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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Kidd, Monetti Honored with the Spring 2014 Learning to a Greater Degree Awards

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 4, 2014) – Exemplifying characteristics of campus community members committed to Learning to a Greater Degree, Warrensburg residents Kelsey Kidd and Tony Monetti were publicly honored by the University of Central Missouri’s Board of Governors with the Spring 2014 Learning to a Greater Degree Awards during a meeting on campus March 28. 

Robin Krause, UCM director of marketing and promotion, announced the spring awards. They were presented by UCM President Charles Ambrose and Board President Marvin “Bunky” Wright, Columbia.

Learning to a Greater Degree Awards Spring 2014
Marvin “Bunky” Wright, left, president of the UCM Board of Governors,  and UCM President Charles Ambrose, right, congratulate the spring 2014 recipients of Learning to a Greater Degree Awards, Kelsey Kidd, a UCM senior early childhood education major from Warrensburg, and Tony Monetti, assistant dean of aviation and executive director of Skyhaven Airport at UCM.

Krause told the gathering that Learning to a Greater Degree is not a marketing campaign. It describes the depth of experiences students gain from their UCM education.

“Learning to a Greater Degree is the expression of the university’s strategic positioning and is summed up in the four reasons to believe: engaged learning, future-focused academics, worldly perspective and culture of service,” he said. “People in the UCM community strongly support the reasons to believe and give life to the strategic positioning platform. The university would like to recognize those individuals in the UCM community who are living examples of why we believe in Learning to a Greater Degree at UCM.”

Established in 2012, Learning to a Greater Degree Awards are presented during the fall and spring at UCM. One award per semester is presented to a student and the other honors a faculty or staff member.

An early childhood and elementary education major, Kidd is planning to participate in student teaching in fall 2014. Her campus and local involvement includes leading several student organizations as well as being active in her church.  Krause said Kidd embodies UCM’s emphasis on a “worldly perspective” through her participation in the Jamaican Study Tour, a trip to Sweden with World Diversity, and her initiation into the International Honor Society, Phi Beta Delta.

One campus member who nominated her, noted, “I have worked with Kelsey in a variety of ways outside of the traditional classroom and I believe she exemplifies everything UCM means by Learning to a Greater Degree.”

They noted that Kidd seeks out experiences beyond the classroom that will stretch her learning opportunities in ways that will benefit her as a lifelong learner. She not only has a strong academic record, but she also has held leadership positions in organizations such as LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy, Development), and the Missouri State Teachers Association. She also has made scholarly presentations alongside UCM faculty at the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE) conference in Columbia.

A retired Air Force pilot who has years of experience flying aircraft such as the B-2, Monetti joined the university in 2012. As assistant dean of aviation and executive director of Skyhaven Airport at UCM, Monettie oversees the only university-operated community airport and aviation education program in the state of Missouri.

Krause said the individual who nominated Monetti for the Learning to a Greater Degree Award summed up his impact by saying, “He promotes engaged learning by continuously searching for new faculty with extensive experience in the field of aviation. He also encourages students to meet with him so he can help counsel them to become leaders in the field and to embrace the department’s core values of personal integrity, excellence, service before self and always, safety.  This leader now has students motivated and excited about their future careers in aviation.”

One of Monetti’ strengths as an educator is his attention to future-focused academics. This includes creating new online courses that will serve the interests of students, including active duty military and veterans who want to pursue their education from remote locations. An innovator, he has also initiated course development in the area of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and developed aviation course opportunities at Whiteman Air Force Base. He has also worked hard to increase student internship opportunities with aviation-related companies, and strengthened university-corporate collaborations to benefit the aviation program and its students.

Working with his staff, an air show was developed in 2012, and has continued to grow in a short time. In 2013, more than 5,000 people attended the event, which gave the audience an opportunity to see vintage aircraft and displays, as well as progress being made at Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport.