The High Priest of Sound

Paul Rudy has always been fascinated with sound. He’s ridden the sound waves to many impressive achievements as a composer, performer, Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Fellow, artist and sound healer. He’s currently the Curator’s Distinguished Professor, but his path to UMKC and the honorary title “High Priest of Sound” was as winding as the labyrinth he created on his Kansas farm.

“I understood the power of sound when I was a kid,” Rudy recalled. “My sister was watching a horror movie, and I was behind the couch playing. I heard this sound, and I stood up and started watching. It totally sucked me in. That movie scared the crap out of me! But I knew it was that sounds that drew me in.”

Rudy’s fascination with sound continued into his college career, even when he thought it wouldn’t.

“I did a jazz trumpet degree at Bethel College in Newton, then I quit music altogether and became a mountain climber and carpenter for four or five years,” he said. “That wasn’t stimulating my brain enough, though. I’ve been chasing my tail my whole life.”

The chase would bring him back to music in the late 80’s, when he joined a composition class at Wichita State University. It was there that he composed a piece of music his instructor described as graduate work. Invigorated by this taste of success, he applied for a music composition program at the University of Colorado and earned an assistantship in the program.

“I discovered the studio, and I fell in love with actually making and sculpting sound,” Rudy reminisced. “That’s why I went the electronic route.”

“Paul is a scientist.When I think of people in the Conservatory, I think of creators, musicians and artists, but I never think of science. And yet, Paul’s brain thinks like a scientist. He comes up with scientific principles, questions for us to analyze, and then he’s really good at analyzing data and distilling it down to what we need to answer our questions.”
– Gary Sutkin, M.D., director, Surgical Innovations Laboratory

It was this interest in electroacoustic music that would provide him with another opportunity in his academic career. This time, at UMKC’s Health Sciences Campus, working in tandem with Dr. Gary Sutkin, professor of surgery and associate dean of women’s health at the UMKC School of Medicine. Together, the two are studying how sounds in the operating room can affect health outcomes for patients during surgery.

“Paul is a scientist,” said Sutkin of his colleague. “When I think of people in the Conservatory, I think of creators, musicians and artists, but I never think of science. And yet, Paul’s brain thinks like a scientist. He comes up with scientific principles, questions for us to analyze, and then he’s really good at analyzing data and distilling it down to what we need to answer our questions.”

“I think my study with electroacoustics and knowing how the brain processes sound brought me to the operating room study,” Rudy says. “Sound is vibrating on us, acting upon us all the time. Every time we hear sound it’s not just hitting our ears; it’s hitting our whole body. There was a part of me that was excited about offering something other than just the study of music. This seemed to be an opportunity to take that work into a deeper, more significant arena, and it’s still unfolding.”

“We’ve been studying it for about two or three years, and we’re going to study it for about another 20,” said Sutkin, only half-jokingly. “We’re not the first ones to measure the sound environment, but I think we are the first ones to really delve into what we call ‘speech communication interference,’ when someone says something, and the other person doesn’t hear them. There are so many machines that are making loud noises, multiple conversations going on. We’re measuring those interferences, then I think we can make recommendations.”

Those recommendations could one day save lives by changing the very nature of how operating rooms are built and managed. For now, the pair are happy with the success they’ve seen, having been published in one medical journal, with a second article currently under review.

Rudy considers research a part of his creative process, satisfying his analytical side so as not to hinder creative flow while making his art. “The brain is really good at cataloging and organizing things, but the spirit knows how to make the best use of it all.” That was the realization, Rudy says, when creating became fun. “I felt like I had all these resources starting to really work together and complement each other.”

Rudy’s creative spirit carries well beyond music. Settled on 70 acres, north of Lawrence, Kansas, you’ll find Harmony Farm, a home as interesting and eccentric as the man who lives there.

“It’s become a canvas, of sorts, that I photograph and that I use to make modern day ‘Nazca Lines,’” says Rudy, referring to massive and mysterious geoglyphs etched across Peru’s Nazca Desert. While Rudy openly admits to keeping a quiet social life outside of the farm, he’s ever eager to share his passions with students at UMKC.

“Over the last ten years, I’ve started to love teaching,” Rudy says. “It went from being part of the job to something I really look forward to doing. Part of what I love is staying in touch with young people.”

“Paul is one of the most generous people I know, and one of the most open thinkers,” said Andrew Granade, former interim dean of the Conservatory. “I’ve been on dissertation graduate committees with him many, many times with his students, and they all sound like themselves. He has a unique ability to listen to them, respond to them and help them grow into the artist they need to be.”

Rudy challenges his students to find fresh perspectives, and he does so with zest, teaching a general education course he calls the artist in society.

“I’ve had students tell me they’ve never seen a piece of art before, I’ve had students tell me they’ve never had a conversation with someone they disagreed with before,” Rudy says. “And I just love seeing what happens when they have those new experiences. Part of my job is mentoring them into those new experiences. I present them with some really uncomfortable stuff, sometimes purposefully, for them to learn how to witness what happens in them when things get uncomfortable.”

“Paul is very Socratic in his teaching style,” said Granade, “I imagine the first couple of weeks it’s a little bit uncomfortable for them, because any time you have your beliefs or thoughts challenged, it’s uncomfortable. But what he’s doing is basically saying this is the role of the artist, literally the role of the artist in society is to open up these dialogues.”

Rudy says he wants students to think about the ways they act and react. How do they navigate obstacles? How do they learn and grow?

It’s a practice he recently had to exercise himself. But through a painful experience, he says he’s found one of his proudest moments.

Rudy’s long-time friend, poet Jay Hopler was 51 years old when he lost his battle with cancer in June. The two had studied together at the American Academy of Rome in Italy.

“In 2017, Jay was thinking about a poem that would describe himself, and he asked me, ‘If I were a piece of music, what would I be?’” Rudy says the melody was instant. “I heard the music in my head. That doesn’t happen often. Most of the time, it’s hard work, but I knew exactly what Jay sounds like.”

Holding up a copy of still life, Hopler’s final published book of poetry, Rudy turned to the last page of the closing entry, where just a few bars of music were included with the poet’s words.

“It’s the second-to-last line, even,” he notes. “I don’t think anybody’s ever done that before. A little piece of music, describing this poet, is part of his obituary poem. I didn’t know that until I saw the final copy of the book. I’m actually considering making a whole piece in memoriam of him to celebrate his amazing words and amazing life.”

It’s there Rudy shows his spirit again. His spirit for life, healing and creation through sound, even when faced with the loss of a friend. It’s this unique mindset that has pushed him to find success time and time again, both personally and professionally.

“For me,” Rudy says, “the bottom line is, ‘Is what I’m doing interesting?’ If not, is it the thing I’m doing? Or the way I’m doing it?” Adding, “It’s usually the latter.”

It’s this ability to reshape his own perspective that’s given Rudy new love for everything he does.

“I think that’s when my academic career started to change. When I realized it’s not the responsibility of my job to give me fulfillment, that’s my responsibility to find fulfillment in what I’m doing. I love these interesting collaborations that I’m constantly on the lookout for. Teaching is one of those collaborations between me and the generation that’s going to rule the world someday. How cool is that?”

Where We Have Been (and other archived items)

Our student researchers and collaborators have presented research findings at national and international meetings.

Fatima Sharif presents an Oral Poster at the Association of Urogynecological Surgeons/International Urogynecological Association 2019 Meeting
Fatima Sharif presents an Oral Poster at the Association of Urogynecological Surgeons/International Urogynecological Association 2019 Meeting

Fatima Sharif presents an Oral Poster at the Association of Urogynecological Surgeons/International Urogynecological Association 2019 Meeting

Debolina Kanjilal presents and Oral Poster at the 2019 Association for Surgical Educators Surgical Safety Week Meeting
Debolina Kanjilal presents and Oral Poster at the 2019 Association for Surgical Educators Surgical Safety Week Meeting

Debolina Kanjilal presents and Oral Poster at the 2019 Association for Surgical Educators Surgical Safety Week Meeting

Congratulations to Fahad Qureshie and team for winning first place at the 10th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day 2022

Also presenting at the event were:

 

Congratulations to Shiva Balasubramanian, Winner in the Clinical Category of the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine & Urogenital Reconstruction 2022 Essay Competition. In addition to receiving the award, Shiva traveled to the 2022 meeting in San Diego, CA to present his poster, titled “Risk Factors for Development of Acute Pyelonephritis in Women with a Positive Urine Culture”.

Also presenting posters at the The 10th annual UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit (HSSRS) on March 22, 2022 are:

Mahadev A, Bachar A, McKenzie A, Sutkin G. Miscommunication and Ambiguous Language in Surgery: A Semantic Analysis of Surgeon Intraoperative Dialogue in Context.

Said T, Brommelsiek M, Bachar A, Kashif J, Sutkin G. The Daunting and Educational Operating room: A Discourse on Medical Students Speaking Up in the OR.

Krishnan T, Rudy P, Bachar A, Viswanathan N, Brommelsiek B, Sutkin G. Understanding the Impact of Facial PPE on Speech Attenuation.

Balasubramanian S, Wang X, Sahil S, Cheng A-L, Bachar A, Sutkin G, Shepherd JP. Risk Factors for Development of Acute Pyelonephritis in Women with a Positive Urine Culture.

Ramprasad A, Casubhoy I, Bachar A, Meister M, Bethman B, Sutkin G. Communal Versus Agentic Spoken Language Among Surgeons in the Operating Room.

Arif MA, Bachar A, Sutkin G, Stylianou A, King G. Retropubic Trocar Modified with a Load Cell to Verify Contact with Pubic Bone.

Davies AN, Wickoren NL, Brommelsiek M, Qureshi F, Kirchhoff-Rowald A, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Difficult Mask Ventilation: Unpacking expertise, Judgment Cues, and Critical Decision Making During High Priority Events.

Well-deserved congratulations to Dr. Sutkin, the 2021 recipient of the UMKC N.T. VEATCH AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED RESEARCH AND CREATIVITY! This award is supported through an endowment established in the name of Nathan Thomas Veatch, one of the co-founders of the Kansas City-based Black and Veatch Corporation. It recognizes UMKC faculty members who have distinguished themselves in the area of scholarship and creativity. While Dr. Sutkin was named the awardee, we at the Surgical Innovation lab feel very strongly that this award is in fact, recognition of the creativity of our team members!

Congratulations to Faith Mueller for having her abstract, “Cognitive Mapping and its  Role in Surgical Resilience”, accepted as a short communication to AMEE 2021 in The Virtual Conference.  The event takes place August 27 – 31, 2021.

Congratulations to Dr. Sutkin and Dr. Brommelsiek for having their abstract , “Visual Excavation: Reconstructing Health Professions Education Research into Visual
Artifacts”, accepted at AMEE 2021 in The Virtual Conference as well. The event takes place August 27 – 31, 2021.

 

While the Pandemic slowed down our research in many ways, we still managed to present some impressive research at our two intramural events.

At the University of Missouri Kansas City 2022 (Virtual) Health Sciences Student Research Summit  held on March 2, 2022:

  • Mahadev, A, Bachar, A, McKenzie A, Sutkin G. Miscommunication and Ambiguous Language in Surgery: A Semantic Analysis of Surgeon Intraoperative Dialogue in Context. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 
  • Said T, Brommelsiek M, Bachar A, Kashif J, Sutkin G. The Daunting and Educational Operating room: A Discourse on Medical Students Speaking Up in the OR. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 
  • Krishnan T, Rudy P, Viswanathan N, Brommelsiek B, Sutkin G. Understanding the Impact of Facial PPE on Speech Attenuation. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 
  • Balasubramanian S, Wang X, Sahil S, Cheng A-L, Sutkin G, Shepherd JP. Risk Factors for Development of Acute Pyelonephritis in Women with a Positive Urine Culture. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 
  • Ramprasad A, Casubhoy I, Meister M, Bethman B, Sutkin G. Communal Versus Agentic Spoken Language Among Surgeons in the Operating Room. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 
  • Arif MA, Sutkin G, Stylianou A, King G. Retropubic Trocar Modified with a Load Cell to Verify Contact with Pubic Bone. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 
  •  Davies AN, Wickoren NL, Brommelsiek M, Qureshi F. Kirchhoff-Rowald A, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Difficult Mask Ventilation: Unpacking expertise, Judgment Cues, and Critical Decision Making During High Priority Events. Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City Health Sciences Student Research Summit, March 2, 2022. Kansas City, MO. 

 

At the 10th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, held on May 6, 2022:

  • Said T, Brommelsiek M, Javid K, Bachar A, Sutkin G. Learning and Patient Safety in the Operating Room (OR): Discourse on Medical Students Speaking Up in the OR. Poster presentation at the 9th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 6, 2022. Kansas City, MO
  • Qureshi F, Davies AN, Wickoren NL, Brommelseik M, Kirchhoff-Rowald A, Cianciolo AT, Sutkin G. Difficult Mask Ventilation: Unpacking expertise, judgement cues and critical decision making during high priority events. Poster presentation at the 9th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 6, 2022. Kansas City, MO
  • Ramprasad A, Casubhoy I, Meister M, Bethman B, Bachar A, Sutkin G. Communal Versus Agentic Spoken Language Among Surgeons in the Operating Room. Poster presentation at the 9th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 6, 2022. Kansas City, MO

At Regional, National, and International Meetings:

At the University of Missouri Kansas City 2020 (Virtual) Health Sciences Student Research Summit  held on May 18, 2020:

Krishnan T, Brommelsiek M, Rudy P, Viswanathan N, Arnold L, Kirchoff A, Gangireddy S, Sutkin G. Beeps, Squeals, and Drones: Reducing the Impact of Noise Pollution in the Operating Room. Poster Presentation https://umkc.instructure.com/courses/53801/files/2193301?module_item_id=551713

Said T, Brommelsiek M, Gray M, Kanter S, Sutkin G. Silent Discourse in the OR: A Conceptual Model. PowerPoint Presentation https://umkc.instructure.com/courses/53801/files/2205294?module_item_id=557201

Rose C,  Gangireddy S, Kirchhoff A, Gray M, Martin J, Brommelsiek M, Arnold L, Ye S, Sutkin G. Non-Verbal Patterns of Communication in the Operating Room. Poster Presentation https://umkc.instructure.com/courses/53801/files/2184840?module_item_id=546888

Kurian R, Sahil S, Cheng AL, Wang X, Shepherd JP, Sutkin G. The Risk of Primary Gynecologic Cancer After Hysteropexy PowerPoint Presentation https://umkc.instructure.com/courses/53801/files/2198117?module_item_id=552399

At the University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayadu Quality & Patient Safety Day  (also a virtual event) on May 29th, 2020, our research were presented by the following students:

Krishnan T, Brommelsiek M, Rudy P, Viswanathan N, Arnold L, Kirchoff A, Gangireddy S, Sutkin G. Beeps, Squeals, and Drones: Reducing the Impact of Noise Pollution in the Operating Room. Accepted Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 29, 2020. Kansas City, MO.

Liu C, McKenzie A, Mahmud F, Sutkin GSemantically Ambiguous Language in the Teaching Operating Room. Oral Abstract Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 29, 2020. Kansas City, MO.

Kurian R, Sahil S, Cheng AL, Wang X, Shepherd JP, Sutkin G. The Risk of Primary Gynecologic Cancer After Hysteropexy. Poster Showcase at The University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 29, 2020. Kansas City, MO.

Rose C,  Gangireddy S, Kirchhoff A, Gray M, Martin J, Brommelsiek M, Arnold L, Ye S, Sutkin G. Non-Verbal Patterns of Communication in the Operating Room. Poster Showcase at The University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 29, 2020. Kansas City, MO.

Said T, Brommelsiek M, Gray M, Kanter S, Sutkin G. Silent Discourse in the OR: A Conceptual Model. PowerPoint Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 29, 2020. Kansas City, MO.

Qureshi F, Davies A, Wickorwen N, Cianciolo A, Kirchhoff A, Sutkin G. Surgical Improvement: Induction of General Anesthesia Sequence (IGAS). Poster Presentation at The University of Missouri Kansas City 7th Annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality & Patient Safety Day, May 29, 2020. Kansas City, MO.

Kanjilal D, Sutkin G, Mahmud F. The Link Between Individual Technical Error and Adverse Patient Outcomes. Oral Poster at the 2019 Association for Surgical Educators Surgical Safety Week Meeting, April 23 – 27, 2019, Chicago, IL.

 Littleton E, Ackenbom M, Sutkin G, Mahmud, F. Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Blind Steps ‘Visible.’ Oral Poster at the 2019 Association for Surgical Educators Surgical Safety Week Meeting, April 23 – 27, 2019, Chicago, IL.

Brommelsiek M, Sutkin G. Empathy in the Age of Technology? Presentation at the 2019 Conference of the Association  for Medical Education in Europe, August 24 – 28, 2019 Vienna, Austria.

Sharif F, Mahmud F, Sahil S, Shepherd JP, Sutkin G Risk factors for returning to the OR for a second surgery after midurethral sling for stress urinary incontinence. Oral Poster presentation at the Association of Urogynecological Surgeons/International Urogynecological Association 2019 Meeting, September 24-28, 2019, Nashville TN.

Stylianou A, Arif MA, Mahmud F, King G, Sutkin G Virtual pelvic model for study of surgeon kinematics during retropubic trocar passage. Oral Poster presentation at the Association of Urogynecological Surgeons/International Urogynecological Association 2019 Meeting, September 24-28, 2019, Nashville TN

Archived news

Continue reading Where We Have Been (and other archived items)

Meet the Team

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Team Members
Gary Sutkin

Hometown: Richardson, Texas, although I lived in Pittsburgh for many years.

College/University Attended: Northwestern University.

Graduate/Professional Institution: also Northwestern University – I am a die-hard Northwestern fan.



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is spend time with my wife and our two boys, who envision one day when cool lasers will be used in the OR to keep surgeons from making errors. I also am an avid music listener.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is loud noises, like the garbage cart that rolls right by our lab door every morning.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is.. I once had the kitchen staff in a restaurant throw an egg at our table for staying too late.

Austin Bachar



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is reading/learning as much as possible about everything and anything, any outdoor activity, music, cooking, drawing.

Needle unprotected:

Most things either illogical or inefficient, run-on sentences and comma splices.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is Chinese was my first language.

Shiva Balasubramian

Hometown: Somerset, New Jersey

College/University Attended: University of Missouri–Kansas City

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri–Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is spending time with my family and friends.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is forgetting where I’ve parked!

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that I am actively involved in mentoring middle and high school robotics teams.

Margaret Brommelsiek

Hometown: St. Petersburg, Florida

College/University Attended: Eckerd College

Graduate/Professional Institution: Florida State University



A cut above:

What I like to do most outside of work is to watch foreign and art films and eat large quantities of popcorn.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is a lack of aesthetic sensibility in all areas of modern life.

Slice of life:

The most interesting about me you may not know is I am was a founding member of the Cult of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Imaima Casubhoy

Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL

College/University Attended: University of Missouri Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is spending time with friends and family.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is the sound of nails on a chalkboard.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that my favorite color is lime green.

Vijay Dimry

Hometown: Midland, Texas

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

Some things that I like to do outside of work/school are playing tennis, working out, and trying new restaurants around KC!

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is getting less than 7 hours of sleep.

Slice of life:

Something that you might not know about me is that the first language I learned was Hindi because my parents spoke it at home. When I went to pre-school, I picked up English within a few weeks, but I forgot how to speak Hindi. I then relearned Hindi at the age of 8 and have been bilingual ever since.

Kay Herzog

Hometown: Olathe, KS

College/University Attended: University of Missouri–Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is practice yoga, play sand volleyball with friends, and hike. I also think I devote too much of my time to reality TV.

Needle unprotected:

My biggest pet peeve is backhanded compliments.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me that you may not know is that when I was 17 I spent the summer in Mexico by myself (but with a host family) working in pop-up medical clinics in various Mayan villages.

Kashif Javid

Hometown: Palatine, IL

College/University Attended: University of Missouri–Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do outside of work is any physical activity or competitive sport where I can be outside and enjoy the weather.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is not being able to own up to shortcomings or mistakes, and then not seeking to improve and grow from them as well.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing you might not know about me is that I enjoy drawing in my spare time, and specifically love to illustrate wildlife and natural landscapes.

Daniel Jung

Hometown: St. Louis Missouri

Graduate/Professional Institution: UMKC School of Medicine



Ellie Kaji

Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

College/University Attended: University of Missouri–Kansas City



A cut above:

I used to play a lot of tennis, but with school and COVID, I have been working out at the gym more instead. Since moving into an apartment, I have also developed an amateur interest in houseplants.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people do not follow some of the more minor traffic rules like turn signals or skipping/cutting the line when it comes to merging.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that I play a mean game of Connect Four.

Tanvi Karmarkar

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

College/University Attended: University of Missouri – Kansas City

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri – Kansas City



Lakshmi Kasi

Hometown: Bartlett, Illinois

College/University Attended: University of Missouri-Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is kayaking/canoeing and going to restaurants!

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is unpleasant sounds.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is my favorite food is pizza and deep dish is the best kind!

Ashna Mahadev

Hometown: O'Fallon, MO

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri - Kansas City



Needle unprotectrd:

My pet peeve is… jars of honey that are sticky on the outside.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is … I backpacked Eastern Europe by myself for a month.

Jennifer Kay Martin

Hometown: Orrville, Ohio. Home of Smucker’s jams and jelly.

College/University Attended: Bowling Green State University

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of North Carolina - Greensboro, University of Michigan



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is gardening.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve are people who don’t follow through.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that I climbed Machu Picchu.

Jada Ohene-Agyei

Hometown: Kingston, NY

Graduate/Professional Institution: UMKC School of Medicine



A cut above:

My favorite things to do outside of school is to read, cook, and hang with friends!

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is bad drivers!

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I play the viola!

Mauli Patel

Hometown: Schaumburg, IL

College/University Attended: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri-Kansas City



Aarya Ramprasad

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Graduate/Professional Institution: UMKC School of Medicine



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of school is explore national parks and worldwide natural beauties!

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when my photos are not organized in my camera roll.

Casey Rose

Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri - Kansas City



Fahad Qureshi

Hometown: Chicago, IL

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is try new restaurants with friends or family.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is setting alarms to numbers that do not end with 0 or 5, i.e. setting an alarm to 6:14 or 10:01 instead of 6:15 or 10:00, respectively.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I've lived in 3 continents, 6 states, and can speak (almost) 4 languages

Tariq Said

Hometown: I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but I grew up for 12 years in Southeast Missouri (Cape Girardeau) and 6 more years in St. Louis, MO. I consider St. Louis to be my hometown, though.

College/University Attended: I currently attend UMKC as a 2nd Year.



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is listen to music.

Needle Unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people who have lots of opportunities available to them let it go to waste on account of no ambition.

Slice of Life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I write poetry from time to time.

Casey Stauber

Hometown: Crystal City, TX and San Antonio, TX

College/University Attended: South University



Contact:

Ms. Casey Stauber Administrative Assistant to Dr. Gary Sutkin - Schutte Chair in Women’s Health Surgical Innovation Lab, Rm. 3-203 UMKC School of Medicine 2411 Holmes Street Kansas City, MO 64108 Phone: 816-235-6785 Email: stauberc@umkc.edu

A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is.. Read, cook, knit/crochet, garden.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people do not respond to requests for meetings or information

 

Collaborators
Raymond Chan



What is your position?

Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine; Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Kansas School of Medicine

Sherwin Chan

Hometown: Toronto

College/University Attended: Queen's University

Graduate/Professional Institution: Washington University in St Louis



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is hiking with the kids.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is barefoot travelers on public transit.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I financed my way through grad school playing Texas Hold Em poker.

An-Lin Cheng



What is your position?

Professor, Director of Research and Statistical Consult Service Department(s) of Biomedical and Health Informatics UMKC School of Medicine

Anna Cianciolo

Hometown: Bloomfield Hills, MI

College/University Attended: University of Michigan

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Minnesota, Georgia Tech



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is cook, eat, travel, read, and exercise (these are all related!)

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is waiting at traffic lights / in stopped traffic.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I dream of owning a food truck that sells Italian meatballs.

Jamesia Donato

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

College/University Attended: Fisk University

Graduate/Professional Institution: Meharry Medical College



Gregory King

Hometown: Stilwell, KS

College/University Attended: University of Kansas

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Kansas



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is cook, run, play with my kids, tinker in the garage…I don’t really have a favorite.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people stand right up close to the luggage carousel at the airport. Everyone would be able to see it if they would just take a couple steps back!

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is although it’s been years since I’ve flown, I am a licensed pilot!

Emily Huang

Hometown: West Windsor, NJ

College/University Attended: Princeton

Graduate/Professional Institution: Rutgers – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is throwing pottery, dog agility, and growing tomatoes.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is dirty shoes tracking mud indoors.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I’ve hiked to the base camp of Mt. Everest

Tara Krishnan

Hometown: Moline, IL

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is cook.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people use the express checkout lane even if their entire cart is full!

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that I used to work at an ice cream shop back in my hometown and can tell you all about our seasonal fall flavors.

Eliza Beth Littleton

Hometown: Depends. We moved around a lot. The two longest places when I was growing up: Chattanooga TN, and Regina, Saskatchewan, Canadia-land. Place I lived the most, plus where I had my kids: Pittsburgh, PA

College/University Attended: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is discover new or hidden places in Pittsburgh where I’ve not been before.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is letting someone turn left in front of you and not getting a thank-you wave or thank-you blink.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I grew up wanting to do nothing more than ballet. I was 4 when I saw my first ballet and apparently stayed in the seats after it was over insisting that the dancers would be coming back.

Faith Mueller

Hometown: O’Fallon, MO

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is to be with nature, especially hiking, gardening, or camping.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is inequality on small and large scales.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I love adrenaline and adventure so I am always willing to try out a new experience.

Da Yeon Roo

Graduate/Professional Institution: Ohio State University College of Medicine



A cut above:

What I love to do outside of work is going thrift shopping for clothes and accessories. I run a small business online selling used clothes. It's a wonderful outlet for me to go shopping, make additional income, AND save the environment from fabric waste!

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeves are loud chewing noises and chewing with your mouth open!

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is... I moved to the United States from Korea back in 2013 by myself to attend college. It was only possible because I was young and naive.. but by far the best decision I've ever made!

Paul Rudy

Hometown: Born in South Bend, Indiana, but lived most of childhood in Smithville, OH and LaJunta, CO

College/University Attended: Bethel College (N. Newton, KS)



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is www.paulrudy.net/harmony-farm

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is Smallmindedness 🙂

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I have climbed all of Colorado's 14,000 ft. peaks (many of them more than once).

Jonathan Shepherd

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC (until my fellowship in Pittsburgh with Dr. Sutkin, I’d never spent more than 2 weeks any further than 2 hours away from W-S)

College/University Attended: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A big piece of my heart will always be there. I went to medical school there too, I’ve been a UNC rapid basketball fan since before I could walk, and I played football there during undergrad when we finished my junior season ranked #4 in the country.

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Connecticut Health Center where I am the ObGyn Vice-Chair for Research and Division Director for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.



A cut above:

I spend most of my time outside of work truly outside. I’ve run marathons in 32 different states, and I truly embraced the ultimate social distancing during COVID by hiking most of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Massachusetts.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is inefficiency. My research has largely focused on cost-effectiveness and reducing economic waste in our medical system. I’ve also worked with Dr. Sutkin to streamline the efficiency of how we teach residents and fellows, and I pride myself in eliminating unnecessary time and operative movements from my surgical cases. My dad’s motto was always “Work when you work, and play when you play,” and I try to squeeze as many minutes out of each day so I can have more time at home with my son doing something fun.

Slice of Life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is… that I have been to the NCAA Final Four two times, but won’t allow myself to go back since Carolina lost in the semifinals on both occasions. If you look really closely at pictures of the baseline from 2000, you’ll see a skinny college kid on the first row painted blue with a large white C as part of U-N-C on his chest. It took avoiding hotel security while roaming the halls and staying up all night the night before to secure those tickets!

Richard John Simonson

College/University Attended: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Graduate/Professional Institution: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University



What is your position?

Human Factors Scientist at Children’s Mercy Hospital

Antonis Stylianou

Hometown: Limassol, Cyprus

College/University Attended: University of Kansas

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Kanas



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is play with kids and dogs.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people squeeze toothpaste from the middle of the tube.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I’m a certified decoy for schutzhund.

Navin Viswanathan

Hometown: Chennai (formerly & still in my mind, Madras), India

College/University Attended: University of Madras

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Connecticut



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is to travel, watch sports, and, sample the cuisines of the world.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when people use meaningless descriptions like "he gave 110% effort" or cliches like "think outside the box" to describe something creative (ironic, huh?).

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that I have a particular love for visiting university campuses and for watching tennis rallies to the end (no matter if its on tv or someone playing at local tennis court!).

Wang Xi

Hometown: Changsha, China

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is baking and decluttering my stuff.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when someone is hoarding expired food.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I played viola in my high school orchestra and we performed at the Musikverein in Vienna once.

 

Former Researchers

Mary Ackenbom

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

College/University Attended: The Ohio State University

Graduate/Professional Institution: The Ohio State University/University of Pittsburgh



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is spending time with family and friends.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is aggressive drivers.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is I was a hip hop dancer for a WNBA team for 2 seasons.

Emma Connelly

Hometown: Kansas City, MO

College/University Attended: University of Missouri-Kansas City - BA Biological Science

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri-Columbia



A cut above: What I love to do most outside of work is…

Play with my cute doggies and give them haircuts in the summer!! I also love to crochet little animals while watching Netflix and I have just picked up embroidering!

Needle unprotected:

One of my pet peeves is spiders and flies no matter what the size. They can be as large and hairy or as small as a tiny speck I will scream and call someone to my aid to kill it. When there is no one around I grab one of my dogs and make them squish it with their paw so I don't have to touch it.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is… I wear a size 3 so it is super great to get deals but also a curse since a lot of shoes have unicorns or sparkly rainbows 😂.

Mark Gray

Hometown: Powel, Missouri

College/University Attended: Dual BS in Biochemistry and Cell/Molecular Biology at Missouri State University; currently in Grad MS (Cell/Molecular) at UMKC



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is read! So far this year I have read The Box by Marc Levinson, White Noise by Don Delillo, and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is when you have to watch a movie or tv show that you’ve seen before.

Slice of life:

Something you might not know is I once brought a puppy back from Mexico.

Debolina Kanjilal

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City

Graduate/Professional Institution: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is read books, watch movies, sketch pictures of babies, and play the piano to my heart’s content.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is the sound of chalk against the blackboard.

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is that I tend to name spiders, and have philosophical discussions with them to pacify my mortal fear of arachnids.

Cynthia Liu

Hometown: Naperville, IL

College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City



A cut above:

What I love to do most outside of work is play tennis, cook, and pet my cat.

Needle unprotected:

My pet peeve is bad drivers!

Slice of life:

The most interesting thing about me you may not know is all four of my grandparents were doctors in the army in China.

Fizza Mahmud



Molly Pasque

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

College/University Attended: University of Oklahoma



What I do most outside of work/school:

I have a dog named Stevie Nicks. We love to go on walks or to the dog park on a regular basis. I practice yoga multiple times a week, and I love to grow plants in my house. I have over 30 different plants right now! I also enjoy soaking up every bit of sunshine I can, so I try to spend as much time as I can outside!

My pet peeve:

When I have a needy plant that requires too much work to keep it alive.

The most interesting thing about me:

Maybe not the MOST interesting thing about me, but I love to play this game where you have Alexa play a genre of music and you have to be the first one to guess the name of the song. First one to 10 wins!

Projects:

I was working on one project last summer that involved transcribing surgery recordings to assess communication in the OR. Would love to be on another one! I was also running the Twitter for a while!

Benjamin Quarshie

Hometown: Peki, volta region. Ghana

College/University Attended: The University of Chicago



A cut above:

I love to workout and manage options and stock in my free time.

Needle unprotected:

Injustice/unfairness, arrogance also gets to me.

Slice of life:

I was born right handed and dislocated my right hand in kindergarten playing soccer. I was threatened with remediation and learned to write with my left just so I would not remediate. Now I’m left handed.

Send us a message

Contact Us

Casey Stauber
Administrative Assistant to Dr. Gary Sutkin
stauberc@umkc.edu

Social Media

 

Interested medical students please contact Casey Stauber

Mailing Address

UMKC School of Medicine
M3-204
2411 Holmes Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64108
Phone: 816-235-6780
Fax: 816-235-5277

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What we’ve been reading

SurgiLab team at work

What we are reading now

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