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About Us

The UMKC Department of Communication studies provides an educational experience that prepares students for organizational communication, journalism, film studies and arts, media production, advertising and public relations.

Our Faculty

The Department of Communication Studies specializes in three key areas: Interpersonal and Public Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Film and Media Arts.

We have an award-winning faculty of scholars, filmmakers and journalists committed to inspiring the highest level of undergraduate achievement.

Our programs reflect practical and theoretical aspects of human communication, journalism, film studies and media production within the context of a liberal arts education.

Learn more about our faculty

Our Students

Communication Studies students at UMKC explore diverse interests through classroom work, research, internships, and individual practice, collaborate with faculty on research, compete in regional and national contests, and develop their resumes and portfolios at a variety local institutions.

The UMKC debate program operates from the Department of Communication Studies, and has ranked nationally among the top 10 debate teams since 1989 along with colleges such as University of California-Los Angeles and Cornell.

Meet our students

Check out student projects

B.A. in Communication Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies is divided into three emphasis areas: Interpersonal and Public Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Film and Media Arts.

These programs include the study of public speaking, interpersonal and intercultural communications, contemporary communication theory, film studies, media production, media writing, public relations and advertising.

Interpersonal and Public Communication Emphasis

Journalism and Mass Communication Emphasis

Film and Media Studies Emphasis

B.A. in Film and Media Arts

The B.A. in Film and Media Arts offers a rigorous course of study in film and video production, also incorporating courses in film studies and art. All of our courses emphasize critical thinking, creative exploration, and skill development.

Film and Media Arts Courses

Student Filmmaking Support

Our department also supports our students’ development as filmmakers outside of coursework. Opportunities include:

  • Competitive scholarships for film and media students;
  • Competitive student production grants;
  • Film festival and competition entry fee reimbursement;
  • Departmental trip to the True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO;
  • Student Film League, a student-run UMKC film organization.
Check out the courses and degree requirements

Become a Student

We offer journalism and mass communication, film and media arts, and interpersonal and public communication. Each student receives academic and career advising tailored to their individual needs.

Meet Our AlumniA reporter at WDAF Fox 4 newsA filmmakerA director of marketing

Click on the tabs to find out words of wisdom from the distinguished alumni of UMKC’s Communication Studies department.

students filming in a building

Mary Pulley, 2006 BA in Communication Studies

Kevin Bryce, maker of “We Are Superman: The Transformation of 31st and Troost.”

Valerie Brown, Director of Marketing, Worksite Lighting LLC

Why Communication Studies

“No matter what career you pursue, your success will depend upon effective communication.” Read more.

Most of our courses have a small student to faculty ratio, allowing for more one-on-one interaction between faculty and students and an enhanced learning environment.

We have an award-winning faculty of scholars, filmmakers and journalists committed to inspiring the highest level of undergraduate achievement.

CAS Dean’s Fall Reception presents Faculty and Staff Awards

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce one staff award and four sets of faculty awards that were presented at the annual CAS Dean’s Fall Reception on September 11.

Faculty Awards are as follows:

Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award (awarded to a tenure-track or tenured faculty member)

Royall Distinguished Professors (honors faculty committed to research excellence, creativity, and interdisciplinarity, as well as pedagogy)

Bernardin Research Development Grant (recipients are granted support to prepare a grant proposal in their chosen area of research)

Haskell Distinguished Research Award (recipients receive an award to support the completion of a scholarly project or creative work)

Staff Award is as follows:

Outstanding Staff Member

(awarded to recognize outstanding contributions made by staff members who are employed by the College of Arts & Sciences with strong characteristics including: respectful, responsible, resourceful, receptive, responsive, and reasonable)

Contact Us

Department Contact Information

202 Haag Hall
5120 Rockhill Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64110
Phone: 816-235-1337
Fax: 816-235-5539
Email: com-s@umkc.edu

Department Chair

Caitlin Horsmon, Associate Professor
Phone: 816-235-2735
Email: horsmonc@umkc.edu

Interpersonal and Public Communication and
Journalism and Mass Communication Advisers

Judith McCormick, Ph.D.
Phone: 816-235-1120
Email: mccormickjk@umkc.edu

Linda Kurz, Ph.D.
Phone: 816-235-5846
Email: kurzl@umkc.edu

Film and Media Arts Advisers

Caitlin Horsmon
Phone: 816-235-2735
Email: horsmonc@umkc.edu

Lyn Elliot, Ph.D.
Phone: 816-235-1708
Email: elliotle@umkc.edu

Administrative Assistant

Jennifer Underwood
Phone: 816-235-1337
Email: underwoodj@umkc.edu

Degree Programs

Offering two degree programs, the Department of Communication Studies specializes in three areas: Interpersonal and Public Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication, and Film and Media Arts.

OverviewWhat's Unique About FMA?What's Unique about IPC?What's Unique about JMC?
students studying and chatting

Our degree programs reflect practical and theoretical aspects of human communication, journalism, film studies and media production within the context of a liberal arts education.

What’s Unique About Film and Media Arts?

two students making film

The Tivoli Repertory Series

As a part of the Film and Media Arts program not only do you get to see films in a movie theater during class, after class you can see more of the movies that made films what they are today. Every semester our department shows a selection of important international, art house, experimental or documentary films at our partner theater, the Tivoli Cinemas. We bring in film directors, programmers and scholars to show their work and offer students the chance to meet and talk to working professionals all for free. Supported by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council.

Opera Goes to the Movies

Have you seen the beautiful new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts? Film and Media Arts students go to the opera there every year as a part of our innovative course, Opera Goes to the Movies. More than any other art form the movies borrow from the format of Opera, and in this course students make connections between world-class opera and its filmic antecedents.

The Student Film Showcase

Wonder what kind of films are being made in Film & Media Arts classes? At the end of each semester we show a program of student work, programmed by students at the Tivoli Theater. Students get to see their work presented on the big screen, and the Kansas City community gets to see the impressive and innovative work students in the department are making.

What’s Unique about Interpersonal and Public Communication?

two students talking

Faye Kirchner Speech Contest

Students enrolled in Comm-St 110: Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening can compete in the Faye Kircher Speech Contest for monetary prizes. The contest is judged by Kansas City civic leaders and distinguished Communications Studies Department alumni.

Mercury Association

The Mercury Association, a student organization within Communication Studies, helps UMKC students to prepare for work and careers. The Mercury Association sponsors an annual Internship Brunch, where students can network with area businesses and organizations that are looking to hire interns and new employees.

UMKC Debate Program

UMKC’s debate program has been nationally ranked among the top 10 since 1989, alongside the debate programs at schools such as UCLA and Cornell. The UMKC debate program operates from the Communication Studies Department.

What’s Unique about Journalism and Mass Communication?

two students interviewing

KCUR 89.3FM and K-ROO Student Media

KCUR 89.3FM and K-ROO: There are two radio stations on the UMKC campus. Journalism students can intern at KCUR, a flagship NPR station, which serves Kansas City and outlying cities such as St. Joseph, MO and Lawrence, KS. K-ROO Student Media is UMKC’s new student-run online radio station, where students can produce radio programs, become involved in management, or run the website. K-ROO Student Media is devoted to promoting local music, athletics, arts, and student campus organizations.

The University News

UMKC’s student newspaper has served UMKC and Kansas City since 1933. Yes, U-News is an independent student newspaper, and all news stories are reported, edited, and produced by students. Copies are distributed to the University, Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Midtown and Downtown areas. U-News is also online, with potential to reach the entire KC metropolitan area.

KHEN

Students enrolled in broadcast courses are involved in producing programs for Time Warner Cable Channel 17 (KHEN). KCEN broadcasts seven days a week, reporting local and national news and showcasing popular local events.

Learn more about the B.A. in Communication Studies

Learn more about the B.A. in Film and Media Arts

Save

Save

Delic Fatima Awarded 2017 Harry S. Truman Bootrap

Two UMKC students, Fatima Delic and Cameron Casey, have been selected as 2017 Harry S. Truman Bootstrap awardees. Chosen in a competitive process among UMKC undergraduate applicants, they will join interns from the other University of Missouri campuses living together in condos near the Capitol and working in offices of Missouri representatives and senators.

Cameron Casey, an Urban Planning and Design major, and Fatima Delic, a double major in Political Science and Communication Studies, will be assigned to governmental offices (legislative or administrative) and will work with identified mentors while there. More information is available here.

Department Scholarships

The Communication Studies Department offers several scholarships to help students pay for their education and build their resumes and portfolios.

Eligibility Requirements

Currently enrolled students must fill out the Continuing Scholarship Application by March 1 to be considered for all departmental scholarships, as well as many college- and university-wide scholarships.

Walt Bodine Scholarship in Communication Studies
Award Amount: Up to $1,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate students majoring in communication studies with an emphasis in TV, radio, film, new media forms or community journalism.

Alex and Josephine B. Coleman Scholarship Fund
Award Amount: 3 scholarships, up to $2,250 each
Qualifications: Students majoring in communication studies with a cumulative UMKC GPA of 3.3 or above who has completed at least 60 credit hours. Awarded based on ability.

The Fred Andrews Jubilee Creative Cinema Fund
Award Amount: Up to $1,200
Qualifications: Awards and/or internships for undergraduate or graduate students majoring in communication studies with an emphasis in film and media arts.

Faye Kircher Public Speaking Award Scholarship
Award Amount: varies
Qualifications: Awarded based on the performance at the Faye Kircher Public Speaking Competition; recipients selected by judges
How to Apply: Participants from the current semester’s ComSt 110 courses are selected to participate in the contest. Contact the Communication Studies Department for more details.

Carol Koehler Memorial Scholarship
Award Amount: Up to $1,000
Qualifications: A junior or senior majoring in communication studies who has completed at least 12 credit hours of communication studies and has a cumulative UMKC GPA of 3.0 or above. Students are required to enroll in the department’s three-hour internship course during the ensuing academic year.

Michelle LaPointe Scholarship
Award Amount: Up to $750
Qualifications: Non-traditional students majoring in communication studies who have completed at least 24 credit hours and demonstrate financial need.

Dianne and Charles Maggio Scholarship in Communication Studies
Award Amount: $1,000 for Summer and $1,000 for Fall
Qualifications: Communication Studies major who is in good academic standing and demonstrates financial need. Preference will be given to students who express a desire to enter a career in journalism or mass communications.

G. Tom Poe Scholarship Fund for Outstanding Achievement in Film and Media Arts
Award Amount: Up to $750
Qualifications: Undergraduate student majoring in communication studies with an emphasis in film and media arts or a minoring in film studies. Preference is given to a senior level student who maintains a 3.0 GPA.

The Philip Alexander Riggs Scholarship in Communication Studies
Award Amount: Varies
Qualifications: Students in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in Communication Studies with a preference given to students who express interest in Film Studies.

John Scott Shepherd Scholarship
Award Amount: Up to $1,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate students majoring in communication studies with an emphasis in film and media arts.

Suzanne Crispin Williams Scholarship
Award Amount: Up to $1,000
Qualifications: Undergraduate student majoring in communications or women’s studies. Preference is given to a returning female student pursuing her first undergraduate degree.

Additional requirement: Students must an essay of approximately 1,000 words on his or her background, and describing how the scholarship will impact his or her future plans. Save file as LastnameFirstnameSCWS and email to umkcasscholarships@umkc.edu.

The College of Arts and Sciences Scholarship Office has more information and a full list of department- and college-level scholarships available to current students.

The UMKC Financial Aid Office has more information regarding university-wide scholarships.

Faculty/Staff Directory

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Internships

The Communication Studies Department strongly recommends internships as a means of linking theory with practice. This prepares our students to work effectively in mass media, journalism, public communication, human relations, and organizational communication.

>>> Click here to find internship opportunities on the UMKC Communications Internship Hub

Communication Studies Internship: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Check internship opportunities on the UMKC Communications Internship Hub.
2. Read Communication Studies Internship Overview.
3. Download the Internship Application. Fill out the form and email it to Dr. Linda Kurz.
4. Once the application is approved, please download the Communication Studies Internship Initial Agreement. Fill out the form and email it to Dr. Linda Kurz.
5. Students enrolled in the internship course have to fill out the mid-term progress report and email it to Dr. Linda Kurz by mid-term.
6. Students enrolled in the internship course have to fill out the end of internship report and email it to Dr. Linda Kurz by the end of the semester.

More about Internship

An internship packet can be downloaded here. Paper copies are available in the Communication Studies departmental office, 202 Haag Hall.

Interpersonal and Public Communication Student Projects

    Delic Fatima Awarded 2017 Harry S. Truman Bootrap

    Two UMKC students, Fatima Delic and Cameron Casey, have been selected as 2017 Harry S. Truman Bootstrap awardees. Chosen in a competitive process among UMKC undergraduate applicants, they will join interns from the other University of Missouri campuses living together in condos near the Capitol and working in offices of Missouri representatives and senators.

    Cameron Casey, an Urban Planning and Design major, and Fatima Delic, a double major in Political Science and Communication Studies, will be assigned to governmental offices (legislative or administrative) and will work with identified mentors while there. More information is available here.

    VIEW ARTICLE

    Students and Faculty Present at CSCA Conference

    A girl is giving speech Communication Studies major Chelsea Bihlmeyer recently presented her paper, "Unpacking the Tinder Lexicon: Visual Rhetoric and Power," at the 2017 annual conference Central States Communication Association. The paper was competitively selected, and was the result of an independent study she completed with Dr. Steven Melling during the Fall, 2016 semester.

    VIEW ARTICLE

Meet Our Students

Communication Studies students at UMKC come from all over the world and explore diverse interests. Get to know our students, and learn what our programs are all about.

Jada

Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies | 2019

Communication Studies Student, Jada Chavis

Where is UMKC taking you?

UMKC is taking me to another level. It has opened my eyes to our diverse world, and I am learning about new people, their cultures and how to appreciate them. Because of everything I’m learning at UMKC, my friends and I were able to start our own independent film company, so I can step up and fill any of the roles needed.

Why did you choose UMKC?

I am from St. Louis, and I liked the distance from home. I also liked that UMKC is in a city and not just a college town, and that the students are so diverse and everyone is so friendly. I have family who live in the area, and they highly recommended it.

What got you into your field of study?

I have a voice, and I’m here to create change. The news is full of negativity, and I feel like the media has the power to influence the world. My goal is to use the arts to get in and be able to create more positivity in the world using media.

What are your lifelong goals?

The vision for our film company encompasses my lifelong goals: “To enlighten our generation, empower the people and entertain the world.” I want to help bring arts back into the schools and provide an alternative outlet to avoid violence.

What excites you?

New things, discoveries, people and their ideas. Imagination is really important to me, and the arts are my life. I think it’s so important to be yourself – show it, be it.

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

Do not be afraid to ask questions.

Do you have any advice for future UMKC students?

Step out of what you’re used to. Try new things, meet new people and, if you fall, you will get right back up.


Denton

Communications Studies (nterpersonal and Public Communication Emphasis) | 2018

Denton Williams wants to make higher education his career

Why did you choose UMKC?

My best friend from high school (in Richmond, Missouri) went here. I visited other colleges, and they didn’t feel right. UMKC felt like home. I can’t see myself having gone anywhere else.

What’s one word that best describes you?

Outgoing. I love talking to other students and forming connections. I work in admissions as an orientation leader and I absolutely love meeting all the incoming students and hearing about what they’re excited or nervous for, and being a familiar and friendly face for them throughout the year.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I’m from a small, mostly white, rural community. UMKC has totally opened my mind and let me see the world in a brand new light.

Minor

Students majoring outside of Communication Studies may earn a minor in the study of film and the use of mass media for artistic, cultural and social purposes.

    A Minor in Communication Studies

    Students majoring outside of Communication Studies may earn a minor in Communication Studies, to strengthen oral and written communication competence, critical thinking, and social and professional skills.

    Check out the courses and degree requirements

New Letters on the Air Celebrates National Poetry Month at the Kansas City Public Library with NEA Fellows Hadara Bar-Nadav & Kathryn Nuernberger

Twin girls Missouri poets Hadara Bar-Nadav and Kathryn Nuernberger, who both received National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowships in December 2016, will take to the stage of the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library with New Letters on the Air host/producer, Angela Elam. On Wednesday, April 12th, 2017, they will discuss their recent books and “What Makes a Poem Work?” for National Poetry Month. April also marks the beginning of the 40th year of broadcasting for this nationally-distributed public radio literary show that is the companion to New Letters magazine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and can be heard locally on KCUR 89.3 FM. More information is available here.

News

Department News

College News

      2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize

      Hadara Bar-NadavAssociate Professor Hadara Bar-Nadav's publication, Fountain and Furnace, was awarded the 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize Winner by Tupelo Press.

      Winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Award, selected by Peter Stitt

      Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Peter Stitt has selected Hadara Bar-Nadav of Kansas City, Missouri as winner of the 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize for her chapbook manuscript, Fountain and Furnace.

      VIEW ARTICLE

      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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      365 students named to College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s List for Spring 2018 Semester

      A total of 365 students in UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences were named to the Dean’s List for the spring 2018 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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      A Balance Between Poetry and Motherhood

      Credit: Laura Spencer / KCUR

      Kansas City Writer Hadara Bar-Nadav Strikes A Balance Between Poetry And Motherhood

      Eighth Street Tap Room, a bar at 8th and New Hampshire in Lawrence, Kansas, hosts poetry readings each month in a dimly lit basement. As poets take the stage, they're cast in a reddish light, with gold streamers as backdrop.

      Sunday's event started with a short open mic session, and then three featured poets. The final reader of the night: Hadara Bar-Nadav, an associate professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City...

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      A Degree from UMKC can take you anywhere

      UMKC Alumna Edie McClurg receives honorary doctorate
      Honoree Edie McClurg | Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

      UMKC Alumna Edie McClurg receives honorary doctorate

      The University of Missouri-Kansas City received a surprise visit by alumna Edie McClurg (B.A.) in April and a return visit on May 13 for commencement, where she received an honorary doctorate and delivered the College of Arts and Sciences commencement address.

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      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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      A Literary Force Emerges: The Rise of UMKC’s MFA Program

      MFA Program, Creative Writing Team

      For decades art has been a vital part of Kansas City culture. Visitors from all over the world travel to Kansas City for a glimpse of its vibrant art districts, including the Crossroads Art District and the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District. But Kansas City also nurtures another art form – a hidden gem. Creative Writing.

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      Addressing the Cost of Higher Education: Open Educational Resources reduce costs for students, enhance learning

      Male student wearing UMKC shirt with laptopThe cost of higher education is an issue, and one the University of Missouri-Kansas City is addressing.

      As part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, UMKC has had one of the lowest rates of tuition increase in the U.S. during the past decade. And despite this year’s tuition increase of 1 percent, efforts to keep the overall cost of education are continuing, and are working.

      For example, in June 2017, the University of Missouri-Kansas City joined UM System in the Affordable & Open Educational Resources (A&OER) program to save students money on textbooks and other course materials.

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      ALAS speaker Steve Ellner discusses Maduro’s Venezuela

      Scofield Hall

      On November 15th, during his fall speaking tour, Steve Ellner spoke on the challenges Venezuela is experiencing under President Nicolás Maduro. The event was a combined effort of The Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) worked with the Latino Alumni Student Organization (LASO). Read the full article in the University News…

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      Architecture students compete to design building that promotes activity inside

      AUP+D students, from left: Lauren Uhls, Tania Chavez and Rachel Baier. Photo by Brandon Parigo, Strategic Marketing and CommunicationsBuildings at a college typically serve a specific, inwardly-focused purpose: teaching and research. Architecture students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City were recently charged with infusing that basic functionality with a higher mission: get the broader public excited about what’s going on inside.

      Second-year students in the Architectural Studies program took on that assignment this semester. The assignment called for students to design a new home for UMKC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. The assignment was fictional, in the sense that no such new building is planned, but the students were charged with creating a functional, properly scaled building as if it were to be built.

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      Art History Professor’s Co-Edited Book Recently Published

      Perception and Agency in Shared Spaces of Contemporary Art Book CoverThe Routledge volume Perception and Agency in Shared Spaces of Contemporary Art, co-edited by UMKC Art History Professor Cristina Albu, was recently published.

      The book calls for a situational approach to art, which is informed by the intertwining of art theory, phenomenology and cognitive sciences. It offers an interdisciplinary inquiry into the mutability of art experience, showing that it is contingent on an array of deeply entangled biological, cultural, political and social systems. The volume gathers 18 chapters by senior and emerging scholars.

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      AUP+D Students Present ‘A Vision for UMKC’

      AUPD - a vision for UMKCThe UMKC Volker campus boasts a beautiful and eclectic collection of buildings integrated within an urban setting in Kansas City, Missouri. Recent efforts to improve the student experience on the Volker campus are evident, but there’s always room for improvement — as a group of UMKC students recently concluded.

      UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton gave the charge to the UMKC Trustees who partnered with the UMKC Urban Planning + Design students to conduct an assessment of the urban design of UMKC’s Volker campus during the spring 2016 UPD Studio 312 class. The students examined the human experience on campus, walk and bike circulation, campus monuments and campus gateways. Students and the university promoted an Instagram photo and hashtag campaign #UMKCSpaces to collect images of great spaces on campus, which were geocoded and mapped.

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      AUP+D Studio helps Kansas City earn “Music City” designation

      A studio in Urban Planning + Design, led by Dr. Jacob Wagner, completed a semester long project focused on putting together material that helped Kansas City earn a “Music City” designation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The UNESCO application focused on Kansas City’s jazz history and current music scene.

      UNESCO established the Creative Cities Network in 2004, as a way to "work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level."

      Read the full KCUR article

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      Broadway World review of Theatre's Frank Higgins' play Black Pearl Sings!

      Black Pearl Sings!BLACK PEARL SINGS! Drama and Music at Its Best in Kansas City

      A line from the play best describes Black Pearl Sings! when Susannah Mullally says, "Pearl is a pearl." Black Pearl Sings! opened on Saturday March 7 at the Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri. The production marks two firsts for Spinning Tree Theatre, the production of a local playwright and the first time the company utilized a director outside the organization.

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      CAS Alumnus and Kauffman School Founder/CEO to receive UMKC Bill French Alumni Service Award

      Hannah Lofthus poses for a headshotHannah Lofthus, who received Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science from UMKC in 2007, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the UMKC Bill French Alumni Award. Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes individual alumni and one family with top honors.

      UMKC will honor Lofthus and other outstanding alumni at the 2018 Alumni Awards event on Friday, June 15. The reception is one of UMKC's largest events, with proceeds going to support student scholarships. In the last decade, the Alumni Awards event has garnered more than $1 million in scholarships and immediate aid for students.

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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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      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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      Ms. Annie Derrell (UMKC iPhD candidate) becomes Fellow in the SREB's Doctoral Scholars Program

      Congratulations to iPhD candidate Annie Derrell for being selected as a fellow in the Doctoral Scholars Program (DSP). According to the sponsoring Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), “the goal of the DSP is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities.”

      Since its founding in 1993, the DSP has supported over a 1000 scholars at numerous institutes across the country. It offers direct services for doctoral students such as academic, personal, and motivational support, career counseling, networking, job recruitment, and continued advocacy into their early careers as faculty members. Derrell will be a part of the inaugural cohort of scholars from the University of Missouri System.

      One of the most exciting aspects of DSP is the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, an annual meeting which serves as the largest gathering of minority Ph.D. scholars in the country. The Institute provides workshops as well as recruitment and networking opportunities to give new scholars the tools to successfully complete their doctorates and enter into a faculty career in higher education.

      Annie Derrell NewsDerrell is “extremely honored and very excited for this opportunity to meet and collaborate with other minority scholars.”

      The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) is a nonprofit organization that works to improve education and provide policymakers with reliable data to make sound educational policy decisions. There website is: www.sreb.org.

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      Dr. Joseph Hartman Receives Graham Foundation Grant

      Graphic of the names of the Graham Foundation's 2018 grant recipientsDr. Joseph Hartman, Assistant Professor in the UMKC Department of Art and Art History and Latinx and Latin American Studies program, recently received an internationally competitive grant from the Graham Foundation, one of the most significant funders in the field of architecture. Hartman was one of only 74 proposals selected out of over 600 applicants worldwide.

      “This award will surely go down as one of the proudest moments of my career,” Hartman said. “To gain recognition from a world-renowned architectural organization like the Graham is affirming not only to the quality of my research but also to the rising visibility and importance of Caribbean, Latin American and Latinx communities."

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      Dr. Linda Mitchell Interviewed by Washington Post on Introduction of Queen to Medieval Times

      Medieval Times, a dinner theater experience loosely based on the 11th century Spanish court, featured a female ruler for the first time this year. Since its debut in the United States in 1983, the show, which includes a banquet, jousting, swordfights, and stunts on horseback, has been presided over by a king. This year, however, Doña Maria Isabella reigned.

      Professor of History Linda Mitchell, who also serves as affiliate faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and as President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, weighed in on this change in a recent Washington Post article. Check out her comments on women in the medieval world and the historical accuracy of Medieval Times here.

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      Durwood Foundation's recent gift to support two more Durwood Scholars in the creative writing program

      The University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation is pleased to announce an additional $50,000 gift from the Stanley H. Durwood Foundation to UMKC’s creative writing program.

      The gift, which follows several years’ of similar support from the Durwood Foundation, will provide funding for UMKC’s College of Arts and Sciences Department of English to designate two additional Durwood Scholars.

      Durwood Scholars, as recipients of this prestigious scholarship are known, get tuition assistance and an additional stipend to help cover living expenses over the course of the three-year program.

      Read the full article.

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      Dylan Mortimer's struggles lead to a Cure

      As an artist known for making impressively scaled signs and combining hip-hop symbols with references to Christianity — Google him and his brilliant Prayer Booths still come up first — Dylan Mortimer has always made personal art. But his latest exhibition transcends the personal for something revelatory. Cure is his externalized dialogue with God, one in which he attempts to lay out the terms of his genetic lot, his cystic fibrosis.

      Speaking to about 15 people at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center on a Monday evening in December

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      Dr. Rebecca Egli (UMKC History BA '08) receives Postdoctoral Fellowship at Linda Hall Library

      Congratulations to Dr. Rebecca (Mowry) Egli on receiving a post-doctoral Residential Fellowship at Linda Hall Library. During her two-month stay, she will conduct research for her current project, "Seeds of Misfortune: Food, Crop Diversity, and the Simplification of American Nature," a history of America’s plant explorers that examines the impact of plant introduction and breeding on agricultural biodiversity and innovation.

      Rebecca Egli FullRebecca grew up in Kansas City and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UMKC's History Department in 2008. She earned a Master of Arts degree in history from King’s College London in 2010 and a doctorate in history from the University of California, Davis in 2018.

      Exploring intersections between agriculture, science, and the environment, her dissertation, "The World of Our Dreams: Agricultural Explorers and the Promise of American Science," looks at federal scientists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, exploring developments in plant biology and the ecological consequences of importing non-native plants into the United States.

      We are so proud to have Dr. Egli conducting research again in Kansas City!

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      Fellowship Award Helps IPhD Student Broaden Vision of Life In Humanities

      UMKC Interdisciplinary Ph.D. student Matt Reeves recently received a pre-doctoral fellowship award from the Humanities Without Walls consortium. The fellowship award will pay for Reeves to participate in the organization’s Alternative Academic Careers Summer Workshop. The workshop aims to help prepare doctoral students for careers both within and outside of the academy.

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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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      Hadara Bar-Nadav Publishes New Collection of Poetry

      Book cover for Hadara Bar-Hadav's collection of poems The New NudityEnglish Professor Hadara Bar-Nadav recently published a new collection of poetry, The New Nudity, which shocks everyday objects to life. In these chiseled, electrically-charged poems, a ladder, a wineglass and a spine ignite into being. With a nod to Francis Ponge, Gertrude Stein and Pablo Neruda, Bar-Nadav’s poems have a heartbeat all their own, small miracles that haunt and heave.

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      UMKC History iPhD K. David Hanzlick publishes book with U. MO Press

      Congratulations to K. David Hanzlick, alumnus of the History iPhD program, on the publication of his book, Benevolence, Moral Reform, Equality: Women’s Activism in Kansas City, 1870-1940, with the University of Missouri Press.

      Hanzlick BookHanzlick traces the rise and evolution of women’s activism in a rapidly growing, Midwestern border city, one deeply scarred by the Civil War and struggling to determine its meaning. Over the course of 70 years, women in Kansas City emerged from the domestic sphere by forming and working in female-led organizations to provide charitable relief, reform society’s ills, and ultimately claim space for themselves as full participants in the American polity. Focusing on the social construction of gender, class, and race, and the influence of political philosophy in shaping responses to poverty, Hanzlick also considers the ways in which city politics shaped the interactions of local activist women with national women’s groups and male-led organizations.

      K. David Hanzlick is Director of Program and Development for Sheffield Place, a treatment and transitional living program for homeless mothers and children. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Nonprofit Leadership Program at Rockhurst University and the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs at Park University.

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      New UMKC Guest Professor studies German Aristocrats in the Modern World

      Tryg Has-Ellison newsThe University of Missouri-Kansas City’s History Department is proud to announce that Dr. John Trygve “Tryg” Has-Ellison will be serving as a Guest Professor for the 2018-19 academic year.

      Dr. Has-Ellison is the current Non-Immigrant Visa Chief at the U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey, Mexico. Prior to this post, he was Vice-Consul in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Desk Officer for European Issues of Congressional interest in Washington D.C. His visiting appointment at UMKC coincides with his participation in the Command and General Staff Officers Course at Ft. Leavenworth, KS.

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      Kansas City Philanthropist and Children's Health Advocate Receives Honorary Doctorate, Gives Commencement Address

      David Westbrook gives the commencement address during Spring 2018 College of Arts and Sciences Commencement CeremoniesUnhindered by juvenile glaucoma that took his sight at age 17, David Westbrook (B.A. ’71) has proven that vision has nothing to do with one’s ability to see. He founded Corporate Communications Group, a communications and public relations firm he sold before taking his talent and dedication to longtime client Children’s Mercy.

      Westbrook attributes his lifetime of success to his parents and to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His alma mater awarded him with an honorary doctorate at the 2018 College of Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony, and he gave the address to the graduating class at Swinney Recreation Center on campus.

      “This is not a defining moment, this is a moment of celebration,” said Westbrook, who holds bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology from UMKC. “Defining moments are with your professors and your friends.”

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      Laurie Ellinghausen Publishes New Book on Notorious Figures in Renaissance England

      Pirates, Traitors, and Apostates: Renegade Identities in Early Modern English Writing Book CoverCongratulations to Laurie Ellinghausen, Ph.D., associate professor in the UMKC Department of English Language and Literature, on the publication of her fourth book, Pirates, Traitors, and Apostates: Renegade Identities in Early Modern English Writing.

      This monograph examines the tales of notorious figures in Renaissance England, including the mercenary Thomas Stukeley, the Barbary corsair John Ward, and the wandering adventurers the Sherley brothers. Ellinghausen sheds new light on the construction of the early modern renegade and its depiction in English prose, poetry, and drama during a period of capitalist expansion. Pirates, Traitors, and Apostates: Renegade Identities in Early Modern English Writing shows how domestic issues of class and occupation exerted a major influence on representations of renegades, and heightened their appeal to the diverse audiences of early modern England.

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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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      Local artist discusses his love for Kansas City and how UMKC helped him discover his passion

      Jose Faus
      Image via the artist's website

      Jose Faus (BA, ’87) is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer who came to Kansas City from Bogota, Columbia, as a child. Most of his school years were spent in the KC metro and he fell in love with the city.

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      More than She Imagined: Q&A With Studio Art Graduate Heather Burton

      Q&A with Heather Burton, who landed a career before graduationHeather Burton, an Olathe, Kansas, native, graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art in December 2017. Before graduating though, she'd already landed a job. Check out Heather's story in this Q&A:

      How was your graduation day?

      It was overwhelming to me. It’s the day you work so hard for since you’re 5. I kept worrying about my cap falling off, and of course it did as I walked up to receive my diploma.

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      Drs. Matt Osborn & Makini King interviewed on Fox4 & KCTV5 in Blackface Debate

      Blackface refers to the cultural practice of covering the face of a white (or black) performer to create a caricature of a black person. Although usually associated with nineteenth-century minstrel shows, blackface can still be found today both in theatrical performances and sometimes also in Halloween costumes.

      The debate about the racist implications of blackface continues today. In national news, the NBC "Today" host Megyn Kelly's show was cancelled following her on-air remarks expressing acceptance of blackface. In local news, a registered nurse at St. Luke's was fired after she posted pictures of herself and a friend on facebook in blackface.

      UMKC Professor Matthew W. Osborn and UMKC Diversity Director Makini King were interviewed on 30 October 2018 for local television about the history, politics, and ethics of blackface. Their comments aired at 5 PM on KCTV5 and Fox4.

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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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      Professor Emeritus Hank Frankel Receives UM System President’s Award

      Prof Emeritus Hank Frankel receives awardHenry R. Frankel, professor emeritus in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has been awarded the ninth of 10 UM System President’s Awards for his excellence in teaching, research, writing and service to the University of Missouri and larger community.

      The award was presented by University of Missouri System Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Steve Graham.

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      Professor Krause interviewed for KSHB news

      Nice Terrorist AttackForeign Languages Professor Krause interviewed for KSHB's "Kansas City residents with ties to France react to terror attack" and relates her knowledge of the area and her worry for her colleagues in the area.

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      Researching Saints: English Department Chair Receives NEH Grant

      National Endowment for the Humanities New Grant Recipients photo collageDr. Virginia Blanton, professor and chair of the UMKC Department of English Language and Literatures, recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is the only 2018 recipient in the state of Missouri.

      “I have a big job ahead,” said Blanton, who joined the UMKC faculty in 2002. Her awarded project is a book-length study on the lives of saints in medieval England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

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      Science Fiction Solutions

      Neighborhoods, acrylic on canvas

      Ricky Allman is best known for explosive post-apocalyptic paintings inspired by his rejection of his Mormon upbringing.

      In his new works, the Kansas City artist continues to move away from the dire visions of his past to guardedly optimistic predictions for the future.

      “I don’t believe in the apocalypse of humanity; despite all our problems, we’re definitely going to figure out our way,” Allman says.

      Allman remains attached to his signature motifs of architecture, the mountains of his native Utah, and airy, confetti-like exhalations, but he now places them at the service of futuristic imaginings.

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      ALAS Raises Funds for Latinx Scholarships

      Association of Latin American StudentThe Association of Latin American Students (ALAS) raised nearly $9,000 in matching scholarship dollars benefiting UMKC’s Latinx first-generation and DACA students. Read the full article in the University News…

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      Students Chime in on Hot Topic Discussion: Urban Planning Seniors Present Comprehensive Study on Affordable Housing in Kansas City

      Spring-2018-Senior-StudioAffordable housing has been a hot topic in the Kansas City community for decades, and more recently due to new downtown housing developments and the continued revitalization of Troost Avenue. As city officials develop new housing policies, students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City have played a significant role in the community conversation.

      A group of seven urban planning undergraduates spent the spring semester researching the city’s housing affordability issues as part of their final project in professor Stephanie Frank’s planning and design studio class. Seniors Sean Thomas, Dave McCumber, Billie Hufford, Thomas Kimmel, Taylor Vande Velde, Rawya Alrammah and Alexander Gilbertson put together a comprehensive planning study on housing affordability in Kansas City. Each student researched and wrote one chapter in the study. They recently sat down to discuss the background and recommendations included in their study.

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      Take a Journey to the Andean Cosmovision with UMKC Theatre

      UMKC Theatre’s next graduate student production, “The Storytelling Project,” has something for every theatre fan – drama, intrigue, music, dance, comedy and originality.

      The Storytelling Project” is a devised theatrical show featuring the UMKC second year MFA actors, MFA designers and undergraduate production staff.

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      The Kansas City Star quotes AUP+D's Professor Frisch

      Rising KC rentAUP+D's Professor Frisch quoted in the Kansas City Star's "Spiking rents in Kansas City threaten new real estate bubble that’s hardest on the poor" article.

      This was nuts. Lisa Miller’s rent was jumping a third this summer, to $600 from $450 — more than she could possibly bear.

      What the Kansas City home caregiver didn’t know was that the whole central city has been going nuts. But she was about to find out. 

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      Top 25 Women in Higher Education

      Diverse Issues in Higher Education name Dr. Cantú  as one of 2015 's Top 25 Women in Higher Education. Dr. Norma E. Cantú Professor Emeritus of English, The University of Texas at San Antonio and Professor, Latina/o Studies and English, University of Missouri-Kansas City A professor emeritus of English at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Cantú is currently a professor of Latina/o studies and English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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      Transit-Driven Thinking: Nichols Student Prize contestants inspired by streetcar expansion

      Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

      Kansas City’s new streetcar is already driving development activity along its route. So with an election to decide on an extension plan in the offing, it’s only natural to imagine what changes in the city’s urban environment could follow.

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      History Professor quoted in the New York Times

      Prof. Diane Mutti-Burke, Chair of the History Department, was quoted in an article in the New York Times on 6. August 2018 entitled "On a Civil Rights Trail" because of her research into the history of slavery in Missouri.

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      Two CAS Alumni Receive Fulbright Awards

      Fulbright US Student Program logoTwo College of Arts and Sciences alumni have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Award to continue their research and scholarship. Sydney Harvey, who received her Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Film from UMKC in 2016, will study in the United Kingdom; and Marc Reyes, who received his Master of Arts in History from UMKC in 2014, will study in India.

      Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, professionals and scientists the opportunity to study, teach, conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

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      Two UMKC French Alums Receive Fund for Teachers Grants

      Three teachers in Independence, Missouri, hold signs about their 2018 Fund for Teachers grantsTwo UMKC French alumni, Katy Foudree Owens and Brandi Pruente have been awarded Fund for Teachers Grants to attend the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF) congress in Martinique this summer.

      The AATF convention is an immersion opportunity allowing educators to work on their French language skills while learning more about teaching practices.

      “We in the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department, particularly in French, are thrilled for their success,” said UMKC French professor Dr. Kathy Krause.

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      UMKC Art History Professor named a Visiting Fellow at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

      Courtesan (after Eisen) Vincent van Gogh (1853 - 1890), Paris, October-November 1887Professor Frances Connelly, Ph.D., a professor in the UMKC Department of Art and Art History, will serve as a Visiting Fellow at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in June 2018. While there, she will lead a seminar as part of the “Van Gogh Museum Visiting Fellow in the History of Nineteenth Century Art” program.

      The Van Gogh Museum’s program, now entering its 12th year, brings foreign scholars annually to the Netherlands to teach a seminar in 19th century art to graduate students and professionals. Connelly’s seminar is entitled The Grotesque in Late Nineteenth-Century Art. It will explore the workings of the grotesque in this unsettled and unsettling period and explore why it is a particularly powerful means to grapple with its social upheavals and cultural shifts.

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      UMKC Art Professor’s public artwork seen on famous Sunset Strip

      Professor Barry Anderson, chair of the UMKC Department of Art and Art History, has a video on public display in West Hollywood, California.

      The piece, Totemic Persona, is a two-channel video animation that was created with the help of UMKC Studio Art students.

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      UMKC Art Professor’s Videos at KC Streetcar Metro Center

      Totemic Persona, by Barry Anderson, M.F.A., digital motion professor and chair of the UMKC Department of Art and Art HistoryTotemic Persona, by Barry Anderson, M.F.A., digital motion professor and chair of the UMKC Department of Art and Art History, is being shown at the KC Streetcar Metro Center Northbound Stop and Kiosk, located at 12th and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri.

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      Professor’s work featured in Art in the Loop Project

      Professor Toivanen's HopscotchUMKC College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean and Studio Art Professor Kati Toivanen was one of 25 artists selected for the third annual Art in the Loop Project in Kansas City, Missouri.

      Toivanen’s work, a larger-than-life rendition of the childhood game of hopscotch entitled “Hopscotch,” will be on display in Ilus Davis Park at 11th Street and Locust through September.

      “Hopscotch aims to provide moments of surprise and playful delight in the downtown business environment,” Toivanen said. “Images of familiar toys and even a spilled ice cream cone merge into the sidewalk, inviting participation from viewers.”

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      UMKC Art Professor’s Work Featured in Annual Sculpture Exhibit in Lawrence

      University of Missouri - Kansas City College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean and Studio Art Professor Kati Toivanen was one of eight artists selected for the 28th annual Lawrence Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition in Lawrence, Kansas.

      An opening reception and walking tour will take place at 5:30 pm on Friday, June 10 beginning at the South Park/Parks and Recreation office. The artwork will be on display through Spring 2017.

      Toivanen embellished public waste receptacles with custom image panels. The inspiration for her piece, entitled “Treasure Hunt,” came from local shops and vendors in downtown Lawrence.

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      UMKC English Professor Selected for Guggenheim Fellowship

      Michelle BoisseauUMKC English Professor Michelle Boisseau has been awarded a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship for Poetry from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

      Professor Boisseau, a poet, teaches in UMKC’s MFA program, is Senior Editor of BkMk Press and is Contributing Editor of New Letters. She is the recipient of two fellowships in poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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      UMKC English Professor Wins $25K NEA Fellowship

      Prof. Hadara Bar-NadavHadara Bar-Nadav, associate English professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, was awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for poetry. She will receive a $25,000 grant to use for writing, research, travel and career advancement.

      The NEA creative writing fellowship is the considered among the most distinguished prizes a poet can receive. Judging is anonymous.

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      UMKC + Helix Announce 2016 Bud Prize Scholarship Winners

      Bud Prize AwardThe UMKC Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design teams up with Helix each fall semester for the Bud Prize – a design competition and scholarship grant awarded to students attending UMKC. The annual scholarship was created in honor of the late Bud Persons, who was a Senior Interior Architect with Helix when he unexpectedly passed away in 2002. The award recognizes the his vibrant life and work by promoting the study and knowledge of architecture and design.

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      UMKC to offer new B.A. in Film and Media Arts in Fall 2017

      BA in Film and Media ArtsThe University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Communication Studies is pleased to announce a new degree program, the Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Arts. Students will be able to officially enroll in this new degree program beginning Fall 2017.

      “Film and Media Arts has been an emphasis area within Communication Studies for many years. We decided to create a full-fledged B.A. in Film and Media Arts in response to increasing student demand for this particular major and credential,” said Dr. Lyn Elliot, Professor of Film and Media Arts.

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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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      UMKC's Conservatory of Music and Dance and Department of Theatre Re-Envision New Home for all UMKC Performing Arts Programs

      UMKC Theatre PerformanceFaculty in two nationally recognized performing arts programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City have voted in support of a merger of the Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Department of Theatre.

      The proposed merger is designed to strengthen both programs by opening up new and expanded opportunities for performance, composition and research at the University that for decades has been designated as Missouri’s Campus for the Visual and Performing Arts by the University of Missouri System.

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      UMKC's Urban Planning + Design Program Earns National Recognition

      Urban Planning + DesignThe Urban Planning + Design program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City has earned accreditation from the Planning Accreditation Board, which accredits university programs in North America leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees in planning.

      “We are very pleased that the Planning Accreditation Board has recognized the quality of teaching and learning in our program,” said Michael Frisch, Ph.D., AICP, associate professor and director of the program. “It signifies that our program has been rigorously reviewed by national experts in urban planning, and found to produce graduates who meet the expectations of the planning profession.”

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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.

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      VFW puts more “ease” into UMKC’s At Ease Zone

      Lynn Roth, III, Nick Lopez and Ethan Alexander pose for a photo on the new couch in the UMKC At Ease ZoneThe National Headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has put a little more “ease” into the UMKC At Ease Zone. The VFW recently presented student veterans with a much-desired couch for the space, along with a new coffee maker and a networked printer.

      The UMKC At Ease Zone, located on the second floor of Cherry Hall on UMKC’s Volker Campus, supports UMKC student veterans as they transition into community and campus life. The At Ease Zone is a collaboration between the College of Arts and Sciences’ School of Social Work and the UMKC Dean of Students.

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    Production Facilities and Equipment

    Our facilities enable our students to light, shoot and edit professionally. Access to professional-quality equipment helps our students to tell compelling stories that make an impact on audiences.

    The Communication Studies Department has media classrooms and production spaces for student projects, including:

      • Video production studio with multi-camera and green-screen capabilities
      • Sound recording facility with narration booth and radio console
      • Post-production media labs outfitted with latest software, including Final Cut Pro, Avid, Pro Tools, Photoshop, After Effects, Flash, etc. These software packages provide the tools to not only edit video and sound, but to produce animation, motion graphics and rich media content for the web.

    Check out media lab hours and policies

    Film and Media Arts Equipment Lab

    Our equipment check-out lab maintains an extensive inventory of production equipment for student projects:

    • HD video cameras—current professional models from Sony, Canon, Panasonic, etc.
    • Location lighting equipment, including tungsten, fluorescent and HMI instruments
    • Professional sound gear packages, including a wide variety of microphones, booms, mixers and digital recorders
    • Traditional Super 8 and 16mm film cameras

    Studio 303B K-Roo Radio

    • Room 303B is located on the third floor of the student union, and serves as the production facility for K-Roo UMKC Student Radio. The facility is a fully functioning online radio production studio equipped with broadcast software, broadcast mixers, microphone mixers, microphones, audio editing software, and Macintosh computers. The studio is open to all students involved in K-Roo, providing them a space to learn and practice radio broadcast skills.

    Listed below are reservations and reference manuals for a variety of production equipment and processes.

    Reservations:

    Media lab hours and policies
    Reserve a computer
    Reserve the Studio
    Reserve the Radio Lab
    Reserve production equipment

    Student Filmmakers Win Film Festival Prizes

    Aaron’s film “Staged”

    Communication Studies major Nathan Manning won one of three “Awards of Excellence” at the 2017 Bison Bison Film Festival, April 7-8 in Ponca City, OK. Manning won the $1,000 cash prize for his short narrative film Starch, produced in Dr. Lyn Elliot’s Spring 2014 Narrative Production course.

    Communication Studies major Aaron Berger won Honorable Mention for Heartland Student Shorts at the 2017 Kansas City Film Fest, April 4-9. Berger produced his short film Staged in Dr. Lyn Elliot’s Spring 2016 Narrative Production course.

    Student Organizations

    Students in Communications Studies are active in classes, internships and in our departmental student groups: The Mercury Association, The Student Film League and K-Roo Student Media.

    The Mercury Association

    The Student Film League

    K-Roo Student Media

    Interested in being a part of K-ROO? E-mail us at info@k-roo.org.

    Student Projects

    Communication Studies students participating in various media and research projects experience the excitement of applying principles and skills learned in class to journalism, filmmaking, advertising, public relations, and discovering answers to communication problems.

    Learn more about Film and Media Arts projects

    Learn more about Journalism and Mass Communication projects

    Learn more about Interpersonal and Public Communication projects

    Learn more about the Symposium of Creative and Scholarly Work

    Student Resources

    Inside and outside the classroom, the Department of Communication Studies offers numerous opportunities for students to enhance their education and build their resumes and portfolios.
    Our Department offers enriching professional and educational activities that prepare students for the job market, including internships, video, audio, film, computer equipment and facilities, to student organizations, to scholarships and undergraduate advising.

    Learn more about the Internship Program

    Learn more about production facilities and equipment

    Learn more about student organizations

    Learn more about undergraduate advising

    Students and Faculty Present at CSCA Conference

    A girl is giving speech Communication Studies major Chelsea Bihlmeyer recently presented her paper, “Unpacking the Tinder Lexicon: Visual Rhetoric and Power,” at the 2017 annual conference Central States Communication Association. The paper was competitively selected, and was the result of an independent study she completed with Dr. Steven Melling during the Fall, 2016 semester.

    Symposium of Creative and Scholarly Work

    UMKC students produce exciting works of interdisciplinary scholarship and creativity within the scope of their general education curriculum.

    This symposium offers students a forum to showcase those works and practice the skills at the core of their Anchor, Discourse, and Focus coursework.

    Students from both Fall and Spring semesters are encouraged to participate.

    Students will share their work in one of the following ways: online, oral and poster presentations, performance, fine arts, and demonstrations. Read more and register here.

    Watch the video to know more about the symposium

    Undergraduate Advising

    The College of Arts and Sciences has a dual advising system of general/professional advisors and department advisors designed to help undergraduate students achieve academic success.

    Interpersonal and Public Communication and
    Journalism and Mass Communication Advisers

    Judith McCormick, Ph.D.
    Phone: 816-235-1120
    Email: mccormickjk@umkc.edu

    Linda Kurz, Ph.D.
    Phone: 816-235-5846
    Email: kurzl@umkc.edu

    Film and Media Arts Advisers

    Caitlin Horsmon
    Phone: 816-235-2735
    Email: horsmonc@umkc.edu

    Lyn Elliot, Ph.D.
    Phone: 816-235-1708
    Email: elliotle@umkc.edu

    CAS Student Services

    General UMKC advising and pre-professional advising is handled by CAS Student Services. Current students should schedule appointments through Connect.

    Why Communication Studies?

    No matter what career you pursue, your success will depend upon effective communication. Every employer is seeking employees who can write, speak, and listen effectively. This is why Communication Studies is such a useful major.

    There are some obvious career paths for students who pursue a degree in Communication Studies. You might decide to be a journalist, or a filmmaker. Or, you might pursue a career in public relations or political campaigns. But there are also many less-obvious careers that you can pursue with a degree in Communication Studies.

    Event planning is a career that is well-suited to Communication Studies graduates. Think about all the tasks that go into planning a big event. Most of the tasks involve communication, right? Negotiating with vendors requires good interpersonal communication. Hosting an event requires effective public communication. Working with committees requires an understanding of group and organizational communication.

    Communication Studies graduates also find careers in human resources, management, and fundraising. For students who wish to continue their studies, a degree in Communication Studies provides a solid foundation for graduate studies, or law school.

    Click to find out words of wisdom from our distinguished alumni

    Why UMKC?

    students are interviewed for internships

    UMKC offers three different emphasis areas within Communication Studies. Students from each of these areas have found success in Kansas City, and beyond. This means that you will become part of a larger network of professionals. The benefits of this network are available long before you graduate.

    Students often complete communication internships in diverse fields, including radio, television, social media, political campaigns, and event planning. While our students typically take advantage of internships in Kansas City, they have also completed internships in Chicago, Los Angeles, and in Europe.

    Check out our internship program

    At Home in Kansas City

    students in KC

    Our department takes full advantage of being located in a major metropolitan area. Being in Kansas City means it is easy to bring in professional guest speakers, and for students to complete internships. At many schools, students are hours away from these sorts of professional development opportunities. At UMKC, professional development opportunities are always nearby.

    Save