48th Annual Jazz Festival Brings Young Musicians to Drury

The sounds of swing will be heard on campus this weekend as the 48th Annual Drury Jazz Festival is held Saturday, March 1, at Clara Thompson Hall.

The all-day event features 18 high school and middle school jazz bands from Missouri and Arkansas. The festival is a competitive event that allows students and directors to perform for and receive comments from some of the top jazz musicians and educators in the country.

Each band is scheduled for a 30-minute slot starting at 7:30 a.m., and continuing throughout the day. The final event of the day is a free concert by the Drury Jazz Ensemble at 5:15 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall. The concert is open to the public and will last about 30 minutes. The performance will feature the Drury student musicians and percussion instructor Robin Hendry on drums.

“Competitions are a great way for students to hone their performance chops and get feedback from professional musicians and college educators,” says Bob Holden, adjunct professor for jazz ensembles at Drury.

Clara Thompson Hall is located on Benton Avenue. Media are invited to cover any portion of the day’s competition and closing concert.

For more information, contact: Bob Holden, adjunct jazz instructor, at rholden@drury.edu.


“Ecopreneurship” Event Highlights Career Choices in Sustainability

Local high school and college students are encouraged to learn about the expanding and increasingly important field of environmental sustainability at the 4th Annual Ecopreneurship Panel and Career Fair Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Drury University.

The free event begins with a career fair from 4-6 p.m. at the Trustee Science Center. Students can visit with representatives from more than a dozen not-for-profit organizations, businesses, and government agencies about volunteer, internship and job opportunities, and explore various ways that an environmental education can lead to various careers.

Appetizers from Metro Farmer restaurant and pizza will be provided starting at 5:30 p.m. Wendy Anderson, Environmental Science Professor at Drury, will offer opening remarks at 6 p.m., followed by panel presentations and a discussion with Barbara Lucks and Daniela Liscio. Lucks is the Sustainability Officer for the City of Springfield. Liscio is a former attorney who changed careers and began a nutritional consulting business called Eat for Sport.

Co-sponsored by the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and the Environmental Sciences Department at Drury, the annual event spotlights the nexus of a several trends in the job market and global community.

“Most of the innovations needed to solve our most pressing environmental problems will emerge from people with the interdisciplinary skill sets,” Anderson says. “Environmental education at Drury is deeply interdisciplinary and committed to community engagement. We ensure that our students develop critical thinking skills based on broad understandings of ethics, economics, management, politics, laws, psychology, and the natural sciences.”

Employers are increasingly adding positions that focus on sustainability to their staffs, says Kelley Still, Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship.

“Yet even with the increased corporate opportunities, some students will find it necessary to start their own businesses to have the impact they desire,” Still says. “That’s the reason we hold this joint venture between Environmental Sciences and the Edward Jones Center. We want to empower them to choose that path.”

For more information, contact: Kelley Still, Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, at (417) 873-7458 or kstill@drury.edu; or Wendy Anderson, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, at (417) 873-7445 or wanderso@drury.edu.


Drury University Team Selected to Compete in 2015 Solar Decathlon

Students from across Drury University and Crowder College have been selected to compete in the 2015 Solar Decathlon against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, including Yale and Stanford and Missouri University of Science & Technology.

The race is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which announced the 20 invited collegiate teams this afternoon. The competition will take place at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.

Drury is partnering with Crowder College in Neosho to form a team. The Department of Energy selects the teams based on an application process. The complete list of schools to compete can be found at www.solardecathlon.gov.

The teams now begin a two-year process to design and build solar-powered, highly efficient houses that combine affordability, innovation and design excellence. The teams will design, construct and test their houses before reassembling them in the fall of 2015 at the competition site in California.

True to Drury’s commitment to the liberal arts, students from all areas of study will be able to take part in the team. The formal application was made possible through a partnership between the Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture, the Breech School of Business Administration and the Department of Communication.

“This is an interdisciplinary project,” said Traci Sooter, Director of the Design/Build Program at the Hammons School of Architecture. “It will be open to students of all majors and it’s an incredible opportunity for our students. We’re looking for leaders. We need people who will step up and be great partners in the project. There’s marketing to do, web design, writing, and more. We have lots of room on the team, and we welcome all students of diverse backgrounds.”

Crowder College, a two-year school, has twice before participated in the Solar Decathlon, and has a strong program for solar technology and innovative construction technology, Sooter says. Applicants are now required to have an accredited architecture school, and following Drury’s ongoing efforts in the rebuilding of Joplin, Mo., after the May 2011 tornado, a bond was formed between the two schools, Sooter says.

Sponsors will be needed for the project. Sooter says the community can help the Solar Decathlon team both with both financial support and in-kind support, such as donations of building materials, interior finishing and transportation of the materials to California.

Drury’s Design/Build Program designs and builds projects for communities and agencies in need. In addition to multiple projects in the Joplin area following the 2011 tornado, the program participated in four episodes of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and numerous other projects.

For more information, contact Traci Sooter, Associate Professor of Architecture, at (417) 873-7416 or (417) 234-6405.

Area Businesswomen Honored at Annual Entrepreneurship Event

Two outstanding women business owners were honored today at the 6th Annual Women in Entrepreneurship Symposium. Winners were announced the conference’s closing luncheon.

Hurts Donut Co., co-owned by Kas Clegg, was chosen as the Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year. Clegg co-owns the business with her husband, Tim. Located at 301 Park Central West, the shop opened in November and builds on recent boutique pastry trends.

Other nominees included: Fleur (Lisa Clary & Kim Wood); Behavioral Learning Center, LLC (Ginger Crabtree); School of Rock (Jennifer Jester); and Bodacious Cases, LLC (Arianna Russell).

Jennifer Wilson, founder and principle architect at nForm Architecture, was chosen Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Exceptional client service and environmentally responsible design are the cornerstones of the firm, which opened in 2007 and is located in downtown Springfield. Jennifer is a native of Springfield. She obtained her architecture degree from the University of Arkansas. She is licensed in Missouri and is a LEED-AP.

Other nominees included: Deborah Bellotti & Candice Carson (The Buzz restaurant) and Jennifer Choi (Rose Diamonds Custom Design & Repair).

To qualify for an award, a woman must own at least 50 percent of a business and operate within 30 miles of Springfield. The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year nominees must have been in business for at least five years, and the Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year nominees should have been in business for less than two years.

“We’re thrilled to highlight all of our nominees and show that women in our area have a strong and successful entrepreneurial spirit,” said Dr. Kelley Still, director of Drury’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, or EJC.

The EJC hosts WES in order to provide women entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with a wide range of exhibitors. This year more than 150 people attended the half-day symposium.

Drury Students to Advocate for Arts & Culture in Jefferson City

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 4, 2014 — Fifteen Arts Administration students from Drury University will head to the state capitol in Jefferson City on Wednesday to advocate for the arts and participate in the political process.

The students and Drury instructor Leah Hamilton will take part in Citizens’ Day for the Arts, an annual effort put forth by Missouri Citizens for the Arts. They will attend a legislative briefing and meet with lawmakers individually at the Capitol building. They will also attend the Missouri Arts Council’s annual award ceremony that evening.

Drury’s Arts Administration degree is one of only about two dozen such undergraduate programs in the nation, and the trip this week will provide a rare opportunity for college students to engage the political process first-hand.

“I want them to understand that legislators want to hear from the public and their constituents,” Hamilton says. “We want the students to feel like they can be part of the political process, and that their voices do matter.”

The students will speak to legislators about what the arts means to them personally and how the arts contribute to the economy and quality of life in Springfield. Hamilton says it’s a chance for the students to better understand how arts funding fits in with other, competing priorities in Jefferson City.

The trip is made possible by Student Advocates for the Arts, a grassroots student group, with funding support from the university’s Student Government Association.

For more information about the trip and the arts administration program, contact Leah Hamilton, Director of Arts Administration, at (417) 224-1018 or lhamilton@drury.edu.


Women In Entrepreneurship Symposium Will Inform, Honor Businesswomen

Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship will hold its sixth annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) on Sat., Feb. 8. WES provides women entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with a wide range of exhibitors. The theme of this year’s symposium is “reinvention.”

The event is $25, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration remains open until the day of the event. Register online at www.drury.edu/ejc/wes.

The symposium moves to a new location this year – the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Also new this year is an exhibit area showcasing local women-owned businesses. For the second year, WES will award honors to some of the area’s top female entrepreneurs in the following categories:

  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year

The award winners remain a secret until the symposium luncheon at noon. The media are invited to attend the ceremony. To qualify for an award, a woman must own at least 50 percent of a business and operate within 30 miles of Springfield. The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year nominees must have been in business for at least five years, and the Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year nominees should have been in business for less than two years.

Keynote speakers this year are Emily Church, founder and owner of Everything Kitchens; and Sandy Edwards, Deputy Director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Church started her business at age 19 and a dozen years later it has grown to 24 employees and $15 million in revenue in 2013. Edwards helped develop the world’s premier museum focusing on American art. She spent part of her career in Springfield in the 1970s when she helped promote concerts and events at the newly opened Hammons Student Center.

Additional speakers and panelists include Loa Freeman, owner of Success Naturally Yoga & Image Center; Sally Hargis, Vice-President of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Co.; Christine Daues, owner of Granolove; and Meghan Chambers, founder and owner of STAXX.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Kelley Still, Executive Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, (417) 873-7458.

Drury Students to Provide Free Income Tax Preparation Assistance

Drury University accounting students will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. The tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income and senior taxpayers.

Taxpayers are required to bring photo ID, Social Security cards of themselves and dependents, as well as any tax documentation they have received, including all W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and statements issued by brokerage firms. Clients are also asked to bring a copy of their 2012 returns to help speed up the filing process.

The Drury VITA site is located in the Breech School of Business Administration at the northeast corner of Central Street and Drury Lane. Parking is available in the lot across Central.

Free tax preparation will be available at the following dates and times:

Saturday, Feb. 8 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 10 – 4 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 17 – 4 to 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 24 – 4 to 8 p.m.
Monday, March 3 – 4 to 8 p.m.


The tax service accepts walk-in clients and appointments. To make an appointment, please call (417) 720-2000. The appointment line opens on January 27. Drury attempts to accommodate as many clients as possible on any given day. Due to the high demand for services, we may be unable to fill all requests for service on a specific date.

All returns will be filed electronically unless the IRS requires a manual return. All taxpayers must be available to sign the appropriate forms in the case of joint returns.

General questions about the VITA program can be answered by calling (417) 873-7522 or via email at tax@drury.edu.


Center for Nonprofit Communication to Host Free Seminar on Financial Accountability

The Drury University Center for Nonprofit Communication will host a free half-day seminar on financial transparency and accountability for nonprofit organizations on Friday, Jan. 31.

There will be three sessions conducted by CPAs from local accounting firm Elliott, Robinson & Company, LLP. They include:

  • “I’m not an Accountant!” – Clarifying the Confusion
  • Protecting Organization Assets with Internal Controls
  • Ten Things to Consider When Filing IRS Form 990

There will also be a panel discussion and Q&A session with the CPAs.

“There are hundreds of non-profit organizations in the greater Springfield area and most do a good job when it comes to fiscal accountability,” said Dan Prater, director of the CNC at Drury. “But very often the difference between right and wrong isn’t always clear. We believe going over some best practices can be of great help to non-profit leaders and boards members.”

Holding the seminar free of charge keeps the barrier to entry low for even the smallest organizations, and is in keeping with the CNC’s mission to enhance the impact of non-profits in the area.

The event is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at the Findlay Student Center on the Drury campus in Springfield. Participants can register online at www.drury.edu/nonprofit/seminar. The registration deadline is Jan. 25. For more information about the event, contact Dan Prater at 417-873-7443 or dprater@drury.edu.

More information about the CNC can be found at www.drury.edu/nonprofit.

Drury Community Works to Help Campus Neighborhood

Drury University has been a fixture of the Midtown landscape for more than 100 years, and faculty, staff and students like to find ways to positively impact the lives of the university’s neighbors.

Through a volunteer program called Drury Neighborhood Activities, or DNA, the university community provides nearby Boyd Elementary School students with mentoring, access to fun outdoor activities and —during the holidays —a little bit of joy. Each year, several campus departments sponsor families in need.

The impact is significant, says Boyd’s school nurse, Laura Smith, a key organizer at the school.

“When you’ve got new clothes to wear, you feel good about coming to school,” Smith says. “When you’ve got a new coat, you feel excited to go outside and play. It’s that simple.”

Smith helps identify families that could use a hand. They don’t ask for help, she says. But they are grateful. One of the families that has been helped included a student recently diagnosed with a serious illness.


Brian Shipman, a Drury video instructor and a DNA organizer, says holiday gifts for families ranged from video games and bikes to clothes and even turkey dinners. Gifts were delivered personally —no secret Santas here.

“I want them to be in the neighborhood, meet the people and get a good handle on what the neighborhood is like,” Shipman says.

Summer activities involve float trips and weekly swimming at Silver Springs Park. Students learn to swim and build confidence. With more than five years under its belt, DNA is bringing back program alums now in high school to participate as counselors.

“One of the founding principles of this partnership has been the philosophy that …there’s no significant learning without a significant relationship,” says Boyd Principal James Grandon. “To me, that speaks volumes about the kind of community that Boyd, Drury and the Midtown neighborhood have put together.”

This story was published in the Campus Notes section of the Springfield News-Leader on Jan. 13, 2014. 

University Recognizes Staff Members for Years of Service, Dedication

Drury University recently recognized 14 staff members for milestone service anniversaries and dedication to the university. In addition, the annual Distinguished Staff Service Award was given to Jennifer Kirtlink, Benefits Manager with the university’s Human Resources Department. Faculty members are recognized for service anniversaries in the spring, at the end of each academic year. Photos of the following staff members are available upon request. 

10 Years

     Emily Buckmaster Assistant Director – Career Planning & Development

     Kathy Jester Department Secretary – Behavioral Science

     Virginia Mee Director of Faculty Services – College of Continuing Professional Studies

     Charlotte Rippee Custodian

     Val Serafimov Director – Information Systems

15 Years

     Martha Barker Office Coordinator – Safety & Security

     Bryan Beatty Assistant Athletic Director – Compliance & Eligibility

     Jan Cooper Coordinator – Loan Processing

     Valerie Rains Director – Bookstore

     Ann San Paolo Department Secretary – Communication

20 Years

     Judy Burchfield Accounts Receivable/Student Financial Services Advisor

     Rick Wallen Tech Support Manager – Branch Campuses

30 Years

     Don Ameye Director of Publications & Creative Services

     Chip Parker Director of Retention

2013 Distinguished Staff Award Jennifer Kirtlink, Benefits Manager