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Behavioral and Social Sciences News

    Light in the Darkness: Q&A with Shannon Barry

    Shannon Barry, who is double-majoring in Sociology and Criminal Justice and Criminology, wants to help Kansas City youth.

    Get to know our students, and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.

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    Over 360 students named to CAS Dean’s List for Fall 2017

    CAS Dean's List Fall 2017A total of 369 students in the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences were named to the Dean’s List for the Fall 2017 semester. The CAS Dean’s List recognizes excellent academic performance among full-time undergraduate students with a grade point average of 3.85 or higher for the term.

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    Inscribing Yourself into a Nazi Future: Love Letters in the Third Reich

    Detlef Schmiechen-Ackermann, Marlis Buchholz, Bianca Roitsch, Karl H. Schneider, Christiane Schröder, Hrsg. Der Ort der “Volksgemeinschaft” in der deutschen Gesellschaftsgeschichte. Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöning, 2018. https://www.schoeningh.de/katalog/titel/978-3-506-78648-7.htmlSince 2011, Andrew Stuart Bergerson, Professor of History & Public Humanities, has been one of the lead researchers for a project called Trug&Schein. It uses the correspondence of an ordinary German couple, Hilde Laube and Roland Nordhoff, to facilitate public engagement with everyday life over the course of the Second World War.

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    Thin is In? Think Again: UMKC doctoral student’s research is gaining international attention

    Frances Bozsik, a UMKC doctoral psychology student, researched the perception of the ideal female figure, which is gaining worldwide coverage. Photo by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and CommunicationsA UMKC doctoral student's research on what constitutes the ideal female figure is earning media coverage around the globe.

    “It’s really exciting,” said Frances Bozsik, who is on track to complete a Clinical Health Psychology Ph.D. in 2020. “The study reflects the trend people are noticing that fitness and nutrition – vs. thinness – is the ideal.”

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    2017 Winter Commencement Challenges Graduates to Better the World

    UMKC students at graduationApproximately 1,000 University of Missouri-Kansas City graduates, friends and families filled Swinney Auditorium to celebrate the culmination of years of late nights and hard work as graduates claimed their diplomas. The university held three ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 16 and presented two honorary doctorate degrees.

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    UMKC to Present Honorary Doctorates to Outstanding Kansas City-Based Authors

    Dean Wayne Vaught speaks to a faculty member at UMKC commencement in 2016Celebrated Kansas City-based non-fiction authors David Von Drehle and Candice Millard will be honored with honorary doctorates at mid-year commencement ceremonies Dec. 16 at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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    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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    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.

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    Lundgren named Associate Dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences

    Jennifer Lundgren, Ph.D.The UMKC College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the appointment of Jennifer Lundgren, Ph.D., as the new Associate Dean, effective September 1, 2017.

    Dr. Lundgren is taking over the Associate Dean position previously held by Michael Kruger, Ph.D., who has accepted a new position as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Dakota.

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    Based On Nazi Love Letters, A UMKC Professor’s Play Shows Life During Wartime

    Based On Nazi Love Letters, A UMKC Professor's Play Shows Life During WartimeDid Nazis fall in love?

    Of course they did, though it may be hard to associate the idea of that emotion with a society that committed human atrocities. But as the Third Reich was rising, individuals in Germany fell in love with each other just like people all over the world fall in love every day.

    Kansas Citians have a chance to hear what that felt like when actors stage a script-in-hand reading on Sunday, June 4, 2017, thanks to a trove of letters between two wartime lovers.

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    UMKC Humanities Consortium Receives Grant for Performance of Letters from Nazi Germany

    Group seeks to spark community conversations with special project and performance

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Humanities Consortium – a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program – is the recipient of a 2017 Missouri Humanities Grant totaling $2,500.

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    UMKC History Professor Reconstructs the History of Surgery before Anesthesia

    The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88Lynda Payne publishes new book about "the best surgeon" in 18th century England.

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce the publication Professor Lynda Payne's new book, The Best Surgeon in England: Percivall Pott, 1713-88, about the influential English surgeon Percivall Pott, whose practice of surgery was praised for being methodical, skilled and measured.

    Payne, a specialist in the history of science and medicine, challenges the belief that the practice of surgery prior to the invention of general anesthesia was “a realm of screaming patients and larger than life eccentric medical men whose primary aims were to operate as fast as possible.” The goal of her new book is to humanize and historicize medical practices by looking at the biography of this landmark teacher and practitioner.

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    CAS Associate Dean Publishes Book About the Wartime Deeds of Henry Bloch

    Once upon a time, America’s Tax Man was America’s airman.

    Henry Bloch, founder of H&R Block, enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack and was trained as a navigator for bomber missions. He flew 32 missions over Europe as a navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress. His first mission was the third-ever raid over Berlin by the Allies.

    Bloch’s wartime experiences, and the impact those experiences had on shaping his postwar business career, is the topic of a new book from BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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    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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    CAS Professors Receive 2016 UMKC Online Awards

    UMKC Online AwardsTwo UMKC College of Arts and Sciences professors recently received 2016 UMKC Online Awards for their online teaching.

    Dr. Kymberly Bennett, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Undergraduate Psychology Program, was honored with the 2016 Accessible Course Content Award for the course Psychology 312 – Social Psychology. This award recognizes the individual who supports and promotes accessibility through the incorporation of accessible design/universal design standards into the online course.

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    Political Science Professor Featured in Short Documentary

    Eric Hurst recently interviewed UMKC Political Science Professor Dr. Max Skidmore for "It's Too Late," a short documentary exploring the the Electoral College including its origin, how it is intended to function and how one 2016 Elector now views his role.

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    UMKC-FBI Student Academy Classes

    FBI AcademyUMKC students are learning about the FBI through a unique program called the UMKC Student Academy.

    Students of all majors can attend the non-credit professional development academy at no charge. It consists of eight seminars led by FBI personnel. Students are encouraged to participate in as many sessions as possible and may pick and choose which sessions to attend. Those who attend six or more sessions will receive a certificate of participation from the FBI.

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    Dynamic Duos: Lyne and Webb

    Dynamic Duos

    Reaching for Lofty Goals

    Meet Mona Lyne and Parker Webb

    Mona Lyne, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, joined the UMKC faculty in 2008 and has received multiple awards for her writing. She specializes in comparative politics and international relations, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently. She is a member of the American Political Science Association, the Latin American Studies Association and the Midwestern Political Science Association.

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    4th Floor Cherry Hall (CJC and Philosophy)

    photo by: University CommunicationsFourth Floor Cherry Hall Now Open For Business

    Honors College, Criminal Justice, Philosophy Host Grand Opening of New Space

    UMKC faculty, staff and students filed into Cherry Hall Nov. 2 and headed toward the fourth floor, not sure what to expect.

    Upon arrival, they found a beautifully renovated, wide-open new space that had been vacant for nearly seven years. The top floor of the former dormitory, constructed in 1955, is now home to the Honors College, the Department of Philosophy and the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

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    Zippia ranks CAS's Economics Department as #1

    cas_newsZippia ranks CAS's Economics Department as #1 in their "These are the 10 best Colleges for Economics Majors in Missouri" article.

    You know there are a ton of great reasons to major in economics -- the job prospects, the intellectual challenge, and the chance to follow in the footsteps of some of the greatest thinkers of all time.

    But what program in Missouri offers the most to would be economics majors?

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    Who Has the Candidate’s Ear?

    What does a presidential candidate’s choice of advisers tell us about the candidate?

    A deep bench of experienced advisers is essential for any president — to provide policy guidance, a sounding board, intellectual ballast and, eventually, help in translating ideas into action. But the people selected say much about the candidates themselves — their intellectual rigor, their willingness to entertain fresh views, the value they place on experience.

    Hillary Clinton’s roster is a who’s who of the astute and ambitious accumulated by both Clintons in four decades in Democratic politics. It includes Alan Blinder, former Fed vice chairman, and John Podesta, campaign chairman and a top adviser in the Clinton and Obama administrations.

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    Radical economic ideas grab attention...

    An advocate for radical Modern Monetary Theory is an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Photo: Bloomberg

    Our economic guardians at Federal Treasury and the Reserve Bank sound increasingly uneasy about some policy choices being made offshore.

    Since the global financial crisis, quantitative easing has pumped trillions of dollars into major economies with limited success. More recently central banks in Europe and Japan have opted for negative interest rates in a bid to kick-start growth.

    On Tuesday the Treasury Secretary, John Fraser, pointed out that we've now been in an "experimental stage" with monetary policy for more than seven years...

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    Denmark doesn’t treat its prisoners like prisoners...

    Prisoners prepare their own meals, wear their own clothes and leave each day. It's led to lower recidivism.

    The most interesting thing about Scandinavian prisons? Many are barely prisons at all.

    Our research team spent six weeks conducting intensive research in Danish prisons. We were struck by the sight of prisoners wearing their own clothes, cooking their own meals and having private family visits as often as once a week. At these “open” prisons, there are no barbed wire fences, solid walls with gun towers or secure perimeters.

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    UMKC professor among handful of economist to predict Eurozone fiscal downturn

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's not something Dr. Randall Wray wanted to be right about.

    "When you have your own currency, you have sovereign power," said Wray, a professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City.

    But when it came to predicting Europe's financial downturn, the economics professor was spot on.

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    The New Yorker's "The Case Against Cash Bail"

    Photo by: Spencer Platt / Getty
    It’s obvious that jail isn’t good for the jailed. It may be particularly bad for people accused of minor crimes, who are confined not because they are likely to be dangerous but because, under our cash-bail system, they can’t afford to get out. Think of the appalling case of Kalief Browder, the Bronx teenager who was profiled by my colleague Jennifer Gonnerman, in 2014. He was charged with stealing a backpack and spent three years at Rikers Island awaiting trial. Two years after the trial was dismissed and he was released, Browder killed himself.

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    Nine People Who Saw the Greek Crisis Coming Years Before Everyone Else Did

    Professor's Forstater, Kelton and Wray are among the Nine People Who Saw the Greek Crisis Coming Years Before Everyone Else Did.

    Although the problems in Greece didn't begin making big headlines until 2009, a number of economists, politicians and professors spotted cracks in the European currency union as early as the 1990s. Meanwhile, it's interesting to note that the country had a tough time making it into the single currency in the first place.

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    The Most Interested Man in Kansas City

    Bill AshworthScience, art, technology, history, space. Bill Ashworth wants to know about everything.

    If  you’re curious, there are many things that Bill Ashworth wants you to know.

    But here’s the main thing: Learning is fun.

    That optimistic aphorism is more than a casual one to Ashworth and his devoted admirers, who delight in the local educator’s indefatigable interest in not only his chosen academic field—the history of science—but anything else that might tickle his circuitously inquisitive mind.

    Ashworth is a longtime associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and consultant on rare books for the privately-funded Linda Hall Library, an independent research library of science, engineering and technology across the street from the UMKC campus.

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    Missouri Reports Wide Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops

    The New York Times' John Eligon interviews CJC's Ken Novak.

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police officers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to stop black drivers than white drivers last year, and 73 percent more likely to search black drivers, according to a report released Monday by Chris Koster, the state’s attorney general.

    The data also showed that although blacks were more likely to be stopped and searched than whites, they were less likely to be found with contraband than whites, the report said.

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