The Crow’s Nest — August 3, 2020

President Greg GundersonPresident Gunderson Statement on Social Justice

On July 16, Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., penned a letter to students, faculty, staff and University stakeholders in support of social justice. Read the entire statement at

Lisa HickokHickok Appointed Executive Director of International Center for Music

Park University has appointed Lisa Hickok as the executive director of its International Center for Music. Hickok began her role on July 13. As executive director of the ICM, Hickok will be focused on fundraising growth and audience engagement, as well as developing community partnerships and securing philanthropic support for the program.

While Hickok joins the University in an official capacity, she is very familiar with the ICM, having previously worked as a consultant with the program dating back to January 2017. Hickok founded Merrill LLC, a Kansas City, Mo., based consulting firm in 2013, dedicated to serving nonprofit organizations. Previously, she has served as executive director and marketing director for Summerfest Concerts Inc., director of marketing for the Kansas City Ballet, director of advertising and promotions for the Westin Crown Center hotel and director of creative services for Function Junction. Read more about Hickok at

Pirate logoPark University Golf Scramble Set for Oct. 12 to Benefit Parkville Athletic Programs

The 2020 Park University Golf Scramble, a four-person tournament that benefits the University’s Parkville Campus athletics programs, is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 12, at The National Golf Club of Kansas City. Golfers get on the course with a shotgun start at 10 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament will be limited to 25 teams (100 players). Registration fees are $225 per golfer or $900 per four-person team, and a variety of sponsorship packages are available, ranging in price from $1,400 to $5,000. Entries include 18 holes of golf with a cart, box lunch on the course, driving range access prior to the event, on-course games and contests, and refreshments. To register for the tournament or for more information, visit For questions about the tournament or sponsorship levels, contact Nathan Marticke, chief advancement officer, at or (816) 584-6844.

Park University Announces Graduates from Hill AFB Campus, Washington, D.C. Area Campuses

Park University has announced its list of graduates from the following campuses:
          •  Fort Myer (Va.) / Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) / Marine Corps Base Quantico (Va.)
          •  Hill Air Force Base (Utah)

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Alla Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of healthcare administration, and Harold Griffin, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of healthcare administration, presented their article on “Overcoming Skill Gaps Using Conferencing Technology in the Virtual Classroom” at the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs Conference, held virtually in late June. The duo had the opportunity to present the article after being recognized as a Best of Region honoree at the ACBSP Region 5 Conference last fall. In addition, Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., professor of marketing, was elected to a three-year term to serve on ACBSP’s Accreditation Governance Board.

Associate vice president for academic operationsKatie Ervin, Ed.D., associate vice president of academic operations, was appointed to the Keystone Innovation District’s Standing Committee for Research and Advanced Studies. The KID brings together regional universities, philanthropic leaders, corporations and entrepreneurs with the goal of planning, developing and operating a diverse and thriving innovation community in downtown Kansas City.

Bridget Locke, director of strategic communication, was elected to a two-year term on the board of directors for KC Mothers in Charge. The organization’s mission is to reduce violent crime through prevention, education and intervention, and to guide and support the families of victims.

Park University received $5,000 from RecognizeGood in Austin, Texas, for work that 14 students at the Austin Campus completed as part of an ethical business research project to research more than 2,800 Austin area companies during the 2019-20 academic year. The project was facilitated by Jolene Lampton, Ph.D., professor of accounting/management. The funds are expected to be divided into five $1,000 scholarships for Austin Campus students. RecognizeGood is a nonprofit organization that provides the means for anyone to illuminate, connect with and learn from great examples of goodness.

Park in the News

A story about Victor Torres, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Park University in 1994 while serving a life sentence in prison, appeared in the New York Daily News in June. Torres and his brother recently had their sentences commuted by a judge based on their decades of good deeds behind bars.

Matt Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, was interviewed for a story that aired on KCTV in Kansas City on July 1 related to Johnson County, Kan., commissioners considering Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order mandating the wearing of face masks across the state. Harris was also interviewed by KMBZ-FM in Kansas City for a story that aired on July 21 related to politics and the wearing of face masks.

Mohamed Abualhaija, D.B.A., associate professor of accounting, provided comments for a story on “Credit Card Consolidation Loan Offers” that appeared on on July 7.

Jack MacLennan, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, appeared in a live, 22-minute interview segment on “Up To Date” on KCUR-FM in Kansas City on July 7. MacLennan was interviewed about online and distance learning in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pamela Stewart, ’88, M.D., was featured in a story that appeared in the Garden City (Kan.) Telegram on July 7. Stewart recently opened Buffalo Plains Health Center in the town.

Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, was featured in the Platte County (Mo.) Citizen on July 8. The article focused on the CGPJ’s scope of work.

Stories about Park University’s response to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announcement that international students would have to leave the country or risk deportation if colleges switch to online-only courses (as a result of the coronavirus pandemic) aired on Kansas City area media outlets on July 8-9. KCTV, KSHB-TV, WDAF-TV and KCUR-FM all interviewed President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., and KCTV and KSHB-TV interviewed women’s volleyball student-athletes Nada and Noura Meawad for their thoughts on the situation. In addition, Nada Meawad participated in a live interview on the subject on KCUR’s “Up to Date” program on July 14 (interview begins at start of program).

Later in the day on July 14, following an announcement that the government had agreed to rescind ICE and Department of Homeland Security rules, Gunderson and the Meawads were interview by WDAF-TV for a story that aired that night. Gunderson was also interviewed by KCUR-FM.

Lisa Hickok, executive director of the International Center for Music, was featured in an article that appeared in The Independent, Kansas City’s journal of society, on July 10.

Park University’s First Family was featured in a cover story in the July issue of Northland Neighbors magazine.

A feature story on Mario Segura, who recently signed to be a student-athlete at Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus as a member of the baseball team, appeared in the San Tan Valley (Ariz.) Sentinel on July 14.

Gina Chambers, Ph.D., and Suzanne Tiemann, Ph.D., assistant professors of education, were both interviewed for a story that aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on July 16. The story was on how the coronavirus pandemic has forced educators to re-imagine models for teaching and touched on Park’s Master of Education in Educational Technology for Teachers program.

A story about Jefferson Roblee, ’95, being appointed the women’s soccer assistant coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College appeared on the Wyandotte (County, Kan.) Daily website on July 24.

Alissia Canady, ’08, a former member of the Kansas City, Mo., City Council and a 2020 candidate for Missouri lieutenant governor, was featured in Essence magazine on July 24 as she attempts to be the first Black person to be elected to a Missouri statewide office.

A feature story on Kailei Edwards, who recently signed to be a student-athlete at Park University’s Gilbert Campus as a member of the women’s basketball team, appeared in her hometown newspaper, The Independent, in Moriarty, N.M., on July 29.

Park University received the following rankings:
          •  The Kansas City Business Journal ranked Park No. 76 on its list of “Private-Sector Employees in the July 17 edition. The ranking was based on the number of full-time equivalent employees in the Kansas City area as of June.
          • ranked Park No. 12 on its “25 Best Online Executive MBA for 2020” list.
          • ranked Park No. 28 on its “Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs” list.
          • ranked Park No. 31 on its “Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  August 11-12 — Fall Faculty Conference, Virtual
          •  August 17 — Fall I Term / Fall Semester Begins
          •  August 21 — Opening Convocation, Virtual
          •  September 7 — Labor Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; Parkville and Gilbert daytime classes cancelled; Fall I classes held as scheduled)
          •  September 10 — Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture: Dr. Norma Riccucci, noon, Virtual
          •  September 12 — Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Commencement, 4 p.m., Sea of Glass Center for the Arts, Tucson, Ariz.
          •  September 17-19 — Homecoming and Family Weekend, Parkville Campus
          •  September 17 — International Center for Music Gala, TBA, Boulevard Drive-In, Kansas City, Kan.
          •  September 18 — Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Campus Commencement, noon, Camp Pendleton Theater and Training Center
          •  September 19 — International Talk Like a Pirate Day
          •  September 25-27 — International Center for Music Concert: Stanislav and Friends Virtual Broadcast

The following events were/are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
          •  July 31 — Hill Air Force Base (Utah) Campus Commencement
          •  August 8 — El Paso (Texas) Campus / Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.) Campus Commencement (rescheduled for January 30, 2021)
          •  August 21 — Minot (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Commencement, 2 p.m., James Crawford Airman Leadership School Building Auditorium
          •  September 17 — Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Commencement (tentatively rescheduled for unknown date in January 2021)
          •  September 18 — Naval Support Activity Mid-South Millington (Tenn.) Campus Commencement
          •  October 13 — River Read Children’s Literature Festival

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.