Local elementary school students to “tour” the globe today at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 27, 2015 — Drury hosts an International Culture Fair for local elementary school students from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the Findlay Student Center.

About 480 students from Boyd, McGregor and Pipkin elementary schools are expected to attend and visit booths representing 15 different countries throughout the day. Drury volunteers will lead the students through the fair to learn more about each country’s culture and language.

Culture fair dancing

At each booth, students will participate in a traditional activity from the represented country. This year’s activities include learning to play handmade instruments from Indonesia, making beaded bracelets like those from the Masai tribe in Kenya, learning some traditional Mexican dance steps, learning how to spell their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and taste-testing food from Argentina. Students will also receive a passport booklet with questions relating to the country and receive a stamp in their passport after each visit.

“The hope is that students will not only learn about what life is like around the world, but that they will also grow to understand and appreciate the incredible cultural diversity here in Springfield,” says Dr. Heidi Backes, assistant professor of Spanish at Drury. “I am very excited to be able to offer this experience to local students, and my campus volunteers are equally thrilled to get to share their love of international culture and travel.”


Paleontology and pop culture combine as Drury alumnus speaks in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 24, 2015 — Paleontologist Jack Conrad of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) will present a lecture titled “Dinosaurs in Cinema: Facts and Fallacies” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 28. The discussion will take place in Springfield at the Missouri Institute of Natural Science, at 2327 W. Farm Road 190. The event is free and open to the public.

Conrad will address topics as basic as what a dinosaur is and as complex as endothermy (metabolic regulation of temperature). Included in the discussion will be dinosaur sizes, feathered dinosaurs, and how we know what we know about the lives of dinosaurs.

Conrad was born and raised in Hurley, Missouri, and graduated with a degree in biology from Drury University in 1999. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has traveled the world in a quest for fossil specimens and has been on expeditions in climates varying from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic Circle. He has searched for fossil mammals in the Andes of Bolivia and for ancient crocodile fossils in Kenya, and has, with his colleagues, named seven new fossil reptile species with research pending on five others. He currently works in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at AMNH and in the Department of Anatomy at New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Missouri Institute of Natural Science is the non-profit organization that manages Riverbluff Cave in Greene County. Riverbluff Cave was discovered accidentally on September 11, 2001, while blasting for a new road. The cave was announced to the public in April of 2002. Inside are fossils and other findings which have been dated at approximately Pleistocene in age, the time period that spanned from 1.8 million to 11,000 years ago.


“Green Dot” initiative caps off Sexual Assault Awareness Month

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 23, 2015 — Drury University is capping off Sexual Assault Awareness month with a training session this Saturday for the new Green Dot initiative. The session is a joint effort with Ozarks Technical Community College. The session will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Findlay Student Center room 204.

Green Dot is a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that uses student leaders to affect positive cultural change from within the student body. The Green Dot model targets all community members as potential bystanders, and seeks to engage them in proactive behaviors that establish intolerance of violence as the norm, as well as reactive interventions in high-risk situations. The program specifically targets influential and respected individuals such as student leaders with the hope that they will integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities. The name of the program comes from the idea of turning “red dots” on a map marking incidents of violence into “green dots” of preventative actions.

Media are welcome to cover the training session and speak to those involved. Reporters are advised to attend during the later part of the day, as the session is tightly programmed and participants and organizers will be more easily available for interviews immediately afterward.

The Green Dot program is being promoted by Panthers For Prevention, a coalition of students, staff and faculty working to promote and encourage healthy decisions among the Drury community. The group has sponsored other related events during the month of April, including self-defense classes, T-shirt printing and creating an “It’s on Us” video.

For more about the national Green Dot initiative, visit www.livethegreendot.org.


Drury Again Earns Recognition in the Princeton Review’s Green Guide

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 21, 2015 — The Princeton Review has named Drury University in its annual Guide to 353 Green Colleges for the sixth year in a row.

Drury is one of the 353 most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada, according to The Princeton Review. Drury is one of seven Missouri colleges selected, and the only one in the Springfield area.

The Princeton Review selection process is based on ratings that were tallied for 861 schools in the summer of 2014. The Princeton Review uses data from annual surveys to evaluate a school’s environmental and sustainability-related policies, practices and academic offerings.

Sustainability efforts are a priority on Drury’s campus. Drury University recently earned recognition as a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. Drury has prioritized new LEED-certified buildings such as the University Suites and the O’Reilly Family Event Center, and has retrofitted existing structures such as Stone Chapel with geothermal heating and cooling. Also important are everyday actions such as bike rentals for students and the removal of trays in the cafeteria to reduce water use.

Academically, Drury is currently participating in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015 and together with Crowder College in Neosho are designing and constructing a solar powered, storm resistant home. Students will take a multi-disciplinary approach to design, build and operate an off-the-grid home. There are about 50 Drury students with various majors involved in the project.

The complete list of 353 schools and a PDF of the Green Guide can be found online at: http://www.princetonreview.com/green-guide.aspx.


Leadership transition begins at Drury’s Breech School of Business

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 21, 2015 — Dr. Robin Sronce has been named acting director of the Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University. Sronce takes over for Michael Shirley, who is leaving Drury at the end of May. Dr. James Simmerman, assistant professor of finance, will serve as acting assistant director.

The university has created an overlap in leadership to ensure a smooth transition. Sronce assumes her new duties as acting director immediately, and will become interim director on June 1. Shirley and Sronce have worked closely together throughout Shirley’s five-year tenure at Drury and they will continue to do so through the end of the school year.

Sronce, an associate professor of management, has been a Drury faculty member since 2006. She earned her undergraduate degrees in business and sociology from Drury in 1983, having studied at Breech under the tutelage of then-director Dr. W. Curtis Strube. She holds an MBA and Ph.D from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Dr. Robin Sronce

Dr. Robin Sronce

In her time on the Breech faculty, Sronce has seen her management research published in numerous journals and has taken an active role in the school’s distinctive study abroad program. She has also worked to further the school’s connections with the business community, including spearheading the annual Breech Business Week, which kicked off Monday.

“Dr. Sronce is well positioned to take the reins and lead Breech through this transitional time,” said Dr. Steven C. Combs, vice president for academic affairs. “She is a proven leader who is dedicated to advancing the mission of Breech and the university. I have the utmost confidence in her abilities.”

“I am thrilled to be able to lead an institution that has meant so much to me, first as student and now as a faculty member and mentor to our students,” said Sronce. “We have a rich tradition of creating engaged and ethical business leaders, and we will continue to carry that mission forward in a meaningful way for today’s students and employers.”

Breech Business Week will offer many opportunities to meet Dr. Sronce. A full schedule of the weeks’ events can be found online.


Drury graphic design students take top honors in poster contest

Two Drury graphic design students have been recognized for lending their talents to a local campaign to fight underage drinking.

Ashley Morefield and Bre Corbet took first and second place, respectively, in the Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ annual poster design contest. Each spring, CPO’s Underage Drinking Task Force invites students from area colleges to participate in the contest as part of a broader campaign to increase awareness of the risks and consequences of underage drinking.

Visual arts professor Dudley Murphy incorporated the contest into a course assignment, which Morefield and Corbert took head on.

Bre Corbet (left) and Ashley Morefield

Bre Corbet (left) and Ashley Morefield

Morefield, a graphic design and art history double major, says she tried to create a poster with “upbeat colors and illustration” in order to draw in a younger target audience.

“I then used the text to show the serious facts and potential results of underage drinking,” she says of the statistics used in the poster, such as the fact that 90 percent of all rapes involve alcohol use.

Corbert, a graphic design major, went for a highly recognizable approach. She designed her poster to look like an Instagram screenshot – certainly a familiar sight to the target audience. The image is accompanied by negative comments about underage drinking.

“I wanted people to understand underage drinking is not ‘cool’ and people will not think you’re cool if you drink,” Corbet says.

Entries were judged by local experts in media, graphic design, communication and substance abuse prevention. The three top-ranked posters will be printed and placed in various locations throughout the community, including college campuses.

Both of the winning Drury students think the message is a crucial one.

“This is an important issue to promote among youth because this is the most vital time to reach them,” Morefield says. “The choices youth make now about drinking can have a huge effect on their families, friends and futures.”


Story by Trevor Cobb, writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Drury establishes newest chapter with selective honor society Phi Kappa Phi

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2015 — The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi – the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society – will establish its newest chapter at Drury University at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 23, during a ceremonial installation in Stone Chapel.

Drury will become the 331st chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, which was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine. Drury was approved to establish a chapter by the Society’s board of directors.

“The commitment to excellence at Drury University is evidenced by the superior academic environment, motivated student population, strong honors program and exceptional faculty and staff,” said Society President Tim Hulsey. “We are excited to welcome Drury as the newest chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and are confident the chapter’s commitment to recognizing and honoring academic excellence will benefit both the university and the Society.”

Membership in Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students based on GPA, along with faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction. Drury will initiate its first class of students, faculty, staff and alumni during the 2015-2016 academic year.

Officers elected by the chartering group to serve the newly installed chapter include President Stephen Bomgardner, Vice President David P. Manuel, Secretary Shelley A. Wolbrink and Treasurer Aaron Jones.

“Drury’s focus of combining the liberal arts and professional studies is an ideal fit with Phi Kappa Phi as a selective, all-discipline honor society,” said Bomgardner, professor of music. “Some of Phi Kappa Phi’s many benefits include access to study abroad grants for undergraduates, fellowships to support the first year of graduate study, and professional development awards in scholarship, artistic achievement and leadership. Drury is honored to become the newest chapter for Phi Kappa Phi.”

The Society has awarded approximately $15 million since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $1 million is awarded every two years to qualifying students and members through fellowships and grants, as well as member and chapter awards.

More than 1.25 million members have been initiated into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley.

For more information, visit www.PhiKappaPhi.org.


Media Contact: Stephen Bomgardner, PKP Chapter President and Professor of Music. Office: (417) 873-7388 or email: sbomgardner@drury.edu.

Drury’s computer science students compete at regional conference

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 16, 2015 — Nine computer science students from Drury competed in student contests at the 21st Consortium for Computing Sciences In Colleges: Central Plains Conference held on April 10 and 11 at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri.

The team of Daniel Chick, Daiv McBride, and Josef Polodna placed 1st in the Student Research Poster Contest for their research and development project, Drury Explorer. This project involved the development of the Drury Explorer app for Drury’s Office of Admission. The application runs on Android devices and allows Drury visitors to take a self-guided tour of the campus.

The team of Zach Glossip, Ian Meyers, and Clayton Sippy placed 2nd in the Student Research Poster Contest for their research and development project, DUtrition. The DUtrition project involved the development of an Android app, which allows nutrition information for a meal to be captured from a picture of a restaurant receipt. Associate Professor Dr. Kathy Carroll served as the team’s sponsor.

Zach Glossip placed 3rd in the Student Research Poster Contest for his research project titled “A Comparison between Unity 4 and Unreal Development Kits: What it Means for Game Developers.” Zach’s project involved analyzing two popular software development kits. He based his analysis on his development of a single first-person puzzle game using both software development kits.

“I am extremely proud of these young men for the inquisitiveness, discipline and skill which they have displayed conducting these projects this year,” says Dr. Scott Sigman, professor of computer science. “They deserve all the accolades they are given. The competition was close and included teams from, among others, Westminster College, Grinnell College and Lincoln University.”

More information: Computer Science at Drury


Student-led newspaper, The Mirror, earns awards for journalistic excellence

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 14, 2015 — The Mirror, Drury’s student-produced newspaper founded in 1886, earned 13 awards at the 2015 Missouri College Media Association (MCMA) Conference on April 11 at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. Current students and alumni 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.

The winners from Drury are:

Ashley Morefield from Overland Park, Kansas received 1st place for Page One Design, 1st place for Information Graphic, and Honorable Mention for Page One Design.

Hwani Lee from Nairobi, Kenya received 1st and 2nd places for Story Illustration

Caleb Zimmerschied from Lee’s Summit received 1st place in Sports Writing

Kevin Abernathy from St. Louis received 1st place in Sports Page

Abby Whisnant from Springfield received 2nd place in Page One Design

Evan Melgren from Springfield received 2nd place in News Photography

Lillian Stone from Springfield received 2nd place in Investigative Reporting and Honorable Mention in Information Graphic

Nick Childress from Monett received 3rd place in Sports Page

The Mirror Staff received 3rd place in Feature Writing


Breech Business Week helps prepare students for the professional world

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 16, 2015 — The Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University will dedicate next week 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 second year, serves as another way of ensuring Breech students are “job ready” by connecting them with the professional world outside of campus.

The schedule includes networking opportunities, resume and social networking workshops, and guest lectures by more than 20 business professionals. 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.

“Last year’s Breech Business Week gave me a wonderful sense not only of the caliber of business students at Drury, but also their passion and drive,” says Bob Hammerschmidt, regional president of Commerce Bank, and a returning guest lecturer this year. “With the ‘real world’ just a month away for many, these young men and women seem to have a genuine interest in what it takes to have long-term success with their careers.”

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

Monday, April 20 at noon – Drury alumnus Curtis Dinan, of Tulsa-based Fortune 500 energy company ONE Gas, will deliver a keynote about leadership in Lay Hall Auditorium.

Tuesday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m. – Golf Fundraiser. Not your average game of golf – students, faculty and friends of Breech will play a modified game across the campus using tennis balls. Proceeds from entry fees will benefit children in Aigina, Greece, where Drury has a satellite campus location.

Wednesday, April 22 at 10 a.m. – Drury alumna Karen Shannon, Human Resources Consulting Director at Ollis & Company, will discuss what students should know about benefits when they search for and land a new job. The talk is in Breech Hall Room 202.

Thursday, April 23 at 11 a.m. – LinkedIn workshop in Breech 102; professional photos will be shot for students from noon to 3 p.m.

Friday, April 24 at noon – The Breech Award Luncheon honoring the top students in Drury’s business school will be held at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. 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.

“The presentations by professionals in the field, along with other events of the week, will provide critical applications to business theory, and serve to inspire our students as they prepare for future leadership opportunities,” says Michael Shirley, director of the Breech School of Business Administration.

A full schedule of the week’s events is attached. Breech Business Week is presented by the Breech Advisory Board, and made possible by corporate partner CoxHealth and corporate sponsors Commerce Bank and OakStar Bank.


Media Contact: Dr. Robin Sronce, Associate Professor of Management. Office: (417) 873-7438, emailrsronce@drury.edu.