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.


Physics Major Has Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Bag

Physics major Ebenezer Obasiolu never knew he had an entrepreneurial passion until he came to Drury and began pursuing an entrepreneurship minor. It was in these classes where he gained the knowledge and support to officially launch his business, O’Bazzië Classics.

Obasiolu, also known as EB, was motivated to start his business after his grandmother died in 2012.

“I was 12 years old when I left Nigeria, and that’s the last time I saw her,” said Obasiolu. “She had cancer and my family wasn’t able to fly her here for treatment, and I wasn’t able to go there to visit her before she died. After that, I thought, ‘What can I do right now to make sure that I can travel and make money?’”


Obasiolu says he likes to “dress nice” and has always had a love for fashion. His first product reflects that — he has created an all-purpose, leather satchel that both men and women can use for causal or business activities. These hand-made bags are made in the U.S., come in a variety of colors, and come in three different sizes to fit books, a laptop, tablet, and other items.

Obasiolu said it took him about 8 months to perfect his design. He asked many of his friends for their opinions, made changes, and then sent his design to a factory for production.

“I have about 29 designs that no one has seen,” he said. “I’m a huge perfectionist and I wouldn’t make something that I wouldn’t wear.”

O’Bazzië Classics is preparing to launch a website this spring as part of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship’s “StartUp Drury” Business Model Competition.

Obasiolu currently has an 8-person team working for him, helping him to manage social media, sales and marketing. Three members of the team attend Drury. Obasiolu has already created 46-page marketing plan and an 80-page business model. He is also planning to tour the West Coast this summer to Vancouver, Los Angeles, Portland and even Brazil for marketing and sales events.

Although Obasiolu wants to make a profit, he also has a philanthropic mission with his company. For every bag sold, O’Bazzië Classics will send a bag filled with school supplies to a child in Africa. O’Bazzië classics also plans to collaborate with an international humanitarian organization in the future. The idea of using O’Bazzië Classics to solve a social problem came out of taking a class called “Social Problems/Entrepreneurial Answers” with former instructor Kay Osborne.

“I will always be thankful to her,” Obasiolu said of Osborne. “That’s where I really realized my entrepreneurial potential.”

By next year, Obasiolu hope to sell at least 10,000 bags. You can currently view the products from O’Bazzië Classics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To purchase the products, customers can email obazzieclassics@gmail.com or message one of the company’s social media outlets.


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

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 jvandenb@drury.edu.


Drury Offers Wellness Certificate Program to Howell County Residents

Drury University is now offering a wellness certificate to residents of Howell County, thanks to a grant from the Delta Regional Authority and the Rural Community Advancement Program. The program is offered through Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies at its West Plains location.

The Certificate of Wellness is a 16-week program with areas of focus that include healthy cooking and nutrition, tobacco cessation, various types of exercise, and a stress management component based on a proven program from the Cleveland Clinic called “Stress Free Now!”

The goal of the certificate program is to increase awareness about and understanding of overall health and wellness. The program is designed to help business people and human resources professionals gain the knowledge they would need to establish a formal wellness program in their organization. However, the certificate program is open to individuals for their own personal benefit as well. Additionally, the registration fee will be waived for any nonprofit organization in Howell County that is associated with health and wellness issues.

Classes begin April 1 and run through July 15, and will be held in the Community Room at 403 Washington Ave. in West Plains. Drury is offering the certificate program for just $25 thanks to the grant. Participants will receive a Drury t-shirt and a 7-day pass to Anytime Fitness, 1651 Gibson St. in West Plains. They will be provided with all food and equipment necessary for the cooking classes and, of course, will get to enjoy their finished culinary treats.

For more information on the wellness certificate program, call Drury’s West Plains office at (417) 257-5700 or stop by the office located at 403 Washington Ave. in West Plains.


Drury’s Humanities Film Series at the Moxie Resumes on Saturday

The Moxie Film Series presented by the Drury University Humanities & Ethics Center will resume Saturday afternoon with a showing of Vittorio De Sica’s influential and thought-provoking “Bicycle Thieves.” The series is made possible with the help of a grant from the Missouri Arts Council. The screens are open to the public. The cost is $7, the regular matinee ticket price.

The partnership between Drury and the nonprofit Moxie Cinema put films that ask enduring questions about the human condition in the spotlight – and adds an open, facilitated discussion to the mix. Before and after each showing, a Drury professor leads a group discussion about the movie’s themes. The pre- and post-film discussions are about 30 minutes each.

“Bicycle Thieves,” released in 1948, is regarded by critics as one of the most influential films of all time, and has won praise from sources as diverse as Entertainment Weekly and the Vatican. Sight & Sound magazine rates it as one of the top ten films ever made, and it is near the top of the British Film Institute’s list of movies young people should see by age 14.

The pre-show discussion for “Bicycle Thieves” begins at 1 p.m., Saturday, March 29, at the Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell Ave. The film is about 90 minutes long. Dr. Kevin Henderson, assistant professor of English, will lead the discussions.

The 1 p.m. start time remains the same for the final two movies in the series as well:

Saturday, April 5 – “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring” (2003), directed by Ki-Duk Kim. Dr. Hue-Ping Chin, professor of history, will lead the discussions.

Saturday, April 12 – “Good Hair” (2009), produced by Chris Rock. Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, professor of Spanish, will lead the discussions.

For more information about the series and featured films, visit the series web page.


Art Program Announces 2014 Visiting Artists in Residence, Calls for Applications

The Summer Institute for Visual Arts at Drury University has confirmed its 2014 slate of visiting artist fellows, and is now accepting applications for new students. The priority application deadline is March 31, 2014.

Established in 2007, the Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) at Drury University provides an intensive two-month period each summer that allows students to focus on artistic development in a critically driven environment, while earning graduate-level course credit toward a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory degree. By combining artist residency with graduate program studies, SIVA bridges the gap between an academic undergraduate education and a professional art career. Participants develop a capacity for independent practice and scholarship under the guidance of visiting artist fellows, faculty and staff, who, as experienced and engaged practitioners, provide first-hand understanding of contemporary art issues.

“This program model is somewhat unique in the Midwest,” says SIVA director Tom Parker. “It provides a relatively low-cost way for up and coming artists to solidify their practice through mentorship, and further their education with a Master of Arts degree as the end result.”

The curriculum consists of three two-month summer sessions of intensive artistic engagement that include studio and theory courses plus an online seminar, resulting in a total of 30 hours of coursework for which a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory degree will be granted.

Below are capsule bios for the 2014 visiting artist fellows. More detailed information about each, as well as past fellows, can be found at the SIVA website.

Bonnie Begusch is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work examines the intertwined relationship between text, tools and perception. She has taught at San Francisco Art Institute and the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2011. She lives and works in Berlin.

Mark Clare works to engage, provoke and agitate the viewer’s social conscience through his visual interpretations of the politics of globalization, society and public sphere. He has taught at the National College of Art & Design, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology and the Limerick School of Art & Design. He currently lives and works in Dublin.

James Gobel creates paintings made of felt, yarn and other fabrics that refer to a range of artistic movements. He is currently an Associate Professor of MFA Fine Arts and Assistant Chair of the Painting/Drawing Program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.

Andrea Polli is an artist working at the intersection of art, science and technology whose practice includes media installation, public interventions, curating and directing art and community projects and writing. She is an Associate Professor of Art and Ecology and the Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.

Only individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university may be fully admitted to SIVA’s Master of Studio Art and Theory program. However, SIVA may also be of interest to those seeking to develop a portfolio for application to an MFA program, or postgraduate (non-degree seeking) students who want to work with the visiting artists.

The tuition costs for the entire three summer, 30-hour Master of Arts degree program is currently less than $10,000.

For more complete information about the program, visiting artist fellows, eligibility and cost, visit the SIVA website at www.drury.edu/siva. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the program at mart-siva@drury.edu.

Drury, MSU & Springfield Art Museum Partner to Help Artists Explore Educational Opportunities

Local opportunities in post-baccalaureate art education will be in the spotlight at an upcoming event co-sponsored by the art programs of Drury University and Missouri State University, as well as the Springfield Art Museum.

“Flexible Art Worlds: Graduate Art Education in Springfield and Beyond” will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, at the Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Dr.

“Flexible Art Worlds” is a one-day symposium that combines a portfolio review, keynote lecture, panel discussion and informational reception. The event is geared toward artists exploring graduate degree options; helping them weigh the pros and cons of seeking such a degree in general, and highlighting local options in particular.

The event is free and open to the public, and promises to spark noteworthy conversation about the current state of art and education.

Event Schedule

2 p.m. – Performative lecture and diagram, titled “Flexible Artworlds,” by Adelheid Mers, a visual artist and Chair of the Arts Administration and Policy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also teaches courses in Art History & Criticism, Visual & Critical Studies, and Sculpture. (Mers’ biography is attached.) Through an examination of the broader “art world,” Mers’ presentation and diagram will help contextualize, as she puts it, “what is available out there, and how to think about it in a more expansive way.”

3 p.m. – Continuing the discussion, a panel on graduate art education will be moderated by Nick Nelson, Director of the Springfield Art Museum. Panelists will include: Tom Parker, Director, Summer Institute for Visual Arts at Drury University; Carolyn Cardenas,  Department Head, Art + Design at Missouri State University; Todd Lowery, Chair, Department of Art and Art History at Drury University; Sage Dawson, MFA 2009, University of New Mexico; Joshua Albers, MFA 2013, University of Illinois at Chicago; and Jeff Broekhoven, MFA 2013, University of Wisconsin – Madison.

4:30 p.m. – The panel discussion will be followed by a light reception where interested participants may meet representatives from each of the local programs and have their portfolios reviewed onsite for advice and/or to begin the graduate application process.

For more information contact: Tom Parker, Director of Drury’s Summer Institute for the Visual Arts, at mart-siva@drury.edu; or Nick Nelson, Director of the Springfield Art Museum, (417) 837-5700.


Student Group Continues its Work with Art Inspired

Drury Enactus, formerly known as SIFE, has been hard at work this year expanding the business they helped develop three years ago, Art Inspired. In collaboration with Abilities First, Art Inspired was created to offer meaningful employment to people with developmental disabilities.

Officially launched in August 2012, Art Inspired has grown and transformed in the short time it has been open. It started as a document disposal agency that converts recycled paper into artwork. Some of the products available for sale include frames, stationary, decorative letters, wine racks, and even furniture. 

Each year, Drury Enactus works with Art Inspired to help broaden its appeal and revenue. The business now includes an art gallery, art classes, and a “creation” station where customers can use the store’s paper and supplies to decorate their purchased product at a cost of $5 an hour.

Matt Hill, en employee at Art Inspired, makes a mold for a candle holder. He's using material make from shredded paper.

Matt Hill, an employee at Art Inspired, makes a mold for a candle holder using material made from shredded paper.

This year, Drury Enactus has worked with Central High School’s Special Education Department to develop an internship program at Art Inspired. Now included in their curriculum, students in one of Central’s Special Education classes travel to Art Inspired twice a week to learn about customer service and job shadow some of the current employees.

“This is a great opportunity for the students to get real-world experience,” says Drury Enactus member Emma Wheat. “They go through the job application process, learn about work place etiquette, and gain skills to put on their resume.”

Drury Enactus is also working with Art Inspired to expand its event space rentals. For $100 an hour, people can rent out the space for up to four hours. Art Inspired can also coordinate the rental of chairs, tables, sound systems, food, and other services for an additional charge. It can hold 150 people seated or 250 standing.

This versatile space has already been used for a networking event with the Chamber of Commerce, wedding receptions, office and social events, and art exhibits. The artwork of Edward Deeds, an Ozark man who spent most of his life in a mental hospital in Nevada, Mo., was revealed at a gala event during March’s First Friday Art Walk and is currently displayed at Art Inspired.

Without help from the Springfield community, none of these endeavors would have been possible, says Dr. John Taylor, faculty advisor of Drury Enactus.

“The core mission of Art Inspired is to serve as an employment and growth opportunity for individuals with special needs,” Taylor says. “Everything the Enactus team does in its partnership with Art Inspired serves that mission. In order for the business to fulfill its mission, we need the support of the community. Their patronage is key to the success of the store.”

The Drury team will present their work and compete at the 2014 Enactus National Exposition April 1-3. For more information about Art Inspired, visit its website or Facebook page, or the store location at 310 S. Campbell Ave.


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

Self Employment in the Arts Conference to be held Saturday, April 5

Aspiring artists, musicians, writers and actors cannot afford to miss the 7th Annual Self Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference Saturday, April 5, at Drury University. The conference will be held in the Trustee Science Center on the university campus, and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with lunch and breakfast provided.

The purpose of the SEA Conference is to help students and emerging artists gain insightful information drawn from the experience of other artists that have been successful in their field.

Each year, the SEA Conference aims to bring in new and exciting speakers relevant to the interests and disciplines of attendees.

This year’s conference will feature a plethora of speakers from nearly every field in the art world, and will also offer students the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with professional artists.

The two featured keynote speakers are James Osmond and Anne Roderique-JonesOsmond is a singer, actor, and businessman who has been involved in the arts for almost 40 years. He is currently president of Osmond Entertainment, and has experience in nearly every aspect of the music business. Roderique-Jones is a well-known journalist who has written for more than 15 publications, and has been nationally syndicated on AOL, Yahoo, and MSN.

Additional speakers include:

●  Gary Bedell – Area artist
●  Peter Bezemes – Casting and talent agency owner
●  Cody Collier – Actor
●  Mark Oehler – Potter and gallery owner
●  Ric Furman – Opera singer
●  Jan Hyde – Owner of Hyde Gallery
●  Kelly Knauer – Editor for Time, Inc.
●  Susan LaBarr – Composer
●  Kay Osborne – Bookkeeping
●  Reed Waddle – Singer/songwriter

The cost to attend the SEA conference is $30 per person. However, it is free for all students with a valid student I.D., thanks to support from Drury Student Advocates for the Arts and the Drury Student Government Association.

For more information about the SEA conference, visit the website at www.drury.edu/ejc/sea, send an email to EJC@drury.edu, or call (417) 873-6357.


Humanities Speakers Series Examines Human Rights and Democracy

The Drury University Humanities & Ethics Center’s Spring Speakers Series features two thought-provoking presentations and discussion forums. All events are free and open to the public. Members of the community are welcome to attend, listen and discuss these important topics.

The series kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10, at the Diversity Center, 803 N. Washington Ave. Dr. Adam Potthast of Park University will present a talk titled “The Dark Side of Human Rights: Should We Defend Rape Jokes, Fred Phelps, and Intolerant Cultures?” The event is free and will be followed by a reception.

Then, at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 11, the Center will host a community forum on human rights at the Midtown-Carnegie Branch Library, 397 E. Central St. Dr. Potthast will be joined by Stephanie Perkins of PROMO for this forum, which will be moderated by Dr. Craig Titus, assistant professor of philosophy at Drury.

The second speaker is Dr. Caroline Levine of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who will present “Provoking Democracy: Why We Need the Humanities and the Arts” at 5:30 p.m., Monday, March 31, at the Diversity Center. A community forum will again be held at 12:30 p.m. the following day, April 1, at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library. It will feature Levine as well as Nick Nelson, director of the Springfield Art Museum, and Dr. Rich Schur, associate professor of English at Drury, leading a discussion about the intersection of the arts, Humanities and democracy.

Examining these kinds of issues through the lens of the humanities is essential, says Dr. Dan Livesay, assistant professor of history at Drury.

“We often think of topics such as human rights and democracy as political or policy issues, and they certainly are,” he says, “but they ultimately stem from our desire for certain humanistic institutions to exist. Our concepts of basic rights are shaped by our philosophical sense of the world around us.”

The speaker series is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council and by Drury’s Humanities & Ethics Center.

The Drury Humanities & the Arts Film Series also resumes later this month on March 29. More information about the three remaining films, which also are followed by open discussion forums, is available online.

For more information, contact: Dr. Dan Livesay, (417) 873-6954 or dlivesay@drury.edu.