The Crow’s Nest — August 23, 2019

Garber-Miller Appointed Dean of College of Education and Health Professions

Park University has appointed Karen Garber-Miller, Ph.D., as dean of the College of Education and Health Professions. Garber-Miller began her role at Park on Aug. 5. As dean of the CEHP, Garber-Miller will oversee the University’s School of Education and the School of Behavioral and Health Sciences, which includes the departments of nursing, social work, and psychology and sociology. She is responsible for the curricular, personnel, budgetary and administrative affairs of the CEHP while providing visionary leadership, strategic thinking, creative planning and a determined management style to address opportunities and challenges.

Prior to joining Park, Garber-Miller served as the dean of the School of Education at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., from 2012-18, and as dean and chair of the School of Education and Psychology from 2001-03. While at Avila, she held the faculty rank of professor and also held faculty positions as associate professor, assistant professor and lecturer. In addition, Garber-Miller served as chair of teacher education at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan. Earlier in her career, she served as an instructor at Johnson County (Kan.) Community College and as a high school teacher at Olathe South High School and Piper (Kan.) High School. Read more about Garber-Miller at

Homecoming and Family Weekend Set for Sept. 19-21

Park University alumni, family and friends from across the country will converge on the University’s Parkville Campus for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2019. Events begin on Thursday, Sept. 19 (which is also International Talk Like a Pirate Day), and continue through Saturday, Sept. 21. While a number of activities during the weekend are reserved for Park alumni and their families, many events are open to students, faculty, staff and the general public. These include (events with ticketed admission are noted):
Thursday, Sept. 19
          •  Park University Alumni Association Awards Program, 6 p.m., The Park Place, Parkville, Mo. Tickets are $10 per person. Five Park alumni will be honored:
                 o  Robert, ’04, and Brenda Dandridge, ’07, Torchlighter Award, given to honor individuals who have made significant longstanding contributions and commitment to Park University, whether alumni, faculty or friend.
                 o  Carolyn McHenry Elwess, ’71, Distinguished Alumna Award, which recognizes Park alumni who have distinguished themselves through career service or community achievements. Elwess currently serves as the University’s archivist.
                 o  Marcus Gladdis, MBA ’11, MHA ’18, Park Promising Young Professional Award, which recognizes a Park alumnus/alumna who shows exceptional promise of leadership and contribution to their profession and/or community.
                 o  Lillian Madeje, ’10, Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award, which recognizes Park alumni for volunteer services to community and civic organizations.
Friday, Sept. 20
          •  Park University Emeriti/Retired Faculty and Friends Tea, Park Distance Learning Center Conference Center, 10:30 a.m.
          •  International Center for Music Concert: Stanislav and Friends: An Intimate Evening, 6:30 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $75 (plus applicable fees) and can be purchased at
Saturday, Sept. 21
          •  Athletics Wall of Honor Induction Breakfast, 9 a.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center. Tickets are $20 per person. Those being honored:
                 o  Pat Fayard, current assistant to the athletic director, for meritorious service.
                 o  Jon Meriweather, ’11, MBA ’14, men’s basketball player.
                 o  Ben Popoola, men’s soccer head coach from 1983-95, women’s soccer head coach from 1988-95 and director of athletics from 1984-96.
                 o  Wendy Romero, ’17 and currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree in public accounting, women’s volleyball player. Family Fun Day Event, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 6th Street entrance
          •  Park House Celebration, 1:30 p.m., Park House (new location adjacent to Hawley Hall)
          •  Women’s soccer and men’s soccer matches vs. Freed-Hardeman University, Julian Field. Admission is free.
                 o  Women’s match, noon; Presentation of Athletics Wall of Honor Class of 2019 at halftime
                 o  Men’s match, 2:15 p.m.; Crowning of Homecoming Royalty at halftime

Throughout the weekend, food and toiletries for Park University’s Pirate Pantry, which was established last year to help alleviate food insecurity among the University’s students, will be accepted. For more information about the public events, visit To purchase tickets for the Alumni Association Alumni Awards program or Wall of Honor breakfast, visit or contact the University’s Office of Alumni Relations at / (816) 584-6209.

Park Campuses Hold Commencement Ceremonies

Park University campuses across the country are holding commencement ceremonies for 2019 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.
          •  Fort Myer (Va.) Campus / Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) Campus / Marine Corps Base Quantico (Va.) Campus
          •  Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus / Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus

University Expands Gilbert Campus Space

Park University is expanding its Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus space at the University Building located in Gilbert’s Heritage District. On Aug. 1, the Gilbert Town Council approved a lease amendment in support of Park increasing its footprint from just under 11,000 square-feet to nearly 18,000 square-feet. The University has experienced great success since launching classes in Gilbert in Fall 2018. The University expects enrollment at the start of the Fall 2019 semester — the beginning of the University’s second year in Gilbert — to exceed its projections. The amendment also expands the University’s initial three-year lease term to a five-year lease term through June 30, 2023. Park also kicked off its inaugural season of intercollegiate athletics this month at the Gilbert Campus. A complete schedule is available at Read more at

Grandson of Mahatma Gandhi to Speak at Park University

Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism will host a pair of events in the Kansas City area in late August featuring historian, journalist and peacebuilder Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth. On Monday, Aug. 26, Park University will present a program on “Gandhi: The First Peace Journalist” starting at 7 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus. The discussion will include: Rajmohan Gandhi; Abhijit Mazumdar, Ph.D., assistant professor of journalism at Park; and Cynthia Lukas, co-producer of the documentary “Gandhi’s Gift.” Steve Youngblood, director of the CGPJ and associate professor of communications, will moderate the event, which will include an examination of Mahatma Gandhi as a journalist and his promotion of journalism as a tool for societal development and peace.

The following evening (Tuesday, Aug. 27), Rajmohan Gandhi will present a symposium on “The Status of Peacebuilding Between India and Pakistan” starting at 7 p.m. in Hudson Auditorium on the campus of Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan. A reception will precede the presentation starting at 6:30 p.m. Admission to both events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Hauptmann Lecture to Feature Discussion on American Foreign Policy

A presentation on “Can America Still Have a Successful Foreign Policy?” will be the focus of Park University’s 27th annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture Series event on Thursday, Sept. 12. This year’s lecture will be held in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater within Alumni Hall on the University’s Parkville Campus starting at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free and open to the public, but attendees are requested to register at

This year’s Hauptmann Lecture featured speaker will be Stephen Walt, Ph.D., the Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Walt’s presentation will look at how U.S. foreign policy veered off-course and what must be done to get it back. He will explain the sources of recent foreign policy failures and offer an alternative grand strategy that would be better for the U.S. and the rest of the world. Read more about Walt and this year’s Hauptmann Lecture at

Park Library Receives Grant from Freedom to Read Foundation

The Freedom to Read Foundation has awarded a $1,000 grant to Park University’s McAfee Memorial Library in support of 2019 Banned Books Week events (Sept. 22-28). The grant, a project of FTRF’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, supports a wide range of read-outs, displays, discussions, performances and other educational initiatives that will engage communities in dialogues about censorship and the freedom to read. Park’s Banned Books Week project will be themed “Love is Love” with a focus on banned books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters, authors and content.

“Park Stories” Initiative Showcases Park Family

The heart and soul of Park University lies within the spirit of the people who represent the institution in the classroom and community. The Office of University Engagement’s new “Park Stories” initiative showcases fun and inspiring features highlighting Park University students, faculty, staff and alumni. These stories will be shared periodically in The Crow’s Nest. This edition’s installment highlights Jesse Patrick, senior information and computer science major. Read about Patrick at

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Four Park University staff members presented workshops at the Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology Conference in Hays, Kan., Aug. 1-2. Valorie Engholm, instructional designer, presented “Learner Experience Design: Design with the Learner in Mind” and “Copyright for Education”; Melanie Kinney, coordinator of educational technology, presented “Amazon Alexa: A Tool to Compliment Teaching in Education”; Lauren Lovvorn, instructional designer, presented “Writing Directions for Digital Learners”; and Leslie Umstattd, Ed.DMin,, interim director of digital learning, presented “Authentic Assessment: Moving Beyond Multiple Choice” and “Textbooks: Are They Really Necessary?”

Brent Short, director of library services, had three poems published in the recent edition of Saint Katherine Review, a journal of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and reviews. The titles of the published poems are “Silent Witness,” “Men as Trees” and “God Speaks.”

Chelsea Platt, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, presented her paper “You’ve Been GOOPed! Lifestyle Consumption as Holistic Health Behaviors” at the American Sociological Association annual meeting in New York on Aug. 12.

Andrew Johnson, Ph.D., professor of psychology, was a visiting scholar at the Universidad Panamericana International Summer in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Johnson taught a class on aesthetics and the creative process to innovation and design majors within the School of Engineering. The program addresses issues of innovation, entrepreneurship, humanism, technological development and hard science aimed at solving the great problems of the world.

Elizabeth (Bootsie) Martinez, lecturer of English at the Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus, authored an article titled “Who Causes Trouble?” published on the Law Officer website on Aug. 12.

Park in the News

Vincent Morales, senior interdisciplinary studies major, was the recipient of a “pay-it-forward” recognition by a Veterans Community Project volunteer and WDAF-TV in Kansas City on July 22.

Aimee Patton, director of marketing/digital, was interviewed for a story that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on July 31. Patton provided comments related to legislation proposed by Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley that would limit time spent on social media and stop social media companies from using what he calls exploitative practices.

Eugene Matthews, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice administration, was interviewed for a story that aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on July 31. Matthews provided comments on how investigators work death investigation crime scenes related to the finding of human remains on a farm in rural Missouri.

Park University was featured on the front page of the Platte County (Mo.) Citizen on July 31 related to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s visit to the Parkville Campus on July 25.

Anthony Bustamante, ’11, was featured on the ThriveGlobal website on Aug. 4 as part of a series on “Life and Leadership Lessons Learned in the Military.” Bustamante, a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, works at the 390th Cyberspace Operations Squadron on a development team designing training for advanced cyberwarfare operations.

Park House on Park University’s Parkville Campus was featured in a story that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on Aug. 5. Carolyn Elwess, University archivist, and Ashlyn Weber, senior public history major, were interviewed for the story that focused on preparations to move Park House to a new location on the campus. Elwess was also interviewed for a similar story that aired on KSHB-TV that same evening.

Two days later, on Aug. 7 when Park House was moved to its new location east of Hawley Hall, Elwess and Weber were again interviewed for a story that aired on KCTV. In addition, Elwess was interviewed as part of a live shot that aired on WDAF-TV, and Elwess and Weber appeared in interviews for separate stories that aired on KSHB-TV.

Park University’s esports program was featured in a “KC Voices” podcast produced by KCTV in Kansas City on Aug. 8. The production focused on how esports is changing the playing field on college campuses. Ashley Jones, esports head coach, and Vince Payne, esports student-athlete, were interviewed for the segment.

Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus was highlighted in the Phoenix Business Journal on Aug. 8 in a story related to the recent addition of approximately 7,000 square-feet of classroom and office space.

A story about rising NBA star De’Aaron Fox and his agent Chris Gaston, ’06, appeared on the website ONE37pm on Aug. 19. Gaston is the founder and chief executive officer of Family First Sports Firm.

Park University has received the following rankings by various websites:
          •  The University’s Parkville Campus was ranked No. 5 by on its “100 Most Secure College Campuses in the U.S.” list.
          •  Park’s online Bachelor of Science degree in management/healthcare was ranked No. 12 by on its “25 Top Value Healthcare Administration/Management Online Degrees (Bachelor’s) 2019” list.”
          •  Park’s online business degree programs were ranked No. 20 by on its “Best Online Business Degree Programs” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  Through September 27 — Laurel DeFreece Mixed Media Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  August 23 — Opening Convocation, Noon-1 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel (and nationwide via the University’s video portal)
          •  August 23 — Kansas City Area Students/Faculty/Staff Picnic, 1-2:30 p.m., University Front Lawn
          •  August 26 — “Gandhi: The First Peace Journalist,” 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  August 27 — “The Status of Peacebuilding Between India and Pakistan,” 7 p.m., Hudson Auditorium, Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan.
          •  August 29 — Gilbert Campus Opening Convocation, 11 a.m. Gilbert Campus
          •  August 30 — Minot (N.D.) Air Force Base Commencement, 6 p.m., James Crawford Airman Leadership School Building
          •  September 2 — Labor Day Holiday (all University offices closed; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Fall I classes held as scheduled)
          •  September 6 — Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Campus Commencement, Noon, Pacific Views Event Center
          •  September 12 — Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture: Stephen Walt, “Can America Still Have a Successful Foreign Policy?” 6:30 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  September 14 — Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Commencement, 4 p.m., Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, Tucson, Ariz.
          •  September 17 — Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Commencement, 6 p.m., Fort Irwin Center Chapel
          •  September 18 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra Mini Concert, 4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  September 19 — International Talk Like a Pirate Day
          •  September 19-21 — Homecoming and Family Weekend, Parkville Campus
          •  September 20 — International Center for Music Concert: Stanislav and Friends: An Intimate Evening, 6:30 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  September 21 — Park House Celebration, 1:30 p.m., Park House
          •  September 27 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  October 4 — Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Commencement, 10 a.m., Nutter Field House
          •  October 7-November 22 — Student Military Art Exhibit – “Darkest Hour,” Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  October 7 — Banishing Bullying Behavior: A Call to Action from Early Childhood Through Senior Adulthood presentation by Blanche Sosland, 3 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  October 13 — Fall I Term Ends
          •  October 14 — Park University Golf Scramble, 10 a.m., The National Golf Club of Kansas City
          •  October 14-20 — Fall Recess
          •  October 21 — Fall II Term Begins

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



Park University’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

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