Amanda Campise: December graduate heading on a great adventure

It’s a dream many contemplate: a road trip with friends, backpacking across the country or going abroad for a full immersion experience. This dream will become a reality for Drury student Amanda Campise when she graduates this Saturday, December 15, with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Global Studies. Campise will hit the road – by herself – for almost two months following graduation.

Amanda Campise

The trip starts in Australia; a brave adventurer, Campise will be staying in hostels and backpacking from place to place. She says she, “hopes to meet a lot of people and make great friends” while exploring the culture of Australia. During her stay, Campise will visit Sydney; explore the Great Barrier Reef, known as the world’s largest coral reef system, and venture to Melbourne. “It’s been a dream of mine to go to Australia, I have always been fascinated with the country,” Campise said. “I love to travel, making this portion of the trip perfect.”

After a month in Australia, Campise will fly to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. She will arrive just as festivities for the famed Rio Carnival are picking up. Rio Carnival is a wild, four-day celebration in virtually every corner of Brazil, and it is considered the biggest carnival in the world. It is an event where people are entertained by song and dance with the experience leading to a full appreciation of the Brazilian culture.

A trip like this comes with a price-tag and Campise has diligently worked two jobs during her final semester, saving as much as she can. In addition, she originally planned to be at Drury for eight semesters, but she is graduating in just seven.

Campise plans on documenting her trip, either on a blog or video blog, so friends and family can keep up with her adventures. Thoughts of the “real-world” and job applications have not escaped Campise during this trip-planning process. “I have put a lot of consideration into working in Australia,” she explained. “I have applied for three jobs there and I am hoping to have an interview set up while I am visiting.” She’s also exploring a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy, but that will wait until she gets back.

Campise credits Drury’s unique Global Studies minor for sparking her desire to explore other cultures. “I was challenged to open myself up to new opportunities,” she said. “The support system that grew from the Psychology department and my relationships at Drury kept me there and now I can take them with me.”


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

Drury student honored as one of the most promising minority advertising students in the U.S.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 7, 2012 — The American Advertising Federation (AAF) has selected Drury senior Amber Perdue as one of its Most Promising Minority Students for 2012. Perdue is one of just 41 students chosen by the AAF from more than 100 applicants.

Amber Perdue

“I’m thrilled that the American Advertising Federation has recognized Amber’s talent and leadership abilities,” said Dr. Regina Waters, chair of the Department of Communication. “The Most Promising Minority Students program provides students with an extraordinary opportunity to learn about the advertising profession while meeting the industry’s leading executives. It’s quite impressive that a Drury student has been invited to participate in this prestigious recruiting program.”

The American Advertising Federation will fly Perdue to New York City in early February where she, along with her fellow honorees, will have the opportunity to meet with recruiters from some of the top companies in the world, including: Google, ESPN and Pepsi. In addition, the 41 Most Promising Minority Students will be honored at a luncheon and receive tickets to a Broadway show. The AAF has banned cell phones for the students at all events.

“I am very thankful to Dr. Waters for nominating me for this opportunity. My time at Drury has been an invaluable learning experience and adventure,” Perdue said. “This award is an example of where a lot of effort and a great education can get you.”

Students for the Most Promising Minority Student awards were chosen from a wide range of colleges and universities, including: the University of Michigan, The George Washington University and the University of Texas.

Perdue is a 2009 graduate of Kickapoo High School, and she is on track to graduate from Drury in May of 2013.

Media Contact: Dr. Regina Waters, Chair, Drury Department of Communication, Office: (417) 873-7251, E-mail:


Drury University Arts Administration Students Organize a Holiday Exhibit at Drury on C-Street Art Gallery

Springfield, Mo., Dec. 5, 2012 Drury University’s Arts Administration students are hosting Santa’s Little Helpers Gift Gallery opening from 6-9 PM on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Drury on C-Street Art Gallery, located at 233 E. Commercial Street in Springfield. Works featured in the gallery include items from fiber arts to photography to jewelry, all created by local artists. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is providing a chance for residents and students of Springfield to find a unique and one-of-a-kind gift for everyone on their holiday shopping list.

Santa’s Little Helpers is the first gallery display the current Arts Administration Practicum class has planned, organized, and showcased this school year. Community members are invited to come and appreciate the efforts of the students and buy some hand-made, local art pieces, providing the perfect holiday gift for anyone on the list. The expectations of the opening have been best expressed by the Arts Administration Practicum professor, Sara Cochran:

“The Santa’s Little Helpers opening is a culmination of the arts administration practicum students’ whole semester of learning. These students have worked very hard to gather best practices for the gallery through the other shows with which they have assisted. We are excited to share this exhibit with the community and gain valuable feedback.”

Drury on C-Street Gallery is a collaborative space used by Arts Administration students and the Drury Architecture program and contains the Commercial Street Business Resource Center, the Harriet Mears Weaving Studio, an architecture studio, and the art gallery. This new addition to the growing economy of Commercial Street provides a space where students and local residents can connect and share an interest in artistic endeavors. The space also houses activities such as an art and music class for special needs children living in the area. Increased local interest has been budding with excitement of the potential this unique space provides for the Springfield community.

Contact: Tarryn Gritzner, Cell (319) 404 – 4862, Email


Jim Anderson to keynote Drury’s Winter Commencement on Dec. 15

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 3, 2012 — Drury University will confer degrees to 410 students during its Winter Commencement at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. 357 students will receive undergraduate degrees and 53 will get master’s degrees.

Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson, the president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is the graduation speaker. Anderson received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Drury in 2002, and his daughter Rebecca is graduating on Dec. 15.

“I know of no one who has had a broader impact on the economic development of our region than Jim Anderson. His integrity, work ethic, and sincere care for our community are inspirational to all,” said Todd Parnell, Drury president and a former chairman of the board of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. “Jim’s been a good friend to Drury and I know he’ll send our graduates off with an inspirational message.”

Before joining the Springfield Chamber in 1988, Anderson served as president of the Jefferson City, Missouri Area Chamber of Commerce for nine years. Prior to that, he served as a school administrator and schoolteacher in Jefferson City Public Schools.

Besides his professional work, Anderson is active in the Springfield community. He served as chairman of the United Way of the Ozarks and president of the Urban Districts Alliance. A member of the Springfield Rotary Club, he is a past chairman of the Community Relations Board for the U. S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners.

In 2005, the Chamber of Commerce honored Anderson with its Springfieldian award.


Drury architecture students help cities plan their futures

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 3, 2012 — Every semester, Drury University architecture students put their skills to the test in an applied learning class that engages them with communities throughout Missouri. This semester, Drury’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) is working with three communities in the Ozarks:

  • Springfield. Drury students are working with members of the Rountree neighborhood, Missouri State University, and the City of Springfield to create a visioning document for a section of National Avenue between Cherry and Grand. Students are looking out two and three decades as they identify pros, cons, and recommendations for development along the corridor. Drury students will present their findings to stakeholders on Monday, Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m., at The Madison House on the Missouri State University campus.
  • Bolivar, Mo. Drury students are hoping to build up the city’s reputation as a vibrant economic, social and environmental destination. The Drury team is looking at cosmetic upgrades, such as, façade renewal to Bolivar’s ability to geographically connect with its citizens and with other communities in the region. Students are also exploring issues, such as: identity and branding of the community, sustainable development, and the integration of the arts. Students will make their final presentation to the community on Thursday, Dec. 13, 6-8 p.m., at Main Street Event Center on the southwest corner of the square in Bolivar.
  • Buffalo, Mo. By focusing on physical renewal of the city’s infrastructure, Drury students are hoping to create a more healthy and active lifestyle for the Buffalo community.  Elements of the 20 to 30 year visioning study focuses on parks, trails, sidewalks, after school recreation, biking/pedestrian communities, sustainability, the physical renewal of the city’s architectural infrastructure, identity, branding and connectivity. Drury students will present to the Buffalo community on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m., at the O’Bannon Community Center in Buffalo.

Once a vision is written for the community, it becomes a “tool kit” that makes implementation easier. Jay Garrott is a Drury architecture professor and the director of the community studio. Garrott says that visions “provide the ability to dream of what could be done to a community, which people seldom have the time to do.”

CCS projects also build a stronger connection between Drury and the communities they help. Tracy Slagle, resource director for the City of Bolivar, is working with the Bolivar project group to help secure a grant for a potential cultural arts center. Slagle’s nephew, John Luce, graduated from Drury’s Architecture program and currently works as an architect. “Rural communities have limited resources,” Slagle said. “When we can partner with universities and get their resources, it accomplishes amazing things.”

On average, Drury CCS only charges the communities it works with the direct cost for materials and travel, while the students provide about 2,700 hours of in-kind architecture and planning work for the communities per semester.

Five communities that the CCS has worked with in the past have received DREAM grants (Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative).


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

Drury and Cox College formalize partnership and announce new Cabool cohort

Cabool, Mo., Nov. 29, 2012 — Drury University and Cox College signed an articulation agreement today, Nov. 29, at Drury’s campus in Cabool that formalizes the dual degree program the two higher education institutions have been operating in Cabool since August 2012. The two schools also announced that they would offer a second cohort of the dual degree offering beginning in August 2013.

(L-R) Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College, shakes hands with Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president of academic affairs at Drury, following the signing of the articulation agreement.

26 students are currently enrolled in the program in which students earn a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with an emphasis in leadership from Drury, and either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting (ASMA) from Cox College. The two degrees can both be completed in just four years. Courses are offered in three modalities: seated at Drury’s Cabool site, blended (seated and online), and exclusively online.

“Drury alumnus Lester E. Cox once said, ‘Find a need and fill it.’ That’s exactly what these two institutions are here to do today,” said Aaron Jones, interim dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies. “We’ve heard the need for healthcare education and healthcare professionals in Texas County. We’ve heard that need for many years and we’re able to begin to fill that need with our partnership with Cox College.”

“As more and more people have access to health care the role for medical assistants is going to grow exponentially. We’re hoping to fill that void in the Cabool region,” said Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College. “The Missouri Foundation for Health says that in order to meet the needs for nursing that every college in the state is going to have to double its enrollment by 2020. This program will allow students to stay home, learn in their community and then staff the positions in the Cabool region. The opportunities for these graduates are going to be unlimited.”

Students interested in learning more about the dual degree program should visit the website or contact the Cohort Manager April Stublefield at (417) 414-8521 or via email at


Drury and Cox College to sign articulation agreement on Thursday, Nov. 29

WHAT: Drury University and Cox College will sign an articulation agreement formalizing an existing dual degree program and announce a new cohort in 2013 for the program.

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 29 at 4 p.m.

WHERE: Drury’s Cabool campus is located at 801 Walnut Ave. in Cabool.

WHO: Dr. Anne Brett, president of Cox College. Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president of academic affairs at Drury. Aaron Jones, interim dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies.

WHY: Drury and Cox College launched the first dual degree cohort in August 2012 with 26 students. Those students are pursing two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Drury and either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate of Science in Medical Assisting from Cox College. Given the success of the first cohort, which began in August with students on track to graduate in May of 2016, Drury and Cox College will launch another cohort in August of 2013.

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


Drury’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium to honor top female entrepreneurs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 27, 2012 — Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship is looking to recognize the top female entrepreneurs in the region. The winners of these inaugural awards will be honored at the annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) to be held at Drury’s Trustee Science Center on Saturday, Feb. 2. This is the first year the WES event has given awards to top female entrepreneurs.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Woman Start-Up of the Year

In order to qualify for an award, a woman must own at least 51 percent of a business and operate within 30 miles of Springfield. The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year nominees must have been in business for at least five years, and the Woman Start-Up of the Year nominees should be in business for less than two years.

Nominees for these awards can be sent to by December 19, 2012. Nominees will be sent a full application form, which is due by January 18, 2013. An independent panel of judges will select the winners. Award winners will receive a plaque, be honored at the annual WES event and have their stories posted on Drury’s website.

The fifth annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) will take place on Drury’s campus on Saturday, February 2. This event provides women entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with exhibitors ranging from accountants and bankers to direct sales opportunities. The event is just $25, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration will begin on December 17 at


Two Drury traditions: Christmas Vespers and Allin Sorenson

Drury University will celebrate its annual Christmas Vespers series on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 4 p.m. in Stone Chapel. The service features both traditional and contemporary Christmas music with readings and music illuminating the texts from Nine Lessons and Carols.

Dr. Sorenson conducting a past Vespers concert

Not only is this holiday tradition a delight for the audience, but this year also marks Music Department Chair and Conductor Allin Sorenson’s 25th anniversary with Drury. Since being hired in1988, Sorenson has conducted over 100 concerts and taught well over a thousand students. “I don’t know where the time went,” said Sorenson. “It’s been a wonderful place to work, primarily because of the great students and faculty. I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.”

Sorenson came to Drury in 1988 as the Director of Choral Activities. He still holds that title as well as department chair. For a quarter century, Vespers has been a part of Sorenson’s life and that reality may not sink in until Sunday’s performance.

“I suspect it will hit me during Silent Night. It’s always an emotional moment for me when I’m conducting and the choir surrounds the audience with candles. It’s my favorite moment,” Sorenson said.

Vespers will be performed by:

  • Drury Singers and Chamber Choir, directed by Allin Sorenson
  • Drury Concert Choir, directed by Mark Lawley
  • Stanton Strings
  • Earline Moulder on the organ
  • Brass Quintet, directed by Tijuana Julian
  • Sungsil Kim, piano
  • Angel McGlasson, oboe

The Christmas Vespers concert is a very popular attraction, and audiences are advised to arrive early for a seat. Admission is free and the performance is open to the public. For additional information contact the Drury Music Department at 417-873-7291.


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

Drury MBA alumnus gives back to alma mater

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 20, 2012 — As a CoxHealth vice president, Brian Williams did not need a Master of Business Administration to advance his career, but it was something he’d always wanted to do.

“It was a great opportunity to come back, mid-career, and brush up on concepts 20 years later,” Williams said.

Williams received his MBA in 2010, and, now, he’s paying it forward. Today, Tuesday, Nov. 20, Williams donated $25,000 to his alma mater. The Robert S. Williams and Hallie B. Williams scholarship, named in honor of Williams’ parents, will help fund study abroad trips and defray tuition costs for MBA students.

Drury President Todd Parnell (far left) and Mike Shirley, the director of the Breech School of Business sign the donation documents as the donor, Brian Williams, looks on.

The endowment is set up to accept future donations. Contact Chris Tuckness in Drury’s Office of Alumni and Development at or (417) 763-1446 to make a donation.