The Crow's Nest -- September 15, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

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Washington Monthly BadgePark University ranked among best in the country for adult learners

With more than 20.2 million students age 25 and older attending colleges and universities in the United States — more than 40 percent of all higher education students nationwide — Washington Monthly has ranked, for the first time, a list of the top schools in the country for adult learners. Park University, which serves more than 17,700 students worldwide at 40 campuses in the U.S. and online, has been ranked No. 3 in the country by the magazine on its “Best 4-Year Colleges for Adult Learners” list published Aug. 29.. Among private colleges, Park ranked No. 2. Park, which has been offering degree programs targeted to adult learners since the 1970s, currently has 78 percent of its students in the adult learner category (age 25 and older). The average age of all Park University students is 32.

The following metrics were used to construct the rankings: ease of transfer/enrollment, flexibility of programs, services available for adult learners, percentage of adult students, mean earnings of adult students 10 years after entering college, loan repayment rates of adult students five years after entering repayment and tuition/fees. In addition, the University was highly ranked on the magazine’s “Best Bang for the Buck – Midwest Colleges” list. Park ranked No. 33 on the list and is No. 23 among private colleges. Read more about the ranking at

Homecoming 2016

Park University’s Homecoming Weekend 2016 set for this weekend

Hundreds of Park University alumni from across the country and their families are expected to converge on the University’s Parkville Campus for Homecoming Weekend 2016, today through Saturday, Sept. 15-17. While a number of activities are reserved for Park alumni and their families, there are some events that are open to the public, including Park students, faculty and staff. Visit for more information or for a complete list of activities.

Norrington CenterUniversity to rededicate Norrington Center on Sept. 16

Park University will rededicate one of its most beloved structures in its 141-year history on Friday, Sept. 16, as the University celebrates the reopening of Norrington Center as a library and academic commons on the Parkville Campus. The event, which begins at 3 p.m. and is open to the public, is being held in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend.

Built in 1908 as a library building, Norrington Center was funded by Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Foundation. In fact, it is the only remaining Carnegie funded library remaining in existence on a Missouri college campus. Over the years, it was transformed into office and classroom spaces when the University’s McAfee Memorial Library moved to the University’s Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground in the 1980s. Last year, plans were made to return the building to its original roots of promoting student success and providing learning services to Park students as a 21st century state-of-the-art library and academic commons. Earlier this year, renovations were completed, made possible in part through the generosity of Park students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University.

The rededication will include remarks by Stephanie Tolson, Ed.D., a 1974 Park graduate who serves as dean of learning resources and academic support at St. Charles (Mo.) Community College. Tolson’s comments begin at 3:30 p.m. Following her remarks, Norrington Center will be open for visitors to tour. While the event is open to the public, those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to Danita Hodges, alumni and constituent relations coordinator, at or (816) 584-6209. Read more about the event and the building at

Lowrance ExhibitCampanella Gallery exhibit featuring work of four artists

Park University’s Campanella Gallery is hosting an exhibit of drawings, paintings and mixed media curated by Christopher Lowrance, adjunct instructor of art at Park University, through Friday, Oct. 14. The exhibit, “The Borders of Itself,” will feature works by Misha Kligman and Kathy Liao, Kansas City, Mo., Damon Freed, Sedalia, Mo., and Stephanie Pierce, New York City. A reception for the exhibit will be held Friday, Sept. 16, from 3 to 5 p.m., in conjunction with the University’s rededication event of Norrington Center, the building which houses the Campanella Gallery. Read more about the exhibit at

Dr. Jackie SnyderDr. William PerryPark University Board of Trustees elect new members

The Park University Board of Trustees has elected two individuals to serve as members of the University’s Board. Elected to their first term, effective July 1, were William L. Perry, Ph.D. (left), and Jacqueline I. Snyder, Ed.D. (right). Perry, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and mathematics from Park University in 1967, is president emeritus of Eastern Illinois University and professor emeritus of Texas A&M University. Perry spent his entire 44-year career in higher education at the two aforementioned schools, including the last eight at EIU where he served as president and professor of mathematics before retiring in May 2015. Snyder is the chancellor emeritus of the Metropolitan Community College five-campus system in the Kansas City region. She has spent her entire 40-year career in education, including the last 15 years at MCC where she served as chancellor and chief executive officer for five years. The University’s Board of Trustees is comprised of business, civic, educational and philanthropic leaders, as well as Park alumni and friends, who advocate on the University’s behalf. Read more about Perry and Snyder at

Ron BlumkinNebraska Furniture Mart executive to speak about business and life lessons at Park University

Ron Blumkin, president and chief operating officer of Nebraska Furniture Mart, will present a discussion on “Business and Life Lessons Learned from Rose Blumkin and Warren Buffet” on Wednesday, Sept. 28, on the University’s Parkville Campus, starting at 3:30 p.m. (Central time) in the Park Distance Learning Conference Center. The event is free and open to the public, but those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP at

Blumkin, known as Ron B. by NFM associates, will speak for approximately one hour, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. The presentation should be relevant to anyone interested in leadership, organizational communication and business-related issues. Blumkin is part of the third generation of family leadership at Nebraska Furniture Mart. He oversees sales, distribution and customer relations, and works with his brother, Irv Blumkin, chairman and chief executive officer, to provide strategic direction for the company. Ron Blumkin, a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, joined NFM after serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1970-72. Those who are unable to attend the event in-person can view a live stream of the presentation via the University’s video portal at

Lolita Lisovskaya-SayevichDavid RadzynskiConcert to feature ICM graduates Radzynski, Lisovskaya-Sayevich

Violinist David Radzynski (left), concertmaster for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich (right), collaborative pianist for Park University’s International Center for Music, will perform a special concert on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Karbank 1900 Building, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, Kan. Radzynski earned a graduate certificate in violin performance from the ICM in 2014 and was pursuing an artist diploma in violin performance under the tutelage of Ben Sayevich when he was appointed to his post with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in March 2015. Lisovskaya-Sayevich earned a graduate certificate in piano performance in 2008, studying under Stanislav Ioudenitch, before joining the ICM staff as collaborative pianist.

Tickets for this concert, a part of the ICM’s 2016-17 concert season, are $40 and can be purchased at or at For more information about the concert, visit,-lisovskaya-sayevich-concert.html.

Sallee, Stuteville promoted to senior staff positions; Peñaloza appointed director

Park University has announced the promotions of Emily Sallee, Ph.D., to the position of associate vice president for faculty affairs, and Rebekkah Stuteville, Ph.D., to the position of vice provost and associate vice president for academic affairs. Both started in their new positions on Aug. 1. In addition, Fiorella Peñaloza, D.M., has been appointed director of institutional effectiveness. Peñaloza began her duties at Park on Aug. 15.

Dr. Emily SalleeMost recently, Sallee served the University as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences the past three years. As associate vice president for faculty affairs, Sallee will drive initiatives aimed at supporting and recognizing faculty accomplishments in teaching, scholarship and service. These initiatives include recruitment and retention, orientation and mentoring, professional development, faculty awards and faculty-related policies and procedures.

Dr. Rebekkah StutevilleAs vice provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, Stuteville supports the University’s academic administrators, faculty, staff and programs. She is responsible for facilitating quality academic planning and implementation, and overseeing the University’s curricular initiatives. Stuteville previously served as associate vice president for academic affairs since 2015, and she was the interim associate vice president for academic affairs during most of the 2012-13 academic year. Read more about Sallee’s and Stuteville’s promotions at

Dr. Fiorella PenalozaIn her role as director of institutional effectiveness, Peñaloza will coordinate the collection, analysis and interpretation of internal and external data to track institutional outcomes and promote processes that support institutional decision-making and accreditation efforts. Prior to coming to Park, Peñaloza was at Briarcliffe College in Bethpage, N.Y., since 2011, serving as director of institutional effectiveness, accreditation liaison officer and assistant professor of liberal arts. Read more about Peñaloza at

Pirate PatchPirate Patch courses for Fall II term set

Park University strives to provide students with innovative ways to learn and collaborate. With that goal in mind, the Fall II course offerings for the University’s new Pirate Patch program have been announced. Pirate Patch is a new teaching program that connects two or more classrooms through live audio and video. It enables more students to interact with instructors teaching courses at campus centers.

Beginning Monday, Oct. 17, the following courses will be offered via Pirate Patch (course, connected campus center locations, faculty instructor):
          •  BI 214 (Personal and Community Health), Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base Campus Center / Cherry Point (N.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center / Hanscom Air Force Base (Mass.) Campus Center, Colleen Wincentsen
          •  EC 142 (Principles of Microeconomics), Fairchild Air Force Base (Wash.) Campus Center / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.) Campus Center, Mark Griffin, Ph.D.
          •  MBA 526 (Corporate Management in the Global Environment), Parkville (Mo.) Campus / Austin (Texas) Campus Center, Tammy Foster, Ph.D.
          •  MG 371 (Management and Organizational Behavior), Goodfellow Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center / Tinker Air Force Base (Okla.) Campus Center / Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center, Eron Pyles

Park online graduates 2015-16

Park University campus centers across the country have held commencement ceremonies for 2016 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 available). The University has compiled the list of its online graduates, which includes students who graduated during the 2015-16 academic year (between Aug. 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016) with degrees earned via the University’s online program that did not attend a commencement ceremony during the year at one of Park’s 40 campuses across the country.

Gunderson Signs ACC AgreementUniversity signs partnership with Austin Community College

Park University recently signed an academic cooperation agreement with Austin (Texas) Community College. The partnership will benefit students at both schools, including a dual admissions process, a reverse transfer process, 2+2 and 2+2+1 partnership agreement and articulation agreement. In the adjacent photo, Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., signs the agreement.

Book fair to support Park’s River Read Children’s Literature Festival

Park University’s College of Education and Health Professions and the Dorothy Harper Watson Literacy Center will host the annual River Read Children’s Literature Festival on Tuesday, Oct. 11 on the University's Parkville Campus. The Festival provides approximately 600 third and fourth grade students from the North Kansas City (Mo.) School District the opportunity to meet local authors, explore literature and learn about the writing craft. In conjunction with River Read Festival, the University has partnered with the Barnes & Noble location at Zona Rosa Town Center, 8625 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City, Mo., to conduct a book fair to support River Read on Saturday, Sept. 24, from noon to 4 p.m. Shoppers can simply mention the North Kansas City School District or the River Read Festival, and a portion of bookstore and/or café sales will go toward the event. In addition, an online book fair to support River Read will run from Sept. 24 through Thursday, Sept. 29 at, using code 11953841.

Name change for international student services office

The Office of International Student Admissions and Services has changed its name, effective Sept. 14, to the Office of International Students. The new name more simply and concisely reflects its student-centered focus, which includes international student recruitment, international student admissions, F-1 student visa advising, internationally focused programing and international student retention initiatives. The OIS is committed to student success and partnering with all areas of the University to continue to make Park an outstanding, globally minded higher education institution.

Online master degree programs earn affordability, best value rankings

Park University’s online Master of Education in Language and Literacy program has been ranked among the most affordable in the country on’s “25 Most Affordable Online Master of Reading Literacy Degrees.” Park ranked No. 7 on the list. In addition, Park’s Master of Business Administration program has been ranked among the most affordable online MBA programs in the country, according to Best Value MBA. Park’s online MBA program was ranked No. 28, based solely on tuition sources from College Navigator.

Faculty, staff, student news

Dr. Penny DeJongPenelope DeJong, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Business, presented “Integration and Assessment of Ethics in the Curriculum” at the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs Conference in Atlanta this summer. The presentation explained how Park’s School of Business integrated ethics into the curriculum and how it is assessed in the spirit of continuous improvement.

Dr. Laurie DiPadova-StocksLaurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., dean emeritus and professor of public administration, presented a video on Chester Barnard’s The Functions of the Executive for Sage Publishing’s Business and Management Video Collection. DiPadova-Stocks had previously contributed a piece on Barnard in Sage’s Encyclopedia of Management Theory in 2013.

Park In The News

Park University President Dr. Greg Gunderson appeared on the radio/Internet program “Grill Nation with Jason Grill” on Sept. 10 on KMBZ-AM Talk 980 / Gunderson was interviewed by the show’s host, Jason Grill, a former Park adjunct instructor and former Missouri State Representative, as well as co-host Ryan Rink, a 1998 Park graduate and son of Pat Fayard, athletics office manager. During the course of the interview, Gunderson discussed his background and transition from the business world to higher education, the “Year of Inclusion,” one of his favorite hobbies – curling, the renovation of Norrington Center and various other improvements across the Parkville Campus, the University’s recent return on investment ranking and innovations to grow the University, such as “Pirate Patch.”

A story about Taher Barazi, freshman information and computer science major, aired on KCUR-FM in Kansas City on Sept. 7. Barazi left his parents and siblings in war-torn Damascus, Syria, to study at Park on a student visa.

Equally impressive reviews of the International Center for Music’s Virtuosos concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City on Sept. 7 appeared in The Kansas City Star on Sept. 9, and in, Kansas City’s online journal for the arts, on Sept. 10.

As part of Park University’s ranking by Washington Monthly as the No. 3 ranked school in the country for adult learners, the University was highlighted in an article that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor on Aug. 30. Doug Fiore, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs, was quoted in the article that focused on the question, “What adult students want from college?”

A photo of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Cole, who earned an Associate of Science degree in construction management from Park University’s Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Center in July, appeared in Guidon, the base newspaper on Aug. 4. Cole, a Sapper School instructor, was presented with the Bronze Order of the de Fleury medal, the Army Engineer Association’s main Engineer Regimental professional excellence award. Cole’s wife, Johanna, a 795th Military Police Battalion tactical sergeant, was presented with the Bronze Order of the Marechaussee medal, awarded by the Military Police Regimental Association to recognize exceptional dedication, competence and contribution to the Military Police Corps Regiment over an extended period of time.

A “Young Professional Profile” on Laci Tucker, ’13, appeared in the Aug. 25 issue of the Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune. Tucker is a senior branch office administrator.

A story about Stancia Whitcomb Jenkins, MPA ’99, appeared in the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star on Aug. 26. Jenkins recently began work as the assistant vice president for diversity, access and inclusion at the University of Nebraska and its four campuses across the state.

Jeanette Prenger, ’09, and a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was highlighted in the Kansas City Business Journal of Aug. 26. As a part of the publication’s annual “Women Who Mean Business” honors, Prenger, who was honored in 2004, was featured in a “Where Are They Now?” section.

Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations, and his wife, Kimberlee Ried, were featured in the Aug. 6 issue of The Independent, Kansas City’s journal of society. Bergrud and Ried are the chairs of the Kansas City Ballet Guild’s Ballet Bash: A Mid-Autumn Night’s Feast, which will be held Oct. 1.

Performances by students and faculty of Park University’s International Center for Music with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra during a concert on Aug. 27 received glowing reviews in KCMetropolis, Kansas City online journal of the arts, on Aug. 31.

A story about William Perry, ’67, being elected to the Park University Board of Trustees appeared in the Mattoon (Ill.) Journal-Gazette Times-Courier on Sept. 2. The article included a quote from Michael Collins, ’04, chair of the Board of Trustees.

A story about a Columbian mammoth bone found this spring in rural Jewell County, Kan., that appeared in the Salina (Kan.) Journal on Sept. 2, included comments from Matthew Christopher, adjunct instructor of geology. Christopher, a paleontologist, helped the family who found the bone extract it from the ground. The bone is from a species larger than the woolly mammoth that roamed North America between 10,000 and 1 million years ago.

A story on Allen Larson, ’59, and the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis appeared in the Webster-Kirkwood (Mo.) Times on Sept. 9. Larson is the conductor laureate of the orchestra.

Stories about Stanley Dobbins, ’11, being appointed as the chief of police in Branson, Mo., appeared in media outlets throughout Southwest Missouri on Sept. 13.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  Through September 17 -- Park University Homecoming Weekend, Parkville Campus
     •  Through October 14 -- Chris Lowrance Curated Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
     •  September 16 -- Park University Alumni Association Awards Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Black on Burlington, North Kansas City, Mo.
     •  September 16 -- Park University Athletics Wall of Honor Induction Banquet, 6:30 p.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center (Wall of Honor Unveiling at 8 p.m. in the Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground 600 Corridor)
     •  September 17 -- International Center for Music Homecoming Concert, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  September 17 -- Fort Myer (Va.) Campus Center / Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) Campus Center / Marine Corps Base Quantico (Va.) Campus Center Commencement, 9 p.m., Quantico Little Hall/Command Auditorium
     •  September 19 -- International Talk Like A Pirate Day
     •  September 24 -- International Center for Music Special Event: Violinist David Radzynski and Pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, 7:30 p.m., Karbank 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  October 7 -- Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Center Commencement, 10 a.m., Nutter Field House
     •  October 8 -- International Center for Music International Guest Artist Series: Pianist Plamena Mangova, 7:30 p.m., Karbank 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  October 9 -- Fall I Term Ends
     •  October 10-16 -- Fall Recess (no classes nationwide; all University offices open)
     •  October 11 -- River Read Children’s Literature Festival, Parkville Campus
     •  October 17 -- Fall II Term Begins
     •  October 17-November 30 -- John Lofflin Photography Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
     •  November 3 -- International Center for Music Special Event: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, Karbank 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  November 5 -- Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus Center Commencement, 9 a.m., DSCC Building 20
     •  November 6 -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio) Campus Center Commencement, 2 p.m., Hollenbeck Bayley Conference Center, Springfield, Ohio
     •  November 11 -- Veteran’s Day Holiday (University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Fall II classes held as scheduled)

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