About Us

We are a dynamic department that teaches courses across the discipline in political science, including American politics, comparative politics, international relations, and political theory.

Our faculty have expertise in the presidency, social security, courts, legislatures, state politics, public opinion, and political violence.

We have a particular synergy in the study of voting and elections, with specialists in voting behavior, public opinion, elections, and turnout both within the American states, in the US, and across the globe, including the study of both democratic and nondemocratic regimes.

Recent Research

  • Best, Rebecca H. “Legislative Gender Diversity and the Resolution of Civil Conflict.” Political Research Quarterly (2018). With Sarah Shair-Rosenfield, and Reed M. Wood.
  • Leiter, Debra. (2018). Social Networks, Predispositions and Split-Ticket Voting: The Case of the 1990 German Unification Election. Political Studies.
  • Lyne, M. (2015). Rethinking the political economy of Import Substitution Industrialization in Brazil: A clientelist model of development policymaking. Latin American Politics and Society, 57(1), 75-98.
  • Skidmore, Max J. “Thoughts on Constitutions: Occasioned by a Congress on Iceland’s Democracy.” World Affairs (2018).
  • Vonnahme, Beth. (2015). Evaluating political candidates: Does weight matter?. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 1(3), 287. With Wade Elmore, Lauren Thompson, Diane Filion, and Jennifer D. Lundgren.
  • Vonnahme, Greg. (2016). Context and political knowledge: Explaining cross-national variation in partisan left-right knowledge. The Journal of Politics 78(4) 1211. With David Fortunato and Randolph T. Stevenson.
  • Woodson, Benjamin. (2018) The Dynamics of Legitimacy Change for the US Supreme Court. Justice System Journal 39(1) 75.

Academic 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.

The Political Science Undergraduate Advising Team helps students get the most out of their experience at UMKC by advising them on the specifics needed for their major/minor.

Current Students (PS majors and minors)

The Department does not require undergraduate advising. If you have questions about fulfilling political science requirements, you should schedule a meeting with Dr. Greg Vonnahme at

Students will need to meet with him at least once during their second year at UMKC to complete a degree audit review.

Transfer Students

New transfer students must consult with both an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Sciences Student Services office and Dr. Greg Vonnahme when you first arrive at UMKC. This will ensure that transfer courses count, where appropriate, toward the general education requirements and major requirements.

Prospective Political Science Students

If you are interested in becoming a political science major or minor, great! Welcome! Please make an appointment with Dr. Greg Vonnahme to add political science as a major or minor or to ask any questions about our programs.

Prospective International Studies Minors

If you are interested in becoming an IS minor, please make an appointment with Dr. Mona Lyne to add the minor or to ask any questions about the program.

CAS Student Services

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

Academic Credit

Students can obtain academic credit from the department for an internship.

Students who complete an internship through the department can earn up to three credit hours that count toward their Political Science major or minor or their IS minor. To obtain the full three credit hours, students must work at least 10 hours a week for 15 weeks.

Non-Political Science majors or minors can also receive academic credit through the department.


The Political Science Internship Policy has detailed information on eligibility, grading and all requirements pertaining to internships for academic credit. Before enrolling in Pol-Sci 491, students must:


Below are the forms that must be completed throughout the course of the internship. They should all be emailed to Dr. Ben Woodson at



Graduates of the UMKC Political Science Department are currently working on critical solutions to some of the world’s pressing problems.

Our alumni work in the legal profession, governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, for profit organizations and media outlets. Read some of our alumni profiles to see where their major has taken them.

Are you a Political Science alum? We would love to hear your story. Email us at

Become a Student

UMKC Political Science students receive academic and career advising tailored to their individual needs.

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.

Both graduate and undergraduate students get the opportunity to work with faculty who are experts in their field.

CAS 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.


    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.


    $300,000 NSF Grant for Climate Research

    Prof. SunAssistant Professor of Geosciences Fengpeng Sun Ph.D. was recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. As the principal investigator, Sun will work as an independent researcher on a three-year project, “High-resolution Climate Change Projections in Missouri.”

    Sun’s funded project is part of NSF’s Missouri Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) program, “Missouri Transect: Plants, Climate and Community”, headed by Prof. John Walker at MU in Columbia. Missouri Transect is a five-year effort to build infrastructure, knowledge and collaborations in research and education across Missouri. As an established climate scientist, Sun brings to the Missouri Transect added expertise in the design of high-resolution regional climate modeling.


    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.


    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...


    A Bridge to the Stars

    An innovative pipeline to improve STEM diversity

    Inner-city high school students in Kansas City now have a unique opportunity to learn in a college classroom with a professional astronomer through A Bridge to the Stars Scholarship and Mentoring Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    The man behind the program is Daniel H. McIntosh, Ph.D., an award-winning professor of physics and astronomy, and a scientist researching the birth and growth of galaxies using the Hubble Space Telescope. As a teacher, McIntosh shares his knowledge, and his enthusiasm, to inspire others.


    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.


    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.


    A Taste of the Real World…in the Baja Basins

    Geology Students displaying posters Undergraduate Research Students Experience Life as Professional Geoscientists

    You’ve heard the stories of eager college graduates applying for their first post-baccalaureate jobs. They have the grades, they have the knowledge, but they don’t have “at least three years of experience” working in their field. Disheartening, right?

    Fortunately, there’s undergraduate research for that. Undergraduate research – along with unique internship opportunities – gives students hands-on experience working in their field of study, and the opportunity to explore potential careers and enhance their professional communication skills.


    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.


    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…


    ALMA telescope to unlock mysteries of giant galaxy...

    Phoenix Cluster impression by B. SaxtonTeam used ALMA telescope to unlock mysteries of giant galaxy at the center of Phoenix Cluster

    A team of astronomers including Mark Brodwin, assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, have discovered a surprising connection between a supermassive black hole and the galaxy in which it resides.


    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.


    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.


    Astronomer shares pro tip for finding the best place to watch the eclipse

    From astronomers to outdoor enthusiasts, astrophysicists to laymen — many are giddy about the coming totality of a solar eclipse.

    2017 Solar eclipse path in MissouriBut where to watch it unfold is a question facing eclipse hunters as the Aug. 21 event approaches.

    Daniel McIntosh, a distinguished professor of astronomy and physics at UMKC, has diligently plotted out where he’ll observe the eclipse, and he shared a pro tip that he himself is using to pick out a location: find a hill with a view to the west.

    “So you can see the western horizon,” he said. “You’ll see the shadow as it comes toward you.”


    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.


    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


    Award-Winning Poet Leaves Deep Legacy

    Michelle BoisseauUMKC mourns the death of longtime English Professor Michelle Boisseau

    Pulitzer Prize-nominated poet and University of Missouri-Kansas City English Professor Michelle Boisseau died Nov. 15 at her home in Kansas City.

    Throughout her literary career, Boisseau wrote five books of poetry, a chapbook (a small book of poetry centered on a specific theme), and won several awards, including a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship Award, a Pulitzer Prize and a Best American Poetry award. Her renown served as a recruiting tool in itself as many students and faculty have been drawn to UMKC for the opportunity to work with her. She was known to bend over backwards to help cultivate students’ work and influence them to submit their work for publication and awards.


    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.


    "Black Studies Internship Course Partnership" receives national attention

    Business Portrait

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City has announced that is expanding its internship program with the Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, formerly known as the Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce. The program offers instruction for students in the Black studies program at the university who are interested in entrepreneurship or business ownership.

    Undergraduate and graduate students in Black studies will combine classroom learning with community service and on-site internships at small businesses in the area. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average and must have completed six hours of Black studies courses.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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)


    CAS Director of Student Services Receives 2018 UMKC Staff Council Award

    Becky Bergman poses for a picture with her 2018 staff award in her officeRebecca Bergman, Director of Student Services for the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences, is the 2018 recipient of the UMKC Human Resources Staff Excellence Award. Bergman received the award on Thursday, April 26, 2018, during the Staff Awards Reception.

    CAS Associate Dean and Studio Art Professor Kati Toivanen nominated Bergman for the competitive award because of her ongoing service to the entire UMKC community, specifically the College of Arts and Sciences.


    CAS hosts annual Fall Reception and Awards Ceremony

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


    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.


    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.


    CAS Team Wins First Place at Regalia Run

    College of Arts and Sciences Regalia Run Team 2017The College of Arts and Sciences Team won first place at this year's Regalia Run for having the largest team of any unit on campus with 29 members. Provost Bichelmeyer presented a trophy to Dean Wayne Vaught and other members of the team on Friday, October 27, during a celebration breakfast in Scofield Hall. Associate Dean Kati Toivanen was also presented a trophy for being the top female finisher in the 10K.

    The UMKC Regalia Run took place on Sunday, October 1, 2017. Close to 300 runners, walkers and children took part in the race, and more than 150 volunteers made the event possible.

    All proceeds support immediate aid scholarships for UMKC students. The CAS Alumni Board also collected more than 900 pounds of food for the Kangaroo Pantry.


    Chemistry Department Celebrates First Phase of Renovated Lab Space

    Beakers and Chemistry equipmentOfficials from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and McCarthy Building Companies recently gathered to commemorate the completion of the first phase of a $21.5 million project to renovate and modernize 75,000 square feet of laboratory space in the Spencer Chemistry and Biological Sciences buildings on the UMKC Volker Campus.

    “Renovating and expanding UMKC’s primary biology and chemistry teaching laboratories enhances our ability to offer outstanding research and academic degree programs in modern sciences at both the undergraduate and graduate level,” said Robert Simmons, UMKC associate vice chancellor of administration. “Modernizing outdated buildings benefits students, faculty and the community, while addressing functionality, enrollment capacity and deferred maintenance needs.”


    Chemistry Graduate competes in Rio!

    UMKC Chemistry graduate Courtney Frerichs (B.A. 2015) follows her dreams and competed in the Olympic games in Rio! See the complete story and how undergraduate advisor Prof. Drew-Gounev helped her make her dreams come true.


    Chemistry professor publishes book on black titanium dioxide

    Xiaobo ChenBlack TiO2 Nanomaterials for Energy Applications. The book, published through World Scientific Publishing, aims to present the recent progress on the research of black TiO2 nanomaterials and how they can be used in a number of clean energy applications.

    The book includes a theoretical analysis of TiO2 research, and provides a comprehensive review of the subject for students, researchers and practitioners in catalytic science, materials science, nanotechnology, green technology and chemistry.


    Christopher D. Harris receives College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Award

    UMKC Alumn Chris Harris speaks during the Spring 2018 Graduation with Distinction LuncheonFor more than 20 years, Chris Harris has devoted his time to transforming urban land into green spaces and recreation areas.

    He developed the Harris Park Midtown Sports and Activities Center in the late 1990s, which turned a vacant lot in urban Kansas City, Missouri, into a beautiful park with a playground and basketball court. Since then, Harris has built the park into not only a recreational facility, but also an educational environment that helps youth and adults cultivate basic life skills, self-esteem, and respect for others and property.

    He is also working on building a state-of-the-art, nine-hole putting green as a way to bring golf to the urban area. At UMKC, he was awarded the Bernard Osher Reentry Scholarship, which gave him the opportunity to advance his philanthropic initiatives and his career. Harris currently serves as a housing locator at Truman Medical Center.

    His career achievements led him to be named the 2018 Alumni Achievement Award winner for the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.


    Clara Irazabal-Zurita Wins Award for Co-authored Article

    Clara Irazabal sits in her officeClara Irazábal-Zurita, UMKC Professor of Planning and Director of Latinx Studies, recently received a Best Journal Article Award from the Global Planning Educators Interest Group of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning.


    Colliding Neutron Stars Produce Gold, Silver and Platinum

    A conversation with Mark Brodwin, assistant professor in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Department of Physics and Astronomy

    Scientists recently witnessed the spectacle of colliding neutron stars. What are they?

    Brodwin: When a very massive star runs out of fuel to burn, it explodes in a huge supernova leaving behind a neutron star or, if the star is very massive, a black hole. A neutron star is a very compact ball of neutrons with the extreme density of an atomic nucleus. A typical neutron star has a mass twice that of our sun, but a size about that of Overland Park. It’s so dense that a teaspoon would weigh about as much as Mount Everest!


    Colorado cartoonist responds to Paris attack

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

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

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


    Dark? Cold? Here's what to expect with Monday's solar eclipse

    Sky already looks different

    We all know Monday’s eclipse [August 21, 2017] will be a rare sight, and one you should view with safety-approved glasses.

    But if you want to be the smartest person at your eclipse watch party, there’s more you should know.

    Professor Mark Brodwin“It gets dark, and it gets cold, and the wind picks up, and the birds freak out, and you can see stars,” said Mark Brodwin, a UMKC astronomy and astrophysics professor.

    “It’s a very surreal and emotional experience, I’ve read. I can’t wait to experience it myself,” Brodwin said.


    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.


    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:


    Don’t stand down, stand up

    Honoree Chely Wright | Photo by Brandon Parigo, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications

    UMKC graduates urged to move the world into the future

    More than 2,100 graduates of the University of Missouri-Kansas City claimed newly-minted diplomas over a sun-splashed late-spring weekend in May 2017.

    UMKC also awarded honorary doctorates to four commencement speakers, three of which came from the College of Arts and Sciences.


    Dorothy Day's struggle with faith takes the stage

    Actor Deuker rehearses fThis Other Love rehearsalPatty McCarty, a former NCR copy editor, will see her two-act play about the life of Dorothy Day staged by a Milwaukee-based theater company this month.

    Acacia Theatre Company will present "This Other Love" by Patty McCarty July 14-16 and July 20-23.

    The action of the play takes place in August 1927, during a time Day was struggling with her growing spirituality and relationship with her common-law husband, Forster Batterham. The play addresses Day following God's call to work with the poor. Janet Bouman Peterson is the play's production director.


    Economics' Dr. Eaton represents UMKC in the Federal Reserve Research Center

    Three universities, Kauffman Foundation gain access to secure Census data

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City is joining with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, two other universities and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to establish a new research data center (RDC) that will provide area researchers with access to some of the nation’s highest-quality data for analysis of the U.S. economy and public policy issues.  Read more.


    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."


    Dr. Miguel Carranza awarded NACCS Scholar 2015

    Dr. Miguel Carranza, Latina/o Studies director and professor of sociology awarded the 2015 NACCS Scholar.

    2015 NACCS cover and program.


    Dr. Syed E. Hasan attends MEDGEO 2019

    Dr. Hasan SyedDr. Syed E. Hasan, professor emeritus of geology, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, attended the 8th international conference–MEDGEO 2019–held at Guiyang, Guizhou Province, China, August 12-15, 2019. The conference was hosted by the Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the International Medical Geology Association. Dr. Hasan gave a keynote lecture titled “Health impacts of waste management and medical geology”. He also conducted a one-day short course on Medical Geology that was attended by over 50 people representing several countries


    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.


    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.


    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


    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.


    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!


    Dr. Sandra Enriquez lands Two Grants from the Texas State Historical Society

    The History Department is proud to announce that Dr. Sandra Enriquez, who is also the Director of the Public History Emphasis, has been awarded two competitive fellowships from the Texas State Historical Association.


    Erik K. Olsen's "Unproductive Activity and Endogenous ...

    Erik K. Olsen's "Unproductive Activity and Endogenous Technological Change in a Marxian Model of Economic Reproduction and Growth” receives the Review of Radical Political Economics best paper award.

    Abstract: This paper integrates unproductive activity into a Marxist growth model based on Marx’s reproduction schemes. Labor extraction and technological change are related to the production and distribution of surplus and thus are endogenous.


    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.


    Fight Against Racism Takes Up the Tools of History

    The Festival of the Archers, Flanders (1493), Royal museum of fine arts, AntwerpResearchers reveal the exploitation of medieval imagery and language by white supremacists

    White Nationalists and neo-Nazis have misused medieval imagery and language to support their cause. Faculty from the University of Missouri-Kansas City are working to reveal the true histories and explore the connections between contemporary issues and medieval concepts of race, gender and identity.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    History Department Wins Chancellor's Community Engagement Award

    The Department of History has been named the 2019 recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Community Engagement in recognition of its efforts to make engagement with the community a central aspect of its approach to student learning and scholarship. In his award letter, Chancellor Agrawal commended the department for "exemplifying the very best of UMKC's values."

    The department has worked to establish relationships with cultural institutions and communities locally, regionally, and internationally and to produce and share historical knowledge. The department's community outreach initiatives include, but are not limited to, partnering with local institutions on public programming for a variety of audiences; helping to disseminate the history of African American, German, Latinx, and LGBTQ communities among many others both in Kansas City and Missouri and more broadly; and generating new historical research about the region through public symposia and edited volumes.

    History Department students and faculty will be honored at the Leaders in Learning Faculty Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. More information about the department's work is available on its public engagement and community partners pages.


    Honeywell and UMKC Expand Science and Innovation Collaboration

    Physics Honeywell collaborators Wrobel and LambtonStudents and faculty gain improved access to new technology

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City has signed a master collaboration agreement with Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies (FM&T), creating closer collaboration on research and development of new technology to meet national security needs.

    “UMKC is proud to partner with Honeywell,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “The collaboration will allow us to bring UMKC and Honeywell’s research expertise together, which will not only benefit our students and faculty, but also our national security.”


    UMKC geosciences graduate student researches accuracy of weather forecasts for NASA

    UMKC Geosciences graduate student Forrest Black poses for a photo with a sign welcoming people to NASA's Langley Research Center.Forrest Black isn’t a pilot, but he’s helping to make air travel safer and more efficient.

    Black, a UMKC geosciences graduate student, has been interning as a research assistant at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, since the fall of 2016.

    Black is researching how major weather events impact the National Airspace System (airports, navigation facilities and airspaces of the United States). He wants to develop a tool that will reconstruct the evolution of those events using weather and flight data.


    Infusing Confidence in Undergraduate Researchers

    UMKC PR ClassroomEUReka Math Course Researched Kansas City Water Cutoffs

    Experiences in Undergraduate Research, or EUReka classes, play a critical role in the undergraduate curriculum at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The university takes advantage of its urban location to offer numerous opportunities for students at all levels to gain hands-on research experience that also benefits neighboring communities.


    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.”


    Kathleen Kilway to Receive STEMMy Award

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

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


    KC anti-violence campaign aims to plug hole by looking at parolees

    KC-NoVA image by Allison Long

    The Kansas City No Violence Alliance recently started meeting with inmates about to go on parole in an effort to help them get what they need in order to keep them away from crime while also delivering them a warning. KC NoVa rounded up people deemed by police as being key to violent crime in the area in January 2013. File photo by ALLISON LONG The Kansas City Star . The conversations go like this:

    An inmate nearing the end of his or her prison sentence is called to a meeting. A Kansas City police detective, a parole officer and an advocate for the inmate pull up chairs.


    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.


    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.


    LGBTQ-Themed Student Exhibit Receives National Council on Public History Award

    In 1966, the NACHO planning meeting was held in the State Hotel, visible on the left in this view near 12th and Wyandotte. Courtesy: Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri.A University of Missouri-Kansas City student-produced LGBTQ-themed exhibit, currently being displayed at the UMKC Miller Nichols Library, has received a Student Project Award from the National Council on Public History. The exhibit can be viewed on the third floor of UMKC Miller Nichols Library through April 8, and is available online.

    The Student Project Award is given to an outstanding public history student venture initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history. “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights” was submitted by UMKC students Taylor C. Bye, Kathryn B. Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer (now an alumna), Kevin Ploth and Jennifer Tufts.


    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.


    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.


    Futurist Lucite Plains art exhibit features work of three professors

    Lucite Plains is a new performance collaboration between Kansas City-based artists and UMKC professors Ricky Allman and Barry Anderson. Combing elements of Allman's paintings and installations with Anderson's work in video and animation, and adding music composed for analog synthesizers and guitars, the performances create a psychedelic futurist experience. The concept came from a melding of themes they have been working on individually for the past few years including eco-futurism, geological ritualism, ancient mythology and retro utopian visions.

    For their first extended performance residency, they will be presenting a series of seven events October 19-21 at SubTropolis as part of Open Spaces where they will be joined by guest musician, artist, and fellow UMKC colleague Davin Watne.

    Learn more about about the complete performance schedule and ticket info.

    Preview a video of a studio rehearsal

    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.


    Six MA Students in the UMKC History Department win National Council on Public History Award for Student Project

    Making History MHC with AudienceThe UMKC Department of History is proud to announce that six graduate students in the Master of Arts in History with a Public History Emphasis program have been awarded the National Council on Public History's Student Project Prize for their project, Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights. The UMKC students receiving the award are: Taylor Bye, Kathryn Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer, Kevin Ploth, and Jennifer Tufts.

    The award is given to “an outstanding public history student project initiated as academic coursework and implemented and recognized beyond the classroom for its contribution to the field of public history.”


    UMKC Physics and Astronomy Professor, Mark Brodwin, is a Consultant on the Stars

    KCREP Constellations imageHow can actors become knowledgeable on complex subjects for their plays? They consult with a college professor, of course.

    Mark Brodwin, Ph.D., professor in the UMKC Department of Physics and Astronomy, recently collaborated with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre on their current play, Constellations.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    Over 300 students named to CAS Dean's List for Fall 2016


    A total of 341 students in the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences were named to the Dean's List for the fall 2016 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.


    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.


    Philosophy Professor Awarded Faculty Fellowship from Colby College

    Adrian Switzer_Philosophy ProfessorAdrian Switzer, Ph.D., associate teaching professor in the UMKC Department of Philosophy, has received a one-year Faculty Fellowship in Modern Philosophy at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. The fellowship is a teaching and research position.


    Police are crunching data to stop murders before they happen

    Kansas City’s smart policing push users computers to find likely criminals and their associates. Civil rights groups say that tactic raises serious privacy questions.

    Kansas City had a murder problem. For the past decade it’s violent crime rate had made it one of the top ten dangerous cities in America.

    Read the full Fortune article.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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...


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

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


    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.


    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.


    Stephanie Kelton is named chief Democratic economist

    UMKC’s Stephanie Kelton is named chief Democratic economist on the Senate Budget Committee

    Stephanie Kelton has been an economics professor at UMKC since 1999. She is a self-described “deficit owl” who supported larger budget deficits to counteract the recent recession. Each party has its own chief economist on the budget panel, which among other things oversees the Congressional Budget Office.


    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…


    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.


    Syed E. Hasan Receives Fulbright Award

    Syed E. Hasan, Ph.D., UMKC geosciences professor emeritus, has been awarded a Fulbright award to Qatar by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB). Hasan will teach courses in waste management and environmental geology at Qatar University, and offer seminars at other Middle East universities, during the 2016 spring semester

    “Qatar, with its unique marine and desert ecosystems, needs to implement a waste management strategy that is compatible with its natural environment,” Hasan said. “I am looking forward to sharing my expertise in the field of waste management with students and faculty at Qatar University to help them develop a sound waste management plan for their country.”


    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.


    The Beast is Portrayed by Theatre's Scott Fagan

    Theatre's Scoott Fagan is the BeastTheatre in the Park, White Theatre invite you to be their guests

    An enchanting fairy tale requires a beautiful girl, a prince with a castle, a villain, a crisis and a happy ending. “Beauty and the Beast” has it all plus a hideous ogre. Kids will love it, and adults will be amazed.

    “Beauty and the Beast” is co-produced by The Theatre in the Park and the Jewish Community Center. The two organizations share the expense of costumes, props and sets and use the same cast and director in both theaters.


    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. 


    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.


    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.


    The Secret Lives of Deans

    The Secret Lives of DeansManaging budgets, hiring faculty, recruiting students, setting academic policy...the life of a university dean is a high-stress job. How do you decompress?

    For one dean, it’s calling fouls on the court.

    Growing up in Lexington, Ky., College of Arts and Sciences Dean Wayne Vaught says basketball was a huge part of his life. He played in youth leagues all the way through high school.


    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.”


    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.


    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.


    UMKC/UMSL offer first Transnational Student Research Course with U. of Hamburg in FS18

    During the nineteenth century, large numbers of German migrants settled in the state of Missouri. In this three-credit online course in public history (HIST 400B/5500B), students from the universities of Missouri in Kansas City and St. Louis will collaborate with German peers from the University of Hamburg in researching and writing short interpretive essays on the everyday lives of German migrants before, during, and after their migration.


    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.


    Truman and the Atomic Bomb; Urban Cool Realty

    On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb exploded in the desert of New Mexico. We examine the complicated legacy of President Truman and the atomic bomb.


    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.


    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.


    UMKC Anthropology Professor’s Research Wins International Award

    Anthropology professor Shannon Jackson poses for a studio portraitShannon Jackson, Ph.D., associate professor of Anthropology, has received an International Award for Excellence for Volume 13 of The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge, and Society.

    Jackson’s article, “Cyber-infrastructure and the Right to the City,” was selected for the award from among the highest-ranked articles emerging from the peer-review process and according to the selection criteria outlined in the peer-review guidelines.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.”


    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.


    UMKC collection offers trip way, way back in time

    KMBC News 9’s Joel Nichols visits the UMKC campus to tell the story of a man’s (Professor Gentile) lifetime love of our areas underground history.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    UMKC Galaxy Evolution Group Assists with Planned Observations with Next Great Space Observatory

    UMKC Galaxy Evolution GroupThe James Webb Space Telescope, the scientific successor to the Hubble Space Telescope, is scheduled to launch in the spring of 2020. It is expected to make history as the largest astronomical observatory ever sent into space, and University of Missouri-Kansas City scientists and students will be among those getting the earliest access to it.


    UMKC Geosciences Graduate Student Interns at NASA

    Forrest Black, a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Geosciences, spent this past fall semester interning at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

    As an intern, Black helped develop a tool that can ingest standard weather data and flight trajectory data for analyzing the impact of weather on aviation operations. He will stay in Virginia to work on this project throughout the spring 2017 semester.


    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.


    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.


    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.


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

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

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


    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.


    UMKC professor recognized by NASA for work on galaxies

    Mark Brodwin, UMKC Physics and Astronomy Professor A UMKC professor has been recognized for his work studying galaxies.

    Mark Brodwin, associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, won a NASA Group Achievement Award from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

    Brodwin was one of six recognized for groundbreaking research as part of the Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) Survey team, called MaDCoWS, for short.


    UMKC research team receives award for device that may help prevent a nuclear attack


    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new tool may soon help the U.S. military stop a nuclear attack, and it was made in Kansas City.

    For the past 8 years, UMKC physics professor, Anthony Caruso, has led a research team of students and professors from UMKC, K-State and University of Missouri – Columbia to develop a new way to find radiation.

    “There’s just not that many options available because there are so many containers and it’s so easy to hide special nuclear material on one of these container ships,” said Caruso.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.”


    Unified front is needed to steer area youths from violent crimes

    Kansas City police have identified almost 200 young people who are connected to groups associated with crimes such as shootings, armed assaults, robberies and weapons trafficking. About half of the teenagers are 16 and younger, and a few are as young as 13.

    Young suspects have been charged in two of the Kansas City region’s most violent and high-profile crimes so far this year.

    The four men accused of killing Shawnee gun shop owner Jon Bieker Jan. 9 in a robbery gone bad range in age from 18 to 20.


    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.


    Using Research to Reduce Violent Crime

    Direct involvement by UMKC faculty aids No-Violence Alliance

    An ongoing law enforcement effort to rethink strategies to reduce violent crime in the Kansas City area has its own secret weapon: UMKC.

    The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, part of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences, is intimately involved in the Kansas City No Violence Alliance (NoVA). NoVA is a 2-year-old multi-agency effort to reduce gun-related violence.

    Chancellor Leo E. Morton serves on NoVA’s governing board, and UMKC faculty members and graduate students are embedded in NoVA’s effort to implement a crime-prevention approach known as “focused deterrence,” which helps police look beyond individual criminals to the criminals’ entire social networks.

    Read the UMKC Today article.


    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.


    ‘Warko’ Observatory Celebrates 40 Years

    Author and comet-discoverer David Levy will lead observance at Warkoczewski Observatory

    Renowned comet discoverer, author and Emmy (“Three Minutes to Impact”) Award winning astronomer David H. Levy, Ph.D., will give a free public lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to highlight the 40th anniversary of the university’s Warkoczewski Public Observatory.

    Read the UMKC Today article.


    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.


    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?


Contact Us

If you have questions about our programs or want to know more about studying political science at UMKC, get in touch with us.

Campus Location

The Department of Political Science is located in Haag Hall on the UMKC Volker Campus. Campus maps can be accessed online.

Department Chair

Dr. Beth Vonnahme
303I Mannheim Hall
Phone: 816-235-5844

Mailing Address

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Department of Political Science
213 Haag Hall
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110

Degree Programs

The Department of Political Science at UMKC provides a world-class education with a small, community feel.

The department offers both undergraduate and graduate degree options. Our undergraduate students receive opportunities for research and mentoring, as well as internship and career guidance.

Learn more about our undergraduate programs.

The department also has a robust graduate program offering a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science, a JD/MA in collaboration wth the UMKC School of Law and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.

Learn more about our graduate programs.

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. Continue reading

Faculty/Staff Directory

[connections name_format=”%first% %middle% %last%” image_width=200 image_height=250 background_color=”2b96bf” color=”#fff” excerpt_length=15 enable_map=’FALSE’ enable_category_select=’TRUE’ category=23 enable_category_by_root_parent=’TRUE’]

Interdisciplinary Ph.D.

The Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at UMKC, directed by the School of Graduate Studies, is designed to encourage students to gain knowledge in a primary discipline of study and at least one or more co-disciplines.

The Department of Political Science currently participates in a limited capacity in the UMKC School of Graduate Studies IPh.D. program as a co-discipline.

Choosing Political Science as a Co-Discipline

Political Science is a seamless match for a variety of social science disciplines including history, economics, sociology, criminal justice and psychology.

Students pursuing a degree in the natural sciences or mathematics may also be interested in pursuing a co-discipline in political science to focus on the political and policy implications of their work.

Those more inclined toward the arts and humanities (especially English, foreign languages, and communication studies) might find an appropriate connection to the study of politics.

Typical Requirements

Students are required to take three political science courses:

  • POL-SCI 5501: Seminar in American Government
  • POL-SCI 5530: Seminar in International Relations
  • POL-SCI 5513: Seminar in Comparative Politics

Students must take additional courses at the 500-level based upon their chosen topic of research.

Examinations will be under the jurisdiction of the coordinating discipline, but must incorporate some emphasis on political science. The political scientist(s) on the student’s committee will participate as full members of the student’s doctoral committee.

Contact Us

Please contact us if you have any questions about the program.

Graduate Advisor:
Dr. Max Skidmore 

Department Chair
Dr. Beth Vonnahme


Internships allow students to apply classroom knowledge to better understand political processes in the real world.

Internships also give students valuable exposure to future careers and promotes networking with potential employers. Internships are valuable in ensuring good job and career choices and often facilitate more rapid career advancement.

Students can obtain academic credit for certain internships completed through the Political Science Department.

Finding an Internship

The Poli Sci Internship Blog is where we list all opportunities that come through the department. Students can search for internships by category, semester and compensation, as well as read student testimonials.

Other Resources:

J.D./M.A. Dual Degree Program

The J.D./M.A. in Political Science program combines two separate degree programs: the Juris Doctor degree and the Master of Arts in Political Science.

Students are admitted to both the School of Law and the Department of Political Science. The benefit of the dual degree program is cross-acceptance of a certain number of credit hours resulting and a reduction in the number of courses a student would need to obtain both degrees.

Students earn separate degrees and may apply for graduation to either program after fulfilling the requirements for one of the degree programs whether or not the requirements for the other degree have been met.

Application and Admission

Students must apply for admission to each program; normal requirements for admission to each apply.

Students admitted to the School of Law who apply for the dual degree program will be admitted automatically to the M.A. program in Political Science after the Department receives their graduate application, official transcripts and LSAT score. The Department’s requirement for the GRE will be waived.

Students must be admitted to both degree programs by the end of their first academic year.


Students may take M.A. courses before regular enrollment and matriculation in the Law School, but these courses cannot transfer to the J.D. program.

Per Law School requirements, the first-year law curriculum must be taken as a “one year package” and only M.A. courses completed after this time (i.e., after completing the first-year law curriculum) will apply to the J.D. Law courses completed before admission to the M.A. program can be applied to the M.A.

Cross-Acceptance of Hours

The School of Law will accept up to 10 credit hours of Political Science graduate-level courses toward the 91 hours required for the J.D. degree. Students will submit their course request to the Associate Dean of the School of Law to determine whether the courses will count toward the J.D. degree.

The Department of Political Science will accept up to 12 credit hours of law courses towards the M.A. degree.

Each transferred course must meet grade requirements of the accepting school.

J.D. Requirements

Students must complete 91 credit hours, 81 of which must be in law school courses. For students doing the dual degree, at least 71 must be classroom credits (in other words, in courses requiring attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions in the law school or under direct law faculty instruction).

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.0. The grade in transferred courses from the M.A. program will not transfer into the J.D. cumulative GPA. Instead, the course grade will be converted to credit, provided the grades are at least a C (2.0) or better in 500-level coursework. If the grade received is insufficient, the course will not be accepted toward the required 91 hours.

Students must complete all required courses including the Jurisprudential (J) course requirement, the Experiential (EXP) course requirement and the Research & Writing (R&W) requirement. The M.A. thesis will satisfy the R&W requirement. The thesis committee will consist of two political scientists and one faculty member from the Law School who will serve as the co-chair of the committee, and whose acceptance of the thesis will provide approval of the thesis as satisfying the R&W requirement. The thesis hours will not count toward the J.D.

J.D./M.A. students are not be required to do an M.A. thesis. Students choosing not to do an M.A. thesis must satisfy the R&W requirement through any of the other R&W options, such as writing an R&W paper for a class, an independent study or a law journal.

Students must successfully complete all coursework within five years.

M.A. Requirements

Political Science Requirements

All M.A. candidates must successfully complete the following core political science courses:

  1. POL-SCI 5501: Seminar in American Government
  2. POL-SCI 5530: Seminar in International Relations
  3. POL-SCI 5580: Seminar in Comparative Politics

Additionally, J.D./M.A. candidates can choose either of the following sets of requirements either the Non-Thesis Option or the Thesis Option.

The Non-Thesis Option requires 12 semester hours of additional political science graduate coursework.

The Thesis Option requires three semester hours of additional political science coursework plus six hours of thesis work (POL-SCI 5599). Students must gain permission to write a thesis. Permission to do so depends on the quality of the thesis proposal, the student’s writing skills and the ability of the Department to supervise the student in the subject area of the proposed thesis. An oral defense of the thesis is required.

Students are required to earn a cumulative graduate grade point average of at least 3.0. Law Electives are not included in the calculation.

M.A. candidates may take up to six credit hours of 300- or 400-level coursework in political science at UMKC and count them toward the M.A. degree. For a 300- or 400-level course to be accepted for graduate credit, a student must arrange with the instructor in advance to do supplementary work (such as additional reading, writing and contact hours) and earn at least a B in the course. In addition, the student must not have previously taken an equivalent course at UMKC or elsewhere.

In either the thesis or non-thesis option, no more than six hours of readings, independent study or directed studies credit (other than thesis hours) may be counted toward the requirements for the M.A.

In all cases, students in the M.A. program must take at least 15 hours of graduate-level (500-level) courses in political science at UMKC in fulfillment of their degree requirements.

University of Missouri rules mandate that students in graduate programs must take at least 60 percent of their course work at the graduate level. Applied to the M.A. program in political science, this means that students must complete at least 18 graduate hours.

Graduate courses taken at UMKC in political science and other programs, law transfer hours and thesis hours all count toward fulfillment of this requirement.

Twelve hours of Law School course credit will be included in the M.A.


Political Science
Dr. Max Skidmore

Law School Contact
Dr. Allen Rostron

Master of Arts in Political Science

The Master of Arts degree in Political Science offers the study of the major theories, concepts and practices of politics in the United States and throughout the world.

Our M.A. program is designed to serve a wide audience and prepare students for careers in teaching, government, non-governmental organizations and further graduate work.

Program Options

We currently offer a thesis and non-thesis option for obtaining an M.A. in Political Science.

Thesis Option

The thesis option emphasizes independent research in addition to coursework and is recommended for students interested in further graduate training. It requires 24 hours of approved coursework plus 6 hours of thesis research.

Students must select a thesis topic under the guidance of their departmental thesis advisor. The thesis must meet all the requirements set forth by the UMKC School of Graduate Studies.

More information on the required coursework and thesis requirements can be found in the UMKC Catalog.

Non-Thesis Option

Students choosing the non-thesis option for the M.A. in Political Science are expected to put an emphasis on coursework. This option requires 30 hours of approved coursework.

More information can be found in the UMKC Catalog.

Meet Our Alumni

The Political Science Department has many outstanding alumni.

Legal Field

Matthew Baisley (BA in Political Science) is Senior Associate Attorney in Baker Hostetler’s Data Privacy Litigation group in Denver Colorado

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Urban Politics

What was the most useful class you took?

Urban Politics. Dr. Kropf was my favorite professor. I took all or nearly all of her classes. I think that was useful in its own way – she was brilliant, inspiring, and I unwittingly got the opportunity as a young person to develop a certain kind of productive relationship with someone I really admired. For example, she wrote me an excellent recommendation when I applied for law school.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

I would tell any student to choose their subjects consciously, and to pursue them with passion and curiosity (and if that seems like an utter chore, I would encourage them to consider another subject). I would also encourage students to invest in the people around them as much or more as they do their classes. Professors give counsel, recommendations, and focus; classmates become colleagues, competitors, customers, and clients (and even bosses); and sometimes friends made while you’re figuring it all out last a lifetime.

Emalea Black (BA in Political Science) is Assistant City Attorney, assigned to the Neighborhood Improvement Unit

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Dr. Lyne’s Comparative Politics Seminar

What was the most useful class you took?

I learned the most useful information in Intro to Comparative; I still hear myself say things I learned in that class. But my capstone seminars and doing research for Dr. Beth Vonnahme showed me how to develop a substantial work product from a blank page and how to be accountable for my work.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Poli Sci is such a broad field; take the opportunities to explore different career options while you’re still in school. Be willing to jump whole-heartedly in one direction, then admit it’s not quite right and try again. (I tried on national politics, local politics, academia, criminal law, small town general practice, international human rights law in Geneva, and a boutique firm before finding the right fit).

Thomas Bryant (BA in Political Science) is Co-Owner/Attorney in The Bryant Law Firm

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Constitutional Law with Dr. Atkinson

What was the most useful class you took?

Political Research and Analysis with Dr. Martha Kropf

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

At a time when many believe politics are simply too divisive to discuss it is utterly important that there are people focused on researching, studying, conversing and gathering a better understanding of our current political system.

Jon Dedon (BA in Political Science) is an Attorney at Kennyhertz Perry, LLC

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Constitutional Law with Dr. Atkinson

What was the most useful class you took?

Constitutional Law with Dr. Atkinson. It was very similar in structure and rigor to the Constitutional Law class I took in law school—really prepared me well.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Be social and go out of your way to get to know your classmates. In the long run, the friends you make are at least as important as the degree you earn.

William Diels (BA in Political Science) is Legal Counsel at the Missouri Department of Social Services, Division of Legal Services, Litigation Unit

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

It would be a toss-up between any of Prof. Skidmore’s classes, due to his wealth of knowledge and insight into both ideology and presidential politics, and the capstone course. However, I would give the edge to the capstone course as it is the culmination of your studies and gives you the opportunity to dive headfirst into an area you are most interested. While a thesis can at first glance appear to be a daunting task, if you choose a topic that interests you it becomes an opportunity to fully immerse yourself. The process then becomes much more enjoyable as you become an expert in that topic without realizing it.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

As hard as it may seem, try to set aside any preconceived beliefs or ideological affiliations you may have and engage the course material with an open mind. The prescribed program of study allows you to get a well-rounded education in many aspects of the political process. If it is undertaken with an open mind, you will be shocked at the growth and development of your own belief systems.

Natalie Frank (BA in Political Science) is an Associate Attorney at Ricket Law Firm, LLC

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Advanced Comparative Politics with Dr. Lyne — the discussions were fun and interesting!

What was the most useful class you took?

My Speech 100 course; I do a lot of speaking in courtrooms in front of judges, and as an attorney, you are given quite a bit of credibility if you are effectively and competently able to speak on the record without reciting from a piece of paper in front of you. I learned the foundation of a lot of my current courtroom speaking skills from the speech course I took as an undergraduate.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Make friends with the faculty. They are extremely knowledgeable in their specialty areas, and they want you to succeed. When I was struggling to decide what my next steps after graduation would be, Drs. Beth Vonnahme and Lyne helped me figure out what options were best for me. They also helped me get into law school by writing letters of recommendation on my behalf. The faculty can be pretty fun to chat with from time to time as well!

Madison Roberts (BA in Political Science, 2013) is an Associate Attorney at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York, New York

Madison Roberts Political Science Alumni

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Seminar in Comparative Politics

What was the most useful class you took?

Senior Seminar

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Try to find opportunities outside of class to explore the various fields occupied by political science majors. It is a vast array, more so than other majors, and can be overwhelming. Figuring out what you do and don’t like can help guide your studies and class choices.

Academic Pursuits

Bryce Dietrich (BA in Political Science) is a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

It is difficult to say what my favorite class was, so I will say the most rewarding grade I received was in (the late) Dr. David Atkinson’s Constitutional Law class. It was extremely challenging and only two people got A’s. So, I worked extremely hard in that class to get an A which made me very proud after the fact.

What was the most useful class you took?

My most useful class was probably Dr. Kropf’s research methods class. As I am now a political methodologist, her class was my first exposure to statistics so I would not have caught the computer/stats bug without her class.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

If you work hard, you can do anything you want to do. My mother was a single parent so when UMKC offered me a scholarship to attend and debate she was almost instantly in tears. The success I had at UMKC and the other institutions I have been fortunate to work at is largely because of her sacrifices. She worked incredibly hard to make our lives better. I try to show the same dedication to my colleagues and students.

Lisa Green (BA in Political Science) is attending Malmö University in Sweden pursuing a Master’s degree in International Migration & Ethnic Relations

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Intro to Comparatives Politics

What was the most useful class you took?

Internship – I had to find and setup my own internship in the KC area which helped me gain real work experience and grow my network.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Complete an internship, study abroad, and grow your network outside of academia! Each of these experiences has helped me in one way or another in furthering my career and clarifying what I wanted to do after graduation.

Governmental/Non-Governmental Organizations

Malick Ba (BA in Political Science) International Affairs Consultant

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

My favorite course was American Foreign Policy (Pol-Sci 336, if I remember). The course allowed me to acquire a good understanding of the history of U.S. Foreign Policy and the dynamics shaping how the country interacts with other nations and international institutions. The course also allowed me to truly develop my analytical skills by applying analytical frameworks and theories in various historical contexts to understand the underlying issues and decision-making behind major U.S. Foreign Policy landmarks across various administrations.

What was the most useful class you took?

Foundations of Logic (Philosophy 222) was one of the most useful courses I took at UMKC. This course had great returns both in classroom and life in general as it allowed me to make better and more logically sound arguments. As a result, I was in a better position to spot fallacies in arguments and build more solid arguments. I think this is a class every Political Science major should take to strengthen their persuasive skills.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Clearly define your career goals by writing them down and make a clear and concise plan that will get you there. Your plans may change (as they necessarily will) but the most important part is you defining your goals and setting out to accomplish it. I would also say to use the campus resources available, particularly the Career Services, to ensure you are on the right academic and professional track.

Lauren Gepford (BA in Political Science) Executive Director, Missouri Democratic Party

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Campaigns and Elections

What was the most useful class you took?

Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Build relationships with your professors and work hard.

Patrick Klein (BA in Political Science) Project Engineer for the US Army Corps of Engineers

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

My favorite class at UMKC was Foundations of Philosophy, taught by Dr. James Sheppard.

What was the most useful class you took?

Again, foundations of Philosophy. That class set the path for the rest of my life in many different ways.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Put in the work. The harder you work, the more opportunities will be available to you in the future.

Sahra Nur (BA in Political Science, 2009) Portfolio Analyst Consultant at the World Bank

Sahra Nur Political Science Alumni

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Parties and Interest Groups

What was the most useful class you took?


What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

To double major in political science and economics

Matthew Rhoades (MA in Political Science, 2008) was the Director for Legislative Affairs at the National Security Council

Matthew Rhoades Political Science Alumni

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

International Relations Theory

What was the most useful class you took?

IR theory was really useful for identifying and summarizing the worldviews of our political leaders.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Read everything you are assigned; you never know which piece of information will come in handy at an important moment in the future.

Bethany Woodson (BA in Political Science) is attending graduate school at Marquette University and a Transition Specialist with the International Institute of Wisconsin

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

It is difficult for me to choose a favorite UMKC class; I really enjoyed the entire labor series taught by Dr. Judy Ancel, I think I took essentially all of them.

What was the most useful class you took?

I was lucky enough to take a graduate seminar in International Relations during my time at UMKC and this experience was definitely beneficial to be both personally and professionally. This introduction into graduate level Political Science prepared me for my current program and helped me expand my Political Science-related interests.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Take advantage of the resources you have available to you! Get to know your professors, build relationships, for networking, but also because you never know how or when you’re going to discover a new passion. I think it’s easy to have this idea of life and career paths as linear but you’ll probably take some detours, enjoy them, embrace them, these things help you learn and develop.


Parker Webb (BA in Political Science) is President and Founder of Third Space Property Group (3SPG)

What was your favorite class at UMKC?

Seminar in Comparative Politics

What was the most useful class you took?

Seminar in Comparative Politics probably affected me most in terms of how I view the world. The Real Estate investment and finance courses I took in the Bloch school are the most relevant to my current work in terms of developing the skill sets and knowledge base required to execute my roll on a day-to-day basis.

What one piece of advice would you give current or prospective students?

Don’t be a jerk. Political Science majors are an opinionated group with strong feelings and beliefs about politics and political issues. Some of the best learning I had as a Poli Sci major was when I would let my guard down, check my ego, and just listen to others perspectives and the logic behind their arguments. I always firmly reserve the right to be wrong and to change my mind when new information or better arguments come to light. I think this is important both in academia and in the “real world.”


Meet Our Students

Political Science students at UMKC come together from all over the country. Get to know our students and you’ll know what the College is all about.

Andrew Miller, starring in ‘All My Passions’

Andrew Miller, Political Science major


Andrew Miller received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences in 2014 and his Master of Public Administration from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management in 2016. He is currently a Public Health Specialist in Kansas City, Missouri.

Where is UMKC taking you?

I found my passion. UMKC really let me explore my passions. I got to call the basketball games and volleyball on the radio with a headset on the sideline. I got to serve as vice president of student government and I was our student lobbyist.

I really squeezed all the juice out here; I did everything I could do here.

What prompted you to switch your major from pre-med to political science?

When I was 18, I wanted to be a doctor. At that age, you think there are only two jobs, you can be a doctor or a lawyer and you really don’t know more about the job fields so I chose doctor. I’m a type 1 diabetic so I spent a lot of my childhood at Children’s Mercy and a lot of those doctors and nurses kind of became my role models and I wanted to be like them.

At the same time, I like politics and policy. I passed the classes in pre-med but I didn’t care about carbon molecules, I cared about policies and laws and politics. That was fascinating to me.

What are your lifelong goals and how is UMKC helping you reach them?

I’m a political guy and I can envision myself tracking legislation that moves through the statehouse or Congress and say, ‘This is how it affects our hospital, here’s what we can do about it. Here’s my analysis. Here’s how we feel, ok, now let me go talk to the lawmakers about that.’ That’s what I feel qualified for, what I feel I could do well.

Klassie Alcine: Putting political experience to work
Klassie Alcine Political Science Graduate

Klassie Alcine received her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Criminal Justice and Criminology from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and her Master of Public Administration from the Henry W. Bloch School of Management in 2011. She is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas.

Why did you choose UMKC?

During high school, I visited 10 colleges, both in-state and out-of-state. I was looking for a college with small class sizes and world-class professors. I wanted to have a full-circle experience in education, culture, diversity and internship opportunities.

Were you the first person in your family to attend college?

No, however, I am a second-generation Haitian-American, and I am so honored to be an Afro-Latina. UMKC welcomes diversity and provides a fantastic multicultural office to help students feel accepted and supported. UMKC is here to help you through your life journey. Whatever fear you have – know that you are good enough.

How did UMKC help you reach your current position?

UMKC taught me how to learn and use all of the “tools in my toolbox.” Every class taught me know to understand complex issues, create partnerships, think critically and interact productively.


As a Political Science student, there are a number of opportunities for involvement outside the classroom. Students interested in pursuing research can engage in independent projects or collaborative projects with faculty.

Our internship program offers students a chance to explore career options before graduation and gain valuable networking experience. Click the tab to find out how to pursue an internship and receive course credit for your experience.

Want to meet other Political Science students? Pi Sigma Alpha, a national honor society, hosts events throughout the year to encourage student and faculty interaction.

Pi Sigma Alpha

The UMKC Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, seeks to maintain excellence in scholarship, promote extracurricular activities related to politics and encourage interaction between faculty and students within the Political Science Department.

Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is a valuable addition to one’s academic profile and is recognized by personnel officers and graduate and law school admissions committees. Members are entitled to wear honor cords at graduation.

The national office of Pi Sigma Alpha also awards a variety of scholarships annually, including the Howard Penniman Scholarship for Graduate Study and the Washington Internship Scholarships.

Membership Eligibility

To join Pi Sigma Alpha, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum 3.25 GPA overall
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA in political science courses
  • At least 10 semester hours of work in political science
  • Be a junior, senior or graduate student

For more information about Pi Sigma Alpha membership or events, contact Dr. Debra Leiter at


The Department of Political Science has research expertise across the various subfields of political science.

Our faculty have research expertise in the study of voting and elections, courts, public opinion, the presidency, social programs, terrorism and political violence.

Part of our mission is to engage undergraduates in research and we strongly encourage students to pursue independent and collaborative projects with faculty.

Faculty Research

Many of our students serve as research assistants and even as collaborators on faculty research.

This experience provides students with first-hand research experience, mentoring from established researchers and a way to develop analytical and communication skills.

Our faculty profiles have more information about each faculty member’s research area.

Once you have identified faculty members with research that interests you, contact them to discuss your interests and if they have a spot for you on their research team, either as a research assistant or as a collaborator.

Undergraduate Research

The Department of Political Science also encourages undergraduate students to engage in independent research.

If you are interested in independent research, we recommend that students explore faculty research interests and reach out to relevant faculty for mentorship.

The UMKC Undergraduate Research office has more information on funding for undergraduate research projects.


Affordability is a top priority for students, which is why we offer a variety of scholarships to Political Science students.

Available Scholarships

The Political Science Department has scholarships available ranging from $500 to $4,000. 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.

How to Apply

Current Students

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.

Some scholarships are only for students who show a demonstrated financial need and require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is recommended that all students complete the FAFSA each year, regardless of their family financial status.

For graduate student scholarship information, visit Graduate Funding.

Future Students

A variety of scholarships are available to new UMKC College of Arts and Sciences students thanks to gifts from UMKC alumni, the Kansas City community and other generous donors.

The CAS Scholarship Office has more information about freshman and transfer student scholarships.

Truman Bootstrap Award

The Truman Bootstrap Award introduces undergraduate students interested in public service to the national policy process through a nine week-long immersion experience with the Washington, D.C. offices of the Missouri Congressional delegation or other offices as appropriate.


Student interns will be assigned to governmental offices (legislative or administrative) and will work with identified mentors while there. The internship is to be completed during a full Summer Academic Session. Additionally, it provides the chance to meet and live with interns from the other UM campuses, meet UM officials when they travel to Washington and possible opportunities to meet with past Truman Center speakers who are based in Washington.

Other highlights of the internship are the opportunities to immerse oneself in the rich dynamic culture of our nation’s capital. Being an intern in Washington can be an exciting and rewarding experience, with an endless number of monuments and museums to visit, people from a variety of places to network with—and an amazing chance to involve oneself in the exciting and fast-paced daily life on Capitol Hill. To read more about our former interns and their life-changing experiences, visit the interns report archives.


The internships will be available to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Full-time status at UMKC as a junior, meaning junior standing with at least 60 hours earned at the start of Spring 2019, or senior—including seniors graduating in May or August 2019. Applicants must have at least 15 hours completed at UMKC prior to the start of Spring 2019.
  • Minimum UMKC GPA of 3.25; and
  • Any academic major provided the student has completed at least one Political Science course at the college level, prior to Spring 2019. Preference will be given to those students with a demonstrated interest in public service and civic leadership.
Application Process

Applicants are to submit an application that must contain:

  1. A 1-2 page essay describing the way in which this experience would fit into their academic program and career plans.
  2. A current resume.
  3. At least two letters of recommendation. At least one recommendation must be from instructors at UMKC. The second letter can come from an instructor or someone who knows the student outside the classroom – as an employee, community volunteer, athlete or from another role that the student has successfully fulfilled. Completed applications are due Friday, December 7, 2018.  Materials should be sent to Dr. Greg Vonnahme (  Questions? Contact Dr. Greg Vonnahme at 816-235-5948 or
Review and Acceptance

Applications will be reviewed by a committee associated with UMKC and the Truman Center. Applicants may be asked for an interview. Successful applicants will be notified no later than January 25, 2019.

Requirements for Participation

Students selected to participate in this internship opportunity will be required to do the following:

  • Attend at least two pre-departure meetings on the UMKC campus to discuss the required reading and the internship expectations;
  • Enroll for three credit hours at UMKC in a political science off-campus internship course (in consultation with the Political Science Department and the Truman Center) for credit during Summer 2019;
  • Upon returning to campus, interns will need to be prepared to discuss their experience with the media and at future Truman Center events as well as in a write up for the Truman Center website;
  • A graded reading and writing assignment will be required, with details in the course syllabus.

Participating students will receive 3 credits in Political Science upon successful completion of all requirements of the internship.

  • The UMKC faculty mentor will be one with expertise on the office or institution in which the student interns, will oversee the academic portion of the internship and will be appointed by the Director of the Truman Center. Interns will reside in approved UM system intern housing in Washington. Additional information will be provided after the interns are selected. Interns will be mentored in Washington by persons affiliated with the UM system in addition to those available in the offices to which they are assigned.
Cost and Scholarship Information

In celebration of Harry Truman’s legacy of public service UMKC and the Truman Center will provide a scholarship and other forms of assistance to each student to cover the following expenses associated with the internship:

  • We will purchase the required book; provide 3 credit hours of undergraduate educational fee remission at current UMKC rates for residents for Summer Session, 2019; pre-pay lodging; provide a $2,000 stipend for meals and incidental expenses; and purchase round-trip airfare (not to exceed $500).

The student interns will be responsible for any additional money they might need for transportation, living and other incidental expenses incurred (beyond those covered) while in Washington and for changes made to air itinerary after the ticket has been purchased.

Previous Interns

Bailey Hughes (Interned with Representative Lacy Clay, 2018)

What was a typical day like?

The typical day would be to open up the office at 9am (10am when we weren’t in session) we would turn on the phones and answer them until there was a briefing that we needed to attend. We also took meetings with constituents and lobbying groups which we would then write memos to send to the staffer in charge of the issue. Any day could range from one to three meetings, at least one briefing and when available we would attend hearings and markups.

Relatively few people have the opportunity to see Congress from the inside. Was it what you expected?

Seeing Congress function from the inside proved to be more than I anticipated. Attending Democratic Staff briefings and then the same hearings those briefings covered gave me a deeper understanding of the issues that were presented. The heated discussion, or perhaps, lack thereof, was surprising to me and my fellow interns.

Were there any moments that left a particularly strong impression?

After the Congressman Clay spoke at the Peter Strozk hearing we walked back to the office and all of the phone lines were on hold except for the line Ms. Karyn was talking to. All of the interns immediately got on the phones and started talking to the concerned callers. Each of us spoke to one particularly concerned, however, verbally abusive, constituent. Each time she would curse we would have to terminate the call until another intern finally forwarded her to Capitol police. Once the calls died down I went to a different office to pick up materials and when I came back the office doors were closed because Congressman Clay was taking the constituents call in the lobby. The call lasted fifteen minutes longer after I came back to the office.

If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Anything you would definitely do the same?

If I were to do it again I would probably ask the Congressman more questions. Our office was small enough that I saw and interacted with Congressman Clay just about every day he was in the office.

You just spent 8 weeks working in Congress. What’s next?

After spending time in DC I wanted to try and change the composition of the House. I am currently working as a field organizer in Cass County to elect Renee Hoagenson as the representative for the Congressional 4th District of Missouri. In the future I plan to continue my activism as well as pursue a law degree.

Any final thoughts? Words of advice for future interns?

Attending hearings and briefings is the best way to understand what is going on and help the concerned constituents. It’s also a great way to make the most of the internship; you can meet plenty members by attending hearings as well. Take opportunities to explore the Capitol as well!

Matthew Salsbury (Interned with Senator Claire McCaskill, 2018)

What was a typical day like?

As a policy intern on a Senate committee, a typical day consisted mainly of ongoing research and writing projects for committee reports. For example, at any given time, I would have three-to-four ongoing projects for different senior staff members.  There would also be regular meetings and follow-ups with staff members to track progress and discuss future work.  Additionally, I was responsible for logging mail, answering phones, and giving the occasional capitol tour.  Something that I really appreciated was the breadth of issue areas that I was able to work with, some of which included public health, national security, and rural economic development.

Relatively few people have the opportunity to see Congress from the inside. Was it what you expected?

Going into my summer on the Hill, I had many preconceived ideas about what the environment would be like. I imagined that the atmosphere would be highly competitive and that the staff would be too busy to invest in their interns. What I found, however, was that everyone in the office looked out for the interns; helping us set up networking coffees, offering advice, and ensuring that we were able to work with the issue areas that interested us.

Were there any moments that left a particularly strong impression?

Throughout the summer, there were two moments that were particularly impactful for me. The first was an intern lecture hosted by Justice Elena Kagan.  Hearing justice Kagan give her perspective on judicial procedure, her personal nomination process, and the future of the court was eye-opening, and something I will never forget.  The second memory was seeing Senator John McCain lay in state.  Standing there under the rotunda of the Capitol, I was reminded of many great men and woman that once laid there, and I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming and very rare sense of national unity.  These two experiences were not only uniquely DC, but also genuinely unforgettable.

If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Anything you would definitely do the same?

If given a chance to do the summer again, I would make only one change. I would attend as many events on the Hill as possible.  During the eight-week summer session, there were countless event and receptions every night.  These events ranged mixers with the Missouri State Society, to after-hours receptions at the Smithsonian museums.  While these events provided a great way to meet and network with people on the Hill, they also offered some fun and uniquely DC experiences that you’ll never forget.

You just spent 8 weeks working in Congress. What’s next?

Since leaving the Hill, I’ve accepted a fellowship at a local nonprofit which works with higher education policy. Looking forward, I am exploring opportunities both on the Hill and in the nonprofit space; ideally working with health or education policy.

Any final thoughts? Words of advice for future interns?

My biggest take away, and number one piece of advice to anyone interning on the Hill and wanting to start a career in DC is to develop good relationships with the staff in your office. If your bosses and coworkers like you, they will often bend offer backward to make sure you reach your goals.

For information about earlier interns, please visit:

Undergraduate Programs

Political science students at UMKC receive opportunities for undergraduate research, mentoring from dedicated faculty and access to numerous internship and career opportunities.

Our students study political theory, political behavior, public policy and structures of government within the US, around the world and among other nations. This breadth of academic work allows students to refine their written and oral communication skills, as well as develop their analytical and data analysis skills.

Degree requirements and sample schedules can be found in the UMKC Undergraduate Catalog.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science

The Bachelor of Arts in Political Science is designed for students interested in careers in law, education, politics (polling, campaigns, consulting), government (local, state and federal), international organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and journalism/communications.

Political Science Minor

The political science minor provides students with a comprehensive foundation in political science while they pursue a major in another subject.

International Studies Minor

With the International Studies minor, students explore contemporary global issues, politics, and cultures from a multitude of perspectives.

Why Political Science

Political science is the study of government, public policy political behavior and international relations.

Political science students are naturally curious about the world around them. They often ask the big questions: why do voters make the choices they do? Why do democracies rarely go to war? What makes a good government?

A political science degree prepares students for careers in government, business, law, education, communications, non-governmental organizations and political organizations.


At UMKC, we teach courses that span the political science discipline, including American politics, comparative politics, international relations and political theory.

Our award-winning faculty are personally interested in the success of our students, both in and out of the classroom.

Our vibrant department offers small class sizes, giving students the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with professors and classmates.

At Home in Kansas City

UMKC’s location in the heart of urban Kansas City makes it an ideal place to study political science. Many internship and job opportunities are available in the City of Fountains and throughout the surrounding region.

Our location at the intersection of Kansas and Missouri gives our students a unique opportunity to take advantage of our connections to local, state and federal government, political organizations and legal firms.