The Crow's Nest -- November 23, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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Crow's Nest

Best for VetsPark University selected among top “Best for Vets” schools in the country

Park University has been selected as the No. 4 “Best for Vets” private college/university in the country, as announced Nov. 1 by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Colleges 2017” rankings. The ranking is a reflection of the services and support the University provides to active duty military, veterans and their families. Military Times, an independent source for news and information for the military community, and its associated newsweeklies, Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times, also ranked Park No. 5 overall in the “online and nontraditional” category (schools that serve military students primarily online or through a network of campuses).

The publication recognized Park’s 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio as the lowest among those schools ranked in the top 20, and it gave Park 3½ stars (out of four) for its staff support. The staff support distinction rates the number of staff members dedicated to veterans issues in proportion to its military and veteran student population, the amount of time staff spend on veterans issues, and the scope and frequency of military-related training for instructors and administrators. Read more about the ranking at

Military Friendly 2017University receives military friendly recognition for eighth straight year

Park University has been honored by Victory Media as a 2017 Military Friendly School, a designation the University has received from the publishing company for the eighth consecutive year. The military friendly designation by Victory Media, which publishes G.I. Jobs, STEM Jobs and Military Spouse magazines, provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driving ratings about post-military education and career opportunities. The honor is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and also dedicate resources to ensure their success in the classroom and after graduation.

Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from Victory Media’s proprietary survey. Ratings methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students, and specifically for student veterans. Read more about the honor at

Dick Cole BookLast surviving member of Doolittle’s Raiders to speak at 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack event hosted by University

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Park University will host Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, 101 years old and the last surviving member of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, for a conversation on the significance of the air response that changed the course of World War II. The discussion, titled “Before 9/11, there was a 12/7: Reflections of Doolittle Raider Dick Cole on World War II,” will be held at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 6:30 p.m. A cash bar/small plates reception will precede the event at 6 p.m. Admission to the event is free; however, due to the expected crowd, reservations are required, with seating on a first come, first served basis. To reserve a seat, visit

Dr. Dennis OkerstromCole will be joined on the stage by Dennis Okerstrom, Ph.D., Park University professor of English and the author of Dick Cole’s War: Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot Air Commando. Okerstrom will present a brief history of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. response before introducing Cole, who served as co-pilot to Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle in the first B-25 to take off from the USS Hornet on April 18, 1942, in the U.S. air raid on Tokyo. Cole will discuss his wartime experiences and will answer questions from the audience, moderated by Okerstrom. Read more about the event at

Bob KendrickNegro Leagues Baseball Museum president, Park alumnus to keynote KC area commencement

Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and a 1985 graduate of Park University, will present the keynote address at the Kansas City Area December 2016 Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 10. The ceremony will be held at the Community of Christ Auditorium, 1001 W. Walnut in Independence, Mo., starting at 11 a.m. The event will include 454 Park University students eligible to graduate and participate in the ceremony — 209 students will receive a master’s degree and/or graduate certificate, and 245 students will receive a bachelor’s degree, associate degree and/or undergraduate certificate. Read more about Kendrick and the upcoming ceremony at

Park 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.
          •  Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus Center
          •  Mountain Home (Idaho) Air Force Base Campus Center
          •  Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (Ohio) Campus Center

Women’s volleyball team advances to NAIA national tournament

The Park University women’s volleyball squad will take a 32-2 record into the NAIA Volleyball National Championship tournament, which begins Tuesday, Nov. 29, in Sioux City, Iowa. The Pirates, the No. 7 seed in the 32-team field, will open pool play against the host school, Morningside College on Nov. 29 at 5 p.m. Park will also play Corban University (Ore.) on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 5 p.m. and will close out pool play on Thursday, Dec. 1, vs. Lourdes University (Ohio) at 7 p.m. If the Pirates finish in the top two of their pool, Park will advance to the single-elimination portion of the tournament, which will be played Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, with the championship match scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 3. For more information, visit

It's On Us LogoPark University named partner with It’s On Us Campus Innovation Program

Park University is of 28 colleges/universities across the country — and the only school based in Missouri — selected as a partner with the It’s On Us Campus Innovation Program. Park and the other 27 institutions have made a commitment to take innovative action steps toward changing the culture around sexual assault on their respective campuses. The Campus Innovation Program is unique in its goal to amplify the work that is already being done by students and administrators across the nation, and to help institutions implement and organize sustainable change. Read more at

Women’s cross country team competes at NAIA national meet

Park University’s women’s cross country team capped its season with a 35th place finish at the NAIA National Championships in Elsah, Ill., on Nov. 19. Junior Mary Beth Bailey led the Pirates, coming in 150th place in the individual race, running 40 seconds faster than her time in the American Midwest Conference Championships. The Pirates qualified for the national meet by securing a second place team finish in the AMC championship. Park’s men's squad finished third in the AMC meet, missing the national meet by two points, but two Park runners qualified for the national championship. Read more at

Soccer, volleyball players earns AMC honors

Ken HefnerEmily KeyMembers of the Park University women’s and men’s soccer teams, and women’s volleyball squad received honors from the American Midwest Conference. In women's soccer, Emily Key, senior forward on the women’s squad, was named the AMC Player of the Year, while Ken Hefner was named the AMC Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year. In addition, Hannah Brindle, senior defender, Emma Chatterton, junior midfielder, and Isabel Sullivan, sophomore midfielder, were named to the AMC first team. Read more at

On the men’s side, senior forward Mario Erpel, senior midfielder Tim Kloster and senior defender Mirko Sandivari, were named to the AMC first team. Read more at

Mike TalamantesDaniela DuarteWendy RomeroIn women’s volleyball, senior outside hitter Wendy Romero was named the AMC Player of the Year, senior libero Daniela Duarte was named AMC Libero of the Year and Mike Talamantes was tabbed as the AMC Coach of the Year. In addition, sophomore setter Danna Gomes was named to the AMC first team. Read more at

Jenny KeaneUniversity appoints Keane as development director

Jennifer Keane has been appointed as a development director within the Office of Advancement at Park University. She began her duties at Park on Oct. 17. In her position, Keane will cultivate relationships and partnerships with alumni, friends and organizations that lead to the support of students, programs and projects at the University. Keane joins Park after serving as director (2013-15) and senior director (2015-16) of the American Heart Association’s Kansas City Heart Walk. She has spent her entire 15-year career in a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City and Chicago regions. Read more about Keane at

Dr. Virginia BrackettBrackett receives professor emerita status at Park

Virginia Brackett, Ph.D., who retired from Park University earlier this year as professor of English and director of Park’s Honors Academy, has been confirmed by the University’s Board of Trustees as professor emerita of English. “Her distinguished record of teaching, research and service to Park has enhanced the University, and we are grateful for her contributions,” said Doug Fiore, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs.

David WarmJeanette PrengerTrustees appointed to national boards

Jeanette Prenger, ’09, and David Warm, both members of Park University’s Board of Trustees, have been appointed to board posts with national organizations. Prenger, president and founder of ECCO Select, a technology and human enterprise consulting firm in Kansas City, Mo., was appointed vice chair of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors. Warm, executive director of the Mid-America Regional Council, was appointed to the Board of Directors for the National Academy of Public Administration.

Park’s student literary arts magazine accepting submissions

Park University’s student literary arts magazine, The Scribe, is accepting submissions from Park students for the 2017 edition. This annual magazine publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, photography and visual art produced by Park University students. The 2017 edition will also include a “Share Your Story” section of personal nonfiction stories. Submissions are open to all Park students regardless of location, major or class standing. Students on The Scribe editorial board will compile, select and edit the best submissions for the 2017 edition, which will be published in the spring. For more information or to receive a submission form, e-mail The Scribe at

Emma Martino ArtSeniors to display art in Campanella Gallery exhibit

The artwork of a trio of Park University seniors will be on display in the Campanella Gallery on the University’s Parkville Campus from Monday, Dec. 5, through Friday, Jan. 27. A reception will be held on Friday, Dec. 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Gallery. The students exhibiting their work are: Troy Elliott, fine art and secondary education/K-12 fine art major, Kylie Gordon, secondary education/K-12 fine art major, and Emma Martino, fine art and secondary education/K-12 fine art major. Read more about the exhibit at

Norrington Center, Campanella Gallery hours announced for winter break

Jon Ritterbush, director of library services and learning commons, has announced the following hours for Norrington Center on the University’s Parkville Campus, including the Campanella Gallery, for the winter break:
          •  Through Dec. 11 — Regular hours: Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 4 to 9:30 p.m.
          •  Dec. 12-22 — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, closed
          •  Dec. 23-26 — Closed
          •  Dec. 27-30 — Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
          •  Dec. 31-Jan. 2 — Closed
          •  Jan. 3-15 — Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, closed
          •  Jan. 16 — Closed
          •  Beginning Jan. 17 — Regular hours resume

Park’s online education degrees receive ranking

Park University’s online bachelor degrees in education have been ranked No. 9 by on the website’s list of the top 50 “Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Education.”

Faculty, staff, student news

Michael Brown, Ph.D., adjunct instructor in the Master of Public Administration program, presented a session at the International Association of Emergency Managers annual conference in Savannah, Ga., in October. Brown presented “Game of Drones: Operating Drones in a Complex Emergency Management Environment,” where he discussed how emergency management is experiencing a paradigm shift in which disaster preparedness is operationalized.

Dr. Rebekkah StutevilleDr. Suzanne DiscenzaEric ClickPark University faculty and staff presented sessions at the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration’s annual conference, Oct. 20, in Columbus, Ohio. Eric Click, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of public administration, co-presented on the panel, “What We’ve Got: Empirical Analysis of Public Service Values in Public Affairs Education.” Click, Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., adjunct professor of public administration, and Rebekkah Stuteville, Ph.D., vice provost and associate vice president for academic affairs, co-presented “Public Service Values for Professional Citizens: Do the Public Service Values of MPA Education and Accreditation Work for a Broad Range of Sectors and Disciplines?”

Dr. Michael EskeyMichael Eskey, Ph.D., professor and program coordinator of criminal justice administration, presented two papers at the Criminal Justice Association of Georgia’s annual conference in Morrow, Ga., Oct. 14-15. Eskey presented “Facilitating Internships at a Distance” and “Comparisons of Criminal Justice Capstone Courses.” He also facilitated a session on “Programming and Treatment.”

Park In The News

Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., along with three members of the University’s Board of Trustees — chair Michael Collins, ’04, Jeanette Prenger, ’09, and David Warm — have been selected to the “Ingram’s 250” by the Kansas City business magazine. The list, published in November issue, reflects the 250 most important, influential and powerful business leaders throughout the greater Kansas City region, according to the magazine’s editors.

Stories about Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, regarding his concert at Carnegie Hall in New York on Nov. 17, appeared in The New York Times the morning of the concert, and aired on KCUR-FM and the station’s website on Oct. 28. A review of his concert appeared in The New York Times on Nov. 19. and on the website Bachtrack on Nov. 20.

A trio of Park University students and faculty assisted WDAF-TV in Kansas City for an investigative story that aired on Nov. 22. Eugene Matthews, Ph.D., associate professor of criminal justice administration, along with Adrianna McMullen, sophomore chemistry and criminal justice/security major, and Emily Raffety, sophomore social work major, helped the television station’s investigative unit to look at the unsolved case of Randy Leach, an 18-year-old high school student who went missing from Linwood, Kan., in 1988. The story was produced by Park alumna Lisa McCormick, '83.

A story about Taher Barazi, freshman information and computer science major, appeared on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on Nov. 17. Barazi, from Syria, talked about the warm welcome he has received at Park and in Kansas City, as well as the political climate in his home country and overcoming prejudice. Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of Park’s Center for Global Peace Journalism, was also interviewed for the story.

Park University alumnus Bob Kendrick, ’85, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, who will present the keynote speech at the Kansas City Area December Commencement on Dec. 10, was featured in The Kansas City Star on Nov. 20. The story, which appeared on the cover of the “Spirit” section, was about Kendrick’s obsession with golf.

A feature story about Ryan Beatty, ’08, principal at Plattsburg (Mo.) High School, appeared in the Clinton County (Mo.) Leader on Nov. 17. Beatty was honored in October at the Missouri Association of Secondary Principals Conference as the Exemplary New Principal for Northwest Missouri.

The legend of ghosts on Park University’s Parkville Campus was the focus of a feature article that appeared in the Platte County (Mo.) Citizen on Oct. 26. Carolyn Elwess, university archivist, provided background information for the story and was quoted throughout. In addition, Emma Givens, senior business administration/international business and business administration/marketing major, provided a comment about the University’s “Fright Night” event.

Braden Smith, sophomore political science/American politics major, and Gary Bachman, associate professor of social work, were both featured in articles in the Oct. 30 issue of The Kansas City Star for the newspaper’s “I am…” series, which presents portraits of people in the community whose lives have aspects that intersect with the news. In this installment, Smith and Bachman were featured as voters who support one of the two major-party candidates for president.

Bachman also authored an article that appeared in the October issue of The New Social Worker, a careers magazine for the social work field. The article was on “The Brain Museum – A Social Worker’s Story for Halloween.”

Wakisha Briggs, director of continuing education, was appointed to the Hickman Mills (Mo.) School District School Board on Oct. 20 to fill an unexpired term. A story new leadership in the school district, including Briggs, appeared in The Kansas City Star on Nov. 2.

Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, was featured in the Epoch Times on Nov. 5. In addition, following a concert in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 10, Abduraimov was the focus of a story that appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Nov. 12. A review of that concert also appeared in TheaterJones, an online North Texas performing arts news website.

A story about fears related to the outcome of the presidential election that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Nov. 10 included comments from two Park University students, Waleed Alitr, senior information and computer science/software engineering, and information and computer science/networking and security major, and Abdualltif Aljoufi, sophomore information and computer science/software engineering major.

David Shipler, Pulitzer Prize winning author and former New York Times foreign correspondent who spent the week of Nov. 14-18 on the University’s Parkville Campus as part of The Council of Independent Colleges’ Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program, appeared on KSHB-TV in Kansas City on Nov. 15 in a six-minute interview on the KCLive program. Shipler was questioned on the topic he presented the previous night in a public discussion on “Ethnic, Religious and Racial Identity in a Fractured World: Challenges Awaiting the 45th U.S. President.”

Emily Frost, a Master of Education graduate student pursing a degree in urban education, was quoted in a story that appeared in The Kansas City Star on Nov. 19. The article was about area residents taking a stand against hate speech and harassment.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  Through November 30 -- Political Memorabilia Exhibit, Fishburn Archives and Special Exhibits, Mabee Learning Center/Academic Underground
     •  Through November 30 -- John Lofflin Photography Exhibit, Campanella Gallery, Norrington Center
     •  November 24-25 --
Thanksgiving Recess (University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Fall II classes held as scheduled)
     •  November 29-December 3 -- Women’s Volleyball in NAIA National Championship Tournament, Sioux City, Iowa
     •  December 5-January 27 -- Fine Arts Seniors Thesis Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center); Reception: December 9, 2-4 p.m., Campanella Gallery
     •  December 7 -- Before 9/11, There Was A 12/7: Reflections of Doolittle Raider Dick Cole on World War II, 6 p.m., National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  December 9 -- International Student Sash Ceremony, 3 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
     •  December 10 -- Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 10 a.m., Education and Training Center Auditorium
     •  December 10 -- Kansas City Area Commencement, 11 a.m., Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Mo.
     •  December 11 -- Fall Semester / Fall II Term Ends
     •  December 23-26 -- Christmas Holiday (University offices closed nationwide)
     •  January 2 -- New Year’s Day Holiday (observed; University offices closed nationwide)
     •  January 16 -- Spring Semester / Spring I Term Begins
     •  January 16 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
     •  January 28 -- International Center for Music Young Artist Showcase, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

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