Park University Imprint Express -- July 11, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

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Affordable Colleges OnlineUniversity ranked second-most affordable private college in the country for online learning, a resource of college affordability and financial aid information, has announced its list of the nation’s “Most Affordable Online Colleges.” Park University is ranked No. 2 among the nation’s private colleges/universities and No. 24 overall on the list which identified colleges across the country with distance learning options, affordable tuition and fees, and alumni who earn top dollar immediately after graduation. Detailed criteria for the list included having a maximum net price (tuition plus fees) of less than $15,000; full accreditation; nonprofit college; four-year, degree-granting institution; students with starting salaries of at least $31,000 upon graduation; and at least one course available online. For more information about the rankings, visit

Park earns high ranking among service members using tuition assistance

Park University has earned high marks among service members using tuition assistance across all branches of the Armed Forces, according to a report released in the July 15 issue of Military Times, an independent source for news and information for the military community, and its associated newsweeklies, Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times. Park was ranked No. 10 in the country among all colleges/universities and No. 2 among all private universities. Among Air Force/Air National Guard members, Park ranked No. 4 nationally and No. 1 among private colleges/universities, and among members of the the Marine Corps, Park ranked No. 5 nationally and No. 1 among private colleges/universities.

Dr. Kenneth ChristopherChristopher appointed associate vice president for academic affairs

Kenneth Christopher, D.P.A., has been appointed to the position of associate vice president for academic affairs at Park University. Christopher began his duties on July 1. Christopher previously served the University as the associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences since 2009, and was an associate professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice Administration. “Ken brings excellent leadership experience, both academic and non-academic, to this important position at Park University,” said Jerry Jorgensen, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president. “His knowledge of higher education issues in general, and of Park University in particular, makes him a great asset in this role.” As associate vice president for academic affairs, Christopher leads the University’s academic administrators, faculty, staff and programs. In addition, Christopher is responsible for facilitating quality academic planning and implementation, and overseeing the University’s curricular initiatives and review processes for its more than 22,000 students at 40 campus centers across the country and online worldwide. Read more about Christopher at

Board of Trustees announce board elections, faculty promotions

Park University’s Board of Trustees has announced the following action items from its May meeting on the Parkville Campus.
     •    Election of Trustees — First term: Dennis Fisher, Ph.D., Brent Miles and Benjamin Elkins (recently graduated trustee); Second term: Gayden Carruth, Ph.D., Danny Sakata and Richard Thode; Third term: Katheen Dodd and Thomas Holcom (all terms end June 30, 2016, except Elkins, whose term ends June 30, 2015).
     •    Election of Board Officers — Ann Mesle, J.D., chair; Holcom, vice chair; Peter deSilva, secretary; Scott McRuer, treasurer (terms end June 30, 2014).
     •    Faculty Promotions (effective Aug. 1)
               --- Stephen Bell, Ph.D., J.D., from associate professor to professor of economics
               --- Darren (Joe) Cunningham, from instructor to assistant professor of English as an international language
               --- Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., from associate professor to professor of healthcare administration
               --- Steven Hallman, D.B.A., from assistant professor to associate professor of management/computer information systems
               --- James Pasley, Ph.D., from associate professor to professor of political science
               --- Jane Wood, Ph.D., from associate professor to professor of English
In addition, Donna Bachmann, was designated emerita professor of art.

M. Sue KuritaKurita honored with public service award

M. Sue Kurita, J.D., adjunct instructor of criminal justice at the Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus Center, was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Daniel H. Benson Public Service Award by the Alumni Association of the Texas Tech University School of Law on June 20 in Dallas during the State Bar of Texas’ annual meeting. The award is presented to TTU alumni who have demonstrated significant and substantial contributions to furthering ideals of public service in the law. Kurita is the El Paso County (Texas) Court at Law 6 judge.

Edwin JamesJames recognized with North Dakota VA certification award

Edwin James, director of Park University’s Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center, was honored with an award during the North Dakota Veterans Affairs Certifying Officials Conference on June 20 in Mandan, N.D. James was recognized with the 2013 School Certifying Officials Award of Excellence for keeping outstanding records, having a great attitude and providing excellent service to VA students.

Dr. Debra ShefferSheffer serves as panelist on Gettysburg battle at Dole Institute

Debra Sheffer, Ph.D., associate professor of history, was a panelist at the “Gettysburg 150 at the Dole Institute” conference in Lawrence, Kan., on June 20. The event commemorated the 150th anniversary of the three-day battle, fought July 1-3, 1863. Sheffer and her co-panelists discussed one of the defining moments in American history, analyzing each day of the battle in a trio of sessions, followed by a discussion on seven critical decisions made during the battle.

Human Resource Services announces new hires, transfers/promotions

From June 1-30:

     •    Andrew Baxley, Admissions Counselor, Office of Admissions, Parkville Campus
     •    Misty Colston, Administrative Specialist, Park Distance Learning, Parkville Campus
     •    Stephen Estabrook, Technical Support Specialist, Information Technology Services, Parkville Campus
     •    Jennifer Jenson, Gardner, Environmental Services, Parkville Campus
     •    Shaquana Mitchell, Program Specialist, Charleston Air Force Base Campus
     •    Jennifer Petersen,  Campus Center Director, Fort Irwin Campus
     •    Lyla Salzman, Financial Aid Specialist, Student Financial Services, Parkville Campus
     •    Cynthia Small, Financial Aid Specialist, Student Financial Services, Parkville Campus
     •    Emily Watson, Academic Evaluator, Registrar’s Office, Parkville Campus
     •    Matthew Wheeler, Media Services Technician, Information Technology Services, Parkville Campus
     •    Kristine White, Business Intelligence Analyst, Information Technology Services, Parkville Campus
     •    James Williams, Landscape Services I, Environmental Services, Parkville Campus

     •    Rochelle Bialcak, Assistant Campus Center Director, Hill Air Force Base Campus (previously served as part-time administrative assistant)
     •    Alysen Simmons, Hauptmann School of Public Affairs Program Assistant, School of Graduate and Professional Studies, Downtown Kansas City Campus (previously served as undergraduate program assistant in the Portfolio Program)
     •    Sara Thorpe, Administrative Specialist, Randolph Air Force Base Campus (previously served as part-time night monitor)
     •    Nicole Williams, Assistant Director of Purchasing, Office of Purchasing, Parkville Campus

Park In The News

Park University was featured in a story about the increase of interest rates on federally subsidized students loans that appeared on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on July 1. Royce Skocny, senior business administration/human resources major, was interviewed for the story. Carla Boren, director of student financial services, was also interviewed for background information but did not appear in the story.

Jerry Jorgensen, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president, along with his wife, JoAnn, appeared in the “KC People” section of The Kansas City Star Magazine on June 30. The Jorgensens were a part of a photo spread related to the Buccaneer Bash at Kansas City’s Union Station that kicked off its summer exhibit, “Real Pirates.”

Steven Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism, was featured in a Kansas City Star commentary on July 3. The article focused on Youngblood’s work in peace journalism around the world.

Vernon Scoville, adjunct instructor of criminal justice and management, was highlighted in an article that appeared in the “Neighborhood News” sections of the Cass and Jackson counties (Mo.) editions of The Kansas City Star on July 3. The article was about Scoville announcing his retirement as associate circuit court judge after serving Jackson County for 22 years.

Carolyn Elwess, university archivist, was quoted in a story that appeared in the July 4 issue of The Kansas City Star. Elwess was interviewed for an article about Kansas City area Fourth of July parades and spoke about the Parkville, Mo., parade’s history.

Luke Lewis, ’11, was featured in an NBC News Investigations story about small towns that have taken a financial downturn after betting on an innovative coal-fired plant just before the current domestic oil and natural gas boom hit its stride. Lewis is the city manager of Marceline, Mo.

John Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice, provided expert commentary for a story that appeared on KCTV in Kansas City on July 3. Hamilton provided comments for a story related to a man claiming his wife was mistreated based on a dash camera video from an area police department.

Derek Gordon, a junior business administration major and a pitcher on Park University’s baseball team, was featured in a story that appeared on WXOW-TV in LaCrosse, Wis., on July 5. Gordon, whose brother is Kansas City Royals All-Star outfielder Alex Gordon, is playing for the LaCrosse Loggers in the Northwoods League, a summer baseball league comprised of the top college baseball players in North America.

Park University was featured throughout a special section of The Kansas City Star on May 10. Park’s Master of Business Administration program was highlighted throughout the “MBA & Education” publication. Lee Nordgren, D.Sc., Edward F. Lyle professor of finance and director of the graduate program in business, was quoted in articles related to prospective students possibly having misconceptions about MBA programs, social media use in MBA programs, and teaching ethical management and leadership in MBA programs.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

•    Through July 18 --
Zigmunds Priede Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery 
•    July 11 – Francois Rabbath Bass Concert, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
•    July 13 -- Admissions: Saturday Campus Tours, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Parkville Campus
•    July 22-August 30 -- Art Exhibit: Michelle Childers: Multimedia “Life Sentence” (Reception: Aug. 24, 7 p.m.), Campanella Gallery
•    July 28 -- Summer Session ends (Kansas City area)
•    August 2 -- Julymester ends (Kansas City area)
•    August 8-9 – New Full-Time Faculty Orientation (Parkville Campus
•    August 12 – Full-Time Faculty/Staff Photo Day (Parkville Campus)
•    August 12-13 -- Fall Faculty Conference, Parkville Campus
•    August 16 -- Move-In Day; Parent Orientation; Student Ice Cream Social, Parkville Campus
•    August 17 -- Orientation Day, Parkville Campus
•    August 18-23 -- Welcome Week, Parkville Campus
•    August 19 -- Fall Semester / Fall I Classes Begin (all campus centers)
•    August 23 -- Opening Convocation, noon, Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
•    August 23 -- All University Picnic, 1 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel Lawn

Note: To view a comprehensive schedule for all events, including athletics, visit