The Crow's Nest -- January 25, 2016

Monday, January 25, 2016

Share this article:

Crow's Nest

David WhittakerUniversity appoints David Whittaker chief information officer

Following a nationwide search, Park University has found its next chief information officer in its own backyard. David Whittaker, a Kansas City, Mo., native, has been selected as CIO. He began his duties at Park on Jan. 11. In his position as chief information officer, Whittaker is charged with ensuring that the University’s technology applications, networks, telecommunications and data security meet the current and future needs of the University. Whittaker will be a member of the University’s executive leadership team and will lead approximately 30 staff that oversee all aspects of information technology, including evaluation, acquisition, placement, programming, maintenance, storage, backup and data security. Whittaker has spent the last 18 years with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, most recently as chief information security officer and director of the Office of the CIO since 2013. Read more about Whittaker at

Jason AndersonAnderson appointed area director of Kansas City operations

Jason Anderson, who has served Park University as a development director within the Office of University Relations and Development the past two-plus years, has been appointed the area director of Kansas City operations for the University. Anderson begins his new position on Monday, Feb. 1. Anderson will oversee the administrative and academic aspects of Park University’s Downtown Kansas City, Mo., and Independence, Mo., campuses, as well as be responsible for Park’s presence at area community colleges and companies. He will also join in the efforts of identifying and engaging in community outreach. Read more about Anderson at

Faculty, staff news

A book edited by Dong Hwa (Donna) Choi, Ph.D., professor of adult education and early childhood education, Amber Dailey-Hebert, Ph.D., professor of adult education, and Judi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean in the School of Education and associate professor of elementary and secondary teacher preparation, has been published. The book, Emerging Tools and Applications of Virtual Reality in Education, explores the potential and practical uses of virtual reality in classrooms with a focus on pedagogical and instructional outcomes and strategies, with multiple projects from five different countries. The book includes experiments in the use of augmented reality in teaching and highlights the effects it has on students. The trio also authored the final chapter in the book, “Integrating Technological Innovations to Enhance the Teaching-Learning Process.”

Dr. Julie CreekJulie Creek, Ph.D., assistant professor and area/program coordinator for international business, has been elected second vice president for the International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City. As second vice president, Creek will serve as chairperson of the organization’s annual membership meeting and its Program Committee. She will also serve on the Educational Outreach Team, providing responsibility and oversight on educational programming. The ITC-GKC’s mission is to promote international business through focused commercial education and networking to support individuals and businesses in the Greater Kansas City area.

Dr. Michael EskeyAn article co-written by Michael Eskey, Ph.D., professor and program coordinator of criminal justice administration, “Mass Killings: What We Know and Where Do We Go: Roundtable Discussion, Southern Criminal Justice Association, 2015,” was published in the November 2015 issue of the Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. The paper is a discussion related to the FBI’s definition of mass shooting as an attack in which a minimum of four victims are killed and the murders take place in a relatively close proximity. The paper provides a short history of mass shootings, applicable theories related to mass shootings, detection and warning signs, mental health, media/press limitations and effects, and the effect of the Internet, movies and violent games.

Dr. Judi Simmons EstesJudi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean in the School of Education and associate professor of elementary and secondary teacher preparation, received a $500 mini-grant from the Association for Childhood Education International. The mini-grant will be used to purchase math manipulatives for La Isla Cariñosa Academy on the island of Caye Caulker of the coast of Belize. In addition, during the 2016 Spring semester, the Belizean teachers and Park pre-service teachers enrolled in EDE 385 (Diagnosis and Remediation of Math Difficulties) taught by Adam Langdon, adjunct instructor of education, will engage in on-going discussions of journal articles and experiences using math manipulatives in teaching young children.

Dr. John HamiltonJohn Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice, earned a graduate certificate in conflict and dispute resolution in December 2015 from Missouri State University. The 16-credit hour program included an internship which Hamilton completed at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Kansas City, Mo. Hamilton plans to explore how conflict resolution skills could be utilized by law enforcement agencies to better diffuse volatile situations during police/citizen confrontations.

Errick PrinceErrick Prince, adjunct instructor of music at Park University’s Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center, has been appointed to the instructional staff for the U.S. Army All-American Band. Prince, who was the “music captionhead” for the “Marching Southerners” of Jacksonville (Ala.) State University while a graduate assistant, was also appointed to the U.S. Air Force Reserve Band prior to serving as a commissioned officer in the Air Force. He currently serves as a co-music supervisor for Spirit of Atlanta and on the brass staff for Bluecoats.

Dr. Henry RoehrichHenry Roehrich, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing/management and program coordinator for logistics and management, has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Marketing Management Association. The MMA is an academic association that showcases cutting-edge marketing thought, presented by practitioners and academicians.

Roehrich also recently served as a judge for the 2015-16 American Marketing Association Collegiate Case Competition. The program is a year-long event showcasing students working on a marketing challenge submitted by a sponsoring organization, with the sponsor providing a detailed marketing problem for students to develop a marketing strategy. This year’s case, sponsored by The Hershey Co., asked participants develop a comprehensive marketing plan that took into account targeting strategy, value proposition, product strategy, trial and communication mix.

Dr. Stephen TerryStephen Terry, Ed.D., senior director of operations, administration and compliance, earned his Doctor of Education degree in educational leadership and policy analysis in December 2015 from the University of Kansas. Terry’s dissertation was titled “A Descriptive Analysis of Veteran Certification Processes at ‘Veteran Friendly’ Schools.” Terry will go through graduation ceremonies and be hooded in May.

SymposiumRegistration open for 2016 Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium

Park University’s 11th annual Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium is set for Monday, April 4, through Wednesday, April 6, 2016, on the University’s Parkville Campus. The Symposium is an opportunity for Park students nationwide from all disciplines to present their independent and/or collaborative research and creative and artistic projects to the University and wider community. Students from all campus centers, as well as online students, are eligible to participate. The Symposium will provide venues for poster presentations, oral presentations, artistic and visual displays, research presentations, and musical, dramatic and literature performances.

Students may submit their proposals now through Monday, March 21, with the approval of a faculty mentor, at When registering, students should be prepared to provide the name and contact information of the primary and co-presenters, the faculty mentor, as well as the title and abstract of the presentation. For additional information, visit  or contact Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., professor of English and director of Park University’s Honors Academy, at or (816) 584-6818.

Chinese acrobat troupe to perform on Parkville Campus

A troupe of acrobats from Beijing, China, will hold a free performance on Park University’s Parkville Campus on Wednesday, Feb. 3, starting at 5 p.m. in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel. The event will feature routines featuring contortions, foot juggling, plate spinning, Chinese yo-yo and group acrobatics. The performance will also include an interpreter who will share facts about Chinese culture and customs. The event is sponsored by the University’s Office of International Student Admissions and Services.

Park In The News

Jeff Ehrlich, Ed.D., associate professor of healthcare administration, was featured in an article that appeared in the January issue of Northland Lifestyle magazine. The three-page story featured photos of Ehrlich and focused on the healthy lifestyle he has maintained since having quadruple bypass surgery just weeks before being appointed interim president last summer.

As part of a review of classical music concerts in the Kansas City area in 2015, Behzod Abduraimov, artist-in-residence in Park University’s International Center for Music, was mentioned in The Kansas City Star on Dec. 26. The author of the article said Abduraimov’s concert last May at the Folly Theater “delivered a bravura performance…It’s the only piano recital I can recall when a standing ovation was given after the first piece on the program…The audience left the Folly dazed and elated.”

A story about Abduraimov also appeared in the Jan. 8 issue of the Seattle Times. The article was a preview of concerts Abduraimov performed with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra on Jan. 7 and Jan. 9 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

David Radzynski, who earned a graduate certificate in violin performance from Park University in 2014 and was appointed concertmaster of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra last January, was interviewed for a story about the IPO as part of a concert the Orchestra performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China, on Jan. 5. The story aired on CCTV News, a 24-hour English news channel in Beijing.

The book Best of Office Architecture and Design: Vol. II featured a photo of the work of Wanwan Hao, ’12. Hao, an interior designer at Box Studios in Chicago, was the lead designer for a project that was highlighted in the book.

Joe Carrillo, area director for El Paso (Texas) operations, was interviewed by KFOX-TV in El Paso for a story that aired on Jan. 7. Carrillo was interviewed related to a job fair for veterans that was being held at Park University’s El Paso Campus Center on Jan. 14.

Park University was the lead story on WDAF-TV’s noon and 12:30 p.m. newscasts on Jan. 14 in Kansas City. The story highlighted the University’s recent selection as the top “Best for Vets” private college/university in the country. Wade Abel, assistant director of military and veteran student services, and Brandon Bird, a sophomore business administration/management major, were interviewed for the story.

Park University was highlighted in a series of stories that appeared in a special “MBA” section of The Kansas City Star on Jan. 17. Jackie Campbell, director of Park’s Master of Business Administration program, was quoted in five articles in the section related to MBA courses, understanding the Graduate Management Admission Test, the importance of articulating vision, skills MBA students need and how to navigate the MBA application process.

Xavielle Brown, a junior forward on Park University’s men’s basketball team, was featured in a story in his hometown newspaper, The Journal Gazette, in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Jan. 19. Brown was also featured on WANE-TV in Fort Wayne after being named the American Midwest Conference men’s basketball Player of the Week for the fourth time this season.

A story about Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., was published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Webster Journal, the news source for Webster University, where Gunderson previously served as vice president and chief financial officer. The article was related to a farewell event to honor Gunderson.

Steve Wilson, assistant athletic director for sports communications, was interviewed for a story that aired on KMBZ-FM in Kansas City on Jan. 22. Wilson provided comments related to the “Bottles of Water for Flint (Mich.)” campaign the athletics department rolled out in response to an idea by track and field student-athlete Breanna Johnson. In addition, Johnson was interviewed for stories that aired on both KMBC-TV and KSHB-TV in Kansas City on Jan. 23 and 24

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  February 3 -- Grand Opening for New Independence (Mo.) Campus Center Location, 3 p.m., 20101 E. Jackson Drive, Independence, Mo.
     •  February 3 -- Chinese Acrobats, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 4-5 -- International Center for Music Master Classes with pianist William Grant Nabore, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 11-12 -- International Center for Music Master Classes with pianist Jan Jiracek von Arnim, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 13 -- International Center for Music Concert: Jan Jiracek von Arnim Piano Recital, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 15 -- President’s Day Holiday (offices closed nationwide; Spring I classes held)
     •  February 15-16 -- International Center for Music Master Classes with violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 19 -- Admissions: One-on-One Weekend, 9 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  February 27 -- International Center for Music Concert: An Evening of Chamber Music, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 29 -- Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series: Dr. Jeffrey T. Sammons, “George S. Robb: From Salina, Kan., to Park University to Pershing’s 100 Heroes of the War,” 7 p.m., The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  March 1 -- Cultural Sharing Event: Ghana and West Africa, with the Saakumu Dance Troupe, 5 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  March 6-13 -- Spring Recess (no classes nationwide)
     •  March 14 -- Spring II Term Begins

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