University of Central Missouri: New Hires, Promotion Add Professional Experience to General Counsel, Accessibility Services Offices

The University of Central Missouri announces two recent hires and the promotion of one longtime staff member who will contribute in areas that range from meeting diverse legal needs addressed by the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) to assisting individuals with disabilities through the Office of Accessibility Services.

Nnamdi Nnedu, an attorney with experience in public sector litigation, has joined the OGC as Assistant General Counsel. In his new position, Nnedu provides legal advice to UCM administration, faculty, staff and student leaders on a full array of legal issues involving higher education, such as contracts, student privacy rights, free speech, open records, employment, and more.

“I am extremely pleased that Nnamdi has joined our legal team,” said UCM General Counsel Lindsay Chapman. “He is exceptionally qualified and will be a tremendous value to the University.”

Nnedu comes to UCM after serving as Associate Counsel with the Missouri Department of Revenue in Kansas City, and earlier as a Hearings Officer for the Missouri Department of Social Services in Jefferson City. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Auburn University, a Master of Science in Television Management from Drexel University, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas.

The UCM Office of General Counsel provides legal advice and representation for UCM on institutional legal matters.

“We focus on preventive law, including client counseling, policy development, and dispute resolution, and we also handle litigation whenever necessary,” Chapman said. “Also under our umbrella are the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).”

She noted that Danelle Cord, former Associate General Counsel and Director of Accessibility Services, recently left to assume a position in her home state of Indiana. Cathy Seeley, a member of the OAS team since 2005, has been promoted to Director. Prior to her work at UCM, Seeley served as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of Missouri’s Sedalia office and as a Counselor with Rehabilitation Services for the Blind in Kansas City, Missouri. Seeley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Graceland University and a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from Missouri State University.

Melissa (Mel) Peterson is the new Coordinator of Accessibility Services. She comes to UCM with a background in case management, home health, and K-12 paraprofessional work. Peterson holds two degrees from Northwest Missouri State University ̶ a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Special Education.

“The Office of Accessibility Services works to provide persons with disabilities equal access to the functions and facilities of the University. We’re fortunate that Cathy is willing to lead and that Mel has joined us. OAS is absolutely essential to UCM’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” noted Chapman. “Cathy, Mel, and their talented student workers are extremely dedicated, welcoming, and effective. Cathy’s expertise and commitment to universal design benefit every person that enters this campus ̶ physically or virtually ̶ in addition to the 600 to 1,000 OAS registered students each semester.”