Meet the Alumni Council Members

KATHRYN PHILLIPS HERNANDEZ

President

Park Degree: Bachelor of Arts, 1983; Master of Public Affairs (in progress)

Major: Mathematics; Public Affairs in Business, Government and Global Societ

Campus: Parkville, Missouri and Online

While at Park, I lived on campus in Herr House and New Dorm (now Dearing). I was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Iota chapter, the PSGA president and secretary, a recipient of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and selected as Outstanding Senior Woman (Parkite); I loved being at the Park campus and being part of the Park family!

After graduation, I continued my progress toward being a lifetime learner by attending graduate school studying mathematics while working as a graduate teaching assistant.  I joined the “real world” working in the actuarial department of an insurance company then in the finance/admin department of another business. After a time I found my niche in the non-profit industry. I am a long-time platelet donor, church and community volunteer including my service on the Alumni Council.  Working with the Alumni Council has been a labor of love. We help the Alumni Association help the university, help future and current students, and help alums reconnect with others. This is a pivotal time in the existence of the Association and the University as we make connections with students and alumni all over the world..

Family: I am blessed to be a wife, mother and grandmother. I am married with four daughters, the youngest lives at home, the second youngest is on an 18-month church mission, and the two eldest are married with children. My daughter, Ariel, is a Park grad!.

What are you doing now?  I am working on a Master of Public Affairs degree through Park’s Hauptmann School of Public Affairs. I plan to continue in the NFP sector using my skills, experiences, and newly acquired education to make a difference in the lives of individuals. When time permits, I enjoy reading, paper crafting, family history, indexing historical records, and spending time with my family. I love math jokes and puns (thanks to Daley Walker!).

Where do you presently live? Saint Joseph, MO

Term expires 2018


Elizabeth Weese Muncal
President-elect

Park Degree: Bachelor of Arts, 2005

Major: Journalism and Public Relations

Campus: Parkville, Missouri

While at Park, I served as editor of The Stylus, and was the Chief Operating Officer of Pirate Grounds when it was in its first years and housed in the foyer of the McAffee underground. I was also active in the theatre program, acting in several plays and working on sets along the way as well. I even had the starring role my senior year as a dog named Sylvia.

After graduation, I worked in NFL and MLB stadiums in Kansas City, Seattle and Los Angeles. I then moved to Arizona and began my career in the nonprofit sector working at Arizona State University for four years in alumni and development. I then transitioned to A. T. Still University, where I served as Director of Development until November 2013. I now work at Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation as a fundraiser. I earned my Master in Nonprofit Studies in 2011 from Arizona State University.

What are you doing now?  I am a fundraiser for Scottsdale Healthcare, a community based 3 hospital system in Scottsdale, AZ.

Family:  I have been married for one year to my husband, Mike, and we have a four legged baby, Bella.

Where do you presently live? Scottsdale, AZ

Term expires 2019


Zac Jarrard

JAMES (ZAC) JARRARD
Secretary

Park Degree: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science, Summa Cum Laude, 2016

Major: Political Science and Economics

Campus: Parkville, Missouri

While at Park, I founded the Business and Investment Club in January 2014. I hosted free seminars for students, connected students with other businesses, and took a few club members to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder’s Meeting. I also served in the Park Student Government Association as the Business Manager during 2015-2016. In April 2016, I was honored to receive the Outstanding Parkite Award.

After graduation, I continued my education by starting my Master’s in Public Affairs at Park’s Graduate School. I aspire to be a business owner and to get involved with public service. I plan to continue volunteer opportunities both at Park and within the community.

What are you doing now?  Currently, I am working toward completing a Master’s in Public Affairs at Park University. I work at Park as a Graduate Assistant and Professional Tutor for the Academic Support Center. 

Family:  I am single. My parents are my biggest inspiration and my Mother is a Park Alumni. My sister graduated from Park Hill High School and will be attending Park starting in Fall 2016.

Where do you presently live? Kansas City, MO

Term expires 2019


Dustin Woods

Dustin Woods
Treasurer

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2015 

Major: Management

While at Park, I completed my degree with a 4.0, graduating Summa Cum Laude. I befriended more people than I ever intended and loved school like I had never done before. I worked on projects with some of the most talented people, from all over the world. It was an honor. I received the International Honor Society in Business Award and the equivalent from the National Engagement Leadership Award; both of which have small processes to complete.

After graduation, I applied to the grad school and was accepted. I thoroughly enjoy working on projects with fellow students and past alumni. I also worked on a project for grad school where I marketed the wonderful resources that are intended for the active military and veteran’s. I was able to tour the school to a couple of veteran’s and one even applied and was able to get information about activating his Montgomery GI Bill and begin the process of coming to Park University. I received an A in the course, Strategic Marketing.

What are you doing now? I am very busy with my work schedule. I work for Orbital ATK Aerospace and Defense on the Lake City Army Base. I also own and manage MoKan Real Estate, where I am the broker and CEO. I volunteer with Boy Scouts, pack 354 in the metropolitan area. I also coach T-Ball and Start Smart baseball for my daughter and son’s teams in Gladstone, MO. In the past I have volunteered for the Government Affairs committee at KCRAR, the local board of realtor association. 

Family: Married, beautiful wife, and 2 children! Jen (wife), Brendan (son), and Emma (daughter). We try to stay busy with fun activities and learning experiences.

Where do you presently live? Kansas City, MO

Term expires 2019


SARAH HOPKINS-CHERY

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Park Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, 2007; Masters of Arts, 2009

Major: Psychology, Communication and Leadership

While at Park, I was a three-time Daktronics/NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete, captain of the women’s basketball team (‘05-’07) who earned the first national tournament appearance for Park Women’s Basketball. I was a member of the women’s cross-country and track teams (’07-’08) both which also competed in national championships. I was also a founding member of the Sigma Alpha Pi Honor Society, a Psi Chi Honor Society Member, Alpha Chi Honor Society Member, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Member, and two-time recipient Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. Whilst completing my M.A. I was a teaching assistant in the psychology department.

After graduation, I began adjunct teaching for Park and Johnson County Community College (Kan.) and working at Kansas City International Airport.

What are you doing now?  I am the head women's basketball coach for UC-Merced.

Family:  Married to Lenes Hopkins-Chery, '09

Where do you presently live? Merced, CA

Term expires 2018


Michael J. Badilla

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2009

Major: Criminal Justice Administration (emphasis in Law Enforcement)

Campus: Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, and Online

While at Park, I served in the U.S. Air Force at Whiteman AFB, MO as an Aviation Maintenance Technician; McConnell AFB, KS as a Paralegal; and RAF Lakenheath, UK as a Defense Paralegal. I began my studies “on ground” at Whiteman and transitioned to online courses when I moved.

After graduation, I moved to Minot AFB, ND where I earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Minot State University in 2015.

What are you doing now? I am working under the Office of the Secretary of Defense in Washington, D.C. as a Defense Paralegal.

Family: Wife, two children, and a dog.

Where do you presently live? Fort Belvoir, VA

Term expires 2018


 

stephanie l. burgess

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2009, MBA, 2009, MHA, 2017
 
Major: Business Management

Campus: Multiple Campus Sites

While at Park, I was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and a member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. I was also on the honor roll as both an online and traditional student.

What are you doing now? Post graduation, I worked for Farmers Insurance Group as a Licensed Claims Adjuster, now serving as an agent in the Kansas City Area. 

Family: My personal life is equally intense and the most rewarding. The titles in life I cherish the most is that of a mother and Navy wife. I am married to an active duty Sailor and have 3 children in which I devote a great deal of time and involve myself in everything they do.

Where do you presently live? Bremerton, WA

Term expires 2020


 

courtney carter

Park Degree: Bachelors of Science, 2013
 
Major: Business Management

Campus: Park Accelerated Program

While at Park, 

After graduation, I worked as a Senior Loan Officer for Truhome Solutions.

What are you doing now? I am currently a Senior Loan Officer for Prospect Mortgage LLC

Family: 

Where do you presently live? Kansas City, MO

Term expires 2020


 

derek debus

Park Degree:  Bachelor of Science, 2016 
 
Major: Interdisciplinary Studies
(emphasis in Psychology and Military Studies)

Campus: Distance Learning

While at Park,  I was an online student, while simultaneously serving on Active Duty as a Combat Instructor at the School of Infantry - West.

After graduation,  I volunteer as a victim advocate for crime victims. In that role, I assist victims throughout all phases of reporting, trial, and sentencing.

What are you doing now?  Currently enrolled in the honors college of my Law School.

Family:  Wife, 2 doberman pups - Loki and Leia

Where do you presently live? Phoenix, AZ

Term expires 2020


Michelle Gaiewski

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2010

Major: Social Psychology

Campus: Austin, TX

While at Park, I was a student at the campus in Austin, Texas. I volunteered as a Park Ambassador and assisted with recruitment of students from the local community college. Due to the flexibility of online courses and 8 week sessions on campus, I was able to work and support my family while attending.

After graduation, I worked for Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

What are you doing now? I just got accepted to Graduate school at Park and will start working towards a Masters of Education in Adult Learning Fall 2013. I currently work with child care providers as a mentor, trainer, and regulator.

Family: I have two fabulous school age boys and a wonderful husband who keep me very busy!

Where do you presently live?  Cedar Park, TX

Term expires 2017


natalie hauptmann Kincaid

Park Degree: MPA 2016
 
Major: Master's of Public Affairs

Campus: Graduate School, Online

While at Park, I was a student in the Master of Public Affairs program. I took a mix of online classes and face to face classes at the Downtown Kansas City campus. I also worked as the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Program Manager

After graduation, I continued to work as the MHA Program Manager and then transitioned into my current position.

What are you doing now? I work in the public sector for the federal government in the Kansas City area.

Family: I am happily married and have two cats who provide limitless entertainment. I love to travel,  watch Chiefs and Royals games, and do some crafting when I find the time to.

Where do you presently live? Kansas City, MO

Term expires 2020


Justin Huttie

Justin Huttie

Park Degree: Computer Based Information Systems, Cum Laude, 2005

Park Degree: Masters of Business Administration, 2008

Campus: Parkville, Missouri

While at Park, I was working as a Kansas City, MO Police Officer and taking evening and online classes.

After graduation, I changed my field and went to work at the Cerner Corporation.  It was a major change after being in law enforcement for about 9 years.

What are you doing now? I work as an independent consultant in the Health Care Information Technology field.  I have been doing this for 6 years on my own.  It has been a very challenging and rewarding adventure in my life.

Family: Married, with 3 great kids.  

Where do you presently live? After almost 8 years in Round Rock, TX, the family and I moved back to the Kansas City area.  We recently finished construction on a house in Overland Park, KS.

Term expires 2018


Ryan Kinne

Ryan Kinne

Park Degrees: Bachelor of Arts, 2009 and Master of Business Administration, 2014

Major: Finance and Marketing

While at Park, I worked hard and was a presidential member of Sigma Alpha Pi (National Society of Leadership and Success). My name appeared on the dean’s list three times throughout my undergraduate journey. Also, I was a member of the American Marketing Association chapter at Park. In 2009, I graduated magna cum laude in undergraduate studies. While completing my MBA, I became a member of Delta Mu Delta (honor society for business administration for graduate school).

After graduation, I worked a temporary job with H&R Block for the 2009 tax season as a bookkeeper. Shortly after that job, I decided to pursue an opportunity with DST Systems, Inc. in 2010 as a mutual fund/corporate securities representative in Kansas City.

What are you doing now?  I am currently working in the financial services industry for Boston Financial Data Services, Inc. in the Midwest headquarters here in KC. We provide transfer agency services to a large portion of mutual fund clients in the country. My title is a Team Coordinator in the financial control department. I have been within the DST Systems, Inc. enterprise since 2010, and enjoy the challenge that this industry brings. I am also a member of the Northland Young Professionals and Toastmasters International.

Family:  Married to Susan Kinne (MBA student at Park).

Where do you presently live? Liberty, MO

Term expires 2019 


 

Max Miller

Park Degree: Bachelor of Arts, 2013
 
Major: Communication Arts and Public Relations

Campus: Parkville, MO

While at Park, 

After graduation, 

What are you doing now? 

Family: 

Where do you presently live? Gladstone, MO

Term expires 2018


 

derrick w. quarterman

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2003
 
Major: Management/ Computer Information Systems

Campus: Moody AFB

While at Park, 

After graduation, 

What are you doing now? 

Family: 

Where do you presently live? Triangle, VA

Term expires 2017


George Ramsey

George Ramsey III

Park Degree: Bachelor of Public Administration, 2012

Major: Public Administration

While at Park, I was serving on active duty in the U.S. Army, and often enrolled in two classes per term. I chose to attend classes in person rather than online. Choosing this method of learning allowed me to meet so many wonderful people who I remain in contact with today.

After graduation, I enrolled at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. I earned my Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership in 2014.

What are you doing now?  I retired after 31 years in uniform in September 2016.

Family:  My wife Dorice and I have two children, a son who will graduate from college this year, and a daughter who started college in Fall 2016.

Where do you presently live? Marion, IA

Term expires 2019


 

phillip reeder

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2012
 
Major: Business Administration - Management

Campus: Parkville, MO

While at Park, I was a member of KGSP Pirate Radio Club, Painted Pirates. I also was a PSGA Business Manager and Senator. For a year I was Sir George, the mascot.

After graduation, I got a job on Park's Parkville Campus.

What are you doing now? I currently work for Park University in the Student Financial Aid Services as a Financial Aid Counselor.

Family: I am the second child to Harold and Pat Reeder.  My father graduated from Park College in 1992.  I’m a native to Parkville and still living here.

Where do you presently live? Parkville, MO

Term expires 2020


kathryn slaughter

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2016
MHA on track for 2018 

Major: Business Administration - Management

Campus: Parkville, MO

While at Park, I was involved with Revive Christian fellowship, Sigma Alpha Pi, and the Student Creative Arts and Research Symposium. I finished my BS in Business Administration/Management with department honors and Cum Laude merit. I was fortunate enough to be a recipient for the Blithe Family Foundation scholarship, for which I am grateful.

After graduation, I continued my educational pursuits at Park and began my Master of Healthcare Administration. I worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Global Warrior Center for my first year of graduate studies, then took on the position of Instructional Design Graduate Assistant.

What are you doing now?  I'm currently pursuing my MHA at Park while working as a Graduate Assistant in Instructional Design. Outside of work and academia, I'm actively involved with my church and volunteer opportunities. 

Family:  I'm incredibly thankful for the support that I receive from my parents and my brothers. My brother, Mark, is also a Park University student.

Where do you presently live? Kansas City, MO

Term expires 2020


Amber Steele

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2010

Major: Human Resources Management

Campus: Online

While at Park, I worked full-time as a nuclear medicine pharmacy technician while a student while taking online classes to complete my degree.

What are you doing now? I am currently working for a manufacturing company outside of Kansas City as their head of Human Resources.   Outside of work, I have/am an active community member, serving on several professional and non-professional committees, community groups, advisory boards and employer panels.

Family: I am happily married to my husband Danny.  We have a son and future Park student Jake and two fur babies.

Where do you presently live? Excelsior Springs, MO

Term expires 2017 


Kara Walton

Kara Walton

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 2013

Major: Criminal Justice Administration (emphasis in Law Enforcement)

Campus: Cherry Point, North Carolina, Quantico, Virginia, and Online

While at Park, I worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency as an Executive Assistant, the Department of Defense as a Legal Assistant, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a certified Paralegal Specialist.

After graduation, I earned my certification as a Paralegal Specialist through Virginia Tech.

What are you doing now?  I am working under the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Military Commissions Defense Organization as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Defense Counsel, who is a one star U.S. Marine Corps General.

Family:  Husband, three kids, and a saucy Corgi, named BlackBerry.

Where do you presently live? Centreville, VA

Term expires 2019 


C. K. (Charles) Williams

Park Degree: Bachelor of Science, 1996

Major: Management/Human Resources

Campus: Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio

While at Park, I worked part-time at American Airlines and refereed college basketball. 

After graduation, I was hired by the State of Ohio. Position: Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist (DVOPS). Continued to work Part-Time at American Airlines until 2008.

What are you doing now? Retired State of Ohio Employee 2013, Retired Air Force Disabled Veteran 21 Years of in1992. In 2015 Hired by the Federal Government Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Position: Recreation Assistant. Active Mentor/Volunteer for Dayton, Ohio Public Schools 7th & 8th Grade Boys, Board Member Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), Veteran Chairperson NAACP Dayton, Ohio Unit 3999-B 

Family: Spouse; Bettie H. and childre; Julio, Antone, Dionne, Quo Vardis, Donilea; and 5 grandsons and 1 granddaughter

Where do you presently live? Trotwood, OH

Term expires 2018 


Monica Zavala

Monica Lynn Zavala

Park Degree: Bachelor of Arts, 2012; MBA, 2015

Major:  Management Marketing

Campus: Austin, TX

While at Park, I was a member of Model UN and attended the National Model UN Conference in NY City three years in a row.   In 2011, I received the John Patton Scholarship as well as the The Danish Institute for Study Abroad scholarship to study Corporate Social Responsibility in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I finished my Bachelor Degree in Caen, France studying French as the University of Caen.  In 2013, I was member of the first cohort to launch the face to face MBA program at the Austin Campus.  I have also been heavily involved in connecting Park at Austin with the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s (NSHMBA).

After graduation, I plan to continue to work with NSHMBA to increase the number of Hispanics seeking higher education and look forward to using my experiences as Park to encourage education for all.

What are you doing now? I am currently working to complete my MBA in December while working a full time job.  I am also on the board of the nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Florence’s Comfort House.

Family: N/A

Where do you presently live? Cedar Park, TX

Term expires 2018


 

Dr. rosemary fry plakas

Board of Trustees Liaison since 2016
Current Park University Board of Trustees Member
Former Alumni Council President 1993-95

Park Degree: Bachelor of Arts, 1963

Major: Political Science

Occupation: Historian/ Curator, Library of Congress, American History Specialist, Curator of Americana Rare Book Division. Retired in 2015 after 45 years of service.

Awards: Distinguished Alumna in 1995, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Park University, 2003


 

Erik Bergrud (MPA '94)

Associate Vice President for External Relations
      staff liaison to the Alumni Association
      ex officio member of the Alumni Council 

I earned my MPA degree while serving as administrator of the then Graduate School of Public Affairs, whose Dean was the legendary Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann.  I have taught as an adjunct instructor for both the Bachelor of Public Administration and Master of Public Affairs programs.

Community service is both a personal and professional commitment.  From 2011-12, I served as president of the American Society for Public Administration.  I have also served as president/chair for the International Relations Council and Parkville Economic Development Council.

During the fall, I am the public address announcer for Park University soccer.  My wife, Kimberlee Ried, is a 2016 graduate of Park's Master of Arts in Communications and Leadership program.  Our son, Luke, is a huge Park Pirates fan.


Danita Hodges 

danita hodges

Alumni and Constituent Relations Coordinator
      staff liaison to the Alumni Association
      staff liaison to the Alumni Council 

For 13 year I have found value in my professional life supporting administrators at Park University. Encouraging the students, no matter their age, is the highlight of my day. At the age of 52, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Human Relations, and became a Park alumna. Proving it is never too late to accomplish a personal goal.

My husband, Jim, and I love to ride motorcycles across the country. We enjoy volunteering and ministering through the Christian Motorcyclist Association. This year we celebrated 39 year of marriage.

We have quite a Park legacy family; my mother-in-law was an employee, my brother-in-law attended Park, my mother received a certificate from Park, two of our children are alumni, our son-in-laws are alumni, and one of their mothers is a Park alumna. I will be interested to see what happens in future with our grandchildren.

 

Office of Alumni Relations
8700 NW River Park Drive, Box 65, Parkville, MO 64152
(816) 584-6209 | (800) 488-7275 | Fax: (816) 741-7741 
alumnioffice@park.edu | Park University Home
                        
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8700 NW River Park Drive
Parkville, MO 64152-3795
 

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