Student veterans group challenges DU community to military fitness test

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2014 — The newly formed Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA) is holding its first fundraising event Saturday morning. SVA is challenging Drury students, faculty and staff to pass a military physical fitness test.

The event will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, April 26, at Sunderland Field. The field is located just south of the Sunderland Residence Hall and is adjacent to Benton Avenue. Media are invited to cover the event. The challenge includes two minutes each of timed push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups or flexed-arm hang, plus a two-mile run.

Money from entry fees and donations will benefit the Home at Last program, which assists homeless veterans in Springfield. Home at Last is a new program funded by a Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Drury’s SVA chapter was founded earlier this academic year under the leadership of student veterans on campus. In September, Drury was named a Military Friendly School by Victory Media. The designation puts Drury in the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and their spouses as students and ensure their success on campus. The Military Friendly designation is another example of Drury’s deep and continuing commitment to meeting the educational goals of military students.

For more information about the physical fitness challenge or SVA, contact SVA president-elect Katelyn Vernon, at (817) 694-4461 or


Women’s Basketball Coach Steve Huber Resigns

Coach Steve Huber is resigning to pursue other opportunities. Drury University thanks him for his hard work and success, both on and off the court, this season. Drury wishes him well in his future endeavors.

Assistant coach Molly Miller has been named interim head coach of Drury’s women’s basketball team.


Students Choose Service for Spring Break Trips

Many students travel to a beach location for spring break; but this semester, around 20 Drury students headed out-of-state to serve communities in Washington, D.C., and Twin Lakes State Park in Virginia.

The Drury Alternative Breaks Program is a student-led program offering affordable, service-learning trips over academic breaks.  The Washington, D.C., group worked with nonprofits that focus on urban farming and sustainable development programs, while the Virginia group performed forestry and park maintenance work. Each attending student completed at least 32 hours of service work during the trips.

Each trip only cost students $75 — the rest of the cost was paid for through fundraising, money from the Student Government Association, and the Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development. These trips also are counted as an Engaged Learning credits, which is a requirement in the Drury curriculum.

DC trip group photo

Kevin Daroga, a junior Finance major, attended the D.C. trip with 10 other students and two Drury advisors. While there, the group faced an unexpected snowstorm that changed some of their volunteering plans, but they remained flexible and found other ways to serve the community.

“Even though we were planning on working outside and our plans changed, everyone had a positive attitude and we found other ways to work with the nonprofits,” said Daroga. “We helped clean up indoor gardens where apartment residents could ‘rent’ plots of land to grow their own produce.  We also packaged fresh meals for children and the homeless and learned a lot about the benefits of composting.”

Students volunteered for four days and had one “free” day for sightseeing. The D.C. group took a tour of the White House and was able to visit some of the museums and monuments in the area.

Abbi Weller, a sophomore architecture major, also attended the D.C. trip for her spring break and enjoyed the service and educational aspects of the experience.

“I didn’t know anything about urban farming before the trip, but afterwards I thought I had a good understanding of the concept,” Weller said.  “It was awesome to interact and get to meet people who are so passionate about service work and about providing fresh food and gardening services to the public. It was an experience I would love to participate in again.”


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

Digital Health Communication Certificate program begins June 2

Drury University’s new Digital Health Communication graduate certificate program begins June 2. Enrollment remains open for the upcoming cohort.

Designed by communication research faculty and facilitated by professionals in the field of digital healthcare, the certificate program seeks to build students’ skills in the growing and converging fields of digital communication and healthcare technology.

Recently featured on and currently enrolling students from three continents, the innovative DHC certificate program is designed to be valuable, flexible and highly relevant to today’s healthcare workforce.

“Digital health technology is reshaping healthcare on a global scale,” says Jeff Riggins, program director. “Health researchers and professionals working in the field understand that this technology is most effective when combined with a strong focus on human communication. Our program intends to serve as a resource for those seeking to narrow the gaps that currently exist, while working to guide the industry into the future.”

Digital health communication is the intersection of digital and social technologies and healthcare. Examples may include using mobile apps for medical care and monitoring, using online communities for social support and patient education, or using social networking sites for public health preparedness and prevention.

“Our goal as digital health communicators is to understand this intersection and provide our clients the best counsel to navigate this emerging field,” says Sarah Mahoney, Director of Digital Health Practice at Weber Shandwick Public Relations, who is among the first professionals to present in the program. “The most important thing we can offer our clients is confidence. Healthcare companies need to feel confident in the communications tactics they employ, especially in a highly-regulated environment.”

The entirely online program consists of six one-month block courses. Classes may be completed as stand alone units or combined to earn the certificate. The limited number of participants per cohort (maximum of 16) provides the opportunity to tailor studies based on the specific areas of highest interest to the individual.

For more information about the DHC program, visit

Media contact: Jeff Riggins, Director of the Graduate Program in Digital Health Communication, at (417) 861-7041 or


Breech Business Week strengthens connections between business students, professionals

The inaugural Breech Business Week at Drury University kicked off today and will run through Friday, April 25.

Serving as one more way to help students be “job ready,” the week serves as a connection between Drury’s Breech School of Business Administration and the Springfield business community.

With events happening each day this week, the schedule includes networking opportunities, resume and social networking workshops, and guest lectures by area 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 employees.

Jim Hagale, President and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, addressed business students today and set the tone for the week, saying it’s going to be up to them to take on the systemic issues facing our economy and nation.

“The only thing that will change this is stellar leadership from the private sector and personal responsibility from you and your generation,” Hagale said.


Other events this week include a “Golf for Greece” fundraiser for children in Aigina, Greece, where Drury has a satellite campus location, on Tuesday; LinkedIn workshops on Wednesday; a speed networking event with alumni on Thursday; and an awards luncheon on Friday. Media are invited to cover the week’s events.

“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.

Breech Business Week is presented by the Breech Advisory Board, and sponsored by CoxHealth, BKD, Springfield Business Journal, Beth Pile, Great Southern, Smile Foto Booth and Amanda Kastler.

For more information, contact: Dr. Robin Sronce, Associate Professor of Management, (417) 873-7438 or


Music defies age at Intergenerational Rock Band concert April 22

Though tastes change from era to era, the love of music is something all generations have in common. This shared love of the “universal language” will be on display at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 22, at Clara Thompson Hall during the fourth annual performance of the Intergenerational Rock Band. The concert is open to the public.

The concert is part of Drury’s rapidly growing Music Therapy Program, now in its 14th year. It involves a mix of music therapy students and older adults from the Springfield community. This year’s concert features adults who are members of Drury’s Institute for Mature Learners.

Selections on Tuesday will include “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons; “I’ll Be There” by the Jackson 5; “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers; “In My Life” by the Beatles; “Roar” by Katie Perry; and more. There is no admission charge, but donations will be accepted to help purchase instruments for Drury’s Music Therapy Program.

“The Intergenerational Rock Band is a chance for people from different backgrounds to enjoy a shared love of music,” said Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, Director of Drury’s Music Therapy Program. “It also gives the students a great opportunity to work with a demographic that will likely be part of their clientele as music therapy professionals.”

Music therapy is an established profession that uses music to help people accomplish treatment goals in overcoming physical, cognitive, emotional or social needs.

For more information, contact: Natalie Wlodarczyk, Assistant Professor – Music Therapy, at (417) 873-7573 or


Advertising & PR Major Lands Coveted National Internship

Natasha Sanford, a junior majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and minoring in Web Communications and Design, was awarded a prestigious internship this summer with cosmetics company Urban Decay.

In June, Sanford will head to Newport Beach, Calif., as part of the 2014 American Advertising Federation Stickell internship program. Each year, a handful of outstanding students are selected for a 10-week internship and are matched at U.S. media organizations, advertising agencies, and client and supplier companies throughout the country. Forty-eight students were nominated this year as one of the best individuals from their AAF student chapters and only 16 were selected.

Sanford is the sixth student from Drury to earn this honor since 2005, showing the strength of Drury’s Communication Department and student body.


“The Stickell Internship program offers talented advertising students the opportunity to work alongside the best and the brightest in the integrated marketing communications profession,” said Dr. Regina Waters, professor of communication and chair of the Department of Communication. “Natasha is an outstanding student, and I am confident she will have much to offer the Urban Decay brand management team.”

After Sanford was nominated for the internship, she completed an application that included a cover letter, resume, ad critique and essay.

Sanford, who originally wanted to major in marketing but then “fell in love” with advertising and public relations, feels her Drury experience prepared her well for the internship. Sanford is on the AD Team, is the social media chair for the AD/PR club, is Vice President of Communication for the Student Government Association, and is actively involved in Greek life.

“I’ve learned so much from my classes, and all of the extracurriculars I’m involved in have helped me develop my leadership and communication skills,” said Sanford. “This summer will be a great opportunity to gain even more experience in the field, and I’m very thankful for everyone who’s helped me get to where I am.”


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

Community prescription drug take-back event at Drury April 25

Drury University and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency will host a prescription drug take-back event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, April 25. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Drugs can be dropped off at Findlay Student Center, located on the circle drive at the end of Drury Lane.

Drug take-back events are an opportunity for people to prevent drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. In 2013, Americans turned in 324 tons (640,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in homes are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that previously suggested methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information, contact: Jamie Alexander, (417) 873-7423 or


Springfield’s first Nonprofit Impact Report will spotlight sector’s influence

What kind of impact do nonprofit organizations truly have in Springfield? While many would say their influence is indeed large, it’s often hard to quantify. A new report from Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Communication (CNC) seeks to answer this question.

The Nonprofit Impact Report – the first of its kind to be conducted in our area – contains information on more than 1,500 nonprofit organizations located within Springfield city limits. The data comes from IRS 990 filings, a recent nonprofit salary survey conducted by the CNC, the U.S. Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and more. It is the result of 18 months of study.

The report will be released at a news conference at 9 a.m., Wednesday, April 23 at the auditorium in the Hammons School of Architecture building on the Drury campus. The event is open to the public and media are invited to attend. The report’s authors will be available for interviews immediately afterward. Parking is available in lots 1, 7 and 12, though spaces may be limited.

“Although most of the information used to create this report is publicly available, it takes time and expertise to analyze and dissect it all,” says Dan Prater, Director of the CNC at Drury. “The report provides solid data that helps reveal the full magnitude of what nonprofits do in our community – and turns out the impact is huge.”

The 44-page report contains information about the number and percentage of Springfield workers employed in the nonprofit sector, average annual budgets, nonprofit density compared to other metro areas, whether or not services are being duplicated, and exactly how well nonprofits are responding to the “red flag” issues identified in the long-running Community Focus Report. The information is also highly valuable to nonprofits themselves, as they are more and more often asked to provide hard data when seeking grants and donations.

The April 23 news conference will last about one hour and feature a panel of those who worked on the report, including Prater; Dr. Curt Gilstrap, Associate Professor of Communication at Drury; Dr. Sun-Young Park, Assistant Professor of Communication at Drury; and Dr. Sarah Smith, special advisor to the Center for Nonprofit Communication.

“Nonprofits are ultimately a public trust, much like government,” Prater says. “Our investment via donations means the whole community has a stake in what nonprofits do, and a stake in their success or failure. We believe this information will be helpful and insightful for both the nonprofits themselves and the community at large.”

The Nonprofit Impact Report will be made available free to nonprofit organizations and others in attendance at the end of the news conference. The report will be made available online afterward.

For more information, contact: Dan Prater, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Communication, (417) 873-7443; or Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations, (417) 873-7390.


Drury’s Enactus Team Finishes Among the Nation’s Top Eight

Drury University’s Enactus team emerged as one of the top eight teams in the nation after placing second in their league of competition within the semi-final round at the 2014 Enactus USA National Exposition in Cincinnati last week.

“Our students thought outside the box this year and completed some incredible, unique projects,” said Kaitlyn Den Beste, Drury’s Enactus Director. “I am so proud of the work they’ve done. They have grown throughout the year, and their work has improved the lives of those around them.”

Drury has won the SIFE National Exposition three times, (2001, 2003, 2005) and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in 2001 and 2003. Enactus was formerly known as SIFE.

2014 Enactus USA National Champion Texas State University advances to the Enactus World Cup, which will be held in Beijing, China in October.

For more information on Enactus, go to