Alumni Council welcomes five new members for 2015-16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 30, 2015 — Drury University recently welcomed five new members to its Alumni Council.

The Alumni Council is the governing body of the Drury Alumni Association and consists of 23 alumni leaders from a range of class years, a member from the Drury faculty and a member from the administrative staff. The Council plans and supports programs such as Reunion Weekend, Homecoming, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and much more. The Council members also play important roles as representatives of Drury in their communities.

The new members for 2015-16 are:



Joann Dahlke Banner, a 1974 Drury graduate, earned her degree in Home Economics. She is a self-employed bookkeeper at her own company, which services several companies in the Springfield area. She is married to Gary Banner, a fellow Drury graduate and former Alumni Council member. She is an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church and a frequent volunteer at Ronald McDonald House.



Kim McCully-Mobley, a current adjunct faculty member with Drury University and Crowder College, graduated from Drury with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1994 and a Master’s in Education in 2000. She currently works as an educator at Aurora High School as well as freelance writer. She writes for several publications around the Midwest and owns a small, home-based publishing company called The Ozarkian Spirit.

Mickey Moore

Mickey Moore

Mickey Moore earned business and economics degrees from Drury in 1995 and an MBA from Drury in 2002. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mickey is now an active Springfield entrepreneur, owning and operating Employee Screening Services of Missouri since 2007, and purchasing Summit Safety Group in 2014. Moore has been an active Drury alumnus for several years, including participation in #DruryBusinessNetwork events and with the Breech School of Business.  He is also actively involved in multiple non-profit and civic organizations in the Springfield area.



Lori Johnson Murawski graduated with a Master of Business Administration from Drury in December 2013. She began working for TelComm Credit Union in 2006 and is currently Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. Murawski is heavily involved in the community. She is a board member for Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, is a member of the Junior League, and volunteers with Children’s Miracle Network among other non-profit organizations. She remains involved with Drury University and Breech School of Business.



James Owen, Drury University class of 2000, graduated from University of Kansas School of Law in 2003 and received his law license in 2004. He has clerked for the Missouri Court of Appeals, worked in his own private practice, and was appointed to be Webster County Associate Circuit Judge in 2014. Currently, he and his wife, Claire, reside in Columbia, Missouri and he works for the state of Missouri’s Office of Administration in Jefferson City.


SIVA showcases work by students set to earn Master of Arts degree

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 24, 2015 — The public can see a diverse array of artwork from Drury University’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) next weekend during a thesis exhibition by graduating students and an open studios event. These events offer an opportunity to view a new group of imaginative, innovative, emerging artists in the region.

Since 2007, SIVA has offered students an opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree by working alongside visiting artists in a critically driven environment. Participants study under the guidance of visiting artist fellows, faculty and staff, who provide first-hand understanding of contemporary art issues. The program – a unique model in the Midwest – allows students to earn a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory over the course of three two-month summer sessions.

MART Thesis Exhibition

The Eighth Annual Master of Arts in Studio Art & Theory (MART) Exhibition takes place one night only from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, July 31 at the Pool Art Center Gallery. The MART Thesis Exhibition is the culminating event of the program in which students explore and develop an intensive studio practice. Work presented in the exhibition is wide-ranging in form, material, and theme, and reflects a curriculum that supports multidisciplinary and individualized approaches.

The exhibition features the work of graduating students Neil Adams, Holly Goodwin, Adrienne Klotz-Floyd, Stuart Lenig, Paul Little, Rebekah Polly and Shay Rainey.

Open Studios

Held at the same time throughout the rest of Pool Art Center, the Open Studios event gives the public a chance to view work by and meet with all current SIVA participants. It is an exciting opportunity to meet the program’s vibrant and diverse community of artists, witness their process, and see what work has been made over the summer.

More information about SIVA can be found at Photos showing the wide array of creativity at work during SIVA are being uploaded regularly at


Media Contact: Sarrita Hunn, Director of the Summer Institute for Visual Arts. Email:

Open house targets prospective graduate, non-traditional students 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 21, 2015 — Prospective non-traditional students can get their questions answered in person at a Drury University open house event Thursday.

The College of Continuing Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies will hold a joint open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, July 23 at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. Staff members and program directors will be on hand to answer questions about degrees, career options, admission requirements and financial aid. Trustee Science Center is located on the west side of Drury Lane, just north of Chestnut Expressway.

The College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) offers bachelor and associate degree programs at Drury’s main campus in Springfield and at branch campuses in Ava, Cabool, Fort Leonard Wood/St. Robert, Lebanon, Monett, Rolla and Thayer. The College of Graduate Studies offers masters degrees in business administration, communication, education, teaching, and studio art & theory.

Programs in both areas feature flexibility so that students can pursue a degree in a timeframe that works best for them. CCPS currently offers 14 undergraduate degrees that can be completed totally online, as well as many seated courses. Graduate courses are offered in the evenings, online, and in alternative formats such as weekend experiences, and 8-week or 16-week courses.

For more information about graduate programs, call (417) 873-7530 or visit For more information about CCPS programs, call (417) 873-7373 or visit


Prater to lead strategic workshop for Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 9, 2015 — Drury University faculty member Dan Prater has been selected to lead a strategic communication workshop for the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) board of directors in Kansas City.

Prater, an instructor in the Drury Communication Department and the director of the university’s Center for Nonprofit Communication, will lead the training for STFM’s 18-member board on July 29. Board members are doctors and educators representing health care systems and universities throughout the country, including Dartmouth Medical School, Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Texas.

Dan Prater

Dan Prater

The training will include sessions on message development and effective communication techniques. “Communication is the key,” says Prater. “Regardless of the size or scope of the organization, if you can’t articulate your mission and vision in a clear, compelling manner, you are unlikely to succeed.”

STFM has nearly 5,000 members and offers educational resources for volunteer preceptors who teach medical students and residents in family medicine. Family medicine is a specialty that provides continuing, comprehensive health care for individuals and families. It is a specialty that integrates the biological, clinical and behavioral sciences.

Drury’s Center for Nonprofit Communication is a regional nonprofit resource center, providing workshops and private consultations for more than 125 nonprofit/civic groups each year in Missouri and surrounding states. Organizations range from large institutions such as hospitals and universities to small, volunteer-only community organizations. Sessions are designed to educate and empower organizational leaders (including board members), helping them accomplish their missions.


Bryan Adams brings “Reckless” anniversary tour to OFEC in September


SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 6, 2015 — Rocker Bryan Adams will bring his 30th Anniversary “Reckless” Tour to the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Monday, September 21.

Tickets start at $59 and go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, July 10 at or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.


The OFEC in Springfield is one of the smallest venues on the “Reckless” tour, giving local fans a chance to see Adams in a more intimate 3,000-seat setting as well as saving them the time and expense of traveling to a larger market. The show has hit cities such as New York, Chicago, Las Vegas and Dallas.

With more than 100 million albums sold, Adams is one of the most successful figures in rock, thanks to his powerful vocals and distinctive songwriting skills. Adams’ fourth album, “Reckless,” was released on his 25th birthday, November 5, 1984, and was preceded by the single “Run to You,” which reached the Top 10. It was followed by five more Top 20 singles from the album: “Somebody,” “Heaven” (which hit No. 1), “Summer of ’69” (Top 10), “One Night Love Affair,” and a duet with Tina Turner, “It’s Only Love.” Reckless reached No. 1 in the U.S., and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide to date.

For more information, visit


Drury professor named Springfield Regional Opera music director

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 25, 2015 — Dr. Christopher Koch has been appointed Music Director of the Springfield Regional Opera.

Koch is an associate professor of music and director of the Orchestra and Wind Symphony at Drury. As music director of the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, Koch is a longtime champion of orchestral music and the arts throughout southwest Missouri. The nationally recognized SDCO has been the area’s regional community orchestra for more than a decade.

Koch mug

“We’re delighted Dr. Koch is joining our organization, and this is just the first step in an exciting restructure and revitalization of the SRO,” says Cindy Curtis, president of the organization’s board of directors.

Koch will continue his work at Drury and with the SDCO as he assumes new duties with the Opera.

The Springfield Regional Opera will collaborate with Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra in a gala Evening at the Opera to be held at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall at on Saturday, October 3. The event will celebrate the SRO’s 35th season and will feature many of the company’s past and present stars, both local and international.


Media Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Associate Professor of Music: (417) 873-7298 or

Drury appoints faculty members to new academic leadership roles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 23, 2015 — Drury University has appointed six faculty members to new leadership roles on campus.

“These talented faculty members understand Drury’s culture and are exceptional teachers and scholars,” said Peter Meidlinger, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “They are well suited to lead our campus community as we continue to sharpen the distinctiveness of our academic programs.”

Charles DeBerry

Charles DeBerry

Dr. Charles DeBerry has been named director of the Drury University Debate Union and Dr. Craig Titus has been named assistant director. DeBerry is professor of communication; Titus is an assistant professor of philosophy and English. The Debate Union returns to Drury after a long hiatus. The university envisions a strong on-campus and competitive program, high school tournaments and summer camps, as well as academic connections that emphasize public speaking, argumentation and collaborative work.

William Garvin

William Garvin

William W. Garvin has been named the director of the Olin Library. Garvin has been the University Archivist since 1992. During that time, Garvin has established himself as an expert on the history of Drury College/Drury University. An exceptional storyteller, Garvin has written several essays and given many public talks on the personalities, conflicts, and visions that have animated life on campus from its inception. Garvin has led the library on an interim basis for the past year, and will continue to guide Olin as an invaluable resource for students and faculty.

Erin Kenny

Erin Kenny

Dr. Erin Kenny has been named the inaugural director of the Teaching and Learning Center, where she will lead a campus-wide effort to make excellence in teaching a distinctive feature of a Drury education. An associate professor of anthropology, Kenny has earned a reputation as a successful and innovative teacher committed to global and engaged learning. A two-time Fulbright Scholar, she has had a wide range of valuable experiences working with students and faculty in campus-wide programs, including her leadership in Women & Gender Studies and Middle Eastern Studies.

Raymond Patton

Raymond Patton

Dr. Raymond Patton has been named director of the Core Curriculum, Drury’s general education program focused on global learning and student engagement. An assistant professor of history since 2011, Patton has been actively involved in designing, implementing, and assessing the Core Curriculum in addition to teaching Core classes with a focus on immersive learning experiences. In his role as director, Patton will work to make the Core a distinctive element of a liberal arts education at Drury.

Richard Schur

Richard Schur

Dr. Richard Schur, Professor of English, has been named director of the Drury Honors Program. The Honors Program offers students an intense academic experience through hands-on and student-directed approach to learning. As director, Schur brings a wide range of scholarly and teaching interests to this work. He has published widely on African-American literature and culture, and has served in leadership roles in the Interdisciplinary Studies Center and the Law & Society program. His work will make the honors program even more attractive to students who not only excel in academics but who are curious, ambitious and independent.


Gaither Vocal Band coming to O’Reilly Family Event Center Sept. 11

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 18, 2015 — The Gaither Vocal Band will perform live in concert at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Friday, September 11, 2015. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. The show will include a special patriotic 9/11 tribute.

Tickets start at $23 and go on sale starting at 10 a.m., Monday, June 22 at or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Gaither Vocal Band web

For more than a quarter century, the Gaither Vocal Band has created a legacy of award-winning excellence in the gospel genre. The list of men who have comprised the Gaither Vocal Band over the years reads like a “Who’s Who” among the industry’s best-loved voices. The current lineup includes Wes Hampton, David Phelps and Adam Crabb as well as Gaither himself, who has led the group out of his personal passion for great harmony and a genuine desire to bring meaningful music to a hurting world. Special guests will include Todd Suttles, Jeff and Sheri Easter, Karen Peck and New River, Reggie and Ladye Love Smith, Charlotte Ritchie and Gene McDonald.

For more information about the group, visit:


Summer camps for gifted students now underway at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 17, 2015 — Gifted young students from across the area are keeping their minds in shape over the summer break during camps organized by Drury University’s Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with Springfield Public Schools.

Drury provides a summer experience for gifted students of all ages, from pre-K through the 11th grade. The younger age groups are in camps right now, and the older students’ camps will take place in July. Each summer, more than 700 total students attend these camps.

The current camps (called Summer Pals for ages pre-K through grade 1, and Summer Quest for grades 2 through 5) are taking place from each weekday 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. at Phelps Center for the Gifted, 934 S. Kimbrough Ave. now through Friday, June 26. The hands-on, activity-oriented courses feature an array of interesting experiences geared specifically toward gifted students. Summer Quest and Summer Pals give students a chance to interact with peers of similar academic abilities and interests, while encouraging them to use their intellectual and creative sides.

     VIDEO: Gifted Education Students Convene for Summer Camps

“It gives them a sense of self and a sense of community,” says Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education at Drury. “And it builds on what they’ve learned in the classroom during the school year, keeping their minds engaged during the summer break.”

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 Gifted Education for more information.

Media are invited to cover the Summer Quest and Summer Pals camps. Opportunities for coverage are available each day of the camps, including classes on robotics, dinosaurs, veterinarians, astronauts and much more. 


Drury student receives Stemler Study Abroad Scholarship

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2015 — Drury student Masha Podokshik has received a $1,000 James G. Stemler Study Abroad Scholarship from the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society. Podokshik, a junior communication major from St. Louis, is Drury’s first Alpha Lambda Delta scholarship recipient. She will be studying in Spain during the spring 2016 semester.

Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence among first-year students. Founded in 1924, the society has inducted more than 1 million members in its 90-year history.


Drury University is committed to global learning and engagement. One in ten Drury undergraduates hails from outside the United States, and nearly 50 percent of undergraduate and graduate students study abroad. This summer, students are studying in China, Mexico, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Drury Center in Aigina, Greece.

“The complementary nature of having so many American students returning from study abroad opportunities and being part of a truly international campus creates a multicultural learning environment,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel.