• Check back for the latest Parkway West news Monday, Aug. 24 when school resumes.


Surviving as an actor in Hollywood

Scott Bender prepares for a four minute fight scene for the short film, “The Eagles are a Country Music Band,” in which he starred. The film made its premiere at the HollyShorts Film Festival in Hollywood in August and the fight scene took 12 hours to film with the help of a stunt choreographer, a fight choreographer, a props team and a special effects team. “Me and the actress who plays my wife [get into a huge fight] and it is a little over the top, but it is part of the film. She breaks a wine bottle and throws it at me and it gets stuck in my back and I pull it out. We just have this crazy fight and she ends up killing me. The prop team attached a harness that goes around my chest and back and they cut a hole out of the shirt and put the shirt over the hardness and lodged the bottle into a suction cup in the harness so it looks like it went through my shirt and my back,” Bender said. “It is a really cool action movie and I have never done something to that effect before so it was really cool to learn how they do that so I can look at all these movies that have all these special effects and fights in them and break them down.”

Sarah Lashly, Copy Coach

December 10, 2018

From taking on lead roles in short films to participating in Buzzfeed and Google Home commercials, 2005 alumnus Scott Bender has pursued his passion as an actor in Hollywood. This dream first surfaced at North Star Camp for Boys when Bender was 12 years old. “My best friends that I went to camp wi...

Riding the adoption rollercoaster

Tricia LaRocca Morris holds her newly adopted daughter, June Caroline. Morris, working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse, helped tend to sick newborn babies everyday while attempting to adopt. “We are just so grateful for our little girl, June Caroline, that it's hard to fathom that someone else is grateful for us. I think that's part of what makes a successful adoption so special. It is the answer to so many people's prayers,” Morris said.

Sarah Lashly, Copy Coach

November 16, 2018

Working as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse in Ann Arbor, MI after graduating in 2002, alumna Tricia LaRocca Morris achieved her goal of creating her own family by adopting her first baby June Caroline. “My husband David and I knew we wanted a family before we were even engaged. We were unsucce...

Alumnus Ed Alizadeh continues to make a difference in the community as the CEO of Geotechnology

Working near the St. Louis Arch, alumnus Ed Alizadeh’s crew drills into the ground as preparation for the beginning of construction for the new St. Louis Arch museum.

Sarah Lashly, Copy Coach

October 26, 2018

From overseeing and participating in the construction of the current Busch Stadium to public works projects in the City of Blue Springs, 1980 alumnus Ed Alizadeh has participated in many engineering and environmental projects as the CEO of Geotechnology. The company specializes in projects in environmental sciences, drilling, cons...

Alumnus Eddie Kampelman pursues his goal of traveling the world

On his trek at Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile, alumnus Eddie Kampelman takes a break to capture a positive memento of his own. “I never felt like I was wasting my time or money on such a life changing experience,” Kampelman said. “Certainly I’ve learned the most from ‘underdeveloped’ countries. Most of the people are very creative and hardworking and have a very positive attitudes despite not having a lot of things. [It serves as] a great reminder that happiness doesn’t come from material objects.”

Andrew Li, Staff Wrtier

October 23, 2018

People may think that quitting means failure, but for alumnus Eddie Kampelman, who graduated in 2000, he has never made a better decision in his life. His decision to quit his job as Territory Manager and Technology Consultant for Elite Orthopedics to pursue his dream of traveling around the world has transformed his life. ...

Alumna Mondonna Ghasedi pursues her dream career as an associate circuit judge

Mondonna Ghasedi poses for a headshot for her profile on St. Louis County Courts. She was able to learn how to apply rules to real-world situations at 14 years old as the only female baseball umpire at the Ballwin Athletic Association. “It took a lot of courage to make the calls on a diamond full of older male teenagers, but I quickly learned that a firm grasp of the rules and the confidence to apply them made me one of the more sought after umpires by coaches and players alike,” Ghasedi said. “It was not always easy and sometimes the answer was not clear but, with attentiveness, commitment and an understanding of the rules, I made the calls with confidence. These experiences only enhanced my commitment to justice and fairness and furthered my desire to know the rules that applied to those principles.”

Sarah Lashly, Copy Coach

September 20, 2018

Alumna Mondonna Ghasedi has fulfilled her dream of becoming a judge after getting her law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. Ghasedi was appointed associate circuit judge for the 21st Circuit, which covers St. Louis County, in October 2016 by Gov. Jeremiah W. Nixon. ...

Alumnus James Bosanquet saves lives through critical care medicine

James Bosanquet sits with his wife Jill, his son Grant and his daughter Clara at the Muny entrance for a family picture. Grant and Clara are both future longhorns and Jill currently a family physician practicing weight loss medicine. “As a critical care physician, we work some long, yet predictable hours. I could not ask for a more supportive family,

Sarah Lashly, Copy Coach

September 11, 2018

Since graduating in 2001, alumnus James Bosanquet has pursued a career as a Critical Care Physician at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and has been practicing critical care medicine since July 2015. “I am an intensivist. I round in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on my group of eight to 15 patients. I discuss the plan with the nurses and ancillary staff a...

Alumna Kaitlyn Yang aspires for change in the entertainment industry through Alpha Studios

Kaitlyn Yang and her crew attend a premier party for Miss 2059, a show that her team did visual effects for last year for Verizon go90.

Sarah Lashly, Copy Coach

August 30, 2018

After graduating in 2007, alumna Kaitlyn Yang founded Alpha Studios in 2013. Alpha Studios is a post-production company Yang created in Los Angeles, CA. “We do visual effects, motion graphics, titles, color correction and consulting. We also do on-set supervision to make sure you are filming thi...

Alumna Shannon Anderson follows her passions in biology and social justice

Writing down notes, alumna Shannon Anderson records information about mussels for her paid internship, which gives insight into the health of streams. Because Anderson is interested in many different aspects of biology, she is using this internship and the variety of classes at Emory to explore her options. “I started off not really knowing if I wanted to do more of a genetics and bio-engineering focus or if I wanted to stick to more of an ecology focus,” Anderson said. “The way that the curriculum works, you can choose classes that fit whatever you want to focus on studying, so I’m going to take classes in both of those.”

Sabrina Bohn, Deputy Managing EIC

August 15, 2018

Between planning walkouts, doing an ecology internship and studying abroad in Australia, 2016 alumna Shannon Anderson keeps herself busy while going into her third year at Emory University, studying biology with a minor in environmental science. “I chose my major freshman year of high school, and I’ve never reall...

Alumnus David Peterka provides support to oppressed girls in Malawi

David Peterka rolls a bike tire back and forth with Hope in Malawi. Hope is the daughter of a friend of Peterka’s who is a pastor in a village church.

Sarah Lashly, Staff Writer

May 21, 2018

Since graduating in 2006, alumnus David Peterka has developed a passion for advocating for equality through the awakening of his faith in God. Dedicating his life to this mission, Peterka created a safe house in Malawi for sexually abused girls. “Shortly after graduating, some people from another faith aske...

Working with big names in the Big Apple

Erin Maxwell stands with direct boss Amy Marino at the Platinum House at Parker Palm Springs during Coachella 2018. Maxwell and her team helped design the entrance of the Platinum House. “The process starts in December 2017, so it is approximately four and a half months of planning. My team works on all aspects of the Platinum House including the partner and activation elements; creation of the physical structure; negotiate contracts with music artists; create and deploy marketing and social media and assist our public relation partners on press outreach,” Maxwell said. “The Platinum House provides American Express Card Members access to an oasis away from the festival grounds to enjoy the Palm Springs weather before heading to Coachella for the evening acts.”

Sarah Lashly, Staff Writer

May 10, 2018

Working with Coachella, Beyoncé, Museum of Ice Cream, Kendrick Lamar and Drake through her career as the Director of Brand Partnerships and Experience at American Express is part of alumna Erin Maxwell’s daily life in New York City, since graduating in 2002. “My best friend and mentor in New York...

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