Faculty

Professor giving CUKC students a lecture.

Skilled professors to help you succeed

Cleveland University-Kansas City maintains highly qualified faculty with broad experience and credentials in their subject areas. And with an average of one instructor for every 13 students, you'll have the opportunity to get to know them well.

Use the directory below to learn more about Cleveland University-Kansas City's esteemed faculty members — the men and women who will inspire you to be the difference in health care.

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Dr. Deborah Denno

Dr. Deborah Denno

Assistant Professor
A.S., Lake Land Junior College
D.C., Logan College of Chiropractic


Dr. Denno is a 1989 graduate of Logan College of Chiropractic. She was in private practice in south-central Missouri for 18 years before joining the Cleveland faculty in January 2008. Denno works as a clinician in the Cleveland Health Center, serves as lead instructor for Neuromusculoskeletal Diagnosis II, and assistant instructor for Intro to Clinic II.

Shy Dreps

Shy Dreps

Adunct Faculty
A.A.S., American Institute of Health Technology
B.A., Western Governors University
Dr. Alvin Ens

Dr. Alvin Ens

Instructor
B.S., Parker College of Chiropractic

Dr. Ens earned a B.S. in anatomy and his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Parker College of Chiropractic. He practices Gonstead chiropractic and teaches the Gonstead system at CUKC. Ens and his wife have two grown children, a daughter and a son. He enjoys listening to his wife and son play the piano, as well as gardening, biking, hiking and learning to do new things.

Dr. Jennifer Ford

Dr. Jennifer Ford

Adjunct Faculty
B.A., University of Nebraska
O.T.D., Creighton University



Dr. Ford, obtained her doctorate degree from Creighton University. She has been an Occupational Therapist for more than eight years, with experience in inpatient rehab and acute care. Most of her clinical experience includes working with individuals who have had a brain injury or a stroke. She is Physical Agent Modalities certified, and has been published in Informa Healthcare, OT Practice and on OTCafé.com. She presented a poster at Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association on the use of the Armeo®Spring as a treatment intervention for stroke survivors, and was also one of the presenters for the use of iPads in the clinical setting. She enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new places around Kansas City.

Dr. Laurence Franken

Dr. Laurence Franken

Instructor
B.S., Kansas State University
M.S., Baker University
M.S., Walden University
Ph.D., Walden University


Dr. Franken works as an epidemiologist in the Kansas City area and has 20 years of experience in health care, public health and consumer safety. As a practicing epidemiologist and health educator, Franken understands the tools used in this field as well as common health issues. Franken received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Public Health and Epidemiology from Walden University, a M.S. from Baker University in Management and a B.S. in Animal Science from Kansas State. He currently serves as Co-Chairman for Epidemiology Surveillance Isolation and Quarantine Committee, Kansas City Regional Homeland Security Council and also Co-Chairman for the Metropolitan Medical Response System in Wyandotte County, Kan.

Dr. Rama Garimella

Dr. Rama Garimella

Assistant Professor
B.Sc., University of Delhi
M.Sc., Indian Agricultural Research Institute
M.S., University of Nebraska
Ph.D., University of Kansas Medical Center


Dr. Garimella received a B.Sc. in Biology with honors, and a M.Sc. in Plant Nematology in India. She received her M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska where she worked on the anaerobic biodegradation of methoxylated aromatic compounds. She obtained her Ph.D. in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2004. Her Ph.D. thesis was on in vitro differentiation, matrix vesicle biogenesis and mineralization in primary cultures of rat growth plate chondrocytes. Her Ph.D. and post-doctoral training in bone and mineral research have resulted in several peer-reviewed journal publications, invited research presentations at regional, national and international levels, and a book chapter. She has also been the principal investigator on several research projects on bone health and disease. In her spare time, she serves as an ad hoc reviewer for research manuscripts, promotes STEM education, health awareness, research and cultural enrichment activities

Dr. Melanie Gilbert

Dr. Melanie Gilbert

Clinical Educator
B.S., Cleveland University-Kansas City
D.C., Cleveland University-Kansas City


Dr. Melanie Gilbert is a Kansas City native who received her Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees from Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) in 2012. She became a fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America in 2018, and was in practice in Columbia, Mo., before returning to Kansas City last year. And, she believes there’s no place like home. After working for 20 years in the casino business, Gilbert developed an interest in repetitive stress on the body, as well as ergonomics. She uses those skills to help special interest groups such as musicians and other body workers.

When not at work, Gilbert loves to spend time with her family, friends, and her evil cat. She spends as much time outdoors – especially camping – as she can. You can also find her reading, at live music venues, or the theatre, as those are her favorite pastimes. Gilbert is excited to be back at her alma mater to serve as a clinical educator in the CUKC Chiropractic Health Center, and to teach a technique class.

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