The Crow's Nest -- December 19, 2017

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

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Crow's Nest

Military Times rankingPark University earns top five “Best Colleges” ranking from Military Times

Park University has been ranked by Military Times as the No. 4 private college/university in the country on the publication’s “Best Colleges 2018” list (formerly known as “Best for Vets”). The ranking is a reflection of the services and support the University provides to active duty military, veterans and their families. The publication recognized Park with four stars (out of four) for its G.I. Bill gap coverage, and gave it 3½ stars for staff support and three stars for extracurriculars. The G.I. Bill gap coverage rates how well schools reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for Post 9/11 G.I. Bill users. 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 faculty and staff. The extracurriculars accolade rates the number and activity level of student veteran groups, and whether the school supports those groups financially, in addition to considering initiatives to support military spouses and families, and service projects. Read more about the ranking at

VolleyballWomen’s volleyball season ends for Park in national quarterfinals

The season for the Park University women’s volleyball team came to an end on Dec. 2 as the Pirates bowed out of the NAIA Volleyball National Championship Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa, in the quarterfinal round. Park concluded the season with a 33-4 record. The Pirates went 3-0 in pool play, defeating Indiana Wesleyan, Missouri Valley and Corban (Ore.), to win their pool. In the round of 16, Park defeated Morningside (Iowa) before falling to Viterbo (Wis.) in the quarterfinals. Read more about the season at

Nada MeawadMeawad named NAIA All-American, AVCA Freshman of the Year

Nada Meawad, who helped Park University’s women’s volleyball advance to the NAIA national tournament quarterfinals and became the program’s first-ever freshman named as the American Midwest Conference Player of the Year, was selected as an NAIA first-team All-American by a vote of NAIA volleyball coaches. In addition, she was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-America team, as well as TeamSnap/AVCA NAIA Freshman of the Year. Meawad was 10th in the NAIA with 4.08 kills per set and finished in the top 30 in the country in total kills and hitting percentage. Teammate Danna Gomes was selected to the NAIA’s and AVCA’s third team. Read more about Meawad’s season at

Aneisha FordFord earns spot as academic All-American

Aneisha Ford, a senior nursing major and a member of Park University’s women’s volleyball team, is among the nation’s elite in NAIA volleyball, earning a spot on the 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America first team for volleyball in the college division after helping the Pirates to a 33-4 record and an appearance in the NAIA national tournament quarterfinals this past season. Ford was selected to the Academic All-America team after finishing as a first team all-district selection in District 3. In 2017, she was Park’s second-leading blocker with 93 total blocks and a team-best 84 block assists. She also totaled 216 kills this year. Read more about Ford’s honor at

Eric WadePark trustee, alumnus honored with award

J. Eric Wade, ’82, MPA ’85, was honored with the Buford Watson Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Management from the Kansas Association of City/County Management. Wade, the city administrator for Lenexa, Kan., is also a member of Park’s Board of Trustees. The award recognizes the individual’s commitment and dedication to the profession and those who serve as a role model in dealing with constituents, value customer satisfaction and encourage new members of the profession. Wade, who has been Lenexa’s city administrator since 2004, is responsible for implementing the policies of the Lenexa City Council, submitting a budget to the city council, and directing and coordinating the city’s departments. Read more about his award at

CommencementPark campus centers hold commencement ceremonies

Park University campus centers across the country have held commencement ceremonies for 2017 graduates. As these ceremonies continue throughout the academic year, we’ll include the link to the news releases announcing the list of graduates at each campus.
          •  Charleston (S.C.) Air Force Base Campus
          •  Kansas City Area Campuses
                 •  Keynote address by Michael Collins, ’04, president and chief executive officer, Pork KC, and member of the Park University Board of Trustees
                 •  Photos from the Kansas City Area Commencement

Jennifer HellerUniversity appoints Jennifer Heller as director of institutional effectiveness

Jennifer Heller, Ph.D., has been appointed as director of institutional effectiveness at Park University. Heller began her duties at Park on Nov. 28. As director of institutional effectiveness, Heller will use research and data analysis to guide decision making and institutional improvement. She oversees the development of a comprehensive, integrated system of data collection, research, assessment, evaluation and reporting that supports strategic academic and operational planning, and she will provide the framework for data collection and analysis to inform evaluation of key institutional goals. In addition, Heller is responsible for proactive questioning and targeted research and analyses on a wide range of institutional and academic issues, synthesizing diverse data points into a coherent set of actionable findings, and recommendations.

Heller has worked in a variety of roles in higher education since 2001. Most recently, Heller served as director of the Center for Institutional Effectiveness at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., for the past 19 months. Read more about Heller at

Senior ExhibitPark seniors exhibiting art in Campanella Gallery

A trio of Park University fine art students are exhibiting their work as part of their senior thesis through Friday, Dec. 29, in the University’s Campanella Gallery. Admission to the gallery, located within Norrington Center on the Parkville Campus, is free. Students featured in the exhibit are: Rachal Berry, senior fine art and graphic design major; Jocelyn Frazee, senior fine art and graphic design major; and Catherine Gann, senior secondary education/fine art major. For more information, visit

Inclement winter weather school closing information

Recently, a number of Park University students, faculty and staff received an e-mail with the subject line “Your Account is Expiring” from E2Campus. The message stated: "Your account is expiring soon. If you wish to continue receiving alerts from Park University, you need to reactivate your account."

The e-mail was a legitimate message from E2Campus, the service the University uses for sending urgent/emergency text alerts. Unfortunately, the message did not include information on how to update/reactive your account. If you need to update/reactivate your account, please visit, go to the “Manage Your Account” section and log in to your account.

If you have not signed up to receive urgent/emergency text alerts, go to to register. You can register to receive text alerts for any or all University campuses.

To view Park University’s inclement weather policy, please visit

First KC Scholars graduate to attend Park

In the fall of 2016, Park University was announced as one of 17 colleges/universities based in Missouri and Kansas to be a part of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s $79 million KC Scholars program. Earlier this month, KC Scholars announced that Teeka Hodge became one of the first two graduates of the program and will attend Park University beginning in January 2018 and major in social work.

University seeks public comments for accreditation

Park University is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Feb. 12-13, 2018, by a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Park University has been accredited by the Commission since 1913. The team will review Park’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s criteria for accreditation. The public is invited to submit comments regarding Park University to:
          Public Comment on Park University
          The Higher Learning Commission
          230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500
          Chicago, IL 60604

The public may also submit comments on the Commission’s website at Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing and signed, and comments cannot be treated as confidential. All comments must be received by Jan. 12, 2018.

Faculty, staff, student news

Christopher KeltyChristopher Kelty, senior business administration/management major at the Defense Supply Center Columbus (Ohio) Campus Center, was selected as the 2017 Defense Logistics Agency’s Police Officer of the Year. Helping others is a way of life for Kelty, who has been a federal police officer at DSCC since 2016. A story about Kelty appeared on the DLA website on Nov. 16.

Erik BergrudErik Bergrud, associate vice president for external relations, served as the moderator for a discussion on the short film “Concerned Student 1950,” related to the student protests at the University of Missouri in 2015, on Dec. 13 at the National Archives at Kansas City.

Eric ClickEric Click, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator of public administration, chaired three sessions at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action annual conference in Grand Rapids, Mich., Nov. 16. Those sessions were on: “Building Organizational Capacity for Grassroots Communities,” “‘Doing Well’: Exploring Outcomes and Assumptions,” and “Philanthropic Engagement and Influence.”

Michael EskeyAn article authored by Michael Eskey, Ph.D., professor of criminal justice administration, has been published in the Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities. The article, “Criminal Justice and Political Science Capstone Course Comparisons, 2017,” addresses the responses of criminal justice and political science educators related to the usage of various types of capstone courses in their program, including senior thesis, research papers, internships and portfolios.

Jolene LamptonJolene Lampton, Ph.D., associate professor of management at the Austin (Texas) Campus, authored an article on “The Trust Gap in Organizations” that appeared in the December issue of Strategic Finance magazine, a publication of the Institute of Management Accountants.

A paper authored by Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, and three Park University seniors — Margarita Araiza, secondary education/biology major, and Shelby DeWitt and Brooke Kelly, biology majors — will be published in the January issue of the Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. The paper, “Growth Habit Indicators from Permian Antarctic Glossopterids,” was a study that will help fill the gaps currently present for the glossopterids in phylogenetic analyses to help resolve their true position in phylogenetic context.

PA ClassThe Fall 2017 PA 602 (Seminar in Public Affairs) class, taught by Terrence Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of public administration, presented the results of a public administration issue developed in conjunction with the City of Parkville, Mo., to the city’s Board of Aldermen. The report, an analysis of the demand for athletic facilities to be built in Platte Landing Park, considered the feasibility and merits of the proposal, which also included a policy recommendation by the PA 508 (Research and Analysis) class, taught by James Vanderleeuw, Ph.D., associate dean of the Hauptmann School for Public Affairs.

Park In The News

A story about Jamie Stefanini, ’04, appeared in the Framingham (Mass.) Source on Nov. 16. Stefanini has been appointed the boys lacrosse head coach at Framingham High School, his alma mater. He is also the assistant coach at Curry College.

A story about Doug Short, ’06, and currently pursuing a Master of Education degree in Leading Adult and Organizational Learning, appeared in The Examiner (Independence, Mo., newspaper) on Nov. 17. Short who has served the City of Independence as its deputy fire chief the past three years, has been appointed fire chief, effective Dec. 26.

A blog post on the Discover magazine website on Nov. 17, included comments from Patty Ryberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology. Ryberg is among a team currently in Antarctica to study ancient polar environments. Another story about the mission was posted on the University of Kansas website on Dec. 6.

Charlvin Doty, ’14, was highlighted in the “Cherokee County (Texas) History Spotlight” that appeared in the Jacksonville (Texas) Progress newspaper on Nov. 18. Doty serves as the senior pastor at Kingdom Christian Center in Jacksonville.

A story about Raven Ross, a senior at Hollister (Mo.) High School who signed a letter-of-intent to play women’s volleyball at Park University, appeared in the Nov. 22 issue of the Branson (Mo.) Tri-Lakes News.

A story about Katie Kurima, a senior at Monett (Mo.) High School who signed a letter-of-intent to play softball at Park University, appeared in the Nov. 24 issue of The Monett Times. Kurima said she was persuaded to attend Park by former Monett teammate and current Park softball player Haley Williams.

A story about Shoshana Johnson, the first African-American woman prisoner of war, appeared on the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System website on Nov. 29. Johnson visited a class at Park University’s Fort Bliss (Texas) Campus and shared her experiences before, during and after being captured in Iraq 14 years ago.

A story that focused on Wendy Medina, ’17, who earned her degree from Park University with the help of the Launch program through the United Way of Greater Kansas City, appeared in the Nov. 30 issue of Dos Mundos, a newspaper serving the Kanas City Hispanic community.

Park University was recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal in its Dec. 1 edition as Park’s Master of Business Administration program was ranked as the No. 1 MBA program in Missouri and Kansas, based on Fall 2017 enrollment.

Cyprienne Simchowitz, a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, appeared on KCUR-FM’s “Central Standard” on Dec. 4 (audio interview begins at approximately 32:00). Simchowitz, honorary consul of the French Republic, serving French citizens of western Missouri and Kansas for the Consulate General of France’s Chicago office, appeared on the program to discuss the role of the honorary consul and the Consular Corps of Kansas City.

Park University was highlighted on the Command and General Staff College Foundation’s website as its corporate partner for December.

Jasur Rakhimov, M.B.A. ’14, was featured in “Startland,” a website dedicated to Kansas City innovation news, on Dec. 4. Rakhimov recently began a consulting company, Sibukop Creative.

Michael Collins, ’04, and a member of Park University’s Board of Trustees, was interviewed on the “Up To Date” program on KCUR-FM on Dec. 6 (begins approximately one minute into the program). Collins, the current president and chief executive officer of the Port Authority of Kansas City, discussed future streetcar expansions. In a related story, Collins was highlighted in a Kansas City Business Journal article on Nov. 27 as Collins will be stepping down from his position with Port KC to accept a new position with JE Dunn Construction in January 2018. He was honored by the Kansas City, Mo., City Council and Mayor Sly James on Dec. 8 for his impact on the city.

Rick Grayson, ’76, has been selected to be enshrined into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2018 class on Jan. 28 in Springfield, Mo. Grayson has been a Professional Golf Association head professional for 30 years in the Springfield area. A story about Grayson appeared in the Claremore (Okla.) Progress on Dec. 14.

Bob Kendrick, '85, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and a 2013 recipient of Park University's Distinguished Alumnus Award, was the featured guest on the KSHB-TV program "Nichols at Night" on Dec. 17.

More Park University online degree programs have been ranked by various websites:
          •  Bachelor of Science degree in Logistics ranked No. 4 by on its “Top 10 Online Bachelor’s in Supply Chain and Logistics for 2018” list.
          •  Master of Healthcare Administration degree ranked No. 11 by on its “Top 30 Affordable Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration Online Programs 2018” list.
          •  Bachelor of Arts in Political Science ranked No. 19 by on its “Top 25 Online Bachelor’s in Political Science for 2018” list.

Upcoming Events

(All events are Central time)
     •  Through December 29 -- Fine Arts Seniors Thesis Exhibit, Campanella Gallery
     •  December 25-26 -- Christmas Holiday (all University offices closed)
     •  January 1 -- New Year's Day Holiday (all University offices closed)
     •  January 8-February 23 -- Lynn Richardson “Surfaces” Two-Dimensional Art Exhibit, Campanella Gallery
     •  January 15 -- Spring Semester / Spring I Term Classes Begin
     •  January 15 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
     •  February 2 -- Board of Trustees Meeting, Parkville Campus
     •  February 12-13 -- Higher Learning Commission Site Visit/Evaluation, Parkville Campus
     •  February 19 -- President’s Day Holiday (all University offices closed nationwide; Parkville Daytime classes cancelled; Spring I classes held as scheduled)
     •  February 26 -- Spencer Cave Black History Month Lecture: “James Reese Europe and his Impact on Jazz in Europe During World War I” by Michael Dinwiddie, Gem Theater, Kansas City, Mo.

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