Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College


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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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,

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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.


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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.
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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.”

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Screenwriter, filmmaker shares story through Citizen Jane Lecture Series

A prolific screenwriter, playwright and filmmaker shared her story with Stephens College students today as part of the Citizen Jane Lecture Series.
Kathleen McGhee-Anderson’s credits include episodes of “Little House on the Prairie,” “Charles In Charge” and “Lincoln Heights.” 
This morning’s workshop, “Learning to Speak Your Truth,” followed the screening of her film “Color of Courage” last night on campus. The film was based on her grandparent’s landmark housing legal battle that ultimately abolished racially restrictive housing covenants in the U.S.
“My grandparents fought a significant Civil Rights battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court,” she said. “Because of our family, African-Americans could legally live in any neighborhood.”
McGhee-Anderson’s grandfather was a light-skinned man who could pass for white in the racially charged 1940s. He bought a home in an all-white neighborhood, after which the family was sued and harassed by neighbors. Ultimately, after winning their battle to stay in their home, the couple became lifelong friends with the white neighbors who had brought the suit against them. The movie premiered on the USA Network in 1999.

McGhee-Anderson, one of the first African-Americans to write for screen, is on the faculty of the M.F.A. in TV and Screenwriting at Stephens, a low-residency program that will begin in the fall.
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Equestrian Center receives $10,000 UPHA grant

The United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) has awarded the Equestrian Center at Stephens College a $10,000 grant, which will be used for new bridles, training sets and other equipment.
Assistant Professor Kelly Hulse has been a member of the prestigious UPHA for 25 years. She spent much of Thanksgiving break completing the grant application. The UPHA selected Stephens and awarded the grant during the UPHA Convention in Savannah, Ga., earlier this month.
The UPHA is a Saddle Seat organization, but Hulse stressed that the funding will be used to benefit all disciplines at Stephens.

“In my request, I included profiles of Western, Reining and Huntseat instructors Sara Linde Patel and Karen Craighead,” she said. “When we compete, we compete as a group. All of our students’ internships and the jobs our graduates are getting in all fields shows that we are going places.”
Following the convention, Megan Beasom, president of the San Antonio Saddle Horse Association, informed Hulse that Stephens has been selected to be the featured charity at the SASHA horse show in March.
The College will now receive a portion of the proceeds from the show.
“I’m really humbled by it,” Hulse said. “So many people have come up to me to tell me how excited they were that I was” at the conference “and that they could support our school. They realize that our goal is to graduate professionals who will help them in their businesses and in the industry.”

Hulse, who was featured in the January 2015 issue of Saddle & Bridle, has since been asked to provide a clinic on grant writing for UPHA members.
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Team's interactive romper takes third-place award

romperOn the surface, it’s an edgy denim romper that subtly pays tribute to the rock band “The Doors” that one could wear to an outdoor summer concert.
Once it’s fully operational, though, the garment’s embedded LED lights will react to the frequency of sound waves—meaning the back panel of the romper will literally flash lights to the beat of music. 
Stephens seniors Brittany Grayson and Meredith Morrow, along with a fashion design student from Kent State, created the tech-savvy garment during the second annual Fashion/Tech Hackathon at Kent State this weekend. The design took third place out of 35 entries.
The 36-hour competition challenges fashion students and engineering students to create wearable gadgets that fashion-forward consumers would want to wear. 
Most teams consisted of at least one person with computer or engineering skills; although Morrow and Grayson opted to work with another fashion designer on her concept of creating an interactive garment for music festivals. Morrow designed the print, which replicates a subtle “O” that mimics the “O” used in The Doors logo. 
Grayson draped and sewed the romper, which includes a motif back panel where the LED lights are embedded into the material. The panel is detachable, allowing the wearer to wash the main garment without jeopardizing the integrity of the LED sensors. 
Although somewhat disadvantaged by the lack of technical backgrounds, Morrow was able to research programming and code the back panel to get the sound-activated LED system to partially work.
Back in Columbia, Morrow and Grayson plan to enlist the help of a local computer programmer to continue to work to make the interactive romper completely functional. 
The duo also brought home medals and some prize money; but they agreed they got much more out of the experience itself.
After having to construct and try to perfect a garment in such a high-pressure setting, Grayson said she now feels more confident about her draping and sewing skills.

And Morrow is now interested in pursuing more digital aspects of design. “I want to go this route in my career,” she said. “The tech elements are attainable if you have a drive to learn.”

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Stephens presents 'Antigone' with modern twist

Stephens College’s Playhouse Theatre Company is putting on Jean Anouilh’s “Antigone” with a contemporary twist.
The production will stay true to Anouilh’s text—which modernized Sophocles’ Greek tragedy in the 1940s. “Antigone” is the story of a young woman’s struggle as she fights her uncle, King Creon, for the right to give her brother a proper burial after he died leading a rebellion for the crown.

In the Stephens production, Creon is president of the U.S. and Antigone’s clash is with the federal government. The College’s version will also rely on a chorus to help the audience understand the story, but unlike the group of elderly men originally used, Director Traven Rice’s retelling will use journalists and the media. Audiences can expect live video and multi-media effects, as well, to carry the plot.
Ultimately, “Antigone” is the story of civil disobedience—a topic as relevant today as it was in Sophocles’ time, Rice said. It focuses on an age-old debate around democracy: Where do we draw the line between law and order and a citizen’s personal rights?
“The reason it’s a classic and people keep retelling it is because it still rings true,” said Rice, a Stephens alumna. “We stayed true to Anouilh’s text but set it in the White House today so that people would be able to relate to it and to the politics of it.”
“Antigone” is one of three Theban plays written before 441 BCE. Antigone and her siblings are the children of Oedipus and Jocasta, whom Oedipus married without realizing she was his mother, after he killed a man he later discovered was his father. The backstory will be very much a part of the telling of “Antigone,” Rice said, so audience members do not need to be familiar with the Greek classics to enjoy the show.
Second-year theatre student Emily Chatterson will play Antigone, and Professor Rob Doyen will play the role of Creon.
Rice, a producer, director and filmmaker from New York, said she’s been pleased with the level of talent at Stephens.
“Stephens is and always has been great about teaching and doing the classics,” she said. “Antigone is pretty sophisticated, and the classics are hard enough, so I know I’m asking a lot from them. But they’re rising to the challenge.”
The play begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday and Sunday at the Macklanburg Playhouse. Ticket info.
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SLATE hosts afterschool event for SCCS families

Education majors at Stephens yesterday hosted an afternoon winter-themed event for children and their families at the Stephens College Children’s School. 
SLATE, or Students Learning About Teacher Education, organized the after-school program, which included game, craft and snack stations in classrooms throughout the Audrey Webb Learning Center.
“It lets the kids all come together and gives our preschool and elementary children a chance to connect,” said Maile Wortham, president of SLATE. “We invite parents so they can get to know more of the college students who are working with their children every day.”
The Stephens College Children’s School is a preschool through fifth-grade private school on campus. While professional teachers oversee the classrooms, those studying education at Stephens assist with class lessons, activities and projects.
SLATE has hosted the annual get-together for three years, although it was originally held in the fall.
“We just felt the fall was too hectic,” Wortham said. “Around this time, we have a little lull in programming, so this gives our students something to be excited about and look forward to.”
Snowball basketball and a “Frozen”-themed beanbag game were among the popular activities at the event. Younger students also made snowmen mobiles and enjoyed chocolate-covered pretzels.
“It’s a time for our families and kids to really come together and have fun after school,” said Danielle Carnes, vice president of SLATE. “It’s gives our families an opportunity to get involved with the school and see that they’re very much part of our community.”
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Students prepare for Fashion/Tech Hackathon

Glasses that capture video, watches that double as cell phones and wristbands that measure your every move might become part of our daily lives soon—at least when inventors can make them fashionable as well as functional.




That’s where two Stephens fashion design students hope to come in. They’re participating in Fashion/Tech Hackathon this weekend at Kent State University in Ohio. In its second year, the hackathon is a 36-hour event that connects students studying engineering, technology, business and fashion. Students are challenged to collaborate and solve problems in the current world of wearable gadgets.
Seniors Meredith Morrow and Brittany Grayson say they’re up for the challenge.
“We’re used to juggling more than one thing,” Grayson said. “And we understand the importance of looking at the big picture.”
Morrow agreed, adding that fashion classes at Stephens emphasize problem solving—one of the key skills students will need in the Fashion/Tech competition.
As designers, Grayson and Morrow will hear ideas from engineering and technology students before determining which project they’d like to be part of. Teams will then have 36 hours to create a prototype of a wearable gadget that not only works but also looks good.
“We’ll be looking at aesthetics but also functionality,” Grayson said. “If it’s a garment, can you wash it or does it need to be detachable? Can you wear it in the rain? As fashion design majors, we understand those things.”
The duo also recently spent time with a local computer expert to get a better understanding of the technical challenges they might encounter during the event. That debriefing, they said, will give them an edge when it comes time to combine the technology and style.
In addition to the challenge itself, Morrow and Grayson are excited about having the opportunity to use the state-of-the-art equipment being provided at the event. Becoming familiar with the latest 3-D printers, body scanners, laser cutters and embroidery software will be a bonus when it comes time to apply for jobs, Morrow said.
The hackathon starts at 9 p.m. EST tomorrow. On Sunday, a panel of industry professionals will judge the projects and present awards from 1 to 2 p.m. The award ceremony will be live-streamed starting at 1 p.m., or noon Central time, at

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Stephens launches new online home for Stars

The Stephens College athletics department, in partnership with SIDHelp, unveiled a new online home for the Stars on Wednesday. The official athletics website,, aims to increase SC's visibility and the ability to showcase student-athletes from its eight varsity sports.
With the introduction of a new athletics logo in September, the logical next step for Stephens was a complete overhaul of the previous athletics website. The launch of helps carry over momentum from the fall and represents the College's commitment to the growth of its athletic programs.
"We feel that the new is a wonderful reflection of Stephens College and Star athletics," Sports Information Director Adam Samson said. "In today's technology-driven world, athletic departments rely heavily on social media, video and photography to tell their stories. SIDHelp provides us with that new, dynamic platform to engage our student-athletes, fan base and prospective students."
The department believes the website overhaul will dramatically improve the user experience with its intuitive layout and tools to provide fans with instantaneous information.
Front and center on is a main article rotator, which allows for a more prominent display of photos and video. Also incorporated into the new website are several general information pages, a brand new "Recruit Me" section, alumna questionnaires, printer-friendly options, sport-specific and composite calendars, photo galleries and much more.
Social media and video integration plays a much larger role on The social media tabs at the top of the homepage allow easier access to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, while the video module enables fans a more convenient avenue to view #StephensStars YouTube content.
Fans will be able to sign up to receive news about SC athletics delivered to their email inbox or mobile device. Also integrated into the launch is a simple, mobile version of as well as FREE apps for Android and iPhone users.
"It's an exciting time for us and we are already brainstorming ways to enhance the user experience in the future," Samson added.
SIDHelp has played a key role in the design and functionality of the American Midwest Conference website ( as well as other schools in the league. 
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Junior starts internship at Seventeen magazine

Stephens junior Kyla Cherry grew up reading fashion publications and developing an eye for style—interests that brought her to Stephens.
Now—armed with a broad understanding of the industry she’s gained at Stephens—Cherry is spending this semester in New York City where she’s interning for Seventeen magazine. She credits her college experience for preparing her for the job. Cherry is majoring in fashion communication.
“Stephens does a good job teaching you all of the skills you need such as graphic design and visual merchandizing,” she said. “Faculty members are committed to making sure you have an understanding of the industry across the board.”
At the prestigious teen fashion magazine, which was recently acquired by Cosmopolitan, Cherry will work in the fashion closet, where she’ll organize samples and garments and assist with photo shoots.
She’s excited about the work, but also about meeting people and developing contacts within the industry, she said.
It’s not Cherry’s first time in the Big Apple. The Kansas City native spent the summer of 2011 playing the role of “Young Nala” in the Broadway production of “Lion King.” She was part of the traveling company and toured cities along the East Coast.
“I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was at the time; it was just ‘Lion King’ to me,” she said. “But I was paid to perform, so it allowed me to shop a lot and get exposed to different styles and what different cities had to offer.”
Her mother brought her to the Stephens campus for a tour when Cherry was 16.
“I fell in love with Stephens because it catered to the incoming student,” she said. “Everything was so personalized and it seemed so nurturing. I felt as though I belonged.”
At Stephens, she has taken advantage of a variety of opportunities, including studying abroad at the College of Fashion in London.
“It was truly amazing,” she said. “They taught me to trust my vision.”
Cherry worked with the Center for Career and Professional Development last semester to find an internship, which she expected to conduct during the summer. Seventeen offered her the semester internship with the caveat that she would be able to earn course credits. Her instructors worked with her to make sure that happened.
“They were happy to do it,” she said. “That’s what makes Stephens Stephens.”
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Watch: Diversity Week wrap-up

Stephens College celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Diversity Week 2015 with a week of performances, panels and workshops, service projects and a candlelight peace walk.

More than 12 student groups worked together to create a full week of programming to kick off the second semester of the school year. Watch a video wrap-up of the events here:

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Stephens among top 50 fashion schools in the world

Stephens College is among the top 50 fashion schools in the world, according to Fashionista.

One of the largest independent fashion news sites, Fashionista is one of the most influential voices in the fashion industry. The news site began ranking schools in 2010 in order to help future students determine which program is best for them.

Stephens is among a list of schools located in fashion capitols such as London, Paris, Tokyo and New York. 

To compile the rankings, Fashinista surveyed thousands of past and present students, considered the quality of faculty and tracked where alumnae are working.

“We are continually inspired by the high-caliber designs of our students, and are proud of the work our alumnae are doing around the world,” said Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion and Design. “We’re thrilled others recognize the quality of our program.”

The ranking is just one measure indicating the success of the fashion program at Stephens, which recently took another step toward becoming a member school of the Council for Fashion Designers of America.

Earlier this month, McMurry and Associate Professor Kirsteen Buchanan presented at a CFDA conference for member schools in New York. The event challenged educators to discuss fashion as it relates to the 10 key principles of the CFDA. McMurry and Buchanan were asked to talk about respect within the fashion industry. At Stephens, McMurry said during the presentation, students are encouraged to respect the past by examining and exploring historical garments in the Stephens Costume Museum. Additionally, the school also embraces a culture of respect in regards to sustainability: each year, students create garments from recycled goods to promote awareness for issues such as fair trade, human trafficking and breast cancer.

Stephens has also received attention from Cotton Inc. Last semester, Cotton Inc. awarded the College with a grant to create a new course in textile print. The Pattern to Print class is documenting its progress on a blog that will be added to the list of “Cotton on Your Campus” section of

The grant, ongoing partnership with CFDA and recognition from Fashionista are indicators that the School of Fashion and Design at Stephens continues to have a worldwide reputation.

“Stephens has been known for its fashion program for decades,” McMurry said. “It’s only getting stronger. We’re confident we’ll continue to play an even more significant role in fashion education in the future.”

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Heggemann honored with achievement award

By Adam Samson, Sports Information Director

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Stephens College basketball captain Dana Heggemann was honored with a Special Achievement Award from the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame during an enshrinement ceremony in Springfield yesterday.
The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame achievement award is bestowed on student-athletes across the state who have received an award or accolade on the National level during the past year.
In September, Heggemann was recognized by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as the national Emil S. Liston Award winner. The prestigious award is given annually to one male and one female basketball player based on elite academics, athletics and character.
As a junior, the Warrenton, Mo., native carries a cumulative 3.82 GPA in a very demanding biology program at Stephens. On the hardwood, the second-year captain leads the Stars in points per game (13.8), rebounds per game (7.4), blocks per game (1.4) and double-doubles (4), while ranking among the American Midwest Conference top 10 in several categories.
Heggemann is on pace to become a three-time AMC All-Conference honoree. She is also on the ballot for the Capital One Academic All-District team, which will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 5.
In addition to the special achievement awards, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame welcomed a new class of 14 individuals, one team and one program at the University Plaza and Convention Center. Some of the headliners included St. Louis Cardinal Chris Carpenter, Kansas City Royal Billy Butler and Mizzou Athletic Director Mike Alden.
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Panelists raise awareness about human rights issues

human-rights-panelistsA human rights educator and activist last night challenged the Stephens community to be aware of issues happening in the community.
“Consider the dignity of everyone you interact with,” Nanette Ward said. “No human being should be a commodity.”
Ward is a founding member of the Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition. She was one of several panelists on the #HumanRights365 Panel Discussion sponsored by the Stephens College Diversity Coalition as part of Diversity Week. Other panelists included Ryan Gill, a board member for Welcome Home; Dedan Githegi, a Kenyan native who now works with refugees at Douglass High School; Scott Dean, chair of the Columbia Human Rights Commission; Dr. Amanda Murdie, an associate professor at the University of Missouri who specializes in the behavior of non-governmental organization; and Emily Cross, president of The Human Experience at Stephens. Dr. Tina Parke-Sutherland, a professor at Stephens, moderated the discussion.
Topics included a wide range of human rights issues such as human trafficking; homelessness among veterans; the challenges refugees face; and gender and sexual orientation issues. The event ended with students asking panelists ways in which they can help.

Dean encouraged students to be proactive if they see or hear anything that might indicate someone’s rights are being violated. “Remember your sphere of influence,” he said.

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Stephens in line to win $100,000 grant

Stephens College is a finalist in STANLEY Security’s Together for Safer Schools Grant program.
The College could win up to $100,000 in STANELY Security installed products and services. If Stephens were to win, Campus Facilities would use the grant to purchase state-of-the-art building access equipment.
Currently, students swipe a card to get into their residential halls. The updated system would give them access based on proximity, meaning they would not have to hold the card up against a reader.
Stephens has cameras and other security systems installed across campus. The new card reader system would simply upgrade the building access system to the latest technology, Project Manager Richard Perkins said.
The public can help by voting for Stephens in the competition. Through Feb. 13, you can vote for Stephens once per day per email account at Or, you can vote by tweeting with the hashtags #stanleysecurity and #stephens (retweeting other tweets with those hash tags also counts as a vote). 
Another option is to vote via text by simply texting "stephens" to 334455.
You may vote daily with each method.
The college with the most votes will win the grand prize, while one runner-up will receive a $25,000 grant. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to vote and to invite family and friends to participate, too.
Stephens has consistently ranked in the top 10 since the contest began.
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MLK Day celebration features poetry, performances

The Stephens College community last night gathered in the Kimball Ballroom for a special Celebration of Leadership in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The event featured poetry readings from members of the student group Poets of Infinity. The group uses the power of words to spread social awareness and justice. Club President Gabriel Cole read her poem, “Beautiful,” about society’s unrealistic beauty standards and received a standing ovation.

Evann Jones ’10 then performed a gospel song, “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” followed by a dance interpretation of music from “The Color Purple” featuring Dance Collaborations. Students from the theatre program then talked about how others view diversity. U2’s “MLK” performed by The Velvetones and “Free at Last,” an original piece by Stephens instructor Tom Andes, concluded the event.

The celebration opened with remarks from President Dianne Lynch, who challenged the Stephens community to “step up” and talk and care more about issues of social justice. Addressing the fact Stephens was in session with service projects on MLK Day, Lynch said “We do the world better with a day of service” rather than a day off.

Student Government Association President Brianna Jackson also encouraged students to talk about and help foster change—and to support one another regardless of background.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now,” Jackson said, quoting Martin Luther King Jr. “And that boat that we’re in is Stephens College. Together, we stand; united, we’ll fall. … I understand that we all have different preferences and different passions but we should be able to come together and be able to say ‘That’s a Susie, so I will help her at the end of the day. I will respect her. I will learn from her. I will grow.’”

Many students left saying they felt invigorated and inspired by the event.

“We wanted to deliver quality, meaningful programming to campus this week,” tweeted Senior Class President Lesta Newberry, who helped organize the week. “If tonight is any indication, we succeeded.”

See more photos from the event here.
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