Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

FromStephens masthead

April 2017 

A Legacy of Excellence

Don’t Miss Out: Stephens College Alumnae Reunion next week

Reunion Registration 

We hope you are planning on coming home for Celebrate Stephens Alumnae Reunion next week, April 27-29. Event highlights will include Strategic Planning with President Dianne Lynch (a newly added event), the Alumnae Cabaret and Bistro, the State of the College Address, plus much more. Classes ending in 2 and 7 also will receive special recognition.

Act now to register as early registration ends today, April 21. A $20 late fee will be applied after this time.

Check out the schedule of events and register on our Reunion 2017 website or contact the Office of Institutional Advancement and Initiatives for more information at (573) 876-7110 or [email protected].


Academic Innovation

Girl Scouts engage in day of science, technology fun at Stephens College

Stephens student works with Girl Scouts

Abigail Brown, 13, thought she had created the perfect contraption to protect a raw egg from the perils of dropping from various heights. 

The second-year Girl Scout Cadette from Cole Camp, Mo., had done her research about inertia, motion, velocity, acceleration and gravity. She arrived on April 8, 2017, at the “Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead” fun-with-science event on the Stephens College campus with a quirky device that she was confident would cushion the blow of an egg landing on the concrete.

Brown was right.

Her raw egg, which looked like a daddy longlegs wrapped in straws, tape and poly fiber, survived “The Great Egg Drop,” which was one of more than 30 demonstrations, workshops and competitions that took place during the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland 2017 signature event.

“This is why I love science,” said Brown, who wants to be a surgeon when she grows up. “I love the experiments.”

More than 700 girl scouts, ages kindergarten through high school, descended on the Stephens campus for the event, which was designed to increase girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering, arts and math. 

Faculty from the School of Health Sciences, along with Stephens students, were on hand to facilitate a wide variety of activities. Students from Tri-Beta, the Biology Honor Society; The Acute Math Club and Stephens Organized for Service (SOS) also worked with the scouts. In addition, the event offered freshmen a chance to fulfill a service-learning component of their required first-year experience course at Stephens by overseeing several 30-minute classes with the scouts.

Sessions were held in the Pillsbury Science Center and Dudley Hall. There were also a number of exhibitors at Stamper Commons including, among others, 3M, ABC 17 Stormtrack, Army ROTC, the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the University of Missouri Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Susan Muller, dean of the Stephens College School of Health Sciences, said the event was set up like a conference where scouts were free to select sessions they wanted to attend. However, some workshops were geared toward younger participants while others were designed for older scouts.

Among the sessions were: 

  • * “Make it Rain”: An exploration of rain and precipitation in which participants created a mini-cloud and generated precipitation.
  • * “Seeing the World That You Do Not Notice”: A chance to use microscopes to examine the physical characteristics of some local species that are rarely noticed because of their secretive behavior.
  • * “Gingerbread Cookie Genetics – A Study of Inheritance”: A hands-on activity that used M&Ms to investigate the possible gingerbread children that could be made from different combinations of the genes inherited from gingerbread parents.

One of the more popular sessions was “Tiny Dancers,” a fun experiment involving magnets created by Danielle Craven ’18 and Kate Yanos ’17, both students in the School of Health Sciences.

Each scout was given a pre-cut copper wire and asked to bend it into the shape of a tiny dancer and attach it to a coin-sized magnet. Next, the magnets were placed on a magnetic stirrer, a device that looks like a hot plate, which used a rotating magnetic field to make the tiny dancers move across the dance floor.

“It was pretty tough to come up with an idea that could present the concepts we wanted to show on a level the Girl Scouts could understand,” Yanos said.

Judging by the reaction of participants, however, their workshop was a success.

“This is fun!” shouted one Girl Scout.


A Vibrant Campus

Stephens College to host Columbia’s Unbound Book Festival

Unbound Book Festival

Nationally-recognized and bestselling authors across many different genres will descend on the Stephens College campus this weekend for the second annual Unbound Book Festival. The event is not about readings but rather interactions with authors, conversations between writers about their crafts with plenty of room for audience participation. 

Hosting the festival on April 22 is part of Stephens’ longstanding commitment to the creative arts.

“It is an honor to welcome back to campus the Unbound Book Festival,” said Dr. Dianne Lynch, Stephens College president. “Each fall we welcome female filmmakers who tell their stories through film with the Citizen Jane Film Festival. Now, for the second spring, we are welcoming those who tell their story through the written word. As a leader in the creative arts, we are pleased to open our campus to the community in a way that is consistent with our mission.”

The event begins with a keynote address by world-renowned author Salman Rushdie this evening at Jesse Auditorium on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The festival continues tomorrow on the Stephens College campus, where more than 1,000 visitors are expected to interact with writers through a variety of panels, author conversations, poetry readings and special events. All events are free.

Among the many writers who will be participating in this year’s event are New York Times best-selling authors Julie Barton, Ishmael Beah, Melanie Benjamin and Candice Millard. New York State Poet Laureate Marie Howe will be there as well as author Peter Geye, whose novel “Safe from the Sea” will soon be a major motion picture.

Dr. Tina Parke-Sutherland, professor of literature, creative writing and women’s studies at Stephens, said hosting the festival gives students an opportunity to meet working authors and ask questions.

“It’s not every day that students get a chance to talk with bestselling authors and participate in discussion about a wide range of subjects,” she said. “It’s another opportunity for our students to explore the arts and expand their knowledge.”

The Kimball Ballroom in Lela Raney Wood Hall on the Stephens campus will be the hub of festival activities throughout the day. There will be a festival bookshop, and authors will be available to sign books. There will also be an Independent Author Fair where local, self-published writers will present their work. 

For more information, visit the Unbound Book Festival website.


Student Success

Stephens students recognized with AAB Scholarship Awards

AAB Scholarship Winners

Pictured (L-to-R): AAB Scholarship Awards recipients Winona Wiley ’19, Stephanie Leblanc ’19, Erika Westhoff ’18 and Miranda Carlisle ’17.


Each year the Alumnae Association Board (AAB) recognizes four students to be the recipients of the most prestigious scholarship the Stephens College Alumnae Association bestows upon our students.

The scholarships are awarded to three rising residential students—one sophomore, one junior and one senior. The fourth student must be a graduating senior who will receive a $250 award and the honor of being the class speaker for her commencement ceremony in May. Each must embody the Stephens spirit, have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and be significantly involved in the College community.

This year’s winners, announced on April 10 during the annual Honors Convocation, are:

  • Winona Wiley ’19  - Freshman Scholarship Award (Rising Sophomore)
  • Stephanie Leblanc ’19 - Sophomore Scholarship Award (Rising Junior)
  • Erika Westhoff ’18 - Junior Scholarship Award (Rising Senior)
  • Miranda Carlisle ’17 - Senior Scholarship Award (Graduating Senior)

Read what the winners have to say about their awards:

Winona Wiley (Theatre major): “Receiving the Alumnae Association Scholarship this year has been my biggest accomplishment so far at Stephens College. This scholarship gives me the motivation and ability to continue to be heavily involved in the Stephens community. Stephens College is helping to shape my future as I grow as a woman; I am extremely humbled to receive an award that allows me to better the current society I am living in. I hope to run my own theatre company after graduation, focusing on producing socio-political pieces relevant to what is going on in current society.”

Stephanie Leblanc (Strategic communication major): “I am deeply honored and thankful for this recognition. It means the world that I can continue dedicating my time here on campus to providing my service and being involved in the community. I am passionate about using my creativity for the arts, which is why I am majoring in strategic communication in the School of Design with a minor in filmmaking. After graduation I hope to pursue a career in art direction in film and continue to work with the animal shelters.”

Erika Westhoff  (English major): “I am honored to receive this scholarship from the AAB and am looking forward to visiting with fellow Stephens women during the Alumnae Reunion. After graduating from Stephens, I plan to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in archival studies and preservation science. I have an interest in the stories told through archived materials and literature that draw connections between past and present.” 

Miranda Carlisle (English major): “This award means the world to me. I am an introvert, and when I first came to Stephens College, I would not talk to anyone. Now, in my senior year, I am involved in many different areas on campus because I want to support and promote all of our different organizations as they represent our differences as individuals as well as our connections as a strong community. This award is an amazing honor that I want to emphatically thank the Alumnae Association Board for allowing me to receive. I hope to continue giving back to the Stephens community even after my time here is over. I have officially been accepted into Liberty University’s Master of Arts program in English Literature, where I will study Ancient and Medieval Literature. I also plan to work in the Liberty’s Athletics Department and hope to one day coach college softball and be a college professor.”   


Outstanding Faculty

Stephens professors honored for distinguished service

Teacher of Year presentation

Aja Depass ’17 presents Dr. Ann Breidenbach with the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Stephens College students recognized assistant professors Dr. Ann Breidenbach and Dr. John Dailey for their distinguished service during the annual Honors Convocation on April 10.

Breidenbach and Dailey were among a number of faculty, staff and students who were honored during the event held in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall.

“This is the time of year that we come together to honor who we are and to celebrate and honor those who have excelled in their academic fields,” said Dr. Dianne Lynch, president of Stephens College.

Breidenbach, an assistant professor in the Women’s Studies and Creative Writing programs, received the Distinguished Teaching Award, which was established to recognize full-time teachers, professional counselors, resident counselors and librarians who teach with knowledge and mastery of their subjects. Dailey, an assistant professor of communication design, received the Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award, which honors advisers who inspire their advisees to be self-motivated and self-disciplined while actively pursuing goals of their own choice. 

Both awards are based on nominations from students.

Aja Depass ’17, who presented Breidenbach with her award, said the recipient makes strong connections with students and other faculty members.

“This recipient is known on campus as a listener,” Depass said. “She listens to students, and she listens to faculty.”

Click for a complete list of award recipients.

View our photo album.


Stephens: A pioneer
in esports

Stephens is starting the first varsity collegiate all-women’s esports team. The College is a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE) and will begin competing this fall. Esports is quickly on its way to becoming a billion-dollar international industry, and we want Stephens women to have the same opportunities as men to be successful. Weve already garnered national attention from ESPN. Read the article.

Dame Zandra Rhodes critiques student work. 

Dame Zandra Rhodes
visits Stephens

With her pink hair, theatrical makeup and art jewelry, Dame Zandra Rhodes has spent six decades boldly making a name for herself in the international world of fashion. Earlier this month, Stephens welcomed Rhodes as the second speaker in The Jeannene Booher Fashion Lecture Series, which launched in November 2016 with a $1 million gift from Jeannene Thompson Booher ’56. She also met with students in fashion courses.

Read more.


2017 Dream Up Summer Camps

With our lineup of camps for “Dream Up Summer 2017: Dream Beyond Basic,” Stephens is encouraging kids to pick their palette, pick their passion and pursue their dreams. This year’s programs include equestrian camps, fashion camps, Camp Citizen Jane Film Camp and CoMo Girls Rock!, an independent camp hosted in part by the College. Stars Athletics and TRYPS children’s theatre also have a slate of summer camps. Learn more.

Share Your News

We want to hear about new happenings in your life, whether it's a career move, a new bundle of joy in your family, a special anniversary or recognition of your work. Please also share events and news from your local alumnae club. 

Share your note here

More News & Info

SC-Scene (news blog)

Stephens Facebook page

Alumnae Association Facebook page

Give to Stephens

Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Reader.