The Crow's Nest -- August 18, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

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Crows Nest

Homecoming Weekend 2017 set for Sept. 14-16

Park University alumni from across the country and their families will converge on the University’s Parkville Campus for Homecoming Weekend 2017, Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 14-16. While a number of activities are reserved for Park alumni and their families, many events are open to the public. The big event of the weekend is the Park University Alumni Association Awards Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 15, at 11:30 a.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City at Briarcliff, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $30 per person or $300 for a table of 10. Three Park alumni and one community leader will be honored:
Benny LeeCasi Joy McCall          •  Casi Joy McCall, 2012 graduate (who goes by the stage name of Casi Joy), competed in season 12 of NBC’s “The Voice.” McCall will receive the Park Promising Young Professional Award, which recognizes a Park alumnus/alumna who shows exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to their professor and/or community.
          •  Benny Lee, chairman and chief executive officer of DuraComm, a Kansas City, Mo., company that provides power solutions for durable communication systems, and a former member of Park’s Board of Trustees, will receive the Torchlighter Award, given to honor individuals who have made significant long-standing contributions and commitment to Park University, whether alumni, faculty or friend.
Michael WoolstrumWalter Pearson          •  Walter Pearson, 1990 graduate, retired in February after a 24-year career within the State of Missouri departments and offices, most recently as assistant commissioner of the Missouri Office of Administration. Pearson will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award which recognizes Park alumni who have distinguished themselves through career service or community achievements.
          •  Michael Woolstrum, 2012 graduate, will receive the Marlowe Sherwood Award, which recognizes Park alumni for volunteer services to community and civic organizations. Woolstrum is the founder and chief executive officer of Touch International Corp., a provider of custom touch screen display solutions, and he serves as pastor of Baptist Bible Church in Pflugerville, Texas.

Also on Friday — the grand opening of the Park University World War I and Nisei exhibit, 3 to 4:30 p.m., Park Avenue (Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground); a women’s volleyball match vs. Hannibal-LaGrange University, 5:30 p.m., Breckon Sports Center; and the Park University Athletics Wall of Honor Induction Banquet and Unveiling, 7 p.m., Park Avenue (Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground, tickets are $35 per person).

Saturday’s events include — athletics alumni games/matches throughout the day, Pirate storytelling, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Norrington Center; a barbecue lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., University’s 6th Street Entrance (tickets are $10 per person); and women’s soccer and men’s soccer matches vs. Central Baptist College, noon and 2:15 p.m., respectively, Julian Field.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the Alumni Association Alumni Awards luncheon, Wall of Honor banquet and/or barbecue lunch, visit or contact the University’s Office of Alumni Relations at / (816) 584-6209.

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.
          • Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center / Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center

Cindy OttsOtts appointed as registrar

Cynthia Otts, Ed.D., has been appointed as the registrar at Park University. She began her duties at Park on Aug. 1. As registrar, Otts is responsible for ensuring accuracy and security of student data and records — both current and former students — as well as ensuring the integrity of academic operations. Otts has worked in higher education for 20 years, most recently as associate registrar at Indiana State University since June 2011. She began her higher education career as a financial aid specialist at Park University from 1996-97 and has since worked in various capacities in both student and academic services. Read more about Otts at

Allan AustinConstitution Day lecture to discuss Japanese-American student resettlement in WWII

Park University’s annual Constitution Day lecture will feature a discussion on “Ambassadors of Goodwill: Japanese-American Student Resettlement during World War II.” The event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 13, starting at 7 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. Admission is free and open to the public. The speaker for the event will be Allan W. Austin, Ph.D., professor of history at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa. His discussion will focus on Japanese-American college students who faced a series of crises after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. The lecture will explore the ways in which the students responded, thinking about the short- and long-term implications for both the students and the wider American society. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 19, 1942, which authorized the incarceration of Japanese-Americans (as well as German-Americans and Italian-Americans) to concentration camps. Read more about the event at

Lindy LouUniversity to host screening of documentary related to Mississippi death penalty case

“Lindy Lou,” a woman from rural Mississippi, always thought she could easily give the death penalty. Then she sat on a jury that handed down a death sentence to a man convicted in a double homicide. Twenty years later, in the new documentary film “Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2,” Lindy travels through Mississippi and interviews her 11 fellow jurors regarding the repercussions of that decision. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the documentary will be screened at Park University, starting at 3 p.m. in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater within Alumni Hall on the University’s Parkville Campus. Following the screening of the 85-minute film, a discussion will be held with Lindy and representatives from production company Working Films and Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Read more about the documentary at

Kenny BrobergICM student and Van Cliburn silver medalist Kenny Broberg to perform concert on Sept. 10

Park University International Center for Music graduate student Kenny Broberg, the silver medalist at the recently completed 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will perform in concert on Sunday, Sept. 10, at the historic Folly Theater in Kansas City, Mo. The performance begins at 4 p.m. Broberg, who is pursuing a Master of Music degree in piano performance at Park, studies under Stanislav Ioudenitch, associate professor of music/piano, who won the 11th Cliburn event in 2001. Broberg is scheduled to perform the following repertoire in the concert:
          •  “Prelude, Fugue and Variation in B Minor, Op. 18,” composed by César Franck and transcribed for piano by Harold Bauer
          •  “Toccata in C Minor, BWV 911,” composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
          •  “Piano Sonata in E-Flat Minor, Op. 26,” composed by Samuel Barber
          •  “Piano Sonata in B Minor, S. 178,” composed by Franz Liszt

Tickets to the performance are on sale through the Folly Theater at, calling (816) 474-4444 or in person at the Folly’s box office, 1020 Central. Ticket prices range from $20 to $50. Student tickets in the back balcony are also available for $10 (via phone purchase only; a valid student ID for each ticket must be shown at will call the day of the concert to receive student tickets). For more information, visit

University providing discounted tuition to federal employees

Park University reached an agreement with the federal government this summer to provide discounted tuition for federal employees nationwide, along with their spouses and dependents. Those eligible can receive a 15 percent discount on their per-credit-hour rate, as well as have their Park application fee waived. For more information, visit

Park degree programs earn rankings from diversity magazine

A variety of Park University degree programs have been ranked among the top 100 in the country for granting degrees to students of color, according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine. In all, Park received 19 top 100 rankings, including five in the top 10 in 2016. Park’s human resource management and services bachelor’s degree program ranked No. 4 in the Total Minority category, No. 5 among African-Americans, No. 7 among Hispanics and No. 8 among two or more other races. In addition, Park’s associate degree in psychology ranked No. 10 among African-Americans. To view the complete list of rankings, visit

New hours announced for Parkville Campus food services

The renovated Thompson Commons and Pirate Café has reopened on the Parkville Campus, with a grand opening slated to be held on Wednesday, Aug. 23, starting at noon. The new hours for the Pirate Café are: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (brunch) and 4:30 to 6 p.m. (dinner).

New hours for Zime (on the first floor of Thompson Commons): Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

New hours for the Jolly Roger (inside Norrington Center): Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

University seeks public comments for accreditation

Park University is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Feb. 12-13, 2018, by a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Park University has been accredited by the Commission since 1913. The team will review Park’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s criteria for accreditation. The public is invited to submit comments regarding Park University to:
          Public Comment on Park University
          The Higher Learning Commission
          230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
          Chicago, IL 60604

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s website at Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing and signed, and comments cannot be treated as confidential. All comments must be received by Jan. 12, 2018.

Faculty, staff, student news

Mike EskeyAn article authored by Michael Eskey, Ph.D., professor of criminal justice administration, appeared in a recent issue of the Journal of Educational Leadership and Policy. The article, “A Comparative Analysis of Capstone Courses in Criminal Justice Departments of the Southeastern United States,” addressed the responses of criminal justice educators responding to the usage of various types of capstone courses in their program which represent a culmination of undergraduate criminal justice study.

Stacey KikendallStacey Kikendall, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and associate director of the Faculty Center for Innovation, was a panelist at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism’s conference August 12 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Kikendall presented on “‘Female Curiosity, or Whatever Else’ in the Travel Writing of Anna Maria Falconbridge and Janet Schaw,” which explored the complicated interplay of vision, gender and race in the travel journals of two 18th century women.

Alexander SilviusJeff KimmonsJeff Kimmons, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, presented a paper that he co-authored with Alex Silvius, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, at the Waterbird Society’s annual meeting on Aug. 9, in Reykjavik, Iceland. The paper, “Energetic Differences in Heating of Various Clutch Sizes for Common Terns,” discusses the findings of a study in which temperatures inside dummy eggs measured the birds’ energy output to care for a nest depending on the number of eggs and their “good” parenting skills by measuring the duration of time they were willing to cover the eggs.

Terry WardGail HennessyGail Hennessy, assistant professor of education and director of undergraduate programs, Terrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor and area coordinator for public management, and Gillian Helm, a Park 2005 graduate, were recognized by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a 2017 top connector in education and entrepreneurship via its Kansas City Connector Project. The project identifies resource gaps and suggests how they can be bridged by leveraging the human connection that exists within a community.

Park In The News

Shane Smeed, vice president and chief operating officer, provided comments for two articles that appeared in the August issue of University Business magazine. The “spotlight story" was related to recruiting adult and first generation college students, while a sidebar article focused on colleges and universities that extend instruction to members of the military.

Rick Smith, ’97, was appointed to be the chief of police in Kansas City, Mo., and was sworn in during a ceremony on Aug. 15. On July 28, Smith was featured in a story that appeared in The Kansas City Star, providing answers to questions during a public forum the night before. Smith was then highlighted in The Star the next morning upon his selection as chief. Smith, who was a major serving as commander of the KCMO police department’s Central Patrol Division, takes over for Interim Chief of Police David Zimmerman, ’95, ’01, who replaced Darryl Forte, ’90, after Forte retired this spring. Of the last five KCMO police chiefs, four have been Park University graduates (including Richard Easley, ’89).

Park University and two of its May graduates, Shelby Kistner and Karen Rawlins, were featured in the July issue of ReMARC, the monthly publication for the Mid-America Regional Council. The story (on page 2) was related to the first graduates of the KC Degrees initiative.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Montgomery, freshman social psychology major at Park University’s Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center, was featured in the July 28 issue of the Whiteman Warrior (page 11). Montgomery, a military working dog handler with the 509th Security Forces Squadron, discussed his work with MWD, Gipsy.

Gretchen Leigh, ‘94, was featured in a story that was posted on the Eastern New Mexico University website where she is employed as an executive secretary. Leigh, who was a member of the Women’s Army Corps as well as the Army, has established a veterans-assistance telephone line in her office.

Kenny Broberg, a graduate student in Park University’s International Center for Music (pursuing a Master of Music degree in piano performance), was featured in a story that appeared in the July 22 issue of The Independent, Kansas City’s journal of society. The article also includes comments from Stanislav Ioudenitch, associate professor of music/piano.

A review of a concert performed by Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, with the Cleveland Orchestra on Aug. 5, appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Aug. 8.

The grand opening of Park University’s Lenexa (Kan.) Campus Center was featured in The Kansas City Star’s “JoCo 913” section on Aug. 9. The article included comments from Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations. In a related story, Mya Lawrence, director of the Lenexa Campus, appeared in a live interview segment on July 31 on WDAF-TV as part of the Lenexa City Center grand opening event.

Park University was featured in four segments on KCTV’s “Better Kansas City” program on Aug. 8 (and re-aired on Aug. 9 on sister station KSMO-TV). The segments, taped in Copley Quad on the Parkville Campus, featured Ty Edwards, 2000 graduate and a professional organizer. Edwards provided information on dorm room essentials and organization tips for college students. Two of the segments were posted on KCTV's website:

Donna Rendon, ’16, was featured in the “Employee Spotlight” on the Defense Logistics Agency’s website. Rendon is a sustainment specialist in the Planning and Support Directorate office at DLA Aviation Cherry Point (N.C.).

Justin Bennett, ’06, was featured in a story that appeared in the Sauk Valley (Ill.) Daily Gazette on Aug. 16. Bennett, president and chief executive officer of Geodata IT in St. Louis, returned to his middle school to share life lessons.

Park University’s Bachelor of Science degree program in early childhood education has been ranked No. 32 on’s list of “Top Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education Degrees for 2017.”

Park’s online Bachelor of Science degree program in information and computer science has been ranked No. 18 on’s list of the “Top 30 Best Online Schools for Computer Science Degrees 2017.”

Park University was named by’s on its list of the “35 Fastest Online School Degree Programs.”

The University was ranked No. 20 on’s list of the “Top 35 Fastest Online College Programs.”

Park’s online Master of Healthcare Administration program was ranked No. 23 on’s list of the “Top Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Programs.”

Park University was named to’s 2017 list of the “Top Online Colleges for Student Economic Mobility.”

The University’s online Master of Business Administration degree concentration in international business was ranked No. 41 on’s list of the “Top 50 Online MBA Programs in International Business 2017.”

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  Through September 27 -- Special Topics in Art Student Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Reception: Aug. 18, 2-4:30 p.m.)
     •  August 18 -- Opening Convocation, Noon, Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  August 20 -- Eclipsing Park University: A Conversation with Dr. Lynn Bondurant, 4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  August 21 -- #TotalEclipseOfThePark Watch Party, 11:30 a.m., Julian Field
     •  August 23 -- Thompson Commons/Pirate Café Grand Opening, noon, Thompson Commons
     •  August 26 -- Fort Myer (Va.) Campus Center / Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) Campus Center / Marine Corps Base Quantico (Va.) Campus Center Commencement, 10 a.m., Little Hall (Quantico)
     •  September 4 -- Labor Day Holiday (all University offices closed; Fall I classes held as scheduled)
     •  September 8 -- Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Campus Center Commencement, Noon, Pacific Views Events Center
     •  September 9 -- Blue Ribbon 10K/5K Run and 2.5K Walk, 7 a.m., English Landing Park, Parkville, Mo.
     •  September 10 -- International Center for Music Concert: Triumph! Van Cliburn Silver Medalist Kenny Broberg, 4 p.m., Folly Theater, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  September 13 -- Criminal Justice and Government Career and Internship Fair, 10 a.m. to noon, Hawley Hall
     •  September 13 -- Constitution Day Lecture: “Ambassadors of Goodwill: Japanese-American Student Resettlement During World War II” with Dr. Allan Austin 7 p.m., Parkville Campus
     •  September 14 -- “Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2” Documentary Screening and Discussion, 3 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
     •  September 14-16 -- Homecoming Weekend 2017, Parkville Campus
     •  September 19 -- International Talk Like a Pirate Day
     •  September 24 -- International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  October 2-November 24 -- Rita Guile Fine Art Paintings Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
     •  October 6 -- Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Center Commencement, 10 a.m., Nutter Field House
     •  October 8 -- Fall I Term Ends
     •  October 9-15 -- Fall Recess
     •  October 15 -- International Center for Music 1900 Series: The “Classical” British Invasion (Night 1), 4 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  October 16 -- Fall II Term Begins
     •  October 20 -- International Center for Music 1900 Series: The “Classical” British Invasion (Night 2), 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  October 21 -- International Center for Music 1900 Series: The “Classical” British Invasion (Night 3), 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.

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