The Crow’s Nest — May 4, 2021

Academic, Leadership Achievements Recognized as Part of Honors Convocation, Howell Awards

Park University students, faculty and staff were recognized for their exceptional scholarly efforts from the 2020-21 academic year as part of the University’s annual Honors Convocation held virtually on April 21. The University acknowledged outstanding students, faculty and staff with a variety of special awards, in addition to a number of departmental academic honors.

Rinku GopaliJocelyn ClaytonThe most prestigious honor bestowed on any student at Park University — the Outstanding Parkite Award — went to seniors Jocelyn Clayton (left) and Rinku Gopali (right). The Outstanding Parkite Award is given to two students on the University’s Parkville Campus who best exemplify the ideals of the University in their character, conduct, scholarship and student activity participation. Read more about the awards presented during the Honors Convocation at

In celebration of the leadership achievements of Park University students, faculty and staff during the 2020-21 academic year, the Office of Student Life and the Park Student Government Association announced recipients of honors as part of the 26th annual Dr. Doris A. Howell Leadership Awards. The awards program, held virtually on April 14, is named for Howell, a 1944 Park graduate who was an internationally renowned leader in pediatrics and hospice care before passing away in November 2018. Read about the awards presented at

Jeff HurleyHurley Appointed Campus Safety Director at Park University

Park University has appointed Jeff Hurley as director of campus safety. Hurley began his duties at Park on April 19. In his role as director of campus safety. Hurley oversees a staff of 10 campus safety officers on the University’s Parkville Campus. Along with ensuring a safe and secure working and learning environment for Park employees and students, Hurley is responsible for the development, implementation and improvement of the University’s security, emergency management, environmental health and parking programs.

Hurley served Kansas City, Mo., as a police officer from 1988-2013, holding a variety of roles with various patrol divisions across the city before retiring with the rank of sergeant. Before joining Park University, Hurley served as a park ranger supervisor for the Kansas City, Mo., Department of Parks and Recreation since July 2018. Read more about Hurley at

Student Government Officers, Senators Elected for 2021-22

Park University students have elected their representatives — executive board and senators — for the 2021-22 Park Student Government Association. Alba Myshketa, senior chemistry major, was elected president. Other executive board members elected:
          •  Vice President — Seth Frye, senior communication studies major
          •  Secretary — Elias Eichhorn, sophomore business administration/management major
          •  Business Manager — Isabela Riberio da Silva, sophomore business administration/corporate financial management major

Visit for the list of senators elected.

Parkville Campus Women’s Golf Team Qualifies for NAIA Nationals

The Park University Parkville Campus women’s golf team qualified for the NAIA National Championships in dramatic fashion on April 27. After two days and three rounds of golf in the Heart of America Athletic Conference Championship, the Pirates and Mount Mercy University (Iowa) were tied with team scores of 1,043 to force a playoff. Five players from each school teed off on the 18th hole at Creekmoor Golf Club in Raymore, Mo. Park’s players totaled one stroke better than the Mustangs to grab the first place trophy and secure a spot in the national tournament, to be played at Rose Creek Golf Course in Oklahoma City, May 25-28. It is the first time since 2008 that Park’s women’s golf team has qualified for the national tournament.

Park Seniors to Exhibit Art in Campanella Gallery

A group of Park University senior art students will exhibit various pieces of their work in a pair of exhibits in the Campanella Gallery, located within Norrington Center on the Parkville Campus. Through Monday, May 31, the following students will be exhibiting: Sarah Anderson, K-12 education and fine art major; Laurel Crouse, graphic design and fine art major; Kerra Kauffman, K-12 education/art major; Novena Houston, K-12 education and fine art major; and Victoria Turner, fine art major. From Thursday, June 3, through Wednesday, June 30, the following students will be exhibiting: Olivia Alvarez, K-12 education and fine art major; Alexander Emery, senior fine art major; and Kierceten Nelson, fine art major.

Norrington Center’s hours are as follows:
          •  Regular Spring Semester hours — Through Thursday, May 6, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, May 7, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Saturday-Sunday, May 8-9.
          •  Intersession hours (Monday, May 10, through Sunday, June 6) — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Saturdays and Sundays. The building will also be closed on Monday, May 31, for the Memorial Day holiday.
          •  Summer Term hours (beginning Monday, June 7) — Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4-8 p.m.; closed Saturdays. The building will also be closed Sunday-Monday, July 4-5, for the Fourth of July holiday.

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Sophia GuntherSophia Gunther, senior biology major, received the first prize for a presentation by an undergraduate student at the Kansas Academy of Science’s annual meeting, held virtually on April 10. Gunther presented a research project titled “Preliminary Analysis of the Dental Ultrastructure of the Stingray Dasyatis from the Pungo River Formation (Miocene) of North Carolina.” She was assisted on the research by Brian Hoffman, Ph.D., professor of biology. Also as part of the conference, Hoffman and Scott Hageman, associate professor of geology and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, presented a paper titled “Comparison of Cutting Edges of the Fossil Sharks Squalicorax Curvatus, Galeocerdo Aduncus and Physogaleus Contortus.”

Park University’s student newspaper, The Stylus, was recognized with a number of honors during the Missouri College Media Association Awards, announced virtually on April 9-10. The newspaper, competing in Division 3 (small four-year schools), placed third in the sweepstakes competition in the division. Individually, Park student journalists came away with 15 individual awards, including seven first place finishes:
          •  Shelby Adkins: Feature Page, “The Misreport”
          •  Cynthia Clark: In-Depth News Writing, “Super Relationship”; and Column, “Have You had Your Flu Shot?”
          •  Kalie Strain: Page One Design, “COVID-19 Shutters Park, U.S. World”
          •  Savanna Wyatt: Sports Photography, “Men’s Basketball Loses in AMC Quarterfinals”
          •  Wyatt and Matheus Teles: Feature Page, “A New Start in a New Country”
          •  Stylus Staff: Website,

Andrew DavisAndrew Davis, senior director of enrollment and student success, was honored by the Northland (Kansas City, Mo., area) Regional Chamber of Commerce on April 27 with an Excellence in Higher Education Award.

Samantha QuinnSamantha Quinn, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication, was a panelist for an American Public Square virtual event on “Student Loan Debt: Where do We Go from Here?” on April 8.

Dr. Roger DusingRoger Dusing, Ph.D., chief human resources officer, presented a workshop on “The Art of Separation: A Guide to One of the Hardest of HR’s Tasks” at the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources Virtual Spring Conference on April 12. The session focused on how to conduct involuntary employee terminations and minimize the risks to the institution by treating everyone with dignity and respect. Dusing also presented a similar session for the Missouri Chapter of CUPA-HR on April 27.

Erik Bergrud, chief strategic communications officer, was selected by the National Academy of Public Administration to participate in two discreet, one-year panel studies focusing on the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The first is a study to enhance the cultural competency of the USCGA; the second focus on USCGA admission processes, building on what was learned in the first study. Bergrud was elected as a NAPA Fellow in 2013.

Dr. Tim WestcottTim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, associate archivist and director of the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War, authored a biography on William Rockhill Nelson (1841-1915), the co-founder of The Kansas City Star, that was published on the Missouri Encyclopedia (a project of the State Historical Society of Missouri and launched in conjunction with the Missouri 2021 Bicentennial) website in April.

Five Park University students from across the country have been each awarded a $1,000 Goodness for Ethical Leadership Scholarship from RecognizeGood in Austin, Texas. The scholarships were awarded to: Ana Aldrete, senior management major; Robert Dake, senior management major; Adriana Rosas, sophomore management/healthcare major; Roschel Schmigotzki, junior management/marketing major; and Christine Williams, sophomore management/computer information systems major. RecognizeGood is a nonprofit organization that provides the means for anyone to illuminate, connect with and learn from great examples of goodness.

Park in the News

Casi Joy McCall, ’12 (who goes by the stage name Casi Joy), was highlighted in a “Five Things You Don’t Know About Me” feature that appeared on the In Kansas City magazine website on April 5. She was also featured on the Women of Country Music website on April 11.

Park University’s International Center for Music was highlighted in The Independent, Kansas City’s Journal of Society, in April. The article, which focused on filmed arts performances providing a new means of expression, included comments from Lisa Hickok, ICM executive director, Stanislav Ioudenitch, ICM artistic director and associate professor of music/piano, Behzod Abduraimov, ICM artist-in-residence, and Kenny Broberg, ICM graduate student.

Stories about Bronson Schaake, ’12, ’14 MBA, being appointed the boys basketball head coach at Joplin (Mo.) High School appeared in the Joplin Globe and on the KSNT-TV (Joplin/Pittsburg, Kan.) website on April 9.

Lucas Sousa, Parkville Campus women’s soccer assistant coach, was selected as the Major Arena Soccer League Rookie of the Year for the 2021 season. A member of the Kansas City Comets, Sousa finished second on the team with 17 points, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists.

Tim Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, associate archivist and director of the George S. Robb Centre for the Study of the Great War, participated in a 20-minute interview for a recent VFW Podcast (begins at 35:08) where he discussed the Valor Medals Review program, described the process the Robb Centre staff uses to review those who may have been denied the Medal of Honor due to racial bias and how a 2019 VFW donation of $70,000 toward the VMR was used.

The Park University Parkville Campus women’s volleyball team was highlighted in a story featured on the WDAF-TV (Kansas City) website on April 13 in advance of the Pirates opening round match in the NAIA national tournament. Mike Talamantes, head coach, and players Alissa Flint and Noura Meawad were interviewed for the story.

John Hamilton, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of criminal justice administration, was interviewed for a story that aired on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on April 13 related to the shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota where a police officer mistook her taser for a gun.

Hamilton was also interviewed for a story that aired on WDAF-TV on April 21 related to activists pushing for more police reform following the Derek Chauvin verdict.

The next day, Hamilton was interviewed for a story that aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City related to an update on body cameras for the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.

Vince Clark, vice chair of Park University’s Board of Trustees, is leading a new Kansas City area nonprofit organization, Pathway Financial Education, that will address an unmet need for comprehensive financial education and training in under-resourced communities. Clark is the vice president of business development and chief corporate affairs officer at Creative Planning, based in Overland Park, Kan.

Aubrey Sullivan, a senior at Leavenworth (Kan.) High School was announced as the winner of a $3,500 scholarship by the Command and General Staff College Foundation to attend Park in Fall 2021. A brief story about Sullivan appeared on the CGSCF website on April 15.

Bob Kendrick, ’85, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., participated in a nearly 70-minute interview for the WFXR-TV (Roanoke, Va.) Sports Sitdown that was posted on April 16.

Ashley Jones, esports head coach, was interviewed recently for the College Esports QuickTake program on She discussed inclusion in esports and why Missouri has a number of varsity college esports programs in the state.

A backhanded reverse kill by Park University Parkville Campus men’s volleyball player Felipe Guirau in the Pirates’ pool play match against Georgetown (Ky.) College on April 21 was featured on ESPN’s SportsNation on April 22 as its No. 1 play of the day. Kansas City television stations KMBC-TV, KSHB-TV and WDAF-TV also aired the highlight.

Demetria Byers, a junior criminal justice administration/homeland security and law enforcement major, was interviewed for a story that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on April 23 related to a push to educate college students on getting the COVID-19 vaccine. ranked Park University on the following lists:
          •  Best Logistics Degree Programs, No. 5, and was listed as the best online program.
          •  Best Supply Chain Management Degree Programs, No. 17, and was listed as the best for certification.
          •  Best Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Degree Programs, No. 26, and list as having the best networking opportunities
          •  Best Master’s in Reading and Literacy Degree Programs, No. 26, and was listed as the most affordable
          •  Best Probation Officer Degree Programs, No. 26, and was listed as being most accessible
          •  Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs, No. 49, and was listed as having the best concentration options.
          •  Best Online Military Friendly Colleges, No. 63, and was listed as being best for credit transfers. ranked Park University No. 1 on its “2021 Best Value Business, Management and Marketing Schools in the Plains States Region” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  Through May 28 — Senior Art Students Art Exhibit – Session One, Campanella Gallery
          •  May 7 — Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Noon, Virtual
          •  May 7 — International Sash Ceremony, 5 p.m., Virtual
          •  May 8 — All-University Commencement Ceremony, Noon, Virtual
          •  May 9 — Spring Semester / Spring II Classes End
          •  May 10 — Maymester Begins
          •  May 23 — Maymester Ends
          •  May 31 — Memorial Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide)
          •  June 3-30 — Senior Art Students Art Exhibit – Session Two, Campanella Gallery
          •  June 7 — Junemester / Summer Session Begin
          •  July 4 — Junemester Ends
          •  July 5 — Julymester Begins
          •  July 5 — 4th of July Holiday Observed (all University offices closed nationwide; Julymester classes held as scheduled)

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.