The Crow’s Nest — December 6, 2021

Yira BrimageBrimage Appointed to Lead Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus

Yira Brimage has been appointed to serve as the vice president of Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus, effective Nov. 15. In her role as vice president, Brimage holds the top leadership position for the University’s Gilbert Campus and she is a member of the University’s executive leadership team. She is responsible for leading the strategic growth and operations of the campus, including academic programming, market development, community relations, fundraising, enrollment growth, student services, student academic support, student engagement, and athletic program development and growth.

Most recently, Brimage has been the principal and owner of Brimage Consulting in Tucson, Ariz., which specializes in working with educational, health care and small businesses to prepare their workforces with competency-based skill development. Brimage is not a stranger to higher education in Arizona. For nearly four years (August 2014 to June 2018) she served as vice president of student affairs and engagement at Pima Community College’s downtown campus in Tucson. She also served a variety of roles with Maricopa Community Colleges for 14 years, including vice president of student affairs at Phoenix College from 2010-14, and associate dean of enrollment services (2000-05), dean of student affairs (2005-09) and acting vice president of student affairs (2009-10) at Scottsdale Community College. Brimage began her career in higher education at Arizona State University, serving nine years in undergraduate admissions for various campuses, as well as in student affairs for the ASU East (now Polytechnic) Campus. Read more about Brimage at

Pirate logoParkville, Gilbert Campus Athletic Teams Earn Conference Honors

Members of Park University’s Parkville (Mo.) Campus and Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus athletic teams have received post-season accolades from their respective athletic conferences.

Highlighting the selections was Parkville Campus women’s volleyball player senior Nada Meawad being named as the Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Year and Attacker of the Year, both for the second straight year. All told, it is the fourth season Meawad has been named conference POY (two years were a part of the American Midwest Conference) and fifth consecutive season as a first team all-conference pick (three years in the AMC). In addition, Mike Talamantes was named the HAAC Coach of the Year for the second straight year. Joining Meawad on the all-conference first team was her twin sister, Noura Meawad, senior, and freshmen Vera Beltrame and Debora Bernardi. Read more at

Nada Meawad was also selected as the Midwest Sports Net 2021 NAIA Player of the Year.

Three members of the Gilbert Campus women’s volleyball team earned California Pacific Conference first team all-conference honors, including freshman Amanda Jonovich, who also claimed Attacker of the Year recognition. Joining her on the first team was graduate student Miranda Bacon and sophomore Hattie Patton. In addition, Justin Marshall, associate head coach, was named Cal Pac Assistant Coach of the Year. Read more at

Sophomore Nicklaus Sullivan, a member of the Gilbert Campus men’s soccer team, was named the California Pacific Conference Offensive Player of the Year and earned a first team all-conference selection. Read more at

Park Undergraduate Research Journal Accepting Submissions

Park University’s undergraduate research journal, The Navigator, is accepting submissions for its next volume. All Park undergraduate students can submit their academic writing from any discipline from the 2021 calendar year for possible publication. Projects that can be read/viewed in print and online are encouraged. Images are acceptable as long as they can be printed in black and white or grayscale. You may also use the citation style most appropriate for your project.

Submissions can be sent to by Friday, Dec. 31, and must include your name, Park ID number, title of the project, the course and instructor for which the project was produced and a short description of the assignment. The best writing published in this edition The Navigator will receive an award and a $50 Amazon gift card.

Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus Baseball Player Featured in Documentary

A documentary that followed three high school student-athletes who traveled daily from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to attend high school in El Paso, Texas, including Park University Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus baseball player Francisco Mata, is scheduled to be released on Amazon Prime and Apple TV this month. The documentary, “Home + Away,” which was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018 (when Mata was a senior at Bowie High School), features three students who had an unusual commute — over the bridge and across the border that separates their hometown from their school. The film follows the students as they navigate academics and athletic competition, while also contending with language barriers, a school in need of greater funding and familial strife. The trailer for the documentary can be viewed at

Interior Design Students to Exhibit Chairs

A student art exhibit featuring chairs created by Park University interior design students is on display in the Campanella Gallery located within Norrington Center on the Parkville (Mo.) Campus through Wednesday, Dec. 22 (except weekends). The exhibit, “Reimagine: The Art of Seating,” will feature the work of 17 students, including: Keely Carnes, Madalyn Darby, Diamond Gordon, Lauren Fabac, Sonja Gormley, Sydni McGuire, Lauren Moore, Sydnee Moye, Morgan Ohland, Kasia Penyock, Kaelyn Pettengill, Emily Reynolds and Victoria Staerke, seniors; Doneisha Baker, Jaqueline Martinez-Aldape and Delaney Wahlert, juniors.

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, chief strategic communications officer, moderated a panel session on “Civic Engagement and Democracy” as part of the National Academy of Public Administration’s Fall Meeting in Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 5. The session included discussion of successful public engagement experiences.

Kristen WhiteleyKristin Whiteley, assistant professor of accounting, was a panelist for a session on “Trends in Accounting Teaching: Traditional vs. Nontraditional Accounting Students” at the Missouri Association of Accounting Educators Conference on Nov. 5 in Osage Beach, Mo.

Tami RadohlTami Radohl, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of social work, presented a session on “Building Community During COVID-19: Lesson’s During Transitions to Blended and Online Learning” during the Council on Social Work Education’s annual meeting on Nov. 6 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Yongzhi WangYongzhi “Joe” Wang, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science and information systems, co-authored an article on “CFHider: Protecting Control Flow Confidentiality with Intel SGX” that appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Computers journal in late October.

Samantha QuinnSamantha Quinn, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication studies, was a co-author on the article “Effects of Mediated Communication on Conflict Behavior, Resolution and Affect in Romantic Couples” that was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships on Nov. 8. The findings of the study highlight the utility of examining both positive and negative conflict behaviors in mediated conflict and suggest that future research should further examine when and how participants compensate for a lack of nonverbal cues in mediated conflict.

James VanderleeuwSusan KeimPark University was well-represented at the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs Region 5 Conference hosted on the University’s Parkville (Mo.) Campus on Nov. 30. A presentation by Susan Keim, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration, and James Vanderleeuw, Ph.D., professor of public administration and director of the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, was selected as the “Best of Region 5.” The presentation, “What Increases Acceptance of Online Learning Among College Students,” will represent the region at the International Best of Regions competition during the ACBSP Conference in June 2022 in Washington, D.C. In addition, a presentation by students Eric Navarrette, graduate student in the Master of Healthcare Administration program, and Douglas Washington Jr., junior management/healthcare major, was selected to represent the region for the International Student Showcase Award at the national conference. Their presentation was on “Curricular Approach to Address Soft Skills Deficiencies.”

Also during the conference, Alla Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of healthcare administration, presented “Turning ‘Soft’ Skill Deficiencies into a Strength,” and Donna Ehrlich, Ph.D., associate professor of computer information management, presented “Digital video Storytelling in a Classroom Assignment.” In addition, Alexandro Beato, D.B.A., adjunct instructor of healthcare administration, was a panelist on “Confessions of Adjunct Faculty: Challenges and Opportunities.”

Park in the News

Park University’s Valor Medals Review and the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War were featured in the November issue of Northland Lifestyle, a Kansas City area regional magazine. Tim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director of the Robb Centre, as well as Ashlyn Weber, Robb Centre associate director and Josh Weston, senior military analyst and senior European history major, provided information and comments for the story.

Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, was featured in Stir, a Vancouver, British Columbia, arts and culture magazine, on Nov. 5, in advance of a performance in the city on Nov. 9.

Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Jeffrey Stitzel, ’03, was inducted into the Michigan Military and Veterans Hall of Honor during a ceremony in Lansing, Mich., on Nov. 19. Stitzel was highlighted on Nov. 7 during the Veterans Radio program (Stitzel feature starts at approximately 14:00).

Maria Ioudenitch, a former student in Park University’s Youth Conservatory for Music and daughter of Stanislav Ioudenitch, associate professor of music/piano and artistic director of the International Center for Music, was featured on on Nov. 12. Maria won the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in October and the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in September.

Matt Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on Nov. 12 related to how Missouri Senate races could be affected based on the outcome of the overturn of a conviction of a man who has spent 40-plus years in prison for a triple murder local prosecutors say he did not commit.

Harris was also interviewed by WDAF-TV in Kansas City on Nov. 22 for stories related to legislators in Kansas having a special session on COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Park University was highlighted in The Kansas City Beacon on Nov. 18. The story was related to KC-area colleges/universities requirements of ACT/SAT scores for admissions. Andrew Davis, senior director of enrollment and student success, provided comments for the story.

Mara Cohara, a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was featured in the November edition of Ingram’s, a Kansas City business magazine, as part of its WeKC – Women Executives Kansas City 2021 list. Cohara is an attorney with Lathrop GPM in Kansas City where she is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and leader of the Environmental and Tort Practice Group.

ECCO Select, led by its president and founder Jeanette Prenger, ’09, the immediate past chair of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was ranked No. 9 on Ingram’s list of the top area women-owned businesses and No. 4 on the list of top area minority-owned businesses, both based on 2020 gross revenue.

Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, provided comments for a story on the importance of peace journalism that appeared on the International Journalists Network website on Nov. 19.

Park University and the Kansas City Chiefs recognized Alaric Deeds with a $10,000 Gold Star Memorial Scholarship prior to the Chiefs game against the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 21. Deeds’ father, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Roger Deeds, was killed in action in Iraq in 2005 when Alaric was just 16 months old. A story that aired on KMBC-TV that evening included video of Vince Clark, Park’s Board of Trustees chair, presenting a check to Alaric. In addition, as part of the halftime festivities, Casi Joy McCall, ’12 (who goes by the stage name Casi Joy), performed “God Bless America.”

Shannon McPherson, ’08, was featured in the Fulton (Mo.) Sun on Nov. 21 as part of the newspaper’s “Kith and Kin” column. McPherson is the director of Kingdom Ministries’ Faith Maternity Care of Mid-Missouri, a nonprofit that provides housing and other assistance to young mothers.

Joshua Lewis, a former Park University student, was featured in The Kansas City Star on Nov. 21. Lewis created the Up Down Night Life app. The article also included a photo of Kirby Appollis, ’16, who works for the app.

A story focused on Kohtaro Goto, who is set to play men’s soccer for Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus, appeared in the Marianas Variety, a newspaper in Saipan, Northern Mariana, Micronesia, on Nov. 22.

Danielle Theiss, director of library services, was featured as the Member of the Month for the Distance and Online Learning Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Mark Noe, Ph.D., director of the Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership program, chair of the Department of Communication, Journalism and Public Relations, and professor of communication arts, appeared on the podcast “Dropping Jewels in Kansas City with Morgan” on Nov. 23 to talk about Park University.

Park University is ranked No. 4 among the largest Kansas City-area colleges and universities, as ranked by total local Fall 2021 enrollment, according to rankings published in the Kansas City Business Journal on Nov. 19. announced its 2022 rankings in mid-November. Among the highlighted national rankings for Park University (top 10 only):
          •  Most Popular Online Child Development and Psychology Schools, No. 1
          •  Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Online Child Development and Psychology Schools, No. 1
          •  Most Focused Colleges for Social Psychology, No. 1
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Geography, No. 2
          •  Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Online Geography Schools, No. 2
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for General Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, No. 3
          •  Most Popular Online Geography and Cartography Schools, No. 3
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Human Resource Management, No. 4
          •  Most Popular Online General Computer and Information Sciences Schools, No. 4
          •  Most Popular Colleges for Health Information Management, No. 4
          •  Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Online General Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration Schools, No. 5
          •  Most Focused Colleges for Child Development and Psychology, No. 5
          •  Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Online Human Resource Management Schools, No. 6
          •  Best Psychology Associate Degree Schools, No. 7
          •  Best Value Associate Degree Colleges for Psychology, No. 7
          •  Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for General Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, No. 7
          •  Most Popular Online Human Resource Management Schools, No. 7
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for General Business Administration and Management, No. 10
          •  Most Focused Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for General Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, No. 10

Regionally (top 5 only):
          •  Best Value Associate Degree Colleges for Supply Chain Management in the Plains States Region, No. 1
          •  Top Plains States Region Schools for an Associate in Psychology, No. 1
          •  Top Plains States Region Schools for an Associate in Business Administration, No. 1
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Construction Management in the Plains States Region, No. 2
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Supply Chain Management in the Plains States Region, No. 2
          •  Best Value Master’s Degree Colleges for Information Technology in the Plains States Region, No. 2
          •  Best Value Associate Degree Colleges for General Business Administration and Management in the Plains States Region, No. 2
          •  Top Plains States Region Schools in Geography, No. 2
          •  Top Plains States Region Schools for a Bachelor’s in Geography, No. 2
          •  Top Plains States Region Schools for a Bachelor’s in Human Resources Management, No. 4
          •  Top Plains States Region Schools for an Associate in Business, Management and Marketing, No. 5
          •  Best Value Bachelor’s Degree Colleges for Sociology in the Plains States Region, No. 5

In addition, ranked Park University No. 4 on its Top 10 Online Associates in Construction Management for 2022 list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  Through December 22 — Student Art Exhibit: “Reimagine: The Art of Seating” (chairs by interior design students, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  December 10 — International Sash Ceremony, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  December 11 — Kansas City Area December Commencement, 10 a.m., Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Mo.
          •  December 12 — Fall Semester / Fall II Term Ends
          •  December 23-24 — Christmas Holiday Observed (all University offices closed)
          •  December 31 — New Year’s Day Holiday Observed (all University offices closed)
          •  January 4-February 26 — Frank Hamilton Photography Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  January 10 — Spring Semester / Spring I Term Begins
          •  January 17 — Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (all University offices closed; Parkville and Gilbert daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
          •  January 29 — International Center for Music Concert: Violinist Elmar Oliveira, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.

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.