Music defies age at Intergenerational Rock Band concert April 22

Though tastes change from era to era, the love of music is something all generations have in common. This shared love of the “universal language” will be on display at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, at Clara Thompson Hall during the fourth annual performance of the Intergenerational Rock Band. The concert is open to the public.

The concert is part of Drury’s rapidly growing Music Therapy Program, now in its 14th year. It involves a mix of music therapy students and older adults from the Springfield community. This year’s concert features adults who are members of Drury’s Institute for Mature Learners.

Selections on Tuesday will include “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons; “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5; “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers; “In My Life” by the Beatles; “Roar” by Katie Perry; and more. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted to help purchase instruments for Drury’s Music Therapy Program.

“The Intergenerational Rock Band is a chance for people from different backgrounds to enjoy a shared love of music,” said Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, Director of Drury’s Music Therapy Program. “It also gives the students a great opportunity to work with a demographic that will likely be part of their clientele as music therapy professionals.”

Music therapy is an established profession that uses music to help people accomplish treatment goals in overcoming physical, cognitive, emotional or social needs.

For more information, contact: Natalie Wlodarczyk, Assistant Professor – Music Therapy, at (417) 873-7573 or


Community prescription drug take-back event at Drury April 25

Drury University and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency will host a prescription drug take-back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 25. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Drugs can be dropped off at Findlay Student Center, located on the circle drive at the end of Drury Lane.

Drug take-back events are an opportunity for people to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. In 2013, Americans turned in 324 tons (640,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in homes are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that previously suggested methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information, contact: Jamie Alexander, (417) 873-7423 or


Springfield’s first Nonprofit Impact Report will spotlight sector’s influence

What kind of impact do nonprofit organizations truly have in Springfield? While many would say their influence is indeed large, it’s often hard to quantify. A new report from Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Communication (CNC) seeks to answer this question.

The Nonprofit Impact Report – the first of its kind to be conducted in our area – contains information on more than 1,500 nonprofit organizations located within Springfield city limits. The data comes from IRS 990 filings, a recent nonprofit salary survey conducted by the CNC, the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and more. It is the result of 18 months of study.

The report will be released at a news conference at 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 23 at the auditorium in the Hammons School of Architecture building on the Drury campus. The event is open to the public and media are invited to attend. The report’s authors will be available for interviews immediately afterward. Parking is available in lots 1, 7 and 12, though spaces may be limited.

“Although most of the information used to create this report is publicly available, it takes time and expertise to analyze and dissect it all,” says Dan Prater, Director of the CNC at Drury. “The report provides solid data that helps reveal the full magnitude of what nonprofits do in our community – and turns out the impact is huge.”

The 44-page report contains information about the number and percentage of Springfield workers employed in the nonprofit sector, average annual budgets, nonprofit density compared to other metro areas, whether or not services are being duplicated, and exactly how well nonprofits are responding to the “red flag” issues identified in the long-running Community Focus Report. The information is also highly valuable to nonprofits themselves, as they are more and more often asked to provide hard data when seeking grants and donations.

The April 23 news conference will last about one hour and feature a panel of those who worked on the report, including Prater; Dr. Curt Gilstrap, Associate Professor of Communication at Drury; Dr. Sun-Young Park, Assistant Professor of Communication at Drury; and Dr. Sarah Smith, special advisor to the Center for Nonprofit Communication.

“Nonprofits are ultimately a public trust, much like government,” Prater says. “Our investment via donations means the whole community has a stake in what nonprofits do, and a stake in their success or failure. We believe this information will be helpful and insightful for both the nonprofits themselves and the community at large.”

The Nonprofit Impact Report will be made available free to nonprofit organizations and others in attendance at the end of the news conference. The report will be made available online afterward.

For more information, contact: Dan Prater, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Communication, (417) 873-7443; or Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations, (417) 873-7390.


Drury’s Enactus Team Finishes Among the Nation’s Top Eight

Drury University’s Enactus team emerged as one of the top eight teams in the nation after placing second in their league of competition within the semi-final round at the 2014 Enactus USA National Exposition in Cincinnati last week.

“Our students thought outside the box this year and completed some incredible, unique projects,” said Kaitlyn Den Beste, Drury’s Enactus Director. “I am so proud of the work they’ve done. They have grown throughout the year, and their work has improved the lives of those around them.”

Drury has won the SIFE National Exposition three times, (2001, 2003, 2005) and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in 2001 and 2003. Enactus was formerly known as SIFE.

2014 Enactus USA National Champion Texas State University advances to the Enactus World Cup, which will be held in Beijing, China in October.

For more information on Enactus, go to


Professor’s Research Turns Architectural Plans into Virtual Worlds

Virtual reality technology is making mainstream headlines following Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift headset.  Though designed primarily as an entertainment and gaming device, the Rift headset also holds incredible promise as a powerful design tool.

David Beach, assistant professor at Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture, has spent the past three years working to apply VR technology to the field of architecture and design. He has specifically worked with the Oculus Rift hardware for about six months.

Now Beach, with the help of senior architecture student Sam McBride, is set to demonstrate the results of his research – namely, a custom software solution that takes plans built with today’s commonly used design software and turns them into virtual spaces designers and their clients can explore in three dimensions using the Oculus Rift.

Beach and McBride will demonstrate their work to area architects from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 at the Hammons School of Architecture auditorium. The event is open to the public and the media are invited to attend.

“The idea of virtual reality has been around for more than 20 years, but the technology is only just now becoming affordable and user-friendly,” Beach says. “The Oculus Rift is the tipping point for hardware, which then opens up countless possibilities in architectural design.”

The process Beach and McBride have developed is highly iterative, allowing design decisions to be made based on the visceral experience of exploring ideas in virtual space. Beach’s research has focused on making the use of VR technology as easy and affordable as possible for practicing architects. A firm would need to invest less than $2,000 and a few hours of training time to be able to port their existing designs into virtual space.

For more information, contact: David Beach, Assistant Professor of Architecture, (417) 873-7055 or


Arbor Day Celebration at Drury Planned for Friday, April 4

Drury University will host an Arbor Day celebration and tree planting at 11 a.m., Friday, April 4, just north of Olin Library. The event is open to the public and media are invited to attend.

The event centers on the planting of a several native trees, including a Redbud, a Yellowwood and three Linden trees. It will also include the reading of a proclamation by Mayor Robert Stephens and remarks by Dr. Gary Wright of Springfield’s Tree City USA Committee.

“We want to heighten awareness of and respect for the urban forest on campus,” said Betty Coe Manuel, Drury’s First Lady and an organizer of the event. “Our entire campus is involved in making Drury a pleasant and ‘green’ place to learn, live and work.”

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri recently recognized Drury with an Exceptional ReLeaf Award for planting projects in 2013. The award was presented to Assistant Director of University Grounds Joe Fearn at the Missouri Community Forestry Council conference in March. During the last two years, Drury has received more than 250 trees and shrubs from the nonprofit organization. Those plants were the foundation of a comprehensive campus landscape improvement. Several areas that were previously intensively maintained but underperforming have been replaced with stylized landscapes using native vegetation.

Fearn and the university grounds crew are making it a point to involve students in the planning of some campus landscaping, too. Sophomore finance major Ted Boland is the Student Government Association’s Vice President for Sustainability. He and Fearn are working together to see that the physical campus reflects students’ preferences through an upcoming survey.

“Current students want to make sure we have a campus that is not only beautiful and inviting today, but is also sustainable and still around for future Drury students – and the community – to enjoy,” says Boland, who is also helping plan the April 4 Arbor Day event.

For more information about the event or Drury’s forestry and grounds efforts, contact: Mike Brothers at (417) 873-7390.


“Filaments” Features Fiber Works by Drury Students at C-Street Gallery

The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open “Filaments,” a fiber-based art exhibit, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4 at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, located at 233 E. Commercial St.

The exhibit will highlight the ever-growing medium of fibers by featuring small and large projects ranging from table runners to a completely woven dress by Drury students Jessica Bliss, Paige Koeppel, Julia Ensz and Haley Jackson. Ensz and Jackson will also be providing live demonstrations during the opening.

The reception will feature musical entertainment by Addison Jones on guitar, ukulele and banjo. Refreshments will be provided by Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar.

“Filaments” will run April 4-26, 2014.  Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays: April 12 & 26. For more information, call 417-873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook

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. To further its goals, the Gallery strives to create and maintain strong local partnerships.


Pro Surfer and Journalist Kyle Thiermann to Speak on April 3

Drury will host Kyle Thiermann, a 23-year-old professional surfer, journalist, and activist at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Apr. 3 in Clara Thompson Hall. Thiermann has created a YouTube series, Surfing for Change, which examines current issues and shows how people can create a better world through everyday decisions.

Thiermann’s first project in his YouTube series explored the negative impact multinational banks can have on local communities. His video inspired people to put money into local banks and credit unions instead of centralized banks. He has reached people throughout North America, South America, Africa and much of Europe.

Thiermann graduated from Gaia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Green Business. He has been featured in many media outlets including TEDx, Discovery Channel, the Huffington Post, and ESPN.

Thiermann will present “Surfing for Change” as part of Drury University’s 2013-2014 Theme Year series, The Morality of Wellness: Why good health is everyone’s responsibility, which explores the moral obligation to be a well citizen and the economic impact of lifestyle choices.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit


Ribbon Cutting for New Ava Campus Location Will be Held April 8

Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies Ava campus has moved into a new location in the second floor of the Missouri Ozarks Community Health/Wellness Center at 603 Northwest 10th Ave.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 8. Drury President Dr. David Manuel will be in attendance, alongside officials from the Ava Area Chamber of Commerce and staff from the branch campus.

The campus offices in Ava are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday during the semester and offers academic advising, financial aid assistance and career counseling, in addition to a computer lab.

The CCPS Ava campus serves students living throughout Douglas, Ozark and Wright counties. Drury began offering classes in Ava in 1997, using Ava High School classrooms in the evening. A variety of general education, major requirement, and elective courses are offered each semester.


Former Intelligence Analyst Turned Activist To Speak at Drury March 31

Former CIA analyst and senior national security advisor Ray McGovern will speak at Drury University at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 31 in Lay Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. McGovern’s speech is titled, “Edward Snowden: Patriot or Villain?” McGovern met with Snowden last fall in Russia, where Snowden has been granted temporary asylum.

Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst from the early 1960s through the administration of George H.W. Bush. During the 1980s, his duties included working on the classified National Intelligence Estimate document, and preparing the President’s Daily Brief for senior advisors to Ronald Reagan.

Following his service in the government, McGovern became a political activist protesting abuses of government power, especially the manipulation of intelligence data. In January 2003, he helped form Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose what its members called the falsification of intelligence to “justify” war on Iraq. More recently, McGovern has criticized the sweeping surveillance programs of the NSA, and U.S. policy regarding Syria and Ukraine.

The lecture is sponsored and paid for by a group of Springfield citizens who are organizing a speaking tour for McGovern throughout the Midwest, and is co-hosted by Drury’s Department of Political Science & Geography. Lay Hall is located on Benton Avenue, between Central and Calhoun Streets. Public parking is available along Benton and in Lot 6, across Benton just north of Central High School.

For more information about the lecture, contact: Jeffery A. VanDenBerg, chair, Political Science & Geography Department, at (417) 873-6947 or