The Crow’s Nest — February 16, 2018


Enrollment data for Park University’s 2018 Spring I term has been reported, and once again, the University has experienced enrollment growth. According to a recent University-wide e-mail sent by President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., overall student credit hours are up approximately 4.8 percent over the same period last year. This resulted in tuition revenue up more than $1.3 million over budget for this period. In addition, there were growth percentages worth noting when comparing Spring I 2017 to Spring I 2018: Parkville Campus enrollment is up 10.5 percent in credit hours and graduate enrollment is up 31 percent in credit hours. Also, Park’s retention rate from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018 has increased 4.5 percent and the University also achieved fall to spring year-over-year retention growth at a rate of 2 percent per year for the past five years. Retention is a major contributor to the speed with which the University has achieved overall growth in enrollment.


Laurel Gagnon, ’17, and a current graduate student in the Park University International Center for Music, placed fourth in the Singapore International Violin Competition, held Jan. 28 through Feb. 8. By finishing in fourth place, Gagnon won $6,000 and a three-year loan of a rare violin from the Rin Collection — a 1719 Carlo Tononi violin. Gagnon was one of 34 competitors from 11 countries (and one of five from the U.S.) invited to compete in the event. Just 12 advanced to the semifinals, and Gagnon was one of six (and the only American) to advance to the finals. Video of Gagnon’s performances can be viewed at the following:


Park University has selected the Class of 2018 for the Park Athletics Wall of Honor, a class that will include Ed Bradley, the 2017 Northland (Kansas City) Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Northlander of the Year who passed away on Feb. 2. Bradley served in many volunteer capacities for the University, including lending his time to the selection of candidates as a member of the Wall of Honor selection committee since 2015. He was recognized as Park’s Torchlighter Award winner in 2015, an honor given by the Park University Alumni Association to individuals who have made significant, longstanding contributions and commitment to the University. He was also part of the accreditation process for the Park University School of Business as a founding member of the School of Business Advisory Council. His engagement in the community also touched Park University athletics in ways that will stand for years to come. Bradley rarely missed a game, and his seat will be permanently marked inside the Breckon Sports Center.

“Ed’s commitment to our athletes, our coaches and this University as a whole will live on for years to come,” said Park Director of Athletics Claude English. “It was an honor to be able to tell Ed that he had been selected for the Wall of Honor when he came back in the room during our selection process a few weeks ago. The smile on his face that day is one I won’t forget, and it is a privilege for me to be able to enshrine his legacy permanently in our Wall of Honor. Ed will be missed. He is family.” Read more about Bradley’s selection at


A discussion focusing on James Reese Europe, an American ragtime bandleader and composer, and his impact on jazz throughout the European continent during World War I, will be presented on Monday, Feb. 26, starting at 7 p.m. at the Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th Street, in Kansas City, Mo. The event, “From Bandana Land to No Man’s Land: James Reese Europe’s Musical Journey,” is presented as part of Park University’s 17th annual Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested to ensure admission. Visit to register and for more information. Attendees are invited to attend a post-lecture gathering at the Blue Room Jazz Club across the street from the Gem Theater in the 18th and Vine District.

Michael Dinwiddie, associate professor at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, will be the featured speaker. In addition, a Kansas City area jazz band is scheduled to perform some of Europe’s compositions during the program. According to Eubie Blake, Europe (1881-1919) was the “Martin Luther King of music.” Already an accomplished jazz musician when the U.S. entered World War I, Europe was commissioned a lieutenant for the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, later known as the 369th Infantry Regiment nicknamed the “Harlem Hellfighters.” His 369th Regiment Marching Band became one of the most famous military bands throughout the European continent, introducing jazz to British, French and other European audiences.


Six members of the Kansas City, Mo., based Latino Writers Collective will present a poetry reading on Thursday, Feb. 22, starting at 7 p.m. in the McCoy Meetin’ House on Park University’s Parkville Campus. A reception will precede the event at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the reading, a part of the University’s Year of Diversity series of events, is free. The LWC members will read a mix of poetry and fiction, and also share their experiences as Latinos in the U.S. The Latino Writers Collective provides creative support and coordinates projects to showcase local and national Latino writers, and serves as role models and instruction to Latino youth. Its mission is to foster an environment where the voices of Latino students, blue collar workers, professionals and homemakers can be heard, contributing their experience and vision to the community.


The Banneker School Foundation will host its annual fundraising breakfast on Monday, Feb. 26, at Park University. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. in the Park Distance Learning Conference Center within the Parkville (Mo.) Commercial Underground on the University’s Parkville Campus. The event, in partnership with the University, will include an update related to restoration and fundraising efforts of the historic one-room structure, located at 31 W. 8th Street in Parkville, built in 1885 to educate children of color. Delia Cook Gillis, Ph.D., professor of history and director of the Center of Africana Studies at the University of Central Missouri, will be the featured speaker at the event. The Platte County Parks and Recreation Outreach Program continues to assist with restoration efforts. Tickets for the event are $35 per person and can be purchased at or at the door the day of the event. Sponsorships are also available for $1,000 per table. For more information about the event or to purchase a table, contact Banneker School Foundation board member Adrian Singletary at or (816) 359-6589.


Stacey Kikendall, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and associate director of the Faculty Center for Innovation, authored the chapter “(Im)prudent Travel: The Politics of Location and the Gendered Experience in Mary Wollstonecraft’s and Mary Shelley’s Travel Writing” for the recently published book, The Future of Feminist Eighteenth-Century Scholarship: Beyond Recovery.

Henry Roehrich, Ph.D., associate professor of management and marketing, and chair and program coordinator for logistics and management, served as a judge for the 2017-18 American Marketing Association Collegiate Case Competition. The program is a year-long event showcasing students working on a marketing challenge submitted by a sponsoring organization, with the sponsor providing a detailed marketing problem for students to develop a marketing strategy.

Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, returned from a successful collecting trip in Antarctica over the winter break. Ryberg and colleagues from the University of Kansas spent five weeks camping in the Shackleton Glacier region about 300 miles from the South Pole. The purpose of the trip was to collect fossil plants and trees to figure out what the landscape of Antarctica looked like 260 million years ago. When the fossil plants were alive, Antarctica was located about where it is today, but the planet was warm enough that plants grew really close to the South Pole. Ryberg and the KU paleobotanists hope to determine what plants grew in Antarctica (several with no living relatives) and how plants thrive in an extreme polar environment when the sun doesn’t set for six months and the other six months are dark.


A company whose chief operating officer is Park University alumnus Ernie Nabors, ’01, MBA ’09, has been ranked by Fortunemagazine as one of the “40 Best Workplaces in Technology.” An article about the company, Data Management Inc. Time Clock Plus, appeared in a Jan. 20 issue of the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times.

In a related story, Nabors was appointed president of Data Management Inc. Time Clock Plus, according to a story that appeared on the San Angelo Live! website on Feb. 2.

Park University’s International Center for Music was featured on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on Jan. 22 in a series of stories. The spots included comments from Roger Kugler, D.M.A., director of the ICM, and violinist Hanna Zhdan, senior applied music/strings major.

A review of a concert performed on Jan. 21 by Kenny Broberg, graduate student in the Park International Center for Music, appeared on the “San Francisco Classical Voice” website on Jan. 23.

A story about John Knight, ’97, being appointed command sergeant major for the 3rd Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas, appeared in the El Paso (Texas) Times on Feb. 1.

Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, appeared on the radio program “Central Standard” on KCUR-FM in Kansas City on Feb. 1 (interview begins approximately at the 16 minute mark). Ryberg was interviewed for 21 minutes related to her research trip to Antarctica (see story in “Faculty, Staff, Student News” section above). Ryberg was also interviewed on KSHB-TV’s “Kansas City Live” program on Feb. 6 to discuss her trip to Antarctica.

An investigative story related to rhinoceros horn trafficking in a small Missouri town that aired on WDAF-TV  in Kansas City on Feb. 5, included comments from Alicia Wedel, ’09, an animal assistant manager at the Kansas City Zoo. The story was produced by Lisa McCormick, ’83, investigative producer at WDAF-TV.

A story related to Jason Withington, M.P.A. ’07, starting a petition drive to request the Missouri State Auditor’s office to do a performance audit on the financial and regulatory practices of Clay County, Mo., appeared in The Kansas City Star on Feb. 7.

Cecil Graham, ’91, was the focus of a story that appeared in the Redstone Rocket, a newspaper published at Army Garrison-Redstone, in Decatur, Ala., on Feb. 7. The article is a part of a series about Vietnam veterans as the U.S. commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

A story about Doug Short, ’06, currently pursuing a Master of Education degree in Leading Adult and Organizational Learning, appeared in The Examiner (Independence, Mo., newspaper) on Feb. 8. Short who served the City of Independence as its deputy fire chief for three years, was appointed fire chief in December 2017.

More Park University degree programs have been ranked by various websites:

  • Bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice administration ranked No. 8 by on its “Best Criminal Justice Degrees” list.
  • Online degree programs in information and computer science ranked No. 14 by Open Education Database on its “Best Online Computer Science Programs” list.
  • In addition, the University was ranked No. 50 by on its “Best Online Colleges Ranking 2018” list.


(All events are Central time)

  • Through February 23 — Lynn Richardson “Surfaces” Two-Dimensional Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery
  • February 19 — President’s Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
  • February 22 — Latino Writers Collective Poetry Reading, 7 p.m., McCoy Meetin’ House
  • February 25 — Baseball Book Notes Spring Series: A Long Way From Home Film and Discussion, 3 p.m., Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
  • February 26 — Banneker School Foundation Annual Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center
  • February 26 — Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture: “From Bandana Land to No Man’s Land” – James Reese Europe’s Musical Journey” by Michael Dinwiddie, 7 p.m. Gem Theater, Kansas City, Mo.
  • March 2 — Park University International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
  • March 5-April 26 — New Works Faculty Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery
  • March 11 — Spring I Term Ends
  • March 11 — Park University International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Plamena Mangova, 4 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
  • March 12-18 — Spring Recess
  • March 19 — Spring II Term Begins
  • April 7 — Park University International Center for Music Concert: Cellist Daniel Veis and Pianist Helena Veisova, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
  • April 15 — Park University International Center for Music Concert: Violinist David Radzynski and Pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, 4 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.

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.