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Learning to a Greater Degree Award Winners

Congratulations to Adriatik Likcani and Jonathan Ellis, the spring 2015 recipients of the Learning to a Greater Degree Award.

Learning to a Greater Degree graphic

UCM Feature Stories

Students Create Tactile 3D Map of Campus for Blind Student

UCM students present the 3D map of campus that they helped created for a blind student, Holly Carneal (center).


When blind student Holly Carneal, a Social Work major, enrolled in Professor James Loch's Intro to Geology course this semester, Loch knew some map assignments in this course might be a challenge. He sought the help of the Drafting and Design Technology program and Accessibility Services. The result was a unique 3D map of campus for Carneal.

When Design and Drafting Technology students Alix Calon and Simon Misener were approached to take on this project, they knew it would be a challenging and rewarding experience. Drafting and Design Technology professor, Kyle Palmer, provided assistance and knowledge. Using a design program called Inventor and a 3D printer, Calon and Misener spent about 50-60 combined hours creating a map that covers the core academic buildings on campus.

"This wasn't just a project for one of her classes, but something she and other students will continue to use outside of the class," says Calon.

Coordinator of Accessibility Services, Cathy Seeley, put her student workers, Rachel Gibbs and Tyler Carpenter, in charge of creating the braille labeling on the map.

"It was awesome to see all the different departments come together to help further current and future students' education," says Gibbs.

Creating a helpful resource while gaining hands-on experience, these students are learning to a greater degree.

Jonathan Ellis Earns Learning to a Greater Degree Award for Leadership in Aviation Program

Jonathan Ellis (center) was presented the Learning to a Greater Degree award for his leadership in the UCM Department of Aviation.


For Jonathan Ellis, it's all about making the most of your time in college. For this reason, Ellis was recognized with the Learning to a Greater Degree Award this spring.

Ellis is earning his MBA in Ethical Strategic Leadership and is the graduate assistant for the Department of Aviation. Having been in the program for six years, Ellis has focused much of his graduate work on bringing all aspects of UCM Aviation together into one culture.

Ellis' nomination highlighted many of his contributions, including improving the aviation program's newsletter and teaching students about the importance of core values. Ellis also surveyed more than 200 aviation students, faculty and staff to improve the program's sense of community.

Although Ellis' schedule is full with many projects, his mentors, Tony Monetti, Fred Schieszer and Steve Quick inspire him.

"Watching my mentors and seeing what they are capable of, motivates me to keep pushing forward," says Ellis.

Ellis strives to improve the student experience and display the importance of service and communication every day.

"For me, learning to a greater degree is thinking outside the box and using the time you have to serve others," says Ellis. "It's about improving yourself and learning from everyone."

By dedicating his time to creating a culture of service, Ellis exemplifies learning to a greater degree.

Adriatik Likcani Receives Learning to a Greater Degree Award for Dedication to Future-Focused Academics

Adriatik Likcani (center) received the Learning to a Greater Degree award for his commitment to the professional success of his students.


Adriatik Likcani, assistant professor of Child and Family Development, is well-known for providing real-world experiences for his students and connecting them with industry professionals. This spring, he was recognized for his dedication to his students' future professional success.

"I was blessed with great educational opportunities and mentors throughout my schooling," says Likcani. "I see teaching as an opportunity to give back."

His students regularly benefit from on-campus conferences and off-campus trips to see professionals in the child and family development field at work. He recently took his Family Policy and Advocacy students to Jefferson City to meet with David Pearce, Denny Hoskins, and their staffers, to see policymakers in action.

Likcani says his students are eager to learn and take advantage of educational opportunities.

"Professionals in the field are always amazed at the level of maturity and know-how that our students have," he says. "That's why UCM is developing a big name for itself not only in the state, but internationally, as an outstanding educational institution."

Likcani has also worked in Warrensburg as a counselor and a marriage and family therapist. The student who nominated him for the award noted how valuable his professional experience was to bringing real-world examples into the classroom.

Likcani's future-focused classes ensure his students experience learning to a greater degree.

English Professor Shares National Conference Experience with Graduate Assistants

Book royalties helped UCM graduate students to attend the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa, Florida, with their professor.


For Rose Gubele, assistant professor of English, attending the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa, Florida, is a way to brush up on the English teaching field and present her work. This year, she was able to share that experience with future teachers.

Gubele took six graduate assistants pursuing teaching careers to the national conference, Gardener Pottoroff, Donny Winter, Anna Kimrey, Faith Njambi, Molly Torrence and Heather Hughes.

Hughes presented on dance and feminist rhetoric at the conference.

"Presenting at the conference was intimidating at first," says Hughes. "I ran through the spectrum of emotions but as the momentum of my speech gathered, I felt confident."

To fund the conference, Gubele used the royalties generated by a custom textbook for which she was the managing editor. Several English professors and Hughes contributed to the textbook as associate editors. The graduate assistants use the textbook to teach Composition I at UCM.

"I wanted to take the graduate assistants to the national conference because I had a mentor that got me involved with conferences during my M.A. program," says Gubele. "Presenting at conferences gave me an edge when it came time to get a job."

By engaging in a national conference, the graduate assistants in English are learning to a greater degree.

UCM Hosts Merit Badge University, Boy Scouts Earn Rare Badges

UCM volunteers gave their weekend to teach the Boy Scouts about aviation at UCM's Skyhaven Airport.


UCM student organizations and volunteers collaborated to host a merit badge university at Skyhaven Airport to help local Boy Scouts earn hard-to-obtain badges, including aviation, nuclear science and robotics. The event also gave scouts the opportunity to explore careers in aviation.

About 400 scouts and their leaders attended the weekend event. Scouts attended classes focused on topics including airport operations, glider building and careers in aviation. Additionally, 80 scouts signed up to earn their aviation merit badge by going on a 20-minute flight with a university aviation instructor.

UCM students practiced their skills and knowledge in aviation and other subjects while helping the scouts earn their badges.

"This was a great learning experience for me," says John Breckenridge, a freshman Professional Pilot major who helped coordinate the event. "This weekend gave me experience in a leadership role."

Participants enjoyed learning about aviation and careers that it offers. For many involved, the highlight was to see the scouts fly in an airplane.

"There were smiles on the kids faces all weekend, which is what we hoped for," says Breckenridge.

Those who organized the event are planning to continue it as an annual tradition to serve local Boy Scouts.

By supporting UCM's culture of service and helping local Boy Scouts, the merit badge university volunteers experienced learning to a greater degree.

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