Category: Academics

World War I and the Christmas Truce

By , November 11, 2014 10:41 am

ChristmasTruce“Joyeux Noël,” a film depicting the Christmas Truce during World War I in 1914, will be shown from noon to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Miller Nichols Learning Center, Room 451.

Please register for the event here.

On a freezing Christmas Day in 1914, thousands of exhausted soldiers cautiously climbed out their trenches on the 500-mile long Western Front and entered no man’s land. They buried their dead, shook hands with their enemies, sang carols together, lit each other’s cigarettes, exchanged addresses, swapped family photos and played football.

This unofficial “Christmas truce” only lasted for a few hours and then the first world war resumed — one that would leave 31 million people dead, wounded or missing before fighting ended in November 1918.

Following the film, there will be a panel discussion of the film and the actual events that took place during the Christmas Truce, by a musicologist, historian, and film scholar.

Panel discussion members will include: Andrew Granade, Ph.D., chair of composition,music theory, and musicology and associate professor of musicology;  Lynda Payne, Ph.D., RN, FLS, School of Medicine, Sirridge Office of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and professor of history; and Tom Poe, Ph.D., associate professor, department of communication studies.

For more information, contact Tom Burns or or call 816-235-1875.

The sponsors are the UMKC Departments of History, Communication Studies, Conservatory of Music and Dance and UMKC Libraries.

Applications Now Available for Truman Bootstrap Award

By , November 4, 2014 8:55 am

Harry S Truman CenterThe UMKC Truman Center is celebrating Harry Truman’s legacy of public service with a “Bootstrap Scholarship” award that will permit students, who otherwise might not be able to do so, to spend a summer in Washington, D.C.

The purpose is to introduce two qualified undergraduates interested in public service to the national policy process through an eight to nine weeks immersion experience with the Washington, D.C. offices of the Missouri Congressional delegation or other offices as appropriate.

Student interns will be assigned to governmental offices (legislative or administrative) and will work with identified mentors while there. The internship is to be completed during a full Summer Academic Session. Additionally, it provides the chance to meet and live in condos with interns from the other UM campuses, meet UM officials when they travel to Washington and possible opportunities to meet with past Truman Center speakers who are based in Washington. To see examples of the speakers who might be open to a visit the Truman Center lectures website.

The internships will be available to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time status at UMKC as a rising junior, meaning junior standing with at least 60 hours earned at the start of Fall Semester, 2014, or rising senior—including those seniors graduating in May or August of 2015. Applicants must have at least 15 hours completed at UMKC prior to January 1, 2015.
  • Minimum UMKC GPA of 3.25; and
  • Any academic major provided the student has had at least one American Government course at the college level. Preference will be given to those students with a demonstrated interest in public service and civic leadership.

The completed application portfolio with all required materials (essay, financial statement, letters of recommendation and evidence of full-time UMKC status for the Fall term) will be due in the Truman Center mail box, Room 302 Scofield Hall by ­­­­­­December 19, 2014. A final Fall term transcript will be due by 4 p.m. no later than Jan. 22, 2015 in the Truman Center office mailbox in order to complete the application process.

If you have questions, contact Gayla Curtis at 816-235-2720 or by email to Gayla Curtis. For additional details about the Truman Bootstrap Award, including the application process, review and acceptance, cost and scholarship details and requirements for participation, visit the Truman Center website.

New Honors College Dean named

By , November 4, 2014 8:53 am

JamesMcKusick[The following was provided by the Office of the Provost.]

UMKC has named James C. McKusick as the first dean of the university’s new Honors College.

The Honors College will be an academic unit within the university that provides the best elements of a small liberal arts college while drawing upon the resources of a comprehensive research institution; it is designed to help recruit high-achieving undergraduates and provide them with support services tailored to their needs.

McKusick comes to UMKC from the University of Montana in Missoula, where he served as a tenured professor of English, and dean of the university’s Davidson Honors College since 2005. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, and several graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in English, from Yale University.

McKusick will join the UMKC faculty March 1, 2015 and will also receive an appointment as a Professor in the English department.

At Montana, McKusick led a university-wide initiative to successfully earn recognition for community engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; developed a service learning course designation for community-based volunteer service by students; and helped raise more than $3 million for the honors college. In 2008, he was named Liaison of the Year by the Washington (DC) Center for Internships, and won the Faculty Appreciation Award from the University of Montana Division of Student Affairs. He also served on the university’s Renewable Energy Task Force, Sustainable Campus Committee, International Policy Council, African American Studies Advisory Group, Service Learning Advisory Board and faculty advisor to the university rowing club and intercollegiate crew team.

Gail Hackett, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor and provost, praised the work done by the search committee chaired by Wayne Vaught, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; and Gayle Levy, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Honors Program.

“Dr. McKusick will play a significant role in making UMKC a preferred choice for high achieving students, and in creating a more stimulating academic environment on campus for all of our students,” Hackett said. “I know that he is fully committed to our goal to have an Honors College that reflects the diversity of our community.”

Current Crisis in the Middle East: Foreign Policy and Domestic Issues

By , November 4, 2014 8:49 am

TurkeyIhsan Yilmaz , Ph.D., will discuss the “Current Crisis in the Middle East: Turkey’s Foreign Policy and Domestic Issues” at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 14 at the UMKC School of Law, E.E. (Tom) Thompson Courtroom.

Dr. Yilmaz will talk about the challenges to civil society, press freedom, freedom of speech, and pluralistic democracy in the aftermath of the August presidential elections. Other domestic issues, such as the Kurdish issue and abuses of power against the individuals and civil society, will also be covered.

Dr. Yilmaz is an associate professor of political science at Fatih University, Istanbul, Turkey where he also is the director of the Ph.D. Programm in political science and international relations at the university’s Institute of Social Sciences. He worked at the University of Oxford as a Fellow between 1999 and 2001 and taught Turkish government and politics, legal sociology, comparative law and Islamic law at SOAS, University of London between 2001 and 2008.

He is the author of  “Muslim Laws, Politics and Society in Modern Nation States: Dynamic Legal Pluralisms in England, Turkey and Pakistan” (2005). He is the editor of Turkish Journal of Politics (TJP) and a regular columnist of Today’s Zaman, an English language daily published in Turkey.

RSVP at by Nov. 12.

Fall 2014 Phi Kappa Phi Initiation

By , November 3, 2014 4:53 pm

pkp-chapter-of-meritThe UMKC Phi Kappa Phi Chapter of Merit (#103) held its fall initiation ceremony on Nov. 9 at 2 p. m. in the E.E. Thompson Courtroom in the UMKC School of Law.

The mission of Phi Kappa Phi: “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.”

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Under the leadership of Dr. Charles J. Wurrey and Professor Barbara Glesner-Fines, UMKC’s Phi Kappa Phi Chapter #103 is a 2014 Chapter of Merit, putting our organization in the top 10% if 300 global chapters.

Congratulations to the Fall 2014 Initiates!

Student Initiates:

Chelsey N. Bamesberger, Timothy W. Bergey, Kellie Bohanon, Lauren A. Brown, Blake Caven, Darryl T. Clapp, Abigail E. Clark, Dorothy Daniel, Frederick B. Drummond, Howard N. Ehana, Jillian Crystal Freeman, Megan B. Galicia, Erik C. Gandara, Jerad Green, Becky Hand, Michelle Harper, Michael L. Harris, Tuytruc Ho, Margaret Hoang, Abigail Judah, Bretton W. Kreifel, Morgan L. McMichen, Jenna Kate Miller, Taryn J. Miller, Kylie Newhard, Kristin Newman, Nathan Rasmussen, Amanda Seley, Emily A. Sellers, Ruchira Sen, Sarah Smead, Sarah E. Smith, Eric C. Sundquist, Isadore S. Tarantino, Helen Tyler, Julie L. Whistman

Faculty/Alumni Initiates:

  • Dr. Mary Gerkovich, Associate Professor, School of Medicine
  • Dr. Allan J. Katz, Distinguished Professor, Bloch School of Management

Faculty & Staff Initiates:

  • Dr. Valerie G. Tucker Blackwell, Emerita Teaching Professor, School of Education
  • Ms. Laurie J. Krom, Director ATTC, School of Nursing and Health Studies
  • Dr. Sarah M. Martin-Anderson, Assistant Professor, Bloch School of Management
  • Dr. Daniel H. McIntosh, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Professor Peter F. Morello, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dr. Zhonghua (“Josh”) Peng, Curators’ Professor of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences


Papermaking as Social Action lecture and workshop

By , October 28, 2014 8:53 am

PapermakingTwo New York state-based artists, Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan of Peace Paper Project, will discuss their recent work on contemporary applications of traditional hand papermaking.

They will share strategies for collaborating with community leaders and art therapists to establish paper centers for healing.

The artists’ work has taken place in the United Kingdom with ex-military and survivors of terrorism; with survivors of sexual violence and their allies; and in the United States with returning U.S. veterans.

The Department of Art & Art History will host the lecture, which is free and open to the public. It will take place on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 a.m. in the Miller Nichols Library iX Theatre .

Following the lecture, Mahan and Matott will hold a workshop with an interactive demonstration of pulp printing at 10:30 a.m. on the University Mall. This workshop also is free and open to the public.

For additional information on the artists’ work, see the Visiting Artist Lecture website.

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