• Top 5 Things You Should Know About Changes to the FAFSA

    The new process will make the form simpler, more streamlined
    The U.S. Department of Education is making changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which students should fill out each year. The changes are the result of the FAFSA Simplification Act. Here are the top five things you need to know about the change. 1. The FAFSA will be available later than usual. The FAFSA forms are typically available Oct. 1 of each year. This year, they will be available later than that. The Department of Education has announced the application is expected to be open by Dec. 31.Every student should fill out the FAFSA every year. UMKC students should file by the April 1 priority deadline to increase their chances of receiving grants and scholarships. 2. Your parent or spouse will need their own login. Spouses and parents who provide information in the FAFSA will be called contributors. They’ll also be required to create their own logins. If your parent or spouse will be a contributor, encourage them to create an ID now to ensure they’re able to fill out their portion of your FAFSA quickly. 3. The application will have fewer questions. The updated FAFSA is much shorter and can pull information directly from your income tax return. To pull from your income tax return, you’ll need to consent via your FSA ID. If you do not have an FSA ID, you can create one now so you’re ready when the FAFSA is available. Other helpful information to gather includes: Legal Name Date of birth Social security number (if applicable) Mailing address Email address Note the UMKC FAFSA code: 002518 4. The new form uses different terminology. The 2024-25 form has new terminology that may replace older terms you’re familiar with. Notably, the Student Aid Index (SAI) will replace the term “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC). This term refers to a student’s approximate financial resources available to contribute to their education. 5. The change will expand access to federal Pell Grants. More students will be eligible for Pell Grants. Eligibility will be linked to family size and the federal poverty level. Nov 21, 2023

  • This UMKC Alumna Was the First Woman to Lead the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

    Esther George’s (MBA ’00) journey is one marked by leadership, accomplishment and breaking glass ceilings.
    In 2011, she became the first woman president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. For more than 10 years, George led a workforce of 2,100 Federal Reserve employees serving seven states from the bank’s headquarters in Kansas City. She had a major influence on our nation’s banking system, and was actively involved in the Federal Reserve’s work to ensure the smooth and efficient functioning of the nation’s payment system, including leading the effort to establish instant retail payments known as the FedNow Service. “Great cities have great universities, and I see Kansas City as poised to build on its momentum with UMKC at its center.” — Esther George (MBA ’00), retired president and CEO of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank But before all of that, she was a student at the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management, a choice she credits with preparing her for the role.“Education is such an important investment, and I consider UMKC and the Bloch School as playing a key role in my leadership development that ultimately led to my appointment as president and CEO of the Kansas City Fed,” George said. George enrolled at the Bloch school as a full-time employee and mother to two young children. Being able to go to a renowned institution that fit into her life was a key part of her decision of where to receive her master’s degree.“The proximity of the master’s program at the Bloch School and the quality of the curriculum made it a perfect choice,” George said. George said she made faculty connections at UMKC that have lasted throughout her career, and that she even keeps in touch with some today. “Their enthusiasm for the subjects they taught was infectious and effective,” George said.George said the impact of connecting has been impactful for her career, and advised future female leaders to look for people who can help them grow. “As women invest in their education and pursue a given career path, it can be helpful to rely on mentors,” George said. “I benefited from looking to people with more experience, with different experiences to help me think about my personal effectiveness.” A Kansas City leader, George serves on the boards of the Hallmark Corporation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Peterson Institute for International Economics and the Kansas City 2026 World Cup. Nov 15, 2023

  • UMKC School of Medicine Recognized for Excellence in Diversity for Second Year in a Row

    The school received the award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine has received the 2023 Health Professionals Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.  In a letter to 2023 winners, INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine said the school’s efforts "significantly advance" the core values of diversity, equity and inclusion as evidenced through mentoring, teaching, research, hiring and promotion, recruitment, retention and many other campus priorities deserving of this national recognition. "As an institution we continue to strive to create a learning and clinical environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive to all graduate and medical students, residents, fellows, staff and faculty members,” said Tyler Smith, M.D., M.P.H., associate dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. “These core values guide the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. While managing the evolving landscape of diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, UMKC SOM continues to uphold the vision, mission, goals and values in place since the institution’s founding.”  The school has introduced the next generation of providers to DEI values through strategic initiatives and leadership that champions the success of all students, including its anti-racism and cultural bias program that prepares medical students for a career where these principles are incorporated. Students complete this program before going through clinical rotations, helping to ensure that all students are giving the highest level of care from day one. Other School of Medicine initiatives — such as specialized care for students at academic risk, the Multicultural Advisory Committee of Students and the Summer Success Seminar Series — provide opportunities for future medical providers.  “I am so proud of our incredible faculty, staff and students who work tirelessly to expand the DEI work that our medical school takes such great pride in," said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. "A lot of that work includes recruiting and retaining students from different backgrounds who share different beliefs, attitudes and experiences. This is especially important, because as our students graduate and join the health-care team, we know a more diverse workforce promotes better care for diverse populations. It improves access, quality of care and health outcomes.” This is not the first time that UMKC has been recognized for its DEI efforts. INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine also recognized the School of Medicine with the award in 2022 and 2018.  Nov 15, 2023

  • UMKC Awarded $4 Million in Federal, Kauffman Foundation Grants to Grow Digital Health

    Partners include BioNexus KC, KC Digital Drive and Pipeline Entrepreneurs
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City was awarded a $2 million Build to Scale grant along with partners BioNexus KC, KC Digital Drive and Pipeline Entrepreneurs to advance Digital Health KC from the Economic Development Administration. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will match the award, totaling $4 million, to build upon existing digital health strengths in the KC region. Digital Health KC will create ideal conditions for a vibrant ecosystem, catalyze collaboration and connect critical elements such as ideas, talent, companies, capital and customers. This funding will fuel Digital Health KC to support health-care technology entrepreneurs, foster innovation, build and strengthen the region’s talent pool and inspire economic growth.  “Our ecosystem is rich in talent and ideas but requires additional financial and industry-specific support," said Dick Flanigan, CEO of Digital Health KC. "Solving health care’s most significant challenges involves people, processes and technology, all aligned to provide solutions. Digital health offerings are among the most promising solutions seeking to improve access and quality while addressing the ever-increasing cost of care. This grant will increase our resources for funding, mentorship, connectivity and guidance to attract and grow companies in the KC region.”  Over the next three years, Digital Health KC and partners will advance early-stage digital health companies with programming to increase understanding of the unique aspects of building health-care solutions, executing a go-to-market plan and identifying and providing industry-specific mentors and business acumen support.  This investment will result in more than 20 new startups for a regional total of 120+ companies, 15 completed beta customer projects, $45 million in debt and equity investment and 500 new jobs for the KC region.   “Ecosystem building is a team sport, and it starts with community organizations uniting for a common purpose – to build a thriving digital health network with intentionality,” said Maria Meyers, executive director of the UMKC Innovation Center. “We are pleased to partner and grateful to the Kauffman Foundation for providing needed matching funds to bring this federal investment to the region. Our collective commitment to digital health will catapult the KC region and profoundly impact our community.”  Initially funded by the Patterson Family Foundation, Digital Health KC was launched in March 2023 by BioNexus KC, a life-sciences nonprofit creating opportunities at the nexus of human and animal health. UMKC is a BioNexus KC stakeholder. The community heavily supported the EDA Build to Scale proposal, including industry, health-care providers and payers, investors, economic development organizations, workforce, government and nonprofit organizations in the KC region.  Nov 14, 2023

  • UMKC Alumnus Named Dean of School of Medicine

    Alexander Norbash has a background in research and health-care collaboration
    Alumnus Alexander Norbash, M.D., M.S., FACR, has been named the new dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. He will begin March 11. Norbash will be coming from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) where he serves as chair and professor of radiology at the School of Medicine. His personal and professional experiences uniquely position him to lead the School of Medicine during this time of rapid advancement in the health-care enterprise at UMKC. “I am thrilled to be returning to my hometown of Kansas City and my alma mater where I received an innovative and exceptional medical education at the UMKC School of Medicine,” Norbash said. “It is an exciting time for the school and the UMKC Health Sciences District, and I hope to enhance and contribute to UMKC’s upward trajectory. We commit to educating our future health-care leaders, fostering and implementing advances in clinical care, facilitating research and discovery, with the goal of creating great outcomes in our service to the community.” Prior to UCSD, Norbash held multiple academic and leadership appointments, including at Stanford University School of Medicine, Harvard University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Medicine. Norbash grew up in Platte City, the son of a rural doctor. He discovered the innovative UMKC School of Medicine and graduated in 1986 from the combined six-year B.A./M.D. program. From there he went on to further training in radiology and embarked on a career rich in clinical work, research and innovation. Along the way, he received a master’s degree in health-care management from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2004 and combined his clinical and research acumen to drive excellence, innovation and collaboration at top universities and hospitals across the country. “Dr. Norbash has the ideal set of work and life experiences to help UMKC achieve its vision of continued excellence for our School of Medicine and growing our UMKC Health Sciences district into a preeminent academic medical center,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “He represents two passions that have been the hallmarks of our healthcare tradition at UMKC – pursuing equitable health care for all and harnessing innovation and technology to improve medical care. Those traits in him will be important assets in his new role.” The School of Medicine is expanding in profound ways, both in medical education and the research enterprise and also in its physical footprint with a $120 million Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building set to break ground in 2024 and a new $14.5 million medical education building underway on its St. Joseph campus. “While interviewing Dr. Norbash, it became clear that he will bring an abundance of new ideas and experiences to propel the work being done at the School of Medicine,” said UMKC Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D. He will succeed Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., another proud UMKC School of Medicine alum, who just this past month won national honors with the Association of American Medical Colleges Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Engagement. Jackson will continue as a faculty member and as a special advisor to the Chancellor on health affairs. The UMKC School of Medicine, the top public medical school in Missouri for primary care, opened in 1971 to meet the heath-care needs of the state and the nation. Using an innovative approach, the school accepts students directly out of high school for the combined B.A./M.D. program that allows students to graduate in six years – vs. eight – with their medical degrees. The school also offers a traditional four-year program as well as four master’s degree programs in anesthesia, physician assistant, bioinformatics, and health professions education. UMKC is one of only 20 universities in the U.S. to offer medical education along with dentistry, nursing and pharmacy on one campus. Combined with Children’s Mercy, University Health and city, county and state health organizations, it offers a unique UMKC Health Sciences District. Nov 13, 2023

  • UMKC Recognizes Outstanding Alumni

    14 alumni and one family were honored April 5
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City Class of 2024 Alumni Achievement Award recipients include a national ABC News anchor, a nonprofit founder and Kansas City trailblazers. Each year, UMKC recognizes a select group of alumni for their inspirational accomplishments. The event offers a chance to celebrate the achievements and successes of graduates UMKC sends out into the world each year at Commencement, and raises funds to support their fellow Roos. The Class of 2024 awardees were honored at a celebration on April 5 at the White Recital Hall in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center. University-Wide Alumni Awardees Alumna of the Year Rhiannon Ally (B.A. ’05) is a national anchor for ABC News’ “World News Now” and “America This Morning” and is a correspondent on “Good Morning America.” She also made her author debut with the children’s book, “Mommy, Please Don’t Go to Work!” The Raytown native co-anchored the Emmy-Award-winning 10 p.m. newscast for Kansas City’s NBC affiliate KSHB-TV alongside her husband, Mike Marusarz (B.A. ‘04), whom she met at UMKC. Ally’s nearly 20-year career has taken her to Miami, New York, Los Angeles, London and Las Vegas. She has interviewed renowned celebrities including Madonna, Denzel Washington, Caroline Kennedy and Gloria Steinem. Ally also has had a front row seat to history, documenting events including the Boston Marathon bombing, the war in Ukraine, Hurricane Katrina and the Ghislaine Maxwell trial. Spotlight Award Carmaletta Williams (B.A. ’84, M.A. ’87, Ph.D.) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Black Archives of Mid-America in Kansas City. In this role, she plays a part in preserving and celebrating the role that Black Kansas Citians played in shaping, growing and enriching the Kansas City area. She also worked on a booklet titled ‘Kansas City Black History: The African American Story of History and Culture in our Community,’ which acknowledges, memorializes and documents the impact of exceptional leaders, artists, businesspeople and athletes from Kansas City’s Black communities. The Bill French Alumni Service Award As a member of the UMKC Board of Trustees and Trustees’ Scholars Committee, Suzanne Shank (J.D., MPA ’82) demonstrates an unwavering dedication to the university’s advancement.  She has also actively participated in numerous nonprofit associations, showcasing her commitment to philanthropy and community development. Her leadership roles in local organizations such as the KC Ballet, the UMKC Friends of the Conservatory, the Symphony League and the Lyric Opera, have contributed significantly to the cultural and artistic fabric of Kansas City. Defying the Odds Award Henry W. Wash (B.A., MPA) is the founder of High Aspirations, a proactive mentoring program for Black males ages 8 to 18 that emphasizes social, emotional, academic and spiritual growth. Over the last decade, this nonprofit has impacted thousands of young Black men’s lives. It is a nurturing program for Black males that increases social capacity and leads to a better quality of life for all. Wash faced adversity early in his life. Abandoned by his mother at 3 months, he grew up in the foster-care system. He credits the mentorship he received from two prominent Kansas Citians, Henry W. Bloch and Thurman N. Mitchell, in helping him overcome his circumstances. Wash proceeded to get his undergraduate and MPA degrees from UMKC. Legacy Award The Tedrow/Selders/Hogerty Family's legacy at UMKC dates back generations. Joseph Herbert Tedrow graduated from the Kansas City School of Law in 1922. His granddaughter, Martha Hogerty, earned her B.A. from UMKC in 1975 and her J.D. in 1979. She then served as Missouri Public Counsel for 12 years, where she advocated for Missouri residents and small businesses and represented Missourians in utility regulation cases. Her daughter, Mary Needham, earned her B.A. from UMKC in 1988. Needham works at the UMKC Foundation as the director of development for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. School Alumni Achievement Awardees Conservatory: Dina Thomas (MFA ’11) Actor School of Dentistry: Laila Hishaw (D.D.S. ’00) Founding Partner, Tucson Smiles Pediatric Dentistry School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences: Donna Bushur (B.A. ’86, MSW ’06) Health Forward Foundation, Impact Strategist Henry W. Bloch School of Management: Julia Terenjuk (MBA ’00) Founder and CEO, Creative Capsule School of Humanities and Social Sciences: Daniel Silva (B.A. ’00) President and CEO, Kansas City, Kansas Chamber of Commerce School of Law: Allison Murdock (J.D. ’88) Managing Partner, Stinson LLP School of Medicine: Michael Monaco (B.A. ’84, M.D. ’87) Internal Medicine Physician, Empower Preventive Care PA School of Nursing and Health Studies: Lori Erickson (BSN ’06, MSN ’09, Ph.D. ’20) Director, Remote Health Solutions, Children’s Mercy School of Pharmacy: Crystal Riggs (Pharm.D. ’03) Senior Vice President, Pharmacy Services, Curative School of Science and Engineering: Amy Manning-Bog (Ph.D. ’99) Chief Innovation Officer, MRI Global If you were unable to attend the event but would like to donate to student scholarships, you can make a contribution online on the UMKC Alumni Association website. The Alumni Awards ceremony is one of the university's largest events to support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for UMKC students. Nov 09, 2023

  • Next Stop: Career Success, Thanks to KC Streetcar

    UMKC location paved the way for students to make a professional difference in the community.
    Iain Blair (B.S.Ci.E. '23) got to give back to the city he calls home by applying science to the real world to make a positive difference. “I chose to study at UMKC because I live in Kansas City and Kansas City's my home,” Blair said. Blair chose to focus on two distinct fields, majoring in civil engineering and minoring in environmental sustainability. The pairing provided him the opportunity to learn the interesting crossroads of designing systems to account for the climate crisis. “Engineers are the ones that create the systems that our society is built on," he said. "By adding environmental sustainability, it adds this extra nuance of how we design our systems intelligently to accommodate for a growing population.” Blair is now a transportation planner at HDR, which he describes as a dual role where he’s part engineer and part transportation and community planner. “Going to school in a university inside of the city, there's just so much more opportunity and employment available than a college town,” Blair said. Bill Yord, who is an adjunct professor at the School of Science and Engineering and a senior project manager at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, said that as the utility manager for the KC Streetcar south line extension, he was able to loop UMKC students into being part of the project. “The students provided a voice for UMKC with the streetcar extension,” Yord said. The ability for students to be involved in a significant city project such as the streetcar extension had its benefits, especially when it comes to preparing students for real-world experiences. “Engineering is a team sport," Yord said. "It’s designing the project but it’s also who you are designing the project for and the larger community and so the students got a real-world experience of what engineering really is.”  There’s also benefits to studying engineering specifically in Kansas City.“We have a lot of engineering power in Kansas City, and students have the benefit for that community for jobs, guidance and opportunities,” Yord said. As a result of these experiences, students are able to learn important skills crucial to their careers outside the classroom. “With our senior design project, we worked with KCATA, and the great thing about it was that we got to work with our client and interact with them directly, which provided a lot of really great real-world experience as opposed to just theoretical classroom experience,” Blair said.  “I really am proud to be a Roo," Blair said. "I'm proud to graduate from Kansas City and I'm really proud to know that I'm making a difference in the city that I live in and love so much.” Nov 07, 2023

  • The Rise of Jhy Coulter’s Devoured Pizza

    UMKC alum's senior project kicked off the pop-up pizzeria concept
    When Jhy Coutler (B.A. '17) turned in her design senior project in 2017, there was no way of knowing the concept would be brought to life just four years later. What initially started as slinging pizzas in her backyard has turned into a pop-up pizzeria that can be spotted at various Kansas City businesses, including the recent Roos Mobb event at MADE MOBB. We talked to Coutler about Devoured’s journey, from winning a Hulu cooking show competition to her future brick-and-mortar concept that plans to open in 2024. What did you study at UMKC and how has that helped you with creating Devoured Pizza? I studied studio art with an emphasis in graphic design . For our senior project, we were asked to create our own magazine. I decided to create a foodie magazine concept and named it Devoured. Once I graduated, I decided to start an Instagram account with the concept, Devoured Magazine, to bring the concept to life. I cooked different foods and shared it on the account to highlight what I was making. In 2019, I won a pizza oven and that helped me to decide to dive into the pop-up the business with Devoured Pizza. It also helped that I had the experience, as I used to work at a local pizzeria in town during my time at UMKC. It is funny how my senior project helped kickstart the whole concept of Devoured. It was like a blessing in disguise. My experiences at UMKC also helped me feel confident enough to continue my journey in design. Right now, I still do all the marketing and design for Devoured. You were recently on Hulu’s “Best in Dough” pizza making competition show (Episode 5: “Pop Goes the Pizza”). What was that experience like? It was incredible. Honestly, I am still in shock that it happened and that I actually won both rounds. It was my first time being on TV like that, so it was slightly nerve wracking. I grew up watching Food Network and Chopped as a kid, but the experience made me realize how intense it was. For the first round, we only had 20 minutes to make a pizza! But, I had so much fun, and I would love to be on another show. It was just a thrilling experience overall. A brick-and-mortar called Orange By: Devoured is in the works. Tell us more about it. I like to think of Devoured as a concept umbrella and Orange By: Devoured as a micro-concept under it. It will be a small shop that feels like a community hub. I chose Orange as it’s a vibrant and positive color and I want people to feel that way when they visit. I also like that it is not a typical pizza shop name, as we plan to serve tapas and other small plates. Orange By: Devoured is important to me because I want to be able to create smaller concepts and play around with Devoured as a whole. I’m excited for people to come in and try new things. Orange By: Devoured will be located at Martini Corner with an expected opening of Spring 2024. Nov 07, 2023

  • Full Circle Moment: UMKC Student, Mentor Win Same Research Award 34 Years Apart

    Undergraduate research funding provided opportunity to conduct archival research on Mayan archeological site
    Earth and environmental science student Aleigha Dollens recently won the 2023 Richard Hay Award from the Geoarchaeology Division of the Geological Society of America (GSA) for her research on evidence of earthquakes at the Mayan archaeological site of Quirigua in Guatemala. The award supports travel to the GSA annual meeting and recognizes meritorious student research. This was especially good news to Dollens’ mentor, Tina Niemi, Ph.D., as the Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor was the first recipient of this award 34 years ago. Niemi has taught geology at UMKC since 1995 and has personally mentored more than 60 undergraduate research projects with student funding from SEARCH, SUROP and NSF-funded research experience grants.  “For my MS research, I reconstructed the paleoenvironmental history of a submerged classical archaeological site along the central coast of Greece,” Niemi said. “It was the presentation of that research at the annual meeting of the GSA in 1989 that won me the first-granted Richard Hay award. I am very proud of Aleigha and her achievements and thrilled that she has followed in my footsteps with this well-deserved award. The dedication of UMKC and its leaders to support undergraduate research is phenomenal.” Dollens and Niemi visited the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University this past summer to search museum archives for excavation documents and artifacts that can help constrain the date of the earthquake that occurred during the final occupation of the Quirigua site. “Winning the Richard Hay Award from the Geoarchaeology Division of the Geological Society of America is an honor like no other, especially since Dr. Tina Niemi was the first-ever recipient,” Dollens said. “She is one of my greatest supporters and pushes me to be a better geoscientist and a better person. It is an honor to get to work with such a strong woman in the geosciences field and I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for her ongoing support.” The research was funded by the UMKC Undergraduate Research Program through SUROP and SEARCH awards and by the Earth and Environmental Science Newcomb Research Grant. Nov 01, 2023