Engagement Pixel Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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:

  • Dress_Image_1
  • Dress_Image_2
  • Dress_Image_3
  • Dress_Image_4
  • Dress_Image_5
  • Dress_Image_6
Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.


Date Tail

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.


Date Tail

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.”

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.

Date Tail

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.”

Date Tail

Freshman hosts drug awareness week

Stephens freshman Peggy Terzopoulos knows firsthand how it feels to see friends and family members suffer from drug addiction.

The Columbia native lost a good friend in December after he used heroine following a year of sobriety. She has a family member in recovery.

“It can happen to anybody,” Terzopoulos said.

She is determined to bring awareness to the country’s drug problem. She’s researched the statistics both nationally and locally and said the numbers would shock most people. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, for instance, estimates some 23.5 million people 12 or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol abuse in 2009—more than half of which were for illicit drugs.

To spread the word, Terzopoulos organized a Drug Abuse Awareness Week on campus.

On Monday, she and members of her sorority, Tri Sigma, will man booths in Stamper Commons encouraging students to write encouraging notes to women currently undergoing treatment.

Then on Tuesday, the campus community is invited to a public presentation. Mike Weiland, co-director of The Crossroads Program, a treatment center, will share his story of recovery. Weiland’s talk is at 6 p.m. in Historic Senior Hall Recital Hall. Those attending will receive a coupon to G & D Pizzeria allowing them to donate a portion of meal costs on Wednesday to Crossroads.

On Thursday, she and sorority sisters will head downtown to spread the word and raise money for Crossroads.

Once the week is up, Terzopoulos hopes to continue to spread awareness about the dangers of drug use and the struggles of addiction.

“My life has been based around this,” she said. “I’m just passionate about getting the word out there.”

Date Tail

House of Cards casting director to visit Stephens

Kimberly Skyrme will return to the Stephens College campus next month to share more insights from her work as casting director for the popular Netflix series “House of Cards.”

Skyrme will share behind-the-scenes stories from the show during a presentation at 7 p.m. in Charters Auditorium. That event is free and open to the public. Then, on March 12, she will provide a casting workshop for students in Studio A at the Helis Communications Center. Both are part of the Citizen Jane Film Series.

Skyrme first came to Stephens in November during the Citizen Jane Film Festival in November, where she watched screenings and also held a private workshop with theatre students. The workshop, formatted similar to “Inside the Actors Studio,” gave students a chance to ask questions and get insight from the industry. It was part of the new Intersections initiative at Stephens College.

Gail Humphries Mardirosian, dean of the School of Performing Arts, introduced Skyrme to Stephens. The two met when Skyme was a student at American University when Mardirosian was on the faculty there.

In addition to “House of Cards,” Skyme’s work includes “Unsolved Mysteries,” “The Pelican Brief”and “Hearts in Atlantis.” She is also involved in Women in Film and Television International, Women in Film and Video and is a founding member of Television, Internet and Video Association and the Peer Awards.

Date Tail

Dance concert to feature original piece from Chicago-based choreographer

Those attending the Annual Spring Dance Concert next week will be treated to an original piece choreographed by Brandi Coleman of Chicago’s Jump Rhythm Jazz Project.

The dance, “What We Do With Time,” turns the stresses and craziness of college life into jazzy scenes. Moves mimic typing, classroom behavior and nervous breakdowns. Expect to laugh.

“It’s 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.”

The piece is the creative component of the thesis Coleman is working on toward her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A low-residency program, she’s working on her master’s from Chicago, where she is also an adjunct at Northwestern University and Carthage College.

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.”

So she returned to Stephens this semester as the world dance guest artist.

“We picked up right where we left off,” she said.

Coleman is researching the social and cultural impact of the Africanist aesthetic in American dance.

On the performance side, that means working with asymmetric, high-energy movements. While most dances focus on making shapes with the human body, her piece is focused on using the body to shape energy.

“It’s a raw, essential, inside energy coming out,” she said.

Elizabeth LaMontagne, who graduated in May, is returning to Stephens to be part of the performance. She’ll have a solo in the dance.

The Annual Spring Dance Concert features faculty and guest artist choreographed works. It will feature a variety of dance forms, including ballet and contemporary pieces.

The dance begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-28 and March 6-7 with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 1. It will be held at Macklanburg Playhouse. Tickets.

Later this semester, Stephens dancers will travel to Chicago to perform “What We Do With Time” as part of a concert featuring Coleman’s works at Links Hall on April 10-11.

Date Tail

Saunders named NAIA All-American

By Adam Samson, Sports Information Director

ADRIAN, Mich. – The Stephens College competitive dance team closed out the 2014-15 season Saturday placing seventh overall in both the prelims and finals of the NAIA Cheer & Dance East Regional. Finishing outside of the top three dance teams, the Starlets came up short on earning a bid to the NAIA Cheer & Dance National Invitational in March.

Calumet College of St. Joseph claimed first place in finals with a score of 101.67, followed by Siena Heights University (97.67) and Lindenwood University-Belleville (92.17). The Starlets improved their prelims mark by three points, finishing with a total score of 80.17 in the finals.

“With it being our first year of competition, I think this trip to regionals was an invaluable experience,” head competitive dance coach Danyale Williams said. “It allowed us to see what other teams are doing, how we match up with them, and I think it will ultimately help us continue to build the competitive dance team here at Stephens.”

Following the cheer and dance competitions, a group of student-athletes went head-to-head for the chance at earning All-American status. Prior to this weekend, several individuals learned a video routine to perform at Regionals.

Two Starlets – Beck Saunders and Destiney Lockhart – competed in the individual dance skills competition. Following a near-perfect routine, Saunders was one of four awarded All-American status with two others receiving honorable mention. Saunders, a senior from Ahwatukee, Ariz., recorded the highest average score (19.25) among 11 dancers with the next closest competitor averaging a 17.

Date Tail

New report by President Lynch calls for rethinking journalism education

Stephens College President Dianne Lynch this week released a new report on the future of journalism education that calls on universities to make profound changes to make their programs more relevant in the era of digital-first media.

Lynch, founder of the Online News Association, was commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to conduct the report, thinking about what journalism students will need to know to be successful in the year 2025.

Lynch spent months interviewing veteran journalists, journalism educators, Internet entrepreneurs and those involved in media start-up companies.

The report, “Above and Beyond: Looking at the Future of Journalism Education,” calls for digital-first academic startups—educational equivalents of media counterparts. It also recommends creating a mission-specific accreditation process for programs that define as their core mission the preparation of 21st-century journalists.

The report comes as journalism programs and surveys show gaps between what educators believe are the most important skills for students and what students actually want and need to know.

“There is room in the academy for a more nimble, intentionally disruptive and hyper-professional journalism school,” Lynch said. “It’s not the answer for every institution, or the solution to every challenge in front of us. It is, however, a model that has the potential to upend some of the constraining operating assumptions of academia—about everything from scheduling and staffing to core curricula and learning outcomes—that contribute to the truly troubling current state of affairs.”

Lynch wrote an op-ed on her findings for The Chronicle of Higher Education. Read it here.

Prior to taking the helm at Stephens, Lynch was dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, and she has an extensive background in journalism and new media technologies. She studied the credibility of online news in the early years of the World Wide Web and is considered an expert on the news habits of digital natives—those who’ve grown up with the Internet. She’s also served as a member of the national Journalism Advisory Council for the Knight Foundation.

Date Tail

Warehouse presents 'What Every Girl Should Know'

The Warehouse Theatre Company this weekend presents “What Every Girl Should Know,” a provocative play about four girls living in a reformatory who adopt birth control activist Margaret Sanger as their secret patron saint.

The play by Monica Byrne is set in 1914, a time when reading Sanger’s materials or discussing birth control was punishable by law. The play’s title is taken from Sanger’s controversial pamphlet of the same name published in 1916.

“It was so long ago, but a lot of the issues are still relevant today,” said Kristin Cook, public relations director for the Warehouse. “We’re still having conversations about reproductive rights.”

The story, rated PG-13, takes place in the girls’ dormitory room where they read Sanger’s materials and create fantasy lives for themselves. The fantasies of travels and loves clash with reality when one of the girls discovers she is pregnant.

“People should see this play because it’s really different,” Cook said. “It’s eye-opening. People will be thinking about it. They’ll walk away with some new insight or information or questions they want answered themselves.”

Directed by third-year student Lydia Miller, the play stars second-year student Emily Sukolics and first-year students Clara Bentz, Haley Huskey and Meaghan Parker.“What Every Girl Should Know” begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday at the Warehouse Theatre.

Date Tail

Graphic designers critique student portfolios

Students studying graphic design are headed to St. Louis this weekend to share their portfolios with peers and professionals from around the state.

It’s part of the American Institute of Graphic Arts Student Conference at the Sam Fox School of Visual Arts at Washington University.

Before the event, Assistant Professor Kate Gray gave them a chance to practice with a team of critics. Earlier this week, students shared their work with designers from Woodruff Sweitzer, Fresh Ideas, Stephens and freelance companies.

“The AIGA is an opportunity for them to get out of our four walls and show their work to others, but I wanted to let them have a chance to prepare in a safe environment before traveling to St. Louis,” Gray said.

Students presented promotional designs, magazine layouts, computer graphics and other works in one-on-one settings. Critics gave feedback not only on designs but also suggestions on how to rearrange their portfolios or which works to include.

Sarah Carnes from Fresh Ideas looks at Sara Barnett's work.


Fiona Kerr shows graphics she created to Scott Shade of Woodruff Sweitzer.
Date Tail

Alumna shares experiences with marketing students

Stephens alumna Stacey Scott Kulik shared her work and life experiences with marketing students in Laura Flacks-Narrol’s class this week.

Kulik is recreation specialist for the City of Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, a job that was created last year in an effort to boost the number of city-sponsored youth activities.

Kulik, who previously worked for Ultramax Sports, pitched the idea of a mud run—a trend popular in the sports world today.

Thus, the first “Splat” was born—and sold out in its first year.

Kulik shared all aspects of planning the event, but Stephens students—namely those studying event and convention management—were especially interested in how she got people to show up.

The key to successful attendance, Kulik said, is getting the word out to the right audience. She used minimal Facebook advertising to reach a very specific target audience.

“Facebook was essential,” she said, noting that the social media platform also allowed others to spread the word both before and after the mud run.

There was also a lot of “pounding the pavement,” she said. Kulik went to other youth-focused programs around the city to hand out flyers and talk to parents about the event.Kulik graduated from Stephens with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication: public relations.

Date Tail

Stephens students take home five film awards

Stephens College students took five of nine total awards at the fourth annual Valentine’s Day Film Fest sponsored by the University of Missouri’s Film Production Club.

The contest was held Feb. 15 at Jesse Wrench Auditorium.

Senior LeeAnne Lowery won three awards for her short, “Once Crazy,” about an inmate in solitary confinement. Lowery took home the “Best Technical Achievement” and “Best Writing” awards and picked up the “Best Actor” award on behalf of lead actor Santiago Hernan Vasquez.

Junior Livvy Runyon won “Best Director” award for the documentary she made along with alumna Jordan Laguna and Assistant Professor Chase Thompson. The trio made the documentary in Haiti last spring about buildOn, an organization that helps communities build schools.

Junior Kirsten Izzett received the “Best Actress” award on behalf of Anna Martin, who starred in Izzett’s short film, “Amelia.”

Date Tail

Stephens among top 50 campus wedding venues

Stephens College has been named one of the most beautiful college campus wedding venues.

College Ranker, a website that showcases “the best features of universities across the United States,” ranked Firestone Baars Chapel on the Stephens campus among the top 50 wedding venues in the country. The chapel landed at the 27th spot.

“Designated as one of the historic buildings in Columbia, Firestone Baars Chapel owes its stunning architectural design to Eero Saarinen, who also designed the St. Louis Arch,” the site reports.

Firestone Baars Chapel is a non-denominational chapel that features stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and a 19th-century pip organ.

In 2013, Stephens also landed on BuzzFeed’s list of “31 Insanely Beautiful Colleges You Can Get Married At.”

“We know we have amazing venues for couples celebrating one of the most important days of their lives—so we’re pleased to be recognized for that,” said Amanda Tilford, director of special events and business development at SC Events.

Couples who marry in the chapel typically hold their reception in the Kimball Ballroom of Lela Raney Wood Hall near the chapel.

For smaller ceremonies, Historic Senior Hall is a popular venue.

SC Events manages external events on the Stephens College campus. In addition to weddings, Stephens venues are also available to those organizing corporate, family or other events.

Date Tail

Jazz performer René Marie to speak on campus

René Marie—whose latest album, "I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt)" was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award—will speak on the Stephens College campus in conjunction with the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series.

During the evening presentation, Marie will perform some of her songs while also sharing her uniquely personal story. The event, which will kick off Women’s History Month at Stephens, begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 2, in Windsor Auditorium. It is free and open to the public. There will be a Meet and Greet immediately after.

Marie is a singer, actress and writer—a performance career she started after she turned 40. Married at 18, a mother by 23 and a Jehovah’s Witness, Marie left that life when her husband warned her to stop singing or leave.

She has since become known for being a woman of great strength, shining attention on important social issues in America. Her latest a tribute to Eartha Kitt is her 10th album. Visit her website here.

Date Tail

Stephens to screen 'Someday Melissa' as part of awareness week

Millions of women and girls suffer from anorexia and/or bulimia in the United States, and college campuses are “breeding grounds” for the disease.

“While eating disorders do not discriminate—they can affect anyone—college students are under a lot of extra stress,” said Mallory Langston, counseling fellow at Stephens College. “The pressure can trigger under eating, binging and purging, excessive exercise or other dangerous behaviors.”

The College is bringing awareness to the issue during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, Feb. 22-28. On Tuesday, Feb. 24, Stephens will screen “Someday Melissa,” a documentary about a 19-year-old who died from complications related to bulimia. The film begins at 7 p.m. in Charters Auditorium.

“Someday Melissa” is the story of Melissa Avrin, who died in 2009 after a five-year fight with bulimia. Her mother, Judy, made the film after discovering her daughter’s journals, in which she wrote about her struggle but also her hopes and dreams for the future.

The documentary is presented by McCallum Place St. Louis, and medical director Dr. Stephanie Bagby-Stone will be on hand for a discussion following the film.

“We really hope this film educates people about the realities and dangers of eating disorders, especially bulimia,” Langston said. “We’re so thankful to be partnering with McCallum Place to shine a light on this misunderstood disease.”

Date Tail

Starlets score silver at dance, cheer challenge

By Adam Samson, Sports Information Director

In front of a packed house at Silverthorne Arena, Stephens College hosted its first-ever cheer and dance competition. As host of the Stephens College Dance & Cheer Challenge, the Starlets took home silver in the dance competition.

The team of Beck Saunders, Natalya McDaniel, Destiney Lockhart, Emma Powers, Victoria Vitale and Bernadette Murray performed a flawless routine without deductions and compiled an average score of 84.17 and finished above competitors Lindenwood University-Belleville, Robert-Morris University-Chicago and Texas Wesleyan University.

St. Ambrose University, which averaged 98.00 points, cruised to a first-place finish in the dance competition.

In addition to dance, Stephens accommodated six cheer squads on Saturday. In a tightly contested clash for first, second and third, Missouri Valley College came out on top with an average score of 83.75. Not far behind was Texas Wesleyan with 83.67 and Central Methodist with 81.08.

Following the inaugural Stephens College Dance & Cheer Challenge, several teams competed head-to-head in front of a new set of judges. Competing in a dual with Texas Wesleyan, the Starlets posted an impressive 104.5-78.5 win over the Rams’ dance team.

In two weeks, the Starlets will be headed to Adrian, Mich., for the NAIA Qualifying Competition - East Regional.For complete results, visit the new online home for athletics, StephensStars.com.

Date Tail

Broadway performer teaches master class

Hettie Barnhill, an actor, dancer, choreographer, singer and Broadway performer, returned to Stephens College today to teach master classes in African dance and musical theatre.

At today’s dance workshop, Barnhill encouraged students to rely on gravity—rather than heavy muscles—to make their movements seamless and light. Students mimicked her floor exercises before kicking twisting to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

Later in the day, Barnhill was scheduled to lead a master class in musical theatre based on “Chicago the Musical.”

Barnhill, who debuted on Broadway in 2009 in the Tony Award-winning production of “Fela,” most recently performed in the production “Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.” This summer, she was a resident artist at Stephens Summer Dance, where she taught contemporary movements inspired by Broadway.

Last summer, she also worked with A Long Walk Home, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses art therapy and performing arts to educate the public about healing from trauma.

Barnhill been honored twice as a Rising Star by the Young & Powerful for Obama Group and in 2011 was named NAACP “Top 21 Leaders 40 and Under” in the fields of arts and culture.


Date Tail

Alumna critiques student designs

An alumna now working as a freelance designer returned to the Stephens campus today to give junior design majors some feedback on their class assignments.
Emily Starke urged students to be cautious when using rhinestones, to be strategic about zipper placement and to select designs that will be realistic to complete within the semester.
“That might be difficult to execute,” she said, looking at a detailed drawing. “Always think about the end result. You don’t want to draw things you can’t make.”
Starke also encouraged junior Cortney Sims to consider prints that complement one another. In the end, the two agreed Sims would use a fun unicorn print with another pattern, pulling the two looks together with a black leather jacket.
After graduating from Stephens in 2010, Starke went to work at Under Armour as a woman’s apparel designer. She worked on women’s golf, training, team sports and Power in Pink collections, and also worked to build seasonal color palettes for the women’s line. After four years, she returned to Missouri and is now a contracted freelancer for Gear for Sports.

While senior design students at Stephens are wrapping up their collections for the annual spring fashion show, juniors are creating pieces for class that might also show up on the Stephens runway following a professional judging process. Additionally, juniors are working on designs and garments for scholarship competitions through the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
Date Tail

Theatrical dresses, costumes on loan for upcoming dance

Dress_SelfieWhen a group of students got together last semester to form a new club on campus for the LGBT community and allies, one of the first ideas members had was to host a dance where everyone is welcome.
“That was our dream from the beginning,” President Emily Cross said. “Many of us either didn’t go to our prom or had a bad experience, so we really wanted to host a dance on campus where we could just go and have a great time.”
Thus, the “Freaky Friday Dance” sponsored by The Human Experience was born. The event for students and guests will be held the night before Valentine’s Day on Friday, Feb. 13.
To make the dance extra special, Stephens President Dianne Lynch approached Cross about the possibility of letting students borrow dresses, tuxes or other costumes for the dance.
“I thought it was a great idea, but I wasn’t sure how to make it happen,” Cross said. “The next thing I know, Dianne sent me a Facebook message saying she had worked out the details.”
Students yesterday and today had a chance to go through garments from the School of Performing Arts theatrical costume shop. Dresses, pant suits and other garments were on display in the Kimball Ballroom, giving students a chance to browse, try on dresses and check them out for next Friday’s event.

“The response has been good,” Cross said. “We’ve had some people go ahead and check out their dresses, while others have their eyes on a few possibilities.”

Close Button Right Button Left Button

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