About Mike Brothers

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Posts by Mike Brothers:

Drury & the Springfield Symphony team up for conducting workshop

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 14, 2017 — The Springfield Symphony, Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, and Drury University will host a conducting workshop on February 24-25, 2017 in Clara Thompson Hall on the Drury campus. The workshop will provide aspiring conductors the opportunity to work with a professional chamber ensemble of Springfield Symphony musicians in a nurturing environment.

Led by Kyle Wiley Pickett, music director of the Springfield Symphony and Topeka (Kansas) Symphony; and Christopher Koch, music director of the Springfield Regional Opera and Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, the workshop will offer each participant podium time as well as a preparatory session with the workshop clinicians.

Information is available via www.springfieldmosymphony.org under the Events tab, or via the SDCO section of Drury.edu.

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Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Associate Professor of Music: (417) 873-7298 or ckoch@drury.edu.

“Peter and the Wolf” tradition continues at Drury on Thursday, Feb. 16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 14, 2017 — Drury University’s annual production of “Peter and the Wolf” for area third-graders will take place during two performances at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. This year’s performances are made possible in part thanks to a $12,900 grant from U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation.

For more than 40 years, students and faculty from Drury’s music, theater and education departments have collaborated to bring “Peter and the Wolf” to life for an elementary school audience. The 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif. In 2016, Drury revamped the program to include new emphasis on the humane treatment of animals. Nearly 3,000 third graders from Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by U.S. Bank through its grant program,” says Christopher Koch, associate professor of music at Drury and music director of the SDCO and Springfield Regional Opera. “Not only will the funding help us to continue our 40-plus year tradition of presenting ‘Peter and the Wolf’ to our region’s third graders, it also supports the regionally and nationally acclaimed Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, a semi-professional ensemble-in-residence at Drury which allows our own students to sit side-by-side with professional musicians, faculty, and students drawn from across southwest Missouri.”

The U.S. Bank Foundation funds projects related to themes of workforce education, neighborhood revitalization, and arts and culture, organized under the umbrellas of Work, Home and Play. Support for the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra falls within Play and is an investment in the arts and culture of our community.

“U.S. Bank makes play possible by investing the bank’s financial resources in community programming that supports ways for children and adults to play and create in venues across the country,” said Steven Fox, Regional President.

Grant funding from U.S. Bank will support a full roster of orchestral events in SDCO’s 2017-18 season. For tickets and information about SDCO, visit www.sdco.drury.edu.

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Campus memorial service for Wen Xu to be held at Drury on Feb. 14

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 10, 2017 — A memorial service for Wen “Ariel” Xu will be held on the Drury University campus at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14 in Clara Thompson Hall. The event will feature speakers from the Drury community who knew Xu, including friends and teammates from the swimming and diving team. University Chaplain Dr. Peter Browning will lead the event.

Wen Xu cropped

Media wanting to cover the memorial should plan to arrive early. Contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers for more information at 873-7390.

Xu, 22, a swimmer and international student from Shanghai, China, passed away on Feb. 2 after experiencing a medical emergency during a swim team practice. She received immediate medical attention and paramedics transported Xu to Mercy Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Xu was an Advertising/PR major and was a decorated member of the women’s swimming team. She was an NCAA-II national champion in the 50 Free last year and held several records, including events in the Breech Pool, Great Lakes Valley Conference, and NCAA-II National Meets. She earned all-academic all-conference honors twice, meaning she maintained at least a 3.30 cumulative GPA.

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Drury University mourns loss of student-athlete Wen Xu

It is with a heavy heart that Drury University notified our campus community this evening that a member of the Panther family has died.

Wen Xu, 22, a swimmer and international student from Shanghai,China, was pronounced dead this evening at Mercy Hospital. Xu, who goes by the American name Ariel, was with the team in swim practice this afternoon when she experienced a medical emergency. Paramedics were called immediately. Ariel was taken to Mercy and pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Her next of kin has been notified in China.

Wen Xu

Wen was an Advertising/PR major and was a decorated member of the women’s swimming team. She held several records, including events in the Breech Pool, Great Lakes Valley Conference, and NCAA-II National Meets. She was a two-time all-academic all-conference award winner, which means she maintained a 3.30 cumulative GPA. See her full bio on the Drury Panthers website here.

Drury’s counselors are offering support to Wen’s teammates and her roommate this evening. Our counselors and university chaplain are available to the entire student body, as well as faculty and staff, for any needed support. A memorial event will be planned for the campus community at a later date.

“This is a terrible tragedy, and we ask that the community keep our students and Ariel’s family in their thoughts and prayers. Our condolences are with Ariel’s family, and with her teammates and coaches,” said Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd.

Events explore lessons from WWII-era Japanese-American internment camps

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 31, 2017 — A multi-disciplinary series of events and performances at Drury University will tell the story of the internment camps set up by the U.S. government to hold Japanese-Americans during World War II. The camps were result of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 signed in the weeks after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

Chikaraishi

Chikaraishi

“Life Interrupted: Art for Social Change” is a project that brings together the arts, humanities, history and political science departments at Drury, along with the greater Springfield community and the CORE Performance Company, to hear about the camps and ask what we can learn from the experience.

How have these same issues of civil rights violations, racial profiling, discrimination, immigration and xenophobia shifted, changed, or stayed the same? How do we ensure the safety of our country without discriminating against ethnic and religious minorities?

“It’s 75 years past and we’re still grappling with the same issues – fear of people we don’t know, fear of people who look different from us,” says Nancy Chikaraishi, a Drury architecture professor whose parents and grandparents were forced into the camps, and who is the lead organizer for the series of “Life Interrupted” events at Drury.

MORE: Read an interview with Chikaraishi about her personal connection to the internment camps and how she became involved in the “Life Interrupted” project.

The events begin on Thursday with a roundtable discussion with community leaders, followed by a dance workshop and art installation on Friday and a performance on Saturday of “Life Interrupted” by CORE, which is based in Atlanta and Houston. A final panel discussion on the nature of architecture and power will be held next week.

Full list of events:

Thursday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. – Roundtable discussion with local community leaders led by Drury political science professors Dr. Daniel Ponder and Dr. Jeff Vandenberg, with representatives from the Islamic Society of Joplin, NAACP, Temple Israel, and PROMO. Location: Reed Auditorium, Trustee Science Center on the Drury campus.

Friday Feb. 3, 3-4:30 p.m. – Dance workshop and story circle with the CORE Performance Company. Participants will be guided through the story circle process, sharing personal stories related to the themes investigated in “Life Interrupted.” No previous dance experience is required. Participants are encouraged to wear clothing that will not inhibit moving freely. Location: Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

Friday, Feb. 3, 5-8 p.m. – Interactive art installation & exhibition opening led by Nancy Chikaraishi and Drury students (following the dance workshop and story circle). Location: Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. – “Life Interrupted” dance theatrical performance by the CORE Performance Company. Reserve tickets for free online. Location: Wilhoit Theater, Breech School of Business, corner of Central Street and Drury Lane.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion on Architecture & Power, led by Drury architecture professors Dr. Robert Weddle, Dr. Panos Leventis and Nancy Chikaraishi. Location: Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

This project is supported in part by awards from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, Springfield Regional Arts Council and Community Foundation of the Ozarks, DoubleTree by Hilton, Nelson and Kelley Still Nichols, Colorgraphic Printing, Drury University, Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and the L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship.

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Media Contact: Nancy Chikaraishi, Professor of Architecture: (417) 873-7459 or nchikaraishi@drury.edu.

Info session for Lebanon Law Enforcement Academy to be held Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 26, 2017 — An information session for students interested in enrolling in the new Drury Law Enforcement Academy in Lebanon will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27, at the Laclede County Office of Emergency Management, 200 N. Adams Avenue.

Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies will launch the new academy site in Lebanon in early summer. This is the second academy site for Drury. The university’s Springfield academy has met the needs of local enforcement training and employment since 2004.

The Lebanon academy will meet in the evening Monday through Thursday, and during 10 weekends, for one year. After completion, graduates receive a Class A License and meet the minimum requirements for employment with municipal, county and state law enforcement positions. Students also graduate with 24 college credit hours that can be applied to a degree program. Drury University’s Law Enforcement Academy is approved by the state of Missouri as a Law Enforcement Training entity. Financial aid is available for those who qualify and the program meets the requirements for military education benefits.

An additional information session will be held in March. For more information about the Academy or the information sessions, contact Law Enforcement Academy Director Tony Bowers at (417) 873-7542 or tbowers@drury.edu.

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Drury Wind Symphony to be honored at national band directors convention

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 25, 2017 — The Drury Wind Symphony will be honored at the annual convention of the College Band Directors National Association, which takes place in Kansas City in March. Judged to be among the best of its kind nationally, the ensemble will be featured at the CBDNA’s “Small Band Showcase” which identifies and celebrates outstanding performance by schools with an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 4,500.

Wind Symphony

Music Director and Drury professor Christopher Koch will also present at the conference, sharing concert performances and discussing the Wind Symphony’s path to success.

“I’m thrilled our students are being recognized for their outstanding work,” says Koch, who is also Music Director of the Springfield Regional Opera and Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra.

For more information, visit: www.drury.edu/music.

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Drury forms panel to outline best practices for combating hazing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 23, 2016 — Drury University President Dr. Tim Cloyd announced today that he has tasked swimming and diving head coach Brian Reynolds, along with Athletic Director Mark Fisher and Dean of Students Tijuana Julian, to create and lead a task force that will examine the issue of college hazing with the goal of creating best practices that can be applied at Drury, and nationwide.

As a part of that process, Reynolds will step away from daily coaching duties for a time in order to help focus on building the necessary foundation for the group’s process and procedures. The group will include members of the entire Drury community, including representation from faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The news was discussed at a news conference held this afternoon. The following are statements from the conference.

 

Statement from President Cloyd:

“Throughout my career, I have been deeply concerned any time I have been made aware of any individual being adversely affected by their experiences at an institution of higher education. It represents the exact opposite of what we as educators promote as our very mission. Institutions of higher education have always aspired to be a places that serve to advance society by educating, shaping and maturing each individual, one person at a time, to help build them up to their highest potential.

“Universities also by their nature are places where all sorts of issues are open to robust debate, varying thoughts, opposing positions, varied opinions, even arguments on subjects are heard, but let me assure you that on an issue as important as hazing, the only discussion has to be about how to eliminate it. Not minimize it. Not nostalgically idealize it, not secretly sanctify it, but to ELIMINATE it.

“Since my arrival this summer, I have had extensive discussions with AD Mark Fisher and more recently with Swim Coach Brian Reynolds and our Dean of Students Dr. Tijuana Julian and I have issued to them a firm challenge and directive to put in place a program that meets or perhaps sets news standards for assuring that the practice of hazing will not be part of any activity at the institution.

“You all know that since the incident reports of this summer regarding 2015, the policies were strengthened to include a more severe set of punishments including a clear use of expulsion from the team when determined appropriate. This fall the team also brought in a nationally recognized speaker/educator to address the entire program. But at the end of the day, Coach Reynolds and I and AD Fisher all agree that more is needed.

“He has agreed to step back from his day-to-day coaching responsibilities to devote his full attention to this matter and develop the foundational components of this program. In my discussions with Coach Reynolds over the past few weeks, I have asked him about, and he has shared with me the specifics of the steps he has taken each year to educate and instruct his team members as a group, their captains and co-captains, and the coaching staff, informing them all clearly that hazing in any form is prohibited. I am further convinced that Coach Reynolds has devoted a good portion of his career working to learn and incorporate into his practices strong instructional and educational efforts to discourage and prevent this egregious behavior.

“And once we have formalized what we consider to be our best approach to accomplishing this objective, the policies, procedures and behavioral practices will be enacted with authority given from the office of the president and with the support of our governing board of trustees to ensure that everyone understands and abides by them.

“I read this weekend the editorial in the Springfield News-Leader challenging Drury University to do more in this area and my response is that we were and are in the process of doing more. I appreciate that the SNL shares our understanding that this is not a simple issue. And that, at times, what one might think would be a sufficient set of rules and instructions to instill a sense of proper behavior, requires vigilance and a deep commitment of purpose in order to keep adverse events from occurring over time as new groups of students come into a program.

“I have challenged my team to complete this task over the next weeks and I will be sharing details of our progress within our university community and with you in the media.”

 

Statement from Coach Brian Reynolds:

“What we have been challenged to do is develop a comprehensive program for ensuring that the behavior is completely eliminated from the Drury University swim program, athletics in general and campus wide.

“In discussions with Dr. Cloyd, who took over as president this past summer, and AD Fisher, we all agree that a more definitive program is in order – one structured to ensure that hazing in all forms is formally and clearly defined and eliminated from the campus

“I have shared with Dr. Cloyd and AD Fisher my desire to focus my attention on this matter in support of the university, our athletic programs and specifically the swim program so that this type of incident does not happen ever again.

“I have devoted my entire life to building up young adult athletes in the highest standards of competitive integrity and personal responsibility. I have devoted specific time and effort each year to instruct my teams on the issue of hazing and to instill in them that it has no place in our program.

“Many of you know me, and you know my personal commitment to this program and to young people. The last thing I would ever condone is activity that could harm or inflict damage either physically or emotionally on any of our student athletes.

“I plan to commit my full-time attention to this matter over the coming weeks and to apply all of my efforts to establishing a set of components that will leave no room for this type of activity to ever occur again.

“The foundation will be laid in time. We will take the necessary time needed to examine the issues as they relate to the Drury community. We do play a role on the national stage in more than one of our sports programs and I want this program to clearly demonstrate our commitment to taking this issue seriously.

“Everyone who assumes the mantle of coach takes by the nature of the job responsibility. I have spoken to students throughout my entire career on this subject. To conclude that this behavior is somehow condoned or ignored is simply not true.

“Every fall I counsel my entire team, and then in separate meetings, my captains and co-captians about this.

“Because of my 33 years of experience in NCAA athletics, my love of athletics, and thousands of student-athletes I’ve worked with, I feel a deep responsibility to help Drury University address this issue and create a national model in combating this kind of behavior. Of all the things I’ve done to this point in my career, I cannot think of a single action or goal that is more important than this one.

“This kind of behavior is out of character for the student-athletes that I know. But unfortunately, it has happened. It must be addressed.”

 

Statement from Athletic Director Mark Fisher:

“As I said last week, I have made it clear to our coaches and student-athletes that we will not tolerate such behavior. I am glad coach Reynolds has accepted Dr. Cloyd’s challenge to address this issue on a broader scale moving forward. I’m happy to work side by side with Coach Reynolds and Dr. Julian in the leadership of that process.

“Coach Reynolds has asked to step away from day-to-day coaching duties for a period of time in order to lay the groundwork for that process. In the meantime, assistant coach Doug Schranck will take over day-to-day duties as the team prepares for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships and the NCAA-II nationals.”

 

Statement from Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Dr. Tijuana Julian:

“We have a number of task forces on campus to address various issues and this group will further that approach. It will include members of the entire Drury community, including representation from faculty, staff, students and alumni. Some of the other issues that groups are tasked with addressing include Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equity, Bystander Intervention Training and overall campus safety. I led the effort to strengthen our policies on hazing this year, and I’m looking forward to the work ahead of us as we dive deeper into the issue and continue to strengthen our stance on the issue.”

Kiplinger’s again ranks Drury as one of America’s best value schools

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 19, 2017 — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has again included Drury University on its list of the nation’s best values in higher education.

Kiplinger’s annual list ranks the Top 100 schools in three categories: private universities, public universities and liberal arts colleges. This is the fourth year in a row Drury has made the private universities list, at No. 49. Drury is No. 153 on Kiplinger’s combined list of 300 schools.

The complete rankings are available online at kiplinger.com/links/college and in the current issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

“Year after year, objective researchers and publications tell the nation what Drury students, families and alumni already know: Drury provides an outstanding value to our graduates,” says Kevin Kropf, executive vice president of enrollment management at Drury.

Kiplinger’s assesses value using measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include admission rates, percentage of students who return for sophomore year, student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include “sticker” price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Drury’s average student debt upon graduation is below the state, regional and national averages; and 97 percent of Drury students receive a portion of over $30 million in financial assistance each year.

Drury is consistently recognized for providing outstanding educational value for students and families. Drury was recognized as a Top 20 “Best Value School” in the Midwest (at No. 18) by U.S. News & World Report earlier this year, and Washington Monthly named Drury a “Best Bang for the Buck” school in its 2016 college guide.

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Drury accounting students to provide free income tax preparation assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 10, 2017 — Drury University students again will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. The annual tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income and senior taxpayers.

The Drury tax clinic is primarily a walk-in service. This site calls its last client on each date one hour prior to closing. VITA clinics are held at the Breech School of Business Administration building, on the northeast corner of Central Street and Drury Lane. The clinics will be held at the following times:

Saturday, Feb. 4 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6 – 4 to 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10 – 4 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 13 – 4 to 8 p.m.

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

VITA tax clinic 2015

Taxpayers are required to bring photo ID and 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 a copy of their 2015 state and federal tax 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.

Due to limitations set by the federal government, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs are unable to help taxpayers who have declared bankruptcy or incurred insolvency during the tax year, have rental property, have a self-owned business with inventory, depreciable property, or which had an overall loss for the year, and certain situations in which a taxpayer has received a forgiveness of debt.

VIDEO: VITA tax preparation clinic