system implementation at Research Medical Center. Before June of 2014, Morrison and her team must switch the hospital over to the new system in order to stay compliant with the Affordable Care Act. “This is really going to be best for our patients,” Morrison said. “Right now, we have paper charts

that are used by everyone. When we review the charts, sometimes we have to decipher what was written because everyone’s handwriting is different. This sometimes creates delays in treating a patient because we have to confirm exactly what was on the order and it may lead to unsafe care. With the new computer system, the physician inputs the order directly into a computer so there will be no question on the course of treatment.” The new system will provide physicians with a menu of options for treatments and medications that will give the nurses, pharmacists or ancillary staff precise instructions. To populate the menu, Morrison and her team are going through every work process in the hospital to make sure they don’t miss anything. “We are putting everything in there, starting from when patients are first admitted to when they are discharged. Anything that can be in a patient’s chart has to be available in the new system,” she said. “This is what I love about health care. It’s always changing and it keeps you on your toes.” That is the hope for every incoming freshman who declares nursing as a major and for every new graduate in the Research College pinning ceremony – that they love health care, enjoy change and, like Nancy DeBasio, never regret their career choice.

Visit rockhurst.edu/rcn for videos and more information.

New Dean Named

Julie Nauser, Ph.D., RN, was named dean of Research College of Nursing effective July 1, 2013. She is a 1984 alumna of the joint Rockhurst University-RCN nursing program’s first graduating class. Previously, Nancy DeBasio, Ph.D., RN, served both as president and dean of RCN. She remains president.



Samantha Becker Kelly, ‘04, along with her son, Benjamin, and husband, Adam, enjoyed a stop at the Rockhurst-branded cow during Family and Alumni Weekend.

for alumni ’67


Robert Crossley was a consultant to and appeared in a documentary on the 75th anniversary of the panic caused by Orson Welles’ 1938 radio adaptation of “The War of the Worlds.” The film was broadcast Oct. 29, 2013, on the PBS series “The American Experience.”

William J. Clark IV has joined the law firm Danna McKitrick P.C. in St. Louis as “of counsel.” Clark focuses his practice on business and employment law for small to mid-size businesses for a diverse client base that includes minority-owned, closely held and familyowned businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

’70 Kenneth “Mike” Steffen was elected chairman of the Rock Island County (Illinois) Republicans.

’79 MBA Kenneth Garrett retired from FMC Corporation in August after 23 years of service.

’80 Thomas Sack has been appointed president and CEO of MRIGlobal.

’84 Kyle MacMillan, a Chicago-based arts critic and writer, was a major contributor to the catalog accompanying “Nick Cave: Sojourn,” an exhibition on view at the Denver Art Museum from June 9 through Sept. 22, 2013.

Robert W. Healy was promoted to executive vice president/chief credit risk assessment officer at the Country Club Bank in Kansas City, Mo.

’90 Joe Reardon was featured on the cover of the October edition of KC Business in a Q&A about life after serving as mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan. He is teaching in the Helzberg School of Management.

Stay Connected You’re part of the Rockhurst University family. That means you belong to an organization that’s changing the world one leader at a time. Don’t miss out on news meant for you. Go to rockhurst.edu/update and update your sinformation today. Be sure to share your email address to receive the latest University and alumni news.

’04 EMBA Patricia Mosher has been promoted to senior vice president at HNTB Corporation, a national infrastructure solutions firm. She leads a 16-member national corporate communications department from her office in Kansas City, Mo., where she oversees award-winning external and internal branding and thought leadership programs.

’06 Eric Enright married Laurie Nicole Radar on Oct. 5, 2013, at the Oakland House in Affton, Mo.


Br. Simon Baker (Carl Baker) spent more than four years in formation with the Benedictines in Atchison, Kan. He professed solemn vows in August 2013 and currently is in his third year (with one more to follow) of seminary formation at Saint Meinrad in southern Indiana.

’94 Wendy (Davis) Doyle was named president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

’02 Eric DeCoursey was promoted to director of BKD National Financial Services Group in October.

Connect with Rockhurst University through your favorite social networks.

September’s Family and Alumni Weekend saw Hawks and families taking part in a range of activities. (From left) Marianne Burkemper, Vince Burkemper, Claire Burkemper, ’16, Madeline Burkemper, ’14, Colleen Smyth, ’14, and Claire Minnick, ’16.



University Honors Four Alumni for Service, Leadership 2013 Alumni Award winners (From left) Gary Belske, ’77; Thomas Sack, Ph.D., ’80; Paul Carden, ’80; and Daniel Holmes, ’07, ’08 MBA.


rom a Red Cross first responder to a gaming compliance expert, Rockhurst recognized four alumni for their service and professional achievements at this year’s Alumni Awards luncheon in September 2013: Paul Carden, ’80; Gary Belske, ’77; Thomas Sack, Ph.D., ’80; and Daniel Holmes, ’07, ’08 MBA. Carden received the Xavier Medal of Honor for his more than 30 years of experience as an American Red Cross emergency aid provider. He has responded to hurricanes Hugo, Floyd and Andrew, and was the first Red Cross director to respond on behalf of New Jersey to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He now serves as the emergency services director for the National Capital Region of the Red Cross. Sack, who received one of two St. Ignatius Awards, is the president and CEO at MRIGlobal, overseeing more than $100 million in research contracts annually. Sack also serves on the board of directors for Science Pioneers Kansas, the

Alliance for Sustainable Energy and the Institutional Advisory Committee for the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute. The second St. Ignatius Award went to Belske, who began his career with Ernst and Young in 1978. In 1986, he transferred to the firm’s Dallas-Fort Worth office, where he worked in the financial services and manufacturing sectors. Belske is also an officer for the Mental Health Association of Dallas, on the Parish Council of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and on the national board of College for Every Student. Holmes, who was honored with the Faber Young Alumni Award, is currently employed at Rubin Brown in St. Louis. There, he oversees gaming regulatory compliance audits, internal control assessments, business improvement reviews, and financial statement audits. Holmes also serves as the community service chairman for the RU St. Louis Alumni Council.


Submit a

Class Note We’d love to hear from you. Submit a class note online at rockhurst.edu/ classnotes.


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Ferdinand E. Niemann IV was named acting director of assessment in Jackson County, Mo., in October. Also in October, Niemann was honored by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., with the St. Joseph Award. The award is earned by individuals who bring others to know Christ through their own strength of character, compassionate heart and humility.

Ben Witt,’07, married Jenny Timmons,’10, June 2, 2012. Rockhurst University President the Rev. Thomas B. Curran was the celebrant.

for alumni


with Madeline Romious

’95 MBA, Regional Vice President of External Affairs, AT&T

Rockhurst alumna shares her thoughts on leadership and the value of an RU degree. Q: In your opinion, what attributes does it take to be a great leader? A: Being a great leader is about understanding what is needed to move the mission forward. A great leader is part visionary, strategist and implementer. The real challenge is to understand when and to what degree to perform which role. You need to be able to see the big picture while also not losing sight of the ground game. Q: Electrical engineering is a field that’s traditionally male. What made you choose to go into this? A: I really didn’t think of the gender dynamics when I was pursuing a career in electrical engineering. I did well in math and science, so my teachers encouraged me to pursue a field that could best leverage those skills. An engineering degree was my goal, and failure was not an option. It wasn’t until I was at Southwestern Bell in 1988 that I realized I was nontraditional in more ways than one as a young, African-American female with an electrical engineering degree in a fairly maledominated field. Q: How has your MBA training influenced your work? A: Shortly after my first management assignment in the early 1990s, my company encouraged me to earn my MBA from Rockhurst – a decision that has greatly influenced my work by giving me an understanding of business models beyond technical execution. Barnett Helzberg was one of my professors, and it was a joy to hear his personal experiences. He has been a mentor for me ever since. Q: The Helzberg School of Management is known for offering education with a conscience. How have you carried this out in your work? A: What I gained from Rockhurst was more than a degree. In my current role at AT&T, I serve as the company liaison to the community, policymakers and stakeholders in the Kansas City area – a role that requires trust and dependability. My education has allowed me to carry out these professional duties with confidence.



’07 Michael C. Ragsdale, ’07, ’09 MBA, and Kelsey Lueger, ’07, were married July 20, 2013, at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Seneca, Kan. Rockhurst President the Rev. Thomas B. Curran was the celebrant. The couple gathered all their family and guests who are Rockhurst alumni for a photo. Front row (From left): Therese (Downey) Ragsdale, ’80, Michael C. Ragsdale, Fr. Curran, Kelsey (Lueger) Ragsdale and Joan Lueger, ’77. The groom’s father, Michael J. Ragsdale, ’79, is in the back row, third from left. The couple resides in Kansas City, Mo.

’07 MBA

’09 EMBA

Bridget McCandless, medical director of the Shared Care Free Clinic of Jackson County, was named president and chief executive of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City in August.

’08, Rebecca Day married Alex Vanny on March 16, 2013, at St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Murrieta, Calif. They currently reside in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Heddy Gagne and Jamie Bradley welcomed their second child, Margaret Jeanette Bradley, on Feb. 5, 2013. Greta joins big brother Ian, 3.

’10 Alexandra Bashkiroff married Nathan Dunn on Aug. 17, 2013, in an Alice in Wonderland themed garden wedding. The two live in San Antonio with two cats and two dogs. She is currently completing her certification to become a K-12 art teacher through the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Josh Hollis completed commitment as a full-time volunteer in June with Amate House, a young-adult Catholic volunteer program focused on community, service, faith, social justice and stewardship. He assisted clients with mortgage foreclosure issues in the Chicago area. Currently, he is working on a Master of Health Services Administration degree at the University of Kansas Medical Center and working part-time as a financial analyst.

’08, ’10 M.S. Jennifer Lawrence married David Welder at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 16, 2013. In October, her Rockhurst friends celebrated with a bachelorette party in Hermann, Mo. (From left) Wendy Kesee, ’08, ’10 M.S.; Ann Restituto, ’08; Megan Gonzalez, ’07; Jennifer Lawrence; Katie (Goessler) Gerwel, ’08; and Jennifer (Mulligan) Martin, ’08.

Faculty Memory “I was one of the nonprofit managers admitted into the Executive Fellows MBA program and Tom Lyon, Ph.D., really helped me understand how I could best utilize financial ratios from the for-profit world for my particular field. He was very patient and willing to go over and above the call of duty to deliver an education that would benefit me in a lasting way.” —Richard Ruiz, ’92 EMBA 24

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for alumni

Board Welcomes Seven New Trustees Seven new members recently joined the Rockhurst University Board of Trustees. Trustees are elected by the board. The majority of the board’s members are Jesuit-educated CEOs or top leaders in their organizations. A maximum of 30 members and two recent graduate trustees can serve on the board.

Glenn Heitmann, ’83, is president and CEO of Heitmann & Associates Inc. He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing management. He and his wife, Maureen, ’84, live in Ballwin, Mo., with their four children.

Mel Lavery, CPA, ’68, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He earned his CPA in the state of Kansas in 1971. After 32 years with Hallmark Cards, he retired in 2011 as director of private real estate. He and his wife, Rita, live in Overland Park, Kan.

Dr. Tom Hastings, FACP, ’81, earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry before attending medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is an internal medicine physician with Esse Health in St. Louis. Hastings met his wife, Dr. Mary Vatterott Hastings, at Rockhurst. They have four children and live in Town and Country, Mo.

Maryanne Roepke, CPA, ’79, graduated magna cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in accounting. She joined American Century Investments in 1982, and as senior vice president and chief compliance officer, is responsible for all compliance activities for the firm’s affiliated investment advisers, broker dealers, transfer agents, and mutual funds.

Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., is the president of Loyola University New Orleans. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1976 after graduating from St. Joseph’s University. He holds advanced degrees in theology and in philosophy, receiving his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1993. His professional work is in the field of bioethics.

Amber (Pelzl) Koon, ’09, earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She is a fifth-year osteopathic medical student at Rocky Vista University in Parker, Colo. She intends to do her residency in surgery and would like to integrate osteopathy and osteopathic manipulative medicine into her surgery practice. She and her husband, Garrett, live in Englewood, Colo.

Joe Agnello, ’89, is executive vice president of Lockton Companies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics. He is a St. Louis native who has made Kansas City his home upon graduating from Rockhurst. He and his wife, Liz, have three sons.






Gabe Jones and Sarah Farley Jones welcomed their son, Robert Harrison, on Oct. 9, 2013.

Abbey Moellering won the SSM Health Care Rookie of the Year Award and the Emergency Nurses Association Rookie of the Year Award. She is an emergency room nurse at SSM St. Joseph Health Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Anthony Davis signed a contract with the Kansas City T-Bones. He played shortstop for the Rockhurst University Hawks.

Taylor Saalfeld married Sheldon Bates, D.D.S., June 22, 2013, in Richmond, Va. She recently started a new job as membership director for the Country Club of Virginia and continues with her other business — Taylor Bates Photography.

Samantha Gormley volunteers at Shiloh Group Home in Ashland, Mont., as a part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps program. She works with atrisk youth and finds great joy serving the kids.

Stephanie Lankford planned and organized the Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon with Ivy Funds for more than 12,000 participants. She works for Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation. Zachary Lee is a member of the second cohort of predoctoral researchers at the Stowers Institute. His field is advanced proteomic analysis.

Jason Wood was named president and CEO of the Pikes Peak United Way, located in Colorado Springs, Colo. Kim Patterson was honored with the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat at a Kansas City Royals game for her work with Relay for Life and Colleges Against Cancer. She works as a pediatric oncology nurse at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Connect with Rockhurst University through your favorite social networks.

Hawk Hangout More than 30 members of Rockhurst’s class of 1999 gathered together to run – or support those running – in the Kansas City Marathon on Oct. 19, 2013. This group of Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumni has made it a tradition to meet in Kansas City one weekend each year. (From left) Nestor Gouttierre, Patrick Feagan and Matthew Krentz. Send your Hawk Hangout pictures to alumni@rockhurst.edu and you may see one in a future issue.


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for alumni

from the chapters

After you leave the Rockhurst University campus, you remain a Hawk for life. Connect with Hawks in your hometown by checking the calendar at rockhurst.edu/alumni. No chapter where you live? Contact Mary Mooney Burns, ’93, at mary.burns@rockhurst.edu about starting one.

Toast at the Roast Young alumni gathered for the Toast at the Roast: An Alumni Affair, a social event at The Roasterie’s Bean Hangar event space, as part of Family and Alumni Weekend in late September. Featuring food, dancing, casino games and cocktails, the night marked the newest family and alumni tradition. (From left) Scott Hoefer, Kristin Hoefer, ’09, Sarah Charles, ’09, Hannah Neenan, ’09, and Katy Hernandez, ’09.

Washington, D.C., Event (From left) Vincent Dumas, Maria Stanton, ’99, Drew Felz, ’07, and Tricia Fetcher, ’09 MBA, were among the alumni who got together at a recent Washington, D.C., alumni association event featuring Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue.

A Day at Noboleis Winery St. Louis-area alumni enjoyed a beautiful day Sept. 21 at the Noboleis Winery in Augusta, Mo. (From left) The winery’s part-owners Bill and Chris Newbold, both ’86, along with visitors Ben, ’00, and Angie Geis.

Colorado Rockies Game (From left) Francie Sullivan, ’84, Melissa Ebone, ’06, Eric Budd, ’04, Jeff Kleinschmidt, ’09 EMBA, and Jonathan Hoban, ’13, joined other Denver area alumni to catch a Colorado Rockies game July 20 at Coors Field.



Hire a Hawk



Looking for the perfect addition to your team? Contact Rockhurst University’s Career Services to connect with RU alumni and students looking to start their careers and secure internships.

Feb. 13


Fr. Nick Rashford, S.J., Award for Leadership and Ethics This new award presentation will be held at the Kauffman Foundation. The first recipient is Tom Lyon, Ph.D.

Feb. 20 Alumni Night at the Ballgame The Hawks take on Missouri S&T at Mason-Halpin Fieldhouse.

March 21 Golden Hawks Reunion Join us for the class of 1964’s golden anniversary.

March 23 Basketball Celebration Celebrate the rich history of Rockhurst basketball with a luncheon program at the Convocation Center.

retro1942 rockhurst

Though he would later become an associate professor of industrial relations at Rockhurst, Frank Murphy, S.J., ’42, was first a student at Rockhurst College. Here he’s pictured at a mock trial on campus in the 1940s, making paper dolls to pass the time.

Hawks Reunite for Platinum Anniversary


t’s hard to imagine that at one time you couldn’t enjoy America’s favorite pastime at Rockhurst University, but that was the sad reality from the mid ’70s until 1993, when the baseball program was restarted.

Last fall, Gary Burns, baseball coach and athletics director, reached out to baseball players from all generations and asked them to come back to Rockhurst to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the new baseball program during Family and Alumni Weekend.

During the 20th anniversary baseball reunion, (From left) Gary Burns, athletics director and baseball coach, visits with Todd Renko, ’95, Matt Monroe, ’97, and Terric Townsend, ’96, members of the 1993-94 team, which restarted the baseball program at Rockhurst.


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“This gave us a great opportunity to reconnect with our alumni and thank them for helping to restart the program,” Burns said. “Not only did we have players from our first team come back, but we also had some alumni from the 1960s and 1970s as well as current players come to celebrate.” More than 80 current and former baseball players attended the event. Burns said the program died out in 1976 because there was a lack of adequate practice and playing facilities and a lack of new recruits. Thanks to a gift from John J. Sullivan Jr., ’39, the University was able to restart the program, develop facilities and start recruiting the next generation of Rockhurst baseball players.

for alumni


Career Center

1 Start now.

for Following Your Career Dream

Having long desired to go into an agricultural field, Larry James, ’79, said he began doing as much research as he could about the wine-making industry about five years before he retired, attending several trade shows and talking to a lot of winery owners.

3 Do your


Learn as much as you can about your chosen field before making the leap. It is easy to get distracted by what the job appears to be on the surface unless you dig deep enough to understand what the day-to-day tasks really are.

2 Be prepared

to take a hands-on role.

Sometimes having your dream job means taking on more than one specialty. As owner of a winery, James said he had to wear many different hats: manufacturing, retail, marketing and event planning.

4 Keep what

you’ve learned.

Skills like problem-solving and analytical thinking will help you no matter what your field is now or what it will be in the future.

5 Whatever you do,

do it for the right reasons.

Picking a career solely based on earnings potential or because it seems like the next big thing will likely result in wishing you were doing something else.

Meet the Expert

Larry James, ’79, founded the Three Squirrels Winery and art gallery in St. James, Mo., in 2009, following his retirement from the information technology field. Larry James, ’79





are they now Catching up with former athletes


ore than 30 years removed from their time on the court, Donna and Mark Teahan, both ’82, said their lives still seem to revolve around basketball.

It seems appropriate, given how they describe their first meeting. “We actually met on the court,” Donna said. “It was during a workout time. We shot around and actually played a little one-on-one.” Both were standout players of their respective basketball teams at Rockhurst, and quickly became inseparable. They married their senior year. Donna stayed at home as a mom. Mark went to work, first as a CPA and in 1990 at George J. Shaw Construction Company, where he now serves as vice president. Raising five children, including former University of Kansas basketball player Conner, they’ve stayed in the Kansas City area, and have given their time over the years as volunteer coaches for youth basketball, baseball and soccer teams. They’ve also stayed involved at Rockhurst High School and Rockhurst University, serving in the past as the co-chairs of the Rockhurst University annual gala and, for Mark, as a member of the Rockhurst University Leaders Council. Speaking about the inspiration for that involvement, the couple cites Mark’s parents, JoAnn and Rich Teahan, who were both similarly integral parts of the Rockhurst community.

Donna and Mark Teahan, both ’82

“Giving back here has been kind of a tradition for us,” Mark said, pointing to that long legacy in the community. “You just kind of never leave it, and it never leaves you.”

Everyday Leaders

Garnet Griebel, ’03, pays tribute to her mother


fter losing her mother suddenly to heart disease, Garnet Griebel, ’03, found a way to honor her while also educating others.

Garnet Griebel, ’03 (Right) and her business partner, Katie Miller.

“Through this project, we’re raising awareness and, hopefully, saving lives.” — Garnet Griebel, ’03


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“Many people don’t realize that heart disease is the number one killer of women, and that it affects women at every age,” said Griebel. “The symptoms aren’t as clear-cut as those in men, and it is important for women to recognize when it’s time to see a doctor.” Griebel, co-owner of Scarlett Garnet Jewelry, channeled her emotions and created an anatomical heart necklace in partnership with the Women’s Heart Center at St. Luke’s Hospital. “I wanted to design something women would wear proudly, fashionably and knowledgeably,” she said. And that she did. The necklace is now one of her company’s best-selling pieces, with 15 percent of proceeds going directly to St. Luke’s.

for alumni

In Memoriam J. Russell Miller, ’37 – Aug. 17

William J. Donnelly Jr., ’57 – Aug. 23

Gary B. Graba, ’73 – Oct. 21

Clarence J. Barr, ’42 – Oct. 3

Rev. Walter L. Watson, S.J., ’59 – May 29

Richard A. Lange, ’74 – July 17

Francis J. Muckenthaler, ’47 – May 12 Edward B. Nease, ’47 – July 25 Bishop George K. Fitzsimons, ’48 – July 28

John L. Steffen, ’59 – Aug. 28 Edward J. Bortko, ’60 – Oct. 22 Michael Craven, ’62 – July 1

Gil P. Bourk, ’48 – Aug. 25

David C. Vogan, ’62 – Oct. 23

John A. Rafter, ’49 – May 27

Dr. Cornelius J. Helling Jr., ’63 – May 30

James R. Hartnett, ’49 – Aug. 4 A. J. Robles, ’50 – May 23 Clyde C. North Jr., ’50 – July 29 Harry J. Clifford, ’50 – Sept. 14 Eugene J. Rockers, ’51 – July 14 Robert N. Sullivan, ’51 – Sept. 16 Vincent E. Tobin, ’53 – July 1 James G. Neuner, ’55 – Oct. 28 Forrest L. Bartlett, ’56 – Aug. 10

Thomas J. Tyler, ’63 – July 25 Warren G. Smith, ’64 – May 31 William A Byard, ’64 – July 17 Allison E. Rupf Jr., ’68 – May 20 Robert J. Wewers, ’68 – June 3 Thomas S. Scanlon III, ’69 – May 22

John R. Bowlin, ’74 – Sept. 29 Gary L. Foster, ’75 – June 2 Patrick L. Swofford, ’78 – July 27 John P. Poland, ’79 – June 30 Gary P. March, ’79 – July 7 William G. Lippert II, ’81 – Aug. 14 David L. Maslen, ’81 – Oct. 15 Stephen Gladbach, ’83 – June 23 Dawn A. (Duensing) Kirchhoff, ’89 – Aug. 15 Sherri D. Lofton, ’02 – Oct. 1 Adam Vandermillion, ’10 – Aug. 5

Henry J. Rieke, ’70– May 10 Donald E. Schowengerdt, ’70 – July 20

“But it is about much more than the monetary donations,” said Griebel. “Through this project, we’re raising awareness and, hopefully, saving lives. Scarlett Garnet also secured the opportunity to work with the American Heart Association, creating a second heart necklace specifically for them. This second piece – the heart nouveau necklace – is also cut from stainless steel, and includes a teardrop-shaped garnet gemstone. Fifteen percent of these proceeds go to the American Heart Association. “Both necklaces are priced the same, so people can choose the one that best fits their own personal style,” said Griebel. “Our goal is to empower women, so we send educational information on heart disease with each order.” For more information about these projects, visit scarlettgarnet.com.

Two Scarlett Garnet pieces raise funds for heart health organizations.



in closing

Lessons From Grandpa’s Garden By Mandi Sonnenberg, Ed.D.


his past fall, 50 energetic elementary school students came skipping across the RU campus to learn everything there is to know about the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics – an initiative summarized as STEAM. These eager learners participated in activities such as wheelchair races, boomwacking concerts, heart-rate experiments and more, laying a foundation of interest in new areas and opening their eyes to the science behind it all.

Little did I know, a few years later my mom and dad would move to Rolla, Mo., to open a ranch, exposing me to more of these math, science, engineering and technology concepts. These early experiences undoubtedly encouraged me to seek out a career that incorporated all of these STEAM elements.

But what is it about STEAM that brings me such joy? It started with stories my grandpa told me while gardening on his small acre lot in Kenosha, Wis. At the ripe old age of 55, my grandparents retired and decided to grow a garden and buy a tractor. During my elementary school years, my after-school time and summer days were filled with planting, weeding, canning and eating our delicious crops. My Grandpa Fraley was the apple of my eye. I followed him around while he taught me how to measure and plant seeds in perfect rows, quizzing me on what each plant needed to grow.

It’s amazing to now watch my own children on the ranch with my dad, their Grandpa Fraley, helping him take care of buffalo, drive the big green tractor, and learn about organic ranching, all while discovering how important it is to take care of the world around us.

Math and science was all around me and I had no idea. The engineering and technology pieces came in, too, as I learned how to build boxed planters and discovered the true importance of a tractor.


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Gardening and being a ranch hand may not seem very scientific at first glance, but that is my point. There are elements of STEAM in every job we do.

As my Rockhurst students work with local Catholic schools, they incorporate STEAM elements into their parent workshops, after-school clubs, camps and teacher professional development initiatives. They are planting seeds in the minds of these educators and learners just as my grandpa did for me. Mandi Sonnenberg, Ed.D., assistant professor of education has taught at Rockhurst for more than six years, with a focus on integrating technology into the classroom experience.

time and place

World Youth Day: Copacabana Beac h, Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, July 28, 20 Brazil 13. Photo by Mich aela Hanafin, ‘16.

A hawk keeps its eye on campus during July 2013. 1100 Rockhurst Road Kansas City, MO 64110-2561


Kansas City, M0. Permit No. 782

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage

Profile for Rockhurst University

Rockhurst Magazine - Winter 2014  

The Magazine of Rockhurst University - Winter 2013

Rockhurst Magazine - Winter 2014  

The Magazine of Rockhurst University - Winter 2013

Profile for rockhurst