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Learning to a Greater Degree Award Winners

Congratulations to Ashley Wellman and Mathew Martinez, the fall 2015 recipients of the Learning to a Greater Degree Award.

UCM Feature Stories

Campus Cupboard Reflects UCM Culture of Service


Beth Rutt, left, director of student activities, and Trish Smith, right, Campus Cupboard coordinator, recently received the Circle of Hope Network Partnership Award on behalf of the UCM Campus Cupboard.

Hunger is a social issue that reaches across all segments of American society, and university campuses are not immune to the problem.

When it became clear that there was a need to address hunger at UCM, the campus community came together and the Campus Cupboard was the result. The Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology and the Department of Communication Disorders and Social Work joined forces with the Office of Student Activities for the initial planning.

UCM Alumni Foundation Opportunity Grant provided funds to furnish and stock the pantry and provided assistance with the application for 501(c)3 tax exempt status. That opened the door to the pantry’s partnership with Harvester Community Food Network in Kansas City. The support of the campus through individual donations from students, staff and the community, campus fundraisers and individual and group food collections supplements the food purchased from Harvesters.

The numbers tell the story. In its first month of operation after opening in October 2013, the Campus Cupboard served 76 people. In September 2016, 378 people were served. To date, more than 6,000 people have been served in more than 12,000 visits to the pantry, with more than 2,000 served so far in 2016.

The Campus Cupboard recently received recognition from Harvesters for its successful efforts as a Harvesters partner in the effort to eliminate hunger. The recognition is a reflection of the true culture of service that drives the success of the Campus Cupboard and defines UCM.

McNair Symposium a Highlight of Garrard's UCM Experience


Ashley Garrard

When UCM senior Ashley Garrard graduates in spring 2017, she will take with her a variety of experiences that have laid the groundwork for her future.

As a first generation college student in the McNair Scholars Program with a major in economics, she also has been active in the UCM Student Government Association and The Honors College. She has traveled on four study abroad opportunities, and she works as a research assistant in the UCM Office of Institutional Research.

A highlight of her UCM experience was the opportunity to travel to the 24th Annual Ronald E. McNair Scholars Research Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley this past summer. She presented her research on the correlation between student fees and amenities provided by student recreation centers on college campuses.

"Ashley is the first student that the UCM McNair Scholars Program has sent to the conference," said Kari Azevedo, McNair academic coordinator. "She represented UCM very well, and it was a great opportunity for her."

For Garrard, the experience of meeting more than 250 undergraduate students from across the country reinforced her belief that she has received a strong foundation at UCM. She is applying to graduate schools across the country and has applied for a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.

For her love of learning and her willingness serve while engaging in a variety of experiences and worldly perspectives, Ashley Garrard exemplifies learning to a greater degree.

Return Trip to Jamaica Broadens Cultural Experience for UCM Students


Traveling to Jamaica to experience the culture through the arts and service are, front row, left to right, Alexis Lawoe, Arissa Calvert, Raven Alade; back row, Dr. Delia Gills, Courtney Mayfield, Keyontae Richardson and Kimberly Taylor

A study abroad trip to Jamaica in June offered 12 UCM students an opportunity to experience the country's culture through the arts and service.

As a result of that experience, five of those UCM students will return to Jamaica for six days this month, accompanied by UCM faculty member Delia Gillis and student Kimberly Taylor, who will be traveling for the first time.

For Arissa Calvert, a senior from St. Louis, the return trip is a result of her first place win in the Calabash Literature Festival during the trip in June. She participated in an open mic competition, presenting her own original poetry. As a result, she has been invited to participate in the Musiktry Poetry Festival in Montego Bay.

"I didn't even realize it was competition," Arissa said of her open mic presentation in June. "But it's an honor to be asked to return. I'll read some of my new poetry." She also is excited about learning more about the county and culture of Jamaica.

"It's an amazing culture," she said. "How Jamaica gained its independence brings into focus how much it means to the people of Jamaica. It offers a whole new perspective on the freedoms we have at home."

While in Jamaica, the group also will participate in a service project with the Sandy Bank Primary School, coordinated through the Treasure Beach Service Group.

Broadening the cultural experience of UCM student through immersion in the Jamaican culture has provided UCM students with a priceless worldly experience.

IPR Students Gain Valuable Experience in the Professional Realm


Jonathan Haile, left, UCM and IPR alumnus, IPR student Molly Olten, center, and current IPR graduate assistant manager Evan Whittaker, right, claimed the Silver Prism Award on behalf of IPR.

Providing students with real-life experiences is a key element of their academic success. For students in Innovative Public Relations, UCM's student-led public relations firm, the opportunity to work with UCM public relations alumnus and retired telecommunications executive Larry Schnieders on a documentary film project has yielded rewarding results.

IPR students are enrolled in UCM's public relations program. IPR works out of University Relations under the supervision of University Relations staff and public relations faculty.

UCM faculty and current and former members of IPR recently attended the annual PRISM Awards, hosted by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, where they claimed a Silver PRISM Award for their work on the documentary film "Together We're Stronger." The film documents the come-from-behind victory of the former Bishop Lillis High School basketball team to claim the 1961 state championship.

Working over a period three semesters, students enrolled in IPR assisted with fundraising for the project, promoting the premiere of the film in Kansas City, and supported the film through social media, media, and web.

"UCM PR students work at a professional level that makes them unique among their peers," said Tricia Hansen-Horn, professor of marketing and public relations and faculty advisor for IPR. "Their professional prowess was recognized, and it was great to see these aspiring professionals be recognized by industry leaders."

Through engaged learning, UCM's IPR students have gained skills to take them into the future

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Cricket Club Introduces UCM to an Exciting Part of World Culture


The UCM Cricket Club takes advantage of the cricket pitch constructed at South Recreation Complex to compete with other collegiate teams.

The sport of cricket-traditionally a British favorite-has been introduced to the University of Central Missouri and the surrounding community due to the interest of a group of UCM international students from India and the commitment of the university's Office of Student Activities.

Seeking an opportunity to play cricket after they arrived in Warrensburg to study at UCM, the students organized and hosted their first intramural tournament on East Field. In the spring of 2016, they began competing in the Midwest Cricket League as the UCM Cricket Club and playing in matches in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

As interest grew, the Office of Student Activities made the commitment to construct a cricket pitch at UCM's South Recreation Complex. Once completed, the Cricket Club began to seek opportunities to compete with other teams. As the club enters its third year, it hosted its first intercollegiate tournament this past weekend.

"We'd like to have more teams for local tournaments, but we understand it's hard to walk into something that's new to you," said Joleen Byerline, club sponsor. She added that current club members are willing to provide instruction, and they hope to see continued diversity in the membership of the club from the campus and the community.

The opportunity to participate in the rich traditions of other cultures offers UCM students a worldly perspective.

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