The Crow’s Nest — June 11, 2024

Grecia Ung dives for the ball during the NAIA Women's Beach Volleyball National Invitational Tournament.Park Beach Volleyball Pairs Earn Top Flight, All-America Honors

A trio of Park University Parkville (Mo.) Campus women’s beach volleyball pairs were recognized by the American Volleyball Coaches Association on May 2 as Top Flight award winners. The program recognizes beach pairs that compete in at least 15 matches together at a specific flight and win at least 75 percent of their matches. The three Pirates pairs were among just six pairs in the NAIA to be honored and among just 53 pairs from all collegiate levels, including all three NCAA divisions and two-year schools. The Park pairs earning recognition: freshmen Arianna Marino and Grecia Ung, flight 2; freshman Izabella Ceratti and junior Carla Pons Sales, flight 3; and junior Mafalda Bras and sophomore Luna Martins, flight 4.

That same day, the NAIA announced that Marino and Ung earned first team All-America status, while Ceratti and Pons were named to the second team.

Pirate logoNAIA Announces Spring Sports Scholar-Athletes

Throughout the months of April and May, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced its lists of Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athletes in spring season sports. Those recognized achieved a 3.5 cumulative grade point average or higher (on a 4.0 scale), must appear on the eligibility certificate for the sport and have attended one full year at their institution. A total of 53 Park University student-athletes — 38 Parkville (Mo.) Campus and 15 Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus — were honored. The list includes:
          •  Six Parkville Campus beach volleyball scholar-athletes
          •  Seven Parkville Campus and six Gilbert Campus baseball scholar-athletes
          •  Two Parkville Campus and one Gilbert Campus men’s golf scholar-athletes
          •  One Parkville Campus women’s golf scholar-athlete
          •  Seven Parkville Campus and three Gilbert Campus softball scholar-athletes
          •  Five Parkville Campus and one Gilbert Campus men’s track and field scholar-athletes
          •  Three Parkville Campus and four Gilbert Campus women’s track and field scholar-athletes
          •  Eight Parkville Campus men’s volleyball scholar-athletes

Additional Park University Athletics News

In addition to the above national honors, here are some additional Park University athletics-related news items from May:
          •  The Parkville (Mo.) Campus baseball team played its first NAIA national tournament games since 2008. Park defeated the University of St. Francis (Ind.) in its first game of the opening round before dropping back-to-back games to the University of the Cumberlands and USF to finish the season with a 36-19 record. Pitcher Adam Stilts was named to the Heart of America Athletic Conference Gold Glove team and earned second-team all-conference honors.
          •  Parkville Campus men’s golfer Guillermo Cervantes won the Heart of America Athletic Conference individual title by two strokes, qualifying for the NAIA national championship. Cervantes tied for 93rd at the national tournament. In addition, Cervantes and three teammates Dylan Comstock, Cholnan Nunya and Santiago Valdes were named to the 2024 NAIA Ping All-Central Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
          •  Three men’s track and field athletes — Alexander Caines and Ahmad Evans, Parkville Campus, and Owen Olney, Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus, qualified for the NAIA Men’s Track and Field Championships. Caines competed in the 800-meter run, Evans was in the long jump and Olney was in the high jump.
          •  Adam Farm, Parkville Campus esports head coach, was selected as the Heart of America Athletic Conference first-ever Esports Coach of the Year.
          •  Parkville Campus softball shortstop Halle Magee was selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Region V second team.

Board of Trustees Add Three New Members, Elects Officers, Grants Emeritus Status

The governing body of Park University — its Board of Trustees — has elected three individuals to each serve a three-year term on the board, effective July 1, during its meeting on May 17. Elected were Andrea Hendricks, Ed.D., Merideth Rose and Kathrine Swanson, Ed.D. Hendricks is the chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Tico Productions in Kansas City, Mo.; Rose is the president and chief executive officer at Cornerstones of Care in Kansas City, Mo., and a Park graduate (Bachelor of Arts degree in communication theory and human relations in 2006, and Master of Public Administration degree in project management in 2008); Swanson is the president of the Metropolitan Community College Longview Campus in Lee’s Summit, Mo. A news release about the trio will be shared in early July.

In addition, the Board elected officers for the 2024-25 fiscal year — Chair: Terry Calaway, Ed.D., retired higher education leader and president emeritus of Johnson County (Kan.) Community College; Vice Chair: Scott Jackman, president of the U.S. division and vice president of sales and marketing for Deveron; Secretary: Mara Cohara, J.D., attorney and partner at Lathrop GPM; Treasurer: Jeff Anthony, chief financial officer for McCarthy Automotive Group; and Immediate Past Chair: Vince Clark, vice president of business development and chief corporate affairs officer at Creative Planning LLC. The Board also re-elected Anthony and Gary Henry, vice president and head of U.S. corporate, SBS and commercial services at American Express, each to a second three-year term.

The Board also granted professor emeritus status to three longtime Park University faculty: Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., professor of public administration (posthumously; she passed away in December 2023); Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., professor of marketing; and Pete Soule, Ph.D., professor of economics.

Park University Vision 2025 core valuesStrategic Impact Group Seeks Ideas for Park University’s 150th Anniversary

As part of Park University’s 150th anniversary during the 2025 calendar year, the University’s Vision 2025 Priority 5 Strategic Impact Group (Fundraising and Support) is seeking ideas for events and activities for the yearlong celebration. Faculty, staff, students and alumni are invited to submit ideas at, providing as much detail as possible, including proposed name for the event, a general overview, target audience, estimated resources (including budget, staffing, communications/marketing, event management, etc.) and support documentation. Questions? Contact Jenny Keane, director of alumni engagement and planned giving, and Priority 5 co-chair, at

Robb Centre LogoRobb Centre to Provide Update on Valor Medals Review Project

A program that will provide an update on the Valor Medals Review Project being conducted by the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War at Park University, will be held on Tuesday, June 25, at Callsign Brewing, 1340 Burlington St, North Kansas City, Mo. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by the program from 7 to 8 p.m. The program will include a presentation by Tim Westcott, Ph.D., director of the Robb Centre, and professor of history and associate archivist at Park University, and Park student researchers Damon Grosvenor, senior history major, and Martin Roberson, junior secondary education/social science major. Lorraine Moore, MA ’18, Riverside Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, will moderate the discussion. For more information, visit

ICM logoInternational Center for Music Announces 2024-25 Concert Season

Park University’s International Center for Music has announced its list of performances for the 2024-25 concert season. According to ICM Artistic Director Stanislav Ioudenitch, the season is “brimming with extraordinary musical explorations” that “celebrate the revered heritage and dynamic creativity of the classical music landscape.” A total of 12 concerts are part of the season, including six events which will highlight ICM students.

The opening concert will be a collaboration between the Park ICM and NAVO, featuring ICM artist-in-residence Behzod Abduraimov, piano, and ICM alumnus Shah Sadikov, ’12, conductor, on Friday, Sept. 20, at the Folly Theater in Kansas City, Mo. The ICM’s signature event, the annual Stanislav and Friends concert, will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2025 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, also in Kansas City, Mo., featuring a rich tapestry of Spanish melodies and rhythms. For more information on the ICM’s 2024-25 season, visit

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Gini FiteGini Fite, adjunct instructor of sport and exercise science, will be recognized by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association as the Mid-America District Secondary School Athletic Trainers’ Committee Servant’s Heart Award recipient on Thursday, June 27, at the NATA Clinical Symposia in New Orleans. The award honors those who represent the qualities often associated with the term “servant’s heart” — humility, selflessness, compassion and a willingness to serve others. Fite serves as the athletic trainer at Smithville (Mo.) High School.

Park University’s Faculty Center for Innovation has announced its Mentor of the Year award recipients for the 2023-24 academic year: Alla Adams, Ph.D., associate professor of healthcare administration; Paul Ford, adjunct instructor of management; Marcy Goodfleisch, adjunct instructor of liberal education; Brandi Handley, assistant teaching professor of English; and David Monchusie, adjunct instructor of information systems. Visit for more information about the FCI’s Online Instructor Mentoring Program.

Manoj KhatiwadaManoj Khatiwada, ’22, and a graduate student in the Master of Science in Information Systems and Business Analytics program, was recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Asian American Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City. The scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate and strive to make a positive impact by contributing to and engaging in the Asian American community in Kansas City through volunteering, research and/or participation.

Yang SunYang Sun, Ph.D., dean of the College of Management, co-authored “How Texts Confuse Online Buyers: Quantifying Text Quality of Online Product Descriptions” that was published in the May edition of the Journal of Electronic Commerce Research. The analysis identified 10 defining characteristics of differentiating native versus non-native speaker drafted descriptions.

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, chief strategic communications officer, was the featured speaker at the Parkville (Mo.) Area Chamber and Economic Development Council’s monthly luncheon on May 14. Bergrud shared the story of Park University’s history, the 149th anniversary of the University this year and “Park at 150: The Countdown Begins.”

Kimberly DunwoodyKimberly Dunwoody, Ed.D., adjunct instructor of business analytics, presented “Enhancing Analytic and AI Maturity in Human Resources” at the Benefex Forum in London on May 9. The session explained how HR teams can use artificial intelligence to improve efficiency and decision-making, AIs impact on HR, and the importance of using AI ethically in HR.

Park in the News

Kari Rowe, ’00, a second grade teacher at Line Creek Elementary School in the Park Hill (Mo.) School District and a former Park University women’s soccer player, was highlighted in stories that aired on KCTV, KMBC-TV, KSHB-TV and WDAF-TV in Kansas City as she was named the Blue KC Sporting Samaritan for April. The initiative, a partnership of Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, highlights students and teachers who make the KC community a better place to live, work and play. Rowe is the daughter of Nan Rowe, Parkville (Mo.) Campus athletics department administrative assistant.

Park University Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus baseball freshman pitcher Ivri Margolin was featured on Cronkite News in Phoenix in late April as he is one of just a few collegiate baseball players in the U.S. from Israel. Teammates Giovanni Jasso, senior catcher, and Diego Bellozo-Pacheco, freshman pitcher, were also interviewed for the story.

Matt Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on May 1 related to the Missouri Supreme Court nullifying a 2022 ballot measure on Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department funding.

Harris was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on May 2 about the last days of the legislative session in Missouri and Gov. Parson’s threat of a special session, and on May 10 about the legislature passing the budget before its deadline.

On May 17, Harris was interviewed by RTVI (starts at 7:40), a Russian-language television network based in New York City, about key U.S. House of Representatives committees voting to advance contempt proceedings against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland over his refusal to turn over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. Harris was also interviewed by RTVI on May 23 (starts at 7:00) related to a pre-election rally held by Donald Trump in the Bronx, N.Y., and again on May 30 (starts at 16:35) related to President Joe Biden making an appeal to Black voters in Philadelphia.

Harris was interviewed by KMBC-TV in Kansas City for a story that aired on May 20 related to the Missouri legislature not passing initiative petition reform.

Harris was interviewed for stories that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on May 29 related to a Kansas City, Mo., police funding measure being placed on the August ballot despite a Missouri Supreme Court ruling.

On May 30, Harris was interviewed live and in stories that aired on KCTV in Kansas City for reaction related to the announcement of former President Donald Trump being found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his hush money criminal trial, an unprecedented and historic verdict that makes him the first former president in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony.

On May 31, Harris participated in a live interview on KCUR-FM’s “Up To Date” in Kansas City to provide comments related to Trump’s trial.

Stories about Alynna Palacios, a sophomore at Arizona Western College, signing to play women’s basketball for Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus, as well as Jayce Ducharme, a senior at Gila Ridge High School in Yuma, Ariz., signing to play women’s basketball for the Buccaneers, aired on KYMA-TV in Yuma on May 1 (starts 2:23) and May 17 (starts at 0:54), respectively.

A story about Gary Parker, ’94, appeared in South Sound (Tacoma, Wash., region) magazine on May 2. Parker, the owner of BBQ2U in Gig Harbor, Wash., was recognized as the South Sound Citizen of the Year by the publication for his efforts to feeding and giving back to the community.

Pianist Kenny Broberg, MM ’21, appeared on the “Kansas City Local Feature” program that aired on KWJC-FM (Classical KC) on May 4-5. The 60-minute show included interview and performance segments. One of the performances was a piece that was accompanied by violinist Maria Ioudenitch, daughter of International Center for Music Artistic Director Stanislav Ioudenitch.

Benny Lee, a member of the Park University Board of Trustees, was featured in The Independent, Kansas City’s journal of society, in the publication’s May 4 edition.

Also in the May 4 issue of The Independent was a center spread of photos from the Park University International Center for Music’s Stanislav and Friends concert in early March.

Related to the Stanislav and Friends event, KWJC-FM (Classical KC) in Kansas City aired the concert in two parts on May 11-12. An on-demand version of the broadcast can be heard at

A story on the ICM’s 2024-25 concert season was featured in The Kansas City Star on May 12.

Highlights of games featuring the Park University Parkville (Mo.) Campus baseball team, which competed in the NAIA national baseball tournament for the first time since 2008, aired on WANE-TV, WPTA-TV and WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., on May 10 and 11 as the Pirates played the University of St. Francis (Ind.) in the opening round of the tournament in Williamsburg, Ky.

A story about Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village, Kan.) cross country runners Beck Jones and William Norris making the decision to join the Park University Parkville (Mo.) Campus cross country team appeared in The Harbinger, the SMEHS student newspaper, on May 14. Rikki Hacker, Park cross country / track and field head coach, provided comments for the story. He was an assistant coach at SME prior to joining the Pirates last year and coached both Jones and Norris.

Cameron Harris, assistant professor of nursing, was featured in a story related to American Stroke Month that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on May 15. Last May, Harris just finished a walk with a trip to a grocery store when she suffered a stroke after being suddenly hit with confusion and anxiety, and the right side of her body went flaccid. According to a recent study, strokes in those under age 45 has more than doubled over the last 20 years.

Suzi McCoy, ’98, was highlighted in a “Woman of Wilson” feature in The Wilson (Co., Tenn.) Post on May 20. An Air Force veteran, McCoy serves as the Wilson County Citizens Academy secretary and as a volunteer in the community.

Stories related to Stephenie Price, ’11, being appointed chief of police for the city of Beaufort, S.C. (where Park University has a campus at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort) were published and aired on Beaufort area news outlets on May 24.

Merideth Rose, ’06, MPA ’08, president and chief executive officer at Cornerstones of Care, a behavioral health agency in Kansas City, Mo., was announced on May 28 as one of the honorees for the Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Class of 2024. The award recognizes outstanding professional women who have made significant strides in their business or industry, as well as their community. On July 1, Rose will begin a three-year term on Park University’s Board of Trustees.

A story about Command Master Chief Lateef Compton, ’08, appeared on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service website on May 30. Compton was selected to be the next fleet master chief for U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa starting in September. The assignment area includes 93 countries from the North Pole to the Cape of Good Hope and eastward from the mid-Atlantic to the Caspian Sea.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time and on the flagship Parkville [Mo.] Campus unless noted)
          •  June 19 — Juneteenth Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; all Summer Session and Junemester classes held as scheduled)
          •  June 21 — Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Commencement Ceremony, 1 p.m., Beaufort Education Center
          •  June 25 — Valor Medals Review Project Update, 6:30 p.m., Callsign Brewing, North Kansas City, Mo.
          •  June 30 — Junemester Classes End
          •  July 1 — Julymester Classes Begin
          •  July 4 — Independence Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; all Summer Session and Julymester classes held as scheduled)
          •  July 18 — Barstow (Calif.) Community College Campus Commencement Ceremony, 7 p.m., BCC Performing Arts Center
          •  July 28 — Julymester / Summer Session Classes End
          •  August 3 — El Paso (Texas) Campus / Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.) Campus Commencement Ceremony, 2 p.m., Abundant Church, El Paso
          •  August 9 — Parkville (Mo.) Campus Move-In Day for Residential Students, 9 a.m., Copley Quad and Chesnut Hall
          •  August 10 — Parkville (Mo.) Campus New Student Orientation, 9 a.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall) and Copley-Thaw Hall
          •  August 12 — Fall Semester / Fall I Term Begins
          •  August 16 — Opening Convocation, Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel and Virtual, Noon

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



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