New Coordinator puts Families First

Photo // Ericka Chatman

Ericka Chatman

UMKC’s Office of Student Involvement added another member to its team last month; Dannah Hartley was hired as Coordinator for New Student and Family Programs and assigned the task of planning UMKC’s first Family Weekend.

“We decided to call it Family Weekend versus Parents Weekend because we understand that students have a variety of people who support them and contribute to their success,” Hartley said. “We wanted to leave it open so students can bring whomever they feel matters.”

Family Weekend will be the first time UMKC has planned a weekend catered toward student’s families. Family Weekend is Sept. 20- Sept. 22 and is a time for students to invite their families to campus, share their college experiences and show off the UMKC and Kansas City community.

Hartley previously worked at the University of Kansas in academic advising. While at KU she coordinated a peer advisor team, ran student programs, helped organize orientations and hired students for leadership positions.

Her additional tasks at UMKC include hiring and training orientation leaders, working with new student programming and helping develop UMKC’s family program.

“I think I’m going to learn a lot from colleagues on campus,” Hartley said. “I’m really excited to work with the new orientation leaders. Last year’s team was fantastic so I’m sure the new team will be just as amazing.”

No formal agenda is planned for Family Weekend but a variety of events are occurring throughout the city and on campus during that time.

“We’re encouraging families to go one of the [UMKC] women’s or men’s soccer games,” Hartley said. “We are also offering brunch as well as dinner in the dining hall. We have campus tours going on throughout that time and we’re really encouraging families to experience other things happening in Kansas City during the weekend.”

Some of the other events going on during Family Weekend are the 82nd annual Plaza Art Fair, Kansas City Royals games, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company performances, Missouri Mavericks Fan Fest and 21st Annual Waldo’s Fall Festival.

Although UMKC has just started its family program there will be plenty of new opportunities and events for families being held over the next year.

“This is our starting point,” Hartley said. “Over the next near we will be developing a website. We’ll talk more about what role we want families to have on campus. Discuss other ways to connect with the population, because it’s integral to how our students feel and what our students do while they are UMKC.”

To register for Family Weekend visit A free t-shirt is given to students who register.