Two outstanding honors students receive research funding from Drury

Brewer and Vega

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 26, 2016 — Drury Honors students Lexi Brewer and Rita Elisa Vega are the inaugural recipients of the White-Foster Endowed Scholarship. The merit-based scholarship supports research conducted by women in Drury’s newly revamped Honors Program.

Lexi Brewer is a junior from Camdenton, Mo. who is a double major in international political studies and Spanish, and is also pursuing a minor in biology and a minor in environment and sustainability. Brewer has accepted a position at Oregon State University as a Summer Sea Scholar, where she will develop an eco-tourist strategy for the town of Bandon, Oregon.

In January 2017, she will study abroad in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is an internationally recognized marine protected area, and researchers on the island conduct assessments to measure the effectiveness of the reserve. By working with these researchers, Brewer hopes to gain insight to her specific academic interest: creating effective environmental policy. She plans to present her findings at a research conference the following spring.

Rita Elisa Vega is a junior from Columbia, Mo. who is majoring in history. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Latin American history. She will spend five weeks this summer traveling to several cities in Bolivia in order to access the national archive and university libraries. The research will focus on the independence movement of the country and the roles of the Quechua and Aymara peoples in the fight for freedom. She plans to gather primary sources on the topic for use in her Senior Seminar and Honors Project during her senior year at Drury.

Following the trip to Bolivia, Vega will travel to Penn State University for the Undergraduate Mentoring Program, which is designed for underrepresented students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

The White-Foster Scholarship will help offset the costs associated with the research these two outstanding students plan to conduct. Honors Program Director Dr. Richard Schur and the Honors Council select recipients of the scholarship. Eligibility is open to all female honors students who have completed at least their freshman year.


McEachern named a Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

Patricia McEachern

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 25, 2016 — Dr. Patricia McEachern, Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor for the Study of Animal Rights, has been invited to be a permanent Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics at Oxford University in England. Dr. McEachern will visit the Centre to teach this summer.

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics was launched in 2006, with the aim of pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching and publication. It is a think tank for the advancement of progressive thought, with the aim of putting animals on the intellectual agenda. It seeks to be a world-class center of academic excellence and is the first center of its kind in the world.

At the heart of its work is an international and multidisciplinary network of academic Fellows who are pioneering new thinking in animal ethics. The Fellowship is a select academy composed of the most able and creative minds in the field and appointment is by nomination or invitation only.

“This is truly an enormous honor for me and for Drury,” McEachern says. “It’s gratifying for Drury’s animal studies program to be recognized by some of the top academics in the field.”

Drury’s Forum on Animal Rights is one of the few such programs in the country. The centerpiece is an interdisciplinary animal studies minor that includes courses such as animal ethics, animals and society, animal law, and social movements. It provides students with a specialized, in-depth understanding of animals’ lives and the intersection of their lives with humans. The Forum is entirely funded by the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. McEachern serves as director of the Forum.

Barker, a 1947 Drury alumnus, television host and famed animal rights advocate, was himself honored by the Oxford Centre as its sixth Honorary Fellow in 2010.

McEachern has also been named a contributing editor to the Journal of Animal Ethics, which is published by the University of Illinois in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

For more information, visit

Professor Emeritus Michael Buono elected to AIA College of Fellows

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 24, 2016 — Drury University professor emeritus Michael Buono has been selected by the American Institute of Architects to its prestigious College of Fellows. Buono, who retired in 2015, was formally inducted last week during the AIA national meeting in Philadelphia.

The College of Fellows, founded in 1952, is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. This honor not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also elevates before the public and the profession those who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.

Michael Buono

Michael Buono

“The American Institute of Architects has over 85,000 members, and each year only around 150 AIA members are elected to the Institute’s College of Fellows,” says Dr. Robert Weddle, dean of the Hammons School of Architecture. “This news truly demonstrates Professor Buono’s caliber and dedication as an educator and is emblematic of the quality of the HSA program, which he led for over a decade.”

Buono is only the third AIA member from the southwest Missouri area to be elected an AIA Fellow. The first was Richard P. Stahl, a 1936 Drury graduate and architect of many distinguished buildings, including on the Drury campus. HSA alumnus Andrew Wells ’91 — principal of Dake Wells Architecture in Springfield — was the second.

Buono, AIA, LEED AP, served as Director of the Hammons School of Architecture from 2000 until 2012. Prior to joining Drury, he served as associate dean and also director of the architecture program at the University of Arkansas for 15 years. He has also taught at Texas Tech University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Mississippi State University. Buono has practiced architecture with firms in Atlanta and Denver, and maintains his own practice. His primary interest is in sustainable design.

For more information about the AIA College of Fellows visit:


Drury hosts Stoa national homeschool debate tournament May 22-28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 20, 2016 — Drury University will welcome thousands of young debaters and their families to Springfield next week, as it hosts the 2016 Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

Stoa is a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families. The national event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to Springfield beginning today through May 28. The tournament’s biggest days will be Monday and Tuesday, when nearly every building and room on the Drury campus will be in use by Stoa. Central High School, located on Benton Avenue just west of Drury, will also host portions of the event.

The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day, which means a potential economic impact of several million dollars.

And a generous scholarship offer from Drury will make a potential impact on these students’ college education. The University is offering over $4 million dollars in potential scholarship money to participants who choose to attend Drury in the future. All participants will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Those who advance to subsequent rounds will receive $2,500 and $5,000 scholarships, and overall winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship to Drury.

“Drury is extremely pleased to host this event,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to town. We can’t wait to show them what Drury and Springfield have to offer.”

An opening ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury campus. Competitions begin at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and continue into the early evening hours each day. NITOC features four speech categories (Interpretive, Limited Preparation, Platform and Wild Card) and three debate categories (Lincoln-Douglas, Team Policy and Parliamentary).

For more information on the tournament, visit


Media Contacts: Mike Brothers, Drury Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or; and Rob Fridge, Drury Chief Financial Officers and event co-organizer – (417) 873-7527 or

Drury hosts recognition ceremony for promising Missouri scholars Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 19, 2016 — The Drury Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), will honor more than 400 of Missouri’s most promising young scholars at a recognition ceremony at 11 a.m., Friday, May 20 in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Central High School student and former Duke TIP honoree Amanda Morrison will be the keynote speaker.

To qualify for recognition, seventh-grade honorees must take the ACT or SAT and score at a level equal to or better than 50 percent of the high school juniors and seniors who took the test. Duke TIP, a nonprofit organization, has conducted an annual search for academically talented youth in the state of Missouri as well as 15 other states since its founding in 1980.

Drury University has hosted the annual statewide recognition event since 1981. Representatives from Drury, Duke TIP and Springfield Public Schools’ gifted education program will be available for comment to the media before or after the ceremony.

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri, and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Each summer, more than 700 children from pre-K through high school attend Drury’s educational camps for gifted students. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.

The Center is part of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development, which is the longest continually accredited School of Education in the state of Missouri. Drury undergraduate and graduate programs in education have a decades-long record of adding value to the lives of children and youth by preparing highly effective teachers and leaders for work in schools throughout the Ozarks region and beyond.


Media Contact: Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education – (417) 873-7386; (417) 885-8089 or

Drury awards more than 550 degrees during spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 14, 2016 — Drury University awarded degrees to 543 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies today. There were 245 undergraduate degrees and 45 graduate degrees conferred at the traditional Day School ceremony, and 268 degrees conferred during a ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.

Economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf, who retires this month after 44 years teaching at Drury, addressed the graduates at the day’s first ceremony. To the surprise of no one who has been a student of Rohlf’s, he began his address the same way he has begun his classes for more than 40 years: by asking the question, “Is everybody happy?”

Graduates 2

“Today, I was pretty confident as to what the answer would be,” Rohlf said.

Rohlf told the graduates that while their days of taking tests were over, their trials and challenges would not cease. “Economists love to ruin your day,” he joked.

He then urged the graduates to be diligent and work hard on improving themselves by repeating another familiar phrase: “Do your homework.” Learning is a never-ending process, he said, and every turn, every role, every success and failure has something to offer a lifelong learner. That first job may not be perfect, he said, but it’s valuable nonetheless.

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Dr. Bill Rohlf

“Every job has something to teach you if you’re willing to learn, and if you work at it and do your homework,” he said. Rohlf said today’s graduates should be confident that the skills and habits they take with them will carry them through a varied career and fulfilling life.

“The education you’ve received here at Drury is on par with the best education you can get anywhere,” he said. “I’ve talked with alums for 40 years, and they’ve all talked about how well prepared they were for the job market.”

In the second ceremony, for CCPS graduates, speaker David R. Mercer also spoke of homework. Mercer, a Drury alumnus, lawyer, humanitarian and current adjunct professor for the university, posed three questions to the graduates. “Your final homework assignment, if you will,” he said.

David Mercer

David Mercer

In the spirit of learning from the past, planning for the future and living for today, Mercer urged the graduates to ask themselves these questions daily: “Today, will I love those around me?” “Today, will I pursue a cause that is greater than myself?” And, “Today, will I be driven by a passion in my life?”

Mercer urged the graduates to find the point where their learned skills, natural talents and personal passions intersect. Aim for that point first and foremost, he told them, rather than for a lucrative salary or position of prestige.

“Each one of us has a sweet spot in which the entirety of who you are as a person comes together,” Mercer said. “Find it, and spend your days there.”

Graduates 1

Today’s ceremonies were the last for retiring president Dr. David Manuel. Lyle Reed, chair of the Board of Trustees, recognized Manuel and his wife, Betty Coe. Reed thanked both for their dedication to Drury and its students during their tenure. Banners were hung on Drury Lane designating it as “Dr. & Mrs. Manuel Lane” during commencement week.

Information about attached photos: Commencement speakers Dr. Bill Rohlf, Mr. David Mercer, and photos of Day School graduates.


Getting to Know Drury’s 18th President: Part 3 – Scholarship & Leadership

Cloyd speaking smallIn an effort to better get to know Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd, we are publishing a Q&A series about his selection and the man himself. The first installment featured a conversation with search committee members about the selection and vetting process, and the second featured a look at Dr. Cloyd’s early life. In this installment, we discuss his love for the classroom, his passion for scholarship and what the study of international politics and political theory can teach us about leadership and leading a university. Future conversations in this series are forthcoming.

You’ve told us how much you enjoyed diving into academics as a student. Did you find similar joy once you were in the classroom as a teacher?

I went to graduate school because of my love of learning, the passion I have for my discipline, and the influence professors have had on my life. I wanted the honor of having that same kind of influence on the lives of students. I still feel teaching is my vocation – my calling. I just do it in a different way in the academic presidency. There is not a major in “presidenting.” The education I have had in the liberal arts and the variety of experiences I have had in higher education are perfect for being a president or a college professor.

I love to teach. I first got into the classroom in Amherst, Massachusetts. It was a great training ground for honing my craft and style of pedagogy. I not only taught at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in smaller classes in the honors program and in large lecture halls, but I taught in the Five College Program in which UMass Amherst partnered with four small liberal arts schools: Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Hampshire College. There I learned how to use a number of techniques to teach – in small groups, tutorials, having students learn by teaching. I also learned to teach students at all kinds of academic levels.

Over the years I have continued to learn new approaches to teaching. For example, I begin every class with “check-in” – each of us go around the room and say what is going on in our life and then we agree to put our thoughts on hold during the class period. Sometimes I use picture cards of all sorts of objects and scenes and ask students to talk about the topic of the day through the object or scene they have selected.

Because students today often tend to think in 140 characters – the length of a tweet – sometimes I assign students a micro-moment in which they have to summarize the topic for the class like a tweet. New media and new technologies have really opened an exciting world to me for teaching. I think all college and university faculty members need have the development opportunities and the resources to use these new technologies in their teaching. We are often afraid to try these new things mostly because we are afraid to admit what we do not know how to do, especially in front of our students. That is why schools need faculty Teaching and Development centers where technology experts and digital librarians can teach us without students looking on!

In what ways have you used new technologies in your classes?

I say “new” technologies because they are new to me, but not to this generation of techno-natives. I am just a techno-immigrant and sometimes techno-ignorant.

Here are some of the ways I have been using technology in my courses. First, I try to create web pages for each one of my courses and provide links to digital video and music content, podcasts, TED talks, and other things I use in class by asking students to watch them or listen to them before class. Those materials can then drive class discussion. I also use something called lecture capture, iTunes lectures, and open source online lectures. Lecture capture allows me to give a talk about something that is digitally captured so students can view it before class – that way class time is not just didactic, but discussion- and team-based. I used to have this presentation I loved to give on World War I, but I found one that Michael Howard, a world-class historian from Oxford, gives online. So now I just have students watch that and we do things like virtual or game simulations based on escalating conflicts in class. I also like to provide class notes online and let students take photos of the white board and chalkboard in class. There are so many fun and innovative things that can be done in teaching using technology. I could go on and on.

Consider this: by the time my son was 13 his room looked like command control at NASA, in fact it probably had better technology than the technology at NASA in the 1980s. His technology interactions were dynamic; he was connected globally playing games with other kids in teams around the world, and now at 16 his games are fast first-person perspective and 3D. In teaching we have to move to where our students are or at least meet them halfway.

Recently, I have become very interested in the growing distinction between online education and emerging HD virtual presence instructional technology. The term “online” is becoming passé. I hope I can bring virtual presence instruction to Drury and make us a “any device, anywhere, anytime” campus.

What are your favorite courses to teach and why?

Wow. Difficult question. I teach a course called Irregular Warfare. I love teaching that course because we cover everything in that area: from theories and strategies of insurgency/counter-insurgency; the use of drones, drone technology, drone targeting, and the domestic use of drones; the complexity of a world of nation-states in conflict with non-state violent actors; the way terrorism/counter-terrorism work; and new and emerging – almost futuristic – technologies being deployed in waging war and in conflicts. But we also explore questions of ethics in war and questions about how these issues are having an impact on questions of democracy and civil liberties in our growing national security state in the United States.

I also like teaching courses in topics and trends in contemporary politics, business, and security where I teach things like cyber security, big data analytics, new media connectivity, and human terrain mapping. In these courses we study how these topics relate to things like privacy, civil liberties, changing markets, property rights, and leadership decisions. In cyber security, for example, we study cyber-crime, cyber-espionage, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-war. The key issues are attacks that involve confidentiality and the theft of intellectual property, denial-of-service attacks, and protecting the integrity of data, data systems, and resilience. These areas of study require a multidisciplinary approach because without knowledge grounded in different disciples you cannot understand the issues in a comprehensive way. We study WikiLeaks, Stuxnet, zero-day vulnerabilities, and we even toy around with The Onion Router. We also study how big data and the use of algorithms is shaping everything from business strategies in marketing to fundraising strategies to higher education marketing.

How did you become a Fellow at the Institute for the Study of World Politics? What was involved in that assignment?

I was doing research on leadership and cooperation in international relations. Mainly, about how leaders and states developed collaboration and cooperation and built, grew, and sustained organizational cultures in international security institutions. My case study was a classified organization in Paris called the Coordinating Committee on Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM) through which Western states prevented the diffusion of strategic and dual-use highly sophisticated technology to the Soviet Bloc and rouge states. I was asked to work with a DOD office called the Defense Technology Security Agency. So the fellowship from The Institute for the Study of World Politics funded my living and working all over Europe. I spent time interviewing bureaucrats and leaders in Western European countries about the work, focus, and effectiveness of the international organization.

I learned a great deal about organizational culture, about how to listen and ask questions, about diplomacy and how to adapt my style and approach depending on the situation, and about how to quickly orient myself in diverse human environments. I also worked with intelligence agents and people from NATO and the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Command. Basically, we were looking at companies and states that were violating the export control system and countries that were converting the technologies they had imported into military applications. It was a chaotic time in Europe with the Wall coming down so there were a lot of treaty agreement and export control license violations.

How did your early experiences at Vanderbilt University shape your views about higher education, including fundraising?

Vanderbilt gave me a great opportunity to learn about how a university works. I started out teaching in the political science department and ended up working for the provost and then in Vanderbilt’s first comprehensive capital campaign. The experience at Vanderbilt taught me how prestige is the ultimate currency in higher education; it taught me how to work with faculty from across various disciplines, colleges, and schools; and it taught me that one of the primary values for faculty is autonomy.

I worked on developing a university-wide, cross-disciplinary certificate program where undergraduate and graduate students across all disciplines could take a series of courses from any department in the university to earn this certificate that was attached to their transcript. This meant I had to get buy-ins from deans and faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Law, The Divinity School, The School of Business, The College of Medicine, and other schools and centers across the university.

It was hard work. But in the end it paid off. Our work laid the foundation for a program, a center, and a major that now exist at Vanderbilt called Medicine, Health, and Society. It is an interdisciplinary field of research, study, and practice that critically examines the social foundations of health. Students learn about health-related beliefs and practices in their political, social, and cultural contexts. The program brings together and integrates teaching and scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in order to teach students how to approach questions from multiple perspectives. As part of the program, we organized a number of conferences on topics such as the politics of the human body.

I also learned about the challenges of coordinating and integrating initiatives and programs across schools, colleges, and departments in a university. I learned about how costs are driven up and inefficiencies are created because every college wants to do its own decentralized thing.

In addition, in higher education we have not yet learned how to incentivize or to recognize and reward faculty for cross-disciplinary work. While solutions to the world’s problems require the perspectives of multiple disciplines, we tend to silo knowledge.

My work at Vanderbilt reinforced my belief in the importance of creating student experiences that develop competence in a team-based, problem-to-solution orientation from multiple perspectives. This could be multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary. But what it means is that colleges and schools in a university have to be interwoven – and not just through the general education program.

As far as fundraising is concerned, I learned the importance of having not just a guiding strategic vision and theme that brings all of the component parts of a university together, but also actual programs that tie everything together. Donors will become more passionate and give more if they can see that they are making a contribution to the solution of a big world problem. They know that these problems and solutions are complex and cannot be solved by the education and scholarship offered by only one discipline or college. That is why fundraising campaigns for one-off projects, buildings, etc., produce fewer overall dollars and dissipate energy. We sometimes think of fundraising in terms of our own needs and the potential loyalty of our graduates. That is okay, but it is not as powerful as a vision.

Beginning in 1988 and continuing through 1997 you authored a dozen or so writings including a book, covering topics ranging from war to trade and the politics of the human body. Are they still topics of interest to you?

Yes, those topics still interest me and I return to them when I am asked to teach or to give a talk for example on war, insurgency, security, terrorism, or the politics of the body. The book Jean Bethke Elshtain and I edited and published with Vanderbilt University Press was called “Politics and the Human Body.” In that book, and in a study guide I published with Vanderbilt as well called “The Gulf War and Just War,” I was blessed to work with some of the leading scholars in the world.

More recently, however, I have been doing research, writing, and teaching on leadership, management, change, and market positioning particularly in higher education and nonprofits. This comes out of my academic work in business, higher education management, and of course my own experience. I have written and presented on “Leading Change,” “The Relationship Between Price, Discount, and Institutional Differentiation,” and “Marketing, Branding, and Positioning in Higher Education.” The book I am working on in leadership studies is about how leaders develop substance, fearlessness, dexterity, resilience and inner peace in the face of disruptive turbulence.

I have had a book contract with Johns Hopkins University Press for a work on “Arms and The Citizen: War Service, Conscription, and the American Experience” in which I reflect on the potential benefits to our nation of reinstituting conscription in some form and have been doing research on a project called “NATO’s Decline and the United States’ Pivot to the East: A Study of the Rise and Fall of Alliance Strategy.”

But I know I will not be getting back to those projects anytime soon! I plan to be very busy working for Drury.

Given your specialty in international relations and in political theory, what lessons from those fields are useful in leadership and in teaching leadership?

As far as teaching leadership is concerned, there is a great deal to be mined related to those disciplines. In the area of leadership studies and organizational behavior, I teach courses like the art and science of leadership; life narratives, discourse, and leadership; change and leadership; and transformational leadership. In those courses we use contemporary social science.

In Classics and Leadership we study the theories and lives of past great leaders and look for lessons. Certain questions emerge in studying these classics: whether or not leadership is a natural trait or is learned; whether or not a leader creates success or is it just a matter of the external environment and the willingness of followers to create success – followers create successful leaders; whether or not leadership success is defined by specific contexts and historical conditions and therefore there is no universal model for leadership, etc.

People often look to someone like Machiavelli in studying classics and leadership, but there are many other examples that provide different models. Thucydides in the Peloponnesian Wars gives us examples of the failures of leaders and of how heartless action comes back to haunt leaders. Alexander the Great shows us an example of leading from the front and instilling intense loyalty and trust by demonstrating competence, taking risks, treating people fairly, and innovating. Jesus and others provide us a model of servant leadership and show us that the powerful do not always win – that love and kindness can undermine hard power. Napoleon, Wellington, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Lee, Churchill, Martin Luther King, and many others show us contrasting models of leadership. One key point is that none of these leaders was perfect. Each had flaws and often deep personal character weaknesses. The experience of failure, rejection, suffering, and overcoming terrible trials and self doubt is, I think, common to all great leaders.

Churchill once said, “Success is one failure after another without losing enthusiasm.” Unless you have been in the position of making consequential decisions for which you will be held accountable, or in a position where you and you alone will be held responsible for the success or failure of an organization over which you may, in fact, have very little authority, it will be difficult to understand the pressure and stress leaders must learn to live with. This is especially true today in our ultra-polarized environment on campuses and off. It is easier to criticize, protest, and deconstruct than it is to build something and to create a compelling vision that others follow and make real.

Many of the leaders we study were involved in war and conflict. Why does this teach us about leadership? Because it is an experience of great trial and human strife, but it is also about action, resolve, and resilience. Clausewitz said that any human interaction produces a “friction” to be overcome, a “fog” in which decisions must be made in the context of ambiguity, and the need for “audacity” to be decisive in action. But the classics also show the enduring truth that “hubris always brings nemeses” and that the wings of Icarus always eventually melt.

Read Part 4 of the Q&A series: Innovation & Growth at Hendrix


Members of the Class of 2016 land jobs before graduation

When Ted Boland first arrived at Drury as a business student four years ago, he figured his most likely job path would be in the family real estate business in Washington, Missouri.

But after he graduates next week with a degree in finance, he’ll head to Bentonville, Arkansas, to work in Walmart’s corporate software department. He’s been able to breathe easy all year – he was offered the job last summer following an internship with Walmart.

“It was pretty interesting to walk out of there with my future laid out before me,” Boland says. “It almost felt too good to be true.”

Boland isn’t alone. Graduates from disciplines across the university often find the connections they make during internships, through engaged learning opportunities or with Drury alumni – not to mention their academic preparation – help them land fulfilling jobs after graduation.

Drury’s most recent annual survey of 2014-15 graduates found that nine out of 10 were either employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. Of those who were employed, 89 percent described themselves as holding a professional position.

Left to right: Brandon White, Kelsey Pressnall and Ted Boland.

Left to right: Brandon White, Kelsey Pressnall and Ted Boland.

Kelsey Pressnall, who majored in theater and arts administration, has not one, but three jobs lined up for the next 15 months. She’ll be an arts administration intern and housing manager for a theater in Ohio, act on stage in West Virginia, and then work in an arts administration role at a theater in Lexington, Kentucky.

It’s not unusual for employment in her field to be more “gig” based than other fields.

“You have to be okay with change if you want to be successful in this field,” she says. “And I had several other offers, too, so it was nice to be able to choose the ones I liked.”

Bri Hopkins is also an arts administration major, but she’s headed for the corporate world as a recruiter with Global Insight in Kansas City. Recruiting is a passion she discovered as a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. A natural people person, she will soon assist Fortune 500 companies in finding and hiring high-quality employees.

“It’s not what I’d planned on doing, but if there’s anything that Drury has taught me it’s that when opportunity knocks you need to open the door,” she says. “Even though you plan things, sometimes there’s a different plan and you just have to go with it.”

Bri Hopkins

Bri Hopkins

Brandon White, an architecture major from Colorado, is staying in town. An internship and part-time role at Sapp Design Associates Architects will become a full-time job after he earns his five-year masters degree in architecture next week.

“It feels awesome,” he says of landing the job, and he credits Drury’s personalized atmosphere with helping him grow and thrive during his time as a student.

“The Hammons School of Architecture taught me how to be a good architect, but Drury really taught me how to be a good person,” he says. “Because of Drury’s size I was able to easily connect with friends, and I can also feel really comfortable with people I don’t even really know. It feels like a community, and it created an opportunity for me to grow.”


Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. 

Architecture students to present visions for the future of C-Street site

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2016 — The Hammons School of Architecture’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) has spent the past four months working with community partners to envision concepts for the long-term redevelopment of The Kitchen, Inc. campus on Commercial Street.

The fourth and final public forum in this process will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 10 at the Savoy Ballroom, 224 E. Commercial St. Students and faculty from the CCS will present and discuss potential visions for the 3.5-acre site. Media are invited to attend.

The CCS has worked in collaboration with The Kitchen Inc., Commercial Club, C-Street CID, Landmarks Board, University of Missouri-Extension, City of Springfield Planning and Development, and citizens of Springfield throughout the process.

The intent of this collaborative endeavor was not to identify or choose a specific redevelopment plan for the site. Instead, the process was a way to explore issues associated with the redevelopment of the properties, explore the viability of the various approaches, and invigorate the public discussion of the potential of the properties and surrounding Commercial Street context. Additionally, it serves as a way to document the findings in a graphic and written manner that may be used by the future redevelopment partnership.

The Kitchen is in the process of moving out of its facilities located at the Commercial Street campus and decentralizing its operations throughout the Springfield community. The campus on Commercial Street contains many diverse structures that are important to the physical integrity of the streetscape of Commercial Street, to the historical context of north Springfield, and anchor the important Benton/Commercial intersection at the east gateway to the Commercial Street district. The redevelopment of this large complex is of great importance to The Kitchen Inc., City of Springfield, Commercial Club, C-Street CID, Landmarks Board, and residents of Midtown, Commercial Street, and Woodland Heights neighborhoods.

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 Contact: Jay Garrott, Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Community Studies: (417) 873-7371 or

Three Drury faculty members appointed to key academic leadership roles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2016 — Drury University has appointed three faculty members to key leadership positions that will impact students’ classroom experience and bolster the school’s liberal arts tradition.



Rebecca Miller, associate professor of art and art history, will become the new director of Drury’s Arts Administration Program starting this fall. A Drury faculty member since 2003, Miller brings considerable and impressive credentials as a photographer and artist to the program. She also brings a commitment to creating career paths for students who want to link their love of the arts with additional interests on the administrative side of the field, such as marketing, public relations, business and strategic planning. Miller was formerly the director of the Pool Art Center Gallery for six years and will be coordinating the C-Street Gallery with arts administration students.



Dr. Karen Spence has been named the director of the Drury CORE: Engaging Our World. CORE is Drury’s general education curriculum, which emphasizes the global connections of all areas of study and prioritizes applied learning through direct engagement in communities at home and around the world. Spence is the associate dean of the Hammons School of Architecture, where she is responsible for recruitment, mentoring and advising. A strong advocate for the liberal arts, Spence has also played a key role in the university’s ongoing strategic enrollment management process during the last two years.



Dr. Ted Vaggalis has been named director of new faculty orientation. Vaggalis is an associate professor of philosophy and political science. The role will see Vaggalis leading efforts to welcome and integrate new faculty to the Drury community.