David Lewis, a generous Drury alumnus

Even though we were both from Taney County, I didn’t know David Lewis until late in his life. The Rockaway Beach native came to Drury in the fall of 2008 to tour his alma mater and look at how much the campus had changed. David Lewis wasn’t just stopping by Drury to say “hi,” he had something important to tell me.

David Lewis, Drury graduation photo

First, let me tell you a little about David Lewis. He was born in Rockaway Beach in 1933, and he grew up around the Taneycomo Hotel in Rockaway where his parents worked. They also ran a family farm. Neither of his parents graduated from high school, but when it came time to leave the one-room schoolhouse, his parents encouraged David to go to high school in Branson. He graduated, at age 16, and, taking a huge leap for his family, David enrolled in Drury College. On that day he visited me in 2008, David told me, “I went to school here for one thing. My mother and father worked. We didn’t have money; they worked very hard to send me to Drury College. That was the goal they set. It worked out. I’m most thankful that happened.”

David graduated in 1953, and made a life for himself, working at Sears for nearly 40 years. He worked hard and lived modestly and amassed substantial wealth.

With no heirs and facing a cancer diagnosis, David turned to his friend and attorney Jerry Redfern to create a legacy. The two talked and David decided to donate $1 million each to Drury, College of the Ozarks and Ozarks Technical Community College for scholarships for students from Taney County.

On that day in 2008, when David visited me, he was telling me about his $1 million estate gift to Drury, but he didn’t want anyone to talk about it publicly until after he passed.

David died on December 22, 2009, and his donations have already made an impact on Taney County students. For a man with no children, he showed a great deal of care for kids, many of whom have yet to be born but will have the opportunity to pursue higher education because of his gift.

At Drury, we’re asking students who receive scholarships from David’s gift to pay it forward. They will each take a day to volunteer at a charity in Taney County each school year.

David Lewis did not want thanks or fanfare for his generosity; all he wanted was for students from Taney County to benefit from higher education. On that day he visited me in 2008, David said, “It’s a shame when good students want to better their lives, but can’t due to financial things.” David’s legacy will live on for generations thanks to his generosity.


Story by Drury President Todd Parnell

Drury to offer new graduate certificate in digital health

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 28, 2013 — Forbes magazine recently declared 2013 the year of digital health. Citing advances in new technology, the Affordable Care Act and digital health records, Forbes predicts that the digital health field will explode in 2013. To meet the need for education and knowledge in this growing field, Drury University’s Department of Communication will offer an Online Advanced Graduate Certificate in Digital Health Communication beginning in June.

All of the classes will be completed online in just six months. In addition to the certificate, students who complete the program will earn 18 hours of transferable graduate level credit.

“This certificate was developed to be a resource for job seekers looking to add to their skill sets as well as employers searching for applicants armed with the knowledge to be successful in digital health communication,” said Jeff Riggins, director of the Graduate Certificate in Digital Health Communication. “The program combines the academic rigor and discipline of Drury’s respected graduate college with the pragmatic application of strategies and concepts guided by active professionals working in the industry.”

One example of digital health communications is telehealth. This technology allows a doctor or healthcare provider to remotely communicate with patients or colleagues, who might be hundreds of miles away, through the use of videoconferencing or streaming video. This technology has helped to address a lack of healthcare providers, especially in rural areas. InMedica, a medical technology research firm, predicts a six-fold increase in the use of telehealth by 2017.

For more information, including how to apply, please visit the Graduate Certificate in Digital Health website, call the graduate program office at (417) 873-6948 and follow the program on Twitter @DruryDHC.

Media Contact: Jeff Riggins, M.A., Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Health Communication, Mobile: (417) 861-7041, E-mail: jriggins01@mymail.drury.edu


Valentine’s Day Gift Gallery opening organized by Drury students

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.Drury University’s Arts Administration students are hosting Heartstrings, an art and gift gallery opening during the C-Street Stroll, from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1, at the Drury on C-Street Art Gallery, located at 233 E. Commercial Street. Works featured in the gallery include items ranging from fiber arts to photography to jewelry, all created by local artists. The students will provide complimentary refreshments, live music, and a free custom card making station. Drury on C-Street Gallery is providing a chance for residents and students of Springfield to find unique and one-of-a-kind gifts for Valentine’s Day as well as supporting local artists in buying something special for their home or office.

Heartstrings is the second gallery display the current Arts Administration Practicum class has planned, organized, and showcased this school year. Tarryn Gritzner, Rachel Hutchison, Christine West, and Ricky Reid are in charge of facilitating every aspect of the gallery opening, from theme to staffing to marketing. Community members are invited to come and appreciate the efforts of the students and create handmade, personalized cards for that special someone, providing the perfect companion to a Valentine’s Day gift for anyone on the list.

Rachel Hutchison, one of the arts administration students working on this gallery, relays the significance of the experience: “During this spring semester, teams of arts administration students are assigned the task of collecting artists, organizing the gallery, and hosting the C-Street Stroll opening event. It is a fun and challenging way to apply the skills we learn during class to the real-world experience of running an art gallery.”

Drury on C-Street is a collaborative space used by Arts Administration students and the Drury Architecture program and contains the Commercial Street Business Resource Center, the Harriet Mears Weaving Studio, an architecture studio, and the Drury on C-Street Gallery. This new addition to the growing economy of Commercial Street provides a space where students and local residents can connect and share an interest in artistic endeavors. The space also houses activities such as an art and music class for special needs children living in the area. Increased local interest has been budding with excitement of the potential this unique space provides for the Springfield community.


Drury instructor delivered many of his students

When a new class walks into one of Steve Grace’s classes at Drury, he’s usually met one of his students before, but he hasn’t seen them in a few decades and he probably wouldn’t recognize them anyway because most people don’t look like they did fresh out of the womb. Dr. Grace, the Egdorf Professor of Pre-Med Science at Drury, was a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology for 25 years at the Women’s Clinic in Springfield. He estimates that he’s delivered at least one of the students in just about every class he’s taught at Drury.

“It’s very interesting to see. When they’re one hour old I have no idea what they’re going to become,” Grace said.  “Usually they’re embarrassed. Mom drags them over and says ‘This is the guy who delivered you.’ It’s fun to meet them years later. That’s what I loved about obstetrics. The outcomes are usually good and everyone’s happy.”

Steve Grace

A 1968 Drury graduate, Grace returned to Springfield in 1977 following medical school at the University of Missouri and residency in Colorado. When he retired in 2001, he reached out to his former Drury classmate, Biology Professor Don Deeds, and inquired about teaching part-time.

The 66-year-old usually teaches two classes per semester, mostly to pre-health students, in subjects such as cellular biology, embryology, physiology, toxicology and epidemiology.

While the Parkview High School graduate is an accomplished physician and instructor, he may be best-known on-campus for something he did as a freshman. In a road basketball game at Missouri Valley in February 1965, Grace poured in 45 points. That performance still stands as Drury’s all-time single game scoring record, and it earned him a spot in the Drury Athletics Hall of Fame. Grace was also a member of the tennis team.

Thirty-three years had passed between Grace’s graduation and his return to Drury as an instructor, and much had changed, “The depth and number of courses available to biology majors is incredible, when I was an undergraduate biology major I had to take just about every biology class available.” But some things were the same, “I had (chemistry professor) Dr. Rabindra Roy in his first year at Drury and he’s still teaching, and my fraternity brother Todd Parnell is now the Drury president.”

“I tell my students that Drury is a great stepping stone. They may never use what I’m teaching them again, but they have to do well here to get into medical school, and they have to do well there to get into a good residency,” Grace said. “Drury provides them an excellent opportunity to move on to that next step.”


Drury University and GreenTown Joplin partner to design and build demonstration eco-home for tornado-stricken Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo., January 17, 2012 - GreenTown Joplin will partner with Drury University Hammons School of Architecture to develop and construct a demonstration eco-home in Joplin. Nine students will spend this semester researching and designing a unique home that will be used by GreenTown Joplin as an education center and office. Fundraising will take place this spring and summer, with construction slated to begin in the fall.

The home, dubbed the Monarch Eco-Home, is part of GreenTown’s Chain of Eco-Homes(CoEH) program. The CoEH are permanent demonstration projects that are open to the public and serve as community information hubs for sustainability and environmental initiatives relating to sustainable disaster recovery. They act as information clearinghouses for sustainable building and living practices and explore the numerous approaches to creating an energy efficient & healthy home environment.

“This is a unique opportunity to educate both the residents of Joplin as well as the students – the future designers of new buildings – about the benefits and practice of constructing sustainable buildings,” said Joah Bussert, project director for the Monarch Eco-Home.

The introduction of an eco-home in Joplin will provide residents and students with the opportunity to witness firsthand the construction of a sustainable home. Progress will be documented via the GreenTown and Drury University websites, as well as other outlets, with detailed information about the process and products provided. Residents will be able to gain an intimate knowledge of the construction practices employed and learn invaluable tips and methods to consider in the reconstruction of their own homes. The construction site will also be open to visitors through tours and demonstration events.

The home will use a unique concrete wall system donated by TF Forming Systems, located in Springfield. The system, known as vertical Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF), is designed to withstand the high winds found in severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes. It also provides an advantage for energy efficiency. Based on research by Building Works, Inc., homes built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable houses built using traditional wood-frame construction. Over the course of the project, TF will also provide students with the education and training required to design and build using this cutting-edge technology.

The parent company of Joplin Concrete, The Monarch Cement Company of Humboldt, Kansas, provided seed funding for the project, with additional support provided by the Portland Cement Association. George Van Hoesen of Global Green Building will provide construction management and energy efficiency consulting.

Drury Contact:
Traci Sooter, Associate Director, tsooter@drury.edu, 417-873-7416
Nancy Chikaraishi, Associate Professor, nchikaraishi@drury.edu, 417-873-7459

GreenTown Joplin Contact:
Catherine Hart, General Manager, catherine@greentownjoplin.org, 620-549-3752
Joah Bussert, CoEH Project Director, joah@greentownnational.org, 630-776-7624

About GreenTown Joplin

GreenTown Joplin is a project of Greensburg GreenTown, the nonprofit organization that helped Greensburg, Kansas, rebuild a “green,” energy-efficient community after the tornado of May 2007 destroyed most of the town. GreenTown staff members have been working in Joplin since August of 2011, having assembled a committee of sustainability experts from the area to assist residents, business owners and the city as they recover and rebuild after the devastating tornado of May 2011. More information is available at http://www.greentownjoplin.org.


Drury architecture to host an internationally known exhibition

Springfield, Mo., January 17, 2012 Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture will host an exhibition titled “Colombia: Transformed / Architecture = Politics.”  The exhibition opens on Friday, Jan. 25 from 4-6 p.m. The exhibition will be on display from 9 a.m.-to-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, through March 1. The Hammons School of Architecture located on the northeast corner of Chestnut Expressway and Drury Lane. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Exhibition curator Vladimir Belogolovsky will speak at the Hammons School ofArchitecture on Wednesday, Feb. 27  at 3 p.m. in the Hammons School of Architecture.

The exhibition traces ten recently built, socially-conscious projects by five leading voices in contemporary Colombian architecture: Daniel Bonilla and Giancarlo Mazzanti from Bogotá, and Felipe Mesa, Juan Manuel Pelaez, and Felipe Uribe from Medellín. These visionary works reflect significant social shifts that are taking place in Latin America today. They demonstrate ideas of social inclusion, as well as innovative architectural forms and spaces, which have been steadily transforming Colombian cities and the nation. The projects are explored through photographs, slides, drawings, and film footage to celebrate how these buildings are appropriated by the public.

Contact: Robert Weddle, Associate Professor of Architecture, Phone: (417) 873-7450, Email: rweddle@drury.edu


Drury’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium is Saturday, Feb. 2

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 17, 2013 — Drury’s annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, (WES) sponsored by The Edward Jones Center forEntrepreneurship, is Saturday, Feb. 2 in Reed Auditorium of the Trustee Science Center. The conference runs from 8 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. The $25 registration fee includes breakfast and lunch.

There will be two keynote sessions:

  • Morning: Pamela Hernandez, owner of Thrive Personal Fitness, will talk about her experience and successes in blogging for her business.
  • Afternoon: Susie Farbin and Diana Hicks, owners of Mama Jean’s Natural Market will tell attendees how they became successful entrepreneurs with three locations in Springfield.

Attendees will also have the choice of several breakout sessions, which will address the following topics:

  • The Self-employed need retirement, too!
  • The Necessity Entrepreneur.
  • Working alone, but not lonely—shared workspaces.
  • Social Business versus Nonprofit.
  • Protect yourself—Business liability issues.
  • Startup on the side.
  • Become more bankable.
  • In business for yourself, not by yourself—Startup in an established network.

This year, for the first time, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium will give awards for the Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year and the Women’s Start-up of the year.

Registration for the February 2nd Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium is open at www.drury.edu/ejc/wes.

Media Contact: Sara Cochran, Assistant Director, Edward Jones Center, Office: (417) 873-3014, E-mail: scochran@drury.edu


A nationally known expert on masculinity will speak at Drury on Thursday, Jan. 24

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 16, 2013 — The author of the bestselling book Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men will speak at Drury University on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall. Dr. Michael Kimmel is a professor of sociology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a leading researcher on masculinity in America.

Dr. Michael Kimmel

Dr. Kimmel was recently awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant to begin a Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook, the first of its kind in the nation. The author or editor of more than twenty volumes, his books include the groundbreaking Manhood in America: A Cultural History, which was hailed as the definitive work on the subject.

In addition, Dr. Kimmel recently wrote a piece for CNN addressing the recent Newtown, Connecticut school shooting: “Masculinity, Mental Illness and Guns: A Lethal Equation?” He also wrote a CNN article in November titled “The Mythical War on Men.”

His talk at Drury will focus on Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men.

Drury University’s 2012-2013 Theme Year series, Voices Unbound: New Media and the Future of Democracy, is devoted to exploring how media and technology are changing the way we communicate and interact, and the implications for journalism and democracy.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/voicesunbound or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Jonathan Groves at (417) 873-7347.

Media Contact: Dr. Katherine Gilbert, Assistant Professor of English, Co-Director of Women and Gender Studies, Office: (417) 873-6941, E-mail: kgilbert@drury.edu


Hard work pays off for Drury student from Slovenia

Being considered a “hard worker” is a valued trait when it comes to school and employment. Hard work often gets a person noticed, appreciated, and, usually, very far in life. Matej Podlesnik (pronounced: Mah-tay Pohd-lees-nick), is a senior at Drury University studying finance and accounting and a student that at least one Drury professor recognizes as a hard worker.

Matej Podlesnik

Originally coming to Drury from Radovljica, Slovenia, for a one-semester exchange program in the fall of 2010, he has extended this opportunity and will graduate from Drury in May 2013 with a bachelor’s degree, then he plans to enroll in Drury’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

It was while taking a summer course at Drury’s close partnering school, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia where Dr. Paul Nowak is also an honorary faculty member in the department of finance, is where Podlesnik first met Nowak. “Matej is a really bright kid. He asked great questions in class and I noticed his potential,” said Dr. Nowak.

Dr. Nowak sat down with former Drury MBA student Janez Skrubej, who is now the director of financial advisory services at Deloitte Slovenia. Deloitte is one of the Big Four professional services firms, specializing in audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services. After discussing options of setting up an internship for students with the company, Dr. Nowak recommended Podlesnik for an internship at Deloitte in the summer of 2013. “I really wanted to give Matej a chance and help him catch a good break. Janez is a good friend and I would not send him someone I didn’t believe in,” Nowak said.

Professors can often become good friends with their students and that is how Podlesnik views Dr. Nowak. “I talk with him about everything and he and his wife have been very kind to me,” Podlesnik said. From inviting him over for dinner, baking a cake for his birthday and helping him get to Wal-Mart, these small gestures have meant a lot to Podlesnik, “At Drury, the professors go out of their way to help you succeed.”

Podlesnik hopes to gain great experience at Drury and hopefully with Deloitte, aspiring to eventually start his own business as a financial advisor. “Whatever Matej decides as his career path, he will succeed. He’s a keeper,” said Dr. Nowak.


Story by Amber Perdue, a senior public relations and advertising major at Drury

Drury accounting students to offer free tax assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 15, 2013 — Drury University students will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. The tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income and senior taxpayers.

Taxpayers are required to bring photo identification, Social Security cards for themselves and dependents, as well as any tax documentation which they have received, including all W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and statements issued by brokerage firms. Clients are also asked to bring copies of their 2011 returns to help speed up the filing process.

The Drury VITA site is located in the Breech School of Business Administration at the corner of Central Street and Drury Lane. Drury students will also offer tax preparation at Deliverance Temple located at 2101 W. Chestnut Expressway and at Willard South Elementary located at 4151 West Division Street.

Free tax preparation will be available on the following dates, times and locations.

Drury University

Saturday, Feb. 9 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 16 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 23 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, March 4 4-7 p.m.
Monday, March 11 4-7 p.m.
Monday, March 25 4-7 p.m.
Monday, April 1 4-7 p.m.

Deliverance Temple

Sunday, Feb. 17                                                                 1-5 p.m.

Willard South Elementary

Wednesday, Feb. 13                                                         6-8 p.m.

The tax service is walk-in. No appointments are necessary. Drury attempts to accommodate as many clients as possible on any given day. Due to the high demand for services, we may be unable to fill all requests for service on a specific date.

All returns will be filed electronically unless the Internal Revenue Service requires a manual return. All taxpayers must be available to sign the appropriate forms in the case of joint returns.

Contact: Phone: (417) 873-7522, E-mail: tax@drury.edu