Park University Imprint Express -- July 25, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013

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Colleges of DistinctionPark earns Colleges of Distinction accolade for third year in a row

For the third year in a row, Park University has been selected as one of 300 colleges and universities across the country to the 2013-14 Colleges of Distinction list. Park is one of just six colleges/universities based in Missouri to earn the honor this year. The designation is given to select schools to honor their excellence in student-focused higher education. Park University was found to excel in all four distinctions: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes. Colleges of Distinction is a web-based guide for high school juniors and seniors seeking a school that is nationally recognized and highly recommended by professionals in the field of education. Colleges and universities are nominated for participation by high school counselors, and then evaluated using qualitative and quantitative research. The colleges and universities are not ranked; instead they are members of a consortium of other equally impressive schools. Read Park Colleges of Distinction profile at

International Center for Music to celebrate 10th anniversary concert season

The International Center for Music at Park University will commemorate its 10th anniversary with artists from around the world during its 2013-14 concert season. Highlighting the season will be a special concert on Friday, April 4, 2014, in memory of pianist and classical music legend Van Cliburn who passed away in February. The Van Cliburn Tribute Concert, which will be held in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo., will feature 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalist Stanislav Ioudenitch and his protégé and Uzbekistan compatriot Behzod Abduraimov, winner of the 2009 London International Music Competition. Ioudenitch is associate professor of music/piano and artistic director of the ICM, while Abduraimov, a rising star who has been compared to the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, is a senior applied music/piano major at Park. In addition, the Park Piano Trio — Ioudenitch; Lithuanian-Israeli violinist Ben Sayevich, professor of music/violin; and Czech cellist Daniel Veis, visiting assistant professor of music/cello, will perform Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Trio in A Minor” in memory of Cliburn. There are six additional concerts on the ICM’s 2013-14 concert schedule, which opens on Saturday, Sept. 28 with a concert by Israeli violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi. Read more about the upcoming ICM concert season at

Tess SurprenantSurprenant to lead Park’s Career Development Center

Tess Surprenant has been appointed as director of the Career Development Center at Park University. Surprenant began her duties at Park on July 8. As director of Park’s CDC, Surprenant leads a team that creatively provides comprehensive career and graduate school services and resources to effectively maximize career opportunities for Park students and alumni, employers and the global University community. “Her significant corporate outreach experience will be critical as we attempt to greatly expand job opportunities and internships across the region and nation for our students and graduates,” said Erik Bergrud, associate vice president of constituent engagement. Prior to coming to Park, Surprenant was a talent development consultant, working with such organizations as the University of Minnesota Hospitals’ Emerging Physician Leaders Program and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Sports Internship Leadership Development Program. Read more about Surprenant at

Dr. Lee NordgrenNordgren appointed to lead Park’s Master of Business Administration program

Lee Nordgren, D.Sc., has been appointed as the Edward F. Lyle Professor of Finance and Director of the Graduate Program in Business at Park University. Nordgren started in her position on June 1. Nordgren, who has more than 20 years’ experience in both higher education and industry with expertise in finance and management, will oversee the University’s Master of Business Administration program. She previously served the University as visiting assistant professor of management in Park’s School of Business teaching strategy, international business, small business/entrepreneurship and international finance. “Dr. Nordgren is a tremendous addition to the faculty at Park University,” said Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of Park University’s School of Business. “She brings a depth of management experience in finance with firms and organizations around the world.” Read more about Nordgren at

LaGarce earns Gilman Scholarship for study abroad

Hayley LaGarce, a senior communication arts/public relations major, has been named a recipient of a 2013-14 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. This nationally competitive scholarship, funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides money for students to study abroad. LaGarce received a $3,000 scholarship to spend the Fall 2013 semester studying Spanish language and culture at Universidad de Belgrano (University of Belgrano) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the second student in Park University history to receive the scholarship. Read more about the scholarship at

Jeanette PrengerPrenger appointed to Enterprising Women advisory board

Jeanette Prenger, '09, a member of Park University's Board of Trustees, was recently appointed to the advisory board for Enterprising Women magazine. The publication is the nation's only women-owned magazine published exclusively for women business owners that chronicles the growing political, economic and social influence and power of entrepreneurial women. The advisory board is comprised of individuals who show their support for the publication and give back to the women business owners' community - helping provide leadership, motivation and inspiration to thousands of women entrepreneurs around the world. Prenger, who was a recipient of an Enterprising Woman of the Year award from Enterprising Women in April, is the founder/president of ECCO Select, a human enterprise solutions provider headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.

Dr. Jeff EhrlichEhrlich presents research on using online storytelling

Jeff Ehrlich, Ed.D., associate dean of the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs and assistant professor of healthcare administration, presented research at the International Institute for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Mentors on June 2 in Los Angeles. Ehrlich presented a scholar session on "The Perceptions of Using Online Storytelling: From Course Material to Student Constructivist." The session presented the perceptions of online learning and the migration from course materials to students' specific knowledge as it relates to storytelling. The research employed a phenomenological approach in order to understand the essence of constructing knowledge through the use of storytelling in the discussion forum in an online class.

Dr. Dennis Kerkman

Dr. Brian Cowley

Cowley, Kerkman present research on environmental sustainability

Brian Cowley, Ph.D. (left), and Dennis Kerkman, Ph.D., both professors of psychology, presented a research project titled "U.S. University Students' Concern for Environmental Sustainability in the Context of Economic Crisis" at the International Association for People-Environment Studies International Network Symposium in A Coruña, Spain, June 25-28. Their study showed that American university students' concern for campus environmental issues declined immediately after the economic crisis of 2008, but has improved as the U.S. economy recovers. However, European university students do not show this trend, even though much of Europe has more serious economic problems than the U.S.

Cathy TaylorTaylor earns peer reviewer certification with Quality Matters

Cathy Taylor, J.D., assistant professor of management and online instructor evaluator, recently was approved as a Quality Matters Peer Reviewer. The Quality Matters program is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components. Colleges and universities across and beyond the U.S. use the tools in developing, maintaining and reviewing their online courses, and in training their faculty.

Park In The News

Jerry Jorgensen, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president, was a part of an Ingram’s (Kansas City’s business magazine) panel that discussed the outlook of higher education in early July. Jorgensen provided comments and was photographed for an article that appeared in the July issue of Ingram’s. In the same Ingram’s edition, Park University’s Master of Business Administration program was ranked No. 6 among colleges/universities in Missouri and Kansas, based on Fall 2012 enrollments, moving up five spots from the previous year.

Mike Talamantes, head men’s and women’s volleyball coach, provided comments and was pictured for an article that appeared in the Johnson County (Kan.) editions of The Kansas City Star on July 19. Talamantes coached the Asics Mavs 16 Blue team to win the USA Volleyball Junior National Championships in the 16-open division held in Dallas.

Brian McRae, assistant baseball coach, was featured in an article that appeared in the July 22 issue of the Joplin (Mo.) Globe. This summer, McRae is serving as an assistant coach of a summer high school age baseball club in Kansas City.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

•  July 28 -- Summer Session ends (Kansas City area)
•  July 29-August 30 -- Art Exhibit: Michelle Childers: Multimedia “Life Sentence” (Reception: Aug. 24, 7 p.m.), Campanella Gallery
•  August 2 -- Julymester ends (Kansas City area)
•  August 8-9 – New Full-Time Faculty Orientation (Parkville Campus)
•  August 9-10 -- Academic Directors / Assistant Academic Directors Conference (Virtual, via Blackboard Collaborate)
•  August 12 – Full-Time Faculty/Staff Photo Day (Parkville Campus)
•  August 12-13 -- Fall Faculty Conference, Parkville Campus
•  August 16 -- Move-In Day; Parent Orientation; Student Ice Cream Social, Parkville Campus
•  August 17 -- Orientation Day, Parkville Campus
•  August 18-23 -- Welcome Week, Parkville Campus
•  August 19 -- Fall Semester / Fall I Classes Begin (all campus centers)
•  August 23 -- Opening Convocation, noon, Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
•  August 23 -- All University Picnic, 1 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel Lawn
•  September 2 -- Labor Day holiday (Kansas City area offices closed; no Parkville Daytime classes; Fall I classes will be held)
•  September 5 -- Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Marine Corps Base Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Camp Pendleton Base Theater
•  September 7 -- Fort Myer (Va.) Campus Center, Henderson Hall Headquarters Battalion (Va.) Campus Center and Quantico (Va.) Marine Corps Combat Development Command Campus Center Commencement, 9 a.m., Quantico Command Auditorium
•  September 11 -- Dorothy Harper Watson Literacy Center “Powerful Texts” Series: Dr. Blanche Sosland, 5 p.m., Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground, Room 221A

Note: To view a comprehensive schedule for all events, including athletics, visit