Park University Imprint Express -- December 18, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

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CommencementDec2013December 2013 Kansas City area graduates announced

Park University held its December 2013 Kansas City Area Commencement ceremony on Dec. 14 at the Community of Christ Auditorium in Independence, Mo. The University had 411 students eligible to participate in the ceremony — 259 undergraduates received their bachelor’s degree, 120 graduate students received their master’s degree, 12 students received their associate degree and 20 students received graduate or undergraduate certificates. Deborah L. Frett, chief executive officer of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, was the keynote speaker.
          •  Read Frett’s keynote address
          •  View a list of the graduates
          •  Photos from the ceremony
          •  Video of ROTC commissioning ceremony for 2nd Lt. Constance Suzan Agregaard
          •  Video of Joshua Watson singing Park University’s alma mater and the commencement recessional

Park’s National Society of Leadership and Success chapter inducts new members

The Park University chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success held its semi-annual induction ceremony on Dec. 8 on the Parkville Campus. Thirty-four members were inducted, 33 of whom received presidential membership from the organization for having a grade point average of 3.3 or higher. View the list of initiates at

John LofflinDr. John HamiltonIn addition, John Hamilton, Ph.D. (left), associate professor of criminal justice administration, and John Lofflin (right), professor of journalism and photography, were honored with the “Excellence in Service to Students Award.” This award is presented to Park staff/faculty who exemplify leadership, mentor abilities and commitment to bettering the lives of students. Daniel Krulewich, adjunct instructor of mathematics, and James Moes, adjunct instructor of management, were recognized with the “Excellence in Teaching Award.” This award is presented to selected Park faculty members who exemplify the qualities taught within the NSLS, and make a significant difference in the lives of students at Park through their dedication to education.

Park University named NAIA Champions of Character institution

Park University has been selected as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Champions of Character Five Star Institution for 2012-13. Park was one of 23 NAIA institutions that has received the award for seven consecutive years. In addition, the American Midwest Conference, of which Park is a member, was named a Champions of Character Five-Star Conference. Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. Read more at

BreckonAwardBreckon honored with lifetime achievement award

Donald J. Breckon, Ph.D., former president of Park University, was recognized by the Parkville (Mo.) Main Street Association on Dec. 6 during the city’s annual Christmas on the River celebration. Breckon, who served as Park’s president from 1987-2001, was honored with the Bill Grigsby Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is presented annually to a person in the community who best exemplifies the qualities demonstrated by Grigsby: community leadership, volunteerism, commitment, dependability, positive attitude and the ability to work with a variety of individuals and community organizations. Grigsby, a longtime Kansas City broadcaster best known for his 46-year career working Kansas City Chiefs games, passed away in February 2011.

One of Breckon’s nominations to the selection committee was provided by current Park president, Michael Droge, Ph.D. In his comments, Droge said when Breckon was appointed president, he “inherited and addressed a depleted budget, a partially excavated academic underground and diminishing student enrollments. However, as a testament to his unrelenting personality…it was his vision and determination that formed the foundation on which to rebuild a struggling college.” In the adjacent photo, Breckon (far left) and Droge (far right) are show with their wives, Sandy and Molly.

Brad BilesBiles re-elected to serve Kansas City public relations organization

Brad Biles, associate director for university communications, was recently re-elected to serve another one-year term as an officer and member of the board of directors for the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Biles, who served as vice president of recruitment for the organization in 2013, will assume the same position in 2014. As vice president of recruitment, he is charged with developing and maintaining mechanisms for expanding chapter membership by seeking out and securing new members, especially in under-represented categories, at rates greater than normal attrition. The GKC-PRSA is an organization that strives to advance the profession of public relations throughout the Kansas City region.

CarePackagesUniversity sends care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan

The Office of Military and Veteran Student Services, home of the Park Warrior Center, recently collected items from offices/departments/organizations across the University to send care packages to U.S. soldiers serving overseas. Fifty care packages were sent to the Missouri National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, 35th Combat Aviation Brigade based at Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.), where Park has a campus center. The unit is currently deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Dr. Silvia Giovanardi ByerByer presents paper at modern language conference

Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of modern languages, presented a paper at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association's annual convention, Nov. 8-10 in Atlanta. The paper, "Emulation of Classical Writers in the Italian 1500s: The 'Elegance' of Vergil - Towards a Christian Aeneid," presents an excursus of several literary productions of the 1500s that were marked by the full affirmation of the classical antiquities with a humanistic approach, yet inspired by the sacred narratives. In addition, Byer chaired a panel on "Text, Image and Context in Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance."

Dr. Michael Eskey Jr.Dr. Michael EskeyEskeys co-present paper at political science conference

Michael Eskey, Ph.D. (left), associate professor and program coordinator of criminal justice administration, and his son, Michael Eskey Jr., D.P.A. (right), adjunct instructor of public administration, co-presented a paper at the Georgia Political Science Association’s annual meeting, Nov. 14-16 in Savannah. The Eskeys presented the paper “A Tale of Three Judges,” which provided an overview of three judges from two states, serving at three different levels. The presentation compared their backgrounds and view on eight questions related to their service on the bench. According to the elder Eskey, the presentation marked the first time in GPSA history that a father-son duo co-presented at a GPSA conference. In addition, Eskey Jr. presented the paper, “The Best and the Brightest? Does Merit Aid Impact College Admission Test Scores?” The paper addressed the findings from his doctoral dissertation that compared the effect of merit-based scholarship on freshman retention rates. The elder Eskey also chaired a session on judicial politics.

Deborah GarzaGarza presents sessions at TESOL conference

Deborah Garza, adjunct instructor of English as an international language, presented two sessions at the recent Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages conference in Lawrence, Kan. Garza co-presented "Creating Meaningful Connections: A University-Middle School Outreach Program" and solo presented "Literature Circles for Adolescent/Adult ELLs." In the first session, Garza explained the planning and preparation necessary to establish such valuable relationships, and discussed the consequences, both intended and unintended. In the second session, she presented how literature circles are a good way for collaborative learning as well as student-centered learning.

Park In The News

Eric Davis, director of Park University’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.) Campus Center, was interviewed on KGWN-TV in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Dec. 16. Davis talked about the University’s offerings and its commitment to the Cheyenne area.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

     •  Through December 18 -- Fine Arts Senior Student Thesis Exhibition, featuring works by Jessica Crane, Amelia Jenny and Ashley Stapleton, Campanella Gallery
     •  December 24-25 -- Christmas holiday (Kansas City area offices closed)
     •  January 10-February 16 – Matthew LaRose Paintings Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Reception: Jan. 14, 4-5:30 p.m., Campanella Gallery)
     •  January 13 -- Spring Semester, Spring I Classes Begin
     •  January 18 – Admissions: 1-on-1 Weekend, 9 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  January 18 – International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Luis Fernando Perez, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  January 20 -- Martin Luther King Day Holiday (Kansas City area offices closed; no Parkville Daytime classes; Spring I classes will be held)
     •  January 23 -- Acaemic Support Center Ribbon-Cutting, 3 p.m., McAfee Memorial Library
     •  January 24 -- Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
     •  January 29 -- Spring Study Abroad Fair, 10 a.m.-noon, Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground
     •  February 1 -- International Center for Music Concert: Cellist Colin Carr, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 9 -- Northland Community Choir Concert: Carnations, Chocolates and Love Songs: A Valentine’s Concert, 3 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 11 and 25 -- Center to Advance the Study of Loss Two-Part Series on Grief, Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., 6:30 p.m.
     •  February 15 -- International Center for Music Concert: Cellist Daniel Veis and Pianist Helena Veisova, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

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