The Crow’s Nest — October 2, 2020

Park University Alumni Association Announces Honorees of Annual Awards

The Park University Alumni Association has announced the 2020 honorees of its four annual awards. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ceremony was held virtually on Sept. 17. Following is the list of awardees.
JT DanielsVlatko Andonovski          •  Distinguished Alumnus Award — Vlatko Andonovski, ’08, head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. This award recognizes Park alumni who have distinguished themselves through career service or community achievements.
          •  Park Promising Young Professional Award — JT Daniels, ’11, nationally recognized artist. This award recognizes a Park University alumnus/a who graduated from Park within the last 10 years, is under the age of 40 and shows exceptional leadership promise in his or her profession and community.
Blanche SoslandLisa Ray          •  Marlowe Sherwood Memorial Service Award — Lisa Ray, ’13, highly sought-after mentor, coach, trainer and inspirational leader. This award is presented to Park University alumni in recognition of volunteer service to community and/or civic organizations. The award is named in honor of Marlowe Sherwood, ’63, who exemplified the school motto of Fides et Labor (Faith and Labor).
          •  Torchlighter Award — Blanche Sosland, Ph.D., professor emerita of education. This award is given to honor individuals who have made significant, long-standing contributions and commitment to Park University, whether alumni, faculty or friend.

Read more about this year’s honorees at

Pirate logoParkville Campus Athletics Sets Scholarly School Records

Park University’s Parkville Campus athletics department garnered a school record 14 NAIA Scholar Teams from the 2019-20 academic year, as announced by the NAIA on Sept. 15 as part of its annual NAIA National Awards Day. The 14 teams earning the honor eclipsed the previous record of 11 teams set in 2017. For a team to be considered for the NAIA Scholar Team award, it must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale as defined by the institution. The team GPA includes all eligible varsity student-athletes. The women’s golf team led the way with a cumulative 3.67 GPA, and four additional teams, women’s softball, men’s volleyball, women’s volleyball and women’s cross country compiled GPAs of 3.4 or higher.

In addition, 92 Parkville Campus student-athletes were named as Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athletes from the 2019-20 academic year, also a school record. Leading the way was the men’s soccer program with 12 honorees, while women’s volleyball had 11 honored and women’s soccer had 10. To be considered for the list, a student-athlete must maintain a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale and have achieved junior academic status. Read the entire list of Park’s honorees at

University Extends No Spectator Policy Through October

To mitigate the risks of coronavirus and limit exposure for student-athletes, athletics staff, game officials and fans, the Parkville Campus athletics department will limit attendance at all home sporting events to participating athletes, coaches and essential game operations personnel through the month of October, extending the previously announced plan. No fan admission will be allowed at home sporting events through at least Sunday, Nov. 1.

After Nov. 1, the University has plans to allow spectators to include residential students, faculty, staff and student-athlete family members, with attendance capped at 25 percent capacity at Breckon Sports Center and Julian Field. As a reminder, fans may watch all Pirates home events free of charge at

Office of University Engagement Begins #SuccessSeries

Park University’s Office of University Engagement kicked off its new #SuccessSeries on Sept. 16. These short documentary videos focus on Park alumni who have succeeded in their professional field. In the first episode, “Kendrick,” Bob Kendrick, ’85, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., talks about how he overcame obstacles to achieve professional success with the foundation he built while a student at Park.

Park University Announces Graduates from Camp Pendleton and El Paso Region Campuses

Park University has announced its list of graduates from the following campuses:
          •  Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Marine Corps Base
          •  El Paso (Texas) / Fort Bliss (Texas) / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.)

Park Senior to Exhibit Art in Campanella Gallery

An art exhibit featuring works by Megan Frazer, senior fine art and sociology major, will be on display in Park University’s Campanella Gallery, located within Norrington Center on the Parkville Campus. The exhibit will run Monday, Oct. 5, through Friday, Nov. 20. In Frazer’s artist’s statement, she writes, “Words have their limits, like many things. Especially when it comes to diagnosing people with mental illness. Not just through a medical standpoint, but allowing people to understand what a person is going through. But through unwritten conduct and symbolism, mutual feelings and understanding can reach many people. This is what I hope to achieve through my artwork.”

Faculty, Staff, Student News

Zac Jarrard, information technology services project manager, and Susan Keim, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration, co-authored an article on “Building Communities, Pirate Ships and Raining Chickens: Park University’s Minecraft Camp Experience” that appeared in the Minecraft Education edition on Sept. 4.

Steve YoungbloodSteve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, co-presented a virtual discussion on “Journalist Safety: Challenges in 2020” as part of the International Relations Council’s News and Views series on Sept. 10.

Dr. Long HuynhOn Sept. 14, Long Huynh, D.B.A., associate vice president of marketing and strategic growth, was appointed by the Blue Valley (Kan.) School District’s Board of Education to serve a two-year term on its Curriculum and Instruction Committee. The committee acts as a knowledge resource and studies topics related to improving curriculum and instruction in the district. It also participates in formal studies about curriculum, instruction and education, as well as reviews revised curriculum and makes recommendations to maximize learning opportunities for students.

Ryan Bissing, senior information and computer science/cybersecurity major, has received a 2020 Infosec Accelerate Military and Veteran Scholarship. The scholarship provides Bissing with lifetime access to Infosec Skills, which features hands-on courses to provide participants skills and helps with certifications.

Park in the News

Park University received the following rankings from U.S. News & World Report as part of its 2021 Best Colleges rankings announced on Sept. 14:
          •  Best Regional Universities – Midwest, listed among those ranked between 119-156
          •  Campus Ethnic Diversity – Midwest, No. 8
          •  Student Debt Load at Graduation: Least Debt – Midwest, No. 13
          •  Economic Diversity – Midwest, #14 (tie)
          •  Top Performers on Social Mobility – Midwest, #155

A story focusing on murals designed by JT Daniels, ’11 (and 2020 Park Promising Young Professional awardee), in a new downtown Kansas City, Mo., collaborative workspace appeared on the Startland News website on Sept. 2.

Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for university engagement, appeared on the “Arena Alive with Rich Linden” program via on Sept. 3 to talk about Park University’s Parkville Campus athletics programs.

Park University and its Master of Business Administration degree program were highlighted in the Kansas City Business Journal on Sept. 4. Greg Moore, D.B.A., associate dean of graduate studies in business, provided comments for a feature story on Park’s MBA program. In addition, a national story on how MBA programs are shifting to flexible programs and the growth in diversity among students included information on Park and other Kansas City area schools.

ECCO Select, led by Jeanette Prenger, ’09, founder and chief executive officer, and chair of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was ranked No. 12 on the Kansas City Business Journal’s list of “Women-Owned Businesses” based on 2019 revenue. In addition, ECCO Select ranked No. 6 on the publication’s list of “Minority-Owned Businesses” based on 2019 revenue. ECCO Select is an information technology services, solutions and staffing firm based in Kansas City, Mo.

Andrea Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor of art, and Lynn Richardson-Ludwigs, adjunct instructor of art, were both featured in the September issue of Northland Lifestyle magazine in a “Teaching from Experience” article (print version: pages 20-21).

Park University’s International Center for Music and its “Stanislav and Friends” concert on Sept. 17 was the focus of a preview story that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Sept. 13.

A story about Stephenie Price, ’11, appeared on the WTGS-TV (Savannah, Ga.) website on Sept. 16. Price, who had served as assistant chief of police in Savannah, was appointed chief of police in Bluffton, S.C.

A guest commentary authored by Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, related to the Greater Kansas City Peacebuilding Conference appeared on The Kansas City Star’s website on Sept. 19.

Park University was well-represented on the Ingram’s 250, a list of the most powerful business leaders in Greater Kansas City, according to Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine, in its September issue. Among those selected were: Matt Malott, ’01, president and chief executive officer at Multivac U.S.; Jeanette Prenger, ’09, founder and chair/CEO/president of ECCO Select, and chair of Park’s Board of Trustees; Brad Skinner, ’99, president and CEO of Milbank Manufacturing; and Rick Smith, ’97, Kansas City, Mo., chief of police.

Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, participated in a Q&A segment that aired on KCTV in Kansas City on Sept. 23. The segment also previewed the ICM’s “Stanislav and Friends” concert that aired on KCTV’s sister station, KSMO-TV, on Sept. 27.

A story about Kelli (Wenberg) Eierman, ’16, and her husband Johnny receiving the Diamond 9 Award as part of 2020 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame event on Sept. 17, appeared in the Benton County (Mo.) Enterprise on Sept. 23. Eierman was a pitcher on Park University’s softball team from 2013-15 and was the 2013 American Midwest Conference Freshman of the Year. The Eiermans are the first married couple to be presented with the award which recognizes individuals who exhibited outstanding talent or made significant contributions at the high school, collegiate, amateur or professional levels of baseball or softball.

A feature story on Salvatore Scarpa, ’03, who was recently appointed fire chief in Columbus, Ga., appeared in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Sept. 28.

John Wyatt Greenlee, MPA ’11, was featured in a Time magazine article that appeared online on Sept. 25. Greenlee, a historian, uses Twitter and Medieval factoids to help endangered animals, including eels.

Park University received the following rankings:
          • ranked Park on two lists as part of its 2021 Best Colleges rankings: “Safest College Campuses in America,” No. 24 (and No. 1 in Missouri), and “Most Diverse Colleges in America,” No. 60 (and No. 1 in Missouri)
          • ranked Park No. 5 on its 2020 “Best Online Bachelor’s in Digital Marketing Programs” list.
          • ranked Park No. 7 on its “2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Software Engineering Degrees” list and No. 13 on its “2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Computer Science Degrees” list.
          • ranked Park No. 13 on its “Top 25 Online Law Enforcement Degrees for 2021” list.
          • ranked Park No. 27 on its “Best 55 Business Management Schools and Colleges in the U.S.” list.
          • ranked Park No. 61 on its “Best MBA Programs in 2020” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  October 5-November 20 — Megan Frazer Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery
          •  October 9 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, Virtual
          •  October 11 — Fall I Term Ends
          •  October 12-18 — Fall Recess
          •  October 12 — Park University Golf Scramble, 10 a.m., Shoal Creek Golf Course, Kansas City, Mo. (new location)
          •  October 15 and 17 — International Center for Music Concert: Violinist Ben Sayevich and Pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  October 19 — Fall II Classes Begin
          •  October 23 — Fort Leonard Wood (Mo.) Campus Commencement, 10 a.m., Virtual (rescheduled from Oct. 9)
          •  November 11 — Veterans Day Holiday (All University offices closed nationwide; Parkville and Gilbert daytime classes cancelled; Fall II classes held as scheduled)
          •  November 13 — Board of Trustees Meeting
          •  November 14 — Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus Commencement, 9 a.m., Ohio History Connection
          •  November 15 — Mountain Home (Idaho) Air Force Base Campus Commencement, Noon, Gunfighter Theater
          •  November 15 — Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio) Campus Commencement, 2 p.m., Hope Hotel and Richard C. Holbrooke Conference Center
          •  November 20 — International Center for Music Concert: ICM Orchestra, 7:30 p.m., Virtual
          •  November 26-27 — Thanksgiving Holiday (All University offices closed nationwide; Parkville and Gilbert daytime classes cancelled; Fall II classes held as scheduled)

The following events were/are cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic:
          •  September 12 — Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Commencement (rescheduled for December 19)
          •  September 18 — Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Campus Commencement
          •  September 18 — Naval Support Activity Mid-South Millington (Tenn.) Campus Commencement
          •  October 13 — River Read Children’s Literature Festival
          •  January 30, 2020 — El Paso (Texas) Campus / Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M.) Campus Commencement

Note: When these events are rescheduled (if applicable), they will be updated in the University’s online calendar. 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.