Archive for October 11th, 2010

Summer 2010 Issue – Note from the Dean

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Welcome back! Here we are at the beginning of another academic year. There is always much excitement about a new beginning and especially this year when we engage our largest incoming class at UMKC ever! As one of our challenges is to recruit and retain more students, we know that our increased numbers were made possible by the dedication and hard work of so many of our faculty and staff. This service to the College is important and we are seeing the results. In addition to the service that faculty and staff do to help make our College run as smoothly as possible, you will read in this issue and others throughout this year about the teaching and research efforts of our faculty and the many other important things going on in the College. Please celebrate with us as you read about the many activities and accomplishments of our great faculty, staff and students. Go Roos!

Karen S. Vorst
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Editor’s Notes

Monday, October 11th, 2010

With this “Summer 2010” issue of the A&S E-Zine, we start our second year of high-lighting and reporting on happenings in the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences that mark achievements by its faculty, staff and students (past and present). We hope our readers find the enterprise of interest as we strive to make this information available in ways that can be communicated more widely and at less cost than hard copy news. It also can be explored through the links we provide to the extent that the reader chooses. And it can be shared quickly with others who may have an interest in the College. All of these depend on remaining as true to our format plan as we can where we publish the essentials and rely on links to other sources for the details. Otherwise, the e-Zine would get unwieldy.

This issue also is the first one that will be produced completely in the College. As we were learning to ride this new vehicle, we had able assistance from staff in the Provost’s Office. Now the training wheels are off and we hope we can continue to ride smoothly to our destination.Our expectation is to publish approximately once every month near the end of the month except during vacation breaks and the summer. And our requirements remain the same: one or two sentences about the achievement and then an internet link to a more detailed source. We look forward to receiving your suggested items at

Finally, as in the past, the newsletter will be accessible in two formats: a PDF and a WordPress version. The former can be printed (if need be) and the later is keyword searchable. And the links in each are active so you need only click on them to go further. Both are archived at:

Dale Neuman – Editor

A&S Fast Facts

Monday, October 11th, 2010

In FY 2009, ORS records show that there were 49 external grants or contracts awarded to 28 faculty in the College with an average value of $129,755. For FY 2010, those same records show 43 external grants or contracts awarded to 26 faculty in A&S with an average value of $ 141,441.

A&S had an enrollment head count of 4,386 one week before the start of classes in Fall, 2010. In Fall 2009, that number was 4,090. Those enrollments led to 63,314 SCH in Fall 2010 and 59,524 in Fall 2009. The average SCH load for Fall 2010 is 14.66; for Fall 2009 it was 14.56.

Fall 2010 Campus headcount (as of one week before classes) was up 5.9% while the College was up 7.2%. Fall 2010 Campus SCH is up 5.9% while the College SCH is up 8%.

As of one week before classes, there were 2,665 continuing students and 1,721 new students in the College in Fall 2010. In 2009, those numbers were 2,503 and 1,587.

New Letters on the Air

Monday, October 11th, 2010

New Letters on the Air is among 10 finalists in the Culture and the Arts category for the 2010 New York Festivals International Radio Programming Awards, which were announced on August 11. Other finalists include programs from BBC Radio 4, RTE Radio 1 (Ireland), and Radio Television Hong Kong. The winner of the competition will be announced by September.

(From left to right Dennis Conrow (Assistant Producer), Angela Elam (Producer & Host), Annie Walsh (Technical Editor) and Max Mosley (Student Radio Staff))


Monday, October 11th, 2010

On June 24, 2010, The Applied Language Institute (ALI) hosted a delegation of 13 ESL professors and instructors from the West Bank (Palestine), who were chosen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The 13 visitors participated in the “Teaching English as a Second Language” program to meet with their U.S. professional counterparts. These professionals have travelled across the USA learning about the United States and about English Language teaching in U.S. Universities.


Monday, October 11th, 2010

Tina Niemi (Geosciences) was granted a Fulbright Specialist award ( to work with the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa in Israel ( Niemi spent five and a half weeks in Summer 2010 at the new Department of Marine Geosciences doing a workshop on the Quaternary Evolution of the Gulf of Eilat/Aqaba. Niemi and colleagues will edit a special volume on the topic in Quaternary International, the Journal of the International Union for Quaternary Research.

Pellom McDaniels (History) received the  2010 Julius E. William Distinguished Community Service Award from the NAACP at its national convention in Kansas City this summer. The award is for his exhibit “They Came to Fight” and the website and outreach related to African Americans in WWI.
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The Dept. of Communications Studies congratulates Walt Bodine on the recent celebration of his 90th Birthday and thanks him for his many years of service to the department and its students as an adjunct professor. as well as KCUR 89.3 FM. For the past 25 years, Walt has worked at KCUR 89.3 FM hosting KCUR’s Walt Bodine Show. An endowed scholarship is planned.
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Jim Sheppard (Philosophy) has had his course Environmental Ethics and Policy recognized as one of the top five environmental classes in the nation by the Sierra Club in August 2010.

Clancy Martin (Chair, Philosophy) continues to get accolades for his novel How to Sell.

Katie Kline (English) and the teachers affiliated with the Greater KC Writing Project were featured on Monday evening August 2, 2010 FOX 4 News broadcast! The news story focused on the ways in which area teachers are meeting the needs of ELL (English Language Learning) students. Check out the video link below. Congratulations for Katie and the GKCWP!

Veronica N. Wilson-Tagoe ( Black Studies) has told us of her chapter “Feminism and Womanism” in A Concise Companion to Postcolonial Literature published earlier this year.

Richard Delaware (Mathematics and Statistics) has reported on the work of the Southwest Early College Campus Mathematics Team (that included Dr. Frank Gardella of Hunter College ) over the last two years. Since the completion of that report in June 2010, the team has grown from 7 to 17 with expansion of the school from under 500 to over 1600 students. He also has prepared over 40 Mathematics Video Shorts featuring the students of Southwest with the help of an $18,000 grant from PREP-KC. These can be viewed below on the Southwest YouTube Channel which Dr. Delaware maintains.
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Linna Place, Director of International Academic Programs reported in May that Maria Iliakova, a triple major in Biology, Chemistry and Spanish in May 2010, had been awarded a Fulbright to study biology in Barcelona, Spain. Maria also had been in the High School Science, Mathematics and Technology Institute taught by Charles Wurrey, (Chemistry) Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor.

The UMKC Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, was chosen to be among the 12 Best Chapters (out of more than 700) in AY 2009-2010. This recognition is based on an evaluation of the local chapter’s activities program over the academic year according to Beth Miller, their faculty adviser. The award carries a cash prize as well.

Two Sociology majors Kianda Simmons and Dorian Johnson decided to empower and lead fifth to eighth grade girls at Central Academy through a program they created and funded called “Precious Minds.” They were to be recognized by Mayor Funkhouser for their volunteer efforts in May 2010.

Deborah Smith (Sociology) has seen a revision of her 2007 award winning paper from The Gerontological Society of America’s Civic Engagement in an Older America Initiative published in Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare.

Foreign Languages and Literatures faculty, Kathy Krause had an article published, Xanath Caraza had a short story included in an anthology , and Gayle Levy completed a translation that will be a chapter in a book to be published later this year.
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Kerri Stowell, who graduated from A&S with a degree in Communications Studies, is now part of KMBZ 9 “First News”. Her career has taken her to Louisiana, Iowa and Nebraska prior to returning to Kansas City.

Barry Anderson (Art and Art History) had a showing at the Lawrence Art Center June 18 through July 17 that included this piece “Treebeasties”.He also works displayed as part of an exhibit of videos and short films at the Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, July 10 through August 20.

Clancy Martin (Chair, Philosophy) published an article in Harper’s magazine in June, 2010 and one in The London Review of Books in July, 2010.
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He also was interviewed about the themes in his forthcoming book Love, Lies and Marriage, the writing of which was supported by UMRB grants.

Elijah Gowin (Art and Art History) had his work ‘Into the Sun” exhibited in May 2010 at Dolphin.

Caroline Davies (Geosciences) reports that she and four environmental studies majors have been awarded a grant for $10,000 to develop and test desiccants and solar collectors to address water needs in developing countries. This is part of the national EPA P3 National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet. They will be presenting their design and research results at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington DC, April 2011.

Special Note

Monday, October 11th, 2010

We learned over the summer that the late Jim Phillips, Professor Emeritus of Physics, had his last article published posthumously in June, 2010. A co-authored piece based on research that had been on-going during retirement, it appears in the June 2010 issue of Surface Science, an Elsevier journal.

Missouri Research Board Awards Made to A&S Faculty

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Five A&S faculty were awarded grants by the Missouri Research Board in July, 2010. They are: Keith Buszek (Chemistry); Ekaterina Kadnikova (Chemistry); Jejung Lee (Geosciences); James Murochick (Geosciences) and Nathan Oyler (Chemistry). We congratulate them.

Two New A&S Curators’ Professors Named

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Dean Karen Vorst announced to the College community on June 24th that Jerry Dias (Chemistry) and Michael Kruger (Physics)were awarded UM Curators’ Professorships.   Nomination and selection of Jerry and Michael for these Professorships were based on their outstanding achievements in creativity and research.

Dias’ appointment was based on his pioneering research in the chemistry and molecular architecture of bile acids and tetracyclic triterpenoids, and on his work in the graph-theoretical classification of benzeniod compounds, an area in which he is arguably the world’s foremost authority.  He has been a prolific publisher, with three books, 185 papers and over 1700 citations.

Kruger’s appointment was based on his numerous innovative and diverse accomplishments in ultra-high-pressure solid-state physics and geophysics. Michael has a strong publication record in top journals, including Physics Review Letters and Science, and he has a strong record of external funding including the prestigious “NSF-Career Award.”

Professors Dias and Kruger join an elite group now at eleven and five previous Curators’ Professors and Curators’ Teaching Professors in the College.

New Book

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Christie Hodgen (English) has just published her newest book: Elegies for the Broken Hearted. (W.W. Norton & Company.)

Wrongful Death Sentences

Meet the New A&S Faculty

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Carla Noack (Theatre)

Carla Noack teaches acting for the MFA Professional Actor Training Program. She recently enjoyed her fourth year as member of the Great River Shakespeare Festival acting company, where recent roles include Rosalind in As You Like It, Katherine in Taming of the Shrew and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. For ten years she was a co-artistic director of the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro, MN. She has also worked regularly with Minneapolis-based companies Ten Thousand Things and Theatre Latte Da. Most recently, she played Helen in Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s production of The Borderland, Queen Elizabeth in the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s production of Richard III, and a whistling, drumming, Irish ping-pong champ named Josie Horgan in “Boom! An International Lost and Found Family Marching Band”, created by her colleague, Stephanie Roberts. Carla earned her MFA from UMKC in 1992, and first came back to Kansas City in 1997 to play “C” in Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s acclaimed production of Three Tall Women. She is thrilled to back now in the training grounds that provided the foundation for her career.

Ian Besse (Mathematics and Statistics)

Dr. Besse got his B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College and his M.S. in Mathematics and Ph.D. (2010) in Applied Mathematical and Computational Sciences, both from the University of Iowa. HIs area of research is broadly mathematical biology, with particular emphasis on the mathematical modeling of the electrophysiology of electrophysiology cardiac cells and neurons. He has a background in teaching, having taught at the secondary level both domestically and overseas, directed a college mathematics tutoring center, served as a teaching assistant and worked as an adjunct mathematics instructor at a community college. He is a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, the Society for Mathematical Biology, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Joan McDowd (Psychology)

Joan M. McDowd is a graduate of Washington University and received her doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto with a specialization in cognition and aging. Her research interests are in attention and executive function in aging. She is recognized nationally for her work in attention in typical aging, and has expanded that work to include age-related neurological deficits such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Of particular interest is the relation between performance on measures of attention and functional outcome.

William Stadler (Criminal Justice and Criminology)

Professor Stadler earned his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati and his MS and BA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has served as an adjunct professor and undergraduate internship coordinator for the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Stadler has also worked closely with a local social service agency in Cincinnati, conducting research related to offender assessment and treatment. His research interests include offender risk/needs assessment and classification, correctional and community rehabilitation, gender-responsivity, correctional policy, crime theory, and white-collar crime.

Thomas Fisher (Mathematics and Statistics)

Dr.Fisher received his BS degree in Computer Science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an MS and a Ph.D. (2009) in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University. His research focuses on multivariate statistics and their applications in modern science; specifically in genetics and economics. His published findings include a recent article in the Journal of Multivariate Analysis He is currently investigating estimators for the covariance matrix for applications in biology and finance. He has been teaching for 5-years, most recently at Clemson University as a Visiting Assistant Professor.

Massimiliano Vitiello (History)

Dr. Vitiello is a Visiting Assistant Professor specializing in Roman history and Late Antiquity, particularly the Germanic Kingdoms and the history of Rome and Constantinople. He studied in Rome (“La Sapienza”) and in 2001 completed his Ph.D. at the University of Messina. Since then, he has been honored with postdoctoral scholarships in Europe and in Canada. As a fellow of the “Alexander von Humboldt” foundation, he continued his research activity at the University of Münster (Germany) between 2004 and 2006. Most recently he has been a research fellow at the “Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies” in Toronto (Canada), where he earned the License in Mediaeval Studies. Dr. Vitiello is the author of two books, Il principe, il filosofo, il guerriero: lineamenti di pensiero politico nell’Italia ostrogota (Stuttgart 2006) and Momenti di Roma ostrogota: aduentus, feste, politica (Stuttgart 2005) as well as numerous articles in international journals. His research interests include Roman historiography and Quellenforschung (History of Texts), as well as political, social and economic history. His current research project includes a third monograph on the Gothic King Theodatus and a study of the damnatio memoriae.

Pearlie M. Johnson (Black Studies)

Dr. Johnson has an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Art History and Sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (2008). Her dissertation African American Quilts: An Examination of Feminism, Identity, and Empowerment in the Fabric Arts of Kansas City Quilters, explores a complex system of symbols and encoded images that address theoretical issues related to African and African American studies. A current research project involving her work is the upcoming exhibition African American Quilts Today: A Celebration of Motherhood, Sisterhood, and the Matriarchs, scheduled for October 21 – December 31, 2010, at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. Johnson joins the University as Visiting Assistant Professor of Black Studies.

Paul J. Schroeder (Psychology)

Professor Paul J. Schroeder received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research interests include working memory, text comprehension, and changes in cognitive function that accompany healthy aging. He teaches introductory and advanced undergraduate psychology courses.

2010 Promotions & Tenure Awards

Monday, October 11th, 2010

UMKC celebrated the promotion and tenure of 24 members of its faculty on September 1st at Pierson Auditorium. Among them were seven from the College. We congratulate them here as well.

Rosalyn M. Bertram Awarded Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Rosalyn M. Bertram (School of Social Work)
Mona Lyne Awarded Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Mona Lyne (Political Science)
Diane Louise Mutti-Burke Awarded Promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure
Diane Louise Mutti-Burke (History)
Keith Buszek Awarded Promotion to Professor
Keith Buszek (Chemistry)
Delwyn Catley Awarded Promotion to Professor
Delwyn Catley (Psychology)
Clancy Martin Awarded Promotion to Professor
Clancy Martin (Philosophy)
Kati Toivanen Awarded Promotion to Professor
Kati Toivanen/strong> (Art & Art History)

A&S Staff News

Monday, October 11th, 2010

New Staff

  • Steven Siegel  — Sr. Research Design Engineer

Years of Service Awards

  • 30 years: Connie Powell
    (Dean’s Office)
  • 10 years: Cecelia Brewer
    (APP Coordinator)
  • 10 years: Cynthia Stofiel
    (Theatre Dept)


Lester Porter,  (Physics) Senior Research Design Engineer retired on July 30, 2010 after 15 years of service to the College of Arts and Sciences.  Les worked to design and build scientific equipment for both Physics and Chemistry faculty, as well as researchers at the Stowers Institute.   Les trained faculty in the research shop, and a few generations of students on safe and effective machining practices in the student shop.  He brought much needed improvement to the existing machinery, expanded the shops’ capabilities and also making them more responsive to the users’ needs.  Les also helped members of the Society of Physics Students build impressive demonstrations such as the giant vortex generator and the electromagnetic can crusher.

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