Category: Academics

UMKC Black Studies Internship Program

By , August 25, 2015 9:12 am

Black-Studies-building_740The UMKC Black Studies Program and the newly formed Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce are expanding the UMKC internship program.

Students enrolled in the Black Studies program with an interest in entrepreneurship or business ownership are strongly encouraged to apply. The internship will include lessons on starting and growing a new business, as well as understanding business struggles. An additional topic will cover the resources available to a minority business owner and the opportunities and challenges that exist.

The newly merged Heartland Chamber – formerly the Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce – has entered into an agreement with Black Studies to grow its existing Internship in Black Studies courses, by providing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to integrate community engagement into their Black Studies course experience.

The courses are open to students seeking a minor in Black Studies and in the Graduate Certificate in Black Studies, and the internships are available to all qualifying students.

“The partnership with the Black Studies Program and the Heartland Chamber, in association with Marvin Carolina, Jr., chairman of the board for the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, will provide our students an opportunity to expand their education beyond the classroom into community engagement,” said Adrienne Walker Hoard, Ed.D., professor and director of the Black Studies Program.

“It dually provides exposure to corporate America that our students may not otherwise experience and it provides exposure for corporate America to our students’ contemporary ways of knowing and navigating the local and global marketplaces,” said Hoard.

The courses will open in the 2015-16 academic year, beginning in the Fall 2015 semester.

Undergraduate and graduate students will integrate their academic studies in the Black Studies discipline with community service and onsite learning. During the first two weeks of the semester, students will undergo work-life training and a review of their contract with the selected company. Following, they will spend their class time at the assigned company.

As students intern in either a business or professional organization, they will gain essential information about the business’ processes and workplace procedures as they relate to the African American community.

In order to qualify for the internship course, a student must have a minimum of 90 credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree; overall GPA of 3.0 or higher; completed six hours of Black Studies courses; have a designated on-site supervisor and a Black Studies professor as an academic supervising instructor; and be approved by the director of the Black Studies Program prior to enrollment in the course.

Academic credits for a one-semester internship may range from one to three credit hours.

For additional information, contact the UMKC Black Studies office at 816-235-2636.

RooWriter Reminders for Summer and Fall 2015

By , June 9, 2015 2:41 pm

RooWriterIf you are an undergraduate and plan to enroll for 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 as soon as possible so that you are not blocked by Pathway.

If you plan to graduate this summer and have not already taken the Written English Proficiency Test (WEPT), you need to take the RooWriter Writing Assessment by June 19.

For complete information, see the RooWriter web site at

As you may have heard, the RooWriter replaced the WEPT for all undergraduates at UMKC.  Unlike the WEPT, the RooWriter is not a pass/fail essay on one topic that must be written in three hours and in person during a scheduled time.  Rather, the RooWriter allows you to write a 750-1,500 word essay on your choice of six topics in a 72-hour-period anytime and anywhere you have access to a computer and the Internet.  After you submit your essay, it will be assessed by two trained evaluators and you will receive a report of their responses and a copy of your essay through the online system.

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

Stress Less Fest Spring 2015

By , May 5, 2015 12:10 pm

Stress Less Sp15Happy TailsThink getting ready for finals is all work and no play?  A little stress is good, but taking a break is better–check out the events designed to help you Stress Less!

The Fest kicks off on Thursday with free Roasterie Coffee for Sporting KC, cuddling up with Therapy Dogs, and Late Night Breakfast!

Click on the posters for more details!




Student designs for new Free Enterprise Center on show

By , April 28, 2015 8:59 am

Katz-HallMembers of the UMKC and Kansas City communities are invited to get a first look at potential design concepts for UMKC’s Free Enterprise Center on Friday, May 6, courtesy of students and faculty from the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design.

Students in the Architectural Design Studio II class, led by professors John Eck, RA, and Ted Seligson, FAIA, developed concepts for the center as their final project for the semester. Their drawings and models will be juried from 1:30 to 5 p.m. May 6 in Room 101 of Katz Hall. The student presentations will include 3-D models, location plans, floor plans and building sections illustrating double-height spaces, overlooks and daylighting strategies.

UMKC’s Free Enterprise Center, a new building planned for the corner of Brookside and Volker boulevards, will be designed to be the new gateway to the UMKC Volker Campus. According to the faculty assignment to the students, “At the nexus of these two boulevards and in clear view of the historic Country Club Plaza District, the architecture of the building must react to and leverage the historic integrity of the existing site and surroundings. The opportunity presented by the visibility of the site allows the activity within the facility to be put on display, to be a showcase for UMKC, and to be a visible hub of entrepreneurial creativity.”

The Free Enterprise Center will house programs associated with UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering, the Henry W. Bloch School of Management and the UMKC Innovation Center. It will be a resource for K-12 outreach, higher education institutions, prototype manufacturing, start-up and technology transfer, advising, and student team collaboration, specifically becoming the home of the student organization ENACTUS.


UMKC Robotics Team Places in Regional Competition

By , April 28, 2015 8:41 am

UMKC-Robotics740The UMKC School of Computing and Engineering Robotics Team recently attended the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 5 Robotics Competition, where they placed second among the 23 teams in attendance.

UMKC entered five robots in the April 18 competition held concurrently with the IEEE Region 5 Business Meeting and Conference in New Orleans, La. This is UMKC’s 11th consecutive year to send a team to the competition.

Three robots were made by the UMKC Robotics Team and two robots were made by the electrical and computer engineering senior design students. UMKC’s competing students represented computer science, electrical and computer engineering and mechanical engineering programs.

“The UMKC Robot Team provides students from all disciplines and levels a chance to apply what they are learning in the classroom to an object which provides them a visual of all their hard work,” said Debby Dilks, UMKC staff member and team advisor.

“Not only do the current robot team members make lifelong friends, but they become a part of something bigger,” Dilks said. “Traditionally, right before we leave for a competition, past robot team members from all over the world send us good luck and best wishes on our Facebook page. They are just as excited as we are at this success.”

The top placing team, UMKC 1, included Matt Justus, Eric Gonzalez, Ryan Rouse and Darren Cogan. A short video of their robot competing in the final qualification round is available online.

Other robot teams and their members, by order of placement, were:

  • UMKC 3: Connor Murphy, Kristen Bilgere, Stephanie Retzke and Josh Herndon
  • UMKC 5: Mladen Kojic, Chuck Collins, Josh Wears, Ryan Hamilton and Sam Ringwood (Senior Design Team)
  • UMKC 2: Scott McElfresh, Calvin Seever, Chase Peterson and Chris Denniston
  • UMKC 4: Michael Mahoney, Feras Alabdalla, Innocent Nsoh-Awasom, Brian Ruggiero and John Koech (Senior Design Team)

UMKC Robotics is a multi-disciplinary competition team including students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science degree programs. The senior design teams consist of senior students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program. The robot team also had a business major on this year’s team. In the past, they have had biology, pharmacy, physics, chemistry, civil engineering and English majors on the team.

Students honored at National Anesthesiology Conference

By , April 28, 2015 8:32 am

National Conference[guest post by Melanie Guthrie, director of the Master of Science in Anesthesia program at the UMKC School of Medicine]

The UMKC MSA program students and faculty have recently returned from another great annual conference.  The American Academy of Anesthesiologists Assistants (AAAA) annual meeting was held in Orlando Florida this year.  There were many highlights but the obvious were the awards and recognition our students received.

Juveria Nayeem, a UMKC third year student was honored as outgoing co-chairperson of the student component society and Joseph Borup, a first year student was recognized as one of the new incoming co-chairs.  Many other UMKC students were honored for their service on various other committees.

The UMKC MSA program is proud to announce that we have once again claimed the title of AA student Jeopardy champions!  This is a friendly competition between all of the programs.  The uniqueness about UMKC is that they are all first year students participating and while other programs students have been in classes for 6-9 months our students have been in class 6 weeks!

Conference TrophyLast but not least the AAAA began last year a AAAA cup that one program receives each year.  This is based philanthropy, leadership, involvement, professionalism, and the Jeopardy competition.  For the second year in row the program brought the trophy back to UMKC.

I am very proud of our students and wanted to share with you some of their recent accomplishments.  It is wonderful to go to these meetings and to hear from so many people how great our students are!

Panorama Theme by Themocracy