engaged learning

Students present vision for Hazelwood Cemetery ahead of 150th anniversary

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2017 — A team of Drury architecture students is helping the City of Springfield envision the future of the largest municipally owned cemetery in the state of Missouri.

Hazelwood Cemetery will celebrate its 150th anniversary in October. As part of the city’s celebration of this event, the Springfield Public Works Department asked the Center for Community Studies at Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture to assist in a community-based visioning process to identify a long-term master plan for the cemetery.

The public is invited to a meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, at the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library to hear recommendations that have resulted from a community input process.

A group of eight third-year architecture students have spent the past several months working closely with city staff and a citizen advisory committee to assess current conditions and challenges, research cultural practices and trends in the funeral industry, and identify the community’s wants and needs. A few of the recommendations that will be discussed are: consideration of a new main entry off Sunset Street, a new cemetery office/maintenance complex, a “Celebration of Life Center,” development of columbarium and sprinkle-gardens, and establishment of a commemorative monument for the cemetery’s 150th anniversary.

The Drury team will use presentation boards, videos, and models to help illustrate these recommendations. The architecture students were supervised by Professor Jay Garrott, director of the Center for Community Studies, with the assistance of Jeff Barber, environmental design state specialist with the University of Missouri-Extension.

The citizen advisory committee and city staff will continue to oversee development of the plan for throughout the summer with the intent of presenting the final vision at the October celebration of the cemetery’s 150th anniversary.

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Media Contact: Jay Garrott, Professor of Architecture & Director of the Center for Community Studies: (417) 873-7371 or jgarrott@drury.edu.

Architecture students to present visions for the future of C-Street site

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2016 — The Hammons School of Architecture’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) has spent the past four months working with community partners to envision concepts for the long-term redevelopment of The Kitchen, Inc. campus on Commercial Street.

The fourth and final public forum in this process will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 10 at the Savoy Ballroom, 224 E. Commercial St. Students and faculty from the CCS will present and discuss potential visions for the 3.5-acre site. Media are invited to attend.

The CCS has worked in collaboration with The Kitchen Inc., Commercial Club, C-Street CID, Landmarks Board, University of Missouri-Extension, City of Springfield Planning and Development, and citizens of Springfield throughout the process.

The intent of this collaborative endeavor was not to identify or choose a specific redevelopment plan for the site. Instead, the process was a way to explore issues associated with the redevelopment of the properties, explore the viability of the various approaches, and invigorate the public discussion of the potential of the properties and surrounding Commercial Street context. Additionally, it serves as a way to document the findings in a graphic and written manner that may be used by the future redevelopment partnership.

The Kitchen is in the process of moving out of its facilities located at the Commercial Street campus and decentralizing its operations throughout the Springfield community. The campus on Commercial Street contains many diverse structures that are important to the physical integrity of the streetscape of Commercial Street, to the historical context of north Springfield, and anchor the important Benton/Commercial intersection at the east gateway to the Commercial Street district. The redevelopment of this large complex is of great importance to The Kitchen Inc., City of Springfield, Commercial Club, C-Street CID, Landmarks Board, and residents of Midtown, Commercial Street, and Woodland Heights neighborhoods.

About the Center for Community Studies

The Center for Community Studies is the interdisciplinary research and academic outreach component of the Hammons School of Architecture. The mission of the center is to assist the regional community in exploring and promoting innovative planning, design and development practices that respond to the challenges of our contemporary and future society and foster a healthier and sustainable habitat for our global community. The Center has worked with more than 60 communities across the region over the last 15 years. Visioning projects inside the City of Springfield have included the West Central Neighborhood Route 66 corridor and a center city housing study.

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Media Contact: Jay Garrott, Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Community Studies: (417) 873-7371 or jgarrott@drury.edu

Breech Business Week helps prepare students for the professional world

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 13, 2016 — The Breech School of Business Administration at Drury University will dedicate next week to showcasing the strength of its student body and its ties with the business community in Springfield and beyond.

Breech Business Week, now in its third year, serves as another way of ensuring Breech students are “job ready” by connecting them with the professional world beyond campus. In addition to networking opportunities and workshops on topics such as negotiating job offers and polishing their online presence, students will interact with a number of business professionals. The guest lecturers include Esther George, president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, and Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Drury students will receive valuable insights and feedback from these professional connections, while business leaders learn what makes Drury graduates such highly valued colleagues in the workforce.

“A Drury business education has always been designed to take learning beyond the classroom,” says Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School. “Breech Business Week embodies that idea. Seeing the interactions between students, alumni, professionals and guest lecturers has become a highlight of the academic year at Breech.”

Selected events from each day, which are open to the media, include:

Monday, April 18, 10 a.m. – Teleconference discussion with Esther George, President and CEO of Kansas City Federal Reserve

Tuesday, April 19, Noon – Polish your Online Image: Online presence review with the Career Planning and Development Office

Wednesday, April 20, 6 p.m. – Work/Life Balance: A discussion with Mary Jane Norris of Elliott, Robinson & Co.

Thursday, April 21, 12 p.m. – Discussion with Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow and Board Chair Debbie Shantz Hart. 1:30 p.m. – Negotiating Job Offers: Discussion with Karen Shannon, Human Resources & Business Consulting Director at Ollis/Akers/Arney.

Friday, April 24, 12 p.m. – The Breech Award Luncheon honoring the top students in Drury’s business school will be held at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Note to editors: This is an excellent opportunity to interview seniors who are about to enter the workforce, including those who already have jobs lined up and those who are currently seeking jobs.

A full schedule of the week’s events can be found online. Breech Business Week is presented by the Breech Advisory Board, and made possible by corporate partner CoxHealth and corporate sponsors Commerce Bank and OakStar Bank.

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Media Contact: Dr. Robin Sronce, Dean, Breech School of Business: (417) 873-7438 or rsronce@drury.edu.

Q&A: How the Northwest Project will benefit Springfield & Drury

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks announced Tuesday that a five-year grant for up to $1.3 million to address poverty in northwest Springfield will be awarded to a partnership led by Drury University, Missouri State University, and the Drew Lewis Foundation. The goal of The Northwest Project is to pilot strategies over a five-year period to help families overcome the challenges that have kept them living in poverty and sustain their long-term success in emerging from those circumstances.

Drury faculty and staff are excited by the possibilities for truly meaningful community engagement in the coming years. We asked Dan Prater, executive director of Drury’s Center for Nonproft Leadership, and Ryan Gipson, director of Drury’s Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development, to tell us more about DU’s role in this major initiative.

 

What is the Northwest Project in a nutshell?

Dan Prater: It’s a large-scale effort to move people out of poverty and into a stronger, more sustainable life. This is in response to decades of seeing groups working on poverty, but with very little change in the poverty rate in our region.

The CFO put out requests for proposals from local organizations that worked collectively to create a systematic process for assisting families. The MSU/Fairbanks/Drury alliance was the winning group. This project differs from previous efforts in that all participating agencies will be required to work in unison with other helping agencies, using consistent forms, and communicating with one another.

The Northwest Project is modeled after a program in Jacksonville, Florida called “1,000 in 1,000.” That project was a collective effort of area nonprofits and civic organizations that moved 1,000 people out of poverty in 1,000 days.

What role will Drury and the Center for Nonprofit Leadership play in the project?

Prater: The Center for Nonprofit Leadership will work side-by-side with Missouri State University’s Center for Community Engagement to provide all evaluation and assessment for the project.

The Drury CNL and MSU CEC team will conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis, providing to funders and participating agencies important information on the families’ progress or lack thereof. This will help explain the factors that caused some individuals/families to succeed, and what caused some to fail. This critical information will help shape future program delivery, giving nonprofit and civic leaders primary evidence regarding their services.

How will the community benefit from Drury’s involvement?

Ryan Gipson: Drury will also be using new community service tracking and marketing software as part of this grant. This will allow us to direct Drury students, faculty, and staff to service opportunities being held by the agencies involved in the grant. But the truly exciting part is that it will also allow us to market those opportunities to the Springfield community as a whole. Anyone in Springfield can log onto the general website, see any service opportunities available, and RSVP to volunteer.

We want to see this tool used across the entire Springfield community so that nonprofit agencies in the area can reach more people who want to volunteer.

What kinds of opportunities will Drury students have to be involved in the project?

Gipson: During the next five years, we will be directing nearly one-third of the service hours that students log through the Community Outreach and Leadership Development Office to nonprofit agencies that are participating in the Northwest Project grant. The grant also allows us to increase our VITA Tax Clinic capacity to help more families.

Anytime agencies have a need for volunteers, we will ensure it is marketed to Drury students. The Community Outreach and Leadership Development office will also plan special large-scale events with focuses in the Northwest area. We will encourage students to use the skills they’ve gained in the classroom to help in specialized areas of need such as architecture students assisting with the Habitat for Humanity projects that are part of the grant, to name just one possible example.

What are your hopes for the impact the project will have on our community? 

Prater: We hope this project will have a clear, lasting impact on people in poverty. By providing people with the tools and resources they need, we hope to see immediate and long-term outcomes. Helping people with immediate needs can help them prepare for the future. The ripple effect will be felt by their entire family, and possibly for generations to come.

Student-led start-ups help The Fairbanks improve Grant Beach

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 28, 2016 — The Fairbanks is now partnering with the Drury University Enactus team to address a number of pressing issues such as food insecurity, transportation needs and employment opportunities in the Grant Beach Neighborhood.

Through this partnership with Drury’s student entrepreneurship team, The Fairbanks is launching innovative projects such as a locally sourced healthy food subscription service, a bike rental shop and even a worm farm. These projects expand access to healthy food, transportation, and job opportunities for residents of the Grant Beach Neighborhood.

The list of projects includes:

Grocery Store – The grocery store at The Fairbanks creates a food source in the Grant Beach Neighborhood, which directly addresses food insecurities in one of the largest food deserts in Springfield. This store will provide Grant Beach residents with fresh produce, food essentials and other necessities at an affordable cost.

Bike Rental Shop – The Fairbanks bike rental shop offers affordable means of transportation to residents of the Grant Beach Neighborhood. Area residents who lack transportation are now able to rent bicycles at an affordable rate of $2 per hour.

Rental bikes ready for use hang in the bike shop at The Fairbanks.

Rental bikes ready for use hang in the bike shop at The Fairbanks.

Worm & Mushroom Farms – The Fairbanks has launched mushroom and fertilizer businesses to generate revenue and create jobs for residents in Grant Beach. Currently, The Fairbanks grows, harvests and sells portobello and oyster mushrooms to local restaurants and Springfield residents. The Fairbanks is also home to approximately 1,000 worms. These worms aid in composting waste and produce nutrient-rich soil. The nutrient fertilizer and worm tea will be sold to local community gardens and home gardeners in Springfield. The maintenance of both the mushrooms and worms will provide employment opportunities to those in the Grant Beach neighborhood.

Members of Drury’s Enactus Team separate worms from compost in the “worm farm” located in the basement of The Fairbanks.

Members of Drury’s Enactus Team separate worms from compost in the “worm farm” located in the basement of The Fairbanks.

Healthy Food Subscription Service – The Nourished Neighbors project at The Fairbanks provides Grant Beach residents with fresh, healthy and affordable food from local farmers through a food subscription service. Nourished Neighbors packages and delivers meals purchased by subscribers throughout the Springfield area at a premium price. The proceeds from meals purchased at a premium price allows Nourished Neighbors to sell subscription meals at a reduced price to residents of the Grant Beach Neighborhood.

 

About The Fairbanks

Launched in 2013, The Fairbanks aims to build a center for community betterment initiatives in the Grant Beach Neighborhood. The Fairbanks addresses community needs through collaborative partnerships with organizations that positively influence residents’ needs. Its goal is to benefit kids and adults from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds through social, physical and educational activities. Ultimately, it hopes to improve quality of life in the Grant Beach Neighborhood and make Springfield a better place to live. For more information, visit thefairbankssgf.com.

About Drury’s Enactus Team

Since 1997, Drury Enactus has empowered communities throughout the world facing economic, environmental and social barriers by implementing entrepreneurial, sustainable programs. These programs have had a meaningful impact on thousands of people in Springfield, throughout the United States, and on virtually every continent around the globe.

Attached images: Members of Drury’s Enactus Team separate worms from compost in the “worm farm” located in the basement of The Fairbanks. / Rental bikes ready for use hang in the bike shop at The Fairbanks.

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Media Contact: Dr. John Taylor, Director, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship: (417) 873-6356 or jtaylor03@drury.edu.

Architecture students help envision future of Kitchen Inc. campus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 11, 2016 — The Hammons School of Architecture’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) will lead a visioning exercise this weekend that could help define the future of 3.5 acres of land on Commercial Street currently owned by The Kitchen, Inc.

Students and faculty from the CCS will lead a design charrette to help stakeholders envision conceptual ideas for the renewal of the site. This intensive workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Savoy Ballroom, 224 E. Commercial St.

The workshop is open to the public. Partners and stakeholders who will be represented include The Kitchen Inc., the Commercial Club, the Landmarks Board, City of Springfield Planning and Development, and the University of Missouri-Extension. This workshop will lead to further study by Drury architecture students, who will present design possibilities to stakeholders in the coming months.

The Missouri Hotel is the anchor of the redevelopment study. The landmark was designed by local architects Heckenlively & Mark, and originally opened as the Greene Tavern Hotel in April 1930. In addition to the Missouri Hotel, there are seven other buildings on the campus property. With The Kitchen Inc.’s decision to sell its Commercial Street properties and relocate, this section of Commercial Street is now on the market. The property extends from Benton to Jefferson along Commercial Street and south along Jefferson Avenue for a block and a half.

“As the east gateway to the Commercial Street area, this complex of buildings and buildable spaces occupies an important location for the C-Street District and the Springfield community,” says Jay Garrott, professor of architecture and director of the CCS. “The redevelopment of this property represents a potential physical, economic and emotional tipping point for C-Street and all of Midtown. Our goal is to help illuminate the possibilities for both the community and for developers.”

Design Charrette Schedule

10 a.m. – Orientation and tour of the Missouri Hotel and Kitchen Inc. campus

11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Charrette teams work on proposals

2 p.m. – Discussion of ideas with reviewers and larger group

About the Center for Community Studies

The Center for Community Studies is the interdisciplinary research and academic outreach component of the Hammons School of Architecture. The mission of the center is to assist the regional community in exploring and promoting innovative planning, design and development practices that respond to the challenges of our contemporary and future society and foster a healthier and sustainable habitat for our global community. The Center has worked with more than 60 communities across the region over the last 15 years. Visioning projects inside the City of Springfield have included the West Central Neighborhood Route 66 corridor and a center city housing study.

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Media Contacts: Jay G. Garrott, Professor of Architecture: (417) 873-7371 or (417) 818-8289; or Jeff Barber, MU Extension: (417) 343-5682.

Solar Decathlon leads to hands-on experience, job offers for students

After 18 months of work, the Solar Decathlon competition has come and gone for the 100-plus students on the Drury University and Crowder College team. Their house, dubbed ShelteR3 or “Shelter Cubed,” won 8th place in the contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in Irvine, California last month.

Reflecting on the experience reveals many tangible takeaways: pride in a job well done, experience on a build site, professional connections – even job offers.

Avery Smith, a Drury business major and member of the ShelteR3 communication team, said finally being at the big competition opened his eyes to how far the team had truly come.

“Each team had such an original idea and original story about how they were able to make it,” Smith said. “140 teams applied, 20 were accepted and only 14 made it to Irvine. Even then, four teams were unable to finish on time.”

Solar Decathletes

Perhaps that was a light way of putting it, as the Crowder-Drury team was one of the few undergraduate teams that made it all the way.

“I was the most surprised to learn how many graduate students and doctoral candidates we were up against,” said Evan Melgren, a 2014 Drury advertising/PR graduate who was the team’s communication lead. “That we as undergrads were competitive with such established designers and engineers became a great source of pride.”

Being undergrads also led to increased pressure for the students who spent days and weeks in Irvine, said mentor and Hammons School of Architecture Professor Nancy Chikaraishi.

“Our students had homework, they had papers, they had tests they had to take and we were running them back to and from the hotel about five times a day and making sure they had time to get their work done,” she said.

The effort was worth it. Not only did the competition help students expand their horizons, but it also got them thinking about the finer points of project management and on-the-spot problem solving.

Project Manager Jarren Welch, a Crowder student, said that while he felt prepared for the competition thanks to the mentorship of his advisors, there were still unexpected bumps in the road.

“When we did get out there, we ran into a couple of problems, so I learned ways to improvise and work around that,” he said. “I learned that there isn’t just one answer to a problem and it’s all about picking the best idea.”

ShelteR3 house

Though they couldn’t have known it going in, experiences with solving problems on the fly ultimately led to job offers. Project co-lead Alaa Al Radwan credits the Decathlon for helping her land a job at M.I.T.’s prestigious Senseable City Lab. Melgren cites his readiness to adapt as the reason he landed his current job at Killian Construction Co.

“They saw a video walk-through of our home and concept, which had required me to learn an architectural software program in about a week,” he says.

Welch’s new job with Missouri Sun Solar also came as a result of stretching beyond his comfort zone. His offer came not from the building phase, but during a fundraiser.

“I handed them my card and they called me a few weeks later and offered me an interview and I got hired,” he said.

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Story by Chaniqua Crook, student writer with Drury’s Marketing & Communication Department.

Communication students put theories into action with research

When students in her Interpersonal Communication Theory class choose a research topic, Dr. Cristina Gilstrap issues one over-arching challenge.

“Here’s the big question: who cares about your results?” she tells them. “In other words, how could the findings of the study be used to help organizations or individuals in a practical way?”

Two groups of students recently wrapped up projects in the class.

The first group examined the face management strategies used by police officers when conflict arises during traffic stops. Face management is a theory that focuses on how one’s self image, or “face,” is threatened, saved or restored during interactions.

The second group examined how parents manage uncertainties after receiving their child’s Down syndrome diagnosis. Uncertainty management theory explores how we attempt to manage uncertainties in situations that are complex or unpredictable.

One of the first group’s key findings was that local police officers typically find ways to express empathy with difficult subjects in order to save face and make the interaction as positive as they can, given the circumstances. These interactions come naturally, but the student researchers suggested integrating the theory and their findings into officer training in order to help improve traffic stop interactions for both officers and the public.

Given what’s happened in Ferguson and Baltimore in the last year, Samantha Williams, a senior communication studies major, said research such as this could be valuable for officers in a time when seemingly routine encounters can have massive repercussions if handled poorly.

“The way officers manage their face may mean the difference between additional riots or it may result in a traffic stop ending with the driver in violation saying ‘thank you’ and having an appreciation for the officers and what they do,” Williams says.

The second group found that parents often seek out information to help them effectively cope with their uncertainties after their child’s Down syndrome diagnosis. The most valuable information is not necessarily factual, they found, but personal: conversations with other parents, blog posts, support groups and simply meeting and knowing people who have been diagnosed.

Communication Theory research students

Communication Theory research students

Jeremy Petrich, a junior biology and exercise sports science major, said that even though researching uncertainty is by its very nature focused on something negative, the in-depth conversations with parents made it clear their outlook was anything but.

“They so often said, ‘We love our children, we wouldn’t have it any other way, they’re a part of our lives,’” he says. “It was just awesome to hear everything they had to say.”

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.

Solar-powered home for competition takes shape with “build day”

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 9, 2015 — The Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team will hold a “build day” for the ShelteR³ disaster resilient house from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday on the Crowder College campus in Neosho.

Students from Crowder College and Drury University have partnered to design, engineer, market, and construct a solar powered and storm resistant home for the Solar Decathlon 2015, a national event hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Students from both schools will be on hand to continue building the house on site, as required by the competition. This fall the team will deconstruct, transport and rebuild the home at the competition site in Irvine, California. That’s where the team will compete against more than a dozen other respected schools such as Yale, Clemson, Missouri S&T and California Polytechnic State University in October.

Bird's eye view of the Shelter3 house.

Bird’s eye view of the Shelter3 house.

While all teams will be building an environmentally conscious solar powered home, the Crowder-Drury team has self-imposed the additional challenge of making its home disaster resilient. The idea for ShelteR³ is based on three Rs: respond, recover, and resist. The motivation began to develop after the immediate and long-term effects of the EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin in 2011 directly impacted students from both Drury and Crowder.

You can learn more at shelter.drury.edu or by following @CrowderDrurySol on Twitter.

For more information about the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit: shelter.drury.edu, send an email to tsooter@drury.edu, or call (417) 234-6405.

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Media Contact: Traci Sooter, project manager, Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon, Hammons School of Architecture Faculty. Cell: (417) 234-6405 or email: tsooter@drury.edu.

Groundbreaking for Solar Decathlon house will be held Tuesday, March 10

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 5, 2015 — Students from more than a dozen majors will come together this week to officially mark the beginning of the construction phase of the ShelterR3 home on Tuesday, March 10, at Drury University. The energy-neutral home is being constructed for competition in the Solar Decathlon 2015, a national event hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The ceremony will take place in the Trustee Science Center on the university campus, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

The house will be constructed on the campus of Crowder College in Neosho, Mo., Drury’s partner school in the Solar Decathlon 2015 competition. Crowder will hold a joint ceremony at the same time on its campus, and the two events will be linked by teleconference. During the Drury event, student leaders will share their inspiration for the project and offer an exclusive look at the some of the key aspects of the designs.

Students from Crowder College and Drury University have partnered to design, engineer, market, and construct a solar powered and storm resistant home for the 2015 Solar Decathlon competition. While all teams will be building an environmentally conservative solar powered home, the Crowder-Drury team has self-imposed the additional challenge of making its home disaster resilient.

Artist rendering of the Shelter3 house.

Artist rendering of the Shelter3 house.

The idea for ShelteR3 is based on three Rs: respond, recover, and resist. It’s the guiding philosophy for the project, and it’s what will make this home unique and effective. The motivation began to develop after the immediate and long-term effects of the EF-5 tornado that hit Joplin in 2011 directly impacted students from both Drury and Crowder.

The team will transport the home after it is built to the competition site in Irvine, California. That’s where the team will compete against more than a dozen other respected schools such as Yale, Clemson, Missouri S&T and California Polytechnic State University in October. More than a quarter million people are expected to tour the home at the competition site.

You can follow the event live online at shelter.drury.edu or on Twitter by following @CrowderDrurySol.

For more information about the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit: shelter.drury.edu, send an email to tsooter@drury.edu, or call (417) 234-6405.

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Media Contacts: Chase Snider, Communications Team Leader; cell: (417) 631-9780, email: csnider@drury.edu.  Traci Sooter, Project Manager, Hammons School of Architecture Faculty, cell: (417) 234-6405, email: tsooter@drury.edu.