UMKC Osher alum has big dreams for Kansas City’s Ivanhoe neighborhood

Chris Harris, a man with big dreams for Kansas City's Ivanhoe neighborhoodChris Harris (BLA, ’14) is a man with big dreams, especially for Kansas City’s Ivanhoe neighborhood, which he grew up in and still calls home. In the late 1990s, Harris developed the Harris Park Midtown Sports and Activities Center at Fortieth and Wayne, which serves as both a recreational and educational space. He is now working to build a state-of-the-art, nine-hole putting green as a way to introduce the inner city, particularly local kids, to golf.

“My main goals have always been about education and beautification,” Harris said. “It’s unexpected in the middle of the city. The image of this area is crime and blight, but when people come here for events they see how nice it is.” Continue reading

Driven to Make a Difference in the Lives of Others

Kathryn WebsterKathryn Webster (B.A. ’75, M.A. ’79) to be honored with the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Achievement Award. Webster is a life-long heart disease survivor. She was diagnosed with congenital heart disease at the age of four, underwent open heart surgery as a teenager and had her second open heart surgery 11 years ago. It was after her second surgery that she learned about WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease.
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Urban Planning and Design Graduate Idris Raoufi

Idris Raoufi - AUPD Idris Raoufi’s views on urban planning in Kansas City border on bleak.

KC is one of the most underplanned municipalities in the United States,” Raoufi says. “We’re 30 years behind the curve with land use, neighborhood preservation, municipal services, community health. There’s been almost no emphasis on planning for the future.” But even in challenging environments, dedicated souls tend to locate niches in which a difference might be made. Raoufi’s niche: the 816 Bicycle Collective, where he focuses his energy when he’s not working his day job as a transportation planner for Wilson & Co., an engineering and architecture firm. Continue reading

Colorado cartoonist responds to Paris attack

Colorado Cartoonist Mike Keefe, KUSA-TV 9 news reportDENVER – Longtime cartoonist Mike Keefe is responding to the terrorist attacks against French magazine Charlie Hebdo in the only way he knows how: by drawing.

After 36 years at The Denver Post, Keefe now draws for the website Colorado Independent, which published his latest cartoon on the attacks.

“This is exactly what cartoonists do. They see some injustice in the world and they either use humor, irony or drama to make a statement about it,” he said. Continue reading