Staff Spotlight – Steve Pankey


Name: Steve Pankey

Department: School of Medicine Student Affairs

Years worked at UMKC: 3

Steve P


Please tell us a little about what you do.

I serve as part of the senior student affairs leadership team for the School of Medicine, so I have dual responsibilities to both the students, my staff, and the entire academic department. This includes advising and counseling students, supervising my team in Student Affairs, and working on special projects that impact our entire school.

As Staff Council Chair, I help lead the staff governing board with the assistance of the executive board in conducting monthly meetings, subcommittee meetings, and advancing initiatives throughout the university. I am also a representative on the Inter-Campus Staff Advisory Council that brings staff leadership from all system campuses to discuss issues and work on UM System Task Forces. I also serve on the Chancellor’s Leadership Team as we address concerns facing this institution, both system-wide and within our campus community.


How did you come to join Staff Council?

I started with Staff Council as a non-voting member and joined the Professional Development sub-committee, because I was interested in becoming more involved in the university community, and also wanting to find a way to impact what resources were available to staff. This ultimately led to being asked to contribute in other ways and on other committees before finally becoming a voting member and eventually, Chair.


What are your Interests and Hobbies?

I am incredibly passionate about music, and have been a drummer for almost 30 years. I’ve done all the clichéd garage bands and gigs all the way to symphonic orchestra and being on the Missouri Drumline while an undergraduate at Mizzou. The drumline afforded me opportunities to play around the country, including an interesting alumni function at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Music in general has allowed me to tap into a universal language of connection that has helped and guided throughout my career.


Do you have any pets?

We have three, yes three, small dogs that allow us to live with them. A miniature dachshund, an Australian shepherd mix, and one that looks a lot like a miniature German shepherd.


What’s it like to serve on Staff Council? Benefits? Challenges?

Serving on Staff Council is a great opportunity, and I would strongly encourage anyone to get involved, even unofficially. It is a place where you can be heard, fight for change, and get involved with the campus beyond your own silo. You will have a better appreciation for the institution, its processes, and its challenges, as well as meet and connect with terrific people that you would never have the occasion to meet otherwise.

The challenge. It takes us all to make a difference, not just 1 or 2, or even 32. So, the greatest challenge about being a part of and leading this great group is overcoming fear and inaction. Because together, we are an amazing force of unbelievable talent.


If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Great question. I’ve had such limited exposure to the rest of the world outside of North America, I am really in awe of the cities and countries in Africa, Australia, Europe, and Asia. It would be amazing to explore almost anywhere. If I had to identify a single place, I might want to visit Ireland, but there are really just too many places to list in reality.


Thanks for sharing, Steve! Would you like to be featured in next month’s Staff Spotlight? Let us know at by Wednesday, March 16.

Thinking about joining Staff Council? Elections are coming up!  Visit the Nominations page for more information.