Ann Brunick (M.S.D.H. ’86)

School of Dentistry – Dental Hygiene
Ann Brunick, RDH, MS is the Chairperson and Professor of the University of South Dakota’s Department of Dental Hygiene. Ann received an associate’s degree from USD, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has been a member of the USD faculty since 1982 and Chairperson of the Department since 1996. Ann has had national involvement with the ADHA Institute for Oral Health Scholarship and Research Review Committees, the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation and the ADA Joint Commission for National Dental Board Examinations. Ann has been involved with several interprofessional education projects emphasizing oral health to students within the Physician’s Assistant Studies, Physical Therapy, and Sanford School of Medicine programs at the University of South Dakota. She participated in a CDC grant in which an innovative health promotion model was developed and implemented as a collaborative interprofessional approach to assist an underserved population with diabetes. She recently received a HRSA Office of Rural Health Policy Outreach grant to establish a school-based preventive dental program serving several school districts in southeast South Dakota. Ann is the author of several articles and book chapters and is the co-author of a textbook entitled the Handbook of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen Sedation in which the 4th edition is in progress. Ms. Brunick is the recipient of the 2012 UMKC Alumni Achievement Award.

Dorothy Watson (M.A. ’64)

School of Education
Literacy trailblazer, international educator and professor emerita of education at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Dorothy Watson has taught in inner-city Kansas City, Mo., in Sierra Leone and in Kenya. The Watson Literacy Center, which she founded and is housed at Park University, was named in her honor. Her pioneering work in literacy education garnered her recognitions that include her induction into the Reading Hall of Fame, Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts by the Nation Council of Teachers of English and recipient of the William T. Kemper Fellow for Excellence in Teaching. Watson is internationally known as a pioneer of the whole language movement and served as the first president of The Whole Language Umbrella, a subsidiary of the National Council of Teachers of English.  She co-authored Reading Miscue Inventory, the book that is widely regarded as a classic text on literary assessment. Watson earned her doctorate from Wayne State University in 1973, her M.A. from UMKC in 1964 and her B.A. from Park University in 1952. Watson has published countless articles, six books (including Making a Difference: Selected Writings of Dorothy Watson), and has contributed chapters to 40 books.

Allison Bergman (J.D. ’96)

School of Law
Recently named as a Leading Lawyer for Business by Chambers USA and previously recognized by Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly as a contender for lawyer of the year, Allison Bergman is a lawyer with a passion for the urban core of Kansas City. She is an attorney at Hardwick Law Firm, LLC, and practiced at the law firm of Lathrop & Gage LLP for over 14 years. Bergman works on the development of the largest wind power transload facility in the Midwest, and has focused 14 years of her practice on real estate, development and land use issues. She served as assistant and then chief legal counsel to the Kansas City Terminal Railway Company for a decade. In addition, she served as lead counsel for the redevelopment of Kansas City’s landmark Federal Courthouse, and since 2000, has represented Beacon Hill Developers in its effort to redevelop a 90-acre neighborhood in the city’s urban core. From 2000 to 2010, she shared her vast expertise with the legal community as a co-author of the Federal Regulations section of the Missouri Bar Association’s Real Estate Practice Handbook.

Dr. John Owen ( B.A. ’79, M.D. ’81)

School of Medicine
Brigadier General John Owen is a practicing physician at the Liberty Clinic in Liberty, MO. Recently retired from his post as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Command Surgeon, Air Mobility Command, Owen received the Surgeon General’s Air National Guard State Air Surgeon of the Year in 2007 and the Harry Truman Public Service Award in 2012, which he accepted on behalf of the members of the Armed Forces during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Owen served the state of Missouri as director of the Joint Staff, Missouri Joint Force Headquarters, where he oversaw domestic operation, joint staff, special staff and the state partnership program to the nation of Panama. He has received many honors for his service, including the Legion of Merit, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.

Deborah Persell (M.S.N. ’78)

School of Nursing
Deborah Persell, a national leader in crisis management, has played an instrumental role in founding a new field in the profession of nursing. After Sept. 11, 2001, Persell pursued and became the first graduate from the Homeland Security Nursing program at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she earned her doctorate. At Arkansas State University, today Persell is a professor in the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She serves as director of the Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management program as well as coordinator of the university’s Regional Training Center for Disaster Life Support. Her work has revolutionized the way crises are managed, and through her articles, national speaking engagements and her scholarship, she has shaped how the nursing profession approaches crises and disasters. Persell, who is also a credentialed nurse practitioner, was named Academic Nurse of the Year in 2010 by the UMKC School of Nursing.

William Larmer (B.S.P. ’75)

School of Pharmacy
As a respected and successful financial expert who manages the portfolios of people from all walks of life, William Larmer works with business owners, doctors, movie stars, professional athletes, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. Larmer serves clients, near and far, through his financial advisory firm, Larmer & Elstun, LLC. Though himself not a practicing pharmacist, he credits his success to the rigorous, high-quality education he received at UMKC’s School of Pharmacy. He is a regular speaker who talks with students about the many career options that await them, both inside and outside the health sciences field. Larmer has devoted countless hours to both the Pharmacy Alumni Association and the Pharmacy Foundation, working to advance the school. He received the School of Pharmacy’s Alumni Award for Outstanding Professional Service in 2007.

Puppy love
Uncrossing the wires

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