A.T. Still University - President's Perspective

A year of transformation

Congratulations to faculty, staff, and students on completing a truly transformational academic year. Our Board of Trustees began the year by adding depth and breadth of diversity and talent to the University. Norman Gevitz, PhD, was hired as ATSU’s senior vice president–academic affairs, bringing tremendous experience and a fresh set of eyes to our schools and programs. Accreditation played a major role on campuses this year with many successful outcomes. MOSDOH, America’s newest dental school, welcomed its first class. Clinton Normore, MBA, was hired as ATSU’s first director of diversity. Construction began in St. Louis on the dental education and oral health clinic.  KCOM continues curricular innovations, ASHS prepares to celebrate its first 20 years, and the College of Graduate Health Studies moves forward as ATSU’s online brand. ASDOH received the prestigious Gies Award for educational innovation. SOMA is creating a virtual community health center to help students and practicing physicians better understand what it takes to help a community become healthier. And the list of accomplishments continues …

2013-14 focus area goals


With the assistance of deans and faculty, John Heard, PhD, vice president, research, grants, & information systems, is putting final touches on recommendations for a University-wide research plan. In addition to implementing several recommendations in the 2014-15 fiscal year, more recommendations will be incorporated into ATSU’s 2016-20 strategic planning process currently underway. For the latest in University research, take a look at the Grants & You and ATSU Research newsletters.


The number of University donors is up more than 13 percent as compared to last fiscal year. Additionally, total gifts to ATSU have increased 17 percent during the same time period from last year. Once again, thank you to all University faculty and staff for setting records in participation and funding during the 2013-14 faculty/staff annual fund campaign. This year, more than 52 percent contributed $227,725 (29 percent increase) to ATSU.

Learning-centered education

Dr. Gevitz continues to develop plans for the Center for Teaching and Learning. Faculty and deans remain mindful of innovative learning strategies focusing on how students individually and collectively learn best.  On Aug. 1, Ann M. Boyle, DMD, will begin her tenure as associate vice president-academic innovations, in the Office of the Senior Vice President-Academic Affairs. In this position, Dr. Boyle will have administrative oversight of the University Library, Interprofessional Education and Collaboration, Office of Assessment & Accreditation, Aging Studies Project, Teaching & Learning Center, and National Center for American Indian Health Professions.

Department of Education visit

Thank you to everyone participating in ATSU’s first known site visit by the Department of Education. Many staff members gave up spring break with family and friends to contribute. While an official report has yet to arrive, indications are ATSU is doing well in keeping up with the extensive regulatory requirements facing higher education.

Dr. A.T. Still officially inducted

At the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City on April 16, ATSU founder Dr. Andrew Taylor Still was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians, the first ever by popular vote. The bronze bust of Dr. Still was unveiled by House Speaker Timothy Jones and sculptor Brandon Crandall. Approximately 200 students and 20 faculty and staff were in Jefferson City for DO Day on the Hill and attended Dr. Still’s historic induction.

ZM6K0321House Speaker Timothy Jones, artist Brandon Crandall, and House Representative Nate Walker at Hall of Famous Missourians



A new class of 154 osteopathic physicians graduated from KCOM on May 17. The class of 2014 included 56 females and 98 males. Eight graduates received a master of biomedical sciences. Tarah L. Castleberry, DO, MPH, ’98, assistant professor, family medicine/preventive medicine, & community health, aerospace medicine residency program director, and general preventive medicine residency program director, University of Texas Medical Branch, Aerospace Medicine Division, was the keynote speaker and received an honorary doctor of science in osteopathy degree at the ceremony. Fred Tinning, PhD, KCOM president emeritus, also received an honorary doctor of osteopathic education degree.

ZM6K0502Judi Wong, DO, ’14; Olivia Wilcox, DO, ’14; and Yingzi Chang, MD, PhD, assistant professor, pharmacology, KCOM, at KCOM commencement


SOMA’s class of 2014 included 100 DOs, marking its fourth graduating class. The June 6 ceremony also included 13 military graduates. The keynote speaker was Clement Bezold, PhD, chair and senior futurist at the Institute of Alternative Futures. Amanda Weaver, MBA, executive director of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, was presented SOMA’s first honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

SOMA Dean Kay Kalousek, DO, MS, AAHIVE, FACOFP; AOMA Director Amanda Weaver, MBA; and ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84, at SOMA commencement


Seventy-two ASDOH students crossed the stage on June 6, receiving their DMDs. Twenty-three grads also received a master in public health through SHM. The class also included four military graduates. Harold C. Slavkin, DDS, professor of dentistry, Division of Biomedical Sciences and Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, USC, was the keynote speaker and the recipient of a doctor of humane letters.


Nadia Fazel, DMD, ’14; Arealle Franklin, DMD, ’14; and Chrisina Habib, DMD, ’14


On June 21, SHM held its 12th commencement ceremony since its establishment in 1999. More than 70 students earned degrees in health administration, public health, and health education. Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, dean, KCOM, and professor, family medicine, preventive medicine, and community health, was the keynote speaker.


Greda Retcher, DHEd, ’14 at SHM commencement

Arizona campus research symposium

The Arizona campus hosted a successful week-long Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. Thank you, Alison Snyder Valier, PhD, AT, assistant director, research support, Mesa campus, and your support team. Also, thank you to all faculty, staff, and students for working together to showcase more than 25 research posters.

2014-05-16_Research Posters_03_Faculty_Alum

Mark Heichelbecch, MS, ’12, and Kellie Bliven, PhD, ATC, associate professor, human movement, ASHS, at the research symposium

Website redevelopment

ATSU’s website redevelopment continues and will soon eclipse the halfway mark as new pages for residential programs go online. Thank you, Greg Rubenstein, MA, and Virginia Halterman, interim co-vice presidents, communication & marketing.

ATSU receives Campus Management award

ATSU received the Excellence in Constituent Service Award by Campus Management Corp. for providing unparalleled service and support to two unique constituencies: internal staff and external donors. By automating its processes, the University has improved workflows and enhanced its donor services using Campus Management’s software.

School updates

ASDOH underwent its accreditation visit and is awaiting a final report. Currently, ASDOH remains accredited with no reporting requirements. ASDOH’s orthodontics program, under the direction of Jae Hyun Park, DMD, PhD, MSD, MS, also had a successful site visit. Dean Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH, and team, congratulations on all accounts.

ASHS’Doctor of Physical Therapy program was granted accreditation for the maximum period. PT Chair Jim Farris, PT, PhD, faculty, and staff, thank you.

On July 1, the School of Health Management was renamed the College of Graduate Health Studies (CGHS) as ATSU combined all of its non-discipline specific online health studies programs within a single entity to gain efficiency and improve quality, access, and affordability for its students.

KCOM received the maximum accreditation period and was commended for its ultrasound curriculum and work in graduate medical education. Congratulations, Dean Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, and all who participated.

MOSDOH held its official groundbreaking ceremony for its dental education and oral health clinic in St. Louis on April 25. MOSDOH also received an additional $1 million in funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health. I can’t say enough about ATSU’s dedicated grants team. This grant (effective April 1, 2014) will assist with the design and construction of the St. Louis clinic.

Congratulations, SOMA inaugural class members celebrating their residency completion. And, congratulations to SOMA faculty and staff on this monumental achievement.

Faculty and staff accomplishments (as of July 1, 2014)

Congratulations on recent promotions

  • Marcia Arbizu, MBA, director, ICSP, ASDOH
  • Azra Baab, associate director, student success & global oral health, ASDOH
  • Amanda Barstow, manager, Advanced Care Clinic, ASDOH
  • Courtney Bonnell, director, budgets & financial reports, ATSU
  • Donna Brown, MBA, assistant vice president, human resources, ATSU
  • Yingzi Chang, MD, PhD, associate professor, pharmacology, KCOM
  • Michelle Chasse, MBA, instructional designer, ASHS
  • Rachel Courtright, AEGD program coordinator, Advanced Care Clinic, ASDOH
  • Lori Dewald, EdD, associate professor, CGHS
  • Robert Erickson, DDS, director, associate professor, radiology, ASHS
  • Tonya Fitch, MBA, PHR, director, compensation manager, human resources, ATSU
  • Jaana Gold, DDS, PhD, associate professor, CGHS
  • Robert Gonzales, BBA, assistant director, clinic operations, ASDOH
  • Tonya Grimm, assistant vice president, finance, ATSU
  • Michelle Gross-Panico, DHSc, RDH, MA, director, public health for global initiatives; associate professor, ASDOH
  • Colleen Halupa, EdD, associate professor, CGHS
  • Eric Harris, DDS, director, CEO program; assistant professor, on-call dentist, ASDOH
  • Douglas Hill, DDS, CCU director, assistant professor, on-call dentist, ASDOH
  • Mara Hover, DO, chair, clinical curriculum, development, assessment & outcomes; associate chair, community medicine; associate professor, SOMA
  • Jane Johnson, MA, research assistant professor, ATSU
  • Ali Kittleson, dental assistant, ASDOH
  • Lynda Konecny, DHEd, MS, CHES, associate professor, CGHS
  • Melissa Lasater, supply room coordinator, Advanced Care Clinic, ASDOH
  • Lawrence LeBeau, DO, assistant professor, clinical science education; residency program director, SOMA
  • Connie Lewis, RDH, assistant professor, ASDOH
  • David Line (Denali), PhD, associate professor, CGHS
  • Charles Matlach, DDS, associate director, Advanced Care Clinic; assistant professor, ASDOH
  • Lise McCoy, MTESL, assistant professor; associate director, faculty development; curriculum specialist, ATSU
  • Lisa McNeil, simulation technician, SOMA
  • Jeffery Morgan, DO, FACOI, chair, clinical science education; associate professor, SOMA
  • Monica Nenad, RDH, MEd, director, faculty development & accreditation; instructor, ASDOH
  • Milton Pong, PhD, associate professor, basic medical science, SOMA
  • Lorree Ratto, PhD, director, medical simulation & standardized patients; chair, medical humanities & health care leadership; associate professor, SOMA
  • Klud Razoky, BDS, associate dean, pre-clinical education, ASDOH
  • Cecelia Sartor-Glittenberg, MS, PT, NCS, neuro residency director, associate professor, physical therapy, ASHS
  • Mary Smith, DrPH, associate professor, CGHS
  • Marcie Stansberry, MAE, instructional coordinator, AHEC, KCOM
  • Tawna Wilkinson, DPT, PT, PCS, associate professor, physical therapy, ASHS

Accomplishment kudos

Katherine Adler, DHA, associate dean, SHM, was appointed to the Council of Regents of American College of Healthcare Executives.

Aaron Allgood, DO, assistant professor, SOMA; Brandi Buchanan, OTD, OTR/L, assistant professor, occupational therapy, ASHS; Joseph Creech, DDS, director, ASDOH Dental Clinic; Cory Manton, PT, DPT, ’01, OCS, assistant professor, physical therapy, ASHS; Ian McLeod, MEd, MS, ATC, PA-C, ’08, director, physician assistant studies, ASHS; Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA, director, athletic training, ASHS; and Thomas Rigo, PhD, associate professor, audiology, ASHS, received Faculty Excellence Awards from the Arizona campus Student Government Association in May.

Lihua Dishman, PhD, assistant professor, SHM, presented “An engaged-scholarship approach to understanding the association of quality of hospital patient experience, hospital revenue cycle management, and hospital financial performance: Implications for teaching, learning, and research” at the Annual Conference of Michigan Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Letters in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Feb. 28. On May 14, she presented “An engaged-scholarship approach to teaching and learning connective topics” at the 7th Great Lakes Conference on Teaching & Learning in Mount Pleasant, Mich. She also presented “An engaged-scholarship approach to understanding the association of quality of hospital patient experience, hospital revenue cycle management, and hospital financial performance: Theoretical framework and findings” at the Annual Conference of Industry Studies Association in Portland, Ore., on May 28.

Keith Elmslie, PhD, professor, pharmacology, KCOM, and Wesley Ryle, MD, assistant professor, family medicine, preventive medicine, and community health, KCOM, received the 2014 A.T. Still Staff Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Deanne Fay, PT, DPT, ’07, MS, PCS, associate professor, director, physical therapy, ASHS, received the ASHS Distinguished Service of the Year award for excellence in service to the University, community, and the profession.

Colleen Halupa, EdD, assistant professor, SHM, co-authored “A Qualitative Pilot Study of an Online Accelerated Statics Course with Intensive Video Delivery,” which was accepted for publication by the American Society for Engineering Education.

Valerie Hamlin, curriculum coordinator, education development & services, KCOM, received the Missouri campus Employee Excellence Award for the first quarter of 2014.

Mara Hover, DO, chair, clinical curriculum, development, assessment & outcomes; associate chair, community medicine; associate professor, SOMA, was selected as a health policy fellow, class of 2015, by the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association.

Richard LaBaere II, DO, MPH, FAODEME, associate dean, Still OPTI, KCOM, was recognized by the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators for exemplary leadership and contributions to the profession at the AODME annual meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., on April 23-26.

Michael D. Lockwood, DO, FCA, professor, OMM, KCOM; Tatyana Kondrashova, MD, PhD, assistant professor, family medicine, KCOM; Amanda Schoenfuss, OMS III, KCOM; and Alicia A. King, OMS III, KCOM, won the 2014 AACOM Outstanding Medical Education Research Poster and Presentation Award at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Annual Conference in Washington, DC, on April 2-5. Their poster title was “Integration of Ultrasound into the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Curriculum.”

James Lynskey, PhD, PT, associate professor, director, physical therapy, ASHS, received the ASHS Scholar of the Year award for excellence in the scholarship of discovery, integration, application, and teaching. This award was sponsored by John Heard, PhD, vice president, research, grants, & information systems, ATSU.

Dean Maag, manager, academic technologies, ATSU, received the 2014 Missouri campus Distinguished Service Award.

Kevin Marberry, MD, chair, surgery, KCOM, and Keith Elmslie, PhD, professor, pharmacology, KCOM, received the 2014 KCOM Researcher of the Year Award.

Barbara Maxwell, PT, DPT, ’06, MSc, Cert THE, FNAP, professor, ASHS, and director, interprofessional education & collaboration, ATSU, was named inaugural chair of the National Academy of Practice in Physical Therapy under the National Academies of Practice. She also was inducted as a distinguished scholar and fellow of the Academy during the Annual Forum of the NAP on April 4-6 in Washington, DC. Dr. Maxwell also was nominated to the program committee for the international Interprofessional Conference, Collaborating Across Borders.

Courtney McCormack, MAEd, admissions counselor, residential admissions, ATSU, received the Arizona campus Employee Excellence Award for the first quarter of 2014.

Lisa Ncube, PhD, was appointed inaugural director of the Office of Assessment & Accreditation in the Office of Academic Affairs, effective July 1.

Jae Hyun Park, DMD, PhD, MSD, MS, associate professor, chair, postgraduate orthodontics, ASDOH, lectured at the American Association of Orthodontists, held April 25-29.

Seena Patel, DMD, MPH, associate director, oral medicine, Dental Care West, ASDOH, is a diplomate of both the American Board of Oral Medicine and American Board of Orofacial Pain.

Fred Peterson, PhD, chair, physiology, KCOM retired after 24 years of teaching. 

Rebecca Schaffer, DDS, adjunct professor, Advanced Care Clinic, ASDOH, was nominated to the World Federation of Hemophilia-Dental Committee.

Shachi Shantinath, DDS, MPH, PhD, associate professor, ASDOH, had her abstract, “Moving Mountains with Metaphors–Brush Your Mind,” accepted for oral presentation at the National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media to be held Aug. 19-21 in Atlanta, Ga.

Jean Sidwell, MALS, director, A.T. Still Memorial Library–Missouri, received the 2013-14 Excellence in Advising Award at KCOM’s Student Organization Leadership Orientation.

Aesha Turner, MS, MCHES, executive assistant, SHM, became a master certified health education specialist, certified through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc.

Linda Wheelis, manager, physician assistant studies, ASHS, received the 2014 Arizona campus Distinguished Service Award.

Tawna Wilkinson, PT, ’99, DPT, ’04, PCS, assistant professor, physical therapy, ASHS, received the ASHS Educator of the Year award for excellence in teaching, inspiring students to think critically, and supporting intellectual curiosity.

Well wishes to faculty and staff celebrating anniversary milestones

5-year anniversary

  • Erica Anderson, DPT, MS, lab assistant, physical therapy, ASHS
  • Peter Bell, DO, regional assistant dean, Ohio region, KCOM
  • Marcy Brockett, coordinator, AHEC, KCOM
  • Jack Daniels, PhD, MEd, associate professor, kinesiology, ASHS
  • Jeffrey Hansen, PhD, associate professor, basic medical sciences, SOMA
  • Deborah Hudman, MS, research associate, microbiology/immunology, KCOM
  • Shirley Jasper, senior administrative assistant, development, ATSU
  • Darin Jensen, MBA, manager, kinesiology, ASHS
  • Sarah Jones, clerk, controller’s office, ATSU
  • Kathleen Mathieson, PhD, CIP, associate professor, health sciences, ASHS
  • Andrea Robbins, online enrollment counselor, admissions, ATSU
  • Tamara Roehling, PT, DPT, director, transitional doctor of physical therapy, ASHS
  • Kristine Samms, assistant director, admissions, ATSU
  • Frances Usher, DA, dental assistant, Dental Care West, ASDOH
  • Debra Western, administrative assistant, continuing education, ATSU

10-year anniversary

  • Joyce Haynie, DHSc, MEd, administrative coordinator, admissions, ATSU
  • Kenneth Pamperin, MS, director, research support, ATSU
  • Delores Tafoya, admissions coordinator, admissions, ATSU
  • Ryan Yontanza, desktop analyst, information technology services, ATSU

15-year anniversary

  • Donna Brown, MBA, assistant vice president, human resources, ATSU
  • Mark Fischione, MD, professor, clinical science education, SOMA
  • Jane Johnson, MA, senior biostatistician, research support, ATSU
  • Iain Leiter, network engineer, network technologies, ATSU
  • Amy McCarty, associate registrar, ATSU

20-year anniversary

  • Bob Rogers, HVAC lead mechanic, maintenance, Missouri campus, ATSU

25-year anniversary

  • Neal Chamberlain, PhD, professor, microbiology/immunology, KCOM
  • Laura Riley, billing supervisor, clinic business office, KCOM

30-year anniversary

  • Barbara Fitzgerald, analyst, administrative computing, ATSU

40-year anniversary

  • Alan Coonfield, coordinator, animal care, KCOM

In conclusion

Thank you all again—faculty, staff, and students—and congratulations on many wonderful accomplishments during this transformative academic year. And, coming soon—look for an email with details on ATSU’s new 2014-15 focus area goals.

Yours in service,

Craig M. Phelps, DO





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