Drury to participate in its fourth build with ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 19, 2011 — As ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition brings its army of builders, renovators and cameras to Joplin on Oct. 19, Drury students, faculty and staff are part of the crew that will help the city rebuild after it was ravaged by a deadly tornado on May 22. Extreme Makeover Home Edition will work in Joplin Oct. 19-25.

“This is a great experience for our students and the Drury community to be a part of something larger than them,” said Traci Sooter, Drury architecture professor and organizer for Drury’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition efforts.

Traci Sooter, Drury Architecture Professor

“I have one student who said she specifically came to Drury because of our involvement with Extreme Makeover Home Edition. So, she was thrilled to find out that she’s actually going to participate in a build.”

The main feature Drury will work on is not a house, but a tribute in the city. Additionally, after the fall break weekend, Drury students will board buses for Joplin to participate in a “smart mob.” A smart mob is similar to a flash mob, but rather than a dance, these students will “do good” in the Joplin community. Dozens of Drury students are expected to converge on Drury’s Joplin project on the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 24. The “smart mob” buses will leave Drury at approximately 12:30 p.m.

“The smart mob is a great opportunity for those students that want to help out Joplin in a compressed time frame,” says Dr. Regina Waters, associate professor of communication who helped organize the smart mob. “We’ll board buses on Monday and, with dozens of hands, work feverishly to help our friends to the west re-build their community. The energy and excitement our students have for this project has been inspiring.”

Extreme Makeover's Ty Pennington videotapes Sooter (in sunglasses) and her students in 2009

In 2005, Sooter and Drury students worked on a bunkhouse at Camp Barnabas in Purdy, Mo. as part of an Extreme Makeover Home Edition build. Drury was invited back in 2007 to work on a home in Murfreesboro, Ark. In 2009, the Drury community worked closer to home in Ash Grove, Mo. as they built, what Sooter called, “a tricked out” chicken coop for the Hampton family.

Media Contact in Joplin for Drury University: Traci Sooter, AIA, Associate Professor of Architecture, Office: (417) 873-7416, Mobile: (417) 234-6405, E-mail: tsooter@drury.edu

Drury Media Contact: Mark Miller, M.A., Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, Work: (417) 873-7390, -E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu


The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its 9th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. Episodes currently air Sunday from 7-8 p.m., CT on ABC. Beginning October 21, 2011, episodes will air Friday nights from 7-8 p.m., CT on ABC.

Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

More than 5,300 students attend Drury for the fall 2011 semester

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 19, 2011 — Drury University has its third highest fall enrollment of all time with 5,371 students for the 2011 fall semester following the census of the school’s multiple campuses and online programs. This figure includes adult evening and online programs, graduate classes and the traditional Day School.

Drury’s traditional undergraduate Day School has its second highest enrollment of all-time with 1,618 students, which is just 13 shy of the 2010 record of 1,631 students.

“These numbers reflect the value of a Drury education,” says Dawn Hiles, Drury vice president of enrollment management. “From their first campus visit until long after they’ve graduated, the connections a Drury student makes will benefit them throughout their lives.”

Drury’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies has its third highest fall enrollment. CGCS has 3,283 undergraduate students taking 33,114 credit hours. Besides the main campus in Springfield, CGCS offers courses through nine locations across southwest Missouri in addition to online classes.

This semester, 470 students are enrolled in Drury’s seven graduate programs. Drury CGCS offers master’s degrees in art, business, communication, criminal justice, criminology, education and music therapy.

Enrollment in online courses has grown 4 percent over fall 2010. Drury’s online courses make up 31 percent of CGCS undergraduate enrollment. Drury offers 11 bachelor’s degrees that can be completed entirely online.


Drury to host Environmental Entrepreneurship panel on Nov. 9

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 18, 2011 — Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship (EJC) and Drury’s Think Green club will host an Environmental Entrepreneurship Panel on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Reed Auditorium of the Trustee Science Center. The cost is $15, which includes a light dinner. Drury students and faculty are free.

“We have big problems with our environment, but for entrepreneurs, that means opportunity.  Many people want a career or business that makes a difference—our event is targeted at those who want to be in an environmentally-based business,” said Dr. Kelley Still, executive director of the Edward Jones Center. “Come learn from experts that have taken their passion for the environment and parlayed that into success in business.”

Heading up the panel is Glenn Croston, a noted author of multiple books about green business startups and best practices. He will also speak at Drury the next morning at 11 a.m. as part of convocation.

Also serving on the panel are Zeke Fairbank, founder and president of The Alternative Energy Company and Tim Pedigo, owner of Gulf Coast Environmental Resources.

Dinner and networking begins at 5:30 p.m., the formal program starts at 6:30 p.m. To register or for more information, contact Tammy Rogers in the Edward Jones Center at (417) 873-6357, tammy@drury.edu or go to www.drury.edu/ejc/eco.

Media Contact: Sara Cochran, Assistant Director, The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Office: (417) 873-3014, E-mail: scochran@drury.edu


Drury community jobs fair brings employers to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 18

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 13, 2011 — Missouri Congressman Billy Long is the Honorary Event Chairman for a jobs fair at Drury University on Tuesday, Oct. 18. The event in the Findlay Student Center Ballroom will run from 1-4 p.m. The event is open to the public.

More than 30 employers will be in attendance from all over Missouri, including: Edward Jones, Regions Bank and United Healthcare.

“We are excited about the wide variety of employers we have confirmed for the October 18 event,” says Jill Wiggins, director of career planning and development at Drury. “Some of the organizations represented are trying to fill openings that require a high school education, while others have positions that require a bachelor’s degree or higher. A person with any level of education and experience could potentially find a job at this event.”

The Findlay Student Center is located on the northeast side of the Drury University campus at the corner of Webster and Summit Streets. Go to http://www.drury.edu/vtour/ to view a map of campus. Parking is available in Lot 7.

For questions, call the Drury Department of Career Planning and Development at (417) 873-7284.

Media Contact for Drury University: Mark Miller, M.A., Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu

Media Contact for Rep. Billy Long: Bret Funk, Communications Director, Office: (202) 225-6536, E-mail: bret.funk@mail.house.gov


Traveling the world to research marine life

A college student studying water biology in the Ozarks will spend a lot of time examining water quality, fish habitats and hellbender salamanders; but Drury senior biology major Angela Ostendorf is interested in whales, manatees and dolphins, and she’s gone out of her way to get that education while attending Drury.

Ostendorf in Singapore doing night research

As a landlocked university in a landlocked state, Drury did not have the access to the ocean habitats that Ostendorf wanted to study. Dr. Teresa Carroll worked for a year to arrange for Ostendorf to go on a study away trip and for the credits to transfer back to Drury. Last spring, Ostendorf transferred to Duke University in North Carolina, and she lived and worked at Duke’s Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C., Duke’s campus is located on an island. While there, she took classes, such as, invertebrate zoology and conservation of sea turtles.

Ostendorf (right) photographing a turtle in Puerto Rico

She also took field trips to Singapore, Malaysia and Puerto Rico. On the Puerto Rican trip, Ostendorf stayed up all night for five nights searching for endangered leatherback turtles.

Ostendorf grew up in Dallas, Texas and she spent her summers in Branson, admittedly, two areas that are far from any ocean coastlines, but it was that time in Branson that helped foster Ostendorf’s love for the water. On a summer trip to Mexico when she was 10 years old, Ostendorf got her first taste of scuba diving. Later, she became a certified dive instructor and has taught scuba diving at State Park Marina on Table Rock Lake for the past four summers.

As a freshman, Ostendorf accompanied Dr. Carroll on a study abroad trip to Honduras. That began a relationship in which Dr. Carroll hired Ostendorf as a lab assistant and she even encouraged Ostendorf to leave Drury for another college…at least for a semester.

Now she’s back at Drury with plans to finish up her undergraduate education, get a job and, eventually, pursue a doctorate in marine biology. Her next challenge is a good one, trying to decide what she wants to study as a graduate student, “I want to save lots of different animals. Now, I have to pick one.”

Drury senior makes the most of his college years

In the 1998 Wes Anderson film Rushmore, the main character, Max Fisher, is asked about the secret to his happiness, “The secret? I don’t know… I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then… do it for the rest of your life. For me, it’s going to Rushmore.” For Garret Shelenhamer, it’s going to Drury. Besides carrying a 3.7 grade point average, Shelenhamer is involved in close to everything on campus from the track team to Habitat for Humanity.

Shelenhamer was a busy student at Bolivar High and he continued that breakneck pace at Drury. This year, he’s president of four clubs and involved with several others. He wasn’t a track athlete in high school, but he went out for Drury’s fledgling track team in 2009 and made the squad, “Garret’s intelligent, fun and social approach to everyday situations pumped up the team and made sport fun.  He’s a great asset to Drury and to the DU track and field team,” said Drury track coach Don Keeton.

Shelenhamer goofs off with hula hoops at a flag football game.

An injury may keep Garret off of the track team for his senior year, but when you see Pouncer at an athletic event, it’s Shelenhamer inside that panther costume. “Being Pouncer, nobody knows it’s me, but everyone knows it’s me,” Shelenhamer says. “Little kids pull on my tail, alumni want a picture with me. I even took a photo with the Board of Trustees.”

After graduation in May, Shelenhamer plans to get a master’s in psychology and to one day work for the FBI, but before he leaves, he’ll work to spread his enthusiasm for college, “Drury gave me one of the best experiences of my life. I want to do everything I can to make sure that other people at Drury have experiences that they can remember forever.”

Drury senior to present at Missouri Sociological Association conference

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 7, 2011 — Drury senior, Emily Brown, is the winner of the 2011 Alvin Gouldner Undergraduate Student Paper Competition.  As the winner of the award, Brown will present a paper at the annual conference of the Missouri Sociological Association (MSA) on Oct. 14 in Lake Ozark, Mo.

Brown, a sociology major, and a native of Nixa, Mo., will present a paper titled Identifying the Links Between Anonymity and Prosocial Behavior.  The paper examines the relationship between anonymity and a person’s willingness to help someone else.  Brown discovered that people were willing to donate significantly more money when they were given no anonymity, as opposed to complete anonymity.  Upon graduating in December, Brown hopes to continue her research in graduate school.

Emily Brown

In addition to being given the opportunity to present her research, Brown will also receive a $100 prize from MSA.

Media Contact: Dr. Robin Miller, Associate Professor, Sociology, Office: (417) 873-7891, E-mail: rmiller@drury.edu


The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra to perform Thursday, Oct. 6

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 3, 2011 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) presents its first concert of the season with a performance titled “Inextinguishable” on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held at the Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

The performance features tenor Stephen Bomgardner in an aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and the exultant Symphony No. 4 “Inextinguishable” of Carl Nielsen–an epic and powerful work celebrating the promethean energy of life itself. Antonin Dvorak’s delightful Slavonic Dance No. 8, op. 46 completes the program.

SDCO performs in Hammons Hall in 2008

Founded in 2005, the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra is made up of more than 90 talented professionals, students and enthusiasts; the SDCO presents a 2-concert season of orchestral masterworks, all free and open to the public.

For news, concert season, or audition information, please visit the SDCO website at http://music.drury.edu/civic_season.htm.

Media Contact:Dr. Christopher Koch, Director of Orchestra and Wind Symphony, Office: (417) 873-7298, E-mail: ckoch@drury.edu


Activist tells “The Story of Stuff” at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 3, 2011 — How much is too much? Annie Leonard, sustainability activist and filmmaker, seeks to address this question through her project The Story of Stuff.  Using her research, Leonard will shed light on consumerism and its toll on the environment in a discussion on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

Leonard launched her career with her popular animated web series The Story of Stuff that explores the impacts of consumption. She has traveled to 40 countries, visiting hundreds of factories where “stuff” is made and hundreds of dumps where “stuff” is dumped. Leonard is fiercely dedicated to reclaiming and transforming the industrial and economic systems so they serve, rather than undermine, ecological sustainability and social equity.

Annie Leonard

Leonard did her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, Columbia University and graduate work in City and Regional Planning at Cornell. Her book, The Story of Stuff, was published in 2010.

Drury University’s 2011-2012 convocation series, “The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature’s Economy” considers human connections to the environment, while also examining potential solutions to current problems.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/changingplanet or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Sean Terry at (417) 873-6963.

Media Contact: Dr. Sean Terry, Theme Year Director, Professor of Geography & Environmental Studies, Office: (417) 873-6963, E-mail: sterry@drury.edu


Drury professor moves to Tanzania for teaching and research

Helen Keller once said, “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.” Drury professor Erin Kenny is opting for the adventure. Beginning today, Kenny and her seven-year-old daughter Kiera will move to the east African country Tanzania where Kenny will teach and conduct research as a Fulbright Scholar for the next 10 months.

Dr. Erin Kenny

Kenny, an associate professor of anthropology, will teach graduate courses in development studies for the Center for Gender Development at the Morogoro campus of Mzumbe University. This is not Kenny’s first trip to Africa.  From 1995-1997, Kenny lived in Mali as a Peace Corps volunteer and she did doctoral research in Guinea in 2003 where she met her former husband and Kiera’s father. She also visited the continent three other times. Like any mother, Kenny has concerns about taking her daughter to Africa.   “If there’s any time to bring a 7-year-old, it’s through the Fulbright program. I will work through the U.S. embassy. We’re really fortunate. In the Horn of Africa today, there are mothers of 15,000 children dying every day from famine and disease.”

Dr. Kenny with Mariame Kaba. A woman who worked on women's health issues in Africa.

It’s those women that Kenny has studied during her career. In Tanzania, Kenny will continue her research on women wage earners and household heads that she has conducted in Mali, Guinea and Jamaica. She’s found that women invest differently than men, “Men often invest in high risk, high reward businesses. Women will invest in a goat or a uniform so children can go to school. When women are wage earners, the nutritional and educational profile of the household improves.”

Ultimately, Kenny hopes that through her research and advocacy, she can improve lives. “The system breaks down for poor people over and over again. That’s why I keep doing what I do, to try to get policy makers to listen to researchers.”