Crow’s Nest — November 15, 2018

Myers Appointed Provost at Park University

Following a nationwide search, Park University appointed Michelle (Shellie) Myers, Ed.D., as provost of the University in late October. Myers, who has served as the University’s interim provost since May 2017, joined Park in July 2010 to serve as dean of the School for Education. At the start of the 2016-17 academic year, Myers became dean of the newly created College of Education and Health Professions, a role she held until becoming interim provost.

“I am excited to have Dr. Myers as our new provost as her focus on student success and innovation, and her demonstrated commitment to the University will empower her to lead from day one in this critical role,” said Greg Gunderson, Park University president.

As provost, Myers serves as the University’s chief academic officer and is responsible for faculty development, student assessment and support, and curriculum and compliance. In addition, Myers will provide creative and strategic leadership with a focus on maintaining academic excellence and fostering academic innovation across Park’s 42 campuses across the country and online, while ensuring that quality academic programs are delivered consistently. Read more about Myers at

Park Campus Centers Hold Commencement Ceremonies

Park University campus centers across the country continue to hold commencement ceremonies for 2018 graduates. As these ceremonies continue through the year, we’ll include the link to the news releases announcing the list of graduates at each campus.
          •  Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus
          •  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio) Campus

Academic Affairs Recognizes Park Employees

Park University’s Office of Academic Affairs recognized five members of the University’s faculty and staff on Oct. 24 as part of its Academic Affairs Celebrates Excellence campaign. The program honors faculty and Academic Affairs staff who embody excellence in teaching, scholarship and/or service to Park students. The profiles of the honorees are on display in the hall adjacent to the Office of Academic Affairs on the first floor of Mackay Hall on the Parkville Campus.

Those honored were: Steve Berg, adjunct instructor of astronomy; Jackie Campbell, director of the Master of Business Administration program; Paul Ford, adjunct instructor of management and marketing; Eugene Matthews, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice administration; and Debra Olson-Morrison, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work and director of the Master of Social Work program.

Former Trustee, Past Chair Honored

Virginia (Jinny) McCoy, a former Park University Board of Trustees member and past chair of the board, and current honorary trustee, was honored by the Clay County (Mo.) Economic Development Council with a Look North Leadership Award recently. The award recognizes individuals who have made a mark in Clay County, the Northland area of Kansas City, Mo., and in the Kansas City region. McCoy, who served on Park’s Board of Trustees for 12 years, has been a board member of the Salvation Army since 2001 and is a founding board member for the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City. In addition, she helped lead the premiere of Science City and Union Station, served as finance chair for the rededication of the Liberty Memorial and was a chair of the March of Dimes Gourmet Gala.

University’s website redesign wins another award

Park University and mStoner Inc. were honored with a 2018 W3 Award for Web Design Excellence by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Park and mStoner won a gold award for the redesign of Recognized for their work were: Aimee Patton, director of marketing/digital; Gabriela Sa Teles, web manager; and Jonathan Dickson, web designer.

Park University, National Archives at Kansas City Hosting Year of Engagement Documentary “Inventing Tomorrow”

During the 2018-19 academic year, Park University and the National Archives at Kansas City have partnered to commemorate the University’s Year of Engagement, a year of conversation and action on its Kansas City area campuses and in the community. The Year of Engagement Documentary Series includes films that reflect Park’s core values (accountability, civility and respect, excellence, global citizenship, inclusivity and integrity) and inspire community engagement. On Monday, Nov. 26, the documentary “Inventing Tomorrow” will be shown at 6 p.m. in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater within Alumni Hall on the University’s Parkville Campus. Admission is free, but attendees are requested to RSVP at or call (816) 584-6214.

“Inventing Tomorrow” follows six young scientists from around the globe as they tackle some of the most complex environmental issues facing humanity today. Each student is preparing original scientific research that he or she will defend at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, considered the Olympics of high school science fairs. Framed against the backdrop of the severe environmental threats the world faces, viewers are immersed in a global view of the planetary crisis through the eyes of the generation that will be affected by it most. View a trailer of “Inventing Tomorrow.” For more information, visit

Partnership to Offer 3+3 Dual Degree, Pre-Chiropractic Program

Park University has partnered with Logan University in Chesterfield, Mo., on an articulation agreement that establishes a new 3+3 dual degree, pre-chiropractic program between the two institutions. The agreement makes it possible for qualified students to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in biology/pre-medical from Park and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Logan’s College of Chiropractic in just six years, one year less than the traditional academic study required by a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program.

Under the provisions of this 3+3 program, qualified students must successfully complete a minimum of 92 credit hours in coursework at Park with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.75 to be eligible to be admitted to Logan. Upon admission to Logan and completion of the required 30 hours of coursework in their first two terms, while maintaining at least a 2.0 grade point average, students will have completed both their Bachelor of Science in biology/pre-medical at Park and satisfied the first two terms that will lead to a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. The program is currently available to interested students. For more information, visit

International Festival Set for Nov. 16

In celebration of Park University’s Year of Engagement and International Education Week, the Office of International Education is hosting its annual International Festival: The World Underground on Friday, Nov. 16. The event will held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Park Avenue area of the Mabee Learning Center / Academic Underground on the Parkville Campus. Admission to the festival is free and open to the public.

The International Festival will include information booths, performances, cultural activities and fashion shows from countries around the globe, all featuring Park students representing their native country and sharing the unique and diverse characteristics of their homeland. To date, the countries scheduled to be represented include: China, Germany, Haiti, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Russia, Samoa and Uzbekistan, as well as the Hmong ethnic group of East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island areas of Micronesia and Polynesia. In all, the University boasts more than 240 students from 62 countries around the globe. In addition to the festival, an international buffet will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring food from a number of the countries represented. The price for the buffet is $7 per person (free to Park University students with their Park ID).

For more information about the event, contact Michael House, international program coordinator, at / (816) 584-6384 or the Office of International Education at / (816) 584-6820.

Chris Lowrance Exhibiting Paintings in Campanella Gallery

An exhibit featuring the paintings of artist Chris Lowrance, adjunct instructor of fine art, is on display in Park University’s recently renovated Campanella Gallery through Friday, Dec. 7. Admission to the Gallery, located within Norrington Center on the University’s Parkville Campus, is free. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, Nov. 16, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Gallery. This exhibit is being held in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Campanella Gallery at Park University. The gallery, founded by Donna Bachmann, professor emerita of art, was named after Vincent Campanella, professor emeritus of art and distinguished artist-in-residence at Park, who founded the University’s fine art program. For more information about the exhibit and hours of the Gallery, visit

Faculty, Staff, Student News

gunderson headshotPark University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., was elected to a special one-year appointment to serve on the Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, beginning Nov. 1. It is believed that Gunderson is the first Park president to serve on the GKCCC board.

Alla Adams, Ph.D., assistant professor of healthcare administration and director of the Master of Healthcare Administration program, co-presented a keynote session on “How to Prepare for Innovative Leadership in Healthcare” at the American College of Healthcare Executives Southeast Texas Chapter’s fourth quarter education session. The session reviewed specific approaches utilized to strengthen soft skills such as leadership, communication, interpersonal relationships, teamwork and professionalism, and provided specific recommendations for young careerists and seasoned innovative healthcare leaders.

Kay Barnes, senior director for university engagement, and Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., professor of public administration, presented workshops on “Women as 21st Century Leaders” at the American Business Women’s Association national leadership conference in October in Augusta, Ga. The sessions were on “Being Up Front,” “Leading and Shaping the Unscripted Future” and “Your Leadership Future.”

A paper co-authored by Steve Bell, Ph.D., J.D., professor of economics, and Julie Creek, Ph.D., assistant professor of international business, “Corporate Governance Impact on Chinse Bank Performance and Profitability,” was named a “best paper” by the Academic and Business Research Institute.

Eric Click, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of public administration, completed the Higher Learning Commission’s Standard and Open Pathways Training for Peer Reviewers.

Walter Kisthardt, Ph.D., professor of social work and director of the Center for Research and Training in Integrated Behavioral Health, and Matt Loehr, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of social work, presented a workshop for social workers, counselors and administrators on “Trauma-Informed, Ethical Professional Practice” in St. Charles, Mo., on Oct. 19.

A paper co-authored by Scott Hageman, associate professor of geology/geosciences and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Brian Hoffman, Ph.D., professor of biology, and Jeffrey Jensen, ’16, was published in a recent edition of the Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science. The paper, “Dental Structure of the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Guitarfish (Neoselachii: Batoidea) Myledaphus Pustulosus from the Hell Creek Formation of Garfield County, Montana,” is the first in-depth description of these commonly found teeth from the same deposits that yielded the first Tyrannosaurus rex specimens.

Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., professor of marketing, presented a session at the Higher Education Executive Forum in Nanjing, China, on Oct. 19. Kleindl’s presentation, “Business Education in a Global Environment,” outlined the changing global environment impacting teaching in business programs and changes that business programs need to make to meet the needs of current and future students.

Greg McLaughlin, D.B.A., adjunct instructor of quality management, and Heidi McLaughlin, D.B.A., adjunct instructor of marketing, presented a session on “Business Decision Failures: A Post-Mortem Analysis”’ at the recent International Academic Conference on Business in Las Vegas. The presented article outlines the process and diagnoses the loss to a business when a decision failure can vary from an unexpected consequence to a shuttered business.

Debra Olson-Morrison, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work and director of the Master of Social Work program, presented a session on “Creating Accessible Social Work Classes Using Universal Design for Learning” at the Council on Social Work Education’s Annual Program Meeting on Nov. 9. The presentation discussed findings from implementing Universal Design for Learning in her graduate research courses, and provided information and resources on improving accessibility in course design.

Tami Radohl, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work and director of field education, co-presented a workshop on “Circling the Wagons: Using Collaborative Community Partnerships to Fund Housing for At-Risk or Homeless Youth” at the National Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees Training in Austin, Texas, on Nov. 1. The session described how Park’s partnerships with Synergy Services and Truman Behavioral Health were formed, how relationships are currently maintained, how mutual goals are continually refined, how engagement tactics bring in shareholders and how partners use funding sources across multiple domains.

smeed headshotShane Smeed, vice president and chief operating officer, was among those selected to participate in the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College National Security Roundtable, Oct. 16-17 at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The event provides future leaders of the U.S. Army to interact with business leaders in an academic setting and learn collaboratively about contemporary national security issues.

Park University students competed in the International Collegiate Programming Contest’s North Central region event on Nov. 3 in Olathe, Kan. The team of Michael Dake, Vince Payne and Marcus Shivers, all seniors majoring in information and computer science, placed first out of 10 teams at the regional site, while Lauren Arant-Garrett, Jakhongir Rikhsiboev and Rogi Solorzano, also seniors majoring in information and computer science, placed second at the regional site.

Park in the News

Park University was featured on The American Legion’s website on Oct. 18 related to a story about experts reviewing if racism played a role in World War I troops being denied the Medal of Honor. Tim Westcott, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Education and Health Professions, associate professor of history and associate university archivist, was quoted in the story.

Westcott was also interviewed by Fox News for stories related to World War I and the legacy of chemical weapons from that war. Stories aired on Fox News on Nov. 11, as well as on Fox affiliates across the country.

Park University and the Parkville Commercial Underground were highlighted as part of an article about Rosnet, a restaurant software company based in the PCU, that appeared in The New York Times on Oct. 21.

Park University was ranked on the Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges 2019 list. Park ranked No. 9 among private colleges/universities and No. 17 overall in the “online and nontraditional schools” category.

Park University was featured on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on Oct. 23 in live shots from the Parkville Campus throughout the morning related to the University’s grand opening of the Pirate Pantry. Jayme Uden, Ed.D., associate vice president and dean of students, and Debra Olson-Morrison, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work and director of the Master of Social Work program, were interviewed. In addition, KCTV highlighted the Pirate Pantry on Oct. 23, interviewing MSW student Jessie Arms. WDAF-TV also aired a small story on Oct. 23, as did KMBZ-FM on Oct. 24, both interviewing Olson-Morrison.

Kenny Broberg, graduate student in the International Center for Music, was interviewed live on WDAF-TV in Kansas City on Oct. 23 to promote the Kansas City Symphony’s “Glorious Gershwin” concerts he performed in.

Kay Barnes, senior director for university engagement, was quoted as part of The Kansas City Star’s “Influencer Series” reports on Oct. 29 about local control and Nov. 5 about an increase in the gas tax in Missouri.

Park University’s Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus was featured in the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper on Oct. 30. The article included comments from Jeff Ehrlich, Ed.D., executive director of the Gilbert Campus.

Matt Harris, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, was interviewed on KSHB-TV on Oct. 30 for a story related to undecided voters in the House of Representatives race in Kansas’ 3rd District. Harris was also interviewed on WDAF-TV on Nov. 2 for a story related to visits to the Kansas City region by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

In addition, Harris appeared on KSHB-TV and KMCI-TV on Nov. 7 for live, in-studio interviews to talk about the results from the major political races in the Kansas City area.

Paree Gregg, ’85, was highlighted in a “My Name Is…” feature that appeared in the Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Herald on Nov. 6.

Gilbert (Ariz.) Campus staff Jeff Ehrlich, Ed.D., executive director, and Steve Wilson, director of athletics, appeared on KPNX-TV’s “Arizona Midday” show in Phoenix for a 5-plus minute interview on Nov. 7 to talk about the campus. In addition, both were interviewed by KTAR-FM in Phoenix for stories that aired on Nov. 9.

A story about Steve Seney, ’87, becoming the associate dean of academics and workforce at Oregon Coast Community College appeared in The News Guard, a newspaper in Lincoln City, Ore.

A story about Barbara Hill, ’77, who transitioned from enlisted to officer, then earned a law degree, appeared in the Jefferson City (Mo.) News Tribune on Nov. 12.

A story about Elizabeth Orosco, ’16, becoming the new managing editor of the Northeast News in Kansas City, Mo., appeared in the newspaper on Nov. 13. Orosco was also featured in the newspaper’s “Northeast Newscast” audiocast.

Nadine Leishman, sports communications coordinator, was featured in the College Sports Information Directors of America’s series of profiles showcasing members during CoSIDA Membership Recognition Week on Nov. 13.

Syed Jamal, who made international headlines earlier this year after being arrested at his home by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, followed by a long legal battle over his immigration status, spoke at Park University on Nov. 13 to recount his ongoing case. The event was covered by KCTV, KMBC-TV, KSHB-TV, WDAF-TV, KMBZ-FM, KCUR-FM, the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, The Platte County (Mo.) Citizen and The (Platte County) Landmark. The KCTV story also included comments from Kevin Vicker, senior director of international education, regarding the decline of international student enrollments across the country. The KSHB-TV story included comments about the event from Camelin Cochran, freshman organizational communications major, and Chelsea Platt, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology. The WDAF-TV story included comments from Xavier McFadden, senior elementary education major. The KMBC-TV story included comments from Laure Christensen, chief of staff.

The following Park University degree programs were recently ranked by various websites:
          •  Online Master of Public Administration degree was ranked No. 1 by on its “Top 50 Great College Deals: Master of Public Administration Online 2019” list.
          •  Online Bachelor of Science degree in information and computer science was ranked No. 21 by on its “Best Online Computer Science Degree Programs” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  Through December 7 — Chris Lowrance Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
          •  November 16 — International Festival: The World Underground, 5-7:30 p.m., Park Avenue (Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground)
          •  November 16 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  November 22-23 — Thanksgiving Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Fall II classes held as scheduled)
          •  November 26 — Year of Engagement Documentary Series: “Inventing Tomorrow,” 6 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  December 7 — Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base Campus Commencement, noon, Education Center Auditorium
          •  December 7 — International Student Sash Ceremony, 5 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  December 8 — Kansas City Area December Commencement, 10 a.m., Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Mo.
          •  December 9 — Fall Semester / Fall II Classes End
          •  December 24-25 — Christmas Holiday (all University offices closed)
          •  January 1 — New Year’s Day Holiday (all University offices closed)
          •  January 14 — Spring Semester / Spring I Term Begins
          •  January 19 — International Center for Music Concert: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  January 21 — Martin Luther King Day Holiday (all University offices closed; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)

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.