The Crow's Nest -- June 17, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

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Crow's Nest

Brooke KunkelKunkel earns Academic All-America honors

Brooke Kunkel, a junior accounting major and shortstop on Park University’s softball team, was named a second team Academic All-American as part of the 2016 Academic All-America College Division Softball Team, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Kunkel, who set Park’s single-season RBIs record as a sophomore in 2014, hit .323 in 2016, driving in 32 runs while scoring 41. Above her athletic accomplishments, which include All-American Midwest Conference designations in each of her three seasons with the Pirates, Kunkel carries a 4.0 grade point average.

“Brooke is a special athlete who you can count on to take care of business in the classroom, in practice and in games,” said Park softball head coach Steve Tingler. “Brooke’s success doesn’t start on the softball field. She is a student first, and that shows in her 4.0 grade point average throughout college. She is the kind of person you try to recruit over and over again in your program.” Read more about Kunkel’s accomplishments on and off the field at

Aliyah BrownSteven HillPark track and field athletes garner All-America accolades

Two Park University track and field athletes earned All-America honors at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 26-28. Senior Steven Hill (left) placed third in the men’s long jump with a leap of 15.46 meters, setting a new school record, and sophomore Aliyah Brown (right) placed seventh in the women’s shot put with a toss of 14.42 meters.

Leah FletcherFletcher promoted to director of career development

Park University’s Office of University Relations and Development has announced the promotion of Leah Fletcher to the position of director of career development. Fletcher, who previously served the University as assistant director of career development and as a career counselor since August 2013, began her new duties on May 23. As director of career development, Fletcher oversees the University’s Career Development Center, which provides career services to Park alumni and its students at the University’s 40 campuses across the country. She is responsible for developing initiatives to enhance the quality and quantity of companies, agencies and organizations that recruit and employ the University’s alumni and students.

“Leah is the right person to lead the Career Development Center in a proactive, strategic direction,” said Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for alumni, constituent and employer relations. “Her enthusiasm and passion for helping Park students will set the right tone for the next phase in the Center’s evolution.” Read more about Fletcher’s promotion at

CommencementPark campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

Park University campus centers across the country have held commencement ceremonies for 2016 graduates. As these ceremonies are held, we’ll include the link to the news releases announcing the list of graduates at each campus in The Crow’s Nest, as well as links to commencement photos (if available).
          •  Kansas City Area / Photos / Park University President Dr. Greg Gunderson’s keynote address
          •  Austin (Texas) Campus Center / Photos
          •  Barstow (Calif.) Community College Campus Center / Victor Valley College (Calif.) Campus Center
          •  Beaufort (S.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center / Photos
          •  Cherry Point (N.C.) Marine Corps Air Station Campus Center
          •  Fort Irwin (Calif.) Campus Center
          •  Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center / Photos
          •  Hanscom Air Force Base (Mass.) Campus Center / Photos
          •  Little Rock (Ark.) Air Force Base Campus Center
          •  Malmstrom Air Force Base (Mont.) Campus Center
          •  Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) Campus Center
          •  Naval Support Activity Mid-South Millington (Tenn.) Campus Center
          •  Tinker Air Force Base (Okla.) Campus Center
          •  Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center

Park University, Coro Kansas City announce 2016 class

The Coro Kansas City Summer Internship in Public Affairs program, offered through a partnership with Park University’s Hauptmann School of Public Affairs, has announced its 2016 class of interns. Coro Kansas City is designed to develop future community leaders through exposure to community issues, leadership development, civic leaders and organizations. It is a demanding and full-time eight-week internship, and requires an interest in public affairs. Each intern is assigned a week-long internship in each of the four sectors of business, government, labor and nonprofit organizations. Participants are immersed in these sectors, allowing them to learn experientially with some of Kansas City’s most effective leaders and establish significant professional contacts. The remaining four weeks are spent in individual and group leadership development sessions. Read more about this year’s Coro Kansas City program at

Faculty, staff, student news

Gail HennessyDr. Shannon CuffTwo Park University faculty received grants from the Missouri Campus Compact. Shannon Cuff, Ph.D., (left) assistant professor of literacy education, area coordinator of the Master of Education in Language and Literacy program, and director of the Watson Literacy Center, received a $1,000 institutional grant to support the 2016 River Read Children’s Literature Festival. Gail Hennessy (right), assistant professor of education and undergraduate program director, received a faculty grant of $500 for a service-learning project that will have Park teacher candidates working with English language learners in the North Kansas City [Mo.] School District to increase comprehension and analysis of informational/nonfiction test.

Dr. Tamara Radohl-SigleyAn article authored by Tami Radohl-Sigley, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work, has been published in the summer 2016 edition of the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. The article, “Living a Meaningful Life with Serious Mental Illness: Defining and Understanding Personal Medicine,” examines an emerging concept in mental health called personal medicine. Highlighted in policy by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, personal medicine offers mental health consumers a partnership in their treatment.

Radohl-Sigley also presented a workshop on “Living a Meaningful Life with Mental Illness” at the Missouri Institute of Mental Health Spring Training Institute in Osage Beach, Mo., on June 3. Thee workshop integrated research findings from her published research with personal medicine into clinical application in mental health agencies. In addition, Radohl-Sigley has been elected to serve a two-year term as the eastern Kansas representative on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

History Book

Park University history book offered at special price

Park University’s history book, Fides et Labor: 140 Years of Pioneering Education – The Story of Park University, is available for purchase at a historic price for a short time. Through Thursday, June 30, the book can be purchased at the special price of just $18.75 — more than half off the regular price. This 160-page book is filled with stories and 350 photos covering the University’s 140 years as the institution grew from a small Presbyterian school with 17 students, built on the banks of the Missouri River, into a world-class provider of higher education at 40 campus centers across the country and online. To order the book, visit

Homecoming Weekend

Homecoming Weekend Family Fun Day and Great Wolf Lodge offer

Park University has added a special feature to Homecoming Weekend 2016 — a Family Fun Day on Saturday, Sept. 17. Park University faculty, staff and students are invited to join in the fun both on the Parkville Campus and at Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City, Kan. A pirate storytelling event will be held, followed by a barbecue lunch on the Parkville Campus. Families are then invited to take in an afternoon/evening of fun and play at Great Wolf Lodge. Rooms on Saturday night are available for $149.99 (plus taxes/fees) and a limited number of rooms are available on Friday, Sept. 16 for $125 (plus taxes/fees), and includes six water park passes for each room.

Those planning to attend these events or other events during Homecoming Weekend should register at The deadline to take advantage of the special Great Wolf Lodge rates is Sunday, July 10; reservations can be made at or call (800) 944-9653 and use code “1609PARK_001”. For more information about Homecoming Weekend activities, e-mail or call (816) 584-6200.

Park in the news

Rodolfo Lopes, senior business administration/management major and a member of Park University’s men’s soccer team, was highlighted in a story that appeared in the Kokomo (Ind.) Herald on May 19. Lopes is playing for the Kokomo Mantis FC soccer team this summer, a club that competes in the Heartland Division of the Premier Development League Central Conference. The article focused on the team’s host family program.

A story about Park University baseball player Alec Rash appeared in The Des Moines (Iowa) Register on May 22.

Terrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration and coordinator for public management, appeared in a story that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on May 23. Ward, who serves as president of the North Kansas City (Mo.) School Board, discussed the NKC School District’s announcement of a $114 million bond issue.

Ellen Griffin, junior social psychology major, authored an article that appeared on the Young Invincibles website, an organization committed to promoting health care reform. Griffin’s article, “Empower Students to Better Assess School Quality,” is part of a series that showcases different perspectives on the need for more information when deciding where to go to school and what to study.

Lora Vogt, curator of education at the National World War I Museum and Memorial, mentioned Park University as part of an interview segment that appeared on WDAF-TV on May 26 related to the museum’s Memorial Day Weekend events. The University was a sponsor of activities during the weekend.

Erik Bergrud, associate vice president for alumni, constituent and employer relations, did a live phone interview with KMBC-TV in Kansas City on May 26, providing a first-person perspective of what was going on at the Parkville Campus during a tornado warning.

Edward Hall II, ’05, appeared on the program “Urban Connections” on KKFI-FM in Kansas City on May 28.

A story about Tom Cline, ’86, appeared in the Ozark County (Mo.) Times on June 8. Cline, who served Ozark County as the prosecuting attorney for 22 of the last 26 years, retired from the office on May 31.

A story about Doug Dunham, ’96, appeared in The Daily Advocate in Drake County, Ohio, on June 10. Dunham was recently appointed superintendent of the Mississinawa Valley School District.

A story about Tom Dailey, ’96, Independence, Mo., police chief, appeared in The Examiner on June 4. Dailey, who has led the Independence Police Department since September 2008, recently announced his retirement, effective July 21.

Alex Brake, who has signed to play softball at Park University, was recently selected as the 2016 NJCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year. A story about Brake, who is transferring to Park from Labette (County, Kan.) Community College, appeared in the Parsons (Kan.) Sun on June 6.

A story about Brig. Gen. Don Fryc, ’92, who has led the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command at Fort Bliss, Texas, since March 2014, appeared in the El Paso (Texas) Times on June 8. Fryc has relinquished his command and has started transitioning toward retirement, effective Oct. 1.

A story about James Pope, ’82, who was recently appointed the chief executive officer and president of Van Wert (Ohio) County Hospital, appeared in the Van Wert Times Bulletin on June 13.

An interview with Behzod Abduraimov, Park University International Center for Music artist-in-residence, aired on the ABC Radio Australia program “RN Breakfast” on June 3. Abduraimov was in Perth, Australia to perform with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

A story about a visit to Bundeswehr University in Munich, Germany, by Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, appeared on the X-Media Campus website in Germany on May 20 (Google Translate page). In addition, an interview with Gloria Laker Aciro that appeared on the BBC program “Outlook” on June 7 featured mentions of the CGPJ and Youngblood.

Mariana Rios, a senior at Fort Osage (Mo.) High School who will run cross country/track and field at Park University in the fall, was selected as The Kansas City Star’s Scholar-Athlete for the school, which appeared in the newspaper on June 12. Rios is the first student-athlete on the Star’s scholar-athlete list to play a sport for the Pirates in recent memory.

Park University's El Paso (Texas) Campus Center was highlighted during a three-minute interview that aired on KVIA-TV in El Paso. The interview was related to a series of job seminars with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Patrol on June 23 at the El Paso Campus.

A story about Park University men's basketball recruit Javon Adams signing a letter-of-intent to attend Park appeared in the Fairfield (Calif.) Daily Republic on June 17.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  June 17 -- Laughlin Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., Anderson Hall, Laughlin AFB
     •  June 24 -- F.E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.) Campus Center Commencement, 6 p.m., Fall Hall Community Center, Warren AFB
     •  June 24 -- Luke Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 5 p.m., Club 56, Luke AFB
     •  June 25 -- Admissions: Get On Board Day, 8:30 a.m., Parkville Campus
     •  June 25 -- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (Ariz.) Campus Center Commencement, 5 p.m., Mirage Club, Davis-Monthan AFB
     •  July 1 -- Junemester ends
     •  July 4 -- Independence Day (all University offices closed)
     •  July 4 -- Parkville Symphonic Band Concert, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  July 11 -- Julymester begins
     •  July 15 -- Hill Air Force Base (Utah) Campus Center Commencement, noon, Davis Conference Center, Layton, Utah
     •  July 15 -- Goodfellow Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Goodfellow AFB Theater
     •  July 22 -- El Paso (Texas) Campus Center / Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus Center / Holloman Air Force Base (N.M) Campus Center Commencement, 7 p.m., El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center
     •  July 29 -- Summer Session ends
     •  August 6 -- Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center / Randolph Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center Commencement, 1 p.m., Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio, Texas
     •  August 15 -- Fall Semester / Fall I Term Begins

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