Chemistry, Pre-Dental

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

That I am more self-reliant, and that I can do things on my own with excellent results.

Why did you choose UMKC?

I chose UMKC because of the dental school and because it’s close to home (Overland Park, Kan.). My parents were probably going to follow me wherever I went to college since I’m the baby.

Are you a first-generation college student?

I am. I am very fortunate to be able to attend college at all, and even more to be at such a wonderful school. My parents never had the money to go to school.

What motto do you live by?

Dad always told me the harder you work, the more you get out of life. Through all the jobs I’ve taken – and I was a store manager at 15 – I’m always getting called in because they like working with me. The little things matter most. Whatever work you put in will pay off eventually.

UMKC Chemistry and Pre-dental Student, Haley Fiedler sitting in the Student Union

Where is UMKC taking you?

I want to own my own dental practice. I’ve had braces since I was 4 and I still have them at 18. I don’t remember what it feels like to not have braces. If all goes well, my braces will be removed in a year or so.

When I was younger, they discovered I had a rare open bite. I had jaw surgery last year and afterward had my jaw wired shut for eight months.

My orthodontist, Kelly Toombs (who completed his D.D.S. and orthodontics residency at the UMKC School of Dentistry), is really good with kids. Kids inspire me and keep me smiling. Dr. Toombs made me smile, and I want to make children who come to the dentist smile, too. He’s not selfish with his job, either. He has a lot of programs for people who can’t afford braces.

What is one word that best describes you?

Heroine. My name actually means heroine, which is defined as a woman admired or idealized for her courage and outstanding achievements.

What’s your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is that I will put so much work and effort into dentistry and then won’t be accepted. But I think that I have great potential as a future dentist and that if I work very hard, I will one day achieve my dream.

A king of KC theater takes on Shakespeare’s great king — and then steps aside

Shakespeare’s King Lear is the theatrical equivalent of an Olympic decathlon.

UMKC Theatre's Theodore Swetz

Lear may be the most challenging role in the English-speaking theater, one that takes prickly concepts of vanity, loss and madness and pushes them about as far as they can go.

“Of all the roles I’ve done, this is the most demanding,” said Theodore Swetz, who will play the mad king in the Kansas City Actors Theatre production starting Friday, Oct. 13, in Spencer Theatre as a co-production with UMKC Theatre.

“It’s a sustained assault on the mind and body. At the same time it’s fun. Terrific fun.”

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Kathleen Kilway to Receive STEMMy Award

Dr. Kathleen Kilway shows students objects in a chemistry lab.Kathleen Kilway, Ph.D., Curator’s teaching professor and chair, UMKC Chemistry Department, will be recognized for her professional and technical excellence by the Kansas City Central Exchange with a STEMMy Award.

The award will be presented by Central Exchange on Sept. 21 at the 4th Annual Stemmy Awards Luncheon at the Arvest Bank Theatre in downtown Kansas City. Continue reading

Cara Nordengren

Art History and Criminal Justice and Criminology majors, Psychology minor

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa, which is a suburb of Des Moines. I graduated from Dowling Catholic High School.

How have your college programs inspired you?

Art History helped me realize that you can make what you love your job. Art has always had a very calming influence on my life. Before I was an Art History major I would go to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to de-stress. So when I started taking art history classes it was like the clouds parted. I would spend extra time studying without even realizing it because I just really loved looking at and learning about art.

CJC has been great because there’s so many different people who major in Criminal Justice, every one of those people comes to the program with a different approach to the law and how/if policies should be enforced.

What got you into your fields of study?

When I originally chose criminal justice, I wanted to help people and be able to make a difference in our world. There are so many problems with the current criminal justice system and I wanted to be able to have a hand in fixing it. I still have every intention of doing so, just through charity and volunteer work and the like.

I took Introduction to Art History, Art History 110 with Dr. Robert Cohon. I just fell in love with it. It was one of the best classes I’d ever taken. And studying never felt like a chore for that class because I just really enjoyed doing it. I carry a lot of stress in my life. I’m a very high-stress person. It’s just the way I am. Art is just so calming, and I’m never stressed when I’m working on art. I really took the right class at the right time.

What do you do as a Nelson-Atkins Scholar?

I’m doing independent research in the Nelson on the special exhibition that just came through, Luxury: Treasures of the Roman Empire. And I’m doing work with the permanent collections and then research about Roman glass and Roman marble and carbon techniques.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I’ve learned that I don’t do well with nothing to do. I have to be doing something the more mentally engaging the better, whether that’s homework, actual work, or something else. Which is probably why I’m a double major with a minor — that keeps me busy enough that I don’t get bored.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?

You have to do what you love or it’s not worth the effort.

What do you feel like you contribute to UMKC?

I hope a positive attitude and a welcoming face. I try to be really friendly and helpful. I work for Res Life. I’m a desk attendant. So part of my job is just being super friendly to people.

What do you want your legacy to be after graduation day?

Positivity – I think that’s what I’d like my legacy to be. Positivity and community.

I would love to become an art curator. Being able to bring the world of fine arts to more people. I feel like people get intimidated about art. I want people to be able to have more of an access to art. Art just has such a calming influence on my life. I feel like more people should be able to have access to that. I’d also love to travel more and see the world and learn about people. I love learning, so getting to know how different parts of the world work and how different people think would be great.

Art History, CJC and Psychology student Cara Nordengren sitting

How do you feel UMKC will help you achieve your goals?

Definitely the people here. Most everyone that I’ve interacted with has been really helpful and out to make sure that you really succeed. Also giving me introductions and access to the right people. Because where I’m at in my life right now I definitely would not be if I hadn’t come to UMKC and taken the right classes and shook hands with the right people. Connections.

What is one word that best describes you?

Driven. I have always felt like there was something more I could be doing, or a way I could be doing better. Even when I have a lot to do, as soon as I finish one thing my first thought is: what’s next?

What’s your favorite social media channel and why?

I’m a big fan of Snapchat; it lets me see what my friends are doing throughout the day as if I’m there with them without actually being there.

What’s your favorite spot to eat in Kansas City?

A little Vietnamese restaurant at the City Market called Hien Vuong Restaurant. It’s got somewhere between 20 and 30 seats and they make the most incredible authentic Vietnamese food.

What motto do you live by?

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” – a quote by Frida Kahlo

What excites you?

Learning. I love learning new things and meeting new people and seeing how different portions of the world work. I get really excited about art. Learning on a macro level and then art on a micro level.


Architecture, Urban Planning + Design

Why architecture?

I grew up with family members who were in construction and landscaping. I’d watch them, and was always curious about their solution. I played with Lego bricks, I drew and made things. I liked putting things together.

What excites you?

New projects and the design process. I dream about building things and think about all of the details.

Who do you admire most at UMKC?

(Associate Teaching Professor) John Eck. I attended a summer architecture class in high school in 2008, which he taught. It made me come back after serving in the military.

What motto do you live by?

Semper Fi. Always faithful. I served in the Marines. I lived and traveled in Japan and Europe. I met interesting people.

How has the architecture program inspired you?

I want to design for veterans who require assistance.

AUPD student, Samuel Valenzuela

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

That in order to influence a whole group, it’s important to talk to different programs around campus.

Are you a first-generation college student?

Yes, it means that I have to try ever harder to set an example for my younger siblings.

What are your lifelong goals?

To start a firm.

What is one word that best describes you?

Curious. Curiosity has made me take paths in life that most people would not have.

View other student profiles.

CAS presents inaugural Royall Professorships

Normal Royall Distinguished Professor AwardThe UMKC College of Arts and Sciences presented the inaugural Norman Royall Professorships to four faculty members during the College’s 2017 Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony. The Royall Professorship is the highest honor bestowed by the College.

“As the highest recognition in the College, the Royall Professorship will reward faculty committed to research and/or teaching excellence, creativity and interdisciplinarity,” said Dean Wayne Vaught during the presentation.

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CAS hosts annual Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony

Dean Wayne Vaught speaks at the 2017 CAS Fall ReceptionThe UMKC College of Arts and Sciences hosted its annual Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, September 15, 2017, in the Atterbury Student Success Center’s Pierson Auditorium. Dean Wayne Vaught delivered a “State of the College” address, followed by faculty and staff awards.

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Rapping With the Mayor: Royce “Sauce” Handy wants to make a difference through hip hop

Royce “Sauce” Handy“College in general has made me question who I am and what I can do. My specific program has made me realize that I can do something to change my community, to bring resources and to put all this knowledge to work. I’m inspired by knowing that I can use all this experience to navigate the future for my community.” Continue reading

Leaders in Learning: a celebration of faculty achievement

University of Missouri-Kansas City faculty who received endowed professorships, promotions, tenure and other awards of distinction were recognized in 2017 with the Leaders in Learning celebration, an evening of dinner and jazz at Pierson Auditorium.

A video tribute included praise for UMKC faculty from students as well as Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

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Mentors Researching Mentorship

Mentor Jennifer Lundgren and mentee Frances BozsikDynamic duo in psychology deeply understands the benefits

With a student-to-faculty ratio resembling a small private college, UMKC makes mentorship a central part of the student experience. Though more than 16,000 students are enrolled, the 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio is unusually small for such a large university.

The result: UMKC has many mentorship success stories.

Meet Jennifer Lundgren, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in the Department of Psychology; and Frances Bozsik, who is working to complete a Clinical Health Psychology PhD in 2020. Continue reading