Program Information & Program Enhancements

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Program Information & Program Enhancements

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Connecting With My Academic Success Coach

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Honors Program

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Minors, certificates & Professional Development

Communities at Edwards Campus


Connecting with my Academic Success Coach

Your coach is your advocate, your connector to resources, and your partner in your educational pursuit. Explore your program information in greater detail.

Q1: What can you expect from your Academic Success Coach?

Your Academic Success Coach will ensure that you are provided the highest level of service focused on:

  1. Engaging you in a collaborative conversation to develop a meaningful education plan consistent with your personal values and career aspirations.
  2. An integrated, holistic advising approach that will guides you from your first interaction with us, all the way to graduation.
  3. Meeting your individual needs. We understand what it means to be a working adult, non-traditional student, high school student, or a student trying to complete a degree within a busy lifestyle.

Q2: What are Academic Success Coaches?

  1. We are your advocates, your connectors to resources, and your partners in your educational pursuit.
  2. As professionals and members of the National Academic Advising Association, coaches are guided by NACADA’s core values of respect, inclusivity, commitment, empowerment, professionalism, integrity, and caring.


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Q3: How Can I Find My Academic Success Coach:

We coach by program. So, if you know your program, you can find your coach.

Take some time to find your coach below and learn a little more about who you will be working with throughout your time at KU Edwards.

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Kim Huggett

Campus Office Location: BEST278Campus Phone Number: 913-897-8421 Email Address:

Hometown: North Platte, NE (Go Big Red!)

Degrees held: BA Social Work – Nebraska Wesleyan University, Masters in Public Administration (MPA) - UMKC

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I have worked in higher education for 34 years – 20 of them here at the KU Edwards Campus so you can tell that this is a job that I enjoy. I love talking with students to help them figure out what program is the best fit for them to achieve their personal goals. The relationship building is something I enjoy and seeing the students graduate is exciting.


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Matt Tidwell

Campus Office Location: RH370DCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8416 Email Address:

Hometown: Arkansas City, KS

Degrees held: B.S., Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas; M.S. Communications Management, Syracuse; Ph.D., Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I help people advance their careers and, in doing so, build better lives for themselves and their families.


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Cari Ann Kreienhop

Campus Office Location: RH370GCampus Phone Number: 785-864-3665 Email Address:

Hometown: Humboldt, NE

Degrees held: Bachelor of Arts in music from Doane University in Crete, NE; Master of Music in Opera Performance from University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS; a graduate certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies from KU in Lawrence, KS

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I am fortunate to be surrounded by brilliant, driven scholars and am inspired on a daily basis to contribute to and advocate for public affairs and administration. I work closely with faculty, graduate students, community partners, and alumni to bolster the position of the MPA program in the public service community. I'm passionate about clearly communicating policy, supporting my graduate students, promoting my top-ranked city and county management program, and building a community that values justice and service.


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Emily Plotkin

Campus Office Location: RC111CCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8509 Email Address:

Hometown: I was born in NYC, however I grew up in the Overland Park area.

Degrees held: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology –University of Kansas; Master of Arts in Counseling and Guidance-UMKC

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I truly love helping students reach their goals and map out their academic plan for the future. My background in counseling has allowed me to utilize the skills I learned to assist students in many aspects of their lives and coach them to be the best possible version of themselves. I am a natural planner and a stickler for accuracy and always giving the right information. As a graduate of KU, I am also able to use my own undergraduate experience as a model to help students understand how KU works and how they can take the best possible advantage of all of the resources it has available.


Nigyar Alves

Nigyar Alves

Campus Office Location: RC117CCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8556 Email Address:

Hometown:Baku, Azerbaijan

Degree held: BA Communication Studies from University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: I value education in helping people find their passion and strengths in all stages of their college career. Academic advising goes beyond class selection and scheduling. It is an intensive process that takes into account the whole student and their college experience. It is valuable to have a non-judgmental, non-evaluative person in student’s lives throughout their college experience.


Liz Barton

Liz Barton

Campus Office Location: RC117BCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8521 Email Address:

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Degrees held: Bachelors of Liberal Arts and a Masters of Arts in Educational Administration both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: Growing up, I wanted to be a recreational therapist. When I was in college, I spent my summers as a camp counselor and found my love for youth development and mentoring. I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in England and had an amazing advisor who helped me tremendously and cared about me as a person. That’s when I knew I wanted to devote my career to helping college students. Being an academic success coach allows me to help students in multiple ways and I love that.


Terri Woodburn

Terri Woodburn

Campus Office Location: RC2BCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8427 Email Address:

Hometown: Maysville, Missouri

Degrees held: BS in Geography, MA in Geography, and PhD in Geography, all with concentrations in physical processes focusing on fluvial (river system) and soil geomorphology

I am a Faculty Advisor because: my passion for advising comes from the same desire as my passion for teaching – I want to provide students with the best opportunity to succeed in their goals. This starts with helping others obtain the opportunity to continue their learning, assisting in finding the right education and career fit, and providing tools to help students succeed in courses and, ultimately, in obtaining their future career goal.


Nathaniel Coney III

Nathaniel Coney III

Campus Office Location: RC117ACampus Phone Number: 913-897-8566 Email Address:

Hometown: McComb, MS

Degrees held: B.S. Communication Studies, Kansas State University; M.S.E Higher Education Administration, University of Kansas

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I take pride in meeting students where they are and assisting them with career and academic aspirations moving forward. I strive to identify and eliminate barriers preventing students from taking that next step.


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Nicole Wilburn

Campus Office Location: RC111KCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8406 Email Address:

Degrees held: BBA in Management Information Systems, Wichita State University; MSE in Higher Education Administration, University of Kansas

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: As a first generation college student, I remember being overwhelmed and under-educated about all of the choices I was expected to make. College students have a hard enough time finding ways to balance all of their competing priorities (academics, job, family, friends, etc.) that anything I can do to help them more easily navigate their college experience I am happy to do! I had great coaches/advisors/mentors that helped me in my educational journey, and I hope to be able to do the same for others.


Amea Chandler

Amea Chandler

Campus Office Location: RC117DCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8547 Email Address:

Hometown: Hiawatha, KS

Degrees held: B.S. Speech Communication with minor in psych, Northwest Missouri State University; M.S. Applied Health Science with emphasis in wellness, Northwest Missouri State University

I am an Academic Success Coach because: I am an Academic Success Coach because: students need advocates that understand university policies, procedures, and resources that can directly affect their success at KU. I also love helping students in general which is why this position is such a good fit for me. The students I have met since coming to KU Edwards have already positively impacted my life in multiple ways. It is a privilege to get to work with social work students, faculty, and staff (KU Edwards staff included) who are helping to change the world.


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Shana Palla

Campus Office Location: BEST350JCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8674 Email Address:

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Degrees held: BS in Mathematics, MS in Statistics, and working on EDD in Higher Ed (expected July 2021)

I am an Academic Success Coach / Advisor because: Students in the Applied Statistics & Analytics MS, Applied Statistics Graduate Certificate, and Applied Data Science Graduate Certificate programs need one person who can serve as the “go to” person when it comes to their graduate academic success. I am with students from the initial inquiry all the way to post-graduation career assistance. Having a single person do this, who understands the field with firsthand experience, is vital to the success of the programs and the success of the students. Online programs need a point of contact that is there to listen, advise, and serve as the liaison to the faculty and administrators at the school on behalf of the student. I enjoy being that person.


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Ben Herron

Campus Office Location: RC111DCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8544 Email Address:

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Degrees held: Associate of Arts (JCCC-2008), Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (KU-2011), and Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration & Urban Leadership (UMKC-2016)

I am an Academic Success Coach because:Despite dropping out of high school, I had two advisors who never stopped believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. They always promised me that when, not if, I graduated from college, they would find a way to be at my graduation. After building momentum and confidence at JCCC before then transferring to KU, I graduated in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in political science and in 2016 with a master of arts in higher education administration and urban leadership from UMKC. And yes, those advisors were there to help me celebrate. Thus, my career in higher education has been a cathartic process and my passion for advising students has allowed me the opportunity to give back in the same way that I was once supported. Working at the Edwards Campus allows me to work with many students who are taking the nontraditional path I once ventured as well. I couldn’t ask for more.


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Jenny Parr

Campus Office Location: RC111BCampus Phone Number: 913-897-8518 Email Address:

Hometown: Marshalltown, Iowa

Degrees held: Bachelors (double major + minor) – International Relations/Spanish, Latin American Studies; Masters – English Linguistics

I am an Academic Success Coach because: The one-on-one connections I have with students, help me realize I have an impact on their academic success. I try to meet them where their needs are and be the person in whom they know they can turn to for help or just to tell me a success story. This, to me, is at the heart of a student-centered coach, adviser, mentor, guide, and (in some ways) teacher. For me, when I can see my student all the way through to graduation, especially if the road was bumpy along the way, is success.


Honors Program

Seeking a challenging but rewarding addition to your college experience? Consider one of the best-ranked honors programs in the nation.

KU has one of the top rated honors program in the nation and the Edwards campus is a key partner in that experience. If you are looking for a challenging yet rewarding opportunity to enhance your degree and make a statement on your resume, consider what the honors program can do for you.

  • Visit the Edwards Honors Program page for specific honors information.
  • Schedule a time with your Academic Success Coach to talk about how the honors program would fit into your plan of study.

Need answers to your honors questions? Contact Ben Herron at for more information.