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 ctuckness@drury.edu or (417) 763-1446 to make a donation.


The back of beyond: Works by Vanessa Woods to be displayed at Drury’s Pool Art Center

Springfield, Mo.— A solo exhibition, including photographs, collages and films by San Francisco artist Vanessa Woods will be on display at Pool Art Center at Drury University from December 7 to January 28. The exhibition surveys the artist’s work from the past 2 years, including large-scale black and white photos, photograms, photo collages and two recent films: The Mansion of Happiness and The Chambered Nautilus.

Woods’ work explores fictive universes that push the boundaries of the narrative form. As a photographer and 16 mm filmmaker, she is interested in the relationship between static and dynamic images, and how both can generate spaces in which new systems can be imagined. Many of her films use her black and white photographs as source material, wherein the photographic document is relied on partly as an object of truth, and partly as an infinitely malleable image-base. The flux between the still and moving image allows narratives to continually develop and provides a means for examining conceptual relationships between photography, time, symbols and memory. Drawing from surrealism, Woods’ work transforms “real space” through extensive manipulation and layering that includes re-photography, collage, sewing and multiple exposures in-camera. These processes catalyze unexpected chances that allow her to further investigate facets of symbolism, memory and dream.

Vanessa Woods graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in film, with honors, from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artwork and films have been exhibited internationally and she has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship for Film from the San Francisco Arts Commission, a Film Arts Foundation Personal Works Grant, and the San Francisco Art Institute’s MFA Film Fellowship. She has also been awarded residencies at Djerassi, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony and in Pont-Aven, France, through the Museum of Pont-Aven. Woods has produced eleven films that have been broadcast nationally and screened internationally, including The Anthology Film Archives (New York), the Oberhausen Film Festival (Germany) and the San Francisco International Film Festival.

For more information, contact Vanessa Woods, (415) 606-1027, vanessacwoods@gmail.com or Greg Booker (417) 873-7203, gbooker@drury.edu


Working day and night to get a Drury degree

Brandi Silvey is no stranger to hard work. After graduating from Marshfield High School in 2007, she began working at Red Lobster as a hostess and attending classes at a community college full-time. After a few semesters, she transferred to Drury’s College of Continuing and Professional studies, Drury’s evening program, “I had heard a lot of good things about Drury and the night classes were affordable, so that was a big attraction.”

With the change in school and a move to night classes, Brandi got a new job working daytime hours at Mercy in the call center, “I’d work 8:30 to 5, then I’d head straight over to Drury. I only had classes two or three nights a week. Plus, Drury has weekend classes that you can complete in a few weeks.”

Brandi Silvey

Two aspects of Drury that Brandi really liked were the eight-week courses and the blended classes. Blended courses meet once a week or every other week in a classroom and then have discussion, activities and quizzes online. “I loved it. In purely seated courses, you can get by without discussing or talking, but in blended you have to discuss the concepts to get your grade. It makes you think a little bit more,” Silvey said.

After graduating in May 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Brandi got a promotion and became a senior patient access representative. Besides her day job, Brandi just landed an internship with the City of Springfield where she will be working with the city’s plant biologist on several different projects.

“My experience at Drury was great. It allowed me to work, complete my degree, and, now, I’m taking the first steps in a career where I can directly use my education,” Silvey said.


Expert author visits Drury to discuss how the Internet influences the mind

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 12, 2012 — Highly acclaimed and influential author Nicholas Carr will speak at Drury University on Thursday, Nov. 15 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. Carr will present the argument that every medium carries an intellectual ethic, and he will present an examination of the growing influence that digital media carries on the way we think, read, and communicate. This event is free and open to the public.

Nicholas Carr

Carr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated bestseller The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, and he is the former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review. His writings include: Does IT matter?: Information Technology and the Corrosion of Competitive Advantage; and The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google. He has published articles in The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Wired and is a commentator for CNBC, CNN, and he speaks at forums worldwide.

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 www.drury.edu/voicesunbound or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Jonathan Groves at (417) 873-7347.


Triple J: Three brothers balance life, school and ambition

Drury students Jonathan, Jeremy, and Joshua George are not your typical West Plains residents. Between frequent trips to India and owning a pet elephant for a period of time, these brothers hold strong ties to their Indian background and carry a worldly view in addition to a resilient work ethic. Ranging in age and year, they have created a positive and strong presence on Drury’s campus that constitutes a legacy. Jon, a senior, Jeremy, a junior, and Josh, a freshman, are all pre-med students making the most of their Drury educations with high ambitions for life after college. Jon wants to be a missionary doctor, Jeremy a surgeon, and Josh a “regular doctor,” as he likes to put it.

John, Jeremy and Joshua George

“When I started looking into Drury, everything fell into place,” said Jon. “The amazing Pre-Med program, the beautiful campus, and the scholarships all led me to pick Drury.” Each George brother received an Edward Jones Scholarship, which is financial aid for minority students. Students who are awarded the scholarships must meet specified requirements during the school year in addition to pursing an entrepreneurship minor. “It’s great that Drury reaches out to minority students,” Jeremy said. “The scholarship program and entrepreneurship minor diversify us, especially since we are in the medical field; we learn how the business aspect still relates to medicine.”

Being at Drury together is a unique part of the George brothers’ lifestyles. “Once we saw the experience Jon was having at Drury, Josh and I wanted to be here,” said Jeremy. The brothers are competitive with one another, but that doesn’t mean being better but striving to be just as good. “We hold each other accountable,” said Jon. The youngest brother, Josh, has the fortunate experience of having his older brothers at Drury. “They have both learned through trial and error so I don’t have to,” Josh joked.

Every weekend, all three brothers carpool home to West Plains to be with their family and they all work in their church on Sunday. “We just started our church Ozark Christian Tabernacle,” explained Jon. Their father Achenkunju is the pastor, Jeremy is the children’s pastor, and together they lead worship. Four hours of their weekend is spent driving and the rest is balanced between working at the church and studying “We’ve learned how to do homework on the road,” said Josh. “You could call us three brothers and a pickup truck.”

Oh, and about that elephant. It never made it to West Plains. The George brothers’ grandparents kept it in their backyard in India.


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

Drury University to offer online degree completion in Northwest Arkansas in 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 12, 2012 — Drury University will offer two online degree completion programs beginning in January 2013 aimed at students in Northwest Arkansas. Drury will have an online education center in Bentonville, Ark., near Northwest Arkansas Community College, to serve those students.

Drury will host an informational meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville. The meeting will be in Peterson Auditorium of the Shewmaker Global Business Development Center located at 900 Southeast Eagle Way in Bentonville. Drury staff will be available at the meeting to answer questions and assist with applications.

Drury will offer two different degree options that can be completed in two years and entirely online. One degree is a Bachelor of Business Administration. The other offering is a degree in leadership studies with a formal title of: Bachelor of Science in organizational communication and development.

For more information call Katy Brandes, Online Recruiter, Toll Free: (800) 877-90DRURY, Office: (417) 873-7336, Email: kbrandes@drury.edu or go to www.drury.edu/nwaonline.


Open records for open government event Monday, Nov. 12 at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 8, 2012 — University of Missouri Journalism Professor Charles Davis will keynote a Missouri Sunshine Law forum on Monday, Nov. 12 from 5-7 p.m. The forum will be held in Reed Auditorium of the Trustee Science Center, which is located on the southwest corner of Drury Lane and Bob Barker Boulevard.

“In an age with more media outlets and the politicization of news, it is more important than ever that citizens know how to hold their government institutions accountable,” said Dr. Jonathan Groves, professor of mass media and journalism at Drury. “The Sunshine Law and the Freedom of Information Act aren’t just for journalists, they are for everyone, and this forum will teach people how to become informed citizens.”

Charles Davis

Davis’s research focuses on access to governmental information and media law. He has co-authored two books on accessing government information and the use of Freedom of Information laws. Davis also is the primary investigator for research grants that will benefit the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Davis will speak from 5-6 p.m., then, from 6-7 p.m., Drury will host a Sunshine Law panel with representatives from the:

·      Springfield News-Leader

·      City Utilities of Springfield

·      The Springfield-Greene County Library District

·      The League of Women Voters

·      The City of Springfield.

Journalist Mike Sherry, president of the Missouri Sunshine Coalition,will moderate the panel.

Light refreshments will be available.

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.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/voicesunbound or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Jonathan Groves at (417) 873-7347.

Media Contact: Dr. Jonathan Groves, Theme Year Director, Professor of Communication, Office: (417) 873-7347, Mobile: (417) 576-3868, E-mail: jgroves@drury.edu


Drury students compete for the Drury Quidditch Championship this Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 8, 2012 — Even though the Harry Potter series has ended, the spirit of Hogwarts is still alive and well at Drury University. The third annual Drury Quidditch Tournament will be held this Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m. on Sunderland field. The event is free and open to the public.

Quidditch at Drury 2010

In addition to the actual tournament, there are other activities for spectators and the community. At 11:30 a.m. the Dickerson Park Zoo will bring their live owl exhibit and at noon there will be a Harry Potter costume contest for children. Harry Potter themed snacks from AmyCakes, apple cider and licorice wands will be available, along with face painting and a fortuneteller. Drury graduate Robo, a DJ from Power 96.5, will emcee the event.

The Quidditch tournament is played just as the Harry Potter books describes, though players are on the ground rather than the air. Each player is provided a broom and a cape. Competitors try to throw the quaffle through the other team’s goal at either end of the field while avoiding beaters brandishing bludgers. Members of Drury’s Cross Country Team will serve as the snitch.

“Quidditch at Drury is a great time for Harry Potter fans and non-fans alike,” said Brady Nelson, president of Drury Residence Life Association. “Fans have the opportunity to live out the fantastical things from the books and movies while enjoying Harry Potter themed festivities and snacks.”

Go to the International Quidditch Association to learn about Quidditch and read news from Quidditch tournaments from around the globe.

Drury’s Residence Life Association (RLA) sponsors the Quidditch Tournament.

Media Contact: Brady Nelson, President of Drury Residence Life Association, E-mail: bnelson03@drury.edu, Phone: 605-949-0108


A Drury degree three decades in the making

Tom Whitlock did not have a typical Drury career. He was on the decade long plan, taking classes between the fall of 1972 and the spring of 1981, but he was no slacker, “My Drury career was spotty because I kept dropping out to go write songs,” Whitlock said.

Whitlock’s music career began long before his days at Drury. As a high school student at Glendale, he spent his weekends traveling to other states to play drums in his band “No Slack.” He was in and out of Drury through the 1970s taking writing jobs and recording with his band. He returned to Springfield and thought he was going to finish up in the spring of 1981 and graduate, but he never received that degree. “Basically, I had two piano proficiency exams to complete, but I wasn’t going to be able to take them at the same time and that meant I was going to have to come back in the fall, so I just bolted. I had things going on,” Whitlock said.

Whitlock with his first grade teacher (and fellow Drury alumnus) Sue Cook Phillips ’60 after his August 2012 graduation.

Among the things he had going on were: composing the theme for the 1988 Summer Olympics, composing the theme for a World Cup soccer tournament, and writing five songs for the 1986 movie “Top Gun.” Two of those songs, “Danger Zone” and “Take My Breath Away” were hits, and “Take My Breath Away” won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1986 for best original song.

Thanks to his skills and success, Drury conferred an honorary doctorate to Whitlock in 1999, but he still had no bachelor’s degree.

In the summer of 2012, Allin Sorenson, the chair of Drury’s music department, read a story about Whitlock being honored at the Library of Congress along with other songwriters who had written iconic American songs. Sorenson called Whitlock, who splits his time between Springfield and Nashville, and asked him why he had never received his undergraduate degree. Whitlock explained and Sorenson, in consultation with the faculty present during Whitlock’s time at Drury and his obvious success in the music industry, waived the uncompleted piano proficiency requirement.

On Aug. 19, 2012, at a private graduation ceremony in Stone Chapel, Drury President Todd Parnell said, “Dr. Tom Whitlock, will you please come forward to accept your bachelor’s degree.”

“My work path led me to drop in and out of college, but I loved my time at Drury. The size feels like a family,” Whitlock said.


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

Drury to honor veterans with a performance by the 135th Army Band

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 2, 2012 — On Friday, Nov. 9, Drury University will honor veterans with a celebration and performance by the 135th Army Band at 11 a.m. on the Armed Forces Plaza outside of the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Originally organized in 1921 as Battery F 203rd Coastal Artillery and federally recognized in 1947 as the 35th Division Band, the 135th Army Band is made up of 38 soldiers and is stationed in Springfield, Mo.

“Drury has students, faculty, staff and alumni who have served in the military, and this annual Veterans Day event is a way to honor them along with their colleagues who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and the Coast Guard,” said Tammy Rogers, the coordinator of Drury’s Veterans Day event. “We are forever proud and grateful to our men and women in uniform.”

Media Contact: Tammy Rogers, Administrative and Special Projects Coordinator, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Office: (417) 873-6357, Email: tammy@drury.edu