The Crow's Nest -- March 17, 2017

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Plaster CenterPark University receives seven-figure gift for new School of Business building

Park University has announced that the Robert W. Plaster Foundation of Lebanon, Mo., has made a substantial seven-figure gift toward a new building to house the University’s School of Business. When the approximate 20,500-square-foot project is completed, the building will be known as the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. Along with the School of Business, the Plaster Center will also be the new home for the Park Global Warrior Center, which assists service members and veterans transitioning in and out of the military. Along with classroom and office space, the Plaster Center will include a state-of-the-art finance lab, video production studio, lounge for commuter students, and a special innovation and entrepreneurship lab.

“We are passionate about our vow to equip students for success in a fast-paced, ever-evolving workforce and world,” said Greg Gunderson, Ph.D., Park University president. “This new building will provide the type of modernized, state-of-the-art facility needed to keep our promise. We are grateful to the Plaster Foundation for its generous gift that will ensure the University continues to offer the best in modern and applicable education.”

The Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center is planned to be built on Park’s flagship Parkville Campus on the east side of the University’s main entrance. Fundraising and planning for the building continues, with groundbreaking anticipated in 2018. Read more about the project at

Casi JoyPark alumna featured on NBC’s “The Voice”

Casi Joy McCall, ’12, who goes by the stage name of Casi Joy, is featured in this season’s “The Voice” on NBC. In her blind audition, which aired on March 2, Joy, who competed for Park University’s track and field team while earning her Bachelor of Science in Education degree in early childhood education, dazzled and wowed the judges with her rendition of “Blue.” A nearly six-minute clip was released two days in advance of the airing on E! News. KSHB-TV in Kansas City aired previews of her performance during the week leading up to the show, and did a profile story on her following her performance, as did KMBZ-FM, The Kansas City Star and KXAN-TV in Austin, Texas.

All four judges turned their chairs and gave glowing reviews of Joy’s performance, but in the end, Joy picked country music icon Blake Shelton to be her coach for the completion. The winner will receive $100,000 and a record deal with Universal Music Group.

Jerosan FletcherFletcher earns All-America status at NAIA indoor track championship

Jerosan Fletcher is Park University’s newest track and field All-American, earning the honor by placing sixth in the long jump at the NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships in Johnson City, Tenn., on March 4. Fletcher, a junior jumped 5.64 meters, leaping two individuals from their preliminary seeds to finish sixth. Read more about Fletcher’s experience at the meet at

Xavielle BrownBrown tabbed as AMC men’s basketball Player of the Year again

For the second consecutive year, Park University’s Xavielle Brown was selected as the American Midwest Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. After being a co-recipient of the award last year, Brown earned the honor this year by receiving nine first place votes on the ballot of AMC coaches after leading the conference in scoring at just under 21 points per game. In the AMC tournament quarterfinals, Brown eclipsed the 2,000 points for his career, just the third Park men’s basketball player to reach this mark. Brown was joined by teammate B.J. Watson as an AMC first team all-conference selection. Read more about Brown’s honor at

Kenneth BrobergBroberg wins Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition

Kenneth Broberg, who is pursuing a Master of Music degree in piano performance in Park University’s International Center for Music, was named the winner of the 2017 Hastings (England) International Piano Concerto Competition on March 5. Broberg won the £10,000 first prize (approximately $12,200) with his performance of “Concerto in F” composed by George Gershwin. A story about Broberg’s performance appeared in the Hastings Times that evening.

A few days following his Hastings performance, Broberg learned he was named one of 30 finalists to compete in the prestigious 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, May 25 through June 10 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Van Cliburn competition is the same event that Broberg’s instructor, ICM founder and associate professor of music/piano Stanislav Ioudenitch, won in 2001.

Park employee, student recognized by CCME

Pamela WashingtonPamela Washington (left), director of Park University’s Headquarters Marine Corps/Headquarters Battalion Henderson Hall (Va.) Campus Center, was honored with the William E. Kennedy Award by the Council of College and Military Educators at the organization’s annual professional development symposium in Atlanta on March 7. The award recognizes outstanding dedication and leadership in the delivery of quality programs to military installations and/or individuals.

Also during the conference, Lyndsay Pires, a junior criminal justice administration/law enforcement major, was awarded a $1,200 scholarship from the National Association of Institutions for Military Education Services and MBS Direct. The scholarship highlights the role that higher education plays in the lives of military students. Pires is an aviation operations specialist in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed in Hawaii.

State FairPark, State Fair CC sign 2+2 agreement

Park University President Greg Gunderson, Ph.D. (left), and Joanna Anderson, Ed.D. (center), president of State Fair Community College in Sedalia, Mo., signed an agreement on March 3 to provide a pathway for SFCC students who earn an associate degree to pursue bachelor’s degree programs at Park. They were joined by Jim Cunningham (right), SFCC dean of academic affairs. The agreement was coordinated by Dale Buckingham, director of Park’s Whiteman Air Force Base (Mo.) Campus Center.

Dr. Amy GreenbergWomen’s History Month lecture to feature discussion on origin of Daughters of the American Revolution

In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Department of History and Political Science at Park University will host a guest historian for a discussion on “Daughter of the U.S.-Mexican War: The Origins of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the 1848 Invasion of Mexico.” The event will be held Monday, March 27, starting at 7 p.m. in McCoy Meetin’ House on the University’s Parkville Campus. Admission to the lecture, a part of the University’s “Year of Inclusion,” is free.

Amy Greenberg, Ph.D., the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Pennsylvania State University, will focus on Ellen Hardin Walworth (1832-1915). Walworth was one of the four founders of Daughters of the American Revolution in 1890. According to Greenberg, Walworth was one of the remarkable women of her time — a published scientist, a lawyer who successfully secured the release of her son from prison, an acknowledged leader in historic preservation and national director of women’s war relief efforts during the Spanish-American War. Read more about the lecture at

Dr. Heather DeShonJohnson Lecture Series event to discuss earthquakes in the central U.S.

A timely discussion related to the escalating number of earthquakes in the central U.S. will be the focus of Park University’s Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science on Tuesday, March 28. The event will begin 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

Heather DeShon, Ph.D., a seismologist and associate professor of geophysics at Southern Methodist University, will present a discussion on “Earthquakes in the Central United States: Links to Wastewater Disposal, and Oil and Gas Production.” Based on case studies, DeShon will explore how the injection of fluids into the subsurface can cause dormant faults to induce earthquakes. She will also discuss what data is needed to improve mitigation strategies and understand the long-term earthquake hazard and risk implications for the region.

In addition to the public event, the lecture series includes the opportunity for Park students to engage with the featured speaker in a more academic-focused setting. DeShon will present a session on “Death of Fault: A Comparison of Seismicity and Faults in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, Oklahoma/Kansas and North Texas,” also on March 28 at noon (time is tentative) in the University’s McCoy Meetin’ House.

The Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science was established in 2016 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. The lecture series was established by Park University alumnus George Johnson, ’63, Ph.D., who provided funding for the event. Johnson is professor emeritus at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Read more about the lecture at

Dr. Abel PereiraICM concert to feature National Symphony Orchestra principal hornist

Park University International Center for Music concerts typically feature performances by world renowned artists in the realms of piano and string instruments. But on Thursday, March 23, the ICM will host Abel Pereira, Ph.D., principal horn for the National Symphony Orchestra in a concert at the 1900 Building in Mission Woods, Kan., starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $20 and can be purchased at For more information about Pereira and the concert, visit

University hosting spring career fair on March 29

Park University’s Career Development Center will host its Spring 2017 Career and Internship Fair on Wednesday, March 29, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Breckon Sports Center on the University’s Parkville Campus. The event is open to the public, especially recent college graduates and individuals looking for entry-level positions. More than 50 businesses are expected to participate, representing industries such as media/advertising, health, finance, social services, real estate and criminal justice. For more information about the career expo, contact Leah Fletcher, director of career development, at Park University, at or (816) 584-6407.

Bashaw WinterValerie Bashaw art exhibit set for Campanella Gallery

The Campanella Gallery, within Norrington Center on the University’s Parkville Campus, will host an art exhibit featuring the works of Valerie Bashaw, Monday, March 20, through Thursday, April 27. A reception for the artist will be held Friday, March 24, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Gallery. The exhibit will feature select pieces of Bashaw’s fiber and mixed media art she terms as “shibui,” a Japanese term meaning “understated elegance” and influenced by the Japanese technique of shibori, where white cloth is wrapped around a pole, bound, dyed, sometimes bleached and dyed again. Her current work uses dyes on silk and cotton, and she also print fabrics with rusted metal. Read more about the exhibit, including building hours, at

Park library to recognize faculty, staff authors

Park University’s McAfee Memorial Library and the Honors Academy will host a celebration of Park authors as part of the Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium on Tuesday, April 4, from 5 to 6 p.m. in Norrington Center on the Parkville Campus, The reception will include an exhibit of work of Park faculty and staff nationwide who have had a peer-reviewed article, book chapter or book published between August 2016 to present. Staff/faculty that wish to be recognized should sent citation information about their work to Jon Ritterbush, director of library services and learning commons, at, by Monday, March 20.

University earns ranking for military friendliness, affordability

SR Education Group, which publishes the Guide to Online Schools website, has ranked Park University No. 7 in the country on its list of the “2017 Top Military-Friendly Online Colleges.” The ranking, based on data from Military Advanced Education and Transition magazine, evaluates military culture, online support, flexibility and financial assistance.

The organization also ranked Park’s history degree programs No. 16 on its OnlineU “Most Affordable Online Colleges for History Degrees” list. The ranking was based on annual tuition.

In addition, ranked Park’s online bachelor’s degree programs in information and computer science No. 11 on its “30 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Computer Science 2017” list.

Faculty, staff, student news

Gary BachmanGary Bachman, associate professor of social work, presented a workshop on “The Courting Rituals of Social Work Educators,” at the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors annual conference, March 4 in New Orleans. The session discussed how introductory social work courses are opportunities to plant and nurture a seed of ethical, compassionate and socially responsible behavior that students may carry into their own homes, communities and careers.

At the same conference, four senior social work majors presented posters: Josie Scott, “Strengthening Child Protection Workers Cultural Competency of the Deaf Community,” and Jennifer Hailey, Karena Shinneman and Rose Shotwell, “Facilitating Connection, Collaboration, and Communication in Field Placements.” Scott’s poster earned second place in the ABSWPD’s national student poster competition.

Terrence WardCourtney GoddardCourtney Goddard, vice president and general counsel, and Terrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor and area coordinator for public management, were among the panelists for a discussion on “The Art of Nonprofit Board and Committee Service” as part of the ArtsKC Arts Leadership Series on Feb. 28. Goddard and Ward shared their experience serving on arts nonprofit boards and committees, and discussed the benefits, context and challenges they face.

Dr. John HamiltonJohn Hamilton, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of criminal justice administration, participated in “Conversation on the Square series event hosted by American Public Square on March 7 in Kansas City, Mo. Hamilton was a panelist on a program focusing on policing and community relations.

Dr. Wally KisthardtWalter E. Kisthardt, Ph.D., chair and professor of social work, presented a session on “Expanding Traditional Boundaries in Behavioral Health” at St. Luke’s Health Systems’ Sally Price Social Worker Convention on March 14 in Kansas City. Kisthardt discussed the renewed understanding of the importance of the relationship in promoting healing and well-being, necessitating a critical analysis of traditional boundaries of the interpersonal therapeutic alliance.

Park In The News

Layla Sweet, ’00, was featured in a story that appeared in the Ohio University student newspaper, The Post, on Feb. 26. Sweet was recently appointed the first female ROTC commander at Ohio University.

A quarterly radio program by Steve Youngblood, associate professor of communication arts and director of Park University’s Center for Global Peace Journalism, aired on KKFI (90.1 FM) in Kansas City on March 2. The second edition of Youngblood’s “Peace Journalism Perspectives” show featured a discussion with John Lofflin, Park professor of journalism, about media and President Donald Trump’s administration, and an interview with Dr. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob about the Peace Journalists Network in Nigeria. The podcast of the program can be heard at

Jeanette Prenger, ’09, and a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was featured in the Feb. 24 edition of the Kansas City Business Journal. Prenger, president and founder of ECCO Select, a technology and human enterprise consulting firm in Kansas City, Mo., was a panelist on a cyber security special supplement to the publication.

Col. Stephen Kravitsky, ’93, 90th Missile Wing commander at F.E. Warren Air Force Base (Wyo.), was highlighted in a story related to airmen from Warren AFB participating in a two-day tour of basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base (Texas), Feb. 23-24. Kravitsky served as the reviewing official for the BMT graduation parade and addressed the airmen.

A story about Teesha Miller, ’13, MHA ’16, being appointed director of the Jackson County (Mo.) Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, appeared in the Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Tribune on March 3.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
          •  Through March 19 – Spring Recess
          •  March 20 -- Spring II Classes Begin
          •  March 20-April 27 -- Valerie Bashaw Mixed Media Textiles Exhibit, Campanella Gallery (Norrington Center); Reception: March 24, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
          •  March 22 --
International Center for Music Student Recital: Pianist Simon Karakulidi, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  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 27 -- Women’s History Month Lecture: “Daughter of the U.S.-Mexican War: The Origins of the Daughters of the American Revolution in the 1848 Invasion of Mexico” with Dr. Amy Greenberg, 7 p.m., McCoy Meetin’ House
          •  March 28 -- Johnson Family Lecture Series in Science: “Earthquakes in the Central United States: Links to Wastewater Disposal, and Oil and Gas Production” with Dr. Heather DeShon, 7 p.m., David Theater (Alumni Hall)
          •  March 29 -- Career Development Center’s Spring Career Fair, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Breckon Sports Center – East Dome
          •  April 1 -- Baseball Book Notes Book Festival, 9:30 a.m., Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, Mo.
          •  April 4-5 -- Student Research and Creative Arts Symposium, Parkville Campus
          •  April 5 -- Career Development Center’s Military Friendly Career Fair, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Online
          •  April 6 -- The Ebola Crisis: Lessons Learned from the Field, featuring Dr. Dirk Dijkerman, 3 p.m., McCoy Meetin' House

          •  April 8 -- International Center for Music Faculty Recital Concert: Cellist Daniel Veis and Pianist Helena Veisova, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 9 -- Parkville Symphonic Band Concert, 3 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

          •  April 10 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Violinist Jinny Lee, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 12 -- International Center for Music Graduate Student Recital: Pianist Evangeliya Delizonas, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 15 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Violinist Laurel Gagnon, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 17 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Pianist Artem Alexanyan, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 19 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Violist Anna Sorokina, 4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 19 -- Dr. Doris A Howell Leadership Awards, 6 p.m., Park Distance Learning Conference Center
          •  April 19 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Pianist Kioshiro Hirama, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 20 -- International Center for Music Graduate Student Recital: Pianist Jon Ledbetter, 1 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 20 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Pianist Jinhong Li, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 21 -- International Center for Music International Guest Artist Series: Pianist Martino Tirimo, 7:30 p.m., 1900 Karbank Building, Mission Woods, Kan.
          •  April 22 -- Grand Forks (N.D.) Air Force Base Campus Center Commencement, 3 p.m., Grand Forks Central High School
          •  April 23 -- Northland Community Choir Spring Concert, 3 p.m., Grahm Tyler Memorial Chapel

          •  April 24 -- International Center for Music Student Recital: Violinist Hanna Zhdan, 6:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 26 -- Honors Convocation, 7 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 27 -- International Center for Music Graduate Student Recital: Cellist Yanni Mao, 7:30 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel
          •  April 29 -- Moody Air Force Base (Ga.) Campus Center Commencement, 11 a.m. Building 1058
          •  April 30 -- International Center for Music ICM Orchestra Concert, 4 p.m., Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel

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