• Hallmark’s Don Hall Jr. to Receive Award at 2023 Pride Breakfast

    Hall has supported the LGBTQIA+ community throughout his tenure as a Hallmark leader, including his time as president and CEO
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City will honor Don Hall Jr., executive chairman of the board of directors at Hallmark, with the inaugural C. Stephen Metzler Pride Champion Award at the annual UMKC Pride Breakfast. This award recognizes an individual (LGBTQIA+ or ally) who embodies Steve Metzler’s legacy of making Kansas City a better place for the LGBTQIA+ community through volunteerism, philanthropy and leading by example. Don Hall, Jr. Hall was president and CEO of Hallmark, serving in that role from 2002 to 2019 when he became executive chairman. During his tenure as CEO, he made Hallmark the first founding corporate partner of the Mid-America Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (now Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce) in Kansas City. He was instrumental in bringing diverse voices to the table across the civic landscape to champion support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Hallmark’s commitment to inclusion is part of its long-standing beliefs and values; it has consistently ranked as a top company to work for as acknowledged by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index – the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQIA+ workplace equality. “We’re thrilled to present Don Hall Jr. with the inaugural C. Stephen Metzler Pride Champion Award,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “Don is truly an example of what it means to be inclusive, and his efforts have made Kansas City a better place for our students and all of us to live. We are proud to honor his legacy here.” The 2023 Pride Breakfast is 7:30 to 9 a.m. Oct. 10 in Swinney Center. Tickets can be purchased at Since 2008, the UMKC Pride Breakfast has raised more than $600,000 to support LGBTQIA+ students at UMKC and shows our university’s support of, and commitment to, LGBTQIA+ students on campus. Funds from the UMKC Pride Breakfast are critical to support programs and scholarships for LGBTQIA+ students — including the Pride Empowerment Fund, which provides emergency assistance to students who experience financial difficulty due to the loss of family support. Sep 25, 2023

  • How MADE MOBB’s Vu Radley Changed KC’s Streetwear Scene

    UMKC alum releases exclusive UMKC merch only available at inaugural Roos Mobb event
    Did you know that a group of kangaroos is called a mob? Well, UMKC alum Vu Radley (B.A.’12) had no idea when he started MADE MOBB with his friends 10 years ago. The streetwear brand is known for its collaborations with various Kansas City businesses, including the Chiefs (now a UMKC partner), KC Current and Café Ca Phé. Like kismet, the brand is now collaborating with UMKC for its very first Roos Mobb event. The vendor market event, featuring various alumni-owned businesses, took place on Fri., Oct. 13 at MADE MOBB’s space in the Crossroads Arts District. Now that Vu has come full-circle with UMKC merch and an exciting event partnership, we sat down with him to reflect on how he and MADE MOBB grew to where they are now. How did MADE MOBB start? MADE MOBB started in 2012, although we did not drop our first capsule collection until 2013. It was right after I finished my degree in Studio Art at UMKC. I was working at a corporate job when I met two guys (Mark Launiu and Jesse Phouangphet), and we all came up with the idea to start a business. The financial background and events experience from the two, combined with my experience of printing DIY shirts in high school, formed the foundation of MADE MOBB. We started working weekly on it as a passion project to simply celebrate our love for streetwear and design. It was what we did after we clocked in our 40 hours at the jobs we were in at the time. But now, it’s what we live off of as a full-time business. Did the streetwear initially start off as KC-based? Our x KC x design created in 2013 was one of our first KC products, and is now one of our signature designs. But, it wasn’t until 2015 after the Royals win when wholesalers began to pick up our products and focused specifically on our KC designs. That was also when the KC local-wear scene started to kick off, and we started incorporating more Kansas City elements into our pieces. How did your experience at UMKC impact the success of MADE MOBB? Although I grew up with the arts, I never really thought about the digital side of it, which was why I took classes like introduction to graphic design and typography at UMKC. These classes changed my view on graphic design and made me realize it was a space I could get into and build a career. UMKC was also where I was able to sharpen my design chops and learn important skills, such as how to put a design together that goes to print. The classes I took, from drawing classes to art history classes, made me realize that I might have found my career path. There is a lot of KC influence in your collaborations. Could you talk more about that and where you see it going in the future? MADE MOBB has always been about collaboration. There is a lot of talent in Kansas City, and it is fulfilling to be able to support the community and elevate Kansas City businesses, especially small businesses, whether that is with a capsule collaboration or having them pop up in our space. I want to continue doing this and also focus on collaborating with not just businesses, but also local Kansas City creatives. With the community, we want to continue hosting events. First Fridays was one of the first events we held, even back at our Grand Street location. It’s our favorite time of the month. We have food trucks outside and 15-20 local vendors that pop up in our shop and sell their own stuff. We have local artists performing their own sets too. We want all our people in our space to show us what they are working on, while also sharing what we are working on.  What were you most excited about with the Roos Mobb event? Graduating from UMKC and then being able to do a collaboration with them 10 years later is just a full-circle moment. A lot of things have happened in my career that have made sense, and this is definitely one of them. So, I was excited to see this event come to life. Also, having businesses that I did not know were UMKC-alum owned popping up at the event was exciting.There is a lot of talent from UMKC alumni who are still in the city, and it’s something not a lot of people are aware of unless an event like this happens. As part of 2024 KC Design Week, Vu and some of the UMKC staff invovled with Roos Mobb had a chance to speak on a panel to discuss how the collaboration came to life. Sep 19, 2023

  • Nursing and Engineering Programs Place Among Top 100 in Nation

    U.S. News and World Report releases annual undergraduate program rankings
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City had two undergraduate programs rank among the Top 100 programs in the country, according to the U.S. News and World Report 2024 Best Colleges rankings. The undergraduate nursing program from the School of Nursing and Health Studies and the undergraduate engineering program from the School of Science and Engineering each placed at No. 86 on the list in their respective categories. In total, more than 650 nursing programs and more than 270 engineering programs that offer only bachelor’s and master’s degrees were considered in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. The School of Nursing and Health Studies is proud of their ranking, said Joy Roberts, dean of the school. "The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is proud that our Bachelor of Science in Nursing program has been recognized in the Top 100 undergraduate nursing programs in the U.S,” Roberts said. “Our hardworking, well-prepared BSN graduates are quickly hired by health-care institutions in the Kansas City metro as well as across the country. Our faculty, staff and administration are proud to support our students and we applaud their success!" School of Science and Engineering dean Kevin Truman is glad for the recognition of the university’s four engineering programs – biomedical, civil, mechanic, and electrical and computer. "We are thrilled to have received this ranking and continue to elevate and expand our offerings," said Truman. "With our biomedical engineering program that just started this fall and the $120 million Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building that is currently planned for the UMKC Health Sciences Campus, we are constantly thinking of new ways to enhance the learning experience at UMKC." Two more programs were recognized by the U.S. News and World Report as well. The undergraduate business degree from the Bloch School of Management was ranked No. 159 out of 520 programs. The School of Science and Engineering had their computer science and information technology program ranked No. 192 out of 550 programs. Sep 18, 2023

  • Nursing Students Learn about Blood Transfusions by Using Escape Rooms and Zombies

    Simulation lab trains future nurses to provide care under pressure
    For Christine Zimmerman, R.N., Ph.D., everything is a teachable moment for her nursing students, even escaping zombies. As director of clinical simulation at the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies, she designs and implements patient scenarios for the school’s simulation lab. In the latest scenario, Zimmerman combined an escape room experience with a zombie apocalypse. Students solve puzzles and follow clues while competing for the best time to get the medical equipment they need to provide a blood transfusion to their “patient.” To complete the training and escape the room, the students need to complete each task of the procedure, which prevents their patient from becoming a zombie.Over the years, Zimmerman and her team have created a wide variety of simulations for students, from helping a woman give birth to treating gunshot wounds. The simulations are designed to provide students the opportunity to practice their clinical skills and decision-making abilities in a managed environment that reduces some of the pressures involved in a traditional clinical setting. In the simulation lab, students can focus on the training at hand without the worry of keeping a patient alive or navigating interpersonal dynamics of coworkers.The lab, on the fourth floor of the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies, mimics the layout of a hospital, with six patient rooms, a nurses’ station and a medication storage area. The school has nine manikins — models used for medical training that act as patients during the simulations. Zimmerman and her team operate the manikins from a nearby control room in the lab, speaking as the patient through a microphone during the simulation. They take their acting seriously, using different voices and incorporating sound effects.According to School of Nursing and Health Studies Dean Joy Roberts, simulation is a critical experience for nursing students as they progress through the program. “Typically, our undergraduate nursing students are given hands-on experience in hospitals and community health settings,” Roberts said. As an added layer to their training, the simulation lab “ensures that all of our students get experience with certain health issues, while ensuring the patient interaction is as close to real life as possible,” she added.Zimmerman keeps up with the latest advances in nursing simulation education. She said research shows that a competitive gaming environment helps students learn by adding fun while lowering stress. A few years ago, she noticed a growing trend using escape rooms in simulation labs, and decided to try it. Setting it up was a daunting process, she said. She spent almost two years getting it right, and launched it the spring semester of 2023.“We learned that getting the clues together was the hardest part,” Zimmerman said. “You have to think about how each clue builds to the next one, and how the students are going to progress through the steps to solve it.” As in all simulations, students in the escape room exercise are into divided into groups of four. The groups then compete for the shortest time in finishing the required steps. Competition means the groups need team names picked by the students. “Public Enema” and “N’Syncope” are just two of the many clever team name selections.For nursing student Joyce Young, who is in the final year of the program, the escape room required more teamwork than previous simulations in which she had participated. A former police officer, she was happy to bring her investigative abilities to the team.“With the escape room, I had to really rely on my other team members, and we worked really well together,” Young said. “Everyone brought their own personality and skill sets, because one person’s strength was another person’s weakness.”According to Zimmerman, she focused on blood transfusions because the procedure can be necessary in emergency situations, but also during routine care for a slow bleed or low hemoglobin. The steps never change, and they must be administered in a very specific order. If a student team competing for the best time during the exercise misses a step, a minute is added to their overall time. Zimmerman said students don’t often get experience with blood transfusions during clinical rotations. “With this simulation, they tell us they feel more confident with the procedure, and have at least received hands-on experience that makes them feel more prepared to address the issue when it comes up during their nursing career,” she said.When Zimmerman and her team started testing the zombie escape room simulation, they were surprised that they needed to create many rules about what the students can and can’t touch.“The students went absolutely insane,” Zimmerman said. “They were going through the sharps (needle disposal) container, digging in the trash and climbing up on sinks to lift up ceiling tiles.”Since the students are competing for the best time, Zimmerman wanted to limit distractions. She’s added a list of what’s in play for the escape room and what’s off limits. Although it helped to keep the students on task, mishaps still occur occasionally. For the blood transfusion, students are required to transfer fake blood from an IV bag through tubing connected to the patient. Clamps on the tubing help control the flow of blood. “One group who was running out of time, started opening all the clamps to speed things up,” Zimmerman said. “Blood was running everywhere in the room; it was absolute chaos.” After each simulation session, Zimmerman sits down with the students to debrief, evaluating what went right and what could be improved. For the escape room, she uses the time to focus in on the lessons in each clue and puzzle. In a recent debrief, she praised the group on how quickly they picked up that certain letters were underlined on the back of the IV bag. “I like to talk about their focus on the small details, because there are so many things in health care that you have to be attuned to,” Zimmerman said. “Your patient can say something that seems tiny, but could be part of the bigger picture.” The escape room simulation challenges the students to put a puzzle together to see the big picture. When it comes together, it’s one of Zimmerman’s favorite moments. “I love listening to them when they solve a clue and scream in the room,” Zimmerman said. "It absolutely makes me happy if they have a good time and are engaged.” Sep 15, 2023

  • Statistics Professor and Medical Student Undergraduate Research Project Published in National Journal

    Undergraduate Research Success Inspires Additional Projects
    UMKC offers a unique undergraduate experience for students looking to get involved in research projects across all academic units. Through several different programs and grants, Roos can take part in meaningful research that can not only improve their resumes, but give them skills and tools they can use in the future. Medical student Vagmi Kantheti received a Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity (SUROP) grant in 2022 where she worked with Billie Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of applied statistics, Majid Bani-Yaghoub, chair of the mathematics and statistics department and Scott Curtis from the UMKC library to develop a corpus of full-text journal articles related to the Spanish flu of 1918. “It has been a real pleasure to work with and introduce our undergraduate students to a research project,” Anderson said. “Many undergraduate students are not aware of all the details and hard work that goes into a research project. By working with undergraduate students, it allows them to obtain exposure to another part of university life that they may not always be exposed to. This exposure to undergraduate research could spark interest in a student to attend graduate school. Students get to experience meeting deadlines, following specific instructions, and creating a final product, all of which will assist them in their professional careers. “ The project, which is divided into two parts, went on to be presented at regional and national conferences. The first part, which focused on developing the methodology for using the statistical language R, was presented at the Mathematical American Association Missouri Section meeting in April 2022. This work was also published in the Journal of Information Science. “I am so happy for Dr. Anderson who has been working very hard at this project and many others and believe she very much deserves to be published and recognized for her work,” Vagmi said. “I am very happy with the outcomes of my work and am so grateful that she decided to let me be a part of this work. ”The second part of the project entailed applying a textmining algorithm to determine any connection or “lessons learned” from the Spanish flu that could be applied to the COVID-19 pandemic using a text mining model. That research was presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings of the American Statistical Association in Washington, D.C. in August 2022. “Dr. Anderson was truly an amazing mentor and she helped me be not as fearful of doing further research in fields that I have better knowledge in, like biological research,” Vagmi said. “It was clear that the people I worked with were very capable and were more than willing to help me grow as a part of the research team. Dr. Anderson even let me make and present the work that I did in a math and statistics conference that was held on UMKC campus.” SUROP recipients present their findings every year at the Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship. It gives each student, like Vagmi, the opportunity to share their projects among their peers and colleagues. The success of the project through SUROP inspired Billie Anderson to put together a group of undergraduate Bloch students and lead a summer project to put together another corpus focusing on reject inference. “Before this summer, the idea of undergraduate research was very intimidating to me. And, with no prior experience, my only hope was to learn more about research and what it looks like at UMKC,” Hunter Meisner, a student who worked on the research, said. “Not only did I achieve that, but I achieved it with help from the people here at UMKC.” Anderson received $8,000 in funding for the project to be split up amongst four students, $2,000 each, as part of a Strategic Investment in Applied Statistics grant from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarships. The corpus of over 100 documents will be used to then develop a literature review of the loan outcome status for rejected applicants, in turn developing a credit score model without bias of only accepted applicants. The consolidation of the information and documents will allow for a text mining model to be used to uncover potential areas where more research on rejected applications is required. The opportunity to conduct undergraduate research provides students with valuable experience where they can learn and develop research skills than can help them in the future. “While I am not a finance major, this experience was incredibly valuable because it was my first time conducting undergraduate research,” Meisner said. “But, more than a learning experience, it was an opportunity to show myself and others that I can contribute to the world of academia.” “If you don’t take opportunities that are in front of you, you may miss out on future opportunities,” Cody Harman, who participated in the research, said.   Sep 15, 2023

  • It’s a Zoo Out There for Dental Hygiene Students

    UMKC School of Dentistry offers clinical experience at the Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium
    Macila Arnold knew it was an unusual day for her as a UMKC dental hygiene student. First off, the day started at the Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium. “We came in to work on some swamp monkeys,” Arnold said.   “We got to watch the doctors do their annual visits, do the physical with swamp monkeys and then we got to scale and clean their teeth, and polish them up, just like we would with our human patients.” Arnold is taking advantage of an opportunity with the UMKC School of Dentistry. Through a partnership with the Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium, the dental hygiene program offers students the Zoo Practicum. Each spring semester, senior dental hygiene students like Arnold, who was joined by her classmate Sidney Dennis, spend time cleaning the teeth of all kinds of zoo animals. “The experience has been very unique. I know it’s something that I’m never going to forget,” Dennis said. The collaborative partnership between the School of Dentistry and the Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium started in 1994. Dr. Wm Kirk Suedmeyer, the Zoo’s director of animal health and conservation research, sees great value in the expertise the students provide. “It really helps, and they do a good job providing good dental hygiene for our animals,” Suedmeyer said. The UMKC School of Dentistry provides students with a wide variety of clinical experiences across the Kansas City metropolitan area and beyond. “We have different rotations here at the School of Dentistry: We go out to local elementary schools to give fluoride and sealants and do all kinds of screenings with them,” Dennis said. “There’s a lot of real-world opportunities at the School of Dentistry.” Originally from Springfield, Missouri, Dennis appreciates how much of Kansas City she’s seen through her rotations. “Being able to get involved in the community through hygiene has been just so much fun,” she said. “I’ve loved my experience here in Kansas City.” All that time in the community helped Arnold find her niche of public health within the dental field. "Kansas City has definitely been our classroom by giving us the opportunity to go outside the School of Dentistry and just our patients. We get to go out and do the rotations where we get to go out and work with a diverse population." — Macila Arnold (B.S.D.H. '23) “I feel like having that exposure and getting to work in the Kansas City area has helped me find my own passion within dental hygiene.”   Sep 12, 2023

  • Welcoming the 2023 UMKC Trustees’ Scholars

    Prestigious program for outstanding scholars launches college careers
    The newest class of UMKC Trustees’ Scholars took their first steps toward outstanding college careers and bright futures at their welcome reception. The seven recipients were part of a pool of 200 applicants, and many will become campus leaders. The UMKC Trustees’ Scholars Program provides a fully funded educational and experiential program for a select group of first-time students at UMKC. The scholarship is a collaboration between the university and the UMKC Trustees. The program gives students access to UMKC Trustees’ knowledge, experience and mentorship as well as specialized guidance from key UMKC staff. UMKC Trustees Chair Debby Ballard welcomed the scholars at a reception August 18. “The Trustees’ Scholars program is very close to my heart,” Ballard said. “I have mentored two scholars in the past, and I am currently a mentor to a scholar who is a dance major at the Conservatory. Meeting with my scholars was always inspiring. I learned a lot from their perspectives, and their optimism and enthusiasm are uplifting.” Suzanne Shank, chair of the Trustees’ Scholars Committee, serves as a mentor. “The scholars program is the signature program of the Trustees,” Shank said. “The students we are celebrating today were handpicked from almost 200 applicants who  represented the best of the best in our region. We know they will be extraordinary representatives of the Trustees, the program and the university.” UMKC Provost Jennifer Lundgren welcomed the incoming scholars. “You are now part of the Roo family,” Lundgren said. “Being a Trustees’ Scholar is an incredible and unique opportunity that few students are awarded. The connections you’ll make and the rigorous course work you will undertake, will help prepare you to shine in the careers you’ll pursue when you graduate.” Lundgren assured the scholars’ parents that they were in the right place. “Thank you for getting them here,” she said. “We have developed a culture of care that will help them build resilience and responsibility. I assure you, that if they need someone, I’m here.” Each student had the opportunity to share their story of what brought them to UMKC and their aspirations. Laila Atkins Atkins is from Grandview and is studying political science. Driven and focused, she feels fortunate to have the opportunity to be a Trustees’ Scholar at UMKC and getting to know the other scholars. While she’s a little nervous, she’s excited to challenge herself.  Her Trustee mentor is Donald Maxwell, an attorney with his own private practice. Maisy Blanton Blanton is from Benton, Kansas and is studying communication and digital media, with a minor in race and gender studies. In high school, Blanton wrote an essay about being queer for Young Queer America and received pushback from the school board. She chose UMKC because of the loving and supportive atmosphere. She is preparing for a career in public relations and journalism. Her Trustee mentor is Steve Doyal, a retired executive with Hallmark Cards. Andrew Custis Custis is from St. Louis and is studying earth and environmental science. When he toured campus, he met faculty who had worked in Africa at Lake Chad and another who had studied volcanology and geology. “I valued the effect I could have on the world. That’s why I chose UMKC.” His Trustee mentor is Kyle Vena, vice president of new campus development with the American Royal Association. Atlas Mallams Mallams is from Liberty and is studying computer science with a minor in sociology. “When I visited UMKC I had a feeling of community. I felt safe and welcome. I could see the school welcomed diversity and different economic backgrounds. Also, there’s a Cheesecake Factory down the street!” Their Trustee mentor is Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, executive director and chief operating officer at the DeBruce Foundation. Yasmina Mokhtar Mokhtar is from Joplin and is studying sociology and Spanish. She has a small hand-embroidery business and plans to go to law school. Her family is Muslim and from Egypt, and the diversity at UMKC was appealing. “I wanted to meet other people of color,” she said. Her Trustee mentor is Heather Humphrey, senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Evergy. Alexis Reed Reed is from Kansas City and attended school in the Center district. She is pursuing a degree in biology, with an interest in pathology; she is minoring in Spanish. She chose UMKC because she wanted to be close to her home and family. “And I love the diversity,” she said. “I like to learn about new people.” Her Trustee mentor is Joseph Reuben, chief medical officer at Menorah Medical Center. Micaela Richards Richards is from Lee’s Summit and is pursuing her degree in business administration, with a minor in political science. She was DECA president in high school and is proud of her work ethic. She plans to pursue a career in law. “I chose UMKC because I felt heard.” Her Trustee mentor is Donna Ward, senior vice president of the administrative services division at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Sep 11, 2023

  • UMKC Divine Nine Garden Deepens Community Connections

    Placement in the heart of campus reflects an environment of invigorating multiculturalism, globalism and inclusion
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City celebrated the new Divine Nine gardens in the heart of campus with a ceremonial unveiling. Hundreds of people from across the Kansas City region representing the Divine Nine Black Greek organizations that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council gathered in the Quad, proudly dressed in the colors –  crimson, emerald, gold, royal blue, black and beyond – that represent their fraternity or sorority. A tribute to the contributions and presence of the Divine Nine fraternities and sororities, the garden is also a gathering place for students and alumni to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of their respective organizations. For more than a century, the Divine Nine have championed progress, tackling challenges from civil rights to racial justice and leadership cultivation. Those who are members of this council know their membership goes far beyond college years, offering lifelong chances for networking and leadership. “I am humbled to be here today to share in and witness the unveiling of the UMKC Divine Nine Garden monuments,” said Michele Smith, Ph.D., vice provost for Student Affairs and dean of students. “The UMKC Divine Nine Garden celebrates the work of our hands and the legacy of kinship, allyship, interdependence and impact the Divine Nine inspires across our campus and within our communities.” Groups stood next to the tall granite monument emblazoned with the Greek letters of their organization. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Increased visibility of the Divine Nine organizations was one initiative developed with Chancellor Mauli Agrawal’s work with student leaders in the African American Cultivating Excellence Program to generate positive change on campus. Contributions by the Sunderland Foundation, the UMKC NPHC students, the Chancellor and Provost offices, Hollis and Miller Architects, among others, supported the conception and creation of the garden.  “Establishing this garden on the Quad – the very core of our campus – is symbolic of our recognition of these important fraternities and sororities, their significant national contributions, across the Kansas City area and here at UMKC,” Agrawal said. “We are proud to commemorate the opening of the Divine Nine Garden, with recognition for each organization.”  Calvin Flemons, Alpha Phi Alpha Delta Rho chapter president, addressed the crowd and recognized the support of the UMKC community in the garden’s creation.   “I speak for us all when I say, with so much gratitude and joy in our hearts, that being a part of this history at UMKC will be unforgettable,” Flemons said. “So let it be known that today and for years to come, NPHC will continue to make an impact on this campus and in our community.” Keichanda Dees-Burnett, assistant dean of students and director of Multicultural Student Affairs, expressed her pride in being a Divine Nine member and a UMKC alumna.   “When I reflect on my experiences as a UMKC Black Greek alum and staff member, I am proud to have been able to contribute and witness how far our university has come,” Dees-Burnett said. “The campus has grown and there are now so many more people and spaces where Black students can find their sense of belonging. Starting today, the Divine Nine Garden will serve as an additional space and a symbol to current and future African American students at UMKC that they belong here.” Following the dedication, participants visited the Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center lobby to view, “Legacy in Bloom,” a Divine Nine exhibit designed to coincide with the opening of the garden,  which showcases each of the nine Greek organizations’ history and their connection to UMKC. The exhibit will run throughout this academic year ending in May. It is on display in the lobby of Miller Nichols, as well as on the fourth floor in the Dean’s Gallery. Sep 11, 2023

  • UMKC Now Has A Football Team: The Kansas City Chiefs

    Five-year partnership centers on student recruitment, scholarships and success programs
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced today that it is an official higher education partner of the Kansas City Chiefs, the 2022 World Champions. “Kansas City’s university is thrilled to join with Kansas City’s football team to bring exceptional real-world learning experiences to our students,” said UMKC Vice Chancellor of Strategic Marketing and Communications Anne Hartung Spenner. “There is great forward momentum in our city and our university, and we look forward to building on this continuing wave of excellence in our community through this partnership.”“We’re very excited to roll out this new education partnership with the administration, faculty, staff and students at UMKC,” said Chiefs Vice President of Partnership Strategy and Development Kim Hobbs. “We think the relationship between the team and the university will present extremely unique opportunities and access for their students moving forward and will reinforce the idea that Roos should ‘Never Choose the Norm.’”The five-year partnership between UMKC and the Kansas City Chiefs focuses on student success and recruitment efforts. Opportunities for UMKC students include scholarships as well as leadership, mentorship and career-shadowing within the Chiefs organization. Events for prospective students include stadium tours and other programs.The partnership between the two organizations - both pillars of the city - is a natural one. Each founded by innovative entrepreneurs and pioneers - William Volker (UMKC) and Lamar Hunt (Chiefs) - the two organizations each have worldwide stakeholders. UMKC attracts students from more than 75 countries and the Chiefs’ fanbase spans the globe. The Chiefs and UMKC also share many connections through alumni, students, faculty and staff, including:• Amy Patel, M.D., professor of the UMKC School of Medicine and an alumnae, was the 2022 Kansas City Chiefs NFL Fan of the Year.• Chiefs Safety Justin Reid created a coding camp hosted this summer at UMKC.• Union Station is the site of Chiefs fandom in large part thanks to UMKC alumni George Guastello, its chief executive officer, and Michael Tritt, its chief marketing officer.• Jerry Blanton, associate director of UMKC Student Union, is a former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker and his son, Kendall Blanton, was a member of the Chiefs in the most recent Super Bowl.• Numerous UMKC alumni work for the Chiefs including Ishmael Shumate (BBA ’20, MBA ’22), philanthropy and community programming coordinator, or have worked for them, including dental hygienist Ashley Hobbs (B.S.D.H. ’11), who was a Chiefs Cheerleader.To commemorate the new partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, UMKC is planning a campuswide celebration Sept. 7 ahead of the season opener that evening, and a Red Friday Roos Tailgate on Sept. 22.Yet another thing the two organizations have in common: mascots named for their beloved hometown. Both KC Wolf of the Chiefs and KC Roo of UMKC will attend the celebrations.Earlier this year, Kansas City’s university entered into a partnership with another city favorite, the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium. The five-year partnership funds improvements to the Australia new habitat, where kangaroos live, and provides learning opportunities from UMKC students. The university’s mascot was inspired by kangaroos at the zoo, and the classic Roo was drawn by Walt Disney. UMKC also is a longtime partner of Sporting KC, and the campus community has enjoyed that relationship for more than a decade. Sep 06, 2023