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Many of Larry Segars’ friends and colleagues at KCUMB already know there’s much more to him than meets the eye.
It’s no secret that Dr. Segars, who holds doctorates in both pharmacy and public health, loves to play golf in his time away from work. That one’s easy enough.
It’s also well-known that the professor who has earned not just one, but three Faculty of the Year awards – one at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, his alma mater, and two at KCUMB – is extremely passionate about his role in teaching the next wave of physicians.
As with many people, Dr. Segars has some hidden talents, which help to paint a more complete portrait of the Raymore, Mo., native and decorated faculty member currently on his second stint at KCUMB.
He loves to juggle. He also has quite an extensive history working as a football and baseball official.
Dr. Segars graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1986 from Southwestern Oklahoma State, and he earned his doctorate in pharmacy three years later from the University of Texas.
He spent 2004 working on elective coursework for his doctorate of public health in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
His stints at KCUMB serve as bookends to five years spent earning his Ph.D. at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.
Dr. Segars worked at KCUMB from 1995 to 2000 as an adjunct clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice, and as an associate professor of pharmacology and family medicine. He returned in 2006 to get back into education, and currently serves as associate professor and chair of pharmacology and microbiology.
“When I was little, I recall playing teacher with the neighbor kids,” he said. “I believe I’ve always known that I wanted to be a teacher.
“Once I went into pharmacy, I knew that I would love teaching any type of health-care provider in the area of medications. It’s a passion and I hope it comes out in every lecture I give, regardless of the audience.”
The Faculty of the Year awards he has earned serve as the highlights of his teaching career thus far, he said.
As for officiating, Dr. Segars worked his way up the ladder and was once selected to work on college football crews in the NAIA and NCAA Division II, as well as several playoff contests in Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri. One of his officiating highlights was being selected in the late 1990s to the crew that worked the Mineral Water Bowl, an annual college football bowl game between teams from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association at Tiger Stadium in Excelsior Springs, Mo.
He also has experience working baseball games, including small- college and semi-pro contests.
A constant influence throughout Dr. Segars’ life and career, he said, has been his Christian faith. While some suggest science and faith cannot coexist, Dr. Segars believes otherwise.
“I believe that ... they actually do very well together,” he said. “This is based on my belief that when treating patients – dealing with the science and medicine of their diseases and conditions – that the faith of the clinician and patient are very important to consider.
“Both should be acknowledged and embraced at the same time. They should not be mutually exclusive. There are some diseases that are beyond our knowledge to cure, but through faith all things are possible.”
Why KCUMB? For Dr. Segars, it's obvious.
“I love that KCUMB is student-centered and that, for the most part, faculty are hired to be great educators for our students and to do the best for them,” he said. “I see myself as a life- long educator and hope to be at KCUMB until I retire, if they’ll have me.”
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