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UMKC School of Law’s Year of Technology

In today’s day and age, rapid advances in technology pose novel questions for the field of law.  How can the legal industry best utilize technology to take the profession into the 21st century? How can we train the law students of today to innovate their practices so that they are prepared to engage with a rapidly changing market?  The UMKC School of Law invites the UMKC community to join them as they declare 2016 as the Year of Technology.

Throughout the Year of Technology, UMKC law students will be equipped to utilize their knowledge and experience to benefit their future clients and community-wide developments. UMKC School of Law will use top of the line technology and engage in events and conferences that connect legal technologists, faculty, students, other law schools, and cities and their governments, and embark on so much more.  Through applied learning opportunities and technology-based courses, law students at UMKC will be well prepared to successfully navigate the  intersection between science, law, and technology.

Continue to follow the School of Law’s website to see all of the changes happening in 2016.

Don’t miss the video below to learn more about what is in store.

Evaluations for SOE Dean Candidates

There are continued opportunities this week to meet with the candidates for the next Dean of the School of Education.  Those who have met the candidates are encouraged to share their feedback.  Links to the evaluations are provided on the provost’s website.  Please share your feedback with the School of Education Dean Search Committee by noon on Friday, February 12th.

Each candidate will have an open meeting presentation with the theme of “The Changing Landscape of Education: How to Address the Common Challenges & Opportunities for K-12, Higher Education, Teacher Education, and UMKC.” These sessions are open to all students, faculty, and staff.

All sessions will take place from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Room 401B of the Student Union. The remaining candidates and the dates of their presentations are below:

  • Dr. Abul A. Pitre: Today Tuesday Feb. 9
  • Dr. Timothy G. Reagan: Wednesday Feb. 10
  • Dr. Justin C. Perry: Thursday Feb. 11

Meet the Dean Candidates for the School of Education

Four finalists have been identified as candidates to become the next Dean of the School of Education at UMKC. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend their open presentations scheduled for next week. More information can be found on the Provost’s page. The candidates, and the dates of their visits, are:


2012-7-25-1 mugshot - Keith B. Wilson, Dean, College of Education and Human Resources

Dr. Keith B. Wilson

Professor in the Rehabilitation Institute
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Curriculum Vitae
Campus Visit Schedule
Open Presentation scheduled for:
Monday, February 8 | 2:30-3:30p | Student Union 401B



Dr. Keith B. Wilson is Professor in the Rehabilitation Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). He was Dean of the College of Education and Human Services from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2015. He received his B.A., M.Ed., and Ph.D. degrees from Wilberforce University (1984), Kent State University (1985), and The Ohio State University (1997), respectively. Prior to joining SIUC, he served as a faculty member and administrator at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, in the College of Education, Department of Educational Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education. During his tenure at PSU, he was also the owner and Director of Counseling, Consultation and Psychotherapy, and Services (CCPS) in State College, PA.

Dr. Wilson’s research interests are primarily centered around two areas: (1) Cross-cultural/multicultural issues among persons with disabilities and (2) privilege based on phenotype (e.g., skin color, gender) in the United States. Committed to the ideals of research, teaching, and service, he has been honored with several service, research and life time achievement awards including the Researcher of the Year Award from the National Council of Rehabilitation Education (April 2012), the Virgie Winston-Smith Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns (2013) and the James F. Garrett Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Research Award, presented by the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (2014).

As a professor, he routinely taught undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students. Dr. Wilson has been active in Upward Bound, Summer Opportunity Research Program (SORP), and McNair programs contributing as a workshop presenter, social, and research mentor for the past 28 years. These programs are in place to facilitate college and/or graduate school success for students from underrepresented populations. He is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania, and American Board of Disability Analysts (ABDA) Diplomat.


Pitre Photo

Dr. Abul A. Pitre

Professor and Department Head of Educational Leadership and Counseling
Prairie View A&M University
Curriculum Vitae
Campus Visit Schedule
Open Presentation scheduled for:
Tuesday, February 9 | 2:30-3:30p |
Student Union 401B


Dr. Abul Pitre is a distinguished academician having published fifteen books and numerous articles with some of the most respected scholars in the world. Over the last year his work appeared in the “Sage Guide to Educational Leadership and Management” which was edited by Fenwick English the R. Wendell Eaves Senior Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He also published, “Multicultural Education for Educational Leaders: A Critical Race Theory and Antiracist Perspective” which was reviewed by Floyd Beachum Associate Professor at Lehigh University, Christine Clark Endowed Professor at University of Nevada Las Vegas, Lamont Flowers Professor and Director of African American Education at Clemson University. His work also appeared in Teacher’s College Record in February 2015 where he published the book review “Gender, Identity and Educational Leadership”. During that same month his co-edited book “African American Women Educators” was reviewed in Teachers College Record.

His career in academia began at Southern University in New Orleans where he taught in the Master of Arts in Urban Education program. After working at Southern University in New Orleans he worked at Louisiana State University. During his time at LSU he worked in the Curriculum Theory Project with world renowned curriculum theorists William F. Pinar and William Doll. In 2006, a major highlight in his career occurred when he was appointed the first named professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where he held the title of Carter G. Woodson Professor.

His wide range of scholarship eventually led him into administrative positions for the last seven years. During this time he has worked on curriculum revisions, built a culture of collaboration, improved operational efficiency, worked with recruitment and retention, led accreditation efforts, and increased faculty/student scholarship, among other things. Moreover he has been committed to diversity and social justice throughout his professional career.



Dr. Timothy G. Reagan

Dean of the Graduate School of Education
Nazarbayev University
Curriculum Vitae
Campus Visit Schedule
Open Presentation scheduled for:
Wednesday, February 10 | 2:30-3:30p |
Student Union 401B



Dr. Timothy Reagan recently returned to the United States, having servedfor three and a half years as the founding Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. He has held a variety of senior faculty and administrative positions at institutions in the United States and South Africa, including at Gallaudet University, the University of Connecticut, Roger Williams University, Central Connecticut State University, and the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the author of more than a dozen books and 150 refereed journal articles and book chapters, dealing with issues related to educational and applied linguistics, educational policy studies, educational reform, teacher education, comparative education, and philosophy of education. Among his areas of expertise are teacher education and teacher education reform, language policy and planning in education, foreign language education,signed languages, and comparative and international education.

There are a number of core values that have guided Prof. Reagan’s career, both as a faculty member, scholar and university administrator. These core beliefs entail a belief in the role of a liberal education as a foundational part of the preparation of educators, a deep and abiding respect for diversity and inclusivity in schools (and society) broadly conceived and grounded in a powerful concern for social justice, a demonstrated long-term sense of the importance of global issues in American education, a strong faith in faculty and shared governance coupled with openness and transparency to as great a degree as possible in higher education, a strong commitment to democratic values for all members of society, and, most important, a commitment to working to ensure that the highest quality of education is available to students at all levels of the educational system. These values have been reflected in my own teaching and research, which have focused on issues related to educational linguistics, educational leadership, the reform of education (especially at the preK-12 level), and educator preparation. They are also evident in the academic and administrative positions which he has held and in the institutions where he has worked, ranging from Gallaudet University with its focus on the deaf population, both the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University with their strong urban programs focusing on the education of historically marginalized populations, and finally, his international work which includes senior leadership positions in South Africa and Kazakhstan, as well as extensive research and teaching in other parts of Africa and Latin America.

Prof. Reagan’s previous administrative experience in universities includes work at every level from Department Chair through Executive Dean. In Prof. Reagan’s own words, “In selecting a new dean, one of the more important concerns that faculty and other stakeholders should have is the sort of leadership style that an individual is likely to exhibit. My leadership style has been consistently described by others as a collegial and collaborative one, and has been based in large part in my own experience as a faculty member. My commitment to shared governance is, I think, as great as that of any faculty member – and this is no doubt the result of my own experience as a senior faculty member. I believe that a dean should be as accessible as possible to faculty members as well as to members of other constituencies of the institution. My commitments as a leader have been, and continue to be, to educational reform, inclusive education and the promotion of both access and equity at all levels of the educational system. I am also deeply concerned with valuing and promoting diversity and inclusivity, both nationally and globally. It is the job of the dean to serve both as an advocate for the College to the rest of the university and to external constituencies, while at the same time providing academic and professional leadership within the College.”



Dr. Justin C. Perry

Chair and Associate Professor in Department of Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning
Cleveland State University
Curriculum Vitae
Campus Visit Schedule
Open Presentation scheduled for:
Thursday, February 11 | 2:30-3:30p |
Student Union 401B


Dr. Justin Perry is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Administration, Supervision, and Adult Learning at Cleveland State University. He also serves as Director of the Center for Urban Education. After earning his doctorate in counseling psychology from Boston College, he joined CSU in 2006. Over the past nine years, Dr. Perry has forged new partnerships with a wide range of constituents across the university and the region of Northeast Ohio in PK-12 and higher education. His expertise focuses on the applications of college and career readiness to school dropout prevention and the promotion of pathways to post-secondary education. Dr. Perry’s program of research has been funded by a $1 million grant awarded by the Institute of Education Sciences, with a record of over 40 publications.

Dr. Perry has led the Center for Urban Education in securing and/or serving on 27 external grants, totaling to over $14 million, including grants funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Education, Health Resources and Services Administration, Ohio Department of Education, and The Cleveland Foundation. During this time, he has collaborated with over 25 faculty associates across six different colleges. He has further led the Center in serving as the R&D Arm of Campus International School, established in partnership with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As Chair, Dr. Perry oversees a multi-disciplinary department consisting of 14 full-time faculty, 10 full-time and part-time staff, dozens of part-time faculty, and over 500 enrolled students. The CASAL Department offers an array of graduate degree, certificate, licensure, and continuing education programs.

As a licensed psychologist in the state of Ohio, Dr. Perry specializes in clinical child psychology and child psychotherapy. Away from CSU, he has served on the Board of Directors at Esperanza, Inc., for nine years. Esperanza is the only non-profit organization in Cleveland dedicated to the educational needs of Hispanic youth. In all of his roles, Dr. Perry’s scientific and social advocacy for urban education has been founded on core values of interdisciplinary collaboration, community service, and social justice.


2015-2016 New Faculty Blog Series Issue 8

Ekaterina Strekalova-Hughes (School of Education)

Photo. Katya S-HDr. Strekalova-Hughes is an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education in the division of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies, where she currently teaches courses on integrated curriculum and family involvement in education. She formerly served as an Assistant Professor at Columbus State University (CSU) and an Adjunct Instructor at the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo). During her time at CSU, she was recognized as Faculty Research and Scholarship Honoree and received a number of grants, for example, to study and improve early childhood education in Nepal. Another grant led her students to receive the Best Presentation Award at an undergraduate research symposium. She is the co-editor of the book, Education Diplomacy in Action, and her journal articles have appeared in Journal of Education and Future, Knowledge Cultures, and Multicultural Education. Dr. Strekalova-Hughes is currently a manuscript reviewer for Childhood Education, an award-winning bimonthly journal of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). She also served as the Co-Director for the Early Childhood Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal and is currently chairing the International Outreach Committee of ACEI. Dr. Strekalova-Hughes received her Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from SUNY Buffalo under the work of Dr. James Hoot. Her dissertation was entitled, “Intercultural Sensitivity of Teachers Working with Refugee Children.” In her free time she volunteers to help refugee children resettled in the US. As a new resident of Kansas City, she enjoys local BBQ and watching successful sport teams with her husband and son.


Alison DeSimone (Conservatory of Music and Dance)

s200_alison.desimoneDr. DeSimone is an Assistant Professor of Musicology in the Department of Composition, Music Theory, and Musicology. She holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University Michigan (2013) as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College. Her research interests concern music of the Baroque period, with a focus on seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century opera. As a harpsichordist, Dr. DeSimone holds an interest in French and English keyboard repertories of the seventeenth century, as well as Handel’s keyboard music. Dr. DeSimone’s research has been recognized by grants and fellowships from the American Association of University Women, The Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, The Handel Institute of the United Kingdom, and The American Handel Society. Her current projects include co-editing an essay collection on the history of the benefit concert in eighteenth-century Britain, and researching and writing a monograph on miscellany and musical culture in England, 1700-1730. In Kansas City, Dr. DeSimone is co-organizing a concert featuring seventeenth-century music to complement the Nelson-Atkins Museum’s upcoming exhibition on Rembrandt and Vermeer (which will be held on March 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm), and she is also on the board of the Kansas City Baroque Consortium.

2015-2016 New Faculty Blog Series Issue 7

Khan_FaisalFaisal Khan, Ph.D. (School of Computing and Engineering)

Dr. Khan joined UMKC in the Fall of 2015 as an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department.  Dr. Khan’s research focuses on power converter reliability and failure analysis using reflectometry. Before joining UMKC, Dr. Khan served as an Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Utah.  Dr. Khan is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE) and an Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions of Power Electronics.  Dr. Khan is the recipient of two IEEE prize paper awards and multiple National Science Foundation and Department of Energy grants. Audio engineering is Dr. Khan’s major hobby, and he designs/builds vacuum tube audio amplifiers and restores audio equipment. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University.


Michelle Eaton, PA-C (School of Medicine)Eaton Michelle 5143

Mrs. Eaton is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Masters of Medical Science Physician Assistant program and currently teaches courses regarding the science and practice of medicine and clinical assessment.  Mrs. Eaton has over twenty years of clinical experience as a physician assistant and has worked in areas including Rural Medicine, Family Practice, Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and Gastroenterology.  Prior to her current position, Mrs. Eaton practiced Internal Medicine with a physician group in Olathe, Kansas.  She received her B.S. in Physician Assistant Studies from Wichita State University and B.A. in Biology from the University of Kansas. Mrs. Eaton is married to Randy, who is also a physician assistant employed by Olathe Medical Services, Inc. They have three children together and spend most of their free time attending their children’s athletic events and activities. Mrs. Eaton is incredibly excited and enthusiastic about being a part of UMKC.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

photo courtesy of HRC

Students, faculty, and staff from UMKC are invited to join the Kansas City chapter of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for a Day of Service during the January 18th Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. The campus will be closed for the holiday but individuals are welcome to volunteer with HRC Kansas City for a service project with Neighbor2Neighbor, a local organization that provides services and resources to homeless and at-risk youth in our community. Volunteer opportunities will include organizing donated items into care packages and assembling sack lunches. For more details regarding this event, please visit the HRC website here.

Additionally, the project will also be collecting donations of food and personal care items for the youth served by Neighbor2Neighbor. Items can be purchased and shipped through this Amazon Wish List. Alternatively, you may personally donate items on the list by labeling them “MLK DOS” and dropping them off at the following location:

500 W. 40th St.
Kansas City, MO 64111
Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday | 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sunday | 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

January 2016 UMKC Online and FaCET Conferences

KauffmanBackground_Conf2016v1Educators and administrators from across the metro are invited to join UMKC Online for their technology conference, Accelerating the Shift: eLearning Innovations for the Digital Age. The conference will be held from 8:00AM to 3:15PM on Monday, January 11, 2016 at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center. Registration is free for all attendees and includes lunch. Dr. Steven Lonn, who currently serves as the Assistant Director of Assessment and Evaluation at the Office of Digital Education and Innovation at the University of Michigan, will deliver the keynote address on the current state of learning analytics. The conference will also include a variety of sessions relevant to the digital classroom and learner. More information regarding the keynote speaker and conference sessions can be located at UMKC Online.

UMKC’s Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (FaCET) will hold their Spring 2016 conference on teaching and learning on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. The conference is scheduled from 8:30AM to 3:00PM at the Kauffman Conference Center and is free and open to all faculty and graduate teaching students. The conference will focus on using data from The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute to enhance learning, increase student engagement, and improve undergraduate education. Specifically, discussions will include differences in student engagement by gender, race-ethnicity, and first generation college status. Dr. Jillian Kinzie, Associate Director for the Center for Postsecondary Research and The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Institute, will be the conference speaker. To ensure there are sufficient lunches, please register by January 5, 2016. RSVPs can be sent to, or register online here.

2015-2016 New Faculty Blog Series Issue 6

Karyn Turla, Ph.D. (School of Biological Sciences)

Karyn TurlaDr. Karyn Turla is a Professor of Physiology in the Division of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and currently teaches courses on Oral, Pharmacy, and Dental Physiology.  Prior to her current position, Dr. Turla worked as a tenured Professor of Biology at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas and taught a variety of courses including: Cellular and Molecular Biology, Human Anatomy, Immunology, and Kinesiology.  During her time at Friends University, Dr. Turla served as the Chair of the Faculty Senate and Chair of the Health Sciences Committee and aided in outcomes assessment and student recruitment and advising.  From 2013-2015, Dr. Turla functioned as Friends University’s Director of Health Sciences and led initiatives to review and evaluate curriculum, increase student enrollment, and improve student performance and retention.  Dr. Turla has a strong interest in student transformation through service learning and reflection. Dr. Turla received her B.S. in Vertebrate Physiology from Pennsylvania State University and her Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Michigan.


Lisa M Cillessen, PharmD (School of Pharmacy)

cillessenDr. Cillessen is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the UMKC School of Pharmacy at MSU. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency in Ambulatory Care and Academia at Northeastern University and Harbor Health in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Cillessen has established a clinical practice site at Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Springfield.  She functions as a clinical pharmacist in ambulatory care, providing chronic disease management to the uninsured and underinsured. She serves as the co-advisor for APhA-ASP, Rho Chi, and Public Health Organization. Dr. Cillessen’s research interests include public and global health, indigent care, and layered learning.

Academic Affairs Highlights: UMKC School of Dentistry

school of dentistryThis issue of the Provost’s Blog features the recent accomplishments and successes of UMKC’s School of Dentistry (SOD), led by Dean Marsha Pyle.

Successes in the Past Month:

  • The School of Dentistry recently had a well-received faculty/administration staff retreat on Improving the Culture of Professionalism and Respect. The retreat was facilitated by Dr. Judith Albino, President Emerita of the University of Colorado.
  • Two third-year SOD students, Kevin Kaiser and Liam Smyth, won the grand prize of $2,500 in the American Dental Association’s Student Ethics video Contest. Their video, “To Treat or not to Treat” focused on the ADA Code sections of nonmaleficence (doing no harm), justice and veracity.

Noteworthy Faculty Accomplishments:

  • Melanie Simmer-Beck, in collaboration with Pat Kelly from the School of Nursing and Health Studies, received an award of up to $4.38 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for her project, Evaluating the Outcomes of Oral Health Workforce Policy to Increase Access to Dental Providers and Reduce Oral Health Disparities. This multi-year grant will be used to examine the oral health of children from pre-kindergarten through high school in mainly rural communities. The project is estimated to reach children in about 355 schools in 108 Kansas school districts.

Upcoming Key Events:

2015-2016 New Faculty Blog Series Issue 5

Barb Kasper, PharmD, BCACP (School of Pharmacy)

KasperDr. Kasper is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the UMKC School of Pharmacy at MU.  She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD.  Upon graduation, she completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville, KY.  The past four years were spent in clinical practice with VA Illiana Health Care System in Peoria, IL.  In her current role with UMKC, Dr. Kasper has established a clinical practice site at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia.  She functions as a clinical pharmacy specialist in ambulatory care, providing chronic disease management to Veterans.  Dr. Kasper teaches in the Pharmacotherapy II and Top 200 Drugs I/II courses.  Additionally, she serves as a co-advisor for the Student Society of Health-System Pharmacists.  She is interested in research involving layered learning and the implementation of novel practice models.


Hye-Sung Han, Ph.D. (Bloch School of Management)

HanDr. Han joined UMKC in the Fall of 2015 as an Assistant Professor in Urban Affairs in the Department of Public Affairs. Dr. Han’s research explores how physical and social characteristics of urban neighborhoods influence people’s lives. Her research interests include housing abandonment and foreclosures, housing and community development, neighborhood revitalization, and housing policy. She has published articles in the Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Urban Affairs, and North Carolina Medical Journal and has several papers under review. Prior to coming to UMKC, Dr. Han worked as a research associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). She was a member of a research team that evaluated the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Moving to Work program and Boulevard Homes HOPE VI project. She also has seven years of professional experience working on neighborhood revitalization programs at City of Boston in Massachusetts. Dr. Han received her Ph.D. in 2013 from UNC-CH, where she specialized in housing and community development. Her dissertation, an analysis of the impact of housing abandonment on neighborhood property values, was supported by a grant from the HUD. She received a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. and a M.A. in Architecture from Seoul National University.