The Crow's Nest -- March 9, 2016

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

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Crow's Nest

Xavielle BrownBrown selected AMC men’s basketball co-player of the year

Park University men's basketball junior forward Xavielle Brown was named the American Midwest Conference men’s basketball Co-Player of the Year and was a first team all-conference selection. Brown led the conference in scoring and was fourth in NAIA Division I, averaging 23.1 points per game. He is also ranked among the NAIA leaders in free throw percentage (25th at 80.8 percent) and rebounds (30th at 7.9 per game).

“Xavielle has had the kind of year that builds a résumé for conference player of the year, and he’ll have a very good chance at another high honor nationally as an all-American,” said Park men's basketball head coach Jason Kline. Read more about Brown’s honor, as well as other Park men’s players earning various all-conference accolades at; read about women’s basketball senior forward Latice Butler who was named first team all-conference at

New lecture series at Park to focus on natural, physical sciences

A lecture focusing on archosaurs, a group of reptiles that includes dinosaurs, birds and crocodylians, will be featured in Park University’s new Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science. The initial event will be held on Thursday, March 24, starting at 7 p.m. in the Jenkin and Barbara David Theater within Alumni Hall on the University’s Parkville Campus. The lecture is free and open to the public, though registration is requested at For those unable to attend the lecture, it will be webcast live via Park University’s video portal.

Dr. Sterling NesbittSterling Nesbitt, Ph.D., assistant professor of geosciences at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Va., and research associate at the National Museum of Natural History will present “The Beginning of the Age of Reptiles: The Rise of Archosaurs and Their Relatives Following the End-Permian Extinction.” Archosaurs have a long evolutionary history dating back to the Triassic Period, some 245 million years ago. Nesbitt will discuss the diversity and disparity of this group that was highly influenced by mass extinctions, and he will present new field work and information from museum visits from across the globe that has led to a better understanding of these reptiles.

The Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science was established to provide members of the community, as well as liberal arts and science majors, an opportunity to experience science in action and hear established scientists discuss their research. In addition to a public event, the lecture series includes the opportunity for Park students to engage with the featured speaker in a more academic-focused setting. The lecture series was established by Park University alumnus George Johnson, ’63, Ph.D., who has provided funding for the event. Johnson is professor emeritus at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Read more at

Renowned expert in 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

Dr. Francis FukuyamaFrancis 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

University to host health fair on March 29

Park University’s Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing will hold its annual health fair on Tuesday, March 29, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the new Academic Expansion Space on the Parkville Campus. The event is open to the public and admission is free. A variety of health information will be available on topics such as nutrition, breast cancer, HPV infections, neonatal and infant health, substance abuse, injury and violence prevention, sleep health, oral/dental health, food safety, childhood vaccines, genetic testing, family planning, depression/suicide risk, sodium consumption and childhood obesity. The University’s Counseling Center will also provide free, private depression screenings and counseling services for interested attendees, and offer recommendations for seeking treatment, if needed. In addition, a number of community health and wellness organizations will participate, including Briarcliff Dental Care, GNC-Parkville, HCA Midwest Health, Midwest Transplant Network, Natural Wellness and Parkville Women’s Clinic. For more information, visit

Roberto EchevarriaUniversity co-sponsoring talk on Cuban baseball history

Park University and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum have teamed up to present a talk by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria, Ph.D., Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures at Yale University, and author of The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, for a conversation on the history of Cuban baseball on Saturday, April 2, at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. Brian Shawver, associate dean, 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 2004 novel The Cuban Prospect. The event is timed to occur on Major League Baseball’s Opening Weekend, and a great crowd is expected. To reserve a seat, contact NLBM Vice President and Curator Ray Doswell, Ed.D., at or (816) 221-1920.

Arkadi KuchynskiRussian cellist featured in International Center for Music concert

Highly acclaimed Russian cellist Arkadi Kuchynski will be the featured performer in the next concert of the Park University International Center for Music’s 2015-16 concert season series. The concert, billed as “An Evening of Russian Music,” will be held Saturday, April 2, in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel on the University’s Parkville Campus starting at 7:30 p.m. Kuchynski, who has been playing the cello since the age of 7, was the laureate of the Belarus National Cello Competition and International Cello Competition of Estonia in 1976, and the Latvia International Cello Competition in 1982. The concert will include five selections, all accompanied by Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich, ICM collaborative pianist. In addition, Ben Sayevich, ICM professor of music/violin, will join on one piece.

Individual tickets for the general public are $10 and can be purchased at the door or at Park University students, faculty and staff with Park ID are admitted free. For more information about the concert, visit

Conference for accounting, finance professionals to be held at Park

The Kansas City chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants will hold its spring continuing professional education conference at Park University on Thursday, May 12. The daylong event — “Becoming a Strategic Chief Financial Officer” — will be held in the University’s Park Distance Learning Conference Center, located within the Parkville Commercial Underground on the University’s Parkville Campus. The feature speaker will be John Levy, chief executive officer and principal consultant for Board Advisory, a consulting firm that assists companies with corporate governance and compliance, ethics, and financial reporting and strategies. For information on the topics to be presented and registration, visit Net proceeds from the conference will benefit Park’s IMA student chapter.

Faculty, staff, student news

Dr. Judi Simmons EstesJudi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean in the School of Education and associate professor of elementary and secondary teacher preparation (left), and B. Jean Mandernach, Ph.D., adjunct instructor of social psychology, authored chapters in a recently published book. Estes authored the chapter, “The Pivotal Role of Faculty in Online Student Engagement and Retention,” and Mandernach co-authored the chapter “More Teaching in Less Time: Leveraging Time to Maximize Teaching Presence.” The chapters appear in the Handbook of Research on Strategic Management of Interaction, Presence and Participation in Online Courses.

The premise of Estes’ chapter is that while faculty participation is key to student engagement, and engaged students tend to complete courses, faculty members frequently are unaware of the impact their active participation has on student retention. Given the fiscal impact of attrition, institutions can benefit from providing ongoing professional development and support of faculty teaching online. Mandernach’s chapter overviews strategies to help online instructors create an efficient online classroom, manage teaching time more effectively and prioritize their time investment to promote interaction, presence and participation.

Dr. Roger KuglerRoger Kugler, D.M.A., director of the International Center for Music presented a session and served as a panelist as part of a Preparing Future Faculty Seminar in Kansas City, Mo., on Feb. 27. Kugler shared share an overview of faculty roles and responsibilities and fielded questions from students related to seeking faculty positions, interviewing, promotion and tenure process. The program is for doctoral students interested in careers in college teaching.

Glenn Ricci, adjunct instructor of art, has authored a book that was recently published. The book, Through the Mind of an Artist (Legacy Book Publishing), is a look back at Ricci’s art, influences and inspirations dating back to 1968. Creativity, artistic processes and ideas are revealed in pictures and words to show how final images came to be what they are from initial drawings to the resulting metamorphosis. Ricci discusses the creative process with explanations of how images evolved from initial idea or beginning sketch to a finished work. Some works are studies in and of themselves as many beginning and practicing artists do for practice.

Five students at Park University’s Austin (Texas) Campus Center have received scholarships valued at $970 each from The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business to fund expenses as part of pursuing the certified management accountant credential. The students are: Mark Chavis, student in the Master of Business Administration program and 2015 Park graduate; Leslie Mudd and Sheila Swanson, seniors, and Ann Scalise, junior, management/accounting majors; and Vivianne Pearson, senior management/marketing major.

SymposiumRegistration deadline nears 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, 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 through noon (Central time) 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.

Park In The News

Two alumni from Park University’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.) Campus Center were honored by the 90th Missile Wing during an event in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Feb. 5. Bradley Kassha, ’14, of the 90th Contracting Squadron, 90th Mission Support Group, won the Civilian of the Year award for Category 1, Non-Supervisory. Rebecca McNelley, ’07, 90th Security Forces Squadron, was honored as the Senior Noncommissioned Officer of the Year. A story related to the event appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of the Cheyenne Minuteman.

Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., was featured in Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine, in its February issue. Gunderson was highlighted in “The Black Book / Executive Profile” section.

In the same issue of Ingram's, both Gunderson and Laurie DiPadova-Stocks, Ph.D., dean of Park’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies, were quoted for a story on the effect of the declining pool of eligible students attending college.

Also in the February issue of Ingram's, Park University was ranked as the No. 3 private college/university in Kansas and Missouri, based on undergraduate enrollment for Fall 2015.

Brian McRae, Park University baseball assistant coach, was interviewed for a story that appeared on on Feb. 19. McRae provided comments about former New York Mets teammate Tony Phillips, who passed away on Feb. 17.

Park University was mentioned as part of stories about a new Parkville, Mo., business — The Middle Kansas City — that is dedicated to selling local products, including Park University merchandise. The articles appeared in the Feb. 24 issues of The Kansas City Star (“816 North” section) and Ink, a sister publication of The Star.

Pianist Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, received rave reviews in the Dallas Morning News on Feb. 26 as part of a concert he performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 25.

Abduraimov was also featured in a Kansas City Star article on Feb. 28. The story was a preview of Abduraimov’s performance with the Kansas City Symphony March 4-6.

A review of Abduraimov’s performance with the Kansas City Symphony was highlighted in The Kansas City Star on March 7.

Park University was featured in a special “Education” section that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Feb. 21 (pages 6-7). The advertorial included comments from Park President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., Michael Collins, ’04, chair of Park’s Board of Trustees, and Emily Sallee, Ph.D., dean of Park’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Carmen Gomez, ’06, was featured in the Waxahachie (Texas) Daily Light on Feb. 28. A story about Gomez outlined how she immigrated to the U.S. in 1986 without knowing English through her time earning an associate degree and Bachelor of Science degree in social psychology from Park University. And, while completing her bachelor’s degree, Gomez also donated a kidney to her niece.

Herbert Blake, ’98, police chief in Hendersonville, N.C., was highlighted in the “Got A Minute” feature in the Hendersonville Times-News on March 1. Blake has served as police chief in the city since 2008.

Park University was featured during a three-minute interview segment that aired live on KLST-TV in San Angelo, Texas, on March 2. Janice Whited, site manager for Park’s Goodfellow Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center, was interviewed and talked about the University’s nationwide presence, affordability and uniqueness.

A first-person account written by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Keoni Kim, ’14, of how a program helped him get through his parents’ divorce, appeared in the Pacific Daily News in Guam on March 4. Kim is an active duty Marine and personnel officer stationed at Kaneohe Bay, Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

As mentioned in the Dec. 1, 2015, Crow’s Nest, a documentary focusing on 99-year-old artist Eric Bransby, who received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Park University in 1995, is scheduled to air on PBS this June. A trailer, which features Bransby’s mural, “Spirit of Park College,” which is located in the Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground, just below Millsap Foyer, is available at

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  Through March 13 -- Spring Recess (no classes nationwide)
     •  March 14 -- Spring II Term Begins
     •  March 19 -- Admissions: Pirate Preview, 9 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  March 23 -- Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing Open House, 10:30 a.m.-noon and 5:30-7 p.m., Academic Expansion Space
     •  March 24 -- Johnson Family Lecture Series: Dr. Sterling Nesbitt, “The Beginning of the Age of Reptiles: The Rise of Archosaurs and Their Relatives Following the End-Permian Extinction,” 7 p.m., Jenkin and Barbara David Theater (Alumni Hall)
     •  March 29 -- Park University Health Fair, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Academic Expansion Space
     •  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 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 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

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