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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

UCM Student Worked with Red Cross Ecuador to Prevent Crises

UCM student Tully Douce worked with Red Cross Ecuador to manage 2 million people during the Pope's visit.


Tully Douce has always had a desire to help people in developing countries. A senior double majoring in Crisis and Disaster Management and Spanish, Douce followed his passion and returned to Ecuador, where he grew up, to work with the Red Cross.

This summer, Douce helped develop a risk management program with the Red Cross disaster prevention team. This team worked daily to create a plan to prevent national crises.

"I was able to take everything I learned in class and apply it in a country with limited resources," says Douce. "I had to be creative and learn how to problem solve."

Douce used the strategies he and the team developed in several situations, including the Pope's visit to Ecuador, an event that brought more than 2 million people to the area.

"Ecuador's federal government wants to use the team's plans as an example for their entire country," says Terry Butler, director of Missouri Safety Center. "The risk management team will help educate the community on why planning ahead is important."

Douce says his favorite part of the summer was being part of an organization that truly wants to help those in need.

By applying the skills he learned in class to help a developing country, Douce exemplifies learning to a greater degree.

UCM Team Travels to China to Learn About Volleyball and Culture

All smiles, the UCM Jennies Volleyball team made memories that will last a lifetime during their 10-day trip to China.


The Jennies volleyball team visited China with the objectives of making memories of a lifetime, deepening their worldly perspective and, of course, playing volleyball.

The UCM International Center sponsored the 10-day trip in May that allowed the team and coaches to learn how their sport differs in China, discover the Chinese culture, and visit historic sites such as Tiananmen Square and the Great Wall.

Beihang University hosted the Jennies. The two teams played volleyball, shopped and ate together. The players learned about each other's universities and families.

"They couldn't believe how large our families are," says Carly Sojka, a senior Sports Management major.

Mass Communication graduate student Shelby Winkelmann learned the importance of nonverbal communication first-hand. Early in the trip Beihang University hosted a team dinner.

"As the night went on, the players learned to communicate with one another using gestures, facial expressions and body language," says Winkelmann. "Everyone was laughing. It was awesome to see everyone communicate without knowing each other's language."

When the Jennies weren't playing volleyball, they visited elementary and high schools to talk to about the U.S. culture. The team demonstrated volleyball skills and played a few playground games such as four-square.

By engaging in a foreign culture and gaining a worldly perspective, the Jennies volleyball team experienced learning to a greater degree.

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.

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