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The Crow’s Nest — April 6, 2022

Janet OstranderAndrew DavisDavis, Ostrander Earn Promotions

Park University Chief Enrollment Management Officer Kena Wolf announced the promotion of two staff members to new leadership positions within the University’s Office of Enrollment Management. Andrew Davis has been appointed as associate vice president of enrollment management and Janet Ostrander has been appointed senior director of campus center operations, both effective March 1.

As associate vice president of enrollment management, Davis is responsible for the University’s annual enrollment goals and strategic enrollment plan, as well as direct and indirect oversight of Park’s recruitment and enrollment activities. Previously, Davis served the University as its senior director of enrollment and student success since 2015.

As senior director of campus center operations, Ostrander is responsible for overseeing operations at 39 of the University’s 41 campuses (except the flagship Parkville [Mo.] Campus and Gilbert [Ariz.] Campus), to include strategic insight and leadership for enrollment and fiscal growth. Ostrander previously served as a regional director overseeing operations of 12-14 Park campuses mostly in the western and southwestern U.S. Read more about both promotions at

Pirate logoParkville Campus Men’s Volleyball Team Qualifies for NAIA National Tourney

The Park University Parkville (Mo.) Campus men’s volleyball team has again advanced to play in the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Championship, which will be held Tuesday, April 12, through Saturday, April 16, at the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Pirates (20-6), the No. 7 seed in the tournament, will open play in Pool B against No. 10 St. Xavier University (Ill., 26-9), on Wednesday, April 13, at 1 p.m. Park will close out pool play against No. 2 seed Ottawa University (Ariz., 24-3) on Thursday, April 14, also at 1 p.m. If the Pirates win their pool, Park will advance to the semifinals on Friday, April 15, at 4 p.m. The national championship match is set for April 16 at 5 p.m.

Plans are being made to stream the matches in the Pirate Café on the Parkville Campus, and should Park advance to the national title match, a bus for students is being discussed. Additional information about the tournament, including tickets, can be found at

Park University Announces Winners of Competitive Academic Scholarships

Park University has announced the recipients of competitive academic scholarships. These scholarships were awarded to current high school seniors who are expected to enroll starting with the Fall 2022 semester. The most prestigious Park University academic scholarship given is the Presidential Honors Scholarship. This award, traditionally given to two incoming freshmen, covers full tuition, and room and board for four years, as well as the opportunity for a study abroad semester. The 2022 Presidential Honors Scholarship was presented to Nina Distasio, Liberty (Mo.) High School, and Diana Perez, Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, Kansas City, Kan. Read about the additional scholarship awards announced, including the McAfee Scholarship and Park Trustee Scholarship, at

Faculty Center for Innovation Announces Fellows for 2022-23

Jennifer WhiteleyHeather StrafacciaPatty RybergPark University’s Faculty Center for Innovation has announced its teaching and scholarship fellows for the 2022-23 academic year. FCI Teaching Innovation Fellows receive support from the University to facilitate yearlong special interest groups open to all faculty.
          •  Patricia Ryberg, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and director of the Honors Academy, will lead a group focused on promoting faculty/student undergraduate research across the disciplines.
          •  Heather Strafaccia, Ed.D., adjunct instructor of communication arts, will lead a group focused on developing the whole student.
          •  Jennifer Whitley, Ph.D., lecturer of mathematics, will lead a group focused on how faculty can foster student belonging at Park.

Stephen GroverIn addition, two Scholarship Fellows were selected. These pre-tenure faculty will be supported in producing a scholarly manuscript by the end of the fellowship year.
          •  David Grover, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, will work on research investigating the impact of instructor presence in prebuilt online writing courses.
          •  Stacy Yeager-Okosi, Ph.D., assistant professor of business analytics, will work on research related to the impact of onboarding on the success of adjunct faculty teaching graduate courses.

Shane SmeedPresidential Inauguration Set for April 22

The inauguration for Park University President Shane Smeed will take place on Friday, April 22, starting at 2:30 p.m. (Central time) in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony on the University Front Lawn. In honor of the inauguration, the University will also host a picnic for students, faculty and staff on Thursday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the University Front Lawn. The picnic will include yard games and a DJ. For those unable to attend in person, the inauguration will be livestreamed at For more information about the inauguration, visit

Gilbert Campus to Hold Inaugural Commencement Ceremony on April 30

Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus will hold its inaugural commencement ceremony for graduates on Saturday, April 30, starting at 11 a.m. (Arizona time) at Paloma Community Church in Mesa, Ariz. About 70 students are expected to participate in the ceremony to receive their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Brigette PetersonBrigette Peterson, mayor of the Town of Gilbert since January 2021 will provide the keynote address. Park University President Shane Smeed will also speak to the graduates and will confer degrees. Also scheduled to make remarks are Yira Brimage, Gilbert Campus vice president, and Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., professor of public administration.

Deadline Nears for Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium

Park University’s annual Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium showcases the scholarly and creative work of students from all disciplines and campuses across the University. Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to submit course work or independent research or creative projects developed with a faculty member’s supervision, either single or collaboratively-authored that take the form of: posters presenting laboratory or other applied research findings; research papers and oral presentations (oral presentations limited to 10 minutes); visual art and graphic design installations; musical presentations; and virtual presentations (slide or video presentations uploaded to Symposium website).

This year’s Symposium will be held Monday-Tuesday, April 18-19. For more information or to register (deadline is Sunday, April 10), visit or contact Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., director of the Honors Academy and associate professor of biology, at

Lynn Richardson - HeadCampanella Gallery Hosting Exhibit of Faculty Art

An art exhibit featuring the work of Park University faculty from the Department of Art and Design is on display through Friday, April 22, in the University’s Campanella Gallery, located within Norrington Center on the flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus. Admission to the exhibit is free. The exhibit celebrates the creative accomplishments and diverse talents of the University’s Department of Art and Design faculty in a variety of media and stylistic expressions, including photography, mixed media, digital art, fiber, drawing, ceramics and painting. Faculty with work on exhibit include: Donna Bachmann, professor emerita of art and founder of the Campanella Gallery; William Eickhorst, Ed.D., adjunct instructor of fine art; Frank Hamilton, adjunct instructor of photography; Matthew Krawcheck, adjunct instructor of art; Andrea Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of art and director of the Campanella Gallery; Elaina Michalski, lecturer of art; Callie Parrott Bower, adjunct instructor of art; and Lynn Richardson-Ludwigs, adjunct instructor of art.

Tim HanewichICM Orchestra to Conclude Concert Season on April 8

The Park University International Center for Music Orchestra will conclude its 2021-22 concert season on Friday, April 8, under the direction of guest conductor Tim Hankewich. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. inside Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s flagship Parkville Campus. Admission is free; however, reservations are requested by e-mailing Gus Fernandez Agreda, ICM coordinator, at Hankewich has served as music director of Orchestra Iowa for 16 years, leading the state’s premier symphony orchestra based in Cedar Rapids. Prior to joining Orchestra Iowa, Hankewich served as resident conductor of the Kansas City Symphony for seven years and held an appointment as artistic director of the Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City for three years. He also served as an artist-in-residence at Park for three years, prior to the start of the Park ICM. The concert will include three diverse selections, one of which will feature Sihao Qin, junior music performance/piano major, as a soloist. Read more about the concert at

InSightPark’s Academic Journal, InSight, Seeks Cover Image

Park University’s academic journal, InSight – A Journal of Scholarly Teaching, invites students, faculty and staff to submit images for consideration to be published on the cover of its 2022 issue.

Submissions of high-resolution black and white photographs or artwork, no larger than 2400 x 1800 pixels, will be accepted for consideration. Images should emphasize themes related to InSight’s focus, including higher education, teaching, learning, exchange, multiple perspectives, classrooms (face-to-face and online), innovation, research, cross-disciplines, reflection or community. Images should be sent to by Friday, April 29. The winning image will be published on the cover of the 2022 (volume 17) edition with a credit on the inside cover. The winner will also receive a $30 Amazon gift card. For more information about InSight, visit

Park Launches Update to Military Credit Fast App

Park University, in partnership with AstrumU, has launched its Military Credit Fast App 2.0, enabling military students across Park campuses to gain insight into how their skillsets translate into civilian career paths along with data-driven recommendations for education and training options to support their transition into high-growth industries. Visit for more information.

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Nikki Pauls DiSimoneLeslie JensbyTim HanrahanPark University was represented at the Kansas City Professional Development Council’s annual Enhancing Teaching and Learning Conference, held virtually on March 5. A trio of faculty and staff presented sessions: Timothy Hanrahan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, presented “Creating Experiential Learning Opportunities in Any Course;” and Leslie Jensby and Nikki Pauls DeSimone, both assistant professor of social work, presented “Building Community During COVID: Lessons During Transition to Blended and Online Learning.” Abstracts to their sessions can be read at

Erik BergrudA panel of the National Academy of Public Administration, which included Erik Bergrud, chief strategic communications officer, released an “Assessment of Cultural Competence” at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, which provided recommendations to further develop a healthy environment of cultural competence that includes increased diversity, equity and inclusion among cadets, faculty and staff. Bergrud was elected as a NAPA Fellow in 2013.

Wen HsinYongzhi WangYongzhi “Joe” Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science and information systems, virtually presented a paper on “EdGENI – Making GENI User-Friendly for General Computer Education” for the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group – Computer Science Education Technical Symposium on March 5. Co-authors on the paper were Wen Hsin, Ph.D., professor of computer science, and Manish Lamsal, senior information and computer science/cybersecurity major. The paper describes how the Global Environment for Network Innovations, a free cloud resource, was re-engineered, and created a free hands-on cybersecurity laboratory environment for Park University students in CS 335 (Introduction to Cybersecurity), a core computer science course. The work was partially funded through a Faculty Center for Innovation Spark Tank grant in 2018.

Tami RadohlTami Radohl, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of social work, co-presented a session on “Socially Awkward? The Nuances of Assessment and Treatment with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Autism” for the Heartland Social Work Virtual Conference on March 11. The presentation explored the non-diagnostic nuances of these disorders, how to assess for each how to differentiate similarity and how symptoms may impact treatment.

Dr. Tim WestcottTim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, director of the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War and associate archivist, made a pair of presentations in March, both related to the Valor Medals Review Project. Westcott presented to the Overland Park (Kan.) Rotary Club on March 14 and the Waldo Brookside (Kansas City, Mo.) Rotary Club on March 16.

Joshua MuggJoshua Mugg, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy, co-authored an article on “The Bias Paradox — We are Biased about Bias Itself” that appeared on the Institute of Arts and Ideas website on March 23. The article was originally published in the blog for the American Philosophical Association in January.

Gary Kerr, senior director of military and veteran affairs, was a panelist for a Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce event on March 24, “Tapping Today’s Talent: Accessing the Veteran Talent Pool,” in Kansas City, Mo.

Kathy HoweKathy Howe, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education, co-authored the article “(Re)defining the ABCs of Misinformation – What Literacy Teacher Educators and K-12 Teachers Need to Know about Dyslexia and the Dyslexia Debate,” which was published in the January-February edition of Emporia State (Kan., University) Research Studies (page 33). The article presents an overview of legislation and clarifies key terms across the dyslexia debate.

Jolene LamptonJolene Lampton, Ph.D., professor of accounting and management, co-presented virtual training sessions for members of the Institute of Management Accountants on March 30-31. The sessions were on “Understanding IMA’s Ethics Compliance Policy and Managing Conflicts of Interest.”

Park in the News

Park University was designated as a Military Friendly School for 2022-23 by Viqtory. In fact, the University earned a Top 10 Award, ranking No. 6 in the “Private, Not Offering Doctorate” category. Read more about the honor at

Park University was highlighted in a story related to college value that appeared in The Kansas City Beacon on March 2. Andrew Davis, associate vice president of enrollment management, provided comments for the story.

A story about Mark Dunning, MPA ’19, being promoted to the position of city manager for the City of Lee’s Summit, Mo., effective in September, appeared in the Lee’s Summit Tribune on March 8. Dunning currently serves the city as the assistant city manager of infrastructure and development.

Park University’s International Center for Music was featured in a podcast on on March 9. Lisa Hickok, executive director of the ICM, was interviewed for a 30-plus minute segment in advance of the Stanislav and Friends concert on March 19.

Kristin Gillette, Parkville (Mo.) Campus director of athletics, was featured in the “Member Spotlight” on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics website on March 9.

Nadedja (Bucsan) Glass, ’14, a native of Moldova, and her husband were featured in a story that aired on KSHB-TV on March 9 as they were trying to raise funds for Ukrainian refugees.

Park University, the University’s military connections, the Valor Medals Review Project and academic underground space on the Parkville, Mo., Campus were highlighted in column that appeared in The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City newspaper) on March 10.

Matt Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for a story that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on March 11 related to the Missouri U.S. Senate race.

Harris was also interviewed for a story that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on March 15 related to the Kansas House of Representatives 3rd District race and how rising gas prices are becoming a facet of upcoming elections.

Harris provided comments for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on March 23 related to calls for former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to drop out of the Missouri Senate race following allegations of abuse by Greitens’ ex-wife.

The Park University Center for Global Peace Journalism’s 10th anniversary symposium, held March 2 on the University’s Parkville (Mo.) Campus, was featured in a story that was posted on Shared Future News (a website that reports on peacebuilding in Northern Ireland) on March 15.

A story about Browne’s Irish Marketplace in Kansas City, Mo., celebrating its 135th anniversary that appeared on the Flatland KC / Kansas City PBS website on March 16, included comments from George Vial, ’03, an Irish whiskey educator for Browne’s and the wine, beer and spirits sales manager for Adforce Transport Services in Leawood, Kan.

Jade Moore, who signed a letter-of-intent to play men’s basketball at Park University’s Parkville (Mo.) Campus, was interviewed for stories about his signing on WANE-TV and WFFT-TV on March 17 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Kathleen Venable, ’14, was featured as part of a Women’s History Month article that appeared in Dos Mundos, a Kansas City bilingual newspaper focused on the Hispanic community, on March 17. Venable’s husband, Bill, is a former Park University School of Business faculty member.

Tim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, director of the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War and associate archivist, appeared in a 25-minute live interview on KCUR-FM’s (Kansas City’s National Public Radio affiliate) “Up To Date” program on March 21. Westcott discussed the Valor Medals Review Project and previewed the “More Than a Medal” documentary, along with the film’s producers Alex Goldstein and Clark Slater, that premiered on March 24 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial.

Westcott was also highlighted in the March edition of Here and There, a newsletter for the WWI Historical Association, an organization that Westcott serves as its vice president.

Lanny Burrill, a former adjunct instructor of management, marketing and mathematics at Park University’s Fairchild Air Force Base (Wash.) Campus, was featured on WFMZ-TV in Philadelphia on March 23. Burrill has made more than 25,000 wooden hearts that he passes out to people.

Isaiah Korthanke, ’10, was featured in the Northwest Missourian, the newspaper at Northwest Missouri State University, on March 23. He is running for a seat on the Maryville (Mo.) School District Board of Education.

Yongzhi (Joe) Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science and information systems, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on March 25 related to federal prosecutors announcing that three Russian Federal Security Service officers targeted the Wolf Creek Generating Station in Kansas with a cybersecurity hack in 2017.

The clock tower on Mackay Hall at Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus, was highlighted in a story about iconic clocks in the Kansas City area on KCUR-FM’s website on March 26. The article includes a video story that Flatland KC (part of Kansas City PBS) did on the clock town in August 2017.

Tomika Maxwell, a senior business administration/management major, was highlighted in the March edition of the KC Scholars newsletter on March 25. Maxwell received a scholarship from KC Scholars in 2018 and discussed how the program positively impacted her.

A story related to research by Abhijit Mazumdar, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication arts, published in 2019 related to the U.S. media portrayal of India during and after the Cold War, appeared in The Free Press Journal in India on March 31.

Terry Lovelace, ’79, was interviewed on “A Different Perspective with Kevin Randle” in March related to an extraterrestrial experience he disclosed in a book, Incident at Devil’s Den.

Park University was ranked No. 2 on’s “Best Online Associate Degree Programs in Psychology” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time unless noted)
          •  Through April 22 — Faculty Art Exhibit, “Reset,” Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  April 8 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 13 — Dr. Doris A. Howell Leadership Awards, 5 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall); reception to follow in Norrington Center
          •  April 16 — International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  April 18-19 — Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium, Parkville Campus and Virtual
          •  April 20 — Honors Convocation, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 21 — Inauguration Picnic, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., University Front Lawn
          •  April 22 — Presidential Inauguration for Shane Smeed, 2:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel and Virtual
          •  April 29 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Violin Students with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, 8 p.m., Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  April 30 — Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus Commencement, 1 p.m. (11 a.m. Arizona time), Paloma Community Church, Mesa, Ariz.
          •  April 30 — Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Commencement, 3 p.m., Grand Forks Central High School
          •  May 1-30 — Senior Art Students Exhibition, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  May 6 — Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, noon, Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 6 — International Sash Ceremony, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 7 — Kansas City Area Commencement Ceremony, 10 a.m., Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Mo.
          •  May 8 — Spring Semester / Spring II Term Ends
          •  May 9 — Maymester Begins
          •  May 12 — Park University Founders Day (147th Anniversary)
          •  May 13 — Board of Trustees Meeting, TBA
          •  May 20 — Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Commencement Ceremony, 1 p.m. (2 p.m. Eastern time), Base Theater
          •  May 22 — Maymester Ends
          •  May 26 — Barstow (Calif.) Community College Campus / Victor Valley College (Calif.) Campus Commencement Ceremony, 5 p.m. (3 p.m. Pacific time), Barstow Community College Performing Arts Center
          •  May 30 — Memorial Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide)

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



Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.