Crows Nest

The Crow’s Nest — March 5, 2024

Higher Learning Commission logoPark University Prepares for Higher Learning Commission Reaffirmation of Accreditation

On Monday-Tuesday, April 8-9, a five-member peer review team from Park University’s institutional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, will visit the University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus as part of Park’s comprehensive evaluation for reaffirmation of accreditation. In the coming weeks, members of the HLC team will also visit the Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus and Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Marine Corps Base Campus. Several components are involved in a comprehensive evaluation, including review of federal compliance.

The HLC’s Guiding Values, Assumed Practices and Criteria for Accreditation represent Park’s institutional playbook. Touching every aspect of the University, these standards guide Park in fulfilling its commitments to students and to the public. Additionally, accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission allows the University to disperse federal Title IV funding to students. Park University has been continuously accredited through the HLC since 1913.

To learn more about Park’s preparation for this comprehensive evaluation, visit the Office of Academic Affairs MyPark page or e-mail The agenda for the site visits will be posted in MyPark once finalized. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in all opportunities for interaction with the peer review team.

Stacey GravesKCPD Chief to Keynote Park University’s Women Transforming Criminal Justice Event

Stacey Graves, chief of the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, will be the featured speaker for Park University’s Women Transforming Criminal Justice event on Wednesday, March 13. The discussion, held as part of Women’s History Month, will take place in the Academic Plaza, Room 380, on the University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus and virtually at from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Note that seating for the in-person session is limited.

Graves, who was appointed as the first woman to serve as permanent chief of the KCPD in December 2022, will share her experiences and insights on how women are making a difference within the criminal justice system. Read more at

Park University to Host Women’s History Month Conversation with Kansas City Area Leaders

Bridget LockeMary Lou JaramilloA trio of women leaders from the Kansas City area, all of whom are Park University alumni, will participate in an engaging Women’s History Month conversation hosted by the University on Wednesday, March 20. The one-hour event, which is open to the public, will take place in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater inside Alumni Hall on the Kay BarnesMerideth RoseUniversity’s flagship Parkville Campus starting at 1 p.m. The discussion will also be livestreamed at

The women — Mary Lou Jaramillo, ’92, MPA ’96 (top left), Bridget Locke, MA ’20 (top right), and Merideth Rose, ’06, MPA ’08 (bottom left) — will address their journey from the classrooms at Park University to their civic leadership roles. The discussion will be moderated by Kay Barnes (bottom right), Park University senior director for university engagement and former mayor of Kansas City, Mo. (1999-2007). Read more about the program at

Robb 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, March 26, at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library’s Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St. The event, which will be held in the Truman Forum Auditorium and virtually via the KCPL’s YouTube channel, begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by the program from 6 to 7 p.m. The KCPL requests in-person attendees to RSVP at

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. Anne Kniggendorf, KCPL staff writer/editor, will moderate the discussion. Read more about the event at

Madalyn CoffmanParkville Campus to Add Competitive Cheer Program

Park University’s flagship Parkville (Mo.) Campus Department of Athletics has announced that it will add a competitive cheer program beginning with the start of the 2024-25 academic/athletic year. In addition, Kristin Gillette, Parkville Campus director of athletics, announced that Madalyn Coffman has been appointed as the cheer program’s head coach. She started her duties on Feb. 12.

Coffman previously served as the spirit coordinator since 2021 at her alma mater, Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark. She led the Reddies to a second place finish at the National Cheerleaders Association’s College Nationals in the Cheer Spirit Rally Division II section. Coffman, who was the cheer captain at HSU from 2018-20, earned both a Bachelor of Arts degree in literature and a master’s degree in liberal arts from Henderson State.

The Parkville Campus, which last had a cheer/spirit squad team in 2014-15, will be a part of nine other competitive cheer programs in the Heart of America Athletic Conference. Those interested in joining Park’s competitive cheer program can e-mail Coffman at For more information on Coffman, visit

Impact Report 2022-232022-23 Impact Report Now Available

The Park University 2022-23 Impact Report, published by the Office of Advancement, is now available online. The publication, titled “The Ripple Effect,” provides articles of how donations to the University have made an impact on students nationwide, with a focus on care, music, legacy, service, wellness and teamwork. The magazine also includes a list of sponsors, benefactors and donors to the University various programs.

ICM logoInternational Center for Music Concert Season Winds Down

Park University’s International Center for Music will hold six concerts in March and April as the 2023-24 concert season comes to a close.

The fifth annual Stanislav and Friends concert will be held on Friday, March 8, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 7 p.m. Named in honor of the ICM’s esteemed artistic director, Stanislav Ioudenitch, the event will feature world-class performers, including Ioudenitch, Behzod Abduraimov, ICM artist-in-residence, a piano quartet with ICM faculty, the ICM Chamber Orchestra, and two concertos with two pianos that will include the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets are available for $23 to $58 via the Kauffman Center at For more information about the concert, visit

Additional concerts in March and April:
          •  Friday, March 15 — Park ICM Orchestra, featuring guest conductor Laura Jackson, music director and conductor of the Reno (Nev.) Philharmonic Association; 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  Friday, March 22 — Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  Thursday, April 4 — ICM String Studio, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan. Concert will feature students of violinist Ben Sayevich, cellist Daniel Veis and violist Peter Chun
          •  Sunday, April 14 — Pianist Behzod Abduraimov and violinist Daniel Lozakovich, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  Friday, April 19 — ICM Orchestra, featuring guest conductor Barbara Yahr, music director of the Greenwich Village (N.Y.) Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

Admission for ICM Orchestra events in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel is free, but reservations are recommended at For concerts at the 1900 Building, tickets are $30 for general admission and $10 for students at

Registration Deadline Nears 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 22-23. For more information or to register (deadline is Sunday, April 14), visit or contact Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., director of the Honors Academy and associate professor of biology, at

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Leslie JensbyHoe-Seop ChaPark University’s Board of Trustees approved promotion and/or tenure for the following faculty during its meeting on Feb. 16, effective with the start of the 2024-25 academic year on Aug. 1.
          •  Ho-Seop Cha, Ph.D. (top left), promoted to associate professor of geography and approved for tenure
Danielle TheissKari Lamer          •  Leslie Jensby (top right), promoted to associate teaching professor of social work
          •  Kari Lamer (middle left), promoted to associate teaching professor of social work
          •  Danielle Theiss (middle right), promoted to associate professor of library services and approved for Stacy Yeager-OkosiKristen WhiteleySuzanne Tiemanntenure
          •  Suzanne Tiemann (bottom left), Ph.D., promoted to associate professor of education and approved for tenure
          •  Kristen Whiteley, Ph.D. (bottom middle), promoted to associate professor of accounting and approved for tenure
          •  Stacy Yeager-Okosi, D.Mgt. (bottom right), promoted to associate professor of business analytics and approved for tenure

Terry CalawayIn addition, the BOT elected Terry Calaway, Ed.D., as chair of the board, to complete the term (through Sunday, June 30) of Andrew Shoffner, Ph.D., following Shoffner’s appointment as the University’s vice president for strategic initiatives. Scott Jackman was appointed as the vice chair of the board to replace Calaway. A new slate of officers will be elected at the next BOT meeting on Friday, May 17, for the July 1, 2024, through June 30, 2025 term.

Tatiana DorokhovaTatiana Dorokhova, a graduate piano student in Park University’s International Center for Music, won the silver medal at the Gurwitz International Piano Competition, held Jan. 26 through Feb. 4 in San Antonio. Dorokhova won $20,000 for her runner-up finish and she received the Audience Favorite Award, which came with a $5,000 prize. Watch Dorokhova’s finals performance (starts at 2:09:00).

Adam WilkinsAdam Wilkins, senior nursing major, won the original oratory division at the Missouri Association of Forensics Activities held in Springfield, Mo., on Feb. 10. Wilkins also took second in extemporaneous speaking. Martin Roberson, junior secondary education/social science major, also earned a runner-up finish in international public debate.

Clarine JacobsClarine Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant professor of management/human resources, authored the chapter “Occupational Stress and Burnout” that was published in Burnout Syndrome — Characteristics and Interventions on Feb. 1. Jacobs’ chapter explores the concepts of stress and strain, explains occupational stress, explicates causes of occupational stress and examines how occupational stress can lead to burnout.

Donna ChoiDonna (Dong) Choi, Ph.D., professor of early childhood education, co-authored the article “In Real Time, a Crisis in Public Education: Teacher Shortages in Missouri and Kansas,” that was published in the recent edition of the Missouri Policy Journal. In the article, complex reasons for the growing teacher shortage in Missouri and Kansas are detailed and needed actions to rectify the situation are discussed.

Kevin Vicker, senior director of international education, represented Park University as part of the International Trade Administration’s Global Diversity Export Initiative trade mission to southern India in mid-February. Park was one of 18 higher education institutions to participate in the program. According to the Institute of International Education Open Doors Report, Indian students comprise 25 percent of all international students studying in the U.S., and India accounts for the highest overall number of international graduate students studying in the U.S. Shiva Narayana Goud, a Park graduate student in the Master of Science in Information Systems and Business Analytics program, accompanied Vicker.

Park in the News

Matt Harris, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on Feb. 1 related to the state of Missouri looking at legalizing sports betting.

Harris was also interviewed for stories that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on Feb. 2 related to polling on abortion and sports betting issues in Missouri.

Harris authored an article titled “Why Taylor Swift is an Antihero to the GOP — but Democrats Should Know All too Well that Her Endorsement Won’t Mean It’s All Over Now” that was published on The Conversation’s website on Feb. 1 and republished in news media outlets around the world.

Harris was interviewed for “The Briefing” program which aired on Australian Broadcasting Corporation affiliates in Australia on Feb. 7 related to “Taylor Swift and the MAGA Conspiracy.”

On Feb. 15, Harris was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on its “ABC News Daily” program related to “Could Taylor Swift Sink Trump?”

Harris provided comments for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on Feb. 20 related to the initiative process in the Missouri legislature.

On Feb. 27, Harris participated in a 17-minute live interview on KCUR-FM’s (Kansas City’s NPR affiliate) “Up To Date” about the viability of third parties and independent candidates in an election year where many are opposed to the presumed Democratic and Republican candidates.

On Feb. 28, Harris was interviewed for stories that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City related to an update on a sports betting bill in the Missouri legislature. In addition, he was interviewed for stories that aired on KCTV in Kansas City related to the election strategy related to the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs stadium issue.

Stories about Melissa Ferrer Civil, ME ’20, being appointed as Kansas City’s first poet laureate appeared on Kansas City television stations and in The Kansas City Star on Feb. 1.

A story about Cynthia Levin, ’77, announcing her retirement (effective in June) as the producing artistic director of the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Mo., appeared on the American Theatre website on Feb. 6.

A story about Behzod Abduraimov, Park University International Center for Music artist-in-residence, making his debut performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in late February, appeared on the CSO’s website on Feb. 6. The article also talks about Abduraimov’s decision to attend Park and study with ICM Artistic Director Stanislav Ioudenitch.

A 12-minute piano performance by Abduraimov, recorded during a concert in May 2023 in Morrow, Ga., aired on “Performance Today” on WSCL-FM in Salisbury, Md., on Feb. 27 (starts at 1:06:00 mark).

A question-and-answer article with Joshua Lewis, ’14, who co-founded Kin Seltzer, the first Black-owned seltzer in the U.S., in 2023, appeared in The Pitch on Feb. 6. That same day, KSHB-TV in Kansas City aired a story on Lewis and his company as part of its Black History Month series.

A story about Washington Chapel C.M.E. Church in Parkville, Mo., receiving a $160,000 Preserving Black Churches grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was published in the Platte County (Mo.) Citizen on Feb. 13. The church, which opened in 1907, was built by freed slaves (that first started planning construction in 1870) and Park University students. On Feb. 29, KSHB-TV in Kansas City aired a story about Washington Chapel as part of its Black History Month series.

Lillian Madeje, ’10, and winner of Park University’s 2019 Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award, was highlighted on the WeAreTech.Africa website on Feb. 13. She founded Niajiri Platform in 2018, a workforce development tech company.

John Hamilton, Ph.D., professor emeritus of criminal justice administration, was interviewed for stories that aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on Feb. 16 related to potential charges being filed as part of the shooting that took place at the conclusion of the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory rally on Feb. 14.

Hamilton was also interviewed for stories that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on Feb. 21 related to the flow of information as part of the shooting at the Chiefs Super Bowl rally.

In addition, Hamilton provided comments for a Kansas City Star special investigation series cover story on Feb. 25 related to how a Kansas City suburb changed its police chase policy following a crash that involved innocent bystanders.

Irene Verdino, senior biology major and a member of the Park University Parkville (Mo.) Campus women’s volleyball team, was interviewed for a story that appeared on the SportLinx360 website on Feb. 20. In the article, Verdino, from Colonna, Italy, talks about her experiences as a student-athlete in the U.S.

Robert Palmer, ’12 and Parkville (Mo.) Campus men’s soccer assistant coach who is a defender for the Kansas City Comets in the Major Arena Soccer League, became the MASL’s record-holder in career blocks on Feb. 16. A story about Palmer and his knack for blocking shots appeared on the MASL website on Feb. 23.

Shawn Moore, ’18, MSW ’20, adjunct instructor of social work, who founded Caregivers on the Homefront (now known as Operation Frontline Families) and who serves as program manager for financial wellness for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, was interviewed for a recent Veteran’s Playbook episode, a webcast whose purpose is to inspire active military and veterans to consider business ownership as a viable path to success and fulfillment.

Kristen Whiteley, assistant professor of accounting, provided comments for an “Ask the Experts” segment on personal loans for in February.

Park University received the following recent top 20 rankings by
          •  Best Online Bachelor’s in Internet Marketing Degree Programs of 2024, No. 4
          •  Best Online Logistics Degree Programs of 2024, No. 6
          •  Best Online Graduate Certificate in Finance Programs of 2024, No. 14
          •  Best Online Graduate Certificate in Human Resources Programs of 2024, No. 14
          •  Best Online Bachelor’s in Information Systems Security Degree Programs of 2024, No. 17
          •  Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science Programs of 2024, No. 19
          •  Best Online Master’s in Security Degree Programs of 2024, No. 20

Park University received the following recent top 10 rankings from
          •  Best Online Associate in Building and Construction Degree Programs, No. 1
          •  Best Online Associate in Psychology, No. 1
          •  Best Online MBA in Economics, No. 3
          •  Best Online Bachelor’s in Construction Management, No. 5
          •  Best Online Bachelor’s in Math, No. 9
          •  Best Online Associate in Liberal Arts, No. 9
          •  Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration, No. 10
          •  Best Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts, No. 10

Park University was recognized by Winds of Change, a magazine focusing on advancing indigenous people in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), on its “Top 200 Colleges for Indigenous Students” list which was announced in the publication’s 2023-24 special college issue.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time and on the flagship Parkville [Mo.] Campus unless noted)
          •  Through March 10 — Spring Recess (no classes nationwide; all University offices open)
          •  March 8 — International Center for Music Concert: Stanislav and Friends, 7 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  March 11 — Spring II Classes Begin
          •  March 13 — Women Transforming Criminal Justice with KCPD Chief Stacey Graves, 9-10:30 a.m., Academic Plaza Room 380 and Virtual
          •  March 15 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  March 20 — Women’s History Month Conversation, 1 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall) and Virtual
          •  March 22 — International Center for Music Concert: Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  March 26 — Valor Medals Review Program Discussion, 5:30 p.m., Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Plaza Branch
          •  April 4 — International Center for Music Concert: Park ICM Strings Studio, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  April 8-9 — Higher Learning Commission Peer Review Team Visit, Parkville Campus
          •  April 10 — Dr. Doris A. Howell Leadership Awards, 5:30 p.m., David Theater
          •  April 11 — Community Health Fair, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Park Avenue (Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground)
          •  April 14 — International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov and Violinist Daniel Lozakovich, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  April 17 — Honors Convocation, 6 p.m. Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 19 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 22-23 — Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium, Parkville Campus and Virtual
          •  April 25 — Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus Commencement, 5 p.m., Arizona Athletic Grounds (Fieldhouse C), Mesa, Ariz.

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.