Crows Nest

The Crow’s Nest — April 6, 2023

Hauptmann School Returning to College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Park University’s Hauptmann School of School of Public Affairs, currently a division of the College of Management, will return to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, effective with the start of the 2023-24 academic year on Tuesday, Aug. 1. In addition, the University’s sociology program will also return to CLAS.

“The restoration of these programs to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences provides an opportunity to reimagine our organizational structure in a way which balances faculty numbers within our schools, while also ensuring congruent programs are housed together,” said Jamie Pasley, Ph.D., CLAS dean.

Effective with the 2023-24 academic year, CLAS will consist of three schools and seven departments:
          •  School of Humanities — Department of English and Interdisciplinary Studies, Department of Art and Design, and the International Center for Music
          •  School of Natural and Applied Sciences — Department of Natural and Physical Sciences, and the Department of Computing and Mathematical Sciences
          •  Hauptmann School of Public Affairs — Department of Politics and Administration, and the Department of Culture and Society

Dr. Sarah MoranExoplanets Focus of Park University’s Johnson Family Lecture Event

A discussion on exoplanets — planets that orbit a star other than the sun — will be the focus of Park University’s Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science, which will be held Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater inside Alumni Hall on the University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus. Admission to the lecture is free and open to the public.

Sarah Moran, Ph.D., the first Lunar and Planetary Laboratory Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arizona, will present her lecture on “Strange New Worlds: Exoplanet Atmospheres Through the Eyes of the James Webb Space Telescope.” She will discuss the chemistry, clouds and climates of worlds within and beyond the solar system as part of her presentation. Moran will also provide information related to the first year of observations of other planets with the James Webb Space Telescope.

Park University’s Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science was established in 2016 to provide members of the community, as well as liberal arts and science majors, an opportunity to experience science in action and hear established scientists discuss their research. The lecture series was established by Park University alumnus George Johnson, ’63, Ph.D., who provided funding for the event. Johnson is professor emeritus at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Read more about this event at

Parkville Campus Men’s Volleyball Advances to NAIA National Tournament

Park University’s Parkville (Mo.) Campus men’s volleyball team has earned the No. 4 seed in the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Championship Tournament that begins Tuesday, April 11, at the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Pirates, 25-1 on the season after winning the Heart of America Athletic Conference regular season and post-season tournament titles, are one of 12 teams to earn a bid to the national tournament and the only school among the top six seeds outside of California or Arizona.

Park will open play in Pool D on April 11 against No. 12 seed Webber International University (Fla., 11-5). Following a rest day on Wednesday, April 12, the Pirates will close our pool play against No. 5 seed Ottawa University (Ariz., 13-8) on Thursday, April 13. Both of Park’s pool play matches will begin at 4 p.m. (Central time). Should Park win its pool, the Pirates will advance to the national semifinals on Friday, April 14 (at 7:30 p.m.) against the winner of Pool A, with the national championship match scheduled for Saturday, April 15, at 5 p.m. Visit for additional information, including tournament program, tickets and livestream.

The Pirates will be seeking the sixth men’s volleyball national title in Park’s history (2003, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2017) after having lost in the national semifinals the past two years. Read more about the tournament at

Joao FriedrichIn addition, the squad came away with five of the six major awards announced by the Heart of America Athletic Conference on March 24. Leading the way was junior outside hitter Joao Friedrich (right), who was selected as the HAAC Player of the Year and Attacker of the Year. Freshman setter Eduardo Faquin was tabbed as the Setter of the Year, while Samuel Essilfie, opposite hitter, was named Freshman of the Year. Mike Talamantes, Park’s director of volleyball and men’s/women’s volleyball head coach, was named Coach of the Year. Essilfie, Faquin and Friedrich were all named first team all-conference selections.

Gilbert Campus Athletic Programs to Join New Conference in 2024; Adds Ice Hockey

Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus athletic programs will move from the California Pacific Conference to the Golden State Athletic Conference, effective with the start of the 2024-25 academic year. Park-Gilbert is one of four Cal Pac schools joining the GSAC, along with Benedictine University-Mesa (Ariz.), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Ariz.) and the University of St. Katherine (Calif.). They will join current GSAC members Arizona Christian University, Hope International University (Ariz.) Life Pacific University (Calif.), Ottawa University (Ariz.), San Diego (Calif.) Christian College and The Master’s University (Calif.). Read more at

In addition, the Gilbert Campus announced in mid-March that it was officially adding a men’s ice hockey club program starting in the 2023-24 academic year. The Buccaneers will join the American Collegiate Hockey Association, playing in the Division II level. The ACHA is comprised of non-varsity programs across the country. Read more at

Ceramics Exhibit by Park Faculty Member Featured in Campanella Gallery

An exhibit of ceramics, “Aura,” by Elaina Michalski, Park University assistant teaching professor of fine art, is featured in the University’s Campanella Gallery through Friday, April 21. Admission to the Gallery, located within Norrington Center on the University’s flagship Parkville Campus, is free.

In her artist’s statement, Michalski said that visiting the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary in summer 2022 provided her with a creative adventure and rich, immersive experience. “This series was inspired by the aura of the places I visited, the aura of the feminine spirit and the aura of the translucent porcelain when illuminated with light,” she said. “During my time at the ICS, I was able to immerse myself in creating this new body of work that is unique from anything I previously created in my own studio. The environment enabled me to explore a new direction with porcelain and has greatly impacted me as an artist and educator.” Read more about the exhibit at

International Center for Music 2022-23 Season Coming to an End

Park University’s International Center for Music will host two concerts to conclude its 2022-23 season. On Friday, April 28, guest conductor Timothy Hankewich will lead the ICM Orchestra in a concert in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. Read more information at

Behzod AbduraimovThe final concert of the season will feature world-renowned ICM artist-in-residence Behzod Abduraimov on Thursday, May 11, at the Folly Theater in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $20 to $50 and can be purchased at Park students can purchase tickets for $10 the night of the performance with their valid Park ID. Read more information at

Department of Nursing Hosting Health Fair on April 13

Park University’s Department of Nursing will host a community health fair on Thursday, April 13, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Park Avenue area of the Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground on the University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. The health fair provides an opportunity for the University’s nursing students to showcase what they have learned in community health, and it provides the community with an opportunity receive pertinent health information. In addition, the Platte County (Mo.) Health Department will provide free, confidential sexually transmitted infection testing. Other organizations/businesses expected to participate include Park University’s Counseling Center, Parkville Nutrition, Platte County Community Center South and Tri-County Mental Health Services. The University’s Pirate Pantry will also provide information for Park students. For more information or for questions, contact Park University’s Department of Nursing at

Parkville Athletics Hosting Arrrgh & Arrrgh Women’s Networking Event

Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus Department of Athletics is hosting a women’s networking event, Arrrgh & Arrrgh, on Wednesday, May 17. The event provides an opportunity for Park University to showcase its athletics programs and the Parkville community. Attendees can spend an afternoon in Parkville to shop, walk and learn about the power of sport combined with a fantastic education. The event begins with optional programming from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., including shopping/dining in downtown Parkville, a guided hike in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary, an art lesson at Cathy Kline Art Gallery and creating products at The Farmacy. At 2:30, the program moves to Breckon Sports Center for a silent auction, happy hour with drinks/hors d’oeuvres, music and a presentation on Park athletics. Attendees will also receive a goodie bag at the conclusion of the event. Registration is $50 per person, with additional costs for some optional events. To register or for more information, visit

Deadline Nears to Register 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 24-25. For more information or to register (deadline is Sunday, April 16), visit or contact Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., director of the Honors Academy and associate professor of biology, at

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Park University’s Board of Trustees approved promotion and/or tenure for the following faculty during its meeting on Feb. 24, effective with the start of the 2023-24 academic year on Aug. 1:
          •  Matt Harris, Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of political science and approved for tenure
          •  Kathy Howe, Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of education and approved for tenure
          •  Robert Kao, Ph.D., promoted to professor of economics
          •  Susan Keim, Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of public administration and approved for tenure
          •  Glenn Lester, promoted to associate professor of English and approved for tenure
          •  Jack MacLennan, Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of political science and approved for tenure
          •  Joshua Mugg, Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of philosophy and approved for tenure
          •  Henry Roehrich, Ph.D., promoted to professor of management
          •  Tim Westcott, Ph.D., promoted to professor of history
          •  Brant Winn, Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of education

Four Park University interior design students were awarded the opportunity to participate in the Kansas City Symphony’s Designers’ Showhouse benefit event, Saturday, April 22, through Sunday, May 14. The students, Krista Murphy, Morgan Ohland, Delaney Wahlert and Clayton Wells, all seniors majoring in interior design, have designed the round porch at the home in Kansas City, Mo. Read more (and purchase tickets) at

A number of Park University faculty presented sessions for the Kansas City Professional Development Council’s annual Enhancing Teaching and Learning Conference, held virtually on March 4.
Stacy Yeager-OkosiToni-Rochelle Ford          •  Toni-Rochelle Ford, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing, and Stacy Yeager-Okosi, Ph.D., assistant professor of business analytics, “Okay, Everyone, Please Take Out Your Phones: Making Smartphones an Integral Part of the Classroom Learning Environment”
Nikki DeSimoneLeslie Jensby          •  Leslie Jensby and Nikki Pauls DeSimone, both assistant professor of social work, “Connecting Academia with Community Through Service Learning”
          •  Todd Higgins, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of biology, “Managing Zoom in the Classroom: Lessons Learned from a Hybrid Agricultural Course”
          •  Ann Ogle, adjunct instructor of psychology, “Meet ‘em Where They are At – It’s Not Just a Motto”
          •  Cheryl Washington, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of international business, “Faculty Leadership: Learning Transfer and Field Expeditions”

Jolene LamptonJolene Lampton, Ph.D., professor of management/accounting, co-authored the article “Managing Conflicts of Interests” which appeared in the March edition of Strategic Finance, a magazine for the Institute of Management Accountants.

Abhijit Mazumdar, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication arts, and Zahra Mansoursharifloo, MACL ’22, authored an article on “U.S. Foreign Policy and Indexing Theory: A Study of U.S. Press Coverage of the Taliban and ISIS” that was published in the spring 2023 edition of the International Communication Research Journal. The article compares U.S. press coverage of the Taliban and ISIS between 2014-19 in The New York Times and The Washington Post. The study concluded that the U.S. press portrayed the two terrorist groups in accordance with the U.S. government’s foreign policy.

Dr. Tim WestcottTim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, chair of the Department of History, Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies, director of the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War and associate university archivist, served as the moderator for the session on “Congress and Its Constituents” at the Missouri Conference on History on March 17 in Springfield, Mo. As part of the session, he presented on “George Graham Vest: Protector of Yellowstone.”

Brian ShawverBrian Shawver, associate provost for teaching and learning, was a co-presenter for an “Exploring Current Trends in Higher Education” discussion for the Shawnee (Kan.) Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Overland Park, Kan., on March 23.

Stephen GroverStephen David Grover, Ph.D., assistant professor of English, presented a webinar on “Blurring the Edges: Using Slack to Enable and Extend Class Interactions” for the Global Society of Online Literacy Educators on Feb. 24. The session focused on using messaging software to promote more organic interactions between students, instructors and course material, and to extend those interactions between class meetings or outside the learning management system.

Lacey FinleyLacey Finley, Ph.D., associate professor of management and department chair of accounting, construction management, human resources, logistics and management, co-authored the article “Using Design Thinking to Develop a Career Development Plan SWOT Analysis” that was published on the Faculty Focus website on March 20.

Dr. Kathy HoweKathy Howe, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education and director of the Watson Literacy Center, co-presented a paper on “Modeling Innovative Technology Use in Teacher Education and Professional Development” at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education annual conference in New Orleans on March 15. The paper was also included in the proceedings for the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.

Vince Clark, chair of Park University’s Board of Trustees, Scott Hall, a member of Park’s Civic Advisory Council, and Gloria Jackson-Leathers, ’91, were panelists at the #C3KC event hosted by the Junior League of Kansas City, Mo., on March 23. Clark was a panelist on the “Enabling Economic Inclusion – Building Wealth Through Education and Entrepreneurship” session; Hall was the moderator for the “Early Care and Education – New Thinking for Age-Old Dilemmas” session; and Jackson-Leathers was a panelist on the “National Trends, Local Significance” session.

Steve YoungbloodSteve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, authored an article on “Misinformation, Democracy and the Peace Journalism Solution” that appeared in The Loop, a political science blog for the European Consortium for Political Research. The article showed how the principles of peace journalism can combat the corrosive effects of misinformation and disinformation.

Park in the News

John Hamilton, Ph.D., professor emeritus of criminal justice administration, was interviewed for a story that aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on March 1 related to the process of executing search warrants following a day-long standoff after the shooting of three tactical officers.

Hamilton was also interviewed for a story that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on March 28 related to an increase of hoax calls of active shooters (known as swatting) at area schools.

Claude English, retired director of athletics and former men’s basketball head coach at Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus, was mentioned in various news stories on March 2, including The Kansas City Star, as he was announced as part of the 2023 class of inductees into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held in Kansas City, Mo., on Sunday, April 23.

Cristian Maciel, ’07, and Marco Rabello, ’07, owners of Taste of Brazil restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., were featured on KCTV in Kansas City on March 2. Taste of Brazil, which opened an outpost at the new Kansas City International Airport terminal, is the first Brazilian restaurant inside a U.S. airport.

Joe Pizzillo, adjunct instructor of accounting and finance, was featured in a story that appeared in the Arizona Republic on March 3. Pizzillo was appointed mayor of Goodyear, Ariz., in 2021 and was elected to a four-year term in January.

The success of students in Park University’s International Center for Music was the focus of a story that appeared in KC Studio magazine on March 3.

Col. Lewis Millett, ’63, one of two Park University graduates who have been recognized with the Medal of Honor, was featured in a “Medal of Honor Monday” article posted on the U.S. Department of Defense website on March 6.

Michelle Myers, Ed.D., provost, provided comments for a story on “Shared Pain in the C-Suite and on Campus” that appeared in the February edition of Ingram’s, a Kansas City business magazine.

Debonie Lewis, MHA ’20, was highlighted in a “Fit and Fab” feature that appeared in The Community Voice, a publication for the African American community in Kansas, on March 6.

On March 16, the National Premier Soccer League, the only league designated by the United States Adult Soccer Association as a tier one national men’s soccer league, announced that the Kansas City Sol has joined the league as an expansion team and will play its home matches on Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus at Julian Field beginning this summer. Parkville Campus men’s soccer head coach Efrim Shimlis and assistant coach Goran Karadjov are assistant coaches for the team.

Dianna Carmenaty, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminal justice administration, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on March 22 related to a Social Security Administration investigation of a body being found in a home after having been deceased for six years.

Casi Joy (McCall) Lankford, ’12, who goes by the stage name Casi Joy, was featured in an interview in Entertainment Focus, a United Kingdom-based entertainment website, on March 29. The focus of the interview was on her new album, “Miles and Maybes,” that was released on March 31. Joy’s song “Partners in Time” from the new album was selected by Billboard magazine as one of its “7 must-hear new country songs.”

Matt Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on March 30 related to lawmakers reacting to the indictment on former President Donald Trump.

Jason Kline, Parkville (Mo.) Campus men’s basketball head coach and assistant athletic director, was a part of a “Toni’s Talents” segment that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on March 30. Kline assisted “Great Day KC” co-host Toni Talley learn how to play basketball.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time and on the flagship Parkville [Mo.] Campus unless noted)
          •  Through April 21 — “Aura” Ceramic Exhibit by Elaina Michalski, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  April 7 — International Center for Music Concert: Kyoshiro Hirama Graduate Piano Recital, 6:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 12 — Dr. Doris A. Howell Leadership Awards, 5 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall); reception to follow in Norrington Center
          •  April 13 — Community Health Fair, noon-2 p.m., Park Avenue (Academic Underground)
          •  April 17 — Blood Drive, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Breckon Sports Center (East Dome)
          •  April 19 — Honors Convocation, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 22 — Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Commencement, 3 p.m., Grand Forks Central High School
          •  April 24 — Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science — Dr. Sarah Moran, “Strange New Worlds: Exoplanet Atmospheres Through the Eyes of the James Webb Space Telescope,” 7 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  April 24-25 — Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium, Parkville Campus and Virtual
          •  April 27 — Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus Commencement Ceremony, 3 p.m., Bell Bank Park, Mesa, Ariz.
          •  April 28 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 29 — International Center for Music Concert: Christian Dos Santos Undergraduate Viola Recital, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 1 — International Center for Music Concert: James Farquhar Graduate Cello Recital, 7 p.m., St. James Catholic Church, Liberty, Mo.
          •  May 3 — International Center for Music Concert: Jordan Proctor Undergraduate Cello Concert, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 4 — International Center for Music Concert: Soobeen Nam Undergraduate Violin Recital, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 5 — Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, 1 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 5 — International Sash Ceremony, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 6 — Kansas City Area Commencement Ceremony, 10 a.m., Cable Dahmer Arena, Independence, Mo.
          •  May 7 — Spring Semester / Spring II Classes End
          •  May 8 — Maymester Begins
          •  May 10 — International Center for Music Concert: Anastasia Vorotnaya Graduate Piano Recital, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  May 11 — International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, 7:30 p.m., Folly Theater, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  May 12 — Park University Founders Day (148th Anniversary)
          •  May 12 — Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
          •  May 21 — Maymester Ends
          •  May 29 — Memorial Day Holiday (all University offices closed)

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



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