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Drury offers new, comprehensive bachelor of music education degree

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 24, 2017 — Drury University’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts now offers an innovative new bachelor of music education (BME) degree that comprehensively prepares students for certification to teach all music specialties: general, choral and instrumental.

This single track, comprehensive program is one of the few such programs in the Midwest.

Drury’s music education program offers exceptional undergraduate conducting opportunities, including the yearly production of “Peter and the Wolf,” and participation in regionally and nationally recognized choral and instrumental ensembles.

“So often, music educators are called upon to teach in areas outside of their college specialization,” says Dr. Jim Davidson, director of music education and choral activities.  “For example, it’s not uncommon in today’s job market to see a student who studied to be a band director also being assigned to teach choir. Graduates of Drury’s new BME program will be much more marketable and well-rounded musicians, and prepared for success in all areas of the K-12 music program.”

More information is available at http://www.drury.edu/music/music-education-major  Prospective students can also contact Jim Davidson, director of music education, at (417) 873-4079 or jdavidson005@drury.edu.


New program offers Drury education students a fast track to a master’s degree

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 19, 2017 — Drury University’s School of Education and Child Development is offering a new option for students to complete both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years.

The “4+1” program makes it possible for academically qualified and motivated students to begin their 36-hour master’s degree while still an undergraduate, saving them both time and money. Drury is one of the only colleges in the state of Missouri to offer such an option.

“Earning a master’s degree is a natural extension of the contemporary teacher’s professional development, leading to mastery in specialized areas of education, improved job prospects and a significant increase in compensation throughout the educator’s career,” says Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove, assistant professor of education and the director of graduate programs for the School of Education. “The concurrent credit program offers a seamless transition into graduate study, giving new teachers the opportunity to reach a higher level of preparation and competence without the difficulties of having to readjust to a return to college after years in the workforce.”

How the program works

Working closely with advisors, eligible undergraduate students may enroll in up to 9 credit hours of selected graduate courses from the master in education programs while still pursing a bachelor’s degree. Successful completion of these courses will earn both undergraduate credit toward the bachelor’s degree and graduate credit toward a master’s degree.

Students typically complete bachelor’s degree coursework in four years. They will then take the remaining 27 hours of graduate coursework during the subsequent three or four semesters (the typical sequence is summer, fall, and spring semesters).

The School of Education offers bachelor’s programs in Elementary and Secondary Education and a variety of graduate degrees with a range of specialization areas. For the 4+1 program, students can choose from one of two master’s degree programs: Curriculum and Instruction (elementary, middle, or secondary), or Integrated Learning.

More details about eligibility requirements, course schedules, and tuition structures are available at Drury.edu/education.


Media Contact: Dr. Asikaa Cosgrove, Director of Graduate Programs – School of Education and Child Development: (417) 837-7806 or acosgrove@drury.edu.

Cabool campus moving inside Missouri Ozarks Community Health clinic

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 18, 2017 — Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies campus in Cabool is moving to a new location that will better serve students and the community by strengthening partnerships and opening up new learning opportunities.

The Cabool campus will move into the Missouri Ozarks Community Health (MOCH) building at 904 Zimmerman Avenue. The MOCH clinic offers a number of opportunities for Drury students to bolster classroom learning by taking advantage of on-site community partnerships, especially those studying in health-related fields.

Drury CCPS Cabool staff member Kizzi Roberts (at left) and Gina Crunkilton with MOCH CEO Tim Shryack.

Drury CCPS Cabool staff members Kizzi Roberts (at left) and Gina Crunkilton with MOCH CEO Tim Shryack.

CCPS Cabool staff will move into the space in August. Classes will temporarily be held at Cabool High School while new classroom space is built within the MOCH building this year.

“We’re really excited about this move because it gives us the chance to deepen our commitment to the Cabool area, and build on what we’ve done here for the past three decades,” says Kizzi Roberts, regional recruiter for CCPS in Cabool. “It’s especially exciting for students who are earning dual degrees in nursing and medical assisting from Drury and Cox College. Having their learning environment inside a modern community clinic will give them valuable insights along their academic journey.”

Drury and MOCH have a similar partnership in Ava. MOCH is a federally qualified health center serving a four-county area via five clinic locations.

“I’m thrilled to see Drury making this move, and I think it’s going to truly benefit both our clinic and the Drury students and staff,” says MOCH CEO Tim Shryack. “We think it’s a win-win and great step for the whole community.”

“Partnering with MOCH in this way will open up opportunities for Drury to expand our allied health offerings in the future, similar to what is available in Ava and other CCPS locations,” says Dr. Jana Neiss, dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies.

Although health-related opportunities will grow with this move, the academic focus for the Cabool campus will not change. Drury will continue to offer nearly 30 associates and bachelor’s degree options in seated and online formats. The MOCH building provides amenities that will benefit all Drury students, including a reception area and new office space for advising. Once constructed, the classrooms will be all new as well.

Generous donations that helped Drury establish its current Cabool location at 801 Walnut Avenue in 1990 will be honored as new spaces are built in the coming months.

For more information about the Drury CCPS campus in Cabool, go to http://www.drury.edu/cabool. Classes start August 21. To find out more about registration and class schedules, call Gina Crunkilton at (417) 962-5314 or email rcrunkil@drury.edu.


Media Contact: Kizzi Roberts, Regional Recruiter/Cohort Manager: (417) 962-5314 or kroberts02@drury.edu.

Dr. Jin Wang appointed dean of Drury’s Breech School of Business

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 6, 2017 — Drury University has selected Dr. Jin Wang as the next Dean of the Breech School of Business Administration. He begins his duties later this summer.

Wang has a B.A. in economics from Zhongshan University in China, an M.A. in economics from Ohio University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Kansas State University. He comes to Drury with extensive experience with curriculum innovation, accreditation, fundraising, and growing enrollments.

Jin Wang

Wang (pronounced “Wong”) most recently served as dean of the College of Business and Economics at the American University in Kuwait. He also served as dean of the Gore School of Business at Westminster College in Utah, where he also was the assistant to the president for international programs. Prior to that, he held administrative and faculty positions at the University of Tampa, Rowan University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Eureka College.

He brings extensive experiences in the areas of personnel and budgetary management, curriculum revision and development, academic services, enrollment management, international programs, community engagement, and business program accreditation.

Wang was selected as a Fulbright Scholar by the U.S. State Department in 2003, has held visiting professor positions in China, and was a fellow at Harvard’s Management Development Program in 2005. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate classes and is an active scholar with numerous publications, presentations, and funded grant proposals.

“Dr. Wang is an experienced administrator and a distinguished teacher and scholar,” says Drury provost Dr. Beth Harville. “He is committed to both business education and liberal arts education.”

“I am honored and humbled to have the privilege to serve as dean of Breech School of Business at Drury University,” says Wang. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues at the school and across campus to sustain and elevate academic excellence at Drury.”


Dr. Shannon Cuff appointed dean of Drury’s School of Education

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 29, 2017 — Drury University has selected Dr. Shannon Cuff as the next Dean of the School of Education and Child Development, effective July 5.

The move is a homecoming for Cuff, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education and Master of Education degrees from Drury in 2000 and 2004, respectively. After teaching English at Willard High School, Cuff earned a Ph.D. in Literacy Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2010. She has most recently been a member of the faculty at Park University in Kansas City, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate classes for seven years, in addition to her administrative responsibilities as director of the Watson Literacy Center and the school’s Higher Learning Commission accreditation team.

Shannon Cuff

Cuff is an active scholar who has numerous funded grant proposals, national conference presentations, and publications to her credit. Her research has focused on the areas of service-learning and community engagement in childhood literacy and with adolescent English Language Learners. Cuff’s work in the classroom has been complemented by an active role as a community liaison. She has been Park University’s representative for Missouri Campus Compact and is the coordinator for Park’s Master of Education in Language and Literacy programs. She has also been involved in a number of community-based literacy and reading programs in the Kansas City area.

“Dr. Cuff is a strong advocate for education and literacy and has experience working with school and community partners to advance educational collaborations,” says Drury provost Dr. Beth Harville. “She has also provided leadership in the development and growth of instructional programs including an English Language Learners (ELL) certification program.”

“I am excited about the opportunity to return to Drury and lead the School of Education and Child Development,” Cuff says. “Drury played a significant role in my development as an educator. I am eager to continue and build upon the excellent work of my colleagues as we prepare teachers to educate 21st century learners.”


Drury University and Crowder College sign articulation agreement

NEOSHO, Mo., June 13, 2017 — Drury University and Crowder College signed an articulation agreement today providing students the opportunity to transition several degrees seamlessly into Drury’s bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration, Behavioral and Community Health, Emergency Management, Organizational Leadership, and Health Services Management.

Crowder degrees that align with the Drury programs include:

Associate of Arts – Business Administration, Computer Science, Information Science, Psychology, and Social Work

Associate of Science – Occupational Therapy Assistant

Associate of Applied Science – Paramedical Science

“Drury looks forward to expanding its offerings of articulation agreements with Crowder College,” says Dr. Jana Neiss, Dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies. “We appreciate Crowder’s dedication to student success and are honored to be a part of it.”

“We are always looking for articulated opportunities for our students, after graduation with a certificate or associate degree, to continue their education and work towards the completion of a bachelor’s degree at a university. Working with Drury University offers our students the opportunity to obtain this goal with a quality institution. The faculty and staff at both schools have developed articulation plans to assist the students with seamless transferability between the two institutions,” stated Dr. Glenn Coltharp, Vice President of Academic Affairs.


Annual 531 Challenge enters its final stretch before May 31 deadline

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 25, 2017 — Drury University’s annual 531 Challenge is now in its final week. Alumni and friends have just seven days remaining to capitalize on an excellent opportunity to make their donations go further in support of today’s Drury students and tomorrow’s leaders.

Now in its fourth year, the 531 Challenge is an intense month of fundraising before the end of the fiscal year on May 31. All donations made to Drury during May count toward the 531 Challenge, which does not have a specific dollar goal but rather seeks to boost participation amongst donors.


“Our goal is 531 donors by May 31, and as of today we have a total of nearly 400,” said Andrea Battaglia, director – annual fund and alumni relations. “We’re counting on our alumni and other supporters to help us reach our participation goal and lock in a matching gift of $50,000.”

The 531 Challenge features a generous matching gift from Walter and Susan George and the George Family Foundation. Susan is a 1980 Drury graduate. Walter earned a Drury degree in 1979 and is a member of Drury’s Board of Trustees. The Foundation will make a gift of $50,000 if at least 531 people give, regardless of the amount, during the Challenge.

For more information about giving, go to https://alumni.drury.edu/531Challenge or call the Office of University Advancement at (417) 873-7353.


Drury partners with Duke University to recognize promising young scholars

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 25, 2017—Drury University’s Center for Gifted Education and Pre-College Programs, together with the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), will honor more than 400 of Missouri’s most promising young scholars at a recognition ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Central High School senior and international baccalaureate student Isabel Lai will be the keynote speaker.

To qualify for recognition, seventh-grade honorees must take the ACT or SAT and score at a level equal to or better than 50 percent of the juniors and seniors who took the test. Seventh graders only need to achieve a qualifying score on any one section to be recognized by Duke TIP, or a student could qualify with slightly lower marks on a majority of sections. Duke TIP, a nonprofit organization, has conducted an annual search for academically talented youth across the country since its founding in 1980. Drury University has hosted the annual statewide recognition event since 1981.

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. Each summer, more than 700 children from pre-K through high school attend Drury’s educational camps for gifted students.

More information: https://www.drury.edu/gifted-education.


Film shows impact of Joplin tornado healing garden created by DU students

Media Contact: Traci Sooter – Professor of Architecture; Director of Design-Build Programs: (417) 234-6405

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 22, 2017 — Since opening three years ago, the Landscapes of Resilience Butterfly Garden & Overlook in Joplin has helped the residents of a tornado-ravaged community experience healing and recovery through nature and thoughtful design.

Today, on the sixth anniversary of the Joplin tornado, a short documentary film telling the story of this project – designed by the Drury University Hammons School of Architecture’s Design-Build Program – is being released.

The seven-minute film, titled “Butterfly Angels,” shines a light on an effort that drew together an eclectic and passionate team of people, many from Joplin and the surrounding area; others from a thousand miles away. Together, they focused on conceptualizing and creating a green space, a healing garden, for the purpose of helping the people of Joplin deal with the enormous trauma inflicted by the tornado.

The film will be available for viewing starting Monday at: http://www.natureeffect.org/Joplin. It will also be featured by AccuWeather on television and online.


“The devastation that Joplin experienced was beyond what most of us can fully imagine,” said Alden Stoner, the producer and co-director behind “Butterfly Angels.” “When we think of disaster recovery, most of us envision the rebuilding process — the reconstruction of homes, businesses — but in truth, it’s about something much deeper.”

Among the voices heard in the film are those of Drury architecture professors and co-lead project designers Traci Sooter and Nancy Chikaraishi; and Chris Cotten, head of Joplin’s Parks and Recreation Department and a Drury alumnus. Others include former mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean and Cornell University’s Keith Tidball, who has long studied how nature can be a source of resilience for communities.

The Garden & Overlook project showcases a unique aspect of the Hammons School’s Design-Build Program: a “whole school” approach that pulls in students and faculty members from across Drury’s liberal arts spectrum. English students collected and transcribed survivor stories, which inspired design students prior to the build, and were eventually quoted on the storyboards in the garden. Psychology faculty has studied the healing aspects of the garden for Joplin residents. More than 60 students, staff and faculty converged on the site to install some features. Music Therapy students played music to motivate, uplift, and rejuvenate volunteers.

“Butterfly Angels” was produced by Stoneworth Studios, in partnership with the TKF Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to enabling more opportunities for people to experience the healing and restorative benefits of nature. The Foundation, through its Nature Sacred Award program, was a major funder of the Garden, which is also serving as a research site for Tidball and a team of fellow researchers from Drury University and the USDA National Forest Service. The team is seeking to learn more about the benefits of specific aspects of these types of green spaces.

Learn more about the Butterfly Garden & Overlook at: http://www.drury.edu/butterfly-garden.


Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten awarded Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters

The O’Reilly Family Event Center was a fitting location when Drury University presented an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters to Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten at its spring commencement this month.

That’s because Wooten was one of the key drivers behind the conception, construction and completion of the center, which opened in 2010 and is home to Drury men’s and women’s basketball games, volleyball games, concerts, lectures and commencements. Wooten has been a member of the Drury Board of Trustees for the past decade, and her foresight and leadership helped make the O’Reilly Center a reality. The space is one of the best in NCAA Division II sports and is a gathering place for key moments at Drury. It’s also a LEED-Gold certified building.


It’s just one of the many ways in Wooten ’64 has positively impacted life at Drury and the lives of countless others in the Springfield region. The Springfield native was awarded the honorary degree for an outstanding career and a lifetime of service.

“Rosalie is being recognized today as a model businesswoman, philanthropist, and friend,” said Lyle Reed, chair of the Drury Board of Trustees, at the commencement.

After graduating from Drury University, Wooten taught high school English for thirteen years. She spent most of her career as an Executive Vice President at her family business, O’Reilly Automotive Inc., from 1993 to 2002. She managed telecommunications, risk management and human resources. During her time there she was a creative and innovative thinker with effective human resources management and goal setting abilities combined with superior leadership, team building, communication, interpersonal, and presentation skills.

When Wooten began working at O’Reilly, very near to the company’s IPO, the stock price was $17.50 per share. When she left the company in 2002, the stock price was at $36.47 per share and the number of stores had grown from just over 100 stores to just over 1,000. Her kindness and values made her highly regarded and respected companywide. She currently serves on the company’s Board of Directors.

“Rosalie is a wonderful ambassador for Drury. … She has lived the kind of life that our students and alumni can hold up as an example, and seek to emulate.” – Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd

Wooten has been dedicated to a number of philanthropic endeavors. She serves on many boards, including Ozarks Greenways, CASA Advisory Board, Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks Advisory Board, and Missouri Council for the Arts Board, and she supports several charities. Her passion and caring spirit take her involvement far beyond expectations.

The list of her charitable causes includes, but is not limited to, Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, CASA, Catholic Charities, Child Advocacy Center, Boys & Girls Club, Boys & Girls Town, Isabel’s House, Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Harmony House, MSU Foundation (including Juanita K. Hammons Hall), Springfield Little Theater, Ozarks Food Harvest, Ozark Greenways, Springfield Regional Arts (Opera, Ballet, Orchestra, Symphony), The Moxie Theater, Kauffman Performing Arts Center in Kansas City, Lutheran Family Services, and the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri.

Wooten has most recently authored a children’s book about her nomadic canine friend, Tippy. She has two children, six grandchildren and continues to reside in Springfield.

Of course, one of her main focuses is education by giving back to her Alma Mater, Drury University.

“Rosalie is a wonderful ambassador for Drury,” says President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “With her calling as a teacher, her success as a business executive, her generosity as a philanthropist and her support for the arts, she has lived the kind of life that our students and alumni can hold up as an example, and seek to emulate.”