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Donnelly releases Fall 2011 Deans & Honors Lists
Leadership class has big impact on students

FALL 2011
DC receives micro-business award from HEDC
Donnelly College brings new food provider to campus
Donnelly Dash brings 200+ participants to campus
Congressman Yoder visits Donnelly campus
Health Fair shines spotlight on local health services
New Counseling Center opens on the Donnelly campus
DC to replace elevators, blesses workers
DC raises nearly $290,000 at annual Scholarship Dinner
Donnelly kicks off academic year with Convocation DayDonnelly's on-campus resident numbers double
Students participate in Donnelly Day of Service
Carol Marinovich to teach leadership class at DC this fall
Donnelly receives Community Service Tax Credits
DC students to participate in service-learning projects

DC named in Department of Education affordability lists
DC announces second cohort of Diversity NOW students
Math instructor Sister Grace Malaney, OSB, retires
Donnelly alumnus wins Best of Show at art fair
DC collecting items to help victims of the Joplin tornado
Donnelly announces 2010-11 Dean’s List & Honor Roll
Community Needs Assessment presentation at DC on 6/7

DC inducts 4 four inspiring alums into 2011 Hall of Fame
2011-12 Student Senate election results announced
Multicultural Fest boasts largest turnout in event's history
"The Money Coach" gives free presentation at Donnelly
30+ artists take part in DC's 2011 Art Exhibit
Donnelly students react to Google announcement
Alumnus and renowned potter to display at DC Art Exhibit
DC brings Commissioner Forum to the 4th District
DC announces first-ever Student Senate elections
DC appoints Interim Provost & VP for Academic Affairs
DC announces its first Diversity NOW student participants
Donnelly's PN program boasts largest class since inception
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month Lunch & Learn

FALL 2010
DC students, community members lead service activities
5th Annual 5K Run/Walk garners over 100 participants
DC Students to Present at Tri-State Leadership Conference
Donnelly raises $141,000 at Scholarship Dinner
State Farm awards DC $10,000 toward service learning
Donnelly receives nearly $600,000 to fund HELP-KC project
DC community celebrates 2010 Convocation Mass
Nine Lansing Correctional Facility inmates receive degrees
DC receives grant to increase service learning efforts

DC signs dual-admissions agreement with Newman Univ.
KS Secretary of Corrections to speak at Lansing graduation

One volunteer’s story… Don Schoening, tutor
U.S. Latino WWII Oral History Project comes to DC
ACE to host "Understanding Shakespeare" workshops


DC hosts HEDC’S Primer Paso FastTrac Graduation
DC Commencement to take place at 4 p.m., May 15Donnelly featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Donnelly gears up for 2010 Career Fair
Donnelly brings community together at Multicultural Festival
DC announces its first Student Ambassadors
DC student leads DREAM Act presentation at Donnelly
DC Alumni Association creates Alumni Hall of FameDonnelly's 2010 Open House nears
Phillip Spencer honored at DC’s 2010 TRiO Day
Donnelly partners with One KC Voice
Free FAFSA assistance available for DC students
Three Donnelly students feel direct effects of Haiti quake
Donnelly Associate Dean receives NADE nomination
DC receives grand to advance humanities department
DC signs articulation agreement with Hong Kong's FBICE

FALL 2009
DC honors those who have contributed to recent growth
Donnelly students, staff, faculty mentor KCK students
Fourth Annual Donnelly Dash 5K Run/Walk is Nov. 7
Donnelly kicks off 60th Anniversary with Scholarship Dinner
Show your Donnelly Spirit for this year's Spirit Week
Donnelly welcomes community leader to campus
Donnelly, KCKCC sign articulation agreement
Donnelly to host panel discussion on nuclear disarmament

KDOT sponsors summer math & science program
Donnelly's Lansing Prison Program featured in NC Register
Sen. Brownback announced as graduation speaker
Donnelly joins Facebook & Twitter

Donnelly hosts annual Multicultural Fair
Donnelly hosts two Scholarship Nights

Donnelly's PN program continues to grow
Retirement Planning Lecture to be hosted at Donnelly

Winter 2009
Donnelly looking to reduce national recidivism rates
Alumni Association sponsors free financial lecture series
College Goal Sunday helps students with FAFSA
Donnelly's ESL program expands to meet demand
Donnelly instructor weighs in on KU-MU "Border War"

Fall 2008
Donnelly names students for Fall 2008 Honor Roll
Donnelly brings expertise to SWECC partnership
Local expert to give free lecture on status of economy
Mayor of Uruapan, Michoacan in Mexico visits Donnelly
Men's soccer team takes home first place honors
Donnelly offers six-week Scripture series
Donnelly hosts annual Scholarship Dinner

SUmmer 2008
Donnelly announces appointment of new president
Second Scholarship Dinner to honor Benedictine Sisters
First five graduates earn BA degrees at Donnelly
$2.865 million federal grant enables two new programs



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 6, 2012 — Nearly 60 students have been named to Donnelly College’s Dean’s and Honors Lists for educational achievement in the Fall 2011 semester. The Dean's List recognizes students who have taken at least nine credit hours and achieved a 4.0 GPA, while the Honors List identifies students who have taken at least nine credit hours and achieved a GPA of 3.5-3.99.

Dean’s List, 4.0 GPA
Baccalaureate degree program
Medrano Velazquez, Ivan
Muhammad, Elfonda
Nirschl, Steven
Associate degree program
Barasz, Gustavo
Bautista, Judith
Black, Tiara
Brooks, Julie
Burkit, Teresa
Dibo, Elizabeth
Dominguez, Pablo
Estrada, Stephany
Glin, BryAnn
Kahugu, Lilian
Kanagu, James
Kangethe, Caroline
Kinyanjui, Humphrey
Lopez, Cesar
Musyoki, Petronila
Myers, Raymond
Phillips, Rebecca
Ramirez, Mitzi
Reed, John
Siwakoti, Bhola
Stout, Quidreeah
Weigand, Rebecca
Word, Brandy

Honors List, 3.5-3.9 GPA
Baccalaureate degree program
Dantzler-Blount, Ranisha
Duarte, Daniela
Lacy, Christen
Paudyal, Suman
Perez, Cristal
Pulido, Laura
Thiga, Rebecca
Westbrook, Jonathan
Associate degree program
Bueno, Ruben
Egan, Aubree
Estrada, Judith
Favela, Cesar
Garcia-Soto, Carlos
Green, April
Harris, Ashton
Karinga, Lucy
Lene, Anais
Leonard, Abram
McGee-Love, ShaRay
Nalianya, Celestina
Ndungu, Beatrice
Nteere, Joan
Obeng, Ernest
Payan, Diego
Phoenix, Tanya
Rocha, Jacob
Rodriguez, Rosa
Sauls, Chandra
Shen, Jun Liang
Torres, Karla
Wilson, Tamikia

The College would like to congratulate each of these students for this tremendous academic achievement.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 23, 2011 — If you think back to your days in school, there are usually one or two classes that stand out in your memory. For many, these classes are the ones that offered a unique balance between difficulty and fun. 

For the students in Donnelly’s first-ever Art & Practice of Community Leadership class, this class did just that. The course combined fun, interactive, in-class exercises and speakers with off-campus activities such as meetings with local elected officials and tours of important community buildings, neighborhoods and landmarks.

“I have never been in a class like this before,” said student Claudia Rodriguez who is currently pursuing her Associate of Arts degree. “The speakers were the best part because even though it was a small class of about 25 students, we were able to hear from some of KCK’s most influential leaders, both past and present.

“We learned about so many community components, from education to economic development to community health. Our instructors would relate each speaker to a specific leadership theory. In the end, this showed us that even though each person’s skills are different, we can all be great leaders.”

The class, made up of both Donnelly students and members of the community, had three instructors, including Carol Marinovich, former Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, community leader and retired court executive Pat Brune, and Donnelly faculty member and Coordinator of Organizational Leadership Susan Keim.

Even though most of the community members took the course as a non-credit, they wanted to get the most out of it. “We told them that they didn’t need to complete the assignments and journal entries, but they all did anyway,” said Keim. “This was very encouraging because it was obvious they were truly interested in the topics and wanted to take in as much as they could.”

“I enrolled after I saw an article about this class in the Kansas City Star,” said Gus Lind, a Lenexa, Kan., resident who works as an engineer within the city’s community development department. “The speakers were fantastic. Most of all, I loved the students in the class itself because it was such a wide variety of ages, as well as ethnic and economic backgrounds.

“This made the experience richer and created opportunities for inspiring conversations. Even during the first class period before any of us knew each other, everyone was energized and asking good questions.”

One community member admits he had a negative perception of Wyandotte County when he enrolled in the course.

“It was around the third class period when I realized how incredible KCK really is,” said Gary Shults, Lee’s Summit, Mo., resident. “Everyone was so passionate and proud to be a part of it, which made me feel proud as well. “We learned about countless non-profits, businesses and local resources that keep the community running – many of which I didn’t even know existed. My opinion is forever changed. This class has made me eager to explore and learn more about all the things Wyandotte County has to offer.”

“Many of the community members, and even a number of students, expressed a new or renewed interest in advancing the community,” said Marinovich. “Our hope is that they pass this new knowledge and KCK pride along to others.”



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 22, 2011 — Donnelly College is proud to announce it is the recipient of this year’s Friend of Micro-Business Award from the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) of Kansas City. Representatives from the College received the award at an HEDC event on Monday, Nov. 14, in coordination with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Through this award, HEDC recognizes a person or organization who they feel has done the most to advance the policy and economic interests of micro-businesses in Kansas City.

“When Donnelly applied for a grant that would focus on the improvement, promotion, development and progress of business education, they reached out to HEDC,” said Bernardo Ramirez, HEDC’s Executive Director. “This partnership has turned into a friendship, with both organizations having a common goal of serving the underserved. “

As part of their growing partnership, HEDC’s Kansas office is located on Donnelly’s campus.

“Donnelly provided us with a location on the Kansas side of Kansas City,” said Richard Zárate, Director of Business and Economic Growth for HEDC. “This allows us to meet the needs of providing bilingual technical assistance to current and aspiring entrepreneurs in both Wyandotte and Johnson counties.

“Donnelly is a ‘friend’ to HEDC and local micro-businesses because there is a genuine interest in helping us achieve our mission.”

Learn more about HEDC here.

Pictured on homepage: Bernardo Ramirez, HEDC’s Executive Director (left), and Donette Alonzo, Donnelly’s Vice President of Student Affairs (right).

About HEDC
The Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) was established in 1993 and is a certified 501(c) 3 not-for-profit Community Development Corporation (CDC). Founded for the purpose of developing and implementing economic development initiatives that would positively contribute to the quality of life for Latinos in the Greater Kansas City Area, HEDC utilizes its designation as a CDC to access various resources and tools while creating partnerships that allow the organization to continue to positively impact the communities it serves. While the HEDC service area is on both sides of the state line, a majority of clients come from Jackson County in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 17, 2011 — Donnelly College is thrilled to announce that locally-owned Bistro Kids will be its official campus food service provider. Bistro Kids is known for providing healthy, seasonal, delicious, and whenever possible, locally grown food options to schools throughout Kansas City. Donnelly will be the first college to utilize their services, but the company has plans to expand this effort.

“Donnelly was a perfect fit for us because it is a small campus with a focus on providing healthy options to students,” said Kiersten Firquain, founder of Bistro Kids. “Healthy isn’t just salads. We offer delicious wraps, chicken parmesan, gourmet pizzas, and even made-to-order fajitas, prepared by our onsite chefs.”

Bistro Kids came to the Donnelly campus in August 2011, but has considered this first semester a pilot phase. An official grand opening celebration will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, in what will now be called Donnelly Bistro, located in the lower level of DC’s main building.

“All Donnelly students, faculty, staff, alumni and Board members are invited to join us for this celebration,” said Donette Alonzo, Donnelly Vice President of Student Affairs who was instrumental in bringing Bistro Kids to campus.

“Having a convenient, healthy and affordable meal option while in college is so important,” adds Alonzo. “Bistro Kids brings all of this and more. The chefs are knowledgeable and open to new ideas from the students, which is also a perk.”

Three chefs will be on campus: Chef Sarah Robinson, Chef Joy Costa,  and Chef Shad Schmutz. Chef Sarah is Donnelly Bistro’s dedicated Chef and recently joined Bistro Kids to support the college campus. Chef Shad also oversees neighboring Bishop Ward High School and has been with Bistro Kids for two years. Chef Joy is the Culinary Class Instructor for all Bistro Kids schools and provides nutrition education and eventually an onsite garden. Together, they have a combined  twenty years working in the food service industry.

On top of lunch and dinner five days a week, Donnelly’s partnership with Bistro Kids also offers gourmet coffees from 7-10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

“From mochas to steamers and the seasonal favorites like pumpkin spice lattes, there is something to suit everyone’s taste,” said Alonzo. “Prices are affordable and its convenient, on-campus location makes it easy for students to grab a quick cup before running to their first class.”

Check the College’s official website,, and facebook page,, for more information about the upcoming grand opening celebration.

Recently, Treat America Food Services announced its alliance with Bistro Kids. Read more about this here. Click here to read the Bistro Kids blog.

About Bistro Kids
As one of the first Farm 2 School lunch programs in Kansas and Missouri, Bistro Kids partners with local farmers, retailers, and food producers to feed healthy meals to children of all socioeconomic backgrounds. Bistro Kids strengthens a new generation of healthier and better educated students through hands on cooking classes, school gardens, composting, recycling, and nutrition education. By growing communities who promote sustainability, Bistro Kids changes the way our students think about food.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 5, 2011 — The Sixth Annual Donnelly Dash, hosted by Donnelly College, took place Saturday, Nov. 5, on Donnelly’s campus with more than 200 participants taking part in festivities from a 5K Run/Walk to the new 1-Mile Family Run.

Both the 5K and 1-Mile Run started and ended on the College’s campus, winding throughout the surrounding neighborhoods in the heart of historic KCK.

This year’s Dash was sponsored by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Cerner Corporation, University of Kansas Medical Center, Einstein Bros. Bagels, the College’s on-campus food service provider Bistro Kids and Donnelly’s Health Student Organization (HSO), with proceeds supporting Donnelly’s health care programs and scholarships.

“We worked hard to increase the number of student participants and also bring new faces to the event, particularly the neighbors surrounding Donnelly’s campus,” said Susan Carroll, ´62, who co-chaired the 2011 Dash alongside Dr. Tom Pierce. “It was great to see so many people gathered together in support of Donnelly and this great event that is quickly becoming a true community tradition.”

This year, the College added a CHIP timing system, provided by Race Management Systems, Inc., allowing participants to track their race times and rankings. Prizes were awarded to the top overall male and female runners, as well as the top male and female within each age bracket.

Top overall winners were Victor Williams, sophomore at Donnelly, finishing with a time of 18:45, and Caroline Metzger, completing the race in 24:42.

Male winners within each age bracket included: Liam Carroll at 24:30 (10-14 years), Victor Williams (15-19 years), Jacob Sledd at 25:58 (20-29 years), Steven Holt at 18:57 (30-39 years), Jon Engelman at 24:39 (40-49 years), L. Wayne Bridges at 31:24 (50-59 years), and Bill Selvidge at 43:44 (60+ years).

Female winners within each age bracket included: Cecibel Bahamonde at 45:47 (15-19 years), Marina Daldaliah at 28:53 (20-29 years), Leah Wilkens at 36:54 (30-39 years), Lisa Stoothoff at 25:13 (40-49 years), Terri Schneweis at 33:17 (50-59 years), and Susan Carroll at 39:44 (60+ years).

*Full results for all racers will be posted at within 48 hours after the race.

“This was my very first time competing in a 5K or any running event,” said Cecibel Bahamonde, Donnelly student who is involved in nearly every campus club or organization, including Health Student Organization (HSO) – one of the event’s sponsors. “It was a great route and I got to see parts of KCK that I never had before. Everyone loved the music – it really pumped us all up and got us ready to compete!”

Participants enjoyed a healthy breakfast of Einstein Bros. bagels, fresh fruit, coffee and juice. Donnelly students Sylvester Ayalla, President of DC Student Senate, and Fernando Ramirez, Captain of the DC Soccer Club, were the emcees and provided the music, courtesy of By Popular Demand Entertainment – a sound equipment and services company owned by Ayalla.

To view photos and race results, visit Questions can be directed to the Office of Advancement at (913) 621-8731 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 25, 2011 — Donnelly College was honored on Thursday, Oct. 20, with a visit from Congressman Kevin Yoder of Kansas’ 3rd District. Congressman Yoder toured campus, met a number of faculty, staff and students, and even spoke to an American Government class.

“It was an inspirational tour,” said Yoder. “I was delighted to meet students and listen to their dreams and aspirations. Donnelly is an educational jewel in the heart of the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas.”

Yoder was impressed with the students and with many aspects of the campus. “As an educational institution, Donnelly provides access and affordable education within a culture that promotes student success,” he said.

“It was great to meet Congressman Yoder and to show off our growing campus,” said Dr. LaNasa. “Our students were thrilled to see him walking the halls and many took advantage of the opportunity to ask him questions. We appreciate his continued support and advocacy.”

This was Yoder’s first trip to Donnelly, but it won’t be his last. He is planning to be a guest speaker in classes and is interested in helping to start a Young Republicans club on campus.

Learn more about Yoder by visiting his website here.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 7, 2011 —Donnelly College, in partnership with the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC), hosted a Community Health Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, on the Donnelly campus located at 608 N. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan.

More than a dozen exhibits providing attendees with information on local health services, from counseling to family fitness and general wellness. The fair also offered 100 free flu shots available to interested attendees, which were all given out in less than two hours.
Students within Donnelly’s Practical Nursing program and KUMC students administered the shots as part of a service-learning initiative where students used their skills and applied them to serving others in the real world.

“This health fair was an excellent opportunity to both raise awareness of the many health services available within our surrounding areas, and help decrease the flu cases by providing the free flu shots,” said Anne Briginshaw, RN, MS, Director of Nursing at Donnelly. “We didn’t know how many people would be interested in the free shots, and were thrilled to see so many come out.

“It was great to see our practical nursing students stepping outside their regular classroom and clinical to give back to their community through this event.”

Some of the exhibitors include El Centro, Inc., Swope Health Wyandotte, Duchesne Clinic, Rose Brooks Center, Early Detection Works, Quindaro Family Health Care, Kansas City Kansas Community College, 8th Street YMCA, Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic, Catholic Community Hospice, The Keeler Women’s Center, Communityworks, Inc., 1to1 Tutor, Mental Health America of the Heartland, Cleveland Chiropractic College and more.

Questions? Contact Theresa Kolbeck, Donnelly Allied Health Recruiter & Academic Advisor, at (913) 621-8705 or

Learn more about this health fair at



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 29, 2011 — Donnelly College has added a brand new resource to its campus – a Counseling Center, led by counselor Lamar Hunt, Jr., MA, LPC. The Center offers a comprehensive array of counseling services to Donnelly students, faculty, and staff including individual, group, and couples counseling free of charge.

This new resource is funded by a two-year grant from the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City that promotes awareness of mental health concerns and access to mental health services for Donnelly students. This support will increase programming activities focused on the mental health of DC students through one-on-one counseling and educational workshops.

“The hope for the Donnelly Counseling Center is to provide help to students, faculty, and staff so they can be the healthiest version of themselves,” said Hunt, who is a Licensed Professional Counselor in both Kansas and Missouri. “It is important for the Donnelly community to realize that there is no shame in dealing with challenges and problems in life by talking to someone about it.”

“College, no matter what age a person is, presents many new challenges in the life of an individual,” adds Hunt. “Some of the most common stresses for students are how to manage their time and finances. How a student handles that stress can be a significant factor in accomplishing their educational goals. Students also face issues surrounding relationships. One of the main developmental tasks for young adults is to find out how relationships work outside of their family of origin. Lastly students generally find themselves with more freedom and autonomy than they have ever had in their lives. They want to have fun and connect with others but they also have to stretch themselves in ways they have never had to before. This requires self-knowledge and self-understanding.”

Hunt is a graduate of Dallas Baptist University with a Master of the Arts in counseling. He has a private practice in Shawnee Mission, Kan., where he works with individuals, families and married couples. Hunt also has experience working with the homeless, teenage youth, and even those recently released from Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kan.

Hunt took the position at Donnelly because he felt it was a way for him to continue to provide his services and expertise to underserved populations.

“Donnelly exists to serve those who might not otherwise be served in higher education,” said Hunt. “Often, those who are underserved do not feel a sense of empowerment or control over their lives. At Donnelly, students are striving for something new and different. That coupled with the Catholic, faith-based mindset and mission made Donnelly all the more appealing to me.”

The Center is located on the 7th floor of the main building in Room 710. The counselor can be seen by appointment or walk-in during the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays. All visits to the Counseling Center and contents of the counseling session are strictly confidential.

Appointments can be scheduled by contacting Hunt at (913) 621-8781 or More information about the Center can be found at


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 21, 2011 — If you drive by the Donnelly College campus today and in the next few weeks, you will notice something new – a giant crane lifting construction materials to the roof of the seven-story main campus building. The crane is part of a project to replace the building’s two dated elevators.

To kick off the construction, Donnelly’s Director of Spirituality & Mission, Father John Melnick, SSA, offered a blessing over the workers this morning prior to the first lifting of the crane.

The north elevator is the first to be replaced, and is expected to wrap up in about nine weeks. The south elevator is next, with construction scheduled to end in January 2012.

In addition to installing new Thyssen Krupp elevators and hardware, the two elevator shafts will be completely reconfigured.

“It is exciting to see construction workers all over campus because it means we are one day closer to having the new elevators,” said Donette Alonzo, Vice President of Student Affairs who also oversees the College’s facilities department. “Replacing these elevators has been in the works for a while because we feel it is a mission-critical piece of how we continue to successfully serve our students.”

ThyssenKrupp Elevator is handling the elevator installation, with JE Dunn Construction Company as the project’s general contractor.

“The College has done a great job of maintaining the elevators over the years, but because of recent frequent break downs and mechanical issues, we knew it was the right time to move forward with plans to replace them,” said Terry Starr, Donnelly Director of Facilities.

“The new elevators will be more energy efficient, and offer smoother, faster rides.
The new elevators are manufactured by ThyssenKrupp Elevator.  The new elevators are more energy efficient, smoother ride, door operation, provide a quicker call response and travel at a rate of 350 feet per minute. 

This project is the first of many campus improvements planned for Donnelly throughout the coming years. Check the Donnelly website frequently to learn more as projects progress.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 16, 2011 — Donnelly College’s Fifth Annual Scholarship Dinner was the largest in the event’s history with nearly 500 people in attendance, and a total of nearly $290,000 in scholarship funds raised. In addition to supporting the College, attendees also came to honor Henry Bloch for his steadfast support of Donnelly students through the Henry W. Bloch Scholars program. Part of the proceeds from the event will create the Marion Bloch Endowed Scholarship Fund in honor of Henry Bloch’s wife. Honorary Chairs of the event included Bill Dunn, Sr., Don and Adele Hall and Morton Sosland.

In 2000, Bloch received the scholarship program when he retired as chairman of H&R Bloch as a gift from The H&R Block Foundation.

“I received many gifts when I retired, but this was by far the most meaningful,” said Bloch. The Bloch Scholars program is designed to attract, encourage, and support promising students who demonstrate financial need and who want to earn a four-year degree but would not be considered for traditional scholarship programs.

“The Bloch Scholars program is unique in that it honors the average student – the student who without a scholarship may not be able to pursue a college education,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, President of Donnelly. “What many people don’t realize is that this is tribute to Henry Bloch himself who early in his life tended to think of himself as an average student.”

The program aligns with Donnelly’s mission of providing access to education and serving those who would not otherwise be served. The foundation supports one-half the cost of tuition and fees for each Bloch Scholar, and Donnelly College proudly matches the other half. Scholarships are renewable for five years, allowing students to earn their associate degree at Donnelly, and then complete their four-year degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

“One thing that is remarkable about Donnelly is that they take an interest in every student,” said Bloch. “They try and bring out the best in every student.”

Scholarship Dinner attendees were able to meet a number of Donnelly students, including many current and past Bloch Scholars as well as DC alumni and friends. The event’s Master of Ceremonies was Ralph Reid, President of the Sprint Foundation as well as Sprint’s Vice President of Corporate Responsibility.

The Fund-A-Scholar portion of the event, led by Reid and Donnelly alumna and former Bloch Scholar Rachel Leonard, ´09, brought in $40,000.

“Donnelly is one of the most important causes in Kansas City because it has the power to transform the lives of its students as well as future generations,” said Dick Flanigan, Scholarship Dinner Chairman and Senior Vice President, General Manager for Cerner Corporation. “The Scholarship Dinner is the most important Donnelly event of the year because it makes the rest of the year possible by providing essential scholarship dollars to students who not only need it to go to college, but who truly appreciate and understand the value of it.

“I have had the privilege of meeting many of these students, and was happy to see a number of them at the dinner representing Donnelly and meeting many of the supporters who have helped make their education possible.”

As a tribute to Henry Bloch, the College named its annual day of service, held during New Student Orientation each August, the Bloch Service Project. Bloch was presented with a book containing photos from this past day of service and inspirational quotes.

In addition, a video presentation showcasing testimonials from current and past Bloch Scholars was shown, and three drawing prize packages were awarded, including an all expenses paid trip to Palm Springs, more than $1,500 of sterling silver Silpada jewelry, and a Kansas City Experience package which provides the winner with a year’s worth of guaranteed, monthly outings to many of Kansas City’s most famous restaurants and attractions. To view the video shown at the event, visit

The College is already looking ahead to the 2012 Scholarship Dinner! For sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, contact Laura Bryon, Annual Fund Coordinator, at (913) 621-8752.

donnelly kicks off 2011-12 academic year with convocation day

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 8, 2011 — One of Donnelly College’s most cherished traditions is its annual Convocation Day, and this year’s event was the largest ever with the addition of a few new components including a student-led procession complete with banners and faculty in academic regalia.

The festivities took place on Thursday, Sept. 8, and began with an academic charge from President Steve LaNasa on campus, followed by a large procession to the nearby St. Peter’s Cathedral for the Mass of the Holy Spirit, and finally another procession back to campus for lunch and celebration.

The Mass was celebrated by Father Gary Pennings, Vicar General – Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. Donnelly’s Director of Spirituality and Mission, Rev. John Melnick, SSA, was a con-celebrant.

“Donnelly’s Convocation Day activities celebrate the great diversity of our academic community,” said Melnick. “As a part of today’s traditions, we pause to reflect and bear witness to the incredible spirit of the College. United in our pursuit of higher learning, today’s activities serve as a fitting beginning to Donnelly’s 2011-12 academic year.”

Thanks to the leadership of the Donnelly Student Senate, participation was up higher than any other Convocation Day celebration in the College’s history – particularly student participation.

“We were so happy with the turnout,” said Student Senate President Sylvester Ayalla. “I spoke to a number of students during the luncheon and they were talking about how much they enjoyed the Mass itself. Some had never been to a Catholic Mass, and said that they loved seeing all the different traditions play out.

“Father Pennings’ homily was especially inspirational to me, particularly when he spoke about Donnelly’s unique mission. It gave me a new appreciation of this remarkable mission and the history of DC.”

Music was led by cantor Michael Podrebarac, Liturgy and Worship Consultant for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, alongside pianist Lisa Roush, and trumpet player Stan Smith.

Photos of the Mass are available on Donnelly’s Facebook page at

For more information about the event, or to get involved in the planning of next year’s Convocation Day, contact Melnick at



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 3, 2011 — As Donnelly College’s new-student enrollment grows, so does its number of on-campus residents. The College has seen a 77 percent increase in students interested in living on campus in one of Donnelly’s two residence hall facilities.

The option to live on campus is still a fairly new commodity at Donnelly, so neither hall has quite hit capacity yet. But, the number of 2011-12 residents has nearly doubled in comparison to 2010-11.

The men’s residence hall has seen the most growth, with 14 males living there this year and just 6 last year. The women’s residence hall currently holds 9 in comparison to last year’s 7.

“We were able to put more of a focus on promoting the residence halls this year,” said Donette Alonzo, Donnelly’s Vice President of Student Affairs. “We had better advertising materials and were ready to showcase our campus living to all students who inquired about attending Donnelly.

“We are excited about this growth because we feel that students who live on campus are typically more engaged in campus life activities and student success resources.”

Donnelly’s two halls have a combined capacity of 38 students –the men’s hall with 18 and the women’s with 20.

Students living on campus have access to a variety of amenities such as free Wi-Fi, television and game rooms, laundry facilities and a Fitness Center. In addition, each room is semi-furnished and includes a bed, desk, desk lamp, microwave, and small refrigerator.

Costs vary depending on the size of the room.

Each resident is required to purchase a campus meal plan, which includes lunch and dinner Monday through Friday.

“We’ve brought on an entirely new meal option this year,” said Alonzo. “We are working with a new company, Bistro Kids, to provide more menu variety, particularly more healthy options, to our students as well as to the faculty and staff working on campus.”

To learn more about campus housing at Donnelly, visit or contact Alonzo at (913) 621-8762 or




KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 13, 2011 — Donnelly College hosted a New Student Orientation from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, on the College’s campus. The morning of Orientation focused on upperclassmen and faculty panel discussions, tours of campus buildings and information about student resources. But, unlike other college orientations, new students joined hands with Donnelly faculty, staff, alumni and friends as they participated in a variety of service- learning projects throughout the Kansas City, Kansas, urban core.

These projects, organized by the College’s Office of Service Learning and funded by Learn & Serve America and State Farm Insurance®, marks Donnelly’s first-ever official “DC Day of Service.”

Students took part in service initiatives such as making blankets for a local children’s hospital, helping elementary school teachers get their classrooms ready, tending a community garden, organizing a local Catholic Charities food pantry and more.

These efforts are part of a larger service learning program at Donnelly, which was officially established last year after an 18-month pilot program when the College was awarded more than $85,000 from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Learn & Serve America program to help advance its service programs. Learn more about this here.

The theme for this year’s Orientation stemmed from a quote by children’s rights activist, Marian Wright Edelman: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”

“This quote was a perfect fit for the event because at Donnelly we believe that learning must extend beyond the traditional classroom experience,” said Andrew Julo, Service Learning Coordinator at the College. “By making service an integral part of New Student Orientation, we challenge our students to make a stronger connection between their education and how they can help to address real needs present in our community.

“The Day of Service both reinforces Donnelly’s high quality, liberal arts education and enables students to get more out of their college experience. We also hope to emphasize the importance of continuing education in the lives of our community members.”

“The service project was the best part of the day,” said new student Sean Cepeda who participated in classroom set-up and computer installation work at Resurrection Catholic Church at 425 N. 15th St. in Kansas City Kan. “It turned out to be a great way to get to know my new classmates because we all accomplished something together. It was hard work, but we really bonded because of it.”

Donnelly College Student Ambassadors led each of the eight service teams out to different locations in KCK. One ambassador, Britani Lewis, took her group to the Catholic Charities food pantry at 2220 Central Avenue in Kansas City Kan.

“We had a truly great time working together,” said Lewis. “While we were organizing all the items, I couldn’t help but think back to a time when I used to come with my family to this same food pantry to shop. It felt good to be giving back, and my peers felt the same way. We’ve decided to organize a Donnelly Food Drive at the campus this semester, and hope to gather items for this specific pantry. Without the service-learning experience today, we most likely would have never thought of doing something like this.”

Following the service projects, each group participated in a reflection activity led by a Donnelly faculty or staff member.

Since its inception in 1949, Donnelly has worked to meet the needs of the surrounding community in providing access to quality education in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas. Throughout these more than 60 years, students from a variety of socioeconomic, religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds have strived to create a better life for themselves and their families through the pursuit of a collegiate education.

If you are interested in learning more about Donnelly’s Service Learning program, contact Andrew Julo at (913) 621-8712 or

Learn and Serve America
Learn and Serve America is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation.

About State Farm®
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 68,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit® or in Canada®. State Farm Insurance® is recognized as the nation’s corporate leader in service-learning, a hands-on approach to education that combines work in community with classroom learning.




KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 11, 2011 — Carol Marinovich, former Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, will teach a class at Donnelly College this fall alongside community leaders Susan Keim and Pat Brune.

The class, titled The Art and Practice of Community Leadership, is open to the public and will provide participants with a unique opportunity to connect with current community leaders and examine different leadership styles while discovering their own. The course will combine fun, interactive, in-class exercises with off-campus activities such as meetings with local elected officials and tours of important community buildings, neighborhoods and landmarks.

“Early in my career, I spent 23 years in the Kansas City, Kansas, school district,” said Marinovich. “This experience allows me to come full circle and step back into teaching during my retirement.”

“I chose Donnelly because it combines my desire to return to education with the importance of giving back to the community. The College is a critical component to the future of this community, so I felt it was a perfect fit.”

Sue Laird, Donnelly Director of Organizational Leadership, is thrilled to provide this opportunity to DC students. “Carol is an asset to Donnelly and this community,” said Laird. “Our students can learn so much from her because she knows the Kansas City, Kansas, area better than anyone else I know. Students and community members will complete this course with a new perspective and appreciation for the community, and our hope is that they pass this new knowledge and KCK-pride along to others.”

“In addition to the community component of the class, students will also learn about the many different leadership styles and theories,” said Marinovich. “They will identify their own leadership style, and study how to work with each style successfully.”

The course falls under the umbrella of Donnelly’s baccalaureate program in organizational leadership. “When we developed this program, our goal was to fulfill the need for more community leaders,” said Laird. “This course will do just that.”

The Art and Practice of Community Leadership is a semester-long course that takes place each Tuesday evening from 6:30-9:10 p.m. at Donnelly beginning Tuesday, August 16. Those interested can enroll as late as Tuesday, August 23. The course can be taken for non-credit at a cost of $200, or for three credit hours. There are no prerequisites required.

In addition to this course, Marinovich will also be teaching American Government this fall.

Contact Laird at (913) 621-8739 or to learn more.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 19, 2011 — Donnelly College has been awarded $200,000 in Community Service Tax Credits from the Kansas Department of Commerce, part of the $4.13 million in future Kansas income tax credits awarded to 22 non-profit organizations around the state.

The tax credits received by Donnelly will be used to repurpose an unused building on campus to serve as a new Community Events Center. This 200-person-capacity events center will house Donnelly events, and serve as meeting and events space for the College’s growing number of community partners. In addition to doubling the College’s current event space, the facility will have state-of-the art technology access, a separate entrance, its own small kitchen and restrooms.

“We are thrilled to be awarded these tax credits – the first in the College’s history,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, Donnelly president. “This will serve as a great fundraising tool for us because upon completion of selling the credits, we will have raised all the necessary funds to cover the cost of the events center and can begin construction on the project.”

These credits allow businesses and individuals to be eligible for a 50 percent tax credit. For example, qualified donors who give $1,000 to the construction of Donnelly’s events center would receive a 50 percent (or $500) tax credit against their Kansas income tax liability. In addition, the donors would receive federal tax benefits if they itemize, which would again decrease their tax liability.

“As the only post-secondary institution in KCK’s urban core, Donnelly has an amazing vision for its future and we recognize our ability to better serve the community,” said LaNasa. “We view this project as the most critical first step in making that vision a reality because it will create improved public service and community programming space for outreach and activities.”

This is the second round of good news for Donnelly’s events center, following the announcement last fall of a federal HUD/HSIAC (Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities) program grant that will provide $342,272 toward its construction. Overall, the Community Events Center project is expected to cost $1 million.

“There are a number of reasons why Donnelly is an ideal location for a new community events center,” said Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon.  “Donnelly is a convenient location for non-profit and community groups working within the urban core, it has a steadfast commitment to KCK, and boasts strong community partnerships. The College is an anchor in our community and has been for more than 60 years now, so I see this addition of an events space as just another way Donnelly is enriching and giving back to the community it serves.”

This project is one of many within the College’s comprehensive master plan – a strategy completed two years ago to help meet Donnelly's growing enrollment and support its vision to give back to the community. To learn more about the master plan, contact or (913) 621-8731.

Read the Kansas Department of Commerce’s official press release announcing all 22 institutions who will receive tax credits here.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 8, 2011 — Donnelly College faculty and staff are gearing up for the fall semester, and will host a New Student Orientation for all new students from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, on campus. The morning of Orientation will focus on student and faculty panel discussions, tours of campus buildings and information about student resources. But, unlike other college orientations, new students will join hands with Donnelly faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College as they participate in a variety of service learning projects throughout the Kansas City, Kansas, urban core.

This project, organized by the College’s Office of Service Learning and funded by Learn & Serve America and State Farm Insurance®, marks the colleges first-ever official “DC Day of Service.”

Students will take part in service initiatives such as making blankets for a local children’s hospital, helping elementary school teachers get their classrooms ready, tending a community garden, and more.

These efforts are part of a larger service learning program at Donnelly, which was officially established last year after an 18-month pilot program when the College was awarded more than $85,000 from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s Learn & Serve America program to help advance its service programs. Learn more about this here.

The theme for this year’s orientation stems from a quote by children’s rights activist, Marian Wright Edleman: “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”

“This quote was a perfect fit for the event because at Donnelly we believe that learning must extend beyond the traditional classroom experience,” said Andrew Julo, Service Learning Coordinator at the College. “By making service an integral part of New Student Orientation, we challenge our students to make a stronger connection between their education and how they can help to address real needs present in our community.

“The Day of Service both reinforces Donnelly’s high quality, liberal arts education and enables students to get more out of their college experience. We also hope to emphasize the importance of continuing education in the lives of our community members.”

Following the service, participants will take part in a reflection activity to be led by a faculty/staff member and the on-site community partner.

Since its inception in 1949, Donnelly has worked to meet the needs of the surrounding community in providing access to quality education in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas. Throughout these more than 60 years, students from a variety of socioeconomic, religious, racial and ethnic backgrounds have strived to create a better life for themselves and their families through the pursuit of a collegiate education.

If you are interested in learning more about Donnelly’s Day of Service, contact Andrew Julo at (913) 621-8712 or

Learn and Serve America
Learn and Serve America is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency created to connect Americans of all ages and backgrounds with opportunities to give back to their communities and their nation.

About State Farm®
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 68,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit® or in Canada®. State Farm Insurance® is recognized as the nation’s corporate leader in service-learning, a hands-on approach to education that combines work in community with classroom learning.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 30, 2011 — The U.S. Department of Education has officially released 54 College Affordability and Transparency Lists that reveal both the most expensive and most affordable institutions of higher education in the country, and Donnelly College, a private, Catholic college located in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas, has been named to two of these lists: lowest net price and lowest published (sticker price) tuition for private, non-profit, four-year institutions.

Donnelly appears 51st on the lowest net price and 62nd on lowest published tuition lists, making it the most affordable private, four-year college within the five-state region of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Colorado.

The national average tuition rate among private, non-profit, four-year institutions is currently $21,324 per year. Donnelly’s 2009-10 tuition rate was just $5,236, and its current rate sits at $5,528.

“Educational attainment and equality are two of the most pressing issues facing our society,” said Donnelly president Dr. Steve LaNasa. “Since the College’s inception in 1949, the mission has been to make higher education accessible and affordable. We are proud to continue this tradition to make sure students from any background have access to the education they deserve. We understand that for most of our students, cost – not ability – is the single biggest hurdle of achieving a college education, so we work to eliminate that barrier.”

Donnelly takes aggressive measures to keep tuition costs low and help students access a private education by leveraging institutional scholarships with state and federal financial aid.
“What makes Donnelly different is that they work tirelessly to help disadvantaged students succeed in college at numbers you don’t see elsewhere,” said Dick Flanigan, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Cerner Corporation and member of the College’s Board of Trustees. “The College makes its tuition and donation revenue stretch and focuses these resources on academic supports that will directly impact the success of students, rather than a palatial campus atmosphere.”

Of the more than 1,100 students Donnelly serves each year, nearly 80 percent have annual family incomes of less than $33,000 and 86 percent are from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. In addition, 78 percent are first-generation students – a rate more than twice as high as in four-year institutions nationally.

“According to national research, low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students are significantly less likely to attend or complete college, yet these are exactly the students Donnelly educates,” said Bob Bartunek, of the Seigfreid Bingham Levy Selzer & Gee law firm and current chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees. “The need for Donnelly’s services has expanded. We are predicting that next year’s class of new students may be the largest in recent history.”

Despite the low cost, LaNasa says students can expect a high-quality, private, liberal arts education that will take them anywhere they want to go.

“Ninety-two percent of our associate-degree graduates go on to pursue a four-year degree – a rate that far exceeds the national average for all college students. We have high expectations for student success across faculty and staff, as well as the students themselves. The College is known for its ability to transform lives, places and spirits. Our holistic approach to education is intertwined in the curriculum and college experience, which empowers students to build self-confidence and utilize their full potential.”

To view all the department’s College Affordability and Transparency Lists, visit For more statistics about Donnelly in relationship to these lists, including a breakdown of estimated annual student expenses, visit


KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 29, 2011 — Donnelly College is pleased to announce the second cohort of students chosen to participate in the College’s Diversity NOW Project: Pedro Espino, Azucena Clark, and Makesha Brainoo.

The project, part of the College’s three-year Nursing Workforce Diversity grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a licensure track program that takes students from the Practical Nursing (PN) level through an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

Donnelly was one of 20 colleges selected to receive the grant from among 91 applications, and is partnering with Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) to provide the program.

“This grant, on top of the support I receive from Donnelly, will allow me to further my career and become a professional nurse,” said Espino. “I think health care is the most rewarding and gratifying field because you can really make a difference in people’s lives, and I’m grateful that Donnelly has put me on track to successfully reach my goal.”

Students must be currently enrolled in Donnelly’s PN program and complete a competitive application and interview process to be considered for the grant award.

Each Diversity NOW student will receive a monthly stipend of $250 to help reduce the hours they need to work outside of school while they are pursuing RN bridge program classes. Donnelly will accept two cohorts of students into the program each year.

“I am so grateful for this grant because last semester I was trying to juggle a full-time job on top of school,” said Clark. “Becoming a nurse has been my dream since childhood, but too often school got put on the back burner because my primary focus had to be on working to pay bills. This award lessens that financial stress and will allow me to dedicate more of my time to education.

“Plus, it puts me on track toward my career goal. After completing the PN Program at Donnelly, I plan to bridge to the nursing program at KCKCC. My ultimate goal will be to get my bachelors in nursing.”

To learn more about The Diversity NOW Project or the Nursing Workforce Diversity grant, contact Kerry Manning, Donnelly Allied Health Retention Coordinator, at (913) 621-8709 or For more information about Donnelly’s health care programs, contact Theresa Kolbeck, Allied Health Recruiter and Academic Advisor, at (913) 621-8705 or


KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 15, 2011 — After 30 years of teaching at Donnelly, beloved math instructor Sister Grace Malaney, OSB, has retired. Her humor, dedication and fervor for teaching will be missed by all.

Sister Grace first came to Donnelly in 1981 as a math tutor.

“What first interested me about Donnelly was its diverse population of students, which it still has today,” said Sister Grace. “I had just arrived back in the United States after living in Mineiros, Brazil, at a Benedictine monastery. Myself and a group of my fellow sisters were there offering religious education to the people in the town.

“It was a diverse environment in Brazil and I learned so much – including how to speak Portuguese!”

While in Brazil, Sister Grace also taught a math course at a state-sponsored high school. “I was always good at math,” she said. “I have a great respect for it because it is a common language.”

Sister Grace grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and graduated from Bishop Lillis High School in 1953. After high school, she went right into the monastery.

“I came from a family that was not Catholic, but my older sister had decided to convert to Catholicism when she was just 13,” she said. “I followed her example and became Catholic at age 11. It was just something we felt strongly about. The ritual was so rich, and we had both gone to Catholic school for the discipline.

Sister Grace felt a strong draw to the religious vocation throughout high school, and entered the Mount St. Scholastica Benedictine Abbey right her graduation. She continued her education and earned her baccalaureate degree from Mount St. Scholastica College, then her Master of Arts degree from the University of Kansas.

Before her time in Brazil, Sister Grace taught at both the elementary and high-school level in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.

After returning from Brazil, she began tutoring at Donnelly. Within a few years, she was teaching college algebra, trigonometry and eventually added calculus to her course schedule.

“I love Donnelly for so many reasons, but first and foremost I love the students,” she said. “Donnelly students are truly great human beings and are so accepting of other cultures and backgrounds. I’ve witnessed so many students thrive here at Donnelly. So many people really transform here, and I’m proud to say I’ve been a part of that.”

Sister Grace recently began teaching in the College’s Preparatory Education program, working to prepare students who were not ready for college-level math courses.

“This was a learning opportunity for both me and the students,” said Sister Grace. “I bonded with many of them because they worked so hard and put in enormous amounts of effort in order to better themselves. I saw so many light-bulb moments, which was so gratifying for me.”

“I went into her class with the notion that I wasn’t any good at math,” said Meredith. “I was just hoping to pass! She took extra time with me and would explain things to me until I understood. My confidence grew and I soon realized that math comes naturally to me! I just needed someone to give me a little extra time and attention. Sister Grace gave that to me.”

“Latonya learned math, but she also learned that she could excel,” said Sister Grace. “She discovered a passion and a true skill right before my eyes.”

Sister Grace ended her time at Donnelly at the end of the Spring 2011 semester and is in the process of moving to the Benedictine Sisters’ monastery – Mount St. Scholastica – in Atchison, Kan.

“It’s not really retirement,” she said. “It’s more like ‘recycle-ment.’ We sisters don’t really retire.”

Sister Grace now hopes to devote her time to caring for the elderly at the Dooley Center – a nursing home that is part of the Mount St. Scholastica monastery.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 26, 2011 — Donnelly College has organized an effort to help the victims of the devastating tornado that swept the city of Joplin, Mo., the evening of on Sunday, May 22.

To assist the people of Joplin, the College is asking community members as well as Donnelly faculty, staff and students to donate the following needed items: bottled water or sports drinks, non-perishable food (snack items, cereal, canned foods, peanut butter, etc.), blankets, shoes of all sizes, socks and underwear of all sizes, hygiene products, diapers and formula, clothing, sandwich bags, and work gloves.

There are two donation drop boxes on the Donnelly campus, both in the main building located at 608 North 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan. One drop box is located near the front entrance, and another is on the second floor in Room 204.

Donations will be accepted until June 30, 2011. Several Donnelly staff and faculty members have volunteered to take the items to Joplin, and plan on making the trip twice – one on Friday, May 27, and again on Friday, July 1.

“We’re planning to make our first trip to Joplin this week because of the desperate need for supplies,” said Kim Gianakon, Director of Academic Support at Donnelly who is from the Joplin area. “My parents live there, but thankfully they were on their way home to Joplin after a trip to Springfield when the tornado hit so they were out of harm’s way.”

Gianakon attended Missouri Southern State University, located in Joplin, for her undergraduate degree, which has become a safe hub for tornado victims to sleep and find supplies.

“My family was spared from any major impact, but so many others weren’t,” she added. “Monday morning, a number of coworkers came by my office to make sure my family was ok and offered to help with whatever I needed. I quickly began organizing this effort to gather needed supplies and so many people jumped on board. The generosity and outpouring in just over 48 hours has been incredible.”

Monetary donations should be directed to the American Red Cross. Text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make an automatic $10 donation to the Joplin tornado relief efforts.

For more information about Donnelly’s efforts to gather needed items for victims of the Joplin tornado, contact Gianakon directly at (913) 621-8764 or

To learn more about the Red Cross tornado relief efforts, click here.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 20, 2011 — More than 60 students have been named to Donnelly College’s Dean’s List and Honor Roll for achieving academic excellence in the 2010-11 year.

The Dean's List recognizes students that have achieved a 4.0 GPA, and the Honor Roll identifies students who have achieved a GPA of 3.5-3.99.

Dean’s List, 4.0 GPA
Said Ali
Willie Burns
Jaime Garcia
Elizabeth Haywood
Breeann Hunt
Amisha Jones
Liliana Lopez (AA, ´11)
Hser Gay Lynn
Paulina Martinez-Chio (BA, ´11)
Katrina Mccuiston
Liz Medina
Raymond Myers
Briana Norwood
Ernest Obeng
Cristal Perez
Miriam Ramirez
Monica Regala
Karri Reich
Diana Valles
Tameka Weatherspoon
Jonathan Westbrook

Honor Roll, 3.5-3.9 GPA
Mohamed Abdelhamid
LaShawn Alberty
Santiago Alvarez
Nasreen Ali
Te’Sheena Anderson
Jorge Avila Castaneda (BAS, ´11)
Dynasty Banks
Wendy Barillas
Ephrem Bekele
Serena Browne (AS, ´11)
Kaleisha Burks
Flor Fierro
April Freeman
Paulina Jackson
Kareemah Johnson
Diana Karihe
Lucy Karinga
Masansi Kasera
Britani Lewis
Ainoy Luangphomsopha
Lillian Machuki
Leaundrea Manning
Ivan Medrano
Nicolette Milligan
Desaray Mitchell
Hank Morrissey
Celestina Nalianya
Beatrice Ndungu
Anh Nguyen
Suman Paudyal (AS, ´11)
Bunny Redwood
Heather Reischman
Miguel Rodriguez
Crystal Sammons
Jun Liang Shen
Briana Stewart
Eliva Valencia
Andrea Vaughn
Kathy Warren
Maila Yang

The College’s Board of Trustees, faculty and staff would like to congratulate each of these students.

Learn more about Donnelly’s commitment to academic excellence and the College’s seven student-learning goals here.




KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 19, 2011 — On Tuesday, June 7, the Economic Opportunity Foundation (EOF) and the United Way of Wyandotte County will host a community presentation and dialogue at Donnelly to present the results of the 2011 Community Needs Assessment.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will include a brief presentation of the key findings of the Community Needs Assessment, followed by an expert panel discussing the implications of the findings for government, business, education, and social service organizations.

Panel members include Joe Reardon, Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., mayor and CEO; Cynthia Lane, superintendent of USD 500; Wendell Maddox, president/CEO of the United Way of Wyandotte County; Don Gray, general Manager of the Board of Public Utilities; and Cindy Cash, president/CEO of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce.

Nick Haines, executive producer of “Public Affairs” for KCPT, will moderate the panel. The public will be invited to ask questions and offer their thoughts about how to best respond to needs in Wyandotte County.

The Assessment was the result of a collaboration between EOF and United Way, with participation from ten other non-profit agencies serving Wyandotte County. The results include survey data from more than 600 clients receiving services at non-profit agencies and from more than 500 other community stakeholders who completed an online version of the assessment survey. Three focus groups provided some depth to the raw data.

All attendees will receive a copy of the Executive Summary of the Community Needs Assessment. Refreshments will be served.

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Interested individuals should RSVP to Fred Andrews at EOF, (913) 371-7800, or Cynthia Tooley at the United Way of Wyandotte County, (913) 371-3674.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 12, 2011 — The Donnelly Alumni Association, Alumni Board, and nearly 100 guests welcomed four outstanding alumni – Ed Dwight, ´51, Carmen Rodriguez,  '53, Susan Carroll,  '62, and Gene Burdolski (deceased),  '70 – into the College’s 2011 Alumni Hall of Fame class at an induction ceremony and reception the evening of Thursday, May 12. 

The program was established last year to commemorate Donnelly’s 60th Anniversary, making this the second class of Hall of Fame inductees for the College. The first class, Class of 2010, included Judge Thomas Clark, ´58, Albert Roos, ´63, Sister Connie Krstolic, OSB, ´64, Father Dennis Wait, ´66, John Mendez, ´74, and Delia Hernandez, ´84, was inducted on May 13, 2010.

“The Hall of Fame was created to honor inspiring alumni who have helped transform their communities and who demonstrate actions expressing the spirit of Donnelly College,” said Roger Berg, Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator at Donnelly. “These first two Hall of Fame classes represent just that, and each inductee is an outstanding example of how Donnelly students go on to do great things and inspire others.” 

Inductee Ed Dwight, ´51, attended Donnelly to take some of the core classes he needed to get into a pre-engineering program. “When others closed the door on me, Donnelly made it possible,” he said. 

After earning his aeronautical engineering degree from Arizona State University and spending a number of years in the military and then the construction, real-estate and restaurant fields, Dwight switched directions and decided to follow his one true dream of becoming a sculptor.

“I had a construction company, was successful in real-estate, and owned five restaurants, but my passion for art – something that had been with me since birth – was missing from my life,” he said.

So, he decided to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Denver. From there, he was commissioned to create series of bronzes depicting the contribution of Blacks to the American Frontier. This series of 50 bronzes was exhibited throughout the U.S. and gained critical acclaim.

To date, he has completed more than 115 large-scale commissioned sculpture installations and his pieces are collected by museums, institutions and art enthusiasts around the world, including the Smithsonian. Ed Dwight Studios, Inc., in Denver is now one of the largest privately-owned production facilities in the western United States.

The next alum inducted into the Hall of Fame was Carmen Rodriguez, ´53. She discovered her passion for education through Donnelly and its founder Sister Jerome Keeler, OSB.

“I was working as a checker at a local grocery store, and Sister Jerome frequently came through my check-out line,” said Sister Mary Lucy Kramer, OSB, accepting on Rodriguez’s behalf. “One day she asked me where I was going to college and I told her I needed to save money. She invited me to tour the college and something about her voice made me decide to accept her invitation!”

After graduating from DC, Rodriguez became a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Mount St. Scholastica College, and began teaching. Much like Sister Jerome, Rodriguez focused on instilling the importance of education in each of her students and challenging them to do great things.

In 1973, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Mexican American Culture from San Jose State University and then moved back to Kansas City briefly. While in KC, Rodriguez taught Mexican American Cultural History at Donnelly. She then moved back to the west coast to teach a variety of subjects at Los Medanos Community College in Pittsburg, Calif. In 1988, she returned to Donnelly once more to accept the College’s prestigious Delta Award for her work in education.

“The mission and spirit of Donnelly have been frequent reminders of what I’ve done and hope to do in my lifetime,” she added. “I am delighted to call Donnelly College my alma mater.” 

Inductee Susan Carroll, ´62, accepted her Alumni Hall of Fame plaque next and noted that she comes from a Donnelly family.

“My husband, myself, my sister, brother, and sister-in-law are all Donnelly graduates,” she said. “My memories of Donnelly are of the people; people who changed my life forever, specifically the Benedictine Sisters who taught me the value of education. They have inspired and encouraged me all these years. This moment belongs to them for the legend of learning they have given me and so many others.”

Carroll graduated from DC and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, psychology and English from St. Mary’s College in Leavenworth, Kan. She returned to Wyandotte County and worked for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas for more than 30 years in a variety of roles, including Director of Administrative Services and Human Resources and as an Administrative Consultant to the Archbishop. She also co-directed the archdiocesan Annual Women’s Retreat.

In 2008, Carroll became the Interim Executive Director for Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC). After two-years, she decided to become a full-time volunteer for CHWC. She continues to serve in this role today, as well as on the Board of Directors for various community groups including CHWC, the YMCA, United Way, and Catholic Housing. Carroll is a graduate of Leadership 2000 and an active parishioner at the nearby Cathedral of St. Peter where she serves as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector.

The final alum to be inducted was Gene Burdolski, ´70, who passed away in 2008. His brother Donald Burdolski, ´68, accepted on his behalf.

“My brother was quite the guy,” he said. “He left us all too soon. But I can tell you this – if there’s a party in heaven, Gene is directing it. If there’s a phone bank in heaven, Gene is working it!”

Following his time at Donnelly, Gene headed to the University of St. Mary where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He never forgot the tremendous role Donnelly played in his life, and remained connected to the College through his work on a number of committees and volunteer projects.  Known for giving back to his beloved Kansas City community, Gene was a board member at the Good Samaritan Project and the AIDS Service Foundation.

He also volunteered his time at organizations like the Hope Care Center and the Friends of Chamber Music. He was an active parishioner of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, Mo., where he served in a variety of roles, including Eucharistic minister, lector, usher and member of the choir. 

“Our students today are the leaders and Alumni Hall of Fame inductees tomorrow,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, President of Donnelly. “You are all a part of the Donnelly story. Reconnecting and visiting with our alumni is one of my favorite parts of this job because it reminds me of why Donnelly is here and why we do what we do each day – to create access to higher education.” 

LaNasa also acknowledged the College’s Alumni Hall of Fame Endowed Scholarship Fund and announced that an anonymous donor has offered a $5,000 challenge match.

Individuals looking to honor one of the Hall of Fame inductees through this fund are encouraged to contact For more information on Donnelly’s Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony, contact Roger Berg, Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator, at (913) 621-8744, or visit



KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 11, 2011 — Donnelly College’s 2011-12 student senate elections took place May 2-4, 2011, and the results are in! The following five students were elected to represent the 2011-12 student body: Sylvester Ayalla, Laura Castro, Ivan Medrano, Raymond Myers, and Cristal Perez.

This senate class is the second in the College’s recent history after a group of 13 students came together last year to re-establish and launch the senate program.

Two student leaders – Paulina Martinez-Chio, senior in DC’s baccalaureate program, and Miro Heyink, DC Student Ambassador and second-year, associate-degree seeking student – stepped up to the challenge of leading this founding group by volunteering to serve as Student Senate co-chairs while the program was in its developmental stages.

“We are very pleased with the results of this election, and are happy to see the program taking off,” said Heyink. “The large number of votes cast shows us that the Donnelly student body is interested in electing their campus leaders and ready to see some change.

“These five individuals will do an excellent job in representing Donnelly. With a focus on establishing more student-led initiatives and events, I think we will see their leadership transform the involvement of the student body in all aspects of the College.”

One of the founding senate members, Ivan Medrano, student in Donnelly’s baccalaureate degree program, decided to continue his involvement and run in these recent elections. “I felt I could continue to make an impact and ensure the success of the senate,” he said. “Donnelly is growing both in student numbers and academic offerings, and I want to be in the forefront of this to help lead the student body through these advancements.”

“I ran for student senate because I want to strengthen my leadership skills and serve as a voice for the student body,” said Raymond Myers, associate-degree seeking student with plans to continue his education at UMKC and earn a bachelor’s in psychology. “Donnelly students are looking for more student-life and leadership opportunities on campus. I hope to help lead the development of future student organizations and assist in the restructuring of current programs.”

The five newly-elected senators will meet prior to the end of the Spring 2011 semester to determine who will serve as the 2011-12 chair or co-chairs. All updates regarding the Student Senate will be available here.

The Student Senate is always open to input from the Donnelly community! To contact them, email



KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 29, 2011 —Donnelly College hosted its annual Multicultural Festival from 2-10 p.m. on Friday, April 29, in the College’s front parking lot. More than 20 countries and regions were represented under a huge outdoor tent through food vendors, live music and dance performances, and Donnelly student booths.

The 2011 festival was the largest in the College’s history with more than 300 attendees, a full lineup of live performances and the opportunity for guests to sample fare from nearly 20 different countries.

Donnelly students prepared free food for attendees and showcased their unique heritages, allowing guests to sample the cuisine and learn about each of their home countries including Russia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Somalia, Haiti, China, Palestine, Vietnam and many more.

“I never knew there was this much culture in Kansas City!” said Elizabeth O’Neill, community member whose attendance at the festival was her first trip to both Kansas City, Kansas, and the Donnelly College campus. “It has been an eye-opening experience for me and definitely makes me want to explore KCK further.”

O’Neill’s friend Brooks Fitzpatrick attended the festival with her and added, “We have really enjoyed the live performances – especially the Kansas City Drum Tribe. Not only were they incredibly talented and got the crowd on their feet, but they looked like they were having so much fun on stage!”

At 5:30 p.m., local Indian restaurant Korma Sutra set up a large buffet and gave food away free to attendees. Kansas City, Kansas’ own Bonito Michoacan also came with a large foodcart and sold a variety of Mexican foods.

“I really enjoyed the Middle Eastern Circle Dancers,” said Donnelly alumna Sara Fuentes, ´09. “They were able to get so many people to join their circle dance. It was cool to see people dressed in all different kinds of traditional clothing dancing together and having fun.”

In addition to the circle dance and drum tribe, performances included Irish keyboard and fiddle player, and Donnelly instructor, Sister Christine Dorman, OSB, a Russian group called Roma, two performances from the Donnelly College Drill Team, a blues pianist, local stars from the Soon2B DanceCru, Trio Aztlan – the headlining band for the famed Manny’s Restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., KCK’s own folk/reggae/rock/blues singer Nicolette Paige, and a flamenco/rumba band called Elegancia.

The event offered fun, free activities for kids including a free bounce house, bubble stations, face painting, and Henna tattoos.

The College would like to thank all the incredible event volunteers for their hard work and dedication in making this event Donnelly’s largest Multicultural Festival to date!


KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 20, 2011 — The Donnelly campus was buzzing with excitement on Tuesday, April 19, as Lynnette Khalfani-Cox – “The Money Coach” – gave a free presentation to nearly 100 attendees from throughout the Kansas City community.

Cox, a personal finance expert, television and radio personality, and the author of numerous books, has appeared on national TV programs such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Dr. Phil,” “The Tyra Banks Show,” and “Good Morning America.” She is also a former financial news journalist and Wall Street Journal reporter for CNBC, has also been featured in top newspapers such as USA Today, New York Times, as well as magazines ranging from Essence and Redbook to Black Enterprise and Smart Money.

The event, sponsored by American Century Investments® and the Greater Kansas City Financial Planning Association (FPA), boasted a variety of free opportunities for attendees, including Cox’s presentation, breakout sessions led by FPA representatives, and one-on-one financial consultations.

Donnelly’s President Dr. Steve LaNasa kicked off the program, followed by brief opening remarks from State Treasurer Ron Estes about the Money Smart month initiative.

Cox took to the podium and quickly captured the attention of all attendees with her unique personal story of climbing out of more than $100,000 in debt and becoming one of the country’s leading financial experts.

“I was a classic over-spender,” said Cox. “Trips to the Caribbean, fancy clothes, expensive private schooling for my children.

“It’s important to understand that it is not about your income, it is about your spending,” she added. “Everyone needs a budget because there is no level of income that cannot be outspent.”

Cox also introduced attendees to the four ways money can be used – saving, spending, investing or donating – and gave tips on how to save for college.

“Donnelly was thrilled to host this event and provide this opportunity to our students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community,” said Donnelly Program Coordinator Paola Zapata.

“To me, the most interesting part of the presentation was when Lynnette asked the audience to take her ‘Financially Fit’ quiz. As she went through the ten questions, I could hear audience members chattering with one another. I talked to a lot of people after the presentation, and everyone was commenting on their shockingly low scores. She gave some great tips on easy ways to boost them, but it was eye-opening for folks to see how little they knew about their own financial situations.”

Following Cox’s presentation, small-group breakout sessions were offered by members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) on topics such as setting goals, budgeting, investment basics and understanding retirement plans.

The evening concluded with a summary of the night and a door-prize drawing. Drawing prizes included Cox’s books, gift certificates to the local Sun Fresh market, and the grand prize was an iPad2.

Visit for a list of all the Money Smart Month events that took place throughout Kansas City during the month of April.

To learn more about Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, visit her official site at

About the Greater KC Chapter of the FPA
The Greater Kansas City chapter of the Financial Planning Association's (FPA) mission is to promote the value of financial planning to the public. The FPA is committed to helping individuals achieve their goals and dreams and to provide expertise and resources within our local communities.  This is achieved by FPA members providing financial literacy education and public outreach activities. Learn more at our national website at or our local site at

About American Century Investments
American Century Investments is a leading privately-held investment management firm, committed to delivering superior investment performance and building long-term client relationships since 1958. Serving investment professionals, institutions, corporations and individual investors, American Century Investments offers a variety of actively managed investment disciplines through an array of products including mutual funds, institutional separate accounts, commingled trusts and sub-advisory accounts. The company's 1,300 employees serve clients from offices in New York; London; Hong Kong; Mountain View, Calif. and Kansas City, Mo. James E. Stowers Jr. is founder of the company. Jonathan S. Thomas is president and chief executive officer and Enrique Chang is chief investment officer. Through its ownership structure, more than 40 percent of American Century Investments' profits support research to help find cures for genetically-based diseases including cancer, diabetes and dementia.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Apr. 8, 2011 — Artists from throughout the region displayed artwork at Donnelly College’s second annual Arts in the Heart Art Exhibit. The exhibit opened on Friday, April 8, with artwork to remain on display throughout the month of April, leading up to the College’s annual Multicultural Festival on Friday, April 29.

Visitors who attended the opening night of the Arts in the Heart Exhibit were able to meet some of the featured artists, view work displayed on all seven floors of Donnelly’s main campus building, and were also treated to complimentary hors d’oeuvres and live classical jazz music by local guitarist Tommy Taylor (

The event was the kick off to Arts in the Heart – the College’s month-long celebration of the arts, as well as a part of the Kansas City, Kansas, second Friday Arts Walk.

“I heard about this exhibit opportunity from one of the artists who displayed work during last year’s Arts in the Heart Exhibit,” said 2011 art exhibitor Courtney Melvin. “It is a great way for local community members of all ages to view a variety of art styles and techniques. From photography to pottery to mixed media pieces, there is something for everyone.”

Melvin contributed a number of pieces, including one titled “The Way of Harmony” which depicts three martial arts fighters amidst a red background splattered with yellow, black and white acrylic paint.

“There are even pieces that combine sculpture with photography,” added Melvin. “This was something new and intriguing to me and those around me viewing the work.”

The work Melvin describes is that of Ingrid Tourangeau – an artist who is known for creating doll-house sized pieces and then photographing them to look as if they are large scale.

“I work with miniature sculptures and then photograph the work in the ‘real-world,’” says Tourangeau in her artist statement. “This creates an environment that only the imagination can access. It is a doll-house sized world that seems forever perfect and idyllic.”

Tourangeau contributed a series of three photographs called “The Barn Series” to the Arts in the Heart Exhibit, which are displayed on the 4th floor near the elevator bank.

Donnelly’s art exhibit is free and open to the public and can be viewed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, from April 8 through the final Arts in the Heart celebration – the Multicultural Festival – on April 29.

Community members are encouraged to attend the Multicultural Festival from 2-10 p.m. on Friday, April 29. This exciting, free festival features ethic food sampling, live music and dance performances, and vendors selling unique, handmade items. Held outdoors, this event promises to be fun for the whole family. Visit to learn more.

For information on all other Arts in the Heart events, including free day and evening Shakespearean workshops, journaling workshops and a Poetry Festival, visit


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Mar. 30, 2011 — The Donnelly campus is buzzing with excitement over today’s announcement that Google has selected Kansas City, Kan., as the location for its first ultra-fast, fiber-optic network. The project will provide Internet access to the city with speeds of about 1 gigabit per second – 100 times faster than what most Americans have today.

Nearly 1,100 cities applied to be the first city for this project, but in the end it was Kansas City, Kan., that came out on top.

“We were looking for a city where we could build quickly and efficiently, make a real impact on the community, and develop relationships with local government and community organizations,” said Milo Medin, Vice President for Access Services at Google.

In an official release from Google, the company said it has “signed a development agreement with the city, and we’ll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation web experience to the community.”

Google plans to offer service beginning in 2012.

This announcement will greatly impact the Donnelly College campus, and already DC students are buzzing with excitement.

“I can’t even imagine what it will be like when the Internet is working 100 times faster than it does now!” said Donnelly sophomore Kelly McDaniel. “As a student, I use the Internet, and Google itself, throughout most of my day so this is great news. Aside from the personal impact, what I’m most excited about is the impact this will have on my community.”

“People had lost faith in Kansas City, Kan., and I see this as an opportunity for KCK to grow stronger and more united.”

“Google rocks,” said Jacob Haynes, also a sophomore at DC. “This is going to bring so much hope and opportunity for creativity to the area. It’s unbelievable that Google chose KCK as the first city and I can’t wait to see what is in store for this community throughout the next few years.”

“KCK is a perfect fit for this – we needed something like this,” said Le'Creasha Grigsby, who will graduate from Donnelly in May and transfer to Kansas State University to complete her bachelor’s degree. “I can’t wait to tell everyone I know!”

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback showed his excitement by declaring March 30, 2011, Google Day in Kansas.

To learn more about Google’s announcement, visit

Click here to view the video shown at today’s official event announcing Kansas City, Kansas, as Google’s city of choice.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Feb. 22, 2011 — On Monday, Feb. 21, Donnelly College hosted an open forum for the candidates running to be the next 4th District Wyandotte County Commissioner. Candidates discussed everything from their personal backgrounds to economic development to public transportation.

The five candidates include Clayton Hunter, Derek Jones, Karlean Kramer, Tarence Maddox and Tamika Pledger.

Hunter, Kramer and Pledger were in attendance to discuss each of their platforms and answer questions from the more than 50 attendees. Maddox was unable to attend because of an ill relative, but he sent a representative to fill his seat and provide an overview of his plan.

On top of providing this outlet for citizens to ask questions and hear from commissioner candidates, these Donnelly students made voter registration available for those in attendance. Voter registration drives are also planned at Bishop Ward, Wyandotte and Schagle high schools.

The forum was sponsored by two Donnelly baccalaureate classes – PS111 American Government and PS101 Principles of Political Science – as part of the College’s service-learning initiative. Students in these classes were charged with creating a service-learning project for the spring semester, and chose to hold this forum and voter registration drives as a service to their community.

Students Nelson Gabriel and Miro Heyink led the discussions as the forum moderators.

"We thought a forum would be the best and easiest way for citizens in District 4 to ask the important questions and get to know the candidates," said Gabriel. "We hope the event gave attendees a better perspective on the five candidates and what they want to accomplish should they be elected as our district’s commissioner.

“Donnelly was the perfect location for this forum and a great location for future events like this because it is an anchor in the Kansas City, Kansas, community, and is always looking for new ways to educate and reach new people in the area.”

Contact Keim for more information at (913) 621-8738 or

District 4 Commissioner Forum Video



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Feb. 8, 2011 — Donnelly College is pleased to announce the creation of its first Student Senate. The first senate elections are scheduled for Monday, May 2, 2011, where the Donnelly student body will vote for students to represent them as president, vice president, treasurer and secretary throughout the 2011-12 academic year.

“The idea for Student Senate came about because the College’s student body has grown to the point where it is important for them to have a collective campus voice,” said Susan Keim, faculty member within Donnelly’s baccalaureate program and faculty advisor to the newly created senate. “A group of 13 student leaders were invited to an informational meeting, and all 13 of them came and are actively participating in the development of the program.”

These students were selected based on their student leadership and involvement at Donnelly. The group represents leaders from many different campus programs and student organizations.

Paulina Martinez-Chio, senior in DC’s baccalaureate program, and Miro Heyink, Donnelly Student Ambassador and second-year, associate-degree seeking student, volunteered to serve as Student Senate co-chairs for the Spring 2011 semester leading up to the first elections.

“We are truly excited to be a part of this new wave of student leadership on the DC campus,” said Heyink. “Our first task is to work with each current campus organization and help them establish a unique mission statement and organizational structure. By doing this, future students will have a clearer understanding of the many student groups and organizations they can be a part of while they are in college.”

“I am eager to lead this new endeavor,” said Chio. “The great thing about Donnelly is that it is a small enough campus where any student can be a leader if they have the desire to be one. After I graduate from Donnelly, it will be exciting to look back and see the mark I left by helping to launch this program.”

“Involving students in Donnelly's campus leadership is very important," said Keim. "By establishing the senate, students are given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and have a collective voice in the governance and student life of Donnelly College. I'm excited to be a part of this new program, and to work more closely with our extraordinary student leaders."



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 18, 2011 —Donnelly College has announced the appointment of Robin E. Bowen, Ed.D., as the College’s Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs effective Jan. 1, 2011, after serving as an Academic Consultant at Donnelly since June 2010.

Bowen first came to Donnelly after she was asked to help assess the College’s Student Affairs Division.

“I started assessing one department, and pretty soon I was pulled into a variety of projects that I felt passionate about,” said Bowen. “I felt an immediate connection to Donnelly because of its incredible mission to make education accessible and affordable for all, specifically those who are underserved in higher education.”

“I believe it is important to have this connection when you are in an administrative role because it allows you to look past the surface of an organization and dig deeper into the real meaning behind daily activities and decisions. I appreciate the fact that Donnelly has upheld the same mission for more than 60 years, and that each decision made is a reflection of this.”

Previously, Bowen served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Washburn University from June 2007 to March 2010, overseeing all of the university’s academic programs including the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law, School of Business, School of Nursing, and School of Applied Studies, Washburn Institute of Technology, the University Library, and many other areas. She was also a professor with tenure within Washburn’s Department of Education, and still teaches an online independent study course today.

Prior to that, Bowen served as founding Dean of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Rockhurst University from 2002-07, a position that stemmed from her experience as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Rockhurst.

Bowen earned her Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University in 1988. Before discovering her passion for higher education and earning her doctorate, Bowen’s area of expertise was primarily in the field of occupational therapy.

Throughout the past two decades, she has collaborated and published on a variety of topics including leadership, management, and graduate studies, as well as occupational therapy treatment planning and research.

“Robin brings tremendous higher education administrative expertise, leadership and, most importantly, dedication to Donnelly’s unique mission and  student body,” said Donnelly President Steve LaNasa, Ph.D. “Her contribution throughout the Fall 2010 semester as a consultant was invaluable, and we anticipate similar progress in the coming months.”

In her new position, Bowen intends to focus her initial efforts on faculty development, student retention and program development.

Bowen resides in Topeka, Kan., with her family.




KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 10, 2011 — Donnelly College is pleased to announce its first three students chosen to participate in The Diversity NOW Project: Ephreme Bekele, Monique Holmes and Heather Reischman.

The project, part of the College’s recent three-year Nursing Workforce Diversity grant award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a licensure track program that takes students from the Practical Nursing (PN) level through an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

Donnelly was one of 20 colleges selected to receive the grant from among 91 applications, and is partnering with Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) to provide the program.

To apply, students had to be currently enrolled in Donnelly’s PN program and complete a competitive application and interview process.

“The program’s goal is to increase the number students earning their associate degree in nursing in hopes they will then increase the number of RNs practicing in the Kansas City, Kansas, area,” said Anne Briginshaw, Donnelly Director of Nursing.

“This project was a perfect fit for Donnelly’s health care program because our goal since the program’s inception has been to improve access and retention efforts for disadvantaged health care students. We are excited to have these three phenomenal students representing Donnelly College and working with us to achieve this important goal.”

Beginning in January 2011 each student will receive a monthly stipend of $250 to help reduce the hours they need to work outside of school while they are pursuing RN bridge program classes. Donnelly will accept two cohorts of students into the program each year.

In addition to providing funds for this program, Donnelly’s Nursing Workforce Diversity grant also funds two new positions at Donnelly, including a Retention Coordinator and an academic advisor specifically catering to students in the health care programs.

To learn more about The Diversity NOW Project or the Nursing Workforce Diversity grant, contact Kerry Manning, Donnelly Allied Health Retention Coordinator, at (913) 621-8709 or For more information about Donnelly’s health care programs, contact Theresa Kolbeck, Allied Health Recruiter and Academic Advisor, at (913) 621-8705 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 9, 2010 — Donnelly College’s January 2011 Practical Nursing (PN) class will be the largest in the program’s history with 21 students enrolled. Nearly 40 applicants completed the program’s competitive selection process, each vying for one of the 25 seats available.

The College has officially accepted and enrolled the following individuals to begin classes in January: Josephine Adero, Yolanda Aguilar, Makesha Brainoo, Laximi Biswa, Maricia Charles, Azuncena Clark, Crystal Colett, Sharlene Easterwood, Pedro Espino, Margaret Gachanja, Delisa Hill, Denysha Liggins, Lilian Kahugu, Humphrey Kinyanjui, Abram Leonard, Jetta Lynch (Sykes), Patronilla Musyoki, Joan Nteere, Talisha Stansberry, Crystal Sudduth, and Vikki Wells.

“The faculty and staff within the program are thrilled with this new class,” said Kerry Manning, RN, Donnelly’s Health Care Retention Coordinator and instructor within the program. “We have a very diverse student body, and it is our privilege to be training these PNs and helping to meet the need for diversity in the health care field.

“With each new term comes more competition among applicants for a spot in this growing program, making this an exciting time to be here.”

The College received approval for a maximum of 50 PN students per year, with one cohort starting each January and one starting each June. The program was approved by the State Board of Nursing in March 2008, making this Donnelly’s sixth class of PNs.

The program is housed in Donnelly’s Marian Hall, which recently completed a $2.8 million renovation – $720,000 of which came from the Title V grant for Hispanic Serving Institutions the College received in 2007. Additional work was covered by other funding, including grants from The Sunderland Foundation, Cor Christi Fund and The McGee Foundation.

On January 12, 2011, DC’s PN program is hosting a free event open to all students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members. Representatives from Early Detection Works will be speaking to attendees about ways to detect breast and ovarian cancer, as well as providing information about free screening and treatment opportunities to those without health insurance. Lunch will be provided, donated by Donnelly’s Health Student Organization.

To attend this event, RSVP to Kerry Manning at (913) 621-8709 or To learn more about Donnelly’s PN program, contact Theresa Kolbeck, Allied Health Recruiter and Advisor, at (913) 621-8705 or, or visit




KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 6, 2011 — January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and Donnelly College is promoting it through an informational Lunch and Learn session at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, in the College’s Meeting Room. The session is open to everyone and free lunch will be provided to all attendees, thanks to Donnelly’s Healthy Student Organization.

The Lunch and Learn features a presentation by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Early Detection Works – a program that provides free breast and cervical cancer screening services to women who qualify through service providers located across the state.

“Our goal at Early Detection Works is to reduce death from breast and cervical cancer among the women of Kansas,” said Kelly Nightengale, Education and Information Officer for the program.  “Early detection of breast and cervical cancer through regular screenings is the best protection.”

According to the Kansas Cancer Registry and Office of Vital Statistics, around 100 Kansas women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, with around 27 related deaths.

“Donnelly provides a fresh audience for us to speak to because many young women don’t realize that when cervical cancer is detected in its early or pre-cancerous stages, survival rates are nearly 100%.”

Early Detection Works is the result of a national health initiative. The National Strategic Plan for the Early Detection and Control of Breast and Cervical Cancers was developed to ensure that every woman for whom it is deemed appropriate receive regular screening for breast and cervical cancers.

To qualify for these services, a woman's income must fall within 225% of federal poverty guidelines and she must be between the ages of 40 and 64. Further, a woman must have no health insurance or inpatient-only insurance with a high, unmet deductible. If screenings detect any abnormalities, Early Detection Works will pay for diagnostic procedures.

“The program also has limited funds for diagnostic services for eligible women under 40, if they have had abnormal breast or cervical cancer screenings,” said Nightengale.

For more information, call toll-free 1-877-277-1368 or contact Nightengale at



As a promoter of student leadership, Donnelly’s Student Support Services is partnering with all the student groups to offer a chance at community service. Donnelly’s recently established Black Student Association (BSA) was the first group to participate, leading a clean-up effort throughout the neighborhoods surrounding the College.

Donnelly students, staff and community members gathered together to help gather trash as part of the College’s first-ever Student Support Services Service Saturday (SSSSS) on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010, with plans to host more in the near future.

“SSSSS is important for Student Support Services participants because it gives the program a chance to touch the community in a very practical way,” said Donnelly’s Director of TRiO’s Student Support Services Lynette Jones. “The community surrounding Donnelly’s campus needs to know that the College cares.

“This event was an effective way for Donnelly students to demonstrate the compassion and appreciation they have for their community,” said Jones. “In the future, we hope to see other student organizations like BSA partner with SSS.” 

Student leader Jackie Jones participated in the first SSSSS, helping the group collectively pick up 24 bags of garbage.

“By giving just a few hours on a Saturday, we were able to make a big impact,” said Jones. “Not only did the neighborhoods look good when we were finished, we all felt good about what we had done. Little things like this day of service can do so much, and we all witnessed that.”

The next Student Support Services Service Saturday is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.

This month, SSS participants are busy collecting food items for families in need. They are looking for large or small quantities of canned items such as green beans, corn, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, as well as stuffing and gravy mixes and more.

Food donations can be dropped off in the “Food for Families” bins in the front lobby of Donnelly’s main building at 608 N. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan. Food will be distributed to the families in need on Thursday, Dec. 16.

Contact DC’s Dean of Student Affairs, Donette Alonzo, for more information.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 6, 2010 — The Fifth Annual Donnelly Dash 5K Run/Walk, hosted by Donnelly College, took place Saturday, Nov. 6, on Donnelly’s campus with more than 100 participants taking part in the event.

This year’s Donnelly Dash started and ended on the College’s campus, winding throughout the surrounding neighborhoods in the heart of historic KCK.

“We had a great turnout for such a brisk, fall morning,” said Laura Bryon, Donnelly’s Annual Fund Coordinator and organizer of the event. “It was great to see so many alumni, current students and Donnelly faculty and staff at the event. We had so many wonderful volunteers helping things run smoothly.”

“The event also brought in participants from outside the Kansas City, Kan., area, which was one of our goals,” added Bryon. “We want others to see the beautiful neighborhoods and friendly people that make up KCK community.”

The following participants finished in the Top 10: Victor Williams (21:09), Scott Dau (22:19), Evan Hall (24:05), Nicole Lee (24:09), Judge Tom Clark (25:03), Steve Fuller (25:04), Marina Friedlund (24:29), Wen Li Shu (26:01), Andrea Kolkmeier (27:04), and Henne Fuller (29:24).

Following the 5K, participants enjoyed a healthy breakfast of hot oatmeal, fruit and coffee. Donnelly would like to thank Charles Ball Sunfresh Market in Kansas City, Kan., for donating these breakfast items.

The College would also like to thank the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City and Donnelly’s Healthy Student Organization for helping to sponsor this year’s event.

To view photos and see additional finish times, visit Questions can be directed to Donnelly Annual Fund Coordinator Laura Bryon at (913) 621-8752 or


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 14, 2010 — A presentation led by representatives from Donnelly College, including Program Coordinator and recent alumna Paola Zapata, and current students Miro Heyink and Jacob Haynes, has been selected to be a part of an Adult Student Leadership Conference sponsored by the tri-state MO-KAN-NE (Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska) chapter of the national TRiO program. The conference will take place this weekend, October 15-17, at the Country Club Plaza Marriott in Kansas City, Mo. The selected presentation is scheduled from 9:45 – 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, in the Marriott’s Millcreek Room.

The selected presentation, titled “Setting Financial Goals,” was developed by Zapata and discusses the importance of setting financial goals, particularly during college years.

“Financial literacy is a new component of TRiO student support services nationally, so the topic chosen by these Donnelly students is a perfect fit because it addresses this component specifically,” said Donnelly Dean of Student Affairs Donette Alonzo, MIHE.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for our students because they will experience what it feels like to be in the teaching role,” added Alonzo. “The fact that this is a TRiO conference is especially exciting because these students have witnessed first-hand the incredible impact TRiO student support services has had on Donnelly students overall.”

“While in college, students have a lot to balance,” said Zapata. “On top of academics, they have to think about paying for college and other financial responsibilities. In many cases, these financial responsibilities are a major distraction, and can be harmful to a student’s academic experience. Overall, we hope this presentation will help students understand how budgeting works and how they can change their habits to achieve financial objectives.”

The presentation will also introduce attendees to a common strategy used to evaluate goals – the S.M.A.R.T. method.

Recently, Donnelly College was awarded a five-year, $1.36 million TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education that provides additional academic, financial literacy and leadership development services to Donnelly students to address gaps in persistence, academic standing, and graduation/transfer for first-generation, low-income or disable students.

The grant also helps equip students with skills they need to be successful at the college level through services such as orientation and mentoring, academic advising and transfer assistance, creation of individual success plans, financial aid assistance, economic literacy and financial planning for college, tutoring and supplemental instruction, as well as multicultural, service and leadership experiences.

To learn more about this presentation or Donnelly’s TRiO services, contact Lynette Jones, Director of TRiO’s Student Support Services at (913) 621-8712 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 1, 2010 — Donnelly College’s Fourth Annual Scholarship Dinner was held Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Jack Reardon Convention Center in Kansas City, Kan. Donnelly was thrilled to honor the leadership of the J.E. Dunn Family for their steadfast contributions to Donnelly throughout the College’s 60-year history.  The event drew nearly 475 guests and raised more than $141,000 to support both annual scholarships, and the creation of the J. Ernest Dunn Endowed Scholarship for Donnelly College students on the main campus and at Lansing Correctional Facility. Donnelly’s live Fund-A-Scholar Drive at the dinner raised nearly $15,000! 

On top of raising these essential scholarship dollars, the dinner specifically noted the leadership of the JE Dunn Family, specifically the contributions of J. Ernest Dunn, Sr., who supported Donnelly College in its earliest years.

“My dad was a simple man who set an example for those around him, showing us how to lead a charitable life,” said William Dunn, Sr., son of J. Ernest Dunn, Sr., and Chairman Emeritus of JE Dunn Construction. “He first met Donnelly’s founder, Sister Jerome Keeler, at Bishop Lillis High School when she was principal there, and later learned Sister Jerome was establishing a new college in the area. When that college, Donnelly, needed a renovation shortly after its opening, my dad let me lead that project – the first job I got to run by myself.”

In addition to this early involvement, the Dunn Family assisted in the renovation of Donnelly’s second (and current) home – the former Providence Hospital building – on 18th Street. William (Bill) Dunn, Jr., has also served on the College’s Board of Trustees since the 1990s.

“There are few benefactors who have supported Donnelly and invested in its mission throughout the College’s entire history like the Dunn Family,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, Donnelly President. “From renovating both our campuses, to contributing more than a decade of Board leadership, to assisting us with strategic planning to help Donnelly reach its potential, we know the College would not be where it is today without their generous support.

“It was J. Ernest Dunn, Sr., who promoted a lifestyle of giving – something Donnelly still benefits from today through the support of the current generations of Dunn Family leaders.”

Scholarship Dinner attendees met a number of Donnelly students, including the 2010-11 Student Ambassadors, as well as DC alumni and friends from throughout the country. The event’s emcee was the Unified Government’s Manager of Contract Compliance.

“Everyone left the event knowing how much their contribution will change the lives of our students,” said Lonnie Scott, ̒74, Scholarship Dinner Chair, Donnelly Trustee and President of the MidAmerica Minority Business Development Council. “I am so thrilled with our success this year! We need all our alumni and friends to continue to show their support to help break down the financial barrier that stands between most of our students and a college education. More support means more students receiving an education. It also means less stress for these students, and more time to think about their coursework, educational plans and career aspirations.”

Four drawing prize packages were awarded as well. Prize package details are available at, along with Donnelly's Fourth Annual Scholarship Dinner video.

The College is already planning next year’s event. For sponsorship or volunteer opportunities for next year’s 5th Annual Scholarship Dinner on September 22, 2011, contact Laura Bryon at (913) 621-8752.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 30, 2010 — State Farm has awarded $10,000 to Donnelly College to help advance the College’s service learning program. The check will be presented at a small gathering at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 6, on Donnelly’s campus located at 608 N. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan.

Donnelly’s service learning program was launched in Fall 2009 and is currently in the pilot phase. The purpose of the program is to provide students with an opportunity to apply and reflect on course content and personal growth while simultaneously meeting a real community need to combat high school drop-out rates. 

Throughout its pilot year, 30 Donnelly students were given the option of mentoring students at two local urban high schools through the Wednesday afternoon Adopt-a-School program, or serving as electronic mentors through the MentorMail program at a third local urban high school. Through these outlets, Donnelly students served as positive role models by encouraging the high school students to consider college. These experiences are then tied back to students’ courses at Donnelly in areas such as leadership and writing.

“By tying these service experiences into the curriculum, we build stronger connections between classroom learning and real-world issues,” said Donnelly President Dr. Steve LaNasa. “As a Catholic, liberal arts college, Donnelly is always looking for new ways to incorporate Catholic values into the student experience. Service learning is just another way Donnelly provides students with an opportunity to live these values, transform themselves into service-minded individuals and contribute to the ultimate sustainability of the community. This program, specifically, strengthens community sustainability by focusing on educational achievement of high school youth.”

The State Farm funds will be used to support curriculum development and campus-wide service events, as well as provide salary support for a Service-Learning Coordinator position and finance equipment needed for the program.

“State Farm believes strong communities are built from our youth up. We actively support programs that are committed to improving education and the future of our youth,” said Tamara O’Connor, State Farm Director of Public Affairs. “The experiences students gain from Donnelly’s service-learning program will help prepare them to be active and contributing participants in their communities.”

To learn more about Donnelly’s service learning program, contact Donnelly Dean of Student Affairs Donette Alonzo, MIHE, at (913) 621-8762 or

About State Farm®
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 68,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit® or in Canada®.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 22, 2010 — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities (HUD-HSIAC) program has awarded Donnelly College nearly $600,000 to fund itsHousing and Entrepreneurial Support for Low-Income Persons in Kansas City (HELP-KC) project. The College was one of only 11 federally designated Hispanic Serving Institutions selected of more than 40 applicants. 

The HELP-KC project is designed to directly support community residents in the urban core through two distinct programming options, one that will promote knowledge of and access to home ownership through educational programming, and another that supports small business development in urban core communities by offering programs to provide technical support to participants as they develop business concepts. 

HUD funds will also be used to renovate a stand-alone space on Donnelly’s campus to be available to community organizations and agencies. 

HELP-KC addresses the great needs of our surrounding community,” said Donnelly President Dr. Steve LaNasa. “It is designed to promote employment, job creation, access to improved housing, community interaction and, as a whole, improve the sustainability and quality of our community. 

“We recognize that job growth and opportunity through technical assistance, and housing education are two of the most needed areas of outreach in our community’s efforts to be more stable and thus economically viable.”

Donnelly is partnering on this grant with two local non-profit organizations that serve the same community as the College: Community Housing of Wyandotte County (CHWC) and the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation (HEDC).

“Donnelly and our HELP-KC partners have a history of collaboration and mutual support,” said Donnelly Vice President Frances Sanders. “The project effectively combines each of our unique talents and expertise to address a substantial community need. We also recognize the powerful impact that additional community service space will have on our surrounding community.” 

CHWC will promote knowledge of and access to home ownership by offering educational programming and individual counseling at Donnelly through a “Pathways to Successful Home Ownership” program. The goal of this program is to increase awareness of purchase programs, raise financial literacy to avoid foreclosure, and promote home purchase in the Kansas City, Kan., community. Outreach for the program will target Kansas City, Kan., residents, where nearly one out of four neighborhood Hispanic families live below poverty level. 

HEDC will serve as a HELP-KC partner by offering a FastTrac program to the community on the Donnelly College campus. FastTrac is a business training course that targets aspiring and existing entrepreneurs who have limited business experience. HEDC will also provide one-on-one technical assistance and small group workshops to small business owners.

These programs are delivered by certified instructors and coaches who are bilingual and bicultural – a significant benefit considering the sizable Hispanic population in the Kansas City, Kan., community. Participants in HEDC’s programs will also be eligible to apply for micro-grants to support business establishment, expansion, or stabilization.

“Together, these three organizations are well positioned to improve our community's substantial issues centering on business ownership, entrepreneurship development, and education on affordable housing options and opportunities,” said Brent Miles, President of the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council and member of the HELP-KC Advisory Board. “Donnelly has always served as a committed community partner, and is particularly known for its commitment to serving low-income persons. This project will continue to further our community just as other Donnelly initiatives have done.”

Questions about HELP-KC should be directed to Donnelly Vice President and Project Director Frances Sanders at (913) 621-8716 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 16, 2010 — Donnelly College students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends gathered together at St. Peter’s Cathedral Thursday, Sept. 16, to celebrate the College’s 2010 Convocation Day Mass of the Holy Spirit – a tradition that dates back to the founding of Donnelly more than 60 years ago in 1949.

“The Convocation Day Mass is a great way for Donnelly students, alumni, faculty, staff and visitors, representing not just Catholic but all faiths and traditions, to come together in celebration of the new academic year,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, Donnelly President. “It is through traditions like this Mass that Donnelly emphasizes the College’s commitment to students and our core values—an essential element of these being our belief that education and faith work in tandem to achieve the development of the whole person.”

Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, celebrated the Mass, alongside Father John S. Melnick, S.S.A., Director of Spirituality & Mission and faculty member at Donnelly, Father Harry Schneider, pastor at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Father Peter Jaramillo, ̒75 and pastor at St. Mary-St. Anthony parish in Kansas City, Kan., Father Dennis Wait, ̒66, and Spiritual Director at Sanctuary of Hope, and alumni Father Ciro and Father Davíd.

Many Donnelly students, faculty and staff had a role in the Mass. Mark Patino, student and tutor in Donnelly’s Academic Center for Excellence, delivered the first reading and Sister Mary Lucy Kramer, also a tutor, gave the second. The Gospel was acclaimed by Father Dennis Wait, with an inspiring homily given by Archbishop Naumann.

“Donnelly College is blessed in so many ways,” said the Archbishop at the Mass. “One way is the diversity of its campus. We are honored that so many who are not Catholic but share our same love for Jesus Christ are present with us this morning. We are so grateful for all our students and hope that Donnelly College is a place where you find truth and love.

“In addition to academic achievement, we want Donnelly students to also be anchored in the truth of God’s love for you. This will help you endure adversity in life and find joy in the midst of any circumstance.”

Leo Mejia and Gabriela De Haro, Donnelly students, brought up the offertory gifts alongside Donnelly alumnus and Admissions Representative Michael Knight, ̒07.

Following the Mass, attendees headed back to campus for a luncheon.

For information on how to get involved in the planning of next year’s Convocation Day Mass, please contact Father John Melnick at (913) 621-8792 or  




KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 27, 2010 — Nine inmates of Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kan., received their associate degrees from Donnelly College at a commencement ceremony at 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 27, at Lansing Correctional Facility.

Six of the nine inmates took part in the ceremony: Ahmed Bey, Joel Butler, Maurice Harris, Charles Johnson, Carl Mitchell, and Kenneth Waddell.

Speakers at the ceremony included President of Donnelly Dr. Steve LaNasa, inmate graduate Kenneth Waddell, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections Roger Werholtz, Donnelly’s Lansing Program Coordinator Dr. Steve Jansen, and Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

Roger Werholtz, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, was the ceremony’s featured speaker and encouraged the graduates to keep thinking about their futures.

“Being in prison, you may think the path you are on leads you to nowhere, but that’s not the case,” said Werholtz. “Your decision to enter into Donnelly’s program shows that you are not only capable of achieving big things, but you are worthy of admiration. I admire you for what you have accomplished here, and am inspired to think about what you will achieve in years to come,” he added. “I encourage you to go forward and be a role model, and help others grow and prosper.”

Inmates were able to visit with their proud families and friends at a reception following the ceremony. One inmate had family drive six hours through the night from Tulsa, Okla., another nine hours from Shreveport, La.

“I’m so proud of my brother because under his conditions of being in prison, he has unlocked doors in his mind that no gates, locks or barriers can ever contain,” said the sister of graduate Charles Johnson.

Graduate Kenneth Waddell also spoke at the ceremony, thanking attendees for the tremendous opportunity he has been given.

“I am the first in my family to get a higher education, so this degree means a lot to me,” said Waddell. “I have more pride in myself and a sense of security of knowing I have a better chance at getting a job in the future.”

Donnelly College has offered classes at Lansing Correctional Facility since 2001 as an extension of its mission to “serve those who might not otherwise be served” in higher education. Since then, more than 325 inmates have taken classes, 23 have earned their associate degrees, and 155 have been released from prison. Of those 155, only three – or two percent – have been reconvicted of a crime and are back in prison.

Comparatively, 25 percent of inmates nationally are resentenced to prison for a new crime within three years of release, according to a 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics Report. Donnelly’s program is one of less than a dozen of its kind that exist in the U.S., and only one of two in the state of Kansas. The College hopes its program will serve as a cost-efficient, effective model to help lower recidivism across the country.

Last year, the College was awarded a $223,000 grant from the Department of Justice to support program operations for its associate degree program at Lansing for three years. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas helped Donnelly secure these funds.

For more information about Donnelly’s Lansing Prison Program, contact Steve Jansen, Ph.D., Lansing Program Coordinator for the College, at (913) 621-8706 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 12, 2010 —The Corporation for National and Community Service awarded more than $85,000 to Donnelly College to help advance the College’s service-learning program, which was piloted on campus in the last 18 months.

This two-year grant enables Donnelly to hire a full-time Service Learning Program Coordinator who will work with faculty to expand service learning opportunities on campus. The grant will also help grow student programming and provide critically needed funds to cover the cost of service-learning projects, supplies and trainings.

Donnelly was one of only 28 organizations selected of more than 190 college and nonprofit applicants.

“We are especially proud to receive this award, as it was an extremely competitive process that puts us in the mix with large universities such as Duke, University of Nebraska, Miami-Dade College, and the University of California, Santa Cruz,” said Donnelly’s President Steve LaNasa, Ph.D.

According to the Corporation’s official release, they gave $9 million in Learn and Serve America Higher Education grants to support teacher training and to increase student interest in four specific fields: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). These grants focused on both training current and future teachers to use service-learning in the classroom, and to bring service-learning to each of the STEM disciplines.

“These grants will advance our goal of aligning quality education programs with service opportunities that help address local needs,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation. “We believe that innovation in education should move beyond the classroom, and engage young people in creating solutions that change the world around them.”

Donnelly will use these funds to engage faculty members in creating service-learning experiences in their curriculum, said Donnelly’s Dean of Student Affairs Donette Alonzo, MIHE. “We want faculty to learn how to use service-learning as a tool to increase student achievement. By participating in these service opportunities, our students will be able to give back to the community they call home.”

Growing this program is a strategic decision by the faculty to enhance student learning of concepts inside the classroom by applying them to real issues within our community. This reinforces not only the liberal arts education they are receiving, but inspires students to share their gifts to help transform the places around them.

“Donnelly has always had a tradition of collaboration and commitment to helping students reach their full potential,” said LaNasa. “Our goal is to educate the whole person, and this grant is another way we can do this while also fulfilling in a new way our steadfast commitment to our community.”

About The Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.  For more information, visit

Dual-admissions agreement with Donnelly College offers students scholarship, ease of transfer to Newman University

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 11, 2010 —Donnelly College and Newman University, of Wichita, Kan., have created an agreement that will offer a new dual-admissions program to students. The agreement allows Donnelly students with a 2.0 GPA or above to transfer to Newman and earn a $3,000 per year scholarship, which is renewed each academic year so long as academic requirements are met.

Newman and Donnelly officials signed the agreement at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 11, in Donnelly’s main academic building on the Donnelly campus. A free reception followed.

Members of the executive staff from both colleges were in attendance, including Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D., Dean of Admissions John Clayton, and Admissions Counselor Jeff Van Dorn. Officials from Donnelly College included President Steve M. LaNasa, Dean of Student Affairs Donette Alonzo, MIHE, Vice President Frances Sanders, and various members of the college’s Board of Trustees.

“We are very excited to begin this partnership with Donnelly College,” said Newman’s President Carrocci. “The agreement will make it much easier for Donnelly students to transfer to Newman, and provide the support they need to be successful. We are very impressed with the commitment to high-quality education in the Catholic tradition that Donnelly exhibits, and believe its students will be a great addition to the Newman community.”

“I believe this partnership will change the lives of Donnelly students in the coming years by opening a door that perhaps many thought was not open for them,” said Donnelly’s Dr. LaNasa. “Because more than 90 percent of Donnelly’s associate degree graduates already go on to continue their education at a four-year institution, it will be exciting to see students now head south to Newman University to take advantage of an environment similar to Donnelly’s – most notably the student-centered, supportive faculty. I am confident that this dual-admissions program will assist students to transfer smoothly into a degree program at Newman, and the yearly scholarship is a critical component helping to make possible an education that is affordable.”

In addition to dual-admissions status and a hefty scholarship, students will receive academic advising from both institutions as well as degree audits from Newman University while they are at Donnelly to keep them on track with their degree plan.

For more information, contact Donnelly’s Marketing Coordinator Jennifer Price at
(913) 621-8707.

Front row, left to right:
Newman University President Noreen Carrocci, Ph.D., Donnelly College President Steven LaNasa, Ph.D. Back row, left to right: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Newman Michael Austin, Ph.D., Dean of Student Affairs at Donnelly Donette Alonzo, MIHE, and Vice President of Donnelly Frances Sanders.

About Newman University
Newman University is a Catholic, liberal arts university sponsored by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for the purpose of empowering graduates to transform society. Named after Church leader and educator, John Henry Cardinal Newman, its primary focus is educating for life. Newman University provides for students the knowledge and skill to succeed personally and professionally, and nurtures an ethical and moral standard rooted in Judeo-Christian principles. For details, visit

About Donnelly College
Donnelly College, located in the heart of Kansas City, Kan., is an independent, coeducational, Catholic institution founded by the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. The College was established in 1949 to meet the needs of urban immigrants and the working class, with special focus on “those who might not otherwise be served.” Today, Donnelly continues that tradition by providing access and affordable education within a culture that promotes student success and by serving as the region’s only federally designated Minority Serving Institution and Hispanic Serving Institution. The Donnelly community is proud of the rich racial and ethnic diversity of our students, staff and faculty, and how that diversity supports its learning environment. Through a strong general education curriculum integrated with career-oriented majors, Donnelly College offers programs leading to bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificates. To learn more, visit


KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 13, 2010 — Roger Werholtz, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections, will be the featured speaker at Donnelly College’s Lansing Correctional Facility commencement ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m., Friday, Aug. 27.

Werholtz has served as Kansas Secretary of Corrections since 2003 and proudly supports Donnelly’s Lansing Prison Program, proclaiming the Lansing/Donnelly partnership to be “an outstanding example of efforts to support the Department’s Vision of ‘A Safer Kansas Through Effective Correctional Services’.”

Donnelly College has offered classes at Lansing Correctional Facility since 2001 as an extension of its mission to “serve those who might not otherwise be served” in higher education. Since then, more than 325 inmates have taken classes, 14 have earned their associate degrees, and 155 have been released from prison. Of those 155, only three – or two percent – have been reconvicted of a crime and are back in prison.

Comparitavely, 25 percent of inmates nationally are resentenced to prison for a new crime within three years of release, according to a 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics Report.

Last year, the College was awarded a $223,000 grant from the Department of Justice to support program operations for its associate degree program at Lansing for three years. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas helped Donnelly secure these funds.

Donnelly’s program is one of less than a dozen of its kind that exist in the U.S., and only one of two in the state of Kansas. The College hopes its program will serve as a cost-efficient, effective model to help lower recidivism across the country.

Lansing Correctional Facility’s warden, Dave McKune, acknowledged another positive outcome of the program. “Being able to take college classes also increases their self worth,” he said. “For many it’s the first time someone has believed in them.”

“It is clear that education of offenders is also an effective public safety tool,” said Werholtz. “The coordinated effort between Lansing Correctional Facility and Donnelly College allows us to provide higher education classes to a group of highly motivated inmates who would otherwise not have access to these programs.  It is unfortunate that there is not more support for offender education programs. Too often we get focused on whether offenders deserve these programs and services and lose sight of the fact that we, the taxpayers, deserve the improved public safety they deliver.”

Werholtz chairs the Kansas Criminal Justice Coordinating Council; is a member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission; the Kansas Re-entry Policy Council; the Kansas Sex Offender Policy Board.  In 2009, he received the Association of State Correctional Administrators Michael Franke Award for his contributions to the field of corrections. Werholtz is a past recipient of the Garvey Memorial Scholarship and a Charlotte Leavitt Scholarship.

For information on attending the Lansing Correctional Facility commencement ceremony, contact Steve Jansen, Ph.D., Lansing Program Coordinator for Donnelly, at (913) 621-8706 or


KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 1, 2010 — For Don Schoening, volunteering has become an essential part of life. Every Tuesday and Thursday, he drives 30 minutes to Donnelly’s campus to tutor students in math, composition and English. Schoening began volunteering at Donnelly in January 2010, and has already had a huge impact on students as a tutor in the College’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) as well as the campus’ writing center, The Write Place.

Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Schoening received his bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor College and his master’s degree from Western Illinois University. He began his career in Effingham, Ill., teaching high-school English, speech and drama.

In 1974, he took a position with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in Hannibal, Mo., and served in numerous management positions there. He was appointed to the SSA’s Senior Executive Service in the fall of 2003, moving his family to the Seattle, Wash., area.

In June of 2007, Schoening was appointed to Regional Commissioner for the Seattle region, where he provided leadership to SSA programs within the four-state region of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington until his retirement in October of 2009.
 “After retiring, my wife and I decided to move back to Kansas City,” said Schoening. “I was looking for places to volunteer and was immediately interested in Donnelly when I saw the opportunities listed on the volunteer Web site,

“With my teaching experience, I felt that tutoring was a good fit for me,” he said. “In addition, as part of my duties at SSA, I served as a national executive lead for diversity management. This means I already had an appreciation and understanding of different cultures, making my experiences on Donnelly’s diverse campus very fulfilling.”

Kim Gianakon, Donnelly’s Coordinator of Academic Support, has seen the way Schoening works with students as she oversees both ACE and The Write Place.

“Don is dedicated to the students,” said Gianakon. “He tutors many different subjects including ESL, writing, and math, and he will rearrange his schedule to ensure he’s always available to tutor on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The students love working with him because he is kind and patient, and they will ask to work with him specifically.”

In addition to volunteering at Donnelly, Schoening also gives time to the Overland Park Arboretum each Wednesday morning.

To learn about how you can volunteer on campus, contact Roger Berg, Alumni Relations & Volunteer Coordinator, at (913) 621-8744 or For a list of current volunteer opportunities, visit


KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 17, 2010 — A large group of World War II veterans, many donning their military caps, patches and medals, headed to Donnelly College today to tell their stories. With loose photos full of memories in hand, they were interviewed as part of the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project.

The project began as a tiny thought in the mind of Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.: An estimated half million Latinos served in the United States military during World War II – where are their stories?

It seemed there was an absence of documentation of the lives of these Latino soldiers, and Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez was determined to fill this void in history. With that, the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project was founded.

The basic elements of this project consist of personal interviews with soldiers, documentation of these interviews through video or audio taping, and scanning of personal photographs to connect images to their phenomenal stories.

One veteran who came to Donnelly to be interviewed was Rogue J. Riojas who served in the legendary 34th Infantry Division.

Riojas proudly wears his cap, displaying the signature red bull insignia of the 34th Infantry, and carries his scrapbook of priceless photographs from his time in service. In speaking to Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez, he pulls out a small gold card from his wallet and presents it to her. It is his treasured 34th Infantry Division Association card, and he encourages Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez to turn it over and read the imprint.

“During World War II, our division was not only the first to land in the European Theater, but we also had over 600 days in combat – more than any other division,” said Riojas.

The card also states that the 34th Infantry Division is “ranked second to none and stands high on the scroll of honor among the greatest fighting units ever to carry the Stars and Stripes into battle.”

Throughout the day, Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez and her team will interview these veterans and continue to write history. Currently, the project has interviewed more than 500 veterans since its founding in 1999.

Next, the project heads to Lawrence, Kan., where Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez will speak at the University of Kansas on June 18 as the keynote speaker for their weekend oral history workshop. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Learn more about this project by visiting

Photo on homepage: Rogue J. Riojas, member of the 34th Infantry Division in World War II, stands with Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D., Director of the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 16, 2010 — Donnelly’s Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) is hosting three “Understanding Shakespeare” workshops to help students prepare for the upcoming Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. The workshops will be held at 11:30 a.m. on June 21, and both 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on June 22, and offer an introduction to the work of one of the world’s greatest playwrights through fun, interactive activities.

Members of Donnelly’s library club are organizing a student trip to the performance of Shakespeare’s “King Richard III” on Thursday, June 24.

“Whether they have seen zero, one or fifteen of Shakespeare’s plays, students will benefit from coming to one or more of these workshops,” said Kim Gianakon, Coordinator of Academic Support. “So much of Shakespeare’s subject matter is relevant in our time period. We hope that students can connect to the themes and morals found in Shakespeare’s plays to gain confidence and knowledge in themselves and to further enjoy their time at the festival.”

Students are invited to attend one workshop or all three. Refreshments will be provided.

“King Richard III” will be presented free to the public from June 15  through July 3, 2010, in Southmoreland Park each Tuesday through Sunday evening at 8 p.m. as well as Monday, June 28.

In its 17-year history, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival has presented 22 productions, reaching more than 470,000 audience members. To learn more, visit






KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 13, 2010 —The 2010 Primer Paso FastTrac Graduation is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, at Donnelly College located at 608 North 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan. The program will celebrate 14 graduates from throughout the Greater Kansas City area, including Prairie Village, Olathe, Overland Park, and Kansas City, Kan., and Sedalia, Oak Grove, and Kansas City, Mo.

Primer Paso FastTrac, just one of many programs designed by the Hispanic Economic Development Council (HEDC), is a 36-hour business training course introduces business concepts to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs who have little or no business experience. These entrepreneurs are introduced to basic business concepts such as marketing, market penetration, price and profitability, budgeting, researching competition and business financials.

The 14 graduates will be aspiring to lead businesses in the fields of commercial/residential cleaning, masonry construction, pet-snack distributor, commercial/residential painting, restaurant, neighborhood market and property management.

The Primer Paso FastTrac program also educates entrepreneurs about the regulatory issues that are required and the proper steps to make sure they are in compliance with their business venture. The class offers students the opportunity to learn from qualified and certified instructors and coaches, as well as from each other.

Graduate presentations will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the keynote speaker Jacob Prado, Kansas City area Mexican Consulate. Prado will speak on the contributions Latinos make to the United States economy.

To learn more about Primer Paso FastTrac, contact Richard Zarate, Director of Business and Economic Growth for HEDC, at



KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 11, 2010 — Donnelly College’s 2010 Commencement Ceremony will take place at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 15, at the Jack Reardon Convention Center in downtown Kansas City, Kan., concluding the College’s 60th anniversary year.

Nearly 50 students are candidates for degrees – almost 20 of these candidates are baccalaureate students.

Mary Lou Jaramillo, President/CEO of El Centro, Inc., will be the featured commencement speaker. In addition, two Donnelly students, Tabitha Carter (Class of 2010 Associate in Science candidate) and Paola Zapata (Class of 2010 Bachelor of Applied Science candidate), will address their fellow graduates at the ceremony.

Other speakers include George Breidenthal, Chairman of Donnelly’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Steve LaNasa, the College’s President, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

This commencement celebration is free to attend and open to the public.

The following students will be receiving degrees: Bachelor of Arts – Lola J. Buckner, Nicole L. Collins, Michelle Cooper, Anne Elizabeth Gazaway, Matthia Renae Kelsey, Deaseray Andrae Norris, and Chad Thomas Phillips; Bachelor of Applied Science– Andre S. Allen, Effie M. Barber, Norma Jean Godwin, James E. Grohusky, Jr., Natalie C. Hudgins, Caran G. Johnson, Adan Mohamed Makina, Camille Sherri Moten-Shorts, Teresa Sepulveda Negrete, Francesca Williams, and Paola Y. Zapata-Arce; Associate in Arts – Marianella Benavides, Yasmin Renee Campbell, Jorge Avila Castaneda, Saul Colin, Erica Y. Davis, Dzenet Donko, Brittany E. Emerson, Jamine Rashawn Emerson, Isaac Cruz Joel Falcon Campos, Sandra Farnan, Sandra M. Handy, Veronica Hernandez, Lanette Charee Johnson, Juruby Lizeth Martinez, Stanislav Novikov, Estevan Antonio Ortiz, Maria Alicia Porraz Rodriguez, Ashley DiAnn Pulliam, Fernando Enrique Ramirez Alvarez, Miguel A. Rodriguez, Jessica Angelica Salgado, and Brandy Nicole Word; Associate in Science – Tabitha De’Janee Carter, Paulina Martinez-Chio, Ivan Medrano, Shanta Renee Muse, Jessica Marie Salas, and Alexandria Leilani Tichenor Shannon; Associate in Applied Science – Eric Del Toro, Fred Del Toro, and LaTanya Lynn Jones.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 23, 2010 — Donnelly College, recent recipient of a $485,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to advance its humanities department, was featured in the April 23, 2010, issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education – a national publication that provides news and information for college and university faculty members and administrators.

The article, titled “Nice Grant if You Can Get It” by Chronicle writer Ben Gose, outlines the competitive nature of NEH grants and how few community colleges receive them. Gose’s article adds that “community colleges receive less than four percent of the total (NEH) awards” in comparison to four-year institutions.

Donnelly’s grant, which requires the College to raise $970,000, will create three endowment funds totaling $1.34 million: Philosophy/Ethics Faculty Endowment, Sister Jerome Keeler Distinguished Lecture Series Endowment (named after the College’s beloved founder), and a Humanities Library Acquisitions Endowment. These endowments will help fund a faculty position in philosophy and ethics, and promote integration of philosophy and ethics into course curricula.

“These NEH funds and humanities endowments will help ensure our general education program remains high-quality and highly integrated,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, President of Donnelly. “Our mission to serve students who largely go underserved in higher education requires that we continuously update and grow our campus resources. This grant allows us to do just that.”

According to The Chronicle, grant reviewers were likely impressed by the grant’s potential impact on Donnelly’s students. “They made the point in their application that the humanities may be the only place where students ask big, tough questions about themselves and their place in the country and world,” said Stephen M. Ross, director of NEH’s endowment office of challenge grants.

The article also features two photographs of Donnelly students. On April 10, Chronicle photographer Julie Denesha caught up with a group of Donnelly students as they embarked on a trip to three of Kansas City’s greatest museum attractions: The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, National World War I Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

“As a humanities department, our ultimate goal is to develop students’ critical thinking through humanities-related experiences by helping them understand the history of different cultures and how present difficulties tend to have evolved from a common past,” said Sister Marie Kathleen Daugherty, SCL, Associate Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Donnelly. “Knowledge of the humanities leads to incredible benefits for students as they work to understand and tackle complex issues in the world today.”

If you are interested in helping Donnelly meet its challenge grant, donations may be sent to Emily Buckley, Donnelly’s Director of Advancement, at 608 North 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102. Questions regarding the grant should also be directed to Buckley at (913) 621-8731 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 29, 2010 — Donnelly will host its 2010 Career Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, April 30, in the College’s first floor Meeting Room, located at 608 North 18th St. in Kansas City, Kansas.

Among the employers expected to participate in the fair are Bank of America, AFLAC, Quintiles, United Health Group, Kansas City Missouri Police Department (KCPD), Primerica, Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital, Praxair, Inc., Interim HealthCare, Sam’s Club, Medicalodge Post-Acute Care Center, Workforce Partnership, Kansas City VA Medical Center, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Part of offering a quality college education is providing opportunities for students to make that next step after graduation – whether it be to continue on into an advanced degree program, or head out into the workplace,” said Jane Ballagh de Tovar, Career Center Coordinator at Donnelly. “At Donnelly, we stress the importance of networking and connecting with potential employers early on. Our Career Fair is one way students, as well as community members looking for a job, can research and meet individuals within different career fields.”

Admission and parking for the fair are free. For more details about Donnelly’s 2010 Career Fair, contact Ballagh de Tovar at (913) 621-8791.

For information on other upcoming events at Donnelly College, visit



KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 26, 2010 —Donnelly’s first  ever free, outdoor Multicultural Festival kicked off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, despite rainy weather conditions.

Guests gathered in a large tent in the College’s front parking lot to watch live musical and dance performances, then headed indoors to browse booths selling unique handmade items and enjoy ethnic food from local vendors such as Korma Sutra, Jerusalem Café, Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant and more.

Performers included hip-hop dancers, Bhutanese and Nepali dancers, Trio Atzlan, Sudanese dancers, Mambo World with Miguel DeLeon and free salsa lessons.

Organizers of the event would like to thank the following sponsors and community partners that contributed to the event’s success: Art’s Mexican Products, Ahmed W. Awad, Corona Litho, Dos Mundos, Bob Gutierrez, Koch Bag & Supply Co., Korma Sutra, La Gran D 1340-AM, La Super X 1250-AM, Mark One Electric Co., Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant, Mohammad Pourakbar, and Reyes Media Group.

Donnelly College Mulitcultural Fest Photos View photos of Donnelly's Multicultural Festival



KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 26, 2010 — Donnelly College recently created a new Student Ambassador program, and has selected a group of 15 students to represent the student body during the 2010-11 academic year.

The following students have been named Donnelly College 2010-11 Student Ambassadors: Teresa Vravena-Crellin, Jose J. Banuelas, Chris Cameron, Vesnel Francois, Ada Garcia, Karla Gomez, Danielle Heggie, Miro Heyink, Ivan Medrano, Antonia Quinonez-Galvan, Fernando Ramirez, Yar Riak, Ruth Rosales, Crystal Sudduth, and Jazmin Valverde.

As Ambassadors, these students will assist the College’s Admissions Office in various capacities throughout the academic year, leading campus tours, reaching out to prospective students, participating in open houses and new-student orientations, and, most importantly, representing the Donnelly student body by serving as the face of the College at all recruitment events. In addition, these student leaders will help Donnelly’s Advancement Office with fundraising events and donor visits.

“In college recruiting, there is nothing more powerful than showcasing a current student’s journey to college success,” said Edward Márquez, Donnelly’s Director of Admissions and the staff member spearheading the new ambassador program. “Donnelly students, in particular, have truly inspirational stories and recognize the hurdles that once stood between them and earning a college education. When potential students see someone like themselves finding success in college, it puts their mind at ease and makes them feel like they are not the only ones who have questions and doubts.”

Ambassador Ada Garcia, in particular, is eager to tell her story and assist future Donnelly students in making the decision of continuing their education.

“In high school, I wasn’t planning to go to college,” said Garcia. “After my high school graduation, I watched as some of my friends went off to college. I found myself sitting at home unsure of what to do next. I felt pressure from my family to get a job, but decided to check out Donnelly first because it was close to my home. I enrolled right away and knew that I had made the right decision because so many doors are opening for me that will lead me to my future success.

“As the first person in my family to go to college, I understand the nervousness and doubts that first-generation students have,” adds Garcia. “As a Student Ambassador at Donnelly, I can help answer their questions and, hopefully, make first-generation students feel comfortable and confident about making the decision to go to college.”

The Student Ambassador program has some perks for the students, such as a scholarship, free Donnelly gear, and the opportunity to be first in line during book-buybacks.

“Most importantly, students are acquiring interpersonal and leadership skills that will help them excel in their future career,” said Márquez. “They will also have countless opportunities to network with professionals from throughout the Kansas City area and Midwest region, which may lead to job references and career prospects.”


10:40-11:40 a.m., Thursday, April 22

KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 20, 2010 —Despite preparing for rigorous final exams, writing lengthy final papers, and wrapping up extracurricular activities, Donnelly student Miro Heyink has found time to follow his passion of raising awareness  about something he truly believes in: the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

Heyink, along with Donnelly alum Yahaira Carrillo and other members of the Kansas and Missouri Dream Alliance (KS/MODA), is leading a presentation titled, "Donnelly Dreams: Students Fighting for Justice," focusing on the DREAM Act at 10:40 a.m., Thursday, April 22, on Donnelly's campus on the second floor.

The presentation will discuss specifics about the DREAM Act, showcase a few personal student stories, and provide ways for attendees to get involved.

The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation pioneered by Sen. Orin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., that looks to assist more than 65,000 undocumented high-school graduates each year who can not continue their education.

“These students are those that came into the United States when they were newborn to five years old – an age where the choice is not their own,” said Heyink. “They go through the school system, but soon find that they can not expect to receive financial aid or scholarships to continue into a college education. To make matters worse, these students are under a constant threat of deportation.”

Under the DREAM Act, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a six- year conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.

Heyink, who has dual citizenship in the United States and his home country of Germany, has seen his personal dream come true when he was given residency in the U.S.

"My dream was to receive an education in the U.S., and I believe everyone has the right to be educated," said Heyink. "People often say students today are the future but we are also the present and that's the reality. It is very important for college students to understand that generations of the future are depending on them to make a difference and help them have the opportunity to go to college."
In addition to gathering for presentations like these, KS/MODA meets every Sunday at 6 p.m.  at the Rockhurst University Community Center.

For information on other upcoming events at Donnelly College, visit


KANSAS CITY, Kan., March 19, 2010 — To commemorate Donnelly College’s 60th anniversary year, its Alumni Association has created an Alumni Hall of Fame to honor inspiring alumni who have helped transform their communities. The official Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception is schedule for 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 13, on Donnelly’s campus.

“The Alumni Association was looking for a way to recognize those alumni, living or deceased, who have demonstrated actions expressing both the spirit and mission of Donnelly College,” said Roger Berg, Alumni Relations and Volunteer Coordinator at Donnelly. “Many Donnelly alums have gone on to impact their communities in incredible ways, particularly our first six inductees.”

Many alumni and friends of the College submitted nominations for its first-ever Alumni Hall of Fame ceremony, and a selection committee narrowed this list to the following inductees: Judge Thomas Clark, ̒58, Albert Roos, ̒63, Sister Connie Krstolic, OSB, ̒64, Father Dennis Wait, ̒66, John Mendez, ̒74, and Delia Hernandez, ̒84.

Judge Thomas Clark graduated from Donnelly College in 1958 and went on to earn both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science at the University of Kansas. In 1964, he graduated from KU Law School and was admitted to the Missouri Bar. After practicing criminal and civil law from 1964 to 1987, he was appointed to the Jackson County Circuit Court as a Circuit Court Judge where he served until his retirement in August 2008.

Albert Roos graduated from Donnelly in 1963 then completed his Bachelor of Science in mathematics from St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine College) in 1965. Later, he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Pittsburg State University. Roos has used his knowledge and passion for math by teaching high-school math in Kansas, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts. Presently, he teaches at Lexington High School in Lexington, Mass. For many years his expertise has been tapped as a scorer and rater for the AP statistics exam.

Sister Constance (Connie) Krstolic, OSB, Donnelly Class of 1964, is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica and has more than twenty-five years experience as a Benedictine, teacher, religious educator, vocation/formation minister and spiritual director. She leads retreats and workshops for individuals, religious communities, corporations and institutions both at the monastery in Atchison and across the country. In 1981, she completed her M.A. in Spirituality and Scripture at St. Louis University and earned a Certificate in Spiritual Direction at the School for Spiritual Directors in Pecos, New Mexico.

Father Dennis Wait graduated from Donnelly in 1966, and has been a priest of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas for nearly 40 years. Wait has served the people of God in the Archdiocese as a pastor and assistant pastor in both rural and urban-based parishes. In 1996, he established Sanctuary of Hope, an inner-city, inter-faith retreat center just a few blocks south from Donnelly. The spirit of Sanctuary of Hope mirrors Donnelly’s mission statement in that it “seeks to continue the mission of Jesus Christ in our time by making the love of God tangible in our world.”

John Mendez, Donnelly Class of 1974, went on to earn his Bachelor of Science in public administration in 1976 from St. Mary College. In 1986, he completed his master’s in liberal arts from Baker University. Today, Mendez is widely known throughout the KCK community for his work as a city leader and community activist. He may be most well known for the five years he served on the Board of Commissioners, representing the third district. He has also given back to Donnelly by serving on the Board of Trustees for more than 15 years, and as an adjunct instructor.

Delia Hernandez was the first in her family to graduate from college, completing her associate degree (the first in her family to do so) at Donnelly in 1984. She then completed her four-year degree at the University of St. Mary and began her career at Donnelly in the admissions office. She went on to help open the Kansas Speedway and also directed development activities for affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity. Hernandez continues to give time and talent back to Wyandotte County through many community organizations, including past service on Donnelly’s Board of Trustees, and continues to serve as a community leader and supporter of the College.

For more information on Donnelly’s Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception, contact Roger Berg, the College’s Alumni Relations and Volunteer Coordinator, at
(913) 621-8744 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 15, 2010 — Donnelly College is gearing up for its 2010 Open House, scheduled from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20, in the College’s first-floor Meeting Room. The event is free and open to anyone interested in learning about Donnelly’s academic and student life opportunities, including its bachelor’s and associate degrees, nursing and health care certificate programs, English as a Second Language (ESL) courses, residence hall facilities, and student support resources.

“Donnelly’s 2010 Open House can help anyone looking to take that next step in life,” said Edward Márquez, Donnelly’s Director of Admissions. “Whether you are a high-school senior, recently unemployed, or you are looking to change careers, Donnelly has something to offer you.”

In addition to offering the only baccalaureate degree in Wyandotte County, Donnelly also boasts the lowest hourly tuition and fees of any private college in Kansas or Missouri.

The College maintains an open-admissions policy, which means that any high-school graduate, GED holder or individual meeting appropriate testing standards is eligible to apply.

 “At Donnelly, we understand that people have thousands of questions about college,” said Márquez. “They are wondering what their options are, how they are going to pay for it, and what they can do with their degree. Attending our Open House is a great way to quickly learn about Donnelly’s many offerings and meet some of our incredible students and first-class faculty members. While the event will be informational, our Admissions team promises a fun-filled time for all including free food, and fun giveaways.”

To learn more about Donnelly’s Open House, visit No reservations are required to attend this event. Questions can be directed to the Donnelly College Office of Admissions at (913) 621-8700 or


KANSAS CITY, Kan., March 2, 2010 — Donnelly College celebrated the 2010 TRiO Day on Friday, February 26, and honored Phillip Spencer, President and CEO of Codero, an Internet hosting services company headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas. Spencer, a Marquette University graduate who credits the TRiO program as one of the keys to his success in business, spoke to Donnelly students, faculty and staff members about how he was able to use his rough childhood experiences to find success in the business world.

“I went to tough public schools and was not properly equipped to succeed in college,” said Spencer. “Growing up, several of my friends and family members were in and out of trouble with the law. I remember visiting a person in jail and realizing I had an important choice to make – go to school or end up here.”

Knowing that he would need extra help to succeed in college, Spencer turned to Marquette’s TRiO program.

 “I spend a lot of time in the TRiO room, looking for help in all of my courses,” said Spencer. “The program’s tutors and counselors believed in me and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going.”

With the TRiO program’s resources on his side, Spencer found success in college, graduated and headed out into the workplace.

Today, Spencer has a successful business history, having served as President/ CEO of Everest Connections, Inc., successfully transforming the company from its modest start-up and into an industry leader. Recently, Spencer led the effort to sell Everest to California-based SureWest Communications for $175 million.

“I was able to use my ‘street-smarts’ to stand out among the competition,” Spencer told the Donnelly students in the audience. “Like many of you, I had to work really hard to make it through college. Keep going and don’t be afraid to accept help, such as TRiO services, along the way.”

Prior to his tenure at Everest, Spencer was President/CEO of Milwaukee-based Advantech which offered commercial telecom services throughout the United States. Spencer has also held positions in sales, marketing and business development with companies such as AT&T, Global Crossing, GE Capital and IBM.

“Donnelly students can look to Phil as a true role model – someone who came from humble beginnings, like many of them, and worked towards achieving professional success,” said Lynette Jones, Director of Donnelly’s TRiO programs. “He related to our students and gave them confidence to continue keeping education as a top priority in their lives.”

To learn more about Donnelly’s TRiO program, contact Jones at (913) 621-8712 or

About TRiO at Donnelly
For over 30 years, Donnelly College has hosted TRiO’s Student Support Services (SSS) to help students break down the academic, social and cultural barriers to staying in college, graduating from college, and successfully pursuing 4-year degrees. In addition to free individualize tutoring services, TRiO participants also receive academic advising, career exploration, campus visits, and study skills workshops. Participants are also eligible for the enrollment in the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program, laptop loan program, cultural and social arts events, and supplemental grant aid.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., February 19, 2010 — Throughout the next few months, six Donnelly College students will gain real-world leadership experience through the management of various community projects for One KC Voice , the region’s collaborative citizen engagement initiative housed within the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) building.  One KC Voice works to solicit public input from the community and incorporate it into local decision making .

Last fall, Daniel Cash, One KC Voice coordinator, approached Donnelly President, Dr. Steve LaNasa, to discuss the possibility of identifying and training a group of Spanish-speaking Donnelly students to facilitate a variety of One KC Voice’s upcoming community engagement projects.

“We had been looking for the right group of students to fill these positions for a while, but had been coming up short,” said Cash. “Upon meeting with Dr. LaNasa and learning that Donnelly College is nationally recognized as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), we quickly realized that Donnelly students were a perfect fit for our project needs.”

Sue Laird, Director of Donnelly’s Organizational Leadership baccalaureate program, led faculty in identifying students with Spanish-speaking and leadership skills. Eventually, six students were selected to participate in this collaboration: baccalaureate students Fernando Ramirez, Paola Zapata, Teresa Sepulveda, Evelina Velasquez, and Cristal Perez, as well as associate-degree student and president of the College’s Organization of Student Leaders, Karla Gomez.
Through two different training sessions, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, and Saturday, Feb. 27, on Donnelly’s campus, students will become certified meeting facilitators and lead meetings for various upcoming projects as part of the training process.

“This is a very exciting opportunity for these students,” said Laird. “Not only will they be provided the chance to network with leaders and professionals throughout the Kansas City area, but they will also be given a very marketable skill in today’s workforce as they are trained to facilitate meetings. In addition, they will be advancing the KCK community.”

The students’ first project involves MARC’s Metropolitan Council on Early Learning, a program that focuses on developing and implementing early learning to support families and prepare children for success in school.

“Through this particular project, these six Donnelly students will lead meetings and hold purposeful discussions with parents who have decided against taking their children to Head Start,” said Cash. “Our goal is to promote school readiness and provide these parents with information that will help them understand the vital role early learning plays in their children’s educational success.”

Another project will involve the Central Avenue Betterment Association (CABA). “This particular project will specifically engage the Spanish-speaking Latino community,” said Cash. “Through facilitating community meetings, the Donnelly students will help us as we ask local Latinos to identify ways of improving the quality of life in the urban corridor.”

“To achieve so much real-world leadership experience while still in college is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Laird. “We are excited to see how much they will accomplish.”

About One KC Voice
One KC Voice brings citizens together through a regional Citizen Engagement Network. Input techniques include community conversations, workshops, online communities, blog-based discussions and surveys. Each of our public participation processes is designed and formatted specifically for individual topics. The scale of our projects can range from the entire Kansas City region to a single municipality or neighborhood. We're housed at the Mid-America Regional Council, so we have unparalleled access to research data and experts on a variety of topics. Learn more at



KANSAS CITY, Kan., February 15, 2010 — Although it is early in the Spring 2010 semester, Donnelly College is asking its students to look ahead and begin planning for their 2010-11 academic year. To help them plan early, the College has partnered with the University of Kansas’ Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) to offer free one-on-one FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) assistance to students every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Under the umbrella of the Federal TRIO Programs, the EOC is designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically low-income and first-generation college students, with a purpose of helping them access postsecondary educational opportunities.

“Nearly 80 percent of Donnelly’s students come from low-income backgrounds and are the first in their family to attend college – a rate more than twice as high as in four-year institutions nationally,” said Belinda Ogan, Donnelly’s Director of Financial Aid. “These are exactly the groups of students the EOC serves. Their mission ties closely with Donnelly’s mission of serving those who might not otherwise be served in higher education.

“With these similarities, our partnership is a perfect fit. Both are always focused on finding new ways to increase college access and success.”

In addition to FAFSA assistance, the EOC also helps Donnelly students in their scholarship search.

“We want students to realize that there is a lot of money out there to help them achieve their educational goals,” said Gbaike Ajayi, advisor with KU’s Educational Opportunity Center. “With scholarships, it is important to start early and look often.”

“Donnelly takes aggressive measures to help our students access a college education,” said Ogan. “Our aim at Donnelly is to graduate students with little or no student loan debt. When it comes to FAFSA and scholarship applications, we want students to realize that procrastination could take thousands of dollars in financial aid out of their pockets. We encourage them to visit with an EOC advisor and be proactive in securing their financial aid for next year.”

“We know the financial aid process can be overwhelming and stressful for students,” said Ajayi. “Our hope is that through our services, they will understand the value of acting early.”

EOC services are available in Room 211 on Donnelly’s campus each Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call an EOC advisor at (913) 709-6906.

For more information on KU’s Educational Opportunity Center, visit



KANSAS CITY, Kan., February 10, 2010 — Despite the many miles between Kansas City and Haiti, three Donnelly College students felt the effects of the January 12 earthquake.

When the monstrous earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, it crippled Port-au-Prince, the hometown of Donnelly baccalaureate student and co-founder of the Haitian Community Center of the Midwest Vesnel Francois.

“I saw the images of the earthquake on the news,” said Francois. “Immediately, I contacted my family but did not get a reply. Time stood still, my mind raced and I began to panic.”

After three long days, Francois’ family was able to contact him and he learned that his mother and brothers had survived the earthquake. Unfortunately, three of his closest cousins had not been so lucky.

“When I asked my mother what things are like in Haiti, she told me ‘it is like the end of time,’” said Francois. “I am just so grateful my mother and brothers are alive. So many were lost.

“The earthquake adds to a laundry list of issues that my country is struggling to recover from,” he added. “As part of the Haitian Community Center of the Midwest, we are calling every individual and organization in the region to help in any way possible. This is a critical moment in Haitian history.”

Many organizations have responded to this call, including Donnelly College. The College is currently organizing a relief effort that will send necessary items and funds directly to a small orphanage in the small village of Fondwa, Haiti, located in the mountains south of Port-au-Prince.

Donnelly learned of this devastated orphanage through two students within its English as a Second Language program who, like Francois, have felt the devastation of the earthquake – Sisters of St. Anthony of Fondwa, Myrlande Moise and Melicia Singelus.

“The orphanage was home to 10 Sisters of St. Anthony and approximately 65 orphans at the time of the quake,” said Sister Melicia. “The earthquake took one of our Sisters – Sister Odile– and an infant orphan named Jude. Our entire village was destroyed, which included a church, orphanage, school, guest center, health clinic, the Sisters’ convent, and all seven buildings within the University of Fondwa.”

The presidents of Donnelly’s student organizations and Father John Melnick, SSA, (religious studies instructor and Director of Donnelly’s Campus Ministry program), along with various faculty members, Francios, Sister Myrlande and Sister Melicia, have come together to lead the College’s relief effort to provide necessary supplies and raise money for the orphanage.

“Donnelly has been provided with an amazing opportunity to assist in Haiti relief efforts,” said Father Melnick. “Through the Sisters of St. Anthony, we can provide direct assistance to this orphanage and know exactly where the money and supplies will be used. No administration fees, no questions, just direct money to those who need it badly.”

Francois plans to help by traveling to Port-au-Prince in the coming months with a humanitarian group. “There is so much we can all do, whether it is through monetary contributions or giving of time and energy,” he said. “With this catastrophe behind us, we now need to look ahead and focus on rebuilding Haiti.”

If you are interested in helping the Sisters of St. Anthony of Fondwa Orphanage and contributing to Donnelly’s relief effort, please send donations to Father John Melnick, Donnelly College, 608 N. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102. For more information, contact Father Melnick directly at (913) 621-8792 or



KANSAS CITY, Kan, Jan. 22, 2010 — Donnelly College’s Associate Dean of Preparatory Education, Dr. Teresa Kriley, has been nominated as candidate for Vice President of the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE).

NADE anticipates announcing its final officer slate in the coming week.

Kriley, who was appointed to her position at Donnelly last fall, has transformed the College’s preparatory education program in recent years. More than 75 percent of incoming Donnelly students require one or more classes in remedial English, math, writing or reading – a rate much higher than the national average.

Kriley spearheaded the program’s redesign, giving it a more intensive format, providing increased opportunities for students to test out between levels, and requiring weekly individual advising sessions for each student.

“Should I obtain the Vice President position, my focus will be on how the field of developmental education can benefit greatly from a focus on qualitative research,” said Kriley. “Students are our best resource  to figuring out what is working and what isn’t. They can help us understand why and how program components are successful.

“I believe that NADE’s focus on qualitative research projects will result in a proliferation of important data that will indicate needed reform and innovation and “exemplary models of practice” as is one of our goals.”

Donnelly’s restructured preparatory education program piloted in Fall 2008, and results were remarkable. Retention rates between the semesters have doubled and are more than 50 percent higher than the national average for these preparatory students. In addition, retention rates throughout the semester grew.

Within her doctoral program and dissertation, Kriley’s focus was on developmental/preparatory education. Her dissertation analyzed the evolution of Donnelly’s preparatory program, specifically looking at the changes made during the restructuring.

“I was able to look closely at the information gathered during my dissertation process and apply it to improve best practices here at Donnelly,”said Kriley. “My goal is to put Donnelly on the track toward becoming a national model for serving under-prepared students for the rigors of college studies.”


KANSAS CITY, Kan., January 6, 2010 — Donnelly College is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a $485,000 challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to advance the College’s humanities department. The grant, which requires Donnelly to raise $970,000, will create three endowment funds totaling $1.34 million: Philosophy/Ethics Faculty Endowment, Sister Jerome Keeler Distinguished Lecture Series Endowment, and a Humanities Library Acquisitions Endowment.

“These NEH funds and humanities endowments will help ensure our general education program remains high-quality and highly integrated,” said Dr. Steve LaNasa, President of Donnelly. “Our mission to serve students who largely go underserved in higher education requires that we continuously update and grow our campus resources. This grant allows us to do just that.

“Most importantly, the help in funding a humanities instructor will further our faculty’s ongoing efforts to update the general curriculum and promote relevance of coursework to key issues in today’s society.”

On top of funding a humanities faculty position, this grant will help fund a distinguished lecture series. The Sister Jerome Keeler Distinguished Lecture Series, named after the College’s beloved founder, will bring external experts to the College’s campus to present topics relevant to the themes, issues and questions woven throughout Donnelly’s humanities and general education curriculums. This lecture series will build off of the College’s annual Poetry Festival event, which brought literary experts to campus and allowed Donnelly faculty and student authors to engage in dialogue and sharing.

Finally, a portion of the funds will establish a specific endowment to support library acquisitions, including two online research database services — a World History collection and Religion and Philosophy collection — and expand the Donnelly Library’s literature collection. Remaining funds will be used to install instructional technology into humanities classrooms. 

“Each component of this project provides students with a variety of benefits and humanities-related experiences in and out of the classroom, each with a purpose of encouraging student exploration and critical thinking,” said Dr. David Michael-Allen, English instructor at Donnelly and Project Director of this NEH challenge grant. “Our goal is to lead students to the realization that the humanities offer complex avenues to explore issues of today.”

If you are interested in helping Donnelly meet the challenge grant, donations may be sent to Emily Buckley, Donnelly’s Director of Development, at 608 North 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102. Inquiries or questions regarding the grant should also be directed to Buckley at (913) 621-8731 or


 KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 20, 2009 — Many of those who have contributed to the success of Donnelly throughout the past year gathered at the College’s annual donor recognition event, Gratia, on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 19.

Board members, donors, faculty and staff members were recognized for their contributions with a reception, food and short program.

“It’s very important to host Gratia annually with the express intent to recognize and celebrate all the people who make our mission possible,” said Emily Buckley, Director of Development at Donnelly. “Providing a private, Catholic education in the format that we do requires significant investment from so many individuals to make it work – donors, volunteers, faculty and staff.  Holding Gratia at this time of year provides the perfect opportunity to highlight our gratitude and bring the community of Donnelly supporters together.  Most importantly, Gratia also provides us with an opportunity to showcase our phenomenal students and growing campus.”

The event began with a Thanksgiving prayer from Sister Rita Killackey, OSB, Donnelly Trustee. Next, attendees enjoyed an assortment of appetizers, fresh lemonade and wine.

Bob Bartunek, Chair-Elect of the Board, gave thanks to all of this year’s donors. “Many have stepped up during the economic turndown  and recognize the important role Donnelly College plays in this community,” said Bartunek. “There are some wonderful things happening here, particularly during this 60th anniversary year. We also recognized three individuals who have had a significant impact on the College: Father Michael Hermes, John Mendez and Dr. Kevin Kelley.”

Father Hermes, current President of Bishop Ward High School, retired from the College’s Board of Trustees this year after serving as a trustee for 13 years. Throughout his tenure, he provided continued guidance in strategic decision making on behalf of Donnelly, and also served as chaplain for the Donnelly Soccer Club.

John Mendez, current Commissioner At-Large for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, also retired after serving on the Board of Trustees for more than 20 years. Mendez, a member of Donnelly’s Class of 1974, is also a long-time Donnelly faculty member.

Finally, Dr. Kevin Kelley was honored for his six years of service to Donnelly as the College’s former Vice President and Dean of Instruction. Kelley, who retired in early November, also served as Donnelly’s Interim President from 2007-08.

Each received a gift from the Donnelly community to recognize their unwavering contribution to the College.

To learn about how you can give to Donnelly, click here or contact Emily Buckley, Director of Development, at (913) 621-8731.


 KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 18, 2009 — On Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, Donnelly College entered into an articulation agreement with Hong Kong’s Faith Based Institute of Continuing Education (FBICE), launching an innovative transfer program designed to provide Hong Kong students with the opportunity to reduce their cost of education while completing a high-quality bachelor’s degree at Donnelly College.

The agreement was initiated by Donnelly’s Dean of International Students, Cyrus Shadfar, and signed by Donnelly College’s President, Dr. Steve LaNasa, and the President of FBICE, Edward Lau.

“Donnelly partners well with our FBICE colleges,” said Lau. “This agreement will allow our students to obtain their degree affordably and in a timely manner while enhancing their education by studying abroad in the United States. It serves as a foundation for Donnelly’s and FBICE’s joint commitment to serve higher education needs in our communities.”

Lau and Shadfar first discussed a possible partnership between Donnelly and FBICE colleges during Shadfar’s travels to Hong Kong last spring. These initial discussions generated the articulation agreement, allowing students to begin college studies in their homeland of Hong Kong and finish the final two semesters at Donnelly College.

“Donnelly is always looking for new ways to continue its mission and is once again pioneering a new program in the region,” said Shadfar. “While continuing to focus on increasing our local recruitment efforts, we also want to expand and boost our international recruitment as well. There are many underserved students in this world, and Donnelly is reaching out to those who have the dream of continuing their education and studying in the U.S., but may be uncertain of how to make this a reality.”

Students who have completed the prescribed curriculum in Hong Kong will have all of these courses accepted toward Donnelly’s Bachelor’s of Organizational Leadership degree.

With the articulation agreement signed on Nov. 16, the team will continue to develop the program’s curriculum and recruitment plan in the coming months. Their goal is to enroll a handful of students in the first year, with hopes to eventually increase enrollment to 40 transfer students per year.

“Having a college degree is a ticket to a better future,” said Lau. “A degree paired with international experience gives students an edge over other professionals in the business world.”

To learn more about the agreement between Donnelly and FBICE, contact Cyrus Shadfar at (913) 621-8720. Visit Donnelly College on the Web at



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 27, 2009 — Nearly 20 Donnelly College students, faculty and staff will participate in an online mentoring program, guiding local high-school students through the trials and tribulations of the college search and application process.

This e-mentoring program is run through a local organization called YouthFriends which uses an innovative Web-based mentoring tool called MentorMail. Through MentorMail, mentors and students send an e-mail once a week discussing anything surrounding the topic of higher education.

Donnelly College signed on to the program to allow their baccalaureate students, as well as other students, faculty and staff, the opportunity to mentor a high-school student.

"Donnelly’s students and staff e-mentoring Kansas City, Kansas, high-school students is a perfect fit,” said Sandi Grimm, Director of Special Projects and Outreach for YouthFriends. “The e-mentors can understand and relate to many of the challenges that their mentees confront on a daily basis. It is more relevant to these high-school students to be mentored by people who know their community."

Betsy Gran, Service Learning Representative and Preparatory Education Program Assistant at Donnelly College, connected Donnelly with YouthFriends.

“Mentoring is so valuable to both the mentor and the mentee,” said Gran. “E-mentoring is especially beneficial when working with teens because it is seen as easy and fun rather than a chore. Just a quick, ten-minute e-mail once a week.”

All of the Kansas City, Kansas, public high-schools have some sort of MentorMail project going on. One Washington High School instructor has already seen the effects e-mentoring can have on high-school students.

“I had a class participate in the MentorMail program last year,” said Gayle Kebodeaux, chemistry instructor at Washington High School.  “The program positively changed the direction of several of the students in that class.

"In particular, Donnelly's participation in the e-mentoring program will be incredibly beneficial to my students because it gives them an opportunity to ask questions about the college process – the best way to increase educational access in my opinion. By providing KCK high-school students with a college mentor, we are showing them that college is an accessible next step in their education and instilling in them the importance of successfully finishing high school."

Donnelly’s e-mentoring program is scheduled to kick-off at the end of October and run through April 2010. MentorMail is highly monitored to ensure that both the students and mentors have an easy, safe and worthwhile experience.

To get involved in Donnelly’s YouthFriends MentorMail program, contact Betsy Gran at

To learn more about YouthFriends, visit or contact them at (816) 268-3343.

Register now at

KANSAS CITY, Kan., November 3, 2009 — Donnelly College will host its Fourth Annual Donnelly Dash on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, on its campus at 608 North 18th Street in Kansas City, Kan. Registration opens at 8 a.m., with the 5K beginning at 9 a.m.

The Dash starts and ends on Donnelly’s campus then winds throughout the surrounding neighborhoods in the heart of KCK. Participants are encouraged to clock their fastest time ever on a route that is almost entirely downhill or on flat, paved roads.

Registration before the event day is just $10 ($5 for Donnelly students). Day-of registration is $15. This price includes the participants registration fee, a long-sleeved t-shirt, drawstring goodie bag and free hot, healthy breakfast.

“Whether you’re a competitive runner or looking for a casual stroll, the Dash will be a good time for all,” said Eliza Fitzpatrick, Donnelly Dash Coordinator. “We hope to see students, faculty, staff, community members and families out there on Saturday showing their support!”

The Dash also offers team registration options. A team of five-nine participants costs only $8 per person; a team of ten or more costs a flat rate of $75.

“The weather forecast could not be better – high sixties and sunny!” said Fitzpatrick. “It will be a great way to start the weekend.”

Proceeds for the Dash will go toward the College’s annual scholarship fund, as well as the College’s Healthy Student Task Force student group. 

For more information or to register for this year’s 5K Dash, visit


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 30, 2009 — Donnelly College hosted its Third Annual Scholarship Dinner honoring the Archbishops of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 26. This year’s dinner raised more than $126,000 in scholarships for Donnelly students, making it the most successful Scholarship Dinner thus far.

More than 340 guests attended the event, held at the Reardon Convention Center in downtown Kansas City, Kan., including nearly 50 Donnelly students.

The dinner celebrated Donnelly’s 60 years of taking “The Road Less Traveled” and honored the Archbishops of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas (Bishop George J. Donnelly and Archbishops Edward J. Hunkeler, Ignatius J. Strecker, James P. Keleher and Joseph F. Naumann) for their consistent support in helping the College reach this milestone year. Proceeds from the dinner created an Endowed Scholarship in the Archbishops’ names, and provided support to Donnelly’s annual fund.

“The five bishops of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas have each contributed to the continued success of Donnelly,” said Monsignor Thomas Tank, Honorary Chair of Donnelly’s Scholarship Dinner and pastor at Church of the Ascension in Overland Park, Kan. “For 60 years, Donnelly, with the support of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, has made a private college education available to those living in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas. It is through the scholarships raised at the annual dinner that many students are able to continue their education and achieve academic, professional and personal success.”

Donnelly students, now totaling more than 650 each semester, benefit greatly from the high levels of scholarship and financial aid options available to them at the College. Despite having the lowest hourly tuition and fees in Kansas or Missouri, ninety-two percent of Donnelly students utilized financial aid to pay for some of their college.

The Scholarship Dinner is an important part of Donnelly’s Annual Scholarship program, which has a goal to raise $350,000 to assist nearly 465 students in reaching their potential through a college education.

“For most students, cost is what stands between them and their college education,” said Robert Bartunek, Scholarship Dinner Chairman, Donnelly Trustee and lawyer at Seigfreid Bingham Levy Selzer & Gee. “Donnelly’s Scholarship Dinner is the one time each year where everyone comes together to provide scholarship dollars directly to our students, changing their lives and the lives of future generations.”

Co-emcees for the event were Donnelly alumna and community activist Delia Hernandez and FOX4-TV’s Chief Meteorologist Mike Thompson.

Hernandez, Class of 1984, has remained strongly connected to Donnelly since her graduation, volunteering her time to serve on Donnelly’s Board of Trustees and taking on an administrative role within the College for a few years.

In addition to the dinner’s emcee-duo, the night included a drawing and video presentation.

Visit to view photos from this year’s dinner and to stay up-to-date on next year’s event, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010.

The dinner also kicked off a series of 60th anniversary events at Donnelly. Please visit the College’s Web site at for information on upcoming speakers, a 5K Run/Walk, Multicultural Fair and more!



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 20, 2009 — Donnelly’s Organization of Student Leaders (OSL) is organizing a Fall 2009 Spirit Week Oct. 26-29 that includes themed spirit days and a college-wide pep rally!

Spirit Week kicks off on Monday, Oct. 26, with “Pajama Day.” Tuesday is “Represent Your Team Day,” where the Donnelly community is encouraged to wear apparel that represents their favorite sports team. On “Way Back Wednesday,” faculty, staff and students are asked to dress in attire from the 1980s, 70s, 60s or further back. Finally, Thursday represents “Donnelly Day” where everyone is asked to wear Donnelly gear or red.

Also on Thursday, all students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in a pep rally to cheer on the DC Soccer Clubs. The pep rally will begin at 10:40 a.m. in the Meeting Room. OSL is charging an entry fee of $1 or two canned goods. Barbecue lunch will also be on sale.

**The pep rally has been rescheduled for Thursday, November 5th, 10:40 a.m.

Please support Donnelly school pride by participating in this year’s Spirit Week festivities!


KANSAS CITY, Kan, Oct. 14, 2009 — As part of Donnelly College’s 60th Anniversary Event Series, Kansas City, Kansas, community leader Richard Mabion will be speaking at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, in the College’s first floor Meeting Room.

Mabion will speak on the need to involve people of color in creating a sustainable local community, as well as discuss different events from the 1960s through today that relate to this topic.

“As child of the sixties, I endured the civil rights movement, the Vietnam conflict, and other events that I feel have rendered people of color irrelevant,” said Mabion. “My presentation will discuss how we can change this and how people need to stand up and lead others towards environmental sustainability.”

His passion for increasing the involvement of Kansas City’s diverse ethnicities in reaching this goal sustainability is something he has been working on throughout this career.

“Our country’s environmental movement will fail without the involvement of people of color in its leadership,” said Mabion.  

This event is free and open to the public. Call (913) 621-8707 with any questions about this event or other 60th Anniversary events throughout Donnelly’s 2009-10 academic year.

Please visit the College’s Web site at for information on upcoming events such as the Donnelly Dash 5K Run/Walk, Multicultural Fair, Arts in the Heart of KC, and more!


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 2, 2009 —Graduates of Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) now have direct access to a four-year degree program without having to leave Wyandotte County.

Recently, KCKCC and Donnelly College entered into an articulation agreement designed to expand educational opportunities for students attending KCKCC. The agreement, called the Associate to Bachelor’s Completion (ABC) program, will allow students to seamlessly transition their credit hours from KCKCC and into Donnelly’s bachelor’s degree completion program.

“It’s a significant option for our students who want to complete a bachelor’s degree locally,” said Charles Wilson, Ph.D., Dean of Social and Behavioral Science at KCKCC who was a catalyst in helping develop the articulation agreement.

“I think it will allow for a lot of our students at the associate-science level to take their skills and training in a variety of career fields and move right into Donnelly’s program at the bachelor’s level,” he said. “This will create all kinds of opportunities for leadership and advancement.”

As a former Donnelly instructor for more than 12 years, Wilson is familiar with Donnelly’s campus and growing programming options. In addition to his instructional duties at Donnelly, Wilson also took on the role of Director of the Career Placement Center and was instrumental in the creation of the College’s Continuing Education program.

Donnelly’s Vice President and Dean of Instruction, Kevin Kelley, Ph.D., also had an active role in the development of the Associate to Bachelor’s Completion program agreement.
“As a result of our academic quality and the strong need for bachelor’s degrees based in Wyandotte County, our four-year program is growing quickly,” said Kelley. “With the accommodating course schedules, small class sizes, close proximity and substantial availability of financial support, our program will appeal to many KCKCC students.”

Steve LaNasa, Ph.D., President of Donnelly College, and Thomas Burke, Ph.D., President of KCKCC signed the agreement in August, putting it into effect this fall.

Donnelly has similar agreements with Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and Metropolitan Community Colleges.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 31, 2009 — Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kan., will host a panel discussion on nuclear disarmament on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 10:40 to 11:40 a.m. in the College’s 7th-floor library located at 608 North 18th Street.

The presentation, titled “KC: Building Bombs or Pursuing Peace?,” will provide attendees with information about the effects of nuclear warfare. The speakers will also discuss the local plant that produces non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons.

A panel of four speakers will address issues surrounding the topic. Speakers include Rev. John Melnick, S.S.A., Religious Studies Instructor at Donnelly College, Maurice Copeland, former employee at the local plant, Sister Therese Bangert, SCL, and Sister Barbara McCracken, OSB.

 In addition, a video interviewing threeHiroshima, atomic-bomb survivors will be shown.

Thirty graphic posters, provided by the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, are on display from now until Tuesday, Sept. 15, highlighting the nuclear weapons industry, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.

The event is sponsored by PeaceWorks KC, an organization dedicated to ending the use of military power to achieve objectives when viable alternatives are available, and the Kansas City Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Henry and Jane Stoever by phone at (913) 206-4088 or e-mail at


KANSAS CITY, Kan., July 27, 2009 — While most high-school students are spending their summer sleeping in and relaxing at the pool, 25 local high-school students chose to wake up early and spend their summer days learning about career opportunities in fields such as engineering, construction, technology and law. With a big interest in keeping their minds stimulated, and a small stipend, these unique students decided to challenge themselves by participating in Donnelly College’s Transportation, Math and Science Academy (TMaSA).

Donnelly’s TMaSA program was a result of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) search for a Summer Transportation Institute (STI).

“Our mission at KDOT is to address the need for a diverse workforce and to create an awareness of the career choices and opportunities that exists in the transportation industry,” said Debra Hepp, Program Consultant in KDOT’s Office of Civil Rights. “We felt that Donnelly was an excellent choice due to its location and connection to a diverse community and their mission of encouraging high-school students to consider post-secondary education.”

Donnelly faculty wrote the proposed grant and received approval for the program in April. Nearly 90 students from around the Kansas City, Kansas, area applied for one of the 25 spots available. Participants were selected based on their extracurricular activities, career and academic interests, as well as an essay submitted to Donnelly’s selection committee.

In addition to educating students about potential career opportunities within the transportation industry, this faculty-led program included four hands-on field trips. The first of these was a visit to the General Motors Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas. Here, students were able to witness a vehicle being made and tested. Next, the group traveled south to the Johnson County Executive Airport where they met the chief pilot of KMBC-TV’s NewsChopper 9, Johnny Rowlands.

The group also visited the Airline History Museum located at the historic Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Mo. Finally, students paid a visit to the KDOT offices in Topeka, Kan., where they toured the building, watched a railroad safety presentation and viewed current construction maps and plans.

Students seemed pleased with the overall programming, specifically the field trips and final project.

“I would definitely recommend Donnelly’s program to other high-school students,” said Jermaine Rhone, a senior at Schlagle High School in KCK. “I plan to eventually earn my bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, so TMaSA gave me a way to sharpen some of these skills. The best part of the program was our final project where we were asked to follow specific instructions on how to build a small, robotic car. We also designed a track out of recyclable materials and had to program the car to drive on the track – it was really interesting.”

Donnelly faculty and staff were proud of the creativity shown and the progress made by each student throughout the month-long program.

“We wanted to create a program that high-school students would be interested in,” said Donette Alonzo, Senior Academic Counselor and TMaSA Program Coordinator at Donnelly. “After speaking to the students and listening to their final group presentations, I think we accomplished that.”

Hepp and Alonzo are hopeful the program will receive funding next year as well, ideally for two four-week programs – one in June and one in July – each with 25 participant spots.

To learn more about Donnelly’s 2009 TMaSA program, visit


Donnelly's Lansing Prison Program featured in National Catholic Register

Education Behind Bars
Catholic College Contributes to Reducing Recidivism
BY ANTHONY FLOTT, National Catholic Register

KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 24, 2009 — Like other college students, James Shehan and Tuan Huynh have dreams of making a difference. Shehan hopes to mentor troubled youth and keep them off the streets. Huynh wants to become a biblical counselor.

Unlike other college students, Shehan and Huynh are convicted murderers.

Both are serving life sentences at Lansing Correctional Facility in Kansas. But thanks to Donnelly College, a small Catholic liberal arts college in Kansas City, Kan., Shehan, Huynh and other inmates are getting a shot at redemption through education.

“There are some of us trying to make changes in our lives,” says Shehan, serving his 24th year. “We know we’ve done wrong. We’re trying to rectify the situation.

“For all my life I’d just been a quitter, only did things halfway. This was my chance to knuckle down and complete something for once in my life.”

Donnelly began the associate degree program in Lansing in 2001. And now it has help. In February, Donnelly announced that the U.S. Department of Justice provided it a $223,000 grant to help with its education of 50-plus inmates each year. The grant, spearheaded by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., is tied to a congressional effort to cut recidivism rates in half within five years.

“Donnelly’s Lansing program can serve as a model for other prisons,” Brownback said in a release. “People in prison need to do time for their crime, but they are not without redemption.”

Mission of Service
Postsecondary correctional education once was commonplace. That changed radically in 1994, notes a January report by the Correctional Association of New York, when President Bill Clinton signed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. Among other things, it prohibited awarding Pell Grants to federal or state inmates. Nearly all of the nation’s 350 postsecondary correctional education programs closed — despite the various benefits of its programs. Donnelly points to federal analyses indicating that higher education in prisons yields at least $2 in public savings for every dollar spent. Recidivism also is reduced.
Yet, Donnelly estimates, today it is one of less than a dozen U.S. colleges with a prison presence.

Ken Gibson, Donnelly president emeritus, founder and coordinator of the Lansing program, said funding was the greatest obstacle to initiating the program. Costs are kept minimal in part due to the partnership with and in-kind contributions provided by the Lansing facility. Initially, other expenses were covered in thirds, split among inmates who work (or their families), participating employers and Donnelly. But employers later discontinued reimbursements, leaving Donnelly to cover two-thirds of the expenses.

“One miracle was getting the prison accredited as a college campus,” said Gibson. “The second miracle was keeping the doors open. When employers backed out, we thought we were finished. But we were able to talk to some more people and get some more help.”
The grant will support program operations for the next three years. Gibson said that will allow the college to raise funds for a sustaining endowment.

Donnelly offers Lansing inmates one of three associate degrees with an emphasis on business courses. There’s a range of other classes, too.

Shehan, a 2005 Donnelly alumnus, has taken music appreciation, Greek and Roman mythology and American history. Huynh, a 31-year-old inmate serving a life sentence for murder committed when he was 18, has taken 12 classes, including income tax and physical science this past semester. He is eligible for parole in May 2011.

About 20 faculty members have taught at the prison. Most classes are held in medium security and can be broadcast to prisoners in the maximum and minimum facilities.

“The inmates know that education is a way for them to get out of prison. It’s always a help with the parole board,” said Gibson. “If they get the degree, it gives them the opportunity once they get out to get a decent job to stay out of prison.”

Shehan is working toward a bachelor’s degree in child or adolescent psychology, taking distance classes through Louisiana State University — a challenge, given the prison’s lack of a modern library and Internet connectivity. If he gets out, he hopes to turn others from their errant ways.

Does the program work? Donnelly points out that of the more than 325 inmates who have taken classes, 14 have earned associate degrees. Of the 155 former students who have been released from prison, just three have been reconvicted of another crime and returned to prison. According to a 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics report that Donnelly cites, 25% of inmates nationally are resentenced to prison for a new crime within three years of release.
One criminal justice researcher, though, says reducing recidivism takes more than just education.

T. Hank Robinson is a professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Juvenile Justice Institute, which conducted the “Recidivism Reduction Treatment Center Study” that identified five different factors affecting recidivism: education/employment, substance abuse, mental health, housing and support of social networks.

“The more stable a person is the less likely it is that they’re going to commit crimes or get in trouble,” said Robinson.

Huynh agrees. “A guy can earn a master’s, a bachelor’s, a low-level associate’s, but if he doesn’t apply what he learned,” he said, “education is irrelevant. If he prides himself with what he has learned, then it’s effective.”

Then why is Donnelly’s program so successful?

“It really may not be their increased ability to read or write or to do plumbing,” said Robinson. “It may be all the life skills and all the life organizational techniques and tools that people pick up when they go through the program.”

Gibson indicates that Donnelly’s program does go beyond academics. As a faith-based college, he notes, Donnelly talks “to them about the importance of faith. It’s the same kind of position they take in a 12-step program. You have to have a higher being that helps you out, and you can’t do it by yourself.”

Click here to view the original article.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 14, 2009 — Donnelly College is pleased to announce Senator Sam Brownback as the keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony scheduled for 4:00 p.m., Saturday, May 16, at the Jack Reardon Convention Center in Kansas City, Kan.

Senator Brownback has supported Donnelly through many endeavors, recently helping the College secure a Department of Justice grant for its college degree program at Lansing Correctional Facility.

“We are honored to have Senator Brownback share in this year’s celebration with our Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students, and families and friends of our graduates,” said Donnelly’s president, Steve LaNasa. “Graduations are always a momentous occasion, but Donnelly’s are especially moving. Each year, nearly 90 percent of our graduates tend to be first-generation students, making our commencement exercises a tremendous celebration for students and family alike, as well as for our entire community.”

Donnelly expects 34 graduates to be earning a mix of associate and bachelor’s degrees, marking the second graduating class for the College’s bachelor’s degree program.

In addition to Senator Brownback, George Breidenthal, a Donnelly alumnus, will be speaking as the College’s Board of Trustees President.

“As a Donnelly graduate myself, I am looking forward to speaking to the Class of 2009 and, hopefully, giving them some words of inspiration,” said Breidenthal. “Graduation is a truly transforming moment in the lives of our students particularly because many of them never thought they could obtain a college degree. I was one of them earlier in my life, and have Donnelly to thank for many of the successes I’ve experienced.”

Two representatives from this year’s graduating class will also be speaking – Rachel Leonard and David Stanley. Leonard is graduating with her Associate of Arts degree and is currently enrolled in summer courses leading to a bachelor’s degree at the University of Missouri Kansas City. From there, she plans to attend Harvard Law School and, eventually, hopes to become a judge.

“As a student who is determined to make an impact on my instructors and fellow classmates, I am truly honored to have been selected as one of this year’s commencement speakers,” said Leonard. “My mother, husband and four children are all so proud of me and plan to be in attendance on Saturday.”

David Stanley will be graduating from Donnelly with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. Stanley is already putting his degree to work as a founder of Joshua Tent, an urban ministry church that reaches out to underprivileged youth in the urban core of Kansas City, Kan.

"I am proud to speak at this year’s graduation ceremony, not just because I am the only one in my family to receive a college degree, but also because I have received it from such a wonderful institution,” said Stanley. “My experiences at Donnelly were life-changing and I am forever grateful to everyone who has compassionately invested so much in me and in all of my peers throughout the past four years."

These speakers will be joined in the graduation ceremony by Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, as well as Trustees of the college and key members from the Alumni Association.

The graduation event is free and open to friends and families, as well as community members interested in hearing our speakers.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., May 1, 2009 — Realizing the importance of online accessibility, Donnelly College has created profiles on two of the most popular social networking sites – Facebook and Twitter. The College plans to use these sites as additional means of communication to better connect their students, faculty, staff and community.

With more than 30,000 alumni throughout the world, Facebook and Twitter help break down the communication barriers between the Alumni Association and Donnelly alumni. “Facebook has become a great way for us to reach out to alumni, particularly recent graduates,” said Roger Berg, Donnelly’s Alumni Relations Coordinator. “These sites provide an easy way for them to stay in touch with their former classmates and keep them up-to-date with campus news and events.”

The Facebook alumni group, Donnelly College Alumni Association, currently has 65 members. In addition to this group, the College also created a “fanpage.” Unlike the typical Facebook page, fanpages are visible to unregistered people and are indexed.

In addition to the efforts on Facebook, Donnelly has recognized Twitter as another communication resource.

“Twitter will give Donnelly a new platform, allowing us to both strengthen and build our network,” said Jennifer Price, Marketing Coordinator for Donnelly. “Donnelly has been serving the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas for nearly 60 years, yet many in the Kansas City metro don’t know about us. These sites will allow the College to become more visible for those wanting to learn more about us at a glance.”

Within a few weeks, Donnelly has already acquired more than 30 fans on their Facebook fanpage.

The College’s Twitter account, found at, is fairly new, with only five “followers” thus far.

To become a Donnelly College follower on Twitter, simply visit and click the “Join today!” button at the top of the page.

To join either of the Donnelly Facebook groups, simply go to the Facebook homepage,, and create your own account. Once you’ve done this, simply type “Donnelly College” into the search bar and join.

If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Price at (913) 621-8707 or

Donnelly College Hosts annual Multicultural Fair; more than 30 regions represented

KANSAS CITY, Kan., April 21, 2009 — Students at Donnelly College were busy preparing for the annual Multicultural Fair, scheduled from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Friday, April 24. More than 30 countries and regions were represented at booths throughout the College’s first floor meeting room. The event was free and open to the public.

With 86 percent of its student population from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, Donnelly College provides the perfect setting for a Multicultural Fair unlike any other in the Kansas City area.

“The Multicultural Fair is a great way to showcase our international student population, as well as our local students’ traditions, food and music,” said Betsy Gran, International Admissions Representative at Donnelly. “By showing off the different countries represented here, Donnelly College is sharing the richness of human experience with its community while serving as a wonderful reminder of the breadth of Donnelly’s impact on Kansas City.”

Students set up and operated their particular booths, serving food from their country of origin. In addition to free food, the students also displayed artifacts, photos and traditional garments showcasing their country’s beauty and history. Throughout the event, students took part in cultural music and dance performances.

The purpose of this event was to allow the students, faculty, staff and community members to learn about all of the different cultures represented at the College. Students were charged with creating the displays for their particular country, as well as writing and designing an informational brochure to hand out to attendees.

Regions represented at this year’s Multicultural Fair included the following: Afghanistan, Africa, Bhutan, Brazil, Burma, Central America, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, France, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Iran, Iraq, Karen State, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South America, South Korea, Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey and Vietnam. There was even a booth set up honoring the traditions of the state of Kansas, as requested by some of the students.

For more information about the event, contact the International Admissions Office of Donnelly College at (913) 621-8720 or e-mail Jennifer Price at

Donnelly College continues to increase access to education by hosting two Scholarship Nights

KANSAS CITY, Kan., March 24, 2009 — Donnelly College hosted two Scholarship Nights designed to help students apply for financial aid and scholarships. The events were scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 26, and Wednesday, April 1, in the College’s main building.

Admissions representatives were on-hand to explain available scholarships and assist in the application process. High-school seniors graduating this May and planning to enroll full-time at Donnelly in Fall 2009 were encouraged to attend. Those students with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above were guaranteed to receive a scholarship of at least $500 by attending one of the two events.

“This event allows students to begin the tedious process of applying for financial aid in a supportive environment,” said Belinda Ogan, Donnelly’s Director of Financial Aid. “Without the help of financial aid, college would be not be accessible for many students.”

In Fall 2008, 95 percent of Donnelly’s first-time, full-time incoming freshman students received grant aid. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 63 percent of all undergraduates enrolled in 2003–04 received some type of financial aid. Specifically, 83 percent of all undergraduates attending private not-for-profit 4-year institutions, like Donnelly, received aid.

“Donnelly prides itself on making financial aid available to its students,” said Amber Bloomfield-Martinez, Coordinator of Admissions at the College. “We can guarantee that students fulfilling the 2.5 cumulative GPA requirement will walk away with a scholarship, getting them that much closer to their goal of becoming a college graduate.”

Donnelly College’s PN program continues to grow, enrolls third class

KANSAS CITY, Kan., March 19, 2009 — The Practical Nursing (PN) program at Donnelly College has continued to grow as it now prepares to enroll its third class of students. The program has two different start-dates, one in January and one in June. For the upcoming session, scheduled to begin in June 2009, the College is accepting applications until Wednesday, April 1.

Donnelly’s PN program was approved by the State Board of Nursing in March 2008, beginning the first cohort in June 2008 and the second in January 2009.

Cheryl Ray, member of the first PN class, can not say enough about her experience in the program. “Donnelly has a learning environment unlike any other,” said Ray. “The students and faculty are like family and the small class sizes allow for more direct interaction with professors. I found myself continually achieving success in the coursework, boosting my self-esteem and my desire to work even harder.”

In January, the program location moved from the main building on the Donnelly campus and into the College’s second academic building, Marian Hall. Last May, the College began the first phase of renovations of  converting the first two floors into classrooms, clinical space, physiology and anatomy labs.

To learn more about the program, visit If you are interested in becoming an PN student at Donnelly, contact the Office of Admissions at (913) 621-8700 or

Retirement planning lecture to be hosted by Donnelly College

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Mar. 25, 2009 — Donnelly College’s Alumni Association is offering a free, monthly financial lecture series January through April. The final lecture in the “The Economy and You” series will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, April 18, and will focus on retirement planning. Lectures are open to the community and will be held in the College’s first floor meeting room. It is not necessary to have attended previous lectures.

The April session, titled “Retirement Planning,” will help attendees understand how to begin planning for retirement early.

Leading the presentation is Donnelly alumnus and faculty member Steve Modrcin. Throughout the past decade, Modrcin has taught classes in the subjects of personal finance, business management and economics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Donnelly College, Ottawa University and Webster University. He also helped develop curriculum for Donnelly’s Organizational Leadership baccalaureate program, which successfully graduated its first class in May 2008.

Modrcin holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, as well as a master’s degree in organizational management, and is a Donnelly College alumnus. He retired from a career in administration at UPS before he began teaching.

In November 2008, Modrcin held a lecture titled “A Walk Down Wall Street” for Donnelly students and faculty, as well as the community at large. This presentation focused on the economy, proposed bail outs and investment tips. The event was a huge success, so much so another lecture was held two weeks later.

“Of all the financial seminars I’ve attended, this was certainly the most informative,” said Dan Braum, Donnelly College Alumni Board Chairman. “We felt this would be a great topic to expand upon for our alumni, students and community.”

The Donnelly Alumni Association is actively planning Saturday lecture series throughout the 2009 year. Check the College’s official website,, for announcements about upcoming seminars.

“The Donnelly Alumni board believes an ongoing lecture series such as this will be a tremendous service and opportunity to our alumni as well as our surrounding communities,” said Roger Berg, Donnelly College Alumni Relations Coordinator. The board is currently planning the next two 4-month series for 2009.

Contact Roger Berg at (913) 621-8744 or with questions about the seminar series or to connect with the Donnelly Alumni Association.

Donnelly College looking to reduce national recidivism rates

KANSAS CITY, Kan., March 12, 2009 — A small college in Kansas City is making a big impact on those who may need it most. As a college dedicated to helping those who might otherwise go unserved, Donnelly proudly announces it has received a $223,000 grant from the Department of Justice to support its Associate Degree satellite program at Lansing Correctional Facility, educating more than 50 inmates each year with college classes in efforts to reduce national recidivism rates. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who helped to secure these funds, visited Donnelly College Friday, February 27, 2009, for a press conference to discuss the grant and the Lansing program. The grant will help support program operations for the next three years.

 “Donnelly's program at Lansing is simply an extension of our original mission to serve those who might otherwise go unserved,” said Donnelly President Dr. Steve LaNasa. “We know that education exerts a powerful effect on the lives of those that pursue it.  The Lansing program recognizes that education can help to transform the lives of these students, and that those who make the commitment deserve the chance to pursue a college education.”

Dr. Ken Gibson, Donnelly president emeritus and coordinator of the Lansing program, spoke about how the program began under his tenure as president, noting in part the program’s philosophical basis in numerous national studies that indicate that education is the single most effective tool to prevent incarcerated individuals from committing crimes after their release from prison – reducing recidivism.

Since 2001, when Donnelly first began offering college courses at Lansing Correctional Facility, the program has clearly demonstrated the positive effects of education on prisoners.  Of the more than 325 inmates that have taken classes, 14 have earned associates degrees and 155 (or 48% of former students) have been released from prison. Of those 155, only 3 – just 2% -- have been reconvicted of a crime and are back in prison.  Comparatively, 25% of inmates nationally are resentenced to prison for a new crime within 3 years of release, according to a 2002 Bureau of Justice Statistics Report. 

Senator Brownback announced Congress’ efforts to try to cut the national recidivism rate in half within five years, and noted the accomplishment of the recent passing of the Second Chance Act as a step in that direction.

“Donnelly’s Lansing program can serve as a model for other prisons,” said Senator Brownback. “People in prison need to do time for their crime, but they are not without redemption. We have a problem when we start looking at people as problems.”
Donnelly’s program is one of less than dozen of its nature that exist in the U.S. (one of two in the state of Kansas), but the College hopes its program will serve as a cost-efficient, effective model to help lower recidivism across the country. Federal analyses have indicated that higher education in prisons yields at least $2 in public savings for every dollar spent. The successful recidivism rates of Donnelly’s prison education program prove itself as a model to not only save taxpayers a significant amount of dollars in the criminal justice system, but also improve communities. 
 “I am very proud and grateful for the extraordinary efforts of Donnelly College to provide higher educational opportunities to those at the Lansing prison,” said Archbishop Joseph Nauman of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. “For Jesus and His Church, there are no ‘throw away’ lives.  In the Gospel, Jesus specifically speaks about the importance of visiting those in prison.  The Donnelly College prison program provides the inmates an opportunity to improve their abilities, expand their knowledge and prepare themselves to lead productive lives after release from prison.” 

Lansing Correctional Facility’s warden, Dave McKune, noted the importance of this chance for inmates to continue their education. “Being able to take college classes increases their self-worth.  For many it’s the first time someone has believed in them.”

Former students also feel the value of their education experience with the program. “If a person has any type of past criminal record, a college degree is essential,” one student said. “It is the only thing that gives us a chance to ‘balance the scale’ in the eyes of potential employers.”

The Department of Justice grant provides much-needed support for the program, which has ongoing needs for scholarships and program operation.  Inmates pay a third of the hourly tuition to demonstrate commitment and personal investment, but additional funding must support the remaining tuition and program costs, which are kept minimal in part due to the partnership and in-kind contributions provided by the administration of Lansing Correctional Facility.

“We are truly indebted to the Department of Justice and the support of Sen. Brownback; each has made it possible to continue this ministry for several more years ensuring that additional students will benefit from our work,” LaNasa said.

To find out more about this program or about volunteering, please contact Roger Berg, Donnelly Volunteer Coordinator, at or 913-621-8744. Click here for more information about the program and its impact on inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility.


KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 12, 2009 — Donnelly College’s Alumni Association will be offering a free, monthly financial lecture series beginning Saturday, Jan. 17. Lectures are open to the community and will be held in the College’s first floor meeting room.

Faculty member and financial expert Steve Modrcin will be leading the series, scheduled to take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month from January through April (Jan. 17, Feb. 21, Mar. 21 and Apr. 18).

Each of the lectures will focus on a different finance-related topic. The January session will cover Wall Street and the current status of the United States economy. February’s session is set to focus on personal finance, March will cover financial planning, and the final session will address retirement planning.

“I want people to leave these seminars with an increased knowledge of what is going on in our economy,” said Modrcin. “I hope to arm listeners with the tools they need to make the best financial decisions. My strategy is to make it fun by using real-world examples rather than charts and tables alone.”

Throughout the past decade, Modrcin has taught classes in the subjects of personal finance, business management and economics at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Donnelly College, Ottawa University and Webster University. He also helped develop curriculum for Donnelly’s Organizational Leadership baccalaureate program, which successfully graduated its first class in May 2008. Modrcin holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, as well as a master’s degree in organizational management, and is a Donnelly College alumnus. He retired from a career in administration at UPS before beginning teaching.

In early November, Modrcin held a lecture titled “A Walk Down Wall Street” for Donnelly students and faculty, as well as the community at large. This presentation focused on the economy, proposed bail outs and investment tips. The event was a huge success, so much so another lecture was held two weeks later.

“Of all the financial seminars I’ve attended, this was certainly the most informative,” said Dan Braum, Donnelly College Alumni Board Chairman. “We felt this would be a great topic to expand upon for our alumni, students and community.”

The Donnelly Alumni Association is actively planning Saturday lecture series throughout the 2009 year.

“The Donnelly Alumni board believes an ongoing lecture series such as this will be a tremendous service and opportunity for our alumni as well as our surrounding communities,” said Roger Berg, Donnelly College Alumni Relations Coordinator.

Contact Roger Berg at (913) 621-8744 or with questions about the seminar series or to connect with the Donnelly Alumni Association.



College Goal Sunday was held on Feb. 8, 2-4 p.m., at Donnelly College and Kansas City Kansas Community College. High school seniors and their parents were invited to attend one of the sites to get assistance in completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Financial aid professionals were on hand to assist and answer questions.

Four $500 scholarships were awarded at each site in a drawing for those who attended.

Participants were asked to bring Social Security card, driver’s license, 2008 income tax return, 2008 W-2 forms and other records of money earned, 2008 untaxed income records, latest bank statement, 2008 investment records, and alien registration card (if not a U.S. citizen).

“It’s essential that parents bring all the required information so that they can complete the forms accurately and get them sent in early,” said Belinda Ogan, financial aid director at Donnelly.

The program was free. It was supported by the Lumina Foundation and coordinated by the Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 6, 2009 — Donnelly College has found the need to expand its ESL programming to meet growing demand. Locally, the number of non-English speaking households in Kansas City is on the rise, reaching 8.7 percent in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.  In Wyandotte County, the number jumped from 15.6 percent to 19.7 percent in 2005. 

Further, Donnelly has witnessed an increase in international students, locally reflecting a national trend.  The Institute of International Education recently announced a dramatic increase in the number of international students enrolled in American colleges in 2007, as reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  The seven percent increase was the largest one-year jump in decades, according to the Institute, caused by more generous student visa policies and government support, a weak U.S. dollar and a rising middle class in key source countries.  Nationally, this increase has resulted in a 23.5 percent increase in Intensive English programs.

In response to this need, Donnelly has implemented several measures to increase accessibility to its English as a Second Language (ESL) program. First, the College established an open, flexible enrollment schedule to better serve incoming students. Instead of beginning classes each semester, Donnelly has raised the bar by offering new start dates on the 12th of every month for each of the skill levels: Beginning, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. By accommodating students at any level of English-speaking ability at any time of the year, Donnelly has opened doors for many international immigrants and non-English speaking U.S. residents. Students’ skills are assessed regularly and they are able to advance through the program more quickly and at their own pace.

The College has not only expanded its ESL program options, it has also extended its recruiting efforts to include international students, with a particular focus on students in South Korea, Nepal, India, Kenya and Taiwan. In mid-December, Cyrus Shadfar, Associate Dean of Preparatory Studies at Donnelly, traveled to South Korea to recruit prospective students and visit with former students.

“International recruiting has greatly contributed to the expansion of our ESL program,” said Shadfar. “With programs set up to accommodate almost any schedule, Donnelly makes it possible for students to finish classes, continue their education and begin their careers without a language barrier standing in their way.”

Donnelly has consistently demonstrated expertise in ESL education. Since the program’s founding in 1971, the College has served more than 30,000 students from across the world and Kansas City metropolitan area. Currently, the ESL program reaches more than 400 students each year; one-third of these students are international and two-thirds are non-English speaking U.S. residents.

“The strength of our program is its intensive nature,” said Kevin Kelley, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean of Instruction at Donnelly. Students enrolled in the daytime program attend classes 20 hours each week, while those enrolled in night classes attend 12 hours each week.

ESL is just one part of the College’s list of existing accredited academic programs. “We’ve been building our ESL program for nearly 40 years,” said Kelley. “As the region’s ESL pioneer, Donnelly plans to continue to increase accessibility and meet the needs of our current and prospective students.”

Donnelly’s ESL program has not only given back to Wyandotte County, but to the lives of many students both international and local.

“I wanted to improve my English skills in order to get a master’s degree in public health in my country (Mali),” said Fatour Ba, former ESL student. “The instructors at Donnelly want to see their students succeed, and the small classes help us learn more quickly.”  Ba is now a medical doctor in Mali.

“When I first came to Donnelly, all I wanted to do was learn English,” said Paola Zapata, third-year international student.  “Because I had such a phenomenal experience in the ESL program, I decided to stay at Donnelly and continue my education instead of returning home to Bolivia. I began by taking classes towards my associate degree, but now I plan to go on to obtain my bachelor’s degree here. Donnelly has become my new family and my home.”

The next session of ESL begins on Monday, January 12, for all four skill levels: Beginning, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. Enroll now by contacting Betsy Gran at
(913) 621-8721.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Jan. 8, 2009 — Donnelly College is pleased to recognize those students who have achieved Honor Roll status for the fall semester of 2008.

The Dean’s List requires the student to maintain a 4.0 grade point average while carrying at least 9 credit hours of classes.  Donnelly’s Fall 2008 Dean’s List consists of the following students in pursuit of their associate degrees: Jacquelene DeLeon, Matthia Dukes, Karla Gomez, Jessica Salgado, Theresa Sanders, Olessya Solovev, Kingsley Ubah and Bertha Villegas. Students achieving Dean’s List status who are in pursuit of their bachelor’s degrees include the following: Michelle Cooper.

The Honor Roll requires the student to maintain a 3.50 – 3.99 grade point average while carrying at least 9 credit hours of classes.  The College’s Fall 2008 Honor Roll consists of the following students in pursuit of their associate degrees: Emmanuel Acheampong, Nabi Agzamov, Jaime Arreola, Sabrina Avila, Jorge Avila Castaneda, Gerika Berry, Amanda Cox, Jeffrey Davidson, Eric Del Toro, Fred Del Toro, Isaac Falcon, Sara Fuentes, Josphine Gathee, Christina Harcharik, Susana Hernandez, Malaika Jackson, Khaira Khalil, Rachel Leonard, Liliana Lopez, Melissa Lopez, Paulina Martinez-Chio, Ahreum Oh, Estevan Ortiz, Mark Patino, Melissa Reynolds, Miguel Rodriguez, Jessica Sales, Stephanie Scott, Malory Stark, Cynthia Valles, Alain Villalpando and Catty Yang. Students achieving Honor Roll status who are in pursuit of their bachelor’s degrees include the following: Kimberly Mendez, Laura Mendez and Camille Shorts.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 23, 2008— Steve Jansen, Ph.D., Donnelly history instructor and Program Coordinator for the Associate Degree program at Lansing Correctional Facility, recently appeared in the television documentary, "Border War." The documentary was produced by local sports network, Metro Sports, and aired Nov. 26-27.

The documentary detailed the historic roots of the Kansas-Missouri rivalry, beginning with the guerilla combat of the pre-Civil War America, and continuing today on the playing fields of athletic competition.

As one of the program's main commentators, Jansen focused his remarks on the history of Kansas and Missouri throughout the late 1800s.

Metro Sports contacted Jansen about the documentary in December 2007 because of his expertise in the field of United States history. Jansen holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in 20th Century U.S. History. His expertise stems not only from his academic degree, but also his 22 years of experience working as the director of the Watkins Community Museum in Lawrence.

Although his loyalties were not discussed in the documentary, Jansen admits that he is a devoted Jayhawk. "I reside in Lawrence," said Jansen. "I graduated from KU, my two children went to KU for their bachelor's degrees, and my wife currently works at the university. I would say that makes us definite Jayhawk fans."

To view the trailer for this documentary or to learn more, click here.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 4, 2008—The partnership that supports the Southwest Early College Campus (SWECC) is pleased to announce the addition of a sixth organization to our consortium. Effective immediately, Donnelly College joins the Kansas City, Missouri School District, the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI), Kansas City’s Partnership for Regional Educational Preparation (PREP-KC), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in their Southwest Early College Campus Partnership.  The SWECC consortium works together on all aspects of school design and operation with the goal of increasing college preparation, college-going and college completion for Kansas City’s urban students.

The Early College model, in use in almost 160 high schools across the country, integrates rigorous college coursework inside the four-year high school experience. The goal of this innovative school is to prepare Kansas City youth to successfully complete a four-year college degree and pursue rewarding careers in Mathematics, Engineering, Technology, and Science (METS) using a project-based curriculum with extended day and extended year opportunities. Students at SWECC, many of whom are first-generation college goers, will have an opportunity to earn significant college credit before graduating from high school. 

The involvement of Donnelly College, whose faculty and staff have promoted college access and provided affordable education to urban students for nearly 60 years, will substantially assist to ensure students succeed and realize this goal. Located in the heart of Kansas City, Kan., Donnelly is an independent, coeducational institution founded by the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica and the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.  The original mission of the college, to “focus on those who might not otherwise be served,” remains strong today and serves as a valuable addition to the SWECC.

 “This partnership is a perfect fit for both Donnelly College and the SWECC,” said Steve LaNasa, Ph.D., President of Donnelly College. “Both focus on urban students in hopes to increase access to higher education. Together we can reach more students in new ways.”

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has successfully opened more than a dozen Early College Schools, and SWECC is their first Early College School in the Midwest.  SWECC is an open-enrollment, math and science focused school within the Kansas City, Missouri School District. It will join the national movement of schools designed to better prepare all students in the areas of METS and college success.  The school, which ultimately will serve students in grades 6 – 12, opened its doors in August, welcoming 240 students enrolled in the sixth or ninth grade. To learn more about SWECC, visit the PREP-KC website to view a brief DVD about the school ( or at the Kansas City, Missouri School District website (



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 3, 2008 — Donnelly College faculty member, Steve Modrcin, will give a free lecture on the current status of the economy on Thursday, Nov. 6, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Donnelly’s first floor meeting room.

Modrcin's presentation, titled "A Walk Down Wall Street," will cover topics such as the current status of the United States economy, the history of our economy, and investing. He is also prepared to discussed bear markets, recessions, and the bailout. Most importantly, Modrcin wants people to leave the lecture with an increased knowledge about what is going on in our economy so they can make the right investment decisions.

“I hope to arm listeners with the tools they need to make the best decisions about their money,” said Modrcin. “The more someone knows about the economy, the easier it is for them to make the right economic choices.”

Modrcin has taught economics and business courses for almost a decade in both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has also been active in the stock market and trading for more than twelve years.  Modrcin holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, as well as a master’s degree in organizational management.

To view additional details about this event, click here. Should you have any additional questions, please contact Jennifer Price, Donnelly College’s Marketing Coordinator, at No reservations are needed to attend this free presentation.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 28, 2008 — Donnelly College, in Kansas City, Kansas, welcomed Mr. Antonio González Rodríguez, Mayor of Uruapan, Michoacan in Mexico, on Friday to discuss a nursing program partnership that is currently in the works between the two sister cities.

The mayor came to Kansas City to attend various sister city events which included a visit to Donnelly College to meet with area nursing school representatives to discuss this partnership.

“It was an exciting day for Donnelly,” said Donnelly College’s Vice President and Dean of Instruction, Kevin Kelley, Ph. D. “Mayor Antonio Rodríguez,along with Mexico’s Department of International Relations and the local sister city committee is the driving force of this upcoming partnership.”

The partnership would allow nursing students from Uruapan to come to Kansas City and immerse themselves in the culture of the United States healthcare industry. Likewise, Kansas City nursing students would be sent to Uruapan to gain practical experience by observing nursing students in the Hispanic culture.

“This exchange program would directly expose Kansas City nursing students to the Hispanic culture, giving them an opportunity to perfect their Spanish skills,” said Cyrus Shadfar, Associate Dean of International Studies at Donnelly College. “Having healthcare professionals with this kind of cultural experience would greatly benefit our community because of the growing Spanish-speaking population that resides in KCK. “

 “Today, students have a significant advantage in the world of medicine if they are able to speak both English and Spanish,” said Anita Krondak, Director of Nursing at KCKCC. “The partnership would build these skills, but at the same time it would arm students with the ability to understand their field within the setting of another culture, setting them apart from other nursing students."

The Kansas City, Kansas/Uruapan, Michoacan Sister City Committee is lead by Delia Marin Hernandez. In 1978, Delia’s father, Roberto Marin, and Mayor Jack Reardon traveled to Uruapan to sign the first sister city agreement between Kansas City, Kansas, and Uruapan. “It is an honor to work with Mayor Joe Reardon to carry on the tradition of sister cities that was started by our fathers,” said Delia Hernandez, Chair of the sister city committee. “We have various initiatives of common interest we hope to begin implementing with the help of our sub-committee members here locally and in Uruapan.”

The Sister City Committee’s sub-committee in education is comprised of representatives from Mexico’s Department of International Relations, Donnelly’s Department of International Studies, KCKCC’s Department of Nursing, and the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Together, they plan to first create a pilot program that would exchange two students from Uruapan’s nursing school, Cetis, and two students from Donnelly’s Practical Nursing Program.

“We want our students to return to Mexico as more well-rounded nursing professionals,” said Oscar Valdez Pimentel, Director of International Communications for Mexico’s Department of International Relations. “Upon their return, they can share their experiences with other students and give us a sense of which parts of the program are working.”

Plans for the launch of this program are now underway, with hopes to begin the first exchange in June 2009. To continue to move forward, the colleges will be looking at Uruapan’s nursing curriculum requirements to determine the level at which students would be entering the exchange program.

To learn more about this exclusive partnership, please call (913) 621-8720 or send an e-mail to For more information about the KCK/Uruapan sister city committee, please call (913) 677-3103 or send an e-mail to



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 9, 2008 —Donnelly College's men's soccer team finished off their second season on top, taking home first place honors within the All-American Indoor Sports Division 3 league. This year marks the second season for Donnelly’s soccer club teams, but it already seems they are making a name for themselves.

“The team played exceptionally well,” said head coach Jaime Fuentes. “I was so proud of each and every one of them.”

The game began slowly with neither team appearing to have the edge. “I think we were all nervous in the beginning,” said team captain Fernando Ramirez.” It took us a while to get warmed up.”

Donnelly ended up scoring the only goal of the first half. The opposing team answered with a goal early in the second half, but Donnelly quickly responded by scoring five consecutive goals. The final score was 6-1.

“This is only our second season together, and already we are truly playing like a team,” said Ramirez. “It was great to capture the first place win and it really sets the bar high for us next season.”

“Both the men’s and women’s teams did a fantastic job this year,” said Fuentes. “I’m looking forward to the next season.”

If you have any questions about the game, please contact head coach Jaime Fuentes at (913) 621-8789.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Oct. 1, 2008— Donnelly College is kicking off their new campus ministry program with a six-week scripture series on the life of St. Paul the Apostle. The series will be offered on the college’s campus beginning Wednesday, Oct. 8, from 1 – 2 p.m. and will focus on Paul’s three missionary journeys and the Letter to the Romans.

The presenter will be Fr. Freddie Thomas, a biblical scholar who teaches Scripture at Holy Trinity Major Seminary in Punjab, India. He holds a master’s degree in Scripture from Urbanian University in Rome, and is currently in the United States preaching for the missions of his diocese.

“Fr. Thomas is truly a profound scholar and we are fortunate to have him come and speak,” said Joseph Multhauf, professor and Campus Ministry Coordinator at Donnelly College. “This series is the perfect way for us to kick off our Campus Ministry program and create a buzz about the growing amount of student-life activities available to the students at Donnelly.”

The lecture series is free and open to all who want to learn more about this charismatic apostle and author of 14 letters in the New Testament. Presentations will be held on the next six Wednesdays, Oct. 8 – Nov. 12, from 1 – 2 p.m., in the college’s first floor meeting room. No previous Scripture background is necessary and listeners do not need to attend all six sessions.

For more information, please call (913) 621-8790.


THAN $100,000

Donnelly College Scholarship DinnerKANSAS CITY, Kan., Sept. 16, 2008― Donnelly College hosted its Second Annual Scholarship Dinner to honor the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica on Saturday, Sept. 6. The dinner proved to be a huge success, raising more than $100,000 towards the creation of a Benedictine Sisters Endowed Scholarship Fund.

More than 300 guests attended the event, featuring keynote speakers Lawrence (Larry) Ward, Class of 1956, and Anita Dixon, Class of 1984. Welcoming remarks were made by Sister Constance (Connie) Krstolic, OSB, Class of 1964. Krstolic described the unwavering mission of Donnelly and recognized the stead-fast involvement of the Benedictine sisters.

“Donnelly continues to provide the opportunity for higher education to those who otherwise would not have it,” said Sister Connie. “Where would many of us be if it were not for the dedication of the sisters at Donnelly?”

The Robert Frost poem, “A Road Less Traveled,” provided a perfect theme for the dinner because it illustrates the bold vision of the college and its partnership with the Benedictine sisters.

“The sisters have, without question, taken that path less traveled,” said Larry Ward, Chairman Emeritus, Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, P.C. “Almost sixty years later, the mission of Donnelly College remains strong. The need is still here for a Catholic college to serve those who would not otherwise have the opportunity for an education.”

Since Donnelly’s founding in 1949, the Benedictine sisters have contributed more than $4 million in services to Donnelly. To honor the contributions of these wonderful women, the college unveiled a permanent tribute to the sisters that is prominently displayed in the front hallway of the main building. Alumni and friends are encouraged to stop by and see this impressive tribute.

Prior to the scholarship dinner, guests attended an open house event held in Donnelly’s main building. Here they had the chance to mingle with the college’s new president, Dr. Steve M. LaNasa, other alumni, students, faculty members and friends of the college.

“In looking at Donnelly’s rich history, it is clear that the Benedictine sisters and all others involved have repeatedly taken the road less traveled,” said Dr. LaNasa. “Our approach has 'made all the difference' to thousands of students and members of the Kansas City community. And today, Donnelly ranks among a very small number of private institutions nationally so committed to the form of educational access we provide.   I am extremely proud to be a part of an institution with so much potential for growth—growth made possible by our continued commitment to the mission laid out by the Benedictines 60 years ago.”

Today, Donnelly strives to honor its incredible legacy by serving students in new ways. It now offers bachelor’s degrees, a residence hall and new academic programs, while continuing to keep college affordable and accessible for all, especially those who might not otherwise be served.

To view photos from the Second Annual Scholarship Dinner and the Open House event, click here.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 19, 2008 ― The Board of Trustees of Donnelly College has announced the appointment of Steven M. LaNasa, Ph.D., as the school's sixth president. LaNasa will begin his position on Sept. 2, and is currently serving as the Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

LaNasa's attraction to Donnelly is rooted in his long-standing interest and commitment to college access and opportunity, especially for those students from limited means.

"Educational attainment and equality are the most pressing issues facing both our region and country now and in the coming decades," said LaNasa. "I have been tremendously impressed by the support and commitment of the faculty and staff, the Archdiocese and Sisters, as well as the community at large who all ensure Donnelly fulfills its mission to provide students access to the education they deserve.

"Donnelly's faculty and staff are on the forefront of working with first-generation and non-traditional college students," said LaNasa. "The school's mission and orientation are not only unique to our region, but rank the college among a very small set of institutions nationally that serve students in this way."

In the last decade, LaNasa has collaborated and published on college access and opportunity for disadvantaged students, and the institutional infrastructure and experiences needed to support student success. Prior to serving in UMKC's School of Education, LaNasa was Assistant Vice Provost for Academic Planning at UMKC and prior to that served in various administrative roles at George Mason University. LaNasa earned his Doctor of Philosophy from The Pennsylvania State University, while serving in the Center for the Study of Higher Education.

Since relocating to Kansas City in 2003, LaNasa has been active in several educationally related initiatives in the community, including service on the Institute for Urban Education's Partnership Consortium, on the UMKC Charter Schools Advisory Board, and is a member of the partnership opening the Southwest Early College Campus in the Kansas City Missouri School District. LaNasa also serves on the research advisory board for the National Research Center for College University Admissions.

His interests in the study of higher education and college access made him stand out among the other candidates, according to George Breidenthal,'69, President of the Donnelly College Board of Trustees. "His expert understanding of the educational issues we are trying to address at Donnelly will enable him to serve as an exceptional leader," said Breidenthal.

LaNasa intends to build upon the great work of President Ken Gibson, Ph.D., who consistently moved Donnelly forward in many ways during his nine-year term, most significantly by leading the college to offer its first bachelor's degrees and a Practical Nursing (PN) program.

"Dr. LaNasa will make an excellent president for Donnelly College," said Gibson. "He has a big heart and I think his presence at Donnelly will both inspire and motivate. I expect great things for Donnelly under his tenure."

Kevin Kelley, Ph.D., Donnelly's Interim President and Dean of Instruction, believes LaNasa possesses an excellent blend of administrative and academic preparation. "His research and applied experience will strengthen Donnelly as we continue to develop new academic programs and expand our campus."

The Board of Trustees is excited to continue the momentum generated by recent additions of a residence hall and Donnelly's second academic building on campus.

"This is an exciting moment in the history of Donnelly College. Dr. LaNasa's experience and expertise, combined with the recent enhancements to the programs offered by the college, situate Donnelly for a very bright future," said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, who serves as an ex-officio member on Donnelly's Board of Trustees, as well as on the college's corporate board.

LaNasa will be attending Donnelly's upcoming Open House and Scholarship Dinner on Saturday, September 6. Members of the community, alumni, and friends of Donnelly are invited to stop by the Open House at Donnelly College and meet LaNasa from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. For more information on purchasing tickets to the scholarship dinner honoring the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica and introducing LaNasa, click here >>

LaNasa resides in Liberty, Mo., with his wife and two sons.



KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 4, 2008 ― Donnelly College's Second Annual Scholarship dinner will honor the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica. The dinner will be held on Sept. 6 at Reardon Civic Center in Kansas City, Ks. Dr. John Murry, President Emeritus of Donnelly (President 1988-98) is serving as event chair.

Proceeds from the dinner will be used to create an endowed scholarship in the name of the Benedictine sisters and to support the annual scholarship fund.

The theme of the dinner will be "The Road Less Traveled" based on the poem by Robert Frost. It honors the tradition of the road less traveled at Donnelly College - whether by the Benedictine sisters, the school's alumni of first-generation college graduates, or the college's alternative model for higher education.

"In 1949, Sister Jerome Keeler took the 'road less traveled' and founded Donnelly as a private college to serve young people of financially disadvantaged families in the urban area," said Dr. Murry. "And 'that has made all the difference' for nearly 60 years to many thousands of students who otherwise would not have had an opportunity for a college education."

Sr. Jerome was a visionary leader committed to the educational mission of the Benedictine sisters. More than 80 sisters have followed in her footsteps, contributing their time, talent, and services with minimal compensation.

"Sister Jerome was a brilliant woman who was way ahead of her time," said Pat Antonopoulos, Class of '58. "She was dignified and reserved, yet very down-to-earth. We had many incredible teachers, Sr. Kathleen (Brazzel), Sr. Sylvester (Elizabeth Coffey), Sr. Leander Cogan, Sr. Mary Faith (Schuster), and others."

Pat Callaghan, Donnelly academic advisor who retired last year, also praised the sisters. "When I came to Donnelly, I felt inadequate and uncertain about my life's direction," she said "The Benedictine sisters welcomed me, accepted me unconditionally, and affirmed my self-worth. They left a lifetime impression on me."

Don Wolf, Class of '56, a professional photographer, attributes his success to Donnelly. "Although I graduated from Donnelly over fifty years ago, I still feel the impact of that wonderful institution," he said. "Sister Faith didn't teach me photography, but she taught me something even more important. By having us write observations about what we saw, heard, and experienced throughout the day, she taught us to see shadows, textures, and shapes. She didn't know (neither did I) that she was preparing me for my lifetime vocation. And Sister Liguori (Sullivan), who remained a lifelong friend, taught me that I had worth, that I was somebody."

"Many of us were awakened to the possibilities of the future at Donnelly," said Steve Nicely, Class of '59. "In my case, more than any other influence, I have the Benedictine sisters and lay faculty at Donnelly to thank for a career in journalism. I also have Donnelly to thank for the career in education of my son, Bill. Both of us floundered after high school until we found our footing at Donnelly. And I know an awful lot of stories just like ours."

A homecoming and open house from 3:30- 5:30 p.m. at the college will precede the dinner which begins at 7 p.m. "We want alumni to come and get reacquainted with the Benedictine Sisters who will be here and get to know the Donnelly of the last 25 years," said Martha La Van, Class of '59. "We hope to make this an annual event before each scholarship dinner."

"I hope to see many alums at the Scholarship Dinner," said Nicely. "It's not the same building I attended, but it's the same Donnelly, the same mission, the same sanctified space where modern miracles occur."

Last year the dinner raised more than $80,000 for an endowed scholarship honoring Dr. Ken Gibson, past Donnelly president, and his wife, Dr. Jackie Snyder.

Call Marva Dace at 913.621.8746 for more information or to purchase tickets. Interested parties, please RSVP by August 20.


Five BA Grads

KANSAS CITY, Kan., June 12, 2008 ― Five graduates in the May 2008 class carry the distinction of being the first to receive the BA degree in Organizational Leadership at Donnelly College. They are Masoud Alipour (cum laude), Marva Dace, Gina Loya, Michael Dressler, and Walter Staley (cum laude).

Massoud Alipour is a native of Iran. He taught music and had a jewelry business in Iran before coming to the U.S. to study music education and be closer to his wife's family in Kansas City. He learned English in Donnelly's ESL program and went on to earn his associate degree at Donnelly in 2004. After taking courses in music theory, music composition and piano at area colleges, he returned to Donnelly in 2006 to begin the baccalaureate program. He plans to start a music academy in Kansas City and also wants to pursue a master's degree in music or business. Massoud, his wife and daughter live in Overland Park.

Marva Dace began taking college courses at Wichita State University in 1968. She discontinued when she got married and then took a few courses at Los Angeles' Harbor College in 1981-82. When her mother became ill she returned to Kansas. With strong encouragement from her mother, she began taking evening courses at Donnelly in 2001 and earned her associate's degree in 2004. Since she works as an office assistant to the president and dean at Donnelly, it was convenient for her to continue studying for her baccalaureate here. She plans to pursue her master's degree in psychology at Park University in the fall.

"At first I was a little intimidated going back to college at age 50, but I got over it," Marva said.

Michael Dressler began working on his college degree in 2000 at Neosho County Community College with a golf scholarship. He later took some courses at the University of Kansas, but when he heard that Donnelly was beginning a baccalaureate program, he enrolled in January 2006.  He grew up a few blocks from Donnelly and liked the smaller class sizes and personal attention from the teachers.

"Donnelly gave me an edge up in how to communicate and work with people," Michael said. "The teachers really know their field."

Michael is currently in Oklahoma City studying to be an air traffic control specialist. He became interested in the field through his father and learning of the job security and benefits. He will undergo extensive training and testing before returning to Kansas City. He hopes to eventually pursue a master's degree and teach at Donnelly.

Gina Loya received her associate's degree from Donnelly in 2004 and then began the 2+2 program at KCK Community College with Emporia State University to become a teacher. She changed her mind about her career and decided to return to Donnelly for the BA in Organizational Leadership in 2006. During school, she worked as an administrative assistant at Kansas Kids at Gear Up, a college awareness program for K-12. She also does cake decorating for friends. "I'd like to open a small cake decorating business some day," Gina said.

Gina likes the one-on-one help and the diversity at Donnelly. Her parents, David and Vicki Loya, are both graduates of Donnelly.

Walter Staley, a software engineer and designer for 25 years, served in the Navy, worked in IT for 13 years and then as a private contractor for 12 years with such institutions as Peabody Coal, Glaxo Pharmaceutical, and Washington University. He took college courses off and on but had no degree until 1986 when he earned his associate's at KCKCC. Then in 2004 he applied to the State Department for a GS13 position and was told he needed a master's degree to qualify for the job. When he heard about the new BA program at Donnelly, he enrolled in January 2006.

"I enjoyed Donnelly, especially the conversations about ethics and religion in the workplace," Walter said. "The classes in management and leadership were excellent."

Walter is currently enrolled in the master's program at DeVry University.


KANSAS CITY, Kan. ― Donnelly College received a 5-year grant from the United States Department of Education, under the Title V Strengthening Institutions Grant, to improve educational services to Hispanic and low-income students.  We hold the distinction of being one of the few federally designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) in the mid-west and the only HSI in the Kansas City metro area.  Institutions are eligible for a Title V grant if their student enrollment is at least 25 percent Hispanic.

"Donnelly College's reception of a $2.865 million federal grant is just another indication of the remarkable accomplishments of the College in offering an opportunity for higher education to those who otherwise might not have the chance.  I am very grateful for the many ways in which Donnelly College helps the Catholic Church realize our goal to make the love of Jesus Christ tangible to its students," said Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann.

The new funding will help us cover capital and start-up expenses for launching two new educational programs at Donnelly - a Practical Nursing program and Donnelly's second baccalaureate degree, a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  In the grant competition, we clearly demonstrated both the need for these two specific programs, and the benefits they would bring to our graduates and to the community.  Opportunities in nursing and education are on the rise, as evidenced by a 25 percent growth in health and education related careers projected to occur by the year 2014.

Over the next five years, the Title V grant will provide $777,000 in construction funds for instructional rooms and laboratories, $350,000 in supplies and equipment, and $1,150,000 in personnel funding to develop and pilot the two programs.  The grant will also provide up to $500,000 to match endowment funds raised through the generosity of our many friends and supporters.

"A grant of this magnitude significantly accelerates our activities in supporting the educational needs of our community," said Donnelly College's Interim President Kevin Kelley.  "Without the Title V grant, the addition of the new nursing and teaching programs would have taken seven to ten years. The opportunity to train for these new professions, and not just jobs, will be accessible to the Donnelly community much more quickly.  The nursing and education fields lead the list of most requested programs at Donnelly."

The grant will also increase access to both of the new programs by providing funding for online course development, including both the technology for and piloting of such classes.   

The new PN and education program classrooms, laboratories, and resources will be housed in Marian Hall, which recently became part of the Donnelly campus through the generosity of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.  One-third of Marian Hall's approximately 30,000 square feet, will house three lecture halls, seven classrooms, one nursing laboratory, one elementary education instructional laboratory, and an anatomy and physiology laboratory. The remaining space in Marian Hall will accommodate additional student housing, a fitness center, and other student support activities.

"The initial stages of the PN program approval process are up and running," said Title V Project Director Frances Sanders.  "The application filed with the Kansas Board of Nursing will be up for consideration at its December 18, 2007 meeting.  I am hopeful that the application will be approved as we would like to begin admitting students into the PN program in the summer of 2008."

The elementary education program requires the approval of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and the State Board of Education.  We will begin that approval process for the elementary education program in 2008.