Bloch Associate Professor Brent Never interviewed

Photos by Photos by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt broadcast live from Kansas City on Thursday, Oct. 11. Brent Never, associate professor of public affairs at the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management, was interviewed for a story that aired during the show.

The story is about the historic role Troost Avenue has played in Kansas City as a physical and symbolic dividing line.

Never calls himself an urban geographer. His work includes identifying communities underserved by human services and he teaches courses in research methods, public policy analysis, program evaluation and public-private partnerships.

In a 2016 UMKC Bloch Magazine article, Never said he is concerned about equity in the availability of services. His research looks at ways to identify situations in which services are not readily available to people in need. And he contends that geography has a profound influence on where service providers locate.

Photos by Photos by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

“As a community, Kansas City has stark boundaries: Troost Avenue, the state line, the Missouri River,” he said in the article.

As a professor, Never’s work also includes introducing students to gentrification within cities, showing them the history and talking about the legacy. He and other UMKC professors often take their students out in the community. He said young people value the history of Kansas City, and are determined to make some positive changes.

“Kansas City is a city of neighborhoods,” Never said. “At UMKC, we’re a city university. Our students need to feel this community is part of the university.”

Bloch Re-Branded


New visual identity showcases Kansas City’s business school

UMKC’s Bloch School of Management unveiled its new brand and marketing campaign on Oct. 2, accompanied by T-shirt giveaways, retro music, a barbecue lunch and lots of selfies. The campaign will roll out across the city, starting the week of Oct. 8.

Dean Brian Klaas, with help from his school’s namesake Henry Bloch and son Tom Bloch, hosted the brand reveal party as students, faculty and staff gathered for the outdoors event on an unusually warm and breezy day.

From this day forward, Klaas told the crowd, we at Bloch are claiming “We Are Kansas City’s Business School.”

Bloch has been working on a rebrand for several months with the Kansas City-based marketing firm, Trozzolo, and the UMKC Strategic Marketing and Communications team. The project, funded by the Bloch Family Foundation, called for developing a new brand identity for Bloch to elevate awareness among prospective students and the greater Kansas City community. The project included feedback from campus and community via focus groups, quantitative surveys and input from current students, faculty and staff at Bloch.

Klaas laid out the core ideas of the brand identity at the Oct. 2 event.

“We are proclaiming that the Bloch School gives students the belief, the courage and the tools to build businesses, shape communities and lead the future,” he said. “We are committed to growing Kansas City’s leadership. Our students are this community’s future.”

Furthermore, he said, our students benefit from:

  • Our long-standing, deep connections to the Kansas City community, including global organizations headquartered here.
  • Our strong alumni network offers a welcoming community for Kansas City’s future business leaders, and opportunities for connections across the globe.
  • A curriculum powered by the innovative and civic mindset inspired by Henry W. Bloch, which is so relevant in today’s world. The result is a higher return on their educational investment than students can find anywhere else.

For those accustomed to UMKC’s signature blue and gold, the campaign adds a new twist: A bold, resonant orange. The orange was inspired by design elements within the ground-breaking Bloch Entrepreneurship Hall and because it partners so well with UMKC’s traditional colors.

An orange square and accent color will be featured, along with blue and gold, in ads, billboards and social media – and even in a life-size acrylic orange block that will be featured at community events and used as a way to engage the public at community events.

“It …is an instantly recognizable symbol of all that we stand for,” Klaas proclaimed.

Indeed, the orange color was a standout feature of the human-size selfie booth at the launch event. Large, stacked orange blocks proclaimed, #WeAreBloch. The display anchored one side of the outdoor plaza between the Bloch Legacy Building and the Bloch Entrepreneurship Hall. Students and staff clustered around Henry Bloch for photos.
For each selfie posted to Bloch’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts, a donation will be made to a scholarship fund for Bloch students.
Reactions to the new brand? One student called the campaign “dope” – fresh and modern.

Vice Chancellor Anne Hartung Spenner noted that the community-wide rollout of the campaign will begin the week of Oct. 8.

“You will see Bloch’s new brand across the greater Kansas City metro area and beyond – from billboards to bus wraps, from social media to digital ads,” she said. “Just like our Bloch students and our more than 10,000 alumni in the area, you’ll see us everywhere.”