Drury vice president is expanding her higher education knowledge through an ACE fellowship

While the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Leadership Academy participants are growing through experiential learning on their own campuses, Dawn Hiles, vice president of enrollment management at Drury University, is engaged in an off-campus experience that will enrich her leadership capabilities. As one of only 57 American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows for the 2012-13 academic year, Hiles hopes that the program will expand on the skills she brings to her current role at Drury.

Dawn Hiles, vice president of enrollment management

Through the ACE Fellows program, participants “immerse themselves in the culture, policies and decision-making processes of another institution.” After Hiles was accepted, she made a list of 12 potential hosts and interviewed with three of them. She chose Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., because of its outstanding reputation. In addition, being three and half hours away from Drury, its proximity gave her a great deal of flexibility and even allowed her to attend the weekend launch of WashU’s capital campaign. There are year-long and semester-long tracks for the fellowship, but Hiles is completing a total of 12 weeks spread out over two semesters so that she can continue to work at Drury.

“The program is a rich experience in a short amount of time,” she said.

Hiles is the first ACE Fellow that WashU has hosted, and Chancellor Mark Wrighton and Chief of Staff Robert Wild are serving as her mentors.  She will work on four different projects over the course of the year. So far she has completed work on the Delmar Loop, an $80 million mixed-use housing project combining student housing with retail. Currently, she is working with the Gephardt Institute for Public Service, which is WashU’s civic engagement center. The last two projects scheduled for the spring relate to the Medical School and the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

ACE Fellows are encouraged to expand contacts in higher education, both in the U.S. and abroad. Hiles feels fortunate to have spent an afternoon with David Maxwell, president of Drake University, discussing various topics in higher education. She is also expanding her contacts, both domestic and global, through other ACE Fellows, both current and past. To achieve this, ACE hosts retreats and seminars and suggests that Fellows embark on an international trip during the program. (Hiles’ plans for this are still undecided.).

Just a few months into the program, Hiles already feels as though the wide range of experiences has influenced her decision-making, as she consistently applies situations from her encounters at WashU to her work at Drury. “Without these experiences, one runs the risk of getting entrenched in only one approach to problem-solving,” Hiles said.

The advantage to the ACE program is that it gives Fellows a broader sense of what is happening in higher education, and Hiles believes that these experiences will help her gain an entrepreneurial approach to the opportunities and challenges within the industry. “The more information and context you apply to a situation, the better your decisions will be,” she said.


Story by Michelle Apuzzio, communications director for the New American Colleges and Universities (NACU), this story first appeared in the December edition of the NACU newsletter. Re-printed with permission.

A late Drury alumna’s story still inspires

Every year at this time people will make New Year’s resolutions, but most will fail to keep those commitments for a variety of reasons: it was too hard, stress, job, kids, whatever. Determination is in short supply, but excuses are infinite. As readers face their resolutions for the New Year, this story may serve as an inspiration when you think that avoiding that doughnut is too hard.

Marcia Cooper didn’t begin her college career until she was 51 years old. Despite being a spouse, mother, grandmother and working full-time at Litton/Northrup Grumman, she graduated from Evangel summa cum laude in 2005. By doing so, she become the first person in her family to graduate from college. Cooper began working on a Master of Business Administration at Drury in August of 2005.

Photo: Classmates, faculty and administrators were on hand to present Cooper with her MBA on July 13, 2007. (From L-R): Dr. Bill Rohlf, Dr. Gary DeBauche, Dr. Amy Lewis, Cooper’s classmate Rick Rowland, Marcia Cooper, Dr. Charles Taylor, Drury President Todd Parnell, Dr. Muthu Karuppan.

Cooper proved to be a good student and provided value to Drury’s MBA program. “She brought real world savvy and experience into the classroom and she served as a member of the Graduate Student Advisory Board,” said Dr. Amy Lewis, Drury associate professor of management.

However, in April of 2007, as she closed in on her master’s degree, Cooper was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer. “This once vibrant woman was wasting away before our eyes,” Lewis said.

It was at that point that the “Drury family” kicked into gear. Cooper had a strong desire to finish her MBA. Breech School of Business professors made arrangements for her to finish her spring classes because she was too ill to sit for her finals. Her classmates bought her an iPod to listen to during her chemotherapy treatments. Drury waived Cooper’s tuition for her final class, and Dr. Lewis met with Cooper at her house and in the hospital during the summer so she could complete her final coursework as an independent study.

On July 4, 2007, Cooper was hospitalized. “She told me that she didn’t think she would make it until the August graduation, and she wanted to set a good example for her grandchildren about the importance of education and finishing things you’ve started,” Lewis said.

On July 13, 2007, with four generations of her family by her hospital bed along with friends, and Drury faculty and staff, Cooper was presented with her Master of Business Administration. Less than an hour after receiving her degree, Cooper died.

At the time, Drury President Todd Parnell was Drury’s interim president, but that early memory in his tenure as Drury’s leader still stands out. “I was moved by her passion for education and her unwavering commitment to succeed.  I was also inspired by the university’s humane and responsive ability to react quickly and do the right thing,” he said. “We took commencement to Marcia so she could graduate in front of her family. I will never forget that.”

Lewis worked with Drury’s Office of Alumni and Development to establish the Marcia Cooper Endowed Scholarship to help other non-traditional, female students who want to better their lives through education. To contribute to the scholarship fund, contact Chris Tuckness, Drury’s Office of Alumni and Development at (417) 873-6857 or by email at ctuckness@drury.edu. If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, go to www.drury.edu/esq and fill out the application.


Story by Mark Miller, portions were excerpted from Dr. Amy Lewis’s letter soliciting contributions to the scholarship fund.

Students go to Africa to help people affected by HIV and AIDS

Twelve Drury University students will have an eye opening and potentially life altering experience when they travel to South Africa over winter break. Supervised by Drs. Rachael Herrington and Jennifer Silva Brown, these students will visit Cape Town and work in orphanages and medical clinics helping children facing adversity and those in the community who have been affected by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The students and two professors will leave December 28 and return January 16, 2013.

This opportunity will give the students a first-hand account of the welfare disparities in Cape Town. The 20-day journey begins with the students taking advantage of the enrichment opportunities the city has to offer, visiting cultural and tourist landmarks. The students will then stay in homes with South African residents; further exposing the students to the nation’s culture.

Front row (L to R): Kyndahl Bertram, Tiffany Baker, Megan Reidy, Rebecca Vogt, Amy Rost, Airika Poivre, and Breanne Lombardo Back row (L to R): Dr. Rachael Herrington, Christine Collins, JaLessa Cain, Blake Herd, Cole Hartfield, and Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown

A majority of students on the trip have an interest in the medical field. They have all participated in an HIV/AIDS awareness program and will continue training in South Africa for three days with the Dreamcatcher Foundation of South Africa before working in either the orphanage or medical clinics. “The students will be working with children that have been abandoned, abused, neglected, and worse,” said Silva Brown. “This is going to be an absolute life-changing experience for all of us.”

Drs. Herrington and Silva Brown, who teach in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Drury, will jointly teach “Biological Bases of Clinical Disorders and Infectious Diseases” and “Cross-Cultural Psychology” as part of the program. They will place a heavy emphasis on gaining and utilizing a cross-cultural perspective when working with people whose backgrounds differ from those of the caregivers. Students are taught to consider the patients’ gender roles, socioeconomic status, race, and religion. “We are equipping students to become culturally competent providers in their area of expertise,” said Herrington. “And yet, going there might seem like we are a gift to those we are helping, but the reality is that this experience is truly a gift to us.”


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

Front row L to R: Kyndahl Bertram, Tiffany Baker, Megan Reidy, Rebecca Vogt, Amy Rost, Airika Poivre, and Breanne Lombardo

Back row L to R: Dr. Rachael Herrington, Christine Collins, JaLessa Cain, Blake Herd, Cole Hartfield, and Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown

Mark Geiss is Drury’s Distinguished Staff Member for 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 19, 2012 — Drury Associate Director of Safety and Security Mark Geiss is Drury University’s Distinguished Staff Member for 2012. The Distinguished Staff Award recognizes a staff member who:

·      Enhances the quality of work-life.

·      Provides outstanding and ongoing excellence in services.

·      Develops creative solutions that result in more effective and efficient operations.

Mark Geiss (left) with Pres. Todd Parnell

Geiss has been at Drury University since 2008. Besides his work in safety and security, Geiss has been the chair of the Staff Advisory Council, served on the Presidential Search Committee, is co-advisor of Drury’s Outdoor Club, and he organized Drury’s Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

One nomination stated, “When it comes to enhancing the quality of work-life, providing outstanding and ongoing excellence in service to the university, mentoring students, and making contributions that make a significant difference to the Drury community, Mark is someone we all should strive to emulate.”


A love for his country and a Drury education

“The members of the armed forces have been compelled to make greater economic sacrifice and every other kind of sacrifice than the rest of us, and they are entitled to definite action to help take care of their special problems.”
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1943.

That quote from FDR laid the groundwork for the G.I. Bill, which the president signed into law in July 1944, and made funds available for military personnel to pursue education and training. Nearly 70 years later, one Drury student and Air Force veteran is making the most of every educational opportunity put before him.

Brad Ray

Brad Ray graduated from Windsor High School (a little northeast of Clinton) in 1999. He moved to Springfield at 18 and worked a few jobs, but he lacked focus, “I was more interested in going out and hanging out with my buddies,” Ray said.

However, after the attacks on the United States on 9/11, Ray became inspired to help his country and, at age 22, he enlisted in the Air Force, “I said ‘To heck with it’ and signed up for a six year enlistment.”

Ray’s military training was a sharp contrast to his previously freewheeling lifestyle, but it was just what he needed. “Basic military training was one of the most influential things I’ve ever been through. It gave me more discipline, I learned what it means to work, dedicate yourself, and do what it takes to get your job done,” Ray said.

Ray became a crew chief for a team of technicians that maintained the U-2 Dragon Lady, a reconnaissance aircraft that flies at the edge of space. During his first assignment, Ray began taking classes at a community college and eventually earned a bachelor’s in professional aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He continued his education even as he was stationed in the United Arab Emirates and South Korea, earning a Master of Business Administration online.

After his six-year stint, Ray wasn’t done with the Air Force or education. He’s an active reservist, and he’s earning an accounting degree from Drury on the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. “I thought I could take enough classes just to sit for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam. I cold called Accounting Professor Penny Clayton and she took a great interest in what I wanted to do. After talking to Dr. Clayton, I decided to get my accounting degree,” Ray said.

Brad in front of the A-10 Warthog aircraft

“From the first time I spoke with Brad, I knew he was serious about a career in accounting and would be dedicated to getting the most from his educational experience,” Dr. Clayton said. “Brad works through complex accounting information in the same way he seems to tackle other life tasks, i.e. with dedication, commitment, and hard work.  I’ve absolutely loved working with him over the past couple of years.”

He’ll graduate in the spring of 2014 when he plans to begin “climbing the corporate ladder.” Eventually, Ray says he might run for political office. For now, Ray is enjoying life as a 31-year-old college student, “I have an opportunity most people would kill for: reliving your youth. I’m at this beautiful university and I appreciate it much more than I would have ten years ago. I’ve been lucky.”


Dr. Karen Scott: Responding to the Newtown, CT Tragedy

On Monday, Dec. 17, Drury hosted a memorial service for the victims of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting. Dr. Karen Scott from the Lost and Found Grief Center in Springfield offered these remarks on how to help children deal with the tragedy.

Remarks delivered by Dr. Karen S. Scott   12.17.12

The senseless tragedy of the loss of 26 lives affects all of us in so many ways, and the impact of that loss ripples out from the immediate families and friends to relatives who live all over the country.  The ripples of loss extend to those of us who did not know the victims or their families personally, but are touched by the loss because of our humanity and the identification we feel with the pain of losing a precious child or loved one.  We recoil at the display of the worst of what human beings are capable of doing.  But the collective response of horror and disbelief, the outpouring of love and support for that community, and the courageous acts of heroism demonstrate the very best of the human response.

Dr. Karen Scott

Today we stand shoulder to shoulder and reach out heart to heart to commemorate the loss and find the appropriate way to respond. Unfortunately, acts of terror have become all too familiar, requiring that we give pause to reflect personally and as a society regarding the appropriate response to the traumatic impact of such an event.

Trauma is an injury to the physical or psychological well-being of an individual.  It means someone has been hurt or upset to the degree that it severely affects the way they function, either mentally, emotionally, or physically

Traumatic events shatter our sense of safety and our assumptions about trust and control.  They leave us feeling unprotected, defenseless, and overwhelmed.  They bring feelings of terror and helplessness.  If someone can walk into a first grade classroom and commit such acts of carnage, are we really safe anywhere?  How can we prevent such senseless violence?

As adults, we are all asking ourselves these questions.   Trauma changes our view of self, our view of the world, sometimes our spirituality. We struggle to find meaning in these events and in life.  Imagine how much greater the struggle to understand is for our children who lack the cognitive ability to process the complexities.

The most severe traumas and repeated exposure to traumatic events increase the risk for full-blown PTSD.  However, many of us are at-risk for Secondary traumatization.  This used to affect caregivers, and mental health workers—those who repeatedly heard the stories of first-hand victims.  Now, repeated media images and 24-hr. news coverage increase the risks for many of us to have secondary traumatization

So what should our response be?  What helps lessen the impact of trauma?

First, we need to limit our exposure to the traumatic stories.  We can be informed without inundating ourselves with the news coverage.   We must take a break and focus on the good people and things in life.  We need the reminders that the majority of people are good and decent.

We must shield our children from the horrific details of the event.  We need to reassure them that such events are very unusual and represent the extraordinary and bizarre.  They need to be reassured of all the adults in their world who take care to ensure their safety.

We must deliberately focus on moving from being victims, to survivors, to thrivers, so that we emerge from this tragedy with a sense of community, meaning, power, and resolve.

Talking is the primary way people express their feelings.  Now is the time to talk to others about how we are impacted by these events—discuss our fears and questions with other adults.  Again, shield the children from these discussions. We need to meet in community groups, much like this gathering to express our feelings and avoid isolation.

Then when the adults are calm, give your children an opportunity to talk about their fears and concerns, but don’t continually bring it up to them.  Remind them of the things you and their schools do to keep them safe.  Children may need to draw or act out their feelings in play if they lack to vocabulary to express their fears. Ask open-ended questions and respond only to their questions.  Don’t give them more information than they are seeking.  Allow them to return to childhood concerns such as the excitement of Christmas. That’s what our children should be thinking about . . . not tragedy.

We must focus on our support systems and call upon those people who lift us up, the people you can count on in times of trouble.  Touching, holding and being physically close allow us to communicate and receive love, support, and protection.  Hold your children, assure them that WE will be okay, so they know you are supporting them through any fears and concerns; that they don’t have to handle this alone.

To counter the feelings of helplessness that come from trauma, we need to focus on resilience.   We human beings are wonderfully resilient. We must continue to identify and build protective factors that foster resilience such as:

  • being committed to finding meaningful purpose in life
  • believing that we can influence our surroundings
  • believing that we can learn and grow from both positive and negative experiences

We cannot rid the world of all evil, but we can make a difference in each of our spheres of influence.  It is important that we empower our children with this knowledge so they do not feel powerless.

We can provide encouragement to the discouraged; reach out to those who are isolated and alone, embrace those who are different, helping them find a place in our community.  We can return to a sense of civility in which all are loved and valued.  We can slow down long enough to smile, thank others, offer a word of encouragement, and acknowledge that we are human beings who need love and care, not merely machines spinning faster and faster on the treadmill of life.

Lost and Found and the Council of Churches have created a means for this community to reach out to support the Newtown community.  We will collect messages of condolence and support to be shared with those who were touched by this tragedy.  Messages can be submitted to either agency by mail, posted on The Council of Churches Facebook page or their website.

And we can teach our children how to reach out to others.  Allow them to see and experience the good feelings that come from kindness to others.  We can influence our surroundings and create a positive response to the tragedy.  We can purposefully communicate to our children that our response to acts of violence should be deliberate attempts to make the world a better place.  We don’t have to stand by helplessly.

Image how different the world would be if each of us followed the prayer of St. Francis . . .  if we all chose to be instruments of peace, sowing love where there is hatred, giving pardon where there is injury, hope where there is despair, seeking to console and bring joy, working as hard to understand as we work to be understood, and to love as much as we seek to be loved.

Just as the ripples of this tragedy have extended throughout the world, the ripples of love and care can extend from each of your circles to the broader community.  Love and care help us find the meaning and purpose in life that can heal our hearts and provide the resilience we need to overcome the negative effects of trauma.

1 Corinthians 13 reminds us of the power of love.  “Love knows no limits in its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything.  It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.”

Let us resolve to be the instruments of love and change to start this healing process.


Drury to host memorial service for victims of Connecticut school shooting

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 16, 2012 — Drury University will host a memorial service for the victims of Friday’s school shooting in Connecticut on Monday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. in Stone Chapel. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Dr. Karen Scott, the executive director of Lost and Found Grief Center in Springfield, will be the keynote speaker. She will talk about the best ways for individuals to work through their own feelings and those of children in processing the tragedy and how to find ways to help those who were directly affected.

Drury’s chaplain Dr. Peter Browning will provide a pastoral message.

“The Drury community joins the nation in a time of mourning and sorrow after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  As an institution that prepares teachers to educate children, we felt a need to gather in prayer for the victims and their families and to learn of ways to respond most helpfully,” Browning said. “We are profoundly grateful for Dr. Scott’s willingness to share her wisdom with us as a compassionate expert in the area of grief care.”

Stone Chapel is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Central Street and Benton Avenue.

Media Contact: Dr. Peter Browning, University Chaplain and Professor of Religion, Office: (417) 873-7231, E-mail: pbrowning@drury.edu


Drury honors Registrar Gale Boutwell with an honorary degree at Winter Commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 15, 2012 — Gale Boutwell has worked at Drury University for more than four decades. Today, Drury honored her with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at commencement in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. The degree was a surprise to Boutwell who has worked at Drury for 41 years; she has been the registrar since 1978.

Drury also conferred degrees to 410 students during its Winter Commencement. 356 students received undergraduate degrees and 54 earned master’s degrees.

Gale Boutwell (left) smiles as Dr. Charles Taylor reads the proclamation for Boutwell's honorary degree.

Boutwell has overseen 86 commencement ceremonies, including today’s, during that time nearly 25,000 men and women have transitioned from student to Drury alumnus. Drury President Todd Parnell said of Boutwell, “She makes things happen that can’t, all with a smile and in the personal interests of students, whatever their ages, backgrounds or dreams. Gale believes most fundamentally in student dreams.” Parnell and Boutwell both graduated from Drury in 1969.

“Today is so special to me. I am so gratified. I know what goes into the conferring of these honorary degrees. Faculty, trustees, thank you,” Boutwell said.

Jim Anderson, the president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce was the graduation speaker. Anderson received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Drury in 2002, and his daughter Rebecca was one of today’s graduates.

Jim Anderson, Drury graduation speaker

“You have two choices in life, you can dissolve into the mainstream or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must be and strive to be what no one else but you can be,” Anderson told the graduates. “Graduation may be the end of time for you at Drury University, but you’re about to begin a new chapter. Graduation is a new beginning. The more you work to improve the lives of others, the more you will enjoy life.”

Drury’s president-elect Dr. David Manuel and his wife Betty Coe attended the commencement ceremony. Manuel will take office as Drury’s 17th president on June 1, 2013.


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: rwaters@drury.edu