Archive for the ‘Faculty’ Category

Five New A&S Department Chairs as AY 2012-2013 Begins

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The five new chairs are: P. Elijah Gowin:  Art/Art History, Michael McDonald: Communication Studies, Stephanie Kelton: Economics,  K. Scott Baker: Foreign Languages  & Literatures, and Dale Neuman (Interim): Social Work.

Faculty Awards and Recognitions

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Erik Olsen (Economics) has been named The Joseph Cabral Distinguished Scholar and Fellow at the Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations. The fellowship provides continuing support to a current Rutgers fellow who has distinguished himself or herself by his or her research contributions. See:

Alex Holsinger (Criminal Justice and Criminology) was recently awarded the American Probation and Parole Association’s (APPA) award for academic contribution to the field of Corrections.  While it is referred to as the APPA University of Cincinnati Award, it is called that because of the long tradition of corrections-related research there. It is not an award by the University. The award is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the probation and parole field or criminal justice technology. Recipients typically are individuals from an academic research institution or government agency who are not engaged in providing direct probation and parole services.

L. Randall Wray (Economics) has been awarded a $250,000 grant by The Institute for New Economic Thinking to study “Financing Innovation: An Application of a Keynes-Schumpeter-Minsky Synthesis.”  Wray will collaborate on the project with Mariana Mazzucato, of the University of Sussex in the U.K., to integrate two research paradigms that have strong policy relevance in understanding the degree to which financial markets can be reformed in order to nurture value creation and ‘capital development’, rather than value extraction, and destruction. (This item first appeared in U-Matters.)

Faculty Activities

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Xanath Caraza (Foreign Languages and Literatures) has been invited to present readings from her two recent books Corazón Pintado and Conjuro at the 2012 Obermann Humanities Symposium on “The Latino Midwest,” which will take place at the University of Iowa from October 11-13, 2012. This interdisciplinary symposium will examine the history, education, literature, art, and politics of Latinos in the Midwest. She also has been in Spain and Mexico this summer. She was awarded a writer’s residency in Spain, where she participated in a Poetry Festival in Barcelona at the 2012 Festival de Floricanto Barceloa: a Chicano-Charnego Encounter of Poetry. In Mexico, she was interviewed by Radio Universidad Veracruzana and one of her poems will be part of an art show at El Museo de Antropologia de Xalapa.

The Department of Art & Art History hosted two internationally-known visiting artists, Keith Achepohl and Lynn Manos, for a two week summer residency in July. Both artists gave lectures about their work in the Fine Arts Building located on the UMKC Volker Campus. The Department also held their first fall exhibition – the En Plein Air Painting Show.  This exhibition included artwork selected from the first annual Brush Creek Art Walk which was a public event held July 27 – July 29 along the scenic trail from Roanoke Road east to Elmwood. Painters registered for the event had three days to complete paintings en plein air (French for “in the open air”) along the creek. For more on the art walk, see: Brush Creek Art Walk. (These items first appeared in U-Matters.)

The Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design hosted a presentation by R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. in April to inaugurate the first in a series of presentations on how design happens in a city. According to their event announcement, “ A design patron is someone who challenges a professional designer to solve a pressing problem— be it furnishing a signature bank or leading a civic coalition to save a historic building.” They went on to say that R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. has exemplified what it means to be a design patron in Kansas City for well over five decades.

Michael Frisch (Architecture, Urban Planning and Design) has been elected to the governing Board of The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), a consortium of university-based programs offering credentials in urban and regional planning.  Acting together, the ACSP member school faculties are able to express their shared commitments to understanding the dynamics of urban and regional development, enhancing planning practices, and improving the education of both novice and experienced planners. The other board members are from Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Memphis and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The Theatre Department has announced a new program of discounted tickets for UMKC faculty and staff at $10 (with campus ID card). For more see:

The UMKC School of Social Work held its 2012 Field Day event in the Student Union on August 24, 2012. This event brought together students in the Masters of Social Work Program who are in the field placement phase of their programs of study with their Field Supervisors, other agency representatives and UMKC Social Work alumni employed in their profession in the area for a morning of presentations and discussions. About 200 were in attendance.

Beth Miller (Political Science) has published an article titled: “Exploring the Economic Determinants of Immigration Attitudes.” (2012). Poverty and Public Policy, Volume 4, Issue 2.

Sookhee Oh (Sociology) taught Social Organization of East Asian Cities this summer at the International Summer School at the University of Seoul, Korea. The course focused on urban issues in East Asia and the dynamic social contexts of East Asian Cities such as Seoul, Tokyo, and Shanghai. This 5-week intensive summer school program offers courses in English in the areas of Asian Studies, International Studies, and Korean language. The program draws hundreds of students and faculty from the Americas, Europe, and Asia who wish to explore the densely populated megacity, Seoul, South Korea, and other parts of East Asia. Students generally take two courses and participate in many extracurricular cultural activities including a four-day trip to either Beijing, China, or Jeju Island, Korea, and to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), as well as experience Taekwondo and K-pop culture. For more see:

The International students wear a traditional Korean dress in this photo.


The UMKC High School College Partnership held its 2012 Annual faculty Conference at the Student Union on July 20, 2012. Eleven A&S departments were among the 15 academic programs present at the session.

Max J. Skidmore (Curators’ Professor of Political Science and Thomas Jefferson Fellow) has been invited to join the Scholars’ Strategy Network that Harvard professors Ben Veghte and Theda Skocpol are forming. Professor Veghte has called Skidmore’s work on Social Security “fascinating,” and says that he and Professor Skocpol wish to highlight it on the new Network.

Erik Olsen (Economics) presented an invited Lecture at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, Department of Economics: “The Economics of Cooperatives, Employee Ownership and Self-management”, March 19, 2012.

Judy Ancel (Economics) attended the United Association for Labor Education meeting in, March, 2012 in Pittsburgh. She organized and chaired a plenary discussion on Global Union Alliances Step by Step with Leo Girard, President United Steelworkers, Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, President, Los Mineros, Bruce Klipple, President United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers, and Benedicto Martinez, co-President, Authentic Workers Front.

W. Robert Brazelton (Emeritus, Economics) published “Towards a Synthesis of Institutional and Post Keynesian Economics” (with Charles J. Whalen), in Financial Instability and Economic Security after the Great Depression, edited by C. J. Whalen, 2012, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. For more see:

L. Randall Wray (Economics) gave a presentation at the Institute for Global Law and Policy Pro-Seminar, Harvard University, June 2012. He was Co-organizer of conference, “Global Financial Fragility and the Development of Capitalist Finance”, Nankai University, Tianjin, June 2012, and also gave the plenary lecture. He was co-organizer of the Hyman P. Minsky Summer Seminar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, June 2012; at which he gave two lectures.

Frederic S. Lee (Economics) published a number of items recently including “Heterodox Economics and its Critics,’ Review of Political Economy, 24.2 (2012) and “Pricing and Prices” with G. C. Gu in The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics, 2nd ed., edited by J. King, Edward Elgar, 2012. For more see:


He also presented a paper at the Political Economy and the Outlook for Capitalism Joint Conference 2012 on “The UK Research Assessment Exercise and the Narrowing of UK Economics”.

UMKC ‘Border Wars’ Workshop Draws Educators from Across the Country

A teacher’s workshop entitled Crossroads of Conflict: Contested Visions of Freedom and the Missouri-Kansas Border Wars was held in late July 2012. Sponsored by the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the workshop is part of The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for Teachers and was funded by an $180,000 federal grant from the NEH. The workshop, directed by Diane Mutti Burke (History), drew a total of 80 educators for its two sessions. The group aimed to better understand the clash of cultures that played out on the Missouri-Kansas border. For more see:

New Scholarship Created

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

A scholarship has been created for former longtime faculty member and colleague, Geraldine Fowle, who died on October 8, 2011.  Geraldine was a key member of the faculty of the Department of Art and Art History at UMKC for more than 45 years.  To honor the contributions of this outstanding educator, the Geraldine E. Fowle Art History Scholarship Fund was recently established with a lead gift from Geraldine’s sister, Rosemary Deen of Stone Ridge, New York.  In addition, generous gifts have been received from many of her colleagues and friends here at UMKC and Kansas City.  The fund will provide scholarship support to deserving undergraduate or graduate students who are seeking a degree in Art History at UMKC.  We hope you will join with your colleagues and support this special scholarship fund for the students Geraldine dedicated her life to educating and serving at UMKC.  For questions, please contact Phil Watson, Director of Development and Gift Planning at the College of Arts & Sciences, at 108 Scofield Hall, ext. 5776, or

Faculty Activities

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Maria Calderon, (Art and Art History) along with Kansas City artist Lacey Wozny, was awarded a Rocket Grant through the Charlotte Street Foundation and KU’s Spencer Museum of Art for “POP!” – a series of interactive art events to engage and celebrate locality, health, art, and education.  First up is POP! Community Picnic! in mid-June.  Visit the Rocket Grant website for more information on Calderon and the grant project:

Max Skidmore (Political Science) published “Economics, Adjudication, and (Above all) Politics: Health Care Reform and the Public Good,” New Economic Perspectives (April 3, 2012),  See:

He also will have a chapter entitled “Obama’s Legislative Record,” in The Obama Presidency:  A Preliminary Assessment by Robert P.  Watson, Douglas M. Brattebo, Jack Covarrubias and Tom Lansford ( SUNY Series on the Presidency: Contemporary Issues July, 2012).  For more see:

Mona Lyne (Political Science) with undergraduate students Andrew Sperry and Parker Webb, presented the paper “Analyzing Autocracies:  They Didn’t Steal that Election, They Bought it Fair and Square” at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, April 13, 2012.  See:   

The paper was written up in the Atlantic Monthly’s blog post on the conference:

Alex Holsinger and Ken Novak with the assistance of the UMKC Foundation secured a $30,000 grant from LISC to conduct this research.  Andrew Fox, who is joining their department as an assistant professor in the fall, will play a critical role in the project.  For more see:

Ken Novak (Criminal Justice and Criminology) published his paper, “The decision to search: Is race or ethnicity important?” in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.  The research examines whether Black and Hispanic motorists are more likely to be searched during traffic stops with the police.  Novak also served as guest-editor for the volume.  His co-author is Seth Fallik who received his Master of Science in CJ&C from UMKC in 2010 and is pursuing his Ph.D. at Sam Houston State University.  For more see:

Robert Stewart, editor, and staff members of BkMk Press, New Letters, and New Letters On the Air made presentations on editing and writing to a visiting group of faculty and students from Missouri Western University.  Also among those taking part were: BkMk Press managing editor Ben Furnish and New Letters on the Air producer Angela Elam.  The event was held at University House, UMKC, on Thursday, April 19, 2012.

Davin Watne (Art and Art History) has had his work reviewed in the New American Paintings Juried Exhibitions in Print Blog.  For more see:

Ricky Allman (Art and Art History) was the featured artist in the Harvard Business Review May, 2012 issue.  Allman’s artwork was used throughout the magazine’s ‘Spotlight on Innovation for the 21st Century’ theme.  For more see:

A&S Students and Faculty Win Fulbright Scholarships

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Julie Bates, a German major with an art history minor, will teach English in Germany.  Sa Shea Gaston, a graduate student in romance languages, will teach English in Mexico.  The faculty member is Thomas Stroik (English) who will teach in Poland.  Once again UMKC and A&S do well in national scholarly awards.

Read more here:

Five A&S Faculty to Retire

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Carla Klausner, Curators’ Teaching Professor of History, Rebecca Roberts, Lecturer in Mathematics, Yanching (Jerry) Jean, Curators’ Professor of Chemistry, Robert Evanson, Associate Professor of Political Science and Wayne Lucas, Professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology will be joining the ranks of the retired by summer’s end.  We thank them for their service to the College and UMKC and wish them well in their retirement.  Each was asked to reflect on their days at UMKC.  The replies that have arrived are printed below.

Y.C. (Jerry) Jean (Chemistry) will become Curators’ Professor Emeritus as of September 1, 2012 after an academic career at UMKC of 32 years.  The first 8 years were in Physics and the remaining 24 years were in Chemistry.  He also served as Chair of Chemistry between 1994 and 2006.  His research is in the areas of physical chemistry and materials science.  It has been recognized numerous times when he was named the UMKC Trustees’ Fellow and received the N.T. Veatch Distinguished Research Award.  He has been a Fellow of American Physical Society since 1994.  He has published over 340 scientific articles and 8 books while at UMKC and mentored over 50 M.S. and Ph.D. students in addition to some others doing postdoctoral work . He will continue to serve as Senior Pastor at Emmanuel Chinese Baptist Church in Lenexa and continue his scientific research at UMKC after his retirement.

Robert K. Evanson (Political Science) came to UMKC in 1980 as an Assistant Professor teaching comparative and international politics.  His research interests have been focused on east-central Europe, Soviet and post-Soviet Russia, and international relations theory.  In 1989 he was invited by then Dean Max Skidmore to serve as an associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, after which he worked as a faculty intern in the office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Marvin Querry, and as chair of his department.  For many years he was principal advisor in the Master of Arts program in Political Science.  He greatly enjoyed these various experiences and is grateful to the colleagues who made them possible.  He most enjoyed, however, his time spent with his undergraduate and graduate students, and the pleasure of working with so many congenial colleagues, including those in his own department.  Bob has been nominated for emeritus status and has been appointed a James C. Olson professor.

He and his wife Nan are relocating to the Seattle area, where Nan’s daughter and family live.  They will spend their summers at Bob’s family cottage in Wisconsin.  Bob will be finishing a book this summer which he is co-editing and to which he is contributing two chapters.  He looks forward to completing other writing projects and enjoying the great outdoors in both Washington and Wisconsin through hiking, birding, and golf, as well as spending time with family and friends.

Carla Klausner (History) received her doctorate from Harvard University in History and Middle East studies in 1963, in the first year that Harvard granted the Ph.D. to women.  She began her teaching career at UMKC with a part-time appointment in 1964 and received a tenure track position in 1966.  In her years at UMKC, she taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in Medieval European, Islamic, Ottoman, Middle East, Jewish and Holocaust history.  She also enjoyed participating in the NEH grant that established the Cluster Course program and teaching the “Courts and Culture in the High Middle Ages” course with emerita professor Linda Voigts.  Carla received the Shelby Storck award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Interfraternity Council Good Teaching Award, was a Mortarboard Honoree, received the UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Faculty Award from the Doctoral Student Association, and in 2004 was named Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor.  As the only full-time female faculty member in the History department for at least twenty years, and among the handful of women on the faculty in those early days, she also was tapped for service on countless College and University committees.  She is gratified and thankful that there are now so many wonderful and accomplished female colleagues in the department and throughout the system.  For many years, she served as the History MA advisor and IPhD coordinator.  Her expertise on the Middle East led to countless lectures to academic and community audiences on various aspects of the history, culture and politics of the region, as well as numerous media appearances.  Her textbook with Ian Bickerton on the Arab-Israeli conflict (Prentice Hall) is now in a sixth edition, and she is working on a seventh edition as well as on a sourcebook on the modern Middle East for Oxford University Press.  She loved being in the classroom and now, in her emerita status, looks forward to teaching part-time for the next three years as an Olson professor.

Wayne Lucas (Criminal Justice & Criminology) will retire and become Professor Emeritus as of September 1, 2012.  He has also been appointed as a James C. Olson Professor.  He came to UMKC in 1976 as an Assistant Professor, and was the first faculty member hired by the first department Chair, Abraham Blumberg, in the newly established “Administration of Justice” program.  The program name was changed in 1999 to “Criminal Justice & Criminology.”  Over the 36 years at UMKC, Wayne rose through the ranks to Full Professor, and taught a number of courses from the CJC curriculum.  Recently he focused on courses in research methods, criminal behavior systems, and a course reflecting his research emphasis in drug use and control policies.  Wayne received the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Teaching Award, and the first Annual Teaching Award presented by the combined Sociology-Criminal Justice & Criminology department, in 2000.  His research has been published in several journals devoted to the drug abuse area, and he worked extensively with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and local forums such as the Jackson County ComBAT Program, in the development of effective drug abuse treatment and prevention programs.  Under the Olson Professor program he plans to continue offering his drug use and control policies course, as well as work in further developing links between the CJC department and local community.

New Books

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Jennifer Lundgren (Psychology) is one of the editors of a new book, Night Eating Syndrome: Research, Assessment, and Treatment, to appear in August. It will be published by Guilford Press. For more see:



Xánath Caraza  (Foreign Languages and Literatures) will have her book Conjuro: Poemspublished in September, 2012 by Mammoth Publications. ( This will be tri-lingual, in Spanish/English/Nahuatl.

 She also has a new chapbook out: Corazon Pintado: Ekphrastic Poems (Kansas City: TL Press, 2012).


Faculty Activities

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Jennifer Phegley (English) gave a talk at the Kansas City Public Library downtown on Thursday, February 9, 2012 on her new book, Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England. For more see:


Beth Miller (Political Science) appeared on KCTV-5 on November 10, 2011 discussing lobbying by the city of Kansas City, See:


She also was on Fox 4 News January 11, 2012 discussing the New Hampshire primary. See:


Max Skidmore (Political Science) had two articles published in The Journal of American Culture: “The Mothering of the President: Rocking the Cradle to a Different Drummer,” See:


and “Restless Americans: The Significance of Movement in American History (with a Nod to F. J. Turner).”


His “The Old, the Young, and Medicare,” was part of “Sunday Dialogue,” in The New York Times. See:


Randall Wray, Fred Lee, Jim Sturgeon, Stephanie Kelton and Bob Brazelton (Economics) were quoted or noted in the front page story in The Kansas City Star on the UMKC Economics Department, January 17, 2012. The story dealt with its central role in the field of “heterodox economics”. For the full story see:


Alice Reckley-Vallejos and Kelley Young (Foreign Languages and Literatures) with Lynne Clawson-Day (Continuing Education) hosted the Latinos of Tomorrow Scholarship Fest at the College on Saturday, November 19, 2011. This all-day event is designed to help plan for college with workshops that help with practice for the ACT, building portfolios, writing essays and other essentials of the college application process. For more see:


Jennifer Lundgren (Psychology) gave a public lecture on body image, gender, and psychological wellbeing at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. The talk was part of the Kemper’s Double Vision Series entitled “Masks and Mirrors.”

Ian Besse and Rebecca Roberts (Mathematics and Statistics) have redesigned Mathematics 110: College Algebra in response to the Missouri Course Redesign Initiative. This course redesign proposal was selected by the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) in summer 2011, and the redesign effort has been supported by the course redesign team that includes other members from the entire university: Jie Chen, Rita Barger, Molly Mead, Cindy Amyot, Andy Goodenow, and Cindy Pemberton. The redesigned course is being offered in SP2012 by Roberts as a pilot course and the full implementation of the redesigned Math 110 will be offered by Besse in FS2012. For more information about Course Redesign at UMKC, please visit:


Frances Connelly (Art and Art History) published an article titled “Authentic Irony: Primitivism and Its Aftermath” in Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture, Vol. 7, 2011, pp.16-27. For more on this publication series see:


Greg Vonnahme (Political Science) presented a paper entitled “A Preferential Attachment Model of State Legislative Campaign Finance” at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in September. He also had an article published in Political Behavior called “Registration Deadlines and Turnout in Context.” For more see:


Linwood Tauheed, John Henry, Stephanie Kelton and Mathew Forstater (Economics) presented a panel program at the UMKC Student Union on January 19, 2012 titled: “Jobs Now: MLK’s Dream and FDR’s Vision”.

The English Department’s most recent newsletter reports (among many things) its recent partnership with Miller-Nichols Library’s Stuart Hinds and Diane Hunter to create a more interactive experience for showcasing teaching in English during campus visit days for prospective students. Faculty in Fall 2011 highlighted courses in their Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing track, and Stuart Hinds created exhibits in Special Collections used in these courses, such as manuscripts, from medieval to contemporary (girls’ diaries), periodicals, and Shakespeare memorabilia. Faculty who participated included Lorna Condit, Laurie Ellinghausen, Jennifer Phegley, Virginia Blanton, Steve Dilks, and Jane Greer. For more on the publications, other activities and achievements of the Department’s faculty, students and alumni see:


The Theatre Department’s Spring 2012 “Training News” has gained a wide audience. For more see:


For more on the department see:


Delwyn Catley, (Psychology) in response to the American Lung Association’s grade of F on its report card for Missouri’s tobacco control effort, was interviewed by reporters from KBMC Channel 9 News about Missouri’s tobacco control efforts and KC QUEST, a $1.5 million NIH funded research study about motivating unmotivated smokers to quit. For more see:


Clovis Semmes (Director of Black Studies) recently published the article, “Entrepreneur of Health: Dick Gregory, Black Consciousness, and the Human Potential Movement,” in the Journal of African American Studies. For more see:


Faculty Recognitions

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Mona Lyne (Political Science Chair) learned that her book The Voter’s Dilemma and Democratic Accountability: Latin America and Beyond received the Choice Award for an Outstanding Academic Title. For more see:


Richard Gentile (Geosciences Emeritus) was honored for his contribution to the profession of Geology by the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists: Kansas City/Omaha Section at a reception in September, 2011. He started his career at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 1958 and came to UMKC in 1966. For more see:


Delwyn Catley (Psychology) was awarded a University of Kansas Cancer Center Pilot Project Award, for $27,703, for a project entitled: The Role of Implicit Attitudes in a Motivational Smoking Cessation Intervention. The purpose of this study is to assess whether Motivational Interviewing changes implicit attitudes (relative to a cognitively oriented health education control intervention), and whether any changes in implicit attitudes lead to more quit attempts.

New Letters has again done well in its field. One of the most highly regarded national prize anthologies for literary presses and magazines has reprinted two more works from UMKC’s New Letters. The Pushcart Prize XXXVI: Best of the Small Presses 2012, released in November 2011, includes an essay, “Logophilia,” by B. H. Fairchild, and a short story, “Rockaway,” by Lydia Conklin, both from New Letters vol. 76 no. 4 (summer 2010). “It is rare that a magazine or press receives multiple Pushcart Prizes in a single year,” says New Letters editor Robert Stewart. “Even one is an honor.”

They go on to say that these two new awards combine with a Pushcart Prize “triple crown” in 2010 to place New Letters among the top 10 Pushcart Prize winning magazines in the country over the latest three years, from 2010 to 2012. Other magazines that equaled five or more awards during that time period include Ploughshares, Tin House, Threepenny Review, and The Kenyon Review.

Theodore Seligson, (AUP+D Visiting Professor) recently received two achievement awards. The American Institute of Architects – Kansas City Chapter presented a Presidential Award and The Historic Kansas City Foundation presented a Lifetime Achievement Award in early December. In addition, to honor Seligson’s contributions to architecture and design, the faculty and advisory board of AUP+D and Seligson’s friends recently established the Seligson Fund for AUP+D. The fund will provide financial backing for lectures, special events and other projects that support and advance the AUP+D program.

College of Arts and Sciences Celebrates at Annual Awards Reception

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

More than 100 UMKC A&S faculty and staff attended the 2011 A&S Awards Reception at The Residence on Thursday, September 8th. Interim Dean Wayne Vaught presided and introduced the new faculty present, recognized recipients of system and national awards as well as presented this year’s outstanding teaching and outstanding staff awards in the College.


The 2011 Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award for Regular Faculty was awarded to Beth Miller (pictured left), Department of Political Science.
The 2011 Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award for Non-Regular Faculty was awarded to Julie Urbanik (pictured right), Department of Geosciences.
The 2011 Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award for Part-Time Faculty was awarded to Mark Raab (pictured left), Department of Geosciences.
The A&S Alumni Association, represented by Pat Madden (pictured right), immediate Past President of the A&S Alumni Board, presented the 2011 Alumni Good Teaching Award to Jennifer Phegley (pictured right), Department of English.


The staff awards (after a College-wide nomination process and then an evaluation by peers from outside the nominees’ units) recognize those whose work excels in meeting the “Six R’s” of outstanding staff service. These are respectful, responsible, resourceful, receptive, responsive, and reasonable.

The 2011 College of Arts and Sciences Staff Member of the Year is Susan Hankins, who was the Administrative Assistant in the Department of Sociology until July, 2011 when she became Executive Staff Assistant to the Dean.

There were three runners-up from among the 12 nominees as well: Cathy Slack, Accountant in the Dean’s Office, Alicen Lundberg, Administrative Assistant, Department of Art and Art History and Mandy Seley, Administrative Associate, Department of Psychology.


Interim Dean Vaught also recalled for those present that two of the three newest UM Curators’ Professors were from the College: Kathy Goggin (Psychology) and Kathleen Kilway (Chemistry). He also noted that the College had two of its faculty awarded Guggenheim Fellowships this year: Clancy Martin (Philosophy) and Christie Hodgen (English).


Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Christie Hodgen (English) has learned that her most recent novel, Elegies for the Brokenhearted W.W. Norton & Company (2010), won the 2011 Friends of American Writers Literature Award. For more on the award, see:

Felicia Londré, (Curators’ Professor of Theatre) was awarded the 2011 Betty Jean Jones Award for Outstanding Teacher of American Theatre and Drama, given by the American Theatre and Drama Society. The award was presented by James Fisher, vice-president of ATDS and chair of Theatre at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. The presentation took place at the Palmer House in Chicago, at the annual convention of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, where ten years ago she received the ATHE 2001 award for Outstanding Teacher of Theatre in Higher Education.  See:

Judy Ancel (Economics) reports that The International Labor Communications Association has awarded First Prize for radio programs in its 2011 Awards to The Institute for Labor Studies for its weekly radio show The Heartland Labor Forum. The winning show was called “The Last Overhaul: The American Airlines/TWA Shutdown – Honoring a Noble Union.” The show was produced on September 9, 2010 by ILS Director Judy Ancel and Heartland Labor Forum volunteer Jeff Humfeld, a member of the Carpenters Union. To listen to the show, go to

The Heartland Labor Forum airs weekly on Thursdays from 6-7pm on KKFI 90.1FM Kansas City Community Radio.

Mike English (Visiting Research Professor, Economics) was given “The Rising Star Award” by the Council for Economic Education at its recent 50th Annual Financial Literacy and Economic Education Conference. They write that: “The Rising Star Award recognizes an individual who has served the network for seven years or less and “hit the ground running” by making extraordinary contributions to economic education programs early in his or her career.” Mike serves as President and CEO of the Missouri Council on Economic Education. See

Diane Mutti-Burke (History) learned that her book, On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 was named the Best Book of the Year by the State Historical Society of Missouri at the 53rd annual Missouri Conference on History was held in Kansas City, April 14-15.

New Letters on the Air was selected as a national winner of the 2011 Clarion Awards form the Association for Women in Communications at its national conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma on October 14, 2011. The award winning entry was by producer/host Angela Elam and featured readings from When She named Fire: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by American Women, edited by Andrea Hollander Budy. For more see:

We also have learned that the literature panel and staff for the Missouri Arts Council has again given New Letters the highest rating of any literary organization or publication in the state of Missouri. As part of its grant-award process, the Missouri Arts Council rates literary organizations on the basis of (1) artistic excellence, (2) community involvement, and (3) management ability.  New Letters alone received a rating of a perfect 10, representing the quarterly journal and its weekly radio broadcast series.

Former Dean Vorst Reflects on the Past Five Years

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Five years sometimes sounds like a long time. Yet, I cannot believe that five years have gone by since I was honored by being named the Dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences. It has been an interesting, exciting and, at times, exhausting job–but it also has been quite rewarding. I have met so many delightful faculty, staff, administrators and community members. What we all have in common is a passion for UMKC and the College of Arts and Sciences. What I also know is that this group is the hardest working and dedicated bunch of Roos ever.

The campus and the College have seen a number of changes these past several years. Our recruitment and retention plans that we have been developing and implementing have been successful. Last fall we had the largest incoming freshman class ever. Preliminary reports indicate that we are on track to continue attracting more and more students and finally we are succeeding in getting the word out about our quality degree programs, our relatively small class sizes and our outstanding faculty.

We continued to improve and strengthen the quality of our academic programs through the program evaluation reviews that each department supports on a regular cycle. We reviewed our Advising operations and revamped all of our websites in order to improve our service for students.

We got involved in advertising our programs not just for summer but year-round. Our summer program has expanded greatly, showing an increase of 32% since 2006. We continued to support students through automatic scholarships/waivers which will be more than $6.5 million this coming year and through HSCP scholarships of over $100K.

Despite a soft hiring freeze, we leveraged our unprecedented increase in student headcount to hire the best faculty, raising the number of regular faculty from 165 in 2006 to 180 in 2010. With the replacement of retired faculty next year, this number will increase to 190. Many of our faculty have won awards, some for teaching, others for research, still others for recognition within their field of study. A quick sampling reveals that we now have three Guggenheim fellows, an NEA fellow, several professors who have won the UM President’s and Governor’s awards for teaching, award-winning and internationally-recognized authors, international journal editors, new endowed professorships, and the list goes on. I could not be more proud of our faculty’s accomplishments.

Our community and alumni connections continued to grow, which has been vital to our ability to create and fund new scholarships and garner support in the UMKC capital campaign. Our ongoing stewardship efforts have brought in nearly $3 million in additional donations since 2008, endowing funding for over 200 student scholarships in the College. In fact, the number of endowed College scholarships grew by 61% from 2008 and this does not include many new scholarships created just this month of June, 2011. We could not have done this without the great support of faculty and our wonderful Alumni Director, Karen English.

Finally, I see this E-Zine as a major achievement, thanks so much to Professor Emeritus Dale Neuman. I know it was a ‘labor of love’ for Dale, though I also know it was a lot of hard work getting it started. This on-line magazine, with links to full stories of our faculty/staff/student accomplishments, has helped the College become better known, not just here within UMKC, but also in our community.

I thank everyone who played a role in so many College successes these past years. It clearly has been a collaborative effort. I have been honored to lead such a great group of Roos and will continue to support the College and UMKC whenever I can. After a year’s leave to gear up to teach again and to jump start my research program, you may find me once again in my Economics office.

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