Drury University boosts incoming class enrollment by nearly 40 percent

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 25, 2016 — Drury University has recruited its largest incoming freshman class in five years. More than 500 new students were on campus when classes began in the traditional Day School on Tuesday, putting the University on solid footing for growth in the years to come.

The Class of 2020 represents a jump in enrollment in terms of both headcount and percent growth. Year-over-year enrollment has grown by 39 percent, with 140 more freshmen, transfer and international students coming to Drury this fall than last fall (503 compared to 363). Drury’s largest-ever incoming class was 538 students in the fall of 2010.

The number of first-time domestic students rose by 107, or 42 percent. International enrollment grew by 16 students, or 55 percent. The transfer student population grew by 27 students, or 38 percent.

All data is preliminary, and is based on opening week headcounts.

“I am extremely proud of the work that has been done by our faculty and staff to bring in one of the largest classes in Drury’s history,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “There is truly a demand for a Drury education, and for the kinds of engaged learning experiences and mentorship that are an integral part of the Drury experience.”

The enrollment boost is a result of a multi-faceted market expansion and faculty outreach plan, combined with new academic degree programs and new athletic programs. Enrollment is up in the Springfield area (32 percent) and in key outlying markets such as Kansas City (52 percent) and St. Louis (58 percent). In addition, this year’s increase in the number of students from Chicago now rank that city as Drury’s fourth biggest metropolitan market.

The overwhelming majority of first-time students (88 percent) are living on campus, which has helped push occupancy in Drury’s three residence halls to near maximum capacity (99 percent). Two-thirds (66 percent) of all Day School students are living on campus this semester, which breaks a previous high-water mark of 62 percent.

“National studies and our own research clearly show that students who live on campus for at least a portion of their college career have a more engaging and fulfilling experience, and are more likely to persist to graduation,” says Dr. Tijuana Julian, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Drury’s Census Day is Friday, Sept. 9, and final enrollment totals will be available the following week.

JUST FOR FUN: Meet the Class of 2020 in their own words and through the eyes of their parents.

VIDEOS: Move-In Day and the annual Service Plunge & Kick-Off Celebration.

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Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 873-7390 or mbrothers@drury.edu.

Fifty Drury graduate degrees to be conferred Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — A hooding and conferral ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, August 21 at Stone Chapel to recognize 50 students earning graduate degrees from Drury University.

The College of Graduate Studies offers master’s degrees in business administration, communication, education, nonprofit & civic leadership, and studio art & theory. A graduate education provides opportunities to further one’s career and deepen ties to others in a student’s professional field.

Graduate programs at Drury feature flexibility so that students can pursue a degree in a timeframe that works best for them. Courses are offered in the evenings, online, and in alternative formats such as blended learning, weekend experiences, and 8-week or 16-week courses.

“The quality, rigor and relevance of Drury’s master’s programs set them apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “Employers tell us that Drury graduates are well-prepared for their professional roles. We look forward to developing new programs in the upcoming year that allow us to serve even more individuals who seek an education that can enhance their career options.”

For more information, visit Drury.edu/graduate.

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Friday is move-in day for newest members of the Drury family

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 18, 2016 — The newest members of the Drury family arrive on campus this weekend as freshmen move into residence halls and begin to learn what it means to be a Panther.

The incoming freshman class at Drury is the largest in several years, and the three campus residence halls will be at 99 percent capacity once all of the boxes and laptops are moved and students are settled into their new homes.

Faculty, staff and upperclassmen will help the new students move their belongings into the residence halls on Friday morning. Parents and students will say their goodbyes on the Kellogg Green that afternoon, and a full weekend of orientation will follow. Orientation ends on Monday with two events that have become a Drury tradition – the community-wide Service Plunge and an on-campus celebration capped off by a fireworks show.

These four days are an excellent opportunity for local media to speak to students during their orientation experience and capture some great visuals, as seen in videos about Move-In Day and the Service Plunge & School Year Kick-Off Celebration from 2015.

Media are invited to cover any and all events throughout the weekend. Contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers for more information about the full schedule. Major highlights are below.

Friday, Aug. 19

  • 8 a.m. to noon – New students move into residence halls. The best time for photos, video and interviews is typically between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
  • 3 p.m. – Parent & Student goodbyes at Kellogg Green. This is the point at which parents and students split up after move-in day before families attend a presentation for parents and students join their CORE classes to begin their four-day orientation.

Sunday, Aug. 21

  • 6 to 8 p.m. – Dinner and dessert at various faculty members’ homes in the nearby Midtown neighborhood. Faculty and freshman are available for interviews during this uniquely Drury event.

Monday, Aug. 22

  • 10 a.m. to noon – More than 20 Community Service Plunge projects at various locations across Springfield, including:
    • Convoy of Hope
    • Ozarks Food Harvest
    • Urban Roots Farm
    • Arc of the Ozarks
    • Rare Breed
    • The Fairbanks
    • Springfield Art Museum
  • 7 to 9 p.m. – Finale celebration at the fountains in front of Findlay Student Center. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at adjacent Sunderland Field.

Evening classes begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22. Students in the traditional Day School will begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 23.

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Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 894-9064 or mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Cheap Trick to play O’Reilly Family Event Center on October 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — Fresh off of its induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in April, iconic hard rock and power pop group Cheap Trick will perform at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Saturday, October 22. Local band Paralandra will open the show.

Tickets start at $41.50 and go on sale starting at 10 a.m., Friday, August 26 at www.drurytickets.com or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Cheap Trick is part of the very fiber of American music, inspiring and delighting generations with a unique union of massive melodies and razorblade riffs. Frontlined since 1974 by Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), and Tom Petersson (bass guitar), the band is set to impact still another era with the new album “Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello,” its 17th studio collection and first in more than five years.

The Rockford, Illinois-born band is among the most active and successful in music history, with featured appearances on over 20 movie soundtracks, more than 40 international gold and platinum certifications, myriad awards and industry honors, and total record sales well in excess of 20 million. Fan bases in the U.S., Europe, Japan and elsewhere have helped propel songs such as “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” “Dream Police” and “The Flame” to the top of the charts over the decades.

More information: http://www.cheaptrick.com

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Media Contact: Geoff Steele – O’Reilly Family Event Center Venue Coordinator: (417) 863-7843 or gsteele@drury.edu.

Grant helps Drury launch program aimed at migrant workers, families

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 16, 2016 — Migrant workers and their families in southwest Missouri will soon see improved access to higher education thanks to Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and a five-year, $1.94 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

This College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) grant will be used to fund three full-time and three part-time staff members at Drury’s CCPS campus in Monett. The staff will be dedicated to identifying, recruiting and supporting students with the greatest need within the local Hispanic population. The grant will also fund classroom technology such as laptops, and living expenses such as childcare. A key focus of the program is leadership training, which will take place in partnership with the Monett Chamber of Commerce.

A public kick-off event to celebrate will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Drury Monett campus, 400 4th Street.

“I’m extremely excited about the confidence the Department of Education has in Drury and our Monett site,” says Ann Saunders, Monett campus director. “These resources will help us make a positive imprint on the lives of many students and their families. Staff members are rolling up their sleeves and are ready to embark on this historic journey.”

How the Program Will Work

The Drury program is called “Somos” – Spanish for “we are.” The first cohort of Somos students will begin classes this month in Monett. Spots are still available in the cohort.

“Drury’s Monett campus has a long history of providing personalized, supportive education to the area’s first generation college students and the Hispanic community,” says Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols, Professor of Spanish and Somos Project Director. “This grant provides the funding to allow the excellent advising, mentoring and educating currently going on in Monett to expand and work more efficiently. Providing specialized services to allow new first-year students to succeed at the college level will help these students proceed and persist to graduation.”

Through the Somos program, Drury faculty and staff will identify and provide outreach to qualifying students and their families. They will be able to provide access to and training on technology, provide relevant instruction in language and math, and help them earn a bachelor’s degree. In particular, the program will encourage degree completion in STEM, business and education fields. In order to lay the groundwork for a successful transition into the workforce, most second-year students will complete the Monett Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute and complete an internship in the community.

A key component of Somos is addressing the cultural barriers that exist for students whose families may prioritize the immediacy of earning a paycheck over getting a degree. Somos includes activities that encourage families of students to be involved, and it builds a support system of peers so that students can help one another in continuing their education.

Meeting Workforce Needs

There are significant needs in the Monett area labor force for more university-educated Spanish-speaking workers, Nichols says. Local employers cite a need for Hispanic employees at management and executive levels.

Drury University at Monett is the only university in the area already integrated with the local migrant Hispanic community that serves nontraditional students and provides bachelor’s degrees in key areas such as STEM majors, business and management specialties, and elementary and secondary education. The Monett campus, under the College of Continuing Professional Studies, has grown since its 2007 inception, from six courses in 2007 to 25 courses serving approximately 150 students per semester today. Monett students choose from 15 majors and can complete their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees through a combination of seated, blended and online courses, providing a unique service in an underserved region.

The Somos program is funded entirely though the federal Department of Education CAMP grant. Drury will receive $373,047 in the grant’s first year, which does not require any local matching funds over its five-year lifespan. Drury will receive $1.94 million total over the five-year grant period.

“The CAMP program provides vital resources to help students pursue a higher education and all of the opportunities that come with it,” says U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “I’m proud this grant award will allow the exceptional faculty and staff at Drury University to reach more students and their families, and enable them take the next step toward realizing the American Dream.”

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Media Contacts:

Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols – Somos Program Director:  (417) 873-6925 or enichols@drury.edu

Ann Saunders – Drury Monett Campus Director: (417) 235-2007 or asaunders@drury.edu

Drury launches graduate-level Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 15, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business is launching a new graduate-level certificate program in Cybersecurity Leadership this fall. Classes begin August 22. New Drury faculty member Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – a well-respected expert in the field who co-created one of the first commercial e-commerce platforms – spearheads the program.

Employers are increasingly seeking to hire business leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend and respond to cybersecurity attacks. Employment opportunities for all types of information security professionals are growing, but the need is especially great for managers and leaders who understand how cybersecurity fits within the complex picture of today’s business environment.

“The focus on leadership sets this program apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, dean of Drury’s College of Graduate Studies. “It combines cutting-edge technical knowledge with business acumen, and fits squarely within Drury’s liberal arts tradition.”

READ MORE: Q&A with Dr. McMurtrey about joining the DU faculty.

The Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate comprises five courses totaling 16 hours, and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds – not just CIS majors. Courses include labs and learning experiences that help prepare professionals to secure and defend information systems. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students will also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management. Preparation for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) certification exam is included in the coursework.

McMurtrey, who has more than 15 years teaching experience, says the program’s focus on skills beyond the merely technical is a boon for students at any stage of their career.

“Programming languages change and technology changes,” McMurtrey says. “As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages.”

For more information, go to: http://www.drury.edu/mba/cybersecurity-leadership

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Media Contacts: Dr. Regina Waters – Dean, College of Graduate Studies: (417) 873-7251 or rwaters@drury.edu; or Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Assistant Professor, Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242; Email: smcmurtrey@drury.edu.

 

Q&A with Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Cybersecurity expert comes to Drury

Dr. Shannon McMurtrey comes to Drury this fall after 15 years teaching at Missouri State University. Dr. McMurtrey is a well-respected expert in the fields of both higher education and cybersecurity. McMurtrey will head the newly created Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate Program, and will bring his expertise to other courses in Drury’s Breech School of Business curriculum as well. As he enters the classroom environment at Drury, we asked him to tell us about his background and why a liberal arts university is such a good fit for a teacher in the tech field.

Question: What’s your background in this field?

Answer: “I started working in the industry while I was an undergraduate student, doing custom development for companies here in Springfield, which eventually evolved into us creating a shopping cart program in 1996. That company – Cart32.com – still exists, primarily as a payment gateway. From there, I was invited to teach a software development class at Missouri State. That’s where I discovered I had a love for teaching and felt like I had a future in the classroom. I shifted to focusing on education full time in 2003 and have been teaching since then.”

Shannon McMurtrey

How do you stay connected to the industry and up to date?

“One of the challenges in this field is just keeping current. One of the ways we did that at Cart32 was to study what the hackers were doing. We went to chat rooms and forums and just learned their techniques. We felt the best defense was to at least understand what the offense was doing. So I’ve always tried to stay current on hacking techniques. Today, it’s such a huge field that there are all kinds of really good classes and trainings that you can participate in. So I also attend those kinds of classes and maintain industry certifications to stay current.”

What do you love about teaching?

“I love seeing that light bulb go off. When I first started teaching programming I noticed that I connected with the students who were struggling but really wanted to learn. As long as they had that desire to learn it really ignited in me that desire to teach. And I just really like that. I enjoy seeing the same passion that I have for this industry in students as they learn and grow. I just truly enjoy that.”

What has attracted you to Drury and our way of doing things here?

“You know, it’s exactly that. It’s the focus on the student and the excellence in teaching. There seems to be a real appreciation for excellence in the classroom and for connecting with students. That’s what attracted me to teaching to begin with. So I think being in an environment where that skill is highly valued will challenge me to continue to get better as a teacher and do better in the classroom, so that environment is very challenging to me.”

How will you bring your cybersecurity expertise into the classroom at Drury and how will you incorporate it into the business curriculum?

“Students will see it in the current courses such as the management information systems course at the undergraduate level and one that’s currently part of the MBA program. I will definitely be incorporating cybersecurity into those courses to help students appreciate the role they play in cybersecruity. I think that’s something that a lot of businesses are starting to wake up to, is the lack of leadership in that area. So helping future business professionals understand their role in cybersecurity is something I’m very passionate about.”

Are you a business teacher or a computer science teacher?

“It’s a great question. When earning my undergraduate degree, I started off in computer information systems. But I changed it to marketing because I realized it was going to be more important for me to learn what business leaders needed from their systems as opposed to learning how to create the systems, because programming languages change and technology changes. As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages. How can we use technology in a strategic way for competitive advantage? So I think I would consider myself certainly more of a business teacher that leverages technology.”

Business and technology certainly overlap. But why come to a liberal arts institution to teach them?

“One of the dangers we have in our field is that if you focus exclusively on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – you run the danger of creating robots. But embedding that into a liberal arts education is really appealing to me. Some of the most creative solutions in software and cybersecurity, really anywhere in technology, come from artists, to be honest with you – people who have interests beyond technology. They tend to be artists or painters; they tend to be very creative people. One of the things that really attracts me to this field is the diversity of the people involved in this profession.”

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Walmart Foundation grant moves Drury closer to LED goal

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 11, 2016 — Drury University is well on its way to its goal of an entirely LED-lit exterior campus thanks to a grant from the Walmart Foundation. The push for an LED-lit campus supports Drury’s ongoing commitment to sustainability in all areas of university operations.

Drury recently received a $2,500 Walmart Foundation Community Grant from the East Kearney Street Walmart Supercenter. The grant will fund the purchase of LED lights for Drury’s Central Street Recycling Center and the surrounding campus area. The upgrades will bring Drury to an approximately 75 percent LED-lit exterior.

“The Kearney Street Walmart Store is pleased to support Drury University’s efforts to transition to sustainable LED lighting,” store manager Kyle Roth says. “We are happy to fund LED lights for the Central Street Recycling Center, which is an important resource for Drury and the Springfield community.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent lighting. A typical LED bulb uses 75 percent less electricity and emits only 10 percent of the carbon dioxide as an incandescent bulb. The projected lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 continuous hours, compared to just 1,200 hours for an incandescent bulb. The long lifespan of LED means that one LED bulb can save material and production of 25 or more incandescent bulbs.

The Central Street Recycling Center is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Approximately 210 tons of recyclable material passes through the center each year. The center is also used by local institutions including Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri State University, Mercy Healthcare System, and the City of Springfield.

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Media Contact: Emma Ruzicka – Manager, Corporate & Foundation Relations: (417) 873-6857 or eruzicka@drury.edu.

Drury junior puts her powers of design to work at Marvel

Anne Marie Schudy doesn’t own a cape or wear spandex to the office, but she’s working with a cadre of super heroes during her summer internship with Marvel Entertainment in New York City.

Schudy, a visual communication and graphic design major from Drury, is working at the headquarters of the entertainment giant that created Spider-Man, X-Men, The Avengers and dozens of other comic book, movie and TV heroes.

She earned the gig on the strength of her student portfolio and an interview. Marvel was the first choice for the self-described “nerd” who’s a fan of the Marvel movies and TV shows.

“You never dream that a huge, worldwide company would pick you because there are so many applicants,” she says.

Schudy, who will be a junior this fall, is putting her skills to work in Marvel’s Creative Services Department, which guides and assists the vast universe of licensees that use Marvel’s intellectual property in some way.

Schudy works primarily with the comic books side of Marvel’s house, though she isn’t necessarily a comics geek herself.

“It’s not necessary for the job,” she says.

The job is creative, but it’s also technical. Photoshop and other design programs are her primary tools.

Anne Marie Schudy

“Essentially what they need is someone who knows the software really well,” she says.

Still, it’s certainly not your typical office environment.

“You just hear all these terms like ‘Thor’ and ‘Spider-Man’ thrown around on a daily basis. That’s fun. You don’t hear that in every workplace,” Schudy says with a laugh. “It’s just so fascinating to see; just to observe the work these people do. There’s an energy here.”

Leaks and spoilers are of the utmost concern when dealing with intellectual property in today’s high-stakes entertainment industry, so there’s a strict no-photos rule inside the workplace at Marvel. That means no Snapchats to friends and, unfortunately, no selfies with Iron Man for profile stories like this one, either.

The Marvel offices are located in Midtown Manhattan and Schudy lives in a dorm in a nearby university. She’s been able to soak up the sights and sounds of the city as a resident, rather than as a tourist, when she’s not at work.

It’s been quite a journey for the Springfield native who traveled just across the street from Central High School to Drury for college. Schudy says Drury was “always kind of an obvious choice for me” after her time in the academically rigorous International Baccelaurette program at Central.

“I felt Drury was kind of a continuation of that,” she says of the school’s wide-ranging liberal arts focus. “I was just lucky to have such a great college in my hometown.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that Schudy plans to further broaden her academic horizons when she returns to Drury this fall. She’s as interested in coding and math as she is in visual design, and she plans to delve into some of the courses in Drury’s brand-new software engineering degree offering.

“This semester I’ll be exploring the computer science side of things,” she says.

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Drury University welcomes five new Alumni Council members

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 2, 2016 — Drury University recently welcomed five new members to its Alumni Council.

The Alumni Council is the governing body of the Drury Alumni Association and consists of 23 alumni leaders from a range of class years, a member from the Drury faculty and a member from the administrative staff. The Council plans and supports programs such as Reunion Weekend, Homecoming, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and much more. The Council members also play important roles as representatives of Drury in their communities.

The new members for 2016-2017 are:

Joel Alexander

Joel Alexander earned his communications degree from Drury in 1983. Working not far from Drury, he serves as the Manager of Communications for City Utilities of Springfield. Currently he serves on local boards of the American Red Cross and Ozark Trails Council – Boy Scouts of America, and assists with other community organizations. His wife, Lisa, is President of the CoxHealth Foundation.

 

 

 

 

Michele Boswell

Michele Duvall Boswell is a 1990 Drury graduate with a degree in communications and minors in business administration and English. She is the sales director for Collegiate Awards in Springfield, Missouri. She is one of the creators of Drury Basketball’s annual Overflow the O’ event and has volunteered for Drury in many other capacities. Michele is married to Drury graduate Dr. Craig Boswell ’91. They have three sons who attend Springfield Public Schools, where she volunteers with the Springfield Council of PTAs.

 

 

Gail Fredrick

Gail Fredrick graduated from Drury in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and economics, and received a Master in Business Administration from Drury in 1972. He received a Juris Doctor degree from University of Missouri – Kansas City in 1975. He practices law in Springfield and has been active in Drury activities, including stints as a past president of the Drury Booster Club and a member of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He has served as a member of the Missouri Public Defender Commission, Missouri Arts Council and currently serves on the Springfield Sports Commission and Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame board of directors.

 

 

Kaitlyn McConnell

Kaitlyn McConnell, a 2011 Drury graduate, is employed as CoxHealth’s Media Relations Coordinator. She recently returned to the Ozarks after living in Norway for nearly three years, where she worked in the subsea oil and gas excavation industry. In her spare time, she manages Ozarks Alive, a website featuring the unique people, history and culture of the region. She also serves the community through various civic organizations including the Writers Hall of Fame, Junior League of Springfield and as an ambassador for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

 

Kayce Morton

Kayce Morton, D.O., earned her degrees in biology and chemistry with minors in journalism and Spanish from Drury in 1999. After completing medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences in 2005, she attended the University of Missouri and completed her pediatric residency. She has been a pediatric hospitalist for CoxHealth since 2008. Morton has been married to her husband, Brandon, for 17 years and they have two children; Ashlyn, 11 and Cooper, 8. Kayce is involved with several area philanthropies including Care To Learn, Isabel’s House, and the Children’s Miracle Network.