Real life crime scene investigations in a Drury class

The 2010 movie, Conviction tells the true story of Betty Anne Waters, a high school dropout who puts herself through college and law school to work to clear the name of her wrongfully convicted brother, Kenny. The movie also tells the story of The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Barry Scheck and others, the not-for-profit organization that works to exonerate wrongfully convicted defendants through DNA evidence.

Photo: The timeline developed by Carver and her students. Photo by: Jess Heugel

Missouri has an Innocence Project chapter, The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP), which serves six states, and Drury students taking The Innocence Project Clinic class (CRIM 365) regularly work on real cases involving inmates’ claims of wrongful conviction. The MIP’s waiting list is very long and for an inmate’s case to be accepted, defendants cannot have a private attorney and must have exhausted all post-conviction options.

“We are given cases from the University of Missouri at Kansas City law school where The MIP is located. We’re not trying to prove an inmate is innocent. Instead, we are trying to evaluate the case evidence and let the chips fall where they may,” said Jeanie Carver, Drury adjunct faculty member of criminology who teaches the Innocence Project Clinic class. “Evidence has no opinion, nor point of view. As forensic science consultants we are charged with evaluating the scientific evidence from each case, regardless of which ‘side’ is helped or hurt.”

In the spring of 2012, Carver’s Drury class was assigned a child death case that required the creation of a timeline. Students poured over depositions and trial transcripts over dinner together at Carver’s house each week. Their efforts resulted in the development of an 8-foot long timeline that provided a minute-by-minute account of the locations and activities of each person of interest in the case. It soon became clear from the work of the students in the class that the crime (or accident) had occurred within a very narrow 45-minute window thereby considerably reducing the possible explanations for this child’s death. Based upon the Drury students’ work, Carver will submit a final report on this case to the MIP.

“I tell my students that I want them to become educated skeptics. You can’t know the whole story until you’ve evaluated all of the evidence. Were snitches involved? Was evidence collected correctly? You have to ask dozens of questions to become educated enough to be skeptical. Only after each hypothesis has been explored can you offer a final, science-based opinion.” Carver said.


Story by Mark Miller, associate director of marketing and communications at Drury.

Drury announces its final three presidential candidates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 24, 2012 — Drury University announced today, Sept. 24, the final three candidates for Drury President. The candidates are:

  • Dr. David Manuel

    Dr. David Manuel – Manuel is currently the chancellor and a professor of Economics at Louisiana State University at Alexandria. Prior to working at LSU Alexandria, Manuel was the vice president of academic affairs at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Manuel holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in economics from the University of Mississippi. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Nicholls State.
    Dr. David Manuel biography.

  • Dr. David McInally

    Dr. David McInally – Currently the executive vice president and treasurer at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., McInally joined Allegheny in 1986 where he has held several positions at the college, including dean of students and vice president for finance and planning. McInally holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Pittsburgh. He also has master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Akron.
    Dr. David McInally biography.

  • Dr. David Steele

    Dr. David Steele – Steele is currently the dean of the college of business at San José State University in California. Dr. Steele has also been the dean of the colleges of business at Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and at the Florida Institute of Technology. Besides his work in academia, Dr. Steele has extensive business experience, including a stint as president of Chevron Latin America and as an executive consultant to several startups. A native of Venezuela, Dr. Steele received a bachelor’s and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Birmingham University in England.
    Dr. David Steele biography.

“During this year-long search, the committee has focused on the process and that has yielded us these outstanding finalists,” said James Bone, chairman of the Drury Presidential Search Committee. “Through the use of technology, social media, public forums and in-person interviews, the search committee has engaged its stakeholders, determined what the campus and greater Drury community would like to see in a president, and whittled a large field of excellent candidates down to three. Now, the hardest decision is in front of the board of trustees as it tries to decide which of these outstanding individuals should become the next leader of Drury University.”

All three candidates will make multi-day visits to campus beginning on Sunday, Sept. 29. Candidates will meet with students, staff, faculty, alumni and Springfield business and civic leaders. Their visits will include opportunities for students, staff, faculty, and alumni to meet with the candidates and learn about each one’s vision for the future of Drury University. Following the on-campus interviews, the search committee will recommend one candidate to the board of trustees. The board of trustees will hold a final vote during the board of trustees meeting Oct. 24-26. An announcement regarding Drury’s next president will follow.

The search for the 17th Drury president began in August of 2011 when current Drury President Todd Parnell announced that he would retire in May of 2013. The first presidential search committee meeting convened in November of 2011. The search committee is made up of nine board of trustee members, six faculty members, four staff members, one student and one alumna. 65 people from diverse backgrounds applied for the position, and, after a series of phone and video interviews, five were invited to in-person, off-campus interviews the week of Sept. 10, and the final three emerged from that series of interviews. For more on the complete presidential search process, please visit the Presidential Search Website.

President Parnell took over as Drury’s interim president on June 1, 2007 following the resignation of Dr. John Sellars. A 1969 Drury graduate, Parnell applied for the presidency and was named Drury’s 16th president on Jan. 31, 2008. Parnell will be 65 when he retires in May of 2013.

Media Contact: Mark Miller, M.A., Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, Email:


MEDIA ADVISORY: Drury to announce its final Presidential candidates on Monday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m.

What: Announcement of the three finalists for Drury President

When: Monday, September 24 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Reed Auditorium of the Trustee Science Center on Drury’s campus.

Who: The Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, James Bone, will speak.

Why: Drury is seeking its 17th president. The search process began in August 2011 when Drury President Todd Parnell announced that he would retire in May of 2013. Parnell became interim president on June 1, 2007 and was named president on Jan. 31, 2008.

Parking: The Trustee Science Center (TSC) is located on the southwest corner of Drury Lane and Bob Barker Boulevard. Parking is available in Lot 2 to the north of the TSC or in Lot 1 to the northeast of the TSC.

Media Contact: Mark Miller, M.A., Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, Email:


Drury alumnus shares his worldwide mission for justice on Founders Day as Drury celebrates its 139th birthday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 20, 2012 — James Silkenat, president-elect of the American Bar Association (ABA) and a former member of the Board of Directors for the World Justice Project (WJP) will speak at Drury University on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. in Stone Chapel as part of Founders Day. The discussion will focus on his experiences with the American Bar Association and WJP. The event is free and open to the public.

Following his talk, Drury University will present Silkenat with the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. “James has been deeply involved in promoting the rule of law in the former Soviet republics after the Berlin Wall fell and promoting legal rights across the world,” said Dr. Richard Schur, the Drury professor who nominated Silkenat for his honorary doctorate. “As a 1969 Drury graduate, he represents the highest ideal of what we would like all of our students to achieve.”

Following Silkenat’s talk, Drury will host a picnic lunch outside the Findlay Student Center from noon-1 p.m. After the lunch, Drury will celebrate the 139th anniversary of Drury’s founding. President Todd Parnell will ring a bell to mark the occasion just as President Nathan Morrison did on Sept. 25, 1873, to announce that Drury was ready to enroll students.

Founders Day is also the kickoff to the Voices Unbound Service Project. A ballot will list many of the challenges facing the community, such as poverty and hunger. Beginning on Sept. 25 and running through Make a Difference Day on Oct. 27, Drury students and community can vote on the different community challenges via Facebook and Twitter. The Drury community will take on whichever challenge receives the most votes through a large-scale service project during Theme Week (April 8-12).

In addition to his work at the American Bar Association, Silkenat has also served as legal counsel at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation. He is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute, which develops model laws for state and national governments. Silkenat is a partner at Sullivan and Worchester LLC in New York and is the author or editor of 12 books and more than 100 articles on law and public policy.

Silkenat received Drury’s Outstanding Alumni Award for Career in 2000, and in 2007 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ABA Section of International Law. He also received the Diversity Champion Award in 2009 from the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Silkenat’s visit is co-sponsored by Springfield law firm Lathrop and Gage and Drury’s Office of Alumni and Development.

Silkenat’s speech is 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 or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Jonathan Groves at (417) 873-7347.


Drury partners with local colleges and universities on academic and service projects

SPRINGFIELD, MOThe five Springfield-area universities will collaborate on two projects, one academic and one service-oriented. The leaders of Drury University, Evangel University, Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) and Southwest Baptist University announced two joint initiatives today (Sept. 17) at the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

The five presidents/chancellors signed agreements regarding creation of a Foreign Languages Institute and announced plans to work together on an annual community service project. This year that project will be Meals a Million in November sponsored by Friends Against Hunger.

The five presidents/chancellors included Drury President Todd Parnell, Evangel President Robert H. Spence, Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III, OTC Chancellor Hal L. Higdon and Southwest Baptist President C. Pat Taylor.

Foreign Languages Institute meets regional demand

Missouri State University will establish the Foreign Languages Institute (FLI) attheJim D. Morris Center and will allow students from Evangel, Drury, Southwest Baptist and OTC to enroll in classes offered through the FLI.

By consolidating some of the language resources into one location, the institute will be able to offer more language options than any school would be able to offer individually. The first two new languages that institute staff leadership hope to be able to offer are Portuguese and Italian. The institute will also offer additional sections of Chinese and Arabic for the universities who presently cannot offer those subjects.

“Southwest Missouri continues to undergo dramatic change,” said Smart. “Its population is growing, its economy expanding. The region is moving beyond the relative isolation of the past in order to engage more fully not only the national but also the global society. Language education and training are crucial elements in MSU’s focus on public affairs and its efforts to increase cultural competence.”

During the announcement, the presidents recognized the need for the teaching of foreign languages. They also recognized that as individual universities, it is hard to get classes of sufficient size, particularly in the less commonly taught languages, to be economical.

“We appreciate the opportunity for collaboration and are very pleased that our students will be able to engage in language studies beyond those which we are able to offer,” said Spence. “The Foreign Languages Institute will benefit Evangel students in their business and church-related careers.”

The anticipated market for the Foreign Languages Institute will include traditional Missouri State students, other higher education institutions, regional and state businesses, government agencies, school districts, and non-profit organizations.

“The creation of the Foreign Languages Institute will meet an increasing need in our area,” said Higdon. “As we continue to grow, education in foreign languages and cultures will become crucial to doing business, engaging our community, and supporting southwest Missouri’s position in the state and national economy.”

The FLI is a partnership between MSU’s international programs and the modern and classical languages department and will collaborate with other university units, including Missouri State Outreach, the Management Development Institute, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, Ozarks Public Television and KSMU Radio, to develop innovative and targeted language training programs.

Schools to pool volunteer resources for Meals a Million
The university presidents/chancellors also announced that they are joining together on a fall service project, which they plan to do annually.

This year’s project is to provide more than 1,000 volunteers for Meals a Million, a three-day event to package 1,111,111 meals for impoverished people from Nov. 9-11 at the Springfield Expo Center. (College of the Ozarks is also participating in the Meals a Million project.)

According to Friends Against Hunger, which sponsors Meals a Million, each meal is a vegetarian recipe that provides a rich source of easily digestible proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins with nine essential amino acids. The combination was developed by food scientists to help the undernourished recover from malnutrition. The meals are intentionally easy to prepare, requiring only the ability to boil water. The meals are distributed both domestically and internationally through non-governmental organizations.

“I’m encouraged and optimistic about the future when I see all of our institutions coming together for the benefit of our students and the community,” said Parnell. “Meals a Million and the Foreign Languages Institute are just the latest examples of how the Ozarks’ robust and diverse higher education community is an asset to our region.”

“SBU is extremely pleased to participate in the Foreign Languages Institute with our colleagues from other area universities,” said Taylor. “I appreciate Missouri State University’s leadership for providing this opportunity for our students to study languages that we could not offer on our campus. And SBU students are excited to be involved with Meals a Million. This type of project teaches students that they can make a difference and meet needs in our community.”


Drury is named a Military Friendly School

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 17, 2012 — Drury University is a Military Friendly School according to Victory Media, a media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The list honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students, and ensure their success on campus.

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows Drury University’s commitment to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media. “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

The complete list of the 1,739 colleges that were recognized as military friendly schools can be found at Each college, university, and trade school on this year’s list exhibits leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.

In 1947, Drury began offering night classes in Springfield to address the needs of the military for returning veterans after World War II. Before Drury offered classes at Fort Leonard Wood, soldiers stationed at the fort would bus to Springfield to take classes from Drury faculty.

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 Veterans Affairs-approved schools nationwide. A full story and detailed list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools will be highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October.

Media Contact: Marti Marlin, Academic Advisor, Veterans Affairs Representative, Office: (417) 873-6881, E-mail:


MEDIA ADVISORY: Drury to host Constitution Day discussion

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 14, 2012 — On Monday, Sept. 17, Drury will celebrate Constitution Day with a brown bag panel of Drury faculty. The event is from noon-1 p.m. in room 204 of the Findlay Student Center.

The cross-discipline panel will discuss the role of the Constitution in their work and their teaching.

A few faculty members will be available before the panel discussion to offer their thoughts on the Constitution and its relevance more than 200 years after ratification.


Drury is ranked 11th in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 11, 2012 — Drury University is ranked 11th among Midwest Regional Universities in the United States in the 2013 edition of the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2013. The rankings can be viewed at

Regional universities are defined by U.S. News as institutions that provide a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, but few, if any, doctoral programs. In the 2012 edition of the college guide, Drury was ranked 10th in the Midwest. In 2010 and 2011, Drury was 11th.

“While no external ranking can fully capture the essence of the Drury experience, whenever an unbiased, respected third party tells an institution that it is doing a good job, it is a source of pride,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president of academic affairs. “Drury students, faculty, staff members and alumni should be proud knowing that we are highly regarded by our peers, and it is gratifying to know that we’re one of only two schools in the state ranked in the top 20.”

The 2013 edition of the Best Colleges guidebook is available at and will be on newsstands September 18.

To learn more about the methodology behind the rankings visit:

Media Contact: Mark Miller, M.A., Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail:


MASS Design Group’s work to be featured at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 10, 2012 — The work of Boston’s MASS Design Group will be exhibited at the Hammons School of Architecture from Sept. 14 – Nov. 16. The exhibition, “Buildings that Heal: Towards an Architecture (of Impact),” will open on Friday, Sept. 14 from 4-6 p.m. Michael Murphy, the founding partner and executive director of MASS Design Group, will present a lecture at the Hammons School of Architecture on Monday, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m.

Based in Boston, but with additional offices in Los Angeles, Rwanda, and Haiti, the non-profit MASS Design Group offers a new model for architecture’s engagement with communities and with social issues. Combining award-winning design with a commitment to collaboration, the practice aims to “deliver a more efficient, effective, and empowering built environment” to communities in need. This requires “building the systems needed to address the social determinants of architecture; in particular making the facility serve as an engine for economic growth and addressing long-term sustainability.”

The prominent design magazine Contract, in naming MASS Design Group its 2012 Designer of the Year, recognized that the firm is “on a trajectory to continue designing for dignity, to improve people’s lives through design, and to be a primary example for how designers can rethink their role in a world of increasingly global impact.” Drury University is proud to host this visually compelling exhibition of the work of this important firm.

Media Contact: Robert Weddle, AIA, Professor of Architecture, Office: (417) 873-7450,


POLITICO reporter discusses politics and online news at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 10, 2012 —Former KYTV and current POLITICO reporter David Catanese will speak at Drury on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall as part of the university’s Theme Year series, Voices Unbound: New Media and the Future of Democracy. Catanese will discuss current politics and his experiences on the campaign trail while working for an online-only news organization. This is event is free and open to the public.

POLITICO is a multimedia outlet that delivers American political journalism. Catanese is currently a reporter for the organization, and, combined with his time as a political and general assignment reporter for local NBC affiliate KYTV, he has covered everything from ice storms to Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign in Iowa. Catanese has his own blog on the POLITICO website.

Drury University’s 2012-2013 Theme Year series, Voices Unbound: New Media and the Future of Democracy, 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 or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Jonathan Groves at (417) 873-7347.