Park University Imprint Express -- May 22, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

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Park online programs ranked among best for veterans

U.S. News and World Report announced on May 20 that Park University was ranked No. 60 on its 2014 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans list. The rankings, now in its second year, are designed to help veterans identify high-quality online degree programs that suit their educational needs. To be ranked, an online degree program had to report participation in four key programs that offer educational benefits to people with military service. The rankings methodology requires programs to belong to institutions that are certified for the GI Bill; they must also belong to schools participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program or public institutions that charge in-state tuition for all out-of-state veterans. The Best Online Programs for Veterans are also affiliated with schools that are members of the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Consortium and offer at least one course in the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support catalog.

Finally, all schools evaluated in this ranking must have been awarded a numerical rank in the overall 2014 U.S. News Best Online Programs rankings, which were released earlier this year. (Park’s online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked No. 164 in the country and Park’s online graduate business programs were ranked No. 122 in their respective categories. Nearly 1,000 distance education programs were a part of the rankings.) Those programs were assessed for various factors, including affordability, faculty credentials, student services and reputation. Only regionally accredited degree-granting programs that were predominantly online were considered.

Dr. Ron BreckeBrecke, Park alumni honored with Kansas City ASPA awards

The Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration honored a trio from the Park University family during the organization’s annual awards event on May 21 in Kansas City, Mo. Ronald Brecke, Ph.D., professor of political science, received the L.P. Cookingham Award which recognizes outstanding contributions to public administration over an extended period of time. Brecke was unable to attend the event, but accepted the award via video.

In addition, Greg Mills, MPA ’97, city administrator, chief of police and director of public safety for the City of Riverside, Mo., was honored with the Public Administrator of the Year – Local Government Award which recognizes outstanding performance in the practice of public administration and local government in the Greater Kansas City area. Also, Alexa Barton, ’03, MPA ’07, city administrator for the City of Grain Valley, Mo., and longstanding GKC-ASPA board treasurer, received the Special Contributions Award which recognizes a member of the chapter whose work and contributions to the chapter have made a significant difference.

Dr. Denny OkerstromOkerstrom book on WWII air commandos published

A book authored by Dennis Okerstrom, Ph.D., professor of English, has been published. Project 9: Birth of the Air Commandos in World War II is a narrative of the Allied joint project to invade Burma by air and details the aspects of the covert mission, including the selection of American airmen, the procurement of the aircraft, the joint training with British troops and the dangerous nighttime assault behind Japanese lines by glider. For more information about the book, visit

Okerstrom and 98-year-old World War II veteran Dick Cole will present a program and discussion of the 1st Air Commando Group, a forerunner to modern special operations units such as SEAL Team Six and Delta Force, during events at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library on Monday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m., and at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum’s Visitors Center Auditorium in Abilene, Kan., on Tuesday, June 10, at 7 p.m.

Book DriveStudent organizations collect books for Kansas City

A trio of Park University student organizations recently held a book drive to promote literacy among underprivileged youth. Alpha Chi, Sigma Alpha Pi and Communication Connection collected approximately 1,000 books that were donated to LINC (Local Investment Commission), a citizen-driven community collaborative that helps improve the lives of children and families in the Kansas City region. On May 20, the books were presented to students in the LINC program at Garfield Elementary in Kansas City, Mo., during a special event the Park organizations organized. The efforts of the book drive were led by Park students (in adjacent photo, from left) seniors Jamie Craig, secondary education/social studies major, Gina English, social work major, and Minnie Washington, business administration/marketing major.

Park faculty win best paper award at IOSSBR conference

A paper co-written by Dennis Gresdo, assistant professor of management and marketing and academic director for the Washington, D.C., area campus centers, Jutta Pegues, Ph.D., assistant professor of history, program coordinator of anthropology and online academic director, and Walton (Dees) Stallings, Ph.D., associate professor of English and program coordinator for professional writing, won the Best Paper Award at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research conference in Atlantic City, N.J., in April. The paper, "The Plain Writing Act of 2010 and the Paradox of Technical Communications: Responses to a Communications Sea Change by Corporations, Government and Universities, Part III," is the third in a series discussing written communications in the 21st century.

David TurnerTurner inducted into Delta Mu Delta honor society

David Turner, coordinator of state approval and licensure for Park Distance Learning, was recently inducted into the Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business. The organization recognizes and encourages academic excellence of students at qualifying colleges and universities to create a DMD community that fosters the well-being of its individual members and the business community through lifetime membership. Membership is limited to business students who have completed more than half of their academic work and have maintained a grade point average of at least 3.25 and rank in the top 20 percent of their class. Turner earned his Master of Business Administration degree in international business from Park University in May.

Dr. Stephen AtkinsonAtkinson presents paper at medieval studies conference

Steve Atkinson, Ph.D., associate professor of English and Writing Competency Test coordinator, organized a conference session and presented a paper at the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 8-11, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Atkinson organized the session “Anti-Formalist Arthur: Postmodern Perspectives on Medieval Arthurian Texts.” His paper, “Romance and Reality: 15th Century Combat Techniques and the Early Readers of Malory’s Morte,” explored the techniques advocated in contemporary instruction manuals, totally different from the modern image of clanking heavy swords.

Park campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

Park University campus centers throughout the country have started to hold commencement ceremonies for 2014 graduates. As these ceremonies are held, we’ll include the list of graduates at each campus in the Imprint Express.
          •  Austin (Texas) Campus
          •  Goodfellow Air Force Base (Texas) Campus
          •  Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus
          •  Hanscom Air Force Base (Mass.) Campus
          •  Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) Campus

Park In The News

Jamie Craig, a senior majoring in secondary education/social studies, was interviewed for stories that appeared on KMBC-TV and its sister station KCWE-TV on May 20 related to Park University students donating collected books for students at a Kansas City, Mo., elementary school (see story above).

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

     •  Through Sept. 30 -- Platte County, Mo., 175th Anniversary Exhibit: The Life and Legacy of George Shepard Park, McAfee Memorial Library
     •  May 22 -- Malmstrom Air Force Base (Mont.) Campus Center Commencement, 2 p.m., Malmstrom AFB Base Auditorium/Theater
     •  May 22 -- Tinker Air Force Base (Okla.) Campus Center Commencement, 4:30 p.m., Tinker AFB Combined Club
     •  May 22 -- Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Center Commencement, 8 p.m., Sandy Basin Community Center
     •  May 23 -- Maymester Ends
     •  May 23 -- Little Rock (Ark.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 6:30 p.m., Jacksonville (Ark.) Community Center
     •  May 23 -- Barstow (Calif.) Community College Campus Center / Barstow (Calif.) Marine Corps Logistics Base Campus Center Campus Center Commencement, 9 p.m., Barstow Community College Gymnasium
     •  May 26 -- Memorial Day Holiday
     •  May 27 -- Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center Commencement, 1:30 p.m., Lyceum at Parris Island (S.C.) Marine Corps Recruit Depot
     •  May 27 -- Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center Commencement, 6 p.m., Mission’s End
     •  May 28 -- F.E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.) Campus Center Commencement, 7 p.m., Fall Hall Community Center
     •  May 29 -- Cherry Point (N.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center Commencement, 9 a.m., Two Rivers Theater and Event Center
     •  May 30 -- Naval Support Activity Mid-South Millington (Tenn.) Campus Center Commencement, 6:30 p.m., Crosspointe Baptist Church
     •  June 2 -- Summer Session, Junemester Begin
     •  June 4 -- Laughlin Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 1:30 p.m., Club XL
     •  June 5 -- Mountain Home Air Force Base (Idaho) Campus Center Commencement, 4 p.m., Gunfighter Service Center
     •  June 6 -- Minot (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 6 p.m., Jimmy Doolittle Center
     •  June 12 -- Scott Air Force Base (Ill.) Campus Center Commencement, 7 p.m., Regency Conference Center, O’Fallon, Ill.
     •  June 13 -- Fairchild Air Force Base (Wash.) Campus Center Commencement, 4 p.m., The Morgan Center
     •  June 20 -- Luke Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 5 p.m., The Wigwam, Litchfield Park, Ariz.
     •  June 20 -- Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus Center / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.) Campus Center Commencement, 8 p.m., El Paso (Texas) Convention and Performing Arts Center
     •  June 21 -- Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center / Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., Bob Hope Theater at Lackland AFB
     •  June 21 -- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites Tucson (Ariz.) Airport-North
     •  June 27 -- Junemester Ends

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