2024

  • Political Science Student From Arkansas Finds Purpose and Passions at UMKC

    Flexibility and drive allow student to forge professional connections for a greater purpose
    At UMKC, students write their own stories, form their own definitions of success and chart innovative career paths. Emmanuel is turning dreams into reality by creating connections in political science and Spanish degree programs and participating in organizations including Avanzando and Multicultural Student Affairs. Emmanuel Fabian Anticipated graduation: 2026 UMKC degree program: Political science and Spanish Hometown:  Emmanuel Fabian came to UMKC and found his passions. While studying to be a filmmaker, he discovered his true career goal was to help immigrants in the United States. He changed his major to support that goal but still finds time to hone his art and make connections throughout the university and beyond. Why did you choose UMKC? I have a desire for filmmaking, and that wasn't really something that was offered anywhere near me in Arkansas. So, I came to Kansas City. Now that I'm here, I've also learned that I have other interests, and some really dominate. I've been wanting to work with immigrants; see if I can help them out. That’s why I changed my major, even though I am still making films. How has your college program inspired you? I try to really get involved, and not just at the university, in Kansas City. I’ve found that it's been very beneficial. I've met a lot of great people. Who do you most admire? The people I admire most at this school are all the people that I collaborate with. Some American students, some have been in the Multicultural Student Affairs Office. Some are in the world and languages departments. It's many down-to-earth, great people. They’ve assisted me in so many different ways with my academic career. Do you have any leadership positions here on campus? I serve as a public relations officer for the Avanzando program. It's beneficial to me. I've been able to meet a lot of great people over there. It’s awesome to talk to everyone, and it helps me balance my schoolwork. What word best describes you? Indecisive. That’s something I’ve learned about myself, coming to school here. I've also learned that it just means that I'm interested in many things. Career-wise, it's let me really narrow down my decision on what I want to do in life: helping immigrants. Jun 13, 2024

  • Five Questions with Dean Alexander Norbash

    Meet the UMKC alumnus as he takes on a new role as dean of the School of Medicine
    Alexander Norbash (B.A./M.D. '86) has returned to his alma mater as the dean of the School of Medicine. Previously, he served as the chair and professor of radiology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, where he continued to hone his extensive background in research and health-care collaboration. Norbash joins the school at a pivotal time, with a $120 million Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building breaking ground later this year and a new $14.5 million medical education building under construction on the St. Joseph, Missouri, campus. He joined the school as dean in March. What inspired your career in medicine? My father was a surgeon and the town physician in Platte City, Missouri, for many years. His practice was actually a family business. My mother was the office manager. My little brother and I did odd jobs and filing. This was many years ago before electronic medical records. We saw the patients enter the office with numerous ailments and symptoms, many clearly worried, some visibly with discomfort or pain and others with some level of reluctance. Inevitably, many — if not most — left with a sense of relief and gratitude. This left an impression on us that the work was serious and meaningful. Being a physician’s son also means I heard about the frustrations and limitations of health-care delivery, so I felt that I had a balanced impression of the career. In the end, any frustrations or limitation of the career were offset by the gratitude the practitioner felt for the privilege of alleviating pain and suffering in a fellow human being. Later, when it came time to decide on colleges and a career, the final choice was clear. Talk about a fond UMKC School of Medicine memory. My classmates were remarkable. They were brilliant and gifted and energetic, always testing the limits of what we could or should do. For a period of time, we believed that our teachers and professors knew us by the moniker, “that terrible class.” We were always testing the limits of rules, rather than following them. Which I suppose is what you expect with individuals who are adventurous, creative, innovative and want to do things “better.” The respective rules might just go out the window in certain instances. When I was a student, the units were all alive and buzzing with activity. Students were everywhere, and you could hear laughter and happy conversations in all the halls. We had a full-sized pool table on the fifth floor, and on any given evening, six or seven of us would congregate around the pool table watching our classmates winning and losing. (We) talked about politics, religion, what we were doing and planned on doing and all that lay ahead of us in that long and barely visible road we called the future. What are your goals for the School of Medicine as dean? I want to have the best and happiest medical school possible. I want the students to be exceptionally kind, brilliant clinicians, completely satisfied and pleasantly surprised by their experience. I want the faculty and staff to be fulfilled and contributing to a community of innovation and experimentation. I want the community –  including Kansas City and our adjoining states – to appreciate this amazing gem for what it is, and what it will become. You are well-versed in the importance of medicine in rural communities, which is the focus of our St. Joseph campus. What is your vision for that program as it grows? I had a remarkable rural medicine elective experience in Cassville, Missouri, many, many moons ago. I was struck by the strong independence of my preceptor, who was absolutely on his own for all sorts of maladies and issues presented on a daily basis. Our rural practitioners are not only remarkable physicians, but they are also trusted resources, neighbors and sage advisors. We will do everything possible to ensure our rural practitioners preserve the principles of kindness and sensitivity they are known for, while helping them innovate with advances such as population science, preventive medicine and wearable technology to ensure that rural populations benefit from the innovations that are constantly being utilized and implemented in technology-rich urban settings. What is something about you that may surprise people? Before choosing medicine as a career, I considered commercial aviation. To that end, my hobby for the past 33 years has been flying, and for the past 30 years it has been flying helicopters. If for some reason I weren’t a physician, my alternative career choice would have been a coast guard helicopter pilot. Jun 03, 2024

  • UMKC Student Receives Nationally Competitive Boren Awards Scholarship

    Liberty Gladden heads to South Korea, thanks to her award
    UMKC student Liberty Gladden has been selected as a winner of a 2024 Boren Scholarship. Gladden, a junior studying computer and information sciences with a minor in business, will receive funding to pursue intensive Korean language study at a university in South Korea in Fall 2024. Gladden is currently studying abroad at Hanyang University in South Korea, and this opportunity will allow her to return to the country for another semester and further cultural immersion. Gladden’s future goals involve pursuing her Master in Business Administration at UMKC and eventually working as a leader within the U.S. government. The Boren Awards is a highly competitive national award program, which provides up to $25,000 in funding for students to study language and culture abroad. The program aims to provide students with the resources and encouragement necessary to acquire skills and experiences in areas of the world critical to U.S. national security. In exchange, recipients accept a service requirement to work for the federal government for at least one year after the completion of their program. Recipients are chosen based on the relevance of their country and language to U.S. national security, their commitment to long-term government service, demonstrated academic preparation and cultural adaptability. “I’m excited for this award to help impact my future by allowing me to carry out my career goals on a global scale passionately,” Gladden said. “This opportunity will help me achieve mastery in Korean, which will enable me to further be of service to the Korean people and aid in U.S.-South Korea relations. It is a blessing to be given this opportunity and I credit it to the hard work put in by not only myself, but also so many others who have helped me along this journey such as my UMKC Competitive Awards Advisor McLain Hymer and even professor Alex Matlack.” Gladden discovered the Boren Awards thanks to Hymer. "When Liberty and I first met, she had never heard of the Boren Awards before, but it quickly became apparent that this program would be a great fit based on her interest in the Korean language and a future career path within the federal government,” said McLain Hymer, manager of nationally competitive awards at the UMKC Career Services. “I am excited to hear about how this opportunity for cultural immersion will help Liberty continue to enhance her Korean language skills and further her personal and professional development.” UMKC Career Services offers career development and resources for UMKC students and graduates, such as help with applying for competitive awards to further academic and professional interests. They also offer opportunities for employers to connect with talented students and alumni. “I am excited to continue working with UMKC students of all academic disciplines as they pursue nationally competitive award opportunities,” Hymer said. “The experiential learning opportunities offered through programs like Boren are amazing ways for our students to deepen their understanding of the world around them and reflect on their goals for the future.” May 31, 2024

  • UMKC a Top Choice for 2024 Hispanic Development Fund Scholarship Recipients

    Campus event at Henry W. Bloch School of Management honors hundreds
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City is once again a top choice for high school and returning students who received Hispanic Development Fund scholarships for the next academic year. This year, the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund awarded a record-breaking $1.2 million dollars in scholarship funds to 509 recipients. Of those, 125 represent new and returning scholars at UMKC. The Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) awarded its first scholarships in 1984, providing $100 each to 100 students through a separately named Hispanic Scholarship Fund. UMKC hosted the scholars and their families at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management for the second straight year. Lauren Orozco (B.B.A. ’23) played a large role in organizing this year’s event. As a former HDF scholar, she understands the lasting impact this scholarship program can have. “The Hispanic Development Fund gave me a valuable and connecting community that helped prepare me for life after I graduated,” said Orozco, who now serves as an admissions counselor at the Bloch school. “That is the lasting mark the Hispanic Development Fund has on their students. They aren't just providing them a scholarship but with a community that will continue to grow and give back.” During this year’s event, students received detailed information about their opportunities and the partnering organizations, but one of the most important elements of the event was the opportunity for the students and their families to celebrate their success. Marlon Perez-Morales is a sophomore studying business administration with an emphasis in finance. “The connections I’ve made through HDF have made a big difference early in my college career. I’m also involved as a mentor and can tell other students about HDF and give back to them.” Phillip St. John is a senior studying business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. He’s also a second-generation HDF scholar. His father, and UMKC alumnus, Steven St. John (B.A. ’96) was also an HDF scholar and now hosts the popular sports morning show “Border Patrol” on 810 WHB. Knowing the impact HDF can have, he pointed his son toward the program.  “I’ve been an HDF scholar each year here at UMKC,” the younger St. John said. “The financial assistance has been important but the connections I’ve made through this program have had the biggest impact.” Lilah Crum Barnhill is a junior studying philosophy and French. “The Hispanic Development has given me an amazing community support system,” Barnhill said. “Receiving this continued financial support as a returning HDF scholar has ensured my success here at UMKC.”   May 31, 2024

  • UMKC Featured in Wall Street Journal Article on College Investment

    One alumnus was featured in the article discussing the return on investment of a bachelor's degree
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City was featured in a recent story from the The Wall Street Journal. The story discusses the colleges where students are most likely to see a positive return on the investment of a bachelor's degree.  The journal found that "young professionals graduating from public universities charging in-state tuition often receive a degree that is worth the money—with one caveat. New graduates need to earn at least $50,000 a year, on average, in their first decade off campus for the degree to pay off."   UMKC alumnus James Maiden spoke with The Wall Street Journal about his salary and job experiences before and after receiving his bachelor's degree.   From The Wall Street Journal:   "James Maiden, 32 years old, dropped out of the University of Missouri-Kansas City about a decade ago because he needed to make money. He held various jobs, including at a shoe store, before landing one as a marketing manager for a nonprofit theater in Kansas City, Mo., where he earned less than $50,000. It was tough to envision a career path.   'I was working in circles without a degree,' he said. 'I needed to go back.'   After earning his bachelor’s in liberal arts in 2019, Maiden got a job as a communication specialist for a construction company. He now makes almost double what he earned at the theater."   Read the full story from The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).   UMKC has numerous scholarships and programs to make college affordable for all. Learn more about them. May 29, 2024

  • Kansas City Law Firm Commits $250,000 to Bar Prep Support

    The gift from Wagstaff & Cartmell will provide free bar preparation to UMKC School of Law students
    Wagstaff & Cartmell, a litigation law firm in Kansas City, made a five-year, $250,000 commitment to the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law’s bar preparation fund. Their gift supports an initiative by the law school to provide a commercial bar preparation program and in-person supplemental course at no additional cost to students. As of December 2023, every UMKC J.D. graduate has access to these resources. The stress of bar preparation is a feeling that many attorneys remember, even years into successful careers. Brian Madden (J.D. ’92) and Jack Hyde (J.D. ’11), both partners at Wagstaff & Cartmell, spoke about the importance of supporting students as they take this step in their careers. “Many of us were fortunate to have support from the firms we were going to work for when it came to bar preparation,” Hyde said. “Not everyone has that support, and it can be a big obstacle. We knew this would be a meaningful way to give back to students that would help them the most.” While some law firms will pay for bar preparation expenses, students with ambitions in public service and other areas of law will have to decide whether to pay the cost themselves, an average of $4,000, or choose to take the bar exam without that support. “Recognizing that UMKC serves a very diverse economic student population, and given the current cost of bar preparation, we don’t want to see students forego it due to cost,” Madden said. “I cannot imagine taking the bar exam without preparation. It gives you a comfort level, both with the substance and the psychological stress. It’s so important that everyone has an opportunity to play on an equal playing field with regards to the bar exam.” The commitment from Wagstaff & Cartmell is the first one by a law firm. “We would love to see other mid-size and large law firms take this opportunity to support these students,” Madden said. “UMKC Law makes significant contributions to the Kansas City legal market, both at the public level through judges, prosecutors and defenders, and at the private level. There are a lot of very successful private attorneys in the city who graduated from UMKC.” “The long-term success of UMKC is vital to the local bar and firms like ours based in Kansas City,” Hyde said. “A lot of students end up working in the community they graduate from, so having the school here is vital to Kansas City. It’s the only law school in Kansas City.” Learn more about the bar preparation initiative at the UMKC School of Law. May 29, 2024

  • UMKC Connections on Display at Disney 100 Exhibit

    UMKC is a supporting sponsor of exhibit at Union Station
    UMKC is a proud sponsor of the Disney 100 exhibit in Kansas City. Now at the Bank of America Gallery in Union Station, the Disney 100 exhibit features more than 250 artifacts including works of art, costumes, props and other memorabilia from the historic vault of the Walt Disney Archives. Kansas City and UMKC have a storied history with Walt Disney and his media empire. Perhaps most well-known, Disney is known to be the first illustrator of KC Roo, the university mascot. To celebrate this shared history, a special gallery is included exclusively for the Kansas City run of the exhibit to celebrate the connections. “I’m not aware of any other college that can claim the most famous animator in the world drew their mascot. UMKC is singular in that respect.” said George Guastello (B.B.A. ’82, MBA ’84). “As a proud Kansas Citian and UMKC alumnus, it’s a thrill to have a special section, Union Station’s Hometown Connections Gallery, that honors Disney’s deep roots here in our community.” In addition to the Kansas City gallery, Union Station, UMKC and Missouri Humanities Council have teamed up to present special programming for Disney fans to hear from the voice of Goofy and Pluto, learn about the experience of animators and discover a deeper understanding of Disney’s life and experiences in Kansas City and Missouri. Join us for UMKC Day at Disney 100 on June 29 and Oct. 19 for special UMKC presentations that are free after admission purchase. UMKC professor David Trowbridge, Ph.D., will present Walt Disney’s Kansas City, a presentation and Q&A on Disney’s childhood and early career. Tickets are free on the Union Station website. There is also a special maker activity with staff from the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Participants will explore the different versions of the UMKC mascot, including the one illustrated by Disney and sew their own stuffed kangaroo. Tickets are free on the Union Station website. Emmy-winning alumnus Douglas Enderle (M.F.A. ’81) will present The Roo Behind the Magic about his career after UMKC. Note: Enderle is only presenting Oct. 19. Tickets are free on the Union Station website. The exhibit is open until November 2024.   May 24, 2024

  • University of Missouri Board Approves Tuition Rates for 2024-25

    Recent investments in student success have resulted in increased retention and graduation rates.
    The University of Missouri Board of Curators today approved tuition rates for the 2024-25 academic year. The new rates maintain UM’s reputation for being a top value in higher education nationally and allow the UM System to continue investing in student success. Since 2018, UM’s strategy for investing in student success has resulted in historic highs in retention and graduation rates. Over the past five years, the university’s cost per degree has fallen 11% when compared to inflation. Undergraduate tuition at all four UM universities will rise 5%. Graduate and professional tuition increases will range from 3% to 5%. Details will be available at each university’s website later today. University of Missouri-Columbia: https://cashiers.missouri.edu/ University of Missouri-Kansas City: https://www.umkc.edu/cashiers/tuition-fees/ Missouri University of Science & Technology: https://sfa.mst.edu/cost-estimates/ University of Missouri-St. Louis: https://www.umsl.edu/sfs/tuition-fees/index.html Even with the increases in tuition and fees, the cost of education at UM universities is significantly less than the national average. Additionally, the UM universities continue to outperform their peers related to retention and graduation rates, as well as post-graduation success, which is a measure of how many students achieve their post-graduation goals within six months of graduating. In 2023, more than 95% of UM students graduating achieved their post-graduation goals, nearly 9 points higher than the national average.“We are proud to support student success by providing a world-class education at an exceptional value,” University of Missouri President Mun Choi said. “Our students are completing their degrees on time and with the experience needed to launch great careers right away. The tuition increase will ensure that we keep delivering results that change lives and support the economic development in Missouri.”"As curators, we have two key guideposts when we consider tuition," said Robin Wenneker, chair of the UM Board of Curators. "First, we must be financially responsible fiduciaries of the university. Second, we must do all we can to provide an extraordinary educational experience that will position our graduates for immediate and long-term success. We are meeting both of these important objectives with today’s announcement and look forward to a promising 2024-2025 academic year at all UM universities.” The tuition increases will continue to provide funding to: Invest in more course sections Invest in more advisors Invest in more faculty Invest in more tutoring support Invest in new classrooms and laboratories Invest in new instruments Invest in research opportunities May 23, 2024

  • UMKC Alumnus Is Helping First-Generation Students Achieve Their Dreams

    Kansas City’s very own civil rights hero shares his feelings about UMKC and giving back
    Alvin Brooks (B.A. ’59, M.A. ’73) is a name many in the Kansas City community know. He has served as a police officer, councilman and has participated in many acts of public service, urban progression and civil rights. Brooks also had a scholarship named after him for more than a decade and received an honorary doctorate from UMKC in 2012. He has continuously made donations and gifts to UMKC in support of student life, student programs, services and scholarships for 14 years. He is also involved long term with the university’s Institute for Urban Education as an advisory member to this day. I heard there is a movie coming out about you based off your memoir, and it is directed by Academy Award-winning director, Kevin Wilmott. How did that come about? Yes! The movie is coming out on Juneteenth, and it is based off my memoir, Binding Us Together. Kevin read it and reached out, saying that he was interested in turning it into a documentary. I wasn’t going to say no to that! I’m excited. Kevin is a great guy and a lot of the scenes from the book will be discussed and shown. How did you feel when you were named Alumnus of the Year in 2009 and then received an honorary doctorate in 2012? Oh, I felt great! I didn't expect it, but I was confident about it. It made me think that maybe some of the things that I have done mattered. I am representing UMKC and got to see it grow throughout the years. I was genuinely surprised with an honorary doctorate because I didn’t really do anything to earn one! I’m just happy UMKC valued what I did enough to give me one. How did you feel when you found out there was a scholarship named after you? Again, I was extremely honored, knowing that there were people who wanted to give back using my name. Though I am still trying to figure out who were the ones that started it! I think I have a good idea who did it, I will let you know. Alvin Brooks, on the right, smiling with Frank White Jr. and Jannette Berkley-Patton, M.A., Ph.D. One of your scholarship preferences is for first-gen students, why do you think that is important? I’m extremely pleased that being a first-generation student is a requirement. I think it's very significant and needed. The students who have resources to begin with are going to make it anyway, as opposed to those who struggle, who are the first one in their class or family to go to college or even the first one to finish high school. I’ve spoken about this many times. It is an incentive for those students. It will encourage them to push forward in their studies and create something for themselves. That is why it is important. Why is giving back so valuable and important to you, and how does that tie with being a first-generation student? I was completely on my own when I was an undergraduate. I had no help, and it was very difficult. I think meeting people that came from such different walks of life really opened my eyes. That is why giving back is valuable to me. I want to help students not have as hard of a time as I did. I also hope funded programs at UMKC attract different students and help first-time students meet a variety of people. I know you are a humble man, Mr. Brooks, but are you aware of the impact you make toward our community? No. Well, let me say this. I hope that I have made some impact. Especially in the areas of race relations and interpersonal relations. I'm a believer. Regardless of what your race might be. I think we should all be free and treated kindly. Not just in America, but all six billion of us. That is what I pursue and believe in, and I try to pass that down to my family and those around me. When I get the opportunities to do things, it makes me feel good. To know that people think I can do that. I’m not Moses or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but I am an honest man with integrity. So all I can say is that I hope that I have done well representing UMKC, and I am proud to have done what I did. I hope that when people talk about what I’ve done, they can relate to my humble beginnings. I struggled, but accomplished the things that are most important. What role and impact do you think UMKC is making? UMKC has become more prominent since my time being here, and I think the university has realized its role of an urban university. UMKC has become more aware of the community around it and has developed over time. There were only a handful of Black students when I was here in 1956. Now, it’s almost like the United Nations in terms of student population. There are still some issues, but I think there has been a consciousness on the part of the university and its higher administrative members, which will be passed on to the students in the classroom. That’s what UMKC is all about. Learn More About UMKC Foundation May 17, 2024

  • UMKC is the First University to Partner with U.S. Cyber Command

    The agreement will provide new opportunities for research and collaboration
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the United States Cyber Command. This partnership is set to transform the landscape of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity through collaborative education and research. UMKC is the first university in the country to sign a cooperative research and development agreement with the United States Cyber Command. This partnership is also only the second to be signed by the command overall, positioning UMKC at the forefront of cybersecurity and AI research. “This partnership represents a key milestone in demonstrating the technical relevance of UMKC and the Missouri Institute for Defense and Energy’s (MIDE) faculty, staff and students,” said Travis Fields, Ph.D., interim director of MIDE. “We are excited to work on research and development cyber solutions for the Department of Defense.” UMKC has also entered into an Educational Partnership Agreement with the United States Cyber Command, which aims to enrich UMKC students' learning experiences by providing them with access to internships, guest lectures and state-of-the-art research facilities. UMKC is excited to play a key role in training future leaders of the AI and cybersecurity workforce. By combining the university’s academic and research excellence with the United States Cyber Command’s operational expertise to drive innovation in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, this partnership also serves as a collaborative framework for joint research projects. The collaborative efforts are expected to lead to the development of advanced solutions to tackle complex cybersecurity challenges, benefiting both national security interests and the broader field of technology. May 15, 2024

  • UMKC Child and Family Services Clinic Helps More Than 1,000 Children

    School of Law clinic provides valuable experience while helping community children
    Family legal issues are one of the largest unmet needs in the state of Missouri and in Jackson County. The UMKC School of Law has helped to fill that gap since the opening of its Child and Family Services Clinic in 2000. Since then, the clinic has helped more than 1,000 children be placed in permanent homes. Clinic director Wendy Ross, J.D., joined UMKC just one year ago but has already been impressed with the impact the clinic has made. “UMKC has a heart for providing for the community,” Ross said. “They want to reach out and help, all while providing valuable experience for our law students.” Under the guidance of professors, work in the clinic is done by students studying family law. Services can include representation in court, paperwork to establish guardianship and more. Students at the clinic provide an average of 2,000 hours of service a year, all free of charge to the families. “This important service to our community is why we chose to highlight the UMKC School of Law Child and Family Services Clinic in a video,” said Curt Crespino, vice chancellor of UMKC External Relations and Constituent Engagement. “The pro bono legal services changed the life of Brittney Hallman’s family and so many others in the Kansas City region.” Brittney's story and her experience with the clinic were featured in a story on KSHB 41. The most common service provided is establishing legal guardianship of children, often to the father or grandparents. Without legal guardianship, a caregiver does not have the authority to properly care for a child, including to enroll them in school or make medical decisions. The clinic serves parents and families who qualify at or under the national poverty guidelines. Services are provided pro bono, allowing people who may not be able to afford a lawyer help navigating the legal system. Clients can be referred to the clinic through family court, nonprofit agencies and other organizations, as well as through direct application. For more information and to have a case considered, call the clinic at 816-235-6336 and complete an intake form over the phone. May 14, 2024

  • UMKC Awards 2,600 Degrees at May 2024 Commencement

    Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and Leigh Anne Taylor Knight of the DeBruce Foundation were the keynote speakers
    More than 2,600 degrees were conferred on Sunday, May 12 during the University of Missouri-Kansas City Spring Commencement ceremonies. "Some of you came to UMKC knowing exactly where you were headed," said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. "Some of you might have had no idea what you wanted to do. But all of you have chosen your own individual path and arrived here your way. You have overcome challenges and celebrated triumphs that have shaped you into the person you are today." There were two Commencement ceremonies. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was the keynote speaker for the first ceremony, telling graduates to be confident and strive to do their best. "Each and everyone of us should strive in some way to be famously excellent in whatever it is that we have to do ahead," Lucas said. "As you leave this arena today, know that we support you, that we believe in you." Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, an alumna of the UMKC School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences and UMKC Trustee, is executive director and chief operating officer of the DeBruce Foundation. She delivered the keynote address for the second ceremony. “Your achievements today not only represent your hardworking and dedication, but also the unwavering support of those surrounding you today.,” Taylor Knight said. “I encourage you to find your purpose through curiosity, courage and kindness.” Following the ceremonies, graduates flooded the T-Mobile Center to take photos and celebrate with their loved ones. Commencement took place on Mother's Day. A few graduates celebrated the occasion by walking across the stage to receive their diploma with their children, several of them carrying them in their arms. May 12, 2024

  • Eighteen Students Named Dean of Students Honor Recipients

    Graduating students are recognized for their outstanding academics, leadership and service
    Eighteen UMKC students have been named Dean of Students Honor Recipients in recognition of their accomplishments on campus and in the community. Every semester, exceptional graduating students are honored with this designation. These students maintain excellent academic standards while actively participating in university activities and community service outside of the classroom. The Spring 2024 honorees’ accomplishments include founding multiple medical interest groups, acting as president of the African Student Association, serving a national role in the American Student Dental Association, revitalizing the rooftop gardens at UMKC and more. These students have contributed numerous volunteer hours in the community with organizations such as Operation Breakthrough, Team Smile, Uzazi Village, Harvesters’, Morning Glory, Girls on the Run and Hope House. Michele D. Smith, Ph.D., vice provost for student affairs and dean of students, expressed her excitement about the students' achievements. “These students truly represent what it means to be a Roo through their commitment to academics, service and community. We are delighted to acknowledge their numerous achievements and are eager to see the great futures they have ahead of them.” Students shared reflections on their time at UMKC at a breakfast celebration in their honor. Some excerpts: Alyssa O’Brien: “I am a non-traditional student, and I never had the “college experience.” When I came to UMKC to pursue my graduate degree, I really wanted to find my sense of community. Getting involved on and off campus with different organizations has been incredibly impactful for my professional and personal development. My proudest accomplishment was taking a summer internship with the Federal Public Defenders Office of Western Missouri in the Capital Habeus Unit. Although challenging, this was some of the proudest work I have done in my life.” Chandler Hill: “More than just a place of learning, UMKC has been a catalyst for growth and transformation. From undergrad to dental school, there have been many dedicated faculty and like-minded peers who have played an important role in my experiences and accomplishments. UMKC has encouraged me to think critically, embrace diversity and strive for excellence in all endeavors. My proudest accomplishment at UMKC is not just the grades or accolades, but the relationships I've formed and the impact I've been able to make. My involvement in the UMKC Chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) helped to develop my passion for advocating for others and leaving a lasting positive impact on both the campus community and beyond.” Elaine Nikolov: “When I began the six-year B.A./M.D. program, I had no idea the plethora of opportunities that this school would offer me. My fourth year in the program, I began to work every Saturday morning in a clinic serving the homeless and under/uninsured of Kansas City. There, I formed life-long bonds with my fellow students and future colleagues as we worked to provide adequate care to a patient population that has historically been marginalized in medicine. More importantly, the patients I have met and been graced to care for have taught me skills and techniques that no textbook could ever teach. I was taught what true understanding, compassion and patience meant and how I could better provide not only medical care but also humanity to those in need.” Congratulations to the Spring 2024 Dean of Students Honor Recipients! Kennison Adams, School of Medicine Chynna Burton, School of Medicine Victoria Cegielski, School of Medicine Allison Eppenauer, School of Pharmacy Tiana Ford, School of Science and Engineering Mary Gipson, School of Science and Engineering Dylan Hailey, School of Medicine Ashley Hanners, School of Nursing and Health Studies Chandler Hill, School of Dentistry Hannah Leyva, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Davis McCallister, School of Dentistry Elaine Nikolov, School of Medicine Alyssa O’Brien, School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences Dumebi Okocha, School of Medicine Maryam Oyebamiji, School of Science and Engineering Rhiannen Schneider, School of Law Andrew Thompkins, School of Dentistry Harry Vasquez, School of Science and Engineering May 10, 2024

  • UMKC Accounting Student Gets Senior Year Paid, Courtesy of Amazon

    Cody Truitt has just one regret; not knowing about the program sooner
    Imagine not paying a dime for your senior year of college.  That’s the case for Cody Truitt, a senior in accounting who took advantage of the Amazon Career Choice Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, which offers tuition assistance to Amazon employees.  Truitt had started his undergraduate degree a couple of times through the years, but each time, life had gotten in the way. During COVID, he resolved to finish it and enrolled at UMKC because of its convenience, value and ease of transferring.  “It just fit perfectly,” Truitt said.   He knew he would do whatever it took to complete his degree, whether it meant working overnights or overtime to pay for school. He got a job at Amazon to earn extra money, where he soon learned about the career choice program.   “Amazon rocks because they paid for the entirety of my senior year,” Truitt said. “I only wish I had discovered this as a freshman.”  At first, Truitt admitted he was skeptical it may be too good to be true, but to his surprise, the process was simple. “I figured there were going to be some hoops to jump through, that it wouldn't really work, there'd be some fine print somewhere,” Truitt said. “The moment that I noticed that it worked out, when I checked my UMKC account for what I owed for the semester and I saw $0, I was extremely elated.”  Thanks to Amazon paying his senior year, Truitt was able to take advantage of several opportunities that he may not otherwise have had time for. He did internships at Creative Planning and Bergan KDV.   The extra time didn’t just help Truitt, he was also able to give back through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, where accounting students provide income tax assistance to the community.   “It was really great experience because there’s just all sorts of different people from the community,” Truitt said. “We are dealing with people who are disabled, people that are just really, really nervous about their taxes and they come in so shaken up about it and they're able to leave with a smile and, sometimes, a couple dollars coming to them.”  For Truitt, being able to take advantage of these opportunities and persevere was especially meaningful.  “You know, I just I had a lot of times when I was really struggling in school and I really was barely making it some semesters and just putting in the effort and doing my best and getting through it,” Truitt said. “I realized a lot of the time, I'd end up with better grades than I thought… and every time that happened, I realized I was more capable than I had thought I was before.”  He has some advice for students who may be experiencing challenges in school or in life.   “Take a step back and deep breath and realize that as long as you don't give up, you will get there,” he said.  Truitt is starting a new job soon. The May 2024 graduate has a job lined up as a staff accountant with Allen, Gibbs & Houlik, a certified public accounting firm in Overland Park, KS.   “I'm looking forward to walking across the stage,” Truitt said. “I've worked really hard to get to where I'm at. I know I've improved a lot over the last few years, just as a person, as a student and a professional, so I'm excited to see what the future holds.”  After graduation, Truitt plans to take a few more courses to sit for the CPA exam, then return to school to get a Master of Business Administration degree.    Learn more about Amazon Career Choice Program May 08, 2024

  • Guatemala Geohazards: Exploring Risks, Defining Solutions

    21st-century discovery to mitigate destruction
    It was 3:03 a.m., February 4, 1976. While Guatemala’s citizens slept, the country’s massive Motagua Fault ruptured. In 39 seconds, the resulting 7.5 magnitude earthquake had devastated this Central American nation. Nearly five decades later, a research team from University of Missouri-Kansas City, in collaboration with U.S. and Guatemalan partners, is investigating the country’s extensive geohazards, including the Motagua Fault. An International Investigation The Guatemala GeoHazards International Research Experiences for Students was launched in early January 2023. A long-term vision of director Tina Niemi, this three-year program gained funding in late 2022 from the National Science Foundation. “Understanding the seismic potential of Guatemala’s active fault systems and volcanic history are key goals of the program,” said Niemi, Ph.D., professor of geology and a Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor. “This year, we investigated the earthquake history of the Motagua Fault.” The 2023 Guatemala Geohazards field team included 10 U.S. and Guatemalan students, three faculty mentors from UMKC and the University of Missouri, two Guatemalan faculty and one industry mentor. During this inaugural International Research Experiences for Students program, the group conducted research across several disciplines of geoscience, including volcanology, paleoseismology, surficial processes and geospatial data science. Together, the cohort completed three and a half weeks of field research in Guatemala, followed by a break for preliminary analysis and sample processing. In May, the group reconvened for two weeks of lab work and data analyses at at UMKC and virtually. “Through this program, students receive an authentic research experience that includes mentorship by faculty from the U.S. and our partner universities in Guatemala,” Niemi said. “They not only increase their scientific inquiry and research skills but practice international collaboration.” The International Research Experiences for Students faculty are all specialists in geology fields, including the study of Guatemala’s geohazards. With guidance from their mentors, the students collaborate in the scientific process. They develop questions, collect, analyze and interpret data and then present that data. They also navigate the challenges of international field research. “These are not controlled experiences,” Niemi said. “There are many uncertainties, such as access permission, weather conditions and malfunctioning equipment, to name a few. Field research requires flexibility and adaptation to the conditions — all valuable life skills.” Aleigha Dollens (B.S. ’24) participated in the inaugural geohazards program to gain field experience that augments her classwork. “I worked closely with mentors and learned hands-on how to do research,” said Dollens, whose own research focuses on geophysical imaging of the subsurface of the Motagua Fault. “I was in a small research group where I asked questions and received feedback from the program’s professors. I’m now more confident in my ability to practice research and in myself as a person.” Guatemala’s Geohazard Vulnerability Ranked fourth globally for geohazard disaster risk, Guatemala is continuously exposed to multiple hazards, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods and storms. These geohazards threaten countless lives, environmental stability and economic infrastructure. The 1976 Motagua earthquake, one of innumerable Guatemalan natural disasters, resulted in 23,000 deaths and 74,000 injuries. One million people were displaced — nearly one-fifth of Guatemala’s population at the time. Thousands of aftershocks exacerbated the destruction and resulted in economic damages estimated at 17.9% of the country’s gross domestic product. These geohazards do not always occur independently, and interactions between hazards often trigger multiple secondary hazards. In recent years, new geohazards have emerged in Guatemala, while existing hazards have intensified. Omar Beltetón, Ph.D., a professor and researcher at the Higher Studies Center for Energy and Mines and an engineering faculty member at the University of San Carlos, believes information and insight from the UMKC collaboration and investigation will contribute to Guatemala’s development of strategic geohazard resilience. “Subsidence and sinkholes have formed in streets or highways and caused the collapse of storm drainage pipes,” said Beltetón, an International Research Experiences for Students faculty member from Guatemala. “These are consequences of climate change and urban flooding because of inadequate infrastructure design. Road collapse and landslides in mountainous areas are the result of deforestation and the consequent erosion." “This research is significant because of our country’s geographic and tectonic setting. The Guatemalan people haven’t been able to escape the suffering from geohazards, including loss of life, infrastructure damage and economic loss. We must try to understand the phenomena to avoid these losses.” Exploring With 21st-Century Technology The Guatemala GeoHazards program uniquely utilizes both traditional geologic field mapping and cutting-edge technology, such as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) drone imaging. Small but mighty, LiDAR drones are valuable research partners. “The basic approaches for investigating geohazards have been established for some time, but a significant limitation has been observational capability,” said Francisco Gomez, Ph.D., geological sciences professor at the University of Missouri and the UMKC program’s surficial processes research team mentor. “New technologies provide us with unprecedented views of the earth to push our investigation further.” “As recently as 25–30 years years ago, earthquake investigations and landslide mapping primarily involved traditional terrestrial surveying. Though accurate, these methods are time-consuming and expensive. Today, unmanned aerial systems provide higher resolution information at a much lower cost. Also, drone images allow us to see subtle tectonic features not otherwise easily visible. It’s a game-changer we could only dream about previously.” These advancements yield significant, beneficial data about geohazards. “Some of the most exciting results come from interpretation of the LiDAR data we acquired across the 1976 earthquake rupture trace,” said Niemi, who is a Quaternary geologist specializing in geoarchaeology, sedimentology and active tectonics. “We identified features revealing accumulative offset that can be used to determine the fault’s slip rate. Slip rate is a critical parameter in seismic hazard assessment.” Mitigation Insights and Strategies The potential for this research is far-reaching — and sharing the results with other scientists and organizations in Guatemala is a vital component of the work. “While our number one goal is to educate the next generation in geohazard research, the data we collect have profound significance in defining the occurrence or repeat time of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions,” Niemi said. “Key parameters for seismic and volcanic hazards collected through the program are essential to government preparedness plans and mitigation strategies. “For example, our volcanology research team began mapping pyroclastic flow deposits from the Chocoyos volcano that occurred 75,000 years ago. This research is the first step to help better constrain future volcanic hazards.” In Guatemala, the program’s research is in collaboration with the University of San Carlos de Guatemala’s Center for Higher Studies of Energy and Mines and the Centro Universitario del Norte’s Department of Geology. Information from the program can be incorporated in the National Seismic Design Code, which specifies structural safety standards and guidelines for reinforcing existing works. Results will also be shared with the Guatemalan Association of Structural and Seismic Engineering, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction and the Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology — the primary governmental institution that monitors geological hazards. “Our collaboration with UMKC helps us to understand geohazard phenomena in a way that action can be taken to help minimize their impact and help ensure that losses and damage are minimal,” Beltetón said. “The investigation establishes possible danger zones for geohazard threats and the feasibility of building on specific sites. The research also guides the preparation of hazard maps and is a tool for territorial ordering, a mode of land-use planning with an emphasis on conservation.” Looking to the Future At the conclusion of the International Research Experiences for Students Program, student participants wrote a scientific abstract and presented their findings at the UMKC’s Guatemala GeoHazards poster symposium. Some will also present their research at this year’s annual meetings of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) and the Geological Society of America. Dollens is one of the students who will present at the AEG conference. “This program has inspired me to get my master's degree at UMKC and kickstarted my research skills and career as a professional. I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to work on this project and for the relationships I built with the team,” said Dollens, recipient of a 2023 Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity award. She was also awarded the prestigious 2023 Richard Hay Award from the Geological Society of America for her research on evidence of earthquakes at the Quirigua archaeological site in Guatemala. A full circle moment, Niemi was the first recipient of this award 34 years earlier. These collaborative connections made today and for the future are integral to Niemi’s vision for the program. “Research is the exploration of the unknown,” Niemi said. “The shared experience of students and mentors exploring geology in the field provides a unique setting that emphasizes inquiry and builds confidence. In this rich learning environment, students observe mentors from different countries discussing geology and modeling the fundamental first step in research — asking questions. “We’re dedicated to educating the next generation of scientists, diversifying the workforce and promoting societally relevant research that can be translated into solutions.” May 07, 2024

  • Play Ball! This UMKC Jackie Robinson Scholar is Hitting Home Runs in the Medical World

    The six-year B.A./M.D. student is jumpstarting her career through the Royals and MLB
    Emmanuella Alawode, Dallas native and fourth-year student in the B.A./M.D program is a Jackie Robinson Scholar. Through this program, Alawode not only gets to participate in career-readiness opportunities, but also receives support from the Kansas City Royals Foundation. The Royals are a UMKC partner. An extra special perk of the program? She got to throw out the first pitch at UMKC Night at The K last month.  Why did you choose UMKC?   I knew I wanted to become a doctor, so I talked to a lot of my mentors and people who also went through the accelerated B.A./M.D. program that saves two years off of the traditional undergraduate and medical-school path. That just reassured me that UMKC was an excellent choice. I really liked the six-year program knowing that I can get a jumpstart with my career. And it is not too far from home.  Why did you choose your field of study?   Growing up, I just really enjoyed science, anatomy dissections, experiments and research. My experience at UT Southwestern in a high school camp was pivotal for me and exposed me to clinical research. I shadowed a breast surgeon and became interested in women’s health. Something else that has shaped my interest in health disparities has been volunteering with my church and helping in their health clinic.   What are the challenges and benefits of the program?   There are a lot of learning curves along the way. Because you are going straight into med school after high school and are also juggling it with doing your undergraduate degrees. A key challenge was learning how I like to study now, and finding the best way to retain the volume of information.   The benefits are that we get early clinical exposure. You get to learn how to interview patients or just medical terminology in your first year. After your second year, you get white coated and get assigned a docent, and that is your docent for your remaining four years. You also get a senior partner, and they are there to guide you along the way. They can help answer questions and help you hone some of your clinical skills.   How has your college program inspired you?   It has gotten me interested in health-care policy advocacy. I’m also interested in how we can better shape medical education and make sure we are honing on helping students to master what they need to know for clinical practice, but also making sure that their mental and physical health does not deteriorate.   Are you a first-generation college student?  Yes. It means that I can hopefully inspire younger people who may not have had medical exposure or don't know what the journey and rigor of medical school. I didn’t know the demands of medical school before. But now, it means I can be a mentor for others and someone that others can look up to, and I love that.   Who do you admire most at UMKC ?   My docent, Dr. Gary Salzman, is my favorite person at UMKC. I like the way that he interacts with patients. Every time we come into the room, the patients are like “‘there’s my favorite doctor!”’ He is always looking out for the best interests of the patients.   Do you have other scholarships in addition to the Jackie Robinson Scholarhip?    Another one that I have received is the UNCF STEM scholarship. Both the Jackie Robinson scholarship and the UNCF STEM scholarship hope to encourage students who are African American or another minority to pursue higher education. I am incredibly grateful for both of those scholarships.   Do you have any standout moments of the Jackie Robinson Scholarship experience?   I would say the love and the foundation have been the standout parts of my experience. When I was applying, I knew they have mentorship and support, but I did not expect the level of support I have since received. One alumni (of the Jackie Robinson scholarship program) purchased MacBooks for most of us, which is nice. Another memorable experience is the first pitch (at the Royals game) that I threw!   What other extracurricular activities are you involved in at UMKC?    Last year, I was the social chair for the student National Medical Association. I am the communications and social media manager for the Association of Women Surgeons. I have been an ambassador with the admissions office and am a member of the Surgical Interest Group. I am also a part of the American Medical Women’s Association and Her Campus as a writer.  What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your professional career?   I’ve been stretched in many ways that I never thought I could be stretched. The key is learning that you must always think outside of the box. Especially, as a future surgeon, I may not be able to approach a particular procedure the same way I do for another person. Also being flexible. Learning how to manage time wisely. The spirit of perseverance.     Emmanuella was also featured in local news coverage here. May 02, 2024

  • UMKC Students Help Kansas City Families Stay Driven

    Students participating in Enactus partnered with Operation Breakthrough to keep Kansas City families on the road
    Reliable transportation can be a domino that holds a family’s opportunities together. It can be the difference between someone getting to work, holding a job and being able to access much-needed resources. With their latest project, Stay Driven, UMKC Enactus sought to help families in need, while making Kansas City their classroom. During summer 2023, students had the opportunity to visit Operation Breakthrough, a nationally accredited not-for-profit in Kansas City that offers childcare, education and wrap-around services for families in need. While there, staff explained the need for families to have reliable transportation and the difference having it can make on their lives. “Using public transportation to get to a job can take upwards of 90 minutes each way for working parents,” said Mary Esselman, president and CEO at Operation Breakthrough. “Having reliable transportation allows people to get to those jobs that also have things like benefits and paid time off.” Ga Ji Wang, a Bloch student with seven years of automotive experience in the Kansas City area, recognized the need to solve this problem. Wang came up with the idea to offer families a car-care clinic. “Having the working background and skillset that I do, I knew we could find a way to make a difference,” said Wang, a senior studying business administration with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. “Doing something as simple as an oil change can make a big difference in keeping a car on the road.” The team began work on their Stay Driven project at the start of the spring semester. Together, they worked to recruit volunteer mechanics, manage inventory, plan for the event and coordinate with the staff at Operation Breakthrough. The team also needed to secure funding for their project, which inspired them to turn to UMKC Giving Day. "Enactus always bootstraps projects through spring fundraising campaigns and the timing was perfect for us to tailor our Giving Day campaign to Stay Driven,” said Imani Lemon, president of UMKC Enactus. “Our theme centered around people donating just $5, which would help cover the cost of oil, a windshield wiper or a light bulb.” By taking part in Giving Day, the Enactus team was able to raise nearly $1,300, which covered the cost of supplies for Stay Driven. The team was also able to secure donated parts and supplies, as well as help from volunteer mechanics. On April 5, UMKC Enactus held the Stay Driven event at Operation Breakthrough, helping families receive minor repairs like oil changes, headlight replacement, battery replacement, securing bumpers with zip ties and fluids top offs. In total, they helped 29 families, saving them $3,000 in repair costs. Sixteen Enactus volunteers participated in the event including Wang, who once again found himself working under the hood. By doing so, he was able to see the difference the team was making first-hand. “Many of the cars were low on oil and you could already see the damage being caused,” Wang said. “We helped keep multiple cars on the road by simply performing that routine oil change.” For UMKC Enactus, Stay Driven is anything but a one hit wonder. The team hopes to bring the event back, potentially with help of other Kansas City students taking part in Operation Breakthrough’s Ignition Lab. “Allowing them to participate in performing minor repairs gives them invaluable experience as they work toward their future,”Esselman said. “Our team and the families who participated in Stay Driven were blown away and we’re excited to continue to support this event and UMKC Enactus.”  May 02, 2024

  • Internationally Trained Dentists Pursue American Dreams

    New UMKC program provides path to dental degree in the United States
    Nine dentists from as far away as Cuba and India will begin their dream of practicing in the United States at the UMKC School of Dentistry thanks to a new program at the school. The advanced standing dental education program, launched at the school in January, will enable these practitioners and all those who follow them in the program to work as dentists in the United States. Without programs like this, dentists from other countries face limited options to practice oral health care in the U.S. “It’s going to be a life-changing opportunity for these students,” said Gustavo Leal, interim director of the advanced standing program. “These students are fighters who have been working hard to achieve this dream.” The advanced standing students will finish their dental degree in 2 1/2 years, compared to students in the traditional degree program, who attend school for four years. The shorter timeline condenses two years of coursework into six months, and includes labs, lectures, pre-clinic skills training and exposure to different disciplines. According to Leal, students in the program proved in their skill tests and board exams that they had the knowledge base and skills to handle the accelerated timeline. The students will join the existing third-year students in the fall of 2024, following the same timeline the next two years. The first cohort of nine students began the program in January and are slated to graduate in May 2027. According to Dean Steven Haas, around 2010, dental schools started to open avenues for internationally trained dentists, enabling them to avoid the burden of going back to school for an additional four years. With 93 such programs in the United States, UMKC is one of many universities offering a similar path to practicing in the United States. The demand for the program speaks for itself. UMKC received 380 applications for the nine spots available in its first class. For Haas, these practitioners represent a critical influx of oral health care providers who can address the shortage of oral health care providers in Missouri, where 111 counties are considered underserved, according to the Rural Health Information Hub. Haas said that Dekalb County in northwest Missouri has only one dentist for 10,480 people. “We know that we need dentists in these rural areas,” Haas said. “By opening up our classes to internationally trained dentists, we’re able to get more oral health care providers out there.” All third- and fourth-year students complete rotations in a variety of settings, including rural dental clinics.Haas said that it’s important that the program diversify the oral health care workforce as well. “Our population is changing,” Haas said. By 2050 or 2060, our population will look a lot different. I think dentistry should mirror that demographic shift.” Haas said that current students will benefit from the infusion of this geographically diverse group of students. For advanced student Flavia Santos Bada, the program will enable her to practice in the U.S. and help support her family, especially her father, who needs specialized medical care. Originally from Cuba, Bada immigrated to the United States in 2018 after graduating from dental school there. She joined her parents and sister, who had moved to the U.S. for better medical care for Bada’s father, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Family is important to her, and UMKC is a good fit. “The school’s focus on putting patients first captured my attention,” Bada said. “I want to treat people, not just as my patients, as if they were my family.” For Hadrik Patel, UMKC’s Midwestern location was critical in his decision to apply to the advanced standing program. Originally from India, he was practicing as a dental assistant in Nebraska. He said he was already comfortable in the Midwest, so when UMKC’s program opened up, he immediately applied. His first few months in the program have confirmed his excitement for the school. “What has stood out is how many of the faculty are UMKC alumni,” Patel said. “I think that says a lot about the school. They wanted to come back to UMKC to ensure students achieve the same success they have.” According to Leal, the program introduces more diversity into the student body, providing them with a much different perspective at a personal level as well as professional level. The advanced practice students have worked in the field and provide expertise to current students. “I am excited to see their progression and how they incorporate themselves with the other dental students,” Leal said. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to grow while providing an opportunity for these practitioners to achieve their dreams.” May 01, 2024

  • Student Bridges Generational Divide With Music

    Piano student broadens horizons and creates lasting friendships while living in senior facility
    When most college students walk into their residence hall, they are surrounded by other students their age. Beth Christensen is the youngest person in her residence – by about 50 years.  “I’ve always believed that the most important things about people are not the facts about them,” Christensen said. “The people here may be 50 or 60 years older than me, but that’s not essential to who they are as people. I’ve come to appreciate that even more with the relationships that I’ve created here.” Christensen, a graduate student studying collaborative piano performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, lives in Claridge Court senior living facility in Prairie Village,  15 minutes away from campus. In exchange for residency, she performs concerts and provides regular live music for the residents. Christensen moved into Claridge Court in July 2023 to spend a year there as the student-in-residence. In doing so, she allowed Claridge Court to deepen their commitment to intergenerational programming, making them the only retirement community in the area to have such a partnership. “It’s really fun to have a relationship with your audience as a performer,” Christensen said. “In the beginning, I wouldn’t do anything too out of the ordinary – I would bring a vocalist sometimes, or I would play classical music. As I got more comfortable, I would try new things and play more recent music. Sometimes people wouldn’t like it, and they let me know. Others love to see where the future of music is going. It’s fun to be able to ask what kind of music people want to hear and work it into my repertoire.” Video from KMBC 9 As part of her living arrangement, Christensen is encouraged to immerse herself in the community. From yoga and chair volleyball to eating dinner and visiting with neighbors generations older than her, she’s become a full-fledged resident of Claridge Court. “I’m just part of the community, and it’s awesome,” Christensen said. “There’s a lot of special connections I’ve made. My friend Pat was an educator, and I’m a piano teacher. She has great ideas about how to help kids who are struggling, and I can always ask her advice. We do puzzles together, take walks and go to dinner. I tell her about shows I’m watching. She’s been a great friend, and she’s just one example. I feel so nurtured by these friendships.” Christensen’s presence at Claridge Court is the result of a partnership between the senior living facility and UMKC Conservatory. This is one of the many partnerships in the community that Claridge Court has fostered, as part of their commitment to intergenerational programming and giving back in the community. “Part of what distinguishes the UMKC Conservatory from other nationally recognized institutions is our deeply rooted connection to the Kansas City community,” said Courtney Crappell, dean of the UMKC Conservatory. “This collaboration demonstrates our ability to offer community-centered learning opportunities to our students as we leverage the power of the arts to positively impact lives.”   The partnership is supported by Claridge Court residents Charlie and Mary Kay Horner, who have been deeply involved with the Conservatory. The Horners were part of the process to bring this partnership to life, including choosing Christensen as the student-in-residence. “We are absolutely thrilled that Beth has become such an integral part of our community,” Mary Kay Horner said. “Witnessing the connections she’s made with the residents is incredibly gratifying.” As a performer, most of the audiences Christensen plays for are filled with strangers. When she performs at Claridge Court, her audience is full of familiar faces. The unique experience of playing to a room of friends is something she cherishes. “Knowing my audience so personally is something I’ve never experienced before,” Christensen said. “It makes the music more special; it’s been a really cool experience to play for an audience that feel likes family. They really care about me as a person and a musician.” Rob Salierno, executive director of Claridge Court, says that the benefits of Christensen’s presence extend far beyond her musical talents. “This unique partnership enriches the lives of both our residents and Beth, fostering invaluable relationships,” Salierno said. “Her musical gifts, meaningful presence and interactions significantly enhance the quality of life for everyone involved.” Andrew Granade, associate dean of the Conservatory, has helmed the partnership for the Conservatory.  He believes the experience can be uniquely rich for the student-in-residence. “As a UMKC student, you’re surrounded by a lot of people your age with similar goals and aspirations,” Granade said. “It’s such a rich learning experience to be out of that comfort zone and learn from people with life lessons to share and lived experiences that can expand your horizons in ways unimaginable.” Christensen hopes her fellow residents at Claridge Court have valued the experience as much as she has. “Music is such a connecting force. It bridges the divisions that exist between people,” she said. “Having the opportunity to make connections with a community that’s several generations older than me has been so special. These connections don’t make our differences go away, but it helps us really appreciate each other. It’s been such a beautiful experience.” Beth's story has been publicized by KCTV 5, KMBC 9 and the Johnson County Post. Apr 29, 2024

  • Introducing the Chiefs Kingdom Spirit Scholarship and Its First Class of Winners

    New UMKC partner scholarship focused on community
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City has many great partnerships and resources to help its students succeed throughout their college experience and well after graduation. As part of its five-year partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs, UMKC offers undergraduate students the Chiefs Kingdom Spirit Scholarship. The criteria include having a 2.75 high school GPA or a 2.0 transfer GPA. Applicants must write an essay on how they would give back to the Kansas City area community. This year’s 10 recipients, who will be featured at a Chiefs game in the 2024-25 season, are: Arlin Carreon, business administration Qasim Chohdry, six-year B.A./M.D. program Kelly Fuentes, philosophy Sumaya Geelle, business administration Riley Harris, mechanical engineering Alexia Jaime, biology Nazish Khan, criminal justice and criminology Lorenzo Pecina, civil engineering Adeline-Corina Salomon, pre-nursing track for health sciences Peter Stern, mechanical engineering This scholarship means a lot to the students who receive it, including Salomon and Stern who were among this year's scholarship winners. “This scholarship has made it easier for me to focus on school. I work two jobs to pay for school and at times it has been hard to have my full attention on school but with this scholarship, some of my financial stress has been lifted.” - Adeline-Corina Salomon Stern is a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering. The scholarship offers an array of benefits, and for him, this scholarship helps him financially. “I remember the night when I saw that the Chiefs scholarship had been credited to my financial aid account,” Stern said. “I was still in some disbelief that I had been selected for the award but was excited to know that my bill this semester had just been reduced by a significant amount. The Chiefs scholarship gave me the peace of mind that allowed me to focus on my studies.” Winning this scholarship can encourage recipients to give back to the Kansas City community in ways they might not have been able to prior the scholarship. While grateful for his upbringing, being homeschooled did not bring Stern the academic references, scholarships or honor awards that he might have otherwise received in a public or private school district. “Having the opportunity to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at UMKC has been absolutely incredible, empowering me to dream bigger and brighter than I ever imagined,” Stern said. With the Chiefs’ victories and back-to-back Super Bowl wins, receiving the scholarship has made me feel more connected to the sport and even my city.” Another recipient of the Chiefs Kingdom Spirit Scholarship is Salomon, a sophomore who is in the pre-nursing track for a Bachelor of Health Sciences degree. “This scholarship has made it easier for me to focus on school,” she said. “I work two jobs to pay for school and at times it has been hard to have my full attention on school but with this scholarship, some of my financial stress has been lifted.” Salomon has goals to help her hometown community after graduation, and this scholarship has made her dream of becoming a nurse much more possible. “Having the opportunity to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering at UMKC has been absolutely incredible, empowering me to dream bigger and brighter than I ever imagined. With the Chiefs’ victories and back-to-back Super Bowl wins, receiving the scholarship has made me feel more connected to the sport and even my city.” - Peter Stern “I’m proud to be from Kansas City and attend UMKC,” Salomon said. With the Chiefs’ victories, it has made this scholarship that much more special to her and she holds lots of pride for the community and is very grateful for the scholarship and how UMKC and the Chiefs are giving back to the community. More information on how to apply for the Chiefs Kingdom Spirit Scholarship, can be found on the UMKC Financial Aid and Scholarships website. Apr 22, 2024

  • UMKC Law Trial Teams Compete in National Trial Competition

    Team named a Top 4 team in the nation, student named best overall advocate
    Two UMKC School of Law Trial Teams competed in the 2024 National Trial Competition. The team of Corbin Healy, Maddi Ilseman and Jacob Eisenhauer made it to the semifinals and ended as one of the top four teams in the country. Corbin Healy was named the George A. Spiegelberg Best Overall Advocate of the competition. “Being named Best Overall Advocate is an absolute honor,” Healy said. “I am beyond excited to end my Mock Trial career in such an incredible way alongside the best teammates in the country.” More than 1,000 students from 140 law schools competed in this year’s competition, sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Texas Young Lawyers Association. After both UMKC teams scored a perfect 5-0 in the regionals round, UMKC became one of only three law schools in the country to advance two teams to the national rounds in Houston, Tex. Left to right: Martina Florido, Olivia Bess-Rhodes and Mattie Seley Healy, Ilseman and Eisenhauer were joined at the national round by their peers on the other UMKC team, Olivia Bess-Rhodes, Martina Florido and Mattie Seley. School of Law professor L. Michaelle Tobin, J.D., coached both teams. “I am so proud of the exceptional performance of our trial teams at this year’s competition, Tobin said. “Both teams demonstrated remarkable skill and preparation, earning them a well-deserved place among the top 30 teams from across the nation. These accomplishments reflect the high caliber of legal education at UMKC Law and our commitment to nurturing future leaders in the legal field.” Apr 19, 2024

  • UMKC Announces New Bachelor of Architecture Program

    First public university in Missouri to offer a Bachelor of Architecture degree
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City will launch a Bachelor of Architecture program this fall. The UMKC Bachelor of Architecture program will be a five-year undergraduate degree program housed in the School of Science and Engineering. It will include courses, studio work and internships with various architectural firms in Kansas City. As part of their coursework, students will also have access to industry-grade equipment at the UMKC Innovation Studio for rapid prototyping their designs, alongside many Kansas City architectural firms that also use the facility. This new bachelor’s degree offering joins a current joint architecture program, in which students start coursework at UMKC and transfer to Kansas State University to complete a Master of Architecture. Among the benefits of the new program is that UMKC students will get to complete their full degree in Kansas City, a metropolitan area rich in career opportunities. “We are excited to provide students the ability to pursue architecture and design in a city that’s known for its local and global architectural projects, allowing our students to have real-world experiences in their educational program,” said Kevin Truman, dean of the UMKC School of Science and Engineering. The program is the first of its kind in the state of Missouri and has strong industry support. Kansas City architectural firms Focal Design Studio, SLATTERY Design + Architecture (formerly Odimo Architects), Populous, Multistudio, Burns & McDonnell and DRAW Architecture + Urban Design signed letters in support of the program. These prominent firms have worked on major Kansas City developments, such as the Kansas City International Airport, Children’s Mercy Park and Rock Island Bridge. There’s also an international profile from these Kansas City architecture firms, such as Super Bowl, FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games venues. “It is an honor to have the support of local architectural firms as we launch this program at UMKC,” Truman said. Dawn Taylor, executive director of the American Institute of Architects in Kansas City, said the benefits of the offering an architecture program in Kansas City are far reaching. “Expanding the opportunities at UMKC for students to achieve an architecture degree is exciting and positive, as it offers students an affordable and accessible option to earn their degree,” Taylor said. “Our chapter wants to see more students, especially from our region, choose careers in architecture and design to increase the talent pipeline for all of our firms.” Faculty from the architecture, urban planning and design program are also excited about the new degree offering.  “As a former student of the UMKC architectural studies curriculum, I am happy, proud and honored to be a part of the new UMKC Bachelor of Architecture program,” said Dominic Musso, a UMKC architecture instructor who will teach in the new program. “Kansas City is an international hub of world-class architectural firms, and having a degree program to provide new graduates to that market is a natural fit. Kansas City’s rich historic character and urban environment provides the ideal backdrop for students to become the next generation of our city’s architects.” Apr 16, 2024

  • UMKC Awarded $5 Million from Mellon Foundation

    Grant will fund local internships in the humanities to prepare students in their chosen field
    The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded UMKC $5 million to fund humanities internships that will support the UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences, students and the local community. Funding from the Mellon Foundation’s Higher Learning Program will formalize and standardize an internship program that places more than 180 students in paid internships for the length of the grant. While internship stipends will be reserved for nonprofit organizations and research teams, small businesses and corporations will be able to participate as hosts by providing 50% or more of the of the student stipend. The co-principal investigators on the grant are Diane Mutti-Burke, Professor of History and Jeff Rydberg-Cox, of English and Classics. They are both co-directors of the Center for Digital and Public Humanities at UMKC. Tamara Falicov, Ph.D., dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, is also a principal investigator. Connecting students to internship opportunities is a high-impact practice correlated with increased student persistence, degree completion and post-graduation career success. Research shows students who participate in internships gain personal and professional development, including building interpersonal skills such as teamwork and communication. “The UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences is thrilled to be the recipient of a Mellon Foundation grant to support Internships for undergraduate students in the humanities,” said Falicov. “This grant is coming at a critical time for students who cannot afford to enroll in unpaid internships. Thanks to the Mellon Foundation, students can apply their humanistic training within a community setting while earning a stipend. They will gain valuable skills, explore new career paths and simultaneously contribute to the success of a research project, small business or nonprofit organization in Kansas City and beyond." The $5 million from the Mellon Foundation includes $4 million in expendable funds over five years and $1 million for endowment to support the program beyond the initial grant period. Interested humanities majors and internship providers may inquire for more information by emailing Jenni Frangos, Ph.D., Mellon internship director at frangosj@umkc.edu, Sandra Enríquez, Ph.D., Mellon internship associate director at enriquezs@umkc.edu or Anabeth Laaker, Mellon internship coordinator at aclaaker@umkc.edu. Apr 16, 2024

  • Undergraduate Student Research Highlighted at Missouri State Capitol

    UMKC students presented their research on hearing loss, ACL injuries, music complexities and more
    Each year, undergraduate students from all four UM System schools go to Jefferson City, Missouri and present their research in front of elected officials at Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. University of Missouri-Kansas City students who presented are from the Conservatory, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Science and Engineering and the School of Nursing and Health Studies Research: The Urban Heat Island Effect: Creating an Interactive Model. Sophia Baugher is a junior from Independence majoring in earth and environmental science.   Baugher's investigation of how natural and manmade surfaces impact the Urban Heat Island Effect has led her to develop an interactive model for educational purposes. The Urban Heat Island Effect is a phenomenon that affects metropolitan centers across the entire world. With the recent trend of rising temperature thanks to climate change comes an increased risk in heat borne illnesses, and even an increased risk of heat-related death. Baugher’s Urban Heat Island model involved a model city being crafted from 3-D-printed materials, real roofing and asphalt samples and plants and trees that also show the affects that can mitigate this phenomenon. The project also utilizes a FLIR C5 thermal camera that will be used to demonstrate the temperature effects in real-time, as directed by the user. Research: Foxg1a is required for hair cell development and regeneration in the zebrafish lateral line Emily Bledsoe is a junior from Overland Park majoring in biology.   In the human inner ear, hearing and balance are mediated by specialized sensory cells, called hair cells. When damaged, these hair cells cannot regrow, resulting in deafness and balance disorders. In the state of Missouri, one in ten Missourians experience hearing loss or deafness, meaning there is a large population who could benefit from research into hair cell biology. Aquatic animals, including zebrafish, have specialized hair cells used in their lateral line systems to sense water current. These hair cells are very similar to the inner ear hair cells in humans, but unlike human hair cells, these lateral line hair cells can regrow throughout the lifespan of the fish. Bledsoe is investigating the foxg1a gene, which is important for inner ear development, and determining if it also plays a role in hair cell development and regeneration in the zebrafish. Research: Circadian Regulation of Spt Ada Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) in Drosophila Melanogaster Chris Ekengren is a senior from Raytown majoring in biology. Austin Evans is a freshman from Neosho majoring in biology.   Together, Ekengren and Evans are tracing enzymes in the brain to learn how they affect the dynamics of circadian regulation and its related neurodegenerative diseases. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is a disease which leads to the degeneration of the retina and cerebellum, causing neurodegeneration, blindness and loss of motor skills. Following the ATXN7 gene, to the Ataxin7 protein, to the transcriptional cofactor called SAGA which is critical for gene expression, Atxn7 polyQ may disrupt the balance bound and free non-stop causing dysregulation. Ekengren and Evans aim to investigate the dynamics of circadian regulation of SAGA and non-stop in the brain and how their dysfunction may lead to disease. Research: Unveiling Urban Trauma: The Impact of Design on Community Well-Being Maryam Oyebamiji is a senior from Kansas City majoring in urban planning and design. Through her research on community development design, Oyebamiji has discovered how trauma-informed design can promote well-being in diverse populations. Design is a powerful force that shapes the physical and social fabric of our communities. When wielded responsibly, it has the potential to uplift and enrich the lives of individuals, fostering a sense of belonging and well-being. Design negligence, a term gaining prominence in contemporary discourse, encapsulates the unintended consequences of ill-informed or negligent design decisions. In the context of community development, design negligence not only fails to address the unique needs and aspirations of diverse populations but can also actively enforce trauma, perpetuating cycles of inequality and marginalization. Research: Exploring the Molecular Links Between Circadian Rhythm and Neurodegeneration Sydney Rogers is a sophomore from Blue Springs majoring in health sciences. Anna Shaw is a sophomore from Independence majoring in biology. Together, Rogers and Shaw are studying sleep patterns in fruit flies and investigating how loss of sleep affects proteins in the brain. Researching these effects can help us understand the health problems related to sleep deprivation. Sleep quality is important for every dimension of mental and physical health, and numerous analyses show a correlation with sleep loss and disease. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal biological clock that bodily proteins rely on to determine their level of activity throughout the day. Disruption of this internal cycle causes circadian dysfunction which can be correlated with the onset of a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Rogers and Shaw’s research identifies sleep patterns using behavioral to investigate how loss of sleep disrupts ubiquitination patterns. SAGA is a protein complex that harbors the deubiquitinating enzyme Non-stop. Non-stop is shown to participate in the regulation of the circadian rhythm and could be a key factor in understanding the effects of sleep disruption. Research: Physical Activity, Sleep, and Demographic Patterns in Urban Missouri Youth: A Quasi-Experimental Study  Olivia Sours is a senior from Independence majoring in nursing. With data collected from accelerometers worn by adolescent youth, Sours is looking for correlations between physical activity levels and sleep patterns. In her research, Sours utilizes Garmin VivoFit4 health tracking wrist-worn devices to monitor sleep time and daily step counts in her primary focus group of adolescents in Kansas City Public School systems. Connections between sleep and physical activity are vital components of growth and development, especially in adolescence. Lack of adequate sleep and sleep quality has been known to affect mood, school performance, as well as health in general. Middle school students in urban areas also face complexities that may cause increased complications in sleep and physical activity, calling for a comprehensive intervention approach that allows students to engage in physical activity safely and learn about how to take care of themselves with productive strategies. Research: The Humorous Disability Rhetoric of Jess Thom Emily Stauffer is a senior from Kansas City majoring in English. Stauffer's rhetorical analysis of comedian Jess Thom aims to show how humor can educate and promote understanding of disabilities. Thom was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome in her early 20s, and now in her 40s, is working to break down barriers for people with disabilities. Tourette’s Syndrome is a neurological condition that causes tics, which are sudden movements or sounds a person makes and cannot control. Tourette’s is extremely common, yet still a highly stigmatized condition. Stauffer’s work focuses on Thom’s use of humor to educate her audiences on her disability and promote understanding. Research: Characterizing Lava Flow Behavior Using Digital Models of Small Tubes from Flows at Askja, Iceland Mya Thomas is a junior from Columbia majoring in earth and environmental science. The low-cost photogrammetry technique that Mya Thomas developed to create digital models of small lava tubes from flows at Askja Volcano in Iceland has wide applications, from modeling caves in Missouri to modeling geographic features on the moon. Caves are a large part of Missouri’s natural heritage and the state’s tourism. Creating digital models of geologic features using this photogrammetry technique increases accessibility and enables detailed study of their characteristics. Research: A Perfect Tuning System? Brady Wolff is a senior from Lake Winnebago majoring in music composition and music theory. Wolff has developed a new visual aid to represent the complexities of musical pieces composed with a "just intonation" tuning system. This tool not only provides theoretical insight into modern compositions, but also has implications for music education. Research on just intonation explores the practical applications of pure harmonic ratios in composed music, fostering innovative harmonic possibilities. Current research delves into the tuning systems utilized by specific composers but lacks a comprehensive overview for individual compositions. To address this gap, Wolff developed a visual aid capable of displaying the tuning center, harmonic reach, and harmonic complexity of numerous compositions composed with just intonation. Inspired by the lattice structures employed by Ben Johnston, Wolff’s visual aid provides insight to other notable composers, including Catherine Lamb and Sean Archibald (Sevish). Research: The Growth Plate and Its Role in Youth ACL Injuries Isaac Woodward is a junior from Riverside majoring in mechanical engineering. The anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, is a ligament in the knee joint that is commonly injured during athletic activities. ACL injuries often have long recovery times and can cause lifelong knee problems.  Using computer modeling, Isaac Woodward's research seeks to understand the role that the adolescent growth plate plays in ACL injuries. Recent research has shown that, from the ages of 14-18 in particular, female athletes are much more likely to suffer an ACL injury than male athletes. One possible cause of this trend is the adolescent growth plate: a soft, cartilage-like segment in an adolescent’s leg bones that allows the adolescent leg to grow until it reaches maturity, at which point the growth plate hardens into bone. Due to the softer, springier properties of the growth plate, some have hypothesized that the growth plate may act as a shock absorber for the knee. Because the female growth plate hardens into bone several years earlier than in males, such a shock absorbing effect of the growth plate may explain this strange spike in teenage female ACL injuries. To investigate the role of the growth plate in ACL injury, Woodward used computer modeling software to create two software models of the same knee joint: one with a growth plate and one without. Tests were then run on these two models to investigate the impact of the growth plate on ACL stress. The test results indicate that the growth plate does have a shock absorbing effect on the ACL in certain modes of knee loading, thus offering a potential explanation for this strange trend in adolescent ACL injuries.   Apr 15, 2024

  • A Tale of Muscle Disease and Drosophila

    Investigating fruit flies to learn about the progression of myotonic dystrophy
    Talk about significant research. UMKC Assistant Professor Maria Spletter’s biology lab is investigating the breakdown of proteins in the body that lead to chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease. She has lasered in on myotonic dystrophy — or loss of muscle function. Myotonic dystrophy is among the most common rare diseases, estimated to affect 1 in 2,100 births. The muscle disease also causes accelerated aging as the regulation of ribonucleic acid — present in all living cells and also called “RNA” — changes and alters muscle control, growth and contraction. Spletter selected a model that is insignificant in size but significant in efficiency: the fruit fly Drosophila. Why Drosophila? “Drosophila are a very powerful genetic model,” Spletter said. “This means that there are a lot of tools available in the fly that enable us to do experiments that are not possible in mice or rats or humans. Plus, Drosophila grow quickly from an egg to adult fly in 10 days, so you can follow each step during development in a matter of weeks instead of years.” Another benefit of using Drosophila is the muscles it has are highly conserved, meaning the proteins that build muscles, how muscles contract and the structure and organization of muscles are the same in flies as they are in humans. In fact, models of human disease in flies reveal the same mechanism and same muscle type. These flies, therefore, provide a useful model to understand the basic mechanisms and defects in the muscle that result from a disease-causing mutation, so that further studies in human cells can be targeted. This means the team can look at the developmental mechanisms that lead to loss or damage to muscle fibers during a time point that is impossible to study in detail with mammals. By tracking the initial stages of muscle fiber during development, they can tell exactly which steps in the assembly process are defective. Studies in mice or rats typically do not have this level of resolution and have not focused in detail on how the structure of the muscle is disrupted. Testing With High-Powered Tools “We test muscle function to measure how well flies can fly, jump, climb, flip themselves over after falling on their back and how quickly they are able to clean themselves after being dusted with a fluorescent powder,” Spletter said. “All of these give us insight into live flies on their behavior when it comes to how well their muscles work.” To investigate the function of these RNA-binding proteins on the cellular level, the lab labels the tip of the muscle with a fluorescent marker and watches the muscle move using a microscope. They then quantify the movement by measuring how often the muscles contract, how much they move when they contract and the dynamics of the contraction. This is where contraction is usually impaired and irregular in mutant flies. The researchers then use a high-powered microscope that utilizes lasers to image samples to look at muscles that are stained and label different components. Unlike a traditional microscope, the laser allows us to image single planes that are 1 micron or less thick (a fruit fly is about 1 millimeter thick, and there are 1,000 microns in 1 millimeter). An indirect flight muscle cell is around 100 microns thick, so at least 100 pictures of different planes in the muscle can be taken to see all the structures inside it. With the lab’s microscope having four different lasers, four different components of the cell can be viewed at the same time to see where they are located relative to each other. With the mutants in particular, the team can observe how their localization has changed. This allows comparison between mutant and control flies to see how the structure is different in the mutants on a cellular structural level. The team then takes tissue samples from control and mutant flies to molecular and biochemical testing to find out what genetically changed in the mutant muscles, subsequently linking molecular defects to changes in cellular structure as well as muscle function. This is usually when mRNA-Seq, a combination of a biochemistry and bioinformatics approach, takes place. The mRNA (coding blueprints that are turned into proteins in the cell) from the fruit fly is isolated and the lab sequences every single gene and gene variant expressed in the muscle cell. Typically, there are around 6,000 to 8,000 genes expressed at any time, and if you look across development, around 10,000 genes change expression. The data is usually viewed for individual genes, individual splice events within one gene, or globally at all the changes in gene expression and splicing. The various levels of data obtained allow the lab to understand on a systems level what has changed in the mutant muscle cell in comparison to the control, and on an individual gene level to identify targets that might explain specific pieces of the phenotype we see. Spletter’s lab also conducts mass spectrometry, an analytical tool useful for measuring the mass-to-charge ratio of one or more molecules present in a sample, to isolate the proteins from muscle cells and determine the identity of most of the proteins present in the muscle. Around 4,000 proteins are typically detected, but more sensitive machines can see up to 6,000 proteins. This analytical method provides information on which proteins change in our mutant muscles and allows the comparison of the protein changes in the RNA from the mRNA-Seq data and to find out exactly how changes in RNA regulation lead to defects in muscle fibers and structure. The Discoveries Recent research findings from Spletter’s lab, which were published on bioRxiv, revealed how the characteristics in mutant muscle are a domino effect. The small things that go wrong at each step in the muscle development lead and further heighten the effect on the muscle. This leads to greater disruption on the muscle, compared to when Bruno1 mutant is added to the later part of muscle development. From the same research findings, Spletter’s lab discovered the potential possibility of testing gene therapy strategies in the flies that are currently in development for possible use in human patients. Although gene replacement therapy can “normalize” patterns of splicing, patients only have a partial improvement of symptoms. This means that gene therapy usually improves quality of life, and will likely extend life expectancy, but is not a cure. Spletter’s lab was able to gain insight into why exactly this is the case. “Because the structure of the muscle has defects in the core mechanical structure that allows it to move, just fixing the splicing pattern is not sufficient to fix those defects,” Spletter said. “This suggests that we need better detection methods to find patients before they seek medical help, as the earlier a gene therapy can be administered, the better chance these patients are going to have of maintaining muscle function.” Apr 11, 2024

  • Three UMKC Graduate School Programs Ranked Among Nation’s Top 40

    Programs are Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Pharmacy and legal writing
    Three UMKC graduate school programs were ranked among the top 40 in the nation in the rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report, with 10 programs ranked in the top 100. The Doctor of Nursing Practice program in the School of Nursing and Health Studies was ranked 19th in the nation, out of a total of 156 ranked schools. The program ranked 49th in the nation last year.Rankings for other Doctor of Nursing Practice programs in the region included University of Missouri (34th), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (45th) and Saint Louis University (97th ).“Our Doctor of Nursing Practice program has been well-respected nationally and highly ranked for decades due to the work of our faculty, staff and especially our students,” said School of Nursing Dean Joy Roberts J.D., M.S.N., APRN-BC. “We take pride in our programs, and our graduates offer high-quality care and education to the people of Kansas City and across Missouri, as well as people across the United States.” The Doctor of Pharmacy program in the UMKC School of Pharmacy ranked 31st in the country.“We very much appreciate this great recognition for all the hard work and successes that our students, staff and faculty produce and achieve every year,” said Dean Russell Melchert, Ph.D., R.P.h. “This is an opportunity for all in the nation, and particularly future students here in Missouri and the greater Kansas City area, to see what great opportunities lie ahead for those who would like to join our Roo pharmacy family.”The UMKC Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing and Health Studies are located in the UMKC Health Sciences District, a walkable campus where all UMKC health profession schools are located alongside a dozen health-care institutions. The location allows for interdisciplinary work among health professions and nearby clinical and research opportunities. Each year, UMKC students gain real-world experience and provide crucial services to the Kansas City community through community programs like Our Healthy Jackson County and community health clinics. The UMKC School of Law ranked in the nation's top 50 in two sub-specialty categories: legal writing (16th) and trial advocacy (48th).“We’re thrilled that these rankings show what we know to be true, that UMKC School of Law is an excellent place to get a legal education,” Dean Lumen Mulligan, J.D., M.A., said. “Strong legal writing is the foundation of a career in law, and we focus on it from day one. Students use these skills to excel in their chosen specialties. One of the best examples is the success of our trial advocacy program. Our student trial advocacy teams are some of the best in the country due to their exceptional lawyering skills.”In addition to coursework, the UMKC School of Law is uniquely situated to provide robust practical experiences to its students. Students have access to experiences in Missouri and Kansas, with two state courts of appeal, two federal district courts, eight county courts and seven municipal courts nearby, in addition to multiple community clinics and internship opportunities where students can assist real clients under the supervision of licensed attorneys. Apr 09, 2024

  • UMKC Students Earn College Credit Preparing Taxes for Community Members

    Bloch students serve the Kansas City Community at Voluntary Income Tax Assistance clinic
    For more than five years, the University of Missouri-Kansas City has served the community through the federal Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program which helps individuals with low-to-moderate income, people with disabilities, the elderly and those who speak limited English file their taxes. The VITA program was founded in 1971, and currently has 10 sites around the Kansas City area, including the UMKC location, and more than 3,200 sites around the United States. This tax season for the first time, Henry W. Bloch School of Management students have been able to earn college credit for helping people at the UMKC VITA site. “This ensures all volunteers meet an advanced level of proficiency and ensures that there are a consistent number of volunteers at the site for the duration of tax season,” said Kimberly Luken, assistant teaching professor of accounting at Bloch. The VITA Tax Program offers hands-on experience, something Bloch accounting student Bryce Hort has used to his benefit. Hort has had the opportunity to serve as the VITA site coordinator in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Kansas City over the past few years. He calls the experience fulfilling. “There's something so gratifying about being able to see the fruits of your labor nearly instantaneously in the form of the tax refund numbers that appear when preparing a return,” Hort said. “You truly feel like you're making a difference in that moment, which motivates you to continue.” Hort has also been able to get real-world experience while participating in this program and walk away with skills that will help him after graduation. “I've had the opportunity to be involved in the processing of hundreds of tax returns, all before I even graduate with an accounting degree,” Hort said. “Not only is this an excellent resume builder, it's also an excellent confidence builder. Once I enter the workforce with my degree, I will already have a distinct advantage in terms of confidence and familiarity with tax law and the tax preparation process.” There are 18 students taking the course for credit this year as well as 20 community volunteers. Luken said the program offers many benefits to students including peer-to-peer mentorship. “As a professor, what I find most impressive is the welcoming environment the students create, their professionalism, their commitment to make sure they do it right, their willingness to learn and above all, the respect they show our taxpayers,” Luken said. “These students work directly with the taxpayers. This requires an incredible amount of patience, compassion and effective communications skills.” Last year, the UMKC site prepared about 180 federal returns. The goal for them this year was to double that number, something they easily achieved, completing over 400 federal returns totaling more than $427,000. The team has also completed nearly 500 state returns, totaling more than $138,000. Luken’s goals for the UMKC VITA program include growing the number of students taking the course, maintaining a ratio of 50/50 student volunteers and community members. “I want our clients to know they can count on UMKC to be here for them.” Luken said. If you are interested in volunteering either at UMKC or another site, you can email Luken at kimberly.luken@umkc.edu. Apr 09, 2024

  • UMKC Recognizes Outstanding Faculty Achievements

    Annual Faculty Awards honor excellence in teaching, leadership, research and more
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City recognized more than 20 faculty members across the university in the 2024 Faculty Awards celebration. Awards were given for research and scholarship, teaching and mentorship, diversity, engagement, service and leadership. The ceremony began with remarks from Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jennifer Lundgren who shared her appreciation for the faculty at UMKC. “Your contributions and success reach beyond the classroom, lab or stage,” said Lundgren. “As involved as you are here on campus, you contribute to the community in a way that reflects our philosophy that we are ‘Kansas City’s top university.’” Chancellor Mauli Agrawal thanked faculty for choosing UMKC. “This is one of my favorite events because we have the opportunity to celebrate you – our outstanding faculty,” said Agrawal. “UMKC and Kansas City are fortunate that you choose to work and research here.” The event concluded with recognizing faculty members a part of UMKC Faculty Senate and the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, followed by a reception in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center lobby.  Congratulations to the 2024 awardees: Research Awards N.T. Veatch Award for Distinguished Research and Creativity Timothy Cox, School of Dentistry Trustees’ Faculty Scholar Award Shizhen Wang, School of Science and Engineering Mohammad Rafiee, School of Science and Engineering Teaching Awards Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Awards John Ball, School of Dentistry Christopher Garmon, Henry W. Bloch School of Management Steve Leben, School of Law Angela Myers, School of Medicine Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: early career faculty Brandi Bowers, School of Pharmacy Patrick Brayer, School of Law Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching: mid-career/senior faculty Paul Barron, School of Science and Engineering Gayle Levy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring Karen Savage, Conservatory Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Researchers, Scholars and Artists Debra Leiter, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Joey Lightner, School of Nursing and Health Studies Mohammad Rafiee, School of Science and Engineering Diversity, Engagement and Leadership Award Chancellor’s Award for Embracing Diversity Theresa Torres, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement Alberto Villamandos, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Fengpeng Sun, School of Science and Engineering  Leadership and Career Contributions Awards Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional Leadership Leigh Salzsieder, Henry W. Bloch School of Management Chancellor’s Award for Career Contributions to the University Yi Chen, Conservatory  New Curators’ Distinguished Professors Curators’ Distinguished Professor Simon Friedman, School of Pharmacy Clancy Martin, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Yong Wang, School of Dentistry Apr 04, 2024

  • Five UMKC State of the University 2024 Highlights

    Chancellor announces research achievements, student-success milestones and major building initiatives
    UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal delivered the annual State of the University address on April 3, highlighting the significant achievements Kansas City’s university has accomplished in the past year. “Today, we bear witness to how we at UMKC are breaking the norm to create a transformative university that can change lives and push the boundaries of excellence,” Agrawal said. “In the next few years, we are poised to achieve the most elite level of research excellence, accelerate our students’ success, and we are literally changing the face of our campus with signature building projects that support our highest strategic goals. “If excellence in everything we do, big or small, is our goal, then in the pursuit of excellence we can never be satisfied with status quo.” 1. Research With recent, rapid growth in its research enterprise, UMKC anticipates achieving a Carnegie R1 designation in the next two to four years. To put that in perspective, only 146 universities out of 2,800 four-year institutions currently have R1 research status, putting UMKC into a prestigious group. The R1 designation will make it easier to attract even more world-class faculty and students, and to receive more research funding and partnerships with other R1 institutions.  “It will accelerate the creation of new knowledge to serve society and to enrich our students’ classroom experiences, and exposing students to high-quality research is a proven way to enhance their career outcomes,” Agrawal said. “Our students, graduate and undergraduate, deserve the very best. And the same could be said for our community.”  UMKC is Kansas City’s only public research university and has played a crucial role in various Missouri research projects including major roles in two tech hub designations from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, which hold the potential to unlock hundreds of millions in research funding for UMKC, the University of Missouri System, Missouri and Kansas. 2. Student Success UMKC achieved several milestones in student success during the 2023-24 academic year including: The largest class of first-time college students in UMKC history in 2023, success it hopes to continue in Fall 2024 Significant increases in transfer student applications for Fall 2024 Increases in domestic graduate student enrollment Highest student retention and graduation rates in a decade, thanks to innovative new programs like First Gen Roos, which gained national recognition when the Center for First-Generation Student Success named UMKC a First Scholars program, the center’s second-highest designation UMKC is also rolling out new degree programs in the next year, creating degrees of high relevance to students that also capitalize on key community strengths and workforce needs. Upcoming programs going through final approvals and preparation include: A bachelor’s degree in architecture in the School of Science and Engineering, starting in 2025. A Master of Legal Studies program through the School of Law. Eight new Ph.D. programs in electrical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering, computer science, economics, education, humanities and natural sciences starting in Fall 2025. 3. Major Building Initiatives and Updates UMKC plans major changes to its physical facilities to meet key strategic goals. Here are some of them: Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building UMKC will begin construction in June on the $120 million Healthcare Delivery and Innovation Building, the largest capital in its history, when it begins clearing out a parking lot at 25th and Charlotte. A celebration is planned for this September. This building -- home to combined space for dental and medical programs as well as research space for health equity, biomedical engineering and data analytics center -- is scheduled to open in 2026. Foodiverse After the spring semester ends, food service in the Student Union, with the exception of Starbucks, will close to make way for the Foodiverse. Opening in January 2025, this food venue will have more options, from a grill and salad bar to pasta and an allergen-free zone. Chick Fil A will reopen in January 2025, too. Student Success Space Work on new student success space will begin this summer on fourth floor of the Miller Nichols Library. Programs including Supplemental Instruction and Academic Support and Mentoring, will move to that new space. Pedestrian Plaza 51st Street between Cherry Street and Rockhill Road will open as a pedestrian plaza this fall, providing campus and community gathering and green spaces. Streetcar Stop The Kansas City Streetcar will pull up to the UMKC front door in mid-2025. UMKC is working on plans for retail and a possible arena space near this public transportation hub. UMKC School of Medicine-St. Joseph Campus A grand opening for a medical education building on the UMKC School of Medicine-St. Joseph campus is slated for next year, expanding the university’s work in preparing the next generation of doctors for Missouri’s rural areas. UMKC Conservatory Expansion A sneak peek of a UMKC Conservatory expansion showed off future plans for enhancing the university’s performing arts programs. 4. Partnerships The Chancellor celebrated UMKC’s move to think outside the norm when it comes to partnerships that benefit students. As one example: UMKC is a proud higher education partner with all four  professional, major-league sports teams: the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Current, the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC. These partnerships provide students with unique learning opportunities such as job shadowing, mentorship, internships and leadership development. 5. Strategic Engagement and Fundraising   This past fiscal year, UMKC broke its all-time record in annual philanthropic production with $94 million. As for this fiscal year, UMKC already surpassed its annual goal of $45 million and that doesn’t count Giving Day, which broke a record for single-day giving by raising in excess of $430,000, more than triple last year’s total. “As you know, our community’s support is so much more than dollars,” Agrawal said. “We have an incredibly dedicated cadre of top leaders from throughout Kansas City who freely share their time and energy to help make UMKC top-class." Apr 03, 2024

  • Business of Hip-Hop Brings New Conversation to Bloch School

    Harvard fellow, sports and media professionals collaborate to discuss influence and impact of hip-hop with students
    No longer business as usual, the University of Missouri-Kansas City Henry W. Bloch School of Management continues to find new ways to educate and inspire students. Their latest move, the business of hip-hop. The music genre celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023. What started with two turntables in a house party in the Bronx, is now a trillion-dollar industry. The business of hip-hop is a collaborative effort among the Bloch School, UMKC Athletics and the UMKC Men of Color Academy (MoCa). More than 100 campuses worldwide teach courses on hip-hop culture and rap music; many of which speak to lucrative opportunities the genre brings across sports, fashion, food/beverage and the culture at large.  “The goal was really for students to see the different avenues that they could go into when it comes to sports and music and how our culture intertwines into our careers,” said Elizabeth Montelongo (BA ’21), program coordinator of student services and recruitment at the Bloch school. Montelongo led the charge coordinating this new event, bringing in C. Keith Harrison, Ed.D., business professor at the University of Central Florida, and Nasir Jones, Hiphop Fellow at Harvard University, as keynote speaker. “Hip-hop has dramatically evolved over the last 50 plus years,” Harrison said. “We’re teaching students about the success and risk-taking of hip-hop culture.” Harrison speaks extensively on the intersection of hip-hop and business, and how many are using it to their advantage. Over its 50-year history, hip-hop has been used to solve business, health and educational challenges that lead to important change and awareness in communities. This event also included panelists with a wide variety of backgrounds and experience. UMKC Alumna Shae Perry (B.A. ’19) who currently serves as morning host on Hot 103 Jamz in Kansas City, Felicia Martin senior vice president of inclusion education and community engagement at the NCAA, Jeff Porter, Ph.D., vice president of corporate partnerships at the Kansas City Current and Bryan Boots, Ph.D., managing director at the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Together, this panel helped students navigate questions surrounding business opportunities in sports and music and how to inspire young people who interact with students through the Bloch Mentorship Program. The latter is something Harrison believes is achieved through good professional role models in these fields, not just artists and athletes. “Seeing images of the successful humans in hip-hop and sports, in addition to and beyond rappers and athletes is key, especially black Americans and other folks of color,” Harrison said. And while not everyone who dreams of life as a professional athlete or artist will make it, it’s important not to put out the spark in young people who aspire for more. “Even though we can think a dream is unrealistic, it’s important not to clip anyone's wings and allow them to fly and be a support system to them,” Montelongo said. The Business of Hip-Hop will return in the 2024-25 academic year, with hopes of bringing high school students to the conversation. Apr 01, 2024

  • UMKC Pharmacy Resident Brings Vaccines In Home Through Missouri Grant

    Elderly and low-income patients to receive health care in their homes
    Nicole Gorsuch recently received a grant that funds in-home immunizations for low-income, elderly and immobile patients, working to fill a health-care gap that exists in parts of rural Missouri. For Nicole (Nickie) Gorsuch, the final step after pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee toward being a full-fledged pharmacist was a one-year community residency. Gorsuch was matched in Charleston, Missouri, through a partnership between UMKC and L & S Pharmacy in the town. Charleston is an underserved town in rural southeast Missouri, and Gorsuch is exactly the kind of candidate UMKC hopes to send into these areas.  “Nickie came to our program ready to be molded, excited to learn and ready to practice her skills,” said Sara Opronovich, Pharm.D., the school’s residency program director and Gorsuch’s supervisor.  Gorsuch arrived in Charleston last summer and quickly witnessed the lack of accessible and robust health care. “We have, like, one doctor that comes to town once a week,” she said. The lack of health-care facilities, combined with limited transportation and insecure housing, means that residents are often at higher risk of developing a condition that goes untreated, potentially turning serious without intervention. Gorsuch had her work cut out for her. Along with being the only pharmacy in Charleston, L & S Pharmacy is a community pharmacy that has clinic days to vaccinate residents. During these days, Gorsuch noticed several patients weren’t able to come into the pharmacy to receive their vaccines. “I was like, ‘well, why don’t we just go to them?’” Gorsuch said. The program started small. “One day, we had a few patients, so we just lined them up on our calendar to just go to them to give them their vaccines because, again, they don’t have a car,” she said. “We don’t have Ubers or taxis or anything. They have to walk, and a lot of our elderly population just don’t have the resources to get the things they need.” As the demand for in-home vaccinations grew, Gorsuch began to think bigger about what more this program could do for residents. “That’s why we applied for this grant through Missouri Pharmacy Association,” Gorsuch said. “In rural and underserved locations like southeast Missouri, these problems are amplified,” Opronovich said. “The seemingly simple intervention of giving a shot is also more difficult with fewer providers and more challenges with social determinants of health. Nickie’s work points out the added challenge of providing this health resource and shines a light on the need to provide funding for such interventions.”   The funding from the $60,000 grant was received in late 2023 and has enabled L & S Pharmacy to conduct transportation screenings to assess which patients can travel to the pharmacy and which patients need in-home or delivery care. This gives Gorsuch and the team a more complete picture of their patients’ challenges. The funding also covers transportation fees for the pharmacy team as well as vaccines for some uninsured patients. Gorsuch’s in-home immunization program has shed even more light on the existing health-care challenges that rural communities face. “We had a patient who has been to the pharmacy a lot, and I never knew that he didn’t have transportation (until screening), but he walked to the pharmacy,” Gorsuch said. “I never knew because I never asked. The more that we ask, the more we know. “It’s not a really walkable area, but for some patients it has to be because they don’t have any other way.” Gorsuch’s work at L & S Pharmacy will continue through the end of her residency in summer 2024. The program has enough funding for at least the next five months. With the help of community partners like grocery stores in Charleston, Gorsuch hopes to reach more potential patients who are not already in the health-care system in places they already. Community partners like grocery stores and food pantries open up conversations about the benefits of vaccines and how their local pharmacy is there to help. “The more we can get out to the people, the better we are able to capture everyone,” Gorsuch said. Mar 25, 2024

  • UMKC Staff Honored at Annual Award Ceremony

    2024 Staff Awards celebrate service milestones and accomplishments
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City recognized staff across all academic units and various programs and departments at the 2024 Staff Awards ceremony in March. The ceremony recognized more than 200 employees who have shown an incredible commitment to their personal success, as well as the growth and success of UMKC. The ceremony began with remarks from Chancellor Mauli Agrawal who shared his admiration for the hardworking staff at UMKC. “I am always overwhelmed by the dedication of our staff and all of your accomplishments,” Agrawal said. “Whether you were recognized today or not, you are essential to the success of our students and to the success of our university.” During the ceremony, Bill Marse, director of biomedical communications at the School of Dentistry, took to the podium to introduce awardees and share his remarkable service milestone of 50 years at UMKC. “I am fortunate to be in a position where coming to work is a choice,” Marse said. “It’s a very exciting, rewarding and enjoyable choice.” In typical UMKC style, the ceremony closed with a spirited and celebratory “Roo Up!” Congratulations to the 2024 awardees:  Staff Council Dedication Award Kim Kushner, IT Project Manager, Information Services Excellence in Student Success Staff Award Scott Ezzell, Bloch Manager of Admissions and Recruitment, Henry W. Bloch School of Management Excellence in Research and Creative Works Staff Award Brian Kanoy, Senior Program/Project Support Coordinator, School of Science and Engineering Excellence in Engagement and Outreach Staff Award Nate Addington, Director of Engagement and Outreach, External Relations and Constituent Engagement Inclusive Opportunity AND Excellence Staff Award Lorena Juanez, Senior Admissions Counselor, Student Success and Academic Assurance Excellence in Planning, Operations and Stewardship Staff Award Sarah Beth Schulz, Executive Assistant to the Dean, School of Science and Engineering Rising Star Award Caroline Kelly, Senior Academic Advisor, School of Medicine  Chancellor’s Staff Award for Extraordinary Contributions Chris Popoola, Faculty Affairs Specialist, Faculty Support and Academic Innovation Living the Values Award Roy Allen, Director of Research and Institutional Programs, Missouri Institute for Defense & Energy Petra Bricker, Career Advising Manager, School of Medicine Jordan Davis, Senior Manager of Admissions, UMKC Conservatory Keichanda Dees-Burnett, Assistant Dean of Student Support and Director of Multicultural Student Affairs, Student Affairs Onekia De Leon Franklin, Senior Office Support Assistant, School of Nursing and Health Sciences Barb Domke, Senior Academic Advisor, Henry W. Bloch School of Management Emma Fahrlander, Strategic Communication Specialist, Strategic Marketing and Communications Hannah Hohenstein-Flack, Senior Executive Assistant, School of Humanities and Social Sciences Brian Kanoy, Senior Program/Project Support Coordinator, School of Science and Engineering Susi Krulewich, Director of PAL Program, Curriculum and Assessment Chauncey Kuhl, Plumbing and Electrical Supervisor, Finance and Administration Megan Malcom, Degree Auditor, Student Success and Academic Assurance Susan Miller, Library Information Specialist, University Libraries Joey Medellin, Senior Program/Project Support Coordinator, UMKC Innovation Center Christi Posey, Head Coach, Intercollegiate Athletics Roy Potter, Senior Technology Resource Manager, School of Dentistry Janet Rogers, Executive Assistant, School of Law Laura Rupp, Director I Event Services, External Relations and Constituent Engagement Amanda Sanders, Business Support Specialist II, KCUR Crystal Simonis, Research Compliance IRB Manager, Office of Research Services Bailey Tennesen, Senior Educational Program Coordinator, School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences Rick Thomas, Manager IT, Information Services Molly Tugushi, Office Support Associate, School of Pharmacy Supervisory Development Series Graduates Melissa Allison Carol-Le Braden Kayla Channell Nicole L’Amour Gabriela Sa Teles Sarah Major Carla Marquina Panduro  Danielle Marx Lora Owens Katherine Sylvester Dr. Elson S. Floyd Administrative Leadership Development Program KC Atchinson Elizabeth Hoffman-Shrout Nathan Jacobs Angela Jenkins Andre Logan Melissa Newkirk Gabriela Sa Teles Bryan Scrivener Kaitlin Woody  Series on Leadership Essentials Program Avery Brotherton Andrea Cady Jamie Charles Sarah Dresslaer Tanna Engle Rebecca Ireland Kim Kushner Tara Lane Nathan Lonngren Carla Marquina Panduro Gregory McMullen Lora Owens Zachary Parker Organizational Perspectives and Leadership Program Tom Bachmann Carol-Le Braden Yolanda Branch Katey Collins Christina Davis Shay Duncan Susan Garrett Teresa Huff-Pomstra Laura King Noah Kramer Alia Krzyzanowski Alyssa Lally Jacob Lazzo Anthony Maly Amy McKune Mako Miller Megan Raney Olujimi Sode Emily Strayhall Rick Thomas Thomas Willoughby Staff who graduated with a UMKC degree in Spring 2023, Summer 2023 or Fall 2023 Katie Anton Shaun Bernardon Jessica Hill Nicole L’Amour Jameilla Robinson James Surber Douglass Whitehead Theresa Wright 5 Years of Service Silas Arnold Deidre Ashley Katherine Atcheson KC Atchinson Tom Bachmann Kenneth Bledsoe Angela Bolen Keishea Boyd Carol-Le Braden Sharon Breshears Jennifer Brown Dylan Burd Krystal Burghoff Joseph Crow Allen Dale Timothy Dean Brett Dietrich Patrick Dixon Mary Donahue Nikhila Donti Reddy Mackenzie Doss Sarah Dresslaer Megan Elsen Brooke Fischer Chainy Folsom Garren Frasher Danny Freeman Georgia Freidhof Kathryn Grindstaff Teresa Huff-Pomstra Phillip Humphrey Curtis Jacey Ellis Johnson Chante Keller Laura King Anne Kipper Michael Knabel Kay Lee Richard Lentz Brandon Martin Hannah Martin Hope McMorrow Susan Miller Leslie Mohan Tram Nguyen Mark Pederson Mariah Peel John Pragman Prasanna Reniguntala Jessie Riggs Janey Stephens Nomin Ujiyediin Kimberly Vittorino Kelly Weaver Shelby Webb Abby Weiser Krisana West Robert Wren Tejkumar Yentrapragada Alexander Zier  10 Years of Service Patricia Baldwin Casey Bauer Amber Blair Karen Bronsman Kenneth Brooks Rosana Challacombe Joe Constantino Amannda DeBoef Clint Dominick Dustin Dye Aaron Fajen Ronald Jones Rebecca Markley Laura Michaelsen Tamara Morris Julie Myer Julie Smith John Sulzer Joyce Ward Kenneth Wesley Ryan West Thomas Willoughby Laura Ziegler 15 Years of Service Katie Anton Stephen Barnes Catherine Battles Steven Bowman Elizabeth Couzens Michael Cowan LaRae Elliott Vowiell Katherine Garey George Gotto IV  Ursula Gurney Roland Hemmings Jr David Hoskins Kingsley Kakie Michelle Kroner Brad Martens Terrence McKelvy Donald Parmalee Suyopa Pinto Amy Samaripa Sheila Thomas Jared Wight  20 Years of Service Eric Anderson David Babcock Matthew Bunch Carol Calhoun Keichanda Dees-Burnett Amber Heffernan Joey Medellin Sarah Morris Rosa Nataraj Helen Perry Stephen Pottebaum Christopher Prewitt Arzelyn Umali Almaz Wassie Rosie Weaver  25 Years of Service Rosie Booze Dennis Clark Dennis Elmore Nancy Hoover Steven McDonald Jane Poe Paul Schwartz Vicki Van Noy 30 Years of Service Della Damon Jody Jeffries Steven Jenks Frank Morris Nancy Wilkinson 35 Years of Service  Carmen Jaramillo 40 Years of Service Heidi Updike  50 Years of Service Bill Marse Mar 20, 2024

  • Women’s Council Helps Generations of Women Fulfill Their Dreams at UMKC

    More than $98,000 awarded to 69 recipients to support post-graduate work
    The UMKC Women’s Council held its annual reception to celebrate this year’s Graduate Assistance Fund awardees. Nearly 70 women received funds to support their graduate studies at UMKC. The Women’s Council celebrated 53 years of supporting women in different fields, adding four new awards. Alumna Jacqueline Thompson (D.M.A. ’84), who was a GAF recipient in 1981, gave remarks at this year’s reception. “I thought I was going to have to drop out because I was running out of money,” she said. “The GAF fund saved me. It helped me complete my degree and contributed to who I am today.” The life-changing award inspired Thompson to commit to give back to the Graduate Assistance Fund every year. Years later, when she revisited UMKC, students who received her help recognized her. Meeting these students made her realize how much the impact of her gift, regardless of size, made to them. “I told myself that I didn’t have to make a lot of waves, but I could be a ripple. If I made enough little ripples, I could make a difference,” Thompson added.To continue making a difference, Thompson also signed an intent form to leave a planned gift to the Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund. Esther Han, conservatory student, giving her remarks Esther Han is a Conservatory student who is working toward her Master of Music degree in piano performance and pedagogy. She is one of the few GAF recipients who received an additional merit award. “There are not that many fund opportunities for musicians, so being selected is a huge deal,” Han said. “It is very special because I am going to Germany to perform with my husband. I wouldn’t be able to go without GAF because of the graduate tuition cost.” Amen Teshome is a second year Ph.D. student studying cell biology and biophysics. She is working on identifying the impact of certain proteins related to glaucoma. Teshome is a first-time GAF recipient and was also a recipient of an additional merit award. Amen Teshome, second year Ph.D. student, on the right “It is super meaningful and rewarding, knowing that my research is making a difference and being validated,” Teshome said. “I feel super motivated to be here, and it’s really helping me push through during research. Because of the GAF, I get to attend the annual meeting for the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology in Seattle. I would not be able to afford it on my own." This year, the Women’s Council debuted four new named awards for the Graduate Assistance Fund. They were donated by UMKC Provost Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D.; UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. and his wife, Sue Agrawal, who is on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Council; UMKC Foundation President Amanda Davis and former students and associates of Bibie Chronwall, M.Ed., Ph.D. The fund awards were named after people the donors held close to heart and will help fulfill future generations of women to reach their educational goals and establish careers that will benefit others. “I’ve been on the selection committee for four years now and have seen the hard work of our students, along with how the GAF impacts them,” Sue Agrawal said. “The best part is the principle of the fund won’t be spent, so it will keep growing over time and help more students in the future.” The Graduate Assistance Fund has distributed more than $2.4 million since it started. Mar 15, 2024

  • Monumental Match Day for UMKC Medical Students

    The Class of 2024 discovered where they would be continuing their medical journey
    Excited cheers poured out of the UMKC Student Union on Friday, where more than 100 medical students tore open envelopes to discover where they would spend the next few years doing their medical residency training. The students participated in the National Resident Matching Program, also known as Match Day, when medical students learn what residency program they matched with, as well as the specialty they will practice.  For medical student Divya Jain, it was a long time coming, but very much worth it. Although the Overland Park native is in the six-year B.A./M.D. program at the UMKC School of Medicine, she took a two-year break to get her master’s degree in public policy at Harvard University. “In the six-year med program, we start preparing for our residency at 18 years old,” Jain said. “It’s been eight years in the making, but matching feels like all the hard work was worth it because we get the privilege of taking care of people.” Jain matched in a residency program at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she will enter her preferred specialty of OB/GYN. Her rotations at University Health Truman Medical Center instilled in her a passion for improving women’s health. That passion motivated her to also dive deeper into patient advocacy at a systemic level. “Obviously doctors impact our patients on an individual level, but caring for our patients doesn’t have to stop at the 15-minute visit,” Jain said. “We have so much more potential to make profound changes for our patients’ health through advocacy on a larger level.” Match Day is a family affair for many students, and that was especially true for Josephine Nwankwo of Oklahoma City, who matched at the Baylor College of Medicine in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She’ll join her sister, Angela Nwankwo (B.A./M.D. ’22), who is also a resident in the same program. Their mother is a registered nurse, and over the years the family traveled to their mother’s native Nigeria, bringing medications from the United States that weren’t available there. It instilled in Nwankwo a desire to return to Nigeria to bring rehabilitation treatment to the country. “Visiting my family in Nigeria opened my eyes to the health-care inequities in the world,” Nwankwo said. “I feel like rehabilitation is a resource that’s not really offered in these developing countries. I would love to return to Nigeria because the service could really benefit the people there.”   New School of Medicine Dean Alexander Norbash congratulated the class, while adding some perspective on what was his fifth day leading the school. “It’s an interesting day, because you began it with a certain mindset, and you’re ending it envisioning yourself in Topeka or San Francisco as a psychiatrist or a cardiac surgeon,” Norbash said. “It’s one of those watershed days you can’t ever forget.” According to Norbash, more than 50 percent of the students matched into primary care. The class matched in a wide range of specialties, including anesthesiology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, dermatology and several surgical specialties. A third of the students matched in Missouri, with 30 percent of students staying in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Lauren and Brevin Miller are two of those students who will stay in Kansas City. The married couple, who met in Spanish class their freshman year, were anxiously awaiting their match to see if they would practice in the same city. Both grew up in Missouri. Lauren is from St. Louis and Brevin is from St. Joseph, so the couple had high hopes of staying close to Kansas City. Gathered in front of nervous family and friends, the couple ripped open their envelopes together and screamed with joy when they read their exciting news. Lauren matched at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City specializing in pediatrics, and Brevin matched at the University of Kansas Health System, specializing in surgical otolaryngology. “Matching together is everything,” Brevin said. “All our hard work paid off. And our basset hounds get to stay in Kansas City!” UMKC Match Day 2024 Results Mar 15, 2024

  • UMKC Law Student Scores with Sporting Kansas City Internship

    UMKC connections were a perfect match for Annmarie Orlando to pursue sports law
    Annmarie Orlando knows two things: she wants a career in sports law, and she wants it in her hometown of Kansas City. “I chose UMKC because I’m from Kansas City and I knew that I wanted to stay here,” Orlando, student at UMKC School of Law, said. “I’ve grown up here and I know it’s a great city to live in, and there’s lots of opportunities for work.” One came with longtime UMKC partner Sporting Kansas City. The university and soccer club have been partners for a decade; part of that partnership includes first opportunity for internships for UMKC students.  For Orlando, it’s been the chance to start the career she’s been working toward for years. Orlando was an athlete growing up, and she wanted a career related to sports. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in sports management, a family member suggested law school as a next path. She started law school elsewhere and decided to transfer to return to Kansas City. The experience she’s had here has been unmatched. Orlando's mentor, Kylie DeWees, a staff attorney at Sporting KC, spoke at the UMKC Sports Law Club in Fall 2023. “Other than Sporting KC, I’ve had a few more opportunities to get experience while in law school,” Orlando said. “I worked with the athletics department at UMKC and got to work with the athletic director on NCAA rules and compliance. I’ve also gotten to work with NAIA and their lawyers as well.” In addition to working in sports law, Orlando volunteered with the public defender’s office. Although she found the work rewarding, the experience confirmed that her calling was sports law. She credits the law school and real-world opportunities with helping her define her career path. “Getting that real-life understanding of how it actually is working in the legal field while still in school helps figure out if you actually like that area of law,” Orlando said. “The law school’s career center is very helpful. They really care about helping students get experience where they want to be.” For Orlando, that experience at Sporting KC involved legal research, contract review and learning the unique rules of Major League Soccer, among other things. Her mentor and Sporting KC staff attorney Kylie DeWees says that getting to study sports law in the soccer capital of America is invaluable, especially with the 2026 World Up on the horizon. “Our student interns can drive 15 minutes from class to come here and get practical experience on a big stage,” DeWees said. “You can’t beat that.” With Kansas City’s rising profile in the sports world, Orlando knows that she’s in the right place to begin her career. “Kansas City is a great place to study sports law,” Orlando said. “With the growth the city has seen and all the new teams we’re getting, there are lots of opportunities here.” Mar 13, 2024

  • UMKC Bloch School Executive MBA Shifts to Saturday-Only Classes, Plus Residencies

    New schedule will offer greater work-week flexibility
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City Henry W. Bloch School of Management will implement a new schedule for its Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) program to improve the frequency and depth of students’ engagement with the course content and focus more in-person class time to interactive activities, while simultaneously eliminating the monthly Friday class and moving regular classes to two or three Saturdays per month.  Unlike the traditional MBA, the EMBA focuses intensively on enhancing and refining leadership skills. EMBA students already possess extensive work experience and often enter the program while simultaneously working full time.   “These changes will improve student experience by allowing more flexibility in learning and reducing conflicts with students’ work schedules,” said Arif Ahmed, Ph.D., associate dean of the Bloch School.  Program management made the decision after seeking and receiving input from students, community stakeholders, faculty, and staff. Factors including paid-time-off changes, childcare needs and even doctors’ surgery schedules were considered.   “We had a couple of doctors who said you know, I'd really like to do your program, but Friday is my day in surgery and it's never going to happen as long as you have this particular class schedule,” said Eugene Pegler, executive director of student affairs at Bloch.  The changes also include moving a small portion of some courses to asynchronous online engagements distributed over the semester, which allows for focusing more on activities and discussions during the live in-person sessions.  In addition to regular classes, EMBA students complete four signature residency experiences. Two of these intensive courses are in Kansas City, one is in Washington D.C. and the final intensive course is a study-abroad experience, currently in Belgium.  These residency experiences offer a comprehensive exploration of leadership, strategy, public policy and global business. Over the 21-month program, EMBA students also receive dedicated support from their own Bloch executive coach, helping them gain deeper insight into their professional strengths and practice how to leverage them to become a more authentic leader.  The Henry W. Bloch School of Management is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2024 EMBA cohort. Explore the new schedule and program details.  Mar 07, 2024

  • Lunar Dust Research Is Out of This World

    When humans return to the moon, UMKC research will help them avoid problematic interactions with lunar dust while mining that same dust for valuabl...
    Ahmed Hassan, Ph.D., associate professor of computing and engineering, is working with partners at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the Space Science Institute to gain a more thorough understanding of the composition and properties of lunar dust. Hassan is crafting three-dimensional models of the shapes of individual, microscopic dust particles. Why? Lunar dust is literally unearthly. It has unique geotechnical properties due to the absence of geological processes on the moon, such as chemical weathering, humidity and atmospheric wind. And the moon’s magnetospheric interactions and constant collisions with comets and asteroids also create discrepancies. As a result, the shape of microscopic particles in the moon’s regolith, or lunar dust, differs from the shape of particles in earthly materials that resemble it at the macro level; for example, they have sharper, jagged edges. And those different shapes have to be accounted for. During the Apollo missions, lunar particles caused significant problems such as abrasion of vehicles, spacecraft and scientific equipment as well as obscuring the solar panels that generated electricity. During a lunar landing, the rocket engine sends dust particles flying “like tiny bullets,” Hassan said. Lunar dust adhering to spacesuits even caused allergy-like symptoms for the astronauts when it penetrated the atmosphere inside the spacecraft when they returned from moonwalks. “Depending on the application, lunar regolith (dust) particles can cause serious problems or be used as a valuable resource in future lunar expeditions,” Hassan said. “The research results can help guide a wide range of lunar applications, from electrostatic dust removal from solar panels to using it to fabricate structures on the moon.” Yes, to build structures. Among the applications of Hassan’s research is the feasibility of using lunar dust to make concrete on the moon, a critically important factor for building permanent settlements. In his initial study, Hassan and his team were able to model 25 distinct particle shapes from a tiny sample of lunar dust brought back from the moon missions of the 1970s. For his current study, he has access to approximately 10,000 particles. To prepare for future missions, space scientists created various reproductions of lunar dust, called simulants, crafted from materials on the earth. Recent advances in 3D X-Ray capabilities, however, revealed a problem. “Some of the simulants matched the physical properties of lunar regolith; some matched the chemical properties. But no one had tried to match particle shapes,” Hassan said. X-ray nanocomputed tomography (XCT) allowed scientists to examine the shape of particles as small as 400 nanometers (billionths of a meter) in length. That revealed the sharp, jagged edges and other unique properties that the next generation of simulants will have to match. Future astronauts will be better prepared to deal with the moon’s unique environment, thanks to Hassan’s efforts. Mar 07, 2024

  • UMKC Alumni Award Winner Turns Love of the Arts into Philanthropic Life

    Suzanne Shank's support for UMKC and the Kansas City arts community goes above and beyond
    Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes outstanding alumni achievements with an awards celebration. Suzanne Shank (J.D., M.P.A ‘82) is the Class of 2024 Bill French Alumni Service Award recipient. From a young age, Shank’s love of the arts shined bright as she committed herself to dance lessons, even performing with the Kansas City Ballet when it was part of the UMKC Conservatory. Despite not pursuing the arts in her professional life, Shank’s support for the place she once performed has been extensive.  “I’ve always appreciated the arts and what they bring to the community,” Shank said. “I also recognize how necessary arts education is to a community.” Shank has served on the Friends of the Conservatory Board and as a chair for Crescendo, the annual gala supporting student scholarships. In that role, she was instrumental in raising more than $1 million for student scholarships. In 2005, Suzanne and her late husband established the Suzanne Shank and Marty Smoler Scholarship, which supports a student studying in the Conservatory.  “UMKC is so important to Kansas City, and I wanted to be philanthropic where my money would have the most impact,” Shank said. “UMKC has done such an amazing job supporting the needs of the surrounding community and that should be rewarded.” Shank currently serves on the UMKC Board of Trustees as a vice chair and serves on the executive committee. In addition to serving on the Trustees’ Scholars Committee for many years, where she has been a thought leader and Trustees' Scholar mentor, she also serves on the Next Generation Trustees’ Scholars Working Group. She recently established the Suzanne Shank Trustees’ Scholars Scholarship. Her impact on the Kansas City community goes well beyond her support of UMKC. She has 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 Symphony League and the Lyric Opera, have contributed significantly to the cultural and artistic fabric of Kansas City. Mar 04, 2024

  • Major League Match: UMKC and Kansas City Royals Announce Partnership

    Includes hands-on learning opportunities for students; alumni and campus engagement
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced a three-year partnership with the Kansas City Royals, beginning in March 2024, built around student-success programs and additional opportunities for alumni, campus and community engagement. With this partnership, UMKC is now a proud higher education partner of all four major professional sports teams in Kansas City: the Royals, Kansas City Current, Sporting KC and the Kansas City Chiefs. “This Royals partnership is a grand slam, another great partnership to offer our students unparalleled opportunities for unique real-life learning experiences, mentorship and ways to connect to build their career network,” said Anne Hartung Spenner, vice chancellor for UMKC Strategic Marketing and Communications. “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with the Royals for years, and we’re thrilled to make it official. Partnering with all four of our city’s major professional sports teams is a benefit to all at Kansas City’s top university and our community.” The UMKC and Royals partnership celebrates the unique, authentic connection that already exists between the organizations, from hosting commencement ceremonies to UMKC Night at The K to the Sherman Scholars program at the Institute of Urban Education at the UMKC School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences. “UMKC is an immense part of Kansas City’s history, and the Royals are honored that this partnership will allow for two pillars in the community to work together to better our future generations,” said Alex Schulte, vice president of corporate partnerships. A few components of the new UMKC and Royals partnership: “Bring Out the Bots” is a STEM initiative for high school students to create a robot to throw the first pitch at a Royals game. Students from the UMKC School of Science and Engineering will collaborate with the KC STEM Alliance and local middle school students to conceptualize and build a robot. When the robot is ready, the students will attend a game and witness the robot throwing the first pitch. Media/film and communications students from the UMKC School of Humanities and Social Sciences will get a chance to collaborate with the Royals’ in-house creative agency, Pine Tar Collective, to make a 30-second ad for UMKC. The ad will premiere on CrownVision on April 19 for UMKC Night at The K. The video will then run during every homestand. UMKC and the Royals will donate 50 tickets to a youth organization for a gameday experience at a Royals game. The Kansas City Royals are adding a new segment to the Royals Radio Network to highlight players in the farm system. The “Future Royals” feature will air twice a month during games and include a shoutout to UMKC at the beginning and end of each feature. UMKC and the Royals share a history centered around campus support and celebration. UMKC commencement ceremonies in May 2021 and 2022 took place in Kauffman Stadium. The first UMKC Night at The K took place in 2023, with co-branded jerseys for fans and entertainment featuring the UMKC pep band and KC Roos Dance Team. The second one will be April 19 and will feature co-branded crewnecks for fans who buy theme tickets as well as UMKC entertainment and more. The Sherman Family Foundation, founded by Royals CEO John Sherman and his wife, Marny, supports the Sherman Scholars program at the UMKC Institute for Urban Education. The program provides annual scholarships to graduate and undergraduate students in teacher prep programs; Sherman Scholars attend a Royals game together every year. UMKC partners with the Kansas City Royals Foundation’s MLB Urban Youth Academy for the KC Roos Softball home field. Royals owner, John Sherman received an honorary doctorate in 2013 from UMKC, and is a member of the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management Executive Hall. UMKC alumna Karen Daniel (M.S. ’81 accounting) was inducted in 2023 into the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame at UMKC. She is the first African American woman to be a Major League Baseball owner since her addition to the Kansas City Royals ownership group in 2020. Feb 28, 2024

  • Meet the UMKC Alumnus and Fitness Trainer Taylor Swift Knows All Too Well

    Hugh Jackman, Justin Bieber and Jasmine Tookes are just a few of the other clients on Kirk Myers’ DogPound roster
    Are you ready for it? Meet the mastermind behind Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour workout routine. Kirk Myers (B.L.A.) is a UMKC alumnus who is a rock star in his field. As a Kansas City area native, he says that our city laid the foundation of who he is now. He was a UMKC student when he ultimately found his end game and moved to New York City to build his empire. Myers is a household name in the fitness industry, with clients ranging from models like Adriana Lima to singers like Swift, Justin Bieber and many more. Myers moved to New York City in 2011, and enchanted the personal training and fitness world in 2015 with DogPound, and his empire has only grown since then.  What made you decide to start your fitness business? I had my own battles with obesity at a very young age to the point where I almost died. I was determined to get myself healthy and fit and was able to lose weight. I set out to help others and from then on that’s been my mission and I love it. What made you decide to attend UMKC and what did you study? My brother went to University of Missouri, but my sister went to UMKC for law school, and I had always heard good things. My initial major was elementary education, but I ultimately decided to go with liberal arts and pursue my passion in fitness. I ended up losing 100 pounds during my time at UMKC! Where did the name DogPound come from? I was introduced to Hugh Jackman around the time I was starting to create my own brand and since he always brought his dog around, the inspiration for the name DogPound really came to fruition. What makes DogPound stand out in the fitness world? I’d probably also have to say the community we have, our staff, trainers and clients. It’s like a family, and we look forward to seeing each other every day! The community is strong, and clients really feel that because it’s authentic. We also have some super unique training methods that keep people coming back for more. Pairing clients with a team of trainers allows for constant variety while keeping some consistency. Do you think your experience as UMKC impacted your future? How so? Absolutely! It taught me that anything is possible and to never give up on your dreams. I took those lessons and put it into my work ethic. How do you think Kansas City impacted you as a person? Do you think it gave you the opportunity to grow into who you are? I love Kansas City! I think it’s amazing and I call it a hidden treasure. There are so many good people, cool art and history. It laid the foundation for who I am. My family and childhood best friends still live there. My first time really living in a city was when I went to UMKC, so it exposed me to a more urban lifestyle. How has an education at UMKC helped you? I think what I appreciated and learned the most is how to balance a busy schedule and how to do research. Those are two things I currently use every day as founder and trainer at DogPound. What would you say to students who aspire to be successful like you? Stay humble and keep at it! You can achieve anything you put your mind to but it’s important to give back and always remember where you came from. Is there anything outside of DogPound that you are proud of accomplishing? When I began as a trainer, I wanted to help people. As the company grew, we developed the five pillars of our brand — teamwork, passion, authenticity, positivity and to give back — all of which we believe has really led the vision to grow and helps define our purpose. Through these pillars, we’ve partnered with organizations that support children like Community of Unity for many years as well as volunteering at The Bowery Mission in New York City. I am proud of the way our team extends their community to those who need it. What advice would you give to prospective UMKC students, or current UMKC students? Be OK with not knowing what you want to do in life as you enter your college years. Your 20s will be a rollercoaster decade. Have fun, but also be smart and try to plan ahead when possible. Feb 26, 2024

  • UMKC Marketing and Communications Wins 10 CASE Awards

    Awarded projects range from advertising to writing
    The University of Missouri-Kansas City Strategic Marketing and Communications division received 10 awards for excellence in advancement, alumni relations, marketing and communications initiatives and materials from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, also known as CASE. The division received 2023 Best of District VI Awards in categories that include advertising, design, magazines, videos and writing.  “At UMKC, we are blessed with an immensely talented marketing and communications team who do great work, day in and day out, sharing our university’s unique story to the world,” said Anne Hartung Spenner, vice chancellor for Strategic Marketing and Communications. “This year we broke our team record for CASE awards. What a great honor to see our team’s excellent work recognized by our higher education peers.” Here are the following projects that received awards: Special Events: In-Person (Single-Day): School of Medicine 50th anniversary event In 2022, the UMKC School of Medicine celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the school and its innovative six-year program that accepts students right out of high school. The UMKC Strategic Marketing and Communications team designed a full suite of materials such as a 50th anniversary logo and videos shown during the gala. Videos: Commercials: RoosDo TV spots The RoosDo TV spots aim to showcase UMKC Roos who are creating change across Kansas City and the rest of the world by spotlighting Roos who are bringing health-care solutions to those most in need, inventing new technologies that change lives, dedicating themselves to service and running businesses that employ thousands of people. Publications: Student Recruitment (Series or Package): First Gen Roo First Gen Roo is a program that supports first-generation college students at UMKC and helps them navigate the college experience. Strategic Marketing and Communications partnered with the First Gen Roo program staff to create branding and a series of recruitment materials to attract future students to the program. Videos: Promotional (Short): Community Engagement Video – Clio This video tells the story of Clio, a website and mobile app used across the country to record and preserve history in digital format. It also shares how its creator, David Trowbridge, Ph.D. , William T. Kemper associate research professor in digital and public humanities at the UMKC, uses Clio to help artistic, cultural and historical organizations in Kansas City, and across the country, tell their stories. Videos: Promotional (Long): Bloch 100th video We celebrated prominent Kansas City leader and founder of H&R Block Henry W. Bloch’s 100th birthday with a special celebration to pay tribute to his legacy and a video to honor Bloch and all he has meant to Kansas City, UMKC and the community. The event, on his birthday July 30, was open to the community, alumni, faculty, staff and students, as well as close Bloch family and friends. Videos: Fundraising (Flash Campaign/Giving Day): Giving Day 2022 UMKC students shared their stories about the positive impact scholarships have made on their lives and education as part of a video for UMKC Giving Day. The video also featured UMKC alumni and donors. Magazines: Alumni/General Interest (Printed Once a Year): Vanguard Volume 6 Vanguard Magazine is an annual research-centered publication that features the latest faculty news and research at UMKC. This specific issue highlighted stories that included sustainable urban agriculture, removing chemicals from drinking water, technology enhancements for work zone safety and limiting glaucoma damage. Design: Invitations: Crescendo invitation UMKC Crescendo is a signature university event that showcases student talent at its renowned Conservatory. The invitation for the event is a representation of the creativity, the passion and the deep artistic connections of the event. Marketing: Marketing Initiatives (More Than 25 Staff): Quick to Market 60-Day enrollment push The marketing team, partnering with enrollment management, gained approval for a plan to market to new geographic areas, market specific degree programs and employ more commercial marketing techniques. Three months after launch, there was a 10%increase in applications and admits and more than 5,900 qualified leads from new areas alone for the following semester. Writing: News/Feature (Less Than 1,000 Words): Professors Study the Impact of Sound on Operating Room Safety The story highlights how a faculty donation leads to collaboration between professors in the School of Medicine and UMKC Conservatory to yield safer surgeries. Feb 26, 2024

  • One Family, 100 Years of Roos

    UMKC Alumni Association honors the Tedrow/Selders/Hogerty Family with the 2024 Legacy Award
    Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes outstanding alumni achievements. UMKC is honoring the Tedrow/Selders/Hogerty family with its Class of 2024 Legacy Award. The family legacy dates back more than 100 years, when Joseph Herbert Tedrow graduated from the Kansas City School of Law (now UMKC School of Law) in 1922. The next family members to attend UMKC, then known as the University of Kansas City, were brothers Loyd Selders (B.A. ’39) and David V. Selders, who attended but did not finish due to World War II. The story extends several more generations. Alumni include Joseph’s granddaughter, Martha Hogerty (B.A. ’75, J.D. ’79), and grandson, Eugene (Pat) Selders, Jr. (B.A. ’72). Martha’s daughter, Mary (Hogerty) Needham (B.A. ’88) and her cousin Joan (Tedrow) Gilson (M.A. ’83, Ph.D. ’94), David’s daughter Dianne Selders Hogerty (B.A. ’78) and her son David Michael Hogerty (B.A. ’89) are also esteemed alumni. “I don’t remember a time when the campus was not a part of the essential fabric of my life,” Needham said. “It was thrilling to think that I was writing the next chapter in a very long legacy.” Members of the family have contributed greatly to the Kansas City community and beyond, both in their careers and volunteerism. Their philanthropic endeavors cross the city and region, including the Junior League of Kansas City, League of Women Voters, St. Mary’s Medical Center, South Plaza Neighborhood Association, Jackson County Historical Society, UMKC Neighborhood Advisory Council and more. Joseph Herbert Tedrow was a member of the Kansas City, Missouri Chamber of Commerce from 1915 until his death in 1951. Most of those years were spent as transportation commissioner; he testified before the Interstate Commerce commission in Washington, D.C. on numerous occasions and authored a book of transportation regulation. Martha Hogerty served as Missouri public counsel for 12 years, where she advocated for Missouri residents and small businesses in matters of utility services. She served as the consumer advocate representative on the Federal Communications Commission’s Joint Board, which made recommendations to preserve and advance universal telephone service, and as a president of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. Now retired, but a lifelong learner, Martha returned to UMKC to audit classes. In 1974, David V. Selders founded Family Features Editorial Syndicate to deliver branded food content directly to consumers; the company provided high-quality content and photography to local magazines and newspapers free of charge. Selders and Family Features pioneered the use of formatted content and the commitment to tracking content placements. Fifty years later, Family Features is still headquartered in Mission, Kansas, and works with top brands to deliver food, lifestyle, and home and garden content. Dianne Selders Hogerty and David Michael Hogerty joined the family business during their careers. Dianne co-founded a chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International in Kansas City, a philanthropic organization of women leaders in the food, beverage and hospitality industry. She served as president of the international organization in 2004-05. “I married after my freshman year of college and stopped my education to begin our family,” Dianne said. “At the ripe old age of 29, I returned to school and finished my degree at UMKC. If UMKC hadn’t been here so I could continue my education, I wouldn’t have become the ‘me’ I am today. I will be forever grateful.” Feb 26, 2024

  • Emmy-Winning Alumna, Educator to be Honored at the 2024 Alumni Awards

    UMKC Alumni Association recognizes Carmaletta Williams, Ph.D., with Spotlight Award
    Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. The Spotlight Award recognizes the excellence of a member of our UMKC community whose accomplishments, leadership and public service have caused regional and national attention to be focused on the university and the metropolitan area. This year, the Alumni Association is honoring Carmaletta Williams (B.A. ’84, M.A. ’87), Ph.D., with its Class of 2024 Alumni Spotlight Award.   Williams earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from UMKC. She boasts a 28-year-long career teaching English and African American Studies at Johnson County Community College, where she also served as the founding Executive Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. In addition, she received an Emmy for her portrayal of Zora Neale Hurston in “Zora Neale Hurston: Queen of the Harlem Renaissance.” She currently serves as the executive director of the Black Archives of Mid-America. “Dr. Williams is engaged in extremely important work in this community,” said Diane Mutti Burke, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Center for Midwestern Studies and co-director of the UMKC Center for Digital and Public Humanities. “The Black Archives of Mid-America, with Dr. Williams at its helm, is one of the most significant institutions engaged in the preservation and dissemination of the history of Black Kansas Citians, a community of great national historic significance.” It was clear speaking to Williams that her work is not slowing down any time soon. What inspired your interest in English literature and a career in teaching? My goal as a child was to become a writer. My mother told me that was well and good, but I needed to be sure that I had a regular income to support myself. She suggested that I be a teacher who writes. I always considered myself a writer who taught. In what ways do writers and poets of color uniquely contribute to the English literature genre and to our shared global community? Writers have an obligation to pull their readers into the work and have them share the experiences that they are sharing. Because the largest oeuvre of American literature is of the white European writers, Black writers and writers of other ethnic backgrounds have a unique perspective of life and lived experiences that they have to make accessible for people who share their heritage and for others wanting to learn more. You received an Emmy for your portrayal of Zora Neale Hurston on PBS. Is acting a new pursuit for you, and do you plan to continue? Acting is not new. I have been performing as Zora Neale Hurston for over two decades now. I performed in church as a small child and in high school plays. Teaching is certainly performance. Today’s students, especially, were raised on television, so they need to be “entertained” as they are taught. Developing pneumonic devices so students can remember the information presented in the classroom takes a bit of the same artistry and creativity that I use in performances – I try something, gauge student reactions, and if positive I repeat it, if not, I try something else. The goals is to help them to understand the information. If students understand, they will remember. What drew you to teaching internationally and bringing English literature to students around the world? There is a big world out there filled with people who surely want to know more about the American experience. I gladly share this with them. And as I teach . . . I learn. What advice do you have for students who would like to follow in your footsteps? Although I would be deeply flattered if any of my students told me they would like to follow in my footsteps, I would advise any one of them to chart their own paths. Their talents and goals are different from mine, and probably superior, so they need to develop their own means of achieving their goals. How did UMKC prepare you for/contribute to your success? My mother and grandmother repeatedly told me that the purpose of an education was to teach me how to learn. UMKC reinforced that. I learned that no matter what I decided to do with my life, or how I was to earn my living, that the basics were given to me. I just had to instill them and adapt them to my life’s choices. Feb 21, 2024

  • Celebrating the 2024 TAASU Freedom Breakfast

    President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) Bob Kendrick shares the history of NLBM and the role it’s played in society
    The African American Student Union (TAASU) Freedom Breakfast was created to commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., promote unity and harmony within the UMKC community and celebrate people of all backgrounds and experiences. This year marked the 33rd anniversary of the breakfast and included student performances. Bob Kendrick, the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, was the keynote speaker this year. He spoke about the history of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, from its humble beginnings to the $25 million new museum campus that is expected to be completed by 2028.“Baseball is what started the ball of social progress rolling in our country,” Kendrick said. “The Negro Leagues gave women the opportunity, before the country gave women the opportunity to do things. It indeed was a pioneering league,” he said “They did not care what color you were, and they did not care what gender you were. It is wonderful to have a place where our children can enter and truly gain a better understanding and appreciation as to why diversity, equity and inclusion are valid pillars towards building respect in our society.” “In this country, if you dare to dream, you believe in yourself, you can do or become anything you want to be. These baseball players dreamed about playing baseball, they did not know they were making history and did not care about making history. They just wanted to play ball. The pride, the passion and the determination that they displayed in the face of adversity, their story is not about the adversity, but rather what they did to overcome that adversity. This is a story that transcends race, it transcends age and it transcends gender.” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas also spoke at the event.“Don’t be afraid to be proudly and exceptionally Black,” Lucas said. “We are changemakers on a university campus in Kansas City, where we are making a difference for our future.”“We need your voices making a difference. We need you all to make sure you are building the society of the future, that just doesn’t talk about equal opportunity, but lifts up our young people and lets them know about the pride and greatness they have within themselves.”   Feb 20, 2024

  • UMKC Student Takes the Driver’s Seat With Her Involvement On Campus

    Mya Thomas’s passion for interdisciplinary learning fueled her interest in STEM organizations such as Women in Science (WiSci) and Baja Buggy
    Conducting research in Iceland and working with Baja Buggies. That’s the typical college experience for Mya Thomas, who loves a hands-on approach in the STEM field. We sat down with the Science and Engineering student to learn exactly what gets her gears going. What inspired you to pursue your major? My major is a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Science with a geology emphasis. I am pursuing minors in astronomy and physics as well as a certificate in Geographic Information Systems. I love exploring the natural world and learning about geologic processes I can observe with my own eyes in the field. I decided to add on minors in astronomy and physics because I want to specialize in planetary geology. It has always been a dream of mine to work for NASA and help plan missions to extraterrestrial lands. How and why did you get involved with WiSci? During my freshman year, I first discovered Women in Science through an alumna that now works with NASA. She said that WiSci was a wonderful and supportive environment for her to be a part of while she was at UMKC. I started off as a general member, but then was elected vice president the next semester and here I am as president about a year later. Since being involved with WiSci, I have gained a passion for making STEM more accessible and success in it more achievable. How and why did you get involved with Baja Buggy? I joined the Baja Racing Team my freshman year because I thought it was cool! My dad has always been a fan of NASCAR and I grew up riding go-karts with him, so I developed an interest in cars and racing. As the current president, I approach this role with a mission to, again, make STEM more accessible and approachable to non-majors. The executive team is composed of all non-engineering students, and we have leads from each engineering discipline at UMKC. I quickly learned how important it is to foster a supportive atmosphere, put trust in your team, and just ask the question when you have it. What do you plan to pursue post-grad? Why? Once I graduate from UMKC, I am going off to grad school to study planetary geology and continue building an interdisciplinary background in STEM. My dream career is to be on a mission planning team at NASA. I am most interested in being a part of a team that develops scientific data collection and analysis plans for a mission to planets or asteroids in our solar system. Mission planning teams at NASA are as interdisciplinary as you can get. Why is the representation of women in science important? What does it mean to you? Learning about science in school, I only recall hearing about Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Galileo. It wasn’t until late high school that I learned about famous female scientists like Marie Curie, Katherine Johnson and Mary Anning. Growing up with this narrative of science being a man’s field made it feel deviant to be interested in pursuing a career in STEM. I don’t want young girls to feel intimidated to pursue a career in STEM. I want young girls to grow up and maintain their curiosities in science and carry that into their career paths. Building a more encouraging atmosphere around STEM would open the industry to so many more diverse perspectives. Do you have any advice for women thinking of pursuing a STEM field? My biggest piece of advice would be to branch out and try new things, more so if you are intimidated. Not only will you grow as a student when you step outside of your comfort zone, but also as a human being. Do you have any current mentors who have inspired you? Hands down,the MELT team at UMKC. The MELT team is a volcanology research team led by Alison Graettinger, Ph.D. in the Natural and Build Environment Division in the School of Science and Engineering at UMKC. Graettinger has been an incredible mentor to me regarding both my undergraduate research pursuits and my general career path. She is passionate about facilitating her students’ success. The path I am on feels so much more fun with Graettinger and the MELT team by my side. Feb 19, 2024

  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart: Guide to Physical and Emotional Heart Health

    This American Heart Month, two UMKC faculty members discuss all things heart, both physical and emotional
    For American Heart Month, we talked to cardiologist Tracy Stevens (M.D. '90), and licensed professional counselor Shantai McCray, M.A., L.P.C., about keeping our hearts feeling good, healing a broken (or damaged) heart and more. Whether you plan to spend the holiday with your special someone or by taking part in some self-care, our two heart experts and UMKC faculty members can help make every day an opportunity to celebrate your heart, not just Valentine’s Day.   Stevens Stevens is a professor of medicine at UMKC, a cardiologist and medical director of the Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center. She found passion for all things heart when she was working as a physical therapist at Saint Luke’s Hospital’s cardiology rehab center, and decided to attend the UMKC School of Medicine’s four-year medical program. “I still remain so grateful for the education and experience in my four years at UMKC,” she said. She has been a champion of women’s heart health throughout her career, and is passionate about educating people about ways to keep their hearts healthy. McCray McCray originally planned to attend law school, and first became a family court case manager, where she found she had a gift for compassion and understanding. Her plans for law school were still in sight, but as she started her family she continued her work in the field of mental health, substance abuse and family services. “At some point I had figured out that this is what I was supposed to be doing,” McCray said. After earning a master’s degree in counseling, she started a private practice and eventually became an adjunct teacher in the psychology department at UMKC in 2022. What does the average person need to know when it comes to taking care of our heart?  Stevens: It boils down to one word and it’s “discipline.” We can prevent traditional heart attack and stroke by 95% by engaging in lifestyle strategies. It’s what we know to do, we just aren’t doing it. Eat healthy. Think of a plate, not a platter. Half the plate is vegetables, a quarter fruit, a quarter protein. Just keep it simple. Stay active. You don’t have to be a maniac about exercise, but move. Do what you like to do and make yourself do it. Maintain ideal body weight, don’t smoke, limit alcohol and avoid prolonged sitting. Sitting is the new smoking and it’s killing us. If we do those ideal lifestyle strategies, it reduces our risk by 95%. If you just pick two, you reduce your risk by 92%. McCray: One of the things that I think is important both personally and in my position as a helper, is first, acknowledgment. Sometimes I feel like that is the biggest part of the battle, because we live in a society where productivity is key, and we continue to move and to go and to get involved and to be engaged, and there’s not enough focus. There hasn’t been enough focus on making sure that you’re okay so you can be at your best when you’re doing all these things. Just be in acknowledgment that there’s something going on, that you’re feeling something. It’s okay to feel it. Because we’re in this rat race, we don’t always stop. I give the example of putting my feet on the floor in the morning and asking myself, ’Where am I?’ And not physically, but, where am I? What am I feeling? What do I need to do in order to get myself to a better place? If we acknowledge it, then we can be prepared to work through it. If we push it to the side, that’s when it starts to build up and that’s when you start to have some of the larger issues. What signs might indicate our heart isn’t in the best shape? Stevens: If you’re stepping on the gas and now you can’t get the gas, you should think, “could this be my heart?” Anything exertional that limits you from the waist up. We think of a heart attack as the Hollywood holding-the-chest-clenched-fist visual. We don’t do a good job of asking about chest pain. It could not be chest pain but chest pressure. It could be indigestion, shortness of breath, pain between the shoulder blades, a toothache, elbow pain, dizziness. A symptom I worry about is new overwhelming fatigue. Anything from the waist up, including fatigue, that you can’t explain, you should ask, “could this be my heart?” McCray: You know what it feels like to feel normal. When you notice you’re feeling abnormal or something’s off, you have to pay attention to that. If you’re in practice of checking in on yourself mentally or physically, then you have a better idea of what’s going on. If you aren’t accustomed to tapping into your emotions, you might be feeling something, but not able to recognize it. So start with the mindset that, “Yep, I have feelings. They’re normal, and I need to be able to identify those. If I can do that, then I can do something about it before getting to a point where it's out of control.” Let’s talk broken hearts. How can someone get back to feeling good? Stevens: It’s never too late! We want to be on these healthy habits that reduce inflammation in our body. The anti-inflammatory lifestyle is of utmost importance, and it’s never too late to adopt healthy strategies. McCray: Healing is not linear. You have to show yourself self-compassion and be really intentional about allowing yourself to feel. It is a process of grief when you’ve lost someone and it can be really impactful. Allow it to come when it does and don’t get into your head and judge yourself. That just adds to it. The other thing I’ll say is still being intentional about connecting with people. As tough as it is, when your heart has been broken and trust has been compromised, connection still heals. Vulnerability begins connection. So even at your most vulnerable, you need that connection. Maybe it’s with a parent or a good friend. You can also connect with nature or a pet. How can we help the people around us take care of their hearts too? Stevens: It’s very sensitive, especially if you’re in a culture where people prepare food a certain way (with excess sodium or unhealthy eating habits). It’s hard to change, and disagreements break out when you try to change culture. It’s empowering people to understand that these lifestyle strategies make a difference. Even if you do just two. The best way to treat a heart attack is to prevent it. Being preventative is far easier up front than being reactive to crisis and chronic disease that could have been prevented. McCray: When you’re talking about community, it’s just about being present. We live in a productivity-driven society, and we go and go and go. So, when we’re asking those questions and checking in with one another, if we are making eye contact and being sincere, then it allows people to feel safe to open up. If we allow ourselves to stop and really be present and intentional about connecting with one another, then we can start to reduce the stigma around emotions. Feb 14, 2024

  • UMKC Professor Takes Cheering on the Chiefs to New Heights

    The School Of Science and Engineering Professor is a Certified Flight Instructor
    Ahead of the Super Bowl LVIII, School of Science and Engineering Professor Mujahid Abdulrahim, Ph.D. decided to take his love for the Kansas City Chiefs to new heights with skywriting. The certified flight instructor drew out designs such as the Kansas City Chiefs logo and a heart with Travis Kelce's 87 in the middle to celebrate the tight end's relationship with Taylor Swift in the sky. His work was featured in the Kansas City Star, FOX4 KC and KMBC 9. Feb 12, 2024

  • Online Nursing Program Recognized for Continued Excellence

    U.S. News ranks online master’s program 36th in the nation
    The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies ranked No. 36 among the nation’s best online graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. According to Dean Joy Roberts, the school takes pride in the recognition for its online Master of Science (M.S.N.) program.“Our M.S.N. program has been well respected nationally, and highly ranked for decades due to the work of our faculty, staff and especially our students,” said Roberts. “Our graduates offer high-quality care and education to the people of Kansas City and across Missouri, as well as across the United States.”An early innovator in online graduate programs, this marks 12 consecutive years the program placed in the top 50. The ranking improved from No. 46 in 2023. The school’s many online offerings enable working registered nurses to continue to provide care in their communities, while preparing for the evolving and dynamic challenges of health care.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 and other options:Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (A.G.N.P.)Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.)Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (N.N.P.)Nurse Educator (N.E.)Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (P.N.P.) Primary Care and Acute-Care (A.C. P.N.P.)Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (P.M.H.N.P.)Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (W.H.N.P.)Ph.D.Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) Feb 07, 2024

  • Two Super Bowl Rings Before UMKC Graduation

    History student gets opportunity to work with the Arrowhead Art Collection
    Meghan Jaben (M.A. ’16), Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student in history, has a unique internship accomplishment. “The Chiefs have won two Super Bowls since I’ve been here, and we get a Super Bowl ring as part of the organization,” Jaben said. “It’s awesome that we’re able to have this memory of such great seasons.” GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium is not just a Kansas City icon. This season, the Chiefs announced an official partnership with UMKC that provides some truly unique opportunities to students just like Jaben.She got to work with the Arrowhead Art Collection, which houses multiple pieces of art throughout GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium . It began as part of the 2010 renovation. Every piece was made by an artist with a connection to Chiefs Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Meghan Jaben “I got the opportunity to come work with the collection through an internship with the UMKC history department,” Jaben said. “It’s a funded internship where they match you with an opportunity in the community.”In Jaben’s case, that opportunity was at the Kansas City icon, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium . This would be a touchdown for any student’s career, but as a former college athlete, Jaben was particularly excited.“I watched sports growing up. I also played sports, so sports have been a really big part of my life,” Jaben said. “To be able to blend sports and art was the dream, so it’s been really fun.”Such an opportunity isn’t available to every college student. Jaben credits the proximity to the city. “There’s huge value in being a student in the city where there are so many opportunities,” Jaben said. “There are alumni. There are community members to connect you. There are existing relationships with organizations that help a student who might not have those connections be able to branch out. Kansas City is full opportunities waiting for them.” Feb 06, 2024

  • UMKC Students Do ‘More in 4’ with New Accelerated Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Program

    Students earn both degrees in four years, saving time and money while they get a jump on their careers
    The Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City unveiled its newest program, More in 4, targeting a select, high-achieving group of students to receive generous scholarship dollars while accelerating their path to an MBA. Accelerated MBA programs at other universities offer a five-year path to a master's degree. With More in 4, UMKC will provide a unique opportunity for students to earn two degrees - their bachelor’s and master’s in business - in just four years, saving students time and money. “As Kansas City's business school, we're thrilled to offer students this opportunity to accelerate their education and jumpstart their careers,” said Brian Klaas, dean of the UMKC Bloch School. The new program also aligns with UMKC’s track record as an institution committed to accelerating students’ degree pursuits, launching them more quickly into their desired careers. UMKC offerings include the nationally ranked six-year B.A. / M.D. Program at the UMKC School of Medicine and the 3 + 3 Program at the UMKC School of Law, among others. "UMKC has a long, successful history with accelerated, combined degree programs," said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. "Our commitment to providing new, first-class opportunities to our students is what makes us Kansas City's top university." By earning their MBA, students open a world of career possibilities and a chance to sharpen critical thinking and communications skills while they gain business and leadership skills to advance their career more quickly. More in 4 also taps the vast business leadership network of Kansas City and the Midwest, offering up the real-world learning students are looking for today in a college experience, according to a recent article in Insider HigherEd. Students who complete the More In 4 program will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting or Bachelor of Business Administration as well as a Master of Business Administration. Bloch alumni Nathaniel Hagedorn, founder and CEO of Northpoint Development, offered inspiration for the More in 4 program and sees it as an opportunity to build talent for the region.  “We are very grateful to Nathaniel Hagedorn for his very generous financial support of the scholarship program and also for his willingness to engage with and mentor program participants,” Dean Klaas said.    Feb 06, 2024

  • Pharmacy Faculty Member Provides Oncology Expertise in Africa

    Diana Tamer worked with the African Access Initiative, which is targeting the cancer crisis in Africa
    For Diana Tamer, Pharm.D., oncology is a calling. What fuels her passion for treating cancer comes from diverse places – from her first oncology patient to the health-care workers she trained in the Ivory Coast. Her expertise in oncology pharmacy presented her with a unique opportunity last summer to train health-care workers in Africa through BIO Ventures for Global Health’s (BVGH) African Access Initiative. The initiative targets the growing cancer crisis in Africa by connecting international experts to health-care providers in Africa. By expanding access to provider expertise, the goal is to empower African health-care professionals to provide high-quality oncology care across the patient population.Tamer initially signed on to deliver an online lecture on oncology to health-care providers across Africa. As an expert in the field, creating an oncology lecture is old hat for her, but this particular training was a bit more complicated — it needed to be in French, the official language of several countries in Africa. Thankfully, Tamer grew up speaking French in her native country of Lebanon, but she hadn’t spoken the language regularly for many years. It would normally take her 20 hours to put together a new lecture. This ended up taking about 60.Although preparing the training would take a lot of work, Tamer had the full support of her colleagues in the Division of Pharmacy Practice and Administration. When she approached the chair of the department, Cameron Lindsey, Pharm.D., with the opportunity, Lindsey thought it was meant for Tamer.“The opportunity was perfectly matched for someone with Tamer’s expertise and her ability to communicate, coupled with her longstanding passion as an educator and pharmacist,” Lindsey said. “Her local and national impact on cancer prevention, screening and treatment is well known, and it enabled the training of so many people across the globe while elevating the health of patients in the region.”Nearly 150 health-care providers, including nurses, oncologists, physicians and pharmacists from 27 African countries attended the online lecture. Tamer’s lecture lasted an hour and 15 minutes, but she stayed on the call for another 90 minutes answering questions. “They were really thirsty for knowledge, and they really wanted to make a difference,” Tamer said. “When you see that as a professor, it makes you want to give even more.”In preparing for the lecture, Tamer began to see an alarming trend in these African countries that spoke to what she is passionate about in health care.“Cervical cancer rates are high in Africa,” Tamer said. “It’s killing a lot of women. Young women with kids and families —and it breaks my heart.”From that point forward, Tamer was all in. There was an in-person training already scheduled in the Ivory Coast in July 2023, and she wanted to help out. To make that happen, she cut short a vacation to Lebanon. “I am in academia because I feel that I can impact more cancer patients by passing on my knowledge to my students,” Tamer said. “I’ve always dreamt of helping places that lack access to high quality health care, so this was an opportunity of a lifetime. I was going to do everything to make it happen.”For the in-person training, Tamer worked for weeks in tandem with BVGH and a fellow oncology pharmacist in Canada, Charles Collin. The three worked together for weeks developing the specialized training. They went separately to the Ivory Coast, with Collin traveling to Africa first, and Tamer and the BVGH team arriving two weeks later. They communicated frequently during Collin’s time in the Ivory Coast, and soon realized their training would need to be drastically reworked.“As soon as Charles got on the ground, we realized what the situation was there,” Tamer said. “They wanted us to advance clinical pharmacy services, but basic pharmacy services needed to be developed first.”Over the next two weeks, she reworked the entire training to outline many of the best practices that are the norm in oncology pharmacy and infusion centers in the United States. From doctor-pharmacist communication to safety measures handling oncology medications, Tamer went over everything that health-care professionals expect in a modern clinical oncology pharmacy setting.Once she arrived in the Ivory Coast, she presented training to 20 health-care workers eight hours a day for three straight days.“I’ve never talked this long in my life,” Tamer said. “Typically, on the days I teach for a few hours at UMKC, I am wiped out for the rest of the day.”But Tamer was not done after the day-long training. Once she finished lecturing, she spent her evenings tweaking her teachings with things she learned that day. She toured facilities, including hospitals, cancer center and pharmacy. As time went on, the health-care providers started opening up to Tamer, providing her with a more complete picture of where their health-care system stands. On her last day, the doctors on site invited her to present her findings and outline how they could work at the government and hospital level to fill in the gaps they have compared to modern clinical pharmacy practice in countries like the United States. Tamer continues to work with the BVGH team to develop and complete a post-visit report exploring opportunities for improved oncology pharmacy services there as well as improved cancer patient treatments and outcomes. Tamer’s hard work is much appreciated by the health care workers who took her training, like Dr. Eunice Adouko, a pharmacist at the Alassane Ouattara National Radiotherapy Center in the Ivory Coast“BIO Ventures for Global Health’s oncology pharmacy training has been a high-quality initiative to improve the knowledge and skills of pharmacists, practitioners, technicians, and nurses in cancer centers,” Adouko said. “Thanks to Dr. Diana Tamer and Charles Collin, we now have excellent resources in terms of cancer treatment.”When Tamer began her oncology career at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Cancer Center in 2017, her passion for the field took root with her first two patients. On her first day at the center, Tamer had two patients begin treatment for cervical cancer. The two women were in their early 30s, and Tamer developed a close bond with both. One of the women would go on to survive, but the second patient did not. Tamer treated the latter for four years, trying non-traditional clinical treatments and pushing to get her patient in sought-after clinical trials. This was at the height of the COVID pandemic when many health-care workers were under incredible stress.“Before she died, she told me, ‘Promise me you will never quit what you are doing, and you will continue to make a difference in people’s lives,’” Tamer said. “I did promise her that, and I told her that people like her make me want to continue doing what I’m doing despite all of the challenges. “And that’s what drove me to go to help in Africa as well.”   Tamer was recently featured in an Advent Health Shawnee Mission piece, titled, "Keeping Her Promise." Feb 05, 2024

  • UMKC Releases 2023 Fall Dean’s List

    More than 1,500 students recognized
    Here at UMKC, we understand that excellence takes time and energy. It requires commitment and tenacity to push through the harder times. During the Fall 2023 semester, 1,516 of our undergraduate and professional students made the dean’s list. This is an incredible academic accomplishment. Students must complete a minimum full-time program of 12 graded hours and meet their individual unit’s GPA threshold to qualify for the dean’s list. These students showed what it meant to take pride in their academic success. If you know someone who made the Fall 2023 list, make sure you congratulate their achievement! Below are the dean’s lists for the Fall 2023 semester. Conservatory Ciel BackusBrett BoyerIsabella BrownRiley BuckWilliam ClippardAurora ConroyNathan CoveyElsa DickersonFrancesca FarinaCameron GurssJackson HarrisonHadley JarvisGalen KroegerGrace LaughtonSantino LicameliAbby MauldinSarah McguyerZoe MeinsKendal MeyerMichelle NelsonChin NukulvutthiopasAshley NunezDavid OosseDillon PottsRozlynn RichertMicah Ruiz EsparzaHenry ScamurraEmily SchutzelWhitney SchweigerCrew ShaferMia SparksElla StottsThomas WelnickZach WestMaddie WilliamsBrady WolffManyi WuJohn Zhu Henry W. Bloch School of Management Sarah AbdelgaderSasha AhmadKaitlyn AllcornParker AllenKeilyn Alvarado-OrtegaSophia AmesBrenna ArmstrongJoshua AsfawLeena AssafCamden BakerRobin BaltersJack BeardDarren BemissIsrael BerhanuLessly BerriosAndrew BetzEzra BottsJulianne BromagenAubrey BrownJack ButtsMael CaissonMak CaldwellCarlos CamachoStefano CamerlengoAutumn CampbellJoel CamposJacobi CapletonJose CardosoChandler CarterBrianna CarterQuinn CavinHenry CharlesYan ChenXuyuzhi ChengOlga CherniavskaChris ChiSatori ClosserWen CloughMadi CochranBrevyn ColeMatthew CollingsBraeden ConnellyZach CoonCassidy CooperCaroline CooperBrie CoxZaylee CoxAllie CrawfordMackenzie CroleyAbby CrooksToby DaleyDaniel DavalosPaola DavisNicole DavisTarrin DeayonSarah DeckerSeth DenbowAshton DevinPardeep DhillonAdriana Diaz LeguilluKannon DillaboughKelvin DinhArnela DzilicGreta EbersoleAbbi EllermanClayton ErhardKendall ErnzenLuke FacinelliMesa FalleurMiguel Fernandez NovasSebastian FloresSydnee FlowersCaroline FoellerLuke FosterJesse FrazierFrancis Reynald GatdulaAki GebreFathi GeelleCelina GentaKiera GodseyBryson GoschJohn GosseBlane GrayDaniel GutgesellSaid HajiLily HayChris HayterMorgan HeimsothGriffin HerSophie HernandezDeya HernandezKenya Hernandez-LopezClaire HicksJosh HinkleLucero HinojosSophia HoKatie HollarJoshua HoodBryce HortLibby HortonXiaoyan HuKiki HuangCaleb HubertDavante HudsonJessica HuynhSeungwoo ImEmily ImesOlga IvanovaParker JohnsonLiam JoyceTyler KalmRirika KamimuraCiara KaneSarah KannenbergNavi KaurSukhmun KaurGrace KertzJackson KingEmma KratzSamuel KrauseAnna KruegerTaylor KvaleBrooklyn LammersShfeo LarJordan LaubLily LefferdKatie LemonIsaac LetschSophia LimongiWeijia LiuYijun LiuCyrus LoarHope LockeEmily LongEric LopezAdriana Lopez-JuradoBojia LuCassandra LudwigAvery MarsdenZoey MarshallMia Matthews-BeavenMorgan McginnisCharles McGrawLeah McIntyreMyles MeadJason MearsIvonee MejiaMcKenna MestasHunter MiesnerKai MillerAmber MillsHayden MitchellTiara MoraDonovan MurnieksShayla MurphyJami NaranjoMarissa NeuerAnthony NguyenKim NguyenVivian NguyenAnh NguyenJustin NguyenQuan NguyenRyan NguyenZach NicholsDylan O'BrienTengis OchirbatAndrew O'DellCameron OesterleNoelia OlivaresFernando OlivaresJavier Olivares BurgosJoshua OliverAlice OropezaMcKenna ParsonsDeesha PatelSahil PatelKrina PatelElyse PayneSydney PedersonSavannah PeisertMarlon Perez-MoralesMya PhamHuynh PhanTara PopeEthan PotterSarah PottsDunia QakeiCassandra QueralJose QuintanaKeenan RandolphChase RedingtonRuben ReyesRiley RhoadsMicaela RichardsGabby RiegelVanessa RomeroJessica RomeroJazmin RomoDevon RoweAndy Sanchez-ColatoAlex SantoroKevin SarmientoMaggie SchoemehlDaniel SchwallerAvari SchwenkRyan ScottRiLeigh ScottLiddy ScuratoJesse SerranoMizki ShireMaggie SilvyMags SimmonsGabrielle SimmsEve SkilesKaity SmithLexy SmithPhilip St. JohnEmily SteinbeckMiriya StilesEvan StonerKristen SwartsRaivion TaylorWhitney TaylorGavin TewErin ThessenSivkan ThindDrew ThompsonKaelyn ThompsonKyler TickleAnastassiya TimofeyevaMandy TranMae TuschmanBrooke TwaddleAlex UnsethStacia UtleySteven VuYue WangPaige WerremeyerTristin WhittonMarissa WilliamsLance WillyardBen WilsonEmma WoodTianzhao XuIvy YangGrace YuYing ZhuLauren Zoller School of Dentistry Ahmad AlhoutiAli AliMichael AllisonFares AlsafarNeil BoesCamden ChastainMegan DartDrake DuganGiovanni FerraroJason FirthShelbi FlahautIsabella FriemelThomas GareCasey GeddesMichael GimottyJackson GlynnSeth HofheinsNaima IbrahimChristopher JohnsonCole JohnsonTia KahwajiElizabeth KiefnerAnastasia KruegerPeyton KusgenKaylee KytasaariRobbie MauGabby MertzEthan NettlerAnh NguyenKylie NicholsMichelle PalmerK-Leigh PappasRiley PerelesQuinten ReasonerMatthew RodriguesKatie RoeAdam SattlerHailey SchlupAmy SchmiemeierHadley SchreinerMackenzie SimpsonLauren SlavensDiana StepanovaJustin SurberJaiden TaggartSaxon TeubnerJuliana TomitaJacob TrammellMatthew WahleClaire WaughEdward Wun School of Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences Bahsan AbdiShams AlarthyElla AlexanderRayan Al-HamdiReena AlshalabiRosa Alvarado-RodriguezGenesis Amaro VenturaConnor AthearnMadison AtkinsIsabella BamnolkerAlyssa BarbeeAdelin BaynumCharlie BellAmna BilalElaina BlodgettJo BoosmanJaylie BuiJenna BulgerErica BurnettAlex BurneyLucy Cardenas VargasMargaret CarsonEileen ChangAngie ChavezMariah ChavezAva ChinnockEmily CollierRobin ConradKelsee CorbinPaige CorderoJaret CourterMartha DelatorreYico DengLaura DickinsonZach DomvilleMaleah DowntonEverett DufurKennedy DuncanAlex DunhamJennifer EnyeribeKatelyn ErceKimberly EscobedoOlivia FesslerCamille FryGio GiangrossoAlison GilbertSadie GilesGrace Gomez-PalacioNaomi GontermanAbby GuzmanEllie HackerMae'Kenya HallMyles HardyLydia HarterMayerli HerreraRaeli HowertonKatie HudsonJordan JacksonAmanda JamesAndria JersettNicholas JohnstonMattea JonesMya JonesSunita KalikoteCaroline KeithleyLyba KhawarMikaylah KingAbby LogsdonAlyssa LopezErin MagelJess MajhorGracie MalicoatNathan ManningKatherine MasonLaura McClaflinJamie McCleadHeather McCoyCheyenne McGaryBrianne McGovernMichael McGroskyKate McKownMaya MillerBrenna MorganConfi MuhozaAlex NelsonJessica NguyenAndra OkoyeSamantha PanznerLauren ParkerNatalie PeaceLily PriceRonnie QuickCurtis RadakovichRakiah RichardsonJacqueline RiveraAlanie RiveraValencia RodriguezAdeline RogersTara RossIsabella SalinasPaige SanfordCandy SarresAlyssa SchulzAmina ShahNeeti SiddiqueNoah SimsAdriana SpanglerAbigail SwansonAndrew TraceyAnnie TranLandrea Van MolMeaghan VandeheyGabi VandenburgEllery VaughnRah'ki WalkerLydia WeaverAdelaine WeidlerDallas WelchNoah WerremeyerSean WesselIsaia WilcoxenRenika WilliamsKy WilliamsGrace WilsonHenry Witt School of Humanities and Social Sciences Natalie AdermannAshley AllemannElizabeth AllenDanielle AltschulEsli Alvarado-IslasTaylor AndersonAlbania AndradeAshley AppleberryDaniela Arzabala LopezKaylee BaggerlyIsabella BakerAmelia BaldwinAndi BasaloKaya BeitzLogan BeltKashauna BerryKaitlyn BerryHeather BerryKayla BiggsEmily BlackMaisy BlantonMatt BollinTracey BradfordElyse BredfeldtMaddy BremerBridger BrockmanChanah BrownVictoria BrownSydney BrownKate BrummundGrace CarrYessica CasaresAugustine CaytonOlivia ChristensenJocelyn ClarkChristina CloughGrace CoganMorgan ColeMichael CollingsDestanie CollinsAbby ConnorSalome ConteronOlivia CottonJami CoxLuke CozadJay CravensDaze Creamer-EllecampPidge CrozierLilah Crum BarnhillAdelina CurielAaliyah DanielsLilith DavisAshley DavisStephanie DonovanPaul DurlandRachel EricksonAlexandrea ErismanViolet EsquivelLilly EstradaNoah FanslerMikayla FarageSam FaulhaberRae FellDaisy FergusonMachaela FordNicole ForysKelly FuentesLiliana GonzalezZachary GraggRebekah GrantDoris GravesOscar GrisNatalya GruzdAndy GuzmanYasmeen HanonHaylee HarrellIsabel HarrymanMichael HaynesGrace HeathLogan HendersonYency Hernandez-SanchezSarah HerndonMelissa HerreraKatarina HillBen HillearyLauren HirningSamuel HitchcockPhillip HoDavid HolmesPeyton HowardAmy HurleyEmily JacobsJustin JangFaduma JarikEmily JohnsonChance JohnsonSidney JohnsonParker JonesCerylean JonesDaniel JonesHugo Juarez AvalosLetty KaiserKat KalfayanTeayom KarimpourianKatelyn KaysCaiden KeenErynn KellGrant KendallSarah KirkMackenzie KlausJoshua KoopsMaddie KovarikSydney KramerLauren KreiselSara KronawitterJack KrzykowskiEliott LabethAdam LansdownJulien Le BourdoulousSam LendoHallie LewisBenjamin LewisRayvon LewisHannah LeyvaNoah LibowitzDayton LittleHennessey LopezEvie LozanoMaggie MaennerLauren MageeMayzie MangosLilah ManningScott ManuelGabby Marin CastanedaAlexandra MattssonCatie McArthurKiara McCreaFelicia McDonaldAli McKeeAubrionna MeadJuan MedranoNick MehnGeorge MendezItzel MendezEbele MgbemenaKale Marie MichaelGrace MillerWren MillerYasmina MokhtarCatherine MonaghanJose MontoyaKenney Monzon BrunoJay MooreMaddie MurphySamuel NagyAreeba NaseerJosie NewmanJessie NguyenJackson OgdenKanyon OlberdingMichelle Oliva-EspinosaAsh OnstottSarah ParkReece ParkerJordan PaxtonCaitlin PickertMegan PilegeElizabeth PorrittArthur QualmanTheo RaitzerJack ReavesAdam ReedCheyenne ReeseJacob ReevesManuel RiveraNovalee RiveraRogelio RodriguezJoslyn RossOlivia RubioBrooke RuppThessa RyanJoy RyanJouhel SalinasAbby SanduskyEmma SauerNeal SawyersEmma SaylerIsabelle SchroederAdriana SegovianoVictor SewankamboDelaney ShieldsKowthar ShireJoe SimmonsZa'Carriah SimmonsMolly SloanHarry Soper PlazaHenry SowellVincent SpriggsBenjamin SpringerReagan StarkAydan StiglerEvan StolbergPeyton StremmelJazlyn SummersTristan SupernawTennessee TaffnerHannah TawneyDa'Mya ThomasJulia ThompsonKimberly Torres-VelaSophia TrudeHannie TruongAllBright TunMichaela Vanden HullJacob VanzantCamille VerhoevenCatie WalkerAmber WaltersKeegan WatkinsAbigail WeilerDylan WelchElla WhitfieldSeneca WhortonAlexander WildtAbram WilliamsVictor WilliamsLainey WillisBrynn WinklerThistle WolfLeigh WoodyGrace WorkmanIsabella Yennie School of Law Kit AdderholtLoulya AlabedAllee ArmitageShep AronKelsy AustwickSidney Bach-NormanBailey BakerOlivia BanesJuliana BartoliAshley BartonMary BellRaef BellBekah BerardiCameron BerryOlivia Bess-RhodesOtto BoschReema BounajemBrent BoydJulia BreukelmanNaomi BuieEthan BureshKarima BurnsJason CantrellJosie CareyRachel CarrJohn CastelloAshley CerrentanoBrian ChristianAndrew ClarkPayton ClousePhilip ColeMakenna CopelandAshley CornishBobbie CrewTaylor CullenMegan CurrieSamantha CusumanoMegan DeanAlexus DeanTrinity DelaneyAlex DeLucaAlexis DennyEmily DesbienKendall DillonEmma Kate DillonSofia DominguezAnna DonaldsonJosie DostalJacques DoughertyChristopher DouglasMaria DunnYara DuranAlec EbersoleMatthew EblenErica EdmistenJacob EisenhauerJackson ElderWilson EllisLukas FieldsCarson FinkSamantha FisherMartina FloridoNatelee ForbesBrian FordLexie FoxJustice FrankeKit FrazenTaylor FreundKersten FrostDanny GamezJulie GastErika GreerMatthew GrimaldiLillian HallJakob HalphinSpencer HashagenCorbin HealyGrant HeimanCatherine HenneEmma HeroldLiam HeuselTorri HicksBen HobstetterHans HodesCliff HollyWyatt HoughGrant HouskeJulia HowellLukas HudsonAlison HuffMatthew HyattOlivia JabaleyKaylee JacobsonElizabeth JanneyTara JanowskiLogan JeffersNoah JohnsonNathan JohnsonJared JohnstoneIan JonesMargaret KellstromEmma KingCole KingsleyAlec KirwanKaren KutninkSalenna LaffoonShelbie LangfordNick LangsdaleJustin LarsonLauren LawsonJacob LeamonJilliane LewisSara LewisLauren LipariLilly LucasErin LynchMadeline MannBrad MatteuzziLauren McFailBruce Mena-SierraAlexandra MiddlecampKaleb MillerBailey MoffettAnna MooreBrett MordecaiMaureen MurphyHannah MurphyJacob NiemeyerKendal NilgesThomas NocitaSam NultonAustin OhnmeisAnnMarie OrlandoReid ParkerShivani PatelSamuel PetersonEmma PiazzaKirsten PintoAustin PolinaKaylee PopejoyLeslye QuintanillaAriel Nicole RecaldeJohn RellihanErin RichardsChance RiddleJessica RigbyAddison RockersChristopher RogersEmma RomanoMichael RoseTaylor RumseyDana SamaniegoClaire SchallenbergRhiannen SchneiderKloe SchnellRobert SchwindAshley SegniboMadelyn SeleyMadison SelfMargaret SelfJoel SenJarrett SextonAdina ShabazzOlga ShupyatskayaHaley SirokmanJoseph SkojacHelene SlinkerLiudmila SloanKyle SmithSage SmithCait SpackmanWill SpeidelAndrew StaffordJoseph SteinbacherNichole StewartKaylee StillieLaura StinglEllen StingleyColby StoneBenton StrongAnna Syptak-WelchMaxson TechauGabrielle ThurnMegan TiedeReece TreasureNika TsiklauriGiorgi TsivtsivadzeAnna VanBuskirkWilliam VanceElias VaoifiJohn ViewAlex VillalobosRobert WaldMatthew WalkerSeth WalkerStephanie WaxmanSamantha WhiteKyle WhiteBrennan WhittKevin WiseIan WisemanCalli WisemanThomas WolffBryce WolffRegan WoodKristin WoolumsConnor WorksWilliam Youngs School of Medicine Youssef AbouelelaMaanvi AggarwalLaila AlhajeriShayaan AnisTharika ArunkumarMeha AsirAnam AzimRiya BhatMira BhatiaAlex BoydEthan ChaShreya ChalapalliQasim ChohdryTochi EzeanolueMallory GardKeshav GhanekarEllie GiraDevan GirishMaddie GrimesShekhar GugnaniMason HawleyRayney HeldMarc HermanEvan HuangSarah IllimoottilMira IyerFahad JamalAJ JenkinsJulia JoseJeshna KaparthiAmanuel KifleSindhuja KudapaNeha KumarAnnalise LawlorLeo LiuKushi MadduruPriyanka MahadevGyan MalaniKenna MarlingGovind MenonAnthony MishrikyDaniel MoftakharYeanna MoonPhoebe MurphyCarla NemerEthan NguyenAratrika PalAarti PalaniappanRiya ParikhVani PatelRonit PatelMeirah PaulUma PillaiPrecious PlaisimeLeya PogueArushi RaiNeeti ReddyMuzzammil SalauJoel SetyaAnanya SharmaAhad SheikhNikitha ShethKoda ShivelyLiana StowellSid SuvarnaNatalie SwampillaiDiana TranEthan VillasenorCece WattsMarley WoodfordJames WorthamJustin WuGauri Yadav School of Nursing and Health Studies Yaretzy Aguirre CamachoFaduma AhmedHiba AlterjalliTheresa AlvarezKeeley AtkinTami AyegboBreegan BarnettJudy BattsElauni BennettAvery BradyCaroline BrandtAmelia BreuerMattea BrooksAnnMarie BucksbeeSkyler BurkeAlivia CalvertAlex CarreonKayla CoatesEmily CrainLydia CripeKoy CrockettMackenzie DaltonKayla DansbyKelsey DavisBrylee DierkingBree DowdyNouran ElhiweejLyric EwingNaomi EyanaghoNonso EzeTia 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StarnesRiley StehlikKarsyn StehlikElizabeth SteppBrooke TannerSarah ThalkenJenny TranBethany VandenburgKadin VireCaden VoGrace WaldeierMaleah WestBailee WestonKamara Winda School of Pharmacy Brooke AtchisonSharon BaskaranKayla BondBryce BortkaMaddie EppleMarian FrizzellJoshua HendersonHaley HernandezVincent IrwinElla KemmMaya KivistoJaeni LeeBryce LucasPayton NeubauerTam NguyenHailey OeschJoseph SalazarSavannah SchludeRachel SkoskyJohn StriblingTraeten ThorellTommy TranWill WhiteLauren YoungbloodJefferson Zhong School of Science and Engineering Aymen AbboodSalma AbdelrahmanHashim AbdullaMohsen AbdulrahmanAnar AgayevAryan AhirHafsa AhmedRashid Al GhailaniSadia AlamSaleh AlameeriSuleyman AlasgarliAhmed AlbarwaniAmmar AlbeloushiLulu AldarweeshKalkidan AlemayehuHanna AlemuFahad AlfarhanSulaiman AlhammadiAbdulrahman AlhammadiMohammed AlharbiEkram AliHamad AlkhameesMouada AllanAbdulwahab AlmatouqCarlos Alonzo CordonYousef AlqallafNadeen AlsalmanAli AlsulaimanMeshari AlsuwaidanKhaled 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Campos-SotoOlivia CarlsonAustin CassDonovan CastanedaKristine Isha CastilloJosh CastroNoah ChapmanJessica ChaseXingyu ChenYumiko ChenBetelhem CherieMichael ChiPaul ChmelirBrandon ChongIteara ChristianCatherine ChrobakGrace ChurchCameron CiancioloCody ClarkEmily ClarkBrayden ClarkConnor ClarkMichael ClaussLexi CliftMarissa ColmarRiley ConnorsBridgit ConwayCitlalinzi Cortes TorresKarina CoxSarah CrawfordJarod CriderPrincess CullomAndrew CustisJacob CutlerMuzan DaffaallahMohammed DaghmoushMichael D'AgostinoEthan DangLily DangGrace DangAbdulaziz DarweeshAustin DavidCaitlyn DavisNicholas de RaadRJ DedertTim DeGraffenreidSheyda DehghaniKopelyn DeLongNoah DevlinAissatou DialloGaby Diaz LeguilluJohnny DiepSeth DinslageHaindavi DirisalaLydie DjibaKhoa DoLan DoAnh DoanBrock DobbieAleigha DollensPorter DombrowskiMika DonelsonAbigail DotyDakota DouglasLogan DudleyKaia DunfordBrian DuongMichael DurandSilas DuvallMason EarlyReed EasonRayaan EkilahMohamed ElgasimNaomi EmersonJoe EppersonEuropa EstabrookMichael FamurewaLauren FergusonChristina ForbesDavid ForsonKylan FosterSymone FranksMichael FrazierDylan FrazierKevin FrazierConner FreeoufAlejandra Frias FraireNolan FroeseHenry FrommerPeyton FryNicholas GaitanPavan GantaWilliam GarayChad GardnerSai Charan GarrepallyLauren GarrettJay GaskellRediet GebreJosh GehrMatthew GerstnerAlex GhasemiGianna GiarraputoSirat GillAmber GillaniJeffrey GillumCesar GinerMary GipsonDiego GiraldoKyle GoodmanBrandon GouvionLance GrabmillerJackson GrantSophie GreenSam GriffinSeth GrishamAutumn GuptaPhan HaTrey HallAmanda HammStephen HangeJosh HarraldBethany HartNathaniel HartmanAlina HasanRuweyda HassanDominic HeaterMackenzie HebererRoe HendricksJohnny HeosSam HermanSelena HerreraCassie HerringBrooke HigginsMason HilgenkampCassidy HillBenjamin HillRegina HoKevin HoNgocTien HoangTrenton HoeflickerIzzy HogelinTanner HoilandKona HudsonTimothy HuffAndy HumphreyCollin HunterThomas HusmannDaniel HuynhChristine HwangGavin HystenAisha IbitoyeAbram 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MarrsSidney MartinYasamin MashayekhiZavier MattsonAleena MazharJosh McAnerneyAmaya McBrideTrinity McCannIsabelle McCarthyMichael McCormackEvan McDanielMike McDonoughClayton McGinnisNicholas MckenzieKayla McKnightGrace McKownSamantha MedleyFinn MeggittHamza MehidiVanessa MenzAva MetcalfBethlehem MezemirBryce MillerEthan MillerBrooks MillerMadyson MinkerSalman MirzaMadison MitchellNina MitchellJaxen MitchellDevin ModdeGenova MongaloKaylee Monroy RiverosMaddie MooreLuke MooreKatelyn MooreElizabeth MooreTrenton MooseMariana MoralesBerenice Moreno-PerezPeter MorganRaine MorriganAidan MorrisKegan MorrowDenny MosbyXander MosleyNina MruckovskiFardowsa MuhumedBree MurphySeven MurrayJames MyersTrevon MyersKyle NaluanShriya NandakumarEmily NatanovaBen NelsonBroden NestlerTaylor NevezMinh NgoAmy NgoQuynh NguyenDanny NguyenCadao NguyenTri NguyenEthan NguyenHailey NguyenDuy NguyenDuc NguyenDylan NguyenScott NguyenKira NixonBrendon NixonAslonjon NosirovShelby O'BanionBridget O'BrienJake OBryanAbby O'DonnellJonathon OdumDiamond OgunsijiMumiye Olatunde-SalawuSemire Olatunde-SalawuCaden OllarIan O'NealWilliam OpsahlDylan OrpinIsa Ortiz-AcostaZachary OsmanovicGunner PaceSara PaceNick PadillaNicholas PageSaniya PanditaSui ParJazmin ParraCahaya PasekAna PastoraYagna PatelAarohi PatelElena PayneGarrett PazderaSara PetropoulosHallee PhamJason PhanJahnavi PingaliOliver PowellAdam PowersEden PradoGeorge ProkopWylie PutnamDiana RamirezAbril RayoAlexis ReedThomas ReillyAlondra ReyesJessica RiceKaitlyn RichmondLexi RickerParker RobinsonElle RobinsonGray RobisonLanden RobyJacob RodriguezLuis RodriguezChris RodriguezViger RomoIan RowseAly RubleKenna RyalsPetrea RyanAhmed SalousJeremy SanchezLuis SanchezDori SandritterPreston SantoSofia SarrisRoman SchellhaseGalen SchickRowan SchmidliEvan SchoorAvri SchultzCarson SchultzJaylee SchulzCarter ScobeySam ScottCatherine SegoviaMahnoor ShahidQuinten ShanksLee ShaverAnna ShawAustin ShiltJacob ShipmanCalvin ShuckWilliam SikorskiJaylen SinclairNiketa SinghAtlas SizemoreClayton SlonikerSebastian SmithLarry SmithHayden SmithBrady SmithElliott SmithKatie SmithNate SmithAlessandra SmithAdam SolimaniNithin SongalaRichard SorianoKatie SpaldingJames SparksLily StedmanTom SteinmanRylan SteppPeter SternMatthew StubblefieldDenis SumarokovChristian SuttonMadison SweeneyAatif SyedEd SzczukaHannah TaiAlex TangEmelin TapiaJordan TarantoA Chao ThaoMarcus ThimeschSirisha Reddy ThimmareddyMya ThomasSam ThompsonDiyana TialNatalie TillTuana TinaztepeEmra TmusicLindsy ToddMichelle TranMichelle TranAnh Thu TranJayden TranEmma TroutTaylor TrudellYen TruongPhi TruongAmy TsaiNoah TurnerEmma TurnerMadison TwiteLauren UkenaAaron UptonHannah UrquillaNathan VanzeylIris VazquezLarry VeulemanMichael ViermannChris ViermannIsadora VillanuevaPhuc VoKevin VoBrian VoHalley VogtsHay WahAdam WaldrenMarshall WalkerGriffin WalshStephen WangNicholas WardChris WardGabi WatkinsNoah WatkinsAshton WeeksCaden WehnerJayden WehrJacob WeidleApollos WeissenfluhJailyn WendtKimora WhetstoneKatherine WhiteMeghan WhiteKai WhiteBailey WhithausDylan WicklundIsaac WilliamsCole WilsonBraden WittLondon WittharReese WoodJulia WoodsIsaac WoodwardGabriel WorcesterJacob XayaphetAlexander YarsulikAlice ZhaoPresley Ziegenbein University College Monica AguilarDaisy AmparanAdelle BakerSonja BleierMaggie BuchananGrace ClarkPayton Crump-McHughElla Davis-StilesKiran DeolMathew DrinkhouseAnthony EppelheimerChris FullerAilyn GonzalezKenia HerreraCelina HoKian Hunt-EspinoAnevay MartzCrystal NguyenMichelle OgazAlejandro PizanoTori PolandOmar RadoncicCarson RocheKarla Romero-ArellanoAshley RosalesAnthony RuizSophy SaykallyIsaac ScottJade SotoTwyla ThomasFinley WaldrenChristopher WalkerKamari WatkinsBrant Wilson If a student’s name does not appear on the list, please direct questions to the appropriate school or college. Feb 05, 2024

  • This Child Psychologist is Breaking Through Adversity Walls

    Erin Hambrick is changing the way we understand childhood trauma
    Did you know people can experience growth after traumatic events? Erin Hambrick, Ph.D., is looking into how people have the ability go through trauma at a young age and all come out with different responses.  Last year, Hambrick’s work was chosen among hundreds of articles, and she was selected to be an inaugural speaker at Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Aware to discuss her paper. The ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the nation effort to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) to help improve and save lives. What is your area of expertise? I’m a clinical child psychologist. I specialize in children’s exposure to adversity; specifically, how the timing, nature and severity of the negative experience can affect their development throughout the lifespan. I also study how positive experiences can be used to intervene and help children resume a more positive developmental trajectory. What is the focus of your research? My lab really zeroes in on how we can use what we know about what happened to a kid to inform how we might intervene. Some of what we do is longitudinal studies, where we’ll look and see what happened to kids and how it affects their long-term experience. We also work with therapeutic preschools and community-based agencies, to assess life experiences that kids have had. We help them understand what to expect in terms of how long treatments take, particularly what social supports and protective factors we really need to shore up for the child before we might expect the interventions to begin working. What led you to this field of study? Early in my study, I was really interested in the way people had the ability to experience hardship and get through it. Why is it that some people can go through really extreme circumstances and either come out okay, or even exhibit some growth? We obviously know that adversity and trauma can lead to many negative outcomes that we want to prevent, but it doesn’t always do that. So, I’ve been very interested in why is it that we have this differential response, and how we can learn more about it so that we can help more people get through traumas and adversities. What is your research paper about? An open question for some time has been the relative impact of when adversity happens during a child’s development. I think for a long time we really haven’t appreciated that severe, chronic and unrelenting stress even during the first few months of life is not only impactful but might be more impactful than stressors or experiences later. So, this paper was perhaps the first to show that chronic and unrelenting exposure to adversity during the first two months of life have a more pervasive and negative impact on children’s developmental trajectories than adverse experiences later in life. What do you wish more people know about your research? To me the number one message is how powerful, positive early life relationships can set children up for success. The most exciting part is that we are talking about stuff everyone can do. We’re talking about feeding a baby when its hungry, regulating a baby’s temperature and smiling at a baby when it wakes up. However, we probably will need some systems changed, to make those basic realities available to all children. I wish people knew just how important those early moments are but also just how capable we are as a society in doing what it takes to give kids a positive start. Why is your research important to understand? The reason why early exposure to extreme stress and relational poverty is so impactful is how fast our brains are developing in response to our environment in those early days. Our very first experiences set our neural “templates” for the way the world works. If we are bathed in stress in our early days, then our stress responses strengthen and grow while the parts of our brain that help us grow and develop are kind of put on hold. Therefore, with early life adversity and relational poverty, we often see global deficits in sensory processing, cogitation, self-regulation, other relational skills and more. Feb 01, 2024

  • Academy Award Winner Gives Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture

    Kevin Willmott shares earlier history of ‘Becoming Martin’
    Academy Award winner Kevin Willmott was the guest speaker for this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture. Willmott, the writer of critically acclaimed films such as “CSA: The Confederate States of America,” “Chi-Raq” and “BlacKKKlansman,” spoke about how a young sociology student would become the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Tamara Falicov, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, was excited to welcome back her long-time colleague for the 15th instance of this annual campus event. “Kevin is an inspired filmmaker, with a collaborative spirit and dedication to this region,” Falicov said. Based on the research conducted for his play “Becoming Martin,” Willmott shared the little-told history of King as a college student and the people around him, especially the minister Benjamin Mays and King’s own father, who inspired him to create a legacy that has inspired so many others. “Anybody who achieves anything, it’s always about the people who helped you along the way,” Willmott said. Students across UMKC came out to hear Willmott speak. “I had heard of him as a filmmaker,” said Elliott Smith, an urban planning and economics student. “It’s great how he extrapolated the history to reflect the culture of the time and made it relatable.” “I was impacted, as a younger listener, how he compared the tragedies of the 60s to modern tragedies we have experienced in our time,” said Taylor Trudell, a student in environmental science“The examples really put it all in perspective for how to get stuff done.” The full lecture is available to watch online. Jan 29, 2024

  • UMKC Alumni Award Winner Turns Class Project into Community Organization

    Henry Wash shares the impact his mentors had on him, and how he started High Aspirations
    Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes outstanding alumni achievements with an awards celebration. Henry Wash (B.A., M.P.A) is the Class of 2024 Defying the Odds Award recipient. Wash is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of High Aspirations (HA) and served as a mentor and board member of HA from 2003 to 2013. He has over 26 years of expertise in designing, implementing and evaluating programming for at-risk populations. Wash’s educational accomplishments include an associate degree in applied science, associate degree in arts, bachelor’s in sociology, minor in Black studies and Master of Public Administration in urban affairs. He overcame his circumstances in large part due to the mentoring he received from two prominent Kansas Citians, Henry W. Bloch and Thurman N. Mitchell, KCTV5. These two mentors have helped Wash identify his purpose in life. This led Wash to pursue his vision of making an impact on the Kansas City community, especially for young men. Wash is a current board member of Caring for Kids, Children’s Campus KCK, KC Common Good and Hawthorn Foundation. What was the inspiration for High Aspirations? HA was one of my research projects while attending the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management in 2003. It was founded on evidence-based peer reviewed and empirical research from various backgrounds such as public administration, anthropology, sociology, higher education, psychology, Black studies and business. I walked away from a profession in the freight world to pursue my true calling in 2013 and have not looked back since. Today, we have the first mentoring campus for African American men in Kansas City. Our vision is to help make the world a better place. How did UMKC prepare you for or contribute to your success? I would not be where I am today without UMKC. My education gave me the foundation to gain experience and become the Henry Wash I am today. What advice do you have for students who would like to follow in your footsteps? Take your time. It has taken me 20 years. The sooner you pursue the purpose in your life, the better you’ll be. Jan 25, 2024

  • Chiefs Partnership Gives UMKC Students a Backstage Pass to Champion Team’s Front Office

    Stadium tours, job shadowing and leadership lunches are among the unique opportunities
    Trying on Super Bowl rings and standing on the sidelines of GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. This is a day in the life of a UMKC student with the university’s new partnership with the Kansas City Chiefs.  The partnership is focused on opportunities for students to learn from the Chiefs front office staff. During the first five months of the five-year partnership, students have attended several leadership lunches and a shadowing day at the Chiefs training facility. Also as part of the partnership, scholarships, internships and fellowships will be available exclusively to UMKC students. Students attending the leadership lunches and shadowing day have learned from a number of Chiefs staff members, including the chief financial officer, vice president of accounting, project director of manufacturing, engineering, plumbing and construction, vice president of player services and assessment, director of player engagement and more. “We’re giving an opportunity for students to understand all the different lines of work we do here and skillsets that our employees have,” said Kim Hobbs, Chiefs Vice President of Partnership Strategy and Development. Student groups First Gen Roo, Professional Career Escalators and Men of Color Academy attended leadership lunches both on the UMKC campus and the Chiefs practice facility. Men of Color Academy is a cohort-based program that encourages academic achievement, leadership and personal growth. Program director JaVon Hill says that this partnership is a game-changer for students.“This dynamic partnership between UMKC and the Chiefs unlocks a world of possibilities for our students,” Hill said. “They are fortunate to be part of this unique relationship that will open doors to unparalleled access and networks, serve as a direct launchpad for empowerment, spark inspiration and fuel innovation all at the same time.”Students in the Professional Career Escalators program have benefited from these open doors, literally, with a shadowing day spent at the Chiefs practice facility and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Students in this program – which emphasizes professional experiences in the health-care, education, business, engineering, law and justice fields – had unparalleled access to top-level staff members. Much of their time was spent in small groups with staff members to learn about their jobs and career fields and make valuable connections.Juan Owens attended the shadowing day just before graduating from UMKC with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He spent the day with Shaun Tyrance, Ph.D., vice president of player services and assessment. In his role, Tyrance focuses on all aspects of behavioral health, wellness and performance psychology for all club employees, including players, coaches and staff. Owens said that the opportunity to talk with Tyrance was invaluable to his own career aspirations. Graduate school may be in Owens’ future, and he credits the shadowing day with helping define what that may look like.“I got to learn what exactly it is to be a sports psychologist,” Owens said. “I understand more what it takes to be that person and what I can do in my own community. Where I come from, there’s not a lot of resources, so this opportunity means a lot.”Beyond spending time with Chiefs’ front-office staff, the students enjoyed a behind-the-scenes stadium tour and learned about the history of the organization and the Hunt family. The opportunity to spend time at a world-championship organization is a lesson in success.“This opportunity to really engage with front-office leadership, learn about their career trajectories and connect with our students is powerful,” said Mako Miller, director of the Professional Career Escalators program. “Having such a recognized organization interact with our students in various ways shows a commitment to their career and leadership development. The Chiefs are providing this “behind-the-scenes” look at how an entity like a professional sports team operates and all that it takes to have a successful team.” Jan 25, 2024

  • What Your Zodiac Sign Says About the Best Place to Hang Out on Campus

    It’s written in the stars… and across the UMKC campus
    Ever wondered where you are destined to spend time on campus? Look no further. Here’s a list of the zodiac signs as UMKC spots. Aries: Swinney Recreation Center | March 21-April 19 Energetic and competitive, Aries are bound to feel fired-up after a workout at Swinney Recreation Center. The fire sign will also feel right at home with the sauna and steam room facilities. Taurus: UMKC Dining Hall | April 20-May 20 Tauruses are known for enjoying the finer things in life, including food, environments and people. The UMKC Dining Hall encompasses all the above with its vast dining space and various food options. Gemini: University Playhouse | May 21-June 20 The University Playhouse is home to lots of on-campus events, where Geminis will be able to express their sociable nature. Plus, the faces on each side of the building represent a Gemini’s intrinsic duality nature. Cancer: Haag Hall | June 21-July 22 Cancers are known for being sentimental. A lover of history, they’ll especially appreciate the history behind the Don Quixote mural located in Haag Hall. Leo: Student Union | July 23-Aug. 22 Always craving attention, a Leo is bound to run into someone they know at one of the busiest spots on campus. Ruled by the sun, Leos will also be pleased at the opportunity to bask in the sunlight at the Student Union rooftop. Virgo: Miller Nichols Library and Learning Center | Aug 23.-Sept. 22 Ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, it is only fitting for Virgos to be assigned the Miller Nichols Library. With four floors of varying noise levels, at least one floor is bound to meet their high standards. Libra: The Quad (Blue and Gold Chairs) | Sept 23.- Oct. 22 The balanced nature of libra loves the quad, especially due to its convenient location to most classrooms and lecture halls. The blue and gold chairs also provide the sign known for being great conversationalists the perfect spot to chat with friends in between classes. Scorpio: Diastole Scholars’ Center | Oct 23.-Nov. 21 Tucked away in the corner of the UMKC Hospital Hill Campus, the Diastole Scholars’ Center is as secretive as a Scorpio. Their mysterious aura pairs perfectly with the Diastole Scholars’ Center’s  academia-inspired setting. Sagittarius: Innovation Studio | Nov. 22-Dec. 21 The sign known for loving adventures will be able to escape reality at the Innovation Studio. From the AR/VR lab to the flight simulator, they will be able to indulge their free-spirited nature. Capricorn: Atterbury Student Success Center | Dec. 22-Jan. 19 Known for being one of the most hardworking signs, Capricorns will be able to sharpen their academic skills at the Atterbury Student Success Center. Also known for being practical, they’ll be pleased at the various food and drink options available here, perfect for snacking in between study breaks. Aquarius: James C. Olson Performing Arts Center | Jan. 20-Feb. 18 The James C. Olson Performing Arts Center offers various performances throughout the year, and at least one of them is bound meet an Aquarius’ eclectic and abstract taste. Pisces: Warko Observatory | Feb 19.-March 20 Pisces will be able to Indulge their escapist nature with stargazing at the Warko Observatory. The sign known for being more on the introverted sign will be pleased at the opportunity to recharge their social battery at this quaint spot. Jan 17, 2024

  • UMKC School of Law Recognized for Value, Programs

    PreLaw magazine recognizes five programs for excellence
    The UMKC School of Law was named a Best Value Law School by PreLaw magazine. Additionally, PreLaw recognized the law school as having five top programs: family law, trial advocacy, technology law, business law and tax law. Schools recognized for being a Best Value Law School have favorable employment rates, bar passage rates and overall cost of attendance. “Our goal isn’t to get our students to graduation, it’s to prepare them for everything that comes after that,” Lumen Mulligan, dean of UMKC School of Law said. “Providing value to our students means giving them the tools to pass the bar exam and have a successful career in law while trying to remove as many financial barriers as possible. Programs such as our new, all-inclusive bar prep program support success for all students, regardless of financial circumstances.” This recognition isn’t just a point of pride. Breana Boger, director of admissions for the UMKC School of Law, says that these rankings are important to future law students when making the decision where to attend school. “These rankings help communicate the caliber of our programs and success of our students,” Boger said. “It helps prospective students paint the picture for their own future success.” The university’s location in the heart of Kansas City provides UMKC law students with numerous opportunities to get practical experience before graduation, including clerkships with judges, opportunities with federal and state government agencies, and internships with private law practices and organizations. Additionally, the law school operates several clinics, which give students experience and provide low-cost services to the community. Clinics include the Child and Family Law Clinic, Taxpayer Assistance Clinic, Expungement Clinic and Taxpayers Assistance Clinic. That practical experience is just one of the reasons the UMKC School of Law was recognized as a top school for many of its programs. Students interested in family law, trial advocacy, technology law, business law or tax law will find valuable opportunities to learn both in and out of the classroom. “We have outstanding faculty who are leaders in their fields and many alumni who come back to share their knowledge with students,” Mulligan said. “No matter what area of law a student wants to practice, they’ll find opportunities to learn and a community who wants to support them.” Jan 16, 2024

  • UMKC Nursing Student Has a Passion to Serve the Underserved

    Tatyana Charles sought a second degree after finding her calling
    In her clinical rotations at University Health, nursing student Tatyana Charles (B.H.S. '21) gets to practice exactly what she set out to do when she decided to pursue a nursing career. “I feel grateful that I'm able to take care of my patients in their most vulnerable state to make them smile and take care of their immediate needs,” Charles said. As a Kansas City native, Charles always knew she wanted to help her hometown neighbors. When she first came to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, that looked a little different. Charles pursued a bachelor’s degree in health sciences with plans to pursue a career in health administration. She later learned that her passion lied elsewhere.“I soon realized that I loved patient interaction and patient engagement, so I then chose to pursue nursing,” Charles said. She chose to remain at UMKC for her second degree because of the nursing program graduates’ high passage rate on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) exam. More than 98% of UMKC nursing students passed the board exam in 2022. Charles also felt confident that she would be supported because of the positive experience she had in the health sciences program. Now Charles is working on post-surgical care rotation at University Health, an academic medical center dedicated to providing health care to the Kansas City community, both for those with insurance and without. She plans to pursue a career as an emergency room nurse after graduation, and feels certain of her skills. “I feel well prepared,” she said. “Our faculty teaches us what to expect and what abnormally can happen and what to do next.” Working at a mission-driven hospital like University Health is the perfect fit for Charles, who not only wants to care for patients, but also wants to be an advocate for them and help them find ongoing resources to help them. “I tell people all the time that I have a passion to serve the underserved,” Charles said. “I want to be able to give knowledge to the local resources here in Kansas City to help the lower economic population.” Jan 09, 2024