The Crow's Nest -- March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

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Crow's Nest

Xavielle BrownBrown named NAIA first team All-America selection

Park University men’s basketball junior forward Xavielle Brown has been selected as a first team All-American by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and its men’s basketball coaches. This is the second All-America selection for Brown, who was named to the third team after the 2013-14 season. This past season, Brown led the American Midwest Conference in scoring at 22.8 points per game and averaged 8.1 rebounds per game to lead the Pirates, and he was named AMC Player of the Week five times and earned two NAIA Division I men’s basketball weekly honors.

“All you have to do is look at the stats and where he led us to see what kind of player Xavielle is and what he meant to this team this year,’ said Park men’s basketball coach Jason Kline. “There was no doubt where we were going with the ball through most of the year, and that actually caused some other guys to have opportunities because of how much attention Xavielle drew from opposing defenses. He’s a special player who has worked extremely hard to get to this point in his career.” Read more about Brown’s honor at

Bergrud, Discenza honored by ASPA advocacy sections

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, associate vice president for alumni, constituent and employer relations, received the inaugural Founders Award from the American Society for Public Administration's LGBT Advocacy Alliance Section on March 20 during the ASPA annual conference on March 20 in Seattle. Bergrud, who served as ASPA president from 2011-12, was recognized for his dedication and support to establish an organization that would be welcoming and inclusive to all ASPA members, especially those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. During his acceptance remarks, Bergrud stated that ASPA is finally “catching up to the high schoolers of 2016 who are electing their LGBT classmates to student councils and homecoming courts.”

Dr. Suzanne DiscenzaIn addition, Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of public administration, was recognized by ASPA’s Section for Women in Public Administration with the Marcia P. Crowley Service to the Section Award on March 21 in Seattle during the conference. The award, which Discenza also received in 2012, honors individuals for outstanding service to SWPA and for making a demonstrated impact on the work of the Section. For this most recent award, Discenza served as SWPA chair from 2013-15 and also served as chapter liaison in her role as a district representative to the ASPA National Council.

International Center for Music students win awards

A number of students in Park University’s International Center for Music won awards at two competitions earlier this month. At the Naftzger Young Artists Auditions in Wichita, Kan., March 18 and 19, pianist Artem Kuznetsov, a graduate student pursuing a graduate certificate in applied music/piano, was named the overall winner of the event, which is administered by the Wichita Symphony Society. Kuznetsov, who received a Bachelor of Music degree from Park in 2015, won the first prize of $5,000. His winning performance included selections by Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy and Sergei Prokofiev. In addition, cellist Dilshod Narzillaev, a freshman applied music/strings major, was selected as the first place winner of the strings division of the competition, receiving a $2,000 award.

At the Kansas City Musical Club’s scholarship auditions on March 12, four ICM students won the following awards:
          •  Evanghelina Ciobanu, cello, sophomore applied music/cello major, $750 Kansas City Musical Club Scholarship
          •  Laurel Gagnon, violin, junior applied music/strings major, $1,000 Strickler Scholarship for Strings
          •  Leonard Lindweld, piano, senior applied music/piano major, $1,000 Robert Craig Scholarship for Piano
          •  Narzillaev, $500 Sue Strickler Scholarship

Dr. Roberto EchevarriaPark University, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum co-hosting talk on Cuban baseball history

Park University and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have teamed up to present a talk by Roberto González Echevarría, Ph.D., for a conversation on the history of Cuban baseball on Saturday, April 2, at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 1616 E. 18th Street in Kansas City, Mo. The discussion begins at 1:30 p.m. The event, which will provide a historical perspective on baseball in Cuba, is being held as the Kansas City Royals begin the quest to defend its 2015 World Series title as part of Major League Baseball’s Opening Weekend at Kauffman Stadium, and as the United States government works to update diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Echevarría, a cousin of former Park University trustee Phil Bustillo, is the Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures at Yale University, and author of The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball (Oxford University Press). The book received the first Dave Moore Award from Elysian Fields Quarterly: The Baseball Review as the “most important baseball book” of 1999. Brian Shawver, associate dean in the School of Arts and Humanities, chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, and associate professor of English at Park University, will serve as moderator. Shawver authored The Cuban Prospect (The Overlook Press), his 2004 debut novel about a major league player turned minor league scout who accepts the challenge of smuggling a hot right-handed pitcher out of Cuba. Admission to the talk is included with paid admission to the Museum. Regular admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors age 65 and older, and $6 for children age 12 and younger; NLBM members are admitted free with their membership card. For more information, visit

Dr. Francis FukuyamaRenowned expert on history of global politics to speak at annual Hauptmann Lecture

The landscape of politics in the United States hangs in the balance with the series of presidential primary elections and caucuses across the country leading to the general election in November. As candidates continue to debate and citizens of the country discuss their options for a leader, Park University will host its 24th annual Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Lecture Series event on Tuesday, April 12. The event will be held at the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., beginning at 6 p.m. with a reception, while the program starts at 6:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is requested for those planning to attend at

Francis Fukuyama, Ph.D., a professor at Stanford University and the Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow in Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford, will present a lecture titled “The Origins of Political Order.” Based in part on Fukuyama’s book of the same name, the lecture will provide a sweeping account of how today’s basic political institutions developed. It will begin with politics among our primate ancestors and follows the story through the emergence of tribal societies, the growth of the first modern state in China, the beginning of the rule of law in India and the Middle East, and the development of political accountability in Europe through the eve of the French Revolution. Read more about Fukuyama and the Lecture Series at

Faculty, staff, student news

Study Abroad-PulseStudy Abroad-ComputersDuring Park University’s Spring Break, a group of students, faculty and staff across the country traveled to Patanatic, Guatemala, spending a week of volunteering and learning through the Office of Global Education and Study Abroad. The group spent much of the week providing medical exams and care to children in the area around Panajachel. In addition, Park’s Office of Information Technology Services donated three reconditioned laptops that had been retired from service at the University. The laptops will be used at a medical clinic in Patanatic, as well as for a nursing school that is starting in the same location. In the adjacent photos, Andrew Johnson, Ph.D., professor of psychology, presents the computers to a staff member in the clinic; and Danielle White, senior business administration/management major, checks the pulse of a child in the clinic. A video of the group’s efforts can be viewed at

Marcy GoodfleischMarcy Goodfleisch, adjunct instructor of liberal education, presented a paper at the Humor Research Conference in Commerce, Texas, on Feb. 20. The paper, “Humor as the Academic Focus for a Capstone Course,” discussed her development of the Park University course “Ethics and Psychology of Humor in Popular Culture” (LE 300R), and presented outcomes observed during the course’s evolution and considerations for future modifications.

Debra McArthurTwo books written by Debra McArthur, director of academic support services, have been published recently. Reading and Interpreting the Works of Edgar Allan Poe and Reading and Interpreting the Works of William Faulkner are a part of Enslow Publishing’s “Lit Crit Guides,” which introduces readers to the lives and seminal works of classical and modern-day authors.

Hannah McFarland, a senior interior design major, has been awarded a $500 scholarship from the Danish Institute for Study Abroad. McFarland plans to study urban design this summer in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Claire MostelDr. Eric ClickA trio of Park faculty served a variety of roles at the American Society for Public Administration's conference in Seattle, March 18-22. Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of public administration, (photo in story above) co-presented a workshop on “Conflict Management and Collaborative Negotiation: Power Tools for Women.” Discenza and Eric Click, Ph.D. (left), associate professor and program coordinator of public administration, co-presented a workshop on “State Medicaid Programs as Laboratories of Democracy in Health Care Reform: Building the Case for Reducing Costs and Improving Quality and Access, One State at a Time. Claire Mostel (right), adjunct instructor of public administration, served as the moderator/discussant on the panel “The Supreme Court has Ruled on Same-Sex Marriage: LGBT Challenges Facing Public Administrators.” In addition, it was announced that Click will continue to serve as ASPA secretariat to the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, and Discenza was re-elected to serve as a District IV representative to the ASPA National Council.

Dr. Stacey KikendallStacey Kikendall, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and program coordinator of literature, served as a moderator on two panels at the Sigma Tau Delta International Convention, March 2-5 in Minneapolis. Kikendall moderated the sessions on “Creative Nonfiction: Home and Hearth” and “World Literature: It’s Not a Small World.” In addition, three students made various presentations at the convention: Jeff Belke, junior English writing major, presented a critical paper, “Faust: Psychoanalysis Through Comparative Figures;” Brittany Duke, senior, communication arts/public relations and English major, presented a creative nonfiction essay, “I Didn’t Choose Prince Charming; ” and Kaci Flaugher, senior secondary education and English education major, presented her collection of poetry, “Shoe Paradigms: Questions of Life, Death and Faith.” Also, Hannah Bertram, junior English writing major, chaired a panel on original poetry.

Steve YoungbloodSteven Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism, presented a session on “Peace Journalism and the 2016 Election” to the League of Women Voters of Kansas City/Jackson County/Clay County/Platte County, Mo., on March 19 in Kansas City, Mo.

Dr. Silvia Giovanardi ByerSilvia Giovanardi, Byer, Ph.D., program coordinator and associate professor of modern languages, is the organizer and chair of the Kansas City Italian Film Festival, a series of four films that will be presented (with English subtitles) in April at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. She will introduce and present the film “Ma Che Bella Sorpressa!” (“What a Beautiful Surprise!” on the opening night, Thursday, April 7.

Park In The News

Park University’s men’s basketball team was featured in stories that appeared in The Kansas City Star as a part of the Pirates' trip to the NAIA national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Junior Xavielle Brown was featured in a story that appeared on March 15; a game story appeared on March 17, the morning after Park lost to Mid-America Christian in the opening round; and a photo gallery from the game was posted on the Star’s website. In addition, game previews and highlights appeared on Kansas City area television stations.

Park University’s Parkville Campus appears in a promotional video for the ACT. Visit to watch the two-minute video. Two locations in Park’s cameo appear about 1:15 into the video.

A story about Nancy Byrge, ’92, appeared in the March 14 issue of the Huber Heights (Ohio) Courier. Byrge was recently appointed to fill a vacancy on the city council in Huber Heights.

Gina Radke, ’04, was featured in a story that appeared in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette on March 13. Radke is the chair of the board for Union Rescue Mission in Little Rock, Ark., a nonprofit organization that oversees two shelters for those recovering from drug and alcohol addictions.

A story about Chief Master Sgt. James Laurent, ’01, who recently retired from the U.S. Air Force, appeared in the March 12 edition of Stripes Japan, a product of Stars and Stripes Pacific. Laurent was a 30-year veteran of the Air Force, most recently serving as 5th Air Force command chief.

Santa Childs, ’01, a registered nurse in the birthing center at Liberty (Mo.) Hospital, was the featured cover story of the spring issue of the hospital’s Connections magazine (story begins on page 6).

A Tweet and photo posted by Erik Bergrud, vice president for alumni, constituent and employer relations, after running into former President Bill Clinton at a Portland, Ore., bookstore, appeared on the Willamette Week website on March 21 as part of a story about Clinton’s visit to the area.

A story about Norrington Center on the Parkville Campus, which is being renovated as the University’s library moves back to its original location, was featured on WDAF-TV in Kansas City during live shots on March 28 and 29. Laurie McCormack, vice president for university relations and development, was interviewed for the story.

WDAF-TV also did live shots from the Parkville Campus on March 29 related to the Park University Health Fair. During a trio of segments, April Haberyan, Ph.D., chair of the Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing and associate professor of nursing, and Dustin Wall, director of Park’s Counseling Center, along with nursing students Rebecca Stuteville, Amber Ambrusko, Liane Brown, Morgan Smith, Ashley Coburn, Chrissy Dean and Angelia Garcia, were all interviewed during the segments.

Spirit Store Discount

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  April 2 -- History of Cuban Baseball Program: Dr. Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, 1:30 p.m., Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  April 2 -- International Center for Music Concert Series: “An Evening of Russian Music,” 7;30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  April 4-6 -- Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium, Parkville Campus
     •  April 9 -- Admissions: Get On Board Day, 8:30 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  April 12 -- Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann Distinguished Guest Lecture: Dr. Francis Fukuyama, 6 p.m., Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library Plaza Branch
     •  April 13 -- Park University Spring Career Expo, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground 200 Corridor, Parkville Campus
     •  April 13 -- Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Awards, 6 p.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center
     •  April 15 -16 -- Admissions: Junior Overnight Event, Parkville Campus
     •  April 16 -- Admissions: Pirate Preview, 9 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  April 16 -- International Center for Music Concert Series: ICM Young Artist Showcase, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  April 17 -- Parkville Symphonic Band Concert, 3 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  April 20 -- Honors Convocation, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  April 22 -- Inauguration Ceremony for President Dr. Greg Gunderson and Installation for Provost Dr. Doug Fiore, 11:30 a.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel (with additional seating in David Theater, Alumni Hall) and live stream
     •  April 22 – Inauguration Picnic (for faculty, staff, students and invited guests), 1 p.m., University Front Lawn
     •  April 24 -- Northland Community Choir Spring Concert, 3 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  April 28 -- Kansas City Early Negro History Program, featuring Sonny Gibson, ’74, and Dr. Debra Sheffer, 6 p.m., National Archives at Kansas City (Mo.)
     •  April 29 -- Admissions: Get On Board Day, 8:30 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  April 30 -- Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Grand Forks Central High School
     •  May 4 -- International Center for Music Gala Concert, 8 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  May 5 -- Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Center Commencement, 8 p.m., Fort Irwin Post Chapel
     •  May 6 -- Spring Semester ends
     •  May 6 -- International Student Sash Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  May 7 -- Kansas City Area May Commencement, 11 a.m., Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Mo.
     •  May 8 -- Spring II Term ends
     •  May 9 -- Maymester begins
     •  May 12-13 -- Board of Trustees meeting, TBA
     •  May 12 -- Hanscom Air Force Base (Mass.) Campus Center Commencement, 1:30 p.m., Minuteman Commons, Hanscom AFB
     •  May 12 -- Austin (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 7 p.m., Green Hills Baptist Church, Austin
     •  May 14 -- Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) Campus Center Commencement, Hoffman Auditorium, Moody AFB

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