The Crow's Nest -- October 6, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

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University ranked among least expensive private schools in the country

According to a story published by U.S. News and World Report on Sept. 13, Park University is ranked as the 10th least expensive private college/university in the country, based on 2016-17 tuition and fees. The ranking was published in the "U.S. News Short List," a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas.

University announces $250,000 Michie P. Slaughter Fund for Ethical Human Resources Leadership

Park University will host a recognition luncheon on Friday, Oct. 7, to formally announce the Michie P. Slaughter Fund for Ethical Human Resources Leadership. Slaughter, who passed away in 2014, served as executive vice president of human resources at Marion Laboratories until 1989 when he helped Ewing Kauffman begin the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, serving as its chief executive officer. Upon his passing, the University received gift of $250,000 from Slaughter’s family to be used to compile his work at Marion Laboratories and to establish an endowed fund that will provide scholarships and research funding for Park’s undergraduate degree program in human resource management.

Slaughter first engaged with Park University in 2012 as a speaker in the School of Business Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. Slaughter, along with follow former executives of Marion Laboratories Bob Rogers and James McGraw, presented business lessons learned and outlined a formula for entrepreneurial success. That event led to Slaughter becoming more interested in the University because of its mission, accessible education and connection to the U.S. military.

Also during the luncheon, a book based on Slaughter’s work with Marion Laboratories, Ethical and Effective Human Resources Leadership, will be released. The book was authored by Nicholas Miceli, Ph.D., associate professor of human resource management and health care management at Park, and Bill Musgrave, an associate of the Slaughter family. Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of Park’s College of Management, and McGraw, former chief operating officer at Marion Laboratories and chair of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Board, also contributed to the book.

Homecoming Royalty 2016Homecoming royalty announced

As part of Park University’s recent Homecoming Weekend festivities, six Park students were announced as royalty during halftime of the men’s soccer game against Lyon College on Sept. 17. The student body nominated candidates who wrote an essay on how they represent the University’s core values — accountability, civility and respect, excellence, global citizenship, inclusivity and integrity — with the winners selected by a committee of faculty and staff. This year’s royalty:
          •  Queen — Emily Key, junior fitness and wellness major
          •  King — Nathan Stegemann, senior biology major
          •  Princess — Alayna Howard, senior communication arts/public relations and English writing major
          •  Prince — James Boyer, sophomore business administration/international business major
          •  Duchess — Iroda Narzullaeva, sophomore information and computer science/software engineering major
          •  Duke — Rafael Castanada, freshman business administration/marketing major

Kauffman Foundation’s KC Scholars program network includes Park University

Park University is one of 17 colleges/universities based in Missouri and Kansas that are a part of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s $79 million KC Scholars program, announced on Sept. 28 by the Kauffman Foundation. The mission of KC Scholars is to increase postsecondary education attainment in the greater Kansas City area. KC Scholars will provide the means — through scholarships, financial incentives to promote college savings and support services — for low- and modest-income students and adults needing access to pursue and complete a postsecondary credit-bearing credential or degree. A variety of scholarship opportunities will be available for high school age students who meet specific qualifications. For more information about the program, visit or

Park University assisting students affected by closure of ITT Tech

Park University has announced plans to assist those students who attended any campus of the recently closed ITT Technical Institute. As a special offer for all former ITT Tech students — especially those students pursing degrees in business administration and criminal justice administration — Park University will waive application and expedited validated learning equivalency petition fees, and for those students who meet grade point average requirements, VLE credit hour fees will also be waived. Former ITT Tech students can receive up to 24 hours of course credit from their ITT Tech classes. If you know of any former ITT Tech students seeking more information about Park University’s special offer, have them contact the University’s Office of Admissions at or (888) 319-9522. For more information, visit

University sends donations to Louisiana flood victims

Last month, Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., sent a message to faculty, staff and students encouraging donations to assist those affected by the catastrophic flooding in Louisiana. This month, a check for $1,237 was sent to the American Red Cross to target their flood relief efforts. As Gunderson stated in his e-mail last month, “Thoughtful and engaged global citizenship is woven into the fabric of our University’s history and will always be an integral part of our identity.”

London, Ritterbush appointed to director positions

Park University announces the appointments of William “Will” London as director of campus safety, effective Sept. 6, and Jon Ritterbush as director of library services and learning commons, effective Sept. 1.

Will LondonIn his role as director of campus safety, London oversees a staff of 14 campus safety officers and the manager of environmental health and safety on the University’s Parkville Campus. Along with ensuring a safe and secure working and learning environment for Park employees and students, London is responsible for the development, implementation and improvement of the University’s security, emergency management, environmental health and parking programs. Before joining Park, London served in the security office at the Zona Rosa shopping/entertainment complex in Kansas City, Mo., since 2009, including the last four years as security director. Read more about London at

Jon RitterbushRitterbush is responsible for the development and management of the University’s learning commons, which includes the McAfee Memorial Library and the Academic Support Center, housed within the newly renovated Norrington Center. He is also responsible for defining the strategic direction of the learning commons, while also developing the services and programming to support student success. Prior to joining Park, Ritterbush served as associate professor and e-resources and serials librarian in the Calvin T. Ryan Library at the University of Nebraska at Kearney since 2009. Read more about Ritterbush at

Dr. Don BreckonBreckon to speak on history of inclusivity at Park University

Park University President Emeritus Don Breckon, Ph.D., who served the University as president from 1987-2001, will present a program on “The Amazing Story of 140 Years of Creating and Maintaining Diversity and Inclusion at Park University” on Wednesday, Oct. 19, starting at 3 p.m. in the Park Distance Learning Conference Center on the University’s Parkville Campus. The event is free and open to the public. Those unable to attend in-person can view a live-stream of the presentation via the University’s video portal.

According to Breckon, his presentation will focus on why and how this has happened over the years, as well as provide inspiring examples. “I hope that attendees will leave with the impression that Park University has a 140-plus-year history of doing what most colleges and the nation as a whole are trying to do — give the feeling of inclusion to those who may feel alienated because of race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender orientation,” he said.

Inclusivity is identified as one of the University’s core values as an essential institutional characteristic needed to foster true diversity, teamwork and collaboration. Earlier this year, Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., declared the 2016-17 academic year to be the “Year of Inclusion” at Park, with a series of speakers, essays and events to address a variety of topics, including proactive responses for people who feel marginalized, honest dialog to inspire understanding and acceptance, and more. Visit for the latest Year of Inclusion news and activities. Read more about the event at

University opens Center for Research and Training in Integrated Behavioral Health

Park University’s Department of Social Work and the College for Education and Health Professions has started the Center for Research and Training in Integrated Behavioral Health. The goals of the Center are to provide professionals with continuing education opportunities, collaborate with agencies to provide program evaluation, and to partner with programs to generate external grant funding for implementation of evidence-informed interventions. Walter Kisthardt, Ph.D., chair and professor of social work, director of the Master of Social Work program and director of the CRTIBH said, “The Center will provide the structure to generate collaborations with community professionals and behavioral health programs in the greater Kansas City region and beyond.”

Park campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

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).
          •  Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Campus Center Commencement / Photos
          •  Fort Myer (Va.) Campus Center / Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) Campus Center / Marine Corps Base Quantico (Va.) Campus Center Commencement

Center for Global Peace Journalism publication now available

The October 2016 edition of The Peace Journalist, a semi-annual publication of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism, is now available. The publication, dedicated to disseminating news and information for and about teachers, students and practitioners of peace and conflict sensitive journalism, is seeking submissions for its April 2017 edition. Short submissions (300 to 500 words) on areas such as detailing peace journalism projects, classes, proposals and academic works in the field, or longer submissions (800 to 1,200 words) about peace or conflict sensitive journalism projects or programs, as well as academic work in the field, are welcome. Submit articles to Steve Youngblood, director of the CGPJ and associate professor of communication arts, at Submissions should also include a two-to-three sentence biography and headshot photograph of the author. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, March 7, 2017. For more information about the publication, visit

James HarringtonUniversity to host discussion on crisis in Turkey

James C. Harrington, J.D., a human rights attorney and founder and director emeritus of the Texas Civil Rights Project, will present a discussion at Park University on the coup in Turkey and its impact on democracy on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The event, “Perspectives on the Crisis on Turkey,” will be held in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus starting at 7 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public. Harrington founded the TCRP in 1990 and served as its executive director for 25 years. Using legal advocacy to empower Texas communities and create policy change, Harrington grew the TCRP into one of the most influential civil rights organizations in the Lone Star State. Harrington has handled landmark civil rights cases, served on human rights delegations and spoken on civil society in different areas of the world. Read more about the event at

Kathy JacksonDr. Walter KisthardtUniversity hosting behavioral health ethics workshop on Nov. 2

Park University’s Center for Research and Training in Integrated Behavioral Health, in conjunction with McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff, will present a continuing education workshop on “Reconciling Ethical Practice with Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Care,” on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The three-hour session will begin at 9 a.m. at McCrite Plaza’s Kansas City, Mo., location, 1201 NW Tullison Road. The workshop will examine key ethical principles and address the daily challenges of implementing those principles in the swiftly transforming landscape of behavioral health practice with older persons. The session will be presented by two members of Park’s faculty: Walter Kisthardt, Ph.D., director of the CRTIBH, professor and chair of social work, and director of the Master of Social Work program; and Kathy Jackson, assistant professor of nursing and assistant chair of the Associate Degree in Nursing program. For more information about the event, including registration information, visit

Faculty, staff, student news

Dr. Laurie DiPadova-StocksKay BarnesKay Barnes, senior academic liaison and ambassador, was the keynote speaker for GeneologyKC, Kansas City’s family history and technology conference, on Sept. 16. Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., dean emerita and professor of public administration, served on the conference planning committee and introduced Barnes prior to her speech.

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations, moderated a session as part of the American Society for Public Administration’s Webinar Series. The webinar, “ASPA’s New Website: Stepping into the 21st Century,” reviewed the website and highlighted the ASPA staff’s favorite features.

Dr. Hank RoehrichDr. Penny DeJongPenny DeJong, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Business, and Hank Roehrich, Ph.D., assistant professor of management and marketing, and program coordinator for logistics and management, represented Park University at the Marketing Management Association’s Fall Educators Conference in Providence, R.I., Sept. 14-16.
          •  DeJong, Roehrich and his wife, Julie Grabanski, Ph.D., assistant professor of occupational therapy at the University of North Dakota, presented a refereed position paper “A Symphony in Words: Preparing an E-Portfolio for Tenure or Promotion.”
          •  Roehrich and his wife presented the refereed paper “Supporting Adults with Asperger Syndrome in the Workforce: Implications for Higher Education Practices”
          •  DeJong served as panel chair and Roehrich was a panelist for the session “Preparing the Tenure or Promotion Portfolio.”

Dr. Michael EskeyMichael Eskey, Ph.D., professor and program coordinator of criminal justice administration, presented a paper on “Criminal Justice Capstone Course Comparisons” at the Southern Criminal Justice Association annual conference in Savannah, Ga., in September. The paper was based on responses from more than 100 criminal justice faculty teaching at public and private colleges/universities in the Southeast region of the U.S.

Dr. Judi Simmons EstesJudi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Education and associate professor of education, authored a chapter for the Handbook of Research on Promoting Cross-Cultural Competence and Social Justice in Teacher Education. Estes’ chapter, “Preparing Teacher Candidates for Diverse Classrooms: The Role of Teacher Preparation Programs,” suggests that teacher preparation programs model a spirit of inclusivity and are intentional in offering an integrated approach to preparing teacher candidates to be highly effective in working with all students regardless of diversity represented.

Dr. Jolene LamptonJolene Lampton, Ph.D., associate professor of management accounting at Park University’s Austin (Texas) Campus Center, developed an online ethics course for the Institute of Management Accountants. The course, “The Slippery Slope of Greed,” examines an accounting fraud case involving a small beverage company that fabricated business documents to swindle more than $800 million from investors.

Dr. Adam PotthastAdam Potthast, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy, department chair of art, design and interdisciplinary studies and coordinator of the liberal education program, presented a paper at the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology’s Interdisciplinary Workshop on Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology, on Sept. 25, in Clemson, S.C. In Potthast’s paper, “Will We have Ethical Obligations to Extraterrestrial Life? Will it have Obligations to Us?”  he presented the two, dominant modern ethical theories: Kantian deontology and utilitarian consequentialism, before applying them to interactions human beings may be able to have with extra-terrestrial life.

Leon ProbascoLeon Probasco, assistant professor of social work, presented a continuing education workshop for Liberty (Mo.) Public Schools staff on Sept. 16. The workshop focused on understanding changes in the recent publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (fifth edition) and the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (10th revision) as these tools help providers gain a deeper understanding of behavioral health challenges faced by children and families. The workshop was developed through the auspices of Park University’s Center for Research and Training in Integrated Behavioral Health.

Park In The News

Donna Ehrlich, Ph.D., visiting associate professor of information systems and decision science, was featured in the September issue of Private University Products and News magazine. Ehrlich was the focus of the “Professor Spotlight” section (beginning on page 8) which included images around the Parkville Campus. An aerial photo of Mackay Hall was featured on the magazine cover.

A technology solutions business led by a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees is ranked among the top women-owned business in the Kansas City area, according to rankings published in the September issue of Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine. ECCO Select, owned by Jeanette Hernandez Prenger, ’09, who also serves as the company’s president, was ranked No. 7 on the list, based on 2015 gross income.

Park University was highlighted in a video story that appeared with an article about the Commerce Tower building at 911 Main in Kansas City, Mo., in The Kansas City Star on Sept. 20. The building, home to the University’s Downtown Kansas City Campus Center, is undergoing a $139 million renovation.

Park University was ranked No. 9 by on its list of the “9 Colleges with the Best Return on Investment.”

A sterling review of an International Center for Music concert on Sept. 24 featuring violinist David Radzynski, concertmaster for the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, collaborative pianist in the ICM, appeared in KCMetropolis, Kansas City’s online journal of the arts, on Sept. 27. Radzynski and Lisovskaya-Sayevich, earned graduate certificates from the ICM in violin performance in 2014 and piano performance in 2008, respectively.

Park University’s online Bachelor of Science in Education degrees have been ranked No. 15 by on its list of the “Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Education Programs."

Donna Bachmann, professor emerita of art, was interviewed for a story that will air on KCPT-TV in Kansas City on Thursday, Oct. 13, on “Arts Upload.” The story will be about Eric Bransby, who received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Park in 1995, and a portion of the story will be on his mural, “Spirit of Park College,” which is located in the Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground, just below Millsap Foyer, on the Parkville Campus. A documentary on Bransby, “The Last Mural,” will premiere on KCPT on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a national showing on PBS next spring.

A preview of International Center for Music Artist-in Residence Behzod Abduraimov’s concert on Nov. 17 in New York’s Carnegie Hall, appeared on the Broadway World website on Oct. 3.

Shane Smeed, vice president and chief enrollment management and student services officer, was interviewed by KMBZ-FM in Kansas City for stories that aired on Oct. 4 and 5 related to the University’s efforts to assist former ITT Technical Institute students following the closure of that institution (see story above). Stories about Park’s efforts also aired on WDAF-TV, KMBC-TV and KCWE-TV in Kansas City.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  Through October 14 -- Chris Lowrance Curated Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
     •  October 7 --
Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
     •  October 7 --
Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Center Commencement, 10 a.m., Nutter Field House
     •  October 8 -- CANCELLED: International Center for Music International Guest Artist Series: Pianist Plamena Mangova
     •  October 9 -- Fall I Term Ends
     •  October 10-16 -- Fall Recess (no classes nationwide; all University offices open)
     •  October 10-November 30 -- Political Memorabilia Exhibit, Fishburn Archives and Special Exhibits, Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground 
     •  October 11 -- River Read Children’s Literature Festival, Parkville Campus
     •  October 16-November 30 -- John Lofflin Photography Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center); Reception: Oct. 16, 4-6 p.m.
     •  October 17 --
Fall II Term Begins
     •  October 19 --
"The Amazing Story of 140 Years of Creating and Maintaining Diversity and Inclusion at Park University," with Dr. Don Breckon, 3 p.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center
     •  October 26 -- “Perspectives on the Crisis in Turkey” with James Harrington, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  October 27 -- Fright Night, 6 p.m., Copley Quad
     •  November 2 -- “Reconciling Ethical Practice with Strengths-Based, Person-Centered Care” Workshop, 9 a.m., McCrite Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  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)
     •  November 11 -- Park Model United Nations Conference (event for Kansas City area high school students), Parkville Campus
     •  November 14 -- “Ethnic, Religious and Racial Identity in a Fractured World: Challenges Awaiting the 45th U.S. President” with David Shipler, 6 p.m., National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  November 18 -- Mountain Home Air Force Base (Idaho) Campus Center Commencement, noon, NCO Club/Base Education Center
     •  November 24-25 -- Thanksgiving Recess (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