Category: Announcements

Welcome Back: Student News and Updates

By , August 25, 2015 9:22 am

QuadStudents take the spotlight over the summer:

Emily Geminder wins Creative Non-Fiction Prize

From her ground-level position as a journalist, Emily Geminder was immersed in the sights and sounds and events that inform a writer’s work. While covering stories and editing pieces in New York and Cambodia, she developed a keen eye for the ways in which history remains tied to an invisible past.

A second year MFA student at UMKC, Geminder’s talents have earned her the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) 2015 award for “Nausicaa,” a piece of creative non-fiction that relates, in letter form, her reading of “Ulysses” while she was in India. The Tampa Review will publish her winning entry in a forthcoming issue.

“The AWP award is the most prestigious and competitive national award that a creative writing student can receive,” said Whitney Terrell, assistant professor in the Department of English and the New Letters Distinguished Writer-in-Residence. Read more.

Two UMKC Students Awarded Prestigious Gilman International Scholarship

Two University of Missouri-Kansas City College of Arts and Sciences students are among 860 American undergraduate students from 332 colleges and universities across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to study or intern abroad during the fall 2015/academic year 2015-2016 academic term.

UMKC senior Danisa Dan-Irabor will study abroad at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea. She is majoring in Criminal Justice and Criminology. Karina Dunn, a UMKC senior, will study abroad at Universitat de Valencia through ISA in Valencia, Spain. She is pursuing a double major in English with a concentration on Creative Writing, and Spanish.

Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply towards their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go. Students receiving a federal Pell Grant from two- and four-year institutions, who will be studying abroad or participating in a career-oriented international internship for academic credit, are eligible to apply. Read more.

Courtney Frerichs sets records in track

Junior distance runner Frerichs became the university’s first four-time NCAA All-American, earning the honor twice in cross country, once in indoor track and another time in outdoor track. She broke her own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a WAC-record time of 9:32.12 to move into the top spot in the NCAA. The Olympic hopeful’s time also ranks No. 2 in the world this year.

Frerichs plans to pursue a professional running career, then go on to medical school and a career as an orthopedist.

Governor announces boost to need-based scholarships

Gov. Jay Nixon came to UMKC to announce a substantial boost in need-based scholarships for college students across Missouri.

At the July 15 press conference at the Atterbury Student Success Center, Nixon said the maximum award amount for Access Missouri scholarships will increase by more than 23 percent – to $1,850 from $1,500 – for students attending participating four-year institutions including UMKC, and by nearly 30 percent – to $850 from $660 – for students attending participating two-year institutions in the current fiscal year, FY2016.

Nixon stressed the importance of the investment to the state’s overall economy, as well as to individual students and their families. “Institutions like UMKC are essential to Missouri’s ability to compete and win in today’s high tech economy,” the governor said. “Education is the best economic development tool we have.

Introducing the governor, UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton noted the importance of need-based scholarships to an urban-serving university. “By providing an affordable path to higher education, we provide a strong and productive workforce for our communities, help people achieve a higher standard of living, and keep our best and brightest young people here at home,” Morton said.

He noted that more than 1,300 UMKC students received Access Missouri scholarships last year, and that 60 percent of UMKC applicants are classified as having high financial need.

“We need to provide as many gap-closers as we can,” Morton said. Read more.

Welcome Back: Construction Updates

By , August 25, 2015 9:17 am

Construction UpdateNews on the construction front:

$21.5 Million Upgrade Coming for Chemistry and Biology Labs

UMKC is launching a $21.5 million renovation and modernization project for its primary biology and chemistry teaching laboratories.

Gov. Nixon signed a package of bills that included about $160 million in bond funds for use on college and university projects around the state, including $18.3 million for the laboratory renovations at UMKC’s Spencer Chemistry Building and Biological Sciences Building. The total project cost will be $21.5 million.

The buildings were originally constructed in 1968 and the laboratories have not been renovated or updated since the 1980s. These labs serve Chemistry and Biological Sciences undergraduate and graduate students, as well as those who go on to professional schools or graduate studies in medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, law, social work, environmental science, optometry, physical therapy and veterinary programs. They also serve as part of the teaching mission for UMKC’s Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing Programs.

The project will renovate approximately 75,000 square feet of laboratory space, providing state-of-the-art, core teaching laboratory spaces for sciences on UMKC’s Volker Campus that meet current lab standards and encourage collaborative learning. National level specialists in scientific laboratory design and construction will be involved, and both buildings will remain open during the duration of the project, which is expected to be completed in July 2018. Read more.

51 Oak project featuring Whole Foods Market kicks off

Officials from UMKC, Whole Foods Market, City of Kansas City, Van Trust Real Estate, and neighborhood organizations came together June 30 to break bread in celebration of the start of construction of the 51 Oak Project, a new development on the UMKC campus that will include the new grocery market, as well as a new UMKC Student Health and Counseling Center, 170 market-rate apartments and a six-story parking garage with 445 spaces.

The project site, at 51st and Oak streets, is directly west of the UMKC Administrative Center building. It will replace a parking lot and an administrative annex building currently on the site; the historic clubhouse of the Kansas City Young Matrons, built in 1936, will be lifted and moved to a new site near 52nd and Cherry streets.

The ground floor of the three-acre project, south of E. 51st Street between Brookside Boulevard and Oak Street, will feature a 42,000-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market grocery store. An 11,000-sq.-ft. UMKC Student Health and Counseling Center will be located on the second level, with five stories of apartments and parking above that. Read more.

Free Enterprise Center

Gov. Jay Nixon announced state matching funds to build UMKC’s $14.8 million Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center. The center, a prototyping and product development hub, will be available to entrepreneurs, local industry and high school and college students as they pursue entrepreneurial ventures. The building will primarily serve two of the university’s fastest-growing academic units, the School of Computing and Engineering and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.

“Continuing to strengthen the business team here (at UMKC) is critical” to the state’s progress, Nixon said. “”Entrepreneurship is essential to whatever you’re studying.”

He concluded by thanking the UMKC faculty for their service to both students and the broader community, and promised students that Missouri colleges are increasing academic rigor as well as affordability. Read more.

Get around town with your U-Pass

By , August 25, 2015 9:14 am

U-PassLargerYour UMKC student ID is good for more than getting into sporting events, checking out a book at the library and purchasing a meal.  Your UMKC student ID doubles as a bus pass – called U-Pass.  It can take you on errands or get you to some of Kansas City’s hottest spots, whether that’s the Crossroads District, the Power & Light District, or Village West.  And for the first time this year, your student ID will be good on bus routes to and from suburban Johnson County.  The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA)  will be on campus – just north of the Student Union – from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Thursday and Friday (Aug 27 & 28, 2015) to talk about the U-Pass and its expanded benefits. Come see where your U-Pass will take you.

On Campus Jobs Fair

By , July 21, 2015 2:54 pm

Campus Jobs FairLooking for a campus job??  Make plans to attend the “On Campus Jobs Fair” on August 26, 2015 from 11am to 2pm at Pierson Auditorium, Student Success Center.  Stop by with your resume to check out available work study and non work study jobs in departments around campus.

For questions, contact Erin Christensen at or call 816.235.2588.

Campus Construction Updates

By , June 26, 2015 3:55 pm

Construction UpdateJune 29 – July 2: Rockhill Road will experience lane reductions between 51st Street and 53rd Street beginning Monday, June 29 due to water line work under Rockhill Road. Weather permitting, all lanes will be open by July 2.

July 6: Beginning the week of July 6 the sidewalk along the east side of the UMKC School of Medicine will be closed for safety as repairs are conducted on the roof. There will also be intermittent loss of parking stalls in this location to hoist materials to and from the roof. The anticipated duration of this activity is 60 calendar days. The emergency drive between Truman Medical Center and the School of Medicine will not be affected or disrupted.

July 6: Parking Lots 39 and 47, west side of Oak Street across from the Administration Center, will close permanently on Monday, July 6 for the start of construction of the 51 Oak project. Faculty, staff and visitor parking shifts to the Cherry Street Parking Structure. Additional meter parking will be added at Parking Lot 45 north of the UMKC Law School.

July 6: Parking lots 32W and 48, west of the UMKC School of Education, will close temporarily for construction of the relocated Kansas City Young Matron’s Clubhouse. Student parking shifts to the Cherry Street Parking Structure.

Aug. 16: This is moving day for the Kansas City Young Matron’s Clubhouse from 51st Street and Oak Street to 52nd Street and Cherry Street, Parking Lot 32W, with associated street closure of Oak Street from 51st Street to 52nd Street and 52nd Street from Oak Street to Cherry Street. The intersections of Oak Street/52nd Street and Cherry Street/52nd Street will also be closed.

Congratulations to the Spring 2015 Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipients

By , May 5, 2015 12:19 pm

congratsEvery semester, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management recognizes graduating students who have excelled in both academic achievement and service to our campus community with the Vice Chancellor’s Honor Recipients program. This recognition honors the truly unique students who maintain high scholastic performance while actively participating in leadership and service to the community and our University outside of the classroom.

Meet the Spring 2015 Honor Recipients!

Gloria Britez Scolari, Conservatory of Music and Dance – Nominated by Sandy Gault

Jordan Brooks, School of Education – Nominated by Katie Garey

Lexy Cockrell, School of Biological Sciences – Nominated by Dr. John Herron, Dr. Gayle Levy, and Tammy Welchert

John Kaleekal, College of Arts and Sciences – Nominated by Katie Garey and Dr. Andrea Drew Gounev

Lara Kerwin, School of Pharmacy – Nominated by Dr. Cameron Lindsey

Brandon Kratz, College of Arts and Sciences – Nominated by Dr. Andrea Drew Gounev and Dr. Kathleen Kilway

Megan Litzau, School of Medicine – Nominated by Cary Chelladurai

Puanani Norwood, School of Law – Nominated by Jenny Redix Jordan

Mary Margaret Pearman, College of Arts and Sciences – Nominated by Dr. Andrea Drew Gounev and Dr. Kathleen Kilway

Maria Uloko, School of Medicine – Nominated by Dr. Richard Butin

Andrew Wrisinger, Henry W. Bloch School of Management – Nominated by Will Self


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