by Kelly Rogge

Graduation at Kansas City Kansas Community College is quickly approaching, but the annual celebration will look a bit different this year.

Instead of one ceremony, there will be two in an effort to help with security and crowd control. Both ceremonies will be Tuesday, May 19, at the KCKCC Field House, 7250 State Ave.

Commencement participants must attend the ceremony that corresponds with the certificate or degree that they have earned. Seating at both ceremonies is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved seating is available for those who require accommodations due to a medical disability.

The ceremony for those students who have earned an associate of applied science and certificates will be at 2 p.m. Check-in begins at 1 p.m. Programs include: Accounting (AAS), Addiction Counselor (Certificate, AAS), Administrative Office Professionals (Certificate, AAS), Audio Engineering (AAS), Auto Collision Repair (Certificate – TEC), Automotive Hybrid and Electric Vehicle (Certificate-TEC), Automotive Technology (Certificate – TEC), Building and Property Maintenance (Certificate – TEC), Computer Repair (Certificate – TEC), Business Administration (AAS), Computer Engineering Technology (Certificate, AAS), Computer Software Technology/Technician (Certificate, AAS), Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications (Certificate, AAS), Construction Technology (Certificate – TEC), Corrections (Certificate, AAS), Cosmetology (Certificate – TEC), Culinary Arts(Certificate – TEC), Digital Imaging (AAS), Drafting Technology (AAS), Early Childhood Education (Certificate, AAS), Early Childhood Education – CDA Preparation Credential (Certificate), Electrical Technology (Certificate – TEC), Exercise Leader (Certificate), Firefighter (Certificate) Fire Science/Firefighting(AAS), Hazardous Materials Management and Waste Technology (AAS), Heating and Refrigeration (Certificate – TEC), Homeland Security (Certificate), LPN to RN Articulation Program (AAS), Machine Technology (Certificate – TEC), Major Appliance Technology (Certificate – TEC), Marketing and Mid-Management (AAS), Medical Assistant (Certificate – TEC), Mortuary Science (AAS), Multimedia/Video Production (Certificate – TEC), Nail Technology (Certificate – TEC), Networking Technology (Certificate – TEC), Allied Health and Nursing/Practical Nurse (Certificate), Allied Health and Nursing/Registered Nurse (AAS), Office Assistant (Certificate – TEC), Paralegal (AAS), Paramedic/Mobile Intensive Care Technician (AAS), Paramedic/RRT to RN Bridge Program (AAS), Physical Therapist Assistant (AAS), Police Science (Certificate, AAS), Respiratory Therapist/Respiratory Care Therapy (AAS), Technical Studies (AAS), Victim/Survivor Services (Certificate, AAS), Web Application and Design (Certificate) and Welding Technology (Certificate – TEC).

The ceremony for those students who earned an associate of science, associate of arts or associate of general studies will be at 7 p.m. Check-in begins at 6 p.m. Programs include Biology (AGS, AS), Business (AS), Chemistry (AA, AGS), Computer Engineering Technology (AS), Economics (AA), Education, Elementary (AA), Education, Secondary (AA), Environmental Studies (AGS, AS), Exercise Science (AGS), Fine Arts (AA), Forensic Chemistry (AA, AGS, AS), History (AA), Journalism (AA), Music (AA), Music Technology (AGS), Philosophy (AA), Physics/Physical Science (AGS, AS), Political Science (AA), Sociology (AA), Theatre (AA), Theatre Technology (AGS), Victim/Survivor Services (AA), Pre-Agriculture (AGS, AS), Pre-Chiropractic (AGS, AS), Pre-Dental (AGS, AS), Pre-Engineering (AGS, AS), Pre-Exercise Science (AS), Pre-Law (AA), Pre-Medical (AGS, AS), Pre-Medical Technology (AGS, AS), Pre-Allied Health and Nursing (AS), Pre-Nutrition (AGS, AS), Pre-Occupational Therapy (AS), Pre-Optometry (AGS, AS), Pre-Pharmacy (AGS, AS), Pre-Physical Therapy (AS), Pre-Public Administration (AA), Pre-Radiologic Technology (AS), Pre-Respiratory Therapy (AS), Pre-Social Work (AA), Pre-Sports Mgmt. (AA) and Pre-Veterinary (AGS, AS).

“Part of the reason we changed graduation was crowd control,” said Denise McDowell, dean of enrollment management and registrar. “Through our check-in process, we have been able to count how many people we have had in the field house the last two years. We discovered that we had reached capacity. It was quickly becoming a fire marshal concern and a security concern.”

McDowell said that while creating two different ceremonies will address the overcrowding issues, she said she does realize students and their families will have to make adjustments – especially with the 2 p.m. ceremony.

“We do understand that this is a significant change for the students,” she said. “That is why we are trying to get the message out about that 2 p.m. ceremony, so families can make the appropriate adjustments.”

The graduation speaker for both ceremonies will be Judge Tim Dupree, who is a 1999 graduate of KCKCC. He is a Wyandotte High School alum and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 2001. He then attended the Washburn University School of Law where he earned a Juris Doctorate in 2003. Before becoming a judge of the 29th Judicial District in 2014, he worked as an assistant county attorney in Emporia, Kan. and as an attorney in Wyandotte County.

“He is a Wyandotte County resident and is a graduate of KCKCC,” McDowell said. “That is what made him such an attractive candidate.”

All students who have completed all degree requirements for the spring 2015 semester as well as fall 2014 and summer 2014 are eligible to participate in commencement. Students who are within nine hours of completing degree requirements in summer 2015 are also eligible to participate.

In addition, those students with at least a 3.4 grade point average qualify to graduate with honors and can wear an honors cord during commencement. Honors are awarded to students for completed coursework. Red, white and blue cords are available to active-duty service members, military veterans and spouses or dependent family members of active duty service members and veterans. These cords will be available at graduation check-in.

For more information on 2015 commencement exercises including graduation fees, visit http://kckcc.edu/admission/returning-students/graduation-information. Information is also available by contacting a graduation specialist at 913-288-7519 or by email at psipes@kckcc.edu.

With Peru State College coach Joan Albury looking on, Kansas City Kansas Community College basketball standouts Rashaun Casey, left,  and Iland Shurn signed letters to attend the Nebraska NAIA Division I college this fall. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
With Peru State College coach Joan Albury looking on, Kansas City Kansas Community College basketball standouts Rashaun Casey, left, and Iland Shurn signed letters to attend the Nebraska NAIA Division I college this fall. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Two sophomores who helped Kansas City Kansas Community College win 52 basketball games over the past two seasons – guard Rashaun Casey and forward Iland Shurn – will be taking their skills to Peru State College in Peru, Neb., this fall.

“We expect them to make an immediate impact,” said head coach Joan Albury. “We expect Iland to help carry us in the post and Rashaun to put up shots from the outside.”

A 5-8 guard from Bentonville, Ark., Casey set a KCKCC record when she knocked down eight 3-point goals against Central Methodist JV last year.

Named to the All-Region VI second team as a freshman, Casey led the Blue Devils in scoring with a 13.8-point average. She also averaged 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

Playing behind All-American Cierra Gaines this past season, Casey averaged 6.1 points and 2.3 rebounds.

A 5-9 forward who graduated from Bishop Miege High School, Shurn led the Blue Devils in rebounding and shooting percentage as a freshman.

Averaging 7.0 rebounds a game and 8.5 points, she shot at a 51.0 percent clip from the field, then shot even better this past season (53.9 percent) while averaging 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds a game.

The only NAIA Division I college in Nebraska, Peru State is a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

“We’ll have 12 teams in the conference this year and 14 the next year, all in Iowa and Missouri,” Albury said.

With only one starter and three other non-starters returning, Albury said the two KCKCC standouts figure heavily in Peru State’s future plans.

“She said our experience and leadership coming from a winning program should provide a huge impact for the team,” Shurn said.

Both Casey and Shurn said a visit to the Peru State campus was a major factor in their recruitment.

“The coaching staff was also real nice,” Casey said. “They said if I came in and worked hard I’d get a lot of playing time.”

Shurn said she was looking forward to playing in a smaller community after growing up in Raytown, Mo.

“It suits my personality,” she said. “I’m not that outgoing so I’m looking forward to it.”

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.

by Alan Hoskins
Kansas City Kansas Community College’s hopes of playing host to a first-round Region VI playoff series took a big hit Thursday as the Blue Devils divided a home doubleheader with Allen County.

KCKCC took an 8-4 win in the opener only to have Allen County rally for a 10-8 win in the nightcap and drop the Blue Devils (14-16) into fifth place in the Jayhawk East.

At the same time, Coffeyville (15-15) was winning a doubleheader at Independence 7-5 and 2-0 to take a one-game lead over KCKCC in the battle for fourth place.

With just six games remaining, the split left the Blue Devils (26-19) needing help from Independence or Labette, Coffeyville’s final two foes.

KCKCC, meanwhile, will play a doubleheader at Allen County Saturday and then close out regular season play against Fort Scott next Thursday (away) and Saturday (home).

Jonathan May allowed seven hits and three earned runs in KCKCC’s 8-4 win in Thursday’s 7-inning opener. Trailing 4-2, the Blue Devils went ahead with three runs in the fourth and added three more in the sixth.

Tyler Raymond singled and doubled for KCKCC while Tanner Foerschler and Alex Thrower each drove in two runs, Foerschler with two singles and Thrower one. Travis Stroup, who had two sacrifice flies, drove in the other three runs.

A 16-hit attack wasn’t enough in the nightcap as Allen County wiped out a 7-4 deficit with five runs in the seventh and then choked off two potential game-tying rallies in the eighth and ninth innings.

Foerschler and Stroup each had three hits in the game while Eli Lovell drove in three runs with a double and single.

Alex Lugo led the Red Devils with a pair of home runs, the second a 3-run blast that tied the game in the seventh.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.