Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Faces for the New Year

For the New Year, we wanted to introduce the new people in our office: Interim Vice Provost for Research William Morgan, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Cindy Pemberton, and Faculty Affairs Specialist Rebecca Edmundson. We asked them to talk about their previous work experience and their new positions, and here are their responses:

William Morgan (Bill)
I came to Kansas City in 1989 from the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans to join the newly founded School of Biological Sciences at UMKC. I was attracted by the fact that I could continue my research but also expand my interactions with undergraduate and graduate students. Currently I am Professor Emeritus in the School and continue to do some teaching and research as well as serving on review groups for the National Institutes of Health and the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

I was very excited when Provost Hackett offered me the opportunity to serve as Interim Vice Provost for Research. The research activities at UMKC have been increasing, and the future prospects are promising. It is often not fully appreciated how important a role the personnel of the Research Office have in providing efficient and positive support for the researchers at UMKC, and I am committed to continuing the past excellent service of the office. I am also committed to exploring ways to improve operations and enhance the resources available for research at UMKC. The financial circumstances are far from ideal, but that is no excuse for not seeking improvements now and planning for the future. Finally, this position enables me to refresh and expand my acquaintances with colleagues here at UMKC as well as to interact with researchers in the entire Kansas City area. I have already met with many old friends and had the chance to make some new ones.

We all face challenges for 2009 and beyond. I believe that given the strong leadership of Chancellor Morton and Provost Hackett, and given the hard work and determination of everyone at UMKC to excel, we will emerge from these hard times a better university and a stronger research community. I am eager to get on with it.

Cindy Pemberton
I have recently returned to the University of Missouri – Kansas City faculty after spending the last 8 years at Missouri State University. While at Missouri State University, I served as the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services, an American Council on Education Fellow and in the Provost’s office leading the development of the university student success initiatives and overseeing several aspects of student academic support services. I am currently serving as the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and serving as the co-chair of the strategic planning subcommittee on Undergraduate Programs/Student Success. The university has made a commitment to expanding our undergraduate programs and to improving the success of our students, which I enthusiastically support! My immediate primary responsibilities will be associated with working to enhance and to expand our undergraduate programs, while continuing to facilitate the ongoing work in academic affairs. I am looking forward to working with Chancellor Morton, Executive Vice Chancellor/Provost Hackett, the faculty, the students and the staff in pursuing excellence as a premier urban university. Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful during my transition. I look forward to working with everyone in our campus community to provide an excellent educational opportunity for our students.

Rebecca Edmundson (Beci)
I am the new Faculty Affairs Specialist for the Provost Office/Academic Affairs. My primary duties are to assist Vice Provost, Dr. Ron MacQuarrie, in streamlining processes and procedures regarding the recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, and tenure of UMKC’s faculty and scholars. If you have questions or concerns regarding any of these items, please direct them to me via phone (2721), email ( or campus mail (350 AC). I also processes all academic hiring documentation (including Additional Pay and Extra Compensation requests) submitted for Provost signature. I transferred to the Provost/Academic Affairs Office in October 2008 with over 11 years experience in personnel, payroll, and scholarship support from the UMKC School of Computing & Engineering.

We welcome Bill, Cindy, and Beci and look forward to continuing to work with them in the new year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UMKC Gives Back

“As the cold winds blow, literally and metaphorically, I thought the following news might be warming,” said Peter Witte, Dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance. Charles Robinson and Ryan Board delivered funds totaling $1,314 and four barrels of canned goods to Harvesters. The funds and food were collected as part of their Sixth Annual Choral Concert called “A Season for Giving”. A cooperative effort with Visitation Catholic Church, the December 6th benefit concert attracted more than 800 people to learn about Harvesters Community Food Network and celebrate the season.

We at the Provost Office were touched by this news and asked other academic units what they have been doing to keep joy of giving alive. Here are some of the replies. We hope that they will also keep you cozy in this winter weather.

UMKC Friends of the Library sponsored a food drive in support of Harvesters Community Food Network. Friends board members kicked off the drive by bringing contributions to their December 2 board meeting. Collection bins then were placed at the entrances of the Miller Nichols and Health Sciences libraries during finals week. Library faculty and staff closed the event by bringing donations to their annual holiday potluck luncheon, Dec. 11. Three barrels of nonperishable food and household items were collected.

At the Bloch School of Business holiday party this year, a collection for Harvesters gathered $150, which is equal to 750 meals.

The Computer Science Electrical Engineering department in the School of Computing & Engineering partnered with US FIRST and hosted a middle school robotics tournament at Liberty High School on December 14.

In the School of Education, the faculty and staff recently collected donations for Plaza de NiƱos at the Guadalupe Center. The total from faculty and staff donations came to just under $600.

At the School of Dentistry, the single biggest effort has been the kick off of the Miles for Smiles program in the Olathe School District this past semester. This Reach funded project represents collaboration between dental hygiene faculty and students and four Title 1 Olathe Schools to provide preventive services to un-served or underserved students ages 5-14. The program goals are to provide preventive dental care every six months, improve students' overall knowledge about oral health, and reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who have untreated dental decay in primary and/or permanent teeth.

Students in the DH 4220 Community Oral Health Field Experiences class visited and provided dental hygiene care for a diverse group of children. Over 450 children in four Central City Catholic Schools received oral health education and fluoride varnish applications during the fall semester. Dental hygiene students also educated and applied fluoride varnish to over 300 children with diverse health issues including those who are hearing impaired, disabled and autistic. These programs were offered at the Sherwood Center, Kansas School for the Deaf and Special Olympics. All of these programs were conducted as part of service learning experiences for the students and were supervised by dental hygiene faculty.

The UMKC School of Pharmacy chapter of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) had a number of events this holiday season to help give back to the community. The group organized a challenge between each class year as well as the faculty and staff to see who could collect the most non-perishable items to be donated to Harvesters Community Food Network. The drive collected more than 850 non-perishable food items! ASP also organized another class competition to collect items to be donated to Soldiers Angels, an organization that puts together care packages to be mailed to soldiers in the U.S. military. The classes were able to collect enough items for five full care packages.

Throughout the year, faculty, staff and students at the UMKC School of Nursing contribute their time, energy and expertise to numerous community service projects and initiatives. Recently, faculty and students worked with the Visiting Nurse Association to administer free flu shots to members of the community; the UMKC chapter of the Student Nurses Association sponsored a very successful food drive for Harvesters; and Dean Lora Lacey-Haun spearheaded an effort to collect toys and other gifts for the Sheffield Place Christmas Store (Sheffield Place is a transitional-living program for homeless mothers and their children).

In years past the School of Graduate Studies did a Secret Santa gift exchange amongst themselves. In view of the current economic situation they decided this holiday season to provide a gift to a family in need through the Salvation Army. They were given a family of six and in order to provide properly for this family they wanted to open it up to others. Employees from the Provost office and the Finance office joined in their efforts and raised a total of $362 plus individual items. They were able to get everything on their list plus a little more. Excited and proud of this result, they plan to do it again next year.

-Thanks to everyone who replied with information about gifts to the community.

In picture: Quincy Bennett Johnson, Constance Mahone, Sherenna Clinton, Teresa Crew and Alphia Curry pose with the holiday gifts donated by UMKC employees to the 2008 Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hooding Help for You

Do we need to remind you that Commencement is this Friday? Are you feeling nervous about your part in the ceremony? We in the Provost Office are delighted to share with you a little video that may ease your anxiety. Thanks to the Technology Learning Lab and the School of Education you too can learn how to properly hood your PhD candidate.

Now we know that you are an established professional in your field of expertise. But does mean that you were ever trained or have done the research on how to hood a PhD candidate? Just because you were recently or in the last half century hooded by your advisor does not mean that you know how to hood the next generation of hoodees.

How embarrassed will you be when you’ve mentored your advisee for years upon torturous years and at the very pinnacle of sending your masterpiece off into the great blue yonder you fail to follow the proper protocol?

See the website. Watch the video. The best defense for awkwardness is the pursuit of knowledge.

-Written by Julie Kohlhart, Graduate Assistant in the Provost Office and hopeful that her advisor will know the proper hooding procedure when that fateful graduation day someday finally arrives

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Report from FaCET

The Provost is proud to support the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (FaCET) and is pleased to call attention to its achievements and progress. FaCET is a service program in its fourth year. Faculty pioneered and driven, the program continues to operate with faculty at the helm: Director Dr. Stephen Dilks, a full-time member of the English Department, works closely with two "Faculty Fellows," Professors Cindy Amyot, Director of Distance Education and Faculty Development at the School of Dentistry, and William Everett, Associate Professor in Music History and Musicology. Bob Schubert, who teaches classes on software applications, coordinates the calendar of events and runs the Teaching with Technology committee. And Muffy Guilfoil, an I Ph D student in History and English, organizes the FaCET library and leads the Student Advisory committee.

The FaCET office is located in room 122 of the Miller-Nichols Library. The foyer has comfortable seating and an inviting mini-library with education-inspired art on the walls. Faculty are welcome to stop by to borrow books, to chat about teaching and learning, and to experiment with new and unfamiliar classroom technologies on FaCET's fully equipped ILE station. Faculty are also invited to suggest topics for formal and informal seminars and presentations. Contact Steve, Bill, Cindy, or Bob with enquiries.

On a modest budget the center has expanded from seven events with a total of 112 attendees in Spring 2005 to thirty-nine events with a total of 551 attendees in Spring 2008. Each year FaCET hosts a celebration of Teaching and Learning. In 2009, the 3rd Annual Spring Symposium is focused on “Teaching Environments”; faculty are invited to submit proposals for presentations, posters, and roundtable discussions.

Since Spring 2005 FaCET has hosted over two hundred seminars on issues including Academic Assessment, Blackboard and other classroom technologies, Identity Politics, Academic Freedom and Diversity, Promotion and Tenure, Experiential Learning, International Teaching, Interdisciplinary, Library Resources, Writing to Learn, Urban Literacies, Online Courses and Teaching Large Classes. See FaCET’s web-site for the current "Calendar of Events" and “Faculty Resources.” Write to Stephen Dilks( with suggestions for programming.

In addition to the web-site, information about FaCET is available in “Facets of Teaching and Learning,” the newsletter distributed at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. If you have any comments about the newsletter or if you'd like to contribute an article on any aspect of teaching and learning, please contact Steve Dilks.

Premiering this fall, "Teaching Circles" is a program designed to connect teachers interested in sharing ideas about classroom practice. Unstructured, independent meetings with no report requirement allow free brain-storming, solicited constructive critique, and sustained professional support.

The Teaching Enhancement Grants program (TEG), initiated in Fall 2006 with matching funds from Academic Deans, has provided grant support for thirty-one projects. The grants support a range of projects including classroom research, curricular development, and all aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

FaCET support for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) also includes collaboration with faculty at other institutions locally and nationally. The Center supports faculty attendance at national and international conferences and, on April 25, 2009 FaCET will host the Greater Kansas City Annual SoTL Symposium.

In the future FaCET is planning to expand its connections with students and the community through more extensive work with the Student Advisory Committee and "Serve to Learn," an on-campus initiative designed to connect students and community leaders with faculty who provide service-learning opportunities as part of their curriculum. The new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Cynthia Pemberton, is already committed to working with the "Serve to Learn" committee.

-Written by Bibie M. Chronwall, Ph.D, Vice Provost, Faculty Development, and Stephen Dilks, Associate Professor, Director of FaCET