Drury’s SIFE team is first runner-up at the SIFE National Exposition

Minneapolis, Minn., May 13, 2011 — Drury University’s SIFE team was named the first runner-up at the SIFE USA National Exposition in Minneapolis, Minn. on Thursday, May 12. Texas State University-San Marcos is the SIFE national champion.

Drury and Texas State University-San Marcos were joined in the finals by Flagler College and Syracuse University.

This is the fourteenth straight year that Drury’s SIFE team has advanced to the national exposition. Drury has won the SIFE National Championship three times, (2001, 2003, 2005) and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in 2001 and 2003. Drury’s SIFE team was also first runner-up in 2009.

For more information on SIFE, go to: www.sife.org

Sarah Montgomery
SIFE Director
Mobile: (417) 766-0365
: smontgomery@drury.edu


Two Drury master’s graduates pursuing their passions

Drury graduate students Brandon Lawson and Lindsey Castrodale know what they’ll be doing in the future with their newly minted Master of Communication degrees from Drury. Both will be pursuing their passions after graduation on May 14.

Lawson is headed to Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer while Castrodale, a former Drury tennis player, will spend the summer in Cincinnati as a marketing and communications intern for a professional tennis tournament.

Lawson began his college career in 1999 at the University of Missouri fresh out of Kickapoo, but he dropped out just shy of graduation to pursue an improvisational comedy career in Chicago. That didn’t work out, so Lawson returned to Columbia where he worked as a bar manager and gained invaluable experience booking musical acts but, “I knew that if I wanted to do something serious with my life I didn’t have the work experience or the education to do it,” Lawson says.

In 2007, Lawson was hired as a fraternity house director at Drury. During that time, he finished his undergraduate and, now, he’s done with his graduate degree, which he earned tuition-free as a Drury staff member.

Lawson will head for Peace Corp training later this year where he’ll be immersed in the culture where he’s placed and, finally, on to the community where he will help business start-ups. “I’ve wanted to join the Peace Corps since I was nine years old, and, more than two decades later, it’s become a reality.”

Castrodale arrived at Drury in 2005 as a freshman tennis player from Little Rock, Ark. After earning her bachelor’s in 2009, she remained at Drury as a graduate assistant in charge of intramural sports. That job allowed her to pursue her master’s degree tuition-free.

Over winter break 2010, Castrodale landed an interview for a paid internship position with the W & S Open in Cincinnati. During the interview, she mentioned that she was going to take Drury’s Social Media Certification online course during January. That impressed the head of marketing for the tournament and he continued to question Castrodale about the curriculum and how to develop marketing plans using social media.

A few months later, Castrodale received word that she landed the marketing and communications internship that will run from late May through September.

Castrodale’s tennis background, and her current part-time job as a teaching pro, had almost nothing to do with earning the position. The tournament officials were looking for workers and they were more impressed with the 23-year-old’s education, work experience and interview answers.

After her internship, Castrodale hopes to find a full-time job in sports marketing, with a non-profit or in higher education, “I feel very fortunate to have bought myself time to figure out what I want to do next while gaining valuable experience,” she says.


Drury senior earns fellowship to Washington University worth more than $20,000 per year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 10, 2011 –Drury Senior Quinton Aiken has received a half-tuition Harold P. Brown Engineering Fellowship to Washington University in St. Louis to begin his dual-degree engineering studies next fall. Aiken’s fellowship is worth $20,475 per year.

While at Washington University, Aiken will pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering. In two years, when Aiken graduates from Washington University, he’ll receive an engineering degree from Wash. U. and his bachelor’s in physics from Drury.

Aiken, a 2007 graduate of Glendale High School in Springfield, is the fourth Drury student to receive one of the prestigious Brown Fellowships in the last four years. These fellowships are merit awards available to students entering the dual-degree program from any of Washington University’s nearly 100 partner colleges and institutions. Victor Akunyili received the sole full-tuition fellowship offered in 2010, and Bye Li and Xiaaou Wang both received half tuition fellowships in 2008.

Quinton Aiken

Each year, Washington University awards one full-tuition Brown Fellowship and several additional half-tuition Brown Fellowships. Applicants are selected based on academic record, recommendations, essay writing, extracurricular involvement and professional achievement potential in engineering.


Mark Miller, Assoc. Director of Marketing and Communication, Office: (417) 873-7390, E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu


A long-time Drury professor says “auf wiedersehen” after nearly four decades

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 6, 2011 —Drury University congratulates Dr. Eltjen Flikkema on his retirement after 39 years of service at Drury.

After earning his Ph.D. at Michigan State, Flikkema joined Drury’s faculty in 1972, expecting to stay for one year as a professor of German. He soon found that Drury suited him well. “You have to like people here,” he says, “You have to like students.”

He has held several positions, including: Director of Admission, Assistant Dean, and Chair of the Languages Department. He was the first Director of the Drury Honors Program, but it’s clear that teaching is the role of which he is most proud.

Dr. Eltjen Flikkema

Flikkema’s German students, including many graduating seniors, gave him a surprise send-off today at the completion of his last class. Students remember Flikkema’s storytelling in the classroom and the life-lessons he imparted beyond his German instruction. “There were wonderful students 39 years ago,” he says, “but no more wonderful than these.”

When he was three years old, his parents immigrated to the U.S. along with his older brother. His parents spoke no English, and he credits this bilingual upbringing for his lifelong fascination with languages. A native of The Netherlands, Flikkema and his wife Jerri have two daughters. The 66-year-old gets up before dawn every morning to swim before heading to work at Drury. Upon retirement Flikkema plans to stay active and has plans to travel, including a summer trip to China with his wife to celebrate their upcoming 45th anniversary. He also hopes to volunteer with community organizations that address hunger in the Ozarks.


Drury professor to work and study in Slovenia as Fulbright fellow

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 4, 2011 — Drury professor Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg has been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work in Slovenia in the spring of 2012.

As a current professor of political science and chair of Middle East studies, VanDenBerg will be teaching in the Department of Political Science housed in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Ljubljana (pronouncer: lyoo-BLYAH-nah) for the spring semester of 2012.  In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, he will be furthering his teaching and research interests of Islam in Europe. This research will lead to a comparative study of the public policies of European Union countries toward their Muslim populations.

Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg

VanDenBerg is the third Drury professor to receive recognition as a Fulbright fellow for the 2011-2012 academic year.  He joins Dr. Erin Kenny, who will spend 10 months teaching in Tanzania, as well as Dr. Elizabeth Nichols who will be examining the beauty industry of Venezuela.

Sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Fulbright Program provides funding for scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research and university teaching. Through this program, more than 800 U.S. faculty and professionals taught or conducted research abroad during the 2009-2010 academic year.

Media Contact:
Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg
Director, Middle East Studies
Professor, Political Science
Office: (417) 873-6947
: jvandenb@drury.edu


Drury staff member to serve on executive conference board

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 4, 2011 — Drury University staff member, Andrea Battaglia, has been named the Coordinator of Educational Programs for The Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV).

Battaglia, the current director of Greek life and student involvement at Drury, will play an integral role in the planning of the AFLV national conference.  She will coordinate and develop a series of educational programs for over 3000 undergraduate leaders representing 300 universities, in addition to working closely with faculty at the conference.

The Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) is a non-profit organization, which exists to stimulate the growth and development of fraternity/sorority council and chapter leaders.  The organization strives to promote experiences and resources which foster leadership, education and values for student leaders, their advisors, and the larger fraternal market.


The first Drury graduations in the O’Reilly Family Event Center are on May 14

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 2, 2011The first Drury commencement ceremonies in the new O’Reilly Family Event Center will be on Saturday, May 14. The ceremony for the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) is at noon with the traditional Day School graduation to follow at 2:30 p.m.

51 graduate students will join 342 undergraduates in the CGCS graduation. The Day School will confer degrees to 251 undergraduates.

Drury Board of Trustees member Jack Stack will address both graduating classes. A trustee since 2004, Stack is the president and CEO of SRC Holdings, a remanufacturing corporation in Springfield.

Jack Stack

Stack has authored two books: The Great Game of Business and A Stake in the Outcome. Stack’s “open book management” philosophy makes financial and business decisions a shared duty of all employees.

Former Drury student Betty Cole Dukert will be honored during the traditional Day School ceremony with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Dukert attended Drury College in 1946-47 and went on to earn a journalism degree from the University of Missouri.

Betty Cole Dukert

Dukert enjoyed a 41-year career with NBC’s Meet the Press where she ultimately served as executive producer. Dukert served on the Drury Board of Trustees from 1985-2008 and remains as an emeritus board member. She was the first recipient of the First Amendment Service Award of the national Radio & Television News Directors’ Foundation in 1998.

Following the Day School ceremony, a time capsule containing Drury memorabilia will be entombed in the cornerstone of the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Media: You are welcome to videotape or photograph either graduation ceremony.


Drury’s Broadway Cabaret will perform May 4-6

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 29, 2011 — The Broadway Cabaret of Drury Lane will take you for a ride down the Great White Way in a delightful, delicious confection of song and dance celebrating Broadway’s finest composers.  Directed by Robert Westenberg, the Drury University TheatreDepartment’s musical revue troupe will perform May 4-6 at 8 p.m. in the Wilhoit Theatre located in the Breech School of Business.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors (55+), and $5 for students.  Contact the theatre box office at (417) 873-7255, Monday through Friday, from 1-5 p.m. to make reservations.


Drury staff member recognized as contributor to American Evaluation Association

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 28, 2011 — Dr. Laura Plybon, Drury’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies Director of Assessment and Instructional Design, has been invited by the American Evaluation Association (AEA) to contribute to the AEA 365 Tip-A-Day program.

Dr. Plybon was selected as a contributor to the AEA conference based on a submission that she co-authored with Tony Bowers, Director of the Drury Law Enforcement Academy. The submission centered on an evaluation of the Drury Law Enforcement Academy where incoming students were assessed in order to determine if the ASSET writing skills test could serve as an appropriate predictor of future academic success, as well as completion of the academy.

The AEA 365 Tip-A-Day program is a web-based site sponsored by AEA, which aims at sharing resources, tips, and lessons learned from evaluators around the globe. Dr. Plybon will focus on the effective use of academic assessment tools for university-based professional programs, such as police academies. Other contributors to this program include Michael Quinn Patton, former president of the AEA, and Abraham Wandersman, professor of psychology at Cornell University.

“We are honored to be selected by such a renowned organization,” said Dr. Plybon. “These results and this recognition simply would not have been possible without the sound assessment plan, quality assessment tools, and long-term data collection organized by Tony Bowers and the Drury Law Enforcement Academy.”

Dr. Plybon and Bowers will also be presenting their findings at the American Psychological Association(APA) Conference in Washington DC in August 2011. The title of their presentation is “Assessment in Law Enforcement Academies: Predictors of Peace Officer Student Success.”

Media Contact:
Dr. Laura Plybon
Director of Assessment & Instructional Design
College of Graduate & Continuing Studies
Office: (417) 873-7317
: lplybon@drury.edu


Drury Architecture students help to revitalize Missouri cities

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 27, 2011 — Drury University architecture students are continuing their work to improve urban and rural development throughout Missouri as a part of Drury University’s Center for Community Studies (CCS). Students meet with their communities several times during the semester and collaborate with the citizens to envision a future, which the students present in a book, they call the “visioning toolkit.”

Rich Hill, Mo. is located 20 miles north of Nevada, Mo. along Highway 71. Rich Hill, which began with a booming mining industry, is now faced with a dwindling population and little economic activity. Among the projects Drury students will propose are plans to address rising energy costs and new activities to attract youth and create career opportunities.

Students will also address concerns in Stockton, Mo., which is located approximately 60 miles north of Springfield, Mo. Among some of the student proposals for thetown are plans to continue stabilizing the community after severe tornado damage in 2003, reconnect the town’s cultural history and heritage to the local waterways, and develop a stronger retirement community.

Carthage, Mo., located 60 miles west of Springfield, Mo., is also working with the CCS.  The students working with Carthage are proposing projects that will celebrate the community’s rich history while also celebrating the rapidly increasing diversity within the area.

Though proposing different projects for all three towns, students working within Crane, Galena, and Reeds Spring will tackle very similar objectives. Located less than 40 miles south of Springfield, Mo., these communities are closelylinked both by mileage and by needs. Drury students will present ideas thatwill address ways to attract new jobs and cultural activities, emphasize the historic elements of each town, and increase opportunities for new business endeavors.

Central High School, located across the street from Drury, is also receiving suggestions from the CCS.  Facing increasing enrollment, the high school is beginning to outgrow its building and is looking for ways to better address the needs of its community. Students at Drury have been focusing on highlighting fine arts and technical arts, while also incorporating the urban community within their proposals.

Students will present their final proposals on the following dates:

  • Galena—Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m., at the Galena Public Library.
  • Stockton—Monday, May 2, at 7 p.m., at the Stockton Community Center.
  • Reeds Spring—Tuesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m., at the Reeds Spring High School in the library.
  • Rich Hill—Tuesday, May 10, at 7 p.m., at Rich Hill High School.
  • Central High School—Wednesday, May 11, at 3 p.m., in the choral room.
  • Carthage—Monday, May 9, at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Hall.
  • Crane—Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. at Crane High School

The students will rehearse their presentations for the architecture faculty on Monday, May 2, 2011 and Wednesday May 4, 2011 from 1-5 p.m. in the Hammons School of Architecture.

Even more than downtown revitalization and beautification, CCS projects could help save lives. In the spring of 2009, Drury students worked in Monett, Mo. to organize and develop a plan to alleviate downtown flooding. In the past, Monett’s flooding has caused severe property damage and at least one fatality. This fall, Monett was one of five cities to receive a grant from the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative.

According to the Monett Times, “Monett’s application for the fifth round of DREAM combined the Vision 2030 report prepared by the Drury University architecture students with the cooperative venture between the city, the Monett Chamber of Commerce and the downtown merchants in establishing the new position of downtown coordinator, which is now held by DJ Miller.”

Another former Center for Community Studies client, Ozark, also received a DREAM grant in the fall of 2010. That makes five former CCS communities that have directlybenefited from the Drury students’ work.

Drury’s CCS works with the Missouri Extension Office to prepare communities before Drury students begin working with communities. After students have completed their projects, MU Extension continues to work with communities in carrying out an action plan. The students’ work is a valuable tool for Missouri cities. CCS only charges around $6,000 for their services, a small fee considering the 2,700 in-kind hours donated by architecture students throughout the semester.

Jay Garrott, AIA
Director & Professor, Drury Center for Community Studies
Office: (417) 873-7371
: jgarrott@drury.edu
Jeff Barber
University of Missouri Extension
Mobile: (417) 343-5682