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The Crow’s Nest — February 3, 2023

Park University Hosting Black History Month Events

During the month of February, Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus will host a number of Black History Month-related public events. Admission to all events is free and open to the public; two of the events will be livestreamed.
Andrea Hendricks          •  Thursday, Feb. 16, Andrea Hendricks, Ed.D., will present a talk on “Bold Inclusion for Greatness – The Journey,” starting at 10 a.m. in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater inside Alumni Hall. The event will also be livestreamed via the University’s video portal at
          •  Wednesday, Feb. 22, the University’s McAfee Memorial Library will present a movie screening and discussion of the film “I Am Not Your Negro,” starting Andrea Leeat 2 p.m. in the David Theater.
          •  Thursday, Feb. 23, Andrea Lee, Ph.D., Park University associate professor of fine art and director of the Campanella Gallery, will present a talk related to the history of African American art, starting at 6 p.m. in the Norrington Center Learning Lab.
          •  Tuesday, Feb. 28, retired Col. Dwayne Wagner, will present a Dwayne Wagnerdiscussion titled “We Have Come a Long Way…We Have a Ways to Go,” starting at 10 a.m. in the David Theater. The event will also be livestreamed via the University’s video portal at

Read additional details about these events at In addition, visit for more information about Park University’s Black History Month celebration.

Park University Announces Top 10 Events, Stories from 2022

Park University celebrated another historic and noteworthy year in 2022 as the University and its students, employees and alumni garnered national media attention, and earned international, national and local honors. Park’s Office of Strategic Communications compiled the University’s biggest events and stories of the year, and asked five members of the University’s staff to pick their top 10 moments from 2022. The voting was tight as only three of the 44 events/stories on the poll were named on all five ballots and three others appeared on four ballots. In fact, 20 of the 44 events/stories were named on at least one ballot.

Shane SmeedHere are the top three Park University stories/events from 2022:
          1.  Park University’s Board of Trustees appointed Shane Smeed as the school’s 18th president, effective January 1.
          2.  A documentary, “More Than a Medal,” which explores the work of the Valor Medals Review Project by Park University’s George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War, debuted on March 24 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo.
          3.  The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development awarded Park University a $999,508 Private MoExcels grant via the American Rescue Plan Act.

Voting was completed by Erik Bergrud, chief strategic communications officer; Brad Biles, director of communications and public relations; Nathan Marticke, chief advancement officer; Michelle Myers, Ed.D., provost; and Kena Wolf, chief enrollment management officer. Read more about the top three and view the entire top 10 list at

Grant Received for Sport/Exercise Science and Nursing Programs

Park University has received a $108,758 grant from U.S. Trust: Victor E. Speas Foundation in support of the Sport and Exercise Science and Nursing programs. The grant will allow the Sport and Exercise Science program to purchase a portable metabolic analyzer — a multipurpose laboratory and research-grade medical testing device with health, fitness and sport-specific testing applications. For the Nursing program, the grant will allow for the purchase of two clinical skills simulation mannequins, which are designed to meet educational requirements for clinical nursing skills from task training through advanced patient care scenarios, as well as for two hospital beds for the mannequins. The grant amount includes equipment, accessories, shipping/handling, staff time and training.

How-To Tuesdays with Park University’s Library

Join Park University’s McAfee Memorial Library for its monthly “How-To Tuesday” virtual webinar series. How-to-Tuesday explores fundamental and frequently asked research questions to support Park students, faculty and staff. Join the library staff for sessions such as “What’s the Difference Between an Annotated Bibliography and a Literature Review?” and “What are Some Alternatives to Using Wikipedia or Google for Research?” How-To Tuesdays are held the second Tuesday each month at 4 p.m. Central time. If you can’t make the live session, you can register to have the recorded version sent to you at the conclusion of the event. View all of the library’s upcoming How-To Tuesdays and other events at

Registration Open 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

Upcoming Concerts for International Center for Music’s February, March Schedule

Park University’s International Center for Music will host five concerts during February and March as part of its 2022-23 season schedule. The featured concert is the ICM’s signature event — the 4th annual Stanislav and Friends concert — on Saturday, March 11, starting at 7 p.m. at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo. This concert will feature ICM faculty, students and alumni performing, as well as the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. For more information about this event, visit Regular individual ticket prices (before fees) range from $28.50 to $58.50, but discounts are available — $10 discount for “Grand Tier” level seats (using code “PARKSTAS”) or 50 percent discount on all other available seats (using code “VIRTUOSO”). Tickets can be purchased through the Kauffman Center at (enter discount code before choosing seats).

Additional concerts in February and March include:
          •  Thursday, Feb. 9 — Violinist Ben Sayevich and pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building
          •  Friday, Feb. 17 — ICM Orchestra with guest conductor Suzanna Pavlovsky, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  Friday, Feb. 24 — Pianist Claudio Martinez Mehner, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building
          •  Friday, March 31 — ICM Orchestra with guest conductor Laura Jackson, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

Admission to the Feb. 17 and March 31 ICM Orchestra concerts is free. Admission to the concerts at the 1900 Building is $30 for adults and $10 for students with I.D. For complete information on these and other upcoming concerts, visit

Sport and Exercise Science Program Receives Recognition

Park University’s Bachelor of Science degree programs in sport and exercise science at the flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus and Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus are now recognized through the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Education Recognition Program. The NSCA’s ERP affirms Park’s commitment to quality in the training of certified personal trainers and certified strength and conditioning coaches. According to Tim Hanrahan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, this is a first step toward accreditation needed to continue the programs in 2028.

Important Traffic Alert for Kansas City Area Motorists

The Missouri Department of Transportation will make significant traffic pattern changes in February related to the Buck O’Neil Bridge project that will affect traffic to/from Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus and the Downtown Kansas City (Mo.) Campus for a significant period of time. Among the changes will be a total closure of southbound U.S. 169 from the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport to 5th Street in downtown Kansas City beginning Monday, Feb. 6, through Fall 2024. This more than 600-day closure is part of the construction of the new U.S. 169 Buck O’Neil Bridge and will allow crews to tie the new southbound bridge into the new flyover ramps to Interstate 35.

Traffic control for this work will require various lane closures beginning overnight on Saturday, Feb. 4. Motorists can expect southbound U.S. 169 to be closed no later than rush hour on Monday morning, Feb. 6. All work is weather permitting.

Please note:
          •  Southbound U.S. 169 traffic will be detoured to I-29/I-35 (Christopher Bond Bridge).
          •  Northbound U.S. 169 will remain open to traffic during this time.
          •  Access to and from the Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport will be available via southbound U.S. 169 at Missouri Route 9.
                 o  Southbound U.S. 169 south of Missouri Route 9 will be open for airport access only. There will be no access across southbound U.S. 169 via the Buck O’Neil Bridge.

Motorists should also note that beginning in March 2023, the following ramps will be closed until December 2023:
          •  The ramp from westbound I-70 to southbound I-35.
          •  The ramp from 5th Street to southbound I-35.

You can stay up to date on this work by visiting or by following MoDOT_KC on Twitter via the hashtag #BuckBridge.

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Sawyer SmithSawyer Smith, a senior biology major, is one of 14 students across the country who will be honored by the Society of Toxicology with a SOT Undergraduate Research Award during the organization’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., in March. The award recognizes outstanding undergraduates who have not yet received a bachelor’s degree and will be presenting research at the annual meeting. The goal of the award is to foster interest in graduate studies in the field of toxicology. Smith, who conducted his research at the University of Kansas Medical Center, will present on “Delayed Liver Regeneration and Enhanced Neutrophil Recruitment after Severe Acetaminophen Overdose in Female Mice.”

Kay BarnesKay Barnes, senior director for university engagement, has been selected to serve as the honorary chair for the Downtown Council of Kansas City’s 2023 annual luncheon on Friday, April 14.

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, chief strategic communications officer, is a part of the broadcast team for the Major Arena Soccer League’s 10-game regular season broadcast package that airs nationwide on SiriusXM (FC 157) every Friday night.

Nicholas MiceliNicholas Miceli, Ph.D., associate professor of management/human resources, co-authored the article “High Prevalence of Cardiac Amyloidosis in Clinically Significant Aortic Stenosis: A Meta-Analysis” for the December 2022 edition of the journal Cardiology Research. The article concluded that cardiac amyloidosis has a high prevalence in patients with aortic stenosis and is associated with worse clinical, imaging and biochemical parameters than patients with aortic stenosis alone.

Eugene MatthewsA book authored by Eugene Matthews, Ph.D. associate professor of criminal justice administration, was published in January via Amazon Kindle. The book, Introduction to Fine Art Drone Photography, explains how this form of photography differs from traditional ground-based photography, and provides an understanding of some common aspects of photography, including composition, leading lines, negative space and dynamism.

Park University students accompanied by Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, participated in a roundtable discussion with Elizabeth Trudeau, acting assistant secretary for global public affairs at the U.S. Department of State on Jan. 26 in Kansas City, Mo.

Alivia ZubrodAlivia Zubrod, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, co-authored the article “How Culturally Unique are Pandemic Effects? Evaluating Cultural Similarities and Differences in Effects of Age, Biological Sex and Political Beliefs on COVID Impacts” recently published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Yongzhi WangYongzhi (Joe) Wang, Ph.D., associate professor of computer science and information systems, co-authored an editorial titled “Special Section on Next-Generation Networks for Industry 4.0: Using Cutting-Edge Technologies to Connect, Communicate and Compute” for the January issue of IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine. He also served as a guest editor for the publication.

Brad KleindlBrad Kleindl, Ph.D., professor of marketing, co-authored the 10th edition of the textbook Principles of Business, published in early January. According to Kleindl, the book is a market-leading introductory business text that offers extensive coverage in major business concepts, such as finance, marketing, operations and management. He added that students gain valuable information and skills for the workplace, as well as preparation for success in competitive events.

Park in the News

Matt Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on Jan. 10 related to the constitutional ballot initiative process in Missouri.

A story about José Estrella, ’10, being appointed district chief of the Boston Fire Department appeared in El Mundo Boston on Jan. 12. Estrella is the first Dominican Republic immigrant to be sworn in to the position.

News announcing Shayla Marshall, ’07, J.D., being appointed as the new judge for the Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court effective Feb. 1, appeared on the City’s website on Jan. 13. Marshall previously served as a state public defender.

Park University’s International Center for Music was featured in KC Studio on Jan. 13. The article focused on Stanislav Ioudenitch, ICM artistic director, who helped begin the ICM.

Carol Rossi-Zabielski, ’04, MBA ’08, was highlighted in the January/February issue of Kansas City Homes & Style in the magazine’s “Reinventing Spaces” section. Rossi-Zabielski is a Kansas City area real estate agent.

A story about Park University Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus women’s basketball recruit Kiley Bush appeared in the Arizona Republic on Jan. 19. Bush’s passion was dance while growing up, but she progressively lost most of her hearing before turning to basketball. She is currently averaging 18.5 points and 17.2 rebounds per game for her high school team.

Park University’s International Center for Music was featured in a full-page spread of six photos in The Independent, Kansas City’s journal of society, on Jan. 21, highlighting two recent ICM-related trips to see performances by Ilya Shmukler, ICM graduate student, in New York City, and Behzod Abduraimov, ICM artist-in-residence, in Cleveland, with David Radzynski, ’14, who serves as concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra.

A story related to Caidyn Bentz, Plattsburg (Mo.) High School senior, signing a letter-of-intent to play softball at the flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus, aired on KQTV in St. Joseph, Mo., on Jan. 24.

Jeanette Prenger, ’09, and immediate past chair of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was highlighted in the first 2023 issue of Hispanic Executive as part of a feature on “A Tech-Focused Future.” The publication re-published an August 2022 feature article on Prenger.

Stories related to vandalism at Washington Chapel C.M.E. Church in Parkville, Mo., were published in The Kansas City Star and Flatland KC / Kansas City PBS, and appeared on KMBC-TV/KCWE-TV in Kansas City in late January. A large stained-glass window that displayed the name of Park University’s co-founder and first president John A. McAfee was damaged.

Casi Joy McCall, ’12 (who goes by the stage name Casi Joy), was featured in a “Music Spotlight” article that appeared in the Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Voice on Jan. 31.

Park University was ranked No. 4 by the Kansas City Business Journal on its list of colleges and universities, ranked by fall 2022 enrollment in the Kansas City area, and No. 4 on its list of MBA programs in the Kansas City area, also ranked by local fall 2022 enrollment.

Park University was ranked by in the following areas:
          •  Best Online Master’s Degrees in Educational Leadership for 2023, No. 1
          •  Best Online Master’s Degrees in Adult Education for 2023, No. 7
          •  Best Online Master’s in Reading and Literacy Programs, No. 14
          •  Top Online Master’s Degrees in Educational Technology, No. 24
          •  Top Online Master’s in Communications for 2023, No. 28
          •  Top Master’s in Public Administration Online Programs, No. 28

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time and on the flagship Parkville [Mo.] Campus unless noted)
          •  Through February 24 — Dr. William Eickhorst Photography Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  February 9 — International Center for Music Concert: Violinist Ben Sayevich and Pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, 7:30 p.m. 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  February 16 — Black History Month Lecture — “Bold Inclusion for Greatness: The Journey,” Dr. Andrea Hendricks, 10 a.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  February 17 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  February 20 — President’s Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; Parkville [Mo.] and Gilbert [Ariz.] daytime classes canceled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
          •  February 23 — Black History Month Event — Faculty/Staff Lunch and Learn with Dr. Keonya Booker, 11:30 a.m., Virtual
          •  February 23 — Black History Month Lecture — African American Art: Fine and Folk Art Traditions, Dr. Andrea Lee, 6 p.m., Norrington Center Learning Lab
          •  February 24 — Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
          •  February 24 — International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Claudio Martinez Mehner, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  February 28 — Black History Month Lecture — “We Have Come a Long Way…We Have a Ways to Go,” Col. Dwayne Wagner, 11:30 a.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  March 5 — Spring I Term Ends
          •  March 6-12 — Spring Recess (all University offices open regular business hours; no classes nationwide)
          •  March 11 — International Center for Music Concert: Stanislav and Friends, 7 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  March 13 — Spring II Term Classes Begin
          •  March 31 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

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.