• UMKC Cockefair Chair Hosts George Packer

    National Book Award-winning author discusses his latest book
    The Carolyn Benton Cockefair Chair hosted writer George Packer in discussion of his latest book, “The Last Best Hope for Our Democracy.” George Packer, staff writer at The Atlantic, contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Times won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2013 and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2019. He began his remarks with an anecdote from a marriage therapist. “When [the therapist] began to see eye rolling, sarcasm, sneering, snark, name-calling and mockery, he knew the marriage was headed for divorce,” he said. “Contempt, I think is the mood of our moment. American philosopher Scott Stevens calls contempt, “the vice that runs like acid.” While Packer understands that this derision may feel rewarding to the person delivering the judgement at the time, ultimately, he thinks this type of discourse is damaging. “I think it is as dangerous to democracy as it is to marriage.” Basing many of his observations on history, Packer noted philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville’s view that was most striking feature of Americans is their commitment to equality in freedom. “We should ask ourselves what will make us more capable of self-government. What institutions and practices shape citizens of a liberal democracy? We have to create the conditions of equality.” — George Packer “The passion for equality, the ardent, insatiable, eternal and invincible desire of democratic people to be as good as everyone else in political terms. This passion for equality is the only basis for shared citizenship.” Recounting the political rancor of the last six years, Packer believes many people, regardless of political affiliation, have lost “the democratic act of listening, considering, compromising and reaching an imperfect decision. These are all betrayed by contempt. “The acid of contempt erases the humanity of the other and releases us from our responsibility to the other.” Once contempt is the norm, he contends, and the subject becomes group and not individuals, it is “easier to erase the humanity of an entire tribe, where the tribalism is one of its political views, or race, sex or region, contempt is especially hard to resist.” He is alarmed at the artificial intelligence that drives social media which divides people to extreme states. “We've in some ways, given up our free will and our agency, and our sense of responsibility and are simply reacting to algorithms.” Packer quoted the German writer, Thomas Mann, who fled the Nazis in 1938 and came to America: “We must define democracy as that form of government and a society which is inspired above every other with the feeling and consciousness of the dignity of man.” Packer believes maintaining the dignity of mankind is essential. He also believes that despite our current division, there is a way through. “We should ask ourselves what will make us more capable of self-government. What institutions and practices shape citizens of a liberal democracy? We have to create the conditions of equality.” He encouraged the audience to avoid contempt, retain a sense of commonality in our citizenship and to try to imagine the experience of people with whom they disagree. And in closing, he had two thoughts on being better democratic citizens. “Education has a complex, but essential connection to democracy. Going back to Thomas Mann, he said democracy wishes to elevate mankind to teach it to think, to set it free. “To Mann education has the opposite purpose of propaganda. It strives for human dignity, not contempt.” The Cockefair Chair at UMKC presents scholars, artists and experts discussing their perspectives on contemporary issues and ideas. Every year, a prominent author or poet presents a public lecture and serves as the writer in residence for students in the Creative Writing Program for the UMKC English Department. Feb 02, 2022

  • President Biden Appoints UMKC School of Law Alumnus as HUD Regional Administrator

    The position serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
    President Joe Biden appointed Ulysses “Deke” Clayborn (JD ’81) to serve as HUD Regional Administrator for region 7. Ulysses Clayborn is currently the managing member of Clayborn & Associates, LLC, a law firm located in Kansas City, Missouri whose practice is focused in the real estate development area. The firm primarily represents developers and lenders engaged in development of multifamily housing and commercial development projects. You can read the full announcement on the White House Briefing Room. Jan 28, 2022

  • Dental Alum Tapped to Lead National Organization

    Cesar Sabates is president of the American Dental Association
    For UMKC School of Dentistry alum, César Sabatés (DDS ‘87, AEGD ’88), the oral health care field has been a lifelong passion. Now he’s rising even further in the profession. Sabatés has been chosen as the next president of the American Dental Association (ADA), the nation’s largest dental organization, representing 162,000 members. Sabatés is the 158th president in the organization’s storied history and the first Cuban-American to hold the position. He is a first-generation immigrant, whose family came from Cuba in 1967. In his address to the ADA House of Delegates, he proudly described his family’s pursuit of the American Dream.  “As you may know, I was a child of Castro-era Cuba,” he said. “At seven years old, my family boarded a freedom flight to the United States. My parents sacrificed everything to ensure that their children would have the chance to be free and educated here in the land of opportunities.” Sabatés, a son of a dentist, was born in Camaguey, Cuba. Although, the junior Sabatés pursued an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the University of Miami, the draw of the family business eventually brought him to Kansas City and the UMKC School of Dentistry. His time at the school continues to guide the care he provides his patients. He credits long-time dentistry faculty member, Dr. John Haynes, who gave him some influential advice that sticks with him some 35 years later. “He was also a pediatric dentist, and all those years ago he told me, ‘Kids are terrified, so their first visit with you is important. Being rough will traumatize them. Being kind will be influential. Always be kind,’ said Sabatés. “Today, his advice comes to mind every time I meet with a patient of any age—first visit, last visit, and all those in between.”  Sabates has been a long-standing active and influential member of ADA, serving as the 17th District trustee of the ADA Board of Trustees from 2016-2020 and as a delegate in the ADA House of Delegates from 2000-2016. He is also a past president of the Florida Dental Association and South Florida District Dental Association. As for his plans for the ADA, the compassionate advice Haynes gave resonates throughout. According to Sabates, an important aspect of his presidency is strengthening the group’s professional family as well as making everyone feel welcome in the ADA. “Dr. Haynes’ straightforward advice on love and compassion for patients has been integral to my philosophy of care,” Sabates said in his ADA address. “His kindness mattered to me, and I can only hope that my kindness has mattered to my patients just the same.” Jan 27, 2022

  • UMKC Will Return to Kauffman Stadium for Spring 2022 Commencement

    Two ceremonies set for Sunday, May 15
    Following up on a spectacular and historic spring 2021 commencement at Kauffman Stadium, the University of Missouri-Kansas City will return to the home of the Kansas City Royals for graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2022. Two ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday, May 15, at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The second consecutive May “Commencement at The K” symbolizes the central and unique role UMKC plays in the Greater Kansas City community, and continues the new tradition of Kansas City’s university celebrating our graduates at iconic Kansas City buildings and sites. The recent December commencement was held indoors at the T-Mobile Center in the heart of downtown. “Commencement at The K in 2021 was so exciting and successful that it was always going to be our first choice for this year,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We are once again so very grateful to John Sherman and the Royals organization for making it possible for us to give our graduates the major-league sendoff celebration they deserve.” The May 15 event will take place rain or shine, and currently there is no limit on the number of guests per student.    “We’re proud to host and honor the next class of UMKC graduates. We congratulate them and look forward to seeing them become leaders in our community,” said John Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Royals. The 10 a.m. ceremony will include graduates from these academic units: Henry W. Bloch School of Management, School of Dentistry, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Health Studies and School of Pharmacy. The 2 p.m. ceremony will include graduates from these academic units: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, School of Computing and Engineering, Conservatory and School of Education. Additional details, such as the commencement speaker, will be announced in coming weeks. Please continue to check our commencement website for the most up to date information at our Commencement website. Jan 27, 2022

  • Spring Semester Kicks Off with Roo Welcome

    New year, same school pride.
    With the holiday break all wrapped up, students make their return to campus for the Spring 2022 semester. The Roo Welcome events provide the perfect opportunity to catch up with classmates while participating in some ice-cold-cool campus events. Having a nice set of wheels can help students navigate campus when it’s so cold. Athletic events for the Roo Welcome include White, Gold and Blue spirit nights  for both Men’s and Women’s basketball games.   The Quad looks beautiful, even in the dead of winter. Students got to learn (or relearn) about student support services at the campus resource fair. It’s never too early to get organized for the new semester. Small group study sessions and encouraging mantras are enough warm anyone’s heart. Our Roos are masked up and ready to catch up with friends this semester. The start of the semester is a great time to learn new skills (or master old ones!). The Fall in Love with Student Orgs event on Feb. 3 is a great opportunity to find like-minded students!   Jan 26, 2022

  • Tips for a Good Start to the New Semester

    An advisor's encouragement for her students
    Welcome back from winter break, Roos! Here we are at the beginning of a new semester, another one that is starting under less than normal circumstances. Many of us look at the new year and new semester as a fresh start, the “factory reset,” the opportunity to grow and learn, to be better. For a lot of folks, it is a happy and hopeful time. The UMKC faculty and staff are happy to have you back on campus and hopeful that we all have a good semester. We are also many months into a very weird and stressful time, living through a pandemic. Some of us are struggling, some of us are tired. Guilty, scared, overwhelmed. Doing completely okay, excited to get our first Pizza 51 slice of the semester, excited about our new campus job. As we start a new year and a new semester, know that all of the above and anything else you are feeling is completely valid. As the semester starts back up and before things get crazy, busy, and occasionally stressful I want to remind you of a few things:  Remember to be as kind to yourselves as you are to the other people in your lives.  We have a lot of smart, driven people on this campus. Smart, driven people do amazing things; they also tend to be a little hard on themselves when things don’t go perfectly. I know many of you have heard me say “there is a difference between the best you can do under perfect circumstances and the best you can do under circumstances as they are.” Make sure you know the difference and are judging yourself accordingly.  Know there are people and resources available to help you.  Your academic advisor, the folks at Counseling Services, Academic Support and Mentoring and so many people on this campus are ready to help you succeed. We are all here so you don’t have to carry your burdens alone and so you don’t have to celebrate your triumphs alone (high fiving yourself just isn’t as much fun). We're happy you're here! Make sure to find ways to connect. I am happy you all are back on campus (it is so quiet when you are not here) and am hopeful to see what the spring brings us. And whether you’re a new or seasoned Roo, there’s always someone new and interesting to meet in class, at an event or through one of the many student organizations. So for now, bundle up (seriously, it is so cold — hats and mittens folks, hats and mittens!), take a deep breath (or a few), and enjoy as many moments as you can of the weirdest college experience anyone has had in a while!  Learn more about the UMKC Honors Program Jan 26, 2022

  • A Decade as Top Program for the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies

    U.S. News & World Report ranks online graduate programs
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies is ranked in the Top 50 of the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs for 2022 by U.S. News & World Report. It is the 10th year in a row the program has earned the top ranking. The UMKC School of Health Studies is proud of its online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program as one of the best in the nation, said Joy Roberts, interim dean. "Even while facing wave after wave of the COVID pandemic, our MSN nurse programs continued to educate and graduate top quality nurse practitioners and nurse educators,” said Roberts. “The desperate need for high-quality online nursing education continues to be highlighted by the pandemic.” Since 2002, nurses have invested in their future through the distance learning graduate programs offered by the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies. The school was an early pioneer in online graduate programs, preparing busy professionals for the evolving and dynamic challenges in present and future health care environments. Through high-quality, convenient programs, the school enables nurses to become leaders and active partners in improving health outcomes. According to Roberts, the online classroom environment for their students was critical in their recent graduates having an immediate impact on the health care system. “Because our MSN programs are online, our May and December ‘21 MSN graduates were able to continue working as registered nurses, supporting the members of their communities and states, while still advancing their education,” said Roberts. “Upon graduation these new nurse practitioners and nurse educators were able to move their new, advanced skills right into the workforce without skipping a beat.” Students in these programs participate in online discussions just as if they were present in the classroom. Technology offers two-way communication in real time via multiple modes. Students also receive on-site learning through summer institutes where they attend clinical training or dissertation work sessions as well as deliver presentations to classmates and faculty.  UMKC offers a variety of online graduate nursing tracks, including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and other options: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) Nurse Educator (NE) Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Primary Care and Acute-Care (AC PNP) Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Ph.D. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Jan 25, 2022

  • UMKC Partners With Cottey College to Offer More STEM Degrees to Women

    The partnership with the women's college expands access to in-demand degree fields.
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City and Cottey College, a women's college in Nevada, Missouri, have partnered together to offer Cottey students an easy transfer into the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering.  Cottey, a private liberal arts college, offers associate degrees and a handful of bachelor’s degrees.  Marjory Eisenman, the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for the School of Computing and Engineering, said Cottey reached out years ago about the opportunity for a transfer program for students who have completed their Associate of Science at Cottey and want to continue their education.  “Cottey students can now follow transfer guides to ensure they’re taking the right classes at Cottey to prepare for transfer to UMKC. Cottey students who complete the Associate of Science degree, or Associate of Arts degree, at Cottey now meet the general education requirements for a UMKC degree,” Eisenman said. “This partnership also creates the opportunity for students to qualify for the Chancellor’s Transfer Scholarship or Dean’s International Scholar Award.”  Peter Hyland, Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Cottey and one of the partnership's organizers, said the partnership will allow Cottey students, "even more options for where their education and careers can take them." "This offers Cottey students an opportunity to take advantage of the impressive resources and knowledge that UMKC has, while they create their own incredible futures. The high contact at UMKC that students have with future employers via internships is particularly exciting," Hyland said. Eisenman said the partnership will help UMKC in recruiting more women students in “male-dominated fields.”  “Kansas City is a great place to earn an engineering or computing science degree, so this is the best of both worlds for Cottey students –to start their education at a small, women’s college and graduate from a strong engineering or computer science program in an urban location,” Eisenman said.   The partnership went into effect at the beginning of the Spring 2022 semester.  Jan 20, 2022

  • UMKC Professor Weighs in on Jay-Z's Team Roc Pressure for DOJ to Investigate KCK Police

    Team Roc, joined by the nonprofit Midwest Innocence Project, said there is enough evidence of systemic police misconduct in the department to merit...
    Ken Novak, a professor of criminal justice and criminology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, said it is typically in the best interest of cities where the Justice Department conducts pattern or practice reviews to engage and to develop policies and training for corrective behavior. The federal government can take police departments or cities to court to enforce so-called consent decrees that lay out overhauls in policing practices, but "whether there is sufficient evidence of problematic patterns and practices or whether Kansas City is any closer to a consent decree than it was several months ago" remains unclear, Novak said. You can read the full story on NBC News.   Jan 20, 2022

  • UMKC International Student Means Business

    Stephanie Ho chose her field of study to make a difference
    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. Stephanie HoAnticipated graduation year: May 2023UMKC degree program: Bachelor of Business Administration (Emphasis in Management)Hometown: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Stephanie Ho came to UMKC because of the diversity of the student body, and says that while students have different backgrounds, beliefs and interests, she’s found they come together to share those experiences and grow together. “Living in a diverse community allows me to learn from people who come from different parts of the world who have new and brilliant ideas, multiple perspectives, lifestyles and cultures,” she says. Stephanie decided to study business at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management to receive valuable experience in developing professional skills. While the program is sometimes challenging, Stephanie knows she is building skills that will allow her to approach and solve hands-on situations once she begins her career. “Our project assignments require us to coordinate and communicate effectively and professionally with other teammates and develop solutions and recommendations,” she says.  “The Bloch School is providing me opportunities to grow, develop my career path and expand and nurture my network.” Outside academics, Stephanie is active in the international community on campus. She is the vice president of chapter operations for Delta Sigma PI, an international business fraternity and is an international student ambassador, advocating for a better experience for the international community through education and cultural events. “The Bloch School is providing me with opportunities to grow, but also to develop my career path and expand and nurture my network. The programs offered here allow me to approach and solve hands-on situations which can be utilized later in my career.” — Stephanie Ho In addition, she serves as the International Roo organization public relations officer. “My mission is to embrace different cultures, increase awareness of cultural aspects in communication and interactions among students, but also integrate UMKC international students to the local community,” Stephanie says. Being involved in leadership positions allows her to fulfill her passion for supporting international students and lets her get to know students coming from different parts of the world and learn about their cultures and norms. In addition, she sees professional advantages to these experiences. “Building these skills through real-world problem solving and connections accelerates my career path. This experience prepares me for global opportunities with interpersonal and management skills to work in an international environment.” Ho says studying abroad has changed her perspective on herself and her worldview, and has given her the opportunity to grow. “Being at UMKC allowed me to discover strengths, interests and skills that I believed I was incapable of before.” Sharing her experiences through her work as an International Student Ambassador with potential and new international students is satisfying. “I am passionate about supporting and helping others, especially international students,” she says. “Being an international student ambassador, I represent the international community to advocate for better experience and unite students from different cultures and backgrounds through education and cultural exchange events. I want to help students succeed and have a great experience at UMKC – academically and socially!” Jan 20, 2022

  • UMKC Professors Study the Impact of Sound on Operating Room Safety

    Faculty donation leads to collaboration between professors in the School of Medicine and UMKC Conservatory to yield safer surgeries
    Medicine and music aren’t an obvious pair, but in a discussion between colleagues at the UMKC Surgical Innovations Lab, experts in each field realized an interesting link between the two topics. Gary Sutkin, M.D., professor of surgery and associate dean of women’s health at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has focused much of his research on surgical safety and mitigating errors in the operating room. Today he’s working to expand that research by teaming up with his colleague – and composer – Paul Rudy, MM, DMA, Curators’ Distinguished Professor and coordinator of composition at the UMKC Conservatory, to study the effects of sound on patient safety in the operating room. Studies have shown that reducing hospital noise levels has a direct impact on improving patient safety, but in operating rooms, in addition to conversations among the surgical team, the equipment required for surgeries makes noise. Though some sounds are necessary ­-- such as the noise of the oxygen saturation monitor, which creates the rapid high-pitched beep people may recognize from medical shows on television -- the noise created by people in the room often is not. Gary Sutkin, M.D. Rudy and Sutkin are working together to develop training and surgical methods that reduce some of the noise and related risk. “People have been trying to solve the problem of miscommunication in the operating room for 20 years and there hasn’t been any meaningful progress,” Sutkin says. “What I know is that we need brains other than those of researchers, surgeons and nurses to study the problem.” Sutkin’s interest in collaborating with people who have expertise in areas outside of medicine, coupled with Rudy’s curiosity and ability to hear the operating room with fresh ears is already leading to interesting results. By observing surgeries, Rudy recognized that surgeons’ work entails very fine motor movements and unwavering focus that requires them to keep their heads down. He also observed other members of the surgical team are focused on their own tasks and responsibilities. “People have been trying to solve the problem of miscommunication in the operating room for 20 years and there hasn’t been any meaningful progress. What I know is that we need brains other than those of researchers, surgeons and nurses to study the problem.” — Gary Sutkin, M.D. “No one’s looking at the surgeon’s body language to figure out what’s needed,” Rudy says. “For example, the anesthesiologist is reading a screen. Much of the communication [the team receives] is coming through sound.” But despite the importance of verbal communication, he observed a lot of the noise people make in the operating room is not critical to the surgery. “Everyone is doing something necessary,” Rudy says. “But sometimes someone has to unpackage something in a hurry, and they can’t throw it in the trash can, so it ends up on the floor. Or someone picks up that big wad of plastic to get it out of the way and you can’t hear anything else over the noise. This has to be done - someone could trip over it - but if the surgeon needs to communicate something important to the anesthesiologist at that moment, the noise will mask the communication.” Because of Rudy’s background as a musician, the amount of residual noise in the operating room came as a surprise. “In rehearsals and in performances, no one makes any extra sound anywhere for any reason,” Rudy says. “Musicians carefully turn pages of sheet music so that the binder doesn't make any noise.” He’s aware of the differences between the disciplines, but still notes there is room for improvement when it comes to eliminating some unnecessary noise in operating rooms. Rudy’s research has identified solutions to common disruptions that OR teams may not even notice. “For example, in the operating room there are really heavy metal step stools,” Rudy says. “People tend to scoot them across the floor with their feet and it makes this really intense grating sound that may mask any kind of communication that is going on in the room.” Paul Rudy, Ph.D. leading sound meditation Rudy understands that the medical professionals in the operating room move the stools with their feet because they need to keep their hands sterile, but he wonders if manufacturers are aware of the ramifications of production decisions. “This research could lead to that awareness, and maybe even influence manufacturing standards.” Observations like this that lead to opportunity for innovation and increased safety is at the heart of the mission of Surgilab and are why Sutkin wants colleagues like Rudy in the operating room. “There’s value in having insight from brains other than researchers, surgeons and nurses. Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and creativity. And, surprisingly, to be honest, a scientific mind that contributes very well with this research.” A gift from UMKC professor emerita, Elizabeth Noble, Ph.D., helped fund this research collaboration. Noble supports research that reaches across different fields of study because she thinks it makes the outcomes more reliable and more transferable. “Today most researchers would agree that cross-disciplinary research is valuable,” Noble says. “It stimulates new ways of thinking about different issues, especially when we’re talking about music and medicine which are not always assumed to go together.” “This research is exactly what I hoped would occur. I’m very happy that Dr. Rudy has had this kind of success,” she added. Jan 19, 2022

  • Honoring Trailblazing Alumna and Educator

    Conella Coulter Brown was one of the first Black students to graduate from Kansas City’s university
    Conella Coulter Brown (1925-2021) was one of the first Black students to integrate the newly desegregated University of Kansas City, the precursor to the University of Missouri — Kansas City. She applied after reading in a story in the Kansas City Call that UKC had opened admission to students of color. While Coulter Brown did not feel as if high school had prepared her for college, she persevered and in 1949 was accepted by UKC. In an interview with the UMKC Alumni Association in 2015, she reminisced about her time at the university and noted that she felt accepted by her peers and ran for secretary of the student council during her time as a student. “I campaigned all over the university. I had a microphone and talked in the cafeteria. I talked everywhere. I was elected the Liberal Arts Treasurer by a 90% white student body." In 1953 she was one of the first Black students to graduate from UKC, and the first person in her family to graduate from college. “I walked across that stage and received that degree, and it was a joy. I felt like I was somebody.” Following graduation Coulter Brown applied but wasn’t hired to teach in schools in Kansas City because of her race. She moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she had a long and successful career in education, retiring in 1980 as assistant superintendent of the Cleveland Public Schools. She was the only Black woman serving as an assistant superintendent of a major school district in Ohio at the time. UMKC awarded Coulter Brown an UMKC Alumni Achievement Award in 1964, the same year she became an assistant principal. In 2015, UMKC Chancellor Emeritus Leo Morton recognized Brown as a trailblazer and awarded her a UMKC diploma, honoring her as “an original Roo.” “When we talk about trailblazers and thanking those who paved the way – you are at the top of our list,” Morton said at the ceremony. Coulter Brown returned to Kansas City after her retirement and founded the Student Aid Mentoring Ministry through the Community fellowship Church of Jesus Christ to help students of color overcome challenges. Jan 19, 2022

  • New Round of Entrepreneurship Innovation Grants Announced

    Six proposals approved for total of $170,000
    The UMKC Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant Program announced its second round of grant recipients in late December. Six proposals were approved in the second round of funding for a total of approximately $170,000 worth of one-year grants. Projects submitted by UMKC students, faculty and staff will be considered for these grants, which come with entrepreneurial support programs in addition to the financing. The Entrepreneurship Innovation Grant Program is funded by the Kauffman Foundation and is a joint effort by the UMKC Innovation Center, the Regnier Institute at the UMKC Bloch School of Management and the UMKC School of Law to increase entrepreneurial activities throughout the university. These grants support a variety of initiatives in entrepreneurship including curriculum development, technology commercialization, school and department initiatives, community service, engagement and ecosystem building. These projects received grants in the second round: Arts Entrepreneurship Residency The grant provides funding for a two-day arts entrepreneurship residency with Jonathan Kuuskoski, director of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance’s EXCEL Lab. The residency title is From Portfolios to Platforms: Developing, Launching and Sustaining Arts Projects. Four sequential workshops will prime students to embrace best practices from the realms of entrepreneurship, leadership and management training to enhance their own creative pursuits. Interactive, outcome-oriented sessions will draw from methodologies such as Lean Startup and Design Thinking Process to help students craft creative projects from ideation to funding. Commercialization of SGM for the Destructions of PFAS The objective of this project is to scale and commercialize a novel, patent-pending UMKC-grown technology for destruction and complete mineralization of PER and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). It will demonstrate proof of concept to potential investors through creation of a market-ready reactor to meet remedial regulation for the PFAS market. Entrepreneurial Legal Services Pro Bono Panel The Entrepreneurial Legal Services and Intellectual Property Clinic will establish a regional pro bono panel of attorneys to assist with Community Services Engagement and Ecosystem Building by providing relevant and timely business information, counseling and management, and legal matters services for low-income aspiring and existing business owners in the Kansas City region. Pharmacy Innovation Challenge Program The grant will fund creation of an integrated experience for graduate Ph.D. programs and professional Pharm.D. students within the UMKC School of Pharmacy to engage with the entrepreneurial environment at UMKC and within the Kansas City region. The goal is to create a learning environment that integrates research, entrepreneurial thinking, diversity and engagement with stakeholders outside of UMKC. Students will learn about the entrepreneurial environment in Kansas City, and how to create a business plan for an enterprise in pharmaceutical sciences and/or pharmacy in fields such as precision medicine and digital health. Development Smart Agricultural Entrepreneurship (SAgE) Program for Sustainable Urban Food Ecosystem The grant to the UMKC Center for Applied Environmental Research (CAER) will fund development of the Smart Agricultural Entrepreneurship (SAgE) Program to support the development of sustainable urban food ecosystems in the Kansas City metro area. The mission of SAgE is to promote agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) in urban areas to succeed in the business of farming, which will add value to the quality of life for the agripreneur and their surrounding community.  Summer Research Opportunities for Students of Color The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship will receive funding to increase the participation of students of color who are interested in entrepreneurship in UMKC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities (SUROP) program. Jan 19, 2022

  • UMKC to Offer New Biomedical Engineering Degrees

    Students have the option to earn bachelor's and master's degrees through this exciting new program
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City will offer two new degree options - Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - beginning in the Fall of 2023.  The Biomedical Engineering program will combine biological and chemical science with multiple fields of engineering, including mechanical and electrical. The program is designed to provide an extensive curriculum that prepares graduates for careers in engineering, health care, medicine, dentistry, biotechnology, bioinformatic and pharmaceutical fields, said School of Computing and Engineering Dean Kevin Truman.  “UMKC has already established a long history of excellence in the fields of health, life and biological sciences. Now combined with the rapidly growing fields of computing and engineering, these degrees will provide a new generation of students the opportunity to thrive,” Truman said.   While the School of Computing and Engineering will be home to the degree program, the curriculum will be taught by professors from the multiple schools and departments on the UMKC campus, including engineering, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing and biological sciences. Led by educators from diverse fields of study, this program will expose students to a wealth of knowledge, creating a well-rounded and robust educational experience for the students.  The University of Missouri System Board of Curators approved the two new degree programs in December 2021. These newest additions to UMKC’s curriculum are backed by community partners who are invested in UMKC and understand the impact the university has on preparing students to enter the workforce. University Health, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, RBC Medical Innovations and Mid America Heart Institute submitted letters expressing support for the new degree programs for consideration by the Board.  Students enrolled in the Biomedical Engineering programs may take some courses in the state-of-the-art Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center. The university debuted the $32 Million high-tech research center in the Fall of 2021. The five-story building features 11 research labs including a 3D printing lab and fabrication studio, a two-story drone flight-testing bay and an FAA-approved flight simulator. All throughout the building students can use cutting-edge technology to enhance their studies, including high-performance computing and analytics equipment and $3 million worth of augmented and virtual reality equipment.  "The Plaster Center has all but ensured that UMKC will remain the number one ranked school for computing and engineering in Kansas City for years to come," said Truman.  Both the new degree options and unveiling of the Plaster Free Enterprise and Research Center have made for an exciting year for the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering. The new degrees represent progress in the university’s strategic plan to reimagine the future in innovative and creative ways that will position the university for excellence for years to come.  Jan 18, 2022

  • President Biden Appoints Three UMKC School of Law Alumni

    Spillars, Clayborn, McCollister will lead regional efforts in emergency management, housing and urban Development and environmental protection
    Three UMKC School of Law Alumnae have been appointed by President Biden in key leadership roles as Regional Administrators for Region 7, which serves Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and nine tribal nations. Andrea Spillars, Meg McCollister and Ulysses “Deke” Clayborn have been selected for positions in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), respectively. Spillars (J.D. '89) has been appointed as the Regional Administrator for FEMA Region 7. She had a lead role in the Missouri state response to natural disasters as the Deputy Director for the Department of Public Safety, including the devasting Joplin tornado in 2011, the prolonged flooding in 2011, drought relief efforts in 2012 and the historic ice storms in 2009.  McCollister (J.D. '11) has been appointed the Regional Administrator for EPA Region 7. She will lead the implementation of the administration's efforts to address environmental justice, climate change, and building resilience for regional industries. President Joe Biden appointed Ulysses “Deke” Clayborn (JD ’81) to serve as HUD Regional Administrator for region 7. Ulysses Clayborn is currently the managing member of Clayborn & Associates, LLC, a law firm located in Kansas City, Missouri whose practice is focused in the real estate development area. Clayborn has experience with projects financed with funds from multiple sources, including multifamily revenue bonds, low-income housing tax credits (“LIHTC”) and historic tax credits. He has also provided legal services to clients utilizing HUD financing tools and served as counsel on one of the first complete portfolio conversion RAD transactions in Missouri. Prior to forming Clayborn & Associates, he served as General Counsel to the Missouri Housing Development Commission (“MHDC”), the state’s housing finance agency. Read the full announcement on the White House Briefing Room.   Jan 07, 2022