Constitution Day 2020

By , September 14, 2020 4:01 pm

UMKC will celebrate Constitution Day with a special recording:

“Studying Constitutional Procedure” — a virtual visit to Professor Edward Cantu’s class at the UMKC School of Law.

Click for the link to the live recording!

Constitution Day became a recognized federal holiday in 2004, when legislation authored by Senator Robert Byrd was signed into law.  The Act mandates that all educational institutions that receive public funding provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on or near September 17th each year.

UMKC Counseling Services Group Therapy – Fall 2020

By , September 3, 2020 8:09 pm

Group therapy helps participants learn more about themselves and their relationships. Groups are a powerful and effective option for most emotional concerns and provide a supportive and safe environment to explore common issues together.

Please contact Dr. Keara Sherman at or (816) 235-5328 for questions or to enroll in any of the following groups:

Interpersonal Processing GroupsMonday 3:00-4:30pm or Thursday 8:30-10:00am

These groups are designed to help individuals become more aware of your thoughts and feelings through exploring the “here-and-now” with other group members. This fosters greater self-awareness and more nourishing relationships that extend well beyond the therapeutic space.

LGBTQIA+ SupportMonday 9:00-10:00am

This semester-long support group will provide a space for anyone who identifies as LGBTQIA+ in which you can feel safe to discuss what’s going on in your life, relevant topics, or anything else you desire with peers and a facilitator from Counseling Services. This is a group for you to receive and give support, learn about other people’s experiences, and be in a safe place for exploration.

Grief and Loss SupportTuesdays 12-1pm

This group provides a supportive and safe space for students to learn about the grieving process, as well as share experience of loss and give and receive emotional support. Members of the group will be limited to those who have experienced a recent loss, or those who have had a significant loss (i.e. parent, sibling) at some point in their life.

Moving ForwardThursday 4:00-5:00pm

This will be a confidential and supportive space for female-identifying students who have experienced sexual violence in any form. This group will help bring together students and assist them in gaining support, as well as exploring ways to help heal through learning coping strategies and sharing stories. This safe and supportive time together will be guided by topics and concerns, including coping, managing triggers, trust and safety, managing relationships, self-esteem, and others.

Coping in CrisisWednesday 3:00-4:00pm or Friday 1:00-2:00pm

The current pandemic has brought with it unprecedented losses in every community, and has disproportionately impacted communities of color, underserved communities, and vulnerable populations. Many have experienced feelings of fear, loss, isolation, anxiety, and sadness, among many others. This group will be primarily supportive, but will also provide skills and psychoeducation related to stress relief, connection, coping in uncertain times, and mindfulness.

Body WellnessTuesday 11:00am-12:00pm

A group aimed at helping students who want to explore body image, as well as their relationship with food, and disordered eating.

Beyond AddictionMonday 2:00pm-3:00pm

When a family member or friend is dealing with substance use issues, it can be difficult for those who love and care about them. This support group provides a supportive, safe space for individuals to come together and be inspired and empowered, as well as share hope and grow with the help of peers and the support of counselors.

Health Sciences SupportThursday 6:00-7:00pm

This group will allow current Health Sciences students to discuss the challenges they face, ways to deal with the hurdles and hassles of school, find ways to connect with others, and consider ways to manage stress and live a balanced life. Topics will include academics, stress management skills, relationships, career concerns, and more.

Empowering WomenFriday 10:00-11:00am

This group provides a safe space for individuals who identify as women to come together to share and explore challenges, stressors, and successes in their lives. This supportive space will allow women to receive multiple perspectives, feedback, and empowerment from one another. 

Dissertation /Thesis SupportThursday 5:00-6:00pm

A support group for students who are currently working on their thesis or dissertation. This offers a supportive space to discuss challenges and successes, as well as tips and ideas, from others who are facing the same frustrations, isolation, struggles, and successes that come with writing a dissertation or thesis.

Success, Not ExcessThursday 12:00-1:00pm

This support group is for students who may have concerns related to some form of substance use and how it may be impacting their personal, social, and academic lives. This group is directed towards those students who want to find ways to manage, reduce, or quit using certain substances. By combining peer support, therapeutic strategies, and psychoeducation, this group will help students to identify, develop, and implement effective strategies based on their own goals.

Men’s EngagementThursday 9:00-10:00am

This group provides a space for students who identify as men to come together and discuss concerns, explore and manage their mental health, and reflect on their relationships with others. The group will allow for exploration of societal and family impacts on what it means to be a man. A relaxed and supportive environment will allow group members to provide and receive feedback and discuss relevant topics, challenges, and successes.

Ready and AbleThursday 3:00-4:00pm

A support group for those who are navigating life as a college student with a health and/or other disability issue. This group will provide an affirming and safe space for students who have similar life experiences, to feel validated, understood, and encouraged.

First GenFriday 11:00am-12:00pm

This support group for first generation college students will provide a supportive space for individuals to build community, navigate new situations, discuss struggles and successes, and receive useful feedback. Group members will also receive therapeutic support, psychoeducation, and practical college information and coping skills from the clinical facilitator. 

Art TherapyOctober (Dates and times TBD)

This group will meet in person once a week. There are no grades nor judgments here, the purpose is to make art to find relief from stress by promoting mindfulness, self-awareness, and resiliency. Wear your mask and practice physical distancing. Art supplies provided, and no artistic talent is required to participate. Contact Melanie Arroyo Perez at to sign up.

Acing Academic AnxietyTuesday 5:00-6:00pm

A counseling group for students who experience anxiety around academics. These 4-session series will help students learn skills to manage and reduce test-taking anxiety and other academic stressors.

6 Tips to Start the Semester Strong

By , September 3, 2020 2:27 pm

Welcome back, Roos! While this semester looks a little different than normal, there are still plenty of ways for you to get plugged in and explore the many opportunities available to you at UMKC.

Here are some of the tried-and-true tips from our students, faculty and staff for incoming students.

1. Check out Roo Groups.

Hands-down this is the best way to get involved on campus. With 300+ groups around hobbies and professional interests, you’re bound to find something you’re interested in and meet new people along the way. Check out the current groups or create your own at And if you want to check out what else is happening on campus, visit the Office of Student Involvement.

2. Get to know your professors.

Just because you have online class doesn’t mean you can’t get to know your professors. Many professors are natural mentors for students and often have great connections to industry professionals (and internship opportunities) in Kansas City and beyond the region. They’re also the gateway to exploring undergraduate research So, if you can’t stay to chat after class, make sure to send an email or drop by their virtual office hours to get to know them.

3. We’re back on campus – explore it!

UMKC has a very green, walkable campus, so take some time every day or each week to walk to an area you haven’t explored yet. While you’re at it, check out our list of top 5 Instagrammable spots on Volker Campus. Both campus maps are available online. If you have questions, stop by one of the CityPost kiosks on campus or ask any staff member you see.

And while you’re at it, make sure to check out this slideshow of how campus has changed throughout the years and check out the UMKC campus history tour videos featuring staff member historian Chris Wolff.

4. Scope out academic resources.

At the heart of UMKC is the desire to see students succeed. That’s why there are so many campus resources dedicated to helping you. Make sure you check out Supplemental Instruction, especially for those harder classes — SI is basically a free study/review session with your peers led by an upperclassman who aced the course material. Also, look into tutoring and the writing studio for help. And don’t worry, they practice COVID health and safety measures and also provide virtual sessions.

And if you’re just looking for general tips on creating a study plan, note-taking, and success in an online course, check out the RooUp Seminars, available 24/7 via the RooUp Seminar Canvas page.

5. Not feeling 100%? Know where to go.

The beginning of the semester can be stressful, especially if it’s your first time away from home, not to mention during a pandemic. It can be intimidating to find help in an area you’re unfamiliar with. That’s why we have Student Health and Wellness as well as Counseling Services on campus (and virtually) to help take care of you when you need it. You’re a valuable part of our community and it’s important to pay attention to your health and wellbeing. Our staff are very friendly, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re not feeling well or need help.

You can also check out the Counseling Services’ online resources, the Sanvello mental health app (free to all with a UMKC email address), Roos for Mental Health and the COVID symptom monitoring app.

6. Get to know why people love KC.

We’ve got a great location in the heart of the city. And while some of typical entertainment, like sports and concerts, aren’t going on right now, there’s still plenty to explore. Check out Visit KC and a list of some of our students’ and alumni’s favorite places to explore and make KC your new home away from home.

Story by: Strategic Marketing and Communications

Stressed? Help and Healthy Resources

By , April 15, 2020 11:29 am

An interview with Dr. Arnie Abels, Director of UMKC Counseling Services, by Patricia O’Dell.

The strain of the personal and global effects of the coronavirus pandemic may be unavoidable.  But there are resources available to help manage stress and anxiety.  Arnie Abels, Ph.D., director of Counseling, Health, Testing and Disability Services at UMKC, suggests strengthening your assets may help you manage your emotional needs.

“One thing to remember is that every experience is individual,” Abels said.  “For some people, isolation is a huge blow.  Those folks are learning to be creative – trying new activities or using Zoom or online activities – to stay connected to other students, friends and family.

For others, the physical constraints may be more challenging.  They need to figure out how to get enough sleep, the best way to exercise and create a routine.  Others’ primary concerns may be financial as they lose jobs and may need to change living situations.

All of this is valid.  Each of us needs to understand that all of these things are important and manage our own individual emotional needs.”

He notes that students graduating this spring may be feeling completely differently than underclassmen.  “Having the experience of virtual graduation and the opportunity to walk at a later date may be more helpful than some people realize,” Abels said.  “It may ease the grief of not experiencing that ceremony.  For some, it may be a wonderful addition.”

Noticing an increase of posts on social media related to alcohol and drugs, Abels cautions about turning to substances for relief.  “First, smoking cigarettes or cannabis creates vulnerability in your lungs, which we all need to avoid,” he said.  “We don’t judge, but we want to encourage people to make healthy choices. There’s nothing wrong with having a drink – if you’re of legal age – but drinking to excess can create difficult situations with difficult consequences, especially if you are using it to avoid feelings.”

There are healthier ways to deal with stress.  “Getting enough sleep is very important,” Abels said. “One of the things that may help with this is regular exercise. Eating healthy will feel better. But not everything needs to be productive.  Along with online exercise videos, Swinney Rec is offering a video-gaming competition.  That could be a great escape as well.”

Abels encourages people to take the opportunity to see how we can grow and become better individually and as a group.  “Personally, I’m writing letters to the people I care about.  It’s a creative process for me and it allows me to let people know in a way that may be out of the ordinary and maybe more special than an email or text.”

Mental Health Resources

Personal counseling:  UMKC Counseling offers several resources to students, faculty and staff to promote mental health.  There is currently a waitlist, but Abels and his team are working with the Missouri Governor’s Office to try and suspend licensing restrictions so that they can provide online counseling to students who are now outside the state.

Mind Over Mood:  A three-week workshop focused on grief and anxiety.  The counseling office is working to provide ADA- compatible transcripts and videos on the site as additional resources.

Movement Matters:  Swinney Recreation is offering fitness classes available through Instagram stories, and Esports including PS4 and X-Box Fifa and Madden.

Help at Your Fingertips:
The Sanvello app provides on-demand help for stress, anxiety and depression.
Roos for Mental Health has additional resources.

Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) for 2020-2021

By , March 13, 2020 9:36 am

The Peer Academic Leadership (PAL) Program is seeking engaged undergraduate students to serve as Peer Academic Leaders (PALs) for the 2020-2021 Academic Year. This is a great opportunity for students interested in helping others while developing their leadership skills.

Want to learn more?

  • Stop by the Peer Connection (ASSC 2nd Floor) during our walk-in hours: Wednesdays 2-3pm and Thursdays 11am-Noon
  • Email or call 816-235-6709

Apply here:

Priority application deadline is March 20, 2020

Your Vote Counts!

By , March 10, 2020 10:51 am

Voting begins on March 16, 2020 at 7:00am and ends on March 19, 2020 at 11:59pm.  

All voting will take place via the Roo Groups system at:

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