Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Debate on Students Earning an Undergraduate Education in Three Years

Here are two articles for your review about the debate on students earning an undergraduate education in three years. In the Strategic Plan for 2010-2020 our first goal is to "place student success at the center," which means "offering superior services to students through a model that allows a one-stop approach (real and virtual) to meet students’ needs." The following articles bring to question if there are new ways of doing this.

The Three-Year Solution, by Lamar Alexander
What is College for Anyway?, by Debra Rosenberg

The articles were originally published in the October 26th, 2009, Newsweek.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A New Vision for Research

The Office of the Provost was pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lynda Bonewald, Lee M. and William Lefkowitz Professor of Oral Biology and Director of UMKC’s Bone Biology Research Program, as Interim Vice Chancellor for Research on October 15, 2009 . In her new position, which is an outcome of the strategic planning process, she oversees UMKC’s Office of Research and the research and economic development initiatives. Dr. Bonewald agreed to introduce herself for this week’s blog post.

Little did I think that I would be the one to fill the position recommended by the Life Sciences Task Force in 2003 when I first read the report. The position was described as “An able scientific leader…. given the authority and the responsibility to build life sciences at UMKC”. That is a tall order, but as Vice Chancellor for Research (Interim), a position created by the UMKC strategic planning process, I am creating objectives with the help of other leaders in our community to move life and health sciences at UMKC forward. These objectives include ‘achieving world-class programs’, obtaining the resources to do so, and ‘to work together with partners within the University and in the greater Kansas City area’.

With regards to my educational background, I received a BS in Biology from the University of Texas in 1973. I graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984 with a PhD in Immunology/Microbiology. My postdoctoral fellowship at the VA Hospital in Charleston, SC in hematology was under the mentorship of Makio Ogawa, a world-renowned hematologist. I was recruited to the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas as an Assistant Professor in 1986 in the Endocrinology Division directed by Dr. Gregory Mundy, an internationally known Bone Biologist. In 2001, I was recruited to UMKC School of Dentistry Dept. of Oral Biology to establish a Mineralized Tissue Research Program. When I arrived, I was a full professor with two R01s and a program project. In 2005, I became a University of Missouri Curator’s Professor and in 2009, I established and became Director of the UMKC Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal Tissues, a multi- and interdisciplinary center.

UMKC has considerable potential to become a leader in Life and Health Sciences. I am excited about growing and expanding this potential. I know many creative, productive scientists, strong, yet fair administrators, and many truly exceptional and dedicated support staff. Chancellor Morton and Executive Vice Chancellor Hackett provide committed, stable, and experienced leadership to UMKC. To become competitive with regards to funding and other types of awards, it is necessary for our Life and Health Sciences Schools to collaborate and work together. My goal is to create and provide a stimulating, supportive environment so that our dedicated, passionate scientists can be productive and successful by accomplishing their goals of discovery while training the next generation of dedicated scientists.

-Lynda F. Bonewald, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research Interim, Curator's Professor Lee M and William Lefkowitz Professor Director, Bone Biology Research Program Director, UMKC Center of Excellence in Mineralized Tissues, Univ. of Missouri at Kansas City School of Dentistry, Dept. of Oral Biology

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Every 9 and a Half Minutes, Someone in the U.S. is Infected with HIV

December 1st is World AIDS Day - a day that was established by the World Health Organization in 1988 - that was 21 years ago! Last evening I was talking with my husband about how much progress has been made in the treatment of HIV and AIDS in this country. We are both 'front line' health care providers who have seen HIV disease transform from one of certain death with much pain and suffering to a disease that is manageable for many years. Our patients can now live long, healthy and productive lives - thanks to the availabilty of excellent antiretroviral treatment. However, not everyone has the luxury of seeing their patients with HIV do so well. In developing countries and in areas with limited resources, many people are still dying and suffering from this disease.

We may have made a lot of strides in HIV treatment, but we are losing the battle when it comes to HIV prevention. Today there are 33 million people in the world living with HIV, over a million are Americans. Did you know that every 9 and a half minutes someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV? There is a lot of work to be done if we are to end the HIV epedemic. Many barriers and challenges to HIV prevention persist - ignorance, stigma, and discrimination - just to name a few. I ask you on this World AIDS Day to be a part of the solution - talk to your friends, families and colleagues. Pass on the message that the time has come to intensify our efforts to stop the HIV epedemic. Let everyone know that, in this country, every 9.5 minutes, someone is infected with HIV.

-Written by Maithe Enriquez, PhD, RN, ANP is Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UMKC and Nurse Practitioner at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Technology Services for the Classroom

UMKC has a new technical resource for faculty to improve communication, the flow of information, and ways to interact in the classroom. With eInstruction you can incorporate this software into your classroom to gain immediate feedback from students.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

College of Arts and Sciences Moves to the A&S E-Zine to Get Out the News

The first issue of the UMKC CAS electronic newsletter was distributed in late October 2009 to all A&S faculty and staff. This new adventure into e-communications was born of both desire and necessity. The desire was to put a new look on the way we share information about the College. The necessity came from a backlog of information that had accumulated over the summer that could not be readily put on the A&S web site. The “Late Summer 2009 Issue” can be found at: http://cas.umkc.edu/News/CAS-News-Late-Summer-2009.pdf

Since this is a new enterprise in a rapidly changing environment, we expect that the look of our e-zine will continue to evolve for a while. We hope we can provide both timely and broad coverage of past and coming activities, of achievements and successes, and tell about the entire College family: staff, faculty, students, alumni as well as benefactors and friends of the College. While it may be necessary at times to focus more on one than another of these “family members,” over time we plan to showcase them all. And we want to do it by being a guide and not an essayist. That is, we plan to have little text and many links to fuller discussions and more details that should be found on department and other Web sites. We intend to have some photos and other graphics that help tell the stories we choose to cover. But our goal is to highlight topics in ways that catch the interest of readers of the E-Zine and point them to where they can find the rest of the story. We do not have the space to tell all that needs to be told about the many outstanding stories found in the College.

While we expect to publish in one-month intervals, special issues are always possible and the academic year calendar may cause us to vary our publication schedule at times. Those who have ideas or items for stories are asked to submit them by way of their chair, director or supervisor to Dale Neuman at Neumand@umkc.edu so that the items can first be posted to the unit’s Web site and we need only then provide a brief notice and the link in the A&S e-zine. We look forward to comments and suggestions.

-Written by Dale Neuman, Editor of the A&S Newsletter, Special Projects Associate, College of Arts and Sciences. He is also Director of the Harry S Truman Center for Governmental Affairs and Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Celebrating Excellence

If you have not already heard UMKC has new faculty and staff awards. In order to honor you for all of your ongoing efforts in teaching, service, mentoring and research, UMKC has both new and long standing awards that highlight the diversity of work taking place every day at UMKC. We encourage you to take the time to nominate those that deserve to be recognized, and we greatly look forward to celebrating those achievements in the New Year.

Please visit the Faculty and Staff Awards Web site, learn about the new awards, and nominate those that have provided outstanding contributions to our campus community and community at large.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Initiatives at the Women’s Center Support Women and Girls in STEM Fields

During the current academic year, the UMKC Women’s Center is working on a variety of projects to help promote the recruitment and retention of women and girls in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. Current initiatives began when planning for the 2009 Starr Symposium in fall 2008. As the committee was commencing its work, an article in the New York Times highlighted a study that noted that girls with exceptional talent in math are rarely identified in the United States, helping
to lead to a shortage of qualified scientists and engineers. Partly in response to that study, the Starr committee decided to bring former astronaut Mae Jemison to campus to talk about how to get women and girls interested in STEM careers, and also developed the Starr Women Leaders Program, to help support UMKC and high school students studying STEM fields.

At about the same time, the local branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) was discussing setting up a program focusing on women and girls in STEM as part of the national AAUW’s “Breaking through Barriers in STEM for Women and Girls” initiative and approached the UMKC Women’s Center about a possible collaboration, the result of which was the development of the Women in Science and Engineering Program (WISE). Slated to begin in Spring 2020, the mission of WISE will be to foster the personal, academic, and professional development of women graduate students in math, engineering, technology, science and the health sciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Finally, the Women’s Center was approached by two outside groups looking for partners on their programs for women and girls in STEM – Sally Ride Science is bringing their Sally Ride Science Festival to UMKC on Sunday, November 8 and the Women’s Center is a key partner. Earlier this month, we also took part in a Community Conversation on Girls in STEM fields, co-hosted by the Girl Scouts,Science Pioneers, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, KU Med, Project Lead the Way, and other groups – and we will be working on designing follow-up projects based on the information and suggestions collected from the community conversations.

While the timing of some of the current programs has been serendipitous, the goal behind all of them is to increase the number of women and girls pursuing careers in STEM fields. We do so because, in the words of the AAUW, “The lack of women and girls in STEM fields has significant implications for women’s economic security as well as the overall economy and America’s global competitiveness . . . If women and members of other traditionally underrepresented groups joined the STEM workforce in proportion to their representation in the overall labor force, the shortage of STEM professionals would disappear” (source). While the UMKC Women’s Center and UMKC cannot hope to entirely solve these problems, I am hopeful that we can make a significant contribution through programs and partnerships such as the ones described above.

-Written by Brenda Bethman, Ph.D., Director, UMKC Women’s Center

Monday, October 19, 2009

In the Spotlight

Founded in part by the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at UMKC, KCSourceLink was the first implementation of the U.S.SourceLink model and served as the incubator for further network development. U.S.SourceLink’s affiliate, AKSourceLink (Alaska SourceLink) just won the top prize at the University Economic Development Association's (UEDA) 2009 Awards of Excellence Competition for Excellence in Partnership Development.

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre won three Pitch “Best Of” 2009 awards:
  • Best Theater for Artistic Director, Eric Rosen’s, risk taking productions like Clay and Winesburg, Ohio, for supporting local talent and for maintaining first-rate technical and design standards.
  • Best Play for The Glass Menagerie, directed by Obie winner, David Cromer, and praised for the production’s use of art, technology and tough emotional truth.
  • Best Director for Kyle Hatley’s versatility on Hamlet, The Death of Cupid and The Borderland

Monday, October 12, 2009

National exhibit celebrating Women in Medicine comes to KC

UMKC is currently co-hosting the national traveling exhibition “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians.” Our city is one of only 61 sites nationwide to host this exhibit, which runs through Nov. 11. The exhibit is a collaborative effort of the four libraries of the three Kansas City-area medical schools: Dykes Library and Clendening History of Medicine Library of the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences Library, and the UMKC Health Sciences Library.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), Bethesda, Md., and the American Library Association, Chicago, IL, organized the traveling exhibition with support from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the American Medical Women’s Association. The traveling exhibition is based on a larger exhibition that was displayed at the NLM from 2003–2005. The local exhibit received additional support through grants from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine and the Health Sciences Library Network of Kansas City.

Along with the exhibit, which is housed at the Dykes Library on the KU Med campus, there will be a number of special events highlighting the evolving role of women in medicine. UMKC will host a special Changing the Face of Medicine lecture at noon on Tuesday, October 20, in the UMKC School of Law Courtroom. The event will feature Dr. Diane Buckingham, an adolescent psychiatrist featured in the national exhibit and current faculty member at the UMKC School of Medicine. The topic of Dr. Buckingham’s presentation will be “Opening the Doors to Multicultural Diversity and the Changing Faces of Color: Patient and Women Empowerment.”
For more information about the Changing the Face of Medicine exhibit and related events, view the UMKC news release.

Submitted by: Amrita J. Burdick, MALS, MA Ed., AHIP
Clinical Medical Librarian, UMKC Health Sciences Library

Monday, October 5, 2009

Construction and the UMKC Master Plan

UMKC’s new Student Union was “Topped Off” with placement of the final steel beam in the structure at a ceremony on September 28, 2009. The steel structure of the 110,000-square-foot building located between the administrative building and Cherry Street is now in place. In an estimated one year’s time, Fall 2010, the new Student Union will be fully equipped with a food court, coffee house, student organization and meeting rooms, open stage area, lounge seating, game room, student radio station, atrium and extended parking lot.

It is exciting to see the new construction taking place all over UMKC as described in the campus Master Plan. This progress moves us toward the fulfillment of our strategic goal of creating a vibrant learning and campus-life experience. The new Stanley H. Durwood Soccer Stadium and Recreational Field and the Herman and Dorothy Johnson Hall are both testaments of our hard work to become an urban campus that enhances the student experience.

The Master Pan web site is a comprehensive resource for learning more about completed, current, and future construction endeavors. If you missed the Toping-off Ceremony you can still view the progress of the Student Union on the construction Webcam.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

UMKC's IEI Ranked in the Top 25 Entrepreneurial Programs in the Nation

A recent study commissioned by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation – “Time to Get it Right: A Strategy for Higher Education in Kansas City” – recommended that UMKC build areas of excellence, with the goal of having several programs ranked in the nation’s top 25. Today we are one step closer to achieving that goal.

I’m happy to announce that The Princeton Review ranked UMKC’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IEI) at the Bloch School one of the top 25 entrepreneurial programs in the nation. This places UMKC and the Bloch School in the top tier of entrepreneurial colleges and business schools in the country.

This prestigious ranking is a testament to all of you – students, faculty, staff and supporters – with the vision, talent and commitment to make a good program great. It validates that our cross-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurial and experiential learning is a valuable asset and is positioning our University, students and community for success.

What an incredible accomplishment for our city and for UMKC.

Please join me in celebrating this good news.

For more information go to the Bloch School News Details.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kansas City Area Educational Research Consortium: Collaborative Research for Educational Improvement

Researchers from UMKC, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Kansas, the Kansas State University and Washington University in St. Louis are partnering with Kansas City area school districts to form a Kansas City Area Educational Research Consortium (KC-AERC). Modeled after a similar consortium in Chicago (http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/content/index.php), KC-AERC's aim is to bring additional research capacity to area public schools, using data to answer research questions that the districts have identified as important for school improvement. A kickoff event for key stakeholders will be held on September 25th and will feature John Easton, current head of the Institute for Educational Sciences (IES) and former research director of the Chicago Consortium. Invitees include representatives from the State Departments of Education, Superintendents and Research Directors from K-12 districts, teacher’s union representatives and interested faculty and administrators from the partnering universities.

The consortium has received one year startup funds of approximately $850,000 from the Ewing Kauffman foundation to build infrastructure and complete three demonstration research projects on topics that KC area school districts have identified as important: alignment of curriculum and assessment in mathematics education; predictors of successful transition to higher education, and trends in teacher workforce retention and mobility. Current faculty researchers come from departments housed within Arts and Science, Schools of Education and Schools of Business. Faculty from any disciplinary background with an interest in K-12 education may participate. If any faculty on UMKC’s campus think they may be interested in being involved with the consortium, please contact Tamera Murdock murdocktb@umkc.edu in the Department of Psychology or Carolyn Barber barberce@umkc.edu in the the School of Education for more information. Further details about the consortium and the kick-off event can be found on the KC-AERC website: http://www.kcaerc.org/.

-Written by Tamera Murdock, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Second Annual Agapito Mendoza Scholarship Breakfast

The University of Missouri – Kansas City will hold its Second Annual Agapito Mendoza Scholarship Breakfast in honor of the late Associate Provost on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 7:30 a.m. in Pierson Auditorium. Last year over 200 campus and community members came together to raise $17,000 for scholarships to assist Latina/o students attending UMKC.

Dr. Mendoza was known for his commitment to all students and his ability to make each student he touched feel unique and valued. The ability to award Agapito Mendoza Scholarships helps attract more Hispanic Students and retain them through graduation. Additionally the success of the breakfast demonstrates to the Kansas City Hispanic Community that we value the vital and unique experiences that Latina/o students add to the academic and cultural success of our university.

Please help us continue this important event by attending and inviting your friends and colleagues. This event is free, however, guests will be asked to make a personal donation to the Hispanic Scholarship fund in the name of Agapito Mendoza. Each dollar donated will be matched up to $8,000 by the Hispanic Development Fund, and UMKC will further match these awards which can be used for tuition, books, and housing. We ask that you help us carry on his tradition of support for each and every student in their particular academic dream.

To RSVP please contact Leo Leckie at (816)235-1298 or leckiel@umkc.edu.

-Written by Kristi Ryujin, Director, Diveristy Initiatives

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Orleans Four Years after Hurricane Katrina

This time of year is difficult for anyone who has lived in or loved the city of New Orleans. For us, the date 8/29 is like the date 9/11 for New Yorkers. There’s not much to say about it and it certainly isn’t anything to celebrate – but privately, everyone knows what’s on each other’s minds.

Four years ago last week approximately 80 percent of the city was under water –with some areas under 10 ft or more. While the passing of Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy took center stage in the media last week, the confluence of Senator Kennedy’s death and the fourth anniversary of Katrina and the federal flood provided an interesting and timely combination of events.

Senator Kennedy was a lifelong advocate for government action in the public interest. The botched federal response to the disaster in 2005 was a clear vindication of Kennedy’s political vision. The Bush Administration’s failure to respond was seen by a majority of Americans as an affront to the basic belief that government can and must respond to the needs of citizens when a disaster or other events exceed their ability to respond. Even more so, the disaster has become a symbol that the movement for a more equitable and integrated society – something that Senator Kennedy fought for his entire career - requires a renewed, public effort.

Today in metropolitan areas across the country, neighborhoods are struggling to recover from the double-barreled crisis of housing foreclosures and an economic recession caused by market failure. How exactly this crisis is unfolding varies across neighborhoods and its impact is uneven. In responding to the challenge of economic recovery in Kansas City, there is much to learn from the disaster recovery process in New Orleans.

First and foremost – recovery requires citizen engagement. Any effort that fails to put citizen engagement and participatory processes at the forefront of neighborhood revitalization will fail. While participatory processes may take longer, they are critical for building the commitment and momentum that is necessary for the task at hand. Citizens must get organized and stay organized to ensure that recovery dollars are not squandered and that the federal impact is leveraged as much as possible. The task of rebuilding neighborhoods cannot be a top down endeavor.

Secondly, recovery provides an opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurship. One of the observations that may seem contradictory is that disasters provide moments of opportunity. Across the city of New Orleans it was the locally owned businesses of all sizes that helped to rebuild the city while chain stores waited on the sidelines.

Neighborhood businesses are critical to the life of a city and urban neighborhoods. In the inner city neighborhoods of Kansas City, we need to rebuild the fabric of commerce through innovation and the incubation of small businesses and providing successful firms with the tools and training to bring their business to a large market. Efforts like the Viable Third in Kansas City and Stay Local! in New Orleans provide examples of business and consumer organizing that can change the economy from the ground up.

Thirdly, there is a great need to bring creativity to the task of recovery. Responding to a disaster as widespread and foreboding as the impact of the federal flood in New Orleans requires humor, art and conviviality. In the darkest corners of New Orleans devastated neighborhoods, artists and musicians were often the most successful at holding up a mirror to the absurdity of the disaster in ways that justified and renewed community commitment to the long task of recovery.
My colleague Michael Frisch and I recently completed a special issue on the “Design Moment” in New Orleans in the Journal of Urban Design (v14 n3 August 2009).

In this issue we explain how the response to a disaster is often a moment of great creativity and broad debate about the fundamentals that make up the social and physical fabric of a city. By undoing existing social and political structures and exposing underlying inequities, disasters provide an opening for new ideas and critical reflection. However, at the same time, many residents are motivated by a desire to simply put life back together. It is the contrast between these two impulses that make up the basic character of a design moment after a disaster.

As Kansas City and UMKC begin to develop a plan for the Green Impact Zone of Missouri, we invite you to read our special issue and reflect upon the case of New Orleans’ imperfect recovery from a great disaster as a prelude to a larger task of rebuilding America’s cities.

Friday, August 28, 2009

President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities Visits UMKC

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has been a resource for hundreds of campuses as they work to engage their students and their general education programs with the challenges of this new global century. On Wednesday, September 2nd, Dr. Carol Geary Schneider will provide a university-wide keynote address at UMKC titled, “General Education and Integrative Learning: Fulfilling the Promise of a 21st Century College Education.” Dr. Schneider, who has been president of AAC&U since 1998, will talk about the emerging themes and priorities in contemporary approaches to general education; about new research on “high impact” educational practices; and especially about ways to help students reap the full benefit of their studies beyond the major.

To find out more information about Dr. Schneider see the article about her in this month’s UMatters.

Dr. Carol Geary Schneider, President of AACU
University-wide Presentation
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 ~ 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Royall Hall, Room 104

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Faculty Orientation

On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, twenty-three new University of Missouri – Kansas City faculty members attended the New Faculty Orientation Program. The program was primarily focused on the teaching/learning process and on conducting research as a faculty member at UMKC.

UMKC faculty involved in the panel presentation on teaching/learning included: Dr. Cindy Amyot, Dr. Wayne Vaught, Dr. Linda Breytspraak and Dr. Kathleen Kilway. Dr. Susan Adler, Dr. Mike Kruger, Dr. Len Dobens and Dr. Trent Guess were the UMKC faculty panelists discussing strategies related to pursuing a productive research agenda.

There were also opportunities for faculty to visit with representatives from a variety of campus services, and “giveaways” were provided by Swinney Recreation Center, UMKC Intercollegiate Athletics, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, KCUR, UMKC Dining Services and the UMKC Bookstore!! Faculty were provided with tours of Swinney Recreation Center, Miller Nichols Library, the FaCET Offices and the Health Sciences Library.

We would like to welcome the new faculty to the University of Missouri – Kansas City and hope they have a great first semester!

-Written by Cindy Pemberton, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcoming Students Through Convocation

Provost Hackett has asked the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management to take the lead in coordinating the UMKC Convocation this fall with the new student Welcome Day. The outcomes for Convocation are to welcome our new undergraduate students to UMKC, introduce them to campus traditions, and help them engage with the campus and faculty to support their transition to UMKC.

While Welcome Day has been historically a social celebration, this year Convocation will be a more formal event designed to officially welcome new freshmen, transfers and international students to academic life at UMKC. As this will be the first step towards their graduation, Deans and faculty will wear regalia to the welcoming pinning ceremony.

As a part UMKC’s vision to place student success at the center, Convocation provides an opportunity for faculty to provide a “high impact” educational experience associated with student engagement and retention. One of the most important foundations for success is forming professional relationships between students and faculty. According to Dr. Richard Light, in his book, Making the Most of College: Students Speak their Minds, faculty-student interactions are some of the most important experiences students will have in college. He confirms that “students who get the most out of college, who grow the most academically, and who are happiest organize their time to include activities with faculty members, or with several other students, focused around accomplishing substantive academic work.” New Student Convocation gives students the perfect opportunity to engage with their peers and faculty prior to the start of classes and begin their experience at UMKC with the best chance of success.

Convocation will be held August 23rd at 1:00 in the Swinney Recreation Center. Following the formal event, students will be escorted to Academic Unit specific events, wrapping up with a Barbecue at 4:00 p.m. All faculty members are welcome to join in this new tradition in Swinney and you can contact your Dean for the academic unit specific portion of the program.

If you would like to learn more about Convocation and the other planned Welcome Week activities please visit www.umkc.edu/welcomeweek/.

-Written by Eric Grospitch, Ed.D., Assistant Dean of Students

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nationally Competitive Fellowships and International Academic Programs

Like their counterparts at the University of Chicago, Ivy League schools, West Coast universities and other highly ranked institutions, UMKC students have been recognized for their scholarly achievement and leadership service.

Some of the nationally competitive prestigious merit-based fellowships UMKC students have won:
  • DAAD:
    Scholarships to Germany for a minimum of four (one semester) and a maximum of 10 months (one academic year). Recipients are awarded a monthly stipend of approximately € 650 (US $900 - $1000), plus additional funds to help defray travel and research expenses as well as health insurance
  • Environmental Protection Agency GRO Environmental Fellowship:
    For junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer between junior and senior years. The fellowship provides up to $17,000 per year of academic support and up to $7,500 of internship support for the three-month summer period.
  • Fulbright:
    a substantial award for international study and research. Size varies according to country, but generally covers round-trip transportation, language or orientation courses (where appropriate), tuition, book and research allowances, maintenance for the academic year based on living costs in the host country, and health and accident insurance.
  • Gilman:
    Up to $5,000 for American undergraduates who are also Pell grant recipients to pursue overseas study for college credit.
  • James Madison:
    Up to $24,000 awarded to superior current teachers who must be able to complete graduate study within 5 calendar years of part-time study.
  • Javits:
    Stipend of $30,000, and institutional payment in lieu of fees $12,891 for up to 4 years of graduate study.
  • Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship:
    $5,000 to PKP members entering the first year of graduate or professional study.
  • Presidential Management Fellows Program:
    2- year Federal government internship for outstanding women and men from a variety of academic disciplines and career paths who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs. Entry level salaries at GS 9, 11, 12 Levels (approx. $41,000-$59,000).
  • Rotary Ambassadorial:
    $25,000 for one academic year of study in another country.
  • Truman:
    Up to $30,000 in funding to students pursuing graduate degrees in public service fields.
  • Udall:
    Undergraduate scholarships of up to $5,000 in fields related to the environment, and to Native American and Alaska Natives in fields related to health care or tribal policy.

International Academic Programs is an office dedicated to assisting students in their applications for these nationally competitive merit-based fellowships at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It is important that the faculty be aware of the opportunities and to encourage their strong students to come to the office to talk in depth about the possibilities. The office serves students across the entire university system, and works closely with faculty mentors who are deeply committed to students receiving fellowships. For further information about these and many other fellowship opportunities, consult the website at www.umkc.edu/international.

This fall International Academic Programs will be hosting a fellowship workshop for students early in the fall semester – September 17th, 2009 from 4:15 PM until 5:15 PM in the Adminstrative Center Plaza Room. For more information and to RSVP, please email international@umkc.edu.

If you would like to know more about the International Academic Programs services and opportunities see the April 29th post or visit their web site and blog.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Benefits of the Articulation Agreement between JCCC and UMKC

Since our goal in the Academic Affairs/Provost Office is to improve the scholarly endeavors and the scope of degree programs available at UMKC, we are proud to be a part of the new partnership between UMKC and Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and see the relationship as a continual movement towards progress at UMKC.

The move to transfer students after earning an associate degree from JCCC to UMKC will benefit the community residents of Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas as well as UMKC. Not only will this increase the number of students at UMKC, but will help in student retention and provide opportunities for people to stay and develop their skills within the community. Given that around 30% of the undergraduate population at UMKC is composed of nontraditional students or students over the age of 25, UMKC is in a position, by opening our doors to students who have completed work at JCCC, to attract more of this population. The College of Arts and Sciences, the Bloch School of Business, the Conservatory of Music and Dance, the Schools of Biological Sciences, Computing and Engineering, Education, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy will be able to provide over fifty undergraduate bachelor’s degrees for traditional and nontraditional students transferring from JCCC to UMKC.

As part of the vision of UMKC is to continue to become actively engaged in our community, the articulation agreement is another step that will provide meaningful community connection. The agreement especially fulfills the goal of Urban Engagement in the Strategic Plan which states that, “The urban mission of UMKC is to engage the Greater Kansas City community in partnerships that foster opportunity, innovation, and sustainable development.”

If you would like to learn more click here for the UMKC External Affairs press release on the articulation agreement ceremony that took place June 10th. Also, see the Articulation Agreements web site where students can find out which classes and degree programs transfer from Johnson Community College, Metropolitan Community College, or Kansas City Kansas Community College to UMKC.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pervious Concrete Pavement, It Rains, It Pours, and Runs Right Through

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink. Drive past Brush Creek during a rainstorm and notice one minute it is dry and the next full of raging dirty water. Water probably dirtier than you would like to because the rainfall often overwhelms the sewer system causing a discharge of extra stuff into aptly nicknamed Flush Creek. The extra water comes from our urban environment where impervious roofs, parking lots, and roads prevent moisture from infiltrating in the ground and is rapidly conveyed to our storm sewer system. Well everything would be much better if that water just went through the pavement, right? Luckily that technology has reached Kansas City and is called pervious concrete pavement.

Pervious concrete has the same basic ingredients as your standard sidewalk with the exception of a single-sized coarse aggregate to create pores for the water to flow, imagine a harder less-tasty rice krispy treat. Typical permeability values for pervious concrete range from 500 in./hr to over 2,000 in./hr, values that well exceed any possible storm. The stormwater runs through the pavement and is stored in an aggregate layer beneath until it soaks into the ground or evaporates. Even sites with low permeability clay around Kansas City can experience significant infiltration. Other benefits of pervious concrete include cleaning stormwater through filtration.

The most common concerns for the public are freeze-thaw durability, clogging, and excessive cost. Much of the research in the last couple years has focused on freeze-thaw durability. We now have pervious concrete mixtures more durable than traditional concrete. Although it turns out that no pervious pavement has ever experienced freeze-thaw deterioration. Pervious concrete is a filter and can become clogged if not maintained. Normal routine street sweeping keeps the pores open and if clogging occurs (usually from nearby open soil), permeability can easily be restored by pressure washing and vacuuming. While the pervious concrete itself costs more from additional chemicals in the mixture, overall project can save money by reducing the size of detention ponds and the amount of stormwater pipes required.

On-going research at UMKC's Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering is investigating the mitigation of the urban heat island effect (heat build-up around cities from dark and impervious surfaces) with pervious concrete and improved winter safety from reduced potential for black ice.

The largest pervious concrete installation in the Kansas City area can be seen at Oregon Trail Park in Olathe, KS. For more information on pervious concrete in Kansas City download a podcast discussing pervious concrete here.

-Written by John T. Kevern, Ph.D., LEED AP, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, UMKC

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Whiteboard to Boardroom

New educational systems, new medical devices and new forms of drug delivery. Every day faculty, students and staff at UMKC create, build and assess new innovations that have the potential to change the world. It is widely known that universities with large research expenditures, like MIT and Stanford, use robust infrastructures to transfer technologies to the market in the form of licensing agreements and spin out companies. But what can UMKC do to transfer its rich research to the market where it can do public good?

UMKC has a wealth of resources that work to support new business development. The UMKC Innovation Center, through its Small Business and Technology Development Center, specializes in technology commercialization and provides technical assistance to early stage businesses through one-on-one consulting and training and access to early-stage capital. The Bloch School’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation gives students the skills needed to start and run early-stage companies. UMKC’s Office of Research Services assists faculty in identifying new innovations. At the system level, the University of Missouri is increasing its resources to support technology transfer by adding additional market research and legal expertise to evaluate new ideas.

In addition, UMKC is working within the community to establish Kansas City as a major center for innovation and for building economic growth through the development of entrepreneurial ventures. UMKC’s KCSourceLink connects a network of more than 140 nonprofit organizations across the region including incubators, angel groups and technical assistance providers that support business growth.

Whiteboard to Boardroom (W2B) is a new program that will align and coordinate current internal and external efforts to build businesses from university research. The program joins a partnership of UMKC resources with KU, William Jewell College, Johnson County Community College and local business support groups to explore and develop a technology commercialization process that will maximize the ability of institutions like UMKC to create spin-out companies. The program will start this fall and is expected to generate two to five new companies per year when fully operational. If you would like help starting a business, call the UMKC Innovation Center at 816-235-6063.

-Written by Maria Meyers, Director, UMKC Innovation Center and Network Builder, KCSourceLink

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

UMKC’s New Web Site: A Collaboration and a Work in Progress

On Wednesday, July 1, 2009 the UMKC homepage and main audience pages will transform into a vibrant new look and feel. You may have noticed that some departments’ and schools’ web sites have a new layout already. Eventually all of the UMKC sites will have facelifts and updated content. The changes are part of a campus wide effort to improve our image among prospective students, parents, donors and the public and to make the website more useful for UMKC students, faculty, and staff. This week’s launch is the first phase of an ongoing project --every 90 days new layers of the site will be launched.

The new UMKC web site is a result of an across campus collaboration. Representatives from every academic unit, University Communications, Student Affairs, Public Relations, and Information Services have been working since last fall on this critical project. Input has been sought from Dean’s Council, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Advisory Council, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, and Staff Council. In March, all students, faculty, and staff were asked about the design of the new UMKC homepage in a campus wide survey (see the results). Best practices were researched as were other urban serving universities’ web site design and content. The web site is not only our first impression to future students, future faculty, and future funders; it is a tool we all utilize on daily basis.

See the progress—sites that have already been redesigned:
-Financial Aid and Scholarships
-Human Resources
-Institute for Urban Education
-School of Education

For more information visit: http://www.umkc.edu/website/default.asp

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Green Commute Challenge: Are You Up for It?

Along with other Kansas City metro organizations, UMKC is participating in the Green Commute Challenge contest. The purpose of the contest is to encourage commuters to use alternative forms for transportation to get to and from work, and to find other ways to reduce miles driven, like telecommuting or staying in for lunch. The Green Commute Challenge is in line with the larger campus goal to reduce the number of cars on campus, and participating in the contest will be fun too.

The contest will run from July 6 through August 28, 2009, and is sponsored by MARC. UMKC participated last year, but we’d like to build on last year, and encourage employees who are commuting green already to get credit for their miles. Those who log in miles receive points, and prizes are awarded to people weekly and monthly. At the end of the challenge, there is an award for the employers having the most points.

Ways to earn 4 points (and become eligible for prizes):
• Carpool
• Vanpool
• Bus
• Bicycle
• Walk
• Telecommute

Ways to earn 1 point:
• Stay in for lunch
• Flex day off (for employees on alternative schedules only – paid time off days do not count)

Learn more about the program at http://www.marc.org/rideshare/challenge/index.htm and be sure to read about the prizes.

If you would like to participate or to find-out more you can contact Jane Allen or Gaile Johnson in Human Resources. The Green Commute Challenge is a way for UMKC get involved and have a presence among the KC metro employers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

UMKC'S New Road Maps Will Help Undergraduate Students Achieve Their Academic Goals

In April 2009, the Registration & Records Office under the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management partnered with the Provost’s Office, the Academic Units and University Communications to create a new tool called Major Maps. The Major Maps website is designed to provide prospective and currently enrolled undergraduate students with the tools they need to navigate the academic planning process.

Each of the Academic Units developed a four-year degree plan for each of its undergraduate degree programs as an overview of the suggested path of study for students. These templates provide students with a time-line, degree requirements, and other important information on completing a particular degree plan within four years. These major maps can be used by prospective students to decide on a major and by current students to keep their studies on track or to explore other majors.

As the Major Maps page was created, the technical developers spent a great deal of time providing added functionality to the site. The site organizes Major Maps by the catalog year to match the catalog year a student entered a particular program at UMKC and features links to all of the Academic Units on campus. Additionally, users of the site will find degree information sheets by clicking on the individual majors. These degree sheets provide students with a comprehensive overview of admission requirements, prerequisite courses, fast facts, student organizations, faculty information as well as career opportunities related to that degree program.

Additional tools for students, staff and faculty that are available on this new site include information and links to Academic Advising, the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs, Academic Calendar, Registration Quick Guide, Transfer Credit Resources, Career Services, and the new Degree Audit system (DARS). It is hoped that the functions and tools at the Major Maps site will allow students greater flexibility in setting their academic goals, providing the resources to help achieve these goals, and open the path for more developmental advising for students in the Units.

Please take time to visit the Major Maps site. If you have questions or would like to provide feedback on the site contact Doug Swink, Registrar, by emailing swinkd@umkc.edu or by calling 816.235.1215.

-Written by Doug Swink, UMKC Registrar

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nursing School Putting Stimulus Dollars to Work in the Classroom

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recently visited the UMKC Hospital Hill Campus and the School of Nursing to announce the “Caring for Missourians” initiative, which will invest $40 million during fiscal year 2010 to help Missouri’s public colleges and universities increase their capacity to train students to work in critical-need health care positions.

By some estimates, we are facing a shortage of nearly 150,000 nurses in this country right now and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, that shortage could reach as high as 500,000 by the year 2025. Missouri's hospitals alone are currently facing a shortage of more than 7 percent, or more than 1,500, of the registered nurses they need to serve their patients.

The UMKC School of Nursing will receive $1.7 million of the Caring for Missourians funds, which will be used in several different areas. We have already begun working to initiate and recruit for our new accelerated BSN program. This program allows students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline to earn their BSN in 18 months. We anticipate accepting students this fall to begin nursing course work Spring Semester 2010.

Earlier this year, the School of Nursing received funding to launch our Rural Nursing Initiative, a program designed to increase the numbers of baccalaureate prepared registered nurses serving populations in rural areas where the nursing shortage is particularly severe. We’ve integrated the Rural Nursing Initiative into our RN-BSN distance education program and are currently enrolling students for the 2009 fall semester.

As we, along with nursing schools across the country, continue to expand our efforts to graduate more nurses, we will need more educators, so we will also be committing some of the Caring for Missourians funds to enhance and expand our nurse educator program. Students can receive the MSN degree with the nurse educator focus or a doctoral degree with additional course work in education. All these programs, MSN Nurse Educator, PhD in Nursing and the Doctorate of Nursing Practice are on-line programs and will prepare nurse educators to employ cutting-edge teaching strategies in didactic, on-line and clinical settings.

All of these programs depend on the School of Nursing’s state-of-the-art distance learning or simulation technology, so we will dedicate a portion of the funds we receive to enhancing and maintaining the school’s clinical simulation center and enhancing our on-line courses and our computer networking capabilities.

This one-time infusion of funding from the Caring for Missourians initiative offers the School of Nursing an immediate and much-welcomed opportunity to implement new programs and further strengthen our current ones. But the nationwide shortage of health care professionals is a long-term problem that will continue to require state funding. We at the School of Nursing, along with our colleagues at the UMKC Hospital Hill Campus, support Governor Nixon’s commitment to find ways to continue state funding in 2011 and beyond.

-Lora Lacey-Haun, RN, PhD, Dean, UMKC School of Nursing

*In picture: Governor Jay Nixon (left), Lora Lacey-Haun, Dean, UMKC School of Nursing (center-right), and Leo E. Morton, UMKC Chancellor (right)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Student Essays Reveal Appreciation for UMKC Libraries’ Faculty and Staff

UMKC Friends of the Library recently pledged $20,000 over the next 5 years to endow an annual scholarship open to degree seeking students from any school or discipline. For 2009, applicants were asked to submit a 500-1000 word essay responding to the phrase “What UMKC’s Libraries mean to me.” 49 essays were received from undergraduate, professional, graduate, and doctoral students representing ten schools and as many varied disciplines.

The scholarship committee was expecting to hear things about the Libraries as a home away from home, where students meet, study, eat, and sleep before and between classes. They also thought there would be testimonials to how a particular book or database contributed to the student’s education and understanding of a topic. While each of these topics certainly were mentioned in the essays, another, often taken for granted, theme recurred in almost every one of the papers: the helpfulness of UMKC Libraries’ faculty and staff. The following excerpt is from a student who even went so far as to mention several folks by name.

“After finishing my master’s degree, I moved back to Kansas City and decided to get a doctorate with an emphasis in linguistics and history of science through the university’s Interdisciplinary PhD program. The collection in these subjects provided a good starting basis for my research. I soon made friends with the wonderful staff, David Bauer, Darnell Williams and Cynthia Thompson in the interlibrary loan department. Whatever was not in the collection, they could get. I would sometimes put in the most seemingly odd and rare requests, such as a group of color card swatches from 1829, and lo and behold, the wonderful interlibrary loan people would track them down! I can’t express enough admiration for the hard work this staff has done on my behalf. They have not only been great at finding rare history of science and linguistics texts, but have also helped me keep track of the due dates and get things returned or renewed on time. The interlibrary loan staff has really gone beyond the call of duty…For my research into journals, on-line sources and microfilm Diane Hunter, in reference services, has been most helpful. She knows just where to look for things and has always made an extra effort to help me find articles, operate the microfiche machines and generally guide me around all the possible and diverse resources the library has to offer...The Music Media department is also wonderful! I often check out compact discs for my own listening pleasure. The Music Media department has many rare old jazz and classical recordings. Laura Gayle Green has done a great job training the staff there. They always find what I’m looking for. Chuck Haddix at the Marr archives at Miller Nichols also provides a wonderful service. His radio program and rare music collection are world class.” - Tanya Kelley, IPhD student studying English and History

While Dean Bostick and the Friends of the Library board always knew how critical hardworking, user-focused librarians and staff members are to providing high-quality library services, it was both a surprise and treat to learn that our students recognize and appreciate what an asset the Libraries’ staff are to their education. The winning essay can be read in its entirety online at http://friends.library.umkc.edu/.

-Written by Mark Mattison, Advancement Officer, UMKC Libraries

Thursday, May 28, 2009

University-Wide Challenge Promotes Student Venture Creation

The Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IEI) at UMKC’s Bloch School announced the winners of the 2009 Regnier Family Foundation’s Venture Creation Challenge (VCC) on Monday, April 27. Five winning teams were selected from 24 original UMKC student venture creations.

The Venture Creation Challenge is a university-wide competition that encourages student venture creation, and provides tools and opportunities for students to excel as the next generation of entrepreneurs. Michael Song, executive director for the Institute, expects the challenge will eventually lead to the launching of four to eight new businesses per year. Ultimately, the Institute aims to create 100 exceptionally well-trained entrepreneurs and 10 high-growth ventures every year.

Investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals from across the Kansas City area volunteered to judge this year’s student ventures. The winning teams each received a launch package valued at $15,000 to start their business. The launch packages include placement in IEI’s Student Ventures Program incubator track, along with accounting, legal, capital access and other resources to aid in the businesses’ launch.

This year, students from a variety of disciplines participated in the challenge, including students from the Bloch School, the School of Law and the School of Computing and Engineering. The following teams took top honors for their winning venture concepts:

· Banana Basket – a patent-pending appliance that dramatically extends the life of all types of fresh fruit
· Go Say Hi! – a mobile dating service that utilizes advanced global positioning software to alert members to potential meeting opportunities through their mobile phones
· ChefBurger – a fast-casual dining franchise providing high-quality, chef-designed burgers at a reasonable price
· Lovesick Clothing – an apparel company that focuses on casual tops for men and women which carry a subtle Christian-themed message
· Fun Flotations, LLC – a corporation featuring the INFLOTABLE™, a motorized, social watercraft that allows multiple people to sit in one round flotation device

Congratulations to all students who participated in this year’s challenge – for additional coverage please visit: http://www.bloch.umkc.edu/bloch-news-facts/news-details/index.aspx?nid=108

For information regarding the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s 2010 Venture Creation Challenge please e-mail venturechallenge@umkc.edu or contact Phil Needles at 816-235-6720.

-Written by Victoria Prater, Senior Information Specialist, Bloch School of Business, and Maurine Kierl, University Communications

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Service-Learning (or what I learned on my way to the Strategic Plan)

Service-learning seeks to increase the engagement of UMKC students, faculty, and alumni, with area nonprofits, local governments, schools and neighborhoods. Service-learning is a teaching method which combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. From the assignment of a project that addresses community needs, students learn from community members and develop leadership skills while practicing theoretical knowledge gained in class. The hyphen in service-learning is not accidental; service-learning combines an effective pedagogy for student success with UMKC’s desire to respond to and partner with Kansas City communities.

Service-learning is an important way that universities contribute to the vitality and life of cities. As such, it is explicit in UMKC’s strategic plan’s goal regarding our urban mission and implicit in the economic development goal. As a high-impact teaching methodology service-learning is also implicit in the goals regarding undergraduate student success, visual and performing arts, and diversity.

Service-learning enhances the educational experience for students by challenging them to connect what they learn with real community issues. This leads to better academic performance, stronger relationships with peers and faculty, and increased participation in campus life. These successes increase student persistence to graduation and student retention. Students value service-learning for the real-world experience, opportunities to build networks and contacts, and an increased feeling of personal success.

Through service-learning, UMKC extends its relationship with Kansas City’s communities. Nonprofits, schools, and local governments value partnering with universities because it expands their reach without substantially increasing costs. Service-learning students bring new energy, ideas, and enthusiasm, as well as specialized skills. Ultimately, service-learning is great for the civic health of communities because it helps cultivate a new generation of caring and experienced citizens, activists, and volunteers.

To capitalize on what we know about student success and alumni engagement, the Service-Learning Program at the Institute for Human Development is:

  • Building an interactive web portal, Serve 2 Learn, which provides project management support for service-learning and community service and matches community partners with UMKC faculty and students. Soft launch is Spring 2009 with a full launch in Fall 2009. Serve 2 Learn is offered in partnership with FaCET, Provost’s Office, Student Affairs, Office of Community Affairs, the Alumni Association, and Institutional Research and Assessment.
  • Seeking funding to scale up service-learning supports for faculty and students campus wide, and for community partner organizations. To date, the Service-Learning Program has submitted two Federal grants. If funded, one would bring several innovations to UMKC service-learning such as including alumni and developing a peer mentoring program. The other would build a regional consortium of colleges and universities for service-learning.

A website is being constructed to tell you more about service learning. It will be located at http://www.umkc.edu/servicelearning/ . Check back periodically for more information.

-Written by Alexis Petri and Julie Warm, Research Associates at the UMKC Institute for Human Development

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 Governor’s Award Recipient: Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Stoddard

UMKC Associate Professor of Physics, Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Stoddard, received the prestigious Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education at a Governor’s Luncheon in Jefferson City, MO on Wednesday, April 22, 2009. The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education is presented annually to an outstanding faculty member from each participating higher education institution in the state of Missouri. Qualifying criteria include demonstrated effective teaching and advising skills, service to the university community, a commitment to high standards of excellence, and success in nurturing student achievement.

Dr. Stoddard has distinguished herself as a truly gifted teacher who is highly deserving of this recognition. Her colleagues and students are enthusiastic in giving her very high ratings for the quality of her teaching, her innovative approaches to course design, and the enthusiasm she brings to the classroom environment. In addition to teaching, she has conducted forefront research in the field of theoretical nuclear physics and her studies have been published in prominent journals in this field. With grants totaling more than a million dollars from external funders such as the National Science Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation, she and her colleagues have developed new instructional practices for both university faculty and high school science teachers. Dr. Stoddard is deeply engaged in improving science education in the urban environment. She works with teachers and scholars in the Kansas City Missouri School District to create more effective teaching and evaluation methods for the benefit of current and future generations of students.

Dr. Stoddard’s reaction to receiving the Governor’s Award is yet another shining example of her excellence as an educator: “Because the award comes from my peers on a campus that has so many great professors whom I admire so much, I feel tremendously humbled and honored to receive it. I always feel lucky to be an educator. Working along with my colleagues here at UMKC is something I truly enjoy, and the importance of serving students and teachers better is something that motivates me every day. Most importantly, many of the achievements for which I received the award I share with my science education research collaborators, and I am grateful for this award as recognition of their efforts as well.”

The Provost Office congratulates Dr. Libby Stoddard for this outstanding achievement.

Nominations for the 2010 Governor’s Award should be submitted to the Provost Office on or before December 31, 2009. For additional information regarding the Governor’s Award, contact Beci Edmundson (edmundsonr@umkc.edu).

-Written by Dr. Ron MacQuarrie, Vice Provost Faculty Affairs
(Photo courtesy UMKC Physics website.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Putting Learning First

On Saturday, April 25, 2009 the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching at the University of Missouri in Kansas City hosted the Greater Kansas City Third Annual Symposium on Teaching and Learning (SoTL).

Amy Goodburn, Associate Dean for Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and a Professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Nebraska--Lincoln, gave the keynote address, "Different Roles, Same Goals: My Journey Towards Scholarly Teaching." Professor Goodburn engaged the audience of fifty teachers from ten area colleges (Avila College, ITT Technical Institute, Johnson County CC, the University of Kansas, U of Missouri—Columbia, Park University, Rockhurst University, the Truman Medical Center, UMKC, and William Jewell) and the Topeka School District in a lively personal narrative about an academic career enlivened by the work of Ernest Boyer and Lee Schulman. She explained how her attitude towards teaching, research, and service was transformed by the 1991 AAHE publication on Teaching Portfolios (Edgerton, Hutchings, Quinlan). After making a convincing case for the direct involvement of teaching faculty in the definition of the administrative structures and processes used to assess and reward teaching, Professor Goodburn led an hour long open conversation about the place of Scholarly Teaching in Higher Education.

In addition to twenty-five posters on subjects including “Writing as a Way to Learn about the Brain,” the “Shared Inquiry Model,” and “Using Graphs to Illustrate the process of Recursion,” breakout sessions during the day demonstrated a number of different aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning. The sessions emphasized curricular integration and the application of "online social interaction," ways to use student work to provoke SoTL-oriented enquiry, the process of turning research into teaching and vice-versa, Diversity Education as a way of re-defining learning-based scholarship, and classroom strategies that stimulate engaged learning.

During the final, all-group session, “How to Make It Count!,” Professors Bernstein and Goodburn were joined at the podium by Thomas Stroik, Professor of Linguistics and Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at UMKC. After Professor Bernstein had re-capped the history of SoTL, emphasizing why it is crucial that we make our scholarly work on teaching and learning public, Professor Stroik questioned the priority given to “Teaching” in too many conversations that are, ostensibly, about “Learning.” Playfully suggesting that we should re-name the discipline the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching, "SOLT," so as to centralize what should count, Stroik challenged the audience to think about how we “learn to learn” and “whose learning counts?” Professor Goodburn concluded the formal presentation by analyzing the word “count,” engaging the audience in deep criticism of how we hierarchize, value and exclude different kinds of knowledge and how we decide what to define as “learning.”

Next year’s symposium will also be hosted by UMKC (April 24, 2010). For details from this year’s symposium please go to http://www.umkc.edu/provost/initiatives/FaCET/SoTL.asp

-Written by Stephen Dilks, FaCET Director, UMKC

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UMKC Career Services' Support of Internship Search Process

One challenge students face during their college career is finding ways to connect real world understanding with what they learn in the classroom. Internships serve as a valuable enhancement to the educational experience and are a key component of student success. Internships also provide students with insight to current trends or issues in their career fields.

Like any employment process, being selected to complete an internship opportunity takes planning, professionalism, and a significant amount of effort. The Career Services office supports students and faculty/staff by coordinating several services and initiatives to help students be successful in the search process.

Career Services manages CareerExec, UMKC’s employment database. With more than 6,000 active student accounts and 4,500 active employer accounts, CareerExec serves as a powerful forum to bring students and employers together. Students may search for internships from all academic disciplines as well as work-study, on-campus jobs, part-time and full-time professional employment. Other features include on-campus interview registration, job and employer searches, and the ability to post and/or build a professional resume that employers may view.

Through individual appointments and classroom presentations/workshops, Career Services also advises students on successful internship search strategies. In fact, we foster several close partnerships with academic departments to support students’ awareness and development of professional approaches to writing an effective resume, perfecting the interview process, and learning how to leverage a network to break into the hidden job market.

Additionally, our office serves as a resource for faculty and staff for general local, national and international employment information. As our economy undergoes change, students need to remain informed of the new and emerging industries/occupations both in the United States and abroad in order to become future leaders within these fields. Growth in healthcare, education, information technology and “green” careers will continue to provide rich opportunities for students to gain valuable experience through internships.

As a centralized Career Services office, we establish and maintain relationships with employers in the Kansas City area to help them meet their recruitment needs. Depending on the employer’s recruitment initiative, we encourage participation in employer fairs, information sessions, information tables, on-campus interviewing and the posting of their opportunities in CareerExec. Additionally, we provide information and guidance to employers who are currently developing an internship program from the ground up.

UMKC’s location provides our students access to outstanding internship opportunities. The Career Services office is committed to fostering collaborative partnerships across campus as well as building upon existing partnerships to prepare our students to conduct a successful internship search, cultivate their professional employment network, and complete a quality internship program. UMKC faculty and staff play a critical role in supporting students as they navigate the internship process and we look forward to working with you to help students enhance their educational experiences and grow professionally.

-Written by Beth D. Medley, Career Services, Interim Director
Find employment opportunities on CareerExec \ Read their Career Blog \ Become their fan on Facebook \ Visit their YouTube channel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

UMKC's Worldwide Classroom

The world is our classroom, and the International Academic Programs (IAP) Office serves UMKC’s students and faculty by coordinating a variety of international initiatives. These include Study Abroad, Exchange Student partnerships, nationally competitive fellowships, and community outreach.

IAP oversees Study Abroad programs, the extraordinary opportunity enjoyed by an increasing number of UMKC students who elect to live and study in another country for periods of time ranging from a few weeks to a semester or even full academic year. Many of our returning Study Abroad students now participate in a Speakers Bureau, sharing their experiences with groups across campus. Each September we hold a Study Abroad Fair, inviting the entire campus to learn about the many programs that will be offered that year.

IAP administers exchange student agreements with other countries, and oversees those students who come to study for one or two semesters at UMKC. These students soon become valued members of our campus community, contributing to international discussion and understanding.

International partnerships to further student and faculty exchange and promote research collaboration are created through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The IAP office is charged with the responsibility of drafting MOUs which are approved and signed in the Provost’s office. These international partnerships are vital components of UMKC’s outreach and internationalization efforts. The office assists faculty who want to do research and teach abroad, and works with visiting faculty, such as Fulbright Scholars, from other countries.

IAP extends outreach efforts to the campus and the greater Kansas City community as well. Several years ago we initiated a series called Global Conversations as part of the FaCET programming. This is an informal brown bag gathering held several times each semester in which faculty and students come together to discuss topics such as international research, classroom programming, and experiences teaching abroad. The office actively participates in community groups such as the International Relations Council, the Edgar Snow Memorial Fund, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Truman Library Foundation.

Another major function of the IAP is oversight and coordination of UMKC student applications for nationally competitive fellowships including the Fulbright, DAAD, Rhodes, Truman, NSEP-Boren, the Jack Kent Cooke and many other prestigious awards. The office also manages a number of Study Abroad scholarships that assist our students who participate in Study Abroad programs.

The International Academic Programs office is one component of a rich partnership across all disciplines and units on our campus. We work closely with the International Student Affairs Office, the Applied Language Institute, SEARCH, and the Honors Program in our ongoing efforts to strengthen international initiatives at UMKC.

-Written by Linna Place, Ph.D., Interim Director, International Academic Programs

Monday, April 27, 2009

University of Missouri Enhances Security of Social Security Numbers

COLUMBIA — April 14, 2009 — The University of Missouri is enhancing its security policies by storing Social Security Numbers (SSNs) that are mandatory for business purposes in a centralized database and purging those that are unnecessary.

The ultimate goal of the initiative is that SSN will only be collected by authorized areas. Printed materials will be imaged and shredded. When SSNs cannot be removed, they will be physically secured with restricted access.

The University of Missouri Division of Information Technology (IT) will work with those offices still needing to collect Social Security Numbers to store them in the centralized database. This database generates an Alternate Identification (AltID) number for application use. AltID looks and acts like a SSN, but without the risk of identity theft. AltID is translated back into a SSN to fulfill mandatory reporting requirements.

During this university-wide initiative, faculty and staff are reviewing business practices concerning the collection, use, and storage of SSNs to determine if every instance has a mandatory function. The University of Missouri Division of IT staff succeeded in securing SSNs and purging those that are unnecessary from several key data repositories, including Alumni at all four campuses; Single Sign-On (SSO); Remedy Help Desk; the Vendor Registration application used by Procurement; the Minority Business Development Office; and Design and Construction. SSN use in the PeopleSoft systems is currently under review.

According to Dr. Gary Allen, Vice President for Information Technology, “protecting the personal information of our employees, students, business associates, and friends is a top-most priority for the university. This project will take everyone’s cooperation.”

Contact your Campus Information Security Officer to register your applications that use SSNs and to discuss strategies to secure your data.

For more information on the SSN Project please visit http://www.umsystem.edu/ums/departments/is/.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

UMKC Leads Research Efforts in the Internet of the Future

Are we ready for the future? More specifically, are we ready for what lies ahead in the future in networking technology? Our society has come a long way in communication technology in the past two hundred years; first it was telegraphy, invented in the first half of 19th century, then the telephony, invented in the second half of 19th century, and then the Internet, almost a hundred years later, in the second half of the 20th century. Each technology has pushed the boundary on the mode and what we can communication over a long distance. So, are we ready for the future?

As great as the Internet is in changing how we communicate, the fundamental technology is now about forty years old. It was developed as an experimental concept, which originally connected only academic institutions. The early applications on the Internet were file transfer, remote terminal login service, and email. With the introduction of the Web in the early 1990s, the entire picture of the Internet changed as its popularity grew almost overnight.

There are many fundamental issues that were not part of the original design of the Internet. For example, consider security -- this is only an afterthought as problems arose. Secondly, can we continue to send information efficiently and quickly if the number of connected devices grows exponentially, and so on. While we're tempted to make incremental improvement to the Internet's initial basic concept, it is also important to re-think everything from ground-up if we were to design a network of the future.

National Science Foundation has recognized the need for such a new and fresh thinking so that it is time to envision and put the fundamental concepts together on how the network of the future is going to be. Among its new initiatives includes the GENI (Global Environment for Network Innovations) program . As a part of this effort, UMKC is one of the first set of institutions nation-wide funded by the GENI Phase-One project that was announced in the summer of 2008. Noteworthy is that UMKC is the only public university in the state of Missouri that was funded in the GENI Phase one funding. UMKC's project "GpENI" (Great Plains Environment for Network Innovation) is a partnership among four institutions: University of Kansas, UMKC, Kansas State University, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

So, what is GpENI? GpENI is a three-year project that aims to create a new experimental networking testbed connecting these four institutions that will provide a dedicated environment for networking scientists to try out new concepts for networks of the future. It may be noted that GpENI is one of the only two experimental tesbeds funded in the first phase of GENI funding. The basic part of GpENI experimental testbed is recently connected and now the excitement begins. In particular, UMKC's effort in this project is to lead and explore programmable router functionalities so that routing mechanisms in the core of the network of the future can be thought through in a number of new and innovative ways. UMKC's researchers involved in this project are Deep Medhi (Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering Department, who heads the Networking & Telecommunications Research Lab at UMKC) as principal investigator and Baek-Young Choi (Assistant Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering Department) as co-investigator. UMKC maintains a project page for its GpENI effort: http://NeTReL.umkc.edu/gpeni-umkc.html. It is also worth noting that Deep Medhi was one of the leads in organizing a US-Japan Future Networks Workshop held last fall in California that was supported by the National Science Foundation; he'll also serve as the scientific program co-chair of an International Workshop on FutureNet to be held in Hawaii in December 2009.

UMKC's GpENI effort has a far reaching goal. It plans to connect international institutions to its testbed in the near future as well as many US institutions. Stay tuned!

-Written by Deep Medhi, Ph.D., Professor, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering Department

In picture UMKC team members: (front) Ramkumar Cherukuri, Baek-Young Choi, Xuan Liu; (back) Deep Medhi and Haiyang Qian [not in picture - Can Kanli & Jim Schonemann]