Register for the Honors College Visit Day!

Spend a day exploring UMKC’s campus and the Honors College! The Honors College Visit Day will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2017.

Your day will include opportunities to learn about the Honors College experience, discuss your academic interests with a UMKC representative, learn about the UMKC and Honors College admission process, and hear about the latest scholarships and financial aid available to you.

You will take a tour of campus, meet with current honors students, shadow an honors course, and eat lunch in the UMKC Student Union.


  • 8:30a.m. – Check in and enjoy a continental breakfast
  • 9:15a.m. – Welcome to the Honors College and UMKC Admissions
  • 10:30a.m. – Attend your academic appointment
  • 11:30a.m. – Shadow an honors course
  • 1:00p.m. – Have lunch with honors students, faculty, and staff
  • 2:00p.m. – Take a campus tour

Register here to reserve your spot!

Honors College Student Assistant Work-Study Position Now Open for the Fall 2017 Semester!

The UMKC Honors College is accepting applications for the Honors College Student Assistant position for the Fall 2017 semester! The Student Assistant will be expected to work 15-28 hours a week in the office. The Student Assistant will report to the Executive Assistant of the Honors College.

Duties will be assigned by the supervisor. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintain student records for the Honors College
  • Assist with maintaining databases for the Honors College
  • Assist with processing online applications
  • Assist with preparing materials for recruiting events and admissions
  • Staff an Honors College informational table at recruiting events
  • Manage the Honors College Email account
  • Maintain the Honors College Website
  • Maintain the Honors College Facebook account and assist with other social media
  • Send announcements via the Honors College List serve
  • Assist with maintaining the Honors College Bulletin Board in Haag Hall
  • Serve as editor of the Honors College Weekly e-Newsletter
  • Build surveys using Qualtrics for the Honors College
  • Assist with special projects, including the Lucerna Symposium, and the Honors College Banquet
  • Provide general administrative support – answer phones, greet customers, filing, photocopying, shipping, etc.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • The Student Assistant must be an undergraduate student at UMKC with effective listening, writing, editing, proofreading, and oral communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Active member in good standing of the UMKC Honors College
  • Professional attitude
  • Flexibility and adaptability to new assignments and situations
  • Ability to multi-task and be highly productive in a fast-paced work environment
  • Punctuality and reliability
  • Attention to detail
  • Superior writing, editing, and proofreading ability
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal skills
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Ability to meet critical deadlines
  • Ability to effectively handle constructive criticism
  • Ability to work well in a team and independently with minimal supervision
  • Ability to communicate clearly and courteously with UMKC faculty, staff, students, parents, vendors, and community partners
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and apply sensitivity and sound judgement to all situations
  • Intermediate or advanced proficiency with all Microsoft Office Programs, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher
  • Intermediate or advanced proficiency with Outlook, Word Press, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

This is a part-time student assistant position, which requires 15-28 hours a week in the Honors College Office, Monday through Friday.

Hourly pay rate: $10.50/hour

Apply online at, and send a resume (in PDF or Microsoft Word format) to

Equal Employment Opportunity:

UMKC is an equal access, equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that is fully committed to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. The university will recruit and employ qualified personnel and will provide equal opportunities during employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. For more information on Equal Employment Opportunity, call the Vice Chancellor – Human Resources at 816-235-1621.

To request ADA accommodations, please call the Director of Affirmative Action at 816-235-1323.


To read more about Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) please use the following links:

EEO is the Law English Version
EEO is the Law Spanish Version
EEO is the Law Chinese Version

Honors College Work Study Positions Available!


AFIA – Academy for Integrated Arts – Work Study Position

Kauffman School Work-Study Position

The UMKC Honors College Helps Students Achieve Their Goals

Elizabeth Hemenway works quietly on her Apple laptop in a comfy chair on the fourth floor of Cherry Hall. Her gaze is fixed to the screen while her long blond hair drapes over her dark blue T‑shirt with the bright gold lettering that reads “Honors College.” Hemenway, a junior biology major, is glad she became a member of the Honors College, and credits the college with helping her decide what she wants to pursue in graduate school.

“The Honors College definitely helped me toward my post-graduate goal,” she said. “I thought I wanted to go to medical school, but after taking Honors Genetics with Dr. Scott Hawley, I changed my mind and am now focused on research in biology. The Honors College literally changed my course of study.”

So what is this Honors College?

According to its website, the honors program at UMKC was started in 1979 by Professor Bruce Bubacz as an academic program within the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Bubacz served as the founding director from 1979 until 1985, and during that time developed the honors program along with an oversight board and an introductory honors seminar.

Then on July 1, 2015, the honors program became the UMKC Honors College with Dr. James McKusick (“Dean Jim”) as its founding dean and Dr. Gayle Levy as director.

Levy was made director of the honors program in 2003, and continued through its transition to the Honors College. Levy is energetic, enthusiastic and excited about what the honors program accomplished and anticipates an amazing future for the new Honors College. Her excitement is contagious and the vision she and Dean Jim share is inspiring to their students. Neither of them takes credit for the success of the college though.

“The students are incredible,” Levy said, “Alumni. Current students. They are absolutely amazing, and they keep getting better and better.”

So what does it take to be an honors student at UMKC? And what can you expect to get out of it besides one of those sweet dark blue T-shirts with the bright gold lettering?

For incoming freshman, the Honors College website states that a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 in the core curriculum is a good “target.” Transfer students should have a college-level GPA of 3.7 or higher, or have participated in the honors program at their previous school. Currently enrolled students at UMKC with a GPA of 3.5 or above are eligible for admission into the Honors College.

While priority is given to students who meet or exceed these target criteria, the admissions committee takes into consideration the totality of each student’s application, with emphasis on academics and civic engagement. According to Levy, the Honors College is looking for students who want to be leaders in the classroom – and in all aspects of campus and community life – and grades are only a part of that equation.

Once admitted into the Honors College, in order to graduate with University Honors, an honors student must complete 27 honors credits. To graduate with the university’s highest distinction, Honors Scholar, an additional six-credit senior honors thesis is also required. This does not mean a lot of additional work, however.

There are many ways to earn honors credits, and most of them do not involve taking additional classes. For example, the Honors College offers honors-only seminars, anchor, and discourse classes that allow students to fulfill the university general education requirements while simultaneously earning honors credit. Students can also complete an “honors contract” in almost any other class, and earn honors credit equal to the three or more credit hours earned for that class. Honors discussion groups are also available for honors students enrolled in chemistry, biology, accounting, French, Spanish and German courses, and are a great way to both earn honors credits and get to know other honors students.

Honors credits can also be earned through study abroad programs, beyond the classroom experiences, graduate courses, and departmental honors courses that count toward the credit requirement for graduation.

For those students who are interested in the Honors College, but are concerned about paying more for their education, Levy would like to put those concerns to rest.

“The Honors College is a great addition to the wonderful education you will receive at UMKC, and it doesn’t cost anything extra. It is ‘value-added,’” she said. “We want all of the high-achieving students at UMKC to be a part of the Honors College,” she continued. “For a student who is gifted, talented, high-achieving, or whatever other term people want to use, there is a certain way of teaching that corresponds to their way of learning, so the classes are not harder, they are simply more tailored to the way high-achieving students learn best.”

Besides the cool-looking dark blue T-shirts and other “swag” that honors students receive, perhaps the most valuable rewards are the intangibles.

“I have met a lot of people in other majors that I might not have met otherwise,” Hemenway said. “The Honors College has definitely enriched my undergraduate experience. Also, I took classes like, ‘Honors Anchor – The Value of Beauty,’ that I might not have otherwise taken, but that I really enjoyed.”

Levy wants students to know that the Honors College is not just some snobby, private, exclusive club for future Mensa candidates to gather and mingle with others like them. There is something for everyone in the Honors College, and the focus of the college is on allowing individuals to explore what they want to explore – whatever it may be.

“Almost any student can find their niche in the Honors College,” Levy said. “This is a place for students to create what they want to create, and to pursue whatever it is that interests them. We give students a way to earn credit for research and other work they are already doing. The focus of the Honors College is to make learning more individualized, while offering the support of the honors community.”

Levy believes that the community provided by the Honors College for incoming 18-year-old students is especially invaluable. There are currently 60 honors students residing in Oak Street Residence Hall in the honors-only Living/Learning Community, and the college is working to expand into Oak Place Apartments in order to offer this same community for upper-level honors students no longer living in the residence hall.

There are currently 130 new honors students starting in fall 2017, and Dr. Levy expects that number will rise significantly before the start of the semester.


Tom Osborne grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa, where he lived for over twenty years before moving to Kansas City with his wife, Sheri, in 2008. Tom spent twenty years in the restaurant business, mostly as a manager of fine dining restaurants, before returning to school in 2012. An interest in the law sent Tom to Penn Valley College, where he earned an associate’s degree with highest honors in paralegal practice in 2014. Tom worked as a paralegal at a local law firm for two years before deciding to return to school and pursue a law degree. Tom has been a member of the Honors College since 2016, and plans to graduate with University Honors in May 2018. Tom was recently admitted to the UMKC School of Law where he will begin classes in the fall. After graduating and passing the bar, Tom plans to pursue a new career in environmental law. Tom and Sheri live in a condo in Quality Hill with their two cats, Fred and Morris. Besides playing guitar and cheering on his favorite teams, Tom enjoys cooking, eating good food, golfing, reading, and vacationing in San Diego, where his parents and brothers live.

The 2017 Honors College Banquet Celebrated a Diverse and Talented Class

This year’s Honors College Banquet celebrated the graduation of a diverse and talented class of students!

Many of the Honors College staff and faculty attended the banquet and celebrated  along with Dean James McKusick of the Honors College and Dr. Linda Talbott, an alumna of the Honors College. Read more about the celebration here! Scroll down to see pictures of the event. You can find even more pictures on the Honors College Facebook page!










Kathryn Night – Honors College Alumni Going Places

Honors College Alumni Going Places

By Beth Hammock, UMKC Honors College Development Consultant

Meet Kathryn Night, New York Finance Professional

“I had to do it on my own and be tenacious,” Kathryn (Hembree) Night, UMKC class of 2009, says when asked how she got her first job in investment banking. “Hard work pays off,” she says.

Kathryn earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and philosophy. When she started college, she wanted to be a doctor. Later, she wanted to be a lawyer. After two summer internships in New York City, she found her career path in the financial services industry. She lives in New York with her husband, Nadav Night.

I traveled to New York City to talk with Kathryn about her journey. Passionate about paying it forward, she happily shares her story with honors students and alumni.

How did you decide to pursue a career in finance post-college?

It’s a bit of a long story with many turns. Early in college, I was pre-med, but after taking a philosophy class and loving it, I realized I wanted to be open-minded about other options. I enjoyed qualitative, strategic writing, and started exploring philosophy as a major, which I thought might lead me to a career in law. In a series of random events, I also met my now husband who was a freshman at Yale. A friend and I went to visit Nadav in the fall of my sophomore year to see Yale play Harvard in football. Talking to the students at Yale was eye-opening for me, as they were all gearing up to do interviews for summer internships, all of which sounded incredible. I left the weekend full of knowledge and determined to get my own internship.

I spent the summers between my junior and senior years interning in New York City to see firsthand if a career in law was something I wanted to pursue. First, I interned for the District Attorney in Brooklyn. The next summer, I interned in the litigation department at Sullivan & Cromwell, a prominent corporate law firm. The two experiences were very different, and I found myself gravitating more towards the corporate side. At Sullivan & Cromwell, I worked on a case involving a large securities litigation matter – this opened my eyes to the world of finance.

Before my senior year kicked off, I knew I needed to make a plan and also network strategically. My approach was to apply to all of the top Wall Street banks and also Teach for America. I mapped out a list of the places I was interested in applying and made a spreadsheet of all the relevant info. I also identified a list of connections I had made throughout my summers in New York – essentially people to whom I could forward my resume after completing the formal online application process.

As the job search progressed, I identified Goldman Sachs as my top choice. The interview process for Teach for America and Goldman were at the same time, which was particularly challenging given that I was managing a full courseload. In the end, I chose to work for Goldman and it was the best decision I could have made. Their interview process is arduous and incredibly competitive, but you can make it happen if you are focused and determined!

You didn’t major in business, so how did you get a job working for an investment bank?

Goldman hires people with a variety of backgrounds. Some of my coworkers majored in finance, but many were liberal arts majors. What’s most important is being smart, being able to think critically, and to have experience that demonstrates you’ve been successful. If you have these qualities, then you’re trainable and you’ll get up to speed quickly, no matter what the subject matter. For recent college grads, there is a robust training program at Goldman that each new hire goes through before starting their job. As a non-finance major, I found the training to be quite challenging, but it was also exciting and fun to be learning something new. The bulk of my time at Goldman was spent in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group, helping advise companies on matters related to shareholder activism and contested mergers.

After five years at Goldman, I left to join CamberView Partners, a firm that advises public company boards and management teams on matters related to shareholder activism, contested mergers and complex corporate governance issues. We look to hire college graduates who can articulate an interest in the subject-matter and who have relevant professional or internship experience. What you do during your summers off is incredibly important if you plan to pursue a career in the corporate sector.

How did the UMKC honors program (now Honors College) help you?

I transferred to UMKC in my sophomore year after going to another university on the West Coast. I felt immediately comfortable in my honors classes at UMKC – the professors were great, and I made a point to develop good relationships with them. I also found that my closest friends were fellow honors students – they offered a great support network. I enjoyed my classes and did well. I also had the opportunity to conduct research in a lab.

What’s next for you? Do you plan to get your MBA?

I’ve been able to grow and advance my career in the direction I want without an MBA, so I don’t see the need to go to business school at this time. I think an MBA can be very useful if you’re looking to change careers or if you’re looking for a break or a fresh start. My husband got his MBA and it was great for him. I was able to leverage my skill set at Goldman to join CamberView, where I was an early employee in what was then a new firm based in San Francisco. I relocated to San Francisco for a year before moving back to New York when we opened our East Coast office. What started out as a small team in a small office in San Francisco has grown to a global company with over 70 employees and offices in London and New York. Being a part of a growing business has been and continues to be such a phenomenal experience. I find the work we do to be not only fascinating, but impactful.

You went to St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City for high school and grew up in the area, so moving to New York was a big adjustment. How did that go?

Yes and no – my family traveled a lot growing up and I had visited New York many times. I always thought that post-college I would end up on one of the coasts. I love the Midwest, but the type of work I was looking to do is largely concentrated in big cities. Through my summer internships, I was able to get a real taste for New York. It’s not for everyone, but I grew to be quite fond of it – I think if you can get comfortable in New York, it’s hard to imagine living anyplace else.

How do you balance your work and personal lives?

Over time, it’s gotten more manageable. When Nadav and I were both starting out, we only saw each other on weekends. Neither of us had nine-to-five jobs, and we both worked in challenging environments. Having empathy for each other helped! Now that we’ve advanced in our careers, we have more control over our schedules. We try to have dinner together every night, usually at home. We usually have to log back onto our computers in the evening, but at least we’re together.

What advice do you have for honors students?

If you know you want to pursue a career in an industry that’s incredibly competitive, start planning now.

  • Work hard and focus on getting top grades (you’ll need a high GPA).
  • Create a solid resume.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Build a network – find ways to talk to people and be outgoing – you never know who might be able to make introductions for you.
  • Spend your summers getting experience and work hard.
  • Be open-minded and play the ground game; if you can’t get a top internship, don’t get frustrated. Do something that’s going to help you build a valuable skill-set.
  • Don’t expect the university to find your job for you; take action yourself.

Kathryn Night is a second-generation UMKC alumna. Her mother, Kathryn Strickland Hembree, M.D., graduated from the School of Medicine in 1986; she practices ophthalmology in the Kansas City area.

On Friday, April 28, Night will visit the Honors College for brunch with students of the Honors College and Bloch School. For more information, click here.

Attend Brunch with Finance Professional Kathryn Night

Brunch with Finance Professional Kathryn Night
April 28, 2017 – 9:00-10:30a.m.
Oak Street Residence Hall Classroom


 The Honors College is hosting a special alumni event for students of the Honors College and Bloch School!

On Friday, April 28, honors alumni Kathryn Hembree Night will visit UMKC to speak to students about her experience in UMKC, her career path, offer one-on-one advice and more. Night graduated the Honors Program (now Honors College) in 2009 majoring in both chemistry and philosophy. After spending two summers in New York and working at Goldman Sachs, she has developed a successful career as an investment banker in New York City working for CamberView Partners.

Join Night for brunch from 9-10:30a.m. in the Oak Street Residence Hall classroom. Dean Jim McKusick of the Honors College will provide opening remarks and the brunch includes fresh bagels, pastries and fruit catered by Panera along with coffee and orange juice. Honors and Bloch school students are invited for this valuable networking opportunity.

RSVP using the link:

Space is limited so RSVP ASAP by Friday, April 21!

Contact Student Assistant Anthony Gilyard at for more information.

Become a Campus Ambassador for UMKC!

UMKC is seeking new Campus Ambassadors!

The UMKC Office of Admissions is seeking cheerful, articulate and enthusiastic UMKC undergraduate students to apply for the Campus Ambassador Program! Students chosen for this exciting program will be trained to assist in recruiting new students and giving prospective students tours. The Campus Ambassadors are always representing the Chancellor, Academic Units and the UMKC campus as a whole. This is a great opportunity to get involved on campus, meet new people and make amazing friendships. Students chosen for this position will also receive a $2,000 scholarship for the academic year 2017-2018. View the flyer here. Apply by Monday, April 17 with this link:

If you have any questions or concerns you can contact

Become an Honors Ambassador for Fall 2017!

The Honors College is seeking actively involved and committed Honors College students to apply to become Honors Ambassadors.  The Honors Ambassadors will be hourly paid positions.  These students will work closely with Honors College faculty and staff to promote the Honors College to prospective and current students as well as the university community. The Ambassadors will also serve as peer advisors and mentors to current Honors College students by being accessible during scheduled hours in various locations on campus to answer questions and support their fellow peers academically, professionally, personally and socially.

Job Responsibilities

  • Meet with students during set office hours in specific locations
    • Answer basic questions about curriculum
    • Share information about college activities/student clubs and community involvement
    • Provide information about Honors College and UMKC resources and offices
    • Assist students in learning how to use Pathway, Connect, and DARS for academic navigation and planning
  • Attend mandatory training in August and weekly meetings
  • Meet with prospective scholars that visit campus (ex. eating lunch with them on campus, have them attend a class with you) to give them the one on one attention and student perspective
  • Attend recruiting events hosted by UMKC Admissions and the Honors College
  • Assist with UMKC Summer Orientation

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be an Honors College student and have completed at least 1 semester in the Honors College.
  • Must have completed 2 full semesters at UMKC.
  • Excellent listening, written, and oral communication skills.
  • Must be available for training in August and weekly meetings during the semester

Application: If you are interested in applying to become an Honors Ambassador please follow this link to the application online.  You will also be asked to submit a resume.

Contact Breana Boger for more information.