The Crow's Nest -- February 3, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017

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Crows Nest

Gault AwardGault honored by Park Hill School District

Paul Gault, longtime Park University employee and former special assistant for endowment administration (as well as a 1965 and 1988 Park graduate), was honored by the Park Hill (Mo.) School District on Jan. 30 with its 2017 Super Booster of the Year Award. Gault has been a council member for the Park Hill Education Foundation since 2001, and he has served as the board’s treasurer since 2008. According to the PHSD, Gault developed a new accounting system for the district, and he oversees the PHEF’s endowments. Gault (left) is shown in the adjacent photo with Matt Pepper, PHSD Board of Education president, and Jeanette Cowherd, Ed.D., PHSD superintendent.

Wendy RomeroXavielle BrownBrown, Romero recognized by Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Park University student-athletes Xavielle Brown (left) and Wendy Romero (right) were among a number of athletes and teams recognized for national success in 2016 during the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame’s Special Achievements Awards on Jan. 29 in Springfield. Brown, a senior forward on the men’s basketball team, earned NAIA first team All-America recognition as a junior and was the American Midwest Conference Player of the Year. Romero was the NAIA’s Volleyball Player of the Year after being voted the NAIA national championship tournament’s Most Valuable Player in 2014.

Pirate LogoUniversity to add men’s golf, seven developmental programs in 2017-18

Park University’s Department of Athletics announced on Jan. 25 the return of the men’s golf program in the 2017-18 season, a program that has been dormant for more than 30 years. In addition, a week earlier, it was announced that the University will add seven developmental (junior varsity) athletics programs during the 2017-18 academic year. Park will add JV programs in men’s baseball, basketball and soccer, and women’s basketball, softball, soccer and volleyball.

“Men’s golf was one of our most successful programs in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and it just makes a lot of sense to bring it back,” said Claude English, director of athletics. Read more about this news at

As for the addition of the developmental squads, these teams will compete against junior varsity, developmental and reserve programs from other institutions that play in the NAIA, NCAA and the National Junior College Athletic Association. The JV teams will play a smaller schedule filled primarily by teams within a few hours’ drive.

“This is really a win for Park University, Pirate athletics and for our community,” English said. “The addition of these seven programs will increase the footprint athletics has on (the Parkville) campus and brings a much-needed increase in opportunity to students who want to compete in intercollegiate athletics at Park.” Read more about the new JV programs at

Dr. Matthew PinskerDr. Spencer CrewAnnual Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture to feature discussion on Underground Railroad

A moderated conversation on “New Directions in the Study of the Underground Railroad” will be the focus of the 16th annual Park University Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture Series event on Monday, Feb. 27 at the National Archives at Kansas City, 400 E. 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.

Historians Spencer Crew, Ph.D. (left), Robinson Professor of American, African-American and Public History at George Mason University (Fairfax, Va.) and Matthew Pinsker, D.Phil. (right), associate professor of history and the Pohanka Chair in American Civil War History at Dickinson College (Carlisle, Pa.), will be joined on the dais by Timothy Westcott, Ph.D., associate professor of history, associate university archivist and chair of the Department of Psychology and Sociology at Park University, who will moderate the discussion. The conversation will focus on past, present and future initiatives to engage, teach and preserve local, regional and national historic sites related to the Underground Railroad. For more information, visit

Shmuel AshkenasiInternationally acclaimed violinist and pianist to perform in ICM guest artist series concert

Park University’s International Center for Music will kick off the 2017 portion of its 13th concert season with a performance by violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu. The concert, a part of the ICM’s International Guest Artist Series, will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 11, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the 1900 Building’s Parkway Room, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, Kan. The concert will feature a trio of violin sonatas composed by Johannes Brahms. Tickets for the concert are $20 and can be purchased at

Meng-Chieh LiuAshkenasi (top), a past runner-up of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, formed the famed Vermeer Quartet and remained its first violinist throughout the quartet’s 39-year career. He is currently on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Liu (right) first made headlines in 1993 as a 21-year-old student when he substituted for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with three hours’ notice. He is also a member of the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music. Read more about the concert at

American Red Cross hosting blood drive on Parkville Campus

Park University and the American Red Cross have teamed up to hold a blood drive on the University’s Parkville Campus on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Intramural and Recreational Fieldhouse (Labor Hall). Show your love with the gift of life. The need for blood is constant and only volunteer donors fulfill that need for patients in the community. Nationwide, someone needs a unit of blood every 2 to 3 seconds and most people will need blood in their lifetime. Walk-ins are welcome, but donors can make a reservation at

SymposiumRegistration deadline nears 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, 2017, 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.

Park’s online criminal justice program earns ranking

Park University’s online degree program in criminal justice administration was ranked by on its “Best Online Criminal Justice Programs 2017” list. Park ranked No. 17 on the list, which was based on academic quality, affordability and online programming.

Faculty, staff, student news

Two Park University students at Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) won awards during the base’s annual awards event on Jan. 20 in Warrensburg, Mo. Sr. Airman Sarah Smallwood, a graduate student in the Master of Business Administration program, was selected as the Airman of the Year and Tech. Sgt. Ryan Waterfield, a senior interdisciplinary studies major, was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. Both are now eligible for higher headquarters awards.

Dr. Henry RoehrichHenry Roehrich, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing/management and program coordinator for logistics/management, served as a judge for the 2016-17 American Marketing Association Collegiate Case Competition. The program is a year-long event showcasing students working on a marketing challenge submitted by a sponsoring organization, with the sponsor providing a detailed marketing problem for students to develop a marketing strategy.

Dr. Alexander SilviusA paper co-authored by Alex Silvius, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics, was published in the December 2016 issue of Environmental Geotechnics. The paper, "Semipermeability of Concrete for Hazardous Waste Containment," examined the physico-chemical properties of high-density, lower-permeability concrete for potential to hyperfiltrate chloride solutions under relatively low hydraulic head, similar to encasement.

Steve YoungbloodSteve Youngblood, director of the Center for Global Peace Journalism and associate professor of communication arts, presented a session on “Peace Journalism: An Introduction” to a group of students and administrators from the University of Western Cape in South Africa, who were visiting the Kansas City area on Jan. 31.

Park In The News

Tom Allen, community relations manager at the Austin (Texas) Campus Center, along with Renee Randolph, ’12, ’15, and Monica Zavala, ’12, ’15, appeared on the “We Are Austin” program on KEYE-TV on Jan. 19, for a seven-minute interview segment about Park University. Allen talked about the University’s Master of Business Administration program at Austin and Pirate Patch, while Randolph and Zavala discussed their personal experiences getting their degrees at Park.

A story about Libra Denmon, ’03, appeared in the Rockdale-Newton (Ga.) Citizen on Jan. 20. Denmon received the Dee Buggay Award of Excellence from the City of Conyers, Ga., as she was named the Conyers Employee of the Year. Denmon is the office manager in the city’s planning and inspection department.

A story about a group of students from Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mo., getting an opportunity to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump as president in Washington, D.C., was published in The Kansas City Star on Jan. 20. The students’ government teacher, who was quoted in the story, is Chris Lawson, ’89.

Stories about Ray Starzmann, ’70, appeared in newspapers throughout the U.S. on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22. Starzmann is a Kansas City area actor who portrays President Harry S. Truman, and was interviewed on what Truman’s thoughts would be about President Donald Trump.

Park University was mentioned in a story that appeared in Ink, a Kansas City Star publication, on Jan. 24. The story was about Steve Strong, founder and owner of S.D. Strong Distilling, which is located in the Parkville Commercial Underground on the University’s Parkville Campus.

A feature story about Kevin Dickerson, ’00, who was recently appointed the business manager for the Page (Ariz.) School District, appeared in the Lake Powell (Ariz.) Chronicle on Jan. 25.

A story about Gary George, ’92, MPA ’96, appeared on the Alpharetta (Ga.) Patch website on Jan. 26. George was presented with a resolution (Georgia Senate Resolution 44) from Georgia District 56 Sen. John Albers to recognize George’s 50 years of service and leadership. George retired on Jan. 31 as the director of the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.

An editorial on health policy and health services authored by Suzanne Discenza, Ph.D., adjunct professor of public administration, appeared in a recent issue of PA Times, a publications of the American Society for Public Administration.

Salma Shahtout, sophomore business administration/marketing major and member of the women’s volleyball team, along with Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., were interviewed for a story that aired on KMBC-TV in Kansas City on Jan. 30 in response to Gunderson’s statement regarding President Trump’s executive order on “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” In addition, an excerpt from Gunderson’s statement appeared on KSHB-TV in Kansas City as part of a similar story related to the executive order.

Stories about Kathlyn Chassey, 24-year-old daughter of Julieann Chassey, night monitor at Park’s Lackland Air Force Base (Texas) Campus Center, were featured on KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV in Los Angeles on Jan. 12 and KENS-TV in San Antonio on Jan. 13. Kathlyn was born with cystic fibrosis and almost died as her lungs were shutting down. But “the force was with her” as she received assistance from Peter Mayhew, who plays Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movies, as he pleaded for help via social media to get Kathlyn a lung transplant, calling her the “littlest wookiee.”

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  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 25 -- International Center for Music ICM Orchestra Concert, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
     •  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
     •  March 12 -- Spring I Term Ends
     •  March 13-19 – Spring Recess
     •  March 18-April 21 -- Valerie Bashaw Mixed Media Textiles Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center)
     •  March 20 -- Spring II Classes Begin
     •  March 23 -- International Center for Music International Guest Artist Series Concert: Abel Pereira (French Horn), 7:30 p.m., 1900 Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
     •  March 29 -- Career Development Center’s Spring Career Expo, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Breckon Sports Center – East Dome

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