About Mike Brothers


Posts by Mike Brothers:

Drury to add shotgun shooting to competitive athletics lineup next year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2017 — Drury University will introduce shooting sports to its lineup of non-NCAA sports next year. Coed shotgun shooting will become the school’s fifth non-NCAA sport starting in fall 2017.

The shotgun team will compete in skeet, trap and clay. Shotgun shooting will primarily be a spring sport, though some competitions will take place in the fall as well. Scholarships are available. Prospective students interested in learning more about the shotgun team can contact the Drury Admissions Office at (417) 873-7205 and druryad@drury.edu, or visit www.drury.edu/admission.

Ruck shooting

Bass Pro Shops will offer support for the new program by allowing the Drury team practice time at its Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy facility at Big Cedar Lodge.

Tom Ruck will serve as head coach for Drury’s shooting sports program. Ruck is from Chesterfield, Missouri, and has more than 40 years experience as an instructor and competitor. He was a member of USA Shooting’s international skeet shooting team and been a medalist at the state, regional and national level in several disciplines of shooting competitions.

“The opportunity to start at the ground-floor and build this program is one of the things that made this an attractive opportunity,” said Ruck. “With the support of Drury’s athletics department, it has the chance to be very successful. I’ve always enjoyed working with young people and I’m looking forward to teaching people the things that have taken me 40 years to learn in this sport.”

Ruck has earned multiple All-American honors in skeet shooting, and sporting clays and is a certified instructor with the National Sporting Clays Association, the National Skeet Shooting Association and FITACS, the international form of sporting clays. Ruck has spent his professional career in the printing industry and is currently the president of Office Systems, Inc., in the St. Louis area.

Tom Ruck

Tom Ruck

Shotgun joins other recent additions of non-NCAA programs at Drury such as bass fishing, bowling, triathlon and stunt. Non-NCAA sports allow students to participate in a wider variety of intercollegiate competition beyond mainline athletics. The expansion continues Drury’s tradition of providing a wide range of outlets for students’ interests beyond the classroom, and will give current and incoming students even more options to consider.

“We’re excited to continue to expand our competitive athletics offerings at Drury,” said Director of Athletics Mark Fisher. “The Ozarks has a rich tradition of outdoor sports like hunting and fishing. This is a great fit for Drury and for our culture here in southwest Missouri and across the Midwest.”

Shooting sports at the collegiate level are growing in popularity. Similar schools in Missouri with shooting programs include Lindenwood University, Missouri S&T, the University of Central Missouri, and Columbia College – though not all of those programs are under their school’s athletics department umbrella, as will be the case at Drury.


Four of five finalists for SPS Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 17, 2017 — Drury University’s commitment to outstanding teacher education will be evident as Springfield Public Schools prepares to name its 2017 Teacher of the Year at a banquet tonight. That’s because four of the five finalists for Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates.

Three of the finalists earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Drury, while a fourth earned a graduate degree. The four teachers are:

Betsy Cannella, an art teacher at Glendale High School. Cannella earned a B.Arch. in Architecture from Drury in 2006 and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008.

Jenny Talburt, a fourth grade teacher at Pershing Elementary School. Talburt earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Drury in 2001 and Master of Education in Special Reading in 2008.

Gretchen Teague, a communication arts teacher at Central High School. Teague earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Drury in 2006.

Kevin Zimmerman, an art teacher at Harrison Elementary School. Zimmerman earned a B.A. in Fine Arts and Secondary Education from Drury in 2007 and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010.

_w3a9062-editTeague and Cannella remain connected to Drury, as they are currently involved with the longstanding annual summer camps hosted by Drury’s Center for Gifted Education. Talburt is an adjunct instructor at Drury.

“We are so incredibly proud of what these teachers have accomplished in the classroom this year, and throughout their careers,” says Laurie Edmondson, dean of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development. “It’s a testament to Drury to see the kind of impact they are making in the lives of the students. This is exactly why we do what we do each day.”

Vocal music teacher Daniel Gutierrez is the fifth finalist. The finalists were selected from a pool of 77 nominations, according to SPS, and the winner will be eligible to compete at the regional level. Nominated teachers submit an essay describing their philosophy of teaching, which a selection committee uses to choose candidates to participate in face-to-face interviews with the committee. To be eligible, a teacher must have worked for at least four years as a teacher at SPS.

The annual awards banquet is hosted by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools.

For more information about undergraduate and graduate education programs at Drury, visit: www.drury.edu/education.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Daniel Gutierrez on taking home Teacher of the Year honors.


Breech Business Week helps prepare students for the professional world

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 13, 2017 — The Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University will again dedicate a full week this spring to showcasing the strength of its student body and its ties with the business community in Springfield and beyond.

Breech Business Week, now in its fourth year, serves as another way of ensuring Breech students are “job ready” by connecting them with the professional world beyond campus. In addition to networking opportunities and workshops on topics such as finding the best internship and polishing their online presence, students will interact with a number of highly successful business professionals. The guest lecturers include Dianna Devore ’02, president of Design Fabrication structural steel fabricators, and Ardyth Neill ’82, president of the Heifer Foundation.

Drury students will receive valuable insights and feedback from these professional connections, while business leaders learn what makes Drury graduates such highly valued colleagues in the workforce.

“A Drury business education has always been designed to take learning beyond the classroom,” says Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School. “Breech Business Week embodies that idea. Seeing the interactions between students, alumni, professionals and guest lecturers has become a highlight of the academic year at Breech.”

Selected events from each day, which are open to the media, include:

Monday, April 17, 6 p.m. – Guest speaker Dianna Devore ’02, president of Design Fabrication structural steel fabricators. Location: Breech room 102

Wednesday, April 19, 11 a.m. to noon – Entrepreneur panel discussion moderated by Drury president emeritus Todd Parnell and featuring Elle Feldman, Elle’s Patisserie; Luke Westerman, Computer Recycling Center, and Dr. Kerri Miller, Make People Better. Location: Breech room 202

Thursday, April 20, 11 a.m. to noon – Guest speaker Ardyth Neill ’82 president of the Heifer Foundation. Location: Breech room 202

Friday, April 21, Noon – The Breech Award Luncheon honoring the top students in Drury’s business school will be held at the Findlay Student Center Ballroom. Note to editors: This is an excellent opportunity to interview seniors who are about to enter the workforce, including those who already have jobs lined up and those who are currently seeking jobs.

A full schedule of the week’s events can be found online. Breech Business Week is presented by the Breech Advisory Board, and made possible by corporate partner CoxHealth and corporate sponsors O’Reilly Auto Parts, Commerce Bank, OakStar Bank and the Springfield Business Journal.


Media Contact: Dr. Robin Sronce, Dean of the Breech School of Business: (417) 873-7438 or rsronce@drury.edu.

NYC design firm Cooper Robertson to lead campus master planning process

Renowned group recently completed work on Gateway Arch Museum renovation; Input sessions with stakeholders, campus and community groups will be held week of April 17

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 12, 2017 — Drury University has selected acclaimed architecture and urban design firm Cooper Robertson to lead a strategic, momentum-building campus master planning process in the coming months.

The master plan will set a course for enhancing Drury University’s design and development in the immediate future and over the next several decades. The plan will help bolster Drury’s new vision for academics and campus life, and will lend further momentum to the ongoing revitalization of central Springfield. As such, the plan will be created with extensive input from both the Drury and Springfield communities.

Representatives from Cooper Robertson will be on the Drury campus during the week of April 17 to conduct a multi-day design charrette to gather input, ideas and feedback from a variety of stakeholder groups including: faculty, staff, students, Midtown Neighborhood residents, the City of Springfield, Greene County, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Springfield Association, and many more community leaders and civic groups. The sessions will take place in the Hammons School of Architecture building.

Gathering Input

Architect John Kirk, a partner with Cooper Robertson, says input gathered during the charrette week will be a key part of the process. It will be the first of several such collaborative idea sessions.

“In this process, the university and other stakeholders become part of the design team, taking part in a shared design vision and exploration,” he says. “It’s a significant commitment by Drury to embrace, at the onset, the inclusivity of varied constituents and an impressively broad scope of impact.”

The charrette week builds on the work done by a campus task force, which established guiding principles for the process and selected New York-based Cooper Robertson from a slate of nationally known firms. The task force is led by Drury trustees Kris Anderson and Rita Baron, and includes other trustees and representatives from Drury faculty and staff.

“Drury’s master planning task force is excited to work with Cooper Robertson and all of our stakeholders as we ask ourselves what kind of campus we want to be, and how Drury’s physical presence, both now and in the future, can not only advance the institution’s mission but have a positive energizing effect on the broader renaissance taking place in Springfield,” says Anderson, a 1977 Drury graduate and retired construction executive who resides in St. Louis. “This plan will help guide everything from pedestrian walkways and landscaping to the placement of future buildings to the design principles we will refer to when renovating or building the spaces where students learn, live and spend free time.”

Visionary Design Firm

Cooper Robertson is well known for campus planning, urban design, master planning and award winning architecture. Two of the firm’s most recent projects include the new Gateway Arch Museum and Visitor Center in St. Louis and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. Its work on Battery Park City in New York, for example, reimagined an entire swath of waterfront just a few blocks from Wall Street.

Cooper Robertson is currently active on many campuses including Longwood University and the Lyford Cay International School. The firm has also developed long-term plans, and designed buildings, for Ohio State, the University of North Carolina, Caltech, Yale, Hunter College, Georgetown, the Duke University Medical Center, and many more.

“We are delighted to have the expertise and experience of Cooper Robertson involved with our master planning process,” says Drury University President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “Cooper Robertson is a renowned campus planning and architecture firm that has helped transform leading institutions around the country. As Drury moves into a new era, it will be crucial for us to craft a vision of our physical campus that not only reflects our academic values, but enhances our profile regionally and nationally.”

The planning process will include distinct phases over the coming months, culminating with a plan presented to the Drury Board of Trustees at its full meeting in the fall.

“The new campus master plan will help make lasting, memorable connections, which over time will better weave the existing campus together, allow for cohesive expansion, and connect to the surrounding community, too,” says Kirk, of Cooper Robertson. “This will help make Drury University a world-class destination, a school of choice, and memorable place for all who live and visit here. Our team has greatly enjoyed getting to know Dr. Cloyd, Kris Anderson and the Drury team. We all understand and share the same high expectations for the plan that will emerge, as well as the excitement for momentum building opportunities that will spring from it.”


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

Student-produced newspaper earns awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 10, 2017 — Drury’s student-produced newspaper founded in 1886, The Mirror, earned 5 awards at the 2017 Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) Conference on April 9 in St. Joseph, MO. Current students and recent graduates competed for awards with student staff from college newspapers at Maryville University, Missouri Southern State University, Missouri Western State University, Northwest Missouri State University, Truman State University, and Webster University.

This year’s winners from Drury were as follows:

Tina Haberberger, from St. Louis, Mo., earned 2nd in Column and 2nd in Information Graphic

Deborah Tragasz, from Jefferson City, Mo., earned 3rd place in Editorial Writing

Dani Wheelan, from Paris, Mo., earned 2nd place in In-Depth News Reporting

Max Prater, from Ozark, Mo., earned 2nd place in In-Depth News Reporting

For more information, please contact Dr. Greg Booker, assistant professor and advisor for The Mirror at gbooker@drury.edu.


30th International Food Festival celebrates cultures, friendships

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 7, 2017 — International students at Drury University will share their cultures with friends and guests through food and performance during the 30th annual International Food Festival at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 8 at the Commons in Findlay Student Center.

This year’s theme is the 1980s and ’80s attire is encouraged. Media are welcome to cover the event.

This popular dinner is truly a university-wide celebration, with numerous faculty, staff and American students joining their international friends each year. With nearly 13 percent of the undergraduate student population hailing from 53 countries, international culture is an important aspect of everyday life at Drury. These students bring a rich diversity of backgrounds and perspectives to campus, further enhancing a focus on global learning at a university where about half all undergraduates study abroad during their academic career.


Food is an important medium for sharing cultures because, “every culture uses food as a part of their celebrations,” says Heejung Cromley, director of international support services. The festival will feature foods from Egypt, Vietnam, France, Pakistan, Venezuela, China, Korea, and other countries.

The guests enjoying the food are not the only ones who get a meaningful experience. Students put in a lot of effort to prepare the food and it is often a daylong process. “They work so hard as a team and build friendships through this event,” says Cromley. This event is a way for international students to enjoy spending time with one another and share their culture with the community.

“It is such a wonderful opportunity for our international students to share who they are by introducing their culture through food and sharing,” says Cromley.


Media Contact: Heejung Cromley, Director of International Support Services: (417) 873-7885 or hcromley@drury.edu.

C-Street Gallery opens “Representing Reality” exhibit April 7

SPRINGFIELD, MO., April 7, 2017 – “Representing Reality” opens at the Drury on C-Street Gallery with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this evening. The exhibition will focus on work that encapsulates the idea of representation, and will feature pieces by various artists and their interpretation of diversity of experience. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is located at 233 E. Commercial Street. The opening reception is free to the public with food provided by Café Cusco.

“Representing Reality” was conceptualized by Arts Administration students Tori Manisco and Madison Morgan.

“There is a serious lack of diversity in mainstream media and too often a huge part of our population is left feeling under represented,” Manisco says. “Yet, when suddenly there is someone with whom you identify, who represents your struggle or your experience, it can be the most liberating feeling.”

“Creating and maintaining diversity in mainstream media is an invitation to be included in a narrative you never thought you could be a part of – it humanizes our differences,” Morgan says. “When we share and listen to stories that recount our respective struggles, we are granted the opportunity to broaden our outlook on life and form a more inclusive society.”

This exhibition will run from April 7 through 31. Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be 11-2pm on Mondays, 11-12:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-2pm on Wednesdays, 11-1pm on Fridays, and on Saturdays from 10-2pm.

For more information, call (417) 873-6337 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, and the weaving studio. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is a professional, student-run gallery featuring emerging and established artists. Drury University’s Drury on C-Street Gallery provides arts administration majors the experience of promoting the work of local artists. The gallery connects the community to new and relevant art in an accessible and welcoming environment.


Media Contact: Rebecca Miller, Director of Arts Administration: (417) 873-6337 or rmiller01@drury.edu.

Sip & Savor Springfield serves up tasty treats to benefit two nonprofits

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 31, 2017 — Drury University’s Sigma Pi chapter is proud to present Sip & Savor Springfield, a charity dessert and beverage sampling fundraiser set for Saturday, April 8. The event will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury University campus.

Sip & Savor Springfield will serve up the opportunity for some of the finest culinary minds in the Ozarks to combine what they do best with raising much-needed funds to support two area nonprofits, all while providing valuable real-world experience for college students planning the event.

All proceeds will benefit Harmony House, one of the state’s largest shelters and resource centers for domestic violence victims and their families, and Rare Breed, a resource center for at-risk and homeless youth.

Attendees will be able to sample decadent treats and tasty beverages from over 20 vendors, including Blue Bell Creameries, Chick-Fil-A, Chinese Chef, Corkscrew Catering, El Charro, Eurasia, Heart of America Beverage, Heroes Coffee, Hiland Dairy, Insomnia Cookies, June’s Cakery, Kilwins Branson, La Paloma, Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Cafe, Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe, Springfield Brewing Company, Tea Bar & Bites, The Rim, and Truffles E Truffles Handmade Chocolates. More vendors will be announced in the coming days at sipsavorspringfield.com.

Although this is the inaugural year for Sip & Savor Springfield, Drury Sigma Pi members have built upon their experience gained while hosting last April’s Sugar Rush fundraiser, which raised over $8,500 for the two nonprofits.

“After the enormous success with Sugar Rush, we’ve spent the last year tweaking the original idea by adding new features and incorporating a wider variety of food and beverage options to ensure there’s something for everyone,” said Ethan Williamson, the student leading the Sip & Savor project team.

General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. VIP tickets are $30, student tickets are $10, and children eight and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at sipsavorspringfield.com or at the door on the day of the event.


Media Contact: Kent Otto, Drury Sigma Pi chapter director: (417) 459-6589 or kent@sipsavorspringfield.com.

Wendy Flanagan named VP for Marketing & Communication

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 30, 2017 — Drury University is pleased to announce the appointment of Wendy L. Flanagan as Vice President of Marketing and Communications, effective April 10.

Flanagan has extensive experience in brand strategy, integrated communications, employee engagement, market research and analysis, media relations, and digital marketing. She comes to Drury from FleishmannHillard, a leading global communications firm. Flanagan spent two decades with FleishmannHillard, eventually rising to the role of executive vice president and general manager, in which she led the day-to-day operations of the agency’s headquarters in St. Louis.


“I’m honored and excited to join such a reputable institution, particularly at this point in time,” Flanagan said. “Drury is embarking on an important journey to reimagine its future, ensuring that it continues to provide a unique and differentiated educational experience. I can’t think of anything more rewarding than helping to define and communicate the Drury brand in a way that aligns with the vision of our Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff and alumni.”

During her time at FleishmannHillard, Flanagan established a global brand strategy group responsible for working alongside Fortune 500 companies to manage and burnish brand reputations. Some of the clients she worked with in this capacity included AT&T, UPS and Emerson as well as higher education institutions such as Dartmouth, Washington University and the University of Missouri. She brings to Drury a deep but highly versatile skill set that has been honed by working with, coaching, and engaging her colleagues at all levels, from line employees to C-suite executives.

Double-digit revenue growth, positive employee engagement, and successful strategic brand positioning are hallmarks of Flanagan’s work. In addition to these results, Flanagan and her teams have won numerous industry awards over the years, including a Silver Anvil Award for Brand Campaign of the Year from the Public Relations Society of America and a Gold Quill Award of Merit for Marketing-Public Relations from the International Association of Business Communicators.

Flanagan earned a B.S. in journalism/mass media from Emerson College and spent several years in broadcast journalism before moving into marketing and advertising – including a stint as a reporter/anchor at KODE-TV in Joplin. Flanagan has been active in the St. Louis community for many years as a volunteer. She enjoys the outdoors, especially fly fishing, and looks forward to pursuing personal and professional passions in the Ozarks during the coming years.

“I am extremely excited about the broad, high-level experience that Wendy brings to Drury University,” said Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “Her skills set in strategic brand management, employee engagement, media relations, and communication will be a strong asset to Drury, to our Board of Trustees and to everyone on our campus moving forward. We are fortunate to have someone of her caliber to lead and energize our communication efforts at this time.”


Drury debate team wins IPDA national title, individual and sweepstakes awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2017 — Drury University’s Debate Union has taken home three national titles in its first year of competition in the International Public Debate Association.

The Drury squad won the varsity competition title at the IPDA’s National Championship Tournament and Convention over the weekend in Russellville, Arkansas. It also took home the National Sweepstakes Award for having the most successful two-person teams in the tournament. In addition, sophomore Mallory Pinson won the individual Top Speaker Award at the event.

There were 56 teams in the varsity competition, representing universities from North Carolina to Seattle. Drury advanced three, two-person teams into the top 16 and then the quarterfinals. One Drury team lost in quarterfinals, while the two other teams were paired against each other. The team of Austin Cassity and Lindsay Duede stepped aside, advancing the team of Ameran Link and Kris Rose into the semifinal round. Link and Rose won both the semifinal and final rounds to go undefeated and win the national varsity title.

“Our success is due to the fact that the students attracted to the program are probably good at most things they do; they are hardworking achievers,” says Dr. Charles Deberry, the Debate Union coach. “Debate squads are highly competitive and, yet, know they need to be cooperative to be successful. I’m really proud of the esprit de corps that’s developed throughout this season of ups and downs. It’s thrilling to end this first year on such a high note.”

Bringing back a tradition at Drury that dates back to the late 1800s, the debate program was re-established in 2016 after a hiatus and quickly began making waves in its first season in the IPDA. Formed in 1997, the league emphasizes critical thinking, civil discourse, logic, creativity, and real-world persuasion skills. The IDPA has more than 120 member colleges in 28 states in the southeast, Midwest and west coast and continues to grow.

Each member of team is in his or her first year of college debate, and most are underclassmen. Members of the Drury squad include Mallory Pinson, Ameran Link, Kris Rose, Lindsay Duede, Austin Cassity, Jerrica Shine, Emily Collier, Kat Sittenauer, Erin Benedict, Ayesha Naqi and Haley Davis.

Final results for Drury from the IPDA National Championship:

  • Kris Rose and Lindsay Duede were varsity double octofinalists (6th place).
  • Lindsay Duede and Austin Cassity were quarterfinalists (4th place).
  • Mallory Pinson and Jerrica Shine were quarterfinalists (4th place).
  • Ameran Link and Kris Rose won the national title in team varsity competition.
  • Lindsay Duede was the 5th place speaker in varsity competition.
  • Mallory Pinson was the 1st place individual speaker in varsity competition.
  • Drury also ended the year in 3rd and 5th place, respectively, in season-long team and varsity rankings.

For more information on debate at Drury, visit http://drurydebateunion.org.