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Fulbright Scholar Program Presentations

fulbright-scholar-programThe Fulbright Scholar Program provides approximately 800 grants in more than 125 countries to support U.S. academics and researchers in a wide variety of disciplines. These individuals have established new global programs and engaged in collaborative work with colleagues around the world, including at the international community college level.  To meet the changing needs of U.S. academics and professionals, Fulbright is proud to offer a number of postdoctoral/early career awards and short-term, multi-visit grants.  Over the years, UMKC has had a number of faculty members receive these awards.

The Fulbright Scholar Program will be offering local workshops and presentations for faculty members and administrators interested in pursuing overseas work and scholarship.  Fulbright Alumni Ambassador Dom Caristi, a professor of telecommunications at Ball State University, will lead the discussion and will also give a presentation describing his 2009 work as a Fulbright Scholar in Athens, Greece.  Details of the workshops, including instructions on how to RSVP, are as follows:

Collegiate Panhellenic Council’s Faculty Appreciation Event

Please join the Collegiate Panhellenic Council (CPC), a student organization that governs the four Panhellenic societies at UMKC, at their first annual Faculty Appreciation event on Tuesday, October 13th! The CPC will be bringing the food truck Taco Republic to campus and offering free food to faculty and staff from 12-2PM in the Quad (the area located by Royall, Flarsheim, and Scofield Hall). Those attending are asked to show proof of UMKC faculty/staff identification.

The faculty would like to express their thanks and appreciation to the CPC for their generosity and leadership at UMKC.

Academic Affairs Highlights: School of Pharmacy

school of pharmacy


The Provost’s Blog is excited to introduce a new blog series, Academic Affairs Highlights, which will feature the monthly accomplishments and successes of UMKC’s academic units. This week, we are proud to showcase the major achievements of UMKC’s School of Pharmacy, led by Dean Russell B. Melchert.

Successes in the Past Month:

  • The School of Pharmacy completed a comprehensive self-study of the PharmD program for accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Site visitation is scheduled for November 17-20.
  • Admitted a full class of PharmD students, including 95 at UMKC, 30 at Columbia, and 30 at Springfield)

Noteworthy Faculty Accomplishments:

  • Simon Friedman received a grant of $1.4 M over 4 years from the National Institutes of Health
  • Kun Cheng received a grant of $500,000 from the American Chemical Society
  • William Gutheil received a grant of $26,000 from the University of Missouri Research Board
  • Andrew Bzowyckyj was named Missouri Pharmacy Association Faculty Member of the Year
  • Anil Kumar received the Curators’ Professor Award
  • Graduate student, Vibhuti Agrahari, mentored by Ashim Mitra, won a Biotechnology Graduate Student Research Award from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Graduate student, Vivek Agrahari, mentored by Celestin Youan, won a travel grant to Scotland from the Controlled Release Society

Upcoming Key Events:

  • Professional Dedication Ceremony (White Coat Ceremony): September 25
  • Achievers of Excellence (Scholarship Award Ceremony): October 23

Promotion and Tenure Awards

On September 10th, fourteen faculty members took center stage at the Pierson Auditorium to be honored for achieving promotion and tenure.

During the commemoration, Chancellor Leo E. Morton, Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer, and other noteworthy presenters offered praise and thanks to the group for making meaningful contributions to student learning, research, and the UMKC community.  At the end of the program, recipients stayed behind to celebrate and mingle with their colleagues, friends, and families.

This year’s tenured faculty are:

Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure:
Melita Belgrave, Conservatory of Music and Dance
Ceki Halmen, School of Computing and Engineering
Brent Never, Henry W. Bloch School of Management
Robert Prue, College of Arts and Sciences
Candace Schlein, School of Education
Ronald Tice, Conservatory of Music and Dance
Massimiliano Vitiello, College of Arts and Sciences
Greg Vonnahme, College of Arts and Sciences

Tenured as Associate Professor
Timothy Lynch, School of Law

Promotion to Professor
Rosalyn Bertram, College of Arts and Sciences
Diane Petrella, Conservatory of Music and Dance
Melanie Simmer-Beck, School of Dentistry
Deborah Smith, College of Arts and Sciences
Gerald Wyckoff, School of Biological Sciences


Promotion and Tenure


Provost Bichelmeyer Welcomes New Students at the UMKC 2015 Convocation

The following is an excerpt from the address delivered by Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D., at UMKC’s 2015 Convocation, the official kickoff of the UMKC experience for new students.

Carol Dweck, a world-renowned psychologist from Stanford University, has spent her career studying the factors that influence achievement and success. In the book “Mindset” she explains the results of her research, which, (to use her own words):

“… shows that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology, and, as a result, your life? Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – the fixed mindset – creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over… I’ve seen so many people with this one consuming goal of proving themselves – in the classroom, in their careers, and in their relationships… Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser?

“There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with… In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in each and every way – in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments – everyone can change and grow through application and exercise… Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times of their lives.”[1]

Dweck’s work is a stellar example of great research, with a powerful conclusion, that has the potential to positively impact the world, and I encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

At UMKC, you will engage in your own research, and as you do, you will come to understand that the ultimate value of research is not the particular outcome of any given study; rather, the true value of research is that it is the process by which we find answers to our own questions, and ultimately, it is the way in which we learn. Learning how to research, learning how to find answers to your own questions, learning how to learn, will prepare you to face every new challenge that will ever come your way in life.

In sum, here’s what’s waiting for you at UMKC — exposure to the breadth and depth of all the best human knowledge collected throughout the centuries; engagement in a diverse and vibrant community that benefits yourself and others; and an experience that teaches you how to ask your own questions and find your own answers so you can keep learning for the rest of your life.

If this is the adventure you’re seeking, we at UMKC are ready to be your partners. Here’s what we need from you in order to get started. Please commit today to develop a “growth” mindset, to explore the varieties of knowledge, to engage with the community, and to learn as much as you possibly can during your career as a student here.


[1] Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.

Catalog Deadline Reminder

The curriculum and catalog deadline for courses, programs, and catalog content editing for 2016-17 catalog publication is December 15th (approved by the dean level of review in CourseLeaf by this date)!  This will ensure that our students have accurate information at the time of registration. If you have questions about this deadline or the curriculum and catalog processes, please contact Amy Watson ( or Nancy Hoover ( Thank you.


Amy R. Watson, Office of the Provost/Academic Affairs

UM System Leadership Development Program Members

Congratulations to the 2015 UM System Leadership Development (LDP) Program Members!

Those selected to participate in the LDP will join a network of faculty dedicated to quality leadership and advancing academic excellence.  To be considered for participation in the LDP, faculty members obtained endorsement from their leadership sponsor and submitted an application to the Office of Talent Management.  For more information about the Leadership Development Program, please visit:


UMKC LDP Cohort Members include:

Ronalda Cole-Manney, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing

Kristi Holsinger, Professor and Interim Head, Criminal Justice & Criminology, College of Arts & Sciences

Lorie Holt, Associate Professor and Director of Degree Completion Studies, Division of Dental Hygiene, School of Dentistry

Wei Ji, Professor, Geosciences, College of Arts & Sciences

John Kevern, Associate Professor, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, School of Computing & Engineering

Nancy Levit, Curators’ and Edward D Ellison Professor of Law, School of Law

Darla McCarthy, Associate Teaching Professor, Basic Medical Sciences, School of Medicine

J David Van Horn, Associate Professor, Chemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Xiao-Qiang (Sean) Yu, Professor and Interim Head, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Jennifer Waddell Appointed as General Education Coordinator

Waddell_JenniferJennifer Waddell, Ph.D., has been appointed to serve as the Coordinator of General Education effective September 1, 2015. Dr. Waddell is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instructional Leadership in the School of Education. She has been part of the UMKC community since 2001 and currently serves as the Associate Director of the Institute for Urban Education (IUE) and the Coordinator of the Elementary Education program within the School of Education.

Dr. Waddell’s experience includes leading the Interdisciplinary Curriculum Design Team for the IUE, curriculum and program development, academic advising and student mentorship, collaborative teaching and teacher development, and program administration and assessment. She teaches courses in diversity, working with communities and families, effective instruction and teacher leadership. Jennifer also works as a leadership and instructional consultant with schools and districts.

Dr. Waddell will be transitioning into this leadership role with guidance from Dr. Lynda Plamann, the current General Education Coordinator and Associate Dean in the School of Biological Sciences. Dr. Plamann’s leadership in this role during the first two years of UMKC’s new general education program helped to expand collaboration among academic units to provide high quality course offerings in support of UMKC’s general education learning outcomes.

In her role as Coordinator, Dr. Waddell will work closely with the Chair of the General Education Curriculum Committee, the Deputy Provost and the Director of Assessment. She will collaborate with Student Affairs during undergraduate student orientations; with the Missouri Department of Higher Education regarding transfer articulation related to general education; and with MOU/MOA development regarding general education.

The General Education Coordinator facilitates decisions on student appeals related to general education requirements. Dr. Waddell also will work with the Registrar and coordinate UMKC’s communication efforts with our campus community and external constituents. Lastly, Dr. Waddell will work with the Vice Provost for Online Education to facilitate opportunities to expand quality-certified online course offerings in the general education program.

EUReka! Course Offerings

EUReka! Courses (Experiences in Undergraduate Research) offer students the opportunity to experience the excitement of discovery early in their academic career and to begin building a relationship with a faculty mentor.  EUReka classes are offered in disciplines and departments from across the university.  In a EUReka course, students might find themselves exploring how mathematical modeling can be used to solve community health problems; interviewing  contemporary composers about their creative processes; recovering the history of Kansas City in local archives; analyzing genes and their protein products; or investigating the digital literacy practices of campus groups.  Faculty and staff are welcome to encourage student interest and enrollment in these courses.

Additionally, faculty at all levels and in all disciplines may propose new EUReka courses or revisions to current courses. Strategic investment funding from the UM-System is currently providing faculty stipends for faculty engaging in the work of creating EUReka experiences for first- and second-year students. You can download the EUReka CFP and application here with full details. The deadline for proposals is September 11, 2015. Questions about EUReka course offerings or proposals can be directed to Dr. Jane Greer, UMKC’s Director of Undergraduate Research.

EUReka Classes for Fall 2015

  • Honors 215: Researching Kansas City: Dr. Henri Wood (MWF 11:00 to 11:50)
  • Math 216: Biomath I:  Calculus & Modeling: Dr. Majid Bani Yaghoub (T/Thu 2:00 to 3:40)
  • UPD 260: History of Planning & Urban Design:  Dr. Stephanie Frank (T/Th 10:00 to 11:15)

EUReka Classes for Spring 2016
(pending scheduling approvals)

  • Biology 125L: Guided Research–Len Dobens
  • English 123: True Lives–Dr. Jane Greer
  • Discourse II–Prof. Sheila Honig
  • Musicianship IV–Dr. David Thurmaier
  • Political Science 221: Comparative Politics–Dr. Leiter

-Dr. Jane Greer, Director of Undergraduate Research

June 2015 Assessable Roo

I am pleased to present the Summer 2015 edition of the Assessable Roo newsletter, which can be accessed here.  Thanks as always to Dan Stroud for serving as editor.  If you are interested in submitting an article for a future edition, please contact Dan.

This edition features an article by Jessica Williams and Danielle Wellemeyer on their assessment of the Research Essentials curriculum that the UMKC Libraries integrate into Discourse 200 and 300.  We also introduce Caitlin Horsmon, the new FaCET Faculty Fellow for Assessment, who will step into the role starting in the fall.  Caitlin looks forward to working with programs across the university to broaden and deepen engagement in assessment and I look forward to working with Caitlin in this role.

I greatly appreciate the service that Barbara Glesner-Fines provided to the university in her two years as the FaCET Faculty Fellow and am most grateful for the support and guidance she has provided to me as I transitioned into my role at UMKC.  The good news is that, as she steps away from the faculty fellow role, Barb has promised that she will remain involved in institutional assessment efforts.  All the best to Barb as she looks forward to a well-deserved spring semester of regeneration.

Ruth E. Cain, Ed.D, Director of Assessment