speakers

Pro Surfer and Journalist Kyle Thiermann to Speak on April 3

Drury will host Kyle Thiermann, a 23-year-old professional surfer, journalist, and activist at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Apr. 3 in Clara Thompson Hall. Thiermann has created a YouTube series, Surfing for Change, which examines current issues and shows how people can create a better world through everyday decisions.

Thiermann’s first project in his YouTube series explored the negative impact multinational banks can have on local communities. His video inspired people to put money into local banks and credit unions instead of centralized banks. He has reached people throughout North America, South America, Africa and much of Europe.

Thiermann graduated from Gaia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Green Business. He has been featured in many media outlets including TEDx, Discovery Channel, the Huffington Post, and ESPN.

Thiermann will present “Surfing for Change” as part of Drury University’s 2013-2014 Theme Year series, The Morality of Wellness: Why good health is everyone’s responsibility, which explores the moral obligation to be a well citizen and the economic impact of lifestyle choices.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit http://www.drury.edu/moralityofwellness.

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Former Intelligence Analyst Turned Activist To Speak at Drury March 31

Former CIA analyst and senior national security advisor Ray McGovern will speak at Drury University at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 31 in Lay Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. McGovern’s speech is titled, “Edward Snowden: Patriot or Villain?” McGovern met with Snowden last fall in Russia, where Snowden has been granted temporary asylum.

Ray McGovern served as a CIA analyst from the early 1960s through the administration of George H.W. Bush. During the 1980s, his duties included working on the classified National Intelligence Estimate document, and preparing the President’s Daily Brief for senior advisors to Ronald Reagan.

Following his service in the government, McGovern became a political activist protesting abuses of government power, especially the manipulation of intelligence data. In January 2003, he helped form Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to expose what its members called the falsification of intelligence to “justify” war on Iraq. More recently, McGovern has criticized the sweeping surveillance programs of the NSA, and U.S. policy regarding Syria and Ukraine.

The lecture is sponsored and paid for by a group of Springfield citizens who are organizing a speaking tour for McGovern throughout the Midwest, and is co-hosted by Drury’s Department of Political Science & Geography. Lay Hall is located on Benton Avenue, between Central and Calhoun Streets. Public parking is available along Benton and in Lot 6, across Benton just north of Central High School.

For more information about the lecture, contact: Jeffery A. VanDenBerg, chair, Political Science & Geography Department, at (417) 873-6947 or jvandenb@drury.edu.

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Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice to speak at Drury’s December commencement ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 – Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell will serve as the keynote speaker for Drury University’s December commencement to be held Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m. in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. During the commencement, 336 students will receive undergraduate degrees and 71 will receive master’s degrees.

Serving as chief justice since July, Russell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2004. She previously served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and served as its chief judge from July 1999 through June2000. Prior to that, she was engaged in the private practice of law in Hannibal, Missouri. She is a member of The Missouri Bar, the American Bar Association, and numerous local and county bar organizations throughout thestate. Russell is a past recipient of the Women’s Justice Award from the St. Louis Daily Record, was named Citizen of the Year in Kirksville, Missouri, in 2002 and was named Woman of the Year by the Women Lawyers Association of St. Louis in 2003.

“Drury University is very pleased to host Chief Justice Russell at the 2013 WinterCommencement,” says Dr. David Manuel, Drury president. “Our graduates will have a wonderful opportunity to hear from one of the great leaders of Missouri.  She epitomizes the qualities that we hope all Drury graduates will emulate – outstanding professional contributions, abiding commitment to her family and faith, and a singular dedication to her community.”

A seventh-generation Missourian, Russell was one of five children raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, Missouri. The valedictorian of her high school graduating class in Hannibal, Russell earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in communications and print media in 1980 fromTruman State University. She earned her law degree in 1983 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was on the dean’s list.

Media: Members of the news media are invited to photograph or videotape the graduation. In addition, Chief Justice Russell will be available for interviews following the commencement ceremony given advance notice.

Contacts:

Day School: John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu

CCPS: Salia Manis, (417) 873-7543, smanis@drury.edu

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Drury’s convocation series focuses on the “Morality of Wellness”

Springfield, Mo., Sept. 2, 2013—It’s almost impossible to go a week without seeing a news item about Americans and obesity. Recently, we saw some good news when it was reported that obesity rates among very young children had decreased and a United Nations report revealed that the U.S. is no longer the most obese nation in the world.

However, there is still plenty of unhealthiness to go around. I recently read in the News-Leader, in the context of the Every Child Promise, that one in five kids in the Ozarks are overweight or obese by the time they reach age five. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S. has identified that nearly one-third of the population is obese and the Wellness Coalition of America estimated 75-90 percent of visits to primary care doctors are for stress related problems. Stress is best managed naturally with physical activity, however almost 80 percent of the U.S. population does not get enough physical activity, which increases the cost of unhealthy behaviors.

Olympian Anthony Ervin speaks at Drury on Sept. 26

There is a direct correlation between an individual’s quality of life and his or her wellness decisions. Clearly, the health implications of an unhealthy lifestyle are severe for individuals, but the economic costs of those behaviors on our nation as a whole are immense. The Wellness Coalition of America recognizes that sedentary lifestyles alone cost the nation $150 billion. Much of that cost is borne by employers through insurance costs and lost productivity and society suffers with a person who is unable to work, sick and incurring huge healthcare bills. The need for wellness programs is prevalent. Personal wellness is everyone’s responsibility; we all bear the heavy burden of unhealthy behaviors.

Drury University, through a majority decision by its Board of Trustees, has established Wellness as a campus value. The sixth campus value states, “Commit to a university culture of wellness.” As part of this institutional commitment, the 2013-14 convocation series focuses on Drury’s commitment to wellness: “The Morality of Wellness” examines a broad range of topics. The issues addressed focus on the moral obligation to be a well citizen and the economic impact of lifestyle choices, including:

  • Upcoming changes to healthcare.
  • Stress: “the silent killer.”
  • The food/disease link.
  • Scientific and technological approaches to expanding food availability through urban agricultural.
  • Socioeconomic causes and effects of obesity.
  • The role of public policy in shaping the U.S. food markets and patterns of consumption.

Alex Jamieson will speak at Drury on October 24

Speakers include local “green” real estate developer Matt O’Reilly, swimming world record holder Anthony Ervin and healthy chef Alex Jamieson, who figured prominently in the film Supersize Me, to name a few.

This Friday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m., the public is invited to take part in a Creative Conversation at Drury on C-Street focused on the theme “Our Children: Caring for our future.”

For a complete schedule of speakers and events, please visit the convocation website.

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Story by Amy Blansit, Drury’s director of wellness and the 2013-14 convocation director.

Vertical farming expert to speak at Drury on Thursday, Feb. 23

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 21, 2012 — Dr. Dickson Despommier (Day-Pom-ee-ay), author and environmental health expert, will speak with Drury students about the value of vertical farming on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

Whether it is population or poverty, farming or food, Dr. Dickson Despommier wrote the book on addressing these issues. Despommier spent 38 years as a professor of microbiology and environmental health sciences at Columbia University. While there, he won the Best Teacher award six times. He has addressed audiences at leading universities including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he has also been invited to speak at the United Nations. His book, The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century explores the problems associated with a growing population and shrinking farmland.

To learn more about vertical farming and to watch a Colbert Report appearance visit www.verticalfarm.com

Drury University’s 2011-2012 convocation series, The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature’s Economy, considers human connections to the environment, while also examining potential solutions to current problems.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/changingplanet or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Sean Terry at (417) 873-6963.

Media Contact: Dr. Sean Terry, Theme Year Director, Professor of Geography & Environmental Studies, Office: (417) 873-6963, E-mail: sterry@drury.edu

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