Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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Romero elected Midwest Representative for Sigma Tau Delta

Shelly Romero '17 has been elected Student Representative for the Midwest Region of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society.

She was elected by peers during the annual Sigma Tau Delta Convention in Albuquerque last month.

In the position, she will serve as the liaison between the national Board of Directors and all of the Sigma Tau Delta chapters and students in a seven-state region. She will attend board meetings around the country through the upcoming school year and will help plan sessions for the 2016 International Convention in Minneapolis.

Romero said she was honored and excited about the opportunity but realizes the task before her.

“It's a huge position and a lot of work, and I'm ready,” she said. “It's going to be fun.”

Romero and three other English/Creative Writing students—Maggie Myers '15, Coral Hoelscher '15 and Sarah Parris '15—attended the convention last month, reading their original works in front of professionals and peers.

Romero read a short metafiction she wrote about the stereotypes of the horror genre.

“It was well-received,” she said. “Everyone had constructive criticism and thoughtful comments and questions.”

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Staff members honored at employee luncheon

Longtime Stephens employee Nina Stawski was recognized yesterday with the College’s highest honor bestowed on a staff member.

Stawski has worked at Stephens for 17 years and is currently the access services librarian at Hugh Stephens Library. She is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Staff Service Award.

In their nominations for her, colleagues praised Stawski for going above and beyond to serve Stephens and students without expecting anything in return, President Dianne Lynch said during yesterday’s Employee Recognition Ceremony. True to form, Stawski had no idea the descriptions were about her until her name was called.

A total of eight Stephens employees were honored during the annual recognition luncheon. Dalton Black, a stablehand who has been with the College for five years, was awarded the Reaching for the Stars Award for his contributions. Black is known for being willing to lend a hand wherever he is needed, helping new employees learn to use equipment at the Equestrian Center and doing the heavy lifting around the barns.

Longtime custodian Cindy Hunt and Sara Linde, a Stephens alumna who teaches equestrian studies, each received a Customer Service Award. Hunt was nominated for her dedication to the College and the interest she takes in her co-workers’ lives. Linde is practically famous for her dedication to the equestrian program and her students.

Dan Schultz, an assistant professor of theatre, received the Community Service award for his contributions to the greater Columbia area.

This year's Teamwork Award went to the three-person Student Success Center team comprised of Margaret Campbell, Sady Mayer Strand and Rachel Utrecht. The department helps students who need extra attention and hosts information sessions on study and other success factors.


During yesterday’s luncheon, Campbell was also honored for her 40th anniversary at Stephens. Co-workers surprised her with special remarks, a bouquet of flowers and a special gift. Campbell has served in a number of roles on campus since she began in 1974, including as residential adviser of the Searcy House Plan, now known as the Stephens Scholars.

The awards ceremony allows the College’s Senior Staff to honor those who have made significant contributions, but administrators stressed that the luncheon aimed to recognize all employees for their service to Stephens.

“While we give out awards for specific achievements, this luncheon is really about celebrating everyone’s contributions,” said Kim Schellenberger, director of Human Resources.

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Fashion professionals share wisdom during lecture series

Stay true to your brand, keep your chin up when others say “no” and always be strong.

Those were messages Cillah Hall, publisher of Gazelle STL, had for fashion students today as part of the Jury of Selection Lecture Series. Hall and other industry professionals are on campus this weekend to judge senior collections and other student garments for the upcoming student designer fashion show.

“I love that this college is about bold women,” she said during an afternoon lecture in Charters Lecture Hall. “We cater to strong women.”

A former news producer, Hall started Gazelle STL and Gazelle West in the St. Charles, Mo., area as a way to bring style and inspiration to the Midwest. She and fashion editor Kristy Lee also co-founded Missouri Style Week, an annual show that attracts designers to St. Louis from across the world.

The show is a platform for new designers to get exposure for their works, but also serves as a creative outlet for more experienced designers who want the freedom to explore.

“Missouri Style Week is for creative designers, those who have not lost their voice,” Hall said referring to the show’s edgy designs.

She encouraged student designers to promote their collections not only to state and regional fashion shows, but also organically on social media.

Hall and Lee capped a daylong series that also included Stephens alumnae Margaretanne Huffman, a brand analyst for Gap; Wendy Manasse, designer and founder of Quenchwear in L.A.; and Andrea Seemayer, a technical designer at Rebecca Taylor in New York.

The professionals and the School of Design’s fashion advisory board will spend Saturday critiquing student works. The Collections, the student designer fashion show, will be held at 2, 4:30 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 in Windsor Auditorium.

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The Ten reveal identities

Those who have spent the school year secretly representing Stephens’ Ten Ideals were identified Monday during Honors Convocation.

The Ten is a secret society dating back to 1921. Each year, 10 seniors are chosen to recognize others throughout the year for demonstrating Stephens’ values. This year, the group honored recipients with oversized banners that hung in Columbia Foyer and in the Stamper Commons dining room.

“The Ten serves our community in extraordinary ways,” President Dianne Lynch said. “While most colleges have a mission statement and set of values, we live those values and recognize those who best represent them.”

Students representing The Ten this year are:

Belief – Colby Elliot
Courage – Lydia Miller
Creativity – Katherine Rudder
Independence – Katlyn Lee
Intelligence – Lesta NewBerry
Leadership – Nicole Bartels
Respect – Alexandria Hagelston
Responsibility – Haley Padilla
Sensitivity – Emily Mendoza Fellers
Support – Mackenzie Andrade

Each year, The Ten also recognize a Four-Fold Girl and a Best Private Citizen, awards that also date back to 1921. This year’s Four-Fold Girl was Sara Barnett, and Jennifer Miller was named Best Private Citizen.

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Dance students perform at Links in Chicago

Stephens College dance students are headed to Chicago this week to perform an original piece choreographed on the Columbia campus.

Brandi Coleman of Chicago’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project choreographed the dance as part of Stephens Summer Dance. She expanded on it, adding scenes and tweaking moves, as a world dance guest artist in the fall. Coleman used the dance as the creative component of her thesis while working toward her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The dance, “What We Do With Time,” will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Links Hall. It originally debuted at the Annual Spring Dance Concert at Stephens’ Macklanburg Playhouse in February.

“This is the perfect connection between what our guest artists create with our dance students on campus and then having our students be able to share that work in a professional venue,” said Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts. “Brandi’s work is imaginative and vibrant, and it’s exciting for our students to be dancing and working with an innovative choreographer such as her.”

The piece is a “tongue-in-cheek commentary on the life of a student,” Coleman said, “and all of the stress, anxiety, panic and loopy lunacy that goes with it.”

Moves mimic typing, classroom behavior and acrobatic feats as chairs become interactive props.

Coleman originally choreographed the piece as a solo. When she spent three weeks at Stephens Summer Dance intensive this past summer, she reworked it as a group performance.

“Working on it with 11 dancers, the piece took on a life of its own,” she said. “Each dancer developed her individual character based on her unique experience as a student.”

When she returned to Chicago this fall, Coleman wanted to continue working on the dance but “couldn’t see doing it with another group.”

Coleman also brought Stephens alumna Elizabeth Lamontagne back to perform in the show as a solo artist. Lamontagne graduated in 2014 but participated in Stephens Summer Dance following graduation. She now works for Tapestry Dance Company and Academy in Austin.

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Harbinger: Do It Yourself conveys self-reliant spirit

If you take anything away from this year’s Harbinger, Stephens’ award-winning student literary journal, it’s that young women of this generation are doing things their way.

“In Harbinger 2015, the voices and stories of our authors come together to suggest a continuation of our generation’s self-sufficiency—our willingness to make it happen for ourselves,” editor-in-chief Kitiara McGuire says in the magazine’s foreword.

The theme of this year’s Harbinger is Do It Yourself, a nod to the “grrrl” movement of the early 1990s that led to the popularity of “zines,” small handmade pamphlets. “Do It Yourself” begins with Maya Alpert’s how-to, “Write What You Know, Or Don’t,” a mockery of the concept that one has to be an expert on something in order to write about it. Other poetry, fiction and works also challenge norms and expectations and experiment with new concepts and language.

“Each year, the magazine reflects the personality of the group of editors and interns who work on it,” said Kris Somerville, faculty adviser. “This year, I would say the crew conveyed a punk ethos. They feel as if rather than being a coddled generation, they are independent and doing things for themselves in new and different ways. The cover and content reflect their self-reliant spirit. This year, our readers will notice a real edge to the look and content.”

Somerville also praised the cover and overall look of the magazine, designed by senior Haley Padilla.

“This year’s issue is a real marriage of design and content,” she said. “It’s a great read in a well-designed package.”

“Do It Yourself” is eligible for an “Outstanding Literary Journal” award at the 2016 Sigma Tau Delta convention. Harbinger took the award in 2009, 2010 and 2011 before new rules kicked in barring a journal from winning the award two consecutive years. Harbinger won again in 2013.

The journal is on sale at Susie’s or order a copy online here. The staff will hold a Harbinger Night launch party and reading at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24 at the Bridge in downtown Columbia.

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SCCS students take on Destination Imagination challenge

Students at the Stephens College Children’s School participated in an on-campus version of Destination Imagination, a program that challenges young people to complete STEM projects that also incorporate the arts.

Four teams spent weeks working through their projects before executing them in front of an audience in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall on Friday. While the event was not a competition, Mark Brunner, Stephens’ IT director, and Philip Coleman, husband of President Dianne Lynch, scored and judged each challenge.

Two groups opted to participate in a “theory tale” challenge and created fairy tales to solve hypothetical problems. One group, named PG-13, created a play about a phobia with functional artwork, choreographed dances and original songs. A second group also wrote a play to figure out how a group of scientists would “undo” the damage they did when they created an evil monster.

Another group, Horse People, opted to participate in an improv challenge. They researched various types of street art before receiving a random situation to act out on the fly during the public event.

And The Eagles completed a challenge in which they built a structure that could withstand 10 pounds and be taken apart without collapsing.

“Students learned to execute real-world scenarios,” said Lindsey Clifton, an elementary teacher. “They learned collaboration, teamwork, problem solving and time management.”

There were times students didn’t think they were going to get through the exercises, Clifton said.

“These challenges create feelings of chaos,” she said. “But students were able to see them through. If teachers believe students can make their own choices and take the lead, then it’s possible.”

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Convocation recognizes outstanding students, faculty

Outstanding students were recognized yesterday at the annual Honors Convocation, an end-of-year ceremony that also honors an outstanding faculty member and adviser.

Steph Borklund, an assistant professor of film, received the Distinguished Teacher Award, and Associate Professor Jeff Phillips, Ph.D., received the Michael Bowling Distinguished Advising Award.

Borklund has more than 10 years of experience as a producer, director and editor. Her works include documentaries, narratives, and corporate and industrial videos. Her most recent film, I Am One, is a short film about bullying. She earned her M.F.A. from Savannah College of Art and Design and a B.A. from the University of Kansas.

Phillips specializes in ecology, and his research interests focus on the factors determining mate selection in largemouth bass, and the consequence that mate selection has on survival of the young. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University.

Also during the celebration, Rachel Utrecht, a tutor in the Student Success Center, received the Stephens Star Award for her contributions to student achievement.

Student awards were as follows:

School of Fashion and Design Award for Academic Excellence (3.8 GPA or higher)

Rachel Ballew
Maria Chavez
Regan Collins
Kalynn Coy
Oletha Crutcher
Claire DeSantis
Whitney Dishaw
Khyneesha Edwards
Nicole Gagne
Kayla Gibson
Caley Gustafson
Hillary Henry
Brianna Knopf
Zoë Korklan
Allison Langley
Audrey Lockwood
Kathryn McCarthy
Sarah Mills
Allison Moorman
Monica Nakamatsu
Abby Ntalamu
Margaret Reasbeck
Tobie Roberts
Katherine Rudder
Sonja Tabb
Julie Valentine
Victoria Vitale

School of Humanities & Sciences

English and Creative Writing
Outstanding Senior in English and Creative Writing…………... Morag Stewart Mason
Clark/Dillingham Outstanding Essay Award…………………………..Katherine Moore

Natural Sciences
Biology Underclass Peer Award…………………………………..Emelia Holzwarth
Biology Upperclass Peer Award………………………………….. Dana Heggemann
Outstanding Underclass Biology Student Award…………………. Emily Payne
Outstanding Upperclass Biology Student Award…………………. Chloe Tyau
Outstanding Physical Science Student Award…………………… Rachel Lightfoot

Outstanding Juniors Academic Achievement in Psychology……..Tiawna Johnson
Outstanding Senior in Psychology………………………….……Emily Mendoza Fellers

School of Interdisciplinary Studies

Digital Filmmaking
Citizen Jane Award…………………………………………………LeeAnne Lowry
The Max Ornles Guiding Light Award…………………………….Olivia Runyon

Contribution to the Laboratory School- Katelyn Rush
Promising Education Major - Daisha Ganaway
Distinguished Education Major - Kaitlynn Rasmussen
Outstanding Junior in Education. - Maile Wortham
Outstanding Senior in Education - Dawnavyn James

Equestrian Business Management/Equestrian Science
Outstanding senior……………………………………………….………………….Alex Hagelston
Promising Equestrian Major…...................................................Sarah Hines and Megan Klostermeyer
Outstanding Contributions to Equestrian......Gabby Ault-Zimmermann, Rachel Cummings, Erin Cummings
Equestrian Academic High Honors Award…………………………….Nicklette Ball, Hannah Dritt, Atlanta Hubbard
Equestrian Leadership Award…………………………………… Shelby McCoy, Candis Miner, Haley Upton

School of Organizational Leadership & Strategic Communication

SOLSC Shining Star: Sara Barnett
SOLSC Rising Star: Kimberly Doman
Outstanding Strategic Communication Design Student: Fiona Kerr
Outstanding Event & Convention Management Student: Carly Schooley
Outstanding Strategic Communication Integrated Marketing Student: Nicole Barth

School of Performing Arts

Outstanding Dance Students: Lexi Collins and Kyla Ranney
The Dance Leadership Award: Lexi Collins and Kyla Ranney
The Heart of a Dancer Award: Kayla Boles-Crumrine
Outstanding Artistic Achievement in Choreography: Carrie Collins-Whitworth and Destiney Lockhart

Kelly Archer Award for Service to the Music Program………………..Emily Bricker and Emma Costello
Harry Morrison Award for Achievement in Voice… Emily Chatterson, Meaghan Parker, Mycah Westhoff

Sara Ann Fay Award……………………………………………………… Savannah Bell
Sara Ann Fay Award for Outstanding Theatre Student……………………………. Cheyenne Smith
Spirit Award………………………………………………………………. Dona Walker

Resident Life Awards
Mary Omer Awards
Outstanding Resident Director……………………………….. Dana Heggemann and Dona Walker

Alumnae Association Scholarship Award
Freshman……………………………………………………......................... Minuette Layer
Sophomore………………………………………………………………..... Shelly Romero
Junior………………………………………………………………………. Khyneesha Edwards
Senior……………………………………………………………………… Nicole Bartels

Dorothy Martin Endowed Scholarship……………………………………..Jayme Brown
James M. Shirky Endowed Scholarship…………………………………….Khyneesha Edwards
H.E. Wilkerson Award
For Outstanding Service to Stephens College Admissions…………………………..Rob Doyen
Stephens Student Leadership Award………………………………………... Rachel Ballew
Century Candle Awards…………………………………………………….. Kirsteen Buchanan

Mortar Board New Members 2014-2015
List of Current Mortar Board Members, Spring 2015
Executive Board
Nicole Bartels, President
Emily Fellers, Vice President
Karina Palencia, Secretary
Andrea Jeffries, Treasurer
Sara Barnett, Director of Communications
Kristen McCurdy, Historian

The Ten Ideals
The Ten Ideals originated in 1921 when Dr. Werrett Wallace Charters and President James Madison Wood sought the development of a new curriculum. Each year, 10 students whose activities represent the overall ideals of Stephens College were selected as personifications of individual Ideals. A practice abandoned in 1968, it was re-established in 1983 by Dean of Students Martha Wisbey and a group of Stephens students.
BELIEF……………………………………………………………………….Colby Elliot
COURAGE…………………………………………………………………..Lydia Miller
CREATIVITY………………………………………………………………….Kate Rudder
INDEPENDENCE……………………………………………………………..Katlyn Lee
INTELLIGENCE……………………………………………………………..Lesta NewBerry
LEADERSHIP……………………………………………………………………..Nickie Bartels
RESPECT………………………………………………………………….Alexandria Hagelston
RESPONSIBILITY……………………………………………………………………Haley Padilla
SENSITIVITY……………………………………………………………………..Emily Fellers
SUPPORT…………………………………………………………………………..Kenzie Andrade
Four-Fold Girl Award…………………………………………………………..Sara Barnett
Best Private Citizen……………………………………………………………Jenni Miller

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Equestrian students take awards at WWU show

Stephens College students participated in a Western Horse Show at William Woods University on Saturday.

“We had a great show, as most of the classes had 15 to 38 entries,” instructor Karen Craighead said. “Our students looked fabulous and rode their best. We were so very happy and proud of their accomplishments.”

Senior Shelby McCoy and Rendezvous (Hummer) took first in Showmanship, first in Hunt Seat Equitation, second in Stock Type Halter, second in Open Hunt Seat Discipline Rail, third in Rider Swap Western Pleasure, sixth in Open Stock Type Western Pleasure, fifth in Western Horsemanship and first in Western Discipline Rail. McCoy was also named Reserve High Point Hunt Seat Rider and Reserve High Point Western Rider.

Margaret Sheldon and Lil Ironsides (Doc) were fourth in Stock Type Halter, second in Novice Rider Western Pleasure and first in Open Stock Type Western Pleasure.

Alexis Hundson and Chips Private Party (Tatum) took fifth in Novice Horsemanship, second in Novice Horse Western Pleasure and fifth in Novice Discipline Rail.

Miranda Mammen and Paint Me Fred were second in Open Western Pleasure and first in Novice Rider Western Pleasure.

Jessica Rauls and Private Timin (Tarzan) were fourth in the Novice Horse Western Pleasure.

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Stephens, City of Columbia present 'Bridging Traditions'

A dress worn by Diana Ross in 1969, a diploma circa 1897 and lots of vintage photos and memorabilia from Stephens College are now on display at Columbia City Hall.

The three-case exhibit, “Bridging Traditions,” also highlights ways in which the College connects with the city and the community. Women of the Earth, an environmental club on campus, teamed up with Columbia Storm Water, for instance, to create a rain garden to filter runoff from Hinkson Creek. A student-run marketing firm on campus worked with the city last year to rebrand Columbia Transit. And the city was instrumental in construction of the College’s pedestrian bridges over College and Broadway, a prominent entrance into downtown Columbia.

The exhibit displays rare pieces of Stephens history—artifacts that have never before been displayed together.

“We went to the College’s archives, to individual offices, to storage spaces and to the far corners of campus to unearth these pieces,” said Rebecca Kline, director of marketing and communications. “You’ll see decorated suitcases Stephens Women brought to campus in the 1930s, vintage beanies and some really extraordinary photos. It’s worth a trip to City Hall.”

Perhaps the highlight of the exhibit is a black and white zebra gown with a flounce of sunburst-pleated organza and large black and white hat with yard-long pheasant feathers designed by Bob Mackie. Ross wore the head-turning costume at a special Broadway performance during which she performed “Wouldn’t it be Lovely” from “My Fair Lady.” The dress was purchased at auction and donated to the Stephens fashion program for inclusion in the Historic Costume Museum and Research Library. The dress was last on display in 2010.

College administrators, city officials and the Chamber of Commerce will celebrate the opening of the exhibit with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. The exhibit will remain up through mid-May.

“We’re grateful for our long partnership with Stephens and its talented students and alums,” said Toni Messina, the City of Columbia’s civic relations officer. “I hope people will take the opportunity to see this exhibit and other artifacts celebrating our local heritage on display at City Hall.”

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Sister Outsider discuss power of language during visit

“Language has an agenda,” poet Denice Frohman told students at a workshop earlier this week, part of a two-day visit to campus.

Frohman is the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion and one-half of the duo Sister Outsider. She and fellow World Poetry Slam Champion Dominique Christina performed publicly on campus Monday night.

During the Tuesday morning workshop at Hugh Stephens Library, Frohman explained how “language is used to create systems of oppression.”

“No system of oppression can exist without the language to justify it,” she said.

Citing examples such as “prisoner” versus “inmate,” and “choose” versus “decide,” she shared the origins of some of the words people use daily without really understanding their meaning.

Frohman challenged students to think of a belief they once held but no longer do. Students responded that they now believe feminism matters; that they now feel they have a voice and that they can be comfortable in their skin. Such discussions support the duo’s commitment to providing marginalized populations with a voice and finding ways to acknowledge and celebrate diverse identities.

The workshop was part of several experiences from the slam poets on campus. During Monday’s “At the Intersection of Art and Activism,” Frohman and Christina focused on using poetry as a tool for social change. A third event, “On Being an Other,” explored how privilege and oppression insist on the degradation of certain identities and ways of being.

As Tuesday’s workshop closed, Frohman urged participants to “have an intentional relationship with language.” After all, she said, “words make worlds.”

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Vice President Deb Duren, longtime athletics director, retiring

Deb Duren, Vice President for Student Services and longtime athletics director at Stephens, is retiring at the end of this academic year, leaving behind a legacy of service and commitment to women’s education. Duren came to Stephens as head volleyball coach in 1984. She became a faculty member and chair of the Physical Education department four years later. In 1994, she was named athletics director and dean of students, earning a promotion to vice president in 2005.

“She will be long remembered and appreciated for her years of dedication and service, and for her commitment to Stephens College,” said Nikki Krawitz, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “She has always kept the welfare of students foremost in her mind. She is kind and fair and at the same time demanding, always expecting students to perform to a high standard. Her contributions to the success of our students both on campus and after graduation are immeasurable.”

During her 31 years at Stephens, Duren has been a constant and enduring champion of its students, its values and its programs—from athletics and student leadership to pets on campus. Under her leadership and direction, Stephens has become the pet-friendliest campus in the nation, an innovation that has contributed significantly to enrollment growth over the past three years.

“Deb is not at all like your typical boss,” said Erin Mazzola ’13 M.S.L., Director of Student Services. “She’s a mentor. She’s someone who has taught me more in five years than I could have ever imagined. If, during my career, I develop her work ethic and her ability to work with all different kinds of people, I’ll consider myself lucky. She truly cares about her employees, their well-being and their happiness.”

Faculty and staff gathered Wednesday to celebrate Duren’s contributions to Stephens and to wish her well in retirement.

“Stephens is a better place because she’s been a part of it,” Tony Coleman, Director of Campus Security, said during his remarks. “She’s made everyone’s lives she's been a part of better. I know personally that being around her for the past six years has made me become a better person.”

During Wednesday's celebration, Dr. Dianne Lynch announced that she and her husband, Philip Coleman, have established a new scholarship fund — the Deb Duren Scholar-Athlete Scholarship — in honor of Duren’s longstanding commitment to student-athletics.

"The Deb Duren Scholar-Athlete Scholarship will support an outstanding student-athlete who reflects the work ethic, values and commitments that Deb so truly represents,” Lynch said.

She encouraged the college’s faculty, staff and alumnae to contribute to the new scholarship as well. “I am confident our community will respond with generosity and support for this tribute to Deb and her contributions to Stephens."

Anyone interested in making a donation to the fund in Duren's honor should contact Meichele Foster, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Initiatives, at [email protected]

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Softball team sweeps past Ecclesia College in Pink Series

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Led by dominant offense, the Stephens College softball team swept its non-conference doubleheader with Ecclesia College on Saturday afternoon. Despite playing from behind in both games, the Stars picked up 10-7 and 16-7 (5 innings) wins over the visitors from Springdale, Ark.

With the sweep, SC snapped its 10-game losing streak and improved to 3-13 on the season. The Stars have a quick turnaround as they welcome Missouri Valley College to American Legion Park Sunday at 12 and 2 p.m.

Game One – Stephens College 10, Ecclesia College 7
Ecclesia started the scoring in the first with two outs on the board. A double and back-to-back singles gave the Royals an early 2-0 lead before Stephens stranded three baserunners.

The Stars had their own two-out magic as Katie Heaton started off with a single to shallow left. Sarah Dooley, Cheyenne Jones and Jamie Martin followed suit and each hit consecutive doubles to give SC the 3-2 lead.

Both teams traded runs in the second before Ecclesia jumped back ahead, 5-4, in the third frame. Moments later, the Stars took advantage of three EC errors and bounced back from the deficit with four runs and an 8-5 advantage.

Ecclesia loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and managed to score two runs after the inning was extended on an infield miscue. Sticking to the theme of game one, the Stars had an answer to the Royals’ offense with two runs on two hits.

Rush, who recorded her second win from the mound, struck out two batters in the final inning to match a season high in strikeouts (5).

Leading the way for Stephens offensively was Monica Nakamatsu and Jamie Martin, who were both 3-for-4 at the plate. Nakamatsu added two runs and three RBI, while Martin had two doubles and one RBI. Also recording multi-hit games were Katie Heaton and Sarah Dooley, each with two hits and two RBIs apiece.

Game Two – Stephens College 16, Ecclesia College 7 (5 Innings)
Similar to game one, the Stars found themselves playing from behind, trailing Ecclesia 2-0 after the top of the first. SC made up one run in the first, but a big second inning for the Royals put the Stars in a deeper hole.

All day long, Ecclesia’s Lakota Elliott was getting ahold of the ball and had another strong go-around as she hit a three-run blast to center. Royal catcher Victoria Kaiserman hit the second home run of the inning to extended the EC lead to 7-1 heading into the bottom of the second.

The Stars got right back in the game with a five-run third inning thanks to four singles, a Heaton double and a Rush triple.

Stephens gained its first lead of game two with an ambush in the fourth inning. The Stars used their hot bats to pile on eight hits and eight runs.

Miranda Carlisle, who had a slow start in the circle, buckled down and threw three consecutive scoreless innings. In the top of the fifth, she got some help with a 5-2-6 double play, followed by a home-run saving grab by Jessica Kane at the center field fence.

The momentum and excitement carried over to the next half inning. With Heaton on first, Sarah Dooley hit a walk-off home run to run rule the Royals. Dooley leads the Stars in home runs with three on the year.

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Annual 'clusters' put education majors in charge

For the past two weeks, Stephens junior Christina Hull and Danielle Carnes have used dinosaurs to teach preschoolers all sorts of things.

They practiced measuring by comparing the size of their feet to what dinosaurs might have walked on—and then lined the hallway of the Audrey Webb Learning Center with colorful dinosaur tracks.

They practiced both democracy and mathematics when they took a poll, allowing the preschoolers to vote on what they believe caused dinosaurs to be extinct. When they counted the votes (using Roman Numerals), they determined most in the class blame extinction on volcanic activity—so the juniors created an experiment to mimic a volcano.

The pink bubbles erupting over a cardboard mountain caused all sorts of giggles and screams. So Hull had to implement a clapping strategy to get the children focused again.

Learning the ins-and-outs of teaching, including the unanticipated distractions, is the goal of “clusters,” an annual project that allows juniors to take over classrooms. That means preparing and delivering lesson plans—but also knowing how to respond when, say, a little one starts crying because someone cut her off in line.

These are absolutely skills I’ll be able to use in the future in a classroom,” Hull said shortly after calming a tearful tot.

During clusters, juniors select a theme and incorporate lessons and activities around it.

Over in the elementary school, junior Izzy Marsh focused her studies on the concept of life, while junior Maile Wortham taught students about media and blogging.

Allison Mather—who is at Stephens this semester to get her teaching certificate—and senior Dawnavyn James implemented curriculum around Greek mythology.

“We put a mythology twist on everything,” Mather said.

To celebrate Pi day, they baked pies, studying both mathematics and chemistry. They also delved into the creative arts, studying gods and goddesses.

The curriculum culminated this afternoon with a play about Orpheus’s struggle to bring his wife, Eurydice, back from the underworld. And just as he did in ancient Greece, Orpheus succeeded only to do one thing forbidden him and lose her forever … or at least until his own demise.

The activities and lessons took a lot of collaboration, Mather said.

“It’s really important to collaborate with other teachers, bouncing ideas off one another, tweaking things and making them better,” she said.

Her main take-away?

“You have to keep things moving,” Mather said. “You have to be flexible and prepared.”

Taking over a class has shown Hull just how capable preschoolers are.

“Even though they’re very young, they’re still very capable of understanding how the world is,” she said. “Do not underestimate young children.”

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English/Creative Writing students to present at international conference

Four English/Creative Writing students are headed to Albuquerque today to participate in Sigma Tau Delta’s annual International Convention.

Sophomore Shelly Romero and seniors Maggie Myers, Coral Hoelscher and Sarah Parris will be presenting their original works during the four-day session, which brings together members of the English honor society from around the world.

“It’s a huge honor,” Romero said. “This isn’t just a national conference; it’s international and includes speakers and professional authors.”

Romero will be reading her short metafiction, “So, You’re in a Horror Movie.” It’s somewhat of a love/hate letter to the horror genre and its overt stereotypes. (Think “Scream.”)

“If you’re in a horror movie, you don’t want to be the popular cheerleader, and you definitely don’t want to be the boyfriend of the last girl alive,” Romero quipped.

Since finding out her submission had been accepted, Romero has edited her piece several times and has been practicing reading it aloud.

“There’s a lot of voice in it,” she said. “It’s sassy and in-your-face. And it’s in second person, so I’ll be speaking directly to the audience.”

Hoelscher had a chance to practice reading her piece in public at last year’s Harbinger launch party.

The short story, “Sticks,” was published in Stephens’ 2014 literary magazine. It’s about a woman who watches her husband succumb to the same grotesque metamorphosis that her brother went through. (Too bad her children don’t realize the giant roach in the bedroom is actually their father.)

Myers will read a collection of poetry during the Sigma Tau Delta conference; and Parris will read her short story, “Last Dance.”

Judith Clark, professor emerita and adviser of the Sigma Tau Delta chapter at Stephens, is accompanying the group and will serve as a faculty moderator for two sessions.

The group will return Sunday and have a week off before preparing for this year’s literary magazine, which will be in print next month. The Harbinger will debut at a public party scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on April 24 at The Bridge in downtown Columbia.

Harbinger has won Sigma Tau Delta’s “Outstanding Literary Journal” four of the past five years.

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Boston-based poet, alumna shares work with students

Krysten Hill, a Boston-based poet and 2008 Stephens graduate, shared some of her works on campus Friday before hosting a workshop with students on Saturday.

Hill teaches writing at the University of Massachusetts, where she also performs and writes. Originally from Kansas City, her poetry has been featured on stage at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival; Cantab Lounge; Literary Firsts and U35 Reading Series. She’s been published in Muzzle, PANK, Amethyst Arsenic, Roar and Write on the DOT. Ultimately, she wants to form a collective of female poets who travel to teach girls the power of voice.

On Friday, Hill read poetry mostly surrounding issues of gender, race and adolescent angst. One poem, part of an Encyclopedia Show that required her to write about Sloth Bears, allowed her to explore the idea of captivity both in relation to the animals and in relation to womanhood.

Hill, who earned a B.F.A. in Creative Writing, said she found her voice at Stephens, a “safe space.”

“I learned to be better to myself, better to my skin,” she told students. “There's something that really happens here, guys, so take it in.”

Later, Hill said Stephens gave her the ability to do “really hard things. I learned to stand up for myself outside of the world of academia.”

On Saturday, Hill led students through a series of exercises aimed to get them comfortable with sharing, said Assistant Professor Kate Berneking Kogut.

Students performed individual pieces and got guided feedback. Hill also led them through a series of breathing and voice exercises.

Voice, Hill said on Friday, is always evolving. While she’s been faithful to the same topics she wrote about in college, she said, “I’m always practicing and always developing.”

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Powell discusses bridal history during Saturday lecture

A crowd listens during Powell's presentation.

Wedding folklorist and costume historian Cornelia Powell impressed a large audience Saturday with her knowledge of bridal history and the origins of wedding traditions enjoyed today.

Using the popular PBS series “Downton Abbey” as inspiration, Powell traced bridal fashions throughout the centuries during a public presentation at Historic Senior Hall. Most wedding costumes that she showed have roots to royalty. White gowns, for instance, became standard with Queen Victoria's marriage to Prince Albert in 1840. Following the Great Depression and World War II, however, women returned to the more economical tradition of wearing their Sunday best.

Enter Princess Diana’s wedding in the 1980s.

“Diana’s wedding shifted the world of weddings,” Powell said. “Diana rescued the white wedding.”

For most of her presentation, Powell speculated as to what some of the matriarchs of “Downton Abbey” might have worn at their own wedding, combining royal fashions of the time with the characters’ styles on the show.

Powell has written several books on bridal customs and has interviewed the designers for “Downton Abbey.” The show is so fashion-focused, she said, that the wardrobe team creates between 150 and 200 costumes per episode.

Close to 100 people attended the presentation, which was followed by a trip to the Historic Costume Gallery in Lela Raney Wood Hall. This semester’s exhibit features bridal attire through three centuries. It’s open noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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Professor creates interactive timeline of Islamic culture

Associate Professor James Terry has created two new online tools that give students easy access to important dates and terms.

The Islamic World is an interactive timeline of Islamic history and culture. It begins with the birth of Muhammad in the year 570 and tracks key events in art, culture, science; political and military history; religion; and other milestones through the present day. Each of the more than 300 events is marked with a card containing more information, videos, links, maps, photos and other relevant elements. It ends with the massacre at Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris earlier this year.

Viewers can scan the information on a two-dimensional timeline or in a 3-D view through the host website, Tiki Toki. View it here.

Terry created the timeline to supplement the textbook he uses in his Islamic Art and Culture course.

“The text is excellent, but it focuses narrowly on art and architecture, and I wanted students to be able to understand the arts in the contexts of religion, history, culture and science,” he said.

Terry said he hopes it helps people better understand the importance and relevance of the cultures of the Islamic world.

“So much of what we think of as Western European accomplishments really began with Islamic civilization in the Middle Ages,” he said. “The Renaissance and the scientific revolution would never have been conceivable without the preservation of ancient Greek texts and the advances in astronomy, medicine, philosophy, geography, mechanics and mathematics made by Arabic-speaking scholars. It reminds us that scholarship, science and art have always been culturally interconnected.”

He also hopes it counters the often negative images of Muslims and Arabs in the Western press.

“It is important to present a more balanced picture, to celebrate the accomplishments of scholars like Leila Ahmed and Edward Said; Nobel Peace Prize winners like Orhan Pamuk, Tawakkol Karman and Malala Yousafzai; artists and architects like Shirin Neshat and Zaha Hadid; and the great cultural institutions in the Islamic world like the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina (the reincarnation of the lost Library of Alexandria).”

One of Terry’s other web resources is a searchable glossary he created last summer while teaching an online course. He began creating the glossary as a WordPress site, and it has since grown to more than 300 terms and definitions. View it here.

The glossary will be featured on Art History Teaching Resources, a peer-populated web platform for art history teachers, in April.

Both resources are available to students and teachers everywhere.

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Stephens presents ‘Brides of Downton Abbey’ event

A wedding folklorist and costume historian is coming to the Stephens College campus Saturday to discuss the inspiration behind the bridal gowns featured in PBS’s popular “Downton Abbey” series.

Cornelia Powell will present “Vintage Inspiration: The Brides of Downton Abbey” at 11:30 a.m. on March 14 in the Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. The presentation is free and open to the public.
During the presentation, Powell will discuss the inspirations behind the 1920-styled wedding gowns and provide insights and commentary based on her interviews with “Downton Abbey” designers. She will also explore bridal fashion through the decades, combining stories of wedding folklore, tiara legends and royal brides.

The presentation is part of this semester’s exhibit at the Historic Costume Gallery. “The Day. The Dress. The Dream.” runs through May 10 and features bridal gowns and wedding attire from three centuries.

“We’re really excited to showcase bridal gowns through the years, including pieces from the era showcased on ‘Downton Abbey,’” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “Anyone who has been a bride, who has dreamed of being a bride or who has any interest in weddings through the decades will want to see this collection.”

Highlights of the exhibit include a dress worn at Grace Kelly’s wedding, an exquisite Vera Wang dress on loan, and a 1949 design by Ceil Chapman, a celebrity stylist during Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Also on display will be custom designs by Stephens alumnae; multi-generational dresses worn by grandmothers, mothers and daughters; and other wedding attire such as mother-of-the-bride dresses and grooms’ attire.

The Historic Costume Gallery, located on the mezzanine of Lela Raney Wood Hall, is open noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays; 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays and from noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Items in the exhibit:

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Stars softball team earns first win of the year

By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director

COLUMBIA, Mo. – It was a tale of two games for the Stephens College softball team on Wednesday evening. The Stars split Wednesday’s doubleheader with NCAA DIII Westminster College, suffering a 3-0 shutout in game one before finding their rhythm offensively and running away with an 11-4 victory.

Both teams picked up their first wins of the season. Stephens improved to 1-3, while Westminster moved to 1-6 on the year. Up next for the Stars is a trip to Arkansas to open American Midwest Conference play with Lyon and Williams Baptist. Currently, Stephens is scheduled to play Lyon on Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Williams Baptist on Saturday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. and a non-conference matchup with Ecclesia College on Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m Stay tuned for more information with rain in the forecast for Friday’s doubleheader.

Game One – Westminster College 3, Stephens College 0

Westminster and Stephens had their fair share of big-time plays on defense, but it was RHP Alyson Hahn who gave the Blue Jays the edge in game one. Hahn made it extremely difficult for the Stars to get on base, tossing a complete-game shutout and tallying eight strikeouts along the way.

The Blue Jays made their move in the top of the second when Anne Baker delivered a double to deep left to take an early 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Baker scored to put WC ahead, 2-0.

In the bottom of the third, Stephens found some life at the plate and recorded two of its three hits for the game. Jessica Kane singled thru the hole at shortstop, while Monica Nakamatsu hit one up the middle. Unfortunately, both were left stranded. Catcher Sarah Dooley registered the other hit, which came in the second inning.

Westminster speedster Brittany Hodge led off the fifth inning with a triple to deep right and later scored to give the visitors an extra insurance run. The Blue Jays wouldn’t need it as Hahn retired 12 of  the next 13 batters.

SC starting pitcher Katelyn Rush had a solid outing, giving up three runs across seven innings, along with two Ks.

Game Two – Stephens College 11, Westminster College 4

In the nightcap, Stephens used a pair of big innings at the plate to blow past the Blue Jays. In fact, with 18 hits, the Stars totaled more hits than the previous three games combined. All nine SC batters registered at least one hit in the win.

Playing as the visitors in Game 2, the Stars found themselves in an early hole when Westminster put two runs on the board in the bottom of the first.

It didn’t take long for Stephens to answer. The Stars loaded the bases and got one run on a Juliana Hitchcock single to shortstop. Then with two outs, Jessica Kane knocked in three RBI with a blast to deep center to take their first lead at 4-2.

In the third, Westminster made its move and tied the ballgame at 4-4 with a sequence of events that led to an SC pitching change. Head coach Tracy Dean brought in Katelyn Rush to pitch the Stars out of a jam. With just one out, Rush stranded two Blue Jay runners on second and third with back-to-back strikeouts.

In the top of the fifth, Jamie Martin, who was 3-for-4 against Briar Cliff, found the pitch on a 2-0 count and sent it over the right-center fence. The Stars regained the lead on the 225-foot home run and added one more run for a 6-4 advantage.

Rush continued to muscle her way through the Westminster lineup and gave up just two hits in 4.2 innings of relief. The sophomore from Jefferson City, Mo., registered her first win of the year.

The Stars piled on five more runs in the final two frames to secure the victory. Kane, Katie Heaton and Cheyenne Jones led the way with three hits apiece, while Nakamatsu, Martin and Dooley each had two hits.

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ECM-sponsored student talent show is tonight

Students in a 300-level Event and Convention Management class have organized a student talent show, which will take place tonight on campus.

“Our assignment was to develop an event engaging students,” said Jenna Westra, a second-year student in the three-year ECM program.

“It’s a sports and entertainment practicum class, so we decided a talent show would fall under entertainment.”

Attendees can expect ample entertainment tonight as some of the college’s best performers sing, read poetry, dance and perform stand-up comedy. One film student will also screen an original short.

A panel of judges, including two talent agents, will award first, second and third place. One lucky attendee will also win a free parking pass for next school year.

To prepare for the event, ECM 312 students held auditions, reserved space and equipment, worked with businesses to solicit prizes and worked with Fresh Ideas, the campus food services provider, to provide refreshments during the event.

“There really is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes,” she said.

Getting people to come to events has proven to be the most challenging aspect of event planning, said Westra, who has been involved in hosting several events this year.

“It is difficult,” she said, but added: “Stephens has so much talent, people should want to come.”

The talent show starts at 7 p.m. in Windsor Auditorium. A reception will follow.

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Creative Ink team redesigns Joint Communications logo

Creative Ink, the student-run marketing firm at Stephens, has redesigned the look of Boone County Joint Communications.

The county agency unveiled the look last week. The new logo is a seal with the organization’s name; three icons representing fire, medical and police services; and a prominent 911 underscored by a communications line that turns into a heartbeat line—stressing just how important the communications system is.

Creative Ink staff member Anna Martin, a junior, was the designer, and senior Nickie Bartels was the account manager. They spent last semester working on the project, which was finalized this semester. Both admitted they were a little nervous.

“BCJC was the first client Anna and I had through Creative Ink, and it is a prominent organization,” Bartels said. “But they were so accommodating and understanding. They were very eager to rebrand themselves and always made time to meet with us and provide us with constructive feedback through each round of edits. It was a great experience, and I’m so excited to see the office implement the design.”

While the logo might look simple to an observer, it was carefully crafted to convey the vital nature of Joint Communications—which managed more than 82,600 emergency calls last year.

“Our students worked with them in a thoughtful way,” Assistant Professor Kate Gray said. “They took a strategic approach, knowing it needed to be strong and straightforward, and to convey trustworthiness. Anna and Nickie took the time to understand the importance of what this group does.

They became more empathetic to the services the organization provides day-in and day-out. And that was important—if you’ve never had to place a 911 call, you might not realize that the agency is about saving lives.”

Bartels said she and Martin researched comparable offices and learned about all of the services BCJC provides. From there, the design process was collaborative, Martin said.

“The group wanted quite a few elements, and my job was to make all of those elements work together seamlessly,” she said. “We went through a few rounds of logo drafts that were voted on by the BCJC team before they came to a consensus on one that they were all thoroughly pleased with.”

In a “thank you” letter from BCJC, Operations Manager Brian Maydwell praised the Creative Ink team for their work.

“The samples you provided and your willingness to accept feedback from our various shifts and staff throughout the process was invaluable,” the letter read. “Your professionalism and genuine interest in the project came through in every meeting and communication during the process.

The letter was co-signed by agency Director Scott Shelton and Deputy Director Joe Piper.

Established in 2007, Creative Ink is a student-run marketing firm serving Mid-Missouri clients from a wide range of industries. Other clients have included the Columbia Regional Airport, Art in the Park, Columbia Public Schools and the Men's Minority Network.

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Butler, Heggemann named All-Conference Honorable Mention

By Adam Samson, Sports Information Director

Dana Heggemann Headshot

ST. LOUIS – Stephens College guard Makayla Butler and forward Dana Heggemann were named honorable mention All-American Midwest Conference, the league announced following Monday’s championship game between top-ranked Freed-Hardeman University and No. 16 Lyon College.

It marks the first time since 2010-11 that a pair of Stars have earned all-conference honors. That year, upperclassmen Cara Leis and Megan Sheffield both earned All-Conference honorable mention.

Butler paced the Stars in field goal percentage, 3-point field goal percentage and total scoring. With 346 points, the Huntsville, Ark., native tallied the most points by a freshman since Jessica McConnell notched 285 during her rookie campaign in 2009-10.

Heggemann, a co-captain for the Stars, finished the season as the team’s leader in points per game (12.9), rebounds (6.8), blocks (1.5), free throws (113) and free-throw percentage (.796). The Warrenton, Mo., native was among the AMC’s top players in several categories and closed out the year as the league leader in blocks. Heggemann reached double figures in 20 of the 26 games she played in and also recorded five double-doubles.

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Junior wins third in throw design contest

Junior Danielle Wilson took a third-place award in the annual Denali Design-A-Throw competition.

The contest is a national pattern design contest open to college students studying fashion, graphic or interior design. Wilson is pursuing a B.F.A. in Fashion Design at Stephens.

This year’s competition challenged students to come up with a college-themed throw. Wilson’s is designed like a football field and doubles as a game board.

She was one of nine winners in the competition, which attracted more than 214 designs from across the country. All nine winning designs could be used in an upcoming Denali Home Collection blanket.

Stephens College has had a winner in the Design-a-Throw competition for the past several years.

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Playhouse Theatre Company presents 'Bethany'

The Playhouse Theatre Company this weekend is taking on “Bethany,” a contemporary play that revisits the economic crash of 2009 through a single mom fighting to get her daughter back.

Third-year theatre arts major Kat Amundson plays Crystal, who lost Bethany to protective services after they were caught living in a car. Crystal breaks into an abandoned home in hopes of tricking her caseworker into believing she’s on solid financial footing and capable of caring for her daughter.

“However, Crystal unwittingly breaks into the same foreclosed home inhabited by Gary—and a truly harrowing and sometimes hilarious battle of wills ensues,” said Director Lamby Hedge, an associate professor of theatre.

Stephens selected the production, in part, because it’s written by Laura Marks, an important new America playwright, Hedge said.

“As often as possible, our mission has been to include exciting new works by emerging women playwrights,” she said. “The play is also appealing in that it offers our students the opportunity of working in a different genre: the ‘comedy thriller.’”

The play takes place at the house Crystal shares with Gary, an anti-social drifter played by first-year conservatory student Austin Smith, as well as at Crystal’s workplace, a Saturn dealership. That’s where Crystal hopes for a financial rebound by selling an expensive car to a slick-talking motivational speaker who has other intentions.

Expect lots of plot twists, Hedge said.

“It speaks to the on-going effects of the 2009 economy and the resulting devastation inflicted upon the lives of average citizens pursuing the American Dream of home ownership,” she said. “More than anything, it examines the extreme lengths to which individuals are capable of going to protect their own.”

The play starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinees. It will be held in the Warehouse Theatre. Ticket info.


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Tom Andes' original musical debuts next weekend

Some five years in the making, Tom Andes’ original musical, “Color Blind,” will find its way to the Stephens stage next weekend.

“It is going to be an exciting show,” said Andes, a music instructor. “And I hope entertaining for everyone who sees it.”

The musical is packed with high-energy, toe-tapping tunes that will have attendees singing for days afterward.

“I wrote it as a vehicle for my music,” said Andes, who is also the popular house musician at Murry’s Restaurant. “So it’s a concert with some dramatic overtones.”

“Color Blind” is the story of a depressed alcoholic art professor who loses his ability to see color, forcing him to paint in black and white. Just as he’s being encouraged by a new female companion, an alcohol-spurred car crash costs his sight altogether, forcing him to rethink his artistic abilities.

John Leen, a guest artist from Chicago who read the script at a public reading in 2013, will return to play Michael. Ed Hanson, creative director of Talking Horse Productions, will also make a guest appearance as an apparition of Renoir. Second-year student Chelcie Abercrombie and third-year theatre student Emily Chatterson will play Michael’s companion and wife.

New York-based director Stephen Brotebeck is directing the production.

“He has a great grasp of the story and its dramatic potential,” Andes said. “I am elated at the production so far.”

The musical starts at 7:30 p.m. March 13-14 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 15. Ticket info.


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Professor's T-shirt design among True/False merch

Associate Professor Kirsteen Buchanan designed a T-shirt selected to be part of this weekend’s True/False Film Festival merchandise.

Buchanan received an email calling for submissions mirroring this year’s festival theme, time. “I was intrigued by the prompts,” she said.

Buchanan opted to take a new look at the Ouroboros—traditionally represented by a serpent eating its own tail—using a phoenix instead to represent recreation and reinvention.

For being accepted, Buchanan won a lux pass. “I was really excited,” she said. “Hopefully I’ll see lots of people wearing it.”

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Jazz vocalist René Marie critiques student performances

Students studying vocal arts and musical theatre at Stephens had an opportunity to perform for a Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist yesterday.

René Marie, a singer, actress and writer, encouraged them to sing in a comfortable range—and to stay away from strenuous notes.

“It’s like wearing comfortable shoes,” Marie said. “You can do so much more than if you’re in six-inch heels.”

That said, she also suggested trying songs in different keys and tempos. Get to know a song well before performing publicly, she said.

Marie was in Columbia as part of the University of Missouri’s “We Always Swing” Jazz Series. Following her master class at Stephens, she gave a public presentation on campus about her life and career.

Married at 18, Marie left her husband of 23 years after he gave her an ultimatum: stop singing or leave. She started her music career after the age of 40. She most recently recorded her 10th album, “I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt),” which was nominated for a 2015 Grammy.

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Children's school receives letter from White House

Elementary students at Stephens College Children’s School got a surprise in the mailbox last week when they received a letter from the White House.

The students had written President Barack Obama earlier with concerns about whale hunting in Japan. A student had researched the topic as an independent inquiry project and presented information to the class, asking his classmates to sign a letter to the president.


In his response, Obama thanked the children for taking the time to write and encouraged them to also consider helping animals in their own community.

“It is up to all of us to be good stewards of the world we live in,” he wrote. “One thing that means is we need to do everything we can to protect wildlife and its habitat. It also means taking good care of animals in our own neighborhoods—especially those that still need loving homes.”

Letters from children, the president continued, “give me great hope that we can meet those responsibilities.”

The package included autographed photos of the Obama family.

It marked the end of a good month for the children’s school, which has also just been named one of the most-loved preschools by Hulafrog Columbia.

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Event planning students work Red Shoe Gala


Students studying event and convention management at Stephens last week helped the Ronald McDonald House set up its annual Red Shoe Gala at the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus.

Students helped with décor preparation—specifically learning to master the art of chair ties—and assisted in a variety of other ways during the event, held Feb. 19. The experience aimed to complement their work in the classroom.

“By being involved in events such as the Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Gala, my hope is that students will get to see how important every intricate detail is in making an event successful,” said Assistant Professor Cindy Hazelrigg. “It is important for them to see how important their specific tasks are in helping achieve the overall look and feel of the event. Conceptualizing the time that it takes in preparation for events such as these is a crucial learning tool that can only be achieved by experiencing it firsthand.”

Stephens students have worked with Ronald McDonald House, along with Knorr Marketing Communications, in the past.

“Ronald McDonald House has generously offered opportunities for our students to assist in this event for many years,” Hazelrigg said. “Rachel Ellersieck, a Stephens alumna, is currently the director of development, and has been a wonderful connection for the Stephens College Event and Convention Management program. Currently, Carly Schooley, a senior, is interning at the Columbia Ronald McDonald House and has continued to cultivate the relationship between the College and the organization.”

Event and Convention Management students work with other community partners, as well. They are now busy helping with upcoming events, including an auction at Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School and the Cancer Research Center Gala at the Parkade Event Center.

Hazelrigg said she especially likes exposing the students to charitable events.

“By being involved in an event like the Red Shoe Gala, I hope they will see how much of an impact events can have on the individuals directly impacted, as well as making the world a better place.”

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