Drury Connect

Summit will highlight Drury’s present and future engaged learning efforts

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 30, 2014 — Drury University will host its inaugural Engaged Learning Summit on Friday, May 2 to discuss the many ways in which students, faculty and staff are reaching out beyond the campus to enrich our community. The summit also marks the beginning of an enhanced collaboration with community leaders to strengthen these efforts.

The event is by invitation only but media are invited to cover the summit. The summit will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center, located on the southwest corner of Drury Lane and Bob Barker Boulevard.

Drury leaders and students will report on the already robust state of community engagement at the University, as well as look ahead to the “Drury Connect” concept, which aims to strengthen those efforts. The heart of Drury Connect is the establishment of nine advisory councils in areas that include the environment, business and economic development, healthcare, the performing arts and architecture. Members of these councils include some of the region’s most influential leaders who will help shape Drury’s academic and community agenda in each area. Several of those who have committed to serve on a Drury Connect advisory council will be in attendance Friday.

“Springfield’s history of collaboration between town and gown is one we cherish and are committed to strengthening,” says Charles Taylor, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We want to demonstrate the added value we can provide to the community we serve, and show the community that this is the lens through which we view the work of educating our students.”

In addition to an overview of Drury Connect, several students will be on hand to make poster presentations about their recent engaged learning efforts. These efforts include work with local schools, performing arts projects, architecture and design projects, and more.

For more information about the Engaged Learning Summit and Drury Connect, contact: Dr. Charles Taylor, Vice President for Academic Affairs, (417) 873-7391 or ctaylor@drury.edu


MBA students connect in China, remain connected professionally

Brian Williams and Max Buetow both recently graduated from Drury’s Master of Business Administration program. Despite being nearly 20 years apart in age, the connection they forged during their classes in the Breech School of Business has continued into their careers.

Max Buetow (left) and Brian Williams with fellow MBA student Cindy Jones in China.

Williams, 49, is a vice president and chief business development officer for CoxHealth. “Earning an MBA had always been a goal, but because of work and family, I’d never done it,” Williams said. “Many people said that I didn’t need to do it, but I wanted to be a lifelong learner, so I had that goal out there and I went to accomplish my goal.”

Buetow, 30, a former collegiate hockey goaltender at Canisius College in New York, married a Springfield native and was looking for a good MBA program. “I met with (then MBA director) Dawn Hiles and she introduced me to Todd (President Todd Parnell),” Buetow said. “I liked the feeling that Drury was a family atmosphere and the ‘we’ll stick by you for life’ idea.”

All students in Drury’s MBA program take a weeklong trip to China as part of the curriculum. Williams and Buetow knew each other from class, but were merely acquaintances in 2009 when they were planning for the China trip at the end of the spring semester. The younger Buetow reached out to the 40-something Williams about being roommates in China, “It’s a credit to Max, as a lot of young men wouldn’t see any value in having a mentor that’s 20 years older than you. We just cultivated a friendship,” Williams said.

“He (Williams) epitomizes the saying, ‘Trying to suck the marrow out of life’,” Buetow said. “He was up early running in Tiananmen Square and then we were out meeting people and doing all we possibly could to make it an amazing experience.”

Buetow graduated in 2009 while Williams had a few more classes to complete before graduating in 2010, but the two men kept in touch and worked on a small real estate investment project together.

Buetow eventually landed at Sara Lee in Kansas. When Williams had an opening for a Clinic Director at Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute, he called Buetow. Buetow was already looking at another manufacturing job in Kansas City, but, after an interview and meeting with the doctors, he accepted the job in March of 2012.

“Max is a very genuine person, he connects with people and he has strong analytical skills,” Williams said. “He’s just a genuine person that I remained connected with and he is extremely trustworthy.”

Buetow and Williams will join other alumni of the Drury MBA China trip for a gathering called “Great times on the Great Wall” on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at  Parlor 88 – Southside. Any alumni of the Drury MBA program’s China trip are welcome. Please RSVP to rsvp@drury.edu.


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

A Breech internship leads to a job in New York City

Drury senior Maurilinn Waneka’s philosophy for success is: If you want to get something done, go do it. When it came time to fulfill her internship requirement in the Breech School of Business, she aimed for one in the world’s financial capital, and it paid off with a 10-week summer internship and an eventual job offer.

Mauri Waneka, Breech School of Business student

“Reputation is everything in the banking business,” said Waneka. “It is nearly impossible to get your foot in the door for a Wall Street banking internship if you don’t attend one of the company’s targeted schools.” As a proven hard worker and good student at Drury, Waneka tapped into her available resources: the professors on Drury’s campus. She spoke with Economics Professor Steve Mullins about investment banking who suggested she speak with Dr. Clif Petty who had a former student in the field. Kyle Carleton graduated from Drury’s Breech School of Business in 1999 and had risen to vice president in BNP Paribas, a global banking firm. After an hour-long phone call between Carleton and Waneka, Carleton made sure her resume got to the right people. That led to a phone interview, an interview in New York City and an internship in the summer of 2012.

“Mauri got the job because of Mauri, but you have to get a chance,” said Petty, Drury professor of management. “Having a person inside the firm saying, ‘I know of a person who would be a good candidate,’ can help you get that chance. Kyle’s reputation within BNP set the bar for Drury graduates and that helps the next graduate looking for a career.”

“During the internship, I was asked to perform and network. Drury’s atmosphere teaches you the importance of networking, and I was able to use those skills that I had developed,” Waneka said. After the internship, Waneka was offered and accepted a job with BNP Paribas that will be waiting for her when she graduates in May 2013. She credits her two managers at BNP Paribas, Maxine Hughes and Doug Sue, as the keys to her success, “They helped me know who to meet and what to do. They became my support network.”

When she returned to Drury for her senior year, Waneka visited Dr. Mullins and Dr. Petty to thank them and update them on her internship experience. “When you are trying to do something like this, you need people on your team,” said Waneka.


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

Drury’s Scholars program receives funding to buy computers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 18, 2012 — Drury University’s Scholars program, an enrichment program for Springfield African-American youth, has received a $9,000 grant from the BKD Foundation to buy Netbook computers for the Scholars to use throughout the school year.

“The Scholars program is designed to close the achievement gap between African-American students and Caucasian students. What really impressed me about the program was that the professors are looking beyond school and asking the students, ‘Is success going to college or getting out of high school and getting a job?’” said Zach Swartz, a BKD employee who will volunteer with the Scholars this summer. “I think this program can make a real change by taking some at-risk kids, putting some enrichment in place, and helping them achieve success.”

BKD, a national accounting firm based in Springfield, has been involved with the Scholars program since 2010. BKD employees have talked to the Scholars about business, leadership, ethics and marketing.

“From the foundation’s perspective, we look at projects BKD partners and employees are involved with, and projects that have a community impact. This program exemplifies both of those qualities,” said Rachel Dwiggins, a member of the BKD Foundation advisory committee.

“We are extremely thankful for BKD’s involvement with the Scholars program. This gift will help the students have a more robust classroom experience and will assist with programming throughout the school year,” said Dr. Mark Wood, chemistry professor and one of the Scholars founders.

Drury faculty founded Summer Scholars in 2008 as a way to connect with young African-Americans in the neighborhood near the Drury campus through academic and cultural classes and outings. The program directors, Wood, Bruce Callen, Peter Meidlinger, and Charlyn Ingwerson, all live in the midtown community and teach at the university. Since its founding, the Scholars program has expanded to include young females, offering year-round activities and it has tripled in size to serve about fifty students annually. Drury recently hired Francine Pratt, former president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP, as the Scholars program director.

This summer, the Scholars will be on the Drury campus for a week beginning July 30.

Media Contact: Dr. Mark Wood, Professor of Chemistry, Office: (417) 873-7474, Mobile: (417) 693-9938, E-mail: mwood@drury.edu


Drury faculty connect to Midtown children while the kids connect to nature

Since 2008, several Drury faculty members who live in the Drury neighborhood have connected with children from Boyd Elementary through the Drury Neighborhood Activities program. Also known as DNA, the program sponsors trips to the lake, river floats, Springfield Cardinals games and Wednesday night swim and cookouts at Silver Springs Pool.

“Our goal is to provide a positive impact on the lives of kids in our neighborhood through fun, safe activities that promote enduring relationships,” said Dr. Mark Wood, one of the DNA organizers and a Drury chemistry professor. “The trips and parties are about having a safe day where people play and are happy.”

DU Student Ryan Thurman plays with Boyd Elementary Students on the Little Buffalo River in Arkansas.

Besides Dr. Wood, Dr. Don Deeds (biology), Dr. Bruce Callen (physics), Dr. Robin Miller (sociology), and Brian Shipman (video and communication) organize and chaperone the trips and swim parties. A typical trip or Wednesday night cookout will have between 12 and 20 children in attendance along with several Drury students who work as mentors. This year, for the first time, one former DNA student, Jack Kemp, has returned as a mentor: he’ll be a freshman at Central High School next year.

While DNA began as a way for Drury faculty and students to connect with and have fun with families in Drury’s neighborhood, it also may have had a positive unintended consequence by battling something called “nature deficit disorder.” Author Richard Louv coined the term in a 2005 book Last Child In the Woods. “By its broadest interpretation, nature deficit disorder is an atrophied awareness, a diminished ability to find meaning in the life that surrounds us,” Louv wrote in Outside magazine in 2011. The children participating in DNA live in the Midtown Neighborhood around Drury, and, for some of the kids, DNA provides them their first opportunity to experience the outdoors beyond the environs of Springfield.

“The creek was the highlight this year for me. It was really enjoyable because the kids were catching tadpoles and crawdads and really getting to enjoy the outdoors,” said Jenna Murphy, DNA mentor.

Drury and the DNA children are grateful to the business and community partners that have donated resources for the DNA trips, including: SRC Holdings, Bass Pro Shops, Drury Trustee Susie Henry, Springfield Public Schools, Boyd Elementary principal Mr. James Grandon and the Springfield Park Board.