Crow's Nest -- January 19, 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

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Military Friendly Top 10Park University earns top five ranking for military friendly excellence

Park University’s recognition and respect for the contributions military personnel make to the country, as well as the University’s long history of serving those who serve our country, has been recognized by Victory Media. Park University was honored by the publishing company with a “Top 10 Gold Military Friendly School Award.” Park is ranked No. 5 in the private, large schools (more than 10,000 students) category.

New this year, Victory Media’s Military Friendly Awards showcase the most powerful and effective programs of more than 200 companies and 1,200 post-secondary schools that were designated as Military Friendly in November. Park received the designation for the eighth straight year. Of those designated, just a handful of schools were recognized for excellence in different categories, highlighting not only “Are you military friendly?” but “How military friendly are you?” Read more about the ranking at

In addition, for the ninth consecutive year, Park University was selected as one of the top military-friendly colleges and universities in the country by Military Advanced Education & Transition magazine. Park was selected for inclusion on the list in the magazine’s December issue within its “2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities.” The publication provides information about the wide range of benefits schools provide in six key categories of consideration to service members, veterans, spouses and dependents: military culture, financial assistance, flexibility, general support, online support and on-campus support.

Cary LundyLundy inducted into Ban Johnson Hall of Fame

Cary Lundy, Park University baseball head coach, was inducted into the Ban Johnson Baseball League’s Hall of Fame on Dec. 27 during a ceremony in Overland Park, Kan. Lundy, who has been at the helm of the Pirates since 2003, has also managed a club in the Ban Johnson league, a Kansas City based summer college baseball league, for the past 30 years. His BJBL teams have won seven league titles, including a run of four straight from 1987-90. Read more about Lundy’s accomplishments at

Park campus center holds commencement ceremony

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.
          •  Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base Campus Center

Dr. Jayme UdenEric BlairBlair, Uden promoted to associate vice president positions

Park University has announced the promotion of Eric Blair (left) to the position of associate vice president of enrollment management, and Jayme Uden, Ed.D. (right), to the position of associate vice president and dean of students. Both started in their new positions on January 1. As associate vice president of enrollment management, Blair leads a team that develops, monitors and revises the University’s annual enrollment goals, as well as the University’s strategic enrollment plan. He also oversees the University’s recruitment and admissions activities. As associate vice president and dean of students, Uden oversees student services and retention efforts for Park’s 40 campuses across the country. He also supervises the University’s Office of Student Success, Office of Student Life and Engagement, Office of International Students and the Department of Military and Veteran Student Services. In addition, he oversees student conduct, residence life, student counseling and dining services. Read more about both promotions at

School of Education StaffSchool of Education employees participate in U.S. Department of Education summit

A trio of Park University employees within the School of Education participated in the U.S. Department of Education’s Advancing Educational Technology in Teacher Preparation Innovation Summit on Dec. 14 in Washington, D.C., where the School was recognized for its public commitment to further the innovative use of technology to support the learning of pre-service teachers. Dong Hwa (Donna) Choi, Ph.D., professor of adult education and early childhood education, Judi Simmons Estes, Ph.D., associate dean and associate professor of education, and Melanie Kinney, assessment and accreditation specialist, attended the event, which brought together researchers, schools of education, support organizations and other stakeholders in the field to advance four goals for educational technology in teacher preparation programs outlined in the Department of Education’s 2016 National Education Technology Plan.

The plan sets a vision for teacher preparation programs to move toward:
          ●  Focusing on the active use of technology to support learning and teaching.
          ●  Building sustainable, program-wide systems of professional learning for higher education instructors to strengthen their capacity to use technological tools to support learning and teaching.
          ●  Ensuring pre-service teachers’ experiences with educational technology are program-deep and program-wide rather than one-off courses separate from their methods courses.
          ●  Aligning the above efforts with research-supported standards, frameworks and credentials recognized across the field.

“We are proud that our School of Education was chosen by the U.S. Department of Education for inclusion in this summit,” said Doug Fiore, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our education faculty and dean (Michelle Myers, Ed.D.) are committed to ensuring our pre-service teachers are proficient in technology for teaching and learning.”

Steve YoungbloodUniversity hosting discussion on First Amendment

Park University, in partnership with the National Archives at Kansas City, is hosting a conversation on “First Amendment Under Fire: Global Challenges to Press Freedom” on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the National Archives at Kansas City, 400 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, Mo. The dialogue will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a reception preceding the discussion at 6 p.m. Admission to the event is free, but reservations are requested by contacting the National Archives at Kansas City at or (816) 268-8010.

Steven Youngblood, director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism and associate professor of communication arts at Park University, will discuss the challenges of the First Amendment and how those relate to threats to free press around the world. Youngblood is a two-time J. William Fulbright Scholar, traveling to Moldova in 2001 and Azerbaijan in 2007. He has been recognized for his service to global peace by the U.S. Department of State, Rotary International and the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City as its World Citizen of the Year in 2012. He has taught peace journalism around the world and he is the author of Peace Journalism Principles and Practices (published in October 2016 by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Books) and serves as editor of Peace Journalist, a semi-annual magazine and the only publication of its kind dedicated exclusively to peace journalism. In his role as director of the CGPJ, Youngblood promotes the concepts of peace and encourages responsible, non-inflammatory reporting, including advocating nonviolent resolution through seminars and courses in the U.S. and abroad. Read more about the event at

Disturbing the PeacePark co-sponsoring events on conflict resolution

A group of Kansas City organizations and civic leaders, including Park University, have united to bring a thought-provoking film and panel discussion to the region. On Tuesday, Feb. 7, “Disturbing the Peace,” a film that follows former enemy combatants — Israeli soldiers from elite units and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison, will be screened at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ Helzberg Hall in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 7 p.m. Following the screening, the film’s directors, producers and cinematographer, along with members of Combatants for Peace (featured in the film), will take the stage for a panel discussion. Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased through the Kauffman Center at VIP tickets are also available for $70.

In addition, on Thursday, Feb. 9, the panelists will come together again for a free discussion about creating peace out of conflict at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., starting at 1:30 p.m. While this event is free and open to the public, registration is requested at

“Disturbing the Peace” (view the film’s trailer at is about people born into conflict, sworn to be enemies, who challenged their fate. The film follows everyday people who took extraordinary actions by standing for what they believe in. The movie will challenge attendees to understand the narratives they live within, to look at current roles in society and decide what role they will play in creating a more humane world. The film reveals the transformational journeys of the former enemies — from soldiers committed to armed battle to nonviolent peace activists — leading to the creation of Combatants for Peace. For more information, visit

Park students inducted into National Society of Leadership and Success

The Park University chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success held its semiannual induction ceremony on the University’s Parkville Campus on Dec. 5. Twenty-six students were inducted, two of whom received the National Engaged Leader Award. Students with an exemplary academic record are invited to join the National Society of Leadership and Success, and must complete the following to be considered for full induction: attend orientation, leadership training day, three success networking team meetings and three speaker broadcasts.  To view the list of student inductees, visit

April Haberyan, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Ellen Finley Earhart Department of Nursing, and Gail Hennessy, assistant professor of education and director of undergraduate programs within the School of Education, were recognized with the Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is presented to Park faculty members who personify the qualities taught within the NSLS, and make a significant difference in the lives of students at Park through their dedication to education. Robin Williams, a member of Park’s Sodexo Dining Services staff, was honored with the Excellence in Service to Students Award. This award is presented to Park staff/faculty who exemplify leadership, mentor abilities and commitment to better the live of students. In addition, Andrea Lee, Ph.D., assistant professor and program coordinator of fine art, chair of art, design and interdisciplinary studies, and the director of Park’s Campanella Gallery, was inducted into Park’s chapter of NSLS as an honorary member.

Park basketball teams to fight cancer at Jan. 31, Feb. 14 home games

The Park University men’s and women’s basketball teams are on a mission to fight cancer, and fans can get on board at two upcoming home dates at the Breckon Sports Center on the Parkville Campus. The fight against cancer at “The Breck” begins Tuesday, Jan. 31, with Coaches vs. Cancer when the men’s basketball team hosts St. Louis College of Pharmacy at 6 p.m. Coaches from both teams will scrap their dress shoes for the night, opting for sneakers with their suits as a sign of support for cancer research. Gate proceeds from the game will be donated to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Coaches vs. Cancer fund.

Two weeks later, Park’s women’s basketball team will host Stephens College on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m., which will be a “Play4Kay” game, during the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s official Play4Kay week. Gate proceeds from this will go to the WBCA’s Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Park University’s Department of Athletics will honor cancer survivors during both games. Admission for both games will be cash or check donations at the gate in exchange for game tickets. No season passes (including Park IDs) can be used for admission to either game. For more information, visit

SymposiumRegistration continues for 2017 Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium

Park University’s 12th annual Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium is set for Tuesday, April 4, through Thursday, 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 now through Friday, Feb. 17, 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 Jamie Pasley, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and professor of political science, at / (816) 584-6593.

Dr. Bill EickhorstUniversity hosting exhibit of Eickhorst photographs

A photography exhibit featuring the works of artist Bill Eickhorst, Ed.D., adjunct instructor of art, will be on display in Park University’s Campanella Gallery on the Parkville Campus (inside Norrington Center), Friday, Feb. 3, through Friday, March 10. An opening reception will be held for Eickhorst on Feb. 3 from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Gallery. All of the images in the exhibit were taken with either a Nikon D40X digital single-lens reflex camera or a Nikon D3200 camera with a 17-300 millimeter lens. According to Eickhorst, some of the photos are straight, unaltered images composed in the viewfinder and printed full-frame. Others have been manipulated to various degrees using a collage approach, manipulating the image in Photoshop and/or printing the photographic image on canvas and then painting over the image with liquid polymer and oil paints. “Sometimes the original image speaks for itself, sometimes it functions as a jumping off point for further exploration,” Eickhorst said. “Sometimes two images with similar textures and colors beg to be combined.” For more information about Eickhorst and the exhibit, visit

School of Business online degree programs ranked by websites

Park University’s online Master of Business Administration degree in human resource management has been ranked by on its “Top 50 Online MBA Programs in Human Resource Management 2017” list. Park ranked No. 34 on the list, which was based on estimated tuition cost, accreditation, the 2016-17 PayScale College Salary Report, prestige and overall graduation rates.

Park’s online marketing degree program was ranked by on its “Best Online Marketing Degree Programs 2017” list. Park ranked No. 20 on the list, which was based on academic quality, affordability and online programming.

Faculty, staff, student news

DSCC Holiday
Park University’s Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus Center was busy during the holiday season. Faculty, staff and students at DSCC adopted a family via the Salvation Army and raised more than $200 for the family, along with food, gift cards and presents. They also participated in a toy drive for the Salvation Army. In addition, DCSS employees delivered 11 trays of cookies to the security police on the base to thank them for helping Park’s DSCC students during the year.

An article co-authored by Jeremy Barnes, senior accounting and business administration/management major, was published in the December 2016 edition of The Journal of Chemical Physics. The article, “Point Charge Embedding for ONIOM Excited States Calculations,” studied the performance of the ONIOM (Our own N-layered Integrated molecular Orbital molecular Mechanics) hybrid method for the calculation of transition energies and oscillator strengths by embedding the core region in a field of fixed point charges.

Dr. Virginia BrackettVirginia Brackett, Ph.D., professor emeritus of English, authored an article on “Jung, Campbell and Frye: Recognizing the Hero’s Journal in YA Literature” for a blog that focuses on young adult literature.

Leah FletcherLeah Fletcher, director of career development, has been appointed to the TeamKC: Life+Talent Advisory Board for 2017-18. A part of the Kansas City Area Development Council, the advisory board works to provide guidance and insight into the trends and needs of Kansas City’s recruiting ecosystem. It also works to create a competitive advantage by fostering collaboration among industry sectors to amplify Kansas City’s livability assets to potential employees, making the region a top lifestyle destination.

Catherine TrischU.S. Army Spc. Catherine Trisch, a junior geography major and a geospatial engineer for the 543rd Engineer Detachment Geospatial Planning Cell at U.S. Army North at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, is one of 10 service members from JBSA chosen to represent their respective military services as part of the 2017 Military Ambassadors program. Trisch will represent the Army and JBSA at events throughout Texas, including activities associated with Fiesta San Antonio, one of the premier festivals in the country.

Park In The News

Park University was recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the magazine’s annual rankings of online programs on Jan. 10. Park’s online bachelor degree programs ranked No. 220 nationally, based on student engagement, faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and peer reputation. Park’s Master of Business Administration online programs ranked No. 132 nationally, up 27 spots from a year ago, and the University’s online education programs ranked No. 197.

Park University was highlighted as part of a story that appeared on the Kansas City Business Journal’s website on Jan. 9 that looked at 50 higher education institutions based in the Kansas City region related to earnings data. Park was ranked No. 7 among the schools with the highest-earning graduates from the most recent year data was available (2012-13) from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.

Michelle Myers, Ed.D., dean of Park University’s College of Education and Health Professions, was quoted in a story that appeared in the December 2016 issue of Military Advanced Education and Transition magazine. Myers provided comments about Park University’s education degree programs and how they best serve servicemembers and veterans.

Wendy Romero, a senior accounting major and the NAIA women’s volleyball All-American and player of the year, was featured in the Dec. 23, 2016, issue of Dos Mundos, a newspaper serving the Kansas City Hispanic community.

Sam Peak, ’14, authored an article for the Foundation for Economic Education’s website on Dec. 27, 2016, on “Overcoming Cultural Division in the Age of Trump.”

A review of the book Dick Cole’s War: Doolittle Raider, Hump Pilot, Air Commando, written by Dennis Okerstrom, Ph.D., professor of English, appeared on the Midwest Rewind website on Dec. 26.

A concert by Behzod Abduraimov, International Center for Music artist-in-residence, in November 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas, was named among the top 10 classical music performances in 2016 in the Fort Worth area by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in an article published on Dec. 28, 2016, and on on Dec. 31.

Abduraimov’s performance in August 2016 with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra was also listed among the top 10 music-related performances for 2016 in a review that appeared in TheaterJones, an online North Texas performing arts news website, on Dec. 30, 2016.

A feature story on Brian Besten, ’95, appeared in his hometown newspaper, the Bridgeport (W.Va.) News on January 5. Besten is the chief financial officer at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, W.Va., and is active in his community with his family.

Kristen Hale, ’10, was featured in an article published Jan. 10 in the Sierra Vista (Ariz.) Herald. Hale was recently appointed assistant principal at Buena High School, where she graduated from in 1993.

A blog written by Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism, has been ranked among the “Top 50 Journalism Blogs and Websites for Journalists” according to Feedspot, an online content platform and aggregator. Youngblood’s blog, “Peace Journalism Insights,” ranked No. 40 on the list. The ranking was based on the following criteria: Google reputation and search ranking; influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media; quality and consistency of posts; and Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review.

A story about an annual membership art exhibit at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Mo., that includes the work of Brad Kleindl, Ph.D., dean of the College of Management, as well as his wife, Jane, appeared in the St. Joseph News-Press on Jan. 13. The exhibit is on display through Sunday, Feb. 19.

Park University was featured in stories that aired on KCTV (and sister station KSMO-TV) and WDAF-TV in Kansas City on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13 related to the University opening the Parkville Campus early for residential students due to Winter Storm Jupiter. Karie Schaefer, director of residence life, and Tanna Russell, freshman undecided major, were both interviewed.

Highlights of Park University’s men’s and women’s basketball games at Columbia (Mo.) College on Jan. 12, aired on KOMU-TV, KMIZ-TV and KQFX-TV in Columbia on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13.

Steven McDonald, director of orchestral activities in the International Center for Music, appeared in a photograph in the Salina (Kan.) Journal on Jan. 13 as part of an article about the Kansas Wesleyan University International Music Festival, Jan. 25 through Jan. 29. McDonald is serving as a guest conductor for the event.

Park University was highlighted in a variety of articles that appeared in The Kansas City Star’s “MBA” special section published on both Jan. 15 and Jan. 18. Jackie Campbell, director of Park’s Master of Business Administration program, provided comments for articles on technology integration in MBA programs, entrepreneurial focus in MBA programs, how MBA programs provide a variety of skills, ethics in MBA programs and how MBA programs are evolving.

A story about Thom Hanrahan, ’04, being appointed as the sports editor of the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press, appeared in the Jan. 14 edition of the newspaper.

Cecilia Holguin, campus center director at the Victor Valley College (Calif.) Campus, appeared on KZXY-FM, KATJ-FM and KIXW-AM in Victorville, Calif., on Jan. 9. Holguin provided information about Park University in a four-minute interview segment.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)

     •  Through January 27 -- Fine Arts Seniors Thesis Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
     •  January 24 -- “First Amendment Under Fire: Global Challenges to Press Freedom” with Steve Youngblood, 6 p.m., National Archives at Kansas City
     •  January 27 -- Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
     •  January 28 -- International Center for Music Young Artist Showcase, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  February 3-March 10 -- William Eickhorst Two-Dimensional Works Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center); Reception: Feb. 3, 3-5 p.m., Campanella Gallery
     •  February 7 -- “Disturbing the Peace” Film Screening and Discussion, 7 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  February 9 -- “Disturbing the Peace” Panel Discussion, 1:30 p.m., National World War I Museum and Memorial, Kansas City, Mo.
     •  February 11 -- International Center for Music International Guest Artist Series: Violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi and Pianist Meng-Chen Liu, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  February 20 -- Presidents Day Holiday (University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
     •  February 27 -- Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series: The Underground Railroad with Dr. Spencer Crew and Dr. Matthew Pinsker, 6 p.m., National Archives at Kansas City

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