Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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Strong shooting lifts Stars to 69-56 win over Hannibal-LaGrange

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Leading throughout the entire contest Saturday, the Stephens College basketball team came away with its first American Midwest Conference victory by defeating Hannibal-LaGrange University, 69-56. Playing in the familiar confines of Silverthorne Arena, all 11 active players scored and the Stars also notched their first win at home for the 2015-16 season.

Stephens improved to 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the AMC before its Thanksgiving break. Banged up during the recent stretch of games, the Stars luckily have 12 days off before they resume AMC action in Arkansas. SC begins a three-game roadswing with games at No. 17 Lyon, Central Baptist and an exhibition at NCAA Division I University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

Stephens set the tone early and got off to a perfect start thanks to an 8-0 run in the first four minutes. The Stars' two leading scorers – Dana Heggemann and Bailey Taylor – combined for the first eight points before Hannibal-LaGrange got on the scoreboard. Neither team did much in the back end of the first quarter as SC took a 12-4 lead into the second stanza.

What began as a low-scoring affair turned into the Stars' third-highest scoring output of the season (69). While the starting lineup got the ball rolling, it was the key reserves who pushed ahead in the second quarter. The group of Mariah Brisco, Katie Lamkie and Tayler Limpus provided 14 points off the bench, led by Brisco with two buckets and a pair of free throws.

At halftime, the Stars led by a comfortable 13 points after shooting 50 percent from the field. Unlike Thursday's AMC opener when the team relied heavily on 3-pointers in the first half, Stephens attempted just four 3s in the first 20 minutes of Saturday's game.

A different Star caught fire in the third quarter and helped the team keep a double-digit lead heading into the final period. Point guard Sadie Dugger found her rhythm out of the halftime break and provided Stephens with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting and 1-for-1 from beyond the arc.

With a 47-36 lead, the Stars looked to apply a dagger to the heart of the Lady Trojans (1-4, 1-1 AMC) and bumped the margin up to 18 with 8:01 remaining. However, HLGU wasn't going down without a fight as it scored eight unanswered points on back-to-back 3-pointers by Kenna Greenway and a two by Anna Bucher. Stephens was able to hold off any late pushes by the Lady Trojans and kept its double-digit lead.

Sadie Dugger led the team in scoring for the first time this season with 15 points and tied for a team-high in assists with three. While Dugger was the only SC player to reach double digits, it didn't set back the Stars as it was a collective effort. Seven players had 5+ points, including Dana Heggemann (9), Mariah Brisco (8), Bailey Taylor (7), Kayleigh Shanahan (7), Angelica Medrano (6) and Katie Lamkie (5).

Taylor, who had two consecutive 17-point performances coming into the game, more than made up for it with hustle plays against Hannibal-LaGrange. The 5-9 forward pulled down a career-high 13 rebounds, which is the most by a Stephens player this year.

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Valentine, Hitchcock headline NAIA, AMC Cross Country Academic Awards

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Prior to the National Championship event in Charlotte, N.C., the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Friday that 210 women’s cross country student-athletes were named 2015 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Included on the list was a pair of Stephens College juniors including Julie Valentine and Juliana Hitchcock.

In order to be nominated by an institution's head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status to qualify for this honor.

Both Valentine and Hitchcock are first-time recipients of the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award. Valentine, a junior from Portland, Ind., sports a 3.89 grade-point average (GPA) in the Fashion Communication program. Hitchcock, a native of Warrensburg, Mo., is majoring in Biology and carries an impressive 3.92 GPA.

The Stars’ two upperclassmen also received recognition for their hard work in the classroom at the American Midwest Conference Championships. Along with sophomores Fey Chavez and Brittany Stanfield, the Stars placed four runners on the AMC Academic All-Conference team. To be eligible for the AMC Academic All-Conference award, a student-athlete must be in her second term at the institution and maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

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Sigma Tau Delta to recognize Stephens chapter, faculty sponsor

Sigma Tau Delta is recognizing the Stephens College chapter, along with sponsoring faculty member Judith Clark, for its 20th anniversary.

“Supporting and maintaining a chapter for this length of time is a notable achievement, and you can be proud—as we are—of your own participation in the long history of the Alpha Epsilon Eta Chapter’s involvement with the International Honor Society,” Executive Director William Johnson wrote in a letter to Clark. “This milestone is certainly cause for celebration.”

Both the chapter and Clark will receive special plaques at the organization’s International Convention March 2-5 in Minneapolis. Alpha Epsilon Eta will be honored during the General Business Session of the convention, and Clark will be recognized at the Regents and Sponsors Luncheon.

Several Stephens students have also submitted works in hopes of presenting at the conference.

Additionally, Harbinger, the College’s literary magazine, will be up for Outstanding Literary Journal of the Year, an honor it has received four of the past five years.

Stephens has other connections to the convention this year, as well. Senior Maya Alpert recently won first place in Sigma Tau Delta’s Midwestern Region Blog and will have her entry posted on the society’s website soon. And junior Shelly Romero is currently serving as the Student Representative for the Midwestern Region, helping to plan the event.

In his letter to Clark, Johnson praised Stephens for contributing to the success of the international organization. “You and your school are to be congratulated for your contribution toward that legacy of quality,” he wrote. “We are proud to be affiliated with student-oriented, actively-involved faculty such as you, and with schools such as Stephens College, where a real commitment to excellence is both obvious and ongoing.”

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Broadway star, Tony Award nominee speaks to theatre majors

Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie encouraged Stephens theatre majors to embrace their own unique voices and styles during a Skype interview today.

“Be yourself,” she said. “Admire other people, but don’t try to be them. Believe in yourself, that’s the most important thing.”

Mazzie, whose mother and grandmother both attended Stephens, has enjoyed a long career on Broadway that began with a role in “Big River” in 1985. It was a crash course in the world of Broadway, she said, but helped her make connections that she would enjoy throughout her career. One such connection was Elmore James, who is a guest artist in the School of Performing Arts this year and helped bring Mazzie to campus through videoconferencing.

Her next role in “Passion” earned Mazzie her first Tony nomination, which took her career to another level, she said. Most recently, she starred on Broadway in Woody Allen’s “Bullets Over Broadway,” which earned her an Outer Critics Circle Award. She’s also starred in “Next to Normal,” and received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for her performance in the revival of “Kiss Me, Kate.”

Speaking to a class via video conferencing from her home office this morning, Mazzie shared her experiences both on stage and in front of the camera. She discussed the differences between coming onto a show that’s already running and having the luxury of playing an original role, such as her role in “Ragtime.” The latter produced one of the most beloved musical theatre songs of all time, “Back to Before,” which she continues to perform.

Mazzie also stressed the importance of treating everyone with respect, from the doorman to members of the orchestra; being on time; and earning a reputation for being dependable.

Asked for vocal tips, Mazzie urged students to find their own voice rather than trying to mimic others.

“You don’t sound like anyone else, and you shouldn’t,” she said. “Develop your voice and how you sing, that’s how you stand out.” If the song is in a key that doesn’t match vocal abilities, she said, “change the key, not your voice.”

Mazzie is currently preparing for a New Year’s Eve show at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York. Next year, she is planning additional concerts abroad.

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Alumna shares advice at First Year Experience breakfast

Self-acceptance, taking time to educate oneself, loving what you do and being fearless enough to conquer your dreams—those were nuggets of advice Lindsey Weber ’08 had for first-year students this morning.

Weber was the keynote speaker at the third annual First Year Experience Networking Breakfast.

The event allows first-year students to network with area professionals.

Weber—who is communication coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals—used the “S.E.L.F.” acronym to drive home the point that students can be successful by doing what they love if they accept themselves, stay educated on current events and aren’t afraid to go after their dreams.

Weber said she discovered that at Stephens, where she studied digital filmmaking.

Assigned a documentary, Weber recalls being so fixated on the St. Louis Cardinals that she could barely concentrate on schoolwork.

She decided to combine the two and ended up making a short documentary on what it means to be a St. Louis Cardinals fan during a World Series bid.

“That was a pivotal moment,” she said. “I realized you can take your passion and turn it into a profession.”

Weber also recalled a moment during an internship she had where she was challenged for being female. She was paired up with sportscasters during a celebrity golf tournament with members of the Cardinals, and the man to whom she was assigned publicly bemoaned the fact he got stuck with a “girl.” Today‚ that “girl” creates the news that the sportscaster reports. She used the story to stress that students should own who they are—regardless of gender, race or sexuality.

The networking breakfast gives students an opportunity to meet professionals outside of their area of interest, as well as in their chosen fields. Professional guests included administrators from the University of Missouri, local bankers, writers and performers, film professionals and business owners.

“This is an opportunity for our first year students to meet women of high achievement and to be inspired,” Associate Professor Mark Thompson said. “It broadens their horizons.”

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Project lets freshmen explore self and society

First-year students took to Vine to express themselves and how they fit into society as part of a class-wide project.

Vine is a social app that allows users to combine images, videos, text and sound to create six-second videos that continuously loop.

All freshmen are required to take a First-Year Experience class. While all are focused on self and society, each section has a unique theme.

Yesterday, students and faculty from all FYE classes came together in Windsor Auditorium to share select Vines and talk about the project.

Associate Professor Kate Berneking Kogut’s class is focused on personal passions, creativity and leadership. One of her students, Stephanie LeBlanc, merged her passion for art with her love of dogs, creating a colorful Vine that shows puppies being painted different colors.

Ghadah Alshuwaiyer, assistant professor of health science, is using her FYE class to educate students on societal issues as they relate to health and wellness. Mariah Homan used her vine to show the effects of stress on eating habits.

Several students challenged images in popular culture such as women’s magazines and movies, proving in six seconds that appearance does not reflect reality.

Harli Harris took a different approach, using an albino hedgehog to show how “living up to society’s standards creates a fake you.” The hedgehog, lodged with insults, conducts an online search for how he’s supposed to look, only to transform into a stuffed hedgehog.

Savannah Thibault, a student in Lee Heinz’s Shakespeare-themed FYE class, created a vine of herself playing soccer with the “some are born great. Some achieve great. And some have greatness thrust upon them,” a quote from Twelfth Night.

This is the second year FYE students have created vines for class.

"The idea is that students can use this platform to make short videos that explore how their FYE courses have shaped their view of themselves and their society" said Associate Professor Mark Thompson.

One of his students, Jesse Roan, created a video showing the evolution of women from the 1950s through today, ending with a photo of Stephens President Dianne Lynch. She told the group she wanted to portray that mothers can do more than stay at home.

“I ended with Dianne Lynch because she does have a teenage daughter,” Roan said, “but she also runs all of this.”

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All-Conference Awards announced

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Following Thursday’s American Midwest Conference Women’s Soccer Championship, the league office revealed its All-Conference teams, which included a pair of Stephens College student-athletes. Freshmen Martha Noelker and Savannah Thibault were named AMC All-Conference Honorable Mention at forward and defender, respectively.

For the first time in soccer program history, the Stars had more than one player receive All-Conference recognition. Noelker and Thibault, both Washington High School graduates, join the likes of Taylor Baker (2012) and Kenzie Andrade (2014) as All-Conference Honorable Mention selections.

Noelker had a banner year on offense, rewriting previous single-game, single-season and career records for goals scored and points. The forward from Washington, Mo., had three multi-goal games including the Stars’ first-ever hat trick against AMC opponent Central Baptist followed by a four-goal, one-assist performance at home versus Lincoln Christian. The busy week earned her an AMC Offensive Player of the Week accolade. Noelker finished her freshman campaign with 15 goals and two assists for a grand total of 32 points. Currently, her numbers for goals per game, shots on goal per game and shots per game rank in the top 50 nationally and top five in the AMC.

Savannah Thibault was a mainstay on the Stars’ backline during her freshman season and was one of just two players to start all 18 contests. The center back constantly tracked down opponent’s top strikers and helped the Stephens defense decrease its goals allowed by 28 from 2014 to 2015. Thibault was also a threat on the offensive end of the field, registering 14 shots on goal on 25 attempts. Two of the shots on target found the back of the net, both coming in the Stars’ 13-0 shutout at Faith Baptist Bible College. In addition, Thibault added an assist in each of SC’s games against Lincoln Christian.

Prior to the start of the AMC Tournament, the league also announced its AMC Academic All-Conference honorees. Several Stars were selected to the team and led all conference schools with 12 representatives. The senior class set the tone for Stephens with seven of the eight seniors receiving recognition.

To receive the award, each student-athlete must be in their second year at the institution and maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average.

The following players on the Stars’ soccer team were named to the 2015 American Midwest Conference All-Academic Team:

Rose Baka (Senior, Columbia, Mo.)
Gerica Curry (Sophomore, Crocker, Mo.)
Morgan Daniels (Sophomore, Hale, Mo.)
Sammy Dorman (Junior, Boonville, Mo.)
Caitlyn Gardner (Sophomore, St. Charles, Mo.)
Kirsten Izzett (Senior, Oregon City, Ore.)
Miranda Mammen (Sophomore, Chillicothe, Mo.)
Anna Martin (Senior, Florissant, Mo.)
Joelle Mason (Senior, Carlsbad, Calif.)
Bridget Teixeira (Senior, Hanford, Calif.)
Sarah Vitel (Senior, St. Charles, Ill.)
Dani Wilson (Senior, St. Louis, Mo.)

Leading the league in Academic All-Conference selections should come as no surprise considering the tradition Stephens upholds for having well-rounded student-athletes on the field and in the classroom.

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Alpert takes first place in Sigma Tau Delta blog contest

Senior Maya Alpert has won first place in Sigma Tau Delta’s Midwestern Region Blog Contest.

The English honor society will post her winning entry on its web blog, “Wordy by Nature,” later this month as the organization prepares for its annual convention in March. Alpert also received a $150 cash prize.

The contest called on members to submit an essay about what it means to find home, be it a physical location or a spiritual state of mind.

Alpert opted to write about how being home schooled has given her a mindset that she draws upon today.

“For me, the foundation of my success was my educational upbringing,” she said. “I was raised in a very positive educational environment where I was encouraged to follow my academic passions. I wrote about how that experience has been a foundation to me, a launching pad to Stephens.”

Having the flexibility to study at home, she said, allowed her to focus more in-depth on the subjects she was passionate about.

“I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a writer,” Alpert said. “My mother recognized that and encouraged it.”

Alpert transferred to Stephens from a community college in 2013 and has become active on campus.

In addition to serving as secretary of the College’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter, she is editor-in-chief of Harbinger, Stephens’ literary journal.

She credits the English/Creative Writing faculty for her successes.

“The teachers here are amazing,” she said, naming Professors Judith Clark and Tina Parke-Sutherland, Associate Professor Kate Berneking Kogut and Assistant Professor Kris Somerville. “They are all so supportive and get to know you on a personal level. Even though I’m a transfer student, I felt welcomed right away.”

After graduating in May, Alpert hopes to begin a career at a large publishing firm and hopes to become published herself. She mainly writes fiction drawing from her own relationships and experiences.

Alpert, along with other Stephens students, has submitted short fiction to Sigma Tau Delta in hopes of being invited to present at the upcoming convention.

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Stars capitalize on CCCB turnovers, secure 86-49 win

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

MOBERLY, Mo. – After starting the year 0-2, the Stephens College basketball team has worked its way back to .500 with consecutive wins on the road. On Tuesday evening, the Stars had three players in double figures and coasted to an 86-49 victory over Central Christian College of the Bible.

The 86 points marked the highest total by an SC squad since the Stars scored 95 versus Central Bible College [Springfield, Mo.] in 2008.

CCCB kept Stephens in check for much of the opening quarter, but the Stars registered eight of the last 10 points to go up by a score of 18-12.

In the second, Stephens tapped into its deep roster and began to pull away from the Saints. In addition to eight different players scoring in the second quarter, the Stars scored in an assortment of ways: second-chance points, points off turnovers, points at the free-throw line and several points in the paint.

Heading into the break, Stephens had upped its lead to 18. The Stars’ top scorer in the 41-23 half was Katie Heaton, who scored eight points on a pair of threes and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.

Another strong quarter offensively propelled the Stars to a 61-35 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the contest. Freshman Briana Clark had a productive quarter down low with six points in the paint. The Stars once again spread the scoring across the roster with six different players recording a bucket.

Stephens continued to disrupt CCCB on offense and scored six of its first eight points of the first quarter on fast-break opportunities. By the end of the contest, the Stars had forced 34 Saint turnovers, which helped push the margin of victory to 37.

Playing a relatively clean game, the Stars had a season-low 10 turnovers, while registering 22 steals. Dana Heggemann, Angelica Medrano and Sadie Dugger led the way with three steals apiece. The only area where the Saints out-played the Stars was on the board. CCCB led the rebound battle, 48-40.

Heggemann, who was 4-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line, tied for the team-high in points (14) and added five rebounds to the mix. Off the bench, Briana Clark also contributed 14 points (6-of-9) and three rebounds in 16 minutes of action.

Sadie Dugger joined Heggemann and Clark in double digits with 11 points and six rebounds from the guard position. Others with 5+ points included Mariah Brisco (9), Katie Heaton (8), Bailey Taylor (7), Sierra Pryor (6) and Katie Lamkie (5). Lamkie led the Stars in rebounding with a team-high seven caroms.

Stephens remains on the road for its next matchup when it travels to Fayette, Mo., to play Central Methodist. The Eagles opened their 2015-16 slate this evening with a 76-48 win over American Midwest Conference (AMC)’s Hannibal-LaGrange.

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Student group promotes unity, dialogue, giving back to Columbia community

A club dedicated to minority students on the Stephens campus is making extra efforts this semester to be visible and engage support of all students.

B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. began about five years ago and is beginning to become more active, said Leona Brown, secretary for the group.

This year, the group is hosting social events such as a Halloween party, holding student discussion groups and participating in service projects.

“We have ‘Pillow Talks’ in the upper level of the Student Union a couple of times a month,” Brown said. “It’s a safe zone where students can come and share their thoughts, concerns and ideas.”

The next Pillow Talk is tonight. It comes on the heels of a campus-wide meeting President Dianne Lynch called in light of recent events in Columbia.

Brown said the Pillow Talk will be a great follow-up to that dialogue, and she hopes all students participate.

B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. has about 20 members and is open to all students. The club is also developing partnerships with groups at the University of Missouri.

In addition to promoting respect and unity, B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. is finding ways to give back to Columbia. Currently, members are collecting toiletries, cleaning products, baby products and other necessities for True North, an organization that helps victims of domestic abuse.

“They educate women and help them get back on their feet,” Brown said “It’s about given women a second chance, and Stephens women should be involved in something like that that's so close to our home. It’s a way to give back and support others.”



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Stephens basketball holds off Avila for first win of the season

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

ATCHISON, Kan. – For the second time in three outings, the Stephens College basketball team was engaged in a down-to-the-wire matchup with a Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) opponent. This time around, the Stars reversed their fortune in the late-game situation by holding off Avila University (1-2) Saturday at the Benedictine College-AmericInn Classic, 65-61.

Stephens (1-2) picked up win No. 1 of the season, its first non-conference victory since Dec. 15, 2012 when it defeated University of St. Mary at a tournament in Wisconsin.

The Stars were on fire to begin the game jumping out to a commanding 7-0 lead in the first two minutes. Bailey Taylor, who opened the scoring, pushed the margin to 10-2 with a 3-pointer on a pass from Sadie Dugger. Unfortunately, Avila snapped out of its daze and shut down the Stars for the next four minutes. During that stretch the Eagles evened the ballgame at 12-all and once again at 14-14 before the end of the quarter.

Scoring was balanced for the two teams in the second stanza, however, one particular individual stepped up offensively to keep the game close. After being held without a point in the opening quarter, sophomore transfer Sierra Pryor notched nine points including a timely three before the end of the half.

Trailing by one at the break [32-31], the Stars were shooting an efficient 46.4 percent from the field with seven different players registering a bucket.

Early in the third, Stephens took advantage of some AU miscues and missed field goals. During the six and 1Ž2 minute stretch, the Stars went on a 15-4 run. Pryor and Bailey Taylor were active again in the third period, but a different set of Stars contributed in pushing forward. Heggemann had a key three-pointer, while Sadie Dugger tallied a pair of baskets along with five points from Katie Heaton.

The Eagles slowly chipped away at what was a nine-point margin for Stephens heading into the final quarter. Clinging to a four-point lead with five minutes remaining, the Stars built enough of a cushion to fend off a rallying Avila squad. Despite hitting just one field goal in the last five minutes, the Stars got to the free-throw line and hit their shots when it mattered most.

Guard Angelica Medrano sank a pair of late free throws to put the game away and secure a 65-61 win.

SC was near perfect from the charity stripe on Saturday, hitting on 11-of-12 free throws. After shooting 50 percent in the second half, the Stars finished the day with .480 clipping. Another statistic that jumped out was the Stars’ 13 steals.

Leading the Stars offensively in the victory were Sierra Pryor with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists, Bailey Taylor with 12 points, four rebounds and four assists and Angelica Medrano with nine points.

Stephens has a busy week ahead with games on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Stars are on the road at nearby Central Christian College of the Bible and Central Methodist University before hosting Kansas Wesleyan University in a week.

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Volleyball trio lands CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Stephens College volleyball trio of Taylor Edwards, Suhey Campos and Danielle Craven have been named to the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District Volleyball second team, announced Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Edwards, Campos and Craven were three of just 33 volleyball student-athletes named to the College Division Academic All-District teams, comprised of NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.

This news comes one week after SC student-athlete Anna Martin collected Academic All-District first team honors for women’s soccer. In similar fashion, the volleyball threesome becomes the first of their sport at Stephens to receive Academic All-District honors.

Taylor Edwards, a junior from St. Peters, Mo., sets the tone for student-athletes when it relates to academics, athletics and community involvement. Carrying a 3.69 grade-point average (GPA) in a rigorous Biology/Pre-Med program, Edwards has also made waves on the court, taking over as the Stars’ primary libero halfway through the season. With one match remaining, Edwards leads the team in digs (277), and ranks as one of the top defenders in the American Midwest Conference on serve receive (.943 on 473 attempts). This year, the junior will become a two-time AMC Academic-All Conference selection and first-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Outside of volleyball, Edwards is involved in the Alpha Lambda Delta and Beta Beta Beta honor societies, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and is the Vice President for the newly-formed Association of Student-Athletes (ASA).

Suhey Campos, a sophomore from Kansas City, Mo., is studying Integrated Marketing with a near-perfect GPA of 3.92. The defensive specialist/libero has appeared in all 31 matches and ranks third on the team in both digs (236) and service aces (18). As a freshman, the graduate of Winnetonka High School made the Dean’s List with High Honors and led the Stars in digs by a sizable margin (+185). This year, Campos will earn AMC Academic All-Conference honors for the first time.

Danielle Craven, a high school and college teammate of Campos, currently holds a 3.70 GPA as a Biology/Pre-Med major. The sophomore setter is one of the top servers for SC with a team-best 25 service aces and the highest serve percentage at .950. In her first season as a starter, Craven has eclipsed 1,000 assists, which ranks 44th among NAIA setters. Craven will be named to the AMC Academic All-Conference team for the first time in her career.

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Warehouse presents 'Horse Girls'

The Warehouse Theatre Company this weekend is producing “Horse Girls,” a dark comedy that promises to have audience members on the edge of their seats.

“It’s a wild ride,” third-year student Caitlin Castro said.

This is the first time the play has been produced at Stephens and only the second time the play has been at a college since it debuted a year ago.

A one-act play by Jenny Rachel Weiner, “Horse Girls” follows an exclusive middle school horse club based out of Ashleigh, the club president’s home, located on her family’s elaborate stables.

Ashleigh is the quintessential “mean girl,” but when club members learn that stables are being slated for demolition and the horses sold to slaughter, she quickly loses control.

“There’s tension and tension until it finally breaks,” Castro said, adding that a fight scene concludes with murder by horse show trophy. “It’s a very dark comedy and plays at the stereotypes."

She said it was a perfect fit for Stephens because of the large all-female cast and because of its contemporary edge.

“It’s edgier than what we put on at the main stage, and it’s a new work, which is what we mostly go for,” she said. “Plus, everyone loved it and wanted to do it.”

Audiences can expect a purely entertaining production with a contemporary setting and simple set. Second-year theatre major Madison Welch will play the main character with a strong cast. “It will be a lot of fun,” Castro said.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee in the Warehouse Theatre. Tickets.

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AHIMA recognizes Ledda, HIA

The American Health Information Management Association presented Margaret Ledda, director of the Health Information Administration program at Stephens, with an award recognizing her and the College’s support of the organization.

Ledda accepted the award at the association’s annual convention held Sept. 26-30 in New Orleans.

The awards and certificate, presented at a private event, recognizes Stephens’ longtime commitment to HIA education. Stephens was the first in the country to offer distance learning for health information administration education.

“We’ve been a member of AHIMA for more than 40 years and helped them implement an accreditation process,” said Ledda, who directs the program. “The award was a complete surprise, but not surprising as we’ve enjoyed a long and rewarding relationship with the AHIMA foundation.”

Also during the convention, Ledda and Jackie Carney, an admissions counselor, were invited to man a booth at an upcoming Health Information Management event in Nevada. Attending the events allows Ledda to connect and work with two-year colleges to develop new articulation agreements. The agreements ensure that students will have a seamless transition if they transfer into Stephens’ HIA program. So far, 16 articulation agreements have been finalized, and about 30 more are in the works.

“We’re attending these conventions not only to recruit students, but to also make new connections with schools all over the country,” Ledda said.

The HIA program is entirely online and enrolls about 145 students.

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Trio performs at Dallas Country Club

Sydney Benton ’17 was excited to be among three members of “A Class Act” vocal group performing at the annual Texas alumnae fundraising event in Dallas last month.

“I am super honored to be representing A Class Act and the School of Performing Arts,” Benton said prior to the trip. “And I’m really pumped because I know they’re going to love us and that they will be really encouraging.”

She was right.

The group, including Allie Mgrublian ’17 and Morgan Walker ’17, performed three numbers as a trio and each performed a solo. And the performances were a hit.

“The girls and their songs were extremely popular,” said Susan Schmidt ’67, president of the Stephens Alumnae Club of Dallas. “Everyone was impressed with the quality of the performance and realized just how talented the students are. Also, it brought back all sorts of wonderful memories of our days at Stephens."

The annual fundraiser is open to all alumnae living in Texas. It was the second year the event has showcased Stephens talent.

Several months ago, after hearing about the College’s many amazing student performers, Schmidt asked Dean Gail Humphries Mardirosian about having students perform in Texas. Mardiosian and Associate Professor Pam Ellsworth-Smith suggested representatives from A Class Act. A Class Act is a vocal group that showcases the talents of musical theatre students. Mgrublian, Benton and Walker were selected to represent the group through an audition process.

“Our students were a beautiful reflection of Stephens women—professional in every way,” Ellsworth-Smith said. “They experienced first hand the ‘Stephens network’ through their interactions with alumnae.”

This year's fundraising event attracted about 90 attendees, some of whom joined the alumnae association afterward. Six alumnae from the 1945 class could not attend the event but sent in association dues with their regrets.

"It just shows how much these women still want, need and love having a connection to their school," Schmidt said.

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Collins accepted into Alvin Ailey summer intensive program in New York

Alexis Collins ’15 has been accepted into the Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive Program, a selective program in New York City that provides training in ballet and modern dance.

Collins, who will graduate in December, auditioned at the University of Missouri-Kansas City earlier this month and received news of her acceptance yesterday.

“Words can’t express how awesome I feel right now,” she said, adding that the summer intensive provides rigorous training from top-notch dancers and choreographers.

Auditioning was a rigorous process, she said, that required her to demonstrate a variety of ballet and modern dance techniques.

Collins plans to move to New York in January and begin auditioning for various roles before the summer intensive begins in June. Her dream is to someday star in Broadway’s “The Lion King.”

But she’d also be thrilled to join the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre or Ailey II. According to a 2011 report in The New York Times, the company, along with most dance companies in the city, use summer intensive programs to recruit new talent.

Although she stressed that dance requires personal commitment, Collins said her Stephens education prepared her for the audition and helped her understand the dance world.

“I’ve had great professors who have helped me along the way,” she said. “This is a very supportive group of women.”

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Martin earns CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. ­– Stephens College senior midfielder Anna Martin has been named to the 2015 CoSIDA Academic All-District Women's Soccer Team, announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on Thursday.

Martin is one of 51 soccer student-athletes named to the College Division Academic All-District® teams, comprised of NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools. As a first-team selection for District 3, Martin will be placed on the CoSIDA Academic All-America® Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected on Thursday, Nov. 19.

Martin becomes the first Stephens soccer player to receive Academic All-District honors, while joining a small group of Stars who have been presented with the prestigious award, an honor which recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

Other SC student-athletes to be named CoSIDA Academic All-District include Jessica McConnell in 2014, and the trio of Ashton Mixer, Emily Park and Andie Young in 2012.

"Anna is as dedicated and passionate of a soccer player as I've ever had the privilege of coaching," head soccer coach Xander Kennedy said. "It comes as no surprise to me that the focus extends to her classroom endeavors. I cannot think of a more deserving individual to be recognized in this way – she really personifies the notion of student-athlete."

A strategic communication major, Martin has demonstrated the rigorous balance of academics and athletics working as the Creative Director of Creative Ink, while appearing in 13 soccer matches and starting in 11 of them as a senior.

Carrying a 3.73 cumulative grade-point average, Martin has collected several honors in her career including two AMC Academic All-Conference awards and a Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award in 2014. She is in line to receive both awards again in 2015.

Athletically, the Florissant, Mo. native has played in 44 career contests for the Stars at both defense and midfield. Martin finally broke through on the stat sheet this year when she delivered a shot top shelf at Faith Baptist Bible for her first career goal.

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Veteran actor, Stephens alumnus hosts casting workshop for students

Acting in front of a video camera is no different than acting on a stage, veteran actor, director and Stephens alumnus Mark Taylor told theatre students last week.

Taylor, a member of the Stephens College Board of Trustees, hosted a series of casting workshops on Friday and Saturday.

Students had the opportunity to audition for a television commercial, comedy show and television drama using cue cards from actual programming.

Taylor split students up into two groups—those auditioning and those reviewing the auditions.

“On one side they’re getting experience of working an audition, and on the other side they’re hearing and seeing what it’s like to make the casting decisions,” Taylor said.

For many students, it was the first time performing in front of a camera. Cue cards proved a little distracting, and students said they were surprised when reviewing the footage to see how their eye movements and facial gestures translate on screen.

Although students were critical of themselves, Taylor praised their performances, saying in one round of auditions, they would have all received callbacks.

It was high praise. Taylor has an extensive acting and directing career. He’s been in “High School Musical 2,” “Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” and ”Arachnophobia.” He’s been on numerous television shows, including a reoccurring role on “Boston Legal,” “The Practice” and “Melrose Place.” He’s also a director, writer and producer.

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Seniors to showcase signature dances at October concert

Senior dance majors have choreographed their own personal stories and ideas into original pieces that will debut at the Senior Dance Concert later this month.

The dances were inspired by life, death and memories of home. There’s also a number that’s perfect for the Halloween season. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30-31 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 1 at Macklanburg Playhouse. [Tickets.]

For Katy Johnson, choreographing her number has been an emotional process. One of her dances is a tribute to her father, who passed away unexpectedly during her freshman year of college. The dance, set to Julia Kent’s “Last Day in July,” will feature soft movements and simple costumes and the music features subtle water sounds reminiscent of her dad’s love of fishing. It’s a poignant piece that will likely require tissues.

Johnson’s second number, "Discombobulated," has an entirely different feel and is a fast-paced exploration of sound and movement.

Destiney Lockhart’s piece, “Warriors,” explores her journey over the past three years at Stephens. Wearing camouflage, seven dancers, including Lockhart, will portray strength and persistence through movement. Her second piece, “Effects of You,” is inspired by Fantasia Barrino’s “Side Effects of You,” and also represents Lockhart’s own life.

Savannah Blocker’s choreographed take on “Alice in Wonderland” has been three years in the making.

“I’ve been thinking about it since I saw the senior dance concert my freshman year,” she said. “They put so much effort and heart into their pieces. Now it’s my turn to step up my game because now freshmen are watching me.”

The dance, "Revenge of the Red Queen," is a Tim Burton-inspired twist on the beloved classic and will feature all of the main characters. Expect Alice, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts to dance out the story with an unexpected ending.

The dance concert will conclude with a large number from Tiara Saddler inspired by the Chicago house music she grew up on. She said the piece, "Taste of Chicago," is a signature piece that fully showcases her personality.

Attendees can expect to be transformed.

“I want audience members to feel like they’re partying with us,” she said. “I’m bringing Chicago to Missouri.”

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Filmmakers talk funding at third annual Citizen Jane Summit

When Mo Scarpelli and Alexandria Bombach were in the midst of making their film about life in Afghanistan, they met with a person willing to help finance the last stages of the project.

The potential donor had just one condition: The entire film would need to be re-edited to tell a different version of the story.

“We turned down a big chunk of money to keep control,” Scarpelli told a crowd at the Citizen Jane Summit yesterday.

Scarpelli joined veteran filmmaker Alison Bagnall Standefer, director of “Funny Bunny,” and actor and filmmaker Catherine Dudley-Rose, director of “Parallel Chords” for the third annual summit, which kicked off the Citizen Jane Film Festival. Scarpelli’s film, “Frame by Frame,” debuted at South by Southwest and is the opening night film for CJFF. It starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Missouri Theatre.

Funding was a hot topic at the summit, which drew about 100 people and was recorded by She Does Podcast for an upcoming episode.

Scarpelli, a University of Missouri graduate, and Bombach essentially funded their film piece by piece. In the early stages, Bombach sold her car to finance a two-week trip to Afghanistan. That allowed them to get enough footage to create a trailer and raise money through an online Kickstarter campaign. The film has received critical acclaim and the filmmakers are currently negotiating distribution rights.

Standefer shared a similar story of having to sever ties over artistic differences. She acknowledged her films might not appeal to everyone but it’s important for her to create movies that matter to her. It’s like sending “smoke signals” into the air to see who else out there gets it, she said.

Asked for advice for future filmmakers, all three agreed that the most important thing is to stay true to the story, even if it means saying “no” to potential funders.

“You have to do what you want to,” Standefer said. “Life is short. Your job is to share with the world your story.”

“Believe in yourself,” Dudley-Rose added, “and commit to the story that moves you.”

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Death of print? Not at annual Spook-a-Thon creative writing event

By Senior Emily Cross

Kitiara McGuire glanced at her smart phone from behind the pulpit—a perfectly symbolic move as she donned a costume dubbed “Death of Print,” which was comprised of shredded pages and oozing ink.

Media might be changing, but printed word was alive and well last night at Sigma Tau Delta’s annual Spook-a-Thon, a celebration of scary stories, the Halloween season and the English/Creative Writing program at Stephens.

Costumes this year were as elaborate as ever. Haley Coburn dressed as Bilbo Baggins, the protagonist of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic “The Lord of the Rings,” snagging first place in the costume contest. Erika Westoff’s fawn witch costume earned second place. Other costumes included Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Marty McFly (just in time for “Back to the Future” day) and Olaf from “Frozen.”

Associate Professor Kate Berneking Kogut took her costume to another level. She dressed as a birdwatcher and observed the entire event through a pair of binoculars.

She remained in character when it was her turn to read. Following a spooky reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic, “The Raven,” Kogut performed a dramatic reading of the National Audubon Society’s description of a common raven, earning her a standing ovation.

Spook-a-Thon is just one of several events on campus that happen annually around Halloween. Earlier this week, Tri Sigma hosted its annual haunted tour of campus, a fundraiser for the Robbie Page Memorial Fund. Next week, Mortar Board will host the annual Safe Trick-or-Treat for children in the community. The event is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Lela Raney Wood Hall and is free and open to the public.   

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Guest speaker discusses Middle Eastern style to current issues class

For Hiba Jaafari, wearing a hijab is a personal choice that’s not so much about her religion as it is about being conservative.

“It’s about modesty,” she told students in Stephanie Link’s Current Issues in the Fashion Industry class today.

She wears the headscarf anywhere she might be in the presence of men who are not relatives, she said.

Jaafari is a Columbia native whose family is from Damascus. Growing up, she and her family visited Syria every other summer, helping her embrace her dual identity. A University of Missouri graduate, today, she lives in Washington, D.C.

Jaafari presented a slideshow of photos of traditional dress, as well as her street style. Jaafari mixes Western fashion such as sleeveless dresses with long sleeves and slacks to combine style and modesty.

Following a slideshow, Jaafari fielded a number of questions from students, most of whom wanted to know about using cultural and religious practices for fashion purposes.

Is it OK to wear a hijab just because it looks fashionable?

“As long as it’s not done in a negative connotation,” Jaafari said. “The point of wearing it is modesty, so if it looks cute and looks good and displays modesty, that’s great.”

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Callahan named head golf coach

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director 

Stephens College Interim Athletics Director Ray Fron announced Monday that Brian Callahan has been hired as the college’s new head golf coach.

Callahan takes over for Fron, who led the program in 2014-15 before assuming the role of interim AD. A Columbia resident since 1995, Callahan has competed in several golf tournaments in the area, including Columbia’s Francis Hagan Match Play Championship, Columbia City Championship, Gustin Club and the Missouri Amateur Championship. 

“I am excited to bring Brian aboard as the next golf coach,” Fron said. “He is an accomplished amateur golfer and has the same philosophical approach and goals that align themselves with Stephens. Brian will be an asset to both the institution and our golf program.” 

Originally from Hanover, Ill., Callahan was a varsity letterwinner in basketball and baseball and earned a B.S. in Psychology from Illinois State University. Callahan has spent 25 years in the insurance industry and currently works at Columbia Insurance Group as a quality control coordinator.

He resides in Columbia with his wife, Toby, and stepson, Zachare. His daughter, Courtney, attends University of Central Missouri.

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Ribbon cutting marks start of stable tours

The Stephens College Equestrian Center on Friday hosted a Columbia Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting celebrating the first-ever Boone County Stables Tour.

The Saturday tour allowed residents to explore the center, along with four other stables, around the county.

The event was a fundraising effort for the Boone County Historical Society and also served to educate citizens about the area’s equine history.

It’s the only stable tour of its kind in the country, and organizers hope to make it an annual event, said Chris Campbell, executive director of the historical society.

On Friday, Stephens faculty and students welcomed Campbell, Chamber ambassadors and representatives from the Missouri Horse Shows Association to campus to participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We’re so thrilled to be part of this and to share our rich history of equestrian programming here at Stephens,” said Sara Linde Patel, program coordinator and hunter/jumper instructor.

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Scholars get behind-the-scenes glimpse of dance at Missouri Contemporary Ballet

Freshman Allie Wilson adequately summed up a group of students’ thoughts yesterday after seeing a rehearsal at the Missouri Contemporary Ballet.

“I don’t have any questions, but I do have a comment: Holy cow,” she said.

Wilson and other members of the Stephens Scholars yesterday took a walking field trip to the Columbia-based dance company, where dancers were rehearsing a fast-paced piece called “Falling.” The dance, choreographed by MCB Executive Director Karen Grundy, will be part of an upcoming performance, Poised in Flux, slated for Nov. 13 and 14.

Scholars had the opportunity to see how dance numbers are created, learning that it’s a rigorous and intense process. Each section of the dance is repeated multiple times with dancers counting out rhythms and steps to create symmetry or complementing motions.

Associate Professor James Terry, a Scholars adviser, noted that dance is a bit like an iceberg—one sees the tip while the bulk of the mass is not visible. By the time audiences see the piece, it will not be evident how much work has gone in to creating it.

Grundy started the company 10 years ago and today artists come from around the country to Columbia to audition to be part of it. Most also have other jobs not related to dance, Scholars learned.

“We definitely don’t do it for the money,” one company member said. “But it’s worth it because we love it and feel privileged to be able to hone our art form.”

The trip to MCB was one of several activities the Scholars have participated in this semester. This past weekend, they also got a tour of the Columbia Daily Tribune and its printing press led by Publisher Vicki Russell, who is also a Stephens Trustee.

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Stephens trio to perform for Dallas Alumnae Club this weekend

Three members of “A Class Act” vocal group at Stephens are traveling to Texas this weekend to perform six numbers for Stephens alumnae at the Dallas Country Club.

Allie Mgrublian, Sydney Benton and Morgan Walker will each perform a solo and also sing three numbers as a trio. Among the selections is “Up the Ladder to the Roof,” the 1970 hit single from The Supremes. The event is the Dallas Alumnae Club’s annual fundraiser.

“I’m super honored to be representing a Class Act and the School of Performing Arts,” Benton said. “And I’m really pumped because I know they’re going to love us and that they will be really encouraging.”

A Class Act is a vocal group that showcases the talents of musical theatre and vocal arts majors. Mgrublian, Benton and Walker were selected for the trip through an audition process.

It’s just another example of the types of opportunities students get at Stephens, Walker said.

“The thing I love best is that there are so many opportunities to perform, whether it’s a master class or production or recital,” she said. “Stephens has a really nice way of selecting opportunities for each student and knowing what’s going to be challenging but also reachable.”

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Students studying abroad gain courage, confidence, independence

They went to different corners of the world, but Stephens students who returned after studying abroad earlier this year share a common refrain: they’re more confident, independent and courageous women because of it.

“I’m confident about myself now, and confidence was not my strong point,” said senior Carter Grove, an integrated marketing student who took business classes in Barcelona.

Stephens offers a buffet of Study Abroad options through affiliated school, volunteer and internship program providers, as well as partnerships that allow students to directly enroll in schools abroad. Study Abroad Coordinator Lynda Baumgartner works closely with students to make sure they understand their options and helps them navigate the necessary paperwork. She also encourages them to take initiative and plan well in advance for their experiences.

Senior Tatiana Evans befriended an exchange student from South Korea at Stephens last year, attending church with her and learning the language and culture before embarking on her own study in Seoul.

The highlight of her experience was Seoul Fashion Week, where she got to watch designers, stylists, photographers and models work behind the scenes. Evans made lots of connections, which she hopes to use when applying for an internship at an English-speaking channel there. She said the internship made her realize she wants to pursue a fashion career abroad rather than in the states.

Senior Hillary Henry also studied fashion, opting for more traditional locations. She crafted a schedule that allowed her to study footwear at the Florence University of The Arts and couture at the Paris American Academy. Despite traveling solo, Henry said she quickly discovered that she’s adaptable to new situations and had no difficulties getting around.

Grove spent four months in Barcelona and admits it required her to step out of her comfort zone.

“I think this will help me in the future with my career because I will be able to try new things,” she said.

Senior Meaghan Dye also stepped out of her comfort zone when she joined students from the University of Missouri to take business classes in Italy this summer.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” she said, adding that she’s already signed up to return to Paris and London with the MU group over winter break.

Dye is from a small community and chose Stephens because of its size. Now, she said, she's no longer limited to thinking she can't thrive in larger cities.

“It changed my perspective and how I look at things,” Dye said. “I learned a lot about what I can do, and I can see myself living in a big city. I can definitely do it. My dreams, they can become reality, I just have to make them happen.”

Senior Livvy Runyon was part of a documentary film crew that traveled to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, through Actuality Media. She was producer on a four-member crew that created a short documentary about the work of Xela AID, an organization that seeks to empower women. The film has been accepted into the Catalina Film Festival.

Runyon said Stephens prepared her not only with production and technical skills but also with an ethical understanding of when to put the camera away.

Runyon, who has also traveled to Haiti, said the experience reaffirmed her career choice.

“It reinforced my desire to tell stories through film about other people and cultures,” she said. “It really challenged me as a filmmaker and as a person.”

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Playhouse Theatre Company to present 'Hay Fever'

The Playhouse Theatre Company next weekend is producing “Hay Fever,” considered by critics one of Noel Coward’s finest comedies.

The play explores and pokes fun at the eccentricities of the British creative class in the 1920s.

When members of the flamboyant Bliss family terrorize their weekend guests in their country home, they ultimately expose the fundamental folly of those who seek to run shoulders with the rich and famous.

Audience members can expect to be transported in time, said Director Lamby Hedge.

“’Hay Fever’ offers the Stephens College Playhouse Company a chance to tackle a sparkling period piece set in what once was the exclusive and sometimes bohemian domain of the creative class of Cookham, England, circa 1925,” she said. “Our production will be resplendent with period style costumes, period movements and dialect work, Coward’s wry sophisticated language, over-the-top comic characterizations and board physical comedy-and executive in a fast-paced high style.”

The play has five strong female roles, including the eccentric retired actress Judith Bliss, which will be played by Stephens alumna Peggy Friesen, an in-demand actress who also starred in the 2008 production of “Hay Fever” at Okoboji Summer Theatre. Additional professional actors in the cast include guest artist Timo Aker portraying the stiff diplomat looking for a weekend frolic with the Bliss daughter, Sorel, and Stephens Professor and resident teaching artist Rob Doyen portraying the patriarch, David Bliss.

“Hay Fever” starts at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and 18 with 2 pm. matinees on Oct. 17 and 18. Tickets.

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Popular food/fashion designer critiques student work

Gretchen Roehrs had a hard time deciding which designs senior Cortney Sims should make reality this school year—and it’s exactly the reaction Sims was hoping for.

“I wanted it to be hard to choose,” Sims said, grinning.

Roehrs is a 2012 graduate and works as a mobile app designer at Chime in San Francisco.

On the side, she’s been making headlines with her creative food fashion designs. Roehrs’ work has been featured in magazines, and most recently, she appeared on the Rachel Ray Show.

This week, Roehrs returned to Stephens to critique senior collections and student designs. With her input and selections, students will now work to turn their sketches into garments that will be submitted to a jury for possible inclusion in the spring fashion show on campus.

Tylar Paris’s collection, Guardian, was inspired by her grandmother, whom she considers her guardian angel. Designs included red carpet-ready gowns, edgy jumpsuits and jackets featuring feathers, manipulated fabric and sequins.

“My brand philosophy is to evoke emotions,” she told Roehrs.“I want to design things that make you feel a certain way.”

Roehrs liked the collection but warned Paris not to try to create too many of the looks. “With evening wear, it’s better to make a few things really well,” she said.

When she wasn’t critiquing designs, Roehrs spoke to several marketing classes.

She advised one group to use Instagram as a way to impress employers.

“It gives employers good insight into your creative process and how you think, not just what you think,” she said. Roehrs has more than 60,000 Instagram followers.

She uses the platform to show off her food creations. The latest images include a dancer wearing a blueberry and a dress made of lettuce and radishes.

She credits Stephens for helping her think differently.

“Stephens taught me it was OK not to follow the rules,” she said. “The reason I succeeded was I decided I didn’t want to do projects exactly as is. So if there’s a project you’re not jazzed about, find a way to make it interesting.”

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Students create pink dresses for breast cancer awareness month

Students taking the Crafting Sustainable Communities design course this semester were challenged to again create wearable pink garments from recycled materials to promote breast cancer awareness.

"Breaking the Pattern" is a project the class undertakes every fall, and the designs never cease to amaze.

This year, selected dresses will be on display in the windows of Susie’s campus store at Stephens. Jennifer Zink used Chinese New Year envelopes and lotus flowers to create her skirt and top, symbolizing good health and well wishes to those fighting breast cancer.

Whitney Dixson’s piece, “The Whirl Wind” featured handmade pinwheels. Victoria Vitale’s dress, “It’s Just a Chapter” was made from torn book pages and survival stories she found online and printed. She said she wanted to show that survivors can continue to write their book and that breast cancer was just a chapter.

Students researched breast cancer and read stories of survival before beginning the design project.

“It brings an awareness about breast cancer,” Assistant Professor Maureen Lowary said. “Statistically, two of any 10 women will become victims.”

The project also requires students to learn fundamental design techniques. Some students in the class had to learn sewing and patternmaking, skills they did not have prior to the project. Others challenged themselves with materials such as etpy toilet paper rolls and seat belts. One student used tablecloth material to crochet a top.

“There’s a lot of problem solving that goes into working with non fabric materials,” Lowary said. “It creates all kinds of issues that have to be figured out along the way, and many times designs have to change when something doesn’t work.”

Some of the dresses could be selected to be featured on the runway of The Collections student designer fashion show this spring.

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