Category: Of Interest

Social Justice Series: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By , October 28, 2014 8:54 am

HLacksThe UMKC University Libraries have scheduled events leading up to the Division of Diversity and Inclusion’s 2014 Social Justice Book Lecture, which will take place on Nov. 13 in Pierson Auditorium, 6 – 7 p.m.

Rebecca Skloot, author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” will serve as keynote speaker at the Social Justice Book Lecture. Lacks was a poor black tobacco farmer who died of cervical cancer in 1951. Before she died, some of her cancerous tissue was taken without her permission and the cells have been reproducing in laboratories around the world ever since. Her cells have become important tools in medical research, such as in developing the polio vaccine and cloning.

The book will soon be made into an HBO movie by Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball: watch the book trailer.

The Library will hold two events on Wednesday, Oct. 29:

  • “Cancer Cell Research:  The Way of All Flesh” [story of Henrietta Lacks], from noon - 1 p.m., School of Medicine Theater. Complimentary pizza provided.
  • A book discussion on “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” will take place from 6 - 7:30 p.m. at Miller Nichols Library iX Theater.  Scott Curtis, Research and Liaison Librarian, is the book discussion leader.  Complimentary refreshments served.

Admission is free and advance registration is appreciated.  Attendees may register here.

This series is sponsored by UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with UMKC Libraries; UMKC School of Education and the UMKC School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Community Partnership Diversity Council.

Court Warming 2015 – Nominate the Roo Royalty Court!

By , October 28, 2014 8:38 am

Court Warming 2015Do you have someone in your student organization who is just plain awesome? Are they super involved in your organization? Are they always going above and beyond to help others, both inside and outside of your organization? Do they keep a stellar GPA all while juggling multiple commitments throughout the year? If you answered yes to any of those, you should nominate that student for Roo Royalty 2015.

It is that time of year again where student organizations have the opportunity to nominate one of their members to participate as a candidate in UMKC’s 2015 Court Warming Roo Royalty Court! To nominate a member, go to the RooGroups website (, go to the “Courtwarming” organization page, and the nomination form can be found in the “Forms” tab.

Once nominated, the candidate will be invited and provided an application by e-mail to apply for a spot on the 2015 UMKC Roo Royalty Court. Candidate interviews will be held the week of November 18-20th and those selected to be a part of Roo Royalty will be notified before leaving campus for Thanksgiving Break. Nominations are being accepted until 5:00 pm on November 14th.

Questions?  Feel free to contact the Courtwarming Committee at or the Office of Student Involvement at 816-235-1407 (ask to speak with Rachel, Juneall, or Dylan)!

Celebrate 40 years of stargazing at the Warko

By , October 21, 2014 8:36 am

Helen and Stanley Warkoczewski standing next to his hand-built Newtonian reflector newly-installed on the roof of Royall Hall, September 1974.

Did you notice the lunar eclipse earlier this month?  The night skies holds many more surprises and mysteries–and UMKC is home to the Warkoczewski Observatory (the “Warko” for short) where anyone who stays up late on certain Friday nights can marvel at the night sky.

The Warko is named for Stanley and Helen Warkoczewski, amateur astronomers who lived near campus.  Mr. Warkoczewski built his own 16 3/8 inch Newtonian reflector, which he donated to UMKC in 1974 where it remains the observatory’s centerpiece as one of the finest optical astronomy instruments in the Midwest.  The Observatory is located on the roof of Royall Hall and is open to the public for free on clear Friday nights from May 1st through October 31st.

To celebrate the Warko’s 40th anniversary, join the UMKC Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Astronomical Society of Kansas City on October 27th for a lecture by Dr. David Levy.  Dr. Levy has discovered over 20 comets and is an Emmy winner for his documentary “Three Minutes to Impact.”

The Warko will be open prior to the lecture for solar viewing and afterwards for skygazing.  This is one of the last opportunities this year to visit the Warko–and don’t forget your coat!

Full schedule of events on October 27th:Warko presentation

  • Warko Open House and Solar Viewing (Royall Hall roof) — 3:30 to 4:30p.m.
  • Astrophotography & Meteorite Display (Miller Nichols Learning Center lobby) – 6 to 6:50p.m.
  • Dr. David H. Levy Presentation (MNLC 351) – 7 to 8:15p.m.
  • Warko Night Observing — Following talk to 11p.m.

Showcase your work — Spring Symposium for UMKC Core

By , October 21, 2014 8:35 am

Symposium 2015UMKC students produce exciting works of interdisciplinary scholarship and creativity within the scope of their general education curriculum.  We are excited to announce Interdisciplinary Discourse: A Symposium of Scholarly and Creative Works at UMKC for our gen-ed students in Anchor, Discourse, and Focus classes.  This symposium offers students a forum to showcase their works.

- The symposium will be held in the Miller Nichols Library on March 11, 2015.

- Students from both Fall and Spring semesters are encouraged to participate.

- Submit an abstract of your work by March 1, 2015.

- Share your work in one of the following ways:  online, oral and poster presentation, performance, fine arts, or demonstration.

- For more information, Watch the video!

This is your chance to share your work, build your resume, and celebrate the accomplishments of UMKC students!


Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund Accepting Applications

By , October 14, 2014 10:22 am

WC GAFThe UMKC Women’s Council established the Graduate Assistance Fund (GAF) fellowships in 1971 to assist UMKC women students in post-baccalaureate approved programs. The funds are designed to assist with the completion of requirements for graduate and first professional degrees, to help facilitate studies beyond the classroom along with enriching and encouraging educational experiences.

For more information about the GAF, please see the recent article in the UNews:

Applications and faculty recommendation letters are due November 3rd (see full time-line below).

Eligible applicants
UMKC women graduate students in a post-baccalaureate approved program of study in A&S, SBS, BSOM, Conservatory, SOE, SCE, Graduate Studies, Nursing and first professional women students in Dentistry, Law, Medicine and Pharmacy. A student may only submit one application to the Women’s Council per year. Students funded in previous years may reapply as long as a final report is on file in the Women’s Council office. Past recipients may call to confirm reports on file.

Eligible funding requests
Support for research activities, scholarly activities or projects, community service or presentations, workshops, research or master classes related to applicant’s discipline or special needs requests. A maximum of $2,000 may be requested. Please keep in mind: the average GAF award is closer to $1,000.

Ineligible funding requests
Standard textbooks, university tuition, equipment, computer software or hardware and supplies routinely provided by your department or school.

The timeline for the Graduate Assistance Fund application process is below:

  • September 9, 2014:  GAF applications open online at
  • November 3, 2014:  5 p.m. Deadline for application submission and faculty recommendations
  • Mid-November:  GAF Committee members start the review process
  • Early December 2014:  Selections Committee meets to select recipients
  • January 2015:  Recipients notified by U.S. Mail
  • February 2015:  Celebration Reception will be held to honor the GAF recipients and donors.

Pride Lecture Keynote Speaker Announced

By , October 14, 2014 10:06 am

Same-Sex Marriage Supporters In California Celebrate After Judge's RulingIdentified by many titles – director, screenwriter, producer and social activist – Dustin Lance Black will provide “creative food for thought” when he visits UMKC.

Best known for his award-winning screenplay “Milk,” the biopic of the late civil rights activist Harvey Milk, Black will serve as the keynote speaker for the 7th Annual Pride Lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 in Pierson Auditorium, Atterbury Student Success Center.

Through his creative work and life experiences, Black is intimately familiar with his topic. He will discuss how to use your creative talents to develop content that can evolve into a tool for advocacy.

In addition to his creative endeavors, Black is a founding board member of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which successfully led the federal case against Proposition 8 in California. In 2012, Black merged his passions with “8,” a new play based on the federal Proposition 8 trial. A performance was broadcast live, starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Kevin Bacon.

Black has served on the board of the Trevor Project, a national LGBTQ youth crisis hotline established in Harvey Milk’s old camera shop; he has been on an international equal rights speaking tour and was one of the organizers of the LGBT March on Washington in 2009.

An honors graduate of UCLA’s School of Film and Television, Black began his career as an art director and quickly moved to directing documentaries and commercials. His list of documentaries include “On the Bus” and “My Life with Count Dracula.”

The Pride Lecture, sponsored by the Division of Diversity & Inclusion, is free and open to the public. The Pride Lecture series was established to create programming celebrating UMKC’s LGBTQIA students, faculty and staff, with an inclusive vision of the community in which we reside.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy