Missy Kaye Doty in "Sideways"/Courtesy of Doty
Missy Kaye Doty isn't surprised by the Oscar buzz surrounding "Nebraska," the black-and-white portrayal of middle America starring actor Bruce Dern.
After all, she said, it's an Alexander Payne film.
"I think after the experience with 'Sideways' and how big it blew up, and not to mention how well 'The Descendants' did, Alexander is a name that people expect good movies from," she said.
Doty can take a little credit for that. She played the small but significant role of Cammie, the waitress whose one-night stand shakes up the plot in "Sideways." Payne remembered her performance when she auditioned for Noel, a girlfriend role opposite Will Forte.
"I remember when I auditioned for 'Nebraska,' after my read Alexander said: 'You are such a great actress ... you always bring colors to my words I didn't see.' I left feeling so proud," Doty said. "It's those little words of encouragement and praise that make all the rejection of acting worth it!"
When she's not shaking things up on the big screen, Doty has a busy television career that began with a role on the UPN's "Shasta McNasty." She's since guest starred in dozens of shows, including "Bones," "American Horror Story," "Desperate Housewives" and "My Name is Earl." One of her favorite roles was actually Diane in CBS's "Viva Laughlin," a series that didn't last but was one of television's earlier attempts to bring musical theatre to the small screen.
"I know that show didn't do well but my role was so fun," Doty said. "I had the best time with the cast and crew. ... I looked forward to going to the set every day."
Her role in "Nebraska" opened up a new experience for Doty. In November, she walked her first Red Carpet at the premiere, an experience she describes as surreal, exciting and amazing.
"I do have to say that I'm happy to have the first one under my belt because now I know what to expect and enjoy the process a little more."
Expect to see more of Doty as she works the television and film circuit. She has a laundry list of shows she would like to guest star on and a rolodex of stars she admires and would like to work with.
In particular, she's watching with interest the career of Melissa McCarthy, who has auditioned for several roles Doty also read for, including McCarthy's role in the CBS hit "Mike & Molly."
"I'm inspired by her comedic timing and ability to break through the 'weight' barrier that is always so prevalent here in Hollywood," Doty said.
At Stephens, Doty said her most memorable role was Jack's mom in "Into the Woods." And at Okoboji Summer Theatre, Doty remembers portraying Katisha in "The Mikado."
"That challenged my singing abilities," she said. "I don't believe I could do that show without a lot of work today!"
She credits those experiences for her career today.
"Stephens gave me such a great foundation for this business," she said. "The acting teachers and curriculum prepared me, gave me confidence and honed my craft, which I'm eternally grateful for. Not to mention the alumnae ... we have such a high caliber of alumnae, don't we? And not just in the entertainment field. Stephens really is a quiet gem out there that I'm so proud to be a part of."
Stephens College is launching a new Bachelor of Health Science program next fall for students who want to enter the rapidly growing health industry.
The interdisciplinary degree will provide a core curriculum in health-based coursework and electives designed to prepare students to work at public health agencies, hospitals, clinics, laboratories and other health-related organizations.
"This program is a response to student demand and to the allied health professions workforce shortage," said Dr. Tara Giblin, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. "It's an interdisciplinary degree designed to prepare students for health careers who aren't necessarily headed to medical or professional schools."
The Health Science program takes a holistic approach, blending physical and biological sciences with behavioral and social domains of health.
Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of careers such as health educators, health information specialists, nutritionists, community outreach coordinators or health generalists.
The demand for health professionals is growing, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, a response to global concerns about aging populations, the need to promote healthier lifestyles and emerging diseases.
Margaret Campbell, left, and Sady Mayer Strand
Two professionals from the Student Success Center at Stephens College were invited to present at the 9th Annual National Symposium on Student Retention.
Margaret Campbell, a senior faculty member and director of the Student Success Center, and Sady Mayer Strand, student success advocate, attended the symposium from Nov. 4-6 in San Diego. The conference attracted representatives from 219 institutions, including large state schools, four-year private colleges and community colleges. Stephens was one of a few women's colleges to participate, and Campbell and Strand were among 57 presenting papers over the two-day symposium.
Their paper focused on the creation of the Student Success Center, Stephens' targeted initiatives aimed to improve academic achievement, and the center's early retention successes. The initiatives were made possible by a three-year grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
During the symposium, Campbell and Strand also attended presentations on other paper submissions. One take-away from those sessions, Strand said, was that, regardless of an institution's size or public/private status, retention is a challenge for all colleges and universities.
"There's no magic bullet," she said.
That said, some of the ideas presented at the symposium have already been implemented at Stephens, including the idea of a First Year Experience, which began at Stephens this fall.
"That was really reaffirming to me," Campbell said. "I was so proud to sit in on a workshop that validated everything we've already been doing."
Melinda Adams '13 M.S.L. has enjoyed a successful career at the University of Missouri for nearly 20 years, ultimately becoming human resources manager for MU Extension.
Still, she said, something was missing.
Until last month, that is. That’s when Adams earned her Master in Strategic Leadership from Stephens.
"Having a career in higher education, a master’s degree is highly valued,” she said. “And, personally, I always wanted to finish it and was disappointed in myself when I hadn’t finished.”
Adams first enrolled in a graduate program in 1993. A move out of state postponed the program, which she tried to resume later but had to quit because of work obligations. Two years ago, her husband heard a radio ad for Stephens’ online M.S.L. degree and encouraged her to try it.
"After one class, I was absolutely hooked,” she told fellow graduates during her commencement address last month.
Adams praised the program for not only its convenience but for also being relevant.
"I took what I learned and directly applied it to my job,” she said.
Completing a master’s degree at Stephens, Adams said, was a “wonderful experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the culture of engagement and collaboration.”
A Beautiful & Vibrant Campus
Stephens College welcomed community members and area school children to campus last month to help celebrate the holiday season.
On Dec. 15, the College hosted its first Stephens College Family & Friends Community Holiday Concert featuring choirs from three public schools: Lee Elementary School, West Middle School and Rock Bridge High School, as well as The Velvetones, the College's a cappella ensemble.
Roughly 300 people from the community attended the event, and the concert was such a success that Stephens President Dianne Lynch hopes to continue it in future years.
You can view photos from the event here.
The following Monday, Lynch opened the historic President's Home to students from Lee Elementary, the College's Partner in Education, and Stephens College Children's School.
The children wrote letters to Santa—and delivered them to the big man himself—during the event.
But seeing Santa was only half the fun. The children also got to see artwork they created this semester on display in a sitting room on the first floor of the historic house, a space used for public events.
And that was really exciting, said Lindsey Riley Clifton '07, an elementary teacher at Stephens College Children’s School.
"It really demonstrates to children the importance of their art projects when the works are put on public display," Clifton said. "They're excited about Santa, but for us as teachers, that's really what makes this experience so valuable."
View photos from that event here.
Stephens wants to honor our most distinguished alumnae!
The College is currently seeking nominations for two alumnae awards, which will be given during Celebrate Stephens Reunion weekend in April.
The Alumnae Achievement Award recognizes an alumna who has distinguished herself in her respective professional field and community. This is the highest honor bestowed on our alumnae.
The Jean Clinton Roeschlaub '44 Alumnae Service Award is given to an alumna who has promoted Stephens College and served as a leader. The award also memorializes Roeschlaub, who was AAB president and was a member of our Board of Curators (now known as our Board of Trustees).
Click here to nominate outstanding alumnae.
Inside Columbia's CEO magazine recently featured Stephens President Dianne Lynch and the legacy she's building at Stephens. Read the story here.
Register today! Celebrate Stephens Reunion Weekend is April 24-26, 2014. Check the website to register and for more information.
Do you or an alumna you know have an interesting story to share with the Stephens community? Let us know! Email Janese Silvey at [email protected] with ideas for future [from] Stephens stories.
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