The School of Integrative Studies is a leading example of Stephens College’s mission to Learn. Grow. Lead.

Dean's Welcome

Welcome to the Stephens College School of Integrative Studies. Our mission is not just teaching students, but instilling in them a lifelong love of learning and an appreciation for the pursuit of knowledge and creativity. At Stephens, we are proud of our legacy and take great pride in the cultural, educational and artistic gifts, and the opportunities we offer our students.

The School of Integrative Studies offers programs in many academic disciplines in the creative arts and humanities. The arts and humanities truly thrive in Columbia, Missouri, as dozens of on- and off-campus performances occur year-round at Stephens, making the College one of Columbia’s premier centers for the performing arts.

Our programs are led by an accomplished and dedicated faculty who are well-respected and nationally known artists, educators, researchers and writers in their disciplines. Read about our faculty, explore our programs, and learn how the School of Integrative Studies can help you to build your unique future.

Kate Berneking Kogut, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Integrative Studies

Chair, English/Creative Writing

Interim Chair, Digital Filmmaking, Fashion


About the Dean

Dr. Kate Berneking Kogut

Before becoming Dean of the School of Integrative Studies, Dr. Kate Berneking Kogut was an associate professor of English and creative writing, specializing in scriptwriting and new script development. Her plays have been produced, showcased and workshopped in California, New York, Chicago and in venues in the South and the Midwest. Kogut also writes, directs and produces short films through her production company, Envelope Sky Creative. Her current research interests include character development, fictional world-building and transmedia storytelling, which explores ways a story unfolds through various media. She earned her Ph.D. in theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Faculty + Staff

Undergraduate Programs

Business Administration | Communication Design | Digital Filmmaking | Education | English + Creative Writing | Fashion | Humanities


Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting


Business Administration

Dr. Scott Taylor
Dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Studies, Business Administration Program Chair
D.B.A., California Southern University; M.A., University of Missouri; B.S., Missouri State University

Dr. Scott Taylor earned a Doctorate of Business Administration from California Southern University. His doctoral project focused on the economic impact of entrepreneurial policy. Taylor has also completed post-graduate work in public affairs at the University of Missouri, where he obtained a master’s degree in Public Administration. He received a Bachelor of Science in Management from Missouri State University.

Before accepting his current position at Stephens College, he served as an adjunct instructor for Stephens College since the Fall of 2018. He taught full-time at Moberly Area Community College, serving as the lead business faculty since the Fall of 2007. He was also an advisor to MACC’s award-winning Collegiate DECA chapter for over fourteen years and has received the National Collegiate DECA Advisor of the Year award multiple times.

Outside the classroom, Taylor serves on several boards and advisory committees and works as a subject matter expert for multiple publishing companies. He resides in Moberly, MO, on a horse ranch with his wife, Kendra. Over the years, Scott and Kendra have donated multiple horses to the Stephens College equestrian program. Scott has three adult children and two adult stepsons.


Dr. Kaneshya Lucas
Assistant Professor
M.B.A., M.Ed., William Woods University; Ph. Ed., Maryville University

Dr. Kaneshya Lucas is a dynamic educator whose journey at Stephens College began as an adjunct instructor in the Business Administration department, where she served for five years. In the Fall of 2023, she transitioned into the role of Assistant Professor within the same program. Dr. Lucas has an array of academic accomplishments, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Missouri - Columbia, two Master degrees in Business Administration and Education from Williams Woods University, and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership from Maryville University in St. Louis.

Her diverse educational and professional background underscores her commitment to create student-centered learning experiences that equips students with the knowledge and curiosity to become critical thinkers and lifelong learners.


Communication Design

Dr. Bethanie Irons
Assistant Professor, Communication Design Program Chair
Ph.D., University of Missouri; M.F.A., University of Missouri; B.F.A., University of South Dakota

Dr. Bethanie Irons earned a B.F.A. in Art from the University of South Dakota and M.F.A. in Art from the University of Missouri. Irons also earned a Ph.D. in Art Education from the University of Missouri with an emphasis on higher education and teaching with technology. She is an artist and educator who is passionate about creative expression and its power in cultivating social change and personal growth. She seeks to empower and guide students in creating authentic, innovative work that expands their worldview and prepares them to become future design leaders.



Wilson Minshall
Adjunct Instructor
M.F.A., University of Missouri

Wilson MinshallWilson Minshall is an intermedia artist from Little Rock, Arkansas and received their MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Missouri in Columbia in 2021. Their work begins with drawing and uses elements of collage to span varying media such as painting, design, printmaking, weaving, video and sound installation. Accumulating information from past historical archives as well as their own recorded memories, they materially alter research samples and pull forth localized networks of traces from their chosen source material. In doing so, they take the stance that excavating or refiguring overlooked pieces of lived experience across time, space and media allows for non-binary navigations of history and identity without privileging surface-level stereotypes. They recently co-organized, designed and curated the experimental exhibition Cage in Como: A Weekend with the John Cage Trust and Friends in 2021 at Hitt Records and the Sinquefield Music Center (Columbia, MO). They also co-curated the NIXED_INDEX juried art exhibition at the University of Missouri’s George Caleb Bingham Gallery in 2019 (Columbia, MO), and have performed sound pieces at the Marshall Arts Gallery (Memphis, TN) in 2018 and Cafe Berlin (Columbia, MO) in 2019. They have exhibited their work at the Marshall Arts Gallery in Memphis, TN (2017), the Hanger Gallery in Kansas City, MO (2019), the Serial Box Gallery in Columbia, MO (2018) and St. Charles Community College in St. Charles, MO (2020).

Miranda Richardson
Assistant Professor, The Kopenhaver Center Director
M.F.A., University of Missouri; B.A. University of Missouri

Miranda Richardson is an educator and multidisciplinary artist. She works in photography, text, sculpture, installation, and performance. She earned an M.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Missouri and has been teaching for nearly 17 years. As the director of The Kopenhaver Center, Richardson is passionate about the advancement of women in communication. She is, also, the proud advisor for Creative Ink, and an Assistant Professor in Communication Design. 



Digital Filmmaking

Lizzie Germann
Assistant Professor of Digital Filmmaking 
M.F.A., Loyola Marymount University; B.A., University of Missouri

Lizzie Germann is a writer and director from Columbia, Mo., and is so excited to be at Stephens College! A Mizzou graduate, she holds an MFA in Writing & Producing for Television from Loyola Marymount University. Lizzie's directorial work includes short films, independent pilots, web series and commercials. Her work has shown across the country, including TV pilot CRESCENDO, which premiered at the Woods Hole Film Festival in 2020, and was accepted into the Catalyst Story Institute.


Liz Jones
Adjunct Instructor 
MFA, Boston University

Liz Jones is a filmmaker and instructor who has been working in media production for over 15 years.  She studied Experimental and Documentary Film at Emerson College in Boston, MA, where she worked on productions for PBS, including Design SquadNOVA Science Now. She has also worked on independent film productions, and in 2017 received her MFA in Film Directing and Producing from Boston University. Liz is originally from Jefferson City, Missouri.



Dr. Elizabeth Watson
Director of the Children’s School at Stephens College and Education Program Chair
Ph.D., M.Ed., University of Missouri-Columbia, B.S., Stephens College

Elizabeth Watson is the director of The Children’s School at Stephens College and continues to work with preservice teachers as the Education Program Chair. Her passion for education has been shaped over the past 20 years as a classroom teacher in both preschool and elementary and as an instructor in the college classroom. She started her career at Stephens College as an undergraduate student and received her early childhood degree and teaching certification. After her first year of teaching, she continued her education at the University of Missouri and received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Reading. Later she earned her PhD at the University of Missouri in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum with an emphasis in Reading. 


Dr. Elizabeth Thomas '12
Assistant Professor, Early Childhood and Elementary Education
M.Ed., Columbia College; Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia

Dr. Elizabeth Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Stephens College. An alum of Stephens, class of 2012, Dr. Thomas taught in the public schools, obtained a master’s degree and certification in Reading Intervention from Columbia College and her Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis in Mathematics from the University of Missouri. She is passionate about making mathematics accessible to all students and getting pre-service teachers excited about that mission as well.

Leslie Aguilar
Assistant Professor and Secondary Education Program Chair 
B.S., Ed.S. University of Central Missouri; M.A., Bennington College

Leslie Aguilar earned her B.S. in Spanish Education (2002) and her Ed.S. in Educational Technology (2021) from the University of Central Missouri. She earned her M.A. in Teaching a Second Language (2006) with an emphasis on the Spanish language from Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont. She spent 21 years teaching Spanish and AVID at the secondary level, with the last ten at Muriel Williams Battle High School in Columbia, Missouri, as the AVID Site Coordinator. As the AVID Coordinator she supported and prepared students for post-secondary study and spent a considerable amount of time leading various professional development sessions and supporting best teaching practices. Leslie is an assistant professor in the education program and is excited to be the Program Chair for the new Secondary Education program. She will also be working with teachers who are currently employed or temporarily certified in area school districts who are seeking state teaching certification to address the teacher shortage.


Dr. Sean Travis Clouse
Adjunct Instructor
Ph.D., M.A., B.S., University of Missouri-Columbia

Sean ClouseDr. Sean Travis Clouse earned his B.S. in psychology, M.A. in human development and family studies, M.A. in counseling psychology and Ph.D. in counseling psychology all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. A member of the Stephens faculty since 2006, he teaches courses in the Education, Psychology and Counseling programs. His courses focus on lifespan development, multicultural aspects of learning, social justice issues and counseling. He also serves as the certification officer for the early childhood and elementary education and school counseling programs. Clouse is a licensed psychologist in the state of Missouri and focuses his clinical work on adolescents and young adults.


English + Creative Writing

Dr. Ann Breidenbach
Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia, M.F.A., Pine Manor College, M.A., Western Michigan University, B.A., Central Michigan University

Dr. Ann Breidenbach is an assistant professor in the English and Creative Writing programs and teaches classes for the Women’s Studies minor. While working on her qualitative dissertation about the experience of menopause for second wave feminists living on women’s land in the Ozarks, she rediscovered her passion for writing. Breidenbach began taking seminars in creative nonfiction writing and eventually enrolled in an M.F.A. program. She brings an interdisciplinary approach and her identity as a writer to her teaching. She is working on a manuscript titled “Girlhood Cache,” which is a memoir told through a series of flash non-fiction essays. Her current research project, “Feminist Activism and the Women’s Film Festival: a Site for Social Change,” explores women’s film festivals as a means of feminist activism. Most recently she has presented her research at the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference and the University Film and Video Association annual conference. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from the Solstice Low-Residency M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College in Boston. She earned her Ph.D. in rural sociology with a graduate certificate in women’s and gender studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia.


Kristine Somerville
Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing
M.A., University of Missouri; B.A., College of the Ozarks

Kristine Somerville teaches contemporary literature, advanced composition, language ethics, nonfiction workshop, fiction workshop and the Harbinger publishing internship at Stephens College. Her short stories and prose poems have been published in various magazines, including The North American Review, Passages North, River City, Zone 3, The South Carolina Review and Quarterly West. Her essay "Katie Suber" received notable mention in Best American Essays, and her fiction has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. Her visual and “Found Text” features and omnibus reviews appear regularly in The Missouri Review. Somerville is the co-editor of TMR Books and faculty advisor of Harbinger and Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.


Phillip Overeem
Adjunct Instructor

Phillip Overeem is a tutor in the Student Success Center as well as an adjunct freshman composition instructor. Hailing from southwest Missouri, he has been teaching since 1975, if swimming lessons count. He is an avid, omnivorous reader, and blogs about popular (and other kinds of) music at​​ In addition, he frequently reflects on his career in education on The Overeem Farewell Tour blog, where he is currently keeping a COVID-19 journal called "Cloister Commentary." ​Phil has taught and tutored at Stephens since 2013, and previously taught language arts, coached basketball and track, and sponsored student council, The Canterbury Society, and The Academy of Rock at Parkview High School in Springfield, Missouri, and David H. Hickman High School and Smithton Middle School in Columbia. He estimates that he has graded over 40,000 essays in his lifetime. 

Phil and his wife Nicole have weaknesses for cats, travel, inventive foods, and the Klackamas, Oregon band Dead Moon.



Dr. Monica McMurry
Ph.D., M.Sc., University of Missouri-Columbia, B.F.A., Stephens College

Dr. Monica McMurry has 30 years of teaching and administrative experience in the fashion field. She previously served as Dean of the Stephens College School of Design and chaired the fashion programs at both Stephens and Columbia College. McMurry graduated summa cum laude from Stephens College with a B.F.A. in Fashion Design. She received her Master of Science and Ph.D. from the University of Missouri’s Textile and Apparel Management program and attended a design thinking workshop at Stanford. In her dissertation, "Jacqueline Kennedy’s Effect on Women: A Content Analysis of Her Style, Role and Thought as First Lady, 1958-1963," McMurry reviewed the most popular women’s magazines of the early 1960s and looked at how Jacqueline Kennedy was portrayed to the average woman via media mentions.

During her teaching career, McMurry has taught both studio and lecture courses for fashion design and product development and fashion marketing. Her areas of expertise include fashion history, curating and executing fashion exhibitions, menswear design, tailored design and couture and bespoke techniques. Other interests include sustainability, fair trade and textile upcycling. She is a member of the International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA), the Costume Society of America (CSA) and Fashion Group International. McMurry has presented both national and international juried fashion designs and scholarly research. Her work with the Costume Museum and Research Library at Stephens College has given her the opportunity to speak across the nation about historic dress.

Kirsteen Buchanan
M.A., University of Missouri-Columbia

Kirsteen Buchanan, a Stephens alumna, has taught at Stephens for over 20 years. Her broad fashion industry experience in New York, Chicago and Dallas includes retail product development, branded design, product development for a sweater factory, domestic and offshore manufacturing, trend surveillance, creative fashion design and technical design. She also has designed costumes for the Okoboji Summer Theatre in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and for dance company productions in Dallas.

Buchanan has a Master of Arts specializing in visual communications from the Missouri School of Journalism. Buchanan's design practice aims to fuse beautiful product design with meaning. She focuses on the intersection of fashion, visual communication and language, using surface design and mixed media art to explore design concepts and a range of questions that center on transformation, connection, communication and storytelling. In 2019, Buchanan won the Next Generation Award in the Surface Design Association Exhibition in Print for her digitally printed designs: Borders That Unite, and Best Overall at the sustainable fashion show ScrapsKC ReVision for her dress made from contact lens packaging. She has exhibited work at several Surface Design Association international conference runway shows. She was a 2003 finalist in the GenArt/Florida Grapefruit Juice National Handbag Design Challenge, a 2002 finalist in the “Inspired by Threads” competition and a 2001 finalist in the Beefeater Bold Spirits Design Competition.

Learn More

School of Integrative Studies

Jennifer Blair,
Administrative Assistant
(573)-876-2312 ext. 4312 [email protected]

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