Meet a Lucerna Author: Mastin Tapp

Mastin Tapp is a senior majoring in Mathematics and Statistics. He chose to attend UMKC because the mathematics department seemed to be a good fit for him. During his free time, he likes to sing and play the guitar. He also loves to hike in the Rocky Mountains. After graduation, Mastin hopes to begin a career at Boeing as a Systems Engineer. He would like to thank Dr. Richard Delaware for guiding him through his research. He put countless hours into editing Mastin’s work and helping him become a better mathematician.

UMKC School of Law: Courses Available for Undergraduates in Spring 2019

UMKC School of Law welcomes Juniors and Seniors interested in exploring law school courses or particular subject matter areas to enroll in courses that the faculty considers appropriate for undergraduates. Honors College students are eligible to receive Honors Credit for the courses. Up to six credits of graduate-level coursework may be counted toward the University Honors distinction. Click here for more information regarding this exciting opportunity.

Honors College Staff Spotlight: Enrico Mejia

What is your role in the Honors College? 

I’m the Honors College’s one of two Office Assistants. I’m responsible for maintaining the website, processing student data/forms, giving you life advice when you should be talking to a psychiatrist. Most important of all – the phone.

How do you serve as a resource to students? 

Honors students can come to me to know anything pertaining to their student data or if they wish to do a simple integrity check with it. Anything with regards to honors and thesis contracts, credit hours attained, or their student ID number, their data is a click away from me. Not to worry, I’m not part of an international conspiracy which entails the harvesting of human data for world domination ;).

How has being in the HC impacted your undergraduate experience? 

Being in the Honors College has allowed me to expand my college education beyond the traditional classroom experience. Because of the Honors College, academic writing was something I never expected to be involved in, until I came up with an idea to fulfill a contract for a Discourse class. I thank the Honors College, its staff and students for creating the academic aura in this university which enables me to enjoy learning. On another note, I have a job to pay for student expenses because of the Honors College!

What are you studying, and what are you most excited about with your major?

I’m currently studying Accounting, although I plan on switching because there is not much writing in it to keep me happy. Soon, however, I will be majoring in Business Administration while I take Humanities classes on the side. All in all, I just want to get my degree and go to law school ASAP.

Do you have any exciting plans for the near future?

I ‘m going to hold off on calling it “exciting” until I’m close to it. I plan on attending UMKC’s School of Law and becoming an attorney based in Kansas City, specializing in criminal defense and civil rights litigation. So much “fun” and so much money to spend! I’d be happy if I can keep this job while I go to law school, that’s exciting. I’ll have to stop depending on my mom someday…soon.

Honors College Staff Spotlight: Alisa Carmichael

Honors College Executive Assistant, Alisa Carmichael, joined the Honors College earlier this semester.


  1. What is your current role in the Honors College?


“I am the Executive Assistant. My primary role is serving as an assistant to the dean. The assistant takes care of calendar scheduling, meetings, and budget-type things.”


  1. Are they any upcoming projects you are excited to partake in with the Honors College?


“I am still kind of learning my job and working together with Margo to set up our own procedures and processes. Different people have been in this position and had different ways of organizing their procedures. I’m in the position of creating my own process of doing things by looking back at what past assistants did.


I would love to see more students in our the lounge, though!”


  1. Where did you receive your educational background?


“I have a Bachelor’s in English and Music, basically a double degree, from Florida State University in Tallahassee. I also have a Master’s in Library Media from Western Kentucky University.”


  1. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?


“I enjoy spending time with my daughter and her family. She has two little boys and is expecting a little girl around Christmas. We have not lived close to them before, so I enjoy getting to see them on the weekends. In terms of my own hobbies, I enjoy working with yarn and crocheting. I’m currently in the process of setting up a sewing and craft room in my house. I also enjoy bird watching, cooking, and reading.”


  1. What is the best advice you would give to a college student?


“Get involved. Find your family on the college campus. Whatever your interest level is, connect with other people. Find friendships; those relationships will last a lifetime. Get out and experience what college life has to offer.”

Trekking Across Latin America: Felix Amparano

This past summer, Felix spent 10 weeks in South America. His trip began with 4 weeks of backpacking across Colombia and Ecuador with his good friend, and former Honors Ambassador, Drew Cox. Then, he concluded his trip with a UMKC faculty-led foreign exchange program in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Felix especially enjoyed his time abroad because it was his first experience of cultural immersion. Though he admits that backpacking was stressful and hectic at times, he is very grateful for the outside the classroom experience he acquired through crossing international borders, navigating cross-country buses, and functioning in a non-native culture.

Felix highly recommends studying abroad or dedicating undergraduate time to traveling abroad and experiencing new and different cultures. He suggests speaking with peers and professors that share common interests in travel to create an idea of an exemplary, personalized experience. For ideas about going abroad or to learn more about Felix’s travels, feel free to visit him in the Honors Ambassador office!

Get to know your Honors Ambassadors: Jennifer Nguyen

Jennifer is a returning ambassador in her third year of the Honors College. She is a biology major with an emphasis in biomedical sciences. Following graduation, Jennifer hopes to attend a Physician Assistant program and work towards an eventual goal of international missions. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys practicing photography, being outdoors, and exploring Kansas City. Some of her favorite aspects of the Honors College are the opportunities to engage in investigative honors contracts, build relationships with students and staff, and participate in social events.

Stop by to say hi to Jen during her office hours in 430 Cherry Hall:

Tuesday: 12:30 – 3 PM

Wednesday: 9 – 11 AM

Thursday: 7:30 – 8:30 PM

Friday: 8:30 – 11 AM, 12 – 2 PM

Get to know your Honors Ambassadors: Lachlan Moore


Lachlan is another new addition to the Honors Ambassador team. He is a third-year health sciences student who is hoping to be matriculated into medical school after graduating. Outside of the classroom, Lachlan enjoys taking road trips, attending concerts, and watching B-movies. His favorite aspects of the Honors College are priority enrollment, the incredible study abroad opportunities, the Honors exclusive Anchors, and the subject-specific discussion groups.


Swing by the Ambassador’s office in 430 Cherry Hall during Lachlan’s office hours and ask him for his thoughts on the Joe’s vs. Q39 BBQ debate.

Monday: 2 PM – 4PM, 6 PM – 7:30 PM

Tuesday: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Thursday: 11 AM – 1 PM

Friday: 2 PM – 4:30 PM


Sunday, Nov. 25th: 5 PM – 7:30 PM

Lucerna Spotlight: Joseph Allen

Honors College junior, Joseph Allen, is the Editor-in-Chief of Lucerna, an undergraduate research journal published by the Honors College.  If you would like to get involved, contact Joseph at for more information.

  1. In your own words, how would you describe Lucerna as an organization, and what is its primary mission within the Honors College? 

“UMKC is home to hundreds of students who are doing research, getting involved, and making an impact on the world around them. Lucerna is UMKC’s only interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal. It gives students the incredible opportunity to have their research published, and to share the ideas and knowledge they’ve worked so hard to acquire. Our mission is to encourage and empower students as they advance in their educational and professional endeavors.”


  1. What is your role in Lucerna, and how long have you been a part of the organization? 

“I am the Editor-in-Chief, and I’ve been a part of Lucerna for two and a half years now. My main role is to edit and finalize the publication, help organize the symposium,  and train our staff members to review and edit submissions.”


  1. What is an exciting project that the organization currently has in place? 

“The Lucerna Symposium is our big annual event, and that’ll be on February 15. We are excited because everything is coming together well – so far, we have student speakers, lots of faculty attending, and most importantly food. It’s going to be a great event! All students are welcome and encouraged to come.”


  1. Why did you decide to be involved and run for leadership in this organization? What is advantageous about taking part in the group? 

“I really saw it as a great opportunity to not only see what students are researching across different fields, but to help those students out by encouraging them to have an undergraduate publication. It’s not as intangible or unreachable as a lot of people might imagine. I wanted to be more involved in the Honors College, and after I went to the first couple of meetings, I liked it. Long-story-short, here I am.”


  1. How does Lucerna contribute to your personal development and further your aspirations for the future?

“In the leadership sense, it’s a bit more focused with a more specific role of publishing the journal. Most, if not all, of the process was something I had never done before, so I’ve learned a lot. The other side of it is being able to look at some of these papers from a new standpoint. It’s helped me to understand and judge both the content and editing side. Being exposed to some of that helps you to look at papers in a different way, and it teaches you a lot. I suppose in a lot of ways everything can be a learning experience. So, why not make the most of it”


  1. Outside of Lucerna, what are some hobbies or activities you enjoy engaging in?

“I love reading, cooking, painting, music… and, I’ve kind of gotten into plants over the summer. Honestly, there’s not many things I don’t enjoy delving into.”



Internship Opportunity: Truman Bootstrap Internship

The UMKC Truman Center for Governmental Affairs is seeking applications for the 2019 Truman Bootstrap Internship Award. UMKC will send two students to Washington D.C. to intern with members of Congress for 8 weeks over the summer. The award covers expenses for airfare, housing, 3 credit hours, and a stipend to cover meals and incidental expenses. Additional details and application instructions are here:

For specific questions, contact Dr. Vonnahme:

Internship Opportunity: Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI)

Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute (BHLI)

The BHLI is a premier executive leadership development program established to cultivate the next generation of diverse underrepresented healthcare leaders. The BHLI  provides leadership training with an opportunity to analyze current issues in healthcare with national leaders from the fields of healthcare, law, banking, and business with continued mentoring through placement in a paid internship in a premier healthcare environment.


Phase I: May 28 to June 12, 2019 includes $1200 stipend, housing, lodging, and travel allowance to Kansas City, MO

Phase II – Ten week paid internship in Summer 2020 in a notable healthcare organization based upon successful completion of Phase I


Underrepresented sophomore students possessing leadership skills and a minimum 3.2 GPA. Scholars from varying majors are invited to apply: accounting, bio-engineering, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, engineering, finance, health administration, health sciences, marketing, nursing, pharmacy, pre-dentistry, pre-law, pre-medicine, psychology, etc.


PHASE I TOPICS: Public health, public policy, health equity, health law, behavioral health, socio-economic determinants of health, etc.


PHASE I ACTIVITIES: Meyers Briggs Personality Profile, Mock Interview with Chief Human Resource Officers, Etiquette Dinner, Tour of Art Museum, Kansas City Symphony, Team Building Activities, Sporting KC Soccer Game or Kansas City Royals Game, Financial Literacy



Presenters have included the following: Wright Lassiter, President and CEO of Henry Ford Health System; Patricia Maryland, President and Chief Executive, Ascension Healthcare; Ian Morrison, famed author, consultant, and futurist; Richard Pollack, President and CEO of American Hospital Association; Kathleen Sebelius, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Dr. Bruce Siegel, President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, and Esther George, President and Chief Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, among others.



BHLI Scholars have been placed at the following sites: Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., America’s Essential Hospitals, Atrium Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield; Catholic Health Initiatives, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cerner Corporation, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Cone Health, Delta Dental of Minnesota, Duke University Hospital, John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Novant Health, Saint Luke’s Hospital, Swope Health Services, Truman Medical Centers, University of Kansas Health System, and Walgreens, among others.


APPLY: Please complete the online application at by Monday, October 22 at 6:00 am.



Upon review of the submitted applications, selected scholars will be invited to interview on the campus of University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

Want to know more? Talk with other UMKC students who have participated in the Institute.

Dominique Paje:

Camila Aponte:

Click here for the 2018 Annual Report