Faculty & Staff E-news 5.11.15

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As you are all aware, four finalists have been identified as candidates for the next UMKC Provost and will be on campus this week and next. Candidates and open presentations at Pierson Auditorium for faculty, staff and students are:

  • Alex Enyedi, Ph.D., Western Michigan University, Monday, May 11th, 1:15-2:45 p.m.
  • Kody Varahramyan, Ph.D., Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Wednesday, May 13th, 1:15-2:45 p.m.
  • Mary Beth Walker, Ph.D., Georgia State University, Monday, May 18th, 1:15-2:45 p.m.
  • Barb Bichelmeyer, Ph.D., Indiana University, Wednesday, May 20th, 1-15:-2:45 p.m.

Additional presentations for faculty also will be held on both the Volker and Hospital Hill campuses; please refer to the May 6th email from UMKC Announcements for days and times. I encourage all faculty and staff to attend as many presentations as your schedules allow as we have the ability to provide feedback on who will become the chief academic officer of the university.

My thanks to the Culture and Climate team for organizing the second in our “Difficult Conversation” series on implicit bias with Deth Im last week. Mr. Im facilitated our work in groups and the beginning of fundamentaI, important and, sometimes indeed difficult, conversations on understanding implicit bias and how we might better work with and serve others with compassion and respect. Nearly 40 of your colleagues attended, and the response I heard was overwhelmingly positive! At the conclusion of the workshop, it was my pleasure to present four faculty/staff awards. Let me again recognize Staff Excellence Award winner, Ms. Connie Fischer, who, described by one nominator, “is always welcoming, always solution focused, and always focused on student needs before all else.” Our Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award went to Dr. Shu-Fen Shih (who has “consistently provided excellent teaching and counseling supervision to CEP students at all levels”) and Ms. Christine Webster, from CIL, who “takes part in meaningful discussions with education faculty and provides students real-world knowledge [to help them excel].” The 2015 Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to Dr. Uzziel Pecina, who “consistently works to better his students and their education experience” and whom one nominator described as “the most pivotal educator in my entire life.” My congratulations to all awardees for their commitment to our students and their dedication to excellence as well as my thanks to the Culture and Climate Team who worked tirelessly in (re)creating an awards process to better recognize our outstanding colleagues.

I also wish to recognize Dr. Etta Hollins who, at this year’s April AERA Convention in Chicago, was presented with an AERA Presidential Citation “for her transformative scholarship in teacher education, her service to the profession and her intellectual advocacy on behalf of underserved children and youth.” Congratulations!

I appreciate that many of you were able to attend Dr. Ekatarina Strekalova-Hughes’ presentation on May 8th, participate in group meals/conversations or transport her as we brought her to campus as a finalist for the position of Assistant/Associate Professor, Early Childhood Education. Stay tuned for developments in filling this position.

A reminder that commencement is this Saturday, May 16th, beginning at 10 a.m. at Swinney Recreation Center with Kansas City Mayor Sly James as our commencement speaker. For those of you participating, thank you for sharing your weekend with us in order to help celebrate the milestones achieved by our 248 2015 SOE graduates!

Please enjoy the slideshow from Fiesta on the Lawn: https://education.umkc.edu/2015-fiesta-on-the-lawn/.

Upcoming deadlines/events:

  • Grades due at 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 19th.
  • The Edgar L. & Rheta A. Berkley Child & Family Development Center’s Playground preschool playground dedication and ribbon cutting in connection with its 22nd birthday celebration and curriculum night, Thursday, June 11th from 4:45-6 p.m. The formal ribbon cutting will follow a short program that will begin at 5 p.m. RSVP to prendergastp@umkc.edu.

Have a great week, now that the rain is behind us!