MNU news

Campus News: Summer 2020

Accent Summer 2020 Magazine
Dr. Bobby L. Love, Sr. (center right), recipient of the 2020 Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Legacy Award, with (l. to r.) Dr. Victoria Haynes, Dr. David Spittal and Dr. Janice Love.

MLK Community Celebration 2020 

MNU’s Community Chapel service was a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 21, 2020.

The 14th annual celebration included community members, civic and business leaders who joined students in the event.


Heritage Choir, led by Dr. Christopher Smith, associate professor of music, sang two selections to the delight of the audience. Dr. Victoria Haynes, professor of nursing and coordinator of diversity & cultural competency, introduced six new MLK Leader Scholars: McKenna Berger, Jalynn Ervin, Dacia Harris, Rachel Morrow, Ana Sanchez- Garcia and Jenell Johnson. The students were each awarded a scholarship. 

Dr. Bobby Love, Sr., was honored with the Martin Luther King
Jr. Living Legacy Award for his 30 years of distinguished service
in Kansas and as pastor of the historic Second Baptist Church (established circa 1868) located in its original spot at 331 N. Kansas in Olathe. Love’s message was titled Remembering the Dream. He presented numerous illustrations of Dr. King’s courage and faith while reminding the audience to live out the message of King’s mission. 

Resilience Project - Gains Relevance Amid Pandemic

In early 2019 Addison Lucchi, associate professor, instructional and research librarian, gained grant funding for a series of events focusing on Resilience Through Story. He could not have guessed how timely the topic would become. Throughout the 2019-2020 academic year, until the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the last event, the series featured authors and artists whose work touches on how human story can be healing.

The series, underwritten by a grant from Humanities Kansas, featured lectures, workshops, book discussions and an appearance by Kansas Poet Laureate Huscar Medina. Medina was joined at the Community Poetry Reading by three community and seven student poets as well as a local spoken-word dance group.

Other series speakers:

  • In her Game-based Storytelling Workshop, University of Kansas PhD student Brynn Fitzsimmons discussed how storytelling and games can address stress and help people cope with adverse life events.
  • Novelist and poet Miguel Flores led a poetry workshop tying poetry to identity and discussing poetry as a therapeutic exercise.
  • Writer/director Stephen Pruitt’s film, The Tree, portrayed themes of aging and life stages— connecting one’s past, present, and future into a single narrative. He posits that doing so helps one to make sense of their own stories.
  • Award-winning writer and creator of The One Year Adventure Novel, Daniel Schwabauer, discussed how stories work on a macro and micro level—exploring the benefits of storytelling and the dangers that stories can have in certain situations.

Lucchi hopes a takeaway from this series is that individuals will be intentional in using stories of hope and encouragement to lift one another—especially as the world navigates a historic pandemic.

“I do not know how future generations will respond to the stories we tell them about this pandemic,” Lucchi says. “My hope is the stories we tell them fully reflect the challenges we faced, the resilience of our communities, and the presence and grace of our God in the midst of it all.”

Pilot Hero Visits Olathe

MNU and Olathe welcomed Alumna, Capt. Tammie Jo (Bonnell ’83) Shults for several events Feb. 3 and 4, 2020. Capt. Shults, who was thrust into the public spotlight in April 2018 when she safely landed Southwest Airlines flight 1380 after the catastrophic loss of an engine, has authored “Nerves of Steel.” The book recounts her humble beginnings, perseverance to become one of the early female Navy pilots and the training and opportunities that culminated in her God-given strength that day.

Capt. Shults and her husband, also a Southwest Airlines pilot Capt. Dean Shults, enjoyed the Kansas City Chiefs win in Super Bowl LIV with friends, before a variety of events on Monday and Tuesday, held for the university at MNU, Garmin International and the Olathe Public Library.

At MNU’s Community Chapel on Tuesday, Shults was given the key to the City of Olathe by fellow MNU alum, Olathe Mayor Michael Copeland (’84), in recognition of her extraordinary skill and bravery in the face of danger, and for exemplifying the values of leadership, perseverance
and service.

MNU First University in Kansas to Offer
New Advanced Practice Nursing Program

The School of Nursing’s newest online program started in January with students seeking the credentials to become Adult- Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (AGPCNP). MNU is the first university in Kansas offering this specialty.

An AGPCNP is an advance practice nurse with a clinical focus on treating people from adolescent through adult and into advanced age. The School of Nursing chose this focus due to growing demand for advance practice nurses who specialize in adult and gerontology care as the U.S. population ages.

Gwen Wagner, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, associate professor and program director, says students in the program are dealing with increased responsibilities at work and home as many healthcare professionals are experiencing due to the pandemic.

“We are trying to be flexible with assignments and due dates with our present students as we certainly understand their additional responsibilities and difficulties during this time,” Wagner says. “We meet with them in Zoom meetings to assure them of our support and to try to ascertain how we can best support them during this time. The faculty are wonderful and very responsive to students' concerns.”

MNU holds many top-rated rankings for its nursing programs, from pre-licensure BSN to graduate-level MSN. Programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing (CCNE) and the Kansas State Board of Nursing. The next start date for a new cohort is in August.

For more information about the MSN program for Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, visit

HLC Affirms MNU Accreditation

Colleges and universities periodically complete an extensive self-study to earn continued accreditation. In fall 2019, MNU completed this process and was notified in March 2020 that the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Council accepted the team report, which affirmed that MidAmerica Nazarene University met all criteria for accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region of the country. President David Spittal expressed gratitude to the self-study team and its leaders. 

“MidAmerica Nazarene University is known by its strong commitment to academic excellence, innovation and quality services for students,” Spittal said. “This recent action by the Higher Learning Commission is a credit to our faculty and staff and their continued commitment to serve our students with excellence.”

Accent Summer 2020
This Issue

Summer 2021

Momentum builds with new construction, the return to in-person Commencement and athletic success despite the pandemic! Enjoy this issue of Accent Summer 2021.

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