• Mental Health-Themed Art Exhibit Coming in October

    ‘The Art of Being ME’ will spend seven weeks in Miller Nichols Library
    A multi-media art exhibit, “created to ignite important conversations around mental health” according to the artist, will be on display at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Oct. 19 through Nov. 30. “The Art of Being ME,” created by Springfield-based artist Randy Bacon, incorporates video, still photography and text. The collection showcases the personal stories of more than 20 individuals who have lived experiences with mental health conditions or diagnoses. It includes inspiring portrait artwork, personal written stories and a series of short films that focus on various behavioral health challenges. The exhibit is sponsored by the Burrell Foundation. The exhibit will be on display throughout Miller Nichols Library, with free access for campus and community available during the library's operational hours.  During the exhibit’s stay on campus, Bacon hopes to incorporate the mental health journey of a member of the UMKC campus community into the project. “The Art of Being ME is an extraordinary project created to ignite important conversations around mental health, and to amplify the human experience as we traverse it both individually and collectively,” Bacon writes. “We are never alone, and this is a conversation that must be normalized and talked about in all spaces with total transparency.” The exhibit is being brought to UMKC by the Department of External Relations and Constituent Engagement as part of the department’s extensive Engagement Month programming. Aug 31, 2022

  • Building Great Futures Close to Home

    New class of Trustees’ Scholars set out to make their mark
    They’re the kind of students in demand at prestigious universities across the country. High school class presidents, A+ scholars, National Honor Society members, committed volunteers. These multi-talented young people combined top high school grades with success in athletics, arts, debate, music and other extracurricular activities. They have chosen to launch their futures at UMKC. These students are UMKC Trustees’ Scholars, who will have their four years of college fully funded by civic leaders who will also provide them with invaluable mentorship, access, networking and experiential learning opportunities. Trustee Donna Ward, chair of the group’s scholarship committee, said this year’s cohort of seven students was selected from a pool of about 200 applicants. “They are the best of the best,” Ward said.  Larry Smith, from St. Louis, didn’t know Kansas City very well, but came away from a visit convinced that UMKC was right for him. “There’s not a lot of diversity where I’m from,” he said. “I thought I would enjoy being with the wide variety of people here.” For Elliott Smith of Parkville, the university’s urban environment is a major advantage. “There are lots of opportunities to explore the city, and the network that the university can provide.” Taylor Trudell of Knob Noster said UMKC was her first-choice school well before learning she had won the coveted scholarship. “I think the mentorship and the opportunities to learn how to handle yourself in professional situations is really the cream of the crop from this scholarship.” When Judy Batts of Kansas City got word about the scholarship while at Raytown High School, “I just started crying. I never thought that I could get access to all these opportunities.” The UMKC Board of Trustees is a nonprofit organization established by civic and community leaders to support the university. Their mission is to strengthen Kansas City’s future by advocating for and supporting UMKC and its students. Since 2001, the Trustees have sponsored the Trustees’ Scholars Program, which provides high-achieving students from our region with a fully funded educational and experiential program, worth more than $60,000 over four years. Each scholar is individually mentored during their four years by a UMKC Trustee. The program gives students access to the Trustees’ knowledge, experience and network, as well as specialized guidance from key UMKC staff. Today, more than 120 program alumni are making their marks as business and civic leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals in healthcare, entertainment and law. Meet the 2022 incoming class of UMKC Trustees’ Scholars. Judy Batts’ goal is to become a genetic counselor and use that skill to bridge the large existing gaps in health care access and outcomes.  Intended Major: Biology with double minors in Spanish and Chemistry Hometown/High School: Kansas City, Missouri; Raytown High School Trustee Mentor: Jay Kim   Mauricio Bernal intends to become an engineer focused on mentoring the next generation. “I want to give back to my community by sharing my experiences with students in the Kansas City area that have a similar background as me. I greatly benefitted from having mentors that looked like me and shared similar experiences, and I value giving that back to the next generation.” Intended Major: Civil Engineering Hometown/High School: Kansas City, Kansas; Wyandotte High School Trustee Mentor: Gabe Hernandez   Chinecherem Ihenacho plans to become an addiction psychiatrist in the UMKC School of Medicine and open clinics in both the U.S. and Nigeria “where people won’t be turned away because of money.” Intended Major: Psychology (pre-med) Hometown/High School: Raytown, Missouri; Raytown South High School Trustee Mentor: Dana Nelson   Vari Patel will pursue an MBA and a law degree after graduation, to prepare for a career as an international corporate lawyer – and a seat in the U.S. Senate representing Missouri. She has already become founder and first president of a new campus student organization, Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda. Intended Major: Finance with a minor in International Affairs Hometown/High School: Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Blue Springs South Trustee Mentor: Suzanne Shank   Elliott Smith is mapping out a future in urban affairs, “working in a city hall and having a direct impact on municipal priorities or coming up with ideas to better equip communities for future endeavors.” Intended Major: Urban Planning + Design Hometown/High School: Parkville, Missouri; Park Hill South High School Mentor: Bob Strom   Larry Smith intends to be a dentist with his own practice, that “provides quality care in a positive and family-oriented environment.” Intended Major: Biology (pre-dental) Hometown/High School: St. Louis, Missouri; Lindbergh High School Trustee Mentor: Emmet Pierson   Taylor Trudell is studying Environmental Science to prepare for a career with the EPA or as a natural resource specialist for the U.S. Forest Service. Intended Major: Environmental Science, minor in Studio Art Hometown/High School: Knob Noster, Missouri; Knob Noster High School Trustee Mentor: Patti Phillips Aug 31, 2022

  • UMKC Pharmacy Students Getting Early Start as Immunizers

    Immunization training will allow student phamacists additional opportunities to help meet public health needs
    Jessica Thomas, a second-year UMKC School of Pharmacy student, braced herself as her classmate, Sheel Patel, gently plunged a syringe into her arm. “Wow, that didn’t hurt whatsoever,” Thomas exclaimed. Thomas and Patel are two of the more than 180 first- and second-year students across UMKC’s three pharmacy school campuses in Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield who participated in an all-day training the week before classes started and then two days of immunization injection training during the first week of the school year. The training has been part of the School of Pharmacy’s curriculum for more than a decade. Until this year, however, it took place as students transitioned from their second to third years of the program, just prior to beginning their second introductory clinical experiences. Now, all UMKC student pharmacists will get the training at the start of their first year in pharmacy school. Cameron Lindsey, chair of the school’s Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, said the school moved the immunization training to the beginning of the curriculum in order to give students more opportunities to help with public health needs such as administering COVID vaccines as well as other necessary vaccines. “Now they’ll have that skill before they go out on their first (clinical) experience,” Lindsey said. “We look at this as an opportunity for our students to learn a skill, practice it and be able to help the pharmacists, and actually, the whole health care system.” Thomas and Patel said they’ll see an immediate benefit. Thomas currently works in the pharmacy at University Health-Truman Medical Center. Patel works at a local Walmart pharmacy. Under the previous schedule, they would have received the immunization training next spring. Now all UMKC pharmacy students will have the training and be certified immunizers as they start pharmacy school. “I’m really excited,” Thomas said. “Working in retail pharmacy, you can’t have enough people who give immunizations. I’ve been asked several times, ‘Can you do them? We need someone to do them.’ There’s a need out there and I’m glad that we can help meet it. I’m glad we don’t have to wait another year to get the training.” Patel admitted being a little nervous about sticking a needle in someone’s arm. After the first practice injection, the nerves subsided. Now, he says he’s ready to take on added responsibilities at work. “When we work in retail (and administer vaccines under pharmacist supervision), it gives the pharmacists more time to do other things than give shots all day long, and that helps them out,” Patel said. Vaccination training is one of the first patient-care experiences in which many student pharmacists participate. The hope is that by providing that training before they start their first year of pharmacy school, students will feel more engaged with patient care early in their education. “Those first semesters are very science heavy, and now our students are going to be right in the midst of doing something that’s hands-on, that can be applied to patient care, and they can be more involved with patients early on,” Lindsey said. First-year student Madison Crawford said she wasn’t expecting to learn immunization skills so quickly when she enrolled in pharmacy school. “I’m really excited to be able to do it so soon,” she said. “I feel like I’ll be able to get more involved in the community by giving vaccinations early on.” Aug 30, 2022

  • Welcome to UMKC, Roos!

    Convocation, Roo Welcome and soccer headlined the first week of the semester
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City welcomed new and returning students, faculty and staff with a series of special events and activities. From move-in to the first Roo Blue Friday, here’s a look at highlights from the first week on campus. A student pushes a bin during move in at Oak Street Residence Hall Students move in to the Hospital Hill Apartments Chancellor Agrawal was there to greet families and lend a hand as students moved in Late Night with the Greeks is one of the first events of the weekend The annual tradition is a chance for students to learn about Greek Life organizations at UMKC UMKC is home to 13 Greek letter organizations The event has a variety of activities and food vendors The Paint a Pig event introduces students to services available through the Financial Wellness Center Convocation was held on Saturday afternoon New students learned UMKC traditions such as the fight song and the alma mater Following Convocation, students attended the Welcome Block Party Students enjoyed food, games and caricatures The men's soccer team won the Battle of Rockhill 2-1 The exhibition match is a tradition where the Roos face off against neighboring Rockhurst University Donuts with the Dean is an opportunity for students to get to know Dean of Students Michele Smith Students used color powder to decorate shirts ahead of the women's soccer match Union Fest is an opportunity for students to learn about campus resources and activities The first day of class was Aug. 22 Pharmacy students learned about opportunities at the student organization fair  Students don their blue on Roo Blue Friday   Aug 26, 2022

  • National, Local Experts to Discuss Race and Sports at UMKC Symposium

    Virtual event offers CLE credit, or free for non-credit attendees
    The UMKC School of Law and Athletics Department are co-sponsoring “The Arc of Race in Professional & Collegiate Sports,” a two-day virtual symposium featuring national and local experts. Topics ranging from the hiring of coaches of color, to name-image-likeness deals, to race norming in the NFL’s brain-injury lawsuit’s claims settlement process will be covered during the Sept. 9-10 event. The symposium is co-chaired by Brandon Martin, Ed.D., UMKC Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics; and Prof. Kenneth D. Ferguson, UMKC School of Law. Featured speakers will include: Keith Harrison, Ed.D., chief academic officer, DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program, University of Central Florida Ann McKee, M.D., neuropathologist and director of the Brain Banks for Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and Framingham Heart Study Jennifer Hunter, J.D., senior director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Portland Trail Blazers Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D. professor in the UMKC School of Medicine and director, UMKC Health Equity Institute Tracie Canada, Ph.D. assistant professor of anthropology, Duke University Vincent Key, head team physician for the Kansas City Royals and president of the Major League Baseball Team Physicians Association Meg Gibson, M.D., head team physician, UMKC Athletics Mikah Thompson, J.D., associate dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, UMKC School of Law Deron Cherry, retired Kansas City Chief, president of United Beverage Company and a commissioner for the Jackson County Sports Authority The symposium offers up to 12.6 hours Elimination of Bias Missouri Continuing Legal Education credit. Fee is $100 for those seeking CLE credits; attendance is free to all others. To register, go to The opening session on Sept. 9 will focus on “Race Norming and Sports Concussion Litigation including NFL Concussion Settlement and Claims Process.” The initial settlement by the NFL for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) injuries implemented a formula (i.e., race-norming) that discriminated against Black retired players. In effect, Black players were treated as having worse cognitive functioning than white players (in their pre-morbid stage). As a result, if a Black player and a white player received the exact same score on a battery of neurocognitive tests, the Black player was automatically assumed to have suffered less impairment. Two members of the panel for that session, attorneys J.R. Wyatt and Cy Smith, successfully sued the NFL to remove race-norming from the settlement. Other discussion topics will include: Will Race and Gender Affect which Student Athletes Profit from their Name, Image and Likeness? The Intersection of Race and Gender in Professional Sports Hiring The Intersection of Race and Gender in Mental Health of Professional and Collegiate Athletes Race Norming in Medical Treatment and Clinical Diagnostics and its Impacts   Aug 25, 2022

  • Victor E. Dominguez, M.D. Memorial Scholarship Continues Alumnus Legacy

    Awardees from southwest Missouri demonstrate academic excellence and financial need
    Jose Dominguez (B.A.’88, M.D. ’89) remembers that his father, Emilio Dominguez, M.D., wanted his sons to have careers in medicine as well. He and his younger brother Victor (B.A. ’89, M.D. ’90) saw the value in their father’s dream for them and graduated from the UMKC School of Medicine. When Victor died of cancer in 1997, a scholarship was established in his name. “Victor had such a strong work ethic,” Jose says. “He was in the Missouri National Guard and the Army Reserves.” A natural leader, Victor established the Bi Theta Pi fraternity at UMKC while he worked toward his degree in medicine. He was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and served as chief resident at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.  At the time of his death, his friend and fraternity brother, Jim Burke (B.A. ’88, M.D. ’89) recognized Victor for his character. “I remember him as one of the best friends I have ever had,” Burke said. “He was accepting [of people] at their best and their worst. His loyalty to his friends and family are something we should aspire to.” In 2007 Carlotta and Emilio Dominguez made the initial gift and pledge to endow the scholarship established in Victor’s memory, which allows students to pursue their dream of earning their degree in medicine at UMKC. Students from southwest Missouri who demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need are eligible to apply. They have made additional donations, as has Jose. Macy Baugh (B.A./M.D. ‘27), the current recipient of the Victor E. Dominguez, M.D. Memorial Scholarship, knew she wanted a career in the health care field from a young age. It wasn’t until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that she was certain that she wanted to be a physician. “Being awarded the scholarship motivates me to be the best student I can be and eventually the best physician I can be." - Macy Baugh “I watched as doctors worked tirelessly on the front lines and risked their own health to care for their communities,” she says. “People come to see doctors in their most vulnerable times. I want to be there for people during their greatest time of need.” Baugh chose the UMKC six-year medicine program to help fulfill her dream. “Once I decided to be a doctor, I wanted to achieve this goal as soon as possible. Also, I loved that UMKC allows us exposure to the field so early in our education through hands-on clinical experience in our docent system.” Baugh wants to stay close to home once she graduates and hopes to match to a residency program in Missouri. She’s grateful for the Victor E. Dominguez, M.D. Scholarship for making her dreams possible. “Being awarded the scholarship motivates me to be the best student I can be and eventually the best physician I can be. The cost of attending this program was a very important factor in my decision to attend UMKC, and this scholarship helped reduce the financial burden. Instead of worrying about the amount of debt I am accruing, I am able to focus on my studies.” She is grateful to Emilio Dominguez for establishing the scholarship in Victor’s honor. “I sincerely thank him for his generosity and willingness to help students achieve their goals. I hope that one day I am able to help students in the way that he has helped me. Thanks to him, I am one step closer to being a doctor.” Aug 23, 2022

  • To Make the Most of College, Build Relationships with Faculty

    Office hours, coffee breaks, campus strolls are all ways to forge valuable connections with professors
    UMKC faculty have a great deal more to offer students beyond classroom lectures. Things like mentoring, career networking and guidance, research partnerships, internships and deeper explorations of subject matter outside of class time. At UMKC, faculty are particularly eager and willing to forge helpful relationships with students outside the classroom, including undergraduates. “It’s part of the culture here,” said Alexis Petri, director of faculty support at the UMKC Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE). “The benefits to students from these relationships can be profound.” Talking to faculty outside of class helps students discover opportunities, but there are deeper benefits as well, Petri said. “It also leads to a sense of belonging, of feeling connected to a major, and to a community that has made that discipline their life’s work,” she said. “Undergraduate research, internships, all of the experiential learning opportunities that make a discipline come alive in a concrete way – that’s all faculty-driven,” she continued. “Faculty are also the people who will write letters of recommendation for you, and be a reference in your initial job search. And the better they know you, the more good things they can say.” Some faculty are more prone than others to project that willingness, however. Even for those who advertise it openly, though, it’s up to the student to take the initial step. “The best way to start is with office hours,” Petri said. “Faculty are required to have office hours and to post them on the syllabus.” If a student feels a need to break the ice before that, “just go up and say ‘hi’ after class.” “Undergraduate research, internships, all of the experiential learning opportunities that make a discipline come alive in a concrete way – that’s all faculty-driven.” – Alexis Petri Petri recalled being introverted as an undergraduate, and forging a plan to overcome that tendency. “I had to force myself, but I would make a point of saying something in the very first class, be recognized, and get myself in the habit,” she said. “I had a system I tried to follow. Talk in the first three classes, and go to office hours within the first month. There were times I didn’t do it, and I wasn’t as successful in those classes.” Students from underrepresented backgrounds can sometimes find it difficult to initiate conversations with faculty who don’t look like them. Petri suggests starting off with a visit to the Multicultural Student Affairs office, where the staff can help students find a comfort level and a sense of community at UMKC as a first step in the process. “Then, ask yourself, ‘Who do I feel welcomed by?’ A lot of our faculty work hard at giving cues of openness, and creating broad classroom participation,” Petri said. “Look for that, and make that faculty member your first experience in reaching out.” As for her advice to faculty through CAFE, Petri said the most important ingredient can be organization. “Students who are anxious or nervous tend to follow the rules, so a really well-organized syllabus makes those students feel more confident,” she said. “Being really organized shows students you care.” Aug 19, 2022

  • UMKC adds in-state tuition for non-Missouri students

    Kansas City Business Journal reports new Roo Nation Award and Roo Advantage Scholarships.
    The Roo Nation Award gives students outside Missouri and Kansas an in-state tuition rate. Students must have at least at 3.0 high school GPA and be a U.S. citizen enrolled at UMKC. Roo Advantage Scholarship gives a full ride to Missouri and Kansas residents that are eligible for Pell Grants. Aug 18, 2022

  • UMKC Announces Free Tuition for Pell-Eligible Students, In-State Tuition Scholarships for Students from All 50 States

    Roo Advantage Scholarship ensures free college education for the students who need it most while Roo Nation Award offers in-state tuition scholarships
    Financial aid assistance plays a big role in helping many students decide where to attend college and UMKC just unveiled a new scholarship lineup aimed at making college even more affordable.  The Roo Advantage Scholarship makes college free for full-time Missouri and Kansas first-time and transfer students who are Pell Grant-eligible. The scholarship covers any remaining full-time tuition and fees not covered by other student scholarships or grants.  The new Roo Nation Award extends in-state tuition scholarships to non-Missouri residents.   Roo Advantage is available beginning now, Fall 2022, while Roo Nation will begin Fall 2023. Both scholarships are renewable yearly.  “We are committed to making higher education affordable to the Kansas City community, all of Missouri and Kansas and beyond,” said Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D., provost and executive vice chancellor. “These programs remove financial barriers that stand in the way of people earning the credentials needed to launch a professional career.”  Roo Advantage  To be eligible for Roo Advantage, students must have completed a FAFSA and been declared eligible for a Pell Grant. Transfer students must have earned an associate degree prior to transferring to UMKC.  Madison Atkins, a junior at UMKC studying education, started her college career at a community college to save money. She said the Roo Advantage Scholarship relieved her of “a huge burden.”  “It was a no-brainer about accepting it because I’m basically getting college for free,” Atkins said. “I did community college to save money, and my family planned to take out loans for UMKC. So when this scholarship came along, it felt like a weight had been lifted.”  Atkins said she and her family feel extremely grateful for the opportunities the scholarship will provide for her during her time at UMKC.  “This really opens the door for me to think about things like continuing school and getting my master’s degree. I was really worried about the student loans from my bachelor’s, and so I had planned to graduate and then work a couple of years before coming back. Now I can work right through,” Atkins said. “That just wouldn’t have been an option for me before.”  Roo Nation Award  To be eligible for the Roo Nation Award, students must be a U.S. citizen and a newly enrolled nonresident undergraduate student with a high school core or transfer GPA of at least a 3.0. Medical, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Law students are not eligible.  SGA President Tim Nguyen says scholarships can make or break the student experience – and he applauded UMKC’s ongoing efforts to make sure college can be affordable for students. For Nguyen (B.S., B.A. ’22), scholarships at UMKC helped ensure he could focus completely on his education as an undergrad and even to pursue a graduate degree.  “My scholarship at UMKC gave me countless opportunities that I could never possibly imagine. Or never thought I would be able to come across,” Nguyen said. “I had flexibility, where I didn’t have to work two or three other jobs, I could invest myself into giving back through different community service opportunities, different internships and be someone for my UMKC family, not just someone in it.”  Learn More About Roo Advantage and Roo Nation Scholarships Aug 17, 2022

  • In Case You Missed It: Top UMKC News Stories from Summer 2022

    From academic realignment to new student-focused partnerships and more, it's been a busy summer on our campuses
    Welcome to a new school year at UMKC! Campus may have seemed quiet the past three months, but major changes are in store. Here’s a look at what’s new around campus as well as some big news you may have missed over the summer: New Homes and New Offices Two key Academic Support and Mentoring departments are moving to Miller Nichols Library beginning in the fall semester to take advantage of space that is both larger and quieter than their former location. Supplemental Instruction and UMKC Tutoring will now be located on the fourth floor of Miller Nichols Library, relocating from the Atterbury Student Success Center.  RooLearning+, an easy-to-use app already used for Supplemental Instruction scheduling, will also be the best way to schedule Tutoring and Writing Studio appointments and logging in for drop-ins.  Access RooLearning+ by visiting the webpage at  or downloading the app from the Apple or Google Play app stores and signing in with your SSO. Two new offices will be opening in the Student Success Center this fall: the headquarters of the new Professional Career Escalators program and an on-campus office for KC Scholars.  Career Services will also have expanded space in the ASSC. Music To Your Ears The recital hall in Grant Hall has been renovated to make it into a high-quality venue for music performances, including new acoustic treatments and new sound equipment. This is part of a $4 million project to renovate spaces within White Hall and Grant Hall, including arts practice and teaching areas most needed by our Conservatory students and faculty. The project is focused on hearing safety, updated technology, increased usable space and ADA compliance. UMKC Forward Launches Academic Realignment The UMKC Forward academic realignment, designed to optimize resources and better serve UMKC students and community, began July 1. Significant progress on hiring and program development have laid the groundwork for collaborative research and student success.  In 2020, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chancellor Mauli Agrawal announced the formation of UMKC Forward, a collaboration of faculty, staff and students across the university that would develop a new vision for the university’s future. Part of that vision was a realignment of the academic units at UMKC in order to optimize the strengths of the university and the opportunities for students’ career achievement.  The realignment created three new schools: the School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Science and Engineering. Read More $100 Million Project Planned for Health Sciences District We are poised to begin work on a new interprofessional health sciences building in the UMKC Health Sciences District, housing new, state-of-the-art dental teaching clinics and expanded medical school teaching facilities. The multi-story, $100 million project also will serve as a home for the university’s Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center and Biomedical Engineering program. This project will take the Health Sciences District to the next level, accelerating health care access and equity for the community and sparking development to turn the campus into a regional draw, igniting entrepreneurship and economic growth for the city and region. Read More University Partners with Boys & Girls Clubs UMKC and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City announced a new partnership in June that will extend scholarship opportunities to thousands of Kansas City students. The agreement creates the new UMKC Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Scholarship, which grants $1,000 in aid to students who are graduating from a Boys & Girls club program. In addition to scholarship funds, the partnership will also provide an on-campus introduction to campus and college life during the spring or summer prior to students’ freshman year. Once on campus, UMKC will provide students with programs to help connect them to peer mentors who will help navigate and support them throughout their college experience. Read More KC Celebrates Bloch Heritage Hall Reopening The Henry W. Bloch School of Management welcomed alumni, students and community members to the newly remodeled Bloch Heritage Hall July 30 to celebrate the reopening of the building and the 100th anniversary of the birth of the school’s namesake. “Henry Bloch, and the community leaders who came before him, created a heritage of investment in higher education and a dedication to innovation,” Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said. “Just as they joined together to support the university more than 90 years ago, UMKC has again witnessed the generosity of donors who value the importance of maintaining excellent educational opportunities close to home.” The remodeling creates a vibrant student services hub, where students can easily connect to advisors, tutors, career resources and clubs. Classrooms now feature state-of-the-art technology and room design to provide flexibility for optimum virtual-class attendance. These upgrades will better serve students with work and childcare obligations, as well as travel schedules. Read More New Faces Among Leadership Please join us in welcoming our new vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and two new deans to campus. J. Camille Hall, Ph.D., LCSW, has been appointed as the new vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at UMKC. She comes to UMKC from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she has served as a tenured professor and associate dean for equity and inclusion in the College of Social Work. Her research focuses on risk and resilience among Black Americans and multicultural competence. Tamara L. Falicov, Ph.D., will be the inaugural dean of the new UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She brings to the job a history of interdisciplinary scholarship and a strong demonstrated commitment to student success and to diversity, equity and inclusion. The new dean of the UMKC Conservatory, Courtney Crappell, DMA, comes from an arts leadership position at an urban-serving university, where he was deeply engaged with the local community and had experience collaborating across disciplines. UMKC Hosts Area Employers for Talent Summit Connecting with this generation of students and young professionals may require thinking outside of the box. The KC Early Talent Summit hosted hiring professionals from more than 90 local companies and organizations to discuss the opportunities and changing landscape when it comes to hiring and working with young professionals. Topics included diversity, equity and inclusion; recruitment and retention, building a recognizable brand on campus and alternatives to traditional internships. Read More   Aug 12, 2022

  • UMKC Partners With EPA To Prep Students For Careers, Drive Research

    Partnership will include joint research projects, opportunities for EPA colleagues to participate in teaching and mentoring and internship opportun...
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City and Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 have entered a partnership to prepare students for future careers and drive research in human and environmental health. The two signed a Memorandum of Understanding, approved by the University of Missouri System Board of Curators. Under the MOU, the two will conduct joint research projects, UMKC will offer opportunities for EPA staff to participate in teaching and student mentorship and students will have opportunities for internships and career development. Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said the mutually beneficial partnership will allow the EPA to participate in classroom workshops and career fairs while students will benefit from opportunities such as internships and training, employment and mentorship opportunities. “We are excited to launch this partnership and look forward to the opportunities that will provide mutual advantages to both our organizations,” Agrawal said. “Research in science, technology, engineering, math and health science is one of our top priorities. It plays an important role in the education of our students, and it drives advances in partnerships, knowledge and technology that benefit our communities – whether they are local or global.” The partnership was led by alumna Megan McCollister (J.D. ’11), who was appointed Regional Administrator for EPA Region 7 by President Biden earlier this year. McCollister said her time at UMKC was “life changing.” “My experiences here laid the groundwork for the work that I now do at the EPA. I will always be grateful for the opportunity that UMKC gave me to make a difference,” McCollister said.  “I know firsthand how well UMKC develops students into professionals who make impactful decisions, not only here in the region, but also across the world. I’m so excited for what’s next.” Aug 11, 2022

  • Leben to Lead Advocacy Program at School of Law

    Latest appointee to Stripp Professorship spent 13 years on Kansas Court of Appeals
    Steve Leben has been named the Douglas R. Stripp Missouri Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Leben joined the UMKC School of Law faculty in 2020 after 27 years as a Kansas judge, the last 13 as a member of the Kansas Court of Appeals. It is rare for an appeals court judge to move to a university faculty position. “I’ve seen in the past two years the great training we give our students, and I’m glad to fully join UMKC’s well-recognized advocacy program,” Leben said. Steve Leben Advocacy—essentially the art and science of persuasion—takes many forms.  UMKC School of Law has long had a strong reputation in both trial and appellate advocacy education. The school’s advocacy program is A-rated by National Jurist magazine, and the school is ranked 31st in the country for advocacy by U.S. News and World Report. At UMKC, Prof. L. Michaelle Tobin leads the trial court advocacy program. Patrick Brayer, a 33-year retired veteran of the Missouri State Public Defender System, serves as faculty advocacy fellow and teaches both trial and appellate practice courses. Leben brings both expertise and scholarship to elevate the advocacy program.  He is a nationally recognized expert on procedural justice, and he has trained judges around the United States on how to improve perceptions of fairness in court proceedings. The National Center for State Courts gave him its highest award for a judge, the Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, in 2014 in recognition of his work on procedural-justice issues. Leben is an elected member of the American Law Institute, an officer of the American Bar Association Judicial Division’s Appellate Judges Conference and past president of the American Judges Association. In his role as the Douglas Stripp Professor, Leben said he would focus primarily on enhancing the school’s appellate advocacy program. “I want to bring more appellate judges in from around the country to participate in our competitions and speak to our students,” he said.   In addition to appellate advocacy, Leben teaches another important form of advocacy in his Legislation course, in which students learn about public policy advocacy and the legislative process. The Douglas Stripp Professorship was created and funded by Bebe and R. Crosby Kemper through the R. Crosby Kemper Charitable Trust and Foundation. It is named for Bebe Kemper’s father, a lifelong Kansas City resident and internationally known trial lawyer, who practiced law in Kansas City for more than half a century until his death in 1983. Stripp worked alongside Charles Evans Whittaker in Kansas City before Whittaker was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Stripp’s passion was mentoring young attorneys in the art of persuasion and advocacy, and the Stripp professorship has carried on his legacy. Aug 11, 2022

  • UMKC partners with EPA for new opportunities for students

    Fox 4 News reported on the UMKC working arrangement with the Environmental Protection Agency that centers on UMKC School of Science and Engineering.
    A promising new partnership could result in new opportunities for students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. UMKC unveiled an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency, a working arrangement that centers on UMKC’s school of engineering and research. Featured on Fox 4 News. Aug 11, 2022

  • Saxophonist Bobby Watson to Release New Album “Back Home in Kansas City” on Oct. 7th, 2022

    The Urban Music Scene reviews "Back Home in Kansas City" due out October 7 on Smoke Sessions Records
    Bobby Watson, director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music & Dance, releases new album. Aug 08, 2022

  • Jacob Wagner Presents at UNESCO Conference in Brazil

    Stems from Kansas City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Music
    UMKC faculty member Jacob A. Wagner, Ph.D., recently presented at the international conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network held in Santos, Brazil. Wagner described his work in organizing the global Voyage of the Drum project, depicting the role of drumming across cities and cultures and the influence of the African diaspora on music cultures internationally. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the founder of the Creative Cities Network, which includes more than 250 cities around the world. “For this year’s annual meeting, the UNESCO secretariat invited Kansas City to present the Voyage of the Drum project as a major effort, involving 18 different cities around the world, completed during the pandemic,” Wagner said. A three-minute introduction to the project is available at this link. A full suite of individual music city videos is available here. The videos have had more than 4,500 global views, Wagner said. The theme of the conference was “Creativity, Path to Equality.” Wagner is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design (AUP+D), part of the Natural and Built Environment division of the new School of Science and Engineering. “The project demonstrated the use of digital technology and creativity to bring cities together around a common theme, focused on music of the African diaspora, as well as the drum as a universal language,” Wagner said. The project was recognized by the UNESCO secretariat as a significant creative response to the challenges of the COVID19 pandemic. Kansas City’s designation as a UNESCO City of Music resulted from a unique community partnership between Wagner and Anita Dixon-Brown, a cultural heritage expert and music advocate in Kansas City. In 2016, students from UMKC’s Urban Planning and Design program worked under the direction of Wagner and Dixon to produce research on Kansas City’s unique jazz and Black American musical heritage. This research provided support for Dixon’s application to the UNESCO Creative City Network. Kansas City is the only UNESCO City of Music in the United States and one of 59 worldwide. Other U.S. cities have Creative Cities designations for Literature, Folk Art, Design, Gastronomy and other forms of cultural heritage. Each UNESCO Creative City Network member city must maintain active participation in the network through annual meetings, cooperative projects with other cities and by providing leadership on the use of creativity as a driver of sustainable urban development. A new edition of the Voyage of the Drum is planned for next year’s annual meeting with new Creative Cities invited to participate in 2023. Aug 04, 2022

  • Expanding Horizons Close to Home

    Education, urban setting are draws for graduate student
    Roos don’t just dream, they do. Our students turn ideas into action every day. Get to know our people and you’ll know what UMKC is all about. Elise Byers Graduation year: Summer 2022UMKC degree program: M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction — Emphasis in Art Education Hometown: Kansas City Why did you choose UMKC? I transferred to UMKC to be closer to family and friends. Also, I was attracted to UMKC's urban location and teacher education programs, as well as the many unique scholarships available to LGBTQIA+ students. Most schools say they support their students, but UMKC actually put action behind their words.  Why did you choose education as your field of study? And what led you to focus on urban education? I've wanted to be an educator working with children since I was 14 years old. There's something intrinsically rewarding in the experience through the connections we form with our students, and in the sense of community impact education provides. I've always loved working and living in urban settings. It's truly been a privilege being so close to and engaging daily with the diverse cultures and perspectives of an urban setting.  What are the challenges of the program? The coronavirus complicated much of the community-forming and the feelings of academic belongingness that surely would have characterized the program in previous years. I was hopeful to meet people, to attend study groups and connect with my peers. Though it saddens me to have been denied these opportunities, still I feel fortunate to have continued my education at UMKC, and during a period that for many of us surely felt intractable.  What are the benefits of the program? The in-person classroom experience offered by the program was a major benefit. I'm also very much a hands-on, kinesthetic learner, and UMKC prioritizes placing their students in the right schools immediately to ensure they’re a good fit for this career. I came into my first year teaching feeling very confident, with no small thanks to the amount of experience and practice I’d had in KC schools during my undergraduate study.  How has your college program inspired you? UMKC's Curriculum and Instruction program inspired me to begin educating myself on how to best serve English learners in the classroom and how to be culturally-sustaining in urban-setting schools. I learned the importance of connecting with families of students and constantly addressing my own bias. Seeing my professors in action was also a significant motivation to continue pursuing my master’s and eventually a doctorate degree in Education. Without the examples and guidance of the strong, intelligent and welcoming UMKC professors to lean on, many of them women notable in the field of research, I don’t know if I could have seen myself continuing my educational journey. Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself? Throughout high school I attached much of my self-worth to test scores. It's only since entering college that I gained a sense of academic ownership and the intellectual empowerment that followed my autonomy of class choice and the pursuit of my own research interests. I learned that I am intelligent, that I am worthy--unapologetically--of a place in educational settings. It has felt empowering to have built up confidence and a sense of belonging at UMKC.  What has the Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund support enabled you to do? I attended the OMEP Conference in Athens, Greece where I had the honor to represent UMKC with my advisor, Dr. Ekaterina Strekalova-Hughes. We presented on Culturally Sustaining Creative Development in an Urban Project-Based and Arts-Integrated School, from my undergrad research with the UMKC Honors College. The Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund enabled me to present at this conference free of financial stress, and to collaborate and confidently share my research with teachers from across the world.  What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career? I hope to maintain and build upon the relationships I’ve made with UMKC professors and peers. Relying on one another during good times and bad, knowing each of us understood the day in-and-out of being a teacher, taught me I need not look far for inspiration or motivation, or simple friendly support.  Aug 02, 2022

  • Camaraderie Critical to Academic Success

    Mentoring is key piece of student’s research
    Marouf Khan (MS ’13) came to UMKC to pursue his graduate degree at the School of Science and Engineering because he sought a career in the semiconductor industry and the program was a great fit. Khan had taken classes with Masud Chowdhury, Ph.D. and felt he would be an excellent doctoral advisor. Khan was intrigued by one of the professor’s research projects. Chowdhury is working on improving the construction of transistors that are used in all computing devices. His goal is to improve speed, and to do that with as little energy as possible in order for the battery to run longer. “If we could use our cell phones for three to four days without charging that would be ideal, but the current silicone-based conventional transistors have limitations on energy efficiency,” Chowdhury says. “So, we are exploring ideas about new materials and new technologies that can help us make the gradual transition to a new technology platform.” Marouf Khan Khan’s research is focused on the design of low-power-management integrated circuits (PMIC.) These are used in battery-powered devices like cell phones and applications where efficient power generation and consumption is essential. “My work mostly involves coming up with new circuit architectures, which are compact and provide savings over existing designs – in both area and power consumption,” Khan says. The efficiency and compactness are critical to device advancement. “PMICs are more and more important in the expanding connected world,” Khan says. “They are operating in the low power domain that is an essential component of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are connected to the ‘edge’ of the cloud.” Khan says Chowdhury respects his autonomy in his research – he does not need to be involved in Khan’s day-to-day activities – but he can rely on Chowdhury for support and guidance when he needs it. “Mentors can sometimes range between two extremes -- being too involved in a project where they drive the research, or they provide very little support to their students. Professor Chowdhury consistently strikes the right balance so that my research work is independently run by me, but he is always there to lend his knowledge, financial and emotional support when required.” Khan thinks having a mentor is one of the most important choices a student can make. Masud Chowdhury, Ph.D. “The right advisor or mentor can make school a fun and enriching experience. It always helps to narrow down advisors based on your field, but it’s also smart to further the filter to include a potential advisor’s body of work and success in the field.” The relationship is not purely academic. “More importantly, he is also available to provide emotional support and advice at a human level to the challenges his students face beyond just academic ones,” Khan says. He feels fortunate to have Chowdhury as a resource and ally. He notes that students should choose a mentor carefully, as they will be part of their lives for four to five years. “The choice of mentor or advisor is the most important one a doctoral student can make. The right advisor can make graduate school a fun and enriching experience.” Aug 01, 2022

  • Kansas City Celebrates Henry Bloch, Heritage Hall Reopening

    The posthumous 100th birthday of Henry Bloch recognizes past and present achievements and anticipates future successes
    The UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management welcomed alumni, students and community members to the newly remodeled Bloch Heritage Hall July 30 to celebrate the reopening of the building and the 100th anniversary of the birth of the school’s namesake. “Henry Bloch, and the community leaders who came before him, created a heritage of investment in higher education and a dedication to innovation,” Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said. “Just as they joined together to support the university more than 90 years ago, UMKC has again witnessed the generosity of donors who value the importance of maintaining excellent educational opportunities close to home.” Bloch’s children Bob Bloch, Mary Jo Brown, Tom Bloch, Liz Uhlmann and their spouses and children were on hand to celebrate, along with representatives from the Sunderland Foundation, William T. Kemper Foundation and Capital Federal Foundation. Alumni and fellow donors gathered to celebrate Henry Bloch’s legacy and the significance of the mission and success of the Bloch School. The extended Bloch family gathered in front of the statue of Marion and Henry Bloch   Before the ribbon cutting Chancellor Agrawal recognized the importance of the contributors past and present. “Henry and the community leaders who came before him created a heritage of investment in higher education and a dedication to innovation,” Agrawal said. “Just as they joined together to support the university years ago, UMKC has again witnessed the generosity of donors who value the importance of maintaining excellent educational opportunities close to home.” Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri System, said he was “blown away by the growth and development of this campus over the past few years,” thanks in large part to the generosity of donors such as the Bloch family. He also thanked Henry Bloch for focusing his philanthropy on his hometown. “Henry knew that Kansas City, as a world-class city, needed a world-class business school,” Choi said. Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that he would expand the city proclamation to make July 30 “Make Every Block Better Day” to recognize Henry Bloch’s focus on giving back to the community and his commitment to believing that entrepreneurship is the key to community growth and development. “This is what Kansas City is all about, and what I have had the opportunity to learn that Henry Bloch was all about,” Lucas said. “He always believed in Kansas City as one of the great cities of the world. And thanks to him, the Bloch School is second to none among business schools in our country.” Dean Brian Klaas underscored the importance of preserving the history and charm of the building, which was built in 1909, while bringing it into the 21st century in order to create a better experience for students, faculty and staff. Klaas highlighted that the renovations were not cosmetic. They include a vibrant student services hub, where students can easily connect to advisors, tutors, career resources and clubs. The new configuration provides students a better way to build community within the school and promote collaborative learning. The new configuration supports students’ experiences in building relationships, as well as making available the tools they need to empower them to graduate and launch successful careers and businesses. State-of-the-art classroom technology and room design now provide flexibility for optimum virtual-class attendance. These upgrades will better serve students with work and childcare obligations, as well as travel schedules. Following the program, the Bloch family members, including Henry Bloch’s great grandchildren, cut the ribbon to welcome visitors in the newly renovated Bloch Heritage Hall. Fitting a birthday party, guests enjoyed yard games, face painting, live music, a scavenger hunt and cake. More photos from the celebration:   Aug 01, 2022

  • Environmental Science Student Finds Inspiration in Peers and Professors

    Symone Franks found her path at UMKC and hopes to inspire others
    Roos don’t just dream, they do. Our students turn ideas into action every day. Get to know our people, and you’ll know what UMKC is all about. Symone FranksAnticipated graduation year: Spring 2025UMKC degree program: B.S. Environmental Science, environmental sustainability minor, honors programHometown: Grandview, Missouri Symone Franks chose to come to UMKC because of the undergraduate research opportunities and diverse student body. In her time here, Franks has been motivated and inspired by her fellow students and professors. “I admire everyone’s goal for excellence here at UMKC,” said Franks. “When I talk to other students and faculty, everyone seems to have something big that they are working toward.” A first-generation student, Franks is a KC Scholar and Marion Bloch Scholar. She says that without these scholarships, she would not have been able to fulfill her dream of attending college. Why did you choose your field of study? Environmental science has always interested me, and my dream job is working at the EPA. My degree program will give me a great foundation to get there. What are the benefits and challenges of the program? I love how tight knit the program is. I feel as if I can go to faculty members with any questions I have. The department also places a big emphasis on hands-on work, which has been beneficial to me. The program can be challenging because it covers a broad area of study, so you are exposed to a lot of information. How has your college program inspired you? When I started college last year, I was sure I wanted to do something related to the environmental sciences, but I had no idea what I wanted to do specifically. After taking my first environmental science class, I was inspired by my professor's excitement about climate science. The program as a whole has inspired me to follow my dreams of working for the EPA and given me the confidence to know I can make it happen. What does being a first-generation student mean to you? Being a first-generation college student comes with a lot of responsibility. I am not just going to college for my own success but for my entire family’s success. What other extracurricular activities are you involved in at UMKC? I am involved with Kansas City Explores Earth and Environment (KC E3). This is a paid training program that is run through the earth and environmental science department. I’m also in the Honors Program and am an honors ambassador. As an ambassador, I communicate and meet with potential students. I really enjoy the Honors Program; the connections I've made with other students and professors in those classes are unique. The important conversations we have in classes are something I've never experienced in a standard learning environment.  What are you most proud of during your time at UMKC? I had the opportunity to be a part of a team that welcomed around 40 middle school girls to campus for Earth Day with KC E3! It was such an amazing experience to be the role model that I wanted when I was younger. What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career? I hope to take the spirit of excellence into my professional career. I want to continue to always ask questions and aim for better things. Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself? I learned that fulfillment is something that I will always be chasing. Before I came to college, my main goal was to make enough money to be successful. Now I realize that I need to be doing a job that contributes to the good of other people, not just myself. Aug 01, 2022