Friends of the Library Scholarship

By , February 11, 2014 8:21 am

Library ScholarshipGet $500 for School – Apply by March 10, 2014

Call for Applicants for UMKC Friends of the Library Annual Scholarship 2014

UMKC Libraries is the place where great minds meet. Tell Friends of the Library about the great minds you’ve met at or through UMKC’s Libraries and you might win $500 towards next fall’s tuition and fees.  Great minds could be those of teachers, classmates, academics, or artists. Be creative!

To enter, submit your 500-1000 word original piece written in response to the statement “3 ‘Great Minds’ I met at UMKC Libraries and what they taught me.”

Applications should be submitted electronically no later than March 10, 2014 and should include the following student information: name, student ID#, e-mail address, street address, phone number, degree program being sought, UMKC department and school, current level/year, and expected graduation date.

Award is available to degree seeking students of any level from any school or discipline, with preference given to those with a cumulative gpa of 3.0 or higher. Award will be applied toward Fall 2014 tuition and fees.

Applicants are advised that all materials become the property of the Friends upon submittal and may be used in promoting UMKC Libraries.  Winner to be announced in April.

UMKC Hosts Largest LGBTQIA Conference

By , February 4, 2014 9:28 am

mblgtacc2014[The following was provided by the Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications.]

More than 2,500 college students from across the country are expected to attend the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference or MBLGTACC, also known as “Mumbletalk,” from Feb. 7 to 9 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Now in its 22nd year, MBLGTACC is being hosted for the first time in Missouri.

“We are honored that UMKC is hosting this transformative conference — it’s an incredible opportunity for our students and campus” said Jonathan Pryor, coordinator of UMKC LGBTQIA (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning Intersex Ally) Programs & Services and co-adviser of MBLGTACC. “I was a small-town Kansas kid in college when I first attended this conference several years back, and to be surrounded by hundreds of other people like me was incredible.”

UMKC hosting this important conference makes sense, say student leaders, because Kansas City’s university is globally recognized for welcoming LGBTQIA students, faculty, staff and administrators. Korean television and The New York Times have noted UMKC’s policy for inclusivity of student identities and building design. Newsweek named UMKC No. 5 in its Gay-Friendly College Rankings. Alumni and friends of UMKC have been generous and donated money for Pride scholarships for LGBTQIA students.

“As thinkers and doers, it is up to us to take measure of not just our academic and scholarly efforts, but of our devotion to justice and equality,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “Those values require more than talk. They must be lived out in our classrooms, on our athletic fields, in our residence halls and any place where all students deserve respect.”

MBLGTACC features four keynote speakers including regional celebrities: Chely Wright, native Kansan and American country music artist; writer and transgender activist Janet Mock; Iraq War veteran Rob Smith; and designer and “Fashion Star” winner Kara Laricks, a Kansas City area native.

MBLGTACC will host workshops led by students, faculty and professionals to educate and motivate students to action. Participants will attend five sessions from a list of more than 90 workshops with topics such as safe sex, activism basics, creating change on campus and ally-community building.

The group of UMKC students organizing the conference bid for and were awarded the rights two years ago. Ever since, they have been busy planning what is expected to be the largest convergence of the conference ever, with attendees from nearly all 50 states.

The conference theme ‘Jazzing It Up’ is multifaceted with its origin rooted in the rich jazz culture Kansas City is known for, said UMKC senior Roze Brooks, the student chair of MBLGTACC.

“With the implications of the carefree, soulful music genre, we also interpret this theme for our LGBTQIA community,” Brooks said. “The conference weekend is all about acknowledging and celebrating our accomplishments. As student leaders and activists, we deserve to take a moment and commend ourselves on the work we’ve done. Although there are always steps to be taken and changes to be made, assessing how we’ve reached each milestone is paramount to understanding how to continue moving forward.”

For more information about the conference or to register, please visit

Wintertime Tips for Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

By , February 3, 2014 4:52 pm

snowy stairsWintertime Tips for Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

By Kate Melton, Student Health & Wellness/ MindBody Connection and Rachel Pierce, Counseling Center/MindBody Connection

While the start of a new school year often brings fresh excitement and energy, the second semester sometimes lacks that same allure.  The bright sunshine and warmer temperatures of spring can seem very far away, and the shorter days and cold weather can impact our health, both physically and emotionally.  Here are 10 tips for taking care of your holistic health this winter.

1.  Take a Deep Breath

Deep breathing exercises can reduce stress and supercharge your brain.  A little stress is okay, but too much stress can be bad news.  Stress hormones can interfere with thinking, learning, and memory.  In addition, research has shown that too much stress can make you sick.  Deep breathing increases the circulation of blood and oxygen to the brain which can help you think more clearly.

2.  Take the Steps to Keep Yourself Well

Getting sick can make it difficult for you to stay up on your academics.  Take the necessary steps to keep yourself well by washing your hands often with soap and water, clean and disinfect surfaces, and take the time to get a flu vaccine.  You can get your flu vaccine on campus at Student Health and Wellness.

3.  Talk with a Friend

Even your brain needs a friend.  Social support is important for coping with stress.  In fact, research has shown that loneliness can make you sick.  In addition to the healthful benefits of socializing, some people find they learn better while interacting with others (collaborative learning).

4.  Keep Your Brain Fed

Studies have shown that skipping meals can make you slower and less accurate in solving problems.  Good nutrition helps keep your body healthy which helps you ward off stress and illness.  Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water every day.

5.  Get Good ZZZZs

A sleep-deprived brain doesn’t work at its full potential.  Sleep is restorative and important for health and learning.  Research has shown that “sleep is critical for firming up the learning that took place during the day – a process known as memory consolidation” (American Psychological Association Monitor, 2001, vol. 32, #9).  Don’t short yourself the 6-8 hours a night that almost everyone needs, but don’t rely on naps to catch up, either.  Naps tend to disrupt healthy sleep patterns and can become a vicious cycle.

6.  Stay Home When You Are Sick

If you are sick, especially when running a fever, stay home from work, school, and other errands if possible.  If you are around others, make sure you cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and/or sneezing.  Don’t have a tissue?  Sneeze or cough into the bend of your arm to prevent germs from spreading.  These steps will not only help others from getting sick but will also help you to get healthier faster.

7.  Get Organized

De-clutter your space and your mind.  Take time clear out clutter in your living spaces to help clear your mind and allow you to focus on what’s important.  Take a realistic look at what you have to do and develop a plan to get it done.  Prioritize projects and start on the tasks that will require the most time and effort.  Make a to-do list and cross things off as you get them accomplished.

8.  Stay Clean

Don’t dope up your brain with caffeine, nicotine, or recreational drugs.  Caffeine and diet pills can make you jittery and distractible.  It can take several days for the effects of alcohol on your brain to wear off.  Research has shown that marijuana’s impact on memory and learning can last for days or weeks and THC can be detected in your system for up to a month.  In addition, all of these drugs interfere with the REM sleep your brain needs to rejuvenate itself.

9.  Maintain a Positive Attitude

Your brain controls your behavior so negative thinking can hurt your performance.  If you believe you will fail, you may not try as hard or you may be so nervous that you can’t think straight.  Fear is contagious so surround yourself with positive people.

10. Get Moving and Go Toward the Light

Exercise is good for your brain.  Vigorous exercise releases endorphins which can increase feelings of wellbeing, decrease pain, and enhance the immune system.  Endorphins also reduce the impact of stress.  Even taking a brisk walk can have calming and invigorating effects.  By finding an activity you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.  The shorter winter days and staying inside in cold weather can limit sun exposure, which is important for mood and sleep regulation.  Try to spend some time every day outside or need a window to fend off the winter blues.

By making small adjustments in your normal routine, you can stay healthy and happy this winter.  If you need further help or information, visit the MindBody Connection in the Atterbury Student Success Center or Student Health & Wellness or the Counseling Center.



A Women’s Center for Everyone

By , February 3, 2014 4:51 pm

Women's CenterA Women’s Center for Everyone

By Arzie Umali

The Women’s Center has had a home at UMKC for over 40 years; however, every day, someone new walks through our doors, attends one of our events, or discovers us on the internet.  That is what is so great about the Women’s Center.  It is available and accessible to everyone.  It is a place to come when you want to meet people or you need some extra support.  It is a staff of creative, passionate people who plan programs and events to educate you and raise your awareness about gender issues so that you feel inspired to get involved.  And it is a service that helps you find resources for women, learn about the multicultural realities of women, and stay informed about current events that affect women.  Our mission is to advocate, educate, and provide support services for the advancement of women’s equity on campus and within the community at large, and as a place, a staff, and a service for our students we strive to make this happen.

The Women’s Center is located in 105 Haag Hall.  It is a convenient location for students who need a space to study between classes, finish up homework, or meet up with friends.  We are open every weekday from 8 AM to 5 PM and we encourage all students to take advantage of our study lounge with computers and a comfy couch, conference room, and kitchenette. For nursing mothers we offer a private and secure lactation room with refrigerator for storing breast milk. And if it’s a book on women’s and gender topics you are looking for, our friendly staff is always happy to help you find a book in our library.  The Women’s Center also houses the Violence Prevention and Response Project, where you can pick up information and resources about gender violence, stalking, and sexual assault, or stop by and speak to our Victim Services Adjudication Advisor if you need advice.  Our center really is about having a safer space to go when you need help, when you need to get away, or even if you need to see a friendly smile.

If activism and getting involved are what you want from your college experience, attending one or all of the Women’s Center’s programs is what you need to do. We offer a number of events that will raise your awareness about gender disparities and inspire you to get involved.  Through our Violence and Prevention Project we offer programs on sexual assault prevention to create a safer campus community.   This semester, our V-Day programs will begin in February with tables at various locations across campus that will offer information about the international movement to end violence against women and girls. On February 19, we will be partnering with the UMKC Men of Color Initiative to offer a workshop just for men to discuss their own responsibilities in ending violence toward women. And on the evening of Tuesday, March 4, at the Student Union Theater, we will present a benefit performance of The Vagina Monologues, which includes a diverse cast of women from the UMKC student body, staff and faculty, as well as women from the community.  For more details about all our V-Day programs or to purchase tickets to The Vagina Monologues, please visit the V-Day UMKC website at

The Women’s Center also hosts a number of events that recognize the accomplishment of women and focus on gender equity. During the week of February 24,  we will be presenting Every Body is Beautiful Week, a series of programs that addresses eating disorders and negative body image as barriers to women’s achievement.  These programs are offered as a campus-wide effort in partnership with the UMKC Counseling Center, Office of Student Involvement, UMKC Athletics, Swinney Recreation Center, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, and Student Health and Wellness to create more body positive messaging and ideals for women and girls. In March during Women’s History Month we will offer a trivia contest challenging our campus community’s knowledge of the accomplishments of women in history.  And on April 8, we will host an Equal Pay Day event to raise awareness of the pay disparities that women in America still face. All of these events are meant to engage our students in the unique experiences of all women.

The Women’s Center also addresses the issue of gender discrimination in the arts through the Her Art Project. This semester our programs will celebrate Wonder Women at two exciting events.  First, we are presenting a group art exhibit at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in the historic Crossroads Arts District. The exhibit will run February 7 – March 29 and will feature six local women artists who are superheoines of the local arts community and who create works that represent the strength, courage, and resilience of the empowered woman.  On the evening of April 22 at the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch, we will be hosting award-winning filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan for a screening and discussion of her documentary WonderWomen! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. Both of these events focus on creative women as leaders, change-makers, and inspirations to the next generation of Wonder Women. For more information about these, and all of our events this semester, visit our website,

Finally, the Women’s Center is a vital resource for everyone, not just women, and not just student at UMKC or people in our community. We are here for everyone and available to everyone, 24-7, on the worldwide web. Through our website you can access resources for women, check out our calendar for events happening on campus as well as in the community for women, and learn about the staff and history of the Women’s Center. Through our Blog, you can get insight on current topics about women from articles written by our own student staff. And on our Social Media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr) you can find information, photos, and news about what’s happening at the Women’s Center and around the world. As you can see, the Women’s Center is more than just a mission statement. It’s a place, it’s a staff, and it’s a service dedicated to making UMKC and our community a safer, more equitable place for everyone.

For more information about the UMKC Women’s Center, please stop by 105 Haag Hall or visit us at


Help UMKC Score Big: RecycleMania 2014!

By , February 3, 2014 4:50 pm

RecycleManiaThe university beat hundreds of institutions to win 2013’s RecycleMania

UMKC is gearing up to defend its title as the RecycleMania Grand Champion. The annual eight-week collegiate recycling competition determines which institution can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste. Last year, that institution was UMKC. This year, the university is hoping for a repeat performance.

The competition will run Feb. 2- Mar. 30. This will be UMKC’s seventh year participating in RecycleMania. Every year, the campus has risen in the rankings. Last year, the university ranked No. 1 out of more than 260 competing campuses in the Grand Champion category of the annual competition. UMKC won with an 86 percent recycling rate.

“We’re fortunate to have a campus community that is passionate about sustainability. Last year, we rallied around a cause and our hard work paid off. This year, I hope that we can once again raise awareness and enact good habits that stick with us all year-round,” Kaye Johnston, UMKC Sustainability coordinator, said.

Schools compete in 11 categories to see which recycles the most on a per capita basis; which produces the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. The university will host several RecycleMania-related events during the competition. The events will appear on the UMKC Calendar.

Updated rankings published online each Friday allow schools to track their progress and rally to improve their standings against rival colleges.

“RecycleMania is exciting because it builds on traditional college rivalries by adding recycling to the list of things that schools can brag about when it comes to their archrivals,” said Stacy Wheeler, president of RecycleMania, Inc. ”The competition aspect of the event makes it fun and helps to encourage everyone on the entire campus to make recycling a part of their daily routines.”

A complete list of participants can be found at For more information about UMKC’s Sustainability program, visit the UMKC Sustainability blog.

Call for Submissions: Lucerna Student Journal

By , February 3, 2014 4:47 pm

LucernaPapers are now being accepted for the 2014 Lucerna, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal–and the only undergraduate research journal at UMKC–publishing papers by students in the social sciences, sciences, and humanities. Established in 2005 by the UMKC Honors Program, Lucerna’s purpose is to cultivate and showcase high-caliber scholarship from the entire UMKC undergraduate community.

Any UMKC undergraduate may submit a research paper between 2,000 and 6,000 words, written anytime during their academic career at UMKC. Publishing in Lucerna is a prestigious accomplishment for any academic looking to further her or his education or future career. Previously published papers will not be considered.

Please visit the Lucerna website ( for information about submitting your paper and to view past issues.

Lucerna has a priority deadline of February 28th, 2014.  All submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the end of spring semester; however, submissions that meet the priority deadline will be given highest consideration for publication.

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