Class Notes

Visit to submit your news and read more class notes.

» 2010s

Lindsay Adams (B.A. ’14, Arts & Sciences) won the 2016 Judith Barlow Prize for her one-act play “Her Own Devices,” inspired by Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Harvey.” A staged reading of her play will take place on April 29 at 7 p.m. at the WP Theater at McGinn/Cazale in New York City.

Jason Anderson (M.A. ’11, Education) was appointed Park University’s area director of Kansas City operations.

Gabrielle Baffoni (D.M.A. ’11, Conservatory) performed with a trio in the Sundays at Three Chamber Music Series at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus. Baffoni is an instructor of clarinet and saxophone at Southeast Missouri State University.

Jeff Barbee (M.A. ’15, Education) played with The Four Horsemen Tuba/Euphonium Quartet at United Methodist Church in Huntington, W.V. Barbee is currently finishing his doctoral degree at UMKC and travels around the country giving master classes and presenting his research.

Laura Boswell (M.B.A. ’13, Management) was named to the Ingram’s Magazine “20 in Their Twenties” list in Sept. 2015. Boswell is the COO for Minds Matter, an Overland Park company that provides rehabilitation services for people with brain injuries.

Jordan Brunk (M.B.A. ’13, Management) was named to the Ingram’s Magazine “20 in Their Twenties” list in Sept. 2015. Brunk owns Brunk Real Estate and works at Infegy, a social media intelligence and text analytics firm.

Carol Chapman (D.M.A. ’11, Conservatory) sang a concert at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. Chapman is an assistant professor of voice at Missouri State University.

Youming Chen (D.M.A. ’14, Conservatory) was selected as a violist by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was previously the associate principal viola with the Kansas City Symphony.

Gregory Farmer (M.B.A. ’12, Management) was named managing editor of the Kansas City Star. Farmer has been with The Star since 1997.

Joseph Flickner (B.F.A. ’15, Conservatory) was named a dancer for Ballet Quad Cities and has a part in the four-part “Love Stories” show.

Nathaniel French (J.D. ’15, Law) joined HeplerBroom as an associate attorney in Edwardsville, Ill. French practices on litigation matters including toxic torts and is a member of the Missouri Bar and the Missouri Bar Association.

Timothy Friend (M.F.A. ’13, Arts & Sciences) will publish his debut novel, The Pretenders, in winter 2017. The publisher is 280 Steps. Friend has written and directed two feature films and his fiction has appeared in numerous publications.

Amira Ghazali (M.D. ’10, Medicine) joined Surgical Services of Warrensburg as a general surgeon. Ghazali completed her surgical residency at UMKC and served as chief resident at the School of Medicine.

Nicole Marie Green (M.F.A. ’15, Arts & Sciences) starred in Spinning Tree Theatre’s “The Turn of the Screw.”

Michael Gholston Jr. (B.A. ’12, Arts & Sciences) was named assistant coach of the Lafayette High School boy’s basketball team.

Timothy Guntli (B.A. ’11, Arts & Sciences) joined HeplerBroom as an associate attorney in St. Louis, Mo. Guntli practices insurance law and is a member of the Missouri Bar and the American Bar Association.

Mathew Haislip (D.M.A. ’15, Conservatory) had his set of original etudes for horn published by BrownWood Publishing. Haislip is an instructor at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan., and Calvary Bible College in Kansas City, Mo. He also serves as assistant conductor of the Kansas City Horn Club and is a performing member of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra and Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

Daniel Heady (J.D. ’14, Law) was hired as the new director of governmental affairs at Kansas Wheat.

Gillian Helm (M.P.A. ’10, Management) was named executive director of Literacy Kansas City.

Brett Jackson (M.M ’12, Conservatory) helped kick off the 2015-16 school year at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., by participating in a jazz concert. Jackson is an adjunct instructor at Washburn University in Topeka and at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Aaron Linscheid (M.M. ’11, Conservatory) helped kick off the 2015-16 school year at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., by participating in a jazz concert. Linscheid works at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.

DaRon McGee (B.L.A. ’10, Arts & Sciences) was elected to represent the 36th District in Kansas City, Mo. McGee serves as the program administrator for Jackson County’s COMBAT program.

Karen McKeever (M.F.A. ’13, Arts & Sciences) joined the Museum of Danish America as the manager of the genealogy center.

Hermon Mehari (B.M. ’10, Conservatory) was awarded first place in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in Sept. 2015.

Arthur Misquez (M.S. ’10, Medicine) was hired as an anesthesiology assistant at Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, Ga.

Angela Marie Moore (M.A. ’10, Conservatory) joined the Alton Symphony Orchestra’s “Music of the Dance.”

Chazny Morris (M.P.A. ’13, Management) was inducted into the UMKC Athletics Hall of Fame as the university’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,806 points scored over her four-year career.

Courtney Noll (J.D. ’11, Law) was hired by SouthLaw LLC in Overland Park, Kan., as an associate attorney.

Krissy Oliver (D.D.S. ’13, Dentistry) joined the dental staff at the Fordland Clinic, a non-profit community health center in Fordland, Mo.

Bryan Pinkall (D.M.E. ’13, Conservatory) was a part of the team that received an Emmy for best lighting design for the 2014 Olympics. He successfully lobbied to include the music of Alfred Schnittke in the ceremony. Pinkall is an associate professor of music at Kansas State University.

Terrin Porter (D.D.S. ’10, Dentistry) was hired by Bucksport Regional Health Center in Bucksport, Maine to provide pediatric dentistry services.

Deborah Siebern-Dennis (B.A. ’05, Education) won the Milken Educators Award. She is a middle school science teacher in St. Joseph, Mo.

Randi Simmons (B.B.A. ’13, Bloch) was selected for a nationwide program that educates and mentors up-and-coming soccer coaches with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Simmons will begin her third season as the boys soccer head coach at Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School.

Nickolas Stoppel (B.M. ’12, Conservatory) performed a concert in his hometown with his brothers in Jan. 2016. Stoppel sings with the Grammy award-winning Kansas City Choral and has sung backup for Josh Groban and Patty Austin.

Timothy Sylvester (B.S.M.E ’12, Computing & Engineering) was named one of 20 entrepreneur finalists in the Launch KC Competition.

Dina Thomas (M.F.A. ’11, Arts & Sciences) played Lucille in the Shakespeare Theatre Company production of The Metromanicas at The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Calif.

Katrina Westhoff (D.D.S. ’16) joined Carthage Dental Associates in Carthage, Mo., a practice owned by her father.

Kerwin Young (M.M. ’15, Conservatory) joined Tama San Kanyama Preparatory Academy in College Park, Ga., as a music composition teacher. Young is also a staff recording producer and arranger at Michael & Swilley’s InCrowd recording label in Atlanta. Young also has a song featured in the film Dirty Grandpa, directed by Dan Mazer and starring Robert De Niro. He completed composition of Symphony No. 2 and has begun work on his fourth symphony.

» 2000s

Miriam Bailey (J.D. ’07, Law) joined Graves Garrett LLC as counsel in the complex commercial litigation practice group.

James Craig (D.D.S. ’06, Dentistry), a dentist in Aurora, Colo., was recognized by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals for his publication in The Leading Physicians of the World.

Karen Bell-Dancy (M.B.A. ’01, Management) was named executive director of the Lincoln YWCA. She is the first African-American to serve in this role.

James Bronner (M.B.A. ’00, Management) was selected by the Waverly (Iowa) City Council as the new city manager. Bronner was previously the Black Hawk County finance director.

Erica Bumpers (M.A. ’01, Education) was awarded the 2015 Excellence in Education Award by the St. Louis American Foundation. Bumpers is an associate professor of education and director of field experience at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis.

Christina Burton (B.F.A. ’09, Conservatory) performed in Tin Pan Alley at the Quality Hill Playhouse in Kansas City, Mo.

Adam Caine (J.D. ’09, Law) received the Lon O. Hocker Trial Lawyer Award.

Xanath Caraza (M.A. ’04, Arts & Sciences) published a new book, titled Ocelocihuatl.

Toccarra Cash (M.F.A. ’08, Theatre) was nominated for a best supporting actress award for her role in Brothers from the Bottom performed at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Rachel Barnes Dobbs (B.F. A. ’07, Conservatory) was promoted to senior sales associate with Downstream Casino Resort in Joplin, Mo.

Mandy D’Agostino (M.S.N. ’09, Nursing) joined Citizens Memorial Hospital Walk-In Clinic in Bolivar, Mo., as a family nurse practitioner.

Theresa Fette (J.D. ’04, Law) was honored with the Gayle Pettus Pontz Award by the University of Arkansas School of Law. Fette is a founder and chief executive officer of Provident Trust Group, a leading self-directed retirement plan administrator and alternative-asset custodian.

Nicholas Gehlfuss (M.F.A. ’10, Arts & Sciences) plays a doctor on NBC’s Chicago Med. His character first appeared in episodes of Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire.

Katie Gilchrist (M.F.A. ’05, Arts & Sciences) is the founding artistic director of the Irish Repertory Theater in Kansas City, Mo. Gilchrist is a local actress, singer and director.

Jacob Gotlib (M.M. ’08, Conservatory) was awarded a $7,500 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council.

Michelle Hurlbutt (M.S. ’09, Dentistry-Dental Hygiene) was reappointed to the Dental Hygiene Committee of California. Hurlbutt has been dean of dental hygiene at West Coast University in Irvine, Calif., since 2015, where she is also an associate professor.

Andrew Lee’s (D.M.A. ’06, Conservatory) piano performance at the Spectrum program was named in the Top 10 of 2015 by the New York Classical Review.

Steve Lewis (M.M. ’12, Conservatory) was awarded the EAMA/Florence Gould Foundation Michael Lovenko Fellowship to study conducting in Paris as part of the European American Musical Alliance at the historic Schola Cantorum.

Julianna Lippert-Keck (M.D. ’99, Medicine) joined the medical staff at Southeast HEALTH in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and is affiliated with Southeast Wound Care and Hyberbaric Medicine.

Scott Marosek (M.M. ’02, Conservatory) performed in the B Sharp Musical Club fundraising concert in Utica, N.Y.

Anthony Merchant (M.F.A. ’09, Theatre) was nominated for a best supporting actor award for his role in The Tempest performed at Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Matt Miller (M.A. ’03, Education) was selected by the Moberly Board of Education as the district’s new superintendent. Miller previously served as executive director of student services in Lee’s Summit, Mo.

Kate Murray (J.D. ’02, Law) was named director of originations at Love Funding in Tampa, Fla. Murray previously served as deputy director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Residential Care Facilities.

Craig Olsen (J.D. ’09, Law) was hired as the new city attorney of Marysville, Kan. Olsen is an attorney at Morrison, Frost, Olsen, Irvin & Schartz LLP in Manhattan, Kan.

Austin Parker (J.D. ’09, Law) joined Fisher, Patterson, Sayler & Smith as an associate attorney. His practice focuses on civil litigation defense.

Shalini Paruthi (M.D. ’03, Medicine) joined the Sleep Review’s editorial advisory board. Paruthi is an adjunct associate professor in pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Sleep and Research Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

Julia Scozzafava (M.M. ’03, Conservatory) was nominated for a Grammy award. Scozzafava sings with the Kansas City Chorale. She is a soloist on the nominated recording.

Joseph Seabrooks (Ph.D. ’01, Education) left his position as president of Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and will be the president of Cedar Valley College, a community college in Dallas, Texas.

Matthew Christopher Shepard (M.M. ’07, Conservatory) led a performance by the Te Deum Antiqua, the early-music branch of the Te Deum Chamber Choir, of Tomas Luis de Victoria’s Requiem.

Marilou Shreve (D.N.P ’10, Nursing) published an article titled “Assessing and Treating Pediatric Obesity” in the publication Clinical Advisor. Shreve is a clinical instructor of nursing in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas.

Daniel Silva (B.A. ’00, Arts & Sciences) was named executive director of the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Marc Stricker (M.A. ’05, Education) was hired as an assistant men’s basketball coach by Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla. He began his coaching career at UMKC.

Adam Uhlenhake (M.M. ’09, Conservatory) was hired as the new band director at Oakwood High School in Dayton, Ohio.

Joseph P. Urnise (M.S. ’04, Computing & Engineering) joined JVA Inc., an engineering consulting firm based in Colorado, as a project manager.

Marcus Wilkerson (D.D.S. ’09, Dentistry) was hired by Bucksport Regional Health Center in Bucksport, Maine, to provide pediatric dentistry services.

» 1990s

David Bernstein (M.B.A. ’95, Management) started Squix, an online retailer of germ-fighting products.

Craig M. Boise (B.A. ’91, Arts & Sciences) was named dean of Syracuse University College of Law.

Michael J. Brown (M.S. ’96, Arts & Sciences) was named to a list of the Top Mid-Cap CEOs in the nation. Brown is the chairman and CEO of Euronet Worldwide Inc., a global provider of electronic payment solutions.

Irene Caudillo (M.P.A. ’90, Management) was honored by the Kansas City Chiefs through the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards.

Richard P. Chern (M.D. ’98, Medicine) opened a practice in Destin, Fla., specializing in concierge medicine and aesthetics.

Tim Cook (M.B.A. ‘90, Management) joined First Fidelity Bank in Oklahoma City, Okla., as vice president and professional and executive relationship manager.

Paul Chandley (D.M.A. ’94, Conservatory) performed at Wake Forest Baptist Church as part of a special night of classical music in a dual pianist concert. Chandley is the executive director of the Trinity Music Academy in Troy, N.C.

Tim Flook (J.D. ’92, Law) was appointed by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon as the head of the circuit court’s 9th division. Previously, he represented the 34th District in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-10.

Ken Gerling (B.S.C.i.E, ’91, Computing and Engineering) was promoted to vice president of transmission projects in the Transmission & Distribution Group at Burns & McDonnell.

Barbara R. Grayson (B.A. ’98, Education) joined Jenner & Block to launch and co-chair a new private wealth practice. She previously served as a partner in the Chicago office of Mayer Brown.

Manon Halliburton (B.A. ’97, Arts & Sciences) performed in the Dec. 2015 production of Mr. Burns at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Mo.

Robert Jackson (J.D. ’93, Law) joined CyrusOne as executive vice president and general counsel in Aug. 2015. Jackson serves as a director of the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and a team manager at Tophat Soccer Club.

Matt Kane (B.A ’96, Arts & Sciences) and the Kansas City Generations Sextet released their new CD, Acknowledgements in March 2016. The album is No. 19 on the CMJ Jazz Chart.

Donnie Keshawarz (M.F.A. ’98, Arts & Sciences) was in the cast of the new Magnolia Pictures film, The Experimenter.

John Ketchum (LLM ’99, Law) was named executive vice president, finance and CFO of Nextera Energy, where he will oversee accounting, forecasting, tax, treasury, investor relations, risk management and information management.

Tammy J. Lindsay (M.D. ’94, Medicine) joined Missouri Highlands Health Care as the new medical director. Lindsay recently retired after 21 years of service in the U.S. Air Force.

Mark Manroe (D.D.S. ’91, Dentistry) added new employees to his growing practice in Shawnee, Kan. Manroe is a member of the Great Plains Study Club.

Erin McGrane (B.A. ’90, Arts & Sciences) released a book of poems titled Overtones in March 2016.

Mark A. Morgan (J.D. ’95, Law) was named chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. He was previously assistant director of the Training Division at the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. Morgan had been with the Federal Bureau of Investigations since 1996.

Brian Dale Newby (M.P.A. ’90, Management) was hired as the new executive director for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Felipe Orellana (M.D. ’99, Medicine) was named one of the Top Ten Hospitalists by the American College of Physicians. Orellana practices hospitalist medicine and is chief medical officer at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Peters, Mo.

Diane Ragsdale (M.F.A. ’91, Arts & Sciences) is the executive-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business. She teaches a course called “Approaching Beauty” to help students develop an aesthetic sensibility. Ragsdale is the first artist-in-residence at the School’s Bolz Center for Arts Administration.

Rosilee Russell (D.M.A. ’94, Conservatory) was appointed to the Arkansas Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. Russell is the executive director of the Academy of the Arts at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Victoria Schatz (J.D. ’95, Law) was elected president of the Conference of Metropolitan Bar Associations. Schatz is the executive director of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

Ellen Botoroff Sommer (M.M. ’99, Conservatory) performed in a Christmas concert in Tonganoxie, Kan. Sommer is a collaborative pianist, chamber musician and vocal coach.

Jennifer Swearngin (B.S. ’96, Management) and her husband were named the Lee’s Summit 2016 Citizens of the Year. The Swearngins run the “Head Shave for Hope House” event. Jennifer also provides pro bono tax services for Rachel House Pregnancy Resource Center and is the treasurer for the Downtown Lee’s Summit Community Improvement District Board.

Bryan Taylor (M.M. ’91, Conservatory) directed the Liberty Community Chorus Fall Picnic Kickoff Concert. Taylor is currently the director of traditional music at Liberty United Methodist Church.

Melissa “Missy” Townsend (B.A. ’98, Arts & Sciences) is the new athletic director at Prescott High School in Prescott, Ariz.

Rick Wasserman (M.F.A. ’98, Arts & Sciences) is the narrator for Criminals at Work, a new series on BET.

Andrea Wickerham (J.D. ’99, Law) was appointed as the assistant athletic director-human resources at Penn State University.

Patrick Widhalm (D.M.A ‘91, Conservatory) was named head of school at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, La.

Sheridan Zuther (B.M. ’97, Conservatory) performed the music of Carole King at Jazz Central. Zuther is the associate producer for Cardinal Theatricals. She also gives private lessons and performs around Minneapolis.

» 1980s

Valeria H. Auld (B.A. ’84, Arts & Sciences) was appointed director of sales at Courtyard & Residence Inn, Kansas City Downtown/Convention Center.

Robert R. Altice Jr. (J.D. ’87, Law) has been named to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Altice has experience on both the civil and criminal bench.

Robert Bell (M.D. ’89, Medicine) joined Des Peres Square Surgery Center in Des Peres, Mo. Bell is a hand and upper extremity specialist.

Page Bellamy (J.D. ’88, Law) was sworn in as associate circuit Judge in Saline County, Mo.

Mark Richard Bollinger (J.D. ’88) was appointed as chief globalization officer at Smith & Associates, an electronics distribution firm based in Houston, Texas.

Randy G. Brown (M.D. ’88, Medicine) joined the Baptist Health Paducah medical staff in Paducah, Ky., as a cardiovascular surgeon. Brown is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Mario Castro (M.D. ’88, Medicine), a global pulmonary expert, was appointed to the Therabron Therapeutics advisory board. Castro is the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine and professor of medicine and pediatrics in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.

Daniel A. Decker (J.D. ’80, Law) was appointed as director and non-executive chairman of the board of Brookdale Senior Living Inc. Decker is president and owner of CoastWood Senior Housing Partners LLC.

David G. Dehaemers Jr. (J.D. ’85, Law) was named to a list of the Top Mid-Cap CEOs in the nation. Dehaemers is the CEO of Tallgrass Energy Partners LP.

Robert R. Evans (PharmD ’81, Pharmacy) was appointed the role of vice president of clinical services at Tiziana Life Sciences in London, England.

Linda K. Formella (B.A. ‘81, Education) was named the 2016 president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee. Formella is a managing broker for Michael Saunders & Co.

Daphne Halderman (J.D. ’84, Law) received the Pro Bono Publico Award.

David F. Kapp (M.D. ’87, Medicine) joined Serenity HospiceCare in Harrisonville, Mo., as assistant medical director. Kapp is president and founding owner of Perryville Family Care Clinic and an active staff member at Perry County Memorial Hospital.

Brian Clay Luedloff (B.A. ’82, Conservatory) was promoted to the rank of full professor at the University of Northern Colorado, where he serves as director of opera theatre. He continues as artistic director of Opera Fort Collins, a professional regional opera company now in its 36th season. His production of The Daughter of the Regiment, for which he wrote a new English performing edition set during the American civil war, was awarded 3rd place in the professional opera company division of the 2014 American Prize.

Christi Leonard (B.A. ’80, Conservatory of Music and Dance) led her Dance academy students to a national victory. Leonard teaches dance in Miami, Okla. Leonard has 35 years of experience as a dance teacher and is the owner of Dance Academy.

Madeleine M. McDonough (B.S.P. ’85, Pharmacy) was selected as the next chairwoman at Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP. She leads the firm’s pharmaceutical and medical device practice.

Karen Remley (M.D. ’80, Medicine) was selected as the new executive director and CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

John Richmond (M.M. ’80, Conservatory) was named dean of the University of North Texas College of Music. Richmond was previous the director of the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Jeff L. Rickabaugh (D.D.S. ’82, Dentistry) was admitted to the International Association of Healthcare Professionals with his publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. Rickabaugh owns his own private practice in Winston Salem, N.C. He is a past president of the North Carolina Association of Orthodontists.

Hon. Patricia Riehl (J.D. ’82. Law) was appointed as the new 5th division circuit court judge by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon.

Bruce Twaddle (D.D.S. ’83, Dentistry) was named to Ingram’s Magazine 50 Missourians You Should Know list. Twaddle is a partner at Compass Dental Group in Maryville, Mo. Twaddle was recognized for raising more than $1 million to build a nine-hole junior golf course designed by Tom Watson.

Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood (J.D. ’83, Law) was nominated by President Barack Obama to continue her service on the U.S. District Court for the District of Guam. She has served as the federal district judge in Guam since 2006.

Ronnie White (J.D. ’83, Law) received the Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award from the Missouri Bar. White sits on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, St. Louis.

Karen Woods (M.D. ’83, Medicine) received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). She has served in several capacities for the ASGE, including on the governing board and as a trustee for the ASGE Foundation. She became vice president of the ASGE in May 2015, president-elect in 2016 and will serve as president of the society in 2017. The ASGE is one of three major GI societies in the world with more than 13,000 members.

» 1970s

John Ball (D.D.S. ’77, Dentistry) joined the board of the American College of Prosthodontists. Ball is a clinical assistant professor in the department of restorative clinical sciences at UMKC. He is also head of the removable prosthodontics section and course director for the advanced prosthodontics course and the complete removable prosthodontics lecture and laboratory.

John Cisetti (M.A. ’79, Education) was nominated and selected to receive the award for Outstanding High School Band Educator of the Year. Cisetti has led the band program at Louisburg High School in Louisburg, Kan., for 37 years. He was honored at a ceremony at Blue Valley High School in Dec. 2015.

Vinson Cole (D.M. ’72, Conservatory) was appointed to the position of creative consultant at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Cole is a faculty member at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Jenise (Thomas) Comer (B.A. ’72, Arts & Sciences) assumed the role of president of the Association of Social Work Boards. She served as president-elect in 2015 and will end her term in Nov. 2018. Comer currently serves on a collaborative committee with the NASW, ASWB, CSWE and CASW, as well as co-chair of the mobility task force.

Robert L. Couch (D.D.S. ’71, Dentistry) opened a new office in Joplin, Mo.

Norma Marie Hill (B.A. ’76, Arts & Sciences) was hired as the new training and development manager for North American Title Group in Dallas, Texas.

Sharon Nigus (B.A. ’76, Arts & Sciences) designed drop screen for tge Martin City Melodrama & Baudeville Co. production of The Wizard of Paws.

Michael A. Price (J.D. ’74, Law) received a 2015 Merit Award from the Southeast Missouri State Alumni Association. Price owns Price Dispute Resolution Services and is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

» 1960s

Charles M. Cobb (D.D.S. ’64, Dentistry) received the Special Citation Award from the American Academy of Periodontology.

Gregory N. Joseph (B.A. ’69, Arts & Sciences) was nominated for the 2015 Arizona Governor’s Arts Award. He was one of only two actors nominated. He starred in a drama that was named an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner, won Best of Festival character acting honors at the Hollywood Shockfest Film Festival, had the lead in a drama that won Best Ensemble Acting at the New York First Run Film Festival and a National Board Review Special Commendation, and starred in a one-character drama chosen as an Official Selection of the Phoenix Film Festival.

Robert S. Lemon (B.A. ’63, Arts & Sciences) retired after 32 years of teaching at Rollins College and three years in administrative positions at Ohio University and Marshall University. Lemon plans to continue teaching art history part time in the Rollins College Lifelong Learning program.

» 1950s

Rita Blitt (B.A. ’52, Arts & Sciences) a Kansas City-based sculptor, painter and filmmaker, donated hundreds of pieces to Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. She and her husband also support additions to the gallery.