Drury alumna being inducted into SPS Hall of Fame

Drury alumna and emeritus trustee, Betty Cole Dukert will be inducted into the Springfield Public Schools’ Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the White River Convention Center.

Betty Cole Dukert

Dukert got her start in journalism at Springfield Senior High School as a member of the Quill and Scroll club. When the new frontier of television broadcasting emerged, she became a female pioneer in the television news industry, spending 41 years working as executive producer of NBC’s Meet the Press.

Although Dukert’s family moved between Missouri and Oklahoma several times during her adolescence, she considers Springfield her hometown. She attended Rountree Elementary School and Jarrett Junior High School, and graduated from Springfield Senior High School, now known as Central High School.

At age 13, she knew that she wanted to pursue a career in journalism so she set her sights on obtaining the education and experience required to be successful. Dukert attended Lindenwood University and Drury University prior to completing her journalism degree at the University of Missouri.

After working for KICK radio in Springfield, Dukert made her way to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a secretary for an NBC executive who later helped her make the transition into television. She spent the bulk of her professional life working on Meet The Press until she retired in 1998.

A Trustee Emeritus at Drury University, Dukert returns to Springfield at least once a year. She is the recipient of such awards as the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri, the First Amendment Service Award of the National Radio and Television News Directors’ Foundation and the Distinguished Alumna Award and an Honorary Doctorate from Drury University.


Story excerpted from the Springfield Public Schools’ newsletter.

Drury walk will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 16, 2012 — October is Mental Health Awareness Month. In recognition, Drury University’s Artist in Residence Patrick Mureithi has joined with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Springfield to sponsor a charity walk on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 4-7:30 p.m. at Harrison Stadium.

Patrick Mureithi

“According to the American College Health Association, the second highest cause of death for youth age 15-24, college campuses included, is suicide,” Mureithi said. “This rate has tripled since the 1950s.” You can watch Mureithi talk more about the event and who it will help in this video.

The event, titled “Walk Until Hope Is Found,” will also premiere Mureithi’s latest project, “Kenya: Until Hope Is Found,” a film chronicling Kenyans’ attempts to recover from post-election violence that occurred in 2007-08. The documentary will be shown at dusk on a large inflatable screen that will be erected on the Harrison Stadium field.

Registration is $10, which includes an event T-shirt. Participants are asked to find friends, family, and others to sponsor their walk; those who raise $100 will get a free T-shirt (registration form: PDF). Funds raised will go to NAMI as well as to public screenings of Patrick’s film in Kenya.

For more information, go to http://www.untilhopeisfound.org/.


Drury to host third annual Ecopreneurship Conference

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 15, 2012 — Drury University will host the third annual Ecopreneurship Conference: Urban Opportunities in a Changing World on Thursday, Oct. 25 in the Hoblit Suite of Freeman Hall starting at 5:30 p.m. The cost is $15, which includes dinner.

The Ecopreneruship Conference, also known as the Environmental Entrepreneurship Conference, will feature a panel discussion of how cities need to prepare for a world with scarce resources and opportunities that entrepreneurs should look for during this scarcity.

Panel members include:

  • Stuart Murr, the owner of Smart Designs, a company committed to the design and construction of high-quality, environmentally responsible homes. Stuart grew up in Cabool, Mo. and graduated from Drury University in 1997 with a bachelor’s in architecture. He is a member of the US Green Building Coalition-Missouri Heartland Chapter, The James River Basin Partnership and the Ozarks Green Building Coalition.

  • Roddy Rogers, current manager of Water Treatment and Supply for City Utilities of Springfield, Mo. He is also the president of the Tri States Water Resource coalition, which is seeking to establish a water supply source for the region. Rogers has participated in volunteer engineering projects in several developing countries, and he has published or presented more than 25 technical papers.

  • Social media consultant and 2008 Drury graduate Erin Swanson. She has vast work experience with Water.org, a global nonprofit dedicated to helping communities get safe water and sanitation and founder of a social media, marketing and communications company ExplodingSoul LLC. In addition to speaking at the Ecopreneurship Conference, she is presenting as part of Drury’s Theme Year: Voices Unbound: New Media and the Future of Democracy on Oct. 25 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall.

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and the President’s Council on Sustainability are co-sponsors of the event.

Dr. Kelley Still

“The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship is committed to infusing entrepreneurial thinking and skills across all academic areas on campus, empowering our students to achieve their dreams and improve the world,” said Dr. Kelley Still, executive director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship.

Those interested in attending the Ecopreneurship Conference can register online by visiting www.drury.edu/ejc/eco. For more information, contact Tammy Rogers via email at tammy@drury.edu or by phone at 417-873-6357.


A Breech internship leads to a job in New York City

Drury senior Maurilinn Waneka’s philosophy for success is: If you want to get something done, go do it. When it came time to fulfill her internship requirement in the Breech School of Business, she aimed for one in the world’s financial capital, and it paid off with a 10-week summer internship and an eventual job offer.

Mauri Waneka, Breech School of Business student

“Reputation is everything in the banking business,” said Waneka. “It is nearly impossible to get your foot in the door for a Wall Street banking internship if you don’t attend one of the company’s targeted schools.” As a proven hard worker and good student at Drury, Waneka tapped into her available resources: the professors on Drury’s campus. She spoke with Economics Professor Steve Mullins about investment banking who suggested she speak with Dr. Clif Petty who had a former student in the field. Kyle Carleton graduated from Drury’s Breech School of Business in 1999 and had risen to vice president in BNP Paribas, a global banking firm. After an hour-long phone call between Carleton and Waneka, Carleton made sure her resume got to the right people. That led to a phone interview, an interview in New York City and an internship in the summer of 2012.

“Mauri got the job because of Mauri, but you have to get a chance,” said Petty, Drury professor of management. “Having a person inside the firm saying, ‘I know of a person who would be a good candidate,’ can help you get that chance. Kyle’s reputation within BNP set the bar for Drury graduates and that helps the next graduate looking for a career.”

“During the internship, I was asked to perform and network. Drury’s atmosphere teaches you the importance of networking, and I was able to use those skills that I had developed,” Waneka said. After the internship, Waneka was offered and accepted a job with BNP Paribas that will be waiting for her when she graduates in May 2013. She credits her two managers at BNP Paribas, Maxine Hughes and Doug Sue, as the keys to her success, “They helped me know who to meet and what to do. They became my support network.”

When she returned to Drury for her senior year, Waneka visited Dr. Mullins and Dr. Petty to thank them and update them on her internship experience. “When you are trying to do something like this, you need people on your team,” said Waneka.


Story by Amber Perdue, a senior public relations and advertising major at Drury.

A real Drury education in a virtual world

Have you ever dreamed of owning an island? Drury University is living the dream and using it to deliver education to its students. Since 2009, Drury has operated a Drury Island in Second Life, a 3D virtual world that is free for users.

Steve Hynds, director of online education at Drury, has been teaching online since 2000. In 2009, he was at a conference exploring ways to more efficiently train faculty for online teaching. He discovered Second Life and became interested in its potential with college students because of the immersive qualities of virtual worlds.

Drury's Shewmaker Gates on its island in Second Life

Drury offers five courses in Second Life each semester. Student’s avatars attend class on Drury Island . The entire course is conducted in Second Life in virtual classroom space that may or may not look like traditional classroom space. Professors and students talk with each other through headsets, and, while they share the same virtual space, the students and professors may be hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Second Life courses can include lectures, presentations, and virtual field trips. In the social psychology course she teaches, Jackie Welborn has the students conduct social research. She tells them to change their avatar’s gender, race or appearance and then socialize on the mainland to see if non-Drury avatars in Second Life treat them differently.

“Everything in Second Life has been created by it residents. You’re only limited by your imagination,” said Hynds.

Hynds teaches the introductory course students take to become familiar with Second Life. The technology removes some education barriers, such as distance, for non-campus based learners. Drury has found that younger students – digital natives, so to speak – are quick to embrace Second Life.

The medium could allow a student in California to take a class on the civil rights movement from a professor in Alabama as they re-create the walk across the bridge in Selma.


Story originally written by Michelle Apuzzio for the New American Colleges & Universities’ Newsletter

Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra places 3rd in national American Prize competition

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 5, 2012 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra was recently awarded 3rd place in its division in the national American Prize competition, placing behind orchestras from New York and Los Angeles.

Founded in 2009, the American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, national competitions designed to recognize and reward the verybest in the performing arts in the United States. Contenders from a variety of schools and churches and at the community and professional level compete for this annual award.

SDCO performs in Hammons Hall in 2008

The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) is southwest Missouri’s regional community orchestra. Founded in 2005, the 90-plus-member ensemble comprises a combination of Drury students, students from most of Southwest Missouri’s regional universities, professional performers and educators, and dedicated community members. Now in its 8th season, the SDCO presents a yearly four-concert season of orchestral masterworks—all free and open to public. Since its founding, 8,000 music lovers have enjoyed the orchestra’s free concert series events.

SDCO is committed to its engagement with the region’s school and elder communities and this year has begun two new initiatives focused on youth: Symphony in the Schools and the new SDCO Young Artist Competition.


Moving across continents and an ocean to attend Drury

It’s over 8,000 miles from Nairobi, Kenya to Springfield but that’s how far Peter Onyango traveled to attend Drury. Now, a permanent resident in the United States, he is set to graduate in December 2012 with a biology degree and then head to medical school.

“I want to help people back in Africa. Help people who don’t have access to healthcare,” said Onyango.

Peter Onyango in Drury's Olin Library. Photo by Jess Heugel.

Why did Onyango move so far to attend college? “In Kenya, there is a long waiting list to get into university. In the United States, you can go straight to college out of high school. There are so many opportunities,” he said.

After visiting his cousin who lived in Springfield, Onyango enrolled in another university but he soon transferred to Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies. He worked during the day and needed to attend classes exclusively at night. “College in the U.S. is so different from Kenya. You can work and go to school because the schedule is so flexible.”

Onyango, 26, is now just months away from a bachelor’s degree that will lead him to his ultimate goal of becoming a doctor, and the support system at Drury has helped him get there. “My instructors have given me advice on what classes to take and how to complete my degree in the shortest amount of time,” Onyango said. “The teacher-to-student ratio has been great, not just in the classroom, but it helps me retain the information, as well.”


Drury to recognize the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 1, 2012 —Drury University will observe the thirtieth anniversary of The American Library Association’s Banned Books Week on Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students, faculty and staff will read selections from many previously banned books on the steps of Olin Library. The event is free and the public is invited to attend and listen.

Members of the Drury community will take part in this event by reading excerpts from books that have been banned both recently and in years past. Included on this list are: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Slaughterhouse-Five, The Catcher in the Rye and Gone With the Wind.

“This event has become an annual tradition at Drury,” said Dr. Katherine Gilbert, assistant professor of English. “Our students, staff, and faculty alike love having the opportunity to read aloud from works that have shaped both their intellectual, ethical, and imaginative growth. It’s an inspiring day, a celebration of the right to read.”

The English honor’s society, Sigma Tau Delta, organized Drury’s banned book reading.

Celebrated all over the country, The American Library Association’s (ALA) Banned Books Week began in 1982 to draw attention to an increasing number of challenges seen in communities nationwide. American classics including To Kill a Mockingbird and The Color Purple are featured alongside modern-day bestsellers such as Twilight and Harry Potter on lists of frequently challenged books.

According to the American Library Association’s website, “While books have been and continue to be banned, part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.”

Additional information is available online at the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week site.

Media Contact: Dr. Katherine Gilbert, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Office: 417-873-6941, Email: kgilbert@drury.edu


Drury’s Theme Year invites discussion of online and social media usage

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept 28, 2012 —Drury will host the Director of the Pew Internet Project Lee Rainie and the owner of DIOSA Communications Heather Mansfield on Oct. 4 and 5 as part of the Theme Year series Voices Unbound: New Media and the Future of Democracy. Rainie will present in Clara Thompson Hall on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. and Mansfield’s discussion at Drury on C-Street is Friday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Drury on C-Street is located at 233 E. Commercial street. Both events are free and open to the public.

The audience will join Rainie in discussion of how Americans use technology and how tech users function in a new social operating system of “networked individualism.” His new book, Networked: The New Social Operating System, co-authored with Barry Wellman, looks at the ways broadband Internet, social networking, and mobile connectivity have affected the lives of “networked individuals” and the challenges and pleasures of living connected lives. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan “fact tank” that studies the social impact of the Internet.

Mansfield’s appearance is one of five Friday night “Creative Conversations” with local innovators in the world of new media. DIOSA Communications is a one-person company that specializes in social media and mobile technology webinars and trainings for nonprofit organizations. Mansfield’s additional communication experience includes being a principal blogger for the Nonprofit Tech 2.0 blog and authoring Social Media for Social Good. She dedicates her time to helping nonprofits around the world use social media to their advantage.

Both presentations are part of Drury University’s 2012-2013 Theme Year series, Voices Unbound: New Media and the Future of Democracy, which is devoted to exploring how media and technology are changing the way we communicate and interact, and the implications for journalism and democracy.

For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/voicesunbound or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Jonathan Groves at (417) 873-7347.


Drury’s Delta Mu Delta Honor Society to induct its 20th class

Springfield, Mo., Sept. 27, 2012 – The Zeta Epsilon chapter of Delta Mu Delta in Drury’s Breech School of Business will induct its 20th class of honorees on Oct. 1.  The students who have accepted memberships are: Wadha Al Ghamdi, Katie Battalia, Claire Bryant, Sarah Burrows, Casey Carroll, Jessica Dillard, Bradley Hollenbeck, Carly Jelinek, Brady Nelson, Karen Denise Ortega Chusan, Devin Parrish, Beth Schramka, Rebecca Senn, Zach Thomann and Chengda Xin.

Delta Mu Delta is a is an international honor society that recognizes academic excellence in business administration programs at Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) accredited schools. In order to beinvited to join, each student candidate must have either junior or senior standing and be in the top 20 percent of his or her respective class.

Dr. Steve Mullins

In addition to inducting student members, the chapter will also present Dr. Steve Mullins, a Drury economics professor, with an honorary membership in recognition of his 30 years with Drury University. The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 in the Breech School of Business.

Media Contact:
Tiffany Cossey, CPA, JD, LLM
Breech School of Business
Drury University
(417) 873-7383 (office)
(417) 873-7537 (fax)
Email: tcossey@drury.edu