What You Missed Over the Summer

Photo by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and Communications

UMKC is teeming with activity once again as classes resume

While the students were away, UMKC continued to bustle with exciting new ventures, new faces and alumni news. Here is what you might have missed while enjoying your summer vacation:

New Chancellor Arrived

The new UMKC chancellor, C. Mauli Agrawal, arrived on campus. Agrawal had been interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a native of India, a U.S. citizen, a bioengineer, oil painting hobbyist, former auto industry executive, an inventor who holds 29 patents and an entrepreneur whose bioengineering research group has been responsible for starting three companies in San Antonio. The chancellor came out for move-in day and took part in several ceremonies to kick off the school year.

Conservatory of Music and Dance Merged with Department of Theatre

UMKC faculty voted in support of a merger between the Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Department of Theatre. The merger will strengthen both programs by opening up new and expanded opportunities for performance, composition and research.

Brookside 51 Offers “Whole” New Amenities

Brookside 51 opened this summer and offers a whole new set of amenities for the UMKC community. The building features a 42,000-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market grocery store, 170 apartments and the new Student Services Suite, the new home for Student Counseling Services, Student Disability Services and Student Health and Wellness. Now located on the second floor of Brookside 51, the suite offers a larger space and more convenient location for health, counseling and disability services.

Courtney Frerichs Set American Steeplechase Record

UMKC alumna Courtney Frerichs, a 2016 Olympian and 2017 world championships silver medalist, ran the race of her life on July 20 in Monaco. Frerichs set the 3,000-meter steeplechase American record, finishing in 9 minutes, 0.85 seconds. She finished second behind Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya, who set the world record of 8:44.32. 

Sandra Miles Named Vice Provost for Student Affairs – Dean of Students

In August, Sandra Miles, Ph.D., joined UMKC as the new Vice Provost for Student Affairs – Dean of Students. She is leading UMKC’s efforts to create a highly engaging and exciting student experience. She hopes students will “have fun and learn at the same time without always realizing it.” Miles served Indiana University — Purdue University Columbus since 2011 as Dean of Students, Chief Diversity Officer, Deputy Title IX Coordinator, and University Ombudsman. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Central Florida, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Florida State University.

 Introduction of City Post Kiosks

UMKC is the first university in the nation to install CityPost digital kiosks. There are eight, seven-foot-tall kiosks situated across the Volker and Heath Sciences campuses. They resemble giant smart phones, with touch-screen technology. The kiosks will provide information on university services, local and national news and how to access the best of Kansas City. Nine languages will be available.

Teaching Laboratories for Biology and Chemistry

Faculty and staff from the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences moved into their newly renovated and upgraded teaching laboratories. The $21.5 million modernization project for Chemistry and Biology teaching labs was completed at the end of the summer.

Honoring Our Alumni

On June 15, UMKC hosted the Alumni Achievement Awards and honored 15 individuals and one family. Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes (M.A. ’71, M.P.A. ’78) was recognized as the 2018 Alumna of the Year.

Article by Alyssa Baker, Strategic Marketing and Communications

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