Dr. Abels received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2001. He is a licensed psychologist in Missouri and Kansas. He has worked extensively with traditional and non-traditional age college students, international students, students of color, students with disabilities and other under-represented populations. He is trained as a generalist and works with a wide range of psychological concerns. His experiences include working with issues of abuse and trauma, academic skills development, career development, depression and other mood disorders, issues related to physical disability, family of origin problems, grief and loss, identity development, relationship issues, spirituality and stress management. He works from a holistic framework that incorporates person-centered, interpersonal, cognitive-behavioral and insight-oriented theories with the goal of identifying and developing individual strengths that will empower individuals to more effectively deal with their presenting concerns. In his spare time he enjoys exploring nature and the healing and calming splendor that it offers.
Dr. Aupperle obtained her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Oklahoma State University and her master’s and doctoral degree in clinical health psychology at the University of Kansas. She completed clinical internship and postdoctoral training at the VA San Diego Healthcare System and University of California – San Diego. Dr. Aupperle moved back to Kansas City to join the UMKC Department of Psychology as Assistant Professor in August, 2011. She currently conducts behavioral and neuroimaging research related to the intersect of cognitive and emotional aspects of anxiety and PTSD. She is particularly interested in using knowledge gained from neuropsychological research to inform mental health treatment. She became involved in KC-BANCS because she recognizes the importance of helping veterans and those with disabilities transition to university life and be successful in their chosen careers after returning home. Dr. Aupperle can be reached at www.aupperlelab.org.
Kate Duffy, Faculty Director of Universal Design for Learning, STEM Scholar Transition Navigator, MCC Instructor and Mentor
Kate Duffy is a KC BANCS STEM Scholar Transition Navigator, Director of Universal Design for Learning, and MCC Instructor and Mentor. She leads programs for students with disabilities and authors books about careers for people with disabilities. Kate received her M.A. in journalism from the University of Kansas. Her experience includes writing about employment for individuals with disabilities, mentoring new adjunct faculty and teaching writing and entrepreneurship classes at Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley. Her last book, Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism, was coauthored with Dr. Temple Grandin and focuses on removing employment barriers for those on the autism spectrum. Her research interests include employment and small business ownership for individuals with disabilities. She can be reached at Kate.Duffy@mcckc.edu.
Ronda Jenson is the PI of the KC-BANCS Alliance and convener of the Transition STEM Think Tank. She is currently the Director of Research at the Institute for Human Development, a University Center for Excellence located at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ronda received her MS and Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas. Her experience includes working in the public school system as a special education teacher, chairing a college interdisciplinary training program in disability studies, and leading research focused on improving access to general curriculum, universal design for learning, and school improvement. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Scott Laurent is the director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a position he has held for the past 15 years. Scott received master's and education specialist degrees in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Scott’s extensive experience in the field of disability services in higher education includes project work with the University Of Washington’s DO-IT program developing the training materials Students with Disabilities and Campus Services: Building the Team. In addition he is a consultant regarding services to student with disabilities in higher education. Currently Scott is treasurer of the Missouri Association for Higher Education and Disability. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A native Kansan, Karalin G. Alsdurf has worked in education her entire professional life. Karalin earned a bachelors degree in secondary education (business) from Emporia State University in 1981 and a master’s degree in adult and continuing education from Kansas State University in 1991. Karalin is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She taught high school for two years, was a faculty member and administrator of a private business college for five years, and has been with Kansas City Kansas Community College for twenty years. Karalin came to Leavenworth in January 1997 as a result of being promoted to Executive Director of KCKCC-Leavenworth Center after being employed by the college since 1989.
In her current position as Executive Director, Karalin is responsible for the total operation of KCKCC’s only off-campus facility. This encompasses designing class schedules, coordinating Early Enrollment, Payment Day, and Regular Enrollment; assigning faculty, procuring equipment, and with the assistance of the landlord, building management. She represents the college to the public at college fairs, employment fairs, and community events. The college program offered on Ft. Leavenworth is also under her supervision.
When she’s not working, Karalin enjoys playing the piano. She’s a KSU Wildcats and KC Chiefs fan and has even been seen rooting for the KU Jayhawks on occasion. Her community involvement includes serving on the Boards of Directors of Leavenworth/Lansing Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Division - Chamber of Commerce; and Leavenworth County United Way.
In 2000 Karalin received the ATHENA Award, awarded annually by the Chamber of Commerce to the businesswoman of the year, and she was recognized for her work as chair of 2000-2001 Leavenworth County Junior Miss Program, receiving the Program of the Year from Kansas Junior Miss, Inc.
Karalin is a single mother of one daughter Kelsey, who is a senior at Kansas State University.
Molly Mead is the Manager of Instructional Technology Services and an Instructional Designer for the Information Access Department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her experience includes working in a Missouri state funded program that provided assistive technology training and technical assistance to all special educators in the state. She also worked as the Assistant Director for a multi-year Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers to Use Technology grant at the UMKC School of Education. Molly received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her dissertation was focused on the indicators of undergraduate student success in completely online courses. She is the co-founder and President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Educational Technology Network, a regional educational technology group that provides professional development to area educators (http://kctechnet.org/). Molly can be reached at email@example.com.
Julia O’Dell has worked as the Director of the University of Kansas Veterans Upward Bound, a U.S. Department of Education TRIO program, since its initial funding in 1999. Ms. O’Dell is the Immediate Past-President of the National Association of Veterans Upward Bound Project Personnel, an organization that represents VUB projects that collectively provide transitional education services to more than 6,000 military veterans each year. Immediately prior to her work at VUB she served as an Army Transition Counselor at Fort Hood Texas. She has a B.S. degree in Consumer and Family Economics and an M.S. degree in Human Development and Family Studies, both from Kansas State University. She also has had extensive experience in working with active duty military personnel, their families, and veterans during her more than 25 years as a military spouse.
Alexis joins the KC-BANCS team after serving over ten years as program director of service-learning at two universities: University of Missouri-Kansas City and Rockhurst University. Prior to this, she was program analyst at the Mid-America Regional Council and administered a scholarship program that sought to address systemic issues facing educators in early learning environments: scholarships for post-secondary education, building a community of faculty, promoting professionalization of early childhood careers, and working with large stakeholder groups to make the career path smoother and more attainable.
Alexis brings expertise in group facilitation, project management, public policy, civic and community engagement, and focused academic program support. In addition to serving as project director for KC-BANCS, Alexis teaches service-learning courses at UMKC as well as works with faculty, instructors, and community partners to design academic service-learning projects that extend classroom-based learning to a real world context. Throughout her career, Alexis has used technological solutions to manage data associated with service-learning such as student co-curricular service transcripts and online promotion of service-learning projects. She has designed and co-facilitated multi-day, faculty workshops on service-learning course design, building campus-community partnerships, and evaluating service-learning projects. Alexis earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English and a doctorate in higher education administration and policy studies. Outside of work, Alexis is a published author and photographer and volunteers at Hogan Preparatory Academy, a public charter school.She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Smith is central manager for the UMKC Student Success Center, which provides students with one focal point for answering questions and getting assistance. Before joining UMKC Central, Bill spent five years as a health educator for the UMKC Student Health and Wellness Center. Prior to joining the UMKC staff, Bill served as a health educator at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He has been working in the area of college health education since June 2000 with focus areas in sexual health, alcohol and other drugs, and stress management.
Bill received his bachelor's in social work from Washburn University and his master's in management from Baker University. He is a member of the American College Health Association and is the current Member-At-Large with the ACHA Health Promotion Section. Bill is a U.S. Army Desert Storm veteran serving from 1989-1992 and is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Southwest Asia Service Medal w/3 Bronze Stars, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Army Achievement Medal, and National Defense Service Medal. Bill can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Throughout his 30 years as an educator, Dean Truman has provided excellence in educating, mentoring and motivating students. He has received several teaching awards, including the Missouri Society of Professional Engineer's Outstanding Engineer in Education Award, the Burlington Northern Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Missouri Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.
After serving as chairman of Washington University's Department of Civil Engineering (which later became the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Structural Engineering) for 10 years and receiving an endowed professorship, Truman joined SCE in 2008. As dean of SCE, he is working to establish a reputation for academic excellence, strengthen alumni and community relations, and grow research and entrepreneurial operations.
Working with the SAME Greater Kansas City Post, Truman helped found UMKC's first SAME student chapter. UMKC's partnership with SAME has grown quickly over the past two years, linking students with architecture, engineering and construction professionals; advancing students' scientific and engineering education; assisting in students' professional development; and jointly achieving the SAME's goals and objectives.
At the same time, students, faculty and staff know Truman as a leader who is conversational, considerate, fair, structured and calm under pressure. People also recognize him for his cake-baking skills, as he often shares lava cake and chocolate flan with his department.
Truman holds a master's degree in civil engineering from Washington University and a doctorate in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology).
Brent Willeford is Director of Operations at PGS Worldwide, a service disabled veteran owned staffing firm that specializes in providing professional and technical resources to clients around the country. PGS Worldwide’s philosophy is to hire “Vets First” and be relentless advocates for veterans employment.
Willeford has been in the staffing and recruiting industry since graduating from the University of Kansas in 1995. He spent almost 10 years as a Recruiter and National Account Manager for the largest technical staffing company in the country. He then joined a service disabled veteran owned small business where his passion for serving veterans began. Willeford has since collaborated on building small business teams for federal projects, managed veteran outreach programs, and helped hundreds gain employment.