The Crow's Nest -- June 18, 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

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GKC-ASPAPark faculty, alumni recognized by KC ASPA chapter

Four individuals from the Park University family were honored with awards at the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s awards breakfast on May 20. Rebekkah Stuteville, Ph.D. (far right), chair and associate professor of public administration and director of the Master of Public Affairs program, was recognized with the Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Academic Leadership Award. The award, named after the late Park professor emeritus of political science and public administration, recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching of public administration in the Greater Kansas City area.

A trio of alumni were also honored at the event. Tim Decker, ’82 (middle left), received the Public Administrator of the Year Award for state government. The award recognizes outstanding performance in the practice of public administration. Decker is the director of the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services. Kristin Kovach, ’12 (far left), an account director at Barkley, received the Special Contributions to the GKC-ASPA Chapter Award, which recognizes a member of the chapter whose work and contributions to the chapter have made a real difference. Brant Ashmore, ’14 (middle right), received the Stanley Fisher Memorial Award, which recognizes outstanding graduate and undergraduate students of public administration who have shown interest and dedication to the field beyond their classroom work.

Great Value CollegesUniversity earns ranking among most affordable in the country

Park University has been ranked by Great Value Colleges, a website dedicated to help students get the best possible education for their money, on its list of the “100 Most Affordable Online Colleges in the U.S. 2015.” Park is ranked No. 80 on the list, as indicated by 2014-15 estimated tuition and fees reported to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Commencement May 2015Park campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

Park University campus centers throughout the country have started to hold commencement ceremonies for 2015 graduates. As these ceremonies are held, we’ll include the link to the news releases announcing the list of graduates at each campus in The Crow’s Nest, as well as links to photos.
          •  Kansas City Area
               ---  Commencement address by Bob Marcusse, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City Area Development Council
               ---  Photos
          •  Ellen Finley Earhart Nursing Program
               ---  Photos
          •  Austin (Texas) Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Barstow (Calif.) Community College Campus Center / Barstow (Calif.) Marine Corps Logistics Base Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center
          •  Cherry Point (N.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Fairchild Air Force Base (Wash.) Campus Center
          •  Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Hanscom Air Force Base (Mass.) Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Laughlin Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center
          •  Malmstrom Air Force Base (Mont.) Campus Center
          •  Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) Campus Center
          •  Mountain Home Air Force Base (Idaho) Campus Center
          •  Naval Support Activity Mid-South Millington (Tenn.) Campus Center
               ---  Photos
          •  Scott Air Force Base (Ill.) Campus Center
          •  Tinker Air Force Base (Okla.) Campus Center
          •  Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center

Human resources degree programs receive SHRM alignment renewal

Park University’s Bachelor of Science degree programs in management/human resources and business administration/human resource management, have been found to be in alignment with the Society for Human Resource Management’s curriculum guidelines. Both programs will be certified effective January 2016 through December 2020. The guidelines, which define the minimum content areas that should be studied by human resources students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, are part of SHRM’s Academic Initiative to define HR education standards taught in university business schools and help universities develop degree programs that follow these standards.

Dr. Dees StallingsDennis GresdoGresdo, Stallings win award for paper

A paper written by Dennis Gresdo (left), assistant professor of management, and Walton (Dees) Stallings, Ph.D. (right), associate professor of English and program coordinator for professional writing, received a Best Paper award at the recent International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research conference in Atlantic City, N.J. Their paper, “The Federal Plain Writing Act of 2010 and Writing in the Professions, Park IV: Standards and Measurements,” provided a quantitative and technological perspective to discussions on organizations’ responses to federal government and other standards put in place to cope with the increasing quantity of written information in the 21st century.

Dr. Shannon CuffCuff article published in California reading journal

An article authored by Shannon Cuff, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education, and area coordinator for education, language and literacy in Park’s Master of Education in Language and Literacy program, was published in the Spring 2015 issue of The California Reader, a peer-reviewed journal published by the California State Council of the International Literacy Association. In the article, “Creating a Level Playing Field: Why Understanding African-American English Matters,” Cuff posits that teachers who learn how to value both African-American English and standard English create learning environments that embraces a child’s cultural identity while preparing them for the expectations of the working world.

Ayla ParhamAllison DavisPark students participating in summer research programs

Allison Davis (left), senior chemistry major and a member of Park University’s Honors Academy, is participating in the American Chemical Society’s International Undergraduate Research Experience this summer at the University of Perugia, Italy. Students in the IREU program were chosen based on their academic rigor, scientific interest, letters of recommendation and experience in the lab. Davis’ selection to the program was supported by her experience last summer in a National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research Experience at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, as well as a study abroad experience in Bath, England, following her freshman year.

Ayla Parham (right), a senior biology and secondary education/biology major, and member of the Honors Academy, is participating in the Growing Up STEM Collaborations in Discipline-Based Education Research Experience for Undergraduates at North Dakota State University. Parham is currently coding exam items on a version of Bloom’s taxonomy to determine their cognitive level.

Johnathan Cox, a junior information and computer science/software engineering major, is participating in the Undergraduate Computer Research in Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace program at Oakland University in Michigan this summer. The program, co-funded by the National Science Foundation, provides participants an opportunity to be immersed in a research environment under faculty mentors as junior colleagues.

Dr. Silvia Giovanardi ByerByer teaching in summer academy in Columbia

Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of modern languages, is teaching this summer at a two-week summer academy focusing on global citizenship and peace studies at Universidad de La Salle in Bogota, Colombia through June 20. Byer, serving as a visiting scholar, is teaching a course on world languages and cultures.

Dr. Benjamin NewtonNewton presents paper, lecture at conferences

Benjamin Newton, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, presented a paper and a lecture at recent separate conferences. At the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual conference in April in Chicago, Newton presented his paper on “A Discourse on (Marcus Tullius) Cicero’s De Officiis, or On Duties,” during a panel discussion on issues in political theory. Newton also served as a chair and/or discussant for three additional panels. At the Kansas Chapter of the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in May, Newton lectured on “Cicero on the Limits of Political Dialogue.” According to Newton, both the paper and lecture discussed how it is one thing to note that human beings are political animals and justice is something like the good organization of political community, but it is quite another as to what exactly encompasses “political community.” “The nature of human affection greatly determines in what way and how far justice and beneficence can reasonably be said to extend,” Newton said.

Dr. Michael BecraftBecraft participates in Federal Reserve event

Michael Becraft, D.Mgt., Edward F. Lyle professor of finance and director of the graduate program in business, was a participant in the Foundation for Teaching Economics “Perspectives From and On the Federal Reserve System” event with Federal Reserve Board of Governors staff in Washington, D.C., in April. The event was designed to enhance the teaching ability of high school economics and finance teachers. As a result of his participation, Becraft was invited to participate later this year in two think tank conferences related to the challenges inherent in maintaining a sound currency and financial system.

Dr. Nicholas MiceliMiceli presents session on baseball injuries at biostatistical symposium

Nicholas Miceli, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of human resource management and healthcare management, presented a session at the Innovations in Design, Analysis and Dissemination: Frontiers in Biostatistical Methods Symposium, in April in Kansas City, Mo. Miceli’s presentation, “Just a Little Bit Outside,” was an epidemiological analysis of pitcher injuries in Major League Baseball. Causes were evaluated, based on the PITCHf/x (a system that tracks the speed and trajectory of pitched baseballs) database, and recommendations for prevention were provided.

Human Resource Services announces new hires

From May 1-31

          •  Darnell Williams, Circulation Assistant, McAfee Memorial Library, Parkville Campus

Park In The News

A feature on feature/profile story on Behzod Abduraimov, artist-in-residence in Park University’s International Center for Music is scheduled to air on KCPT-TV in Kansas City tonight (Thursday, June 18), starting at 7:30 p.m. A review of Abduraimov’s Kansas City recital debut, held on May 15 at the Folly Theater, was the lead story on KCMetropolis, Kansas City’s online journal of the arts on May 20. A preview of recital appeared in The Kansas City Star on May 10. Also in advance of the concert, KCUR-FM (Kansas City) featured Abduraimov on its “Local Listen” segment on May 13.

Park University got some unexpected free advertising on ESPN2 during the Sporting Kansas City home match on May 3. Park sponsors SKC’s Salute to the Troops and has an in-stadium advertisement that appears on the “ribbon” message board around the field. Park’s ad appeared on air for 30 seconds during a crucial portion of the game.

Park University was featured in the June issue of Military Advanced Education & Transition magazine as part of an article focusing on on-campus Master of Business Administration degree programs. Michael Becraft, D.Mgt., Edward F. Lyle professor of finance and director of the graduate program in business, was quoted in the article.

Park was also featured in the May issue of MAE&T related to an article focusing on graduate certificate programs. Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies and the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, provided comments for the story.

Steve Youngblood, director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism and associate professor of communication arts, was featured in a number of Arabic-language media outlets as part of a Fulbright-Hays Program grant he received for a peace journalism project in Kuwait in May. Articles featuring Youngblood appeared in a number of Arabic newspapers, and he also appeared on the television program “Good Morning Kuwait” (the opening of the program is in Arabic, with the interview in English).

Sarah Hopkins-Chery, assistant women’s basketball coach and adjunct instructor of communication arts, and her husband, Lenes Chery, ’09, appeared in a “love story” feature article in the May issue of Northland Lifestyle magazine.

A story about Donovan Williams, ’08, who helped guide Lafayette College to the 2015 NCAA men’s basketball tournament as an assistant coach, appeared in a number of publications, including his hometown newspaper, the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, on June 2. Williams, who was a two-year starter (2006-08) on Park University’s men’s basketball team, was recently hired as an assistant coach at Princeton University.

Erik Bergrud, associate vice president of alumni and constituent relations, was quoted in a story about ArtsKC’s “One ArtsKC Regional Cultural Plan,” the first ever five-county, two-state regional cultural plan in the U.S. Park University hosted five of the community conversations and Bergrud is a member of the plan’s steering committee. The article appeared on May 8 in KCMetropolis, Kanas City’s online journal of the arts.

Park University’s Ballyhoo event on April 14, which benefitted the University’s School of Business and the Presidential Honors Scholarship fund, was featured in a two-page photo spread in the May 16 issue of The Independent, Kansas City’s journal of society.

In the same issue of The Independent, Peter deSilva, a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Michelle, were featured on the cover. The deSilvas are co-chairs of the 26th annual Hope and All That Jazz event on Aug. 15 in Kansas City, Mo., an event that benefits Hope House. In addition, they are co-chairs of the 14th annual Treads & Threads event at Kansas Speedway on Sept. 11 in Kansas City, Kan., which benefits the University of Kansas Hospital, with proceeds to support surgical oncology and for expansion of the lung cancer program.

Julie Wilson, a member of Park’s Board of Trustees, was interviewed for a story that appeared on KCTV in Kansas City on May 6. Wilson, chief people officer for Cerner, appeared during the station’s “coolest jobs in Kansas City” morning show segment.

Tech. Sgt. Shawn Avery, ’13, was featured in a story that appeared on the Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System website on May 7. Avery, an airman assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, was recently selected for Officer Training School.

Cynthia Cassel, ’90, authored an article that appeared in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “The Big Blue Thread,” a blog for spatial science and the environment in America’s heartland. Cassel, a senior environmental employment program grantee with EPA Region 7’s Wetlands and Streams Protection Team, wrote a story related to National Wetlands Month.

A story about Maj. Martin Longoria, ’01, who was the keynote speaker for an Armed Forces Day event in Alice, Texas, appeared in the Nueces County (Texas) Record Star on May 19.

David Radzynski, '14, who was appointed concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra this spring, appeared on the Public Radio International program, “The World” on May 20.

Judi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., assistant professor of education and chair of elementary and secondary teacher preparation, and Dong Hwa (Donna) Choi, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of early childhood education, appeared May 21 on the “Rise and Shine” morning show, a PlusTV program in Belize, as part of a visit to the country regarding possible partnerships with the University.

Steve Hester, ’95, who was appointed fire chief for the City of Great Falls, Mont., was featured in a story that appeared in the May 21 issue of the Great Falls Tribune.

A story about a Kansas City high school student doing research on Edmund Decker, who attended Park University in the late 1930s and/or early 1940s, appeared in The Kansas City Star on June 6. Decker died in France in World War II and is buried at the Normandy American Cemetery, but little is known about his life and military service.

Violin students and alumni of Park University’s International Center for Music (Cristian Fatu, Maria Ioudenitch, Laurel Gagnon and David Radzynski) appeared on Kansas Public Radio on June 9 as part of a preview of a collaborative concert on June 12 with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in Kansas City, Mo. A review of the concert appeared on, a website that provides freelancers across the United States with a platform to share their knowledge and expertise through informative and entertaining content, on June 14, as well as KCMetropolis, Kansas City’s online journal of the arts, on June 16.

A story on Francesca “Frankie” Wild, who will play women’s soccer for Park University this fall, appeared in her hometown newspaper, The Huddersfield (England) Daily Examiner, on June 10.

Former Park University baseball player Darian Sandford, who was selected in the 47th round of the 2010 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft by the Kansas City Royals and is now a member of the Vallejo (Calif.) Admirals, an independent team in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, was featured in an article in the Vallejo Times-Herald on June 12.

A story on Dan Backhaus, former Park University baseball head coach, appeared in The Kansas City Star’s “Cars” section on June 13. Backhaus owns a driving school based in Liberty, Mo.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  June 19 -- Luke Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 5 p.m., The Wigwam, 300 E. Wigwam Blvd., Litchfield Park, Ariz.
     •  June 20 -- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 4 p.m., Clarion Hotel, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, Tucson, Ariz.
     •  June 24 -- F.E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.) Campus Center Commencement, 6 p.m., Fall Hall Community Center
     •  June 26 -- Admissions: Get On Board Day, 8:30 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  June 26 -- Little Rock (Ark.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 6:30 p.m., Jacksonville (Ark.) Community Center
     •  June 26 -- Junemester Session ends
     •  July 4 -- Independence Day (Parkville Daytime Campus closed)
     •  July 6 -- Julymester Session begins
     •  July 10 -- Hill Air Force Base (Utah) Campus Center Commencement, Noon, Davis Conference Center, 1651 N. 700 W., Layton, Utah
     •  July 17 -- Goodfellow Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Goodfellow AFB Theater
     •  July 26 -- Summer Session ends
     •  July 31 -- Julymester Session ends
     •  August 1 -- Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center / Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., Bob Hope Theater, Lackland AFB
     •  August 12-13 -- Fall Faculty Conference, Parkville Campus

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