The Crow's Nest -- December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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Crow's Nest

Nathan Marticke and Brad BilesUniversity Relations and Development office wins award

Park University’s Office of University Relations and Development received an Award of Distinction from Nonprofit Connect at the organization’s annual Philly Awards Celebration on Nov. 5 in Kansas City, Mo. The Award of Distinction is awarded to entries that scored in the 90th percentile of entries, regardless of category. Park’s award was for the OURD’s overall marketing efforts for the School of Business and the Global Executive Master of Business Administration program. Nathan Marticke (left), associate vice president of constituent development, and Brad Biles (right), director for university communications, represented Park at the event.

Ben ZibersAlan FrenchFrench appointed director of campus safety; Zibers promoted to director for student engagement

Park University has announced the appointment of Alan French (left) as director of campus safety and the promotion of Ben Zibers (right) as director for student engagement. French began his duties at Park on Oct. 19 and Zibers’ promotion was effective Nov. 1. French, who graduated from Park University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice administration, joins Park’s staff after having served as manager of asset protection and safety operations at the Mattel Corp. in Overland Park, Kan. since 2010.

Zibers is also a graduate of Park University, earning both a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and liberal studies in 2011. Zibers also received a Master of Public Affairs degree in 2014 from Park. Prior to his promotion, Zibers served as coordinator for student engagement within the Office of Student Life at Park from 2013-15. Read more about French and Zibers at

Vernal ColeCole honored by NAACP chapter

Vernal Cole, adjunct instructor of accounting at Park University’s Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Marine Corps Base Campus Center, was recognized by the North San Diego County (Calif.) Chapter of the NAACP with the organization’s 2015 Youth President’s Award. Cole received the award at the Blue and Gold Awards Gala in Carlsbad, Calif., in October. Cole is active in numerous community based organizations, including the Vista Boys & Girls Club, where he serves as a board member; the Ocean Promise; and the San Luis Rey Rotary.

Park campus center holds commencement ceremony

Park University campus centers continue 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 (if posted).
          •  Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base Campus Center

Carmer appointed to Federal Reserve committee

Valorie Carmer, adjunct instructor of English, was recently re-appointed to the Economic Education Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. The EEAC consists of selected educators and education professionals who are committed to advancing economic and financial education. Carmer has served on the Council since 2012.

Dr. Brad KleindlKleindl appointed to higher education advisory board

Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of Park University’s School of Business, recently accepted an invitation to join the Cengage Learning Higher Education Advisory Board, during the organization’s meeting in San Francisco in October. The Advisory Board discusses emerging trends and topics in higher education, and evaluates institutional goals, challenges, and proposed new solutions and services to meet the needs of today’s students, instructors and institutions.

Dr. Silvia Giovanardi ByerByer elected to SAMLA committee

Silvia Giovanardi Byer, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of modern languages, was elected to the Executive Committee for the Southern Atlantic Modern Language Association. Byer was elected during the organization’s annual conference, Nov. 13-15 in Durham, N.C. In addition, Byer spoke during the conference at a panel offered for doctoral candidates seeking opportunities in the job market, and she chaired a panel on “Technology, Web 2.0 and 3.0 to Enhance Language Learning,” where she demonstrated new techniques adopted in her Spanish language classes.

Computer science students compete in contest

Two student teams from Park University competed in the annual Association for Computing Machinery Mid-Central Region programming contest in Warrensburg, Mo., on Nov. 7. The team of Johnathan Cox and Devyn Mapes, both senior information and computer science/software engineering majors, placed first at the site and 40th out of 155 teams in the region. Also competing was the team of James Duvall, senior, and Adam Pankow, junior, both information and computer science/software engineering majors.

ICM’s Dec. 2 concert rescheduled

The second concert in the Park University International Center for Music’s 2015-16 concert series season scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, featuring the ICM’s award-winning faculty of Daniel Veis, Ben Sayevich and Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, and the gifted ICM student artists, has been postponed and rescheduled for Saturday, Jan. 16, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus.

However, due to the late notice of the postponement, the ICM will present an alternative concert on Wednesday night, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Chapel, featuring ICM students. Admission to the concert is free.

Park faculty, staff present at conferences

Dr. Laurie DiPadova-StocksKay BarnesKay Barnes (left), distinguished professor of public leadership and founding director of Park University’s Center for Leadership, and Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D. (right), dean of Park University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies, co-conducted workshops at the American Business Women’s Association National Leadership Conference in October. The workshops were held under the auspices of the Center for Leadership. Approximately 30 participants completed the four-year cycle of 12 courses to graduate from the program.

Soodie Beasley, adjunct instructor of art history, presented a session at the Kan-Struct conference in Wichita, Kan. Beasley spoke on “The Women Who Built Kansas City.” Her discussion was about four women architects from the early 20th century and provided an analysis of their impact on the Kansas City design culture and their contributions to the profession nationwide. She also talked about their roles in a historical context in relation to shifting female identities.

Dr. Melanie SmithClaire MostelDr. Eric ClickA trio of public administration faculty, Eric Click, Ph.D. (left), associate professor and program coordinator, Claire Mostel (center), adjunct instructor, and Melanie Smith, Ph.D. (right), assistant professor and assistant director of the Master of Public Affairs program, presented a session at the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration Conference in Brooklyn, N.Y., in October. Their presentation, “The Vital Value of Undergraduate Public Affairs Education: NASPAA Programs and Beyond, addressed the needs of professional citizens for education and training so those professionals will be successful at all levels in the workplace and in various sectors and disciplines.

Dr. Michael EskeyMichael Eskey, Ph.D., professor and program coordinator of criminal justice administration, presented and chaired a roundtable discussion at the Southern Criminal Justice Association’s annual conference in Charleston, S.C. Eskey was a co-presenter in the session “Mass Killings: What We Know and Where Do We Go?” The causes, theory, mental illness, prevention views, gun control, the effect of the Internet, movies, violent computer games and lessons learned were discussed.

Laurie McCormackLaurie McCormack, vice president for university relations and advancement, co-conducted a workshop on “Advancement 101” at The Council for Independent Colleges’ Institute for Chief Academic and Chief Advancement Officers in Baltimore on Nov. 7. The introductory-level workshop addressed how chief academic and chief advancement officers can work together effectively to identify funding opportunities for donors, set priorities for campaigns, engage alumni and work with the media to promote the mission of the institution, and included a discussion of key university advancement trends and issues.

Bijaya Shrestha, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of computer science and mathematics, presented at the American Society for Engineering Education conference in Springfield, Mo. His presentation, “Challenges and Opportunities in Classroom Dynamics in an Online as Opposed to an On-Site Class: A Paradigm Shift,” examined the issues between online and face-to-face classrooms, modeling the dynamics in a mathematical framework. Shrestha also chaired technical sessions and the best paper award committee at the conference.

Jutta Pegues, Ph.D., and Cathy Taylor, J.D., online academic directors, presented the paper, “A Case Study in Distance Program Management: The Online Academic Director as Liaison to Faculty and Students,” to a virtual audience at the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education’s World Conference on E-Learning in October. The paper, which will be published in the conference’s proceedings and was co-authored by former Park faculty member Dennis Gresdo, examines the role of the online academic director to ensure a positive relationship between adjunct instructors, departments and online students.

Dr. Terrence WardTerrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration and area coordinator for public management, co-presented “Working Together for Big Gains: Getting Results from Public Partnerships” at the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration’s monthly luncheon in October. Ward discussed how public agencies are under great pressure to use their dollars to the maximum benefit and described how two recent collaborations have produced results toward the strategic plans of the entities.

Park In The News

Ryan Bissing, a junior criminal justice administration/security major, was quoted in a story related to Park University being selected as the No. 1 “Best for Vets” private college/university in the country, as announced by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2016” rankings on Nov. 9.

Dennis Okerstrom, Ph.D., professor of English, and his work as an author of two books that explore World War II air campaigns, was the focus of a story that appeared in the Library of Congress’ blog on Nov. 11.

Roger Dusing, associate vice president and chief human resource officer, provided comments for an article that appeared in the November issue of University Business magazine. The story was about new and renewed employee benefits some colleges/universities are offering. Dusing commented on a new retirement fund that Park University will be offering its employees in January.

Chris Jaramillo, senior social psychology major at Park University’s Austin (Texas) Campus Center, was featured in a story that appeared on KVUE-TV in Austin. The story focused on Jaramillo being reunited with his dog, Shooter, a bomb-sniffing canine, five years after being paired together in Afghanistan.

A documentary focusing on 99-year-old artist Eric Bransby, who received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Park University in 1995, will air next fall via American Public Television. Bransby and the video production company recently visited the Parkville Campus to shoot video of Bransby’s mural, “Spirit of Park College,” which is located in the Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground, just below Millsap Foyer. A story about Bransby and the documentary appeared in the Liberty (Mo.) Tribune on Nov. 12.

A story about Maj. Robert Lewis, ’86, appeared in the Piqua (Ohio) Daily Call on Nov. 11. Lewis , a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was the featured speaker at the Piqua Veteran’s Day event.

Jim Cooke, ’56, was the focus of a story that appeared in the Hastings (Neb.) Tribune on Nov. 11. Cooke, who served as a chaplain in the military during the Vietnam War, earned a Purple Heart for helping rescue three men stuck in an armored personnel carrier while under enemy fire.

Kevin Jamison, ’14, was the focus of stories that appeared on KSHB-TV and KMBC-TV in Kansas City on Nov. 10. Jamison and a fellow veteran launched a new nonprofit, the Veterans Community Project, geared to ending veteran homelessness.

Park University’s recent recognition as the “Best for Vets” private college/university in the country was the focus of a story that appeared on KQTV in St. Joseph, Mo. Wade Abel, assistant director of military and veteran student services, Ashley Carpenter, senior geography major, and Marel Respress, a graduate student in the Master of Public Affairs program, were interviewed for the story.

Terrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration and area coordinator for public management, appeared on the radio program “Tell Somebody” on KKFI-FM in Kansas City on Nov. 19. Ward participated in a discussion about the evolving debate around the use of tax increment financing incentives in Kansas City, Mo.

Ward was also quoted in a story that appeared in The Pitch in Kansas City on Nov. 24. Ward provided comments for another story on TIF projects in Kansas City, Mo.

A story about a recent peace journalism trip to Turkey by Steve Youngblood, director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism and associate professor of communication arts, appeared in the Turkish publication Milliyet on Nov. 19.

Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., dean of Park University’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies, was quoted in a story that appeared in the November issue of Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine. DiPadova-Stocks provided comments for a story on challenges graduate programs face with sweeping changes in higher education.

In the same issue of Ingram’s, Joseph Melookaran, a member of Park’s Board of Trustees, provided comments for a story on entrepreneurship. Melookaran is the chief executive officer of JMA Information Technology.

Interim President Jeff Ehrlich, Ed.D., was featured in a Thanksgiving story that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Nov. 25. Ehrlich was one of some notable Northland residents who provided comments on what they are thankful for and how they would be celebrating the holiday. A photo of Ehrlich and his wife, Donna, along with a number of Park students, accompanied the story.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  December 2 -- POSTPONED: International Center for Music Concert: Side-By-Side, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  December 5 -- Northland Community Choir Concert, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  December 11 -- Fall Semester Ends
     •  December 12 -- Kansas City Area December Commencement, 11 a.m., Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Mo.
     •  December 13 -- Fall II Term Ends
     •  December 24-25 -- Christmas holiday (offices closed nationwide)
     •  January 1 -- New Year’s Day holiday (offices closed nationwide)
     •  January 11 -- Spring Semester / Spring I Term classes begin
     •  January 16 -- International Center for Music Concert: Side-By-Side, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel (rescheduled from Dec. 2)
     •  January 18 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday (offices closed nationwide; Spring I classes held)
     •  January 22-23 -- Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus

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