Playwright Tony Kushner will speak at UMKC Pride Breakfast

By , February 16, 2015 2:39 pm

TonyKushnerPRIDEAward-winning writer will share his views during an on-stage Q&A

Tony Kushner, nationally-recognized playwright, screenwriter and accomplished author, will serve as the featured speaker at the March 12 UMKC Pride Breakfast. The event will take place from 7:30-9 a.m. at the UMKC Swinney Recreation Center.

Rather than delivering a keynote address from the podium, Kushner will be interviewed on stage and engaged in an evocative and illuminating Q&A. Topics will range from his social activism and personal experience during the 1980s AIDS crisis to arts and entertainment and the present day LGBT rights movement.  Joan Israelite, a resident of Kansas City and a member of the National Council on the Arts, will interview Kushner.

Kushner has generously agreed to waive his appearance fee in support of the university’s Pride Empowerment Fund and its commitment to ensuring that the student experience at UMKC is both safe and supportive.

“UMKC has sponsored this event for six years, and by engaging a nationally-prominent figure as the speaker for the 7th Annual Pride Breakfast, we reaffirm our support and commitment to our LGBTQIA students,” said Curt Crespino, vice chancellor, University Advancement.

Kushner is best known for his two-part epic play,Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.” He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’ film of “Angels in America,” and Steven Spielberg’s “Munich.”  In 2012, Kushner wrote the screenplay for Spielberg’s movie, “Lincoln.” His screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award and won others, including the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award and the Chicago Film Critics Award.

One of the goals of the breakfast, in addition to raising funds for scholarships, is to share information, including life stories, about the LGBTQIA community and provide an opportunity for the audience to identify with those who are marginalized, Crespino added.

Since 2008, the UMKC Pride Breakfast has raised funds to support LGBTQIA students at UMKC. The breakfast benefits the LGBTQIA Leadership Scholarship and the Pride Empowerment Fund, which provides emergency assistance to students who are experiencing financial difficulty due to loss of family support. Over the past six years, nearly $88,000 has been raised at the Pride Breakfast.

UMKC has been ranked as one of the top 5 gay-friendly universities in the U.S. by Newsweek; Campus Pride, which rates universities on gay-friendliness, gives UMKC 4.5 of 5 stars; the Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America is hosted by University Libraries; and UMKC hosted the 2014 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference.

The cost of the breakfast is $75 for an individual ticket; tables for the event are $750. To register, visit Pride Breakfast. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Joe Constantino or phone him at 816-235-5201.

New Title IX Coordinator at UMKC

By , February 10, 2015 11:44 am

Thompson_MikahMikah K. Thompson, Esq. was recently hired as the Director of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity/Title IX Coordinator at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Thompson is an attorney and an adjunct professor at UMKC’s School of Law.  She previously was a professor at the law school for six years and was awarded tenure as an associate professor in 2009.  While at UMKC, Thompson taught subjects on torts, race and the law, and sexuality and the law.  In addition, she was the faculty advisor for the Black Law Students Association.

As Title IX Coordinator, Thompson will oversee the University’s compliance with all federal and state laws and University of Missouri System policy
regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the
Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the rehabilitation Act of 1973,
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the state of Missouri Human Rights
Act Chapter 213 RSMO.

Essentially, Title IX means that any discrimination on the basis of sex–including sexual harrassment, sexual misconduct, stalking on the basis of sex, intimate partner and/or relationship violence, and sexual exploitation–is prohibited at UMKC.  Any incidents should be reported immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators.

More information about Title IX at UMKC can be found at this website:



Take the RooWriter Assessment

By , February 10, 2015 11:42 am

RooWriterIf you are an undergraduate and plan to enroll for Summer or Fall 2015 in a Writing Intensive course or any class that lists the RooWriter Writing Assessment as a prerequisite, be sure to take the assessment a month before your registration appointment so that you are not blocked by Pathway.

If you plan to graduate in May and have not yet taken the Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT), you need to take the RooWriter Writing Assessment by April 1.

For complete information, see the RooWriter web site at

Everything that you need to know and do is located at the RooWriter web site, including the essay guidelines and expectations.  You can also preview the six Reading Packets to decide which one you want to write about.  The current Reading Packets address topics ranging from women and sports to Kansas City’s Troost Wall to urban sprawl.  When you choose your Reading Packet you will be assigned a prompt or question to respond to.  You then have 72 hours to complete your essay, which means you can work on it, return to it, and get help from the Writing Studio.  After you submit your essay, two evaluators will assess it in six areas, including “Point-Purpose-Idea,” “Clarity and Cohesion,” and “Support-Evidence-Citations.”  Evaluators will also provide comments about the strengths of your essay and any aspects of your writing that you should concentrate on in the future.  To see a sample evaluator report, please click here.

To help you develop your writing and reading skills, you are encouraged to take the RooWriter Writing Assessment more than once during your UMKC undergraduate career.  The RooWriter is a requirement for graduation, and to fulfill that requirement, you should take the RooWriter after you have completed Discourse II or its equivalent and before you have earned 90 hours of undergraduate credit.  It also is required for Writing-Intensive classes and may be required for other classes.

Undergraduate students who already have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution are exempt from the RooWriter requirement.  The first time that you use the RooWriter Writing Assessment, your student account will be billed $15, but you will not be charged for subsequent assessments.  For more information, contact the Coordinator of Writing Assessment at

Summer Internship Stipend Program

By , February 10, 2015 11:42 am

Roo Career NetworkAre you planning to take an unpaid internship position over the summer, but aren’t sure you can afford to?  The UMKC Career Services Internship Stipend Program allows current UMKC students to receive assistance while working an unpaid internship. The program provides four students with a $4000 stipend to support an unpaid internship of at least 300 hours during the summer semester.

In order to qualify for the stipend, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a UMKC student in good standing and have completed at least 24 college credits
  • Be legally eligible to work in the United States
  • Have been offered an unpaid internship
  • Complete an application and submit all required documents and materials
  • Preference will be given to undergraduate students
  • Preference will be given to students in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Have never been awarded a UMKC Career Services Internship Stipend


The application deadline for the stipend is April 1, 2015. Any questions you might have can be directed to Erin Christensen at


Apply for the Friends of the Library Scholarship

By , February 10, 2015 11:41 am

UMKC FOLApply now for the Friends of the Library Scholarship!  This $500 Scholarship is available to any UMKC student.  The Scholarship winner will be selected based on their written response to the statement:  In light of the Friends of the Library celebrating its 50th Anniversary, we would like to know:

How do you envision the future of the library?

To apply for this $500 Scholarship please submit the following to

  • Your name, student ID, e-mail address, street address, and phone number
  • Please indicate your degree program, department and school, current level/year, and expected graduation date
  • 500-1000 word original writing piece addressing the above question


The winner will be announced in April.  Payout will be applied toward Fall 2015 tuition and fees.  Preference will be given to students with a cumulative gpa of 3.0 or higher.  Applicants are advised that all materials become the property of UMKC Friends of the Library upon submittal and may, with appropriate attribution, be quoted in whole or in part for use of promoting UMKC Libraries.

For more information call 816-235-5828 or email

Mortar Board Week–promoting Financial Literacy and Children’s Literacy

By , February 10, 2015 11:39 am

Book Drive FlyerThe Delta Alpha Chapter of Mortar Board Senior Honor Society at UMKC is hosting several upcoming events this month aimed at promoting Children’s Literacy and Financial Literacy.

February 8th – 22nd: Children’s Book Drive

We are hosting a children’s book drive in partnership with Turn the Page KC February 8th thru February 22nd in order to promote children’s literacy in the Kansas City Metropolitan area.  Please bring a gently used children’s book to any book receptacle conveniently located around campus (see flyer for locations).

February 11th:  Earn Your Future: Financial Literacy for College Students

Hosted at Bloch Heritage Hall room 218 at 7pm; free to attend.  Created in partnership with MoneySmartKC, this event is aimed towards promoting financial literacy to students new to living on their own–or any student interested in learning more about money.

February 12th: Trivia Night (BIG PRIZES!)

Hosted at Jazzman’s Coffee Shop in the Student Union at 7pm; please bring a gently used children’s book or small monetary donation for Turn the Page KC for attendance.

Prizes include:

  • VIP tickets for RUSH at the Sprint Center
  • Gift Cards to Plaza and Westport restaurants
  • Guest Passes to the Tivoli Cinema in Westport
  • Guest Passes to Cinemark Movie Theatres
  • KC T-Shirt from Raygun Shirts in Crossroads

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