Fellowship Allows Professor to Study Lives of Former Slaves

Dr. Dan Livesay, assistant history professor at Drury, will spend July 2014 piecing together bits of history in hopes to uncover the life stories of slaves living during the colonial era.

Livesay was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” Fellowship in African American History, a completive fellowship at the Rockefeller Library in Williamsburg, Va. The library contains the only existing records for several prominent Virginia planters of the eighteenth century. It also contains a specialized collection of books, manuscripts, letters and records from colonial America.

It is difficult for historians to understand the everyday struggles of those who lived through slavery — partially because many slaves could not write, did not have the resources to write, or simply because the records did not survive history.

Livesay hopes to illuminate the lives of slaves beyond the time they spent laboring.

“Scholars have looked at slaves’ lives primarily through the work that they did — picking cotton, cutting tobacco, harvesting sugarcane, etc.,” Livesay says. “My hope is that by fleshing out that later period in slaves’ lives, we can continue to uncover the humanity and lived experiences of those individuals whose lives were spent in extreme oppression.”

Daniel Livesay

A veteran of the research process, Livesay expects some tedious work, but he is excited by the possibility of what he may uncover.

“You never know what you’ll find,” he says. “Sometimes you can go days without turning up any relevant information. And some days you can be overwhelmed with information, and not have enough time to take it down. That’s both the frustration and thrill of doing work in the archives.”

Livesay received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2010 and came to Drury in 2012. He teaches courses on the history of early America, transatlantic slavery and indigenous people in the Americas.

Livesay hopes to present his findings to the university and public this fall.

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

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.

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“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 pagewww.facebook.com/DruryCStreet.

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.

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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 http://www.drury.edu/moralityofwellness.

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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.

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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?’”

ObazzieClassics

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.