Inclusion on the court: Wheelchair basketball tournament Feb. 27

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 25, 2016 — Drury University’s Office of Counseling and Disability Support Services and the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity are co-sponsoring a 3-on-3 wheelchair basketball tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27 at Weiser Gym. The event is free and open to the public.

Proceeds from the event will benefit local children with muscular dystrophy who wish to attend Muscular Dystrophy Association summer camp at the Lake of the Ozarks in May.

Eight teams consisting of students, faculty and staff are slated to go head-to-head throughout the day. The tournament will last until about 12:30 p.m. and will be followed by a barbecue for all participants.

“We want to have fun on the court and raise money for the MDA camp, but we also want to demonstrate that Drury is committed to and supportive of people of all abilities,” said Ed Derr, director of counseling, testing and disability services. “Our Drury students who use wheelchairs are excited about this, and are helping organize the event.”


Media Contact: Ed Derr, Director of Counseling & Disability Support Services: (417) 873-7457 or

Drury marks Eating Disorders Awareness Week with campus events

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 23, 2016 — Drury University is recognizing National Eating Disorders Awareness Week with a number of events through Friday.

During the week, Drury counselors and students will educate their peers on campus and create awareness about the changing face of disordered eating. The goal is to help students, staff and faculty learn more about disordered eating, have the opportunity to speak with counselors, and learn how they can access online screenings and local resources.

Eating disorders don’t discriminate and affect all walks of life. An estimated 10 percent of people with an eating disorder are male. Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and muscle dysmorphia are but a few of the eating disorders often seen, especially among young adults.

“People tend to assume that it will be apparent that someone has an eating disorder when, in fact, many times it will not be,” said Jena Steele, a counselor at Drury and an organizer of the week’s events. “We hope that by raising awareness, we can help de-stigmatize disordered eating and allow people who are struggling to receive the help they need.”

Events include:

Tuesday, Feb. 23:

  • “What I Love About Me” – Students will “show themselves some love” by writing on a life-sized cut out in front of the Commons cafeteria at Findlay Student Center (FSC) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Healthapalooza in the Halls – Yogurt bar, Wii Fit, and tabletop and board games in residence halls.

Wednesday, Feb. 24

  • Guest Speakers – A Survivors’ Stories of Disordered Eating and Recovery; 7 p.m. in the FSC. Ballroom

Thursday, Feb. 25

  • “Mindful Eating” brown bag lunch discussion at noon in FSC 204.

Friday, Feb. 26

  • Raffle entry for students who drop by the Counseling Center and discuss one thing they learned about disordered eating throughout the week.


Media Contact: Jena Steele, Mental Health Counselor: (417) 873-7418 or

Four retiring professors, 170 years & countless students inspired

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 18, 2016 — Four highly respected Drury University professors have announced they will retire at the conclusion of the academic year in May. The university community recently recognized the foursome – whose combined careers represent more than 170 years of teaching excellence and countless student lives touched.

“Faculty are the heart and soul of the university, and these longtime teachers and mentors truly exemplify what makes a Drury education special,” says Dr. Steven Combs, Drury’s provost. “Drury and its students have been fortunate to have these four individuals on campus over the decades.”

Left to right: William Rohlf, Protima Roy, Rabindra Roy, and Dudley Murphy.

Left to right: Bill Rohlf, Protima Roy, Rabindra Roy, and Dudley Murphy.

The four are:

Dudley Murphy – 38 years

Murphy joined Drury’s Art Department in 1978 and went on to fashion a national reputation as a sculptor. He also built a strong and respected program in visual communication and graphic design, serving as its director. As recognition of his remarkable talents working with students and inspiring them as artists, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Drury Alumni Association in 2009. Murphy is also a published author who researched, wrote, designed and provided photographs for two volumes of books about vintage collectable fishing lures. The books have since become standard guides in the market.

Murphy’s passions and projects extend far beyond the classroom. He is also known as an accomplished guitarist, most notably playing with the nationally acclaimed bluegrass band Radio Flyer.

Dr. William (Bill) Rohlf – 44 years

Rohlf joined Drury’s Breech School of Business Administration in 1973. In his tenure as professor of economics, Rohlf has been honored as recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award. He received the Richard C. Grayson Burlington Northern Chair of Business Administration in 2003. His very successful basic economics textbook, first published in 1988 and now in its eighth edition, is widely recognized for its emphasis on the application of economic reasoning to the analysis of current economic events.

Affectionately known to his students as “Dr. Lovable,” Rohlf is indeed a caring but demanding teacher who is highly respected for his innovative methods and teaching style. Breech alumni from the last 40-plus years enjoy sharing Dr. Rohlf stories whenever they meet. His dedication to teaching has been a model for many colleagues and he has been a role model and mentor to countless students, some of whom have gone on to earn their Ph.D. in economics and now teach at other universities.

Dr. Protima Roy – 41 years

Protima Roy joined Drury’s School of Education in 1975. During her time at Drury, Roy has been an advocate for student research and the inquiry method of teaching science. She has been the recipient of many grants and awards through the years including a National Science Foundation grant that funded collaborative projects between Drury, Pipkin Middle School and Central High School. For many years Dr. Roy’s science education students have helped Boyd students complete science fair projects with presentations on the Drury campus.

Through the years, Dr. Roy has had an immeasurable impact on teachers in the region. Her many students now emulate what they learned about inquiry-based learning and science education at Drury and that impact is felt in countless classrooms today.

Dr. Rabindra Roy – 50 years

Roy joined Drury’s Department of Chemistry in 1966. A distinguished educator and chemist, he is best characterized by his passion for undergraduate research and science education. Roy has conducted collaborative research with more than 50 scientists around the world including Nobel Laureates William Giauque and Johann Deisenhofer.

During his tenure at Drury, Roy developed an innovative model for undergraduate research that has trained hundreds of future scientists and healthcare professionals. Roy and his students have made 485 scientific presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. He received grants and contracts totaling more than $4.5 million dollars to fund his research, and has published more than 150 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Roy has received numerous awards including the American Chemical Society National Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution in 1998.

Roy’s passion for science education extends beyond the boundaries of Drury University. In 1995, Dr. Roy and his wife, Dr. Protima Roy, founded Hem Sheela Model School in Durgapur, India with 350 students. The two campuses of Hem Sheela have grown to 24 acres and now enroll more than 5,000 students. It is one of the most prestigious K-12 schools in India, routinely scoring at the top of national exams in science and math. It is a sister school of Drury University. In 2007, the Roys also founded a tribal school for first-generation learners.

Dr. Roy is an example of a life well lived. He has invested his life educating future scientists through his work at Drury and Hem Sheela. He has influenced thousands of students, dined with numerous Nobel Laureates, and had an audience with Mother Teresa. The scope of Dr. Roy’s life work will extend well beyond his 50 years at Drury.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations; (417) 873-7390 or

Guest lecturer brings music & marketing expertise to Drury Feb. 19

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 16, 2016 — The Self-Employment in the Arts Lecture Series, sponsored by the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, will host a lecture and performance by musician and marketer Christopher Burnett this Friday.

Currently the marketing director at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, Burnett is also an award-winning composer and jazz saxophonist himself, and has decades of experience in all facets of the music business.

Burnett will host a lecture about his history of success as a self-employed performer at 4 p.m., Friday, Feb. 19 in Clara Thompson Hall. Burnett will then lead a performance at 8 p.m. that night at Q Enoteca Wine Bar, 308 W. Commercial St. Both events are open to the public.


A native of the Kansas City area, Burnett rose to prominence while leading, touring and recording with U.S. military bands from 1974 to 1996. He was an early explorer of the digital music landscape. Through skillful and innovative promotion and marketing, Burnett garnered more than a half million music downloads and sold CDs to fans in 38 countries via the original website in the early 2000s. Burnett founded a retail music store business immediately after his military career and served as Acting CEO of the American Jazz Museum for a short time.

About the Series and the Edward Jones Center

The Self-Employment in the Arts Series features successful, entrepreneurial artists from across the country for small-group sessions, lectures and the occasional performance on Drury’s campus. The series will bring Drury alumnus and professional opera singer Michael Spyres to campus on Thursday, March 31.

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by the generous contribution of John and Crystal Beuerlein and Edward Jones, Inc. All parties feel passionately about entrepreneurship and believe in the idea of helping people create new businesses. They are also eager to provide employees of existing corporations with tools to continually refresh and reinvent their organizations as markets and business environments change.


Media Contact: Dr. John Taylor, Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship: (417) 873-6356 or

Third-graders to see revamped “Peter & the Wolf” thanks to Bob Barker gift 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 16, 2016 — A decades-old tradition will receive a revamp next week as Drury University’s Theatre, Music and Education departments present the annual performance of “Peter and the Wolf” for elementary school students at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Nearly 3,000 third graders from throughout Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances by more than 50 Drury students at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22. Media are welcome to cover the event.

For more than 40 years, Drury students and faculty have brought Sergei Prokofiev’s classic children’s symphony to life for the benefit of local youth. The 2016 edition has a new look and feel thanks to a gift from the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights and creative input from director Robert Westenberg. The performance will now include some small changes that reflect messages of humane education about wild animals.

The 1936 work is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif.

According to Westenberg, this year’s production will be “completely restaged and redesigned. It will feature new set pieces, costumes, and props.” Photos and brief videos of wolves in the wild will help reinforce “the importance of respecting our fellow animal creatures and how we need to harmoniously coexist within our mutual ecosystems,” Westenberg adds.

Others involved in the revamp include Drury theater technical director Mark Needelman (scene design), Drury theater professor Madison Spencer (costume design), Drury alumna Christine Bass (visual design) and professional choreographer Chyrel Miller. Dr. Robin Schraft will narrate the performance and Dr. Christopher Koch will conduct the orchestra. The Drury Friends of Music Fund helps support this annual musical education experience.



Drury faculty & students to join Phi Kappa Phi at inaugural ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 16, 2016 — The Drury University chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will hold its inaugural initiation ceremony at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21 in Stone Chapel. Drury’s first class of initiates includes 44 students (12 juniors, 13 seniors, 19 graduate students) and eight faculty/staff. This event is open to the public.

In addition to the recognition afforded to members, these exceptional scholars will have the opportunity to access grants and fellowships from the national society in order to further their academic careers.

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. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi – the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society – installed the Drury University chapter in April 2015. Drury is the 331st chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, which was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine.

“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 when Drury was invited to form a chapter.

“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 Stephen Bomgardner, professor of music and president of the Drury chapter.

The Society has awarded approximately $15 million in grants and awards since the inception of its awards program in 1932. Today, more than $1 million is awarded each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

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.


Media Contact: Stephen Bomgardner, PKP Chapter President & Professor of Music: (417) 873-7388 or

Architecture students help envision future of Kitchen Inc. campus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 11, 2016 — The Hammons School of Architecture’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) will lead a visioning exercise this weekend that could help define the future of 3.5 acres of land on Commercial Street currently owned by The Kitchen, Inc.

Students and faculty from the CCS will lead a design charrette to help stakeholders envision conceptual ideas for the renewal of the site. This intensive workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Savoy Ballroom, 224 E. Commercial St.

The workshop is open to the public. Partners and stakeholders who will be represented include The Kitchen Inc., the Commercial Club, the Landmarks Board, City of Springfield Planning and Development, and the University of Missouri-Extension. This workshop will lead to further study by Drury architecture students, who will present design possibilities to stakeholders in the coming months.

The Missouri Hotel is the anchor of the redevelopment study. The landmark was designed by local architects Heckenlively & Mark, and originally opened as the Greene Tavern Hotel in April 1930. In addition to the Missouri Hotel, there are seven other buildings on the campus property. With The Kitchen Inc.’s decision to sell its Commercial Street properties and relocate, this section of Commercial Street is now on the market. The property extends from Benton to Jefferson along Commercial Street and south along Jefferson Avenue for a block and a half.

“As the east gateway to the Commercial Street area, this complex of buildings and buildable spaces occupies an important location for the C-Street District and the Springfield community,” says Jay Garrott, professor of architecture and director of the CCS. “The redevelopment of this property represents a potential physical, economic and emotional tipping point for C-Street and all of Midtown. Our goal is to help illuminate the possibilities for both the community and for developers.”

Design Charrette Schedule

10 a.m. – Orientation and tour of the Missouri Hotel and Kitchen Inc. campus

11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Charrette teams work on proposals

2 p.m. – Discussion of ideas with reviewers and larger group

About the Center for Community Studies

The Center for Community Studies is the interdisciplinary research and academic outreach component of the Hammons School of Architecture. The mission of the center is to assist the regional community in exploring and promoting innovative planning, design and development practices that respond to the challenges of our contemporary and future society and foster a healthier and sustainable habitat for our global community. The Center has worked with more than 60 communities across the region over the last 15 years. Visioning projects inside the City of Springfield have included the West Central Neighborhood Route 66 corridor and a center city housing study.


Media Contacts: Jay G. Garrott, Professor of Architecture: (417) 873-7371 or (417) 818-8289; or Jeff Barber, MU Extension: (417) 343-5682.

Drury criminology program is helping at-risk veterans

Alumni, faculty and students in Drury University’s criminology program are helping turn around the lives of at-risk veterans thanks to an innovative court program.

The Veterans Treatment Court in the 39th Judicial Circuit (Barry, Lawrence and Stone counties) provides substance abuse and mental health-related treatment services for veterans who have been arrested for felonies. The idea is to “wrap” services around them and help them with heavy supervision in lieu of prison time. Drug courts have been around for decades, but courts for specialized populations like veterans are a newer concept.

“We focus on high-risk, high-need offenders,” says Shawn Billings, treatment court administrator for the 39th Circuit. “The only real difference is they’re veterans.”

Billings, an alumnus and current adjunct instructor, wrote a proposal to secure a three-year federal grant worth $800,000 with help from professors Vickie Luttrell and Jana Bufkin of the Behavioral Sciences Department. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the grant through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The team works closely with the Veterans Administration (VA) for service referrals.

Shawn Billings, left, and Shae Dunaway, discuss cases during a staff session of the Veterans Treatment Court. (CREDIT: Aaron J. Scott)

Shawn Billings, left, and Shae Dunaway, discuss cases during a staff session of the Veterans Treatment Court. (CREDIT: Aaron J. Scott)

“It’s a combination of a mental health court with a drug and DWI court, with the addition of a team partner in the VA,” says Judge Scott Sifferman, who oversees the docket.

Veterans often bear “invisible scars” from their service, Sifferman says, which can lead to PSTD, family strife, addiction and even homelessness. That’s why a specialized focus on this population is helpful, he says.

It’s already making an impact.

“I totally have a different outlook on life – a more positive outlook, for sure,” says Cory Dodson, a 31-year-old Army veteran who was arrested for possession of a controlled substance about a year ago.

Cory Dodson

Cory Dodson

Dodson served in Iraq in the early 2000s and says he was addicted to opiates for years after leaving the service. He credits the Veterans Treatment Court and his wife for getting his life back on track.

“Within 90 days of being in the program and being off drugs, we managed to put the money together to buy our first home,” says Dodson, also a father of five girls. “It’s been a 180. I feel like I have so much to live for now.”

Junior criminology major Shae Dunaway is the program coordinator. The full-time job provides her real-world experience in the criminal justice system before graduation. She says she wants to help remove stigmas associated with offenders who are turning their lives around. She points to participants such as Dodson as an example of someone who is helping himself with the support of others.

“The transformation is incredible and they are worth every bit of the time and money we put into them,” she says.

The 39th Circuit Veterans Treatment Court team.

The 39th Circuit Veterans Treatment Court team.

Billings says Drury’s focus on relationship building is a natural fit for criminologists who want to use the justice system to improve lives.

“Drury centers on people; that’s important,” he says. “That’s basically what I’ve based my career on for the last 20 years – serving people.”


By Mike Brothers, director of media relations. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Alumnus Faulkner to speak, lead discussion on race & diversity

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 21, 2016 — Drury University will hold a campus- and community-wide discussion about race and cultural diversity on Jan. 28. The public is invited to attend.

The event will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Diversity Center (the former Washington Avenue Baptist Church) on Drury Lane. It will be led by Rev. Darren Faulkner of Kansas City, a Drury graduate with more than 20 years experience in counseling, prison ministry, and nonprofit management.

“Drury University is a very welcoming and inclusive community,” says President Dr. David Manuel. “Nevertheless, our perspectives of diversity and inclusion can always broaden and become more thoughtful. Those perspectives are interrelated with the issues Rev. Faulkner will raise, and I am confident that his insights will help us deepen Drury’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Faulkner will speak about the connections between the issues of race relations, economic dignity and cultural diversity. He will then lead a discussion session with Drury students, faculty, staff and members of the public. The President’s Council on Inclusion organized the event.

Rev. Darren Faulkner

Rev. Darren Faulkner

“We have come a long way since Jim Crow and the 1960s, however there are several things that occur today that would make the average person question just how far we have come,” Faulkner says. “I will be addressing these issues and making the argument that there is a correlation that cannot be denied.”

Faulkner received degrees in criminal justice and political science while at Drury and has been an ordained minister since 1993. He serves on the advisory board of the PBS affiliate KCPT, and is a member of the Heartland Community Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City NAACP.


Media Contact: Greg Booker, Assistant Professor of Art & Inclusion Council Chair. Office: (417) 873-7203; email:

Mr. Melgren goes to Washington: Grad takes part in Congressional briefing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 15, 2016 — Recent Drury graduate Evan Melgren will take part in a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 19, as part of panel hosted by the New American Colleges & Universities (NAC&U). Melgren will describe how his experience on Drury’s Solar Decathlon team contributed to his education and career success.

The panel is part of a series of events hosted next week by the NAC&U, which is a national consortium of selective, independent colleges and universities dedicated to the integration of liberal arts education, professional studies, and civic engagement. Drury is one of 25 member schools.

Evan Melgren

The briefing will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Rayburn Office Building. Melgren and two other students will share their experiences of how their integrative education, including undergraduate research, business consulting, and multidisciplinary team projects improved the quality of their college experiences and prepared them with real-world skills.

“Not only was the multidisciplinary aspect of the Decathlon a perfect challenge for a liberal arts student like myself, it was also a perfect model of an advanced professional endeavor,” Melgren says. “It necessitated teamwork and the inclusion of multiple perspectives to create a home that worked in all regards.”

Melgren is a 2014 Drury graduate with a degree in advertising and public relations. He was the communication chair for the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon team, which spent 18 months designing, building and marketing a solar-powered and storm-resistant home for the national contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. About 140 teams from around the world applied and only 20 were accepted, of which only 14 successfully made it to the competition site. The Crowder-Drury team placed 8th overall. The experience led directly to a job with Killian Construction Company, where Melgren is a market research analyst.

“I feel honored to have been selected by our professors to take this important message to such a powerful forum,” he says. “A liberal arts education is an excellent route to a deeper appreciation for life, but it’s also more than that. It’s an excellent option for anyone looking to obtain an education that will prepare them for whatever life throws at them, and I can’t wait to take that message to our nation’s capitol.”

More information about the slate of events, including a similar briefing at the National Press Club on Wednesday, can be found in the NAC&U’s full news release.

Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 873-7390 or For information about NAC&U, contact Michelle Apuzzio at