December 2019 Faculty Spotlight

Stephen Fant

Stephen Fant has been teaching courses in Management & Organizational Behavior, Business Policy, and Senior Seminar in Management for over 20 years at Park University, beginning at our Fort Bliss campus center before spreading his reach to online and virtual classes. His background is rooted in his military career, having served as the Director of Safety and Health for several large commands and organizations. During his career with the Army, he served in Afghanistan and received the Joint Civilian Service Award and Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Award and Medal, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Award and Medal. Stephen an FCI Innovation Fellows this year, leading a special interest group on Virtual & Augmented Reality in Higher Education.  To learn more about Stephen, click HERE.

October 2019 Faculty Spotlight

Adrian James

Adrian James

Organizational Culture can make or break a workplace. Nobody wants to come to work in a toxic company culture, right? #ParkU’s Adrian James, Ph.D., teaches others how to make small changes that have big impacts on their work and personal lives in her workshops on campus as an Assistant Professor of Management. Check out Dr. James' faculty spotlight HERE.

April 2019 Faculty Spotlight

Erica Jansen

As an active duty military spouse teaching at Laughlin Air Force Base on the border of Texas and Mexico, Erica Jansen represents a large majority of the people who make up #ParkU: a working adult, learning from a distance, often with some relationship to the military. Erica’s background is in English, Literature, and Spanish, and she embodied Park’s innovative spirit by embracing technology to teach writing classes virtually: From Erica: “With Pirate Patch, I can ‘patch’ into Park classrooms at other military bases across the country. Sometimes I’ll have students from North Dakota, Arizona, and Washington all in the same virtual classroom!” To learn more, read Erica's story HERE.

March 2019 Faculty Spotlight

Kathy Jackson

Alarms begin blaring. Beeping from life-saving machines intensifies. A mother giving birth has just had a seizure during labor. Kathy Jackson, a Park University Nursing professor, keeps a cool head as her students expertly spring in to action under her watch. After the crisis is averted, she circles up with her team, breaking in to relieved smiles, to talk through the drill. This was the situation when #ParkU paid a visit to her Obstetrics Simulation lab, and even though it was just practice with a plastic dummy, it was intense. Kathy will be celebrating thirty-seven years as a Nurse this spring, thirty-two of which have been in Obstetrics and Women’s Health. To learn more, check out Kathy on the social media feed of Park's Facebook Page.

January 2019 Faculty Spotlight

Susan Keim

Using Mincecraft to teach? Yep! That’s what Dr. Susan Keim, PhD, is doing at #ParkU to teach modern students about how local government works. Dr. Keim’s background is in business, government, and nonprofit work, and her doctorate is in Public Administration. To sum up her work in her words, she “wants to be the bridge between theory and practice.” Hence, Minecraft! More from Susan: “ What is important to me is having students understand how they can participate in and influence government no matter which sector of society they choose. Public policy discussions allow for thoughtful conversations on social issues and social justice. I love to bring government and the bureaucracy alive for students.”  To learn more, check out Susan on the social media feed of Park's Facebook Page


December 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Debra Olson-Morrison

Being thankful is probably on your mind this week, but we also encourage you to think of helping those in need. As one of the leading people behind the launch of our #ParkU Pirate Pantry, which provides free food for students experiencing food insecurity, our Master of Social Work Program Director, Dr. Debra Olson‑Morrison, is all about quietly helping others. To learn more, check out Debra on the social media feed of Park's Facebook Page

November 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Richard A. Kelleher

Campus Center Director, Independence Campus

M.A. Communication and Leadership ’11, Master of Public Administraiton ’03, B.S. Social Psychology ’02, A.A.S Education and Training Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), A.A.S. Industrial Security CCAF


14 years

My goal after retiring from the Air Force in 2003 was to impact society through education. Where or how that would happen I had no idea but I knew it was in my heart. I, like countless other vets, served right up to the day I completed my 20 years on active duty. Shortly after I retired, I realised transitioning to “civilian” life is equal to or greater than transitioning ino the military. It was a real challenge. My saving grace was my college degrees I had completed with Park University and I was so impressed with the way Park embraced military students I decided to apply there for a job. Thankfully, I was hired into a Regional Admissions position at Parkville and a little after a year promoted to Asst. to the Dir. in Kansas City Accelerated Programs (KCA), from there I served as Community Relations Manager (KCA) then became Director of the Independence Campus Center. Since my time here I have come to learn Park University sets themselves apart from other universities because of the unique way they get to know each student and how they work with them individually to help them achieve their personal and professional goals.

To learn more about Richard, view his faculty spotlight HERE.

October 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Kathy Jackson

Assistant Professor of Nursing

SIG: Shift Happens: Integrating Growth Mindset into Courses and Students

Kathy Jackson is an outstanding faculty member at Park who teaches Nursing courses at the flagship campus in Parkville, Missouri. Kathy joined the Park family three years ago, and her expertise/research interests are RNC-inpatient obstetrics, leadership, professionalism. She is an avid fan of the Royals and does amazing crochet work for Click for Babies. To learn more about Kathy, please check out her faculty spotlight HERE.

September 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Brant Winn

Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Field Experience

SIG: Trauma & Resilience

Dr. Brant Winn is an outstanding faculty member at Park who teaches Education courses and is the Director of Field Experience at the flagship campus in Parkville, Missouri. Brant joined the Park family one year ago, and is a family man and active in his faith. To learn more about Brant, please check out his faculty spotlight HERE.

April 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Judi Simmons Estes

Associate Professor


9 years at the Parkville campus

SIG: Tech Time in the Classroom & For the Workplace

To view Judi's faculty spotlight CLICK HERE.

March 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Devina C. Beatty, Ph.D.

Academic Director and Adjunct Faculty

Ph.D. Organization Management/Leadership, Capella University; MA Procurement and Acquisition, Webster University; Graduate Certificate Government Contracting, Webster University; BS Management/Finance; BS Social Psychology

Park University at MCAS Cherry Point, NC

(2014, July) approved to teach to present; (2017, September) began my role as the Academic Director

To view Devina's spotlight CLICK HERE.

February 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Glenn Lester

Assistant Professor of English, Program Coordinator, First Year Writing

Department of English & Modern Languages

M.F.A, creative writing. B.A., English. (Yes, you CAN get a job with an English degree!) Areas of specialty: fiction writing, writing pedagogy, online writing instruction, response to student writing, contemporary American fiction.

Parkville, although I also teach online

5 years full time, preceded by 2 years part time

After two decades of frittering away on the guitar, I've decided to finally get serious. For the past year or so, I've worked toward developing the elusive technique of country blues fingerpicking: bass line in the thumb, melody on the skinny strings, all ten fingers engaged. I'm shooting for Mississippi John Hurt, although right now I sound more like "Duck Amuck." But I'm learning something. Or, rather, re-learning. I'm re-learning what it's like to be a beginner. The frustration, the hours it takes to make a dent. How guided practice can move you from "couldn't" to "can." The joy of small breakthroughs. The pleasure of finally getting it right. The vertiginous feeling of the next impossible task. This guitar practice in my personal life has reminded me to approach the classroom with humility, and with a recognition of the challenges and rewards ahead for each student as they go from novice to knowledgeable.

January 2018 Faculty Spotlight

Scot D. Cates, MBA, M.Ed.

Adjunct Faculty, Management 

Fort Bliss Campus

One year at Park University


“Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean the sun is not shining”


Name one to three resources that you use either for teaching, scholarship, or service that have assisted in your successes.

A few of the tools that I find useful are MS OfficeMix, Screencast software, and faculty development websites such as, Faculty Focus, etc. These resources have allowed me to stay relevant and continue to learn while improving access to knowledge for learners in my courses. Developing personalized videos helps me to build additional connection with the course learners while fulfilling their educational needs.   

What do you feel you keep doing successfully within your classroom every semester that you are willing to share with other faculty members?

I contribute my success in the classroom to relationships. By connecting to learners where they are, I attempt to relate course material to learners on a personal level. Learning with and about them helps me to use examples based on their life experiences.   

What is something you treasure in your office?

The pictures of former students are important to me. Seeing the smiles on the faces of those I spent months with on their journey to learn brings back good memories. It reminds me of my journey and how I keep in touch with one of my undergraduate professors after so many years; educators make a difference.

November 2017 Faculty Spotlight

Katelyn Handler
Reference Instruction Librarian
SIG: Student-Centered Pedagogy from and Information Literacy Perspective

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library. - Albert Einstein

This SIG focuses on learner-centered pedagogy, and how it could be used to influence information literacy and assignment design to lead to better student outcomes. This group is well-suited for faculty who believe that who we are as people matters when it comes to learning, and want to explore information literacy beyond simply having students capable of accessing articles in databases.

I’ve always been interested in what motivates student learning, particularly when students are allowed some level of autonomy in their choices regarding research; however, as an instruction librarian, I’ve also seen a number of research assignments that are not structured in ways that lead to the outcomes that I believe faculty are hoping for. I hope that this group can engage with current scholarship on learner-centered pedagogy and information literacy in a way that helps faculty implement changes in their classroom and influences their approach in how they teach.

Come join Katelyn this month for her Innovation Exchange, and keep an eye out for her spring Special Interest Groups.

September 2017 Faculty Spotlight

Debbie Olson Morrison

Assistant Professor

Social Work

SIG: Universal Design of Instruction

Through the framework of Universal Design, my SIG will explore creating a more accessible and inclusive learning environment through proactively designing classrooms, culture, and curriculum for students of all abilities. Universal Design of Instruction aims to remove barriers to learning by designing all products and environments to be accessible to everyone without the need for special accommodation, because research in neuroscience confirms that learners are diverse, and that accessibility is good for everyone, not just those with documented special needs. This SIG will be especially useful for those teaching students with diverse accessibility needs, such as international students, older adult learners, veterans, and students with unique physical, cognitive, or psychological challenges.

I like to think that this topic, Universal Design, chose me, thanks to my experience with an incredible student who happened to be disabled. She challenged me to think about inclusion on all levels of the educational experience. Through my Fellows Project I hope create awareness and dialogue in the SIG about the challenges faced inside the classroom by some of our diverse student body. Through the framework of Universal Design, members will learn how to constructing a more inclusive learning environment through implementing practical and easy methods, specifically in the areas of teaching, choosing course materials, and creating an equitable classroom culture. This project can potentially change the way student’s experience their education at Park, ultimately elevating our University to a status where all students are supported and empowered to be do their best and be their best.

August 2017 Faculty Spotlight

Adam Potthast
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Art, Design, & Interdisciplinary Studies
SIG: Asking Better Questions

Join us to revisit that first radical piece of active learning: the question. We'll start with the premise that the quality of discussion you get in your courses is directly proportional to the quality of questions you ask. And then we'll look under every rock to better the discussions in our classrooms.

Come join Adam this month for his Innovation Exchange, and keep an eye out for his remaining fall Special Interest Groups.

March 2017 Faculty Spotlight

Gail Hennessy

Assistant Professor, School of Education

College of Education and Health Professionals


I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom.  It’s my personal approach that creates the climate.  It’s my daily mood that makes the weather.  As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.  I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.  I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

Haim Ginnott



Park It!

  • Name one future research project you are/would like to Pursue.

Currently my research interests are in supporting and preparing future teachers to build relationships and effective teaching skills when working with English Language Learners.  

  • Besides what you are currently being recognized for, what are some of your proudest Accomplishments you would like to share?

During the past year, I have been extensively involved in curriculum development to meet the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education new mandates.  I have been fortunate to work with colleagues in various disciplines along with those in the School of Education. 

  • Name one to three Resources that you use either for teaching, scholarship, or service that have assisted in your successes.

This semester I have gotten my students connected with a school/community project that hopefully will be a worthy resource for middle school students and their families to use this summer.  This past year I have become active in Twitter following individuals and organizations within the field of education.  To go along with using Twitter as a resource for professional growth, I also use current resources to support my teaching and my students learning. 

  • What do you feel you Keep doing successfully within your classroom every semester that you are willing to share with other faculty members?

Each semester I focus on encouraging classroom discourse.  The students I work with will teach and in my mind teachers must think, question, and contribute to the learning environment since one day they will build a learning environment for their students. 

  • What (or who) most Inspires you?  Why?

The students at Park inspire me the most.  It is an honor and pleasure to work with students that are committed to earning their degree. 

  • What is something you Treasure in your office?

I have two items I cherish in my office.  The first is my great aunt’s Normal Institute diploma dated June, 1902.  Her teaching was in a one room schoolhouse, and she shared stories with me about working and getting to know her students.  The other is a picture of a young boy and me I worked with one summer when pursuing my undergraduate degree.  He struggled with many issues and taught me about empathy and what one individual can accomplish with guidance and support. 

January 2017 Faculty Spotlight

April Haberyan, Ph.D., R.N.

Associate Professor of Psychology and Sociology

College of Education and Health Professions


She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.

~ Elizabeth Edwards



Park It!

  • Name one future research project you are/would like to Pursue.

Dr. Jerry Barnett,  a research colleague from Northwest Missouri State University and I are examining the effects of  positive and negative emotional stories on memory for course content.

  • Besides what you are currently being recognized for, what are some of your proudest Accomplishments you would like to share?

In the Department of Nursing last year, I had the privilege of leading the team in developing the new pre-licensure Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program.

I had the opportunity to be the Family Assistance Incident Commander for the team that responded to the theater shooting that happened in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2015.

  • Name one to three Resources that you use either for teaching, scholarship, or service that have assisted in your successes.

I really like using the Canvas learning management system. In particular, I use SpeedGrader when I have to grade papers.  I like to use TED talks to generate discussion in my courses. The third resource I use is the Social Psychology Network. There are a variety of resources on the site for  instructors teaching Psychology courses.

  • What do you feel you Keep doing successfully within your classroom every semester that you are willing to share with other faculty members?

I try to provide organized and structured courses to students. I clearly outline reading assignments, course assignments, lecture topics and assignment due dates. Students have reported to me that they feel less anxious when they know what to expect in a course.

The other thing I do in class is share my real life experiences as a nurse, psychologist and disaster responder to help students make connections with course content.  The stories seem to “stick” with the students and serve as memory prompts on exams.

  • What (or who) most Inspires you?  Why?

I am most inspired by my parents. My father is a survivor of the 1980 MGM Grand Hotel Fire. The fire changed his life and as a result he became an internationally known Disaster Psychologist.   My mother is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing.  Her expertise is in the development of mental health inpatient and day treatment programs. She is also a Family Assistance disaster responder. She served as the medical liaison for the Family Assistance team that was deployed to Thailand after the Tsunami in 2004. My parents are always looking for the next great adventure and I try to live my life in a similar fashion.

  • What is something you Treasure in your office?


I have a picture of a bridge located in the Botanical Gardens in Saint Louis above my desk that my husband took while he was on a trip two years ago. I don’t have any windows in my office since my department is located in the underground Academic Plaza.  This picture serves as my “underground” window and reminds me of summer vacations.

November 2016 Faculty Spotlight

Patrick L. Gallegos, M.B.A.

Senior Academic Director

Academic Affairs


Whatever it Takes!

Patrick L. Gallegos

Park It!

  • Name one future research project you are/would like to Pursue.

I would like to research the integration of technology into the Face to Face classrooms via YouTube, social media & other innovative platforms.

  • Besides what you are currently being recognized for, what are some of your proudest Accomplishments you would like to share?

I recently had a former graduated student return as a guest speaker.  The former student had recently opened a restaurant in the local area.  He informed the class the financial courses and management courses he took with Park University had greatly contributed to his current success. 

  • Name one to three Resources that you use either for teaching, scholarship, or service that have assisted in your successes.

The Canvas Learning Management system consistently streams information via its Canvas Community Newsletter.  The Canvas Community Newsletter is a valuable resource to assist instructors with the Canvas platform.  

  • What do you feel you Keep doing successfully within your classroom every semester that you are willing to share with other faculty members?

Guest speakers and field trips are an excellent way to expose students to real world situations they will encounter in the future.  

  • What (or who) most Inspires you?  Why?

The Park University students inspire me. Having the opportunity to influence students to reach their potential is humbling and rewarding.

  • What is something you Treasure in your office?

I have a signed baseball with all the players from a former youth baseball team; I use to coach with my son.  Even though it has been six years since I have coached this team, the signed baseball brings back great memories. 



October 2016 Faculty Spotlight

Eugene Matthews, PhD

Associate Professor of Criminal Justice

College of Liberal Arts Sciences  



In the field of observation, chance favors the prepared mind. ~Dr. Louis Pasteur



Park It!

  • Name one future research project you are/would like to Pursue.

I would like to examine the impact of drone surveillance use for law enforcement response and investigations

  • Besides what you are currently being recognized for, what are some of your proudest Accomplishments you would like to share?

John Schuepbach, a recent Park University MPA Grad and I had the opportunity to teach over 430 New Mark Elementary students’ methods for locating, identifying, and collecting fingerprints in support of Crime Scene Investigation Unit. That was a lot of fun!
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  • Name one to three Resources that you use either for teaching, scholarship, or service that have assisted in your successes.

Three resources I used are Canvas learning management system for almost all things teaching; Zipgrade application for quickly grading quizzes and exams and getting analytics; and Screencasts for engaging with students beyond the textbook and extending the classroom experience. Of the three I probably rely most on Canvas.

  • What do you feel you Keep doing successfully within your classroom every semester that you are willing to share with other faculty members?

Looking for and finding interesting ways to bring real world application into the classroom, through on-campus field trips, guest speakers, and student centered engagement activities like mini-presentations on course related topics.

  • What (or who) most Inspires you?  Why?

I am most inspired by my fellow colleagues, here and at the campus centers. They have a heart for students, and a genuine interest in their success beyond the classroom experience. As such they are open to exploring other modalities for reaching and teaching our students.

  • What is something you Treasure in your office?

If you mean career wise, then I’d have to say, my department colleagues; because our common denominator is our shared differences within the same disciple. If you mean an item, it would probably be the 2016 family calendar; because every month displays pictures of the future…my kids and grandkids, and that’s pretty cool!