Drury’s humanities film series returns to Moxie Cinema for fourth season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 19, 2015 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has again partnered with the Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield to host a series of screenings and open discussions at the local independent theater. The Drury Humanities & Arts Film Series is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The film series returns at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 with a talk from Dr. Heidi Backes following a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.” The partnership between Drury and the nonprofit Moxie Cinema places a spotlight on films that ask enduring questions about the human condition 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 post-film discussions are about 30 minutes each. Tickets are $5 and all screenings begin at 1 p.m.

Charlie Chaplin in the 1936 film "Modern Times"

Charlie Chaplin in the 1936 film “Modern Times”

“Although our series still features an eclectic mix of movies, each film connects to our 2015-16 Drury Humanities theme of power,” explains Dr. Kevin Henderson, director of the series and Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “From machinery devouring Charlie Chaplin in ‘Modern Times’ to South African teens discovering the power of empathy in ‘Tsotsi’ to Jack Nicholson uncovering the corruption of municipal powers in ‘Chinatown,’ these films offer us many ways to discuss what being powerful or powerless does to our humanity.”

2015-15 Schedule

Oct. 24 – “Pan’s Labyrinth” with Dr. Heidi Backes, assistant professor of Spanish

Nov. 7 – “Modern Times” with Dr. Chris Panza, professor of philosophy

Nov. 21 ­– “Tsotsi” with Dr. Erin Kenny, associate professor of anthropology

April 2 – “Chinatown” with Dr. Kevin Henderson, assistant professor of English

April 16 ­– “The Iron Giant” with Steve Carpenter, assistant professor of art/communication

April 23 – “Burnt by the Sun” with Dr. Ray Patton, assistant professor of history

For more information, go to Drury’s Humanities blog Human, All Too Human or www.moxiecinema.com.

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Media Contact: Kevin Henderson – Director, Humanities and Arts Film Series. Office: (417) 873-7426; email: khenders@drury.edu.

Crowder-Drury team finishes 8th overall in Solar Decathlon competition

The Crowder-Drury team finished in 8th place overall in the 2015 Solar Decathlon, the U.S. Department of Energy announced today in Irvine, California. The team’s ShelteR3 (pronounced “Shelter Cubed”) home was more than 18 months in the making. The highly interdisciplinary project brought Crowder and Drury students to the national stage to showcase their expertise in architecture, engineering, marketing, communication and design. About 140 teams applied for entry into the competition – 20 were accepted and 14 actually made it to the competition itself.

“We are extremely proud of what this team has accomplished here over the last year and a half,” said Dr. Robert Weddle, dean of the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury. “The atmosphere surrounding this competition here in Irvine has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our students. The opportunity to design and build this home from concept to competition has been an invaluable learning process for each of them.”

Drury student Michaela Cantrell plugs in a Nissan Leaf after the electric car was driven 25 miles for a competition during the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California on Friday, Oct. 9. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Drury student Michaela Cantrell plugs in a Nissan Leaf after the electric car was driven 25 miles for a competition during the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California on Friday, Oct. 9. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

The team will disassemble the house in the coming days. Following transport back to the Ozarks, the house will find a permanent place in Joplin, the community that inspired its unique design.

Follow, connect with and congratulate the team:

Visitors line up to tour the Crowder College and Drury University house during the  Decathlon. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Visitors line up to tour the Crowder College and Drury University house during the Decathlon. (Credit: Thomas Kelsey/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

About the Solar Decathlon

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Decathlon pits future architects, engineers, marketers and business people from the nation’s top colleges against one another, challenging them to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition will be the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Crowder-Drury entry accomplishes all this – and more. The ShelteR3 house has a three-prong design philosophy of Respond, Recover and Resist. Inspired by the devastating and deadly 2011 Joplin tornado, the house is transportable so that it can be trucked to disaster areas during emergency response and recovery efforts. It can then be converted in a permanent and stylish living structure that is designed to resist the extreme winds and debris clouds of potential tornadoes. For more on the house, check out this overview video.

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Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle unites beauty and function

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 14, 2015 — Dow Whiting of Green Valley Plant Development and Garden Debut have partnered with Drury University to create the Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle, scheduled for release the summer of 2017.

Named to uphold Drury University’s pride in its school colors, the Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle grows three to four feet tall and wide, and produces deep red blooms from summer to fall. Born out of Drury’s desire to unite beauty and function in the modern landscape, the Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle plays an important role in connecting the mission of the university to the campus environment.

“The Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle installs quality, vibrancy and sense of place in the landscape,” says Drury heads groundskeeper Joe Fearn. “The unique character of Drury University is embodied in this plant.”

GV1125-2 cropped

Dow Whiting, of Green Valley Plant Development in Nixa, Missouri, developed the Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle. Whiting has founded several popular dwarf crape­myrtles, including the Princess Crapemyrtles series, also available through Garden Debut.

“It is an honor to work with Drury University to bring this incredible new crapemyrtle to the national stage,” said Whiting. “I believe the brilliant color and the story of its creation will serve as a tribute to the ideals of Drury.”

The Drury Crimson Crapemyrtle will be available for purchase anywhere Garden Debut plants are sold in hardiness zones 5-9.

Garden Debut is managed by Greenleaf Nursery Company, one of the most well-known and established nursery companies in the United States. For more information about Garden Debut, visit www.gardendebut.com.

For more information about Drury Grounds, follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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Conference helps Midwest nonprofits sharpen communication skills

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 14, 2015 — Nearly 300 community leaders representing organizations from across Missouri and several surrounding states will gather Friday, Oct.16, at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center for the 2015 Nonprofit Communication Conference.

The annual event has grown to become the largest one-day conference of its kind in the state. Representatives from many of the region’s largest health systems, universities, charitable and civic groups will receive training on a variety of topics including crisis communication, advocacy, grant writing and fundraising. The conference is presented by the Drury University Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which is a statewide leader in training, research and outreach in the nonprofit sector.

According to the IRS, there are more than 1,500 registered nonprofit organizations in Springfield – including many of the region’s top employers. A 2014 study by the Center revealed Springfield’s nonprofit organizations comprise more than 50 percent of the city’s total private workforce – almost 40,000 people daily.

“Springfield is a model nonprofit community when it comes to collaboration and a willingness to take on social issues,” says Dan Prater, conference organizer and director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Drury. “This conference always features a lot of great energy as we learn from one another and share our experiences.”

Major conference sponsors include DL Media, KPM CPAs, Ollis/Akers/Arney, Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Panera Bread.

For more information, contact conference organizer Dan Prater at (417) 873-7443 or via email at dprater@drury.edu, or visit: www.Drury.edu/Nonprofit.

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Crowder-Drury team feeling confident as Solar Decathlon begins in California

DecathlonSPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 9, 2015 — The Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon team has been on the ground in Irvine, California for more than 10 days now, assembling, furnishing and preparing the ShelteR3 (pronounced “Shelter Cubed”) home for a series of 10 contests as part of this international competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Today is first full day of the competition and the Crowder-Drury Decathletes are feeling confident about their showing. The student-led team is pumping out numerous updates from the contest online. Local residents and media outlets can track the team’s progress in the following ways:

Here are a few storylines to know so far:

Get social: The Crowder-Drury team is in first place in the social media engagement portion of the contest. Local residents can help by continuing to share, comment, and like the content on the Facebook and Twitter pages linked above. Use these hash tags: #‎SD2015 and #CrowderDrurySol and mention @‎SolarDecathlon. Engagement yields more points than mere likes or re-tweets, so feel free to ask the team questions or offer words of encouragement online.

Helping hands: Instead of going to a reception event on Wednesday night, several Crowder-Drury students helped the team from New York City College of Technology finish its house. “It’s moments like this that show the character of our students and remind us that this is about much more than a competition,” says Drury professor of architecture Traci Sooter.

Emergency plants: After the team realized the plants they’d ordered for the home were a bit … underwhelming, supporters formed a “crisis plant fund” that raised more than $500 in about 24 hours for some stellar plants that will help with ShelteR3’s curb appeal. That’s just the latest fundraising success for a team that has raised more than $458,000 for the project overall through in-kind and cash donations.

Hang loose: The team is having some fun using a Malibu Ken doll as its unofficial on-site mascot. When you’re in a high-pressure environment like the Decathlon, you have to look for ways to keep things loose while remaining highly focused on the work at hand.

In print: ShelteR3 was featured in a story published in the OC Register on Wednesday.

On air: NBC Nightly News interviewed the ShelteR3 team at Crowder College in September as part of a larger package on the Decathlon. The story will air nationally on NBC at a later date as the Decathlon wraps up.

The contests: The first of 10 contests took place Thursday night. In the Home Life Contest, students hosted a dinner party in the house for other teams. Remaining measured contests include: Commuting, Appliances, Comfort Zone and Energy Balance. Juried contests include: Architecture, Market Appeal, Engineering, Communications and Affordability.

The competition: Check out the other teams in the contest.

About the Solar Decathlon

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Decathlon pits future architects, engineers, marketers and business people from the nation’s top colleges against one another, challenging them to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition will be the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Crowder-Drury entry accomplishes all this – and more. The ShelteR3 house has a three-part design philosophy of Respond, Recover and Resist. Inspired by the devastating and deadly 2011 Joplin tornado, the house is transportable so that it can be trucked to disaster areas during emergency response and recovery efforts. It can then be converted in a permanent and stylish living structure that is designed to resist the extreme winds and debris clouds of potential tornadoes. For more on the house, check out this overview video.

Drury ecology students to conduct field work at Valley Water Mill Park Saturday

carrollSPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 9, 2015 — A group of Drury University ecology students will engage in field work at the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks’ Watershed Center on Saturday, furthering a longstanding partnership between university and the regional nonprofit.

More than 20 Drury biology majors will conduct wetland restoration work and repair a walking trail at the Watershed Center, located at Valley Water Mill Park on the northeast edge of Springfield. The students are working under the direction of biology professor Teresa Carroll, and they will be at the Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Media are welcome to cover the activities.

“WCO is a nonprofit organization that focuses on ecological habitat stewardship. The goal of my class project is to create ecological awareness and perform community service that has a meaningful ecological impact,” Carroll says. “To that end, we will help with environmental habitat improvement at the Valley Water Mill Center by thinning out tree saplings and cutting and removing invasive plant species from the wetland area.”

The WCO’s Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill has been an established biological field station for Drury’s College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences since 2008. The area’s stream, spring, wetland and forest ecosystems have provided students with numerous opportunities for assessments, research and other hands-on projects over the years.

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Author David Harrison reflects on time and success at Alumni Convocation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 8, 2015 — At today’s inaugural Alumni Convocation, noted children’s author and community leader David L. Harrison ’59, reflected on how his Drury experience shaped a life that has taken several unexpected but highly successful turns. The convocation was part of the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend at Drury, which brings more than 400 people back to campus.

Harrison studied biology at Drury but the seed was planted for his writing career during his years on campus thanks to the university’s liberal arts foundation. He recalled a number of professors by name, noting the close connections he forged with them as a student. Harrison became a scientist in the world of chemical research after earning his undergraduate and masters degrees, but never lost sight of the muse that he first encountered in a writing class with Dr. Clark Graham, who privately urged him to consider a career as a writer.

Harrison mug

Harrison, who has been Drury’s poet laureate for decades, peppered his speech with several short poems. He also compared the passage of a lifetime to the way light travels in both particles and waves. Life-altering moments are particles, he said, that form the ongoing waves of one’s life.

“Some of those moments didn’t seem that important at the time: merely random particles moving with the flow, or the wave, or my existence,” Harrison told the alumni, faculty, staff and students gathered in Stone Chapel today. “But looking back, I see how those moments were connected to what happened to me along the way. Now I see them clearly, strung together in an ever-changing helix that has formed the DNA of my life.”

Harrison credited his blend of liberal arts education and scientific training with getting him into graduate school and his first job. It also gave him the confidence to make a career change when he joined Hallmark Cards in Kansas City as an editor for children’s cards in 1963. Harrison began writing more and more in his spare time and his career as a children’s author grew from there. He has written more than 90 books over the years, but is just as well known locally for his community service and advocacy for literacy. After returning to Springfield in the 1970s and successfully running for the School Board in 1982, he became involved in a number of children’s literacy and reading programs such as Sky High on Reading, Reading Roundup, Family Voices and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“It’s important to think beyond our own boundaries, to find interest in the broad spectrum of the human endeavor, to become part of something larger than ourselves,” Harrison said. “Becoming involved often requires little initial training and a vocabulary of a single words: yes. No matter what we have done with our lives or plan to do with them, we are responsible for the next generation.”

Drury University honored David Harrison with a Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement in 1981.

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Six pre-med students gain peace of mind through early acceptance

A group of six Drury pre-med students received some good news this fall about their future. They already know they’re accepted into the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, thanks to a longstanding program that fast-tracks outstanding students who know they want to be physicians.

slu-small

Drury’s Pre-Medical Scholars Program is a set of partnerships with five universities throughout Missouri that offers undergraduate students a chance to be pre-accepted into medical school, typically at the beginning of their junior year.

Besides Saint Louis University, the other four medical schools are Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Altogether there are about a dozen Drury students currently pre-accepted to one of these schools with additional students awaiting decisions for this year’s pre-acceptance interviews.

The newest group headed to SLU is something of a bumper crop.

“This is the first time in the last 10 years that we’ve had so many students accepted into one pre-acceptance program in one year,” said Dr. Mark Wood[cq], a chemistry professor and head of Drury’s pre-health sciences program.

The six students – Kayla Whorton, Trey Hufham, Joshua Kimrey, Alex Flanagan, Kerri Raleigh and Breanna Stirewalt – are all undergraduates double majoring in some combination of biochemistry, biology or chemistry.

Each was required to have an ACT score of at least 30, maintain a 3.5 GPA throughout their undergraduate career, complete at least 135 hours of professional shadowing and ace an interview. In return, they will have no minimum MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) score requirement and don’t have to go through a series of grueling interviews at multiple medical schools.

“It’s a huge stress relief. Instead of spending $2,000-$3,000 on an MCAT prep program we get to save all that money,” says Kimrey, a junior who is actually triple majoring in biology, chemistry and philosophy. “And instead of spending 40 hours a week studying for that test, we can focus on our classes. It means the world.”

While each medical school has its own set of requirements for early acceptance, all are geared toward students who have demonstrated an early interest in going to medical school.

Senior Alex Flanagan said having “a lot of volunteer work in a variety of settings,” was a great help in the application and interview process.

“Getting into these medical school programs now requires more than just a GPA,” Wood said. “That is still a part of it, but it’s becoming a smaller one. What they’re looking for now is, ‘Have you done extensive shadowing? Have you done volunteer work that demonstrates that you care for other human beings?’ Yeah, they can do the academics, but what medical schools are really concerned with is if students truly want to do these jobs.”

To that end, Drury has a popular program that allows pre-health sciences students to volunteer and shadow doctors and other medical professionals at Jordan Valley Community Health Center.

The extra piece of mind and free time these students now have will allow them more opportunities to focus on the present during a pivotal time in their lives.

“You get to focus a lot more on enjoying learning rather than making yourself look good on paper,” said Hufham. 

Story by Chaniqua Crook, student writer in Drury’s marketing and communication department.

Inaugural Alumni Convocation and 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 6, 2015 — Drury University will honor five outstanding alumni and a longtime staff member at its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Recognition Dinner on Friday evening. The event is part of the 2015 Alumni Reunion Weekend, which is expected to bring more than 350 members of the national and international Drury family back to campus.

The weekend kicks off with an Alumni Convocation at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 8 in Stone Chapel. Noted children’s author and Drury alumnus, David L. Harrison, will deliver an address titled “How Time Passes.” This inaugural Convocation highlights the over 30 years of Drury Distinguished Alumni Award winners and their contributions to the world. Harrison is a previous Distinguished Alumni Award winner for Career Achievement. The public and current students are invited to attend.

The 2015 Distinguished Alumni honorees are chosen for their career achievements, service to their communities and contributions to the University.

“These impressive individuals represent the very best of what it means to be a graduate of Drury University,” says Dianne Johnson, Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations. “They demonstrate how critical thinking developed in the liberal arts tradition combined with leadership, dedication and selflessness create a successful life and career. Each honoree is a wonderful example for our current and future students.”

The honorees are:

Lifetime Achievement – Ralph K. Manley ’49

Manley

Ralph Manley earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from Drury University following his service in World War II. During the war, he received 19 decorations, including 3 Purple Hearts. In his long career as a real estate developer, he built more than 1,500 homes in the area. Manley was elected to Springfield City Council in 1999. His community involvement also includes service with Masonic organizations, the American Legion, the 101st Airborne Division Association, and the Home Builders Association of Springfield. Manley received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1973 and was named Springfieldian of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce in 2006.

Distinguished Career Achievement – Heidi Prather ’87

Prather

Prather attended the University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, graduating summa cum laude in 1991. She is certified in three areas: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. Prather is now a Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she also holds various leadership roles. She has received numerous awards for her teaching in medicine, and she was the first woman to become President of the North American Spine Society.

Distinguished Community Service – Mary Faith Buresh Holzer ’68

Holzer

Holzer started a home improvement program in partnership with six churches. She has written to Washington D.C. and played a role in getting two laws enacted. The first provided an option for insurance coverage for people hurt while volunteering, and the second guaranteed Social Security benefits to servers in the food service industry. Mary has also sponsored five children from Africa, is a published author, and has received the “Patriot of the Year” award from the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Distinguished University Engagement – John William (Bill) Ricketts, MBA ’71

Ricketts

Ricketts has been honored many times for his ambitious mentality in a business career that spanned more than four decades. He has dedicated much of his time to Drury University by offering constant encouragement, advice and support to the students and faculty within the Breech School of Business. Truly an example of “The Drury Difference,” Ricketts has donated funds to various key projects within the University, helped students connect with alumni, and has supported overall student activities. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees, a position he has held since 1995.

Distinguished Young Alumnus – Cliff Johnson ’03

Johnson

Johnson is the co-founder of vacation rental company Vacasa, LLC. The company was voted “Fastest growing company in the Portland (Ore.) Region in 2014,” and was recognized as one of the top 10 fastest growing private companies in the nation by the Portland Business Journal. Besides his success in business, Cliff runs marathons and also serves on the board of MAPLE Microdevelopment, which helps people in impoverished areas of the world achieve financial independence.

Faculty/Staff Appreciation – Dan Cashel

Cashel

Cashel has been involved with Drury for more than 40 years and has taken on many roles. He began working in the Admissions Office in 1974 and later moved to Student Affairs. He eventually transitioned into Athletics beginning in 1979 where he oversaw NCAA compliance and was Sports Information Director. Cashel was also a tennis coach and intramural director, and director of the Barber Fitness Center. Today he is Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement.

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Pool Art Center Gallery 2015-16 exhibits schedule 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sep. 30, 2015 —  The Pool Art Center Gallery will display a wide variety of galleries throughout the remainder of the 2015-16 year. Exhibits will feature works by faculty, students and alumni, as well as a variety of artists from outside the Drury community.

The Gallery is located at 940 N. Clay Ave. and is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Opening Receptions occur from 6 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of each month (except January).

Oct. 2 through 30 – A photographic exhibit by art professor Gregory L. Booker, titled “Quiet Places,” will feature scenes from rural America. The show explores the quiet localities that are often unnoticed and unknown by the rest of America.

Nov. 6 through 24  Artist Rebekah Polly will display her exhibit “Color: A Collective Experience,” a display of narratives from people of color living in the Ozarks.

Painting by Rebekah Polly

Painting by Rebekah Polly

Dec. 4 through Jan. 29 – Patricia Watts, an independent curator and founder of Ecoartspace, will display her curated exhibit titled “Outsiders.” The featured outsiders are artists who are self-taught and have had little or no formal training.

Feb. 5 through 15 – The featured exhibit will be Robert Gerhardt’s “Muslim/American, American/Muslim,” an exhibit of portraits of Musilm Americans. Gerhardt seeks to expose a serious cultural misunderstanding that has led to discrimination and even acts of violence towards Muslim Americans.

March 4 through 25 – Meganne Rosen O’Neal’s collection “Cartogrpahy of Color” will be displayed. O’Neal is guided by the process of painting and creating toward her final piece. “Cartogrpahy of Color” examines the meditative aspects of creation through artistic tools such as shape, color, line and texture.

April 1 through 29 – “Feeding the World: Songs of Growing and Melting Snow,” an exhibit by Amanda Hanson with Nicholas Ward, will be featured. The exhibit is a contemplation on contemporary farming practices and how propaganda, media, culture and tradition influence different systems of growing food.

May 6 through 14 – The Senior Apex Exhibition closes the year. Throughout the spring semester, senior art majors will complete their captstone projects. The projects, which summarize the students’ experiences at Drury, will be presented together as part of the Apex Exhibition.

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