July

  • Sunderland Foundation Commits $15 Million to UMKC

    Fittingly, the significant gift will go toward campus renovations and construction
    The Sunderland Foundation investment will benefit both UMKC campuses in Kansas City — Volker near the Country Club Plaza and Health Sciences next to Children’s Mercy and Truman Medical Centers — by improving classrooms, laboratories and spaces for research and student support. “The Sunderland Foundation has been a supporter and advocate for UMKC for more than three decades,” Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal said. “We are honored and excited that they continue to invest in our growth and recognize that improving the function of existing resources furthers the university’s ability to engage students and the community and support research and development of new technology.” The Henry W. Bloch School of Management will receive $5 million for renovation and construction of the Bloch Heritage Hall, the original home of the Bloch School. While the state-of-the-art Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation opened in 2013, Heritage Hall has not received an upgrade since 1986. Heritage Hall incorporates the original Tudor-style Shields Mansion, built at the turn of the 20th century, and an addition that was completed in 1986. The renovation and technology update will support advanced teaching methods and anticipated enrollment growth, bringing this essential space in line with UMKC’s commitment to providing students tools for their success. University Libraries will receive $3 million for the renovation of the Miller Nichols Library third floor for a digital humanities and digital scholarship center, and in preparation for the relocation of the State Historical Society of Missouri, currently housed in Newcomb Hall. Beyond being a resource for students and faculty, the Miller Nichols Library is a recognized community resource for both historical enthusiasts and professional researchers. After the society raises an additional $3 million, the plan is to move the society's offices from Newcomb to the library next to the LaBudde Special Collections, enabling scholars and enthusiasts to optimize their research of the two rare collections on the third floor of the library. The School of Law will receive $3 million for renovations to classrooms and student services. The school will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2020, and is one of only six law schools to have educated a U.S. president (Harry Truman) and a Supreme Court justice (Charles Whittaker). Its interactive classrooms and student success suite are key components of student-focused education. Renovating 40-year-old classrooms to better accommodate the more interactive experience between professor and students will attract new students and improve current students’ learning. The School of Dentistry will receive $2 million for renovations to the pre-clinic laboratory. Comprehensive dental care is shown to improve overall health and decrease risk of complications during dental procedures. The planned improvements will include replacing dated equipment with state-of-the-art technology that will enable simulation of patient care, proper exam positioning and clinical skills in an authentic learning environment. The School of Computing and Engineering will receive $2 million for the renovation of Flarsheim Hall that will reconfigure existing space in conjunction with the completion of the new $20 million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center, scheduled to be finished in 2020. In 2018, the Sunderland Foundation provided the lead gift on the center, which will be a significant addition to the community as well as the university and will include a virtual reality lab, a clean room and other state-of-the-art technologies. The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as president of Ash Grove Cement Company for 33 years. His grandson, Kent Sunderland, president of the UMKC Foundation, UMKC Trustee and former vice chairman of Ash Grove Cement, now serves as president of the Sunderland Foundation board of trustees. Since its inception the Sunderland Foundation has supported construction projects. “We focus on capital funding because building was at the heart of our business when my family owned Ash Grove cement,” said Kent Sunderland. “We understand the value of buildings that work for people. Providing resources for organizations that enhance Kansas City is integral to our family’s foundation mission.” Lisa Baronio, UMKC Foundation president and UMKC chief advancement officer, recognizes the significance of the investment in capital improvements as essential to student success. “The Sunderland Foundation understands that one of the significant components of excellent education is state-of-the-art physical space, technology and equipment that allow our faculty, staff and students to perform at their highest levels. We are grateful and excited to make these buildings reflect the same high level of quality as our human capital.” Jul 31, 2019

  • Breidenthal Foundation Commits $250,000 to UMKC Women’s Basketball

    Donors honor father’s enthusiasm for the team with valuable support
    The Breidenthal Foundation has committed $250,000 for a memorial gift to UMKC women’s basketball in honor of George Breidenthal, who was an avid sports fan. The gift is the largest in the women’s basketball team history. This gift will undoubtedly elevate the program and prepare us for excellence for years to come. Brandon Martin, Ph. D., director of UMKC Athletics The donation will provide new opportunities for UMKC women’s basketball.  “The Breidenthals’ investment will help us tremendously,” said Jacie Hoyt, head coach of UMKC women’s basketball.  “These resources will help take our program to new heights in areas such as team travel and facility upgrades.” McKenzie Breidenthal and her brother Ben Breidenthal, who are Breidenthal Foundation co-presidents, are inspired by their late father. George Breidenthal was a community leader and avid sports fan, particularly for women’s college basketball in Kansas and Missouri.  “My dad’s giving was very heart-driven,” McKenzie said.  “If he saw people in need and he felt he could make an impact – whether it was in education, in the community or on the court- he did so.” The Breidenthals’ gift will make a significant difference for the women’s basketball team. “This gift will undoubtedly elevate the program and prepare us for excellence for years to come,” said Brandon Martin, Ph.D., director of UMKC Athletics. “We are grateful to have the Breidenthals as members of our Roo family.” In two short years as head coach Hoyt and her coaching staff have already had the most season wins in a decade. This gift from the Breidenthal Foundation will enable UMKC Athletics to improve experiences for both athletes and fans.      Jul 30, 2019

  • Preschool Classroom Outing Leads to Campus Service Project

    Berkley Center students’ message: ‘Don’t Litter’
    When people hear about school children tackling social issues, many may not think of the children being preschool age. At the Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley Child and Family Development Center on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, preschool children learn valuable skills to become contributing citizens within the community. The center, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018, was developed by the UMKC School of Education and an interdisciplinary team of experts who designed the state-of-the-art early childhood program. The Berkley Center recently received high marks in an accreditation review for this project-based learning. Children at the Berkley Center have participated in many service projects, including a food drive in May. A dozen children from a preschool classroom at the Berkley Center visited UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal and his wife Sue to share their service project and ideas for litter improvement on the campus. Their message was “Don’t Litter.” In late May, the children and their teachers found two birds tangled in plastic netting hanging from a bamboo structure. This inspired a conversation about how people and trash affect people in their environments. The next day when walking near the entrance to Cockefair Hall, the children noticed bits of the same netting they saw tangled around the birds and wanted to know where the trash came from. The children saw groundskeepers mowing over the same plastic netting that tangled the birds. “At that moment the children were compelled to reach out to the groundskeepers and explain what happened to the birds,” said Polly Prendergast, senior director of programs/projects at the Berkley Center. The groundskeepers talked to the children and explained the purpose of the netting, which is used to keep new grass in place. Back in the classroom, the children discussed what they saw and this sparked a long-term investigation, which is called project-based learning (PBL). “Facilitated by the teachers the children launched a service project to take action with a problem they saw regarding litter and discarded landscaping material on campus,” said Asia Whisenhunt Brockman, senior child development teacher. Using a mind-map strategy to organize the children’s ideas, thoughts and questions, the teachers helped the children take notes about their experience and formulate a plan to implement it. “They identified issues such as what they know about trash; why trash is not good for people, the environment and animals; ways to make sure trash fits in a can; and why trash may escape from a dumpster,” said Kelly McDonald, co-senior child development teacher. The children also interviewed a landscape contractor via a phone call and asked if there were safer materials for people to use that would not harm animals or people. The answer was yes, there is a biodegradable erosion control cloth made from cotton fibers.  “This is their service project – pretty cool for four and five year olds,” Prendergast said. The children named their team “UMKC Roo Litter Helpers.” Decked out in their personalized T-shirts, the children and their teachers regularly pick up trash around campus. But the service project didn’t end with that. Their discussion with UMKC groundskeepers and activities for their classroom service project led the children to want to talk with someone in charge about other litter on campus. That led to the meeting with the chancellor, which included a presentation of their ideas July 25. The children asked the chancellor to help them communicate with the greater UMKC community about preventing littering on campus. In return for their dedication to keeping the UMKC campus free from litter, Agrawal presented the children with a recycle bin that includes a “RooUp and Recycle” plaque thanking the Berkley Center children. Jul 29, 2019

  • How Elite Steeplechaser Courtney Frerichs Starts Her Mornings

    In the July 29 Runner’s World, UMKC alumna Courtney Frerichs shared how she begins her days during training and competitions.
    Courtney Frerichs, 26, has a thing for busting through—and leaping over—barriers. After establishing her dominance in the steeplechase at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and University of New Mexico, she joined the Bowerman Track Club (BTC), where she has become one of the best steeplechasers in the world alongside a talented team that includes fellow steeple star Colleen Quigley and distance powerhouse Shelby Houlihan. Read more. Jul 29, 2019

  • Olympic Hopeful Finds Mentorship at UMKC

    Student-athlete already has health career at Children’s Mercy
    Get to know our people and you’ll know what UMKC is all about. Bryce Miller, ‘20 Hometown: Ashland, Wisconsin High School: Ashland High School Degree programs: Master's in Health Professions Education; Health Sciences ’18 Why did you choose UMKC? I was recruited to compete for the cross country and track and field team and decided to make the 10 ½-hour trek down from my hometown in northern Wisconsin. Little did I know, I would become much more accustomed to making this drive, as I committed to attend UMKC shortly after my visit. Initially, I was drawn in by the team culture, and was convinced that this could be a place for me to develop into a high-level athlete at the Division I level. I also liked the smaller campus feel paired with big city opportunity. You’ve competed in the 2016 Olympic trials for steeplechase (which involves running, jumping over hurdles and a water trap) and are competing this summer, too, for the 2020 games. What got you started with the steeplechase? I was originally a basketball player, and then competed in the Presidential Fitness competitions, and thought “hey, running is fun, and I’m pretty good at it”. When I came to UMKC, I’d never run the steeplechase – the coach, James Butler, remembered my basketball background and thought I’d be good at it. This was the same coach who urged Courtney Frerichs (UMKC alumnus and 2016 Olympian) to run the steeplechase because of her gymnastics background. Wow! That’s incredible. It sounds like you’ve had great coaching at UMKC. There are past and current coaches/administrative personnel in UMKC Athletics who have influenced me to become a better version of myself. My current coach, Brett Guemmer, has been a role model, mentor and leader for me during the past three and a half years. He’s someone I admire and strive to replicate as I grow as a person. I'm not sure where I could be without him, but I sure am glad to be in the position I am right now, and I owe a lot to him and his level of care that he has shown to me and the other athletes that he works with. Another person I admire at UMKC is Barb Bichelmeyer, provost and executive vice chancellor. I admire her ability to balance co-leading our university and maintaining relationships and connections with students such as myself. She has leadership characteristics and communication skills that we all could takes notes from. Why did you choose health sciences? I have always been terrible at answering the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I started at UMKC as undecided and used the first semester to explore my interests and see how they fit into the educational pathways that UMKC had to offer. I ultimately decided on the Bachelor of Health Sciences program because it would prepare me for a variety of career paths: public health, health care or research. I was able to further refine my educational focus by adding minors in exercise science and business administration. So, what are you doing now? My unique mix of classes allowed me to secure an internship at Children's Mercy in my final semester of the health science program, and upon graduating, I accepted a position as a graduate assistant researcher on Children's Mercy Energy Balance Research team. After several months of work on healthy lifestyles initiatives and research on adolescent activity, appetite and metabolism, I decided to further my education at UMKC in the Master of Health Professions Education program. My interest for this education program was inspired by experiences with my teachers, colleagues, coaches, teammates and co-workers at UMKC and Children's Mercy. How has your college program inspired you? My education at UMKC has inspired me to make change in the Kansas City community! I now have a passion for preventative health, healthy lifestyles promotion and improving health outcomes in at-risk populations. The course work has opened my eyes to areas of health concern and also developed my leadership skills to use when addressing these areas of concern in the community. Are you a first-generation college student? No, but I am the first of my siblings to attend college. I have twin brothers who are five years younger than me, so paving the way for them to be successful in school and sports is something I continue to push for. At the beginning of this school year, my dream of growth alongside them in school and sport came true. They committed to attend UMKC and run on the track and cross country teams! I was then granted a sixth-year medical hardship extension waiver to use my final season of track and field eligibility. My younger brothers and I competed in outdoor track and field together this past season. Younger-older brother rivalry! What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor? A professor once told me that the best way to prove that you actually know something, is by learning to teach it. If you can teach a concept, you will remember that concept. I have since used this approach in training with teammates and educational instruction. Which extracurricular activities are you involved in at UMKC (study abroad, student clubs, athletics, community volunteer opportunities,)? I finished my final semester on the UMKC track and field team. The past five and a half years have allowed me to travel around the country while representing UMKC and developing into the best version of myself as an athlete. UMKC's resources, my coaches and my teammates have helped me become a two-time NCAA Division I All-American in the steeplechase, a nine-time Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Champion and a 10th place finisher at the 2016 Olympic Trials in the steeplechase. Additionally, the memories I am most fond of as a captain for the Roos, were during our back-to-back WAC Championships in cross country. These team accomplishments definitely bring me the most joy and satisfaction. I have also been involved with the UMKC Student-Athletic Advisory Committee, the WAC Student-Athletic Advisory Committee, and the Mortar Board Honor Society. My favorite part of my commitment to these organizations has been the community outreach efforts carried out here in the city. I have been able to volunteer with more than 15 organizations over the past five years. Have you had an internship? What did you learn? I interned with the Weighing In team in the Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition department of Children's Mercy. I gained experience in research, health promotion and preventative health education. I accepted a research position on the Energy Balance Research team, in the same department this summer and continue to work with the Weighing In team in communications. What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career? During my undergraduate education and current master's degree classes, a common learning theme and area of personal development for me has been leadership. As a captain on the UMKC track and field and cross country teams for two years, these classes proved valuable for translating concepts into practice. As I've progressed further in health studies, my interest has drifted more into the leadership and teamwork aspects of healthcare. What is one word that best describes you? Dynamic. I am not afraid of change and I want to always strive for progress. As I've grown here at UMKC, so have my connections and responsibilities, making it difficult to balance them all. With constant adjustment—and advice from those around me—I've found ways to embrace challenges and opportunities. For me the most important key to continuing to be dynamic has been framing situations in a positive light and surrounding myself with like-minded people. Jul 25, 2019

  • Berkley Center Recognized with High Marks in Accreditation

    Children receive outstanding care and education at UMKC’s Berkley Child Development Center
    The Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley Child and Family Development Center at UMKC has received an outstanding assessment from the National Association of the Education of Young Children.  The Center received high marks in each of the ten categories, with nine receiving 100%+ approval ratings. Polly Prendergast, senior director of programs/projects at the Berkley Center, says the accreditation is significant for many reasons.  Beyond being an unbiased measure of the quality of education, it is a valuable tool for people searching for high quality early education. “NAEYC Accreditation helps parents find the best possible early childhood experience for their child. Also, it is a mark of quality for the teaching staff and administration,” Prendergast says.  “Schools and organizations who voluntarily go through a rigorous accreditation process of evaluation are demonstrating their level of competence in a field and their commitment to providing the highest level of quality in early learning.”  “The faculty and staff at Berkley come to work every day with a passion to make change in these little people.” Katie Anton, parent NAEYC assesses child care agencies in ten areas; relationships, curriculum, teaching, assessment of child progress, teachers, family and community, relationships, physical environment, leadership and management and health.  Prendergast and her colleagues were thrilled with their accreditation results. “While we have received high scores consistently over the years, it is thrilling to know our hard work and continuing quality improvement is validated.” The Berkley Center’s parents recognize and celebrate the faculty and staff’s commitment to excellence.  “The faculty and staff at Berkley come to work every day with a passion to make change in these little people,” Katie Anton, UMKC director of scholarships and Berkley parent says.  “They are intentional in everything they do and strive daily to grow healthy minds and bodies.”  The University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC) Edgar L. and Rheta A. Berkley Child and Family Development Center (CFDC) was established in 1993. UMKC’s School of Education and an interdisciplinary team of experts worked together to develop a state-of-the-art early childhood program. Berkley is part of UMKC’s School of Education and serves as a learning laboratory for early childhood students. As a NAEYC nationally accredited program, Berkley enrolls children of UMKC employees, students, and the community. We offer full day twelve month a year early care and education. Building an equal relationship between family, child, and teacher is a cornerstone of our philosophy. Jul 24, 2019

  • Francis Howell High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Isabelle Daab, a spring 2019 Francis Howell High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Daab begins biology/pre-medicine studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Daab was a member of the National Honor Society, HOSA-Future Health Professionals, Viking Leadership Academy, cross county and basketball. She worked at the Garden Villas of O’Fallon, completed A+ service hours at Meadows Parkway Early Childhood Center, volunteered with basketball camps, St. John’s Church of Christ and the Salvation Army. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Daab said she wants to help athletes with injuries. “I hope to someday use my UMKC degree to begin a nationwide program that will be implemented within high schools and competitive sports clubs that will teach athletes knee injury prevention tactics in hopes of saving many young athletes from the tortuous experience of destroying their once healthy knees,” Daab said. “Obtaining a UMKC degree arms me with a background of undergraduate research and opportunities to develop connections with figures that have expertise in sports medicine.” The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • McCluer North High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Lanisha Stevens, a spring 2019 McCluer North High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Stevens begins psychology studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Stevens was vice president of Rhoer Club, Sigma Chapter, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority; member of the Principal’s Student Advisory Council; and president of the youth division of Restoration House Community Church. She was inducted into the National Honor Society, an all-state finalist in the string orchestra, member of the National Spanish Honor Society, McCluer North Stars “A” Honor Roll student, St. Louis Post-Dispatch “A” Honor Roll student and a student-athlete. Stevens was awarded the McCluer North Celebration of Excellence-Middlebury College Memorial Book Award in 2018. She was an A+ tutor and volunteer for the Police Athletic League and McCluer North Special Olympics. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Stevens said she wants to serve as a voice for people who have a mental illness by becoming a counseling psychologist. “My future career goals of studying psychology and going on to a graduate degree program in counseling will be cultivated in the psychology department at UMKC”, Stevens said. “Working with faculty that are dedicated toward the field of mental health across disciplines is exciting.” The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • Blue Valley High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Nikita Joshi, a spring 2019 Blue Valley High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Joshi begins history studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Joshi was a member of the National Speech & Debate Association, National Honor Society; and was a Blue Valley High School Social Studies Scholar honoree and Kansas Honor Scholar. Joshi worked at Kumon Math and Reading Education Center as a tutor and was a volunteer for March for our Lives and Eastern Kansas VA. Her extracurricular activities included the Blue Valley Young Progressives Club, UNICEF Club and was a mentor for the incoming freshman class at her high school. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Joshi said she wants to share her passions with people and spark action to create something better for the future. “With an education from UMKC, I know I would get the personal attention I need in order to become a truly well-rounded individual and compelling champion of changes,” Joshi said. “Whether I choose to become a filmmaker documenting the stories of Syrian refugees, an environmental lawyer for the World Wildlife Fund or a congresswoman, I know that UMKC will help me develop the skills I need in order to leave my mark on the world.” The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • A JAG's Journey to Wine Country

    Jill James Hoffman's U.S. Naval career took her from UMKC Law to Italy and California — and wine entrepreneurship
    Jill James Hoffman has lived a life of discovery, from her time at UMKC School of Law to practicing law around the globe with the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) to becoming a California entrepreneur. Today, Hoffman (B.A. ’86, J.D. ’89) runs Qorkz Wine (pronounced “corks”), an e-commerce platform connecting wine lovers with a network of small producers. She still practices with the Naval Reserve JAG, and makes time for skiing at Lake Tahoe, sailing on San Francisco Bay and serving on the Sausalito City Council. Hoffman, who grew up in Liberty, Missouri, spent some time with us recounting her journey. What drew you to UMKC? I spent my first two years of college in a small town, and I missed living near a large city. UMKC was/is a great school and allowed me to return to Kansas City. It was kind of a no-brainer — I could go to a wonderful university, live on the Plaza and go to a great school in a lovely urban environment. After undergrad, I was lucky enough to be admitted to UMKC School of Law, so I stayed. My reasoning was that attending law school in Kansas City would afford me greater opportunities for summer clerkships and creating contacts during my time in law school than in the smaller towns where MU and KU schools of law were located, which turned out to be true. How did you end up in the Navy? I always wanted to practice litigation, specifically criminal law. The appealing thing about the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps was that I could practice criminal litigation anywhere in the world with my Missouri bar license. Acceptance was competitive and has become even more so since then; however, I was accepted and was commissioned as an ensign. I reported for active duty after taking and passing the Missouri Bar. I completed three active duty tours: two years at Naval Legal Service Office, Treasure Island, San Francisco; two years at Naval Support Activity, Naples, Italy; and my last active duty tour was at Naval Legal Service Office West, San Francisco. Since I left active duty, I have been in the Reserves. My specialty is as a litigator in the Military Justice Pillar of our Reserve community. What was your introduction to wine? I really became interested in wine when I was stationed in Naples for two years in the early 1990s. In addition to a fascinating and exciting litigation practice all over Europe and the Middle East, I tasted a lot of excellent locally produced wine. For the first time, I really experienced good food and good wine as an everyday experience. Restaurant meals included the option of the “vino da tavola” (table wine), which we almost always chose. How did you make the leap into the wine industry? When I returned to San Francisco, which had been my first duty station, I began exploring the California offerings in earnest. At the same time, I became fascinated as an attorney by the regulatory challenges of the small producers, who were of the greatest interest to me, probably stemming from my time in Italy when we tasted such great wine produced by the restaurant owners or other local vintners in small quantities. At the time, there was the explosion of the internet as a sales channel for direct-to-consumer sales and a gradual opening of direct sales to states other than California, through two or three U.S. Supreme Court cases. The small producers were a growing and largely underserved community with regard to legal services that specialized in that area of law. I started doing more outreach to that community of small winemakers about seven to eight years ago. The idea for Qorkz Wine as an e-commerce platform to help facilitate the direct-to-consumer sales channel for the 5,000+ small producers evolved from there. I left the law firm at the end of 2014 to start Qorkz Wine. "As an entrepreneur, I see the value in not just the business proposition of a successful and profitable venture, but how this effort can support and maintain an important part of the California wine industry." — Jill James Hoffman What's the appeal for you in running this business? The appeal is seeing the opportunity and challenge to enable the small producers to access the direct-to-consumer sales channel, which from a business perspective is their best and most profitable channel, but also the most underutilized. It is a constant and challenging but exciting puzzle every day. As an entrepreneur, I see the value in not just the business proposition of a successful and profitable venture, but how this effort can support and maintain an important part of the California wine industry. How is your UMKC education relevant in your life today? The habits instilled by a law degree come into play every day. Almost every effort I am involved in somehow references back to the legal perspective, from working and developing Qorkz Wine and my Naval Reserve work, to volunteer efforts with my son’s schools, on the Sausalito City Council or other volunteer efforts. My experience has been that as an attorney, particularly a litigator, I become a source of empowerment and ability for whatever effort in which I engage. These organizational and analytical skills, as well as the basic Midwestern Kansas City work ethic, integrity, toughness and grit, are embedded in my DNA. This article was featured in Res Ipsa, the UMKC School of Law alumni magazine. Jul 24, 2019

  • Saint Pius X High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Gavin Ott, a spring 2019 Saint Pius X High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Ott begins business administration studies at UMKC in the fall, he will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. His award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Ott was a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions, Vincit Christus (Christ Conquers), the Business Club, Student Council, Interact Club Youth Rotary and was a student-athlete. Ott is an Eagle Scout; and was a National Merit Commended Scholar, Missouri Bright Flight Scholar and KC Junior Scholar. Ott was a team lead for Eighteen Ninety event space; and worked at Centurion Moving and Storage and St. Therese North School. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Ott said he believes a degree from UMKC would help him become successful. “I full-heartedly believe in the limitless possibilities a UMKC education will provide me, and accordingly, the vastness to which I will be able to give back to educating our young community, our future leaders and pioneers,” Ott said. The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • Lee’s Summit North High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Tia Kahwaji, a spring 2019 Lee’s Summit North High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Kahwaji begins biology/pre-dental studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Kahwaji was a member of the National Honor Society, French Club, French Honor Society, Speech and Debate, youth government, orchestra and the tennis team. She was in the top one percent of her class, was math student of the year for three years, Questbridge College Prep Scholar, Questbridge National College Match finalist and KC Scholars award recipient. She also tutored elementary school students. Kahwaji worked at Applebee’s; volunteered six hours a week for a local dentist; gave free tennis lessons to low-income elementary students; volunteered at Coldwater, an organization that provides food and resources to families in need; and participated in a biyearly cleanup program. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Kahwaji said she believes a degree from UMKC will help her achieve her dreams. “Coupled with my passion for biology is my desire to help others,” Kahwaji said. “I strive to be a catalyst for change in low income and minority communities in Kansas City. With my degree, I can cultivate change through volunteering in places where dental care is not as easily accessible by the people.” The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • Battle High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Taylor Hamilton, a spring 2019 Battle High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Hamilton begins nursing studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Hamilton was a member Student Council, track and field, A+ Program, HOSA-Future Health Professionals and Science Club. She was on the “A” honor roll 2015-2018; was named Panera Associate of the Year in 2018; received the Science Department Choice Award in 2016; was an all-state track and field athlete in 2016; received the Spartan Excellence Award in 2016 and 2017; and received the Principal’s Award in 2016 and 2017. Hamilton worked at Panera Bread Company and was a clinical student at the Lenoir Woods Nursing Home in Columbia Missouri. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Hamilton said she plans to obtain a degree in nursing from UMKC and further her education to become a physician’s assistant. “Working as a physician assistant with a medical degree from UMKC, I will have the opportunity to shape the future of health policies,” Hamilton said. “Further, I will educate people so they can remain healthy or regain their health.” The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • Olathe North High School Graduate Named UMKC Trustees’ Scholar

    Kansas City’s university awards seven for 2019
    Sofia Martinez, a spring 2019 Olathe North High School graduate, has been named a University of Missouri-Kansas City Trustees’ Scholar. When Martinez begins philosophy studies at UMKC in the fall, she will receive a scholarship valued at $60,000 over four years. Her award is supported by the UMKC Board of Trustees, the founder of the scholarship program. Martinez was a member of the Diversity Student Council, Eagle Service Club, Hispanic Leadership Club, Lowrider Bike Club, Latina Leadership, Leadership Olathe, Mock Trial, Student Council, Relay for Life, marching band, symphonic band and wind ensemble. Martinez was on the honor roll 2015-2018, was a Questbridge finalist in 2018, Hispanic Heritage Month Student in 2017, and received the Gold Presidential Award for community service 2015 through 2017. She was a member of the Good Shepherd choir; and volunteered for the Good Shepherd Quince retreat and Saturday scholars. In the essay submitted to the Trustees’ Scholars selection committee, Martinez said she has learned to be resilient and charitable. “With the help of people at UMKC, I hope to become an immigration lawyer and help build a bridge for people like me,” Martinez said. “As a philosophy major, I would be able to use what I know as I pursue a law degree. As I continue down this path of self-discovery, I know that UMKC can provide an environment where I can really establish my role in helping my community.” The Trustees’ Scholarship provides educational fees and on-campus room and board for the first two years. In the third and fourth years, the package provides educational fees and $2,000 for room and board. Each Trustees’ Scholar also receives $500 toward books each year. To qualify as Trustees’ Scholars, students must meet at least two of the following three criteria: score a minimum ACT Composite of 30, rank in the top five percent of the graduating class, or have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more in a 17-class core curriculum. Trustees’ Scholars must enroll full time, be seeking an undergraduate degree and commit to living on campus for the first two years. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program is unique in that it aligns students closely with corporate sponsors, who give students access to their professional knowledge and experience, insight into the inner workings of the company or institution they represent, and a strong mentor relationship throughout the college experience. Students have opportunities to network and find internships or jobs through the Trustees and their connections in the community. The UMKC Board of Trustees is a non-profit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the University. Members advocate on the University's behalf, provide community feedback and forge partnerships to help the University achieve its strategic priorities and financial objectives. Jul 24, 2019

  • Kansas City Takes Data-Driven Approach to Addressing Blight

    Government Technology recently featured a collaboration between the city and UMKC
    The article entitled “Kansas City Takes Data-Driven Approach to Addressing Blight" features the "The Abandoned to Vacant project," led by UMKC Professors James DeLisle and Brent Never of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Read more. Jul 24, 2019

  • Mission to Mars

    School of Computing and Engineering grad helped design the parachute system for the Mars 2020 mission
    John Bazin (B.S. '15, M.S. '16) spoke with us about his job designing the parachute for the Mars 2020 rover mission's spacecraft. Tell us about your current position. I am a design engineer at Airborne Systems in Santa Ana, California. I design and develop aerodynamic decelerators for a number of government organizations. I have been working on the Mars 2020 Rover Parachute system for the past year.  How did you end up working on the Mars 2020 parachute system? Not a lot of people have experience designing or working with parachutes in the engineering community. I worked with parachutes with Dr. Travis Fields at UMKC. I used to do drop tests in the atrium in Flarsheim Hall. I was fortunate enough to win a student paper competition and have a paper on parachutes published. I met one of the supervisors at Airborne Systems at the conference I went to where I was presenting that paper. Having the research experience and a master's degree set me apart from the rest of the group. That, combined with good communications skills, are the reasons I believe I was chosen to work on the program. Did you have to learn about Mars in order to work on the parachute system? For example, how does a parachute deploy differently in Earth's atmosphere compared to Mars'? Yes, there was a lot of research and work that I had to do to prepare myself for the program. I did this research on work time and was given about a week to learn what I needed to so that I could immediately start contributing. The learning never stops though, that was just the amount of time they gave me to get as familiar as I could with the system before I started doing work. Mars' atmosphere is more than twice as thin as Earth's atmosphere. It has just enough density that you have to deal with it, otherwise it will destroy the spacecraft. Our parachute deploys at more than twice the speed of sound. It is about 60 feet in diameter and deploys in less than 0.5 seconds. These harsh conditions require it to be incredibly strong. The parachute we have developed and tested so is the biggest and strongest supersonic parachute that has ever been built. What is a typical day at work like for you? It's hard to know what I'm going to be working on past a week or two. Tasks change priority and things come up all the time that you have to be able to adapt to. I would say though it's about 80 percent desk work and 20 percent field work, which is nice. I got to go to the largest wind tunnel in the world and see our parachute deployed under rigorous test conditions. After the test was over, the wind speed was lowered to about 20 miles per hour and we were allowed to walk around the tunnel with the parachute inflated. It was by far the most amazing and spectacular thing I have ever seen in my life. To learn more about the Mars 2020 mission, visit mars.nasa.gov/mars2020.   Jul 18, 2019

  • Youth Innovators Supercharged To Take On STEM

    School of Computing and Engineering Expands Access to STEM Through Summer Camps
    What happens when 57 curious kindergarten through sixth grade students visit campus for one week? They turn their curiosity into innovation. At least that's what happened this summer when children from across the Greater Kansas City area spent a week at UMKC participating in a new day camp experience, Camp Invention, at the School of Computing and Engineering. An extension of the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Alexandria, Virginia, Camp Invention is a national program designed to keep kids engaged and help them build skills for the future. Throughout the week, these junior inventors work through activities that help them see ideas through from concept to creation while learning problem-solving collaboration, creativity and, of course, STEM. The theme for this year was “Supercharged.” “This year, through our partnership with Google Fiber, we were able to provide scholarships for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to attend the camp,” said assistant dean Marjory Eisenman. That also helped to diversify the group and ensure that all kids were welcome to participate without having to worry about cost.     “We had to make things to throw hay into a box!” said Elise, explaining her favorite activity of the week. Campers took on four challenges during camp that allowed them to use their imagination for creative problem solving: Farm Tech: Children manage their own farm as they learn the basics of running a business. Deep Sea Mystery: Using lessons and advice from Hall of Fame Inductees, children work in teams to invent island-survival tools and underwater equipment and navigate their way back home. Innovation Force: children create a device to retrieve the stolen ideas, they learn about the importance of collaboration and patents. DIY Orbot: Children explore frequency, circuit boards, motors and gears as they use real tools to reverse engineer a remote-controlled DIY Orbot, which is the students’ personalized version of a small bot. The 57 campers were led through the activities by a combination of local teachers, SCE students and seventh- through ninth-grade youth who served as classroom instructors, interns and leaders in training. “Getting students to help out with the camp sells the kids on UMKC or, at the very least, studying STEM,” said Eisenman. Camp Invention is just one way the SCE works to expand access to STEM. The school also hosted a biomechanical camp for high school students this summer and worked with 15 students on measuring the force of impacts on the musculoskeletal system, operating the school’s motion capture lab and high-tech equipment for 3D printing and bone analysis. SCE also offers year-round youth activities through its affiliate organization KC STEM Alliance, a collaborative network of educators, business partners and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust workforce of related professionals for our community. Get Involved With The SCE Jul 18, 2019

  • Alumna's Research Suggests That Early Church Women Served As Clergy

    College of Arts and Sciences graduate Ally Kateusz's research is presented in the National Catholic Reporter.
    Ally Kateusz has found artifacts that depict women at the church altar in "three of the most important churches in Christendom." Jul 15, 2019

  • KU Partners with UMKC Professors to Launch $1.4 Million Project for Women Exiting Prison

    Topeka Capital-Journal reports on partnership between KU and UMKC Computing and Engineering professors.
    A research team led by a KU faculty member earned a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation to improve technology skills of women leaving prison and hungry for skills useful in landing a job or continuing their education. The KU team will collaborate with Baek-Young Choi and Sejun Song, associate professors in the School of Computing and Engineering. Jul 11, 2019

  • Volcano Field Research Leads Students To An Explosion of Opportunities

    NPR showcases UMKC geosciences undergrads who attended summer workshop
    Summer can be a busy time for university faculty members, especially field scientists. They often spend weeks getting up close and personal with their chosen research subjects. As an assistant professor in the UMKC Department of Geosciences, Alison Graettinger is a big proponent of taking students into the field to get this firsthand experience. Last summer, she took several students to study volcanic eruption simulations in Buffalo, New York. Volcanoes can be difficult and often dangerous test subjects. The simulation workshop was an exciting opportunity for volcanologists to get together and study rapid-fire eruptions in a safe environment for the first time. A recent article by NPR documented the exciting work that took place at this workshop. Accompanying Graettinger were undergraduate students Julia Boyd and Sierra McCollum as well as graduate student Kadie Bennis. So what do students get to do in the field and why is it important for students to have these experiences? At the simulation workshop, both Boyd and McCollum performed meaningful analysis. Boyd measured the shape of the craters created by the explosions because it can be used to better understand explosion histories. McCollum participated in an experiment with re-melted lava to research the kinds of particles formed during eruptions. “Field experiences can shape a student’s future career. Exposing students to different, world class scientists all conducting different research allows students to see just how open their options are. It blows their mind how much is out there.” -Alison Graettinger   Upcoming field experiments are allowing students Alex Bearden and Joseph Nolan to build off previous student work. Bearden and Nolan have plans to travel to Diamond Craters in Oregon to conduct a drone study of crater sizes. Their work will directly benefit from the measurement techniques Boyd analyzed at the simulation workshop. Last year, another student, Emma Reynolds, traveled to Idaho to study particles ejected in a 4-million-year-old explosion. Reynolds is another student taking part in field research with Graettinger this summer.  At field camp, Graettinger gives students a broad introduction to geology, allowing them to experience many different facets of geological research. Adding to the student experience is learning how immersive field research is and how different that is from what students experience in a classroom. Graettinger said a typical day out in the field includes a full day of hands-on work, which then becomes the main topic of discussion over dinner. The ever-present focus on research allows more time for questions and provides an environment of constant discovery and learning. “Field experiences can shape a student’s future career,” Graettinger said. “Exposing students to different, world class scientists all conducting different research allows students to see just how open their options are. It blows their mind how much is out there.”  One of Graettinger’s most valuable pieces of advice is to sample everything. She thinks it is important that students get the opportunity to experience new things and meet people that they wouldn’t otherwise meet in their classrooms, noting that these encounters can ultimately change their lives.   Learn More About Student Research Opportunities Jul 09, 2019

  • Political Science Professor on the History of American Patriotism

    Max Skidmore on KCUR's Up To Date
    Curators' Distinguished Professor of political science and Thomas Jefferson Fellow, Max Skidmore, was on KCUR's Up To Date to discuss American patriotism through the years. Jul 08, 2019

  • 3 Steps to Launching an Undergraduate Research Project

    How to find the right research topic and support
    Research isn’t solely for faculty and graduate students. At UMKC, undergraduates have researched the evolution of galaxies, helped develop more environmentally-friendly formulas for concrete, and studied the effects of disrupted sleep on the stress levels of college students. UMKC encourages undergraduate students to conduct research as a key element of their bachelor’s degree program. It can play a critical role in gaining hands-on experience in your field of study, learning to think creatively and develop problem solving skills, gaining an understanding of research methods and ethics, and exploring potential careers. And as an undergraduate, you can do abroad, apply for undergraduate research and national fellowships, and earn academic credit for individual research and creative projects. Here’s a step-by-step guide to launching your undergraduate research project: 1. Decide on your research area of interest. What stimulates your curiosity? What do you enjoy reading and learning about? What questions do you have that don’t seem to have answers — yet? Look for faculty (see Step Two) who have explored similar topics or ideas, can help steer you in a productive direction and help you focus on something that is doable in one or two semesters of part-time research. “Don’t be afraid to research a topic you don’t fully understand,” says Joseph Allen, an experienced undergraduate researcher majoring in biology and chemistry. “As long as you go in with an open mindset and are willing to put in the work required to achieve understanding, who knows what fascinating things may result?” A good way to get a feel for undergraduate research is to explore EUReka! Courses (Experiences in Undergraduate Research). EUReka classes are offered in disciplines and departments from across the university. Students can search for EUReka classes in Pathway as an "attribute" of any section of a course. 2. Find a faculty mentor. If you know a faculty member with experience in your field of interest, send them an email or catch them during office hours. If you don't have someone in mind, browse this list of undergraduate research contacts for suggestions. You can also browse the undergraduate research database to find faculty who share your interests. It includes faculty profiles as well as more specific information about their research projects and artistic endeavors. “Find articles written by the faculty member you’re interested in, especially ones related to their current research, and thoroughly read them,” Allen advises. “It is so beneficial to walk into a conversation with a faculty member and be able to pull out copies of their articles, highlighted with notes in the margins, and ask questions about what they are working on.” 3. Ask for money to fund your research: Complete a SEARCH or SUROP application. SEARCH grants (Students Engaged in the Arts and Research) provide up to $1,250 in reimbursable research expenses undertaken during the academic year; SUROP grants (Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity) provide students with a $2,000 tuition grant and cover reimbursable expenses (up to $1,250) for projects undertaken during the summer session. You can complete your SEARCH or SUROP application online. The extensive opportunities – and support – for undergraduate research really set UMKC apart. It’s up to you to take the initiative to make it happen. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, it’s a great way to add value to your undergraduate experience.       Jul 05, 2019

  • Business and Communications Student Finds Success and LGBT Support at UMKC

    Trae Tucker has experienced connections through involvement and internships
    Get to know our people and you'll know what UMKC is all about. Trae Tucker, '20 Hometown: St. James, Missouri High School: St. James High School Degree programs: Business Management and Communications Why did you choose UMKC? I chose UMKC because it gave me a place where I could be my true self. In high school, when I hadn't come out of the closet yet. I wanted to be who I was. I looked up gay-friendly colleges in the U.S., and UMKC came up. I was like, hey, that's in Missouri! I think I found my home. Why did you choose your field of study? The reason I chose my field of studies is because my father owns a family business back in my hometown, and while growing up I knew that business was just something I gravitate towards. And I love talking to people, and I wanted to learn deeper on how to effectively have good conversations that I can implement into my field of work. What do you like about the business and communications programs? Hands down the connections that you can establish through the Bloch School are profound. However, with that being said, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and introduce yourself to those connections. The resources are there, but you have to willing to reach out to grasp the opportunities. As for the communication degree, it is funny, but the biggest benefit that I have had would be learning how to effectively listen because that is such a big factor in being a great communicator. I remember starting in the program and I was too much of an active extrovert to really listen when spoken to and I learned that you miss so much when you aren't effectively listening to the one speaking to you. My programs have inspired me to really reach for my goals and aspirations. I think that the environment you are in plays an extremely important role when getting your degree. If you aren't being told that you can reach your goals, you won't fully believe in yourself. The support you get in programs at UMKC is amazing and imperative when looking for a place to foster your ambitions and goals. Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself? Coming to college has opened my eyes to a more worldly view. College has also taught me to learn to be okay with entering into uncomfortable situations because it is in those moments when the most personal growth happens. For example, it isn't comfy to give a speech in front of hundreds of people, but after accepting and entering into that uncomfortable situation, I have grown and found a further belief in myself and what I can do and accomplish. What do you admire most at UMKC? I admire all of the amazing and loving people that I have met while in college. College is such a melting pot of different people with different views and I could not be more thankful for that. I am constantly being challenged on my views and what I believe in and a lot of the times it gives me a broader perspective on life and how people live in the world. I think that is such a valuable lesson to learn for any person both in and not in college. What extracurricular activities are you involved in at UMKC? I am involved in a range of things here at UMKC such as sitting as the president of the LGBT Affairs Council, formal chair for my fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon, resident assistant in Oak Street Hall, an ambassador for the Bloch School and intramurals here on campus: volleyball and basketball. I love all of these organizations and they all have played a part of making my college experience great! Do you have any scholarships? LGBT Leadership Scholarship: this award means the absolute most to me because it helps me feel welcomed and included in such a diverse community. It also gives others like me - a member of the LGBTQIA community - a chance to learn and enjoy college with less of a financial stress. Resident Life Assistant Scholarship: this is also a near and dear scholarship to me because it allows me to have free room/board and meal plan. Without that, it would be 100 times harder living at UMKC. Res Life is absolutely amazing, and I love working for them. Bloch Student Ambassador Scholarship: this is a great scholarship where I get to meet new and prospective students wanting to come to UMKC. The best part is I get to give my personal experience, and get to meet people from all over the United States. Have you had any internships? Yes, I have worked in New York City in TriBeCa with a PR firm called Bollare where I worked on the events team. The biggest thing that I learned while interning with Bollare was how to work effectively and efficiently. It is a very fast-paced environment, and it pushed me to new limits that I am extremely happy to have learned about myself. I also have interned in Los Angeles in Hollywood where I was a resident director for a company called Dream Careers. This is where we had students from around the world who wanted internships in L.A. My job was to help these students get acclimated into L.A. so they knew where the closest pharmacy, stores, etc. were. Also, if there were housing issues, I would directly assist in resolving those problems. We also took the students on different adventures around L.A. For example, going to a Dodgers baseball game and taking a weekend trip to Las Vegas. I learned a lot about myself at this internship, too. Specifically that age is just a number, and even if you are a younger person working in a "big boy/girl" position, if you are talented enough to do the job, then you can do it. What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career? I hope overall I can take the things I have learned here, specifically how to work effectively in groups, and bring that into my professional career. Like it or not, we are moving more and more towards group work, and I have learned to love working in groups and how to communicate to have an effective group. Jul 05, 2019

  • Ask the Pharmacist: Managing Your Type 2 Diabetes and Side Effects

    Experienced PharmD Alan Carter answer questions in Healthline about Type 2 Diabetes
    Alan Carter, PharmD and 2019 UMKC School of Pharmacy Alumni Achievement Awardee, answers questions for Healthline about managing Type 2 Diabetes and side effects. Jul 03, 2019

  • Creating an Inclusive and Affirming Campus

    A guide to some of the many LGBTQIA+ programs and resources at UMKC
    This introductory (and non-exhaustive) guide is just the beginning! Find more LGBTQIA+ resources and programs online, on social media, via email or stop by the Rainbow Lounge (more on that below!). Rainbow Lounge This is the official LGBTQIA resource space at UMKC. The Rainbow Lounge (located on the third floor of the Student Union) is intended as a welcoming space for students, regardless of sexual or gender diversity and expression. Affectionately referred to as our LGBTQIA living room, students can find literature, recreational opportunities and lounge space for, about and by the UMKC LGBTQIA student community. Students gather in the Rainbow Lounge, the official UMKC LGBTQIA resource space. Gender-Inclusive Housing Gender-inclusive housing is available in all UMKC residence halls. Students may request to live alone, with another person or a group. Preferred Name Policy UMKC acknowledges that many students use names other than their legal name to identify themselves. Although a chosen/preferred name doesn’t change your official name in educational records (financial aid, transcripts, etc.), it will be displayed in the Pathway student center, Pathway class roster and grade roster. Additionally, a preferred name may be used to change your student ID and displayed in other university maintained software applications such as Canvas or Moodle. 2019 UMKC Ally photo. Scholarships UMKC has a number of scholarship opportunities for LGBTQIA+ students, including our Empowerment Fund, created to support students who experience loss of financial support from their family after coming out. Other scholarships include: College of Arts and Sciences LGBTQIA Scholarship LGBTQIA Leadership Scholarship LGBTQIA Emergency Grant  Student Organizations Our student organizations reflect the interests of our students and include: Delta Lambda Phi LGBTQIA Health District Alliance Pride Alliance LGBTQIA Student Affairs Council UMKC School of Law OUTLaws UMKC Trans+ Additionally, be sure to check out upcoming events that help us reflect on the history and culture of LGBTQIA+ people, as well as highlighting current issues facing our communities, including LGBTQIA Pride Month, Lavender Graduation and the Pride Lecture Series.   Jul 02, 2019

  • Roos in Shakespeare in the Park

    Theatre alumni and students help produce the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's 33rd production
    A recent In Kansas City article about the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival got us thinking: How many UMKC students and alumni have had a hand in productions over the festival’s 27 seasons? We reached out to Sidonie Garrett (B.L.A. '94), executive artistic director of the festival, to help us uncover the answer. Her response? More than 1,000 Roos have helped with the festival’s 33 productions. More specifically, she estimates there have been around 270 onstage actors and musicians and 735 offstage folks, from technical directors to choreographers. This year, for the first time, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s production in the park is Shakespeare in Love, a play not written by the man himself but, instead, a fictional account of him writing Romeo and Juliet. We were lucky enough to go behind the scenes and shadow a few alumni to see what goes into putting on the festival’s newest and biggest production to date. If you’ve attended Shakespeare in the park this year, you’ve likely passed by Katherine Gehrlein (pictured left, M.F.A. ’17), director of operations and community relations, and Mariah Roady (B.F.A. ’15), development and marketing associate. The two work together to ensure everyone is set before the gates open. They serve as run-of-house managers for the nearly 2,000 guests that come to see the play on any given night. Photo by Brandon Parigo. Petey McGee (B.A. '17) plays Nol, Benvolio and Samson in Shakespeare in Love. Photo courtesy of Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Colin Fowler (pictured right, M.F.A. '19), assistant stage manager, readies the set by making a bed on the second level with production assistant Joy Covington. Photo by Brandon Parigo. Afton Earp (M.F.A. '17), production stage manager, sets up her binder which includes lighting and sound cues for the entire performance. Photo by Brandon Parigo. Actors Marianne McKenzie (pictured left, B.A. '15) and Matthew McAndrews, who received his theatre and law degrees from UMKC in 2012 and 2018, respectively. Photo courtesy of Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. See Shakespeare in Love through July 7 at Southmoreland Park! More information on the play Jul 01, 2019