Category Archives: Non-news

Notice of Upcoming Accreditation Review

Third-Party Comments


The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education is hosting an accreditation visit by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) on March 19-20, 2018. Interested parties are invited to submit third-party comments to the site team. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Council’s criteria for accreditation. Please note that comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of professional education programs offered, and should specify the party’s relationship to the provider (e.g., graduate, present or former faculty member, employer of graduates). Copies of all correspondence received will be sent to the university for comment prior to the review. No anonymous testimony will be considered.


We invite you to submit written testimony to:

1140 19th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
or by email to:


All comments must be received by February 1, 2018.

A Q&A with the SOE’s Mary Phyl Dwight

Dwight, at left, second row (in hat), from team handball’s 20-year reunion in Lake Placid, New York.

While Olympic swimming, gymnastics and women’s soccer and beach volleyball seemed to capture attention of the masses during the (2012 summer) London games, the UMKC School of Education’s Associate Clinical Professor Mary Phyl Dwight focused on the lesser known team handball, “staying up late or [getting up] early in the morning to watch,” she said.


Despite a following of 7 million players worldwide, it’s a sport that’s still fairly unknown in the U.S. but nonetheless, one that’s near and dear to Mary Phyl’s heart—as a former U.S. Olympian herself!


The School of Education Dean’s Office caught up with Mary Phyl this summer to learn more about her nine years on the National Team, her team’s 4th place finish at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and her worldwide travels for the sport where she competed in more than 100 international games on five continents and in 28 countries.  Additionally, her work as technical director for team handball for the Special Olympics was acknowledged by Special Olympics Founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver.


When did you start playing handball?

“I started playing in 1975 after a tryout in Ames, Iowa, where they were looking for multisport athletes to try this game new to USA.  It is not much in the U.S.—like soccer used to be many years ago.  I had just graduated as a multisport college athlete and my athletic director told me about the tryouts.”


Was going to the Olympics a childhood dream?

“Yes, the Olympics was a childhood dream, even though I was pre Title IX and had no opportunity for any organized high school sports.  I played varsity softball, volleyball, basketball, track, and cross country at Southwest Missouri State.”


What was your training regime like?

“I was a full time athlete and lived at US Olympic Training Centers for the 2 ½ years leading up to the 1984 games.  Over the ten years on the National team, I lived about 4 years as a full time athlete.  The rest of the time, I trained at home (had a college coaching job) and went on competition trips.  When we were living at the Olympic Training Centers, we basically trained twice a day, made various competition trips for 3-4 weeks at a time in Europe, Asia, and Africa.”


What did it mean to you to represent the United States at the ’84 Olympics on our ‘home turf?’

“Playing at home was special.  My family was able to attend and we had great home town crowds even though people were seeing handball for the first time!  They were cheering for USA!  Coming from behind and winning our first game against China was a highlight of the games.”


You’ve traveled the world in your role for the Special Olympics.  What country or one person whom you met had the greatest impact on you?

“For Special Olympics, I held clinics in several countries and directed the Special Olympics team handball competition at several International Summer Special Olympic Games.   During a clinic trip to Calcutta, India, our small group of three was able to meet with Mother Theresa for tea.   She was so interested in what we were doing with Special Olympians—what a special person who embodied the difference just one person can make in another person’s life.”



This article originally appeared in 2012.

UMKC Legacy Award honorees include two SOE alums

Josephine Mannino Cisetti (B.A. ’45) and John Cisetti (M.A. ‘79, Ed.S. ‘85) among 24 alumni from three connected families honored with UMKC’s 2017 Legacy Award


John Cisetti has been the director of bands at Kansas USD 416 and band director of the Louisburg (Kansas) High School Band for 38 years where he teaches hundreds of students in grades five through 12 every weekday.


Under Cisetti’s direction, the Wildcat Band at Louisburg High School boasts 139 members and is the largest organization at the school. Cisetti and the band have made appearances at local, regional and national events in places like New York City, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, St. Louis, Chicago and Dallas. They have played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, in the Indy 500 Parade and at patriotic events such as the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Navy Memorial in Washington D.C. and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, PA.   Cisetti will lead the Louisburg High School Band in the 2018 Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, on January 1, 2018—only one of 13 bands nationwide chosen to march in that parade.


“I want my students to have a lifelong love for and appreciation of music,” asserts Cisetti. “But the lessons of band go beyond music. In band, students work together on a complex project with many different parts to produce a product in which they can all take pride. America needs citizens who have that collaborative, creative skillset in order to be successful in the modern, competitive world. I believe that what I do day in and day out is vitally important for my students, for the community, and for the nation.”


Throughout his time as an educator, Cisetti has been honored with a number of awards and recognitions. He was named Louisburg Master Teacher of the Year in 2000, a semifinalist for the 2001 Kansas Teacher of the Year, the Wal-Mart Local Teacher of the Year in 2007, and, most recently, he received the 2015 Northeast Kansas Music Educators Association Outstanding High School Band Director Award.


Mannino Cisetti’s granddaughter and Cisetti’s daughter, Catherine, is an elementary teacher currently enrolled in the Education Specialist degree program at the School of Education.


In total, 25 Roos help comprise the Cisetti-Orozco-Madden family.  They were honored at the 2017 Alumni Awards luncheon held on campus in April.


View the video tribute to the family.