Faculty & Staff E-news 9.20.16

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What a wonderful celebration last week Thursday at our annual Scholar Donor Lunch!  Provost Bichelmeyer graciously provided the welcome to nearly 130 donors, alumni, scholars, faculty and staff, and publicly acknowledged Dr. Chris Brown’s contributions as interim dean from 2014-16.  Our three guest speakers [Gabrielle Isom, M.A. candidate in School Counseling; Ciera Dunnell Kelley (B.A. ’11, M.A. ’13); and Irvin Parga, B.A. candidate for Middle School Math] poignantly shared their stories with us and it was energizing to see their clear commitment to educating and serving as advocates for our youth.  A brief video tribute also honored Harold M. Gersh (M.A. ’55) who, upon his death last year, endowed nearly $1 million in scholarships for secondary education students, which we hope begin to pay out for the 2017-18 academic year.  My sincere thanks, in particular, to Ms. Shelly Doucet and Ms. Barbara Schaaf Petty for their attention to detail in executing the event; to Ms. Christine Timmerman, Dr. Jennifer Waddell, Ms. Shay Dodson and Ms. Dianna Brasington for attending to the many details of identifying last minute scholarship recipients and speakers and serving as those students’ liaisons.  I also appreciate the faculty and staff who attended and engaged with our students and donors and, of course, thanks are also due to our Scholarship Committee (Ms. Dianna Brasington, Dr. Linda Edwards, Dr. Gus Jacob, Ms. Karen Miazga, Dr. Johanna Nilsson, Mr. Ernie Stufflebean, Dr. May Lee Sturdevant, Dr. Ray Taft, Dr. Edward Underwood, Dr. Sue Vartuli and Dr. Jennifer Waddell).


Many of the extended School of Education family were able to gather at Grand Street Café for a casual lunch last Friday, and I hope it provided a brief respite from the hectic first weeks of the semester.  It was good to see all of you.


This semester the SOE writing group will meet every Wednesday from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. in room 354 and all are welcome to attend. Each week, two writers present their material for group review.  Writers are selected at least one week in advance, and are asked to bring hard copies of around five pages of the work they would like others to read. In the writing group, group members spend 20 minutes reading each writing selection; when both have been read, the group discusses strengths and areas of improvement of each piece.  Questions may be directed to Dr. Michelle Maher who will be hosting this semester’s gatherings while Dr. Kindel Nash is on research leave.


On September 9, I was pleased to join Ms. Shelly Doucet, Ms. Dea Marx, Ms. Christine Timmerman and Dr. Kindel Nash and their families at the Sporting KC game, as part of UMKC’s Night at Children’s Mercy Park.  The game against the Houston Dynamo was a fun opportunity to get off campus with colleagues and take a break from academic life.


Upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, September 21 – Learning Commons Open House, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Please RSVP and encourage your students to join us.
  • Wednesday, September 21 – Regional Meeting on Education hosted by DESE will be held at 6 p.m. at Blue Springs South High School (1200 SE Adams Dairy Parkway) and is open to the public. For more information or to register visit http://dese.mo.gov/quality-schools/2016-regional-meetings.
  • Nominations for the UMKC Campus Awards (for teaching, service and staff) are open until midnight Tuesday, November 1. Visit the UMKC Campus Awards Website for nomination instructions and further information.