The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce several faculty and staff awards presented on October 21 by Interim Dean Kati Toivanen at the annual CAS Dean’s Fall Reception. This fall’s virtual reception (available to view in full here: CAS Faculty & Staff Fall Reception) offered a chance to celebrate these honored award recipients and to thank all faculty and staff in the College for their resilience during the current and past semesters.
The Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award, given annually to a tenured or tenure-track faculty member, recognizes outstanding instruction within the College. This year’s deserving recipient is Hadara Bar-Nadav from the Department of English. The College also celebrates the vital contribution of non-tenured track faculty with the Outstanding Teaching Award, presented this year to Stephanie Van Rhein in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.
In addition to recognizing outstanding instruction, The College also proudly offers two research grants, firstly the Haskell Distinguished Research award, which supports awardees in their completion of a scholarly project or creative work. This year’s notable recipient is Debra Leiter from the Department of Political Science.
Another research grant presented, the Francis M. Bernardin Research Development Grant, provides recipients support to prepare a grant proposal in their chosen area of research. This year’s recipients are Virginia Blanton from the Department of English, and Joseph Hartman from the Department of Art & Art History.
Four recipients of the 2019 Francis M. Bernardin Research Development Grant were pleased to report back about the ways in which this award furthered the progress of their ongoing research. Dr. Clara Irazabal-Zurita in the Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies department won a Fulbright Scholar grant that will fund her research in Costa Rica in the two consecutive summers of 2021 and 2022. Dr. Alison Graettinger in the Earth & Environmental Sciences department was able to complete two research proposals, one of which is currently under review by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Majid Bani Yaghoub, Chair of the Mathematics & Statistics department, also received grant funding from NSF in addition to a successfully funded grant in data science. Dr. Ye Wang in the Communication Studies department had the opportunity to complete five research projects, three of which are pending further external grant funding. The College is honored to be able to provide its highly deserving faculty with these merit-based research opportunities.
The final award presented at the Fall Reception was the Outstanding Staff Member Award, recognizing exceptional contributions made by a College of Arts and Science staff member. This award is given annually to an employee who is consistently respectful, responsible, resourceful, receptive, responsive, and reasonable. This year’s worthy recipient is Tanya Henderson from the Department of Mathematics & Statistics.
The College values each faculty and staff member year round, but appreciates the opportunity to highlight a select few at the beginning of each academic year.
The College is proud to congratulate Dr. Joan McDowd on her recent selection as a 2020-21 UM System Presidential Engagement Fellow. The Fellowship grants Dr. McDowd and the 14 other UM faculty in the 2020-21 cohort, including Dr. Jamila Jefferson-Jones (School of Law) and Dr. Joey Lightner (School of Nursing and Health Studies) from UMKC, opportunities to speak and share their excellent research with communities across the state of Missouri. Dr. McDowd currently serves as Chair of the Department of Psychology and Director of the Gerontology Program.
From the recent UMKC Today article announcing UMKC's Presidential Engagement Fellows:
McDowd serves as director and advisor for Gerontology programs. Her research interests are in cognitive aging, particularly in attention and memory processes. Although primarily interested in healthy aging, she also applies methods from cognitive psychology to understanding cognition in stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease as well as in severe mental illness. She was awarded the 2017 President’s Award for Community Engagement, which recognizes faculty who are involved in exemplary engagement activities such as volunteerism, service-learning, educational programming and outreach.
To learn more about the Presidential Engagement Fellows program and the 2020-21 cohort, see this UM news release.
The College is proud to congratulate two of our outstanding faculty members on their recent awards from the President of the University of Missouri System.
Dr. Richard Delaware, Teaching Professor in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, received the President’s Award for Innovative Teaching. This honor “recognizes faculty who are outstanding teachers and who employ novel and innovative teaching methods to achieve success in student learning” (UM System). Dr. Delaware has been teaching at UMKC since 1984, and the Innovative Teaching Award is the latest addition to the many honors he has received during his time here. Students praise his techniques which foster collaboration and communication, enabling students to do hands-on work in class and communicate their approach with peers. Dr. Delaware’s writing intensive course, History of Mathematics, has generated award-winning student research papers and publications since 2004. You can read more about this innovative course here. In addition to the courses he teaches at UMKC, Dr. Delaware has also recorded and uploaded full course videos for College Algebra and Calculus I to YouTube, which have reached thousands of students world-wide.
Dr. Sarah Pilgrim was awarded the President’s Award for Intercampus Collaboration, which “recognizes faculty who engage in activities that foster collaboration across two or more campuses of the University of Missouri System” (UM System). The collaborative project, Fostering Well Being, was established by Dr. Pilgrim and Dr. Virginia Ramseyer-Winter at the University of Missouri in Columbia, with contributions from faculty in Columbia’s School of Engineering and other faculty across both campuses. Drs. Pilgrim and Ramseyer-Winter also work with organizations such as Kansas City-based Youth Ambassadors and with graduate students serving as research associates at UMKC and MU. With the goal of supporting underserved youth in Missouri, the project aims to develop a phone-based app to provide critical public health information to foster families and vulnerable youth. Dr. Pilgrim joined the School of Social Work as an Assistant Professor in 2016. Her work with the Fostering Well Being project closely aligns with her research interests in adolescent trauma especially as related to foster placement.
Congratulations to these two professors for this remarkable recognition of their important work with our students and our community.
Dr. 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
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.
Medieval Times, a dinner theater experience loosely based on the 11th century Spanish court, featured a female ruler for the first time this year. Since its debut in the United States in 1983, the show, which includes a banquet, jousting, swordfights, and stunts on horseback, has been presided over by a king. This year, however, Doña Maria Isabella reigned.
Professor of History Linda Mitchell, who also serves as affiliate faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and as President of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship, weighed in on this change in a recent Washington Post article. Check out her comments on women in the medieval world and the historical accuracy of Medieval Times here.
Dr. 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.
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.
Professor 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.
Dr. 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."
The 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.
Since 2011, Andrew Stuart Bergerson, Professor of History & Public Humanities, has been one of the lead researchers for a project called Trug&Schein. It uses the correspondence of an ordinary German couple, Hilde Laube and Roland Nordhoff, to facilitate public engagement with everyday life over the course of the Second World War.
Congratulations 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.
Clara 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.
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!
Shakespeare’s King Lear is the theatrical equivalent of an Olympic decathlon.
Lear may be the most challenging role in the English-speaking theater, one that takes prickly concepts of vanity, loss and madness and pushes them about as far as they can go.
“Of all the roles I’ve done, this is the most demanding,” said Theodore Swetz, who will play the mad king in the Kansas City Actors Theatre production starting Friday, Oct. 13, in Spencer Theatre as a co-production with UMKC Theatre.
“It’s a sustained assault on the mind and body. At the same time it’s fun. Terrific fun.”
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.
The 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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Did 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.
Totemic 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.
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 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.
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.
Lynda 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.
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.
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.
How 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.