About Mike Brothers

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Solar Decathlon team gearing up for 2015 national competition

Rising gas prices and climate change are hot-topic issues that are drawing attention to the need for alternative energy sources. Drury University and Crowder College hope to be a part of this energy solution — they are designing, building, and operating an off-the-grid home as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015 competition.

The Solar Decathlon is a “green” home building competition among colleges that apply and are selected by the Department of Energy. It is meant to educate students and the public about the benefits, affordability and availability of renewable energy.

Crowder approached Drury to join forces on the project last year. Crowder offers programs in renewable energy and competed in the Decathlon in 2002 and 2005. Recognizing the strength of Drury’s architecture program, the Crowder team thought both colleges could benefit from each other’s expertise in order to design a top-notch home. They’re now competing against teams from Yale, Vanderbilt and Missouri S&T, among others.

Members of the Solar Decathlon team examine plans for the project.

Members of the Solar Decathlon team examine plans for the project.

At Drury, this project has attracted about 50 students from architecture, communication, economics, finance, and other majors. This interdisciplinary approach is actually a requirement of the Decathlon, making Drury a great fit.

“I’m extremely excited to be involved in such an interdisciplinary project that allows me to utilize all the liberal arts informed skills I’ve picked up while studying at Drury,” said Alaa Al-Radwan, a fifth-year architecture student at Drury. “Seeing so many students from so many different areas of study come together to work on one project is a humbling experience.”

Students from both schools are working hard to design a one-of-a-kind, solar-powered home that exceeds the competition’s requirements in 10 categories. The home must run appliances and even power an electric car, produce as much or more energy than it uses, and remain cost-effective.

To set their project apart, the Drury/Crowder team has added another element to their project: storm resistance. Inspired by the devastation from the Joplin tornado, Drury/Crowder recognized the importance of providing relief shelter to individuals affected by natural disaster.

They call it ShelteR3, which is based on three R’s: respond, recover and resist. The home will require minimal assembly at the destination, provide a comfortable living space for families, and withstand high-speed winds. Drury and Crowder students want to use this competition to show how people can protect themselves from unpredictable storms and have an affordable, stylish home that runs “off the grid.”

“As the effects of climate change become more and more obvious, the necessity for alternate forms of energy is becoming a self-evident reality,” said Evan Melgren, a senior advertising and public relations major. “I’m proud to be a part of such a large competitio that works towards a solution.”

The Solar Decathlon will be held in Irvine, California in October 2015. For more information on the Solar Decathlon, visit www.solardecathlon.gov. For more information on Drury and Crowder’s project, visit shelter.drury.edu. If you would like to support the project with a gift or in-kind donation, contact Traci Sooter at (417) 873-7416.

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally ran in the Springfield News-Leader.

 

Artwork by Drury alumni from across the globe on exhibit

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 15, 2013 — An art exhibit featuring works by six Drury alumni is now open for public viewing at the Pool Art Center through Oct 31. The exhibit, curated by Art Department Chair Todd Lowery, is titled “Drury/New York/San Francisco/Berlin” and showcases artists who got their start at Drury but are now based in major urban centers.

painting by Julie Feldman Algiere

Painting by Julie Feldman Algiere

The exhibition highlights a wide variety of media, including fiber sculpture/wall hangings, sheet foam sculptural wall pieces, paintings, and even microwave photograms.

Featured artists include Doug Johnston, Eric Clinton Anderson and Ben Bunch, all of whom live in New York; Ryan Thayer and Sarrita Hunn of Berlin; and Julie Feldman Algiere of San Francisco. Bunch graduated from Drury in 2000; Hunn in 2001; Johnston, Anderson and Thayer in 2002; and Algiere in 2007.

Fiber sculpture by Doug Johnson

Fiber sculpture by Doug Johnston

Theses artists’ works have been featured in major publications such as the The New York Times and Vogue, and have been displayed in galleries all over the world.

Pool Art Center is located at 940 N. Clay Ave. Regular hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday.

Media Contact: Todd Lowery – Chair, Department of Art & Art History | Office: (417) 873-6977 | Email: tlowery@drury.edu

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Livesay named 2014 Sherman Emerging Scholar

Dr. Dan Livesay, assistant history professor at Drury, has been named the Sherman Emerging Scholar for 2014. Livesay will travel to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in late October to deliver a public lecture about his research, speak in a graduate class and share his expertise with other scholars.

The Sherman Emerging Scholar award is a national award presented by UNC-Wilmington annually to a promising young scholar. It gives the winner a platform to discuss perspectives, research, concepts and approaches to modern issues and theories in history, politics and international affairs.

Dr. Daniel Livesay

Dr. Daniel Livesay

Livesay’s lecture, titled “Race and the Making of Family in the Atlantic World,” will relate his research about mixed-race families in the 18th century to modern day debates about race and family in the United States. Growing racial complexities and family belonging were important issues then as they are now.

“Because I was selected by a committee of historians working on lots of different periods of time and topics, it was very encouraging to discover that my particular research had something of a broad appeal,” Livesay says. “It’s also very exciting to present my work to a large group of people who know absolutely nothing about my area of expertise. As academics, we can sometimes feel that we are only talking to a very narrow group of people about our research, and so I’m thrilled that I can present it to people from all different walks of life and intellectual interests.”

In total, Livesay spent 10 years researching, writing, and revising his work, which is now in the process of being published in book form by UNC Press.

The Emerging Scholar Award comes at the heels of another honor – the National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” Fellowship in African American History – which allowed him to spend this past summer researching at the Rockefeller Library in Williamsburg, Va.

Livesay conducts most of his research during the academic breaks and focuses on teaching during the semesters, but he does devote some time in the mornings to continue researching throughout the school year. As a scholar and professor, Livesay says he inevitably finds documents and sources that he can use in his syllabus. He also incorporates some his own research and findings into the classroom.

“I think students get excited to see what their professors are experts in,” Livesay says. “They give good feedback and often show me something I hadn’t thought about before—they add a new perspective.”

Livesay received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2010 and came to Drury in 2012. He teaches courses on the history of early America, transatlantic slavery and indigenous people in the Americas.

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Statewide gifted education conference at DU focuses on STEM – and more

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 14, 2014 — A statewide conference taking place on the Drury campus later this week will explore two parts of the educational spectrum that aren’t often discussed together – gifted education and learning disabilities.

The Gifted Association of Missouri (GAM) will hold its annual conference on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17 and 18 on the DU campus. The conference theme is “FULL STE²AM AHEAD.” Most people are familiar with the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in today’s classrooms. The “STE²AM” theme adds two additional components. The first is “twice-exceptional” students who meet the eligibility requirements for both giftedness and learning disabilities (for example, a student may be delayed in language arts but advanced in mathematics). The second component is the arts.

The conference will take place in Lay Hall and the Findlay Student Center. For more information about the conference or to set up interviews, contact Mary Potthoff, director of Drury’s Center for Gifted Education, at (417) 873-7386 or mpotthof@drury.edu; or Robin Lady, executive vice president with GAM at (314) 203-1165 or robin.lady.gam@gmail.com.

About Drury’s Center for Gifted Education

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Visit Drury.edu/giftededucation for more information.

About GAM

The Gifted Association of Missouri has actively supported the needs of high-ability and high-potential learners in Missouri since 1980. GAM provides teacher training, curriculum development, parent support, regional seminars and workshops, scholarships, student competitions and awards. For further information, visit: www.mogam.org.

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One-day conference will help Midwest nonprofits hone communication skills

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 8, 2014 — Hundreds of community leaders representing organizations from Missouri and seven surrounding states will gather Thursday, Oct.16, at Drury University for the 2014 Nonprofit Communication Conference.

The one-day annual conference, presented by the Drury University Center for Nonprofit Communication, features training on a variety of topics including public relations, technology, crisis communication and fundraising. Representatives from many of Missouri’s largest health systems, universities, charitable and civic groups will be in attendance.

According to the IRS, there are more than 1,500 registered nonprofit organizations in Springfield – including many of the region’s top employers. A recent study by the Center revealed Springfield nonprofit organizations comprise more than 50 percent of the city’s total private workforce – almost 40,000 people daily.

The 2014 Nonprofit Conference will be held in the Breech School of Business on the Drury University campus. Conference cost is $40 per person, and includes lunch by Panera Bread and refreshments by Krispy Kreme. Registration is online at www.Drury.edu/Nonprofit.

Major conference sponsors include KPM Accountants, Panera Bread and Traders Printing.

For more information, contact conference organizer Dan Prater at (417) 873-7443 or via email at dprater@drury.edu.

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Daughter follows in dad’s footsteps into the Breech MBA program

Sometimes it’s tough to live up to the standards and expectations your parents have for you. It might be even be a little tougher when you follow in the footsteps of your father into a rigorous and challenging Masters in Business Administration program.

Liz Crain recently completed Drury’s five-week-long MBA “Boot Camp” that’s designed to prepare those without an undergraduate business degree for the MBA program. She begins classes in January.

Her father, Mike West, earned an MBA from Drury in 2010. Hav­ing graduated from Drury in 1996 with degrees in physics and mathematics, he also went through the Boot Camp to prep for his master’s degree. Then he recommended the program to his daughter.

“I don’t feel too competitive about it, but the standards are set pretty high,” Crain says with a grin, when asked if there’s any family rivalry in play.

Liz Crain and her father, Mike West

Liz Crain and her father, Mike West

Angie Adamick, director of the MBA program, says West and Crain represent two very different, but valued types of students who go through the program.

“Mike is the professional who has so much expertise and rich experience to offer in the classroom and Liz is full of fresh and innovative ideas,” she says. “The combination of these kinds of input in the Drury MBA classroom makes for incredibly dynamic discussions.”

Crain, 23, has seen that already. She says she enjoyed the stimulating mix of younger minds and experienced professionals during the “intense five weeks” of the Boot Camp.

West continues to be involved in the program post-graduation by serving as an MBA mentor, speaking at the orientation and encouraging his colleagues to pursue their MBA through Drury. Now he’s excited to bring his daughter into the Drury fold as well. He still has many close, personal and professional connections from both his undergraduate days and his MBA experience.

“Drury, to me, is a family school,” he says. “Everybody knows everyone.”

Those interested in applying for the program can find more information about www.drury.edu/mba, or by calling (417) 873-7612.

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Story by Trevor Cobb, writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Drury honors three graduates with 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 7, 2014 — Drury University honored three outstanding graduates with the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Awards during the annual Alumni Reunion on October 3. Fellow alumni nominate candidates and the DU Alumni Council chooses the honorees. The award winners are chosen for career success and service to their communities.

“These three impressive individuals represent the continuing tradition of outstanding Drury alumni,” says Dianne Johnson, vice president of Development & Alumni Relations. “They combine career achievement with leadership and service, and they demonstrate how to lead satisfying and meaningful lives to their families, our students and their communities.”

Kim Harrison Hamm

Kim Harrison Hamm

Kim Harrison Hamm ’86  Distinguished Alumnus Award for Career Achievement

Celebrated for her long and successful career as a partner at BKD, LLP, and for providing more than 25 years of expertise in audit and consulting services for clients in the real estate, not-for-profit and government industries. Hamm has also presented numerous seminars on a variety of topics, assisted with the implementation of insightful solutions for her clients, and remained active in the recruitment of college graduates for the firm.

Eunice Schmiechen Wallar

Eunice Schmiechen Wallar

Eunice Schmiechen Wallar ’63  Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service

Honored for her passionate pursuit of education, the arts and children’s advocacy in her professional life. Wallar owns and manages Waverly House, the longest continuously operated art gallery in Springfield, and has raised more than $60,000 for local children’s charities. She has served on boards including the Camp Fire Boys and Girls, Friends of the Springfield Art Museum, and the Drury Panhellenic Alumni Council.

Nathan Pettyjohn

Nathan Pettyjohn

Nathan Pettyjohn ’01 – Distinguished Young Alumnus Award

Recognized for his innovative advancements in the mobile services and advertising industries. Pettyjohn is the founder and CEO of aisle411, the leading mobile commerce and location services platform for retailers. He and his company have been featured on CNBC, The Wall Street JournalThe New York Times and more. With more than 12 years of experience, he has a rich understanding of business, management, technology and marketing.

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Partnership puts future health care professionals in clinical setting

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 30, 2014 — As entry into professional health and medical schools becomes more competitive, a new partnership between Drury and Jordan Valley Community Health Center (JVCHC) gives undergraduates the chance to experience and work in a real-world medical setting well before they take that next step in their academic careers.

The Drury Health Service Corps places pre-health sciences students inside the federally qualified health center in downtown Springfield to work alongside the medical staff and interact with patients. This gives them valuable – and increasingly, essential – volunteer experience in a real clinical setting. The work includes helping patients navigate the building and sign up for the online patient engagement portal, as well as assisting the JVCHC staff with a variety of customer-service related tasks.

The Drury Health Service Corps seeks to go beyond a mere “shadow” internship and to truly place undergraduates in the midst of the patient-provider dynamic. It will help them cultivate the empathy, understanding and skills necessary to build relationships with the medically underserved, so that they are better prepared to become patient-centered health care providers in the future.

“Medicine is certainly a ‘people’ business and that’s something medical schools are looking for — individuals who are not only academically prepared but are able to go out and interact with people in a really positive way,” says Dr. Beth Harville, assistant professor of biology and chemistry and director of Drury’s pre-health sciences program.

“This is such a win-win for both Drury University and Jordan Valley Community Health Center,” said Dr. Chan Ngo Reyes, medical director at Jordan Valley Community Health Center, and a DU alumna. “It is so important for pre-health sciences students to get meaningful, first-hand experiences in terms of patient care and what it means to truly treat and help patients in the medical setting. Through their volunteer hours, Drury students achieve self-confidence in meeting and speaking with patients who come to the clinic, learn how to work effectively and efficiently with others to meet the same goals, and observe experienced medical professionals practice within a clinic setting.”

The partnership further bolsters Drury’s pre-health sciences program, which has a strong history of producing graduates who move on to successful health care professions in medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, pharmacology and more. Drury has partnerships that allow undergraduates who meet certain academic standards early acceptance to five medical schools – Saint Louis University, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, the University of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In the last 5 years, approximately 90 percent of Drury students who applied to medical school were accepted. Today more than 100 Drury alumni are practicing physicians in southwest Missouri.

Mikaela Speakes is a junior biochemistry major at Drury who has already been accepted to medical school at SLU. Participating in the Health Service Corps is a feather in the cap for the St. Louis-area native.

“Professors try to teach you patient care in the classroom, but it’s hard – you really have to do it for yourself,” Speakes says. “You have to get out there and interact with patients. And it’s a great break from studying and class. It’s something different.”

Health Service Corps students work in pairs at Jordan Valley from 1 to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Each pair works one day a week, for a total of about 65 hours worth of work by semester’s end. New groups of students will work during the winter break and spring semester. In all, more than 30 students will take part this academic year. Media interested in covering the program can make arrangements through Mike Brothers, DU media relations director.

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Moroccan professor teaches Arabic at Drury thanks to Fulbright program

For 10 years, Jalal Ismaili taught English to students in his home country, Morocco. This year, as part of the prestigious Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship program, he is teaching Arabic to American students at Drury, creating an important cultural exchange that emphasizes Drury’s global studies mission.

Ismaili teaches elementary and advanced Arabic courses as part of Drury’s Middle East Studies minor. Arabic is the official language of Morocco and 21 other countries in Africa and Asia.

Jalal Ismaili

Jalal Ismaili

The Fulbright program is funded by the U.S. State Department and managed by the International Institute of Education. It involves a rigorous, competitive application process, and provides opportunities for students, professors and scholars from the United States to teach and study abroad, and vice versa. Six current Drury professors and even some former students have been granted Fulbright awards to study and teach in their fields overseas.

For nine years, Drury has also hosted an Arabic Foreign Language Teaching Assistant through the program.

“One of the great benefits for Drury is that we get the opportunity for people to come from the Middle East and teach an important and challenging language,” says Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, professor of political science and director of the Middle East Studies program. “More significantly, we get a view of the Arab world in a human way — a cultural exchange and understanding that’s not just through news headlines.”

Ismaili spoke with the previous Fulbright FLTA scholar who came to Drury last year and consequentially had high expectations about what he would experience when he came to Springfield.

“He told me that the people here were very kind and welcoming and I can see that throughout the campus,” Ismaili said. “I’ve taught about American culture, but I haven’t gotten to actually live it, so this opportunity has really helped me in my career and given me a better, cultural understanding.”

Ismaili holds an M.A. in multilingual translation and is currently working on his Ph.D. in English. During his time at Drury, he hopes to act as an ambassador for his country. He teaches Arab culture, history and customs in his language courses, and has guest-lectured in other professors’ classes.

“I think many students have misconceptions about the Arab world just as I have had misconceptions about Americans,” says Ismaili. “People tend to overgeneralize on both sides. Changing those views is one of my priorities. I don’t just want to tell others about the culture, I want to bring them into it and into the environment.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

 

Environmental art exhibit featured at C-Street gallery in October

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sep. 29, 2014 —Drury on C-Street will open a unique exhibition featuring Missouri artist Shirah Miriam “Mimi” Aumann from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 3. The exhibit, “Hemp and Pots – Grass and Trees” will feature 44 multi-media pieces, including the installation of “Tree Whispers,” which portrays the deforestation of the Earth for paper. The Drury on C-Street gallery is located on 233 E. Commercial Street.

“This exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to introduce the viewer to the strength and beauty of these natural fibres and get the environmental message across in a powerful and visual way,” Aumann says.

Aumann creates handmade papers and sculptures using tree-free, native plant fibers. She studied weaving for several years with Drury weaving instructor Harriet Mears, mother of Ellen Mears Kennedy, a noted papermaker.

Fluer de Iris, by artist Shirah Miriam “Mimi” Aumann

Fluer de Iris, by artist Shirah Miriam “Mimi” Aumann

The exhibition will open with a Creative Conversation at 5:30 p.m., featuring Aumann as well as Mike Lewis, executive director of Growing Warriors, a Kentucky-based organization that teaches veteran families the skills to grow naturally grown produce. Growing Warriors recently planted a successful crop of industrial hemp — a historic moment in Kentucky after decades of federal prohibition of industrial hemp.

After the opening, the public may view this exhibit from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of the month. The exhibit runs through Oct. 29.

For more information, call (417) 873-6359, or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DruryCStreet.

About Drury on C-Street

The Drury on C-Street Project is an initiative by Drury University, in partnership with other local organizations, to establish a Drury Center on Commercial Street. This center includes an art gallery, a business resource center, space for weaving looms, architecture classroom, and a multi-use area for additional classes and seminars. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is a professional, student-run gallery featuring emerging and established artists. The Gallery aims to inspire and enrich the community through a diverse, quality experience; and strives to create and maintain strong local partnerships.

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