The Crow's Nest -- May 31, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Share this article:

Crow's nest

Bertram and BarnesAcademic achievements recognized at 2016-17 Honors Convocation

Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2016-17 academic year at the University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 26, held in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. In addition to a number of departmental academic honors, the University acknowledged outstanding students and faculty with a variety of special awards. The most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors Jeremy Barnes (right), accounting and business administration/management major, and Hannah Bertram (left), English writing major. The Outstanding Parkite Award is given to one senior female and one senior male student on the University’s Parkville Campus who best exemplify the ideals of the University in their character, conduct, scholarship and student activity participation. The awards are endowed by Dr. Elliot F. Parker in memory of his parents, Albert George and Jessie Bewley Parker.

Additional Presidential Awards presented:
          •  Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award — Debra Sheffer, Ph.D., professor of history and chair of the Department of History and Political Science
          •  Louisa Davidson Hinde / Carolyn Hinde Zarkaryan Memorial Award — Students: Emma Kitelinger, senior elementary education/language arts major, and Tobias Styrstrom, senior business administration/international business major; Staff: Ann Schultis, reference and instruction librarian
          •  J.L. Zwingle Award — Patricia Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology
          •  Teaching Excellence Awards — President’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for full-time faculty): Kathy Jackson, assistant professor of nursing and assistant chair of the Associate Degree in Nursing program; Provost’s Award for Teaching Excellence (for adjunct faculty): Debra Stevenson, adjunct instructor of Spanish
          •  Excellence in Academic Advising Award — April Haberyan, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing

Read about these and all the awards presented at

Kenny BrobergBroberg performing at prestigious Van Cliburn piano competition

Kenny Broberg, a graduate student in Park University’s International Center for Music (pursuing a Master of Music degree in piano performance), is competing in the prestigious 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, through June 10 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Van Cliburn competition is the same event that Broberg’s instructor, ICM founder and associate professor of music/piano Stanislav Ioudenitch, won in 2001. Broberg held his preliminary round recital on May 27 and his performance earned him a spot in the quarterfinal round, which he performed on May 30. Later that evening, Broberg learned he is one of 12 that has advanced to the semifinal round. He will participate in both a concerto on Saturday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m. (Central time) and he will perform a recital concert on Monday, June 5, at 3:50 p.m.. Should Broberg advance to the final round, he will participate in three events -- a quintet, a concerto and a final concert with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra -- between June 7 and June 10. All events are streamed live at For more information, visit

Broberg and Ioudenitch were both featured in a story about the Cliburn competition that appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on May 27 .

Jerosan FletcherFletcher, Brown, earn All-America honors at NAIA national track and field meet

Park University junior Jerosan Fletcher became a two-time NAIA All-American at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala. Fletcher finished fourth in the women’s long jump, leaping 5.88 meters (19 feet, 3½ inches), missing a first place finish by just three centimeters (1¼ inches). Fletcher also finished seventh in the women’s 200-meter dash with a time of 24.52. In addition, teammate junior Aaliyah Brown also earned All-America honors, finishing seventh in the women’s shot put with a toss of 14.14 meters (46 feet, 5 inches).

Students elect 2017-18 student government officers, senators

Park University students recently elected their representatives — executive board and senators — for the 2017-18 Park Student Government Association. Thomas Murphy, sophomore business administration/management and business administration/marketing major, was elected president. Other executive staff elected:
          •  Vice President — Ryan Zitter, senior biology major
          •  Secretary — Gunner Backues-Eberspacher, freshman business administration/marketing major
          •  Business Manager — Ronald Lang, senior geography major
Read more, including the list of senators elected, at

Thompson commonsUniversity working with Burns & McDonnell to upgrade Thompson Commons

Park University students attending its flagship Parkville Campus will soon have upgraded food service facilities and new amenities in a renovated contemporary space in Thompson Commons, the student activity center at the University. Burns & McDonnell has begun a comprehensive $3 million remodel of 8,800 square feet of space in Thompson Commons. The remodel project will address more than half the available space within the building. Work began on the first floor with installation of a variety of mechanical systems, including a new variable refrigerant flow system to upgrade and improve heating, ventilation and cooling within the building as it is detached from the legacy campus-wide steam heating system. With classes concluded for the spring semester, the project has moved to the second floor where existing food service and seating in the Pirate Café will be redesigned and updated. Over the summer months, serving areas will be reconfigured to feature interactive food stations as menu options are expanded. Read more about the project at

Night at the HelmUniversity to host “Night at the Helm” fundraising event on June 6

Park University’s annual “Night at the Helm” event (formerly known as “Ballyhoo), which raises funds each year for University programs and scholarships, will be held on Tuesday, June 6, at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 6 p.m. The Kansas City community is invited to attend this celebration of the U.S. military through music. Proceeds from the event will benefit two of the University’s most iconic programs — the Global Warrior Center and the International Center for Music.

Night at the Helm sponsorship levels begin at $500 and individual tickets are available for $250. To secure a sponsorship, make a donation or for more information, visit or contact Nathan Marticke, associate vice president of university advancement, at / (816) 584-6200.

Park campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

Park University campus centers across the country have held commencement ceremonies for 2017 graduates. As these ceremonies continue through the year, we’ll include the link to the news releases announcing the list of graduates at each campus.
          •   Kansas City Area
          •   Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Center
          •   Hanscom Air Force Base (Mass.) Campus Center
          •   Malmstrom Air Force Base (Mont.) Campus Center
          •   Minot (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center 
          •   Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center

2016-17 Pirates Rising class graduates

On May 19, the 2016-17 class of Pirates Rising — Park University’s leadership program for full-time faculty and staff — celebrated their graduation from the program during a reception with the University’s Board of Trustees. Graduating from the program were:
          •  Donna Baker, senior director for financial reporting
          •  Wakisha Briggs, director of continuing education
          •  Jackie Campbell, director of the Master of Business Administration program
          •  David Chesher, technical support manager
          •  Julie Creek, Ph.D., assistant professor of international business
          •  Andrew Davis, senior director of student success
          •  Toni-Rochelle Ford, assistant professor of marketing
          •  Connie Guzman, Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Campus Center director
          •  Michele Logue, financial aid specialist verification lead
          •  James Nelson, director of software development and programming
          •  Janet Ostrander, regional director for campus center operations
          •  Tami Radohl, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work and director of field education
          •  Karie Schaefer, director of residence life
          •  Chris Slupianek, associate director of instructional design
          •  Guillermo Tonsmann, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science
          •  Ami Wisdom, executive assistant to the president

During the event, Baker, Chesher, Ostrander and Radohl-Sigley provided reflections on the course, and Chief Master Sgt. Tim Pachasa, U.S. Air Force, was the featured speaker. Pirates Rising is a yearlong program for employees who have been identified as high performers with leadership potential, and it has a focus on recognizing and developing leadership skills that are in demand in higher education. The program consists of a series of sessions featuring discussions, readings, group activities and interactions with leadership experts, including faculty, trustees and local business leaders. This summer, nominations will be solicited for the 2017-18 class.

CrossroadsPark’s Downtown Kansas City Campus to be temporary home for Crossroads High School

Earlier this year, Crossroads Charter Schools, a network of three schools in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Mo., revealed the launch of Crossroads High School. On May 25, Park University and Crossroads announced a partnership for Crossroads High School to utilize the University’s Downtown Campus Center as its temporary home through July 2019. This fall, the first class of 30 Crossroads High School freshmen, along with five faculty and staff, will occupy three of the University’s classrooms at the Downtown Campus during the day. Seventy more students will be added for the 2018-19 academic year while a permanent high school building is prepared to open in fall 2019. Also, as part of the partnership, Crossroads students will have opportunities to visit the University’s flagship campus in Parkville, Mo., to gain additional exposure to college life. For more information about the partnership, visit

Rachal BerryStudent to exhibit art in Campanella Gallery

Rachal Berry, a senior fine art and graphic design student at Park University, will present an exhibit of her art as part of an Honors Academy thesis project, Thursday, June 8, through Friday, July 28, in the Campanella Gallery on the University’s Parkville Campus. A reception for Berry will be held Friday, June 9, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Gallery. Berry said that her exhibit, “Cringe,” is a body of artwork created using the medium of glass. “Glass is a material that takes on many qualities. It is beautiful, glittering with the many different colors of the rainbow. Glass is also extremely fragile, breaking at the slightest bump. However, glass can also be very dangerous, cutting through a human’s skin and causing extreme pain. This body of work was created to highlight each of these qualities of glass in a unique and different way.” Read more about the exhibit at

Online degree programs ranked by websites

Five Park University online degree programs were recently ranked by as part of the website’s 2017 rankings, based on regional accreditation, tuition and fees, percent of full-time undergraduate students receiving institutional financial aid, number of online programs offered and student-to-teacher ratio. The rankings include:
          •   Master’s Degrees in Health Administration — No. 8
          •   Bachelor’s Degrees in Healthcare Administration — No. 24
          •   Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science — No. 26
          •   Bachelor’s Degrees in Business Management — No. 50
          •   Master's Degrees in Education — No. 50

The University was ranked the No 2 least expensive college to attend in 2017, according to an article that appeared on’s website on May 5.

Park was ranked No. 22 on’s “Top 30 Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Management Information Systems Online 2017-2018” list, announced on May 23.

Faculty, staff, student news

Two Park University student-athletes, Aaliyah Brown, a junior thrower on the track and field team, and Daniela Duarte, senior libero on the women’s volleyball team, were named to the list of Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars for 2017. Read more about their honor at

Jeffery SchoneJeffery Schone, adjunct instructor of economics and mathematics at Park University’s Luke Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center, and an environmental engineer assigned to the 56th Civil Engineering Squadron at Luke AFB, received the 2017 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for outstanding achievements throughout his career. A story about Schone appeared in the base newspaper, The Thunderbolt, on May 17 . The award recognizes individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective practices.

Niki Rittenhouse Jamie ElsTwo Park University employees recently earned their doctorate degrees. Jamie Els (left), programming director in the Faculty Center for Innovation, received her Doctor of Education in educational leadership from Baker University. Niki Rittenhouse (right), reporting analyst in the finance office received her Doctor of Philosophy in business administration/management from Northcentral University.

Park University’s Parkville Campus served as host for the 2017 Kansas City Professional Development Council’s Professional Development Conference on May 24. The conference, which focused on building relationships that inspire trust, included session presentations by: Roger Dusing, chief human resources officer, “The Speed of Trust”; Donna Ehrlich, Ph.D., visiting associate professor of information systems and decision science, and Jeff Ehrlich, Ph.D., associate professor of healthcare administration, “Mindfulness Matters: A Life-Changing Experience”; and Tami Radohl, Ph.D. assistant professor of social work and director of field education, “The Importance of Credibility in Relationship Building.” Shelia Burnett, human resources administrator, serves on the KCPDC board and was the host for the conference. Emily Sallee, Ph.D., associate provost, also served on the board this year.

MPA StudentsStudents in the capstone class in the Master of Public Administration program presented a policy recommendation for the handling of donations to the park system tor the City of Parkville, Mo., at its Board of Aldermen meeting on May 2. The proposal was developed at the request of the City of Parkville because there was no policy to guide the City’s efforts. Pictured are: Terrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor and area coordinator for public management, students Jennifer Jewett, Janek Sunga, Nick Norton, Kasey Featherston, and Kecia Holland, and Tim Blakeslee, assistant to the city administrator.

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations, moderated a Baseball Book Notes event at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on May 6. Bergrud led a discussion featuring Ed Henry, Fox News chief national correspondent and author of 42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story.

Dr. Virginia BrackettVirginia Brackett, Ph.D., professor emerita of English, recently served as a group facilitator for an 8-week military and civilian discussion on “Planting the Oar,” a National Endowment for the Humanities initiative. The program offered discussion groups that trace the theme of “homecoming” through iconic literary texts to address challenges faced by members of the military when returning to civilian life.

Debra Olson-MorrisonDebra Olson-Morrison, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work, presented the session “Adults Need Play Too! Integrative Play Therapy for Adults with Developmental Trauma” at the British Columbia Play Therapy Association and Sandplay Canada joint conference on May 13. The presentation was based on case study results in clinical social work practice doing psychotherapy with adults with histories of severe childhood maltreatment/neglect.

Judi Simmons EstesJudi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean and associate professor in the School for Education, facilitated a KCPT (Kansas City’s public television station) workshop for its Independent Lens documentary on “The Bad Kids” on May 23. The workshop was geared for education professionals who work with students who are at risk of dropping out of high school.

Dr. Terry WardTerrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor and area coordinator for public management, along with his wife, Linda, were honored as Volunteers of the Year by Nonprofit Connect during a luncheon in Kansas City, Mo., on May 10. Nonprofit Connect, an organization that links the nonprofit community to education, resources and networking so organizations can more effectively achieve their missions, recognized the couples’ board and volunteer service. Terrence serves as president of the North Kansas City (Mo.) School Board and the couple supports Metro Lutheran Ministry, and have made a difference for countless education, arts, social services and civic organizations for a number of years.

Charif Hamidi, ’11, and a former member of Park's Board of Trustees, was one of five featured panelists for a session on “Our Millennial World” at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa" in Jordan on May 18.

Park University teacher candidates were among the volunteers at the Northgate Middle School’s (North Kansas City, Mo., School District) English Language Learners Literacy Fair earlier this month. More than 400 new and gently-used books were donated to the 70-plus students and families from the NKCSD in attendance. The University sponsored the event, which helps struggling ELL readers in the district.

Park In The News

Alexander Heffner, this year’s keynote speaker for the 25th annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series, appeared on KCUR-FM for a 35-minute interview on “Up To Date” the morning of the lecture on May 1. Heffner, who is the host of PBS’ “The Open Mind,” was also interviewed by KCPT (Kansas City’s public television station) for clips that will air throughout the year when the show airs.

Lisa Sack, a junior social psychology major, appeared as the cover photo (with Mackay Hall on the Parkville Campus serving as the backdrop) as part of a story she was featured in for The Kansas City Star’s “816 North” and “913” sections on May 3 . Sack and four other Kansas City area college students were a part of a story that focused on nontraditional students.

A story about incoming Park University student-athlete Destinee Garcia signing a national letter-of-intent to play basketball at Park appeared in the May 4 issue of the Lompoc (Calif.) Record . A similar story also aired on KSBY-TV in Santa Barbara, Calif.

A story about Sgt. Stephen Mulonzi, ’11, who represented Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall on the All-Army men’s soccer team recently, appeared in The Pentagram, a publication for members of the Department of Defense, on May 4 . Mulonzi, who played soccer at Park University from 2008-11, joined the Army in 2012 and is a logistics noncommissioned officer stationed with Headquarters Command Battalion.

Alyssa Flint, an incoming Park University women’s volleyball student-athlete, was highlighted in a story that appeared in the Christian County (Mo.) Headliner on May 4 . Flint, who attends Nixa (Mo.) High School, recently signed a letter-of-intent to attend Park.

Allen Haynes, ’12, a Junior ROTC instructor at Ysleta High School in El Paso, Texas, was named the Ysleta Independent School District Secondary Teacher of the Year at a special gala event on May 5 at Fort Bliss, Texas. A story about Haynes and other honorees appeared in the El Paso Herald Post the same day .

Dylan McGuire, an incoming Park University baseball student-athlete, was featured in a story that appeared in the Lake Sun, a newspaper serving the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., region, on May 7 . McGuire, who attends Camdenton (Mo.) High School, recently signed a letter-of-intent to attend Park.

Former Park University student-athlete (baseball) Derek Gordon was the focus of a story that appeared in the Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star on May 9 . Gordon recently signed with the Lincoln Saltdogs, a member of the Central Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. Gordon is the brother of Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon.

Stories about Alexa Barton, ’03, ’07, being appointed the new city manager for the City of Belton, Mo., appeared in the Kansas City Business Journal on May 10 , and in the Cass County (Mo.) Democrat Missourian on May 12 .

Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Management Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., and Associate Dean of the School of Business Penny DeJong, Ph.D., all appeared on the cover of the May issue of Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine, as part of the publication’s Higher Education Industry Outlook edition. All three were quoted in the feature story for the issue, and Gunderson was quoted in story related to the value of higher education.

An article related to the Coming of Age/Shaping Your Future educational workshops for adults 50 and older that Park University is presenting appeared in The Kansas City Star on May 14 .

A story about David Zimmerman, ’95, ’01, being appointed the interim chief of police for Kansas City, Mo., appeared in The Kansas City Star on May 12/13 . Zimmerman, who begins his new position on May 21, is replacing Darryl Forte, ’90, who announced his retirement from the force earlier this year. Stories about Zimmerman also appeared on WDAF-TV,, KMBC-TV and KSHB-TV in Kansas City.

A project led by Park University faculty and students to locate lost graves at the Old Parkville (Mo.) Cemetery was the focus of stories that aired throughout the day on May 15 on KCTV. Scott Hageman, associate dean of the School of Natural and Applied Sciences, and associate professor of geology, and Tim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, chair of the Department of Psychology and Sociology, and associate University archivist, were interviewed for live shots that appeared that morning, as well as for a story that aired later in the day. KSHB-TV did a similar story on May 17 that included interviews with Hageman and David Fox, assistant professor of geography

Stories about the project also appeared in The (Platte County) Landmark on May 17 , and aired on KMBZ-AM/FM in Kansas City on May 15 and May 16.

Bill Freund, ’77, was featured in an article that appeared in The Catholic Key , the newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, on May 19. Freund, a middle school social studies teacher at St. Therese School in Kansas City, Mo., was recently named American History Teacher of the Year by the Sons of the American Revolution.

Stories about incoming Park University student-athlete Juan Quarles signing a letter-of-intent to play men’s basketball appeared on television stations WPTA-TV/WISE-TV, WANE-TV and WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., on May 23.

An editorial authored by Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., adjunct professor of public administration, on “Re-Opening the Conversation about Medicare” was published on May 23 in PA Times , a publication of the American Society for Public Administration.

John Hamilton, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of criminal justice administration, was interviewed for a story that appeared on May 23 on WDAF-TV in Kansas City. Hamilton provided comments related to the Toni Anderson case and the released dash cam video of her traffic stop.

A story on Musician Third Class Cristiana Villalva, ’14, who serves as a vocalist at Navy Band Northeast, appeared on the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System website on May 23.

Park University was a part of a cover story about the city of Parkville, Mo., that appeared in the "816 North" section of The Kansas City Star on May 31. The article also included a photo of Mackay Hall.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

     •  June 1 – Cherry Point (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center Commencement, 9 a.m., Two Rivers Theater and Event Center
     • June 2 – Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., MCRD Parris Island Theatre
     • June 2 – Naval Support Activity Mid-South Millington (Tenn.) Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., Pat Thompson Recreation Center
     • June 2 – Maymester Ends
     • June 5 – Junemester / Summer Session Begin
     • June 6 – Night at the Helm, 6 p.m., National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.
     • June 8-July 28 -- Rachal Berry Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Reception: June 9, 2:30-4:30 p.m.)
     • June 8 – Fairchild Air Force Base (Wash.) Campus Center Commencement, 5 p.m., Base Theater
     • June 8 – Scott Air Force Base (Ill.) Campus Center Commencement, 7 p.m., The Regency Conference Center
     • June 9 – Little Rock (Ark.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 6:30 p.m., Jacksonville Community Center
     • June 10 – Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 4 p.m., Fox Tucson Theatre
     • June 13 -- Tinker Air Force Base (Okla.) Campus Center Commencement, 4:30 p.m., Building 6603
     • June 22 – Laughlin Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., Anderson Hall
     • June 30 -- Junemester Ends
     • July 3 -- Julymester Begins
     • July 4 -- Independence Day Holiday (University offices closed nationwide; all summer session classes held as scheduled)
     • July 14 -- Goodfellow Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Base Event Center
     • July 14 -- El Paso (Texas) Campus Center / Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus Center / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.) Campus Center Commencement, 7 p.m., El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center
     • July 21 -- Hill Air Force Base (Utah) Campus Center Commencement, Noon, Davis Conference Center, Layton, Utah
     • July 28 -- Julymester Ends
     • July 28 -- Summer Session Ends

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